Good Bye For Now with Bridgit Danner

Bridgit Danner banner.png

This is the 195th episode of Women's Wellness Radio. We've been on air for almost 3 years, and done a lot of good work. And I'm ready for a little change of pace. This is our last episode!

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 00:30 Changes on the WWR
Min 01:45 Finding our mission in work
Min 03:00 Toxins in our daily lives
Min 04:00 What's next for WWR
Min 07:00 Seeing new clients
Min 07:30 Past episodes on WWR

Resources:

Hormone Detox Tribe Group on Facebook
Hormone Detox Shop YouTube channel
Free gift "5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women's Health"
Private Coaching (includes free consultation information)

5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health

Are you doing all the ‘right things’ but still feeling blah?

Get my list of 5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health to start clearing out the toxins and reset your system to feel better today!

Click here to learn more...

Amazing September Specials from doTERRA!

This month doTERRA is offering six of its popular enrollment kits for 20% off! These kits are already discounted, and already include a beautiful book about oils and a year-long wholesale membership. Many of the kits come with bonus points to spend the next month.

The discounted kits are:

  1. Diamond kit - This is the ‘all the things’ kit! Enjoy everything doTERRA has to offer and get a $500 private session with me. (Details below.) Normally $2,650, now $2,120. That’s over $500 off!

  2. Every Oil kit - This is what is says it is! It’s every oil doTERRA offers and every blend, plus a diffuser. What a dream! It’s a huge bargain for quality and array of exotic oils. Plus you get an hour private session with me! Normally $1825, now $1460.

  3. Natural Solutions kit (top seller) - Normally $550, now $440. You get a LOT of fun stuff to try throughout your house with this kit. A non-toxic home makeover! It’s very popular.

  4. Home Essentials kit (top seller) - This is the most popular kit! Normally $275, now $220. The top ten oils plus a diffuser.

  5. Cleanse and Restore kit - Normally $254, now $196. A collection of supplements and oils to detoxify your body.

  6. Emotional Aromatherapy Diffused kit - Normally $195, now $156. Unique blends of calming and uplifting oils plus a diffuser!

*Available in U.S. and Canada and limited participating international markets. To see if your market is participating, please contact Member Services in your market at (800)-411-8151.
Click here to enroll and save!

PLUS I’m am donating $20 worth of bonuses for every special kit bought this month! My bonuses include:

  1. Keychain oil holder (keep sample bottles in your purse!)

  2. doTERRA shampoo and conditioner sample

  3. OnGuard toothpaste sample

  4. Deep Blue Rub sample

  5. Essential Oils usage guide

  6. Live Guide to the essential oils lifestyle

PLUS if you buy a Diamond or Every Oil kit, you will get a private new patient consultation with me for free! ($497 value)

If you’ve been putting off joining doTERRA, it’s time to get off the fence, girl!

Click here to enroll, fill out your name, address, etc, and you can choose your kit (discount applied automatically in the cart.)

Don’t miss the boat! I have only 10 bonus kits available so buy today before you forget!

For more information on these six kits plus my bonuses, please watch the short video below. Click here to enroll and save!  Questions? Send to bridgit@bridgitdanner.com

Essential Oils for Hypothyroidism

hypogthyroidism.png

Stubborn Symptoms Can Fade with the Right Oils!

So you found out you have hypothyroidism. Knowing is a great first step, but unfortunately many treatment methods will miss the mark in addressing your daily symptoms and the root cause of your hypothyroidism.

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get oily because you are about to take a deep dive into the natural ways to treat hypothyroidism, and how a simple toolbox of essential oils for thyroid can really shift things for you!

Symptoms of Thyroid Problems in Women

The list of thyroid problems symptoms in females is long and varied! You may have a set of symptoms that differ from your friend with the same condition. Hypothyroid blogger Dana Trentini, aka Hypothyroid Mom, lists over 300 symptoms of thyroid disease! (1)

Here are some of the complaints I hear about that are common and can affect your daily life or your sense of self-esteem:

  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Can’t think clearly
  • Cold all the time
  • Feeling anxious
  • Getting sick often
  • Can’t fall asleep
  • Can’t get enough sleep

The reason the symptoms are so numerous is that most cells in your body have a receptor for thyroid hormone. That thyroid hormone stimulates energy production within that cell so it can do its function. So if there isn’t enough thyroid hormone arriving to the various cells and systems of your body, all sorts of symptoms can arise.

Are You Doing the Right Things for Your Thyroid?

If you are using a conventional approach to dealing with your hypothyroidism, you are likely using a combination of prescription medication and over-the-counter remedies.

You may find that the conventional medicine approach is not fully addressing your symptoms, or is causing other side effects. This could be due to a few reasons:

  • You are on the wrong medication
  • You are on the wrong dose of medication
  • You are not treating the real source of your health problem
  • You are using synthetic medications that have secondary side effects
  • You are exposing yourself to toxins in your OTC medications

If you are using natural remedies for thyroid, that’s great, but you still may not be getting to the root cause of your hypothyroidism.

If you are trying to treat hypothyroidism and still not feeling better, it’s very frustrating! Luckily there are essential oil benefits that can really help for hypothyroidism. Before we get into the oils, I want to briefly detail the causes of hypothyroidism.

Getting to the Root Cause of Your Hypothyroidism

There are various reasons you can fall into hypothyroidism. If you’d like to learn more on how the thyroid gland works and what can go wrong, please read our article, How to Know if You Have a Thyroid Problem.

Here are the main reasons for hypothyroidism:

  1. The autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (this is the #1 cause).
  2. A neurological issue in which the thyroid is not getting a signal to make sufficient hormone.
  3. A conversion issue, in which the health of the the body’s cells, liver or gut is not supporting sufficient conversion to active thyroid hormone.
  4. Inflammation at the cellular level, which blocks thyroid hormone from entering the cell.

But these reasons for hypothyroidism have underlying causes! The main ones are:

  1. Stress
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Toxin exposure through food, air and water
  4. Genetic predisposition
  5. Leaky gut (aka ‘increased intestinal permeability’)
  6. Chronic infection
  7. Poor nutrition

If you don’t address these underlying causes, you may never feel better.

Essential Oils for Thyroid

Essential oils, when sourced properly and used knowledgeably, are safe, affordable and effective tools for your natural medicine cabinet.

Addressing Root Causes

Best Oils for Gut Health:

Digestive issues are almost always present in hypothyroid cases. It requires some advanced testing to sort out if you have parasites, candida, H Pylori, etc, but we can say for sure that everyone in this busy society could use a digestive boost. And we also know that if you have a low-functioning thyroid, you produce less stomach acid.

Back in the day I studied Chinese Medicine, and I actually practiced acupuncture for 13 years. In Chinese Medicine, we have the concept of ‘five tastes,’ and two tastes that stimulate digestion are sweet and bitter.

Bitter tastes stimulate stomach acid production, digestive enzyme production, and bile flow. Sweet taste (and I’m not talking mini-donuts here) ‘warms the stomach’ and food is digested and assimilated better.

An all-in-one oil for digestion is Digestzen by doTERRA. It contains anise seed, peppermint, ginger, caraway seed, coriander seed, tarragon, and fennel seed essential oils. This oil is one I recommend to all my thyroid clients.

Best Oils for Stress:

Chronic stress taxes your adrenal glands, gut lining and more. So it’s ‘essential’ to address it!

Many essential oils address high cortisol, the hormone that hangs around when we live in chronic stress. These include:

There are a couple popular blends for relaxation and sleep by doTERRA.

Balance is a favorite of many women to bring on the calm. It contains spruce leaf, ho wood leaf, frankincense resin, blue tansy flower, blue chamomile flower, and osmanthus flower essential oils in a base of fractionated coconut oil.

Serenity is the personal favorite around our home.  We diffuse it for sleep, and I’ll inhale it deeply when I’m anxious.

Speaking of how to use the oils, the most effective way to use oils to reduce stress is through inhalation. This could be 3-10 deep breaths straight from the bottle, using a cold air diffuser in your bedroom, or sprinkling a few drops onto a tissue and leaving that on your pillow. (2)

Addressing Common Symptoms

Best Oils for Hair Loss:

This sign of hypothyroidism is very distressing for women!  The good news is that essential oils can play a huge role both in short-term improvement of hair appearance and in long-term regrowth.

Lavender can be used each time you wash your hair. This study on lavender essential oil for hair and maybe others demonstrate certain essential oils to be as effective as Rogaine over a 6-month period. (3) Add a few drops to your palm, inhale three times, and then mix with your shampoo.

Rosemary essential oil is my favorite to use as I apply conditioner. It not only promotes hair growth but it also has a smoothing quality. So shake 3 drops into your palm, inhale deeply, and then mix with your conditioner. Rosemary has antioxidant properties that support your thyroid as well.

Best Oils for Brain Fog:

When you’re dealing with hypothyroidism, your brain is not firing as fully as you would like. You can’t find your keys, you can’t recall a word you know, and maybe you just aren’t learning as quickly. Luckily there are some ‘tricks’ to help with brain fog.

Peppermint is an oil that invigorates, stimulates and creates circulation. Rub a little onto your temples and scalp to wake up your brain.

Orange is an uplifting oil that, when diffused in a room, helps you stay alert, energized and focused.

Motivate is a blend by doTERRA that contains both peppermint and citrus, plus basil and other oils. I love this one and, if you use it daily, you may find your memory is sharper.


Best Oils for Weight Loss:

Oils that have circulating and warming properties can support weight loss. Some oils help move lymph, some curb cravings and others promote good digestion and blood sugar balance.

The best of the bunch are combined into a blend called Slim and Sassy by doTERRA. It contains grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon, and it’s delightful.

You can put a dab on your tongue before or after meals for cravings or spread it on your belly with a carrier oil.

Amazing September Specials from doTERRA!

This month doTERRA is offering six of its popular enrollment kits for 20% off! These kits are already discounted, and already include a beautiful book about oils and a year-long wholesale membership. Many of the kits come with bonus points to spend the next month.

The discounted kits are:

  1. Diamond kit - This is the ‘all the things’ kit! Enjoy everything doTERRA has to offer and get a $500 private session with me. (Details below.) Normally $2,650, now $2,120. That’s over $500 off!
  2. Every Oil kit - This is what is says it is! It’s every oil doTERRA offers and every blend, plus a diffuser. What a dream! It’s a huge bargain for quality and array of exotic oils. Plus you get an hour private session with me! Normally $1825, now $1460.
  3. Natural Solutions kit (top seller) - Normally $550, now $440. You get a LOT of fun stuff to try throughout your house with this kit. A non-toxic home makeover! It’s very popular.
  4. Home Essentials kit (top seller) - This is the most popular kit! Normally $275, now $220. The top ten oils plus a diffuser.
  5. Cleanse and Restore kit - Normally $254, now $196. A collection of supplements and oils to detoxify your body.
  6. Emotional Aromatherapy Diffused kit - Normally $195, now $156. Unique blends of calming and uplifting oils plus a diffuser!

*Available in U.S. and Canada and limited participating international markets. To see if your market is participating, please contact Member Services in your market at (800)-411-8151.
Click here to enroll and save!

PLUS I’m am donating $20 worth of bonuses for every special kit bought this month! My bonuses include:

  1. Keychain oil holder (keep sample bottles in your purse!)
  2. doTERRA shampoo and conditioner sample
  3. OnGuard toothpaste sample
  4. Deep Blue Rub sample
  5. Essential Oils usage guide
  6. Live Guide to the essential oils lifestyle

PLUS if you buy a Diamond or Every Oil kit, you will get a private new patient consultation with me for free! ($497 value)

If you’ve been putting off joining doTERRA, it’s time to get off the fence, girl!

Click here to enroll, fill out your name, address, etc, and you can choose your kit (discount applied automatically in the cart.)

Don’t miss the boat! I have only 10 bonus kits available so buy today before you forget!

 

For more information on these six kits plus my bonuses, please watch the short video below. Click here to enroll and save!  Questions? Send to bridgit@bridgitdanner.com


Written by Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Bridgit is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

How to Know if You Have a Thyroid Problem

thyroid-problem.png

Get Diagnosed to Treat Your Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight women will develop a form of thyroid disease. (1) Are you one of them?

I was shocked to get my own diagnosis a few years ago! But knowing will help you make targeted healthcare choices that get results, rather than just hanging out in ‘symptom land’ for years on end.

Learn the warning signs and symptoms of thyroid problems in women, the times in life you are most likely to develop a thyroid condition, the root causes, and the best thyroid lab tests to get a diagnosis.

Signs of Thyroid Problems

Signs (visible markers) of thyroid problems include:

  • Hair loss

  • Pale skin

  • Excess weight

  • Sweating

  • Bulging eyes

  • Rapid weight loss

The first three signs are signs of LOW thyroid function, which is the more common form of thyroid dysfunction. The signs of thyroid weight gain and thyroid hair loss are often the most distressing for our clients.

The last three signs are signs of HIGH thyroid function. Sometimes a patient will swing from signs of low function to hyperfunction. You’ll learn more about this later.

Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

The symptoms of low thyroid are many. According to author and thyroid expert Dana Trentini, there are 300+ symptoms of thyroid disorder! (2) I’ll list some of the common ones here:

get_asset.png
  • Cold hands and feet

  • Indigestion

  • Fatigue

  • Foggy thinking

  • Never sweating

  • Geting sick often

  • Swelling

  • Chronic candida

  • Dark under eye area

  • Acne

  • Dry skin

  • Headaches

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Irregular periods

  • Infertility

  • Lox sex drive

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism swing the other way and include:

  • Excess hunger

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • High blood pressure

Many of these symptoms could overlap with other health conditions. And many people who have a thyroid condition also have another health challenge. Let’s look at the roots and triggers for thyroid disease and learn how it develops.

How the Thyroid Gland Works

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces hormones that influence metabolism and more. Most cells in the body respond to thyroid hormone in some way.

Authors Nussey and Whitehead state in their publication, Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach, “In most tissues... thyroid hormones stimulate the metabolic rate by increasing the number and size of mitochondria…” (3) Thyroid hormones produce energy for most processes in your body.

Thyroid hormones are produced at the command of your hypothalamus/pituitary axis. This axis releases a hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to stimulate your thyroid to make hormones. The thyroid then produces hormones called T1, T2, reverse T3, T3 and T4.

As T4 leaves the thyroid gland, it needs to be converted to T3 in the blood, kidneys, liver and intestines.

The hormones T4 and T3 are bound by proteins that carry them in the bloodstream. They must become unbound or ‘free’ in the last step before they can bind with their hormone receptors in cells throughout the body.

What Causes Thyroid Problems

There are many steps that can go awry in this process of thyroid hormone production. The most common cause of thyroid disease is autoimmunity.

The most common autoimmune thyroid disease is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s disease symptoms match the ones I outlined above.

Hashimoto’s usually appears as low thyroid symptoms, but as the body attacks the thyroid gland, thyroid hormone is released, and symptoms of hyperthyroidism can appear.

The other autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid is called Graves’ disease. This is less common, and it’s marked by signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, like insomnia, racing heart, and rapid weight loss.

The definition of autoimmunity is straightforward:

Autoimmunity is the system of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an ‘autoimmune disease.’” (4)

Understanding why autoimmunity happens, and how to reverse it, is much more complex.

Autoimmunity occurs due to a mixture of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.  Autoimmunity is very much on the rise in our time and it’s likely thanks to our fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle combined with new chemicals and triggers in our environment.

Dr. Alessio Fasano has a theory that each autoimmunity case involves a genetic predisposition, a leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability) and a ‘vector,’ or an external infection or irritant that disrupts the body. (5)

Most functional practitioners include a focus on the gut as leaky gut can allow peptides to enter the bloodstream and dysregulate the immune system, and because some gut infections are linked to autoimmunity. (6) Dr. Izabella Wentz, a New York Times best-selling author and Hashimoto’s expert, focuses on gut hygiene and pathogen eradication in her work.

Beyond the gut, I have observed toxins like indoor toxic mold help trigger autoimmunity. It is a part of my own story with Hashimoto’s that you can read more about here.  

The most common times in a woman’s life to be diagnosed with autoimmunity are after childbirth, after a major stress, after breast implant surgery and as she shifts into menopause.

Unraveling the why of autoimmunity in each case is where functional medicine shines, and where conventional medicine is left in the dust.

Conventional medicine will just manage your medication for the rest of your life. And the trouble is that, even when given thyroid hormone, you may not feel better.

Functional medicine blends the best of modern testing techniques for thyroid, mold, nutrition, gut infections and more with a holistic approach of treating the whole person with lifestyle, nutritional therapy and targeted supplementation.

Outside of autoimmunity, you can have low thyroid function from other factors. These could be:

  • A neurological issue in which the thyroid is not getting a signal to make sufficient hormone.

  • A conversion issue, in which the health of the the body’s cell, liver or gut are not supporting sufficient conversion to active thyroid hormone.

  • Inflammation at the cellular level, which blocks thyroid hormone from entering the cell.

Doctors Chris Kresser and Eric Osansky both detail mechanisms in which reduced active thyroid hormone is not adequately produced. (7, 8)

These other thyroid issues can all be addressed with functional health care as well.

Thyroid Lab Tests

Since thyroid symptoms are so overlapped with other conditions, you cannot self-diagnose by symptoms; you need to test.

A thyroid function test is easy to access. It’s a simple blood panel that can be drawn at any lab. Nowadays, there are many companies that offer options to order a test online yourself. One of my favorites is Your Lab Work, which you can check out here.

Why would I bring this up and not just say, “go see your doctor”? Most doctors are not trained to look at your thyroid from the vantage point of best function.

We have had scores of women come to us with incomplete thyroid lab test results, or reporting their doctors would not agree to run full thyroid labs. Most conventional doctors are trained to look at the thyroid from a broad view, and are not advised to test for autoimmunity to boot.

This is how your thyroid labs may appear ‘normal,’ but you still feel like crap. And this is why I recommend to test your thyroid with a functional health provider like us.

If your health care provider’s views match your own, you will have a much better experience and outcome.

thyroid-tests.png

The image to the right details the tests to run if you think you may have low thyroid function.

These are:

  • TSH

  • Total T4

  • Free T4

  • Total T3

  • Free T3

  • Reverse T3

  • TG antibody

  • TPO antibody

This battery of tests will give you a sense of where the cascade of thyroid function failed you. Was it right away, in the brain? Was it a conversion issue? Do you have autoimmunity?

If you suspect you could have Graves’ disease or hyperfunction of the thyroid, please request the thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) in addition to the other tests.

What’s Next After Your Thyroid Test

So you had your full thyroid panel run; that’s great! If you were paying attention to this article, you’ll realize that addressing thyroid imbalance may be complicated.

You and your functional practitioner may want to run additional tests based on your symptoms and your thyroid results. These may include:

  • Gut pathogen testing

  • Blood nutrient testing

  • Heavy metal testing

  • Female & adrenal hormone testing

A couple additional tests help can round out the picture and give you a very clear and targeted protocol for healing. A targeted protocol of nutrition, lifestyle practices and supplementation will get you results much faster and will save money and time in the long run.

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come chat with us on a free consultation to see if it’s a fit.

Questions? Please post below.


Bridgit.jpg

Written by Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Bridgit is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

 

Are There Heavy Metals in Your Lip Gloss?

lipgloss header.png

What to Do When Your Beauty Routine Is Making You Sick

When it’s time to go out, or you just want to look pretty, it’s easy to reach for your favorite lip gloss. But what if it’s actually making you sick through toxin exposure? 

It seems unfair that an innocent-sounding object like lip gloss or lipstick could actually be harming us! Unfortunately, the truth is these cosmetics are not regulated and most of them contain heavy metals and chemicals that wreak havoc on our health.

Did you know experts estimate the average woman eats 10 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? (1) Read on to learn how to protect yourself and your family with chemical-free makeup.

Heavy Metals in Cosmetics?

If you haven’t heard much about heavy metals, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Isn’t metal natural? Yes, but when we talk about “heavy metals,” we’re referring to tiny, toxic pieces of metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and many others. Our processes of mining and manufacturing often stir them up and expose us to them in unnatural ways and amounts.

These heavy metals, which can easily be absorbed into our bodies, are hard to get rid of, so when we’re exposed they build up in our bodies and cause many health problems. (More on this in a bit.)

If heavy metals are such a problem, why do we find lead and the others in so many cosmetics?

Obviously, most companies are not adding heavy metals just for the sake of adding heavy metals! Instead, heavy metals often sneak into products by way of the materials used for adding the coloring. The coloring pigments are typically based on either petroleum or minerals, and both of these could include heavy metals. (2)

The Dangers of Heavy Metals in Beauty Products

Having heavy metals in our bodies is linked to many adverse effects on our health. Heavy metals can cause many problems, including: contributing to the development of autoimmune disorders, slowing cellular energy, burdening detoxification channels, causing hormonal imbalances, and affecting behavior and learning in children. (3)

When we use lip gloss or lipstick with lead and other heavy metals, it’s easy to ingest them while our skin also is absorbing the toxins. Once we’re exposed, it’s difficult for our bodies to clear these toxins, which can lead to build up and ever-increasing associated health issues. (4)

  • Lead. Most of us have heard about lead from the way it was removed from house paint and gasoline for its health hazards. However, lead still lingers in our lives today in other places. Surprisingly, lead-free lipstick can be a hard thing to find. Lipstick without lead is important, as lead is linked to many things including developmental/reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, kidney toxicity, and cancer.  (5) (6
  • Cadmium. While cadmium hasn’t had the coverage that lead has, it is still concerning that it is one of the heavy metals found in beauty products. Cadmium is believed to be carcinogenic and cause hormonal imbalances, as well as cause kidney issues. (7) (8)
  • Arsenic. This is another troubling heavy metal that may be lurking in our cosmetics. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, is linked to hormonal issues and infertility, and is a toxicant to many of our bodily systems. (9)
  • Aluminum. Again, aluminum is not something we want to be exposed to. It is linked to brain toxicity, as well as respiratory issues. (10)
  • Mercury. Earning a bad score of 9 from the EWG, Mercury is linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, respiratory issues, and environmental toxicity as well. (11)

Obviously, we want to avoid filling our bodies with these toxic heavy metals! But finding safe lipstick or lip gloss can be so confusing. Are we doomed to never wear make-up again? Fortunately, there are ways to wear non toxic make-up and reduce our exposure to these chemicals, which we’ll talk about soon.

More Problems for Teenage Girls

In addition to all the problems discussed above, teen girls who are exposed to heavy metals face extra issues. When a girl hits puberty, her body is still trying to figure out how to set up her reproductive processes, causing her to be extra sensitive to any disruptions. As we noticed above, heavy metals are closely associated with issues in endocrine and reproductive health. 

When teen girls absorb and ingest heavy metals by using lip gloss or lipstick, this can have lasting implications on their lifelong health. This is when their bodies are learning to function, so disturbances during this time leave their bodies with no picture of what is correct. Additionally, heavy metals easily build up in our bodies throughout our lives, meaning that more exposure at an early age means more heavy metals to deal with later in life. (12)

Is Everybody Doing It?

The search for lead-free lipstick and other safe cosmetics can be daunting. It’s easy to assume that unsafe products wouldn’t be sold; however, the truth is the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients of cosmetics. In fact, they report: “Cosmetic products and ingredients, and their labeling, do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. There’s one exception: color additives (other than coal-tar hair dyes).” (13)

Since there aren’t strict regulations, it’s important for us as consumers to shop smart. Unfortunately, when tested, almost all cosmetics turn up with heavy metal content, and companies generally don’t engage in the often-expensive process of good 3rd-party testing. (14) (15

So how do you protect yourself and your family?

How to Find Non-toxic Lipstick and Lip Gloss

While there will be very trace amounts of heavy metals in the coloring of any cosmetic, there are steps we can take to greatly reduce our exposure and risk of health issues.

Safer Usage Tips

When using any lipstick, be sure to keep it away from babies and small children, as they are at a higher risk for complications.

If you eat while wearing lipstick, you unfortunately ingest more! To reduce exposure, make sure you wash off your lipstick before you got to bed.

However, the most important tip is to find a quality product, which you can read about below. (16

MY FAVORITE NON-TOXIC LIP PRODUCTS

Beautycounter is the only company I know that engages in third party testing and sets their standards at or below the strictest international guidance for keeping their products safe. (17

Beautycounter offers a perfect, non-toxic lip gloss, which is my daily favorite, as well as great lipsticks.

lipgloss-offer.png

I like the sheer lipstick as I don’t like heavy color and it’s so moist and lightweight. But they offer more intense color too that you can layer with a gloss. Browse all their lip products here.

The great news is Beautycounter is currently running a HUGE site-wide sale of 20% off everything! This is the best sale I’ve seen, so this is a perfect time to try out their products or stock up on your favorites. 

Simply enter the code “LOVE” at checkout now through Aug. 13th to receive 20% off your next order! Shop here.

Healing Leaky Gut and Dysbiosis with Kiran Krishnan

Kiran Krishnan is a Microbiologist with over 20 years experience in the probiotics industry. In this webinar we did in May, Kiran talks about leaky gut, the microbiome, gluten, the immune system & supplements for a leaky gut.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:20 Introduction to WWC
Min 04:05 Kiran Krishnan & his work
Min 08:35 Leaky gut progression
Min 13:13 Effects of a leaky gut
Min 17:15 Effects of stress on the gut
Min 20:40 Symptoms of a leaky gut
Min 23:30 Is leaky gut genetic?
Min 27:15 Gluten & Megaspore
Min 33:25 Eating right
Min 35:50 Megaspore
Min 43:20 Getting the right probiotic
Min 48:25 GI Restore supplement
Min 50:25 Taking probiotics for bloating
Min 54:30 GI Assist supplement & gut restoration kit
Min 1:01:00 Parasites & leaky gut
Min 1:04:35 Candida, immune deficiency & breastfeeding while on probiotics
Min 1:11:00 Histamine

Resources:

Megaspore 
Gut Restoration kit 
Gut Infection kit 
GI Restore powder 
GI Assist 
Atrantil 
Healing Gut & Oral Infections With Herbs with Rachel Fresco 
Why Chronic Bloating Happens with Eric Rieger

Here's the video version of the interview with Kiran Krishnan:

High Energy Morning Detox Guide

No time to detox? If you are willing to put in just 5 minutes a day, you’ll see a shift in just 5 days!

Grab our High Energy Morning Guide and get some spring back in your step, naturally.

Learn more here...

Are You Dangerously Low in Magnesium?

banner-magnesium.png

Without It You Can’t Build Hormones or Clear Toxins

Magnesium deficiency is one of the most overlooked nutrient deficiencies in our modern-day world. Magnesium is not included on nutrition facts labels and is rarely tested for in routine blood work, literally leaving this important mineral “out of sight, out of mind.”

However, shocking new research indicates that up to 50 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium! (1) This has significant health implications because magnesium is needed to carry out over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body, including those involved in hormone production and detoxification. In fact, the health benefits of magnesium are endless.

Read on to learn about the importance of magnesium for managing stress, building hormones, and promoting detoxification, and which type of magnesium is the most bioavailable in the body. 

Why are We So Deficient in Magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body; without it, life would not exist!

However, magnesium deficiency currently afflicts a record number of people in our population. Why have we collectively become so deficient in this critical nutrient? There are five main reasons why many of us are suffering from magnesium deficiency nowadays.                           

  1. Stress
  2. Poor nutrition
  3. Soil depletion
  4. Chronic gut problems
  5. Medications that deplete magnesium

Stress

Our bodies rapidly use up magnesium during times of stress to rev up our nervous systems. Unfortunately, modern-day life is full of stressful activities, many of which we experience daily, such as working and commuting.

To make matters worse, drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages to help our bodies manage stress and keep up with the daily grind further depletes magnesium.

Given the amount of stress many of us face and the amount of coffee we drink as a nation, it's no wonder we are magnesium deficient!

Poor nutrition

magnesium rich foods.png

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is rich in refined flours and junk food that has had most, if not all, of their magnesium removed during processing. In fact, the three “staple foods” of the SAD diet – refined grains, vegetable oils, and sugar – typically have had between 80 and 100 percent of their magnesium removed!

This means that many people are eating a diet that is very low in magnesium. To make matters worse, very few people consume the food sources of magnesium that are naturally rich in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens, legumes, and nuts. 

Nutrient-depleted soils

Research indicates that magnesium content in vegetables has declined between 25-80% over the past 60 years due to increasing nutrient depletion of our soils.

Pesticides used in industrial agriculture kill soil organisms that provide nutrients to plants, and synthetic fertilizers diminish mineral absorption by fruits and vegetables. This leaves us with a product that may look healthy, but is quite nutrient-poor. 

Chronic gut problems

Chronic gut problems, such as small intestinal bacterial growth (SIBO) and leaky gut, compromise magnesium absorption and may lead to magnesium deficiency.

On the flip side, leaky gut can impair magnesium absorption by compromising cell membrane integrity, further exacerbating magnesium deficiency. Unfortunately, leaky gut syndrome is one of the most overlooked health problems.

Medications that deplete magnesium

Antibiotics, diuretics, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, antacids, and corticosteroids all deplete magnesium. Considering that 55 percent of Americans regularly take at least one prescription medication, it is no wonder we are magnesium-depleted! (2)

Magnesium Benefits

It is abundantly clear that Americans need more magnesium. Without adequate magnesium, the 300 biochemical processes in the body that rely on this nutrient cannot function properly.

Magnesium deficiency has especially significant implications in the management of stress, hormone production, and detoxification.

Magnesium reduces stress, improves insulin sensitivity, and balances hormones

Always rushing, stressing, and feeling overwhelmed?

Then your body may be using up magnesium at a rapid rate! When the body is under stress, cells dump magnesium into the bloodstream. Prolonged stress thus depletes magnesium, resulting in a deficiency of this critical nutrient. Maybe that’s why magnesium supplements are on demand nowadays.

Fortunately, magnesium supplementation not only replenishes magnesium stores that have been depleted by stress but also helps reduce anxiety in the first place!

Magnesium beneficially modulates a structure called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, the body’s primary stress response system. When stress is high, the HPA axis is overactive, resulting in high cortisol and anxiety. Magnesium, on the other hand, reduces over-reactivity of the HPA axis, lowering cortisol and promoting relaxation. (3)(4)

Magnesium regulates insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance is a condition in which continuous exposure to high blood sugar causes cells to become less responsive to insulin. Magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance. (5)

Magnesium supplementation, on the other hand, normalizes insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar, helping to improve insulin sensitivity. (6) Improved insulin sensitivity may, in turn, reduce food cravings and promote sustainable weight loss. In fact, magnesium is so effective at lowering blood sugar that it is often referred to as "nature's metformin!"

Without It You Can’t Build Hormones or Clear Toxins

Magnesium is essential for the production of steroid hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

It also helps prevent estrogen dominance by regulating Phase II liver detoxification, a process by which estrogen metabolites are made water-soluble so that the body can excrete them in urine or stool.

A lack of magnesium makes the liver unable to complete Phase II detox, potentially causing estrogen dominance and associated symptoms such as PMS, weight gain, and fluid retention. Magnesium deficiency is linked to PMS, and supplementation may help alleviate PMS symptoms. (7)(8)(9)

Finally, magnesium is required for the production of thyroid hormone. (10) If you are struggling with hypothyroidism despite adequate intake of iodine, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin D, it may be time to try a magnesium supplement!

Magnesium is required for detoxification

Magnesium plays a crucial role in your body's detoxification processes. It helps in the whole body detoxification that is supported through several mechanisms:

  • Magnesium is involved in the production of ATP, the cellular energy currency that fuels biochemical processes that modify and remove toxins from the body.
  • Optimal magnesium status prevents the accumulation of heavy metals in the body.
  • Magnesium is needed to produce glutathione, the body’s most powerful detoxifier. 

High levels of energy are needed for the function of sodium/potassium ATPase, an enzyme that uses ATP to pump sodium ions from cells and potassium ions into cells. This movement of sodium and potassium is coupled to the movement of nutrients, minerals, and toxins in and out of cells. A lack of magnesium inhibits ATP formation, thus reducing the activity of the ATPase and the processing and removal of toxins.

Research indicates that we are exposed to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in ever-increasing amounts due to industrial pollution, contaminated seafood, and dental amalgams. Due to their structural similarity to magnesium, heavy metals preferentially bind to receptors and are incorporated into tissues that generally have an affinity for magnesium.

A deficiency of magnesium leaves you susceptible to heavy metal toxicity and its associated adverse health effects, including fatigue, neurological damage, digestive problems, allergies, depression, and anxiety. This makes it all the more critical that you flood your body with magnesium! An optimal magnesium status will leave less room in your body for heavy metals and prevent the development of heavy metal toxicity. 

Finally, glutathione, the body's most potent natural detoxifier, relies on magnesium for its synthesis. A lack of magnesium lowers glutathione production and inhibits Phase II liver detoxification, the process by which toxins are made water-soluble and prepared for excretion from the body.

How do I know if I’m deficient in magnesium?

If you struggle with chronic stress, eat a diet high in processed foods, take pharmaceutical drugs, or have chronic gut issues, it is fair to say that you may suffer from magnesium deficiency.

However, the best way to clinically confirm magnesium deficiency is with a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test. Only 1 percent of total body magnesium is extracellular, and it is tightly regulated by many factors, including parathyroid hormone.

RBC magnesium is a better index of magnesium status than serum magnesium because RBCs contain appreciable amounts of magnesium.

How much magnesium do I need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium is 320 mg per day for women; however, many women may need more magnesium, especially if they have gut health issues or are on medications that deplete magnesium. Finding the right dose of magnesium for your body may require a bit of self-experimentation.

What type of magnesium should I take?

There are many types of magnesium supplements available on the market; however, many of them are very poorly absorbed and thus ineffective for rectifying magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium citrate, commonly recommended for those with constipation, and magnesium oxide have very low bioavailability and are not suitable for correcting a deficiency.

The most bioavailable form of magnesium is magnesium bisglycinate, a chelated form that is ideal for those looking to correct a deficiency. We are very excited to offer this product in the form of a magnesium chelate powder that is highly bioavailable, tastes great, and doesn’t cause digestive upset. 

You can also boost your magnesium level by increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy), almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, dark chocolate, swiss chard, buckwheat, fish, okra, and bananas.

Chelated Magnesium Powder

Make extra magnesium a part of your daily routine.I drink mine while making dinner so that it's a habit. 

Many women need 600 mg of magnesium a day, which is more than your multivitamin contains. Magnesium helps in preventing headaches, menstrual cramps and more.

 

Why Chronic Bloating Happens with Dr. Eric Riege

Dr Eric banner long banner.png

Dr Eric Rieger is an anesthetist and registered nurse. He is our guest this week where we talk about bloating, SIBO, IBS, gut bacteria, causes of chronic bloating, and polyphenols.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:55 Causes of SIBO
Min 05:55 Dr. Rieger's health history
Min 08:45 Archaea bacteria in the small bowel
Min 11:20 Other bacteria found in the bowel
Min 13:50 Chronic bloating & foods that feed bloating
Min 20:15 Resetting & intermittent fasting
Min 23:10 Foods that increase bloating (FODMAP foods)
Min 29:30 Polyphenols
Min 34:50 Using Atrantil

To learn more about Dr. Eric Rieger & Atrantil, visit this website and follow them on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram 

Here's the video version of the interview with Dr. Eric Rieger:

Bye Bye Bloating Kit

Get a curated kit of highly effective bloating products that work synergistically for chronic bloating. Use the coupon code HEALTHYGUT15 for $15 off now.

These three products work synergistically to eliminate the source of over 90% of chronic bloating! Each kit comes with an easy-to-follow PDF guide and 30 day money back offer through our shop.

Learn more here.

Finding a Non-Toxic Deodorant That Works

unnamed.png

Choose Your Best Natural Deodorant Without Sacrificing Your Social Life!  

When the weather gets warm, it’s a great time to enjoy the sun, have picnics, lounge on the beach…. and put toxins in our armpits? Truth is, most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are a recipe for toxin build-up and hormonal imbalance. 

Unfortunately, some natural deodorants are a recipe for scaring away friends and may still contain harmful ingredients. Read on to learn how to use healthy deodorant and keep on good terms with your friends, too!

What Happens When We Sweat?

When most of us think of sweating, we believe it mainly cools down our bodies so we don’t overheat. While it’s true our bodies do produce sweat to help us stay cool, that is not its only function.

Our bodies actually produce two types of sweat: we sweat when we’re hot, but we also sweat when we’re nervous. 

  • The eccrine sweat glands are found all over our skin and are responsible for temperature control. They mainly release water and salt, and the liquid typically evaporates quickly to help us cool off. 
  • The apocrine sweat glands are found in the armpits (as well as some other places), and they secrete a fatty fluid as a response to stress. The bacteria living on our skin love to feed on the fatty secretions; unfortunately, this typically results in a bad smell.

Besides cooling us down, sweating is a great way for our bodies to detox and expel harmful toxins. However, detoxing through sweat is often associated with an odor. Since we don’t like smelling bad, it’s easy to turn to antiperspirants to control the issue. 

Using antiperspirants may appear to solve the odor problem, but blocking our bodies’ abilities to expel harmful substances can lead to ever-increasing toxicity, which, in turn, can blossom into a host of chronic health issues.

In addition to helping us detox and cool down, sweating also burns calories, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, and helps circulation. Definitely not something we want to skip!

What’s in Your Deodorant?

It’s so easy to grab our favorite deodorant and slather it on our skin. But is it safe? 

Did you know most conventional deodorants contain harmful ingredients that have been linked to hormone imbalances, cancer, neurotoxicity and impaired detoxification? 

Since our skin absorbs much of what we put on it, it’s important to read the labels on our personal care products, including deodorant. 

Take a look at some of the ingredients found in many deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • Aluminum/potassium alum - An active ingredient often used to plug the sweat glands, aluminum is suspected of causing hormonal imbalances by mimicking estrogen in the body, and is often connected to breast cancer. But that’s not all. It is also connected to neurotoxicity and respiratory complaints. (1, 2, 3)   
  • Parabens - Parabens typically function as preservatives, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. While that is helpful, parabens have also been linked to hormonal imbalances, as they can mimic estrogen and confuse the body.
  • Phthalates -  Phthalates are used to keep a product flexible. However, again they can mimic estrogen and add to the toxic load on our bodies. (4)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate - This ingredient is added as an emulsifier, but, same as with the previous products, is a suspected carcinogen and also hinders the body’s detoxification efforts.   (5)
  • Fragrance/parfum - The benefits of adding fragrances to deodorant should be obvious! Unfortunately, the problems outweigh the benefits when we consider that many harmful chemicals can be included under the listing of fragrance or parfum in product ingredient lists, resulting in hormone imbalance and toxicity.

It’s Not Easy...

With such an array of toxicity around us, it can be perplexing to sort it all out! 

Fortunately, healthy deodorant options do exist. 

Unfortunately, many people experience difficulties when trying to switch to non-toxic deodorant. With great hopes they buy an expensive natural deodorant…. but within days they develop painful rashes and skin irritation. Or maybe the product doesn’t even work at odor control! 

When we try natural deodorant and encourage detoxing through sweating, this can invite the stored toxins to the surface, resulting in rashes and a worse odor than ever. It’s tough. Many people get discouraged and give up when the problem gets worse. And that’s understandable. Who wants to spend their days smelling bad, all alone, and with a rash in their armpits? But do we really want to put harmful chemicals into our bodies?

There must be a better way!

Your Best Natural Deodorant Solutions

Our bodies are loaded down with toxins every day. One way to reduce both the smell and the rashes is to address these toxins and help usher them out of our bodies.

Try an Armpit Detox

Strange as an “armpit detox” may sound, this is a fairly easy step with a good track record for helping people transition to natural deodorant.

This is a similar idea to clay face masks, except we put the mask in the armpits instead. Bentonite clay is famous for increasing blood flow to the area where it’s applied and drawing toxins out of the body, so it’s a great choice. 

The armpit detox is simple: using only non-metal utensils and bowls, mix 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay with 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar, spread a thin layer in your armpits, and rinse off after 15 minutes. (It may feel warm and tingly, which means the clay is working, but if it starts to hurt, please wash it off immediately.)

This can be repeated daily to help with a transition to natural deodorant, and after that it can be used whenever needed. (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/armpit-cleanse/)

Test Your Toxic Load

If you’re struggling to switch to natural deodorant, chances are your system is overburdened. It’s time to identify and properly eliminate those toxins!  

Many of our clients come to us burdened with heavy metals, mold toxicity, and other chemical toxins. Listen to our recent podcast with founder Bridgit Danner and lead coach Ann Melin to learn more about our approach to testing for different toxins.  

Are you wondering if toxins testing could help you? Schedule a free consultation to explore your options!    

My Favorite Natural Deodorant That Works

I love the NOW Long-Lasting Deodorant Stick because it offers amazing value and unparalleled protection you can really count on. 

It was scientifically formulated, combining natural odor-fighting ingredients: 

  • coconut oil
  • zinc oxide  
  • lavender oil
  • rosemary leaf oil
  • And more!

Click here to view my favorite non-toxic deodorant and see my video review. 

You can take 15% off anything in our personal care category now through August with the the code ‘summer15.’ 

Thanks and happy summer!

Bridgit

High Energy Morning Detox Guide

No time to detox?  If you are willing to put in just 5 minutes a day, you’ll see a shift in just 5 days!

Grab our High Energy Morning Guide and get some spring back in your step, naturally.

Learn more here...

Do You Have Low Hormone Levels?

Low hormones long banner.png

We recently started a new Facebook group and I found that some of our new members were complaining of ‘low hormone levels,’ so I thought that would be a good topic for discussion.

Though usually undiagnosed, I’d say ‘low hormone levels’ is an epidemic these days. Let’s learn about what that term even means, how you can be diagnosed, and what you can do about it!

What are ‘Low Hormone Levels’?

When people use this term, they are usually referring to low levels of steroid hormone. Steroid hormones are a class of hormones that include cortisol (made by the adrenal glands to give energy and manage stress) estrogen hormone (your dominant female hormone) and testosterone (a hormone you need for good sex drive and muscle mass.)

Here is a little background from Wikipedia:

“The natural steroid hormones are generally synthesized from cholesterol in the gonads and adrenal glands. These forms of hormones are lipids. They can pass through the cell membrane as they are fat-soluble,[5] and then bind to steroid hormone receptors (which may be nuclear or cytosolic depending on the steroid hormone) to bring about changes within the cell.”

Steroid hormones do a lot of jobs that keep you feeling well. They:

  • Balance your blood pressure

  • Balance you blood sugar

  • Give you energy

  • Keep your skin toned

  • Put minerals into your bones

  • Help you think clearly

  • Help you have easy periods, be fertile, and have a smooth menopause.

How Do I Know If I Have Low Hormone Levels?

There are two ways to know, although one is less certain than the other!

The first way is through symptoms. Common symptoms of low steroid hormone levels are:

  • Low energy

  • Low sex drive (these first two are the most common and important)

  • Low blood pressure

  • Poor vaginal lubrication

  • Chronic pain, especially in the evening

  • Tension headaches

  • Can’t recall thoughts /think clearly

  • Sugar and carb cravings

  • Unexplained weight gain

The definitive way to know if you have low hormone levels is through lab testing. Along blood labs can give you a snapshot of your estrogen and progesterone, they don’t give a robust picture that is enough to help you have targeted treatment.

In our practice, we really love using the DUTCH test (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) to measure hormone levels.

The DUTCH test is an easy urine test you can take at home from anywhere in the world. It tells you about your cortisol levels through the course of the day, your female hormones and how you metabolize them, your detox capacity, your melatonin levels and more.

What Can I Do About Low Hormone Levels?

If you do decide to run a DUTCH test with us, your supplement and lifestyle protocol can be very targeted.

However, I think there are some things you can do safely at home to support low estrogen levels, and I’ll outline them here. Do these whenever you are feeling low energy:

  • Lay completely horizontal and rest for 3-20 minutes (your steroid hormones help balance blood pressure and this gives them a break)

  • Squeeze ½ - 1 whole organic lemon into a glass of water and drink

  • Have a generous pinch of sea salt and follow with water. Repeat until you are feeling better up to ½ teaspoon salt. (Do not do if you have high blood pressure.)

  • Rub essential oils of basil and rosemary into your palms with a bit of carrier oil like coconut oil or grapeseed oil. Inhale for a few breaths and then rub over your kidneys. (May increase blood pressure.)

  • Avoid blood sugar swings by eating often and including fiber, fat and protein. Avoid simple sugars that will make you crash like alcohol, coffee, pasta, cookies, etc.

Please always check with your doctor before starting this or any other new protocol.

Summary

It’s important to realize that your hormone levels don’t lower ‘for no reason.’ Yes, they will lower with age, but it shouldn’t be so much so that you feel like junk.

So you need to assess everything in your life to get an idea of where you are being drained.

  • Are you eating foods that are void of nutrition (sweet coffee drinks, chips, etc.)?

  • Are you overworked and not getting rest?

  • Are you not getting enough sleep at night?

  • Are you around people who bring you down?

Beyond the basics, much can be off balance that will disrupt your hormones:

  • Chronic injuries

  • Gut infections

  • Heavy metal exposure

  • Food intolerances

If you’ve already done the basics and are eating well and trying to meditate, etc, it’s probably time to work with a practitioner who is trained in functional nutrition. The state-of-the-art testing we offer can identify these root causes and our detailed protocols can directly work to correct them.

Next Steps

We’d love to chat with you about Functional Health Coaching on a free call. It’s just 15 minutes and can help give you a lot of clarity about next steps. Schedule here.

I’m also happy to develop a custom essential oil protocol for you at no cost with our fav oil company, doTERRA. Schedule here.

10 Ways I Use Essential Oils Everyday

new-blog-essential-oils.png

You may be interested in essential oils, but don’t really know how you would use them. Let me walk you through a day of mine and I’ll show you how you may use essential oils for digestion to enhance your life.

  1. Meditation / Journaling

I am not consistent about doing a morning practice, but when I do, it sure helps set a great rest of the day.

Using essential oils for meditation during a morning reflective practice can help wake you up, focus your mind, or set a mood or intention.

I like to use a diffuser for these sessions. Which oil you put into a cold mist diffuser for this practice is very flexible. Here are a few ideas:

  • Lemon*: Lemon is a very clean scent that can focus your mind and wash away the sleepiness of the night
  • Cedarwood: This woodsy aroma is somehow grounding and uplifting at the same time
  • Citrus Bliss*: This blend is one of my favorites as it is energizing and gives me a feeling of joy

2.    Shower/ Hair

I think the use of pure essential oils in home-spa/beauty routines needs to be discovered! It is so powerful.

If you shower in the mornings, why not use that time as natural therapy! During the shower, you can use oils aromatically to open your lungs or wake up your brain.

You can also use essential oils with your shampoo and conditioner to beautify your hair while inhaling them for aromatherapy.

  • Peppermint*: this is a great one for both a wake-up call and for hair care. Shake a few drops of peppermint essential oil into your palm and inhale deeply three times. Then add your shampoo and wash. Peppermint will detox your scalp, controlling dandruff and oil, supporting hair growth and adding volume.
  • Breathe*: My friend uses Breathe in the shower regularly. Rub a few drops on your chest and inhale the scent as you bathe. Breathe essential oil opens up your lungs when congested or just anytime. Encouraging a deep, full breath at the start of the day will energize and balance you all day long.
frankincensex250.jpg

3.  Skin Care

Skin care is another area where essential oils shine.

  • Frankincense* is the ‘king of oils’ for several reasons, one of which is skin. It helps prevent skin sagging and wrinkles. Its antioxidants nourish the skin. Add a drop of oil to your palm before mixing in your moisturizer and applying.
  • Other oils I use on the skin are ylang-ylang and cedarwood.

4. Hormone Balance

Life has become busy and toxic, making it harder and harder to maintain hormone balance. There is a simple way to support your hormones with a pre-blended oil.

That blend is called ClaryCalm and it comes in a ‘rollerball’ that you simply uncap and roll over your lower abdomen liberally. Use twice a day and see what happens! This blend can be used at any age, even after menopause.

5. Digestion

I have chronically cranky digestion, so I need to support it daily. DoTERRA essential oils have an easy blend for this one too by the name of Digestzen.

Use a drop of Digestzen on the tongue before a meal to increase enzyme production. Rub a few drops into your abdomen 2-3 times a day with a carrier oil to help move the bowels and prevent bloating. Or you can use the premade Digestzen rollerball, available at our shop. 

6. Cravings

After lunch is when my energy tends to drop and I want something sweet. Slim and Sassy to the rescue! You can use it before a meal to prevent overeating, or after a meal to prevent a trip to the cupboard or Starbucks for sugar and caffeine.

Use a drop of Slim and Sassy on your tongue. You can also rub it on your belly twice daily with a carrier oil to help reduce weight in this area.  

  • Peppermint* can also be used for cravings, to freshen breath and to provide natural energy.

7. Cleaning

Ah, cleaning: a necessary evil. I don’t love cleaning but I also don’t like crumbs everywhere or sticky drips of who-knows-what on the counter. I know germs can be lurking in this debris.

Cleaning with essential oils is non-toxic and gives peace of mind that your kitchen is really clean.

Many, many essential oils are antibacterial. This is because oils protect their plants in this way in nature. To make a cleaning spray, and ½ water to ½ vinegar and about 20 drops of essential oil.

Some to consider:

  • On Guard*: a classic germ-killing blend by doTERRA
  • Oregano*: a spicy, strong antiviral and antibacterial
  • Orange: a more pleasant smell but still kills germs

8. Fatigue

As I mentioned, afternoon is my sleepy time, so I look for natural ways to pick myself up. I’ll mention a few non-oil methods first.

Squeeze a whole or half lemon into water and drink. Take a ¼ teaspoon of sea salt with water (if you don’t have high blood pressure.) Take a 20 minute horizontal cat nap or reading session.

With oils, you can boost your adrenals with rosemary and basil. Rosemary is more stimulating, while basil is more blissful. 

9. Headache

If I’m going through an afternoon energy/stress roller coaster, sometimes I get a headache. Popping over-the-counter pills regularly is dangerous, so try essential oils.

  • Peppermint* distracts your body to relieve tension. Dilute with ½ coconut or grapeseed oil and apply everywhere it hurts.
  • Past Tense is a powerful blend already in a rollerball that you can carry in your purse and use as needed.

10. Sleep

Many, many women struggle with sleep and, although I’ve gotten better, I still do sometimes. Whether you are a full-time or part-time insomniac, having a sleep routine with oils is really beneficial.

Maybe you start with a walk, or some yoga, and move on to tea or reading. Using a diffuser in your bedroom is a great way to lower cortisol from the day and get sleepy.

If you don’t yet have a diffuser, you can shake a few drops of oil onto a tissue and put on your pillow.

A classic oil for sleep is lavender essential oil*, which lowers cortisol. You can optionally pair it with a grounding oil like vetiver.

My very favorite sleep blend is Serenity. I love the scent and so does my son, who uses it in his room most nights.

*= these oils are part of starter kits from doTERRA

Summary

Oils are very safe and beneficial when you know how to use them! I love educating you, and I have two more opportunities coming up. Please join me!

If you’d prefer a private opportunity to choose an essential oil protocol and get help ordering, you can schedule that here.

Learn More!

We have two upcoming lectures on essential oils and hormones:

hormonebalance2.png

Support Your Thyroid with Essential Oils, on July 26, 2018 2:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Balance Your Hormones with Essential Oils, on July 28, 2018 9:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Toxins Testing with Ann Melin & Bridgit Danner

Bridgit banner.png

Ann Melin & I are your guests this week. Ann is our lead coach at WWC. In this episode we talk about some of my own test results, mold tests for the home & body, testing for chemicals in the body, heavy metal testing, and organic acids testing.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:10 Tests covered at Women's Wellness Collaborative
Min 04:40 Toxicity in the body
Min 07:10 Hair mineral analysis testing
Min 11:00 Glyphosate test & urine test
Min 17:30 Water test
Min 19:10 The dust test & Marcon's test
Min 21:55 Organic acids test
Min 30:00 Serotonin
Min 34:30 Nutritional markers

Resources:

Sign up for a Free consult here 
Hormone Detox shop 

Here's the video version of the interview with Ann Melin.

The Best Essential Oils for Mood and Sleep Support

Essential oils for mood & sleep.png

Have you ever used aromatherapy or experienced a boost in your mood after you’ve encountered a familiar smell that triggered a fond memory? If so, then you know how smell can directly affect how you feel. In fact, it’s smell that often triggers memories and emotions. And it’s smell–more so than the other senses–that can best influence brain activity and help us calm down.

So when it comes to feelings of overwhelm and anxiousness, it makes sense that aromatherapy can help.

Science backs this up, too. In a study conducted at Ruhr University in Germany, Professor Hanns Hatt suggested that, “Essential oils may affect a number of biological factors, including heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function.”

And in a 2014 study conducted by the American College of Healthcare Sciences, “58 hospice patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend in 1.5 percent dilution with sweet almond oil. The essential oil blend consisted of equal ratios of bergamot, frankincense and lavender. All patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression, concluding that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone.” [1]

When it comes to calming your mind and de-stressing, here are 7 essential oils I recommend:

Bergamot:

With both calming and uplifting abilities, Bergamot can dissipate anxious feelings while simultaneously providing cleansing and purifying benefits.

Cedarwood:

With properties that help to soothe the mind and body, the warm, woody scent of Cedarwood promotes a relaxing environment.

Frankincense:

Often called the “king of oils, ” Frankincense promotes feelings of peace and overall wellness when used aromatically.

Lavender:

Lavender is often considered a must-have oil to keep on hand at all times due to its versatile uses, including calming and relaxing properties that promote peaceful sleep and ease feelings of tension.

Roman Chamomile:

While providing a sweet, floral aroma, Roman Chamomile can soothe body systems as it supports calming effects for the skin, mind and body.

Vetiver:

With a unique, exotic aroma, Vetiver is known to provide a calming, grounding effect on emotions, promoting restful sleep.

Ylang Ylang:

Derived from unique star-shaped flowers, Ylang Ylang is often used to support healthy skin and hair, while simultaneously providing a calming effect and promoting a positive outlook.

I suggest diffusing these oils during the day, and applying a couple of drops to your wrist, chest, and back of neck while you’re out and about.

You might be wondering, if essential oils help calm your mood, then can they help for sleep? The answer is ABSOLUTELY!!!

Quality sleep is essential. If you’re not sleeping well or sleeping enough, you simply can’t be your best self. Your energy tanks, your mood is off, you get sick easier, you crave unhealthy food, and you just don’t feel well.

Experts recommend that adults get at least 7–8 hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, about 33 percent of Americans are not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, and approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the United States experiences occasional sleeplessness or difficulty sleeping.

Depriving your body of sleep has been linked to many health risks and places a tremendous burden on virtually every organ system in your body. Lack of adequate sleep affects our ability to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight; influences how we feel, learn, and behave; negatively impacts our cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing; and can reduce reaction time and interfere with our ability to drive.

All of the oils recommended above have powerful calming properties and are perfect to diffuse in your bedroom to support restful sleep. You can also consider adding a few drops to an epsom salt bath before bed or applying a couple of drops to the bottom of your feet before bed.

All of these practices will help calm and relax your mind, so you can easily drift off to restful sleep.

Whether you are overwhelmed with grief or sadness, need to be energized and motivated, or need calming and peaceful feelings throughout your day, essential oils can be helpful in supporting your mood and your sleep.

I would love to hear from you! Do you use essential oils for mood and sleep support? Please share your favorite oils and how you use them!

Found this Interesting?

Jen Broyles is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and essential oils educator who helps people regain their health and vitality naturally through nutrition, stress-management, essential oils, and natural solutions.

Jen has a special interest in gut health, detox, mood, and hormone imbalances. You can visit her website for healthy living advice, practical essential oils tips, and delicious recipes at www.jenbroyles.com.

Most Bloating is Caused by This...

bloating_banner3.png

What is causing your bloating and how to get rid of it for good

According to Dr. Eric Regier, about 96% of cases of bloating are due to SIBO.

SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. There should be a very small amount of bacteria and the small intestine, and a large amount in the large intestine. Due to the reasons we’ll cover below, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can occur.

Symptoms of SIBO include: bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea.

What Causes SIBO?

  1. Dysfunction of Migrating Motor Complex

Sweeps the small bowel

Due to, usually, food poisoning, but can also be due to hypothyroidism, c difficile, Lyme bacteria, opioid use, antibiotic use, giardia

In cases of food poisoning, the toxin produced by the poisonous bacteria damage the nerves that facilitate the migrating motor complex. The body can then create an antibody against this toxin. But unfortunately, at the same time, it will produce an antibody against a protein that helps keep the tight junctions of the intestine tight. When this protein is attacked, you can end of with chronic leaky gut.

2. Anatomical Blockages

Due to surgical adhesions, endometrial adhesions, fistulas, diverticula

3. Low stomach acid levels

Acid kills bacteria

Stress, hypothyroidism and use of acid-blocking medications

4. Ileocecal Valve malfunction

If this valve between the small and large intestine is absent or not working, bacteria from the large bowel can backflow into the small intestine. The valve can be irritated by ‘stimulating’ foods like coffee, tea, soda, spicy food, sugar, chocolate, processed foods and popcorn.

According to Dr. David Williams, Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the form of lactic acid yeast wafers can help for diarrhea symptoms related to SIBO.

According to Dr. Craig Maxwell, Magnesium Chelate and a good probiotic can help.

Also local massage for a few minutes on your right lower abdomen about 15 degrees and down from your hip bone can help.

SIBO Has a Cousin…

SIBO has a cousin called SIFO (I’m not making this stuff up!) which stand for Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth. SIFO is similar to SIBO except it’s defined by an overgrowth of fungus in the small intestine.

Some additional symptoms related to include: belching, nausea, confused thinking, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.

If your SIBO symptoms are not going away with treatment, SIFO could be the culprit, and an anti-fungal approach with a functional practitioner may be needed.
 

bloating-food.png

Diet for SIBO Symptoms

When you eat foods, the bacteria in your small intestine may be ‘fed’ as well, and the byproduct of their feasting can be gas.

The bacteria that has overgrown in your gut varies from person to person. Therefore the foods that irritate SIBO vary as well.

While you go through treatment, it’s important to find the foods that won’t aggravate your symptoms, and the amounts.For example, you may tolerate eating a few grapes, but not a whole bowl of grapes.

The diet I most recommend experimenting with is the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

That’s a mouthful! Basically FODMAPs are foods that contain indigestible starches, and the bacteria in your body will ‘ferment’ them to break them down. The byproduct of that fermentation is gas.

If you want to avoid the gas, you can avoid the high FODMAP foods that irritate your certain bacteria, and instead choose low FODMAP foods.

Two great resources I’ve found for FODMAP information are:

Monash University - The researchers at this Canadian university developed and trademarked The Low FODMAP diet.

Kate Scarlata - Kate is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author who has developed some handy checklists and useful guides for avoiding high FODMAP foods.
 

Protocols for SIBO Symptoms

The treatment of SIBO can be a slow and winding road due to the different causes of SIBO and the different bacteria that may be involved. But if you don’t want to live with the digestive symptoms you’re currently experiencing, it’s best to start somewhere!

In my opinion, you’ll get the best results when working with a functional medicine coach. A provider can run a SIBO breath test, a stool test, and any other tests that may be needed in your case. She can get specialty supplements that may be difficult to get otherwise. And lastly, dealing with a chronic condition that may be slow to respond is emotionally draining, and having a coach to talk to can keep you moving forward.

Let’s look at a few supplements that can help with bloating / SIBO:

Oregano Oil- Oregano oil is the potent essential oil of the oregano plant. It can help for both SIBO and SIFO. It is often combined with other antimicrobial and anti-fungals like thyme oil and grapefruit seed extract.

This is a ‘hot oil’ so you’ll need to dilute it in a carrier oil if used on your skin or take in a capsule internally. We carry a blend of thyme, oregano and other supportive essential oils in capsule form in GX Assist in our doTERRA shop.

Atrantil- Atrantil is a mix of whole peppermint and extracts from the Quebracho and Conker Tree. The combined mechanisms of these ingredients:

  • Relax intestinal cramping

  • Soak up hydrogen gas

  • Stop production of methane bacteria

  • Disable / kill troublemaking archaebacteria.

You can purchase this product on our shop, and you’ll receive a discount for buying three or more.    

Ginger- If you’ve managed to rid yourself of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you need to keep it clear now! Ginger can help stimulate the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) we learned about earlier. I like this Chewable Ginger by Natural Factors. We also carry ginger oil (it’s so yummy) in our doTERRA shop.

Other substances that stimulate the MMC are: 5-HTP (OTC supplement) and LDN (low dose naltrexone- by prescription only).

Activated Charcoal- While activated charcoal won’t cure your SIBO, it will sure help relieve it! Activated charcoal can absorb the gas within its porous structure.

Probiotics -

Not all bloating is due to SIBO. Bloating can also come from a sudden change in diet, like adding vegetables suddenly or eating beans for the first time in months. Since I now rarely eat gluten-free pasta and pizza, I find that I react strongly to it and become bloated.

I think the site PaleoLeap.com sums it up well, “Either you’re eating a type of fiber that you don’t have enough of the right gut flora to digest, or you’re eating a type that they like too well, so you get overgrowth problems. For example, this study found that flatulence was “associated with instability of the microbial ecosystem:” the gut flora of patients with bad gas actually responded differently to their food, potentially causing the problem.”

This is why adding a good probiotic is helpful. Some probiotics will actually feed the bacteria in the small intestine and cause bloating. But spore-based probiotics will not. The probiotic that is our hands down favorite is MegaSpore.

This is a recent testimonial from a new MegaSpore user who had bloating for 20 years:

“I've had IBS for over 20 years and NOTHING has helped until NOW.

RESULTS: BLOATING, gone! I no longer have explosive diarrhea in the morning but have normal, well-formed stools that sink in the toilet, 2 to 3 times per day!!! AMAZING PRODUCT!!!!”

Antibiotics and Prescription Antifungals-

If you’re not having success after using herbal treatments, prescriptive options are available as well through your doctor.

Conclusion:

Though there can be a little trial and error on the road to healing your gut, the results are well worth it! Running to the bathroom, being too bloated to exercise or even move...this is not what life is about!

Bye Bye Bloating Kit

Get a curated kit of highly effective bloating products that work synergistically for chronic bloating. Us the coupon code HEALTHYGUT15 for $15 off now.

These three products work synergistically to eliminate the source of over 90% of chronic bloating! Each kit comes with an easy-to-follow PDF guide and 30 day money back offer through our shop.

Learn more here...