Astaxanthin, pronounced “ASTA-ZAN-THIN” is possibly the most potent antioxidant on earth. Considered 6000 times more powerful than Vitamin C, this red colored phytonutrient which comes mainly from micro-algae along with certain orange and red colored fruits and vegetables is seriously good for your health!
The reason that krill, flamingos, shrimp, lobster, and salmon are pink is because they eat large amounts of astaxanthin-packed algae and phytoplankton. Known as a carotenoid, this powerhouse superfood is shown to reduce inflammation within the body, increase the skin’s protection from the sun when used both internally or topically, and may even lighten sun spots caused by aging.
Like most antioxidants, astaxanthin fights harmful free radicals within the body to assist in healthy cell production. It also has been studied for its ability to minimize muscle damage and improve recovery after exercise along with increasing physical energy in athletes. It has been shown to support eye and heart health, and may increase cognitive function as well.
One of the best sources of astanxanthin is from the tiny crustaceans known as krill. The shrimp-like sea life that are found deep in the Antarctic ocean are best because these waters contain less toxic waste making it relatively pure. Krill also tends to live deep below the water’s surface in areas where toxicity and pollution is decreased even more.
Taking 4-12 mg of astaxanthin per day is highly recommended by numerous alternative doctors and health experts for its long-term support of overall health and longevity.
We can get overwhelmed by the numerous options of vitamins, minerals, and superfoods on the market but I for one, make astaxanthin a part of my daily supplement regimen.
*Astaxanthin is not recommended for children or women who are pregnant.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author or LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Let’s face it, exercise sucks. Well, maybe for a small percentage of fitness buffs, you love the feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits, building strong muscles, and working up a sweat.
But for most others, myself included, working out can be compared to a dental checkup. Not the type of check up that requires drilling, filling, or a root canal, but more of a bi-yearly cleaning and scraping. Mundane, routine, a little painful, and just something that NEEDS to get done!
People are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t enjoy exercising. They look at me and figure that it must be my number one passion. The truth is that it is something I endure because I know that it is assisting me in living a longer, healthier life. And quite frankly, it helps me to look better!
This is where most people would say “change it up, find something that excites you.” While I agree that keeping our routine fresh is vital, some people just don’t like to sweat, push, pull, and move. In actuality, I think that I am one of those people. I am MUCH happier sitting quietly with my morning coffee, writing in my journal and reflecting on life.
With all of this being said, I am here to share this with you so that you can feel better about your own blocks. Most of us would rather take that magic pill to keep us lean, healthy, and energized but the truth is, there is no such pill and the only way to achieve positive results is through exercise. This is where the tough love comes in. If you want to increase your odds of living a longer life, if you want to have younger looking skin and hair and you desire to look your absolute best, you MUST get up and move.
Other than exercise being boring, why do most people avoid it? Why do gym membership sales go up in January only to get unused for the rest of the year? I believe that it all comes down to self love. When we love ourselves enough, we are able to get through all of the excuses about why we don’t exercise. When we put ourselves and our health first, we take pride in who we are and in how we come across to the world. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I’d much rather travel the world and eat cake at this point in my life but to repeat, exercising your body is NOT an option.
If you’ve been avoiding it, making excuses, or doing it on or off, I challenge you to dig deep and find the reasons why this is. Really look inward and see what blocks come up when you think about skipping your neighborhood walk, spinning class, or training session. Find your own motivation, something that keeps you in the game regardless of the resistance that comes up.
If you’re dealing with depression get some help. Even mild depression can cause you to remain stuck. If you have a physical disability, for the most part there are still ways that you can move your body. I know it isn’t a bed of roses but we all have that inner motivation under the cloud of complacency.
I won’t share the benefits of a fitness routine, by now most of you know those. Instead, I suggest that you begin paying close attention to your inner saboteur that keeps you stuck and tells you all the reasons not to bother. Maybe it’s telling you that you’re too old, too fat, too tired, or that a bad heart runs in your family. Whatever it is, pay attention and begin to challenge this voice. I know that each one of you can overcome and get through all obstacles. I have seen it time and time again where people have changed their life through exercise after a lifetime of being sedentary. I am not telling you that it will always be easy, fun, or that you’ll see instant results. But I will suggest that in time, you WILL be doing yourself a favor by finally committing to a regular workout routine. Hire a trainer, Engage a friend, join a gym, research new classes. Now is the time!
Love yourself, put yourself first, and know that like life, it won’t always be a walk in the park. But we keep going, we keep moving forward, and we commit to always doing our best because that is the smartest option. Go for it! I promise to be there with you every monotonous step at a time.
People often say to me “wow you must work so hard to stay fit and keep your life balanced!” My answer is always the same; “actually I don’t really work hard but I AM consistent.”
There is a VERY big difference between working hard and being consistent.
When we work hard at anything, there will always come a time soon afterwards when we crash. Either we have reached our established goal, or we have finished the intended project and now it’s time to relax. After all, working hard for extended periods of time is exhausting! Nobody can keep up strenuous efforts forever.
When we work consistently however, it means that we put in regular, steady efforts over a long period of time. When it comes to our health, wellness, emotions, and overall lifestyle, consistency wins over hard work every time!
This is a great example of why diets don’t work. People go in with a specific goal; i.e. to lose 15 pounds. Once the weight is lost, the dieter eventually goes back to their old ways and the weight comes back quickly. This is because following a strict eating regimen is hard work and counting our calories or writing in a food journal is unnatural.
When my clients want to put on muscle mass, I let them know that it’s better to choose moderate workouts for the long term rather than big bursts of heavy weights for a couple of months. For one thing, the body appreciates a nice, consistent effort where it gets accustomed to regularity. Having short-term goals of putting on muscle is fine, but unless you can make exercise habitual, usually you will reach your goal and begin slacking afterwards.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to re-think our health and wellness strategy. With the New Year approaching, why not choose a different path? Why not make consistency your number one priority? Try taking the word “work” out of your vocabulary altogether because it has negative connotations and denotes stress. Make 2016 about the commitment to small, yet consistent steps towards a total life makeover.
Instead of making gigantic and unreachable New Year’s resolutions, why not take baby steps? When it comes to your body, mind and spirit, here are some simple actions to follow for the upcoming year. I call it The Lucky 11.
- Exercise – Get your body to a gym at least 3 days per week. Even if you are comatose and have no energy, commit. If all you do is some simple stretching, you will feel a sense of pride that at least you arrived. Just like brushing your teeth, you have made it a part of your day and for that, bravo. Getting yourself there is more than most people ever do. To take it further, make this year the one where you find a workout partner or hire a trainer so that you have somebody to be accountable to.
- Drink more water – Buy yourself a 24 oz. stainless steel or non-BPA plastic water bottle and make it a plan to fill it with filtered water three times per day. DO NOT go to bed until you have consumed 3 bottles of fresh water. Do your best to drink it earlier in the day to avoid late night trips to the bathroom. By drinking more water, you’ll look and feel better from the inside out.
- Take a Multivitamin – Go to your health food store and ask for a quality, potent antioxidant multivitamin with minerals. Commit and get into the habit of taking it daily NO MATTER WHAT. They will change your life! You may not always feel a major difference but the long-term benefits are countless. Choose a vitamin that is derived from whole foods and without fillers or additives. My favorite is Dr. Mercola multivitamin with minerals.
- Take quiet time each day – Carve out at least 20 minutes per day where you take quiet time to reflect, journal, meditate, and pray. Putting yourself first inspires others to do the same and you will see dramatic changes in the way your day unfolds. Focus on your breathing and spend time reflecting on the life you dream of. Experience it in your mind and emotions as if it has already manifested and get ready for a miraculous year!
- Conquer bad habits – Make this year the one where you finally lessen or even eliminate bad habits. We all have them. Addictions, depression, anger, and the list goes on. Do something about it. Join a self-help group. Go to therapy, hypnosis or an energy healer. Hire a coach or fitness trainer and trust that with the right intentions, you can and will get over anything that holds you back. Don’t let the past fool you into thinking that change is impossible.
- Sleep – Sleep is the most important aspect of your life. Without it, we age faster and are less healthy, efficient, and productive. Look into changing your environment to create a peaceful sanctuary. Clear your bedroom of electronic devices and disturbances. Read about hormones, in particular melatonin, and good sleep habits. Let go of the guilt around taking a brief afternoon siesta. Feeling rested not only adds years to your life but also life to your years.
- Forgive – Make the upcoming year ALL about letting go and forgiving. If you hold any resentment or animosity towards another, let it go. Work on doing a forgiveness meditation. Investigate EFT (emotional freedom technique) or try writing a letter to the person you need to forgive and then burn it as a symbol of letting go. Holding onto unresolved, toxic emotions will only cause dis-ease within our body. Release it.
- Laugh – Most of us take our life WAY too seriously. I for one have forgotten how to play. As adults, we have so many responsibilities and commitments that having fun takes less priority than paying our bills. Make plans each month to do something playful with a friend. Discover new activities or dust off an old one. Laughter literally raises our energetic vibration and transforms our body, mind, and spirit.
- Change it up – While consistency is vital, it can be easy to fall into a boring, habitual routine. Make 2016 ALL about changing it up when things become monotonous. Stick with consistent actions but do something different within those tasks. Redecorate your favorite room, paint your wall bright orange, try a new workout routine, get a cool haircut or buy yourself some hip, fashionable clothes. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone a bit and do something out of the ordinary. Shaking things up energizes us and helps to spark new life within us.
- Raw superfood powder – Most of us do our best to eat well but getting enough vitamins and nutrient-rich foods can be challenging. The best choice that you can make is to take one scoop of raw, superfood powder every single day. This is your insurance policy. It ensures that you are receiving live energy which will ignite your cells and super-charge your entire body. My favorite is called Perfect Food Raw by Garden of Life.
- Put yourself first – Focus on loving yourself. Nothing is more vital than that we put ourselves first and work on nurturing, accepting, and forgiving ourselves. Many of us have done a pretty good job of beating ourselves up. Turn it around. Being your own best support system isn’t selfish; it’s just the opposite. By taking care of yourself and putting your needs first, you set a great example to those around you. When you begin doing this, you’ll see amazing shifts in ALL areas of your life!
The beginning of each New Year is always exciting. It is filled with infinite possibilities. Make 2016 your best year ever! Commit to making consistent efforts to shift and balance your body, mind, and spirit. Decide to put yourself first and eliminate the word “work” from your vocabulary. Not only will you look and feel better but you will also experience a sense of self-empowerment that nobody can take away!
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Feeling stuck, stagnant, or just plain down for periods in our life is completely normal and isn’t necessarily clinical depression. This is especially the case if you are an artist or creative person of some type. With life in general comes an ebb and flow of creative energy and vibrancy. The less formal structure we have in our work lives, the easier it gets to feel off course at times. Without a busy schedule to numb us, we can become acutely aware of our unhappiness.
The first thing that we need to do is STOP making ourselves wrong. It is completely acceptable to feel stuck, sometimes for extended periods. The key is what we do and how we cope with these down times.
I have dealt with depression in my own life and like most others, have gone through challenging times. Sometimes these phases have shown up too often and have stayed far too long. I have learned over the years to acknowledge that I feel flat but at the same time, to keep moving forward. Even taking small steps towards some type of goal has kept me from crashing too low most of the times. When we do things that make us feel as if we are accomplishing something, we are filled with a sense of pride. We all need a feeling that we are advancing in life even if it is in small ways.
Assuming these blocks are not caused by a chemical imbalance but rather just rough periods in our life, there are steps that we can take to get us through. Knowing that we WILL in fact feel stunted at times, here are some steps that you can take this week to keep you from becoming totally paralyzed:
Change it up
There is a good chance that if you are feeling stagnant, it’s time to shake things up. Making changes in some part of your life will throw you off of your regular routine and provide new momentum and energy. Often times, it could be as simple as choosing a different food for breakfast or starting to go to a gym. If what you are doing doesn’t uplift you anymore, it’s time to change it up.
There are bigger changes that we can make but often those are the most difficult. The idea of leaving a relationship that doesn’t serve us or moving to a new city for example, takes a little bit more strength, planning, and energy. Often when we begin with the small things, we are naturally led to the larger shifts that need to take place. There is a reason why we don’t make huge changes all at once. Our bodies, minds, and spirit simply can’t handle it. We need the time to adjust.
I owned a beautiful home in Toronto for 7 years. For the last 2 of those years, thoughts would come to my mind about selling. I had intuitive nudges saying that it would free me up to make larger changes in my life. Of course I had no idea what those changes would be at that time. Eventually with the help of a good friend who happened to be a real estate agent, I did sell. After selling my house, I also had a contents sale which freed me up from a lot of my stuff.
After living with a friend for a few months, I decided to visit my ex in New York City. That trip forever changed my life! By total synchronicity, I met a casting director of a well-known Soap Opera who said that if I ever came back to NYC they would put me on their TV show. I had dabbled in acting for many years and my dream was always to be on a Soap Opera!
I headed back to Toronto and ALL I could think about was getting onto that show! I asked for guidance and did much reflection during the following week. Almost instantly, I was led to a lawyer who suggested that I get a work visa as an actor and model. I prepared my case and almost effortlessly, I was approved for my visa. Soon after, I made the move to New York City. And yes, I DID get a small role on that TV show! When we are on the path to enlightenment and growth, the Universe conspires to help us.
After living in the big apple for almost 3 years, my friend in Los Angeles told me that she kept having intuitive messages during her yoga practice to invite me for a visit. Not one to turn down an intuitive sign, I booked my trip. Long story short, I fell in love with LA, found the perfect apartment during that visit and within a couple of weeks I made the move to LA. That move was perfect for me. Los Angeles was more fitting for my healing and wellness business, and offered me a more relaxing lifestyle than the one in New York City. By trusting my instincts, the Universe led me to a place where I would feel safe and at home.
To think, it all started with selling my home and lightening my load. I tell you this story to remind you of something. We don’t need to know the long-term plan. We don’t have to have it all figured out. Our job is to simply follow the immediate steps being shown to us via intuition, dreams, friends, strangers, and nudges. If we move towards those things that feel exciting and uplifting, then it is a sure sign we are going in the right direction.
This week, start small but change it up!
Take a baby step
When we feel stuck, often ANY step is better than NO step at all. As we begin to move forward while taking baby steps, the Universe will show up to guide us. We WILL be shown what steps to take next. Many times our initial movement will not make sense and we may even question why we are bothering. But because we all need to feel as if we are moving forward, any step is a good one.
Sometimes that step is simply taking time to sit quietly and meditate, clean the bathroom, or do our laundry. When we are in the midst of depression, we can often be overtaken by feelings of unworthiness. There is no better way to validate ourselves than by doing something instead of nothing at all. Anything that makes us feel as if we have accomplished something is a wonderful start and helps us to release the judgment that we are lazy or unmotivated.
Just like a newborn who has finally taken their first steps, we too are guaranteed to get walking. Trust the process and know that baby steps are all we need.
Sometimes the best steps to take are those that impact somebody else’s life. This week if you are feeling down or lost, do something kind for another person. Maybe volunteer or help a friend. When we give of ourselves, it takes us out of our own head and reminds us that we are here to make a difference in the lives of others. The reward of helping others is that we feel better too.
Process then move on
The moment we are sent into a downward spiral, there is always a deeper meaning. When we look for that meaning and use it as a tool to grow, we will be led towards a brighter future. It is vital that we take the time to honor and process these shifts. The key here is NOT to get stuck in reflecting, analyzing, and processing. In other words, don’t wallow. Give yourself a short time whether it is 3 days or one week to move through the issue and then get back on track. Otherwise we may find ourselves moving further and further downward. I have certainly experienced this in my life.
Processing our emotions can be done in various ways for each of us. By now, you’ll be taking time to journal every morning which gets things out of your head and onto paper thus leaving you feeling lighter. Find your own way to move through. Often a skilled therapist, coach, or healer will assist you in getting unstuck. Also learn to open up to trusting friends because often they will have no idea what you are going through unless you share. Experiment and find what is right for you.
Remember, things are always shifting and what once worked for you may not be the thing for you now. The Universe is ALWAYS guiding and protecting you and it knows best as to what will bring you the most joy and peace.
Don’t fall into being a victim. It is so easy to feel sorry for ourselves when things aren’t going our way. Of course, often there is validity to feeling that life has given us a bad hand of cards, especially if we’ve experienced a serious loss or death of a loved one. The difference between those that move forward in life and those that don’t is that they don’t allow themselves to feel victimized for extended periods. The empowering approach is to realize that everything in our life happens for our spiritual growth and the sooner we accept all things, the sooner we will feel free. Recognizing that we are feeling victimized is the best way to move out of it. When you are feeling weak or disillusioned, try to look for deeper meaning in your experiences. Sometimes this will take a while but the clarity will come.
The single biggest reason we feel stressed or stuck is because we are living in the future or in the past. I am ALL for setting goals and envisioning the life that we want but when those goals become more important than where we currently are, we begin another downward spiral.
When you are motivated and when you have big dreams, you also have huge expectations of where you want to be. Often, when you don’t meet these expectations on your timeline, you feel down and pressured. The key is to get present.
There are numerous ways to become more present. Meditation is the greatest example and breath work is another powerful tool to bring us into present moment awareness. In the present there is only love, peace, and stillness regardless of what is going on in the world around us.
This week take the time to become conscious of your surroundings. Sit quietly, take deep, slow breaths, and begin to feel your present moment more intensely. Look around and learn to appreciate even the smallest of things that you once took for granted. Let go of the pressures and deadlines and learn to just be. With presence comes embracing everything that is in your life including your sadness or depression. Learn to be okay with feeling stuck and down knowing that this is just a part of life and that it will pass.
As a wellness coach, I know for certain that there is nothing better to get us out of our low cycle than movement. ANY type of physical activity will send endorphins flowing through our bodies which in turn make us feel better. But of course, when we are down, the last thing we want to do is exercise. It can be a difficult cycle. The worse we feel about ourselves, the less we want to do anything about it.
Nobody can help you to get motivated, only you can do that. It comes down to making a choice. At some point, you need to decide that enough is enough. You literally need to find it within to push, motivate and get your butt out the door. The benefit is that you will feel better in the long run. And ironically, once you get yourself going, you will feel better, and better, and better! You just have to get it started.
I have always used looking great as my motivation. Even when I am feeling down, I have allowed myself a maximum of one week off the gym. Then, my main driving force to look good has always worked as motivation. By now, you will have committed to some type of workout routine and getting your body moving in any way will help. Find your own motivation and set goals. If you have kids, exercising increases the odds that you will be there for them as they get older. If you’re newly married, it means a longer life with the person you love, or if you’ve finally created the business of your dreams, don’t you want to be around to see it thrive and prosper?
Trust the process
EVERYTHING happens for a reason! When you feel down, stuck, or just plain lethargic, it is vital to be gentle with yourself and to trust the process. Whether feeling stuck is caused by your diet, thought process, or a chemical imbalance, it is happening so that you can learn, grow, and move on. The key here is to have faith that you are exactly where you need to be and then get to the important job of figuring out why you are not feeling your best.
When we learn to have unconditional trust and faith, life gets so much easier, even during the most difficult of times.
I first learned about testosterone replacement when I visited an anti-aging doctor in Beverly Hills two years ago. Blood tests revealed that my “T” levels were on the low side of normal for my age. I hadn’t even thought about hormones before visiting his office and suddenly I was introduced to a whole new world of possibilities. For years, I felt lethargic, experienced moderate depression and was less vital than years earlier. The changes were something I figured I’d have to deal with. After all, I remember having depression as a kid so maybe it was a chemical thing.
If you’re like most people in North America over the age of 30, you are probably experiencing some signs of age-related hormonal imbalances. For men, the changes are usually gradual while for women, they can be more sudden and dramatic.
Many of my clients have just accepted that their aches, pains, foggy memory, and low libido are an inevitable part of aging. What they don’t realize is that many of these challenges can be due to lack of exercise, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and environmental toxins. The other missing piece of the puzzle for many is imbalanced hormones. Something can be done about it and bio-identical hormone replacement (BIHR) may be the answer for you.
Once I began testosterone replacement, I immediately felt better! It was as if somebody had given my wilted body some water. Suddenly I perked up. My workouts improved, I felt more rested in the mornings and the depression seemed to reside. I was already quite lean but whatever body fat I had around my tummy also dissipated and my muscles looked and felt stronger and leaner. Numerous people were telling me how great I looked.
If you are confused about the use of hormone replacement, you are certainly not alone! There are numerous conflicting views out there and it is so difficult to know which ones to believe. Some studies tout hormone replacement as the key to feeling and looking great for as long as possible while others suggest that adding hormones can lead to cancer and other diseases. Who do we believe?
Studies dating back to 1940 revealed that testosterone replacement had a direct connection to increased prostate cancer. Unfortunately, those beliefs have held strong in the medical community, even today. In his book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, he reveals how those early studies were inaccurate and discusses hundreds of newer, more up to date research that in fact, show there is NO connection between healthy testosterone levels and cancer. In fact, it is low “T” that is the perpetrator. Testosterone replacement in moderate doses, evaluated by your doctor also has no effect on heart disease, liver damage or high blood pressure.
In her book Ageless, Suzanne Somers speaks in great depth about her positive experience as a cancer survivor using BIHR and interviews numerous leading anti-aging doctors about the benefits of all hormones including estrogen, testosterone, HGH, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, melatonin and thyroid.
Hormones are like the spark plugs for your body and in order to experience vitality, it is imperative to fine tune and balance the KEY hormones. Here are the hormones which most anti-aging doctors test you for and a little bit about their role in your body. The goal of most anti-aging specialists is to bring our hormones back to the levels they were in our mid 20’s-early 30’s, a time when most of us felt our absolute best. The vital hormones to look at are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, thyroid, cortisol, and melatonin
Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man male. It works to create muscle, body hair, lower body fat and all other male characteristics. Testosterone is at its peak during our 20’s and begins to decrease in most men at the age of 30. Testosterone is released from the testes and is also responsible for sperm production.
Normal levels of testosterone in men range from approximately 348ng/DL to 1197ng/DL. A blood or saliva test will reveal what your levels are. I was surprised to find out that my levels were sitting at 440ng/DL. This is definitely considered the lower side of normal. Since doing bio-identical hormone replacement I have managed to get my levels between 800-1000ng/DL
A great reference on testosterone for men is the book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler.
Estrogen is the hormone that makes a woman female. It creates feminine characteristics. Like testosterone, bio-identical estrogen replacement has also brought up some controversy.
Suzanne Somers has written numerous books on the topic and has become an advocate for both male and female bio-identical hormone replacement. In her book called “Ageless; the naked truth about bio-identical hormones” she has researched this topic at great length along with numerous leading doctors in the field of anti-aging and wellness. Suzanne believes whole heartedly in estrogen replacement for those who struggle with imbalances. Having been a cancer survivor, she talks openly about why she feels estrogen replacement decreases cancer and other disease.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
HGH or Human Growth Hormone is getting a lot of press these days. It is a natural hormone in our bodies that we often overlook. As children, these hormones help our bodies and our internal organs to grow and become strong. As we age, the amount of HGH in our body decreases dramatically. At age 25, the average HGH level in our body is around 600ug and by age 60, the amount can gradually goes down to 15% or 90ug. When HGH decreases, our bodies begin to age more rapidly.
Numerous anti-aging experts are recommending that people with low levels of Human Growth Hormone begin HGH replacement as a tool to reverse the aging process.
Like testosterone, HGH can aid the body in building lean muscle, burning fat and increasing overall energy. It also works on reversing aging on a cellular level.
Human Growth Hormone should only be considered if there is a deficiency. It should never be used as a body building or fitness tool. Find out your levels and get a skilled professional to weigh your pros and cons. Keep in mind that HGH is expensive; anywhere from $500 to $800 US per month.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my HGH levels were quite good for somebody my age. I attribute this to the interval cardio training that I do called Sprint 8 and a healthy diet and lifestyle. I would certainly consider HGH replacement should my levels decrease in the future. It’s just one more tool that we can use to turn back the clock and live our life to the fullest!
Progesterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands and works to normalize blood sugar levels and facilitate proper thyroid function especially during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can also assist in countering depression and anxiety, cognitive function, regulating thyroid, and increasing libido. A healthy pregnancy and embryo depends on this vital hormone as well. It is important for men to have adequate amounts of progesterone too. Bio-identical, oral supplementation and cream is available and is relatively safe as long as you are monitored by a doctor regularly.
Pregnenolone is naturally produced in the adrenal glands, liver, skin, brain, testicles, ovaries, and retina of the eyes. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, increase energy, reduce the effects of stress, improve mood, and immunity. It is most commonly available as a supplement or cream.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and it produces the hormone thyroid. Our pituitary gland can also affect the production or thyroid. Our thyroid levels can be affected or even halted by stress, illness, anxiety, and even dieting.
Hypothyroidism or low thyroid can cause hair loss, weight gain, constipation, cold hands and feet, and foggy thinking. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite which means that the thyroid is overactive possibly leading to hyperactivity, muscle weakness, sudden weight loss or gain, increased appetite, and sensitivity to heat.
Finding the right treatment can be tricky which is why it’s important to find a knowledgeable doctor who will offer suggestions on how best to treat you for under or over-active thyroid.
Insulin is secreted by our pancreas and it works to regulate our blood sugar and assists our body in burning carbohydrates rather than storing them as fat. Some people have become insulin resistant which means that the body no longer accepts sugar and fat for energy but rather stores them which can produce even more insulin. Long term high insulin levels can lead to weight gain especially in the mid-section. Increased insulin can also lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, plaque in the arteries, and cancer.
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle along with exercise is very important in balancing your insulin. Ask your doctor how balancing all of your hormones will positively affect your insulin levels too.
Cortisol is known as the stress or the fight or flight hormone. Our adrenal glands send adrenalin into our system which can cause an energizing effect. But because of our modern day stresses, our cortisol is pumping way too much and far too often. Over time, too much cortisol can wreak havoc on our system causing insulin resistance, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Reducing stress levels through meditation and lifestyle changes will help a lot in conjunction with balancing all of your other hormones.
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It is secreted from the pineal gland that is located in the brain. It is also a very powerful antioxidant which assists the body in squelching free radicals in our system. Like other hormones, as we age, our body slows the production of Melatonin. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if we want to live longer, look younger, and feel better. Quality sleep is restorative to our entire system and with high levels of Melatonin our body has a better ability to fight off infection and remain strong.
Have you experienced sleeping through the night and still waking up tired? I know that I have. This could be a sign that your Melatonin levels are low.
Often supplementing with Melatonin helps people to get a better night’s sleep. It is gentle and effective and even at high doses it has not been shown to be toxic.
In the United States, you can purchase Melatonin supplements at a health food store. If you are having sleep issues, consider supplementing for a few weeks and see if your sleep improves. Sometimes even a tiny dose will make all the difference.
Melatonin is also great for those who travel often and deal with jet-lag due to time zone changes.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is secreted by our adrenal glands and is considered by many doctors to be an anti-aging hormone. It has positive effects on almost every part of our body including the brain, muscles, immune system, organs, and tissues. DHEA also helps the body’s production of collagen which promotes younger skin.
DHEA levels start to decline in most people after the age of thirty which is why it is vital to get tested regularly. Healthy levels for women range from 150 to 350ug/dL and 250 to 450ug/dL for men.
DHEA is available as a supplement and like Melatonin is relatively safe at moderate doses. Always consult your physician to find out what dose is best for you.
I recently found out that my levels were at 101ug/dL which is considered to be low. I just began to supplement with 50 mg of DHEA per day and will re-test in one month to check on my levels.
The key is to ensure that you find a qualified doctor who specializes in hormones. Initially, it may take a few appointments to get your levels balanced but once they are, only yearly blood work is advised as maintenance. The results will be well worth it!