"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Fascinating Find!

When I am done with my schooling, and acquire more knowledge about nutrition/health, I would love to write a book called "Roots." Roots would be about finding the cause of our health issues versus putting a band-aid on them.

As I have mentioned before, I have Grave's disease and have been under a lot of pressure to have my thyroid removed and then be placed on a synthetic hormone for life. I am excepting of this but first need to see if I can some how uncover the real reason I suffer from this autoimmune disease. I have been consulting some wonderful health care practitioners that are teaching me a lot about my disease. My nutritionist ran several tests only to find out that I have food sensitivities and a yeast overgrowth in my intestinal track. This is soooooo gross and probably way too much information. However...we need to get real here. This is what it is about...trying to find the root of our health issues. Anyway, she put me on some supplements to help kill off the yeast and parasites. Food sensitives and a yeast overgrowth can be linked to autoimmune disease so it was something I felt I needed to do. Even if it did not cure the disease, I knew it would improve my overall health at a minimum.

I ended up having a pretty intense die-off reaction called Herxheimer reaction. This reaction causes fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, etc. It was very unpleasant to say the least and lasted several weeks. I ended up seeing a holistic MD recently to assist me with me thyroid disease and the die-off reaction I was experiencing. He put me on charcoal for three days and told me to take an Epsom salt bath every day. He also told me to put a pinch of Celtic sea salt under my tongue 3-4 times a day. With in three days, my headaches were gone and I felt great. So great that I am going to continue to do the baths and the salt treatment.

My fantastic find is the Epsom salt bath. My nutritionist and Md were both in agreement that these baths are so beneficial. Not only would an Epsom salt bath 3-4 times a week force you to carve out some time for yourself, it would be extremely beneficial for your health. Please read the article below I found online that would better explain the tremendous health benefits of an Epsom salt bath:

"Most of us know about the importance of iron and calcium for our bodies, but what about magnesium? It is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.

Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so I’m going to put on my wise-granny hat on here and tell you this: soaking in a bath with Epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, is one of the easiest ways to get a boost.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, American’s magnesium deficiency helps to account for high rates of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments. Who knew?!

Our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. And in fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies.

Another factor in decreased magnesium levels has been our focus on getting enough calcium. It’s a delicate dance–calcium depletes magnesium yet calcium functions best when enough magnesium is present. Studies indicate that taking a calcium supplement without enough magnesium can increase the shortage of both nutrients. Researchers have found that many Americans have five times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies, although the proper ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is two to one.

With such widespread magnesium deficiency one might think that magnesium supplements would be called upon, but studies show that magnesium is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract. The presence of specific foods or drugs, certain medical conditions, and the chemistry of a person’s stomach acid can render magnesium supplements ineffective.

This brings us to Epsom salt. Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.

Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

All this from a bath? Hurray! While there are many different brands of Epsom salt, they are all the same product chemically, and can be found at most drug stores. Add two cups of Epsom salt and soak for at least 12 minutes. Do this three times weekly.

If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts."

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/health-benefits-of-epsom-salt-baths.html#ixzz19ZHZ7cAs


Christina said...

ooh I'm gonna try this next time I have a migraine! Do you add it for the kids' baths too?

Kara said...

I am so glad that you are feeling better. I have been getting migraines more and more over the past year...I should try the epsom baths. I used to use epsom salt when I was younger to help and it worked like a charm.

Amy said...

I've been taking Epsom salt baths since you bought me Epsom salts years ago, but I had no idea how good they were for me :) After reading this, I am going to get my whole family on board! Thanks for the awesome information- you are a wealth of knowledge!!!

Learning As I Go Blog said...

I am not sure about how much you should put in a child's bath. I am going to ask the doc. I will let you guys know.

Here is a bathtub cocktail for ya....2 cups of Epsom Salt, a few sprinkles of lavender essential oil and a T. of coconut oil. You should feel like a million bucks after that! :)

emily said...

I have epsom salts, now I need to use them! My mom has always suggested a bath of this for achiness. Would you recommend it during pregnancy, or should I ask my doc? I love the bathtub cocktail, and can't wait to try it if I'm able.

Learning As I Go Blog said...

I remember reading that you shouldn't take a bath while pregnant..unless luke warm. But I was always too paranoid to take a bath. The bathtub cocktail is amazing! If you feel any sort of aches or pains, it provides instant relief. That is a bummer you can't take a bath while pregnant. Maybe ask your ob..see what they say?

PS) Keep Epsom Salts up high away from the kids...they also serve as a laxative if taken orally.