Here's a question you won't find on many health questionnaires I'm sure! But have you noticed that your dog (or random other friendly dogs) greet you with a friendly kiss to the leg? Sure it may be that you just have a loving friendly canine friend but there can be a few other reasons for this. Maybe you have a wound that needs attention or perhaps you have been visiting other hounds and you are being investigated for betrayal but it can also be indicative of a hormonal disturbance in your body.
By now you may have heard of the hormone cortisol. This is our chronic stress survival hormone which can have an influence on blood sugar levels, blood pressure, immune function and even the anti-inflammatory processes in the body. It is made in the adrenal glands. It has a very helpful friend called aldosterone.
Aldosterone is also made in the adrenal glands and it belongs to a group of hormones called mineralocorticoids. It's main role is to regulate the amount of salt (or more specifically sodium and potassium) in our body which in turn regulates our blood pressure, balances electrolytes in our blood and controls the distribution of fluid in our body (ie. cankles, face swelling).
Like all hormones in the body, there is the possibility of them being over-produced or under-produced.
When aldosterone is over-produced which can happen under stress and when cortisol is also over-produced or if there is excessive processed salt in the diet (table salt - sodium chloride), signs can be an increase in blood pressure, low potassium, muscle weakness and tingling and even numbness in your extremities. One suggestion here is to eliminate processed salt. Processed table salt is simply sodium chloride as compared to a natural salt which contains an array of numerous naturally balanced minerals (around 84). It is extensively documented in studies (in particular the DASH study which has been cited by 2047 further articles) that dietary sodium from PROCESSED SALT is a key influence in elevated blood pressure and blood volume. This is the salt that is found in most processed foods. This salt as already mentioned needs to be minimised/eliminated. But that does not mean we should avoid all salt; in fact it is essential for optimal health to consume natures salt. Mineral salts have been shown to actually lower blood pressure in patients who have presented with mild hypertension (Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:88)
One of the effects of chronic stress where there can be a cortisol "deficiency" or under-production of cortisol termed adrenal insufficiency as part of the picture of adrenal fatigue syndrome is an under-production of aldosterone. Some of the symptoms of this can be:
* dizziness (especially if moving from a lying position to standing)
* irregular heart beat
* swelling of extremities (ankles, wrists and a puffy face).
* low blood pressure
* low pulse
* frequent urination
* change in body temperature (often warmer)
* craving salt (often plain salted potato crisps, olives and other salty foods)
* dog licking your legs (without a wound) as you may be excreting excess salt.
Many of these symptoms form part of the chronic stress picture that is far from uncommon today.
There is a role that natural salt (such as Murray River flakes, Tassie Sea Salt, Himilayan salt, Celtic Sea Salt etc) plays in supporting both low and high aldosterone.
By adding 1/4-1/2 tsp of a natural salt to 1L of water (and then drinking between 2-3L water a day), trace minerals are brought into the body and the balance of aldosterone can be supported.
Aldosterone and renin levels can be tested by 24 hour urine collection or by a blood test to assess whether the adrenal glands are producing appropriate amounts of aldosterone and also to determine a potential cause of excess or deficiency. This is something to chat with your health professional about.
But above all, any symptoms of chronic stress should not be taken lightly. The effects stress has at a physiological level in our bodies I believe is still grossly underestimated today. There is only so long we can ignore the effects of stress and every new sunrise brings the perfect opportunity to look into ways of managing the stresses in our life. Perhaps today is the perfect day to take that loving dog of yours out for some nature and take some deep breaths and switch the focus away from your legs!
A program for women struggling with fatigue, hormonal disturbances, struggling to lose weight who feel there are missing pieces to their health puzzle.
Every day sitting before me I see women in a state of desperation. Many have been struggling with their health, searching for answers to health complaints but multiple trips to the doctor deem everything to be "normal". They are burnt out, just barely existing. Despite strictly following diets even weight loss surgery, they cannot shift weight. Many suffer debilitating pain from autoimmunity, numerous hormonal complaints, mental illness and so many women bear the emotional scars of fertility issues.
Women feeling like failures because they have tried everything. Women feeling worthless. Women who are just plain exhausted.
I needed to put this course together first and foremost to bring women together to realise that they are not alone. The second reason is to shine a light on many of the factors in our modern world that are leading us down the path of deteriorating health. When we start to understand the underlying causes, we can make the changes to our lives. But most importantly I wanted to share hope. I have also been one of these women.
We are here to thrive, not merely survive. This course has been designed to empower you with information to make changes that suit YOU! No single diet or protocol suits every woman. We talk about changes that are not just for the duration of the course, but ones that are life long and sustainable which can be shared with our family and friends.
Throughout the course we are covering:
* some key hormones and why they can be imbalanced
* nutrition for hormonal health
* gut health and hormones
* toxins and hormonal health
* stress and homones - adrenal fatigue syndrome detailed
* sleep, emotions, heavy metals, thyroid issues, hormonal weight gain
* where to go to find help
The course also includes:
* meal suggestions and recipes
* access to private facebook group to share questions, recipes and ideas
* online cooking demonstrations
* supporting notes for all topics
* checklists for pantry essentials, master food lists
* bonus articles and interviews.
Head to www.bouncebackfromburnout.com to let the learning begin.......!