As we celebrate Women’s Health Week, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has adopted American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines that give women a choice to begin screening at age 40.
The guidelines also recommend starting yearly mammograms by age 45 and then every other year from age 55. The guidelines apply to women at average risk for breast cancer and complement VA’s already-extensive program for breast care for Veterans.
I believe it’s important for our women Veterans to know that they are in control of their care and the care they receive from VA is consistent with or exceeds care in the private sector. Adopting American Cancer Society standards gives Veterans further assurances that their care aligns with other health-care systems.
It’s worth drawing attention to a few other related facts:
Our Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh said it perhaps best last week: “Engaging and better servicing the unique healthcare needs of our women Veterans is one of VA’s most important priorities. When it comes to their care, we want women Veterans to be in control of it every day and in every way.”
For more information about VA’s commitment to women Veterans, please visit https://www.va.gov/womenvet/ or call 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636) for information about VA services and resources.
Read the original article here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/05/18/vas-commitment-women-veterans
Hormones — such as estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin — are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health. Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even even slightly imbalanced it can cause widespread, major health problems.
Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances usually include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people suffering from hormonal disorders, relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things:
The good news is there are ways to balance your hormones naturally. Below you’ll learn what type of hormonal imbalance your specific symptoms might be pointing to, what the root causes of your hormonal problem are, and how you can help treat the problem without experiencing the negative side effects associated with synthetic treatments.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include:
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances can range drastically depending on what type of disorder or illness they cause. For example, high estrogen can contribute to problems including endometriosis and reproductive issues, while symptoms of diabetes often include weight gain, changes in appetite, nerve damage, and problems with eyesight.
Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders, meaning they are caused by a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment. Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include:
1. Eat Healthy Fats (Including Coconut Oil and Avocados)
Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include: coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon. Coconut oil uses are plentiful− for example coconut oil (or cream/milk) has natural anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects. Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients such as potassum. Salmon nutrition is also impressive: it’s one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions.
2. Supplement with Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protection the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research shows that various adapotogens — such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil — can:
3. Balance Your Intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats
Since the early 20th century, the use of refined vegetable oils and intake of omega-6 fatty acids in our diets have skyrocketed. Because people didn’t also boost their intake of omega-3 foods during this time period, the result has been drastically elevated omega-6 levels. I’ve seen an onslaught of chronic diseases caused by inflammatoryprocesses literally take over our society, and a major reason why is because of very disproportionate fatty acids in the Western modern diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses. (7) Research from Pennsylvania State University suggests that jumping from a ratio of 1:1 omega-3/omega-6s (the ratio our hunter-gather ancestors mostly enjoyed) to the astronomical ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 (omega-3/omega-6s) is one of the primary dietary factors causing many diseases in America. (8)
Here’s a rule of thumb: Be sure to steer clear from oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products). I want to also mention, there is a type of omega-6 fat you want to try and get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.
4. Improve Gut Health & Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is a condition that not only affects your digestive tract, but also causes hormone issues. Gut problems have been found to trigger autoimmune reactions, including arthritis and thyroid disorders. (9) So what exactly is leaky gut syndrome?
When undigested food particles, like gluten for example, leak through your gut into your bloodstream, it causes disease-causing inflammation that impacts the entire body — especially glands like the thyroid which is very susceptible to heightened inflammation. Most people with leaky gut have an a deficiency of probiotics in their guts. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin.
Steer clear of the foods that can cause damage in your digestive system most, including: processed foods, gluten, hydrogenated oils and added sugar. The top foods and supplements that support healing leaky gut include: bone broth, kefir, fermented vegetables, and high-fiber foods like vegetables and sprouted seeds. In addition, supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics can aid in repairing your gut lining,which in turn can balance your hormones.
5. Eliminate Toxic Kitchen, Beauty and Body Care Products
Another way to eliminate toxins in your body is to avoid conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil. The Environmental Working Group evaluated over 72,000 products and ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” today for recommendations for which products to use and avoid.
Another thing to consider is your use of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and containers. It’s best to replace plastic and aluminum with glass and stainless steel because of the toxic effects of BPA. Another wise precaution is to switch from teflon pans to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron, which can make a big difference in the amount of chemicals making their way into the food you prepare.
6. Exercise (Especially Interval Training)
One of the best all-around activities you can do for your health is high intensity interval training (HIIT) − including one of my favorite types called burst training. If there is a silver bullet out there to help with a sluggish metabolism, weight gain and other issues, this just might be it! Exercise in general is great for balancing hormones because it reduces inflammation, can help you maintain a healthy weight, lowers stress, helps regulate your appetite, and aids in getting better sleep.
Whether we’re talking about endorphins from a “runner’s high”, testosterone, growth hormone or insulin, HIIT and burst training can help your body regulate production and use of these hormones. Exercise can also enhance your immune system, allow your cells to take up more glucose (which lowers insulin), protect you from depression, and keep you more alert without the need for caffeine.
According to the University of Notre Dame Medical School in Sydney, “HIT is associated with increased patient compliance and improved cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes and is suitable for implementation in both healthy and ‘at risk’ populations”. (10) For people with hormonal imbalances, the key with exercise is to be careful not to overdo it. Training for a shorter period of time (about 20 minutes three times a week) but with higher intensity works well for most people who can’t afford to add any extra stress to their system. Keep in mind that optimal exercise can differ a lot from person to person however, so it’s a good idea to seek advise from a processional if you’re ever unsure.
7. Reduce Stress & Get More Sleep
Unless you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors. A lack of sleep or disturbing your natural circadian rhythm can be one of the worst habits contributing to a hormone imbalance. How so? Because your hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: Cortisol, the primary “stress hormone”, is regulated at midnight. Therefore, people who go to bed late never truly get a break from their sympathetic flight/fight stress response.
A lack of sleep, long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are three of the biggest contributors to high cortisol levels. A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin”. (11)
Sleep helps keep stress hormones balanced, builds energy and allows the body to recover properly. Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain and depression. To maximize hormone function, ideally try to get to bed by 10 p.m and stick with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.
8. Watch Your Caffeine & Alcohol Intake
Caffeine in moderate amounts might be okay for some people, but drinking too much caffeine is almost as bad as not getting enough sleep. Caffeine, which can stay in your system for up to six hours, is a chemical that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and raises your heart rate, increases alertness, and changes the way your brain produces hormones. Although caffeine overdoses are rare, caffeine is capable of elevating cortisol levels if it interferes with your normal sleep cycle. It might also have an impact on other stress hormones, such as adrenaline production. You’re probably aware that caffeine is addictive by nature, increases nervousness and anxiety in many people, and is linked with insomnia.
If you need a little boost during the day, try not to drink more than one–two cups. Ideally you’ll turn to matcha green tea or tulsi tea which are much lower in caffeine. The good news is that once you’re health is back on track, small amounts of caffeine can usuallyu be toleraable, and even beneficial. Dartmouth Medical School reports that “caffeine has been shown to increase insulin levels, reduce insulin sensitivity, and increase cortisol levels. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that long-term consumption of beverages containing caffeine such as coffee and green tea is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus”. (12)
Another important step is to watch your alcohol intake, since high levels of alcohol (above about 2-3 drinks daily) can negatively impact liver functioning. Chronic alcohol consumption can contribute to estrogen dominance and has been found to interfere with pancreatic functioning, increase liver disease risk, lower testosterone and contribute to anxiety and malnutrition. The liver is very important for hormonal balance and has over 500 different functions in the body! Of course it’s extremely important to quit smoking too. Studies have found that smoking interferes with normal immunological and reproductive processes. Compared with nonsmokers, moderate to heavy smokers (≥ 10 cigarettes/day) have abnormal levels of steroid metabolites and reproductive hormones that can be up to 35 percent higher than usual. (13)
9. Supplement with Vitamin D3
According to an article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3’s role in promoting health is more profound than previously suspected. Researchers found that vitamin D has an impact in the following ways: (14)
It affects “the adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.”
Vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight. Most people should supplement with around 2,000 IU to 5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter, and on days when they’re not in the sun.
10. Back Off Birth Control Pills
In simplest terms, “the pill” is a type of hormone therapy that raises estrogen levels to such dangerous levels that it can cause many complications. I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using the pill immediately, especially considering that there are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy. My thoughts on taking the pill can be summed up this way: Just say no to birth control pills! Studies show that the risks of taking them, especially long-term, can include: (15)
In some cases, synthetic hormonal treatments (such as insulin or thyroid medication) will be necessary to treat a hormonal imbalance. However the majority of people can feel a lot better by making the lifestyle changes described above.
For people with diagnosed hormonal disorders− including type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Adrenal Insufficiency, Addison’s Disease, Graves’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome for example− it’s always important to speak with your doctor before discontinuing medication use. The natural treatments above can still help you overcome your illness and greatly reduce symptoms, but these recommendations shouldn’t take the place of medical supervision. Because hormone imbalances vary so widely in terms of severity of symptoms, always keep track of how you’re feeling, do your research and evaluate how you respond to different treatments.
Read Original Article: https://draxe.com/10-ways-balance-hormones-naturally/
A Night of Fashion is an event you do not want to miss! Dress fashionable!
You may have heard about the critical work we conduct at I Will Survive, Inc. If not, we are in approaching our 7th year of serving greater Atlanta area and putting on our annual charity event to raise $10,000 for our programs on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at the exquisite Callanwolde from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. We will include amazing local fashion designers, prevention education information, breast cancer resources, motivational speakers, fine art, incredible live music, a silent auction, delicious food, and drinks. Sponsors include the Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority, Peach State Health Plan, I Care Atlanta, Unified Tech, Inc., Nationwide Soluntions, Inc. and more. Gift bag sponsors include Nekola Essentials, Livi Rae Lingerie, and more!
Silent Auction items include Macallan Rare Cask, Jack Daniels Sinatra Select, South African Safari, Tessa Marie Photography Sessions, Vixen Vodka Gift Basket, Shopping Spree’s, Luxury Dining Experiences, and more.
Actress Tangi Miller is your fabulous Host for the evening! Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, Dr. Diana Woodruff, and Brenda Cobb are special Guest Speakers for the event. They will share their incredible stories and impact in our community on health. Recording Artist, Angelina Sherie is the featured artist for the event. Renee Knorr, international model and fashion guru, will host the fashion show portion of the event. You are in for an real treat!
The organization was founded in 2010 by military combat veteran, Anisa Palmer, who lost her mother to breast cancer. We provide economic support, prevention education, and health & wellness services to our community members affected by breast cancer.
Alarming facts: “One woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the U.S. and every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.” Your contribution helps us in our life saving programs as we continue to “support the fighters” who are diagnosed with breast cancer and spread prevention tips and education to the communities. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
Please reach the Executive Director, Anisa Palmer, for additional information if needed at Anisa.Palmer@IWillSurviveInc.org and be sure to visit us on the web and like our facebook page, connect with us on instagram, and follow us on twitter.#aNightofFashoin #IWillSurviveInc @IWillSurviveInc
We look forward to seeing you there and thank you for “supporting the fighters” of breast cancer.
Get tickets today! https://iwscharity2017.eventbrite.com
Benjamin Franklin’s old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is never more appropriate than when it comes to breast cancer prevention. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, at least 33 percent of breast cancer is preventable. Many natural health practitioners suspect that percentage is actually much higher. By simply adopting healthy lifestyle practices, it is estimated that you can bring that breast cancer prevention figure closer to 50 percent.
It is crucial to learn the things that can put women at higher risk for breast cancer. Not only do you want to avoid these risk factors, but also teach your daughters (and sisters and friends) about them. As a breast cancer coach, I always discuss these important breast cancer prevention tips with my clients.
A healthy diet that provides good nutrition is the foundation of having good health. It is critical to teach our children how to eat wholesome nutritious foods and avoid packaged, processed foods. The goal is to avoid or minimize sugar, and to get back to the basics of wonderfully prepared natural and organic whole foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and high quality free-range animal foods. Our bodies were designed to operate optimally on a whole foods diet (not a processed foods diet) and certainly not on chicken nuggets, soft drinks, and French fries.
The need for everyone to eat organic produce is at an all-time high due to our fruits and vegetables being so highly sprayed with cancer-causing pesticides. Many foods are genetically modified and it is becoming increasingly clear that GMOs are not safe for us to consume. In addition, soil depletion is occurring, which yields crops that are lower in nutrients than what was being produced just a few decades ago.
Organically grown animal foods are also a much better choice because conventionally raised animals are being pumped full of hormones and antibiotics that are increasing the incidence of breast cancer. These factory farmed animals also eat a diet that is unnaturally high in foods (corn and soy) that promote inflammation (high in omega-6 fats) when we consume them. Choosing organic produce and animal foods (preferably pasture-raised because these animals are, for the most part, eating what nature intended them to eat and will be much lower in omega-6 fats) not only decreases your cancer risk, it is also much better for the planet.
Toxic chemicals are now present in just about everything we use in our homes and on our bodies, from dish washing liquid to eye shadow. These chemicals (and there are about 70,000 of them) are known hormone disrupters.
In addition to being toxic and carcinogenic, these substances can increase the estrogen load in the body over time and are difficult to detoxify through the liver. Called “xenoestrogens” (foreign estrogens), they mimic our body’s own estrogen and can alter hormone activity. Growing evidence implicates xenoestrogens in a wide range of human health problems, including breast cancer.
The easy solution is to use non-toxic or organic personal care products and cosmetics. It is important to know that the word “natural” on the label means almost nothing because the product can still contain toxic chemicals. It is best to look for organic certification on the label and to know what ingredients to watch out for. What goes on your skin gets in your bloodstream so it’s important to be proactive about this and to minimize toxic chemicals. What’s in your bloodstream can easily circulate throughout your body and into cells that create your hormones and organs.
Personally, I scrutinize every single thing I put on my body and I suggest you do as well. From nail polish (don’t use it) to hair spray to mascara. A good source of information to determine the relative safety (or dangers) of ingredients in personal care products and cosmetics is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
The American Cancer Society estimates that half of all cancer deaths could be avoided by practicing healthy lifestyle habits such as simple exercise. Recent research tells us that obesity, especially in the middle-adult years, increases the risk of breast cancer.
It is important to teach your daughter an active lifestyle and it is best to lead by example. Take her hiking, skating, for long walks in parks, have her participate in sports, ballet, dancing. Whatever gets her moving and enjoying physical activity! Also, tell her why it is so important.
Studies have determined that heavy use of cell phones increases the chance for brain tumors. Children are more vulnerable to electromagnetic frequencies because they have thinner skull bones and smaller heads. Their brain tissue also has a higher conductivity and this puts them at a higher risk.
Although there does not at present appear to be any studies which link breast cancer risk with cell phone use, I have seen too many women use their bras to hold their cell phones. As a cancer coach, I know of several women who tucked their cell phones into their bras and later developed breast cancer in that breast.
A doctor at an alternative cancer clinic being interviewed stated that three women under his care at that time for breast cancer had very often placed their cell phones either under the bra strap or in their bra and developed a tumor in that exact location! We may not know for sure that cell phones cause breast cancer, but it is relatively simple to put your cell phone elsewhere, away from your body.
It has long been known that prolonged periods of unmanaged stress can lead to diseases such as cancer. Nearly every one of my coaching clients tells me that they were under an extraordinary load of stress in the lead-up to their breast cancer diagnosis. Doctors tend to refute this, but science is starting to catch up and understand how cortisol, the main hormone that is released during periods of stress, can lead to disease such as breast cancer.
One of the best things you can teach your daughter is meditation. Children who learn how to meditate and relax deal more effectively with stress. They also learn how to live in the moment more often, how to distance themselves from stress and anxiety, and how to settle their minds, thus reducing cortisol levels and so much more. Again, this is about you leading by example because if your daughter still lives at home with you, she may be less likely to do this if she doesn’t see you doing it. If you don’t know how, perhaps you can learn and meditate together.
You’ve heard this before and it’s so important that it bears repeating. Both smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol puts you at a higher risk for breast cancer, other cancers, and heart disease. Smoking has been linked with increased cancer risk, especially if someone smokes regularly before their first child. If you or your daughter smokes and has trouble quitting, switch to American Spirit additive-free cigarettes. Even better and cheaper is to roll your own with non-toxic paper using organic tobacco. Even getting away from commercial cigarette brands is a huge step in the right direction.
Studies on alcohol have shown that compared with non-drinkers, people that have one alcoholic drink per day have a small increase in risk. However those who have two to five drinks daily increase their breast cancer risk by one-and-a-half times over those who do not drink alcohol.
Most doctors, after writing a prescription for birth control pills, likely don’t tell their patients, “you are increasing your risk of cancer”. Oral contraceptives increase a woman’s risk of certain cancers. In particular, cancers of the breast, cervix, and liver, says the National Cancer Institute’s own website. A recent study done with African American women revealed that oral contraceptive use increased the risk of estrogen-receptor positive, estrogen-receptor negative, and triple negative breast cancers. The risk declined after a woman stopped using oral contraceptives, but was still a causative factor for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer for up to 15-19 years after stopping, and even longer for estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer.
Simply understanding the factors that puts women at a higher risk for breast cancer is not enough. It’s critical for you to live by example and if you don’t know, then learn the breast cancer signs for yourself and teach them to your daughter. Encourage your daughter to be proactive with her health and not expect her doctor to take care of her because they either can’t or won’t.
Each one of us has our own responsibility to be properly informed about breast cancer prevention and websites such as The Truth About Cancer will give you trustworthy and accurate information you can follow. It’s now up to you to take the necessary steps… both for your sake and for the women you love.
To read article on the Truth About Cancer Website, please click here.
Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) provides information and education about cancer-related legal issues to the public through its national telephone assistance line. The CLRC also conducts national education and outreach programs for community groups, employers and healthcare professionals and is actively involved in community activities to raise public awareness of cancer-related legal and public policy issues.
A cancer diagnosis may carry with it a variety of legal issues, including insurance appeals, employment rights and leave time, access to health care and government benefits, and estate planning. These legal issues can cause people unnecessary worry, confusion, and stress, and can be overwhelming. When these legal issues are not addressed, people may find that although they have gotten through treatment, they have lost their homes, jobs, or insurance coverage.
While we recognize that it should not take legal resources to access health care, understand insurance options, or preserve one’s job, it frequently does. When information is readily and easily accessible, we believe the quality of outcomes for patient survivorship improves and stress and anxiety decreases.
The CLRC is also committed to providing information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychosocial care providers, physicians assistants, patient navigators, patient advocates, and community health advocates. Ultimately, our goal is to train health care professionals to identify cancer-related legal issues and legal barriers to health care and provide health care professionals with resources to assist their patients navigate through cancer-related legal issues and provide appropriate referrals, which we believe will improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and caregivers. For resources specifically for health care professionals, please click here.
To contact the CLRC, please call (866) THE-CLRC.
If you would like CLRC to participate in your next event or you would like us to send you materials, please click here.
I like to have hot topic discussions to bring not only awareness of certain topics to people who may not get a chance to have the opportunity, to have that discussion, but to also increase my knowledge. I do not know everything. I learn from some of the youngest children I come in counter with when mentoring and I am honored.
What I really have a problem with is when people share misguided information or when they knowingly share misleading information. These people lose credibility fast for me, but for others, others that refuse to do their own research, tend to stay in the misguided path. A cloudy path or a path that never seems to be lighted with truth nor enlightened with logic.
Let us always seek knowledge. Let us always share knowledge and let us never forget, with knowledge comes power. Let us be reminded from the footsteps of great leaders and inspirational leaders around the world. Let us grow to continue to be coaches, mentors, leaders, inspirational people and more. Who is with me? This is a call to action. A call for change. A pledge to do better. To be better. Everyday. I am counting on you. Please count on me to do the same.
I Will Survive, Inc.