Migraines, Oh My!

I have been so busy!  I have a few new business builders working with me, and I have been booking in home meetings like crazy.  I love having in home meetings, they are such a great opportunity to share what going green and natural can mean to each individual person.

Recently, I had an individual appointment for a facial with a new client referred to me, and we ended up not only talking skincare, but lots and lots of nutrition!  It reminded me that I’ve never blogged about migraines – something that I personally was plagued with for many years and have almost completely eliminated from my life thanks to Shaklee!

When I was very young I had a lot of sinus problems, several infections every year which lead to me having surgery for a deviated septum, and also to remove my adenoids.  The sinus problems for the most part went away after the surgery, but migraines soon followed.  Migraines have been known to be hereditary, and my mother, uncles, and several relatives suffered from them regularly.  My doctor put me on a prescription migraine medication and I experienced some relief.  But the migraines got worse, and I felt like I was relying on the medication too much.  I also felt like the medication was causing me to have MORE migraines.  I stopped taking it because I didn’t like the way it made me feel, but I lived on Excedrin Migraine and lots of ibuprofen.  I felt better not being on prescription meds, but because I still had headaches all the time, I just assumed that was the way I was going to live. 

Fast forward years later and I found Shaklee.  I needed to lose some weight I had picked up during college, and was interested in a more natural lifestyle. I was really looking for brands I could trust.  There is SO much out there, and when I learned of the science and peer-reviewed clinical studies that back Shaklee products, it seemed like a no brainer.  While I was losing weight, cleaning my house using chemical-free products, and being dilligent about taking our supplements, I felt great.  After a few months, I noticed I didn’t have to buy any more ibuprofen or migraine medicine.  In fact, my most recently purchased bottles were now a few months old, and hardly touched.  Could it be that I hadn’t had a migraine in months?

Now after two years with Shaklee products in my life I am astonished if I get even the slightest headache.  My life had been so plagued with migraines for years, that I almost forgot what it was like to live without them.  I used to have to lay in dark rooms and cover my eyes, I’d get physically ill vomiting, and I never felt like going out anywhere if I knew one might be coming on.  These days, I’m only in a dark room to sleep.  The quality of my entire life has gone WAY up, and I truly believe I owe it all to the Shaklee lifestyle. 

Now having a Shaklee business, I meet with lots of different people every day.  I actually LOVE what I do, because I can help people.  The best is when I know someone is having a problem that I used to have, which I fixed naturally, and can help them do the same.  Recently I have had a few different clients come back to tell me how much better they are feeling since switching to Shaklee products.  It’s great to have a business where you hear so many success stories from each and every client regarding your products!

I just ran into a co-worker in the bathroom yesterday, and I could see the migraine in her eyes.  I asked her, do you have a headache?  When she responded yes, I asked her if it was a migraine.  She said she didn’t think so, but that it was behind her eyes and she gets them cyclically.  I explained to her that most headaches are in fact migraines, and a couple quick steps of what she can do to get immediate relief.  Of course, I recommend my products over any one else’s, we can guarantee purity and effectiveness where NO ONE ELSE on the market can.   She thanked me for the suggestions and I’m waiting to see how it works for her.  Here was my advice (bolstered by Dr. Stephen Chaney, PhD, genetics researcher at UNC Chapel Hill, and his monthly newsletter; copied here)

1. Increase lean protein in your diet every day, especially when you think you are getting a migraine (cyclically, or can feel one coming on).  The easiest, quickest, and CHEAPEST way to do this is to add a HIGH QUALITY protein meal replacement or snack shake into your day.  I cannot stress this enough – if it is not a natural protein powder with adequate nutrients, I cannot guarantee it will work for you.  You want to make sure your body is able to metabolize the amount of protein that the shake says it has in it; which involves a carb to protein ratio.  Varieties labeled low sugar, low carb, or extra high protein will likely not work for you.  If it seems “too good to be true,” it probably is.  I’m happy to look at a label for you to help you determine if the protein you’re trying is going to help.  Even better, I can recommend several natural options for you.

2. Increase B vitamins.  Do you know that B vitamins fight stress?  Did you also know that just bulking up on your biotin, or B12, as several doctors suggest, will not help you absorb any extra B vitamins?  B vitamins need to be taken all together at once in order to be effective (check this out) and bioavailable in your body.  You need to make sure that you’re taking high quality B vitamins that are guaranteed to deliver the exact amounts that they are promising on the label.

3. Increase your EPA and DHA fish oil consumption (check this out), but be careful.  The top fish oil companies have been tested and all show instances of PCB’s (check this out), which means they are contaminated and bad for you.  PCB’s were outlawed over 30 years ago but many are still found in waterways and with certain types of fish.  PCB’s can cause cancer, reproductive problems, and damage to the nervous system.  So what are you supposed to do?  Well, if you’re the news (check this out), you might tell people to choose the fish oil supplement with the “least amount of PCB’s.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m not putting ANY PCB’s in my body!!  The only way you can be assured of purity is to use Shaklee OmegaGuard supplement.  It’s made with a proprietary multistep molecular distillation process that helps remove lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, dioxins, PCB’s and other contaminants.  And as a bonus, it delivers MORE EPA and DHA than many popular brands.  

4.  Keep a headache diary.  Write down everything that you’re eating each day, what supplements you’re taking, how much exercise you’re getting, and most importantly, how you feel.  When you go over this with your doctor, you will likely notice trigger foods and beverages, and other such links that may be helping to cause your headaches. 

I stress that you try this natural approach before trying any new prescription regimen.  The body does indeed have the power to heal itself; we just need to give it the tools to do so.  It worked for me, and I’m starting to see this therapy work for several other people.  Try it out, what do you have to lose?  More importantly, let me know how it goes! 

Take care!

What Do You Know About Inflammation?

Check out this latest report.  Shout out to hometown researchers, State University at Buffalo!

Inflammation – A Biological Response to Stress

In the past decade, inflammation has become one of the hottest topics in medical research because it is emerging as a possible cause of many of the chronic diseases that threaten the quality and the length of life. . If that’s true, then addressing inflammation could be a singular approach to targeting multiple health conditions and, perhaps, could simplify scientific and medical research strategies for fighting many of the most deadly chronic diseases.
We now know that there are many possible lifestyle and environmental triggers of inflammatory stress, including smoking; a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet; obesity; radiation; and even exposure to environmental toxins. Persistent, chronic, or uncontrolled low-grade inflammation has been linked to increased risk for the metabolic syndrome and heart disease, diabetes and insulin resistance, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, asthma, allergies, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Acute inflammation is a natural immune system response to injury or infection during which the body orchestrates a symphony of immune system signals, messages, and physiological actions to combat and neutralize foreign invaders that may be responsible for the injury. This inflammatory response can result in the characteristic redness, heat, swelling, and pain that you may see and feel at the site of a wound and is the beginning of the healing process as the body eventually brings nourishment to the site.
Most of the time, inflammation is an acute, on-demand function, a biological stress response that enables our body to fight off disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. But when inflammation doesn’t shut down on cue, or somehow persists with no particular purpose, it can attack normally healthy cells and cause damage at the cellular level. In autoimmune diseases, a continuously triggered inflammatory response causes damage to its own tissues—sometimes with disastrous health consequences.
Recent research has uncovered the benefits of smoking cessation and even moderate exercise as sound approaches to battling inflammatory stress. A September 2010 laboratory study found that a three-week moderate exercise regimen reduced several biomarkers of inflammatory stress, including C-reactive protein (CRP) in diabetic rats, (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2010.04240.x/abstract). The investigators concluded that moderate physical exercise had significant anti-inflammatory effects and that this may be a good strategy to protect against insulin resistance and vascular complications in diabetics.
Nutritional approaches to reducing inflammatory stress are also receiving more attention.  Several studies have supported the benefits of a “Mediterranean” or an “anti-inflammatory” type diet, and spices such as ginger and turmeric are also showing promise. In the 2010 review Dietary polyphenols can modulate the intestinal inflammatory response, plant sources of dietary polyphenols—including green tea extract, various flavonoids, ellagic acid (found in muscadine grapes and pomegranates), and resveratrol (found in red wine and Japanese knotweed)—were shown to successfully modulate intestinal inflammatory response. The investigators concluded that the use of natural preventive treatments in early life could reduce or delay inflammatory bowel diseases, and that polyphenols could play an important role in modulating intestinal inflammation (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00210.x/abstract).
In February 2011, a new study, A resveratrol and polyphenol preparation suppresses oxidative and inflammatory stress response to a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal, was published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) showed that a resveratrol and muscadine grape polyphenol blend was able to suppress the oxidative and inflammatory stress response typically experienced after consumption of a high-fat fast food meal (jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/jc.2010-1812v1).
This peer-reviewed and published human study is even more compelling because it is one of the earliest placebo-controlled clinical research studies on resveratrol compounds. In fact, a January 2011 review of resveratrol research published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found only six recently completed clinical trials on resveratrol supplementation, and only one other study employed a placebo-controlled design (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05853.x/abstract).
In the SUNY study, the researchers fed 10 healthy adults either the resveratrol-muscadine polyphenol blend or a placebo before the high-fat fast food meal, and markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress were measured for five hours following the meal. In the group consuming the polyphenol blend, there was a significant reduction in the oxidative stress response typically observed after consumption of a high-fat meal. At three hours, there was also a 150% increase in Nrf-2, an important regulator of the body’s antioxidant defense and detoxification systems.
The investigators also reported a significant blunting of the body’s inflammatory response to eating a high-fat fast food meal in the subjects who consumed the resveratrol-muscadine polyphenol blend. Induction of two well-known inflammatory biomarkers, plasma lipopolysaccharide and IL-1ß, were both significantly reduced after consuming the high-fat meal, but only in the supplement group.
So what are we to do to address the chronic low-grade inflammation that permeates our modern-day lifestyles? Fortunately, many of the same dietary and lifestyle behaviors we’ve recommended for decades to lower the risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancer can also help to reduce the risk for chronic inflammation:
Find an exercise you like and participate on a regular basis
Reduce stress and keep your blood pressure in check
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce inflammation, a biological stress response
Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
Eat a healthful diet rich in plant foods, whole grains, legumes, leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, lean cuts of meats and poultry, and low-fat dairy products
Choose unprocessed foods low in trans fats, saturated fat, salt, and sugar
Seek out anti-inflammatory foods such as fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as olive oil
Look for anti-inflammatory nutritional ingredients such as resveratrol, muscadine, and pomegranate polyphenols, as well as spices such as ginger and turmeric
For information about inflammation and your health, talk with your doctor or health care professional to discuss the steps you can take maximize your anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.
To your good health!
Shaklee Health Sciences

**this is directly copied from Shaklee Health Sciences mailer sent on 4/7/2011, all studies are cited above**