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7 Signs You May Have a Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic in the US but most people have no idea that they are deficient or why it matters. 

Aloha! My family and I take a vacation to Hawaii once per year and being in this sunny place got me thinking about all the grey skies and the vitamin D deficiency that goes along with living in Seattle, Wa.

There are few “vitamins” that are more important to your health than vitamin D. The National Health and Nutrition Examination survey found that 50 percent of children aged one to five years, and 70 percent of children between the ages of six and eleven are deficient or insufficient in vitamin D. It is also estimated that 95% of those over the age of 70 are deficient and deficiency is prevalent in all those that wear sunscreen.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone. It is involved in over 2000 reactions in your body and studies have linked a deficiency to cancer, MS, osteoporosis, depression, heart disease and more!

The only way to know if you are deficient in vitamin D is with a blood test. However, there are some signs and symptoms that indicate you might have a vitamin D deficiency and should get tested sooner rather than later.

  1. You have Darker Skin

If you have darker skin you need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin.

  1. You feel “Down”

Serotonin is the hormones associated with feeling happy and rises with exposure to bright light and falls with reduced exposure to sun.

  1. You are 50 or older

As we age our skin does not make as much vitamin D in response to the sun. Additionally, our kidneys, which convert our vitamin D into an active form our bodies can use, also become less efficient.

  1. You wear sunscreen

Don’t get me wrong, I want you to wear sunscreen. My second board certification is in cosmetic medicine and the research is clear that sunscreen prevents skin cancer and aging of the skin. We have a thinning and absent ozone so we need to protect our skin. I also know the importance of vitamin D so you need to get your vitamin D from supplementation, not by increasing your risk of skin cancer in the sun.

  1. Your bones ache

Many studies indicate that many people go to their doctor for aches and pains and end up with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. These are very real illnesses but many of these diagnoses are mis-diagnoses and are actually a vitamin D deficiency. Also, vitamin D will improve the symptoms of those that do have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. When you have a vitamin D deficiency it can causes a defect in your body’s ability to put calcium into the collagen matrix of your bone. This results in throbbing, aching bone pain.

  1. Head Sweating

Babies who have head sweating has long been an early sign of vitamin D deficiency. This is not uncommon as vitamin D is not in breast milk.

  1. Digestion issues

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and if you have gut or digestion issues it is likely that you are not absorbing fat soluble vitamins efficiently.

Here is what to do

Vitamin D optimal range is 50-100 ng/ml. You definitely don’t want to be “normal” when it comes to vitamin D levels. Be sure to ask for vitamin D 25-OH test. I had a patient that was told by her primary care physician to stop taking her vitamin D after seeing her blood test results. The problem was that he tested for Vitamin D2, which has been shown in studies to be a much weaker form of vitamin D and is not recommended as a test or a supplement form. Her real vitamin D level was 29, showing she definitely needed to take vitamin D supplements to prevent diseases and to treat her osteoporosis.

Most of my patients take 5000-10,000 IU of vitamin D but this is when they are being monitored by blood testing. I strongly recommend you get your vitamin D tested. Ask your primary care physician to test this or call us at my clinic (877-8-VITALITY)and we can set up this test for you anywhere in the US.

Vitamin D is our happy and healthy vitamin and can be taken with or without food and never upsets your stomach.

Committed to your Vitality!

Supplements pulled off shelves after investigation


Navigating the World of Supplements Safely 💊

The news concerning stores like GNC pulling supplements off the shelf is exciting to me.  That might sound strange to you but supplement safety and efficacy is something I am passionate about.  I take time with each patient I see to teach them how to choose the best supplements.

You see vitamins, minerals and herbs are not considered a food or a drug, therefore there is no governing body or organization that oversees the production and safety of them.  We are literally at the mercy of the companies that make these supplements to “do the right thing”.  

The most recent story by CBS and now the story in the New York Times is not “news”.  There have been many studies on the safety and efficacy of supplements.  I highlight the story of the 2009 study in my book The Hormone Secret that showed that supplement doses did not match what's on the label at all.  In fact, it was anywhere between 4%-110% difference!  

The current investigation is different though.  It did not study the dosing, but looked into the DNA of what was in the pills, ie:  they were looking for contamination.  What they found was shocking: powdered rice, wheat and ground up house plants.  Yikes!

The companies given a subpoena in New York and have removed the supplements from the shelves – but only in the New York stores!  What about all the other stores and all the other supplements that are not what they say?

I use vitamins, minerals and herbs as medicine.  They are prescribed in doses that are supported by research to do what they are needed to do and only use manufacturing companies that get third party tests and have verification of that testing.  I have gone one step further in my OCD fashion and require the companies I use to verify the source of the ingredients.  

I do this because: a) I use these supplements for myself and my family.  b) because anything that is powerful enough to do good could also do harm and c) I want to be your short cut.  Researching all this is time consuming so I have done the work for you.  

This seems like the perfect time to introduce you to my own line of supplements.  It took me almost two years to formulate and create these with great manufacturing companies so that you can have confidence that you are getting medicinal grade supplements that are safe and effective.  (As a special bonus you will get a 15% discount with your first order. Keep reading to learn more!)

Please meet:  

Essential Female Boost, a daily pack to meet your hormone and multivitamin needs.  

 

Click Here for Essential Female Boost

Testosterone Boost – a daily pack in increase testosterone production with herbs and specific vitamins for those that don’t want to take testosterone or are taking testosterone and want to maximize the effects safely

Click Here for Testosterone Boost

Adrenal  Boost – Adrenal Fatigue is one of the most common conditions I see in my clinic and healing it can involve taking 3-4 different bottles of supplements.  I created one pack that includes what you need.

Click Here for Adrenal Boost

If the supplements that I have created don’t meet your needs look for the stamp USP or GMP on the bottle to ensure quality and safety.

I hope this helps you navigate your way through all the stuff that is out there!

PS I really want you to try my supplements (they are like one of my babies) so I have created a 15% coupon for anyone that wants to purchase their first month supply (they come in convenient one month boxes). Just use the coupon code save15 at checkout. Click Here.

 PSS If you subscribe to our monthly program we will send you a box each and every month and you save 10%! When you checkout there will be an option to select that says “every month.” Choose that and automatically save 10% off each 30 day supply.

5 things being a professional ballet dancer taught me about my body

Many of you may not know that my first career was dancing professionally in a ballet company

I grew up in a very small logging town in Canada where the town physician did house calls and treated the entire family from birth throughout life. My father was a stone mason and my mum was a stay at home mum making wonderful home -made food for us, though I did not appreciate it at the time.

 

I started taking ballet when I was nine and by the time I was fifteen I had moved to Seattle, was renting a room with a family and dancing in the professional division of Pacific Northwest Ballet. This was the beginning of my dance career and the start of a complete change in the way I treated my body. No more wholesome food made from scratch by my mother. A new relationship to food and my body began and changed and evolved to what it is today.

Here are the 5 most important lessons I have learned about my body

1. Pain and fatigue are messages.

Dancing on pointe, contorting our bodies into un-natural positions often led to pain. Frequently I did not know if a pain was an injury or part of the process of pushing myself. Either way I pushed on, which at times resulted in serious injury. The body is an amazing machine designed to do wonderful things but also sends messages when things are not right. I now know that pain or fatigue are my body’s way of telling me to rest so it can do the repair and recuperation it needs. We all push ourselves in various ways. Listen to your body when it is tired, hungry or hurt. Our body is designed to be in balance if we give it what it needs and get out of the way sometimes.

2. Whatever you focus on, grows

In ballet we are often focused on what is wrong and try to make it better. The trouble with this is that our brains are literally trained by repetition. If you focus on what is wrong all day at work, you will find all the things that are wrong in your relationships, yourself and your life. Positive Psychology has shown that you can train your brain to see positive or negative by what you focus on. I have learned that nothing is ever all bad (or all good) but I choose to change the channel of my brain to the positive station whenever I can. Writing down specific things you are grateful for has been shown to make people more happy. Start a gratitude group and email each other for accountability. Whatever you do makes a difference.

3. Habits are more important than talent

There are many dancers with innate talent but unless they work hard and develop it, it will not flourish. Ballet is a series of repetitions in order to create improvement. The repetitions become habits over time. This repetition was fantastic training for medical school. I often say that the reason I did so well in my medical training was not because I was the smartest, it was simply because if I did not understand after reading it the 10th time, I would read it an 11th! All success is simply a series of repetitions done until it is a habit. It is that way with nutrition, exercise, work and more. Given enough consistency, you can do more than you think.

4. Food is information, not just simply fuel

The focus of being thin when dancing in a ballet company is real. The foods I choose were based upon the least amount of calories with no thought to how the food would feed my cells and give me the strength to be my best. Diet Tab and an apple were a common lunch. But nutrition is so much more than calories in versus calories out. The nutrients in food literally create all the cells, organs, chemical and hormones that affect how you look, feel and function. I have adopted the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% nutrient dense foods throughout the day to feed your cells and then allow 20% to feed your satisfaction. You will find your energy, sleep and mood will improve by focusing on the information of the food rather than just the calories.

5. Self care is not self-ish

Taking care of yourself is important and not indulgent. Getting a massage, cleansing your skin with a luxurious skincare that smells wonderful, going for a walk, these are all things that heal your adrenal glands from the stresses of the day and allow you to re-charge. Even doing small things add up over time.

My body is strong and healthy at almost 50 and has forgiven me for all the abuse I put it through. I am grateful for the education and awareness I have. I spent so much of my life “getting by” on bad nutrition, “getting by” on too little sleep and too much stress.

Please share with me what you have learned and what you still want to learn to make this part of your health journey the very best it can be.

It’s your life. Your Health. Your turn. I am grateful for the opportunity to help guide you along the way.

Is Self Care Self indulgent? 3 things to Vitalize your life right now.

Do you ever find that you feel a bit guilty doing things for yourself? Every day I have the privilege of listening to women in my clinic and I often hear their struggle with stress. Most often the stress has to do with obligations at work and/or caring for family. Though the details are often very different, there is always one consistent thing, taking care of yourself often goes to the bottom of the list.

I had an interesting experience this week. We are finishing renovations on our home in order to
have my parents stay with us (they are in their 70’s). I literally was craving something beautiful after all the dust and noise and chaos of the construction.   As I was shopping for groceries I saw a gorgeous orchid planter. By the end of my shopping I had decided to purchase it. As I was checking out, the cashier asked if I would like a gift card. I told her no, that it was for me. She responded with a surprised look on her face and said “Good for you!”

That got me to wondering…   Why is buying yourself flowers such a unique and surprising thing?

Women are the care takers of the world but if we do not nurture our own health and our own souls we will not be our best to give to the people and things we love.

Here are three simple things that you can do to improve your self care and increase your own Vitality.

  1. Make it an appointment. Any activity that you do that is just for you – put it in your calendar as an appointment. Everything that is important in your life you write down and mark as an appointment.   We often leave our meditations, exercise, going for a walk etc to the end of the day, if we have time, if we have energy, and if we remember. Prioritize the things that will make you thrive.
  2. Treat yourself. One of the reasons I think coffee, eating sweets, smoking and other “vices” are so difficult to give up is that they are miniature treats. Swap those things that rob your health and vitality for other “treats”. Buying tulips in the spring, a new nail polish or a new mug to drink your morning tea or coffee can bring a smile to your face. These are very inexpensive ways to say yes to your own special-ness.
  3. Stop and ask yourself why you are not making self care a priority. Do you feel it is selfish? I had one patient that told me it was her job to take care of all the details in the family because she did not work outside the home, even though that left her little time to actually be with her family.

Say YES to yourself, it will lead to more happiness, I guarantee it.

Click Here to Take the Hormone Quiz!

Top 10 Foods for Boosting Immunity

Americans catch nearly 1 billion colds each year, and between five and 20 percent of people in this country will contract the flu, but there are certain foods that can help build your immune system and protect you from certain illnesses. Here are my top 10 picks for the best foods to give your immunity an extra boost!

  1. Chicken soup. Your mother was right. Chicken soup is one of the best foods for fending off sniffles. The liquid is helpful for fighting viruses and clearing nasal congestion. The broth is also believed to be anti-inflammatory. Some studies have found that commercial organic chicken stock is as effective as homemade, so keep some on hand for those sniffles that may sneak up on you in the winter season.
  2. Garlic. Want to give that chicken soup an even more powerful immunity boost? Add some garlic! Garlic is known to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. Sneak it into your morning eggs, beans for lunch and in a flu-buster smoothie.
  3. Hot tea. People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, in a Harvard study. The amino acid that’s responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea. Decaf versions have it, too.
  4. Cauliflower. Cauliflower is rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that is helpful for warding off infections. Cauliflower is also full ofSulforaphane which has been shown in studies to improve blood pressure and kidney function too!
  5. Ginger. Ginger is not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. Ginger has been found in the scientific research to help balance the immune system to restore it to proper functioning. It has also been found to enhance the protective functions of the immune system. I like to cut up ginger and slice lemons and place it in a mason jar then fill with honey. This is my “tea” when feeling like I am coming down with something.
  6. Eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is important for supporting a healthy immune system. Eggs also contain zinc and selenium, two of the most important minerals for boosting immunity. I call them God’s travel food!
  7. Honey. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, honey not only soothes sore throats but can also kill certain bacteria that causes an infection. Honey can also help improve the digestive system where 1/3 of your immune system is located.
  8. Mushrooms. Several species of mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms possess properties that stimulate the immune system. The polysaccharide content of these mushrooms may stimulate various immune system components, thus helping your body to build immunity.
  9. Yogurt. Increase your intake of fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, and Greek yogurt, which boost your overall wellness by promoting intestinal health. Acting as probiotics (which can also be taken as supplements), fermented foods aid digestion, improve immune function, and increase vitamin B levels, all helpful in warding off sickness.
  10. Salmon. Salmon and other cold-water fish like tuna, mackerel and halibut are excellent sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient for immune function. Lack of vitamin D also has a strong correlation with risks of influenza and tuberculosis as well as asthma.

I hope this helps you find ways to help you heal your body naturally and feel more energetic and happier sooner.

Healthy is contagious, pass it on!

PS

Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies in North America. Your level should be 60-100 ng/mL. Ask your doctor to test it for you or call my clinic to set up a skype or phone appointment with one of my practitioners.

Committed to your Vitality

Dr. Tami

 

 

 

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