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Anxiety and Nutrition – What is the connection ?

Do You Have Anxiety?

A common element present in anxiety and mood disorders is an imbalance of neurotransmitters. For example, you may have unusually high levels of adrenaline that cause excitatory responses. In contrast, you can also have remarkably low levels of GABA (Gamma-AminoButyric Acid), a calming neurotransmitter known to reduce excitability.

Such imbalances with neurotransmitters can alter the brain’s circuitry and make you more likely to suffer from generalized anxiety, panic, and fear.

Food and anxiety

Everything you eat affects your mental state. So we’d like to refer to your gut as your ‘second brain’. Your gut plays a leading role in healing mood disorders. When you eat to improve your health, you improve many areas of well-being as well.

Food impacts your neurotransmitter levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a big part in how you feel and perceive the world. Serotonin, for example, is responsible for mood, sleep cycles, and appetite control. And over 80% of this is made in your gut.

When levels of this neurotransmitter drop, the results can be mood disorders, anxiety, and depression. This is one reason why we crave carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and lollies, all of which raise serotonin levels quickly but temporarily.

Fast sugars raise and drop the moods quickly.

Complex carbs such as apples and sweet potatoes are better options. They work the same magic but don’t drop quickly. Moreover, they are a more sustainable source of energy for your body. In the same manner, dopamine helps to increase focus and motivation. Eating small amounts of protein throughout the day can boost dopamine and stabilize blood sugar levels. Nuts, seeds, eggs, and legumes are all great proteins.

Foods to help with Anxiety

Tips to help with anxiety

Stay hydrated. The brain comprises a high percentage of water. Anything that dehydrates it, such as too much caffeine or alcohol, impairs your cognition and judgment. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Have breakfast. It is important to start each day with protein to boost your focus and concentration. Protein helps balance your blood sugar, increases focus and gives your brain the necessary nutrients for optimum brain health. Eggs are great choices. (Try to always buy organic eggs.)

  • Other wonderful sources of protein include wild fish, organic turkey or chicken, beans, seeds, raw nuts, and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.

Eat healthy fats. Focus on healthy fats, especially those that contain omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon, sardines, Cod Liver Oil,  walnuts, chia seeds, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Our brain is full of fat – therefore, it is vital that we feed it with healthy fats. Try to use first cold-pressed, extra-virgin vegetable oils like olive, flax, and hemp oil. Coconut oil is a good option, too.

While fish is a great source of healthy protein and fat, it is important to know about the mercury levels in fish. Here are a couple of general rules to guide you:

  • The larger the fish, the more mercury it probably contains. Go for smaller varieties.
  • Eat a variety from the safe fish choices, preferably those highest in omega-3 like wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, and Pacific halibut.

Have your dose of fermented foods. A recent study has linked the consumption of fermented food with reduced social anxiety in young people. It is among a growing number of studies that find gut microbiota affects mental health, and in particular to depression and anxiety. When you start to heal your gut, you are healing your mind as well. Great sources of fermented foods are kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt and fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso, which are all high in natural probiotics.

Feast on a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Have loads of different coloured vegetables and fruits, but try to limit even the natural sugars and avoid things like dried fruit. Go for berries, citrus, pomegranates, pears, apples, and bananas (grapes and stone fruits are high in natural sugars).

Read labels. Become familiar with food triggers such as artificial colours and preservatives. MSG is often a big trigger for some people.

Seasonal and local are the freshest.

Whenever you can, eat organically grown or raised foods. Pesticides used in commercial farming can accumulate in your brain and body, even though the levels in each food may be low. Also, eat hormone and antibiotic-free meat from free-range and grass-fed animals.

What to avoid

Tips for Anxiety - avoid sugar

Processed sugar. Sugars are carbohydrates divided into simple and complex groups based on their molecular composition. Most of the sugar we consume is harvested from sugarcane and sugar beet, two plants incredibly rich in the substance. However, alternative hidden sugar sources are in almost all processed foods.

Cortisol and sugar are highly intertwined when it comes to anxiety. Cortisol serves to restore homeostasis or balance the body after stress. However, when exposed to prolonged stress, the body naturally produces more cortisol, causing blood sugar levels and insulin production to spike.

These increased amounts of sugar and insulin can effectively crash blood sugar levels. This signals the hypothalamus that its only source of energy (glucose) is severely needed and the brain is likely starved. The hypothalamus then panics, sending the adrenal glands signals to pump out more adrenaline. This, of course, causes the emergence of further anxiety attacks and symptoms.

Under chronic stress, the brain believes it needs more sugar even though it has received far more than it needs. It is an addictive pattern that causes us to overindulge in sweets. A recent study conducted at Princeton University found that rats after consuming excessive amounts of sugar, rats exhibited withdrawal symptoms similar to those of opiate addicts when fasting.

With anxious personalities, it’s better to have more small meals throughout the day than three big ones. This helps keep your blood sugar from spiking and causing unnecessary stress.

Caffeine. As we know it, caffeine is the world’s most popularly consumed psychoactive drug. We ingest it in many forms: coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, energy drinks, and certain supplements. According to one study, caffeine triggers mood-elevating effects by interacting with noradrenergic and dopaminergic pathways in our brain. Building tolerance to the substance occurs quickly, often leaving consumers wanting to experience the same effects as before. This leads them to amplified intake and exposes them to possible health risks. A common consequence of overusing caffeine is increased anxiety and insomnia. If your diet is high in caffeine, consider gradually limiting your intake to prevent a difficult withdrawal.

Low-Carb Diets. Eating a diet low in carbohydrates may sound healthy, but it can have serious consequences for anxious people. A diet rich in whole grains, on the other hand, increases the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter your brain releases. The release of this chemical can cause a pleasurable and calming effect on the body. Anxious people typically have lower levels of serotonin, to begin with, so increasing the release of this neurotransmitter is crucial in warding off symptoms of anxiety.

Recent studies show that carbohydrates affect an amino acid called tryptophan. This amino acid is essential in the production of both melatonin and serotonin. Tryptophan is especially high in bananas, chocolate, and dairy. (I would recommend raw organic dairy as it easier to digest and packed with nutrients and enzymes.) A diet rich in whole grains usually has plenty of fibre as well. As an added benefit, a high-carb diet can also help with indigestion problems common among anxious children.

Emotional Support

  • Face your fears. Try things that push you beyond your comfort zone.
  • Recognise it is okay to be imperfect.
  • Practice EFT.
  • Focus on the positives. Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Schedule relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, and time with nature. There are many great apps you can download to help you with this.
  • Practice nurturing self-care and positive thinking.
  • Encourage good sleeping habits (limit screen time before bed).
  • Express and talk about your anxiety. Find supportive friends.
  • Try to problem solve.
  • Stay calm. Surround yourself with calming people.
  • Practice relaxation exercises such as breathing.
  • Keep trying and don’t give up. Set small but achievable goals.

Contact www.thermographyireland.ie or Ph: 086 6123683 for more detail including how to test your Nutritional Status, Adrenal & Thyroid function, Gut, Liver and Blood Sugar handling.

Don’t let anxiety control your life! Take control of your Health instead!

The Thyroid Breast Cancer Risk

A link between diseases of the thyroid gland and breast cancer was first noted in the early 1970s, since when there have been many expert articles. Some have linked people taking thyroid hormones with a higher risk of breast cancer (6). Others have questioned whether the culprit is low iodine lying behind both the poor thyroid performance and the breast cancer. There may even be a gut issue. For example, Turken et al (1): Women with breast cancer have higher levels of anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies and the incidences of autoimmune and non-autoimmune thyroid diseases is higher in women with breast cancer. Auto-immune diseases are no known to start in the gut.

Ordinarily, you would expect people with sluggish dispositions and lower metabolic rates to have less cancer. In 2005 a team of researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas showed that women with lowered thyroid activity had less breast cancer by 61 per cent. Women with high thyroid activity developed more. And women with breast cancer were 57 per cent less likely to have hypothyroidism (that is where a person produces less thyroid hormone).

There also seems to be a breast cancer – thyroid cancer link. Rates of thyroid cancer are increased in women with a history of breast cancer, and vice versa (2).

Clearly there is a link, but it is not 100% clear whether it is one link or several, nor whether the link is direct or indirect. Many experts believe that the cause might be more to do with the gut as there seems to be links with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and particularly Hashimoto´s which is usually dubbed an auto-immune disease because the immune system attacks the thyroid gland resulting in less thyroxine being produced. The medical solution is to prescribe a supplement of thyroxine, rather than treat the gut issue.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is now understood to be caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria and yeasts.

Go to: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Hashimoto´s has now been shown to be linked to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO.

Go to: Hashimoto´s Disease

Hashimoto´s is associated with a higher risk of thyroid cancer, in turn being linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

The Treatment of Thyroid Disease

Your hormones are all linked in a finely balanced web. The technical name for this is homeostasis. Put one out and the rest will soon follow. Increase the levels of one, and some others will increase too, while some will decline. HRT is known to throw out hormone levels and leads to a three-fold increase in breast cancer risk, for example.

When we first published this article, we were written to by two separate American Doctors who commented thus:

If someone comes to us with sluggishness, tiredness, low energy, we would first look to gut problems. If we suspected a thyroid problem, first we would test for low iodine. We find this in about two-thirds of patients. Without iodine you simply don´t make enough thyroid hormone and the metabolism slows.

If iodine is not the issue, as a last resort we supplement with thyroxine. Once a person starts taking it, they are committed for life. You don´t start lightly. In fact, we prescribe different levels for different body weights and even change the dose by season, depending upon whether it is hot or cold weather.

None of the British women on thyroxin we come into contact with on Personal Prescriptions has ever been given an iodine test.

The Thyroid and thyroid hormones

The thyroid is an organ in the front of the neck and is shaped rather like a butterfly. The thyroid glands principal hormone is thyroxin, or thyroxine and this has a metabolic-rate-increasing effect on almost all of the tissues of the body. The University of Maryland has linked high levels of the hormone to excitable, hyperactive children and ADHD.

A lack of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is associated with symptoms like a puffy face, tiredness, fatigue, and low energy. Other more rare symptoms include muscle cramps, hair loss, constipation, depression, memory loss and decreased libido. Since the metabolic rate declines, it is likely that the patient will also gain weight more easily.  Hypothyroidism in extremis can lead to changed (decreased) ovulation patterns in women and even loss of fertility. Equally, a number of pregnant women suffer from the disease but do not notice it, as fatigue is all too common anyway in pregnancy. One in seven women, and one in twenty men develop low thyroid hormone production as they age. Often they don´t even know it.  A simple blood test can be used for diagnosis.

The thyroid, in fact, makes two hormones – triiodothyronine (called T3) and thyroxine (T4). They are tyrosine-based hormones and both are partly composed of iodine. Tyrosine itself is a non-essential amino acid derived from the amino acid phenyialanine. It is essential in brain function because it is involved in neurotransmitter production – dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Tyrosine-kinase has now been linked with cellular energy systems, and cancer regulation.

Perhaps the oldest study(6) is the most relevant. The Ferdinand Sauerbruch Hospital in Wuppertal, Germany showed that women who took thyroxine had twice the risk of breast cancer. In the research amongst a group of women having screening mammograms – research that everyone seems to have ignored for 30 years – the incidence of breast cancer was twice as high in a group taking synthetic thyroxin for hypothyroidism. (12.1% in supplement group; 6.2% in controls). Worse, the incidence of breast cancer was far higher still where the women had taken synthetic thyroxin for more than 15 years (19.5%)

Thyroxine treatment plus low iodine causes breast cancer

Remember your problems could just be mineral dysregulation together with low iodine levels.

Maybe your first visit, if you are sluggish with no energy, should be to a Naturopath, who understands gut problems and Mineral Dysregulation.

At Thermography Clinic Ireland, we used both HTMA and Blood test to see exactly what is happening at a cellular level., and to discover the Root Cause of the mineral dysregulation.

Cranial Thermography is very useful when assessing the overall Health of the Breast Tissue. No proper asessment can be made of Breast Tissue without considering the Health of the  Thyoid gland, the head & Neck Lymphatics, Dental Health and indeed  Breast and underarm tissue, together mineral dynamics at a cellular level.

 

Ref:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314421/

2. http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/25/2/231

3. Hoffman, McConahey, Brinton and Fraumeni: Jama vol 251,1984

4. Cancer Epidem; 11, 1574-8 2002

5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.20881

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/988872. Ghandrakant, C. et al Breast Cancer Relationship to Thyroid Supplements for hypothyroidism JAMA, 238:1124, 1976.

Studies Show: Adrenaline Sparks Breast Cancer Growth

breastcancer_adrenaline

One of the major changes that occurs when a person suffers from chronic stress is too much adrenaline and cortisol in the system. Now research has discovered a direct link between adrenaline and Breast Cancer.

Adrenaline and the Fight or Flight Response

Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands.

More than likely, you have already heard of the “fight or flight” response, also known as the stress response. The stress response happens automatically and is part of the Sympathetic Nervous System. The body goes into this mode in response to any kind of threat. It could be a stranger walking towards you in a dark alley, a wild animal chasing you, a fight with your spouse or a looming deadline.

Whatever the cause, the response is the same. In stress response mode, the body pushes out cortisol and adrenaline at a very high rate. It will divert blood flow and energy from regulation processes like digestion and towards the extremities (more energy for running!).

This redirection of energy makes sense if you actually need to run from that wild animal. However, staying in the stress response over the long term is one of the main factors for the development of chronic diseases, including Breast Cancer.

Progesterone and Adrenal Imbalance

As it turns out, the adrenals are also the production center for progesterone, a vital hormone for the reproductive system and also a strong cancer-protector. A joint study sponsored in part by Cambridge University found that progesterone can inhibit estrogen-instigated cancer cell growth as well as keep your reproduction system on track.

When a person is chronically “stressed out,” the body turns down progesterone production. Low progesterone in the body can mean growth may be stunted in a developing girl or it may be difficult to

adrenals_stress_breastcancer
Choose to get out of the cycle of chronic stress and reduce your risk for Breast Cancer!

conceive a baby for a grown woman. Other side effects of low progesterone levels include abnormal menstrual periods, missed periods and heavier cramping than normal. Of course, another major consequence of low progesterone levels is a higher risk for reproductive cancers. According to research conducted by the late Dr. John Lee (author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer), adequate amounts of progesterone in the system as well as functioning cellular receptors for

progesterone are key ingredients for slowing down ER+ breast cancer.

The Adrenaline-Cancer Connection

Sometimes stress caused by a hectic lifestyle or unresolved trauma goes on for years. It is in this

situation that the risk for cancer is highest. In fact, some researchers have now found the direct cause for this connection.

meta-analysis conducted by MD Anderson Cancer Center, UCLA and the United States National Cancer Institute found that the sympathetic nervous system and adrenaline, as well as other noradrenaline-stimulating mechanisms, are able to alter genetic codes in response to stress.

This is big news, because of the laundry list of other effects these changes may cause:

-an inhibition of cancer cell death

-inhibition of DNA repair

-stimulation of cancer cells’ ability to create blood flow supply (angiogenesis)

-the creation of new cancer stem cells in a process called “epithelial-mesenchymal transition.”

-a reduction in Natural Killer cells, whose job it is to seek out cancer cells and destroy them; and finally,

-a significant increase in inflammation and inflammatory markers.

What You Can Do To Balance Your Stress Hormones

By employing these 3 steps, you can get your adrenaline as well as cortisol levels in proper balance.

#1 Reduce Stress! This is the most important step you can take to balance your stress responses and restore adequate

levels of both reserve adrenaline and progesterone. Reflexology, Meditation, walking or having a good “belly laugh” are just a few examples. Simply making it a point to “slow it down” several times throughout the day can be very effective as well.

#2 Get enough sleep.  I cannot over emphasize the powerful advantages that come with a night of deep restorative sleep. According to experts, cortisol will surge after 11 pm, so if you want to reinvigorate your adrenals, be sure to get to bed by 10 PM.

#3 Eat a nutritious  whole-food diet.  Nutrients that are especially important for restoring the adrenals include B Vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and wholefood Vit C and Retinol- Vit A.

There is definitely a connection between adrenal imbalance and the development of cancer. What’s more, adrenal depletion can leave you feeling just plain burnt out and with not much motivation or energy to do much of anything.

Roughly 80% of all Americans may have some version of adrenal fatigue. Don’t be a statistic. Reduce stress, get quality sleep and restore your adrenals.

 

Comparing Mammography and Thermography

Breast cancer screening is used to identify breast cancer in women who have no physical symptoms. It is hoped that finding breast cancer early will enable women to undergo less invasive treatments, with better outcomes.

 

However, there is currently much debate about which methods should be used for screening, and how often women should be screened.

Watch the video below and stay informed to make the best choices for your Breast Health.

Adrenal Fatigue and Breast Cancer. Is there a connection ?

image

What are the Adrenals?   

The adrenals are glands that rest just above the kidneys. They are the main production center for stress hormones, namely cortisol and adrenaline. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that the adrenals also produce the reproductive hormone progesterone. According to many studies including a 2007 Italian investigation published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, progesterone is not only responsible for reproductive health. It is also a powerful cancer-protector.

What Happens During Chronic Stress

You may have heard of the “flight or fight” response. In fact, you have probably experienced it yourself (maybe even quite recently!). You may also know that when the body goes into this mode, it pushes out cortisol and adrenaline at a high rate, diverting energy and blood flow from processes like digestion to the extremities so you can run from that tiger (or your boss).

When you are “stressed out,” the body amps up production of cortisol and adrenaline in the adrenals to give you the best “chance of survival.” In the process, however, the adrenals also turn production of progesterone way down. When this occurs, a woman’s body doesn’t produce enough progesterone for puberty if she is growing nor lactation if she is pregnant.

Being in constant stress mode, also called chronic stress, can also lead to adrenal fatigue or “burn out.” Adrenal fatigue and burn out occur when the adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the demands for what it produces. It is estimated that in today’s stressed world, upwards of 80% of Americans may have adrenal fatigue. Many may not even know it.

When stress is chronic and adrenal fatigue sets in, this also means a greater cancer risk for any woman, regardless of her age.

Three Things You Can Do to Heal Your Adrenals, Increase Progesterone Production and Prevent Cancer!

joint study conducted by Cambridge University, the University of Texas and others found that progesterone inhibited estrogen-mediate cancer cell growth. An important first step for balancing progesterone naturally is to heal your adrenals. Here are a few simple ways to do this:

#1. Reduce stress. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to heal and restore your adrenals. Remember that stress makes them work harder, pumping vast amounts of cortisol and adrenaline into your body. When you reduce stress through meditation, walking, laughing or simply changing your perspective and slowing your pace, you put both your mind and body into the relaxation response. This is when healing hormones like progesterone can be produced.

#2. Get plenty of sleep. Right along with lowering stress in general is taking advantage of the restorative properties of quality sleep. According to the Mayo clinic, cortisol surges after 11 pm so it is vital for individuals who want to heal their adrenals get to bed before then. Also take time for short rest periods during the day as needed. This could be a 20-minute power nap at lunchtime, a restorative yoga class after work or a relaxing bath or sauna session right before bed (or any time!).

#3. Flood your adrenals with essential nutrients. The best vitamins to help restore your adrenals are the “B’s,” especially B12 and B6. Other key nutrients that you may be deficient in are selenium, magnesium, zinc, iodine and vitamin D. All of these are important for proper adrenal function as well as thyroid function.

Adrenal fatigue can leave you feeling worn out, tired and zapped of energy. There is a solution, however. Reduce stress and give your body the nutrients it needs. Then it can balance itself and help you prevent and heal breast cancer naturally!

 

Swiss Medical Board STOPS Mammography Screenings for this Shocking Reason!

In January of 2013, the Swiss Medical Board was mandated to prepare a review of mammography screening. The board included a medical ethicist, a clinical epidemiologist, a clinical pharmacologist, an oncologic surgeon, a nurse scientist, a lawyer and a health economist.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, two members of the board — Nikola Biller-Andorno M.D. Ph. D. and Peter Juni, M.D. shared their perspective, saying “As we embarked on the project, we were aware of the controversies that have surrounded mammography screening for the past 10-15 years. When we received the available evidence and contemplated its implications in detail, however, we became increasingly concerned.”

The Harms of Over-diagnosis

The doctors explained how shocked they were to find such little evidence that the benefits of mammography screening outweighed the harms. “The relative risk reduction of approximately 20% in breast-cancer mortality associated with mammography that is currently described by most expert panels came at the price of a considerable diagnostic cascade, with repeat mammography, subsequent biopsies, and overdiagnosis of breast cancers — cancers that would never have become clinically apparent.”

According to the Canadian National Breast Screening Study conducted over a period of 25 years, 106 of 484 screen-detected cancers were over-diagnosed, coming out to 21.9%. The doctors on the board explained, “This means that 106 of the 44,925 healthy women in the screening group were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer unnecessarily, which resulted in needless surgical interventions, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of these therapies.”

The Benefits are Largely Overestimated

An additional review of 10 trials involving more than 600,000 women showed no evidence that mammography screening had an effect on overall mortality, which raised questions about the benefits of mammography screening. A survey about U.S. women’s perceptions found that 71.5% of women said they believed that mammography reduced the risk of death from breast cancer by at least half, and 72.1% thought that at least 80 deaths would be prevented per each 1,000 women screened. Here are the actual numbers: mammography provides a risk reduction of 20%, and 1 death may be prevented per each 1,000 women screened.

The Swiss Medical Board became concerned about the alarming difference in numbers. They wondered how women could make an informed decision if they so vastly overestimate the benefits of mammography. Their report was made public on February 2, 2014. They acknowledged that there was no evidence to suggest that mammography screening affected the overall mortality rate, and emphasized the harm of false positive tests and the risk of overdiagnosis.

Let’s look at the numbers. For every breast-cancer death prevented in U.S. women over a 10-year course of annual screening beginning at 50 years of age:

  • 490-670 women are likely to have a false positive mammogram with repeat examination
  • 70-100 women are likely to have an unnecessary biopsy
  • 3-14 women had an over-diagnosed breast cancer that would never have become clinically apparent

The Final Recommendation

The board’s recommendation was that no new systematic mammography screening programs be introduced, and that a time limit be placed on existing programs. In addition, they stated that the quality of all forms of mammography screening should be evaluated, and clear information should be provided to women regarding both the benefits and the harms of screening.

The Swiss Medical Board’s recommendations are not legally binding, but the report didn’t sit well with a number of Swiss cancer experts and organizations. According to the doctors on the board, “One of the main arguments used against it was that it contradicted the global consensus of leading experts in the field… Another argument was that the report unsettled women, but we wonder how to avoid unsettling women, given the available evidence.”

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