The Worst Holiday Present

You wake up with a shiny new Holiday “gift pimple” on your chin. This is not going to go well with all those party photos. However, it does match the ugly sweater!

No one loves pimples! (except, Dr. Sandra Lee, the pimple popper, naturally!) Most of the human race as a whole despises them almost as much as politicians. We feel as if everyone is staring at them, they make us uncomfortable, and a bit insecure, at worse it makes us feel ugly and in the mood to become a hermit till they disappear.350_1

Pimples, blemishes, zits, spots, boils, blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, acne, comedones….whatever you call them, we all dread them. Some of us do love to squish them but that is a temporary, guilty pleasure.

Over the years, I have done some drastic things to combat the outbreaks. I fell for so many products claiming to make them vanish. I even cut bangs (fringe, if you are British) to cover an outbreak on my forehead. That was a bit silly and just made it worse! The fact is, there are products that help; some are not healthy, some dry the skin, some only work short-term. 

There are way too many products and way too many myths about the causes of these nasty intruders.

Like most health issues there are several causes. Some people need the perfect storm for a breakout; other just are prone to hosting zits. Our skin is our largest organ. When things are not functioning well, or there is an imbalance, our skin will indicate the body is need of help.

We all know the basic story: dirt and oil get clogged in a pore you get a pimple. This is only partly true. If you have a healthy balance inside your body and a balance of good bacteria on your skin, you can be almost immune to getting blemishes. So there is no need to use harsh products to strip your skin!

How does this work?

First, let’s briefly look at all the major causes of our breakouts:

  • Hormone imbalance. This is why we get zits at puberty, or breakouts with menstrual cycles, or with hypothyroid and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
  • Poor diet: high in sugar and processed foods.donut-guy
  • Hygiene: Over washing skin with harsh, anti- bacterial, or drying substances.
  • Reactions to products. (i.e. Sensitive skin)
  • Products: Blocking pores with facial soaps, moisturizers, and/or make-up.
  • Bad bacteria outnumbering good bacteria on your skin and in your gut.
  • Toxins: Smoking, alcohol, drugs!

Let’s look at how we can fix each of these issues.

Hormones— (I will spare you the geeking out with all the physiology.) Hormones are broken down by the liver. When the liver is over tasked, it shows on your skin!

Our hormones should be easily broken down by the liver then eliminated. However, when we hit puberty we get a surge of crazy hormones, sometimes more than our body can clear. Add in a typical teen diet of pizza, chips, and processed food; the liver just can not keep up. Note that 62% of acne patients are adults, and most are women. Most of these women have an imbalance in hormones seen by cyclical breakouts. 

When our liver gets overwhelmed as teens or adults, we will break out with acne or pimples. Click here for a link to our cleanse to help keep your liver working well.

Sometimes, acne can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. When thyroid levels are low, the liver does not filter cholesterol out of the bloodstream efficiently lowering the available amount to the body tissues that need cholesterol to form things like progesterone which signals the release of thyroid hormone. Therefore an imbalance of hormones results.

Diet— Many people think it is a myth that what you eat affects your skin. Even some dermatologist believe food has nothing to do with skin health. However, it is proven those that eat a clean, whole food based diet are healthier with clearer skin. This includes better skin quality plus slowing the signs of aging. The most interesting study (if you want to geek out) is an anthropology study on the Canadian Inuit population. It was noticed they started getting acne only when they began eating processed foods! It is not chocolate, it is any foods with a high gycemic load, especially highly processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives. 

Sugar is the most inflammatory food. If you eat refined (added sugar, not natural fruit sugar) you are causing inflammation. “The evidence that pro-inflammatory foods simultaneously exacerbate acne and other chronic diseases, raises the possibility that Acne vulgaris should be added to the list of ‘diseases of civilization’” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5046992/

Diets high in sugar also decrease you immune system. We need strong immune systems to keep the bacteria in balance, overgrowth of “bad” bacteria can cause breakouts. The link between sugar and immune system suppression has been proven in scientific studies.

Nutrient low diets. How do you expect to build healthy skin cells with poor nutrients?!

Staying Hydrated. Yes, water is beneficial to keep those cells happy and helps your body eliminate waste products so your body remains clean and clear. Not to mention hydrated skin looks years younger than dehydrated. Think of the difference between a grape and a raisin!

Hormone filled meats and dairy. When you eat meat and dairy, make sure it is hormone free and antibiotic free. However, It is best to cut back on dairy since it tends to be inflammatory too. (I know we all love cheese…but it does not love us)

Hygiene, mainly over washing and harsh products strips your natural oils and balanced bacteria from you skin. After stripping the oils and bacteria, our skin works overtime to replace those oils. Plus bad bacteria seem to repopulate faster than the healthy balance you had before. So you can become more oily creating prime conditions for breakouts. The balance of bacteria helps prevent breakouts too!

TIP: Wash with warm (not hot) water and a soft cloth. Use a gentle soap (liquid is usually less drying) or a natural oil, like coconut oil  to remove dirt and/ or makeup (yes, oil works!) wipe clean with warm water then rinse with cold or cool water. You can use a homemade toner.

Reactions to products. If a product irritates your skin it will get inflamed! Your skin will try to protect itself by producing oils, or it will peel….these reactions can cause clogged pores.

Products: Adding certain products like moisturizers, makeup, sunscreens, acne products, coverup to your face, especially those with loads of complicated ingredients, tend to be comedogenic, i.e. pore clogging. Many natural oils like coconut oil are listed as a comedogenic however, the antimicrobial properties in it tend not to cause breakouts and provide a better moisturizer than many expensive products on the market.


Bad Bacteria
..really it is more of an imbalance that is the issue. Putting “bad” bacteria on your face sounds like a no-brainer for not being an intelligent move, but we do it without even thinking. Many women rarely wash their make-up brushes or toss old makeup, this is a major cause transferring bacterianew-pimple that cause blemishes. Keeping your pillow case clean and your dirty hands off your face, especially when working or studying is also useful to mention. We touch so much then put our hands on our face several times a day! Picking zits spreads bacteria, irritates skin, and again you are putting your hands on your face!

Toxins– I will keep this one short because all toxins slow the liver down, and negatively affect the body! Smoking- it is filled with toxins that are horrible for you skin plus ages you. Alcohol- this is sugar and toxins so think about all we said above. Drugs are just more toxins so very hard on your body/ liver.

General Tips for Clear Skin:

  1. Try my Detox for Clear Skin 🙂 So you can have step by step instructions. Sort of an “easy guide to clear skin.”
  2. Eat clean, exercise, keep your face in a healthy balance of good bacteria by not over washing, avoid toxins, and keep your face products natural and simple!
  3. If you want to get really clear on the subject check out our Clear Skin Detox….Doctor created program for clearer skin in 3 weeks. Ok, this is a repeat but it is nice to have clear skin! acne-flyer1

Geeking out with other articles:

Counting the Many Ways Sugar Harms Your Health

“Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Poop!

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Poop is one of the first clues to when something is out of balance with our health. Our immune system, our emotional well being, our skin health and more is directly linked to our digestive tract! Click here to start improving your health now! http://squ.re/24KcHNP

Do not Nuke Your Nuts


“Is that a cell phone in your pocket your are you just happy to see me?”

Or are you just trying to reduce sperm count, cause mutant DNA (poorly formed sperm not x-men sperm) and increase your risk of testicular cancer?

In short, it is a very bad decision to opt for convince over health by placing cell phones and laptops on or next to your testicles. Save roasted nuts for culinary purposes only. Yes, I have had too many patients who are trying to conceive and the sperm morphology—the structure—is abnormally formed and unhealthy. Sperms with stumpy or missing tails can not swim. Those of you not wanting to conceive can find other forms of birth control. The cellular changes to the testicle comprise only a percentage of the problem, we are also seeing higher rates of testicular cancer.

IMG_5035

Save the Cock, photo by Dmitry Vinokurov 

At one time “tighty-whities” presented the biggest danger to your sperm count, now the world posses larger threats. Saving your balls from more than tighty-whities and biker shorts, which can also decrease your chances of attempted insemination for other reasons beyond the increase testicular temperature, but I digress). Our modern world provides cell phones, lab tops, toxic chemicals, and zeno-estrogens (estrogen mimicking molecules in plastics, pesticides, hormones in our food, etc) just to name a few dangers. It is time to get educated so you can take action.

Two options to save your family jewels other than going off grid are as follows.

  • First do not carry your phone in a pocket or put laptops on your lap, despite its name. 
    • Backpacks or messenger bags work great.
    • Belt clips with EMF protection
  • Second, if you don’t want to carry a some type of bag (bookbag, messenger bag, brief case, man bag, or laptop case) for your electronics; place a blocker directly on your devices.

 

If you would like more information on testicular health: health tips, how to increase sperm health, how to do self exams and more! Please click here for your guide just $4.95.

Going Nuts?!?

The incidence of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 45 years, has doubled over the last 30 years in developed countries.

“Tumour risk associated with use of cellular telephones or cordless desktop telephones.” Hardell L1, Mild KH, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F.

“Lifestyle and testicular dysfunction: a brief update.” Agarwal A1, Desai NR, Ruffoli R, Carpi A.

“Biophysical evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic field effects on male reproductive pattern.” Kesari KK1, Kumar S, Nirala J, Siddiqui MH, Behari J. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013 Mar;65(2):85-96. doi: 10.1007/s12013-012-9414-6.

Is My Self-Esteem Low Enough to Date you?

Admittedly, this sounds arrogant. So let me explain.2013-09-17-The-Adventures-of-Self-Esteem-Girl

Today, as I flipped through the radio stations I heard some guy saying he just goes up to girls in bars and briefly chats them up and ask if he can give them a night they never will forget. This apparently works well for him. I, of course, make smart ass comments in my head about STDs causing the lasting memory. However, as I continued to listen, guys call in making comments about how all those girls must be “trolls.” It started me thinking. I thought about all my fabulous friends and myself, if we would go home with this guy. How many times have we said yes to a date or have given our number out to people (this goes for men, women, straight, gay, and bi) that were just not in our highest interest. Many amazing humans have dated the worst humans, the meanest girls, the bad boy, or the dead beat leach, etc. It may not even be that drastic, we just  date people that were are not a good fit for us. Why? We need to feel connection, love, or something other than hurt.

Life can be hard. When someone comes up to you and is interested in you (or even just interested in getting into your pants) it can be just the ego boost you need. I admit it, I had months of meeting guys that every time I said I was a doctor, they physically took a step back! To go from open body posture, leaning in to a step back and arms folding…sucked. My med school friends and I joked about our degrees being the ultimate “cock block.” Yes, we do realize that we don’t want to date guys that were too insecure to date a doctor, but it still hurt. After a while the bar drops, the self esteem drops, you think things like “Hey, at least he bathes somewhat regularly!”  This can happen to anyone, any profession, and any age group. It does not take much. It could be a bad relationship where a partner repeatedly criticizes you. That slow tearing down can drastically lower your self esteem to the point where one nice comment can get you to hop into a another not so great relationship. At one point in my life, my desire to be wanted grew, it did cloud my judgement. As a naturopathic doctor, I am into health, yet I somehow dated an alcoholic, overweight, fracking supporting narcissist,  (yep, not a bright spot in my life) but he seemed like a nice guy at first. Yep, he asked me out and made a genuine effort, that is it.

How can we stop this crazy behavior? We need to learn healthy self love (I am not talking masterbation but that too is healthy) and to raise your own & each others self esteems. As a society we tear each other down easily and seem to forget how to build each other up. Practice positive self talk, say nice things to your self rather than critical. Practice giving complement out, sadly, at first it is a little awkward. Fears about giving complements include: fear of people thinking you are being fake (like a used car salesman), weird or you are hitting on them. I soon learned how easy it is to give genuine complements without it feeling odd or fear that people would think it is a come on. Learn to accept complements. Yes, just soak them in and say thank you! If you brush them off like you are not worthy of them you are denying the giver and missing out on an amazing gift. Just imaging handing someone a gift and they say “keep it, I am not worthy.” Kinda sucks for both of you.

Building people up. “Bless that which you want” is a Huna Philosophy. Many times that we tear others down it is because we are jealous in a way or that we see an aspect of ourselves in that person that we don’t like. When we see that guy with the sports car and think “midlife crisis car” or “compensation,” what are we doing? We may not want that car but we may just want the extra cash to do something that we value. So why not just think “good for him!” Any time you find yourself thinking or saying something negative things, try blessing it. It can be as easy as saying to your friends “I wish I had the ovaries to wear that!” or telling someone they look amazing to their face.

Next time that person you know is not good for your wellbeing is chatting you up, smile, thank them for the flattering remarks and walk away knowing you love yourself and that is perfect. Maybe the right person will come along, maybe not but you will never know if you don’t raise the bar for yourself.

Self-esteem song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMf8xa__d9o

 

Health & Joy,

Dr. Susan Lundgren

image from http://www.lastkisscomics.com/comic/the-adventures-of-low-self-esteem-girl/

Breakfast on the Go…that Helps You Go!

Flipping Fast Food…The Healthier side of to go breakfast!

Smoothies, a great way to get all the nutrients you need first thing in the morning. Helps get your morning going; with the added fiber it helps get your bowels moving too 🙂 It can be your regular morning routine!

*First find a protein powder that works for you.

Here are just a few recipes to get you started!

 

Island Green

Blend until creamy.  Makes 3 glasses.

1 Cup Spinach

4 Peaches

1 Mango

1 Banana (can add an apple instead, if you dislike naners!)

3 scoops of protein powder

1 Cup Water

 

Fruity & Fun

Blend until creamy.  Makes 3 glasses.

3 Kale Leaves

2 Apples

1 Peach

2 Pears

3 scoops protein powder

1 1/2 Cups Water

 

Berry Bonanza

Berry Bonanza

Blend till smooth. Makes 3 glasses

1 cup Frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup raspberries

3 cups coconut milk (can use cooled green tea!)

3 scoops protein powder

Release Anxiety by Getting a Set of Balls

One of the top selling pharmaceutical categories in the US is anxiety medicine. Not only do doctors prescribe anxiety meds, the US population seeks help with anxiety via botanical, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, lifestyle changes, and various supplements. To help my patients and the greater public, I am designing programs to help with anxiety (plus other common issues) which shall be available online shortly. For instant gratification, I will provide helpful tips via my blog and website now!

On to the part you really want … I humbly suggest that we get a set of balls…not the type you are thinking! Aromatherapy balls!

1. Buy a piece of foam or a natural sponge about the size of a tennis ball.

Step one materials 2. Tie a soft piece of cloth around the foam. I suggest fleece, velvet, or something super wonderful to touch. We should enjoy playing with our balls.

Wrap 3. Put a few drops of Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Bergamot, or Melissa essential oil onto the ball.

4. When you become anxious, stressed or frustrated; whip out your balls and apply 1-2 fresh drops of you chosen oil and squeeze the ball rhythmically while you take deep breaths. Take a 4 count inhale and a 6 count exhale as the heat of your hand releases the aroma from the balls. The smoother these breaths, the better for your brain and heart.

Studies have found Chamomile quite effective at reducing anxiety.Add oil
If you would like to add extra power to help the anxiety melt away, say a positive affirmation such as “I am calm and in complete control of my emotions.”

Visit http://www.ptera-wellness.com for more helpful hints and downloads.

Health & Joy,

Dr. Susan Lundgren

 

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