Hormones got you down?!

Hormones.  We can blame them for a lot of things!  They affect everything from mood to weight, our skin, fertility, sex drive and even our energy levels.  When these little buggers are out of sync we start to experience things like anxiety, acne, irritable bowl syndrome, and so many more issues. 

Did you know there is a way to work on resetting our hormones?  Yes, you heard that right! Sick of suffering with those painful periods? Have you been trying to get pregnant but are unable to and have no medical explanation to why? Is your sex drive MIA?  PCOS got you down?  If you improve the harmony of your body’s hormones these symptoms can improve.  If you’re not sure if your hormones could be the issue, take a look at the list below.  The symptoms listed are all components of a hormonal system that needs support. 

Metabolism and Stress Symptoms 

  • Carb cravings/binging

  • Sugar and chocolate cravings

  • Reliance on coffee, soda and energy drinks

  • Consuming more than 3 alcohol based drinks per week

  • Skipping meals

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Waking up during sleep

  • Headaches

  • Low libido

  • Facial/body hair

  • Weight gain

  • Hypothyroidism 

  • Metabolic syndrome

Elimination Symptoms  

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Oily skin

  • Bloating and water retention

  • Acne or cystic acne

  • Dandruff

  • Eczema

  • Hair loss

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea or loose stools

  • Body odor

  • Night Sweats

Cycle Symptoms  

  • Mood Swings

  • PMS

  • Irregular cycles

  • Fibroids

  • Ovarian Cysts

  • Cystic breasts

  • Breast tenderness

  • PCOS

  • Unexplained infertility

  • Cramps

  • Heavy periods

  • Painful periods

  • Missing periods

  • Migraines

  • Depression

If you circled any of those symptoms let’s schedule a functional medicine consultation and decode your hormonal needs together.  Schedule HERE.

Vitamins....are we just flushing them down the toilet? 

Your health care provider tells you it’s important to take a multivitamin. You hit the nearest Whole Foods to pick one up because it’s still January and that New Years resolution to get healthier is still fresh. You head to the vitamin aisle and see something like the above picture and overwhelm sets in.

How much vitamin c does one need? How much do I need? What the heck is zinc and why do they put that in these multivitamins? It’s a lot to take into consideration. If you are unsure of what your unique body actually needs you could be literally flushing your money down the toilet. So how are we supposed to know how much of this and how much of that you ask?  Well, we need to test you for deficiencies. I recently took this simple blood test myself and realized that I was missing some key vitamins and minerals. Below is what my test results looked like. 

After reviewing my current supplement regimen I was able to adjust my daily vitamins to include the missing links. It feels good knowing I’m giving my body exactly what it needs and it feels even better knowing I’m not just flushing supplements down the toilet!

If you’d like to explore your health in better detail set up an appointment for a functional medicine consultation, we can determine your unique needs together.

Schedule HERE

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Are all vitamins created equal?

Hello again! I hope you all had a fantastic Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I’m sure some of you had off or stayed home with the kiddos, our office was closed but I was still out there working for you guys!  In a pursuit to ensure that I have the best products available for my patients, family and myself, I spent the day touring a Chicagoland family owned company that manufactures vitamins and natural food products.  Let me just tell you, it was beyond impressive.  This is a company that I have heard such good things about and as a result  utilized their supplements for myself and my family, but seeing how they test and quality control their products up close and personal was mind blowing.  

The ingredient and product quality control measures they take uses multiple multimillion dollar machines for each step of the process.  Each ingredient that goes into their products gets tested for quality and purity before it even makes it past the start line.  You know that friend or classmate you had in school who loved chemistry?? Well, they all work at this company to ensure we get exactly what they promise we are getting.

If you’re looking for a solid vitamin or supplement shoot me an email.  I’d love to discuss your health and options available.  If you’re unsure of what vitamins and supplements your body needs, stay tuned next week when I will be sharing information on testing and even sharing my test results with you.

Food Sensitivities - IgG vs IgE

Friends, let’s talk food again this week.  I know I’ve been blabbing on and on about food sensitivities and inflammation to anyone and everyone - and also in last weeks post.  But I wanted to get a little scientific on this topic for a minute and also share with you my personal results.  

First the science, it’ll be quick and painless I promise.  

Food Allergies VS Food Sensitivities 

Our bodies have two antibodies that are released when something enters the body that it believes is a “poison.”  The one most people will recognize is immunoglobulin E (IgE)- this guy causes a reaction right away.  Think of someone who has a peanut allergy and eats a peanut, right away their body starts to have a reaction.  That’s IgE at work.

The other is Immunoglobulin G (IgG).  IgG is much more subtle than IgE and people live with these reactions to foods for years without realizing that they even have them.  Reactions range from headaches and nausea to depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity, or simply just fatigue, bloating, or mood changes after eating and even dark under-eye circles when you are well-rested.  IgG reactions happen hours to days after a food is consumed.  

OK…Science lesson over! (not bad right?!)

So now that you’re well versed in immunoglobulins, I bet you’re wondering how the heck you’re supposed to know what food is giving you those pesky dark under eye circles or why you’re always tired even though you got your 8 hours in.  All it takes is a little bit of blood (you can keep the sweat and tears) and we send it off to the lab where they take different food substances, spices, molds, and pollens and introduce them to the blood to see if those immunoglobulins show up to the party.  

For fun, these are my lab results so you can see exactly what I’m talking about.  

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These are my IgG results - those pink and red markings are the foods that my blood had a strong immune reaction to.  As you can see, milk does not do my body good!  I did have a feeling dairy would show up the way it did because I just do not feel great after a meal with heavy dairy.  Mushrooms, corn, rice and pecans were all a little surprising…and that little pink bar next to chocolate is still a sore subject! 

If you’d like to chat more about your health and how to improve it, schedule a functional medicine consultation through the website HERE and we can dig deeper.

Dr. Ashley Neumann