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Dry itchy skin?

2009-09-29 12.46.50Is it just that time of year for dry itchy skin or do you suffer from dry itchy skin year round?  Chronic dry itchy skin issues may be a sign of something you may not be aware of. Here are a couple things  that are not often considered.

1.  Low Thyroid or low functioning thyroid – When someone wants to discuss their dry itchy skin, the first question I usually ask is “are you taking a thyroid medication?”  A low thyroid hormone can decrease the blood flow to the arms and legs and to the surface of the skin.  The elongation of dietary fatty acids into oils preferred by the skin to maintain moisture requires optimal function of thyroid hormone.  I guess this is another advantage for taking Fish Oils (Omega 3’s).  For more on Fish oils and dry itchy skin go to www.omega-research.com.

One issue that I will try to cover in a future post is that of low functioning thyroid.  This is when the level of thyroid in the blood is normal but you have many, if not all the symptoms of low thyroid.  So often I hear patients discuss their symptoms and when I ask if they have had their thyroid checked they answer “yea, my doctor says it’s not my thyroid”.

So next time you have your blood drawn, ask your doctor or  nurse if you could have a full thyroid panel.   Whether or not you have thyroid problems, it would be nice to see how the thyroid is functioning.  I would like to see a Total T4, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, TSH, Thyroglobulin, and TPO.  If you are not planning on seeing the doctor anytime soon and would like to have your thyroid checked, let me know and I can send you one of our test kits.  For more information on the test kits go to www.zrtlab.com.

2. Low Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of my favorite vitamins to recommend.  I find that most of us are deficient even though you can get it from the sun’s exposure to your skin.  Isn’t that an incredible feature that God has given us?  It is these little things that make me wonder how someone can believe we came from a ball of goo.  But that is another story I’ll leave for the discussion section.

Being able to make a necessary nutrient just by getting some sunshine is one of the reasons I find this vitamin so interesting.  Several colleagues have discussed with time lately that

.  So to get back into focus, how does Vitamin D affect dry or itchy skin?  Here is what I have learned.

Evidence shows lower vitamin D levels are found in patients that suffer from dry itchy skin.  There is extensive research that has shown a relationship between Vitamin D and Eczema.  Eczema is a chronic dry itchy skin condition.  Apparently Vitamin D helps in suppressing the inflammation process that causes dry itchy skin.  For more information on vitamin D, I always head over to www.vitamindcouncil.org.

What you can do, is have your Vitamin D level checked.  A normal range for Vitamin D is between 30 and 80.  I am always hoping to see a level above 50 but below 100.  The research shows that this will provide maximum benefit.  Since this is not on the standard blood test, you will have to request this test the next time you are at your doctor’s office.  We also have a kit that can test for vitamin D if you are not going to your doctor anytime soon.

If you have any questions on these ideas to help your dry itchy skin just leave me a comment below or send me a message jregel@regelpharmalab.com

 

Drinking water for weight loss

A new year means weight loss plans are starting.  Why so much water?  It seems like every diet plan requires at least 2 liters (8, 8 ounce glasses) of water a day.  I never seem to be able to get 2 liters in before bed.  And unless I want to be up several times in the night going to the bathroom, I usually just skip it.  So being the mad scientist that I seem to be to my friends and relatives, I decided to investigate this a little further.  What I found was interesting.

Let me preface this with some logical thinking.  If you drink water before a meal you will feel full sooner.  This seems to me a “no-brainer”.  I don’t need a medical study to tell me that, I can just observe this myself.  Also, our body is 70% water and we need to replenish this essential ingredient.

water bottleThe following is a list of things that water does in the body.  Read further to see if it actually leads to weight loss.

  • The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.
  • Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.
  • Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired.
  • Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract, and it lubricates your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.
  • A healthy (weight loss) diet includes a good amount of fiber. But while fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

Ok, so we need water but does it lead to weight loss?

According to the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition in an article titled, Association between water consumption and body weight outcomes: a systematic review, published in 2013, there is not enough quality evidence to show that drinking water helps loose weight.  This review looked at 11 original studies that spanned the last 10 years.

My conclusions:

Drink at least 2 liters of water a day for your overall health.
Drinking 2 liters a day may not be that critical for weight loss.  The jury is still out on this one.

7 ways to get the pipes flowing (preventing constipation)

Someone close to me recently had bowel surgery.  I saw up close how the stomach works, or in this case, doesn’t work.   Through this experience, I learned why a healthy digestive system is so important.

Relieving constipation is one of the most common inquiries received by pharmacists.  More than 4 million Americans have frequent constipation, accounting for 2.5 million physician visits a year. Those reporting constipation most often are women and adults ages 65 and older. Pregnant women often suffer from constipation, and it is a common problem following childbirth or surgery.

Some nutrients, like iron and calcium supplements, can cause constipation. It is also a common side effect of many medications, particularly many pain medications.  Since pain meds are the #1 medication group in the U.S., many people are suffering from this complaint.   Regardless of the cause, those looking for relief can find some helpful tips below.

1.  Exercise regularly

Did you know that after bowel surgery the first treatment nurses administer is getting the patient to walk, walk, and walk some more?  Being in a vertical position allows gravity to help move food through the stomach and intestines.  Also, other abdominal muscles are moving and can assist in the movement of food through the bowel.  So whether you take a quick stroll through the park, play catch with your kids, or shake it in a Zumba class, you’re intestines will thank you for the help getting things moving.

2.  Drink more water

I know you’ve heard about drinking 8 glasses of water each day to keep your body hydrated.  Bodies that are adequately hydrated perform many functions better, including digestion.  I make it a priority to drink a minimum of 2 liters (that is eight 8 ounce glasses) of water each day.  It helps to buy a reusable bottle and have a loose schedule of when you refill it (i.e. as you leave the house in the morning, before your lunch break, when you pick the kids up, etc.)  It pushes you to finish those last few gulps since you know it’s nearly time to refill.  By the way, drinking this much water can help with weight maintenance and even weight loss.  (Check with us for more on the topic of water for weight loss in the near future.)

3.  Eat more fiber

We should all be eating foods that are high in fiber.  Nutritionists tell us to eat 11 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  Why?  Because they are perfectly designed for your body to digest.  Foods that are easier to digest will move more quickly through the gut, making constipation another reason to limit the processed foods you eat.

4.  Supplement with Probiotics

Pro-biotics are an “essential” nutrient I take daily.  The bacteria in Pro-biotics help the natural bacteria in the stomach digest foods.  The bacteria “eat” the food in the stomach, allowing absorption of nutrients and furthering the breakdown process necessary to move food through the body.  (Check back for more on the benefits of Pro-Biotics soon.)

5.  Supplement with Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for your body, and one of its benefits is improved muscle contraction.  The lining of your intestines is actually a long muscle that performs a wave-like motion to push food down and out.  This wave-like action is enhanced by magnesium.  Read more on magnesium here.

6.  Supplement with Digestive Enzymes

Your body uses digestive enzymes to break down fats, carbs, and proteins.  Without this breakdown process, your intestines have   to work harder and longer to move the food through your gut.  The undigested food then has time to ferment, causing unwanted gas, bloating and constipation.   Patients struggling with gas, bloating and constipation are seeing some impressive results with our digestive enzymes formula.  Contact us if you would like to try for yourself.

Digestivie Vitamins

7.  Take a Daily Stool Softener

I recommend Docusate Sodium 100 mg.  This is sold at nearly all pharmacies without a prescription.  It works by making sure you are doing the second tip (hydrating).  It helps increase the water content of the stool, making it easier to pass.  In order to benefit from taking a stool softener, you must be adequately hydrated.

And to clear up some common confusion: Stool softeners are not laxatives.  I do not recommend taking laxatives daily.  They work differently in the body and are best used in situations requiring a more aggressive level of treatment.  Laxatives can be addictive. (And no, I don’t mean you can get “high” on Ex-lax.)  Your body can become so accustomed to the help of the laxative that your bowels lose the ability to do what they are designed to do naturally.  Since laxatives will not prevent constipation or improve the health of your digestive system, they are not included in this list.

We want to provide you with the nutrients your body needs to do what it is supposed to do naturally.   It’s what we’re all about.  If you are suffering from chronic constipation and think you could benefit from any of the nutrients in this list, please contact us or come by to chat.

 

 

5 reasons I take Magnesium and why I think you should too

5 Reasons I Take Magnesium and Think You Should Too

1.  Sleep

Life is hectic, so a good night’s sleep is essential for me.  Magnesium can help insomnia and is one of the “essential” nutrients I take just before bed.  To be clear about Magnesium’s role in sleep, I must say it will not guarantee you fall into a deep sleep quickly or keep you there all night.  But I can say that low Magnesium levels will guarantee trouble in those two areas.

How does low magnesium keep you from sleeping well?   Let’s dig a little deeper into how it works in your body.  Magnesium is a vital tool for the GABA receptor in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.  GABA receptors are responsible for calming the brain.  When the GABA receptors aren’t activated, we tend to remain tense, our thoughts race, and we lie in bed staring at the ceiling.  So Magnesium is required to activate the receptors needed to “switch off” our brains at night. If your sleep trouble stems from restless leg syndrome, read on.

2.  Muscle Relaxant

Ever experience sore, tight muscles?  I carry stress in my neck and shoulder area so these muscles are always tense.  The effects of Magnesium are making a real difference for me in this area.  It has been suggested that many individuals with muscle cramps can benefit from the muscle relaxant effect of magnesium. Furthermore, there seems to be more and more evidence that Restless Leg Syndrome can be related to magnesium deficiency.  My sister-in-law began suffering with restless leg during pregnancy, but it has continued and worsened over the last two years.  I have several patients who benefitted from Magnesium taken at bedtime for restless leg, so my sister-in-law is trying it.  I’ll let you know how it works for her.

3.  Heart Health

My lovely wife, Summer, experienced “heart flutters” when she laid down at night. It happened so frequently, she decided to see a cardiologist.  The cardiologist did some tests and determined she was suffering from frequent periventricular contractions (PVC). The condition requires monitoring, but was not a major concern. Her doctor offered a medication to control the symptoms.  She decided to take my advice and try Magnesium to see if it would help before starting the prescription.   7 months later, she still feels the flutters occasionally but not often enough to disrupt her life.  Plus, it only seems to happen when she has forgotten her magnesium for a day or two.

Magnesium can also play a role in general heart health.  It may help with lowering the risk of coronary heart diseases. Dietary surveys have suggested that sufficient magnesium intake may reduce the chance of having a stroke. Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which increases the risk of complications after a heart attack. Therefore, consuming recommended amounts of magnesium dietary supplements may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Magnesium may also help with Hypertension (high blood pressure).

4.  Bone Health

I love sports and hope to pass that love on to my children.  I want to play catch in the backyard with grandchildren someday, so I need to keep my bones strong.  Magnesium is involved in bone formation and influences how bone is built up and broken down.  Multiple research studies have suggested that calcium supplemented with magnesium improves bone mineral density. Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium, resulting in osteoporosis. Intake of recommended levels of magnesium is important because it combats osteoporosis.

5.  Prevention of Diabetes

With a family history of diabetes, I try to be conscious of my diet.  Magnesium can help with carbohydrate metabolism and helps insulin work more efficiently, controlling blood glucose levels. It has been proven that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium daily intake, there is a 15 % decrease in the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

These are the top 5 reasons I take Magnesium, but there are many other benefits.  It has also been known to help with:

PMS Cramping and Mood Swings

Asthma
Depression
Fibromyalgia

I, personally, take Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate.  I usually take one 200 mg tablet at bedtime.  The Amino Acid Chelate form is best for improved absorption into the blood stream.  Most stores carry magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate.   These versions may improve your digestive flow and, in the extreme, cause diarrhea.   If you take magnesium that I have not listed or have any questions about the benefits of Magnesium, feel free to contact me. I would love for you to follow my lead and improve your health with Magnesium.  It really does make a difference.

For more information regarding the background information and research discussed in the post, please contact Regel Pharmalab at (901) 757-9434.

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate

Hope in medicine

Our mission is to provide you Hope.  Hope for individuals who need answers to medical problems.  I have heard hope explained as having something new to try and the willingness to try it.  In turn, hopelessness is having no options or being unwilling to try the options. 

I have been there before.  Hopeless. I have accepted things I once thought unacceptable because I had tried everything I knew.  I had nowhere else to turn. Regel Pharmalab is a place you can turn.  Providing options that work is what we do best!  Whether you have a minor illness, chronic disease, or major traumatic health problem, we have answers.  

Today I want to introduce us.  In the future, I’ll tell you what we can do.  In the stories of what we have done for others, I hope you find an answer for yourself, a route you haven’t explored, or simply the courage to try something new.

Here is a little insight from a customer’s perspective:

“For many months I dealt with intolerable pelvic pain.  The medicine I took by mouth helped some, but I still suffered.  In an effort to get real pain relief, my physician raised my dosage again and again. I began to feel tired and almost “drunk.”  Worst of all, I was still in pain! Many days I did not feel comfortable driving my children to school. But I thought this was my only option. I was hopeless.

I did a little research and found Regel Pharmalab. Josh had an idea for an on-site cream that might help without the side effects.  I discussed this option with my doctor and he discussed it with Josh, and after a few days I had my first try. The cream was immediately helpful. Plus, it felt so good to be doing something about the problem. After a few weeks, I came to Josh with some thoughts on how to make it even better for me. Josh again worked with my physician and was able to find a medication that fits me just right.  I still have some pain every now and then, but I now feel like a mother and a wife again.”

Our passion is helping individuals in need of hope.  We look forward to hearing from you and working together toward a solution that works for you.

View More: http://michaelallenphotography.pass.us/regal-pharmalab

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