hormones

  1. Lack of sleep can increase heart risk

    Poor sleep raises inflammation in women

    Ladies, if you're battling heart disease, make sure you're not battling your pillow at the same time -- because lack of sleep can speed the progression of the disease, worsen the condition, and even put your life on the line.

    The key here is inflammation; The higher your inflammation, the higher your heart risk (and other risks), especially if you already have heart disease. And if you already have the disease yourself, lack of sleep habits can send your inflammation levels soaring, according to a new study of more than 700 older men and women with heart disease.

    The study didn't find the same effect on men, and the reason may be due to hormonal differences.

    Older women see their estrogen levels plunge after menopause. Men, on the other hand, see a much more gradual decline in testosterone -- and while those testosterone levels aren't what they used to be, it could be just enough to help provide some protection here.

    But whether you're a man or woman, young or old, facing disease or just hoping to avoid it, don't let lack of sleep habits linger -- because insomnia and other sleep disorders are a major risk factor for everything from cancer to dementia.

    The answer here isn't a sleep drug. These meds do nothing about the actual cause of poor sleep -- and most don't increase the amount of quality sleep each night.

    They also come with plenty of risks of their own -- including a risk of death, even with occasional use.

    (Did you know than many over-the-counter drugs that are used for sleep, like Tylenol PM and Benadryl, could boost your risk for cognitive decline or dementia in as little as two months? If you've ever popped one of these pills you NEED to read this.)

    Instead, work with your doctor to find and correct the true cause of your sleep problems.

    In older patients, it's often those very same hormonal imbalances I just mentioned -- and those can be corrected with natural hormone supplementation. In other cases, however, lack of sleep can be caused by any combination of other conditions, including nutrition, lifestyle, stress, caffeine, and more.

    A holistic doctor can run some tests that should uncover the answer and help you solve your sleep problems for good.

  2. Why migraine meds don't work

    Migraine meds fail most of the time

    If you want to see an exercise in futility, take a look at how mainstream migraine meds treat patients.

    Actually, a more accurate way to put it would be to take a look at how mainstream migraine meds fail migraine patients -- because new research confirms that for most patients, treatment comes up empty.

    Only between 200 and 400 of every 1,000 migraine patients sees a benefit from migraine meds -- and by "benefit," I don't even mean a cure. Just a reduction in the number of headaches by half or more.

    But while the drugs may not bring real relief, they do bring something else: side effects so bad that many people stop taking the migraine meds even when they do help, according to the study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

    I can't say I blame them. The side effects of those drugs can be worse than a migraine, and include sleep disorders, weight gain, sexual problems, hair loss, and more.

    If you want real relief from migraines, there are two steps you need to take.

    First, turn to natural remedies that can help reduce both the frequency and severity without the side effects. Butterbur, for example, has been shown to cut the number of headaches in half.

    That's not a solution, but it's a good start.

    The second step is to find your migraine triggers.

    That may sound simple, and for some lucky people it is simple. If your headaches are caused by something obvious -- like booze -- then all you need to do is steer clear of that cause.

    But for many people, the trigger isn't nearly as obvious or as easy to avoid. Headaches could be caused by food additives that aren't always listed properly on the label -- like MSG, which is hidden behind a dozen or so other names.

    Migraines can also be unrelated to diet. They can be triggered by everything from high levels of stress to low levels of certain hormones. A holistic doctor can test you for all the possible causes and work with you on a natural solution -- a solution that will bring real and lasting relief without the risks.

  3. Testosterone levels in men can ease MS

    Testosterone can ease disability and cognitive problems in men with multiple sclerosis.
  4. Tap water can turn deadly

    U.S. drinking water is often loaded with contaminants – and in Louisiana, two people are dead because of a brain-eating amoeba in their water.
  5. Autism linked to toxins in the water

    New research shows that common drug residues found in drinking water may cause autism in at-risk kids.
  6. Early menopause, early death

    So naturally, menopause isn't exactly welcome news at any age. But when women reach "the change" early, they face even more problems -- and not just the emotional toll of a premature aging milestone.
  7. Foods that will ruin your mood

    When I get a patient facing depression, one of the first things I do -- before I run a single test -- is ask what they've been eating. And most of the time, the answer to that question tells me everything I need to know -- because people who eat garbage usually end up with a mood down in the dumps.
  8. Behind the new autism numbers

    In the two decades since I opened my practice, I've seen a dramatic rise in the number of families with autistic children. I'm not the only one.
  9. FDA refuses to take action on BPA

    If the FDA can't see why it's a bad idea to feed everyone -- even babies -- chemical versions of hormones, then they should get out of regulation business altogether.
  10. When cholesterol gets too low

    So you've followed your mainstream doctor's advice and brought your LDL cholesterol levels crashing down to meet the latest guidelines, probably with the help of drugs such as statins. And now, instead of good health, you're sicker than ever.
  11. Canned soups cause dramatic BPA surge

    Soup is good food? Not if it comes from a can! I'm sure you already know all about the preservatives, artificial flavors, and just plain low-quality ingredients that fill each can of soup. But believe it or not, that's not even the worst of it.
  12. Sex can help women age better

    Sex doesn't just get better with age -- age gets better with sex, especially for women.
  13. The dark truth behind milk

    It might seem like there's nothing more natural than a kid with a glass of milk -- but what's in that glass could be anything but natural.
  14. Some common sense in the hunt for Alzheimer's cure

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    A recent study out of California found that a naturally occurring brain protein could slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
  15. Some common sense in the hunt for Alzheimer's cure

    A recent study out of California found that a naturally occurring brain protein could slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
  16. Worried about dementia? Relax!

    A study found that people who have less stress have a lower risk of dementia. It also found a lower risk in people who are more socially active.

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