I predict that the next wave of "oops, we swung the pendulum too far" will be regarding the use of corticosteroids. We have overdone it on opioids and are in crisis. We overused our antibiotics and now are in crisis mode. You would think we would learn.
Our culture demands instant gratification -- we want answers, treatment, cures...and we want it now. Oh, and we want it cheap and at our convenience.
Part of my job in preparing patients for surgery is to reconcile medications. In my work as a wellness coach, frequently health goals that come up involve "I would like not to be taking so much medicine." On social media, I don't think a day goes by that I don't see somoen posting about how many rounds of steroids they have endured in effort to combat their discomfort. (If it's not working, why do we just keep trying?)
Corticosteroids are prescribed by physicians for infectious diseases including the common cold, viral respiratory infections, pneumonia / bronchitis. This will work to suppress the symptoms, create a false sense of feeling 'high on life' while sick, and possible contribute to high marks on a patient satisfaction survey.
Short term benefit at long term expense to health.
For decades we have avoided these immunosupressive medications that rob you of your health behind a symptom-free facade (false front). But since we have created a crisis surrounding antibiotics and opiods, and patients demand for something to help them feel better, we have resorted to quick fixes.
Corticosteroids include oral meds like prednisone, methylprednisolone/Medrol dose pack, and Dexamethasone/Decadron. Topical forms range form the lowest strength being hydrocortisone, and six classes of stronger ones above this that will make your skin thin incredibly and the underlying cause and condition worsen and rebound once the med is stopped.
These steroids suppress immunity and the ability for tissues to heal and maintain their integrity and strength. Blood supply decreases to exposed tissues and small blood vessels break easily (capillary fragility). The supposed benefit is a decrease in inflammation but inflammation is linked to the repair and healing process. Another use is to reduce allergic reactions. This is potentially life saving in life-threatening allergic reactions like anaphylaxis or severe asthma. So, they are not all bad. When you need them, you want them! Used over a long period of time though, while symptoms are managed, the underlying cause may be compromised greatly.
When a doctor suppresses an inflammatory / 'autoimmune' disease like asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, arthritis or skin rashes with immune suppressing drugs like corticosteroids, THE UNDERLYING DISEASE IS going to get worse.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that is catabolic meaning it breaks the body down and weakens tissues, breaks down protein and muscle. It helps your body get through stressful times but at a price. Anabolic hormones are testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone which increase protein synthesis and healing and regeneration. They strengthen you and increase lifespan. This is why we must rest and eat well and exercise not in excess so that we have good anabolic hormones and less catabolic hormones.
The side effects of corticosteroids are too many to list all here but here are some that come to mind. Corticosteroids, especially oral or IV cause susceptibility to infections, cancer/ tumor growth, diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, skin thinning, muscle wasting, bone loss/osteoporosis, increase fat especially in the belly, obesity, psychosis, insomnia, mood disorders, rebound worsening of the underlying condition, impaired wound healing, and death of the head of major bones such as the ball (head) of the femur. This condition is called AVN (avascular necrosis of the head of long bones; necrosis means death; avascular means no blood supply). AVN is frequently silent and the hip or shoulder just suddenly crush and fail. I know a patient who has MS who took prednisone and other oral corticosteroids and ended up having both hips and a shoulder replaced. All it takes is one seemingly harmless injection of a corticosteroid for poison ivy to cause problems later on - The more exposure to them, the higher the risk.
Another huge negative effect is that corticosteroids cause suppression of the pituitary's production of ACTH, a hormone that stimulates your adrenal gland to be healthy. This causes adrenal deficiency following the steroid use.
Common uses of corticosteroids are:
ORALLY: Inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, allergic reactions, skin rashes, asthma, chronic lung diseases, auto-immune conditions such as lupus. Nowadays, doctors prescribe them when they never did before such as for a common cold or real infections to reduce symptoms!
TOPICALLY: psoriasis, eczema, rashes, poison ivy, hair loss. Topical and oral corticosteroids account for the majority of treatments recommended by dermatologists.
AGAIN I WILL NOTE THAT IF YOU CANNOT BREATH AS A RESULT OF SEVERE ASTHMA OR ALLERGIC REACTIONS INCLUDING ANAPHYLAXIS, THEN YOU MAY NEED A CORTICOSTEROID. Other than that, the use of corticosteroids should not be considered as a first line of defense. Ask what other options may be available to support your body in the healing process. Consider natural options first - dietary changes, herbs, behavioral changes, detoxificaiton, essential oils.
Let's just good consumers. Let's be proactive and dligent in our health care. Let's be informed and willing to ask questions, to ask for alternative solutions.
What is your gut telling you? ....or what is your body telling you about your gut?
Proper gut function is critical to addressing what can be seemingly unrelated conditions. If your gut is not happy, your body is not happy!
If your body cannot properly digest and absorb nutrients and eliminate waste products, then it’s nearly impossible to achieve optimal health.When your gut is healthy it supports the health of your entire body, from your immune function to your emotions.
The best way to a healthy gut is to evaluate your nutritional habits. You can start by cutting out substances likely to irritate your intestinal lining, such as caffeine, alcohol, or refined sugars. Additionally, it can be beneficial to add in restorative substances like healthy fats, probiotics, and amino acids.
As much as I admire those who do, I confess that I do not shop, prep and eat clean. I dabble and I think I'm getting better, but it isn't something that I've been passionate about enough to do the work of learning and changing habits. That said, we all start somewhere.
Understanding that it's not just for those who struggle with ongoing stomach upset or digestive discomforts. For me, it's mental clarity and hormone imbalance that has gotten my attention. For some, it's skin issues or ongoing low feelings or ongoing discomforts of other sorts - head, joints, back.
Start with one simple, seemingly small action - take high quality supplements. doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack will supplement your intake of omegas, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, which is crucial - especially given the food supply in the US.
Digestive enzymes are specialized proteins that help to break down food and convert nutrients into energy in cells. Enzyme activity is an important part of a healthy digestive system. DigestZen TerraZyme is a blend of active whole-food digestive enzymes that help digest proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, sugars, and fiber. Taking DigestZen TerraZyme with meals supports digestion and metabolism of enzyme-deficient, processed foods. To put it in the language that got my attention - it keeps all of that food from sitting in your gut, going rancid and creating a toxic environment for your cells that you are counting on to keep the rest of your functions at top performance!
Sometimes, if the lining of the small intestine is not working optimally, unwanted substances may leak into the bloodstream. This is often referred to as “leaky gut.” As a result, the body’s intestines are less able to produce the digestive enzymes necessary for absorbing essential nutrients. Reducing your body’s toxic load is an important step. Taking a drop of Tangerine or Lemon essential oil internally each day, morning and evening, can help your body cleanse itself. I love the taste of both, Tangerine being my current favorite - oh, and Grapefruit too. Just add it to your glass or stainless steel water bottle or glass and enjoy!
Did you know that healthy adults typically house over 1,000 species of bacteria in their gut. This “microbiome” has been connected with various aspects of health, including emotions, weight, and immune function. Eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits can help diversify the healthful bacteria in your gut. Supplementation with probiotics can also be beneficial. Take one PB Assist three times daily with food for 10 days to promote colonization of friendly digestive flora.
For everyday digestive support, use DigestZen Softgels or DigestTab chewable tablets. Both contain a blend of essential oils to aid in the digestion of food, soothe occasional stomach upset, and reduce uncomfortable gas and bloating.* Keep them on hand for a healthy, natural, and gentle way to maintain a healthy digestive system.
As a final thought, just as a healthy gut can influence emotional health, your emotions can impact your digestive health. Reducing and managing stress can help to maximize the health of your gut. Get good sleep at night, be mindful, and take care of yourself emotionally.
Simple, consistent daily actions taken over time can be huge for your health! ...either way, for good of bad. What is your gut telling you?
If you need a gut "reset button" let me know - you may want to check out our "Cleanse and Restore" option. I can help you with a simple routine that has potential to change everything for you!
None of this replaces the need to consult with a physician or eat a healthy diet, but maybe it's time...
... to Reimagine how to support DIGESTIVE DISORDERS, naturally:
DIGESTION AND A HEALTHY GUT TIPS
• Take doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack supplements daily with food.
• Use DigestTab® with or between meals as needed for relief from occasional stomach upset, indigestion, and heartburn.
• Take one to three DigestZen TerraZyme veggie capsules with meals throughout the day to promote the digestive process and absorption of nutrients.
• Rub DigestZen Touch on abdomen for soothing comfort.
• Add a few drops of DigestZen® to water to take internally.
• During a long car ride, diffuse or place a drop of Ginger in the palm of your hand and inhale.
• Take one to two drops of Peppermint in a Veggie Capsule to alleviate occasional stomach upset.*
• Take one drop of Lemon in water for cleansing and digestive benefits.
In the midst of daily activities and responsibilities it’s easy to let feelings of worry and stress creep in. Stress can be a big problem for us in the short term and long term. High levels of cortisol maintained over time can wreak havok on our immune system for one! Essential oils are a great resource to soothe, calm and de-stress. AromaTouch®essential oil blend and Marjoram essential oil are just two examples of these calming oils that can help. These are two of my favorites for any aches... marjoram even for toothaches. So along with bringing on the calm and treating yourself to some pampering - these two may just serve as an alternative to pharmacological interventions for nerve, muscle, soft tissue discomfort.
AromaTouch Massage Blend
A vital part of the doTERRA is well-known for its calming and reassuring properties. AromaTouch combines our essential oils of Cypress, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Grapefruit, and Lavender in a perfect blend that adds many important benefits to various massage techniques. Each oil included in the AromaTouch blend have unique properties that when mixed together, encourage vitality, reduce stress, and uplift your mood. Some of our favorite uses of AromaTouch include:
Aside from being part of the AromaTouch blend, Marjoram also has numerous other uses and benefits that make it a useful oil in its own right. To the Greeks and Romans, Marjoram was a symbol of happiness because of its soothing and calming properties. One of the most significant benefits Marjoram essential oil offers is its ability to have a positive effect on the nervous system.* In addition, Marjoram essential oil has the ability to support a healthy immune system.* Here are some of our favorite uses of Marjoram:
It's that time of year again, hard to believe! Summer alwasys goes so fast! As parents we are given lists of supplies to have ready for school, dress codes to guide our decsions on what our kids should wear. We aren't often encourgaged to think about their health (well, except for immunizations I guess). Our kids are managing stress, sleeping less and being exposed to new "threats" - not to mention the Fall flu season is just around the corner. One must have for every child - good nutrition! These convenient chewable supplements are made with young children in mind. Children 4 years and older can enjoy these natural watermelon flavored supplements twice a day with meals. Encourage your children by taking the a2z Chewables alongside with them, adults can take up to three a day. With school right around the corner, these supplements are a great way to strengthen your child’s immune systems before *seasonal threats occur.
Time to RISE AND SHINE!
Almost every day, I listent to alarms going off... over and over and over.. torture! Why do people use the snooze? It only feels good for what, 9 minutes? You don't like waking up, why do it over and over again -on purpose? Getting up at the last possible moment also causes us to have to rush around to get where we need to be on time... if in fact, we do make it on time.
Recently due to a management decision, all of the nurses that work the 6am shift were told that our shift will now begin at 5:30am. This doesn't seem like a big shift but missing 30 minutes of sleep is a big deal. It could be the lack of one complete sleep cycle. I have to work harder at getting sleep and be more intentional about my morning routine, so that I don't pay the price later with my health.
Here are some tips... and I know that some of these are going to sound crazy to those who love the snooze... LOL! You can do it. You will be glad, later.
1. Wake up earlier... really?
Being rushed in the morning can hinder your mood the rest of the day. Waking up earlier allow you to have extra time, no need to rush. The average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep per night for cognitive function. According to sleep.org the best way to figure out when you should go to sleep is to count backwards 8 hous from the time you need to wake up. However, the optimal bedtime is between 8pm and 12am.
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise - Benjamin Franklin
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Start you day off right with a diet of fresh whole fruits and vegetables, and helthy proteins provide your body with the resources needed for energy production, growth and other metabolic functions. doTERRA's Lifelong Vitality Pack is scientifically backed for potent levels of essentail nutrients for long - lasting energy, mental clarity and optimal health. Have something ready to take with you if that's what it takes.
4. Avoid Screen Time
Checking your phone the moment get up - not good, let's stop that. Checkign one media platform can trigger stress, lose you valuable time and productivity. Instead of checking your phone first thing, read something uplifting, excercise, or fix that nutritious breakfast. I have taken my social media and other distracting apps off my front screen. My front screen has the weather, Spotify for my morning play list, Biblegateway for my daily reading and, Headspace.com for a 10 minute meditation- that's it. I leave my phone on "do not disturb" until I get to work. I also have all my notifications off (that one thing alone made a huge difference!)
5. Exercise and Stretch
Your body and mind have been booted down all night. Wake up your body by taking a few minutes to stretch whild diffusing your favorite essential oil blend. I have peppermint and wild orange ready to go - in my bathroom and a couple good stretch routines. Morning exercise can increase energy and overall productivity throughout the day not to mention starting your day with movement can keep your stress level down through the day.
6 Start your diffuser
Prep your diffuser the night before with a few drops of Citrus Bliss, doTERRA Motivate or Elevation - any combination of citrus oils and mints are great for starting the day - waking up! If using the diffuser in the morning is not going to happen, put a couple drops in your hands and deeply inhale, rub on the back of your neck - allow the aroma to energize and uplift your mood for a new day!
7. Make your bed.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
Start your day by accomplishing at least one goal: make your bed. This one action will provide you with the adequate motivation to continue achieving your goals throuhout the day. And make it a little less tempting to crawl back in! If the day doesn't go as planned, at least you come home to a made bed and a sense of order and accomplishment. Some days, it's the little things that make all the difference!
Then, GO OUT AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE BECAUSE YOU ARE THERE - WE NEED YOU, at your best!
6 Tips to a Better Night's Sleep
It's a perfect mix of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils - a life hack really! It's a convenient and easy way to ground and balance emotions. cooling, calming, and soothing...all working together to help reduce stressful and anxious feelings. Just apply it to the neck, shoulders, or behind the ears, and you tell me!
It's a favorite for easing the occassional head and neck tension! Other uses: ear discomfort, hot flashes, sinus support, soothing sore muscles. Seriously, if you enjoy the aroma - this is a versatile blend that you will love for many reasons!
PastTense Uses and Benefits
Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
There is a lot of hype around CBD oil, and for good reason. I have friends that share testimonies that make me curious. As a nurse, I just cannot right now get on board - much because of the way it is marketed. I have seen many social media posts and recieved many messages - asking my opintion and making claims of treatment and cure. Here is my problem - many of the posts and promotions cite articles that use the title to make grandiose claims but actually do not support the claims, but hypothesis that it may support our health in these ways.. There is a big difference to those who are looking for hope. I have a lot of opinions about science vs stories and marketing vs education.. I think there is a balance that is in compliance with FDA regulations, and is fair to those who are looking for hope for their health. Maybe one day, this will be something I can get totally get on board with it. Right now, while I just have to admit my bias toward science and essential oils first.
That said, many people who use CBD - over time, with consistency, do get amazing results. Some, do not. When it comes to natural solutions, there are options and not everyone is the same in response to any of them.
Here is the thing that we all agree on, cannabinoids are very good for us.
If you are set on the CBD oil, I would be happy to help you find a reliable source. Be a good consumer - know what %THC (some have such a micro amount that it may not ever matter - some have more). Know where it is sourced and processed, know how it is tested. I have been careful to align myself with resources who work closely with the FDA, even though this is a completely unregulated industry. This is one of the reasons I trust doTERRA.
Cannabinoids are potent and have wide ranging impacts on our health. We tend to associate cannabinoids only with cannabis. Not so.
Here is an article from John Leavitt, PhD. - full disclosure, he is a PhD scientist who is taking a break from biotech research to focus on the next big thing in healthcare, essential oils. and he is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.
Here are my top five reasons to get excited about doTERRA’s new Copaiba essential oil and the phyto-cannabinoid beta-carophyllene!
You might not have known this, but many over the counter medications rely on the cannabinoid receptors to relieve your aches and pains. For example, when Tylenol is chewed up and metabolized by your body, it turns into the “active metabolite” which enhances the normal activation of your body’s endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors govern many of our body’s key systems and have wide ranging impacts on our health.
1. Healing our body without the complications
Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown significant impacts on human health but doesn’t bind CB1 or CB2 receptors. There is a growing body of work figuring out all of the molecular mechanisms are, but for now its relationship status to the receptors is “complicated”. Contrast that with beta-carophyllene (BCP), it has many of the same health benefits as other cannabinoids but without binding to the CB1 receptorsin the brain like the THC in marijuana.
2. We know how BCP’s work, and they work well!
The CB2 receptors are found throughout the body and have wide impacts on health. BCPs bind to these receptors and have a mountain of evidence to backup their: support against temporary inflammation, easing tension and discomfort, providing protective effects on kidney and liver systems, provide protection against auto-immune disruptions, easing anxious and depressive feelings and even helping to abstain from unhealthy habits such as alcohol dependance!
CB2 activation is correlated with the concentration of BCP’s and CBD oil is 35% BCP while Copaiba is 55%. This means that even if you are using high quality cannabis oil, it may be the BCP’s that are doing all the work in easing your health issues and you could switch to Copaiba and get even more relief.
There is no THC in Copaiba which means that it won’t give you a false positive on a drug test. In fact, BCP’s are in plenty of other foods and even other essential oils but nowhere near these concentrations or purity.
To get the amazing benefits of BCP from the Copaiba essential oil, you can use it aromatically by diffusing, applying it topically to affected areas or internally. My favorite use is to apply it under the tongue to calm down before sleeping.
3. Purity and potency.
With doTERRA’s extensive 3rd party and open source testing, you know that the product won’t contain any pesticides or heavy metals and that you will get reproducible results. The CBD oil produced from hemp might not actually have much CBD while those derived from marijuana might contain THC or heavy metals, depending on the soil it was grown in and extraction techniques employed.
If you want access to the health benefits of cannabinoids, a 15ml bottle of Copaiba only costs $35 with a wholesale membership (~60 cents per dosage). That is a huge discount compared to a 15ml bottle CBD oil from reputable brands which cost $120 or more!
5. Legal and available right now!
The best part is that you can buy it right now from doTERRA, 100% legal in all 50 states. Contact me if you want to talk more about this option!
There is a lot of great research out there on Copaiba and BCP’s, but I need to give a big science shoutout to the Gertsch Group at The University of Bern in Switzerland for figuring out how BCP’s affect our health. If you want to dig into the clinical evidence you can read more on their lab website.
Things may change in the the field of CBD oil, I’m happy to help you with a good source if you need it, but for now I am looking forward to supporting my health with cannabinoids by using a drop or two of Copaiba every day.
I am getting great testimonies back on Copaiba users... people are breaking free of health problems they have had for a long time- getting their lives back! That’s something to get excited about!
As always, these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the products mentioned are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
In the Springtime, the bitter orange or Seville orange tree, a shrub with bright-green fooling is covered in fleshy, white flowers. Clustered in the axils of leaves, they contain small glands of highly fragrant essences The essential oils of the freshly cut flowers is called neroli essential oil, named for the Italian Duchess of Bracciano, Princess of Neroli, who loved the smell and wore it as a fragrance, Bitter orange is a member of the citrus family, Neroli essential oil is a symbol of purity and innocence and has a delightful floral, powdery scent. A source of both pleasure and vitality, nearly has a green lemony notes that are subtle spicy, fresh, and light. Native to Southeast Asia, the bitter orange tree has adapted superbly to the Mediterranean climate: Beginning in the 18th century, the countryside of Vallauris and Golfe-Juan was covered with Seville orange groves. In those days, the bitter orange tree added to the region’s fame.
There are three oils derived from this same tree—orange is derived from the orange peels, Petitgrain from the leaves and twigs, and Neroli from the flower. Much research has been conducted regarding the aroma of Neroli essential oil. According to research, Neroli instills relaxation, uplifts mood, reduces feelings of anxiousness, and promotes overall well-being. Applied topically, Neroli can be used to soothe skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Linalool is one of the main components in this oil. This is also the active ingredient in Lavender, you may be more familiar with that essential oil. The benefits of linalool are numerous. It may be used to relieve discomfort, reduces nervous excitability, reduces the effects of the inflammatory processes, supports anxious feelings and sleep. Linalool is so cool. Neroli is full of Linalool. This is in my purse, always.
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN