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What I have learned and what I think about it

Interesting articles to help you improve your health

Do bras cause breast cancer?

January 15, 2018

NO! But they can be a piece of the perfect storm that does. How is that? Most women are running around wearing the wrong size. Those of us upwards of D cups that are shopping at the mall are not wearing a properly fitted bra. They don't make them for us and forget about Victoria's Secret! How do you know if it fits? According to my friends that own bra salons these are the things to look for:

1 - the back should stay where you put it when you put it on. In other words, if you find yourself pulling the back down because the hooks are now up to your neck, it's not the right size. And is not supporting you. Proper fit means the cup is supportive and the back stays put.

2 - The girls should be in the cup not spilling over the top or squeezing out of the sides. Do you have two bumps in front when wearing a tee-shirt? Do you have "side" fat under your arms? That is breast tissue and it belongs in your bra.  

3 - If it feels like it's digging as the day goes on, you are likely allergic to something. Either the fabric or the underwire. The bra is not shrinking, you are swelling! 

What does any of this have to do with breast cancer? Maybe nothing, but each of these issues leads to poor lymphatic circulation. The lymph nodes are responsible for removing waste from the blood. If there is poor circulation in your breasts, things that should be cleared out will stagnate and create that hot, toxic environment cancer cells like to thrive in. There was an informal study that noted that women who developed breast cancer tend to wear their bras for longer than 12 hour per day. Scientific, double-blind study? No. But interesting findings don't you think? So why not be properly fitted and set the girls free after 12 hours? Pros:  you will be more comfortable throughout the day not having to fight your bra; you won't be rushing home to take it off because it's making you crazy; you will improve circulation to your breasts which is always a good thing; you will look better in your clothes because all of you will be where your supposed to be. Cons: . . . I can't think of any. You have to buy new bras anyway. You might as well get ones that fit. Check your area for bra fitting stores. You will pay a little more but I promise you will feel so much better and you may be chipping away at one piece of the perfect storm that leads to breast cancer. 

Breast cancer facts: False (+), false (-)

June 18, 2018

10-20% of women using mammogram as their primary and only source of screening will experience a false-positive or false-negative. This well documented fact is most prevalent in women with dense breasts and that is about 50% of us. Did you catch that? Half of us using mammogram only are at risk of being told the "something" is nothing when it is something or that the "something" is something when, in fact it's not. Why does this happen? Because an x-ray sees a white spot and both breast density and cancer show up as white spots on the image. So it's up to your radiologist to determine what to do about it. What can you do about that? You can choose to have a second screening using something different. Chances are slim that your insurance will pay for it especially if you are cleared by the mammogram so be prepared to pay for it out of pocket. But it matters, it makes a huge difference and it will give you more accurate information and peace of mind.  Another reason to get a second type of screening is because aggressive breast cancers, the ones that can be fatal,  develop quickly so often annual mammograms don't find them. Having a second screening 6 months after a negative could catch it sooner. If you have a "something" positive on a mammogram defiantly get a second and different type of screening. Ultrasound is ok except now you are in the "diagnostic" group which means they are not going to examine both breasts or even all of the affected one. They will only check the area in question. This is where Sure touch becomes your best friend because we can examine all your breasts tissue and give you more detailed information. I have many ladies come in after being told there is "something" there while they wait for the insurance to approve the ultrasound. It can be an agonizing time. Sure Touch gives us more information and in the years I have been offering it, we have yet to get a different result from the followup exam. The big difference is my ladies were able to relax and know they were ok. Wouldn't that be a better way to go? There have also been cases where to opposite was true. They were cleared but Sure Touch found something. Those women were able to get treatment going one year ahead of what would have been available with their annual screening. What do you think would happen if  we took our breast health into our own hands and got proactive? Hmm, I wonder. 

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

Sept. 24, 2016

The Anatomy of sleep

The brain is full of neurotransmitters that carry information from nerve to nerve. The most important one for sleep is serotonin. Serotonin is our feel good, anti-depressant hormone and it's made from tryptophan. Tryptophan is found in many foods not just turkey. Nuts, seeds, oats, eggs and fish all contain this essential amino acid.  It makes 5-HTP, 5-HTP makes serotonin and serotonin makes melatonin when triggered by darkness. We are designed to sleep during the dark hours and rise with the sun. Unfortunately, modern culture has shifted that pattern and many of us are paying dearly with our health as a result. 


R & R Redefined #1 Repair & Restore

We sleep in two cycles. The first half of the sleep cycle is used for physical repair. This is the time you heal from that paper cut or those sore muscles from working out. The second half is for chemical and hormonal restoration. If we wake up during either cycle, we interrupt those processes which is why poor sleep affects our health. If we don't repair and restore we continue to break down until disease develops. Studies have shown poor sleep to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, depression not to mention plan old fatigue, lack of concentration and a bad memory. 


There are two types of Insomnia

Difficulty falling asleep is due to adrenal fatigue and mineral deficiencies. Difficulty staying asleep is due to blood sugar or hormonal imbalances.

Insomnia can also be due to dehydration, room temperature too hot or too cold, cold feet (try thin socks), too much sugar, alcohol, mental or emotional stimulation before bed, animals, children, outside light, other people snoring, EMF from computers and TV. 


Sleep aides

Baths, showers, prayer, mediation, journaling, to do lists (get the list out of your head and on to paper), planning your activities for tomorrow, belly breathing, socks, no TV or computer 30-60 minutes before bed.


R & R #2 Routines and Rituals

These are called Sleep Hygiene. It's the regular routine that establishes a response so your body knows it's time to go to sleep. For example, my sleep hygiene begins with closing the drapes in my bedroom and removing the decorative pillows off the bed. Then I get my pj's and robe and go take my shower. In the bathroom I do things in a specific order. When I come out I go to the kitchen and take my supplements. Then I go to bed. Having done it this way for so long I can duplicate it anywhere, even in hotels and because the pattern is the same my body knows what time it is - time for bed and sleep. 


Foods that affect sleep

Negatively - caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, sugar. Positively - fatty protein – cheese, meat, nuts


Supplements

Magnesium (a natural muscle relaxer that helps you poop, too), Melatonin (mostly for jet lag), L-Theanine, GABA, 5-HTP, Inositol, Chamomile, Valerian, Progesterone, Rescue Remedy (a nice homeopathic).


Napping

If done correctly, napping can re-train brain to sleep and provide refreshment to the body. Find a special place to sleep other than your bedroom. If that is the only place available stay on top of your covers and lay across the width of the bed or at the foot. Do not get into bed or sleep in your night time position or you will fall into the deeper sleep cycles.  Check the time when you fall asleep for a nap and wake yourself up when you begin to come to. Check the time again. We naturally nap in 20, 30 or 40 minute cycles. If you go back to sleep you might bring on Sleep Inertia. An interruption of the deep sleep cycle which can lead to fatigue, headache, disorientation and even nausea. 

Some people need regular naps, others only occasionally. If your life requires long segmented days, I recommend a 20-30 minute nap in the early afternoon, after lunch. That will give you the energy needed to get through the rest of the day without the need for caffeine.