postassium rich Swiss chardAccording to Time Healthland:

A recent report shows that consuming just 4.7 grams of “good salt” (potassium) is the equivalent of cutting out 4 grams of “bad salt” (sodium) in terms of reducing blood pressure.

But there are only so many bananas (.5g each) you can eat. Just in time for lunch, here’s a list of 5 foods that can help boost your potassium intake.”

 

The article goes on to list the following sources for potassium:

  1. Swiss chard (1 cup = 1g of potassium)
  2. Winter squash (1 cup = 1g)
  3. Avocado (1/2 Florida variety = .8g)
  4. Dried apricots (1/2 cup = .9)
  5. Baked potato (1 large = .9g)

The new study found increasing intake of potassium could improve blood pressure levels at the population level.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Potassium, an essential mineral “salt” sometimes referred to as the “good salt,” is making headlines for its role in your blood pressure health. I do not agree with TIME’s five food choices for potassium listed above (I’ll explain why later), but I do suggest you make sure you’re getting plenty of this beneficial mineral in your diet.

It’s long been known that people with higher intakes of potassium tend to have lower blood pressure levels, but a new study revealed just how great the benefit may be.

Researchers determined that increasing average potassium intake to the recommended 4.7 grams a day would reduce systolic blood pressure by between 1.7 and 3.2 mm Hg on a population-wide scale. This decrease, they suggest, is similar to the reduction that would occur if Westerners lowered their salt intake by 4 grams a day.

You can read my take on salt and blood pressure in this past article (namely, I believe sugar is a far greater contributor to high blood pressure than salt), but it’s clear that processed foods are far too high in refined sodium. The researchers suggested a novel solution — using mineral salts in processed foods, which would replace some of the sodium with healthful potassium.

The Potassium Blood-Pressure Connection

A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly. As an electrolyte, potassium is a positive charged ion that must maintain a certain concentration (about 30 times higher inside than outside your cells) in order to carry out its functions, which includes interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and heart function.

There is so much research showing a link between low levels of potassium and high blood pressure that researchers now believe increasing your levels should receive just as much attention as a low-salt diet in blood pressure management.

Signs You May be Deficient

Potassium is widely available in fruits and vegetables, but if you eat a highly processed diet, there’s a chance you’re not getting enough. Further, it’s generally recommended that you take in five times more potassium than sodium, but because most Americans’ diets are so rich in high-sodium processed foods, most people get two times more sodium than potassium.

So if you have high blood pressure, it could be a sign that you’re lacking in this vital mineral. Likewise, if you’ve had excessive fluid loss, such as vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, it can also take a toll on your potassium levels, as can some medications, including certain diuretics, laxatives, chemotherapy drugs, and steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Prednisone.

Signs of severe potassium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, abdominal pain and cramps, and in severe cases abnormal heart rhythms and muscular paralysis.

The Best Food Sources of Potassium

Many people immediately think of bananas when it comes to potassium, but you don’t need to eat bananas to make sure you’re getting enough (and because bananas are so high in sugar, I recommend you do not eat many of them at all).

Bananas do contain potassium, but so does the vast majority of other fruits and veggies. Potassium is the predominant nutrient among most all fruits and vegetables, and there are some excellent, very healthful choices out there.

An avocado, for instance, has more than twice as much potassium as a banana and is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fat. The avocado was one of the five foods to make TIME’s list above, and it, along with Swiss chard, are two great options.

However, I do NOT recommend eating dried apricots or baked potatoes for their potassium. Both of these foods are high in sugar (white potatoes are a vegetable, but they digest more like a grain) and will raise insulin levels beyond what is ideal for most people — especially if you are struggling with high blood pressure.

Winter squash is a better choice, but still should be consumed only in moderation by some people due to its high carb content.

Ideally, you should find out your nutritional type and then choose a variety of potassium-rich vegetables to fill out your diet. However, generally speaking you can round out your potassium intake by eating a wide variety of veggies, including:

  • Swiss chard (960 mg of potassium per 1 cup)
  • Avocado (874 mg per cup)
  • Spinach (838 mg per cup)
  • Crimini mushrooms (635 mg in 5 ounces)
  • Broccoli (505 mg per cup)
  • Brussels sprouts (494 mg per cup)
  • Celery (344 mg per cup)
  • Romaine lettuce (324 mg per 2 cups)

If you are struggling with high blood pressure, optimizing your potassium intake is highly recommended. The current recommended level for adults is 4,700 mg a day. You can also find more tips for lowering your blood pressure naturally by using the search feature on this site and reading the five strategies in this past article

Related Articles:

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  Avoiding This “Forbidden Food” Could Make You Moody

  Five Smart Strategies to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 Comments (39)

prescriptionA new survey found that nearly one in six patients believed their physician had made a wrong diagnosis or a treatment error. Roughly one in seven had changed doctors as a result.

In some cases, the doctor had not actually done anything wrong. But other cases suggested true errors — one woman said her doctor had wanted to remove her breast due to a swollen lymph node, but it turned out to be the result of a bacterial infection.

Reuters reports:

“Indeed, U.S. data published in 1991 suggested as many as 98,000 deaths per year might be due to medical errors. In the new survey, based on almost 1,700 patients at seven clinics, eight percent said they had experienced ‘a lot’ or ‘severe’ harm from the perceived mistake in care.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I posted this article not to point out that individual doctors are making errors–this is only a small part of a much bigger problem. Rather, this is a reminder that the entire modern health care system is responsible for promoting unnecessary tests, dangerous drugs, and questionable medical procedures.

The end result can be horrifyingly problematic. So there really aren’t any surprises here.

The only surprise is that so many people are still holding on to the idea that the conventional paradigm can help them get well and stay healthy. It shows that if nothing else, human beings are not short on faith, despite proof of insurmountable odds. And that is actually encouraging!

This diligent faith just needs to be redirected toward safer and more effective strategies… Facilitating this change is, and will continue to be, a substantial part of my vision.

One in Six Patients Believe Their Doctor Made a Mistake in Their Treatment

According to this latest survey, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, nearly 16 percent of patients queried in North Carolina believed that their physician had made a mistake.

Just over 13 percent reported they’d received an incorrect diagnosis, and 12.5 percent said they’d received the wrong treatment.

As a result, one in seven patients had opted to change physicians.

Granted, trust between doctor and patient is important, but to what extent you can improve your odds of not being misdiagnosed or mis-treated, simply by trading doctors, is debatable.

The frequency of medical mistakes is just so high and many of the conventional tests, drugs and treatments so dangerous in and of themselves, that simply finding a doctor you trust may not be enough to protect you from undue harm.

The entire paradigm of conventional medicine is flawed. It’s not really the fault of particular individuals. Finding a doctor that isn’t trapped within this paradigm requires effort on your part.

Medical Errors and Prescription Drugs are the Leading Cause of Death in US!

Ten years ago, Professor Bruce Pomerance of the University of Toronto concluded that properly prescribed and correctly taken pharmaceutical drugs were the fourth leading cause of death in the US.

More recently, Johns Hopkins Medical School refined this research and discovered that medical errors and prescription drugs together may actually be the LEADING cause of death.

Think about this… the primary form of “health care” and treatment actually kills more people than any disease plaguing our society… Sobering, isn’t it?

Back in 2004, a national survey sent to head and neck surgeons revealed that 45 percent of specialists had committed medical errors in their practice in the preceding six months, affecting both pediatric and adult patients. Of those errors, 37 percent had caused “major injury or harm,” and 4 percent were fatal.

More recently, a study investigating the prevalence of preventable medical mistakes found that between 2006 and 2008, there were nearly 1 million incidents among Medicare patients alone, and 1 in 10 were deadly.

In dollars and cents, these medical mistakes cost the health care system $8.9 billion.

Is Your Health Safe in the Hands of the U.S. Medical Care System?

The obvious answer is, no.

The U.S. health system is in a downward spiral with no indications of slowing down or reversing. I’ve been warning people about this tragic state of affairs for more than two decades.

Every measurable index indicates that despite the ever-increasing amounts of money invested, your chances of achieving optimal health through this system is only getting worse.

The U.S. now ranks LAST out of 19 countries for unnecessary deaths — deaths that could have been avoided through timely and effective medical care.

For example, more than 2 million Americans are now affected by hospital-acquired infections every year, and 100,000 people die as a result.

In essence, what we have here is a trend of health care costs rising, mistakes increasing, and pharmaceutical drug-induced side effects and deaths skyrocketing.

Need to Go to a Hospital? Do Your Homework .

In the event that you must go to a hospital, you should know that all are not created equal. Granted, if you’re in a serious accident you may not have much of a choice, but you certainly have options if you’re going in for planned surgery.

You can find patient-safety ratings at hospitals across the United States from the HealthGrades Web site. Their 2010 HealthGrades report found major discrepancies between the hospitals at the top of the list and those at the bottom.

The hospitals ranked among the top five percent experienced an impressive 43 percent fewer medical errors, compared to the hospitals that performed poorly.

It’s also worth noting that deaths attributed to medication errors rise by as much as 25 percent above normal in the first few days of every month, because there often isn’t enough staff to handle the beginning-of-the-month spike in prescriptions.

Being admitted on a Friday has also been linked to longer hospital stays, so if you can time your stay to avoid these periods, you may be better off.

You CAN Avoid Becoming a Statistic!

This article will hopefully serve as yet another major wake-up call to take control of your own health.

Making sure your doctor listens to you and provides comforting and accurate care is a good start, but it’s not going to be the complete answer you’re looking for, unless you find a holistically-minded physician who can teach you how to achieve and maintain good health rather than throwing one band-aid after the other your way.

Please know that you CAN take control of your health. In fact, it’s not only your right, but your responsibility. 

My site is chockfull of free comprehensive recommendations and can serve as an excellent starting point. The tools I provide on this site will help you to reduce your reliance on the broken health care system.

The guidelines that follow are more basic strategies to live by; strategies that will boost your health and well-being naturally to keep you OUT of the hospital and enjoying life!

  1. Address your emotional traumas and manage your stress
  2. Optimize your vitamin D levels
  3. Drink plenty of clean water
  4. Limit your exposure to toxins
  5. Consume healthy fats
  6. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)
  7. Eat plenty of raw food
  8. Optimize your insulin and leptin levels
  9. Exercise – I also encourage you to incorporate Peak 8 exercises to really maximize your health benefits
  10. Get plenty of good sleep

Related Articles:

 Comments (36)

a ball and stick model of Crestor, synthetic statinStatins are the world’s most-prescribed class of medications. About 24 million Americans take drugs such as Pravachol, Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor.

But in recent months, the drugs’ medical reputation has come under tough scrutiny. 

Today, a majority of people who use statins are doing so for primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. It is this use of statins that has come under recent attack.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

“[M]edical researchers found that, contrary to widely held belief, statins do not drive down death rates among those who take them to prevent a first heart attack.

A second article cast significant doubt on the influential findings of [the 2006 JUPITER] study … that has driven the expansion of statins’ use by healthy people …

A third article suggested potential ethical, clinical and financial conflicts of interest at work in the execution of the JUPITER study”.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The JUPITER study referred to above was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008. It boasted that statin drugs could lower the risk of heart attack by 54 percent, the risk of stroke by 48 percent, the risk of needing angioplasty or bypass surgery by 46 percent, and the risk of death from all causes by 20 percent.

However, the funding for this study came from none other than Astra-Zeneca, the maker of Crestor, so these results were perhaps to be expected.

Now, the JUPITER study is finally starting to receive the scrutiny it should have been given from the very beginning, considering how instrumental it was in driving up statin drug sales.

Surprise, Surprise: Millions of Statin Users Receive No Benefit

Originally, statin drugs were prescribed for secondary prevention, meaning the prevention of a second heart attack or stroke if you’d already suffered one and had clear signs of heart disease.

But the JUPITER study dramatically expanded the market by claiming statins could be of significant benefit as primary prevention, i.e. “preventive medicine” – to help people with certain risk factors of heart disease – although otherwise healthy — from having a heart attack or stroke in the first place.

But once again, we find that industry-funded claims of health benefits for highly profit-producing drugs need to be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

No less than three articles were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in the month of June, refuting the claims laid down by the industry-funded JUPITER study.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Tens of billions of dollars of revenue for the sponsor over the patent life of the drug were at stake in the JUPITER trial, as well as potentially millions of dollars in royalties for the principal investigator,” wrote Dr. Lee Green of the University of Michigan Medical School in an editorial accompanying the trio of studies.

“Doubtless, both sponsor and investigative team believe they made their design decisions for the right reasons,” Green added. “But social psychology research provides abundant evidence that we human beings both respond strongly to self-interest incentives and firmly believe that we do not.”

Indeed, it appears as though the JUPITER study may have fallen prey to such “self-interest incentives,” allowing the researchers to find what needed to be found in order to justify their paychecks.

One of these three new studies titled Cholesterol lowering, cardiovascular diseases, and the rosuvastatin-JUPITER controversy: a critical reappraisal, carefully reviewed the methods and the results of the JUPITER trial, concluding that:

“The trial was flawed.

It was discontinued. after fewer than 2 years of follow-up, with no differences between the 2 groups on the most objective criteria.

Clinical data showed a major discrepancy between significant reduction of nonfatal stroke and myocardial infarction but no effect on mortality from stroke and myocardial infarction.

Cardiovascular mortality was surprisingly low compared with total mortality-between 5% and 18%-whereas the expected rate would have been close to 40%. Finally, there was a very low case-fatality rate of myocardial infarction, far from the expected number of close to 50%.

The possibility that bias entered the trial is particularly concerning because of the strong commercial interest in the study.

. The results of the trial do not support the use of statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and raise troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors.”

In addition, the meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials, found no evidence to back up the JUPITER trial claim that statins can reduce your risk of death when used as primary prevention against heart disease.

Please remember that statin drugs are clearly NOT “preventive medicine,” and are not the way to prevent heart attack or stroke, should you have risk factors for heart disease.

Idiotic Ideas Reach an All Time High

Meanwhile, British “experts” have come up with one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard of.

They suggest that fast food outlets should hand out cholesterol-lowering statin drugs with their food to counteract the ill effects of the meal.

You may think I’m kidding, but I’m really not making this up. I wish I was.

The article, published in the August 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, states:

“.statin therapy can neutralize the cardiovascular risk caused by harmful diet choices. In other spheres of human activity, individuals choosing risky pursuits (motorcycling, smoking, driving) are advised or compelled to use measures to minimize the risk (safety equipment, filters, seatbelts).

Likewise, some individuals eat unhealthily. Routine accessibility of statins in establishments providing unhealthy food might be a rational modern means to offset the cardiovascular risk.

Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments.

Although no substitute for systematic lifestyle improvements, including healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation, complimentary statin packets would add, at little cost, 1 positive choice to a panoply of negative ones.”

The analogy that you can reduce harm from a fast food diet with a statin drug, in the same way that you can prevent mortality from car accidents by wearing seat belts, is beyond ludicrous.

If seatbelts — like statins — caused muscle problems, increased cancer risk, anemia, acidosis, sexual dysfunction, immune depression, pancreas and liver dysfunction, and cataracts, then perhaps this could be a viable analogy.

As it stands, seatbelts do not come with a panoply of detrimental side effects. Unlike statins, they are nothing more than a harmless strap that keeps you from flying out the window should you have an accident. Statins, on the other hand, will drive your health into the ground, and that low-cost “complimentary” statin packet would undoubtedly rocket health care costs into the stratosphere.

No, there is no such thing as a “free” statin with your lunch.

Chewable Lipitor is also being proposed, to accommodate the latest target market – your children. This despite the fact there are over 900 studies showing the harmful effects of these drugs.

Suggestions like these look like April Fool’s jokes, but I’m afraid they’re not… These are medical recommendations based on pure greed, without any regard for human health.

Believe me, if we start doling out statins in middle schools, burying your child before yourself or your spouse will become the rule rather than the exception.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

There’s really NO reason to take statins and suffer the consequences from these ill-conceived drugs. If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can get you there:

  • First, normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar (particularly fructose) and grains. A fasting insulin level is easy to draw and is very inexpensive. It should be below 3.
  • Second, you can take a high-quality krill oil or fish oil that is chock full of beneficial animal based omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eat the right foods for your nutritional type, and eat a good portion of your food raw.
  • Additionally, if you are a man, or a woman who is in menopause, you should check your iron levels, as elevated levels of iron can cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk.
  • Regular exercise is another important tool that can help. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.
  • Energy Psychology methods such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also be helpful for cholesterol. Read this press release for the possibilities: “Doctors Use New Acupressure Technique to Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels: Medications Unnecessary”
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.

Related Articles:

 Comments (22)

a ball and stick model of Crestor, synthetic statinStatins are the world’s most-prescribed class of medications. About 24 million Americans take drugs such as Pravachol, Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor.

But in recent months, the drugs’ medical reputation has come under tough scrutiny. 

Today, a majority of people who use statins are doing so for primary prevention of heart attacks and strokes. It is this use of statins that has come under recent attack.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

“[M]edical researchers found that, contrary to widely held belief, statins do not drive down death rates among those who take them to prevent a first heart attack.

A second article cast significant doubt on the influential findings of [the 2006 JUPITER] study … that has driven the expansion of statins’ use by healthy people …

A third article suggested potential ethical, clinical and financial conflicts of interest at work in the execution of the JUPITER study”.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The JUPITER study referred to above was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008. It boasted that statin drugs could lower the risk of heart attack by 54 percent, the risk of stroke by 48 percent, the risk of needing angioplasty or bypass surgery by 46 percent, and the risk of death from all causes by 20 percent.

However, the funding for this study came from none other than Astra-Zeneca, the maker of Crestor, so these results were perhaps to be expected.

Now, the JUPITER study is finally starting to receive the scrutiny it should have been given from the very beginning, considering how instrumental it was in driving up statin drug sales.

Surprise, Surprise: Millions of Statin Users Receive No Benefit

Originally, statin drugs were prescribed for secondary prevention, meaning the prevention of a second heart attack or stroke if you’d already suffered one and had clear signs of heart disease.

But the JUPITER study dramatically expanded the market by claiming statins could be of significant benefit as primary prevention, i.e. “preventive medicine” – to help people with certain risk factors of heart disease – although otherwise healthy — from having a heart attack or stroke in the first place.

But once again, we find that industry-funded claims of health benefits for highly profit-producing drugs need to be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

No less than three articles were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in the month of June, refuting the claims laid down by the industry-funded JUPITER study.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Tens of billions of dollars of revenue for the sponsor over the patent life of the drug were at stake in the JUPITER trial, as well as potentially millions of dollars in royalties for the principal investigator,” wrote Dr. Lee Green of the University of Michigan Medical School in an editorial accompanying the trio of studies.

“Doubtless, both sponsor and investigative team believe they made their design decisions for the right reasons,” Green added. “But social psychology research provides abundant evidence that we human beings both respond strongly to self-interest incentives and firmly believe that we do not.”

Indeed, it appears as though the JUPITER study may have fallen prey to such “self-interest incentives,” allowing the researchers to find what needed to be found in order to justify their paychecks.

One of these three new studies titled Cholesterol lowering, cardiovascular diseases, and the rosuvastatin-JUPITER controversy: a critical reappraisal, carefully reviewed the methods and the results of the JUPITER trial, concluding that:

“The trial was flawed.

It was discontinued. after fewer than 2 years of follow-up, with no differences between the 2 groups on the most objective criteria.

Clinical data showed a major discrepancy between significant reduction of nonfatal stroke and myocardial infarction but no effect on mortality from stroke and myocardial infarction.

Cardiovascular mortality was surprisingly low compared with total mortality-between 5% and 18%-whereas the expected rate would have been close to 40%. Finally, there was a very low case-fatality rate of myocardial infarction, far from the expected number of close to 50%.

The possibility that bias entered the trial is particularly concerning because of the strong commercial interest in the study.

. The results of the trial do not support the use of statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and raise troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors.”

In addition, the meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials, found no evidence to back up the JUPITER trial claim that statins can reduce your risk of death when used as primary prevention against heart disease.

Please remember that statin drugs are clearly NOT “preventive medicine,” and are not the way to prevent heart attack or stroke, should you have risk factors for heart disease.

Idiotic Ideas Reach an All Time High

Meanwhile, British “experts” have come up with one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard of.

They suggest that fast food outlets should hand out cholesterol-lowering statin drugs with their food to counteract the ill effects of the meal.

You may think I’m kidding, but I’m really not making this up. I wish I was.

The article, published in the August 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, states:

“.statin therapy can neutralize the cardiovascular risk caused by harmful diet choices. In other spheres of human activity, individuals choosing risky pursuits (motorcycling, smoking, driving) are advised or compelled to use measures to minimize the risk (safety equipment, filters, seatbelts).

Likewise, some individuals eat unhealthily. Routine accessibility of statins in establishments providing unhealthy food might be a rational modern means to offset the cardiovascular risk.

Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments.

Although no substitute for systematic lifestyle improvements, including healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation, complimentary statin packets would add, at little cost, 1 positive choice to a panoply of negative ones.”

The analogy that you can reduce harm from a fast food diet with a statin drug, in the same way that you can prevent mortality from car accidents by wearing seat belts, is beyond ludicrous.

If seatbelts — like statins — caused muscle problems, increased cancer risk, anemia, acidosis, sexual dysfunction, immune depression, pancreas and liver dysfunction, and cataracts, then perhaps this could be a viable analogy.

As it stands, seatbelts do not come with a panoply of detrimental side effects. Unlike statins, they are nothing more than a harmless strap that keeps you from flying out the window should you have an accident. Statins, on the other hand, will drive your health into the ground, and that low-cost “complimentary” statin packet would undoubtedly rocket health care costs into the stratosphere.

No, there is no such thing as a “free” statin with your lunch.

Chewable Lipitor is also being proposed, to accommodate the latest target market – your children. This despite the fact there are over 900 studies showing the harmful effects of these drugs.

Suggestions like these look like April Fool’s jokes, but I’m afraid they’re not… These are medical recommendations based on pure greed, without any regard for human health.

Believe me, if we start doling out statins in middle schools, burying your child before yourself or your spouse will become the rule rather than the exception.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

There’s really NO reason to take statins and suffer the consequences from these ill-conceived drugs. If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can get you there:

  • First, normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar (particularly fructose) and grains. A fasting insulin level is easy to draw and is very inexpensive. It should be below 3.
  • Second, you can take a high-quality krill oil or fish oil that is chock full of beneficial animal based omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eat the right foods for your nutritional type, and eat a good portion of your food raw.
  • Additionally, if you are a man, or a woman who is in menopause, you should check your iron levels, as elevated levels of iron can cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk.
  • Regular exercise is another important tool that can help. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.
  • Energy Psychology methods such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also be helpful for cholesterol. Read this press release for the possibilities: “Doctors Use New Acupressure Technique to Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels: Medications Unnecessary”
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.

Related Articles:

 Comments (15)

mature woman on a weighing scaleOverweight women who experience the uncomfortable flushing and sweating symptoms known as hot flashes may be able to avoid the problem by losing weight.

In a new study, researchers re-analyzed data from a study that included about 150 overweight and obese menopausal women who were experiencing urinary incontinence as well as troublesome hot flashes.

Roughly two-thirds of the women were assigned to an intensive program designed to help them lose up to 9 percent of their body weight.

According to CNN:

“Six months later, the women who participated in the weight-loss program were more than twice as likely as the women in the control group to have experienced an improvement in their hot flash symptoms.

And it wasn’t enough to just get more exercise or cut calories — only weight loss itself was linked to fewer hot flash symptoms.

For each 11 pounds that a woman lost, she was roughly one-third more likely … to experience a decline in the severity or frequency of hot flashes.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Hot flashes are extremely common during menopause, impacting up to 75 percent of women. While not inherently dangerous to your health, they can be extremely uncomfortable and often interfere with your quality of life, especially if they occur frequently.

As their name implies, hot flashes involve intense feelings of heat that spread across your upper body and face. Flushing and red blotches may also occur, along with rapid heartbeat and perspiration.

Because hot flashes are so uncomfortable, they can interfere with sleep when they occur during the night, and over time may lead to chronic insomnia and related anxiety and even depression in some women.

Unfortunately, many women desperate for some relief are prescribed drugs, either synthetic hormones or even antidepressants, and gladly take them, thinking they’re the only options.

In reality, there are natural ways to lessen the severity of hot flashes and get relief without damaging your health with drug side effects.

Losing Weight Helps Hot Flashes

For every 11 pounds an overweight woman lost, she was one-third more likely to have improvements in her hot flashes compared to women who did not lose weight. Obviously, since losing weight takes time, this is one strategy that should be used proactively before you reach menopause.

By reaching a healthy goal weight prior to having hot flashes, you may be able to significantly reduce the likelihood of getting them, or the severity of those you do.

Plus, by leading a healthy lifestyle, one with regular exercise and a balanced diet, you’ll be able to naturally balance your hormone levels, which will help offer relief from just about every menopausal symptom.

A Hormone-Healthy Lifestyle

While it’s not known for sure why some women experience hot flashes and others don’t, it’s likely related to the fluctuating hormone levels that occur during menopause.

Both estrogen and progesterone are necessary in the female cycle, and their balance is key for optimal health. Many women have an imbalance of these hormones during their lifetimes, regardless of their age. And if you have insufficient levels of progesterone to counter excessive estrogen, this imbalance can be further exacerbated by chronic stress.

So in some cases, addressing your stress levels will help normalize your hormone levels naturally.

Likewise, eating right for your nutritional type and exercising regularly can go a long way to keeping your hormones balanced as you age.

Refined carbohydrates, processed and heated fats, empty foods — and too much of it — all serve to raise your estrogen to abnormal levels, as much as twice the normal, which are maintained for the better part of the adult lives of most American women. This is a MAJOR contributing cause of menopausal symptoms in the first place.

Additionally, natural phytoestrogens (plant-estrogens) found in plants like licorice, fermented soybeans, alfalfa, and many others, eaten before menopause will do much to moderate your day-to-day estrogen level so that when menopause arrives, there will not be such big drop.

Meanwhile, implementing a regular exercise regimen will optimize your insulin levels and balance your estrogen levels. Estrogen levels are much lower in women who eat little and perform strenuous physical work, as in locales with a non-industrialized lifestyle.

The opposite is true for American women who typically eat too much and get little exercise: abnormally high estrogen levels are the direct result of this kind of sedentary lifestyle.

I also advise optimizing your vitamin D levels and getting plenty high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Both of these strategies are essential for optimal health at every life stage.

Are Natural Hormones an Option?

The lifestyle changes noted above will help control symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, without doing anything else.

But if you’re still experiencing challenging symptoms, you can also use bioidentical hormones, which are natural hormones that are bioidentical to your own. Please note that I do not recommend using synthetic hormone replacement therapy for a variety of reasons you can read about here.

The bioidentical hormone that is prescribed 80 percent of the time is estriol. It’s natural, not a drug, and you get it at compounding pharmacies.

Estriol has been used safely for decades, and I believe it’s particularly useful when your ovaries have been removed or you’ve had a hysterectomy. Dr. Johathan Wright, who I’ve interviewed many times, is a pioneer in bioidenticals, and you can see what he has to say about their value in this short video.

Dr. Wright really is THE pioneer in bioidentical hormones, as he is the physician who initially helped bring them to the US. His new book is an absolute treasure and it’s HIGHLY recommended if you have any interest in this area to read his new book Stay Young and Sexy with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement.

We are actually planning on having an entire website devoted to this topic and Dr. Wright has tentatively agreed to head this site up. There are many logistical challenges to work through so it will not likely be up this year.

In the meantime, though, we do hope to post some of his great content on the site. One of his pearls that he taught me is that not only are bioidentical hormones important but the ROUTE of delivery is also crucial.

The worst way you can take them is to swallow them. Oral supplementation is perhaps your worst option, as your liver processes everything in your digestive tract first, before it enters your bloodstream. Any method that bypasses your liver will therefore be more effective.

Next down the list would be to apply them as creams to your skin as this will cause them to be stored in your epidermal fat and ultimately stop working well.

A better approach would be to use sublingual drops but Dr. Wright helped me understand that many patients wind up swallowing these so it winds up being not a good choice.

It appears the best route of delivery is a cream that is delivered trans mucosally in the vaginal or rectal mucosa.

Before embarking on any kind of hormone supplementation program, you’ll want to make sure you get your hormonal levels checked properly and then work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can guide you as this is clearly an area where you need an expert health coach.

Next year we do hope to provide some of this mentoring for free on our new site.

Three More Simple Solutions for Hot Flashes

With the lifestyle strategies mentioned above, along with bioidentical hormones if necessary, you should be able to find relief from hot flashes and other troublesome menopausal symptoms.

But in the event you’re still in need of help, try:

  • Acupuncture: This ancient therapy has been found to work better than the antidepressant drug Effexor, which is commonly used to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries, and studies continue to show its benefits for a wide variety of health problems.
  • Black Cohosh: Studies have shown that the herb black cohosh is nearly as effective as estrogen, and far more effective than placebo pills, at treating hot flashes, and is also useful in managing the mood swings and irritability that may accompany menopause.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): A study in The Lancet noted that dummy pills, or placebos, relieve hot flashes by at least half in 20 percent of the women who take them. What this means is that your mind, and your positive intentions, can make a difference in the severity of your hot flashes.

This is why EFT, which is based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture but without the needles, can be so effective. From a hot flash perspective, I have seen EFT work for many women where even synthetic estrogen did not help.

Again, if you have any interest in this area I could not more strongly recommend Dr. Wright’s new book. It is an absolute treasure and it’s HIGHLY recommended if you have any interest in this area to read his new book Stay Young and Sexy with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement.

Related Articles:

  Winning Tactics for Surviving Menopause — And What You Should Know about Hormone Replacement

  What is Really Interfering with Women’s Hormones?

  Acupuncture Beats Drug to Treat Hot Flashes

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