Category Archives: Minerals – Key to Health

Inflammation: Keys to Taming it

Inflammation seems to be one of the new buzzwords these days. What is it? Just what it sounds like – some part of our body gets ‘inflamed’ – gets hot, red, swollen, as in a sore throat, infected skin cut, swollen ankle. Our goal is always to tame or stop the inflammation, after the cause is determined. file1211269799749

In addition to this more ‘local’ type, another type of inflammation can also affect any part of our body. In the heart, it can contribute to heart disease, in our fat cells, to obesity, in the thyroid to thyroiditis, in the brain, it may ultimately lead to depression, even autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in the eyes, blindness. As Barry Sears, MD says,

What we see as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s are not different diseases, but simply different manifestations of long-term damage caused by a continued inflammatory attack on your organs.

An initially protective mechanism (the immune system, through the white blood cells and chemicals called cytokines, designed to shield you from foreign invaders of any kind) ends up going awry for some reason and leads to our body being in a chronic or constant state of (systemic, rather than local) inflammation, potentially wreaking havoc and causing our health to deteriorate – even if for years, you may not have symptoms, which is why some doctors call this type of inflammation “silent”.

The causes of inflammation are many, such as:

  • Toxins (e.g. the up to 85,000 chemicals we may be exposed to in daily life, hidden mold in walls and basements of the buildings we may live and work in, heavy metals such as mercury, lead, etc)
  • Infections, especially hidden viral, bacterial
  • Undiagnosed food allergies and sensitivities (both acute, like a nut allergies, but delayed, which may not affect us up until 72 after ingestion)
  • Extreme, chronic stress and trauma, mental or physical
  • Lack of healthy amounts of exercise
  • An unhealthy diet and ultimately and potentially harmful contents of foods such as transfats, including anything containing partially hydrogenated oils, steroids, antibiotics, hormones, even refined sugars, in excess

Taming inflammation…What can you do?

You may have heard of one popular means for helping prevent dementia by using a ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory OTC drug’ like Advil or Tylenol (with some unwelcome side effects for some people). You may also consider some of these alternatives to help your body deal with or minimize your risk of systemic inflammation:

  • Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, which many people are deficient in. Enjoy some extra salmon or sardines, or take a good supplement, tested and purified of PCBs and heavy metals such as mercury
  • Exercise…even a daily walk or walking a few times a week is a great start. If you prefer, enroll a family member for some rounds of tennis or other active game, or go play outside with your kids
  • Clean up your diet
  • Reduce consumption of refined sugars and carbohydrates, especially processed and calorie-laden but nutrient-“empty” foods
  • Start using the wonderful anti-inflammatory herbs and spices in your cooking, such as ginger, turmeric (which gives curry its yellow color) and even rosemary
  • Determine whether you might have delayed food allergies

Certainly, if you or someone you know suspects they have inflammation, talk to your doctor. You may ask about a blood test called Highly Sensitive C-reactive protein (HS-CRP), which is a marker for general inflammation.

So see if you can pick one or two suggestions you might work on…one small change in your diet and lifestyle over time will make a big difference in your health.

If you’d like to take this to find out if you (or someone you love) have potential toxicities that could be contributing to your health issues, check out Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. I’ve been using it in my health coaching practice with great results. You may find pertinent details here.

As always, please remember that this information is for informational purposes only, is not medically diagnostic in any way and does not substitute the care of a health professional.

Calcium – A Key Life Mineral

Calcium certainly is one of the most talked about minerals. Many doctors these days will tell their patients to ensure sufficient calcium intake, and will even suggest supplements, especially for women. And with good reason. One of the four “macro” minerals, calcium is a key mineral to sustain life. In addition to creating healthy bones, calcium is needed for proper digestion, metabolism function, detoxification, muscle and nerve contraction and relaxation and is involved in thyroid activity and many other functions.

Many people today are actually deficient and may suffer from excess tooth decay, irritability and insomnia. Muscle cramps may partly be the result of a calcium deficiency. On the other hand, some people have too much or even bio-unavailable calcium in their bodies, meaning they’re unable to utilize the calcium, potentially leading to calcium deposits in various organs and tissues (especially if they’re over 35) and other issues like arthritis, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, slower metabolism and even constipation. I have seen elevated

Deficiency occurs not only because much of what we eat is low in calcium (especially refined flours, conventional produce grown in mineral-deficient soil), but also due to higher consumption of sodas – their phosphoric acid content may reduce calcium levels.

If you are one of the many people that has issues with dairy from cows, the good news is you can also increase your consumption of calcium in other ways, since it’s abundant in:

– Cheese, yoghurt and kefir from goat and sheep’s milk (raw if possible)
– Fresh carrot juice – on its own, add some apple to sweeten, or celery to lessen its sweetness
– Sardines
– Eggs yolks – those of pastured hens are full of nutrients, no need to be afraid of them
– Bone broths, homemade, with the bones of lamb, beef, chicken, veal
– Dark, leafy green veggies like kale, Swiss chard, collard and mustard greens – and broccoli!
– Almonds and the more easily digested almond butter (preferably organic)

I realize some of the options here may be a little “out of the box”, but see if you can add even one of them to your family’s menu this month and see how you like it – your bones and your body will thank you! Broccoli can be added to most any meal. Almond butter is an easy one to try – taste is similar to peanut butter and you can eat it in the exact same way!

Are you interested in learning about your personal calcium status? If so, you can do it in the comfort of your own home, with a hair analysis. Although it certainly does not replace a doctor’s visit, hair analysis and nutritional balancing has been a very helpful tool for decades. Feel free to learn more about it here.

For more detailed info about calcium, you may wish to read this article.

This material is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.