Amazing Resources on the Importance of Minerals

importance of minerals

I love HTMA and Mineral Balancing!

I was asked yesterday for some awesome resources that would help explain mineral balancing and HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to those that are either skeptical about the importance of nutrients or those that are just getting into holistic nutrition. I realized that while I have hundreds of links saved on my bookmarks bar, I haven’t ever put the best links into a post yet. I am a HUGE advocate for everyone to constantly learn more about health! I think that we all need to be our own best advocates and the only way to do that is to learn, research, and read, read, read!

So here are my FAVORITE links on HTMA, mineral balancing, and nutrition in general. Some are studies, some are articles, and some a big hard to decipher if you aren’t used to the jargon. But the more you read, the more you learn and that is the most important part.

Directly from the 2 main HTMA Labs (ARL and TEI)

From TEI labs: A list of all of the studies that proof the reliability of HTMA

From TEI labs: All of their published articles on specific minerals (and vitamin A)

From TEI Labs: “Blood analysis for minerals is a good indicator of the transport of minerals to and from the storage areas of the body (extracellular).
Hair tissue mineral analysis is a good indicator of the metabolic processes occurring within the cells (intracellular).” (source)

From TEI Labs: All of their published newsletters on specific conditions and how they relate to HTMA (from 1985-present)

From ARL Labs: A breakdown on what HTMA is exactly.

From ARL Labs: Specific information on each mineral and heavy metal

From ARL labs: Their Newsletters and Published articles.

Studies and Articles about Minerals

Magnesium and Zinc involvement in Tobacco Addiction

Copper Dysregulation: Basics, Pyroluria, Bipolar, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Thyroid health, hormonal balancing,

Amazing Articles from Dr. Malter

Zinc: Responsible for about 300 enzymes

Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology, diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, info on mag and about 30 other illnesses,   Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

Copper: Metals and the Mind | Weston A Price , Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue | Weston A Price , Copper deficiency symptoms, Type IX Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Menkes syndrome: the decrease in lysyl oxidase activity is associated with a corresponding deficiency in the enzyme protein.

More on Copper: Role in neurological disorders, The role it plays in lipid metabolism (fats and cholesterol, it is SUPER important!), health benefits of copper, All about Ceruloplasmin (the copper binding protein-this report is 119 pages long and incredibly in-depth)

Iron: How to really balance iron, the higher the iron the higher the risk of heart issues, the role of ceruloplasmin in iron balancing,

The Great Iodine Debate | Weston A Price

Breakdown of major minerals and their uses.

Studies and Articles about Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System? | Clinical Education

The Daily Lipid: Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Infants, Vitamin D WAPF

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C

The Importance and Uses of Vitamins

 

 

Adrenal Fatigue and Kids

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adrenal fatigue and kids

Healing Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

You probably read that headline and thought it was a typo, right? Unfortunately it is a horrible reality that our kids are dealing with these days. One of the saddest parts about helping others heal is seeing how much kids suffer these days with health issues.  Many are born already with adrenal issues- mostly because if we are dealing with any form of adrenal fatigue while pregnant, our kids can be predisposed to adrenal issues themselves. (Source)

Need a bit more info on what adrenal fatigue (or more accurately, adrenal dysfunction) actually is?  Read all about it here.

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Since the 90s, mineral balancing science has shown that even toddlers can deal with adrenal dysfunction (source). Think about that: more than 20 years ago it was well known in the HTMA world that kids are suffering so much. It took this long for more and more people to wake up. We’re at the point that we have to start reversing illnesses, when we had so much time to prevent these issues.

But this information has never been mainstream nor accepted by the medical field unfortunately. When it comes to health, doctors seem to be taught that people are either fully healthy or extremely ill; there is no in-between, and no levels of illness (for example, there are several stages of adrenal dysfunction, so even if a few dozen people were dealing with “Adrenal fatigue” their symptoms could vary greatly).

The best way to test adrenal function is the hair tissue mineral analysis. You can read all about that here, but I will give a quick run down on why this is so helpful. HTMA gives us a huge view on overall health: it can show us adrenal strength, how the body handles stress, and it can give us a view on how well digestion is (which is key for assimilating many nutrients). The minerals that are most important for adrenal health are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Knowing these mineral levels as well as the ratios between them can tell us if kids are dealing with overactive or sluggish adrenals. This is crucial for picking the best treatment plan.

Symptoms that are closely associated to adrenal issues that are common in kids: food allergies/intolerance, fatigue, sleeping issues, reflux as an infant, picky eating habits, constipation, anxiety, skin issues, and more. Any chronic symptom that your child deals with is worth looking into further with HTMA, especially as this test can be used just as much for preventing future issues as it is used for healing current ones.

Treating Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Even in adults, there is never *just* adrenal fatigue. The root cause of any illness is going to include nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. Knowing this, we need to focus on a few key points depending on ones test results, symptoms, and history. These key points are gut health, liver health, lymph health, and diet/lifestyle.

Gut and Liver Healing

Healing the gut is often one of the first steps to take for better health. I include the liver in this as well as a healthy liver plays a big role in the absorption of many nutrients (like fats, protein, and fat soluble vitamins like A and D). I have a full post here on healing the gut for kids that you can check out.

The basics include healing the gut lining (with foods like bone broth, collagen or gelatin powders, and aloe vera), replenishing good gut bacteria (with fermented foods or probiotics like Garden of life and Renew Life), helping stomach acid production (like with Switchel or my Cranberry Lemon-Limeade, recipes in the full post linked above), and healing the liver (which most of the above help with liver healing, but I see kids do particularly well with the BioRay Kids’ line products, which you can read more about here. These BioRay products all have different main purposes, but they generally offer liver, adrenal, and gut support).

Lymph Health

The lymph system plays a huge role in our overall health. There is a big link between the gut and the lymph- in fact, when we are dealing with leaky gut, the food particles and toxins that leak through the gut lining end up in the lymph system, which starts to make it sluggish. Chronic, underlying infections are common with a sluggish lymph: this includes Epstein-Barr virus, parasites, yeast, etc. The lymph system doesn’t have its own pump, so we have to do it ourselves. Luckily, kids tend to love the main lymph mover: jumping on a trampoline! Rebounding one of the easiest and most effective ways to stimulate the lymph system.

Exercise in general helps to move the lymph. Dry skin brushing can be good for older kids that understand it.  Even castor oil packs or rubbing castor oil over the liver area can help with moving the lymph a bit. Read more about the lymph here.

Diet/Lifestyle

This is perhaps ones of the hardest things to adjust for kids, especially if you have been making the switch over from a Standard American Diet. But it is absolutely one of the most important changes. The SAD is full of dead foods with no nutritional value: processed foods, genetically modified foods, massive amounts of sugar, artificial flavors and sweeteners, food dye, high fructose corn syrup, etc. All of these things have links with illnesses like obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADD/ADHD, and more. Eliminating these “foods” can make a HUGE difference in a short period of time for some kids.

Switching to a nutrient dense, whole foods diet is the ideal for sure, but I know how rough this can be. Schools still tend to over terrible food choices and I have even heard of teachers that use candy and other sweets in the classroom to keep kids’ attention (or for certain activities like math). This is where the phrase “Do your best!” comes into play. We all cannot be 100% perfect, and we cannot control everything. Do your best to control what you can in cases like this. Learn how to pick your battles when it comes to this topic.

One of the best approaches for this issue is to slowly start incorporating nutrient dense foods into your child’s diet. This can be anything from pumpkin seeds (which are *amazing* in this coconut oil chocolate recipe!), fat bombs (snacks that can act almost like desserts, but they pack a punch of healthy fats which are essential for children’s health and development- don’t believe the BS about fat and cholesterol being bad! They are extra essential for children’s health.), collagen powder, herbal infusions, cod liver oil, and desiccated beef liver.  You can read my full breakdown on these foods here, as well as the typical smoothie I make for my own child.

For a full breakdown on what I consider to be the Ideal Diet, my ebook on this issue can be found here.

 

So…

When it comes to kids and their health, I am a HUGE advocate for changing the current way that we live. Between the terrible diets, stress (both for kids and parents alike), technology and how too much screen time messes with us, environmental toxins,  and just the fact that these nutrient deficiencies have been effecting each generation in a worse way as time goes on, thing just need to change. We really need to focus on preventing illness instead of just waiting for a diagnosis, and this is even more imperative now since our current generation of kids have shorter life spans than us. As we heal and change, so do our kids. And they deserve a better future!

More reading:

Nutritional Balancing and Kids

Burnout in Children

Children’s Growth and Development

adrenal fatigue and kids

How to Balance Hormones the truly natural way

balance hormones

Healing your Hormones the Sassy Holistics Way!

Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty about that, but I’m going to share the way that I believe we should be approaching this issue. I don’t agree with the hormonal balancing approaches typically, and you’ll understand why in this post!

What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?

If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes zero sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).

Why is the Liver so important in hormonal health?

Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is happy and functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That is the fact that drives me nuts about using individual hormones.

ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. If you want to see a chart that explains the hormone/cholesterol relationship, check it out here.

We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause).  If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver is having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, where is the estrogen going to go if the liver is still angry? The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen in the first place. Heal your liver, fix your hormones.

How is a copper imbalance related to hormonal health?

In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.

I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver can get rid of the excess copper in the first place: It is EXACTLY the same issue with copper/zinc. Zinc can mobilize stored copper but it doesn’t excrete it! (bile is the key for that, which I talk about below) Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is angry and the minerals aren’t able to balance.

Balancing copper is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with balanced copper. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper imbalance.

When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: the excess copper can become antagonistic to zinc and other nutrients and it creates it own host of symptoms as it basically irritates the body, but you can also deal with copper deficiency symptoms since you cannot use this excess copper. You can read the giant lists of copper excess and copper deficiency signs here, as well as the whole story about copper dysregulation.

How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?

When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout. You can read a bit more on how we can use HTMA to determine the health of the adrenals and how we can support their function better.

How to truly fix a hormonal balance

1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing! Many of my ladies need a LOT of liver loving/bile support. It seems that when we start healing, the body goes a bit into overdrive and tries to do all the things at once. We need bile to flush out the toxins: the excess copper, the estrogen, the heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc. But we also need bile for fat utilization and cholesterol balancing. From what I’m seeing, most bodies choose to detox FIRST. The more bile support we add, the easier the process gets. You can read my whole post on bile support here, but my favorites include dandelion root, sunflower lecithin, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm Bitter herbs supplements, castor oil packs, and staying hydrated. Bile is one of the main keys for healing constipation too- keeping your colon happy is key in healing from any illness. Also, anything you do to support your overall liver function will help your bile flow!

2) Heal your Adrenals. A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, the main mineral imbalance that is involved in hormonal issues is the copper/zinc balance. Get an HTMA and a blood panel for copper, zinc, and ceruloplasmin to determine your full status on these minerals. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.

4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.  Many of the chemicals used in beauty products are carcinogenic and are known hormone disruptors, and they mostly mess with estrogen. There are about 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and most of them are not tested for safety, or how they react to other chemicals. What you use on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream- reducing the amount of toxins you are exposed to helps take strain off of your liver so it can do its job better.

5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness. And yet it is one of the first things that suffers when health starts to suffer.This is the most underestimated healer out there.  We just need sleep! It’s not just because it keeps us happy- it helps us regenerate and heal, as well as helping us to eliminate toxins because our LIVERS work the hardest at night.

If we are always on the go during the day and we aren’t sleeping enough at night, we simply cannot function well.  The first part of ANY healing plan should be to evaluate your sleep.  If you aren’t getting enough because of your schedule, then it is time to cut down on things to take care of yourself no matter how hard this might be.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal.  This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!If you having any trouble sleeping, there are a variety of reasons why this could be happening. Read my post on how to bust insomnia here.  You can also check out this article from ARL about the importance of sleep.

More reading:

This awesome article by Dr. Lam was sent to me yesterday which prompted me to finally write about my approach to balancing hormones. He goes over the negative effects of improper progesterone supplementing.

Why We Need to be our own Best Advocate!

best advocate

Becoming your own best advocate for health is important!

One of the major lessons that I have learned on my own health journey is that as an individual, we have to be the ones that are in charge of ourselves. Growing up, most of us were taught to go to the doctor when we were sick and we were supposed to just do as they said because they were the “experts”. That mentality is something that I find dangerous, even when we are switching over to natural doctors and practitioners. We should never blindly trust anyone!

This is why when I write my posts and talk to my clients, I am constantly explaining things, sending links for them to read more, or just telling them where they can find more info. I never want someone to feel like it’s “my way or the highway”.  I want people to feel empowered to learn more, whether it is to help others in the future or just to help themselves heal at this point in time. I have been on the end of being a client and not having questions answered because the doctor/practitioner didn’t like being questioned. That did nothing but make me feel frustrated and set my healing back a bit because I didn’t understand the “why” behind a lot of things I was told I should be doing.

At the end of the day, we all know ourselves best. And it is important to remember that! Only you can explain the symptoms you are feeling, how you react to certain foods and supplements, and what you feel is the main area of health that you need to focus on. You are responsible for yourself: your health, your attitude, your actions, your choices, etc. You can find people to guide you and help you though! But ultimately, you are the best advocate for yourself.

How to be your own best advocate:

Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. There are a million and one people out there trying to make a quick buck, but there are still many people out there with great information. Find those that are truly offering the best solutions, and not gimmicks. True healing takes time! Learning to sift through the good and bad can take a little time, but it is worth it. Try not to become obsessed though, as that can happen a lot on this journey to better health.

Look for people treating others as individuals. While most people are dealing with the same deficiencies and imbalances, not everyone will be able to tolerate the same treatments. I’ve touched on this in my Biochemical Individuality post and my Individualized Nutrition post before if you want to read more. But basically, anyone that is trying to tell you that we all need exactly the same treatments is someone to question. Everyone is on a different level of health and cannot tolerate the same exact things.

Listen to your instinct. Instinct is real! If your gut/heart/brain is screaming at you that something you are doing isn’t or is right, listen to it. Our bodies are smart- we just have to learn how to listen and respect them.

Look out for quick fixes. It takes decades (and generations in some cases) for health issues to form. While many symptoms can start resolving quickly on a plan, true healing can take a long time. We all have years of damage to undo. Stay clear of things that claim you will be healed in a week (usually these are weight loss gimmicks, but I see them with general health posts every so often).

Have faith that you will heal. Don’t get discouraged. Believe in yourself! Find a good team of docs/practitioners that are all willing to help you heal. One person doesn’t always hold all of the answers (no matter how much a person might wish that were true!). Depending on what YOU are going through, you might need a few people to aid you on your journey.

It’s ok if the above doesn’t speak to you too. If you feel better trusting your practitioner/doctor or team, that is ok too! Some people don’t have the time or energy to learn more. They just want answers and healing. I just want more people to realize that it is ok to be a part of your own healing: you can make decisions, you can ask questions, and you can have doubts. I believe that there should be a team mentality when it comes to practitioners and clients though. Our end goal should be to help people heal!

My Absolute Favorite Remedies for Specific Conditions

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favorite remedies

I’ve realized how crazy it can be to look through all of the posts on this site, so I wanted to put everything I could in one spot for ease of access.  Hopefully this will be good for those either just starting their journey, or looking to switch things up with their healing protocols.

Some of these will take you to other posts, some will take you right to product pages. Please note: I only recommend products that I use myself, or from companies that I have done research on! If you order from any of the Perfect Supplements or BioRay links, be sure to use my code SASSY at checkout so you can save 10% on your whole order!

 

Gut Health

Liver Health

Lymph Health

Kidney Health

Adrenal Support

Hormonal Balancing/Women’s Health (AKA Copper balancing!)

Kids Health

Immune Support

Dealing with Specific nutrient deficiencies?

Other Helpful Posts:

Categories of Blog Posts on this Site

Healthy Snack Ideas

healthy-snack-ideas

A common issue that many people deal with is poor appetite. This issue can be related to many different things (low adrenal function, low stomach acid, sluggish liver, etc) but it can be a pretty annoying symptom to deal with. Some people just do not want to eat at all. I want to put a list together of ideas that could be considered a snack as well as light “meal” ideas for those that are struggling with finding their appetite.

Most people end up in adrenal fatigue because they are basically malnourished. We have to try to eat so we can fix this!

Snack Ideas:

  • A handful of nuts and/or seeds. I like to make up a mix to keep in the cabinet for the days that I’m either busy or just not very hungry. I use raw pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds. I like to add cashews or almonds every so often. Just a small handful each day can be a good nutrient booster.
  • A cup of bone broth; add some butter and collagen or gelatin for an extra boost
  • Full-fat yogurt or kefir: Plain versions of these are best so you can add some raw honey, cinnamon, ginger, and fruit.
  • Smoothies: There are endless possibilities to this one. You can use fruit, seeds, yogurt/kefir, herbal infusions, collagen, whey protein, and as well as the supplements you might use that are powders/liquids.
  • Collagen is super easy to add to food or drink 1-2 times a day for a nice protein boost
  • MCT oil is another super easy option to get highly digestible fat. 1-2 tablespoons a day is good to aim for.
  • Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are one of the easiest things to make a big batch of and then keep on hand for when you want one.
  • Homemade granola bars: I usually use a base of oats, raw honey and a nut butter. You can pretty much add anything to these to make them taste better: shredded coconut, nuts/seeds, even some chocolate if you can find a good quality. Check Pinterest for ideas!
  • Herbal infusions: while these aren’t exactly food they do contain copious amounts of nutrients.
  • Healthy muffins!!
  • Fruits and veggies too. A big ole bowl of steamed or roasted veggies with some butter and spices is always a good idea.
  • And of course, Fat bombs!

 

 

HTMA With Sassy Holistics

lucy

What do you get when you order an HTMA package with me? Well, let’s go over that!

An HTMA consult with me includes:

1) The hair test itself. Hair tissue mineral analysis tests for crucial minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, zinc and copper. It also tests for toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum- all of which can create massive health issues. HTMA’s main focus is on the ratios of the main minerals. The ratios show us metabolism, thyroid health, adrenal health, hormonal balance, blood sugar balance, and cardiovascular health.

2) My written analysis of the nutrient levels and ratios. This is where the real magic lies, in a person’s ability to analyze the test properly. The information that comes with certain profiles straight from the lab tends to be a bit outdated and nor personalized nearly enough. It doesn’t take into account the fact that many people are now suffering from severe leaky gut as well as very sluggish livers and lymph systems.

3) A 1 hour consult to go over the analysis, HTMA, and your main health concerns. I try to focus on your worst symptoms first so we can get some symptom relief while the real healing is going on. I welcome questions too, so don’t hold back!

4) Lifestyle and diet recommendations emailed to you after the consult. I try to write up our main plan as far as diet, supplements, and possible stress management techniques if needed.

5) Unlimited support while on the healing program for 3 months from the time of the consult. Usually this is mostly email and Facebook message support, but we can always make another phone consult if needed. I try to answer messages and emails within a few hours, and it’ll never be more than a day. If I don’t know what is going on with your healing, then I can’t help you! If things aren’t working out the way you hoped, please let me know and we’ll make adjustments.

6) Access to my Facebook group Mineral Mavens for amazing support. My Mavens are amazing. We have very kind, supportive, and intelligent members that have insight on many different topics. Mineral Mavens welcomes ALL health topics because all health is related.

7) And most of all: you get compassion. I truly want to help you heal! I have dealt with adrenal fatigue, a copper imbalance, and I have reversed so many of my own illnesses. I understand how the body heals and I am no stranger to how hard it can be. I do my best to offer my support and understanding to your personal situation.

Note: I don’t require blood tests or any other test because HTMA gives us a huge view on what is going on. More information can always be helpful and add more information. My main suggestions for blood tests include: copper serum, zinc plasma or serum, ceruloplasmin, iron, ferritin, TIBC, Saturation %, and transferrin. If you’re lucky enough to have an understanding doctor, ask them to request the labs. If not, check out Request a Test or Walk-In Labs (usually the cheaper of the 2).

Also: I am very pro-food based nutrition as this is how Mother Nature intended us to get our nutrients. Because of the state of our soils, it is imperative that we look for organic and nutrient dense foods.  I use foods, herbs, and food-based supplements in my programs. 

Many people are dealing with several imbalances and deficiencies at once so using food as medicine is gentle and effective compared to synthetic, isolated, and lab-made nutrients. Gut and liver healing are crucial as well and I put a big emphasis on this for those that truly need it.

This package is $200 right now- a great deal! Retests for those that have tested with me in the last 6 months are only $175! I offer one of the most affordable packages for HTMA right now.

**If you dye your hair: 4-6 weeks of new growth is preferred. The sample is that is needed is as close to the scalp as possible. If your hair dye has bleach or peroxide, you will have to either wait for new growth (or leave a hidden section un-dyed) or you can send fingernails or pubic hair.***

Ready to change your health? You can order the HTMA Package here!

 

Herb Spotlight: Rhodiola, the adaptogen that packs a big punch!

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rhodiola

After my post last week on adrenal fatigue and the mention of herbal adaptogens, I decided to do some more reading on a few of the herbs. Rhodiola stuck out to me, especially after reading Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Buhner (best known for his research on healing Lyme disease naturally with herbs- check out his site for more info!)

So why did Rhodiola stick out to me? In Buhner’s book, he writes that rhodiola is an:

  • adaptogen, and adrenal protector
  • Antidepressent
  • Antioxidant
  • Antistressor
  • Antiviral and antibacterial
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Helps with chronic fatigue
  • Mental stimulant (for those with mental fatigue)
  • Mitochondrial tonic!
  • Nervous system tonic

So what does all of that really mean? It means that Rhodiola helps with:

  • Brain Fog (also helps with focus and memory)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adrenal Exhaustion (even long term exhaustion)
  • All forms of chronic fatigue
  • Immune system health (helps prevent recurrent infections)
  • Increases stamina, especially for exercise
  • Increases fat burning and weight loss!
  • Helps adrenal related symptoms like insomnia, blood sugar swings, low libido, and a sluggish liver
  • Can heal the thyroid and thymus gland as well!

Where to Find Rhodiola:

Rhodiola is one of the most common adaptogens out there. You can find it in many adrenal blends, or even on its own. Most health food stores will carry rhodiola in a variety of forms. There are capsules, tinctures (my preference!), or even blends like this one.

Since there are so many adaptogens out there, it can take some time to find the one that works best for you. Rhodiola has a pretty good track record at being effective for most people. The only major side effect noted is that it can be too over stimulating for some if taken close to bed time. Stick with using it in the morning and early afternoon. Some notice an immediate benefit with some of their worst symptoms!

Interesting Tidbits about Rhodiola:

  • The Vikings used to use it for increased stamina!
  • Rhodiola has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time
  • Rhodiola has also been used in traditional Russian folk medicine, and was one of their favorite herbs because of its effects on fatigue, stamina, infections, depression, and impotence
  • One of the first mentions of rhodiola usage was in 77AD!!

Read more about Rhodiola here:

Herb Wisdom

Life Extension

Adrenal Fatigue, the Na/Mg Ratio, and why HTMA is essential

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The Sodium/Magnesium ratio shows our adrenal health on the HTMA. Ideally, this ratio should be around 4. It tells us whether your adrenals are over-active (high ratio) or under-active (low ratio). It is referred to as the adrenal ratio because sodium levels are directly associated with adrenal gland function. Aldosterone, a mineral corticoid adrenal hormone, regulates retention of sodium in the body. In general, the higher the sodium level, the higher the aldosterone level.

The sodium/magnesium ratio is also a measure of energy output, because the adrenal glands are a major regulator (along with the thyroid gland) of the rate of metabolism. A majority of the HTMA’s I see show under-active adrenals, which is more of the adrenal exhaustion stage. This can be a bit harder to resolve than over-active adrenals, which usually are a sign of the beginning of adrenal fatigue.

What in the world are adrenal glands?!

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

There are many causes of adrenal fatigue. Every kind of STRESS is the most common cause- working too much, abuse, drug or alcohol use. Stress puts us in a constant “fight-or-flight” mode which is what taxes our adrenals. Heavy metals and mineral imbalances can contribute to adrenal issues. Poor diet is a huge factor- overeating, under-eating, the SAD lifestyle, and vegan/vegetarian diets can all contribute to adrenal issues. Genetics are at play too because if your parents have deficiencies, then so do you. Over-exercising is such a common fad now but we lose minerals when we sweat which taxes the body when not replenished correctly (because most of the popular electrolyte drinks are TERRIBLE!)

Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Low energy through the day and trouble getting out of bed
  • low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
  • inability to lose weight
  • low or no libido
  • low blood pressure
  • dizzy when standing up
  • cravings for salt and sugar
  • anxiety
  • mental exhaustion,
  • depression
  • a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, or any autoimmune disorder

A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s ratio whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

Everyone’s treatment will be different, as we are all individuals with different deficiencies and imbalances. Working on the body as a WHOLE is important as well. I cannot stress those 2 sentences enough! The adrenals, liver, and gut all need to be working better in order to heal completely. Adrenal fatigue is often a wake-up call for people to change their lifestyles so they learn to slow down and relax in order to prevent an even worse illness.

Aim for a balanced whole foods diet that include more high quality fats, a good amount of protein, and a lower amount of carbs. Supporting adrenals with adaptogens and minerals is important. We need strong adrenals in order to balance copper too!

Adrenal Support Options

Most of the adrenal support supplements are either adaptogens or glandulars. There are MANY adrenal adaptogens out there, and it gets kind of confusing to know which ones are right for each person. Since “adrenal fatigue” gets lumped into one category, there seems to be a plethora of experts that recommend herbs for general use.

For OVER-active adrenals: Ashwagandha can be great. It is best known for lowering cortisol, which tends to be higher in those with over-active adrenals. Ashwagandha is one of those herbs that is recommended for just adrenal fatigue in genera, but it can create more issues for those with underactive adrenals, or low cortisol.

You can try ashwagandha on its own, but I tend to recommend this awesome Gaia Herbs blend.

For UNDER-active adrenals: Most other herbs are great for under-active adrenals since they tend to balance cortisol instead of lowering it (even though most studies are focused on just lowering cortisol, these herbs are known to be more balancing). So Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Reishi Mushroom, and Schisandra berry are usually good. I like this blend from Herb Pharm that has these herbs.

These new tinctures from Herb Pharm formulated by Dr. Aviva Romm are also on my favorite list.

Glandulars: These also depend on the person’s adrenal status. I have had great results (both in myself and with clients) with Symplex F and Drenamin From Standard Process. You can check their website to find a local practitioner that sells their products.

There can be a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding adrenal support that helps with your symptoms. But it’s important to know the state of your adrenals before trying out supplements!

Also, remember that the adrenals are part of the HPA axis. Sometimes focusing on just the adrenals doesn’t work. Read all about the HPA axis here!

Looking for some more information that is specific about adrenal fatigue? Check out Adrenal Fatigue Solutions.com. They have a of comprehensive information about the adrenals, the HPA axis, recipes, lifestyle changes, and even a new ebook!

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Signs that you are truly healing

St. Patrick ChurchJune 24, 2018(1)

Most of us grew up in the medical paradigm where you were told to just pop a pill when you felt sick, and you would then instantly feel better. Unfortunately that is not how true health is achieved. We all have had similar experiences with health: we felt mostly ok for years, even decades, until one day our bodies were like, “Nope! Can’t do this anymore.” When we hit that wall, it means that our bodies can no longer deal with the toxic burden that it’s been dealt.

Since it can take so long to get sick in the first place, it can take time to heal (and you can experience some healing reactions)- but there are many signs to look out for along the way to know if you are heading in the right direction!

Your Hair, Skin and Nails look GREAT!

So many people suffer with hair loss or breakage, acne, eczema, and slow growing nails. When digestion improves and protein metabolism is more effective, then your hair will start growing faster and it will stop falling out as much. You’ll start to notice that you have to clip your nails A LOT when before you would rarely ever have to touch them. Your skin will slowly start to clear up and you’ll break out much less than before.

Your Gut Symptoms Improve

There is a LOT to do to heal the gut. We have to focus on increasing stomach acid, healing the liver, getting rid of pathogens, and getting your colon moving more efficiently. Healing the gut takes time and effort- but once you start focusing on it you should notice improvement almost immediately. Signs your gut is improving: less or no bloating, better BMs, your appetite gets more stable, no more acid reflux, no more crazy cravings, and you start tolerating a wide range of foods.

Sleep Gets Better

Sleep is one of the hardest things to fix, and it seems to be the main thing that goes up and down for people. But if you are getting more nights of solid sleep and feeling refreshed when you wake up, that is a sure sign that your liver and adrenals are getting happy!

Weight Starts to Stabilize

After sleep, weight is probably the next thing that is hard to fix. When we are healing, excess weight is often the last thing the body works on. Many people have weight fluctuations as they heal. It is common, it stinks, but it is just a part of the journey. You can read my whole post on Gaining Weight While Healing here.

Your Moods Get Better!

When you deal with chronic anxiety and depression, you start to get used to those feelings unfortunately. As your gut heals and you replenish much-needed nutrients, you will start to notice that your 24/7 anxiety starts to only last for a few days a week, or a few minutes a day. When your body gets into balance, you will start to be happier, calmer, and have a new outlook on life 🙂

You start crossing out symptoms on your list!

So many people make themselves a list of symptoms at some point so they can have it for future reference. If you’ve done this, go take a look at it and start crossing out the things you no longer deal with. Are your chronic UTIs gone? Is your libido back? Can you go for a walk without crashing or experiencing pain everywhere? Has your PMS disappeared- or maybe your whole cycle normalized? It’s always good to make a progress check on yourself. You know yourself best!

There is no set time for healing- everyone will be different with what resolves first. But you should notice some issues improving or disappearing as time goes on. Usually gut symptoms are the first to really resolve since that is what usually needs to most work! Once your gut heals, you can assimilate nutrients better and that is when the real healing starts.

What symptoms have disappeared for YOU? Let us know in the comments. 🙂