Fed Up with Books – Want Information That’s Relevant to YOU?

Her Menopause Project is the book women have been waiting for, to help them to develop their own bespoke menopause support program.

Menopause is a natural stage of a woman’s life that can be made into a positive milestone and transition to be the confident, sexy woman you really are. Filled with recommendations for hot flushes, sweats, weight management, migraines, mood changes, insomnia … as well as anti-ageing tips for your skin, hair and even your mind! You will be able to document and track your symptoms as well as learn to how to create your own bespoke support program for your situation.

Break (back) through to the real you!

Published 5 July 2018.

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In National Stress Awareness Month … feelings of anxiety are hormonal!

 

Stress can often manifest as anxiety. So, what is anxiety all about?

The dictionary definitions are:

1 a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome; and,

2 a strong desire to do something, or, that something will happen.

… but what’s really going on?

The impact of certain stressors in our lives will increase the amount of stress hormone that we are exposed to in the body. The physiological impact of this creates symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, fast heart rate and a mental process that can often make you ruminate about events from the day, or the stressful event that’s bothering you. You can end up turning things over and over in your mind – often at night when it’s dark and quiet and then this interferes with your sleep so that you start the next day feeling tired and therefore stressed. Feelings of tension and anxiety are building.

Let’s look a what stress hormones will do to you:

Physically:  increase heart rate, constrict your blood vessels (chronically, this can lead to high blood pressure), cause tension in your limbs (fight or flight), direct blood flow away from digestion (which can cause indigestion), mobilise your blood sugar; and eventually, deposit fat around the middle.

Mentally and Emotionally: foggy thinking, memory lapse, low mood, a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop (anticipating threat) because you feel an increased sense of vulnerability.

This is anxiety.

Because hormones affect us physically, mentally and emotionally you have to realise that not only does cause precede effect, but effect also causes cause. It can be a vicious, self-perpetuating circle as feeling and thought processes become habituated, if you leave them unattended for too long.

The problem with this is that we often to turn to self-medication to help to get ourselves over the uncomfortable feelings: alcohol to relax and unwind in the evening; or, carbs because they will boost your serotonin level (your happy hormone). However, because your sleep is disrupted and you feel so very tired you use caffeine and sugar to get yourself going in the mornings.

Did you know that there are psychiatric studies that show that a cup of coffee can induce a panic attack!

Self-medicating is not going to solve a problem with anxiety. It will only put a “Bandaid” over your feelings.

We tend to bury or ignore a lot of experiences that cause us pain at some level. Sometimes we are unaware of exactly how we’ve been feeling and thinking – a lot of self-talk can get in the way. Starting a journal first thing in the morning and just writing stream of consciousness thinking can really help you to externalise and discover your true feelings about what’s going on in your life. You can have the a-ha moments you’ve been seeking because it helps you to dump and clear your mind and energy for the day ahead. As you do, engage in mindful (being fully present) self-nurturing. Be gentle with yourself and eat and drink (water, herbal tea) well during the day. Rest in the evening, watch an uplifting movie (avoid news and current affairs) – allow yourself to rest and relax.

It’s a start. This process can help you to break the cycle of worry, allow your body to ‘stand down’ so that your energy feels on a more usual level.

If your problem is more chronic than this you may need additional help, but try this as much as possible and check in with yourself to see how you’re doing.

Does this make more sense to you?

Staying Young: hormonally speaking

I’m at the Holistic Health Show this weekend at the NEC.

Do you really believe that creams and potions are going to be the only way to maintain youthful skin, glossy hair and strong nails? Did you know that real efforts to maintain these signs of youth and beauty start on the inside?

If you are seriously stressed – and so many of us are nowadays – cortisol, your stress hormone will age you by breaking down tissue, particularly collagen.

If your thyroid hormones aren’t working properly – you’ll struggle with your weight management, have low energy, dry skin and even toxic constipation.

If you’re living a high carb low fat lifestyle you’re depriving your body of essential fats and oils – they don’t have to be fattening!

Staying Young is not just about having a wrinkle-free face it’s about feeling and being vibrant and vital.

I’m going to share some top tips to support your hormone health, which will support a youthful skin, better energy and weight management, glossy hair and how to get the best beauty sleep.

Join me on Sunday 21 May at 2pm at the NEC.

I hope to see you there!

Warm wishes

Alyssa

x

Thyroid Awareness Week 2016 – Mufty Day!

Thyroid problems are very common and they can affect you physically with weight management issues and mentally and emotionally with depression and/or anxiety. 

Do you blame it on the thyroid or hadn’t you thought about it? Is it the reason for your low mood and lack of will power or your lack of strength and energy to eat more healthily or to exercise?

Seriously though, if you are trying to make health improvements and failing, the process may be exposing the inadequacies of your thyroid health or treatment.

Support Thyroid UK – I am on their Advisory Panel and our work is about raising awareness and educating people about their thyroid health. It’s such an important little gland … think purple this week and support our work.

This year we have decided to ask people to hold a “Purple Mufty Day” (also known as non-uniform day or dress-down day).

We are asking people to donate £1 to Thyroid UK and wear something purple on Friday 21st October 2016. You can wear purple tops, trousers, dresses, socks or shoes etc. To really stand out you could wear a purple hat or fascinator! Purple nails will really finish the outfit off!

You can take selfies and post them onto your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and then share them with all your friends and family to spread the word! Make sure you mention Thyroid UK and we can then share them too!

If you have any queries, please email volunteers@thyroiduk.org.uk

TUK

Thank you!

Warm wishes

World Mental Health Day! Thinking about your contraception

Today is a day to stop and think about your mental health.  How are you feeling?  Happy, content?  Or, is it more like depressed, anxious and stressed with mood swings?

These problems are all aspects of self that we might think are purely down to our mental state of being, something we can (largely) control or overcome.  Have you stopped to think about how these problems could be as a result of hormone imbalance?

pills

For example, a major new study was published very recently on how the birth control pill is linked with depression.  More than a million Danish women were subjects of this 18 year study and the conclusion was that hormone contraceptives (combined pill) are linked with a first diagnosis of depression and subsequent use of antidepressants – particularly among younger (adolescent) women.

This substantial body of work and its outcome does not surprise me in the least as there are clear hormone links between oestrogen and depression:

– higher oestrogen levels (often caused by hormone birth control) will increase secretion of Thyroid Binding Globulin, which binds up thyroid hormone making it less available to the body, creating a low thyroid situation.

  • low thyroid (not necessarily clinically detectable by your doctor) can be a direct cause of depression.

– higher oestrogen levels will also cause fluid retention (oestrogen encourages retention of fluid) and also weight gain because of a slower metabolism linked with the low thyroid.

  • if you put on weight or have problems with water retention your birth control pill may be affecting your thyroid hormone function.

This may also make you feel quite miserable.

Also, if you are a woman who suffers with PMS and have tried the Pill, it is known that about one fifth of women with PMS will suffer with depression as a result of being on it.  This was concluded in a 1982 survey of PMS sufferers.

The Pill and HRT are the same type of drug given to women at different times of their lives and according to the work of Dr Katharina Dalton, women who had hysterectomies and ovary removal because of PMS are often unable to tolerate the oestrogen replacement therapy prescribed to overcome the sudden drop into menopause; and, even then 98% of these women experience a return of their PMS symptoms within 3 years.

Unless there is a real psychological reason for your depression you may find that it was your hormones all along.  The Pill can cause a problem and it’s worth remembering that there are other alternatives.  After all, it has also been concluded that the Pill can completely squash libido as a side effect, which can result in distance and a loss of intimacy in your relationship that may also be causing feelings of isolation and depression.

Give a thought to your hormones when you think about your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Health from the Bottom UP!

It’s been a while since I did my last post as there’s been a lot going on, so hello and I hope you are enjoying the Summer now that it may finally have arrived!

I just wanted to let you know that for the next few days my new book Health from the Bottom UP is available on Amazon for FREE!

What’s it all about?

Health from the Bottom Up is a short, practical book that will explain why your gut health is so important and how regular enemas (rather than expensive colonic irrigation) should be part of your life.  Good housekeeping should apply to your body as well as your home.

Yes, I know there are jokes and connotations about enemas and when I was going through the natural cancer therapy, which involved four coffee enemas per day, my daughters took great delight in telling me they’d never go into a Starbuck’s again in case I asked for my coffee black, with a straw!

But seriously.  Did you know that you could be carrying pounds of undigested food and guck around in your belly that you won’t pass.  (One guy I mention actually passed the ‘bluey’ marble he swallowed when he was five years old.)  Did you know that this intestinal muck will be generating toxins that are leaching through your gut and undermining your immune system?  Health from the Bottom Up has information on the whys and wherefores of enemas as well as how to do some simple ones with added ingredients for health benefits; and the preparation method for the famous coffee enemas completes the set.  (The coffee enema was found in the world’s best selling medical text book until the early 1970s.)

I often recommend enemas and shared this book’s previously edition with clients who have problems with constipation.  Enemas can set you free from this uncomfortable problem and I’ve had many an email expressing huge relief. Constipation is a problem for which people usually take a laxative – do you want to know why that’s not a good idea for your body and that it won’t resolve the stuff you carry around inside?  My little book will take you through all that and a whole lot more, with some humour along the way.

After the FREE promotion expires you can get all this for less than the price of a cup of coffee!  Bottoms Up!

See on Amazon as a Kindle book – downloadable to any device – click here

Once you’ve had a read I’d be really pleased if you could post a review.  Thank you .. and do share with friends

Don’t miss out as this one time offer expires shortly.

Wishing you good health, always

allysig

Pain All Over. Fibromyalgia – can it be helped?

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a condition, not a disease, and there is general consensus that it is a stress related condition without a specifically identifiable cause. However, we have to remember that stress is cumulative over your lifetime and over the years it affects you on physical (eg illness and trauma), mental and emotional (eg relationships, financial, work-related) levels. But, I can’t write a lengthy piece discussing what it is and how it may happen so I’m going to highlight some hormone health areas that are likely to be closely associated and can certainly contribute to the experience of this painful and debilitating condition.

Adrenal Function – it’s all about stress

The experience of stress impacts adrenal function and as we go through life our threshold, or tolerance, may start to diminish. This, in turn, means that our resilience in life is depleted and tension (physical and mental) will start to increase and this process can manifest with the development of depression, anxiety, sleep problems and muscular aches or pain. All of these problems will contribute to the experience of stress (physical, mental and emotional) and all of which will form a downward spiral unless it can be addressed effectively. Please don’t think that I am advocating a solution of anti-depressants and sleeping tablets because I’m not. These drugs do not resolve the issues, they merely mask them but perhaps can sometimes make day-to-day life more tolerable.

I advocate adrenal function support as an essential part of any recovery program and this has to address the underlying dysfunction as well as the stress and its symptoms, depression and anxiety, disturbed sleep and the manifestation of muscular pain.

Thyroid Hormone Form & Function

Another key area is whether the thyroid hormones are at a good level and are able to function effectively. The functional aspect is not one addressed by medicine because medicine views health from the reductionist level of individual biomarkers: hormones, enzymes, proteins, etc and their levels. We have to stand back and view the bigger picture so that we can assess how hormones may be able to function, not just as a level in a test result!

If you have adrenal dysfunction and sex hormone imbalances (FMS is known to impact women much more frequently than men), your thyroid hormones may not be able to convert properly and/or may not be able to connect with tissue effectively. This will essentially produce a functional hypothyroid state that your doctor will not identify through TSH and fT4 testing and levels may well be completely normal. However, low cortisol and/or sex hormones will result in poor tissue responses. In other words your thyroid hormone is unable to connect with its receptors to do its work. What are symptoms of low thyroid function?   … trouble sleeping, fatigue, depression, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, to name a few. The problem of chronic generalised muscular pain being related to thyroid system dysfunction is well documented – there is a journal article as far back as 1959 (1) as well as more recent research in 2008 (2).

Another hormone area that is worth briefly reviewing is the serotonin pathway. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter (type of hormone) and Russell has been a dedicated researcher of its relationship with FMS publishing a number of papers. It was in 1992 that he published specifically on low serotonin levels being closely related to increased perception of pain (3).

So, this too makes interesting reading as low serotonin can also contribute to low mood, or depression and anxiety. Good serotonin levels can also be supportive of better sleep quality too! If you go into the evening time of the day feeling more centred and less depressed or anxious, it will contribute to feeling less stressed (stress increases cortisol and keeps the mind active and will suppress the secretion of melatonin, your sleep hormone). Serotonin also converts to melatonin to support better quality sleep. It’s a much more rounded, or systems-based approach to supporting sleep, rather than using a benzo-based drug. A useful, more naturally way of boosting serotonin and melatonin level is to work with 5-HTP, a plant based amino acid that converts to serotonin with results that can be seen within a week if used properly.  (Do not use this if you are on antidepressants.)

In my opinion, having a multi-pronged approach to FMS, that naturally and safely supports your body’s systems, has a much higher chance of success than simply ‘pressing’ individual hormone ‘buttons’ that often, in themselves, will never provide an effective solution.

Wishing you well

allysig

 

 

 

 

References

1 Wilson, J, Walton, JN. Some muscular manifestations of hypothyroidism. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1959 Nov;22:3204

2 Sbrocchi AM, Chédeville G, Scuccimarri R, Duffy CM, Krishnamoorthy P. Pediatric hypothyroidism presenting with a polymyositislike syndrome and increased creatinine: report of three cases. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;21(1):8992

3 Russell IJ, Michalek JE, Vipraio GA, et al. Platelet 3H-imipramine uptake receptor density and serum serotonin levels in patients with fibromyalgia/fibrositis syndrome. J Rheumatol 1992;19:104-109. 

You’re not ‘crazy’ it’s your hormones!

 

 

News out today is that in the UK mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety are now affecting 25% of us and that three quarters of those affected receive no help.

Mental and emotional health factors are often part of my clinics because hormone health can have a massive impact on how you are able to respond to and deal with stress as well as the experience of ongoing depression or anxiety.  However, it also has to be said that in my experience antidepressant medication is offered and prescribed as readily as antibiotics, i.e. for no real clinical reason and the message about antibiotics is being stressed to GPs.

Talking therapies are also all well and good if there is an underlying need for discussion and understanding of self in relation to past events, but these therapies’ progress can be seriously hampered by tired adrenals (your stress glands), poor thyroid hormone function and/or mood swings and irritability during the menstrual cycle:

– tired adrenals reduce your ability to cope and will impact thyroid hormone function.  (Low thyroid is known to be a cause of depression and anxiety and this is not a factor that your GP can pick up with the limited testing that is the standard.);

– stressed adrenals will also reduce your ability to cope and give you increased irritability, feelings of anxiety, inability to think and remember, as well as interfere with sleep and have you reaching for comfort foods.  This is related to high cortisol (stress hormone), which is known to cause depression and anxiety;

– mood swings and increased irritability premenstrually are due to oestrogen dominance and this is a problem that can be really severe.  PMS can impact the quality of your life so much that it leads to negative feelings and a sense of hopelessness and being out of control that is severely debilitating.

You may not have ‘mental health’ issues, you know, balancing your hormones naturally and sustainably can really help you to avoid a possible lifetime battling your feelings and being dependent on medication that numbs who you really are.  I have worked with people who have lost relationships, jobs and businesses as well as a woman who used her hormone report to prevent being ‘sectioned’ and woman who asked her psychiatrist when she was better and off the drugs, “Why didn’t you tell me it was my hormones?”  

In good health,