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How to halt and even reverse aging ! The Telomere Effect.

How to halt and reverse aging!

1329410057_kim-richards-sandra-bullock-lgDo you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are?  Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth?  We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)

I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news.  I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.

I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.  Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process.  Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.

There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates!   The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.

Stress:

imagesI love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”.  According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length.  Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress.  We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.

Recommendation:  Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life.  Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.

Depression & Anxiety:

Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres.  The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres.  More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode.  Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.

Recommendation:  Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential.  Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Exercise:

images-4Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily.  What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.

Recommendation:  HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres.  Add in resistance training to your program as well.

 

Diet:

images-3What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process?  Easy!  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance.  Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.

Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples.  Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:

Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants.  But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.

Recommendations:  Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish.  Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.

Sleep:

images-1Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres.  If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as!  But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more.  Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.

Recommendations:  Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier.  Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)

There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included.  Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring unknown-1

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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New Years Resolutions Prep (Part 1)

5 Great New Years Resolutions Prep

unknownResolution Prep

Clear the Pantry (and the fridge and other cupboards)

Just about one week until New Years and everyone seems to be making all of those New Years resolutions.  Did you know, that statistically most people will have abandoned their New Years resolutions and goals by the 3rd week of January.

Do you want to be more successful beyond the first few days ?  Here are some tips that you can do prior to “D” Day or “R” Day to stave off temptation.

Clear the Pantry ! And the Fridge and other Cupboards !

  1.  What are your goals.  Decide what your goals are ! For example if your goals are to try to eliminate sugar from your diet that means that all cookies, high sugar cereals, even cereal bars and those highly processed foods will have to be dumped.  Throw out the quick boxes of cake and cookie mixes, dump the high sugar yogurts and the cookie dough and lets not talk about pop tarts, ice cream and other frozen treats.  These are the obvious culprits but even unobvious foods like processed apple sauce, ketchup, granulated sugars and sweeteners are all culprits – Stay tuned until tomorrow when we will discuss your replacement food list.  Here are the top 10 offenders:

Granulated Sugars and Sweeteners, Drink Powders and Sodas, Candies, Dried Fruits, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Jams and Preserves, Cereals, Oatmeals (Packaged), Cereal bars, Ketchup, Ice Cream, Canned Fruits and Syrups

Also check your food labels for the following r high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar as the 1st or 2nd ingredient, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG.) and carrageenan and chuck them all.   (Also see my article on Sugar- The other white powder (http://bit.ly/2gczuA2)

thGoal Setting:

  1. Eat Less Sugar, Eat less processed foods, Eat less packaged or boxed items, Eliminate meat, dairy, gluten from my diet, eat less fat.

You can also say that I will eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes or I will eat clean, I will pack my own lunch for work or school, I will eat clean, I will eat out less often.  These goals are just specific to your diet and eating but you should evaluate, explore and determine goals in all aspects of your life !   Join us on January 7th for a great Goal Setting and Vision Board Class (https://www.facebook.com/events/1530477190301339/) and I will post this class online after January 7th, 2017

Be Brutal

  1. Yes you have to have a heavy hand and a cold heart when cleaning out your pantry (or even closet).  Everything goes.  Be determined and unwavering do everything at once and don’t go back to complete the task – leave no stone or hiding place unturned.

Get a garbage bag – A big One !  

  1. Dump everything that does not comply with your eating and health goals and when you are finished put the garage bag outside.  There is something extremely psychological and detrimental to removing food from a garbage bag or pail.  If you have an issue with waste see number 5

Pick a Food Shelter!  

  1. Pick a food shelter – Look at local shelters and see can you drop off food supplies to the shelter.  But be aware that most places will only take unopened packages.  So all opened goods will still need to be tossed.  Alternatively ask a friend or family member if they want to take your items.

Check Expirations!  

  1.  While you are purging your items check the expiration dates on those items that you are keeping.  Packages of rice and beans that you are keeping may be beyond their shelf life and also need to be tossed.

 

Next Up – A look at those items that you will stock in your fridge and pantry !unknown-1

For any questions or comments you can contact us at www.Synergyhealthandwellness.net or 561-866-1211 or Dolores@synegryhealthandwellness.net


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5 Signs You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

5 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

At the beginning of the week we discussed the importance of sleep and one of the sleep disorders that severely disrupts sleep is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is experienced by nearly 42 Million Americans with 1 in 5 having mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and 1 in 15 having moderate to severe OSA There are three types of Sleep Apnea; the most common OSA which is caused when throat muscles relax and two less common types, Central Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. In this article we will discuss the more common OSA.

images-1

The following are some signs and symptoms:

1. Snoring – Often loud snoring followed by gasping, stops in breathing or choking are usually reported by significant others
2. Morning Headaches – Sleep apnea usually causes an increase in carbon dioxide and reduction in oxygen levels in the blood both of which can cause morning headaches which are usually resolved within 30 minutes of waking (as oxygen levels increase and carbon dioxide is expelled). Increasing carbon dioxide levels cause blood vessels to dilate resulting in throbbing and pounding headaches. If you get morning headaches as a result of sleep apnea it usually means that the sleep apnea is moderate to severe.
3. Inability to Concentrate – Due to the lack of restful and restorative sleep. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up more than 6 times per hour therefore they do not obtain enough restorative sleep leading to brain fog and lack of concentration
4. Fatigue Again, like number 3 patients do not get restorative sleep, wake multiple times per hour and spend many hours with decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels, all lend to fatigue.
5. Dry Mouth or Sore Throat when Waking – due to sleeping with mouth open and dehydration of mucus membranes
6. Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings Due to fatigue, lack of sleep, decreased oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide

Picture of Sleep Apnea Unfortunately the following are increased risk factors for OSA. Male, overweight, BMI >30, Waist Circumference >40, Alcohol, Smoking, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome

Treatment
To definitively diagnose OSA patients will need Polysomnography testing. This may not be available to many populations. In the absence of testing a good clinical history, physical and assessment can be completed. Patients are encouraged to :

A. Lose weight (if appropriate)
B. Encourage to sleep on side
C. Refrain from Alcohol and Smoking
D. Exercise
E. Allergy Medications to decrease inflammation and mucus production which may help open airway passages

For those who do have a PSG, CPAP or a Mandibular Repositioning device may be recommended or Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy.

Outlook:
Left untreated OSA is debilitating and can lead to depression, anxiety, decreased libido, increased accidents. Patients who employ positive lifestyle changes often see improvement in energy levels and mood. In addition there are interventions such as CPap and Mandible Repositioning Devices that will help the patient obtain better more restorative sleep.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.
Thanks Dolores
Synergy Health and Wellness
Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net
http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net


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5 Benefits of Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory, anti-bacterial and fights depression !

 

5 Benefits of Turmeric!

Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Here are 5 benefits to using turmeric and why we should be incorporating this spice into our daily nutrition routine.

Turmeric

  1. Blocks Cancer Cells– Some research has shown that curcumin (Turmeric) can help decrease cancer cells with best results seen in breast, colon, stomach and skin cancer. In studies chemo and curcumin combined worked more effectively in killing cancer cells than chemo alone and curcumin stopped the spread of cancer from cancer cells to other parts of the body.  More research is needed but if we also look at lower rates of cancer occurrence in those countries where between 100-200 mg of Turmeric is consumed there is validity to the argument.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants seek out and eat up molecules in the body known as free radicals, that cause to damage cell membranes, alter DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
  1. Anti- Inflammatory & Pain Relief Turmeric and its most potent active ingredient Curcumin contain more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme) Dr. Weil. Turmeric research has shown positive results in the treatment of arthritis showing better pain relief when compared to NSAIDS such as Diclofenac (Voltaren) without the dangerous side effects we often see with conventional medicine.  Other studies have also show good results in conditions influenced by inflammation such as fibromyalgia, Crohns and IBS
  2. Diabetes – Great news for pre-diabetics (those with HGBA1C between 5.7 and 6.4 and blood glucose levels between 100 -125). In one 9-month study use of curcumin significantly lowered the number of individuals who would go on to become diabetics.  Additional curcumin seemed to improve overall β-cells performance.  Curcumin is a good adjunct to prediabetes treatment.
  3. Antibacterial: In a March, 2015 Study against 4 common bacteria Gram-positive (S. aureus and E. faecalis) and Gram-negative (E. coli and P. aeruginosa). It was found that Curcumin worked effective as a  broad-spectrum antibacterial by damaging cell membranes so that bacteria could not proliferate.  In these days of increasing antibiotic resistance it we need to find additional antimicrobials with low cytotoxicity (poison threat) and turmeric’s membrane damaging property may work either by itself or synergistically with other antibiotics to treat more resistant bacterial strains and super infections.
  4. Bonus Tip : Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.

 

Turmeric is a Spice:  Add it to chicken, meat or fish along with curry powder, make tea with it, and add to vegetables

Bonus Recipe:

Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

Recommended Dose:  1.5 – 3 Gm of Root Daily

Contraindications:  As with all medications please consult with your doctor before using and especially if you take anticoagulants such as Warfarin as Turmeric may increase the effects, with diabetic medications as Turmeric may increase events of hypoglycemia and if taking acid reflux medications.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net or go to my website http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net


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Maca – Decrease hot flashes and mood swings !

 

5 Benefits of Maca (and why you should be taking it) !

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Maca, long known as Peruvian Ginseng has been used by indigenous people of the Andes for centuries.  Its benefits, espceically for women are now being documented bringing relief to many women and decreasing the upsetting side effects of menopause especially hot flashes, mood swings and irritability.  The following are 5 benefits of Maca for Women and lets not forget the men in our lives.

 

Consuming Maca regularly has substantial benefits and can greatly improve quality of life for females and males

 

  1. Decrease in Menopause and Peri-Menopause Symptoms– Regular use of Maca has been shown to decrease hot flashes, sleep disturbance, irritability and even depression symptoms in (Peri) and Menopausal females
  2. Improvement in Sexual Function and Increase in Libido – Who doesn’t want to ramp up their Libido’s which commonly wane during menopause. Maca has been proven to increase libido and it has also been studied in women taking SSRI’s to combat chemical induced (medication) sexual dysfunction.  Maca is also high in Iodine, Zinc and essential fatty acids, not surprisingly the same nutrients and minerals found in oysters, that may balance sexual hormones and mood.
  3. Mood Stabilizer Fatty acids in maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking. Many doctors focused on holistic wellness often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress.
  4. Increases Energy Maca is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein. These nutrients naturally support energy levels and aid in recovery from injury. Numerous studies have evaluated maca root for its role in athletic performance for these exact reasons. Even if you’re not an athlete, incorporating maca into your daily routine could be an excellent way to bring a spring back into your step and this goes for males and females
  5. Increases Bone Density – Osteoporosis is a common finding in menopausal women and Maca has been shown to improve markers in bone density. Coupled with weight bearing exercise, the combination can improve outcomes.
  6. Bonus Tip : For men Maca has been shown to increase libido while improving sexual dysfunction ! Some studies have also shown an increase in testosterone levels and increase in  sperm production  in males with black maca more effective than yellow or red.

 

As with all medications and supplements please consult your doctor before starting any new medication.  While the benefits of Maca are now being brought to the forefront caution should be used by those who are using other hormone medications.

 

Recommended Dose:  1,500 – 3,000 mg Daily

Maca comes in both powder and pill form.  I recommend pill form Advocares Formula W is one example.  Most powders have a very bitter and pungent taste even when mixed with protein powder or yogurt.  With the exception of Gaia Brand in two great flavors Vanilla Chai and Cacao Ginger.  For my friends in Ireland and the UK Gaia is available in both countries

 

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

 

 

 


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Let’s talk about Sex-Baby !

 

5 Tips to Improve your Libido  

One of the biggest complaints I hear in practice is a decrease in a patients Libido – both from males and females.  Don’t despair there are tricks and strategies to incorporate daily that will improve your Libido and make your sex life sizzle!i-c36fwG5-X3

What is Libido?  Libido (/lᵻˈbiːdoʊ/), is commonly described as a persons “sex drive” or desire for sexual activity. Sex drive is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.  Many people often ignore a decrease in their sex drive but did you know that according to Maslow sex is as important, physiologically, as breathing and water. Therefore, if these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.   People ignore this decrease often out of embarrassment or fear.  In my practice I will ask my patients about any issues with libido as part of my assessment because YES it is tremendously important to the individual’s overall health and wellbeing.   Did you also know that as we age sex drive usually decreases often spurred on by decreases in Testosterone?  Here are 5 things that will help improve your libido!

 

  1. Exercise – Exercise causes a myriad of cascading effects. It helps de-stress, associated weight loss and looking great improves our own perceptions of ourselves.  If you look and feel more attractive it boosts your confidence.  Yet one of the most beneficial aspects of exercising is that it can help in increasing testosterone levels.  Short bursts of exercise such as HIIT workouts and Weight lifting routines (heavy/low reps) for both men and women have been proven beneficial.
  2. Eat Clean – Drop the high fructose, processed, fatty foods all of which expose us to estrogen mimicking compounds and substitute with healthy vegetables, fats and proteins – unprocessed and unrefined. Tuna, Salmon, Sardines and Eggs all increase Testosterone as do oysters and black beans – So clean up your diet!  By eating clean, you will also shed those unwanted pounds
  3. Medications – often the number one offender to a decreased sex drive. Working with a psychiatric population I see many patients on SSRIS (Prozac & Zoloft) and Tricyclic anti-depressants.  But many of my patients are also on medications for seizure disorders (Tegretol) Hypertension (beta-blockers such as Atenolol and Metoprolol) even over the counter anti-histamines such as Benadryl will all interfere with libido.  A very thorough review of your medications and possible alternatives should be discussed with your practitioner.
  4. Supplements – Great news! There are supplements out there that can improve your libido.  My absolute favorite (especially for women) is Maca.  Totally unpalatable (IMHO) in powder form except for Gaia Vanilla Chai Maca but you can find it in pill form from companies such as Advocare Formula W.  Maca is know to improve sexual function, decrease erectile dysfunction, and balance mood.  Add some Zinc and Vitamin D to your diet and as always try and get these micronutrients from your food.  If you’re not getting enough from food, ask your practitioner for the appropriate dosage.
  5. De-Stress – Lastly DESTRESS !!!!!  Nothing interferes more with libido than stress and mood.  When you’re stressed the body releases cortisol which actually blocks the effects of testosterone.  So relax, unwind, get in the mood, forget about your day.  I know sometimes easier said than done but you can get a massage, meditate, do yoga or do whatever you know works for you to de-stress! Don’t forget to “Spice” it up in more ways than one, lingerie, movies all add dimension !

Decreased Libido is more common than you think!  You are not the only one and unfortunately it does increase as we age.   But there are tips and tricks out there that will get your libido and sex life back on track.  Find a holistic and empathetic practitioner who you are comfortable with and who will uncover the reason while providing strategies to help treat the cause.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net