Survival of the Fittest – Are you Vitamin D Deficient? Symptoms & Reasons why you need Vitamin D

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Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the US, but many Americans mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk because they consume vitamin-D-fortified foods (such as milk).

There are very few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally and even fortified foods do not contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs.

Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet.

Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient

  1. You Have Darker Skin

African Americans are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because if you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin!

As Dr. Holick explained, your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.

  1. You Feel “Blue”

Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.3

  1. You’re 50 or Older

As mentioned, as you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).

  1. You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person — and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.

  1. Your Bones Ache

According to Dr. Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia, which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” he says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”

  1. Head Sweating

According to Dr. Holick, one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.4

  1. You Have Gut Trouble

Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. In this interview above, Dr. Holick expounds on these and many other health benefits of vitamin D. For instance, optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. According to Dr. Holick, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50 percent. What’s worse, if you have a heart attack and you’re vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to nearly 100 percent!
  • Autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Infections, including influenza. It also helps you fight infections of all kinds. A study done in Japan, for example, showed that schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during winter reduced their risk of getting influenza A infection by about 40 percent. I believe it’s far more prudent, safer, less expensive, and most importantly, far more effective to optimize your vitamin D levels than to get vaccinated against the flu.
  • DNA repair and metabolic processes. One of Dr. Holick’s studies showed that healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months up-regulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes, from improving DNA repair to having effect on autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and/or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer, for example), boosting your immune system and many other biological processes.

Credit: Mercola

Healthometer 349KLX 2-Piece Scale (400 lb x 0.2 lb)

Trust your Spidey Senses-!!! – Ways to Better listen to your Intuition

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“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” said Ivy Estabrooke of the Office of Naval Research, who is investigating the power of intuition which has helped troops make important and quick decisions during combat.

Whether it’s deciding which job to take, which direction to turn when you’re lost, or how to handle a conflict in your family, intuition sometimes knows better than the rational mind. The problem is that many of us have buried that little voice so deeply within, we have a hard time hearing or feeling where it is guiding us.

The good news is that your intuition is still there, you merely have to learn to hear it again.

THE INTUITIVE WAY: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO INCREASING YOUR AWARENESS

TO BETTER LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION, TRY:

  1. Meditation:  Spend time in silence, simply listening.

  2. Commune with nature:  Aim to get at least sometime outside every single day.

  3. Creativity:  Tap into your internal artist by drawing, writing, painting, or making music.
  4.  Learn to listen:  In general, listen to friends, families, silence, and yourself.
  5.  Be body conscious:  Learn to appreciate the little signs and signals from your body, when it tells you it’s tired, joyful, in need of love, or getting sick.
  6.  Let go:  Warm up to the idea that you don’t have to control everything. Life is going to happen whether you overthink it or not. Relax.

  7. Stay positive:  A 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science found that being in a good mood boosted participant’s abilities to make intuitive calls in a word game. So smile!

Working on becoming more intuitive requires you to adopt healthier habits and a healthier mindset. These are things that are good for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, no matter your end goal. And if cultivated regularly, they could lend themselves to better decision making and more happiness overall.

Credits: Elizabeth Renter 

Happy National Hug!!! Tell us who you want to hug the most right now!

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National Hug Day first began in 1986, and was started by Reverend Kevin Zaborney in Caro, Michigan. Zaborney believed that Americans in particular live in a society where showing feelings in public is embarrassing, and he wanted to change that by putting hugs in the spotlight one day out of the year (it’s true, studies have shown that French couples are three times as affectionate in public than Americans). He chose January 21 because it fell in between Christmas/New Year’s and Valentine’s Day; it’s also in the dead of winter, a time period where most people’s spirits are low, so seemingly a perfect time. Though it’s not a national holiday, National Hug Day is officially recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The holiday has also since spread to other countries.

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Need a Pick me Up? – Ways to get you back into the Game when you’re feeling Down

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MAKE A LIST.   

Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. You might be into GTD, but sometimes every GTDer falls behind with his system, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do so. So all the “stuff” that’s in our head can overwhelm us. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can pick up your mood.

TAKE ACTION.

You’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing you need to do. Is it a big task? Break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started, once you get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. You might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something, you’ve got momentum, and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.

EXERCISE.   

I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!

SHOWER AND GROOM YOURSELF.  

 Laying around in your underwear, smelling bad, is not going to do you any good. Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND DO SOMETHING.    

Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something. Preferably something on your list (see No. 1).

PLAY SOME LIVELY MUSIC.  

 I like Brown Eyed Girl, the Kinks, the Ramones, or an upbeat Beatles tune, but you might have your own brand of feel-good music. Whatever it is, crank it up, and let yourself move to the beat. It may just be what the doctor ordered.

TALK ABOUT IT.  

Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re their for. If you don’t, there are hotlines, or professionals, you can talk to. And then there’s always online forums. These are great places to find someone to talk to. Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

Credit: Zen Habits

Forget Me Not – Wyatt Earp (Jan. 13th) “I’ll be your Huckleberry”

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You are what you’re feeling? – The Effects of Negative Emotions on our Health

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Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Convexly, if your body releases cortisol while you are stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.

What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.

POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE

Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brainis a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in  bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while driving and simply apply the break slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?

CUT THE PERCEPTIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our health.

“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~Hippocrates

MIND BODY CONNECTION

The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?

Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.

When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more thins loosened up and pain went away.

When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.

YOU HAVE THE POWER

Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Life’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?

Remember, you have all the power in you to get through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a  big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.

Credits: Joe Martino of Collective Evolution

Zyllion ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Heat (Black)- One Year Warranty

Animals are Better than Humans – They have better table manners

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New Wave Enviro Self Refilling Pet Watering Bowl and Bottle Set

Forget me not (Jan. 6th) Theodore Roosevelt & Gregor Mendel

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I’m having a terrible time… (Living with Peripheral Neuropathy)

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I’m having a terrible time..

Living with Peripheral Neuropathy

Written by K.K. Martin @theKatrinaM  

“One word, Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”  – Sophocles

Normally I’m full of jokes and crazy talk so it’s very rare that I come on this blog with some depressing ass shit. The whole point of starting the blog was to get my depression out back in 2009. On October 2008 I was declared disabled, and SSA said that I was too young to be disabled and to fuck off, bitch go back to work. So I did, I worked in retail until 2011 where I used my degree loosely as tech  for a communications company. As per their request I made sure that I obtained an office job. Simply because that’s what those assholes wanted me to do.

[ Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves—the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It usually affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling and pain.]

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Fast forward to 2012 and my body started to deteriorate even more, I couldn’t even work a full day, or get out of bed. My employers didn’t know what to do with me. I needed to be there because I was one of the 2 that were on the late shift. It got to the point where they suggested that I went on medical leave, I was already ahead of them on that decision. On November 2013 my doctors took me off work and declared me disabled once again.

[ Peripheral neuropathy is common. It is estimated that upwards of 20 million Americans suffer from this illness. It can occur at any age as children and young adults are affected. The disease is more common among adults 40 and up.]

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I again applied for SSA, since it’s a long process I placed myself on SDI like I did  in 2008. I’m at the point where this is nothing my doctors can do for me. I have a shit ton of specialist who try to keep me a whole person but it’s not working. I’ve done every test and been on a long list of medications. Once again SSA is telling me and my team of doctors that there is nothing wrong with me. How is that even possible? I’m in nonstop pain from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep if I fall asleep that night.

The pain in my back can no be felt in my spine, the electrocution has increased, the numbness is effecting the use of my limps I have muscle spasm more frequently than I did a year ago. Overall my value of life has decrease tremendously. Walking, sitting and standing has always been my main issues, so is mobility of my limbs and organs. And these people continue to say there is nothing wrong with me. I would love for someone to help me understand how a person in this much pain where they don’t go anywhere because of it or can function is 100% healthy. I have seen people who are able body get approve within months… months!

[ There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, including diabetes, hereditary disorders, inflammation, infections or autoimmune diseases, protein abnormalities, compression or physical trauma, exposure to toxic chemicals, poor nutrition, kidney failure, chronic alcoholism, and certain medications – especially those used to treat cancer. ]

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Today in particular is a rough day or more like a month. I’m in more pain that I can handle at any given moment. My body hurts so much that I took a hot bath to soak it, the problem is hot water causes my nervous to go insane. So now out of the tub, still in pain just different pain. I’m also in a financial shit hole, I pay for all my doctors appointments and medications out-of-pocket for the last year. So you can imagine what my pockets have been like living on SDI paying, rent, utilities, necessities, personal bills, food, medication, transportation, and doctors is like for me. While on SDI I did not qualify for any type of assistance, so if I was short I was just short and had to not eat or pay for something. We all know that I’m too fucking skinny for that not eating bullshit.

Mind you SDI only last for 12 month and I stretched that shit for 13 months, on month 14 I took out a loan from my 401k i know i know shut up! I only took out what I needed for the month and it’s now month 15 and I’m tapped out. I mean after the 12th of December there was nothing, no food, 130 short on rent, and no way to get anywhere. Did I mention my phone has been off since November? So I can’t communicate with anyone either. I tried getting UI but I can’t because I can’t worked and if I do work my case is automatically dismissed.

[ While every person’s experience with peripheral neuropathy can be as unique as the individual, there are some common neuropathy symptoms and signs.  At first, you may notice numbness, tingling, abnormal sensations, or pain in your feet. Some people feel like they have socks on, even though they are barefoot. Over time, this feeling spreads to your legs and hands. ]

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I should also mention that my case worker for my SSDI at the lawyer’s office is a fucking moron. I simply don’t understand how she even got the job. I requested for a new case worker. I should tell you what happen…. My doctor submitted a form to my job saying that I will never returned to work because of blah blah brain  doctor terminology. He also wrote in my medical records that I am unemployable due to my condition which has too many restrictions. My case worker is supposed to be keeping up with my doctor’s appointment and all forms he sent out. This was almost a month ago, so when I called the person ahead of her he told me that they were never aware and that could help me get my case expedited to be seen by a judge. In other words I wouldn’t be struggling and about to be homeless if that was submitted into their system a month ago.

So here I am, in a shit ton of pain, broke, and now sick because I stood in a line for 1 1/2 – 2 hours at the morons of Social Services because they wouldn’t let me stand in the disabled line.. all for an application. With manner-less humans coughing and sneezing all over the place without covering their damn mouths. As I never really been on public assistance before, even when I worked only part-time and was always told I made too much money. How the fuck are these people getting food stamps and driving BMW’s? I saw more LV and Gucci in that place than I do on Rodeo, Robertson and etc. Explain!?

[ You may find it harder and harder to walk. Your legs feel heavy. You have to drag yourself up the stairs. You find yourself losing your balance, not being exactly sure where your feet are; so, you stumble into things or fall. To keep your balance, you are likely to widen your way of walking, and walking becomes less rhythmic or fluid. As for your hands, you think you have a good grip on something, like your keys, but they drop right out of your hands. In the worst cases, you can end up in a wheelchair. Some neuropathies can be fatal. ]

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After 5 hours in a petri dish I only got food stamps which is a blessing because my kitchen was bare. Unfortunately for me I never bared any children so I don’t get anything else or at least until I go to their doctors to prove that I’m disabled next month after my rent is due. If I was a whore in my younger years, and had 5 kids by 6 dudes because I can’t figure out which one belong to whom. I could be living like a fucking queen, driving my BMW, rocking Gucci shades, with my Louie purse. Instead I went to college, became independent and worked all my adult life I gets nothing. I am now in a fucked up system that isn’t going to help me because I’m disabled. Oh and I have to pay them back 10% when my SSDI starts. Yet these bitches will remain to live off me. At this point I don’t believe they help single parents either.

[ Some types of peripheral neuropathy can be cured, yet most cannot. However, many patients can be helped. Therapy is directed at treating the underlying disease and at improving the symptoms with the right medications. An experienced neuromuscular neurologist can help patients feel more comfortable, and their quality of life can be greatly improved. But it is extremely important to get to an experienced neurologist as soon as you notice the symptoms before the disease has a chance to cause severe permanent damage. ]

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As I’m writing this I am realizing that no one is reading because 1 it’s to seriously and 2 it’s a bit fucking long. I didn’t start writing for people to feel sorry for me. I just wrote out everything that is going on, and simply because no one really know what is happening to people who become disabled. This can easily be you one day if you get hurt on the job, or get into a car accident or develop a disease like I did. I wrote this to inform you so you are not ignorant to what is actually happening everyday to working class people. I grew up in middle class America, in San Diego actually, my mother worked every single day that I’ve been alive and still does till this day. She was a single mom most of my life but she never needed for anything, so as an adult I did the same thing. Went to work everyday just like her, I know that you’re asking if my parents can help and the answer is no. I am alone in this as I’ve always have been in this shit fest. Which brings me full circle on how this blog started. I like how things connect back, because it’s also the reason of this post.