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Stay Strong, Naturally

Stay Strong, Naturally

Something I’m excited about is being well naturally. And since I like to really live life to the fullest; travel workout, canoe, swim in the ocean, lift heavy weights and hike for days if possible…I need to make sure my body is strong. That way I get the most out of a life I feel is fleeting and a huge blessing. Bandaid solutions have never resonated with me, I like to really get in there and heal the condition from the root.

We are human, we are naturally going to encounter some injuries, some wear and tear with age and some viruses and pathogens. So I do my best to keep my body strong, supple and at a healing advantage. That way, when I encounter these stressors my body is resilient enough to fight them off or heal quickly.

Diet wise I eat whatever keeps me in the most ‘alkaline’ and ‘anti-inflammatory’ state. Meaning I stay away from processed foods, chemicals and junk that will burden my body and cause inflammation. I lean towards lots of veggies; my first priority is always a cooked veggie, salad or smoothie with spinach or kale added. Then I reach for fruits like apples, bananas and berries daily. I also eat a ton of good fats like nuts, nut butter, avocados, olive oil. I eat gluten free - gluten causes a lot of bloating and inflammation in my tummy and I’ve found I have a way flatter stomach if I eliminate gluten. So I choose things like potatoes and rice instead of bread. And then I drink lots of pure water and green tea. And dark chocolate as my treat!

I also choose an ‘anti-inflammatory’ mindset. Meaning I step away from drama, gossip and conversations that leave me feeling drained, attacked or uncomfortable. I also discipline myself to release stressful thought patterns and worry, via meditation, giving worries up to a higher power and exercising to release stress held in the body.

When it comes to being active I mix it up. I love to lift heavy weights, but after a while I get a bit stiff so I mix in stretching and dancing in my living room! I also jump rope and do some pilates style core strengthening. And then I walk my dog several times a day in the most nature-y places we can discover. I generally make sure I move my body 6-7 days a week.

Finally I support my anti-inflammatory and strong body and mind lifestyle with a few supplements. My favorite right now comes from a company called SierraSil, authentically Canadian just like me. (Yay for small business right now and forever guys!). SierraSil is unique because they don’t create a bandaid ‘pain killing’ solution for aches and pains and swelling, but they treat you from the inside out. We humans have become greatly mineral deficient through over farming of our soils, chemical residues in our foods and processed, nutrient poor foods dominating our diets. SierraSil contains an epic profile of minerals mined naturally from the Sierra Mountains that deliver micro mineral nutrition to our bodies. These minerals not only calm inflammation at a gene expression level (from the inside out), but they chelate (detox) heavy metals like lead, which I love because it means I’m getting healthier and more immune to illness and stress while I treat my sore back or neck (areas I tend to hold stress!). I recently had an acute injury in my hip, caused by a twisted pelvis, and the first night I tried the topical Pain Relief spray along with the Joint Formula curcumin capsules (with some SierraSil mineral included) was the first night I was able to sleep through and sit up out of the bed without major pain. I’ve stayed on their curcumin 2x a day and the pain is dissipating with each day. Since I hate taking over the counter pain killers this has been a super life saver! Plus the spray smells all nice and minty like a breath of much needed crisp fresh air.

So I’m a SierraSil convert and I’m excited about getting my mum on the Joint Formula14 (all minerals) for her osteo-arthritis next. Stay tuned for the results! She is very active with walks and senior fit classes so I’m looking forward to getting her this support.

Stay strong, adventurous, vibrant and healthy, whatever your age!

Sitara

What is Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain, fatigue, pain sensitivity, and joint discomfort. This common condition is type of arthritis that is easily missed and not thoroughly understood. As the second most common condition impacting the health of our bones and muscles, it’s important to give you the facts on fibromyalgia. You may know someone who has fibromyalgia or be living with this condition. Now, when someone asks you: What is fibromyalgia?, you can share this article with them. The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia are what make it challenging to diagnose. Common symptoms including joint discomfort, muscle discomfort, and overwhelming fatigue are the hallmarks of fibromyalgia. Like so many joint and muscle conditions, there is no known cause for fibromyalgia. However, doctors do know that there are a number of ways to lessen the symptoms of this condition. Read on to learn more about fibromyalgia and how it impacts those around you living with it. What Are the Possible Causes of Fibromyalgia? While doctors do not know why some people develop fibromyalgia, they have been able to identify possible causes or reasons why some people develop this condition. For people suffering from fibromyalgia, they are often in intense full-body pain. This pain is present when there is no sign of injury or sickness. Doctors believe that this enhanced pain is a result of some people having a misfire or glitch in how the brain and spinal cord manage pain signals. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people and not to others. They have learned that people with fibromyalgia might have a higher than average number of cells that carry pain signals than is normal. The result is having a body that is extremely sensitive to pain, small bumps and bruises hurt more than they do for others and pain can arise from absolutely nothing. It’s not clear why some people have enhanced pain signals, but we do know that there are some factors that can result in over-active pain cells:
  • Genetics. Fibromyalgia is often common in families. Parents pass on these pain-sensitive genes to their children along with other genes that can make their children more anxious or depressed, making the pain stronger.
  • Other conditions or diseases. People with another auto-immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or lupus are more susceptible to developing fibro.
  • Emotional or physical abuse. Because of the connection to pain and how the brain handles pain and stress, researchers have learned that children who suffer emotional or physical abuse are at higher risk for fibromyalgia.
  • Gender. This condition is more common in women than men.
  • Lack of exercise. Fibromyalgia is common in people who do not get enough daily physical exercise. In fact, one of the best treatments for fibro is regular daily exercise.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia? The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is all-over body aches and pain. This pain is constant and can be so overwhelming that sufferers cannot sleep, go to work, or function through-out the day. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
  • Muscle discomfort, burning, tightness, or twitching muscles.
  • Specific sensitive areas and a heightened pain sensitivity or low pain threshold.
  • Overwhelming fatigue that drains all energy.
  • A feeling of being in a fog or cloud – having trouble remembering or concentrating. This is often called “fibro fog”.
  • Insomnia and constantly disrupted sleep. This is often a result of the overwhelming pain.
  • Feeling stressed, depressed, worried, or nervous.
  • Pain and stiffness through-out your entire body. Every joint can be impacted, making it hard to walk, sleep, drive, etc.
  • Bloating, stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • A heightened sensitivity to light, sound, cold, or heat.
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet, hands, face, arms, hands, or legs.
This list of symptoms is what makes it so hard to diagnose fibromyalgia. People often suffer for a long time before getting diagnosed. How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed? Unfortunately, there is not one definitive test that doctors can use to diagnose fibromyalgia. Instead, the diagnose typically comes after ruling out all other disease possibilities. The symptoms of fibro are common to other conditions including arthritis, lupus, underactive thyroid, and other auto-immune conditions. To rule out these conditions, doctors use blood tests to monitor inflammation and hormone levels, overall health, indicators of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and other indicators. If no other underlying condition can be identified, and the patient has been suffering from three months of uninterrupted continuous all-body pain, doctors will deliver a fibromyalgia diagnosis. As we highlighted above, because of the symptoms and long list of unknowns about fibromyalgia, it can take a long time for patients to receive a diagnosis. This can be very frustrating, depressing, and scary for those suffering and their loved ones. How is Fibromyalgia Treated? Like most auto-immune diseases, there is not one sure-fire cure or treatment for fibromyalgia. This condition is unique for each individual and as a result requires a personalized approach to treatment. The good news is that doctors have developed a better understanding of what could cause fibro, and are now able to offer sufferers treatments that can provide relief. Typically, treatment involves a combination of medication and self-care – this depends on the severity of the disease. The overall goal of a fibro treatment plan is to lessen the symptoms and to improve patient overall health.
  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease some of the pain and discomfort. Depending on the pain level, your doctor might prescribe a prescription pain reliever.
  • Antidepressants. Depression is a common symptom of fibro, due to the constant pain and connections to traumatic events. As a result, antidepressants can be a benefit to some patients. Sleep aids can help as well in giving patients the ability to rest and get adequate sleep.
  • Anti-seizure medication. The pain that comes with fibro is debilitating, and some anti-seizure medications are effective in lessening this pain. Lyrica is the first drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia.
  • Therapy. Physical therapy is often used to help strengthen muscles and assist in better joint health. An occupational therapist can help patients make adjustment in their workplace and home to reduce body stress and discomfort. Emotional therapy is useful in helping patients deal with the stress, uncertainty, and depression that comes with fibro.
  • Exercise. Because fibromyalgia is more common in people who do not get regular daily exercise, doctors often prescribe exercise. This can be challenging given the pain and discomfort but by starting slowly with a low-impact activity such as walking or water aerobics, you can gradually increase your joint health and overall body strength.
How Can I Learn More About Fibromyalgia? Visit the following websites to learn more about fibromyalgia:

Need to Know: Joint Discomfort

Joint Discomfort
We want you to know that you should never ever ignore your joint discomfort. The aches in your knees, back, feet, ankles, wrists, elbows, and fingers can all be pointing to an underlying condition that can be treated. Joint discomfort is often a symptom of an illness or disease, so please do seek medical attention for any joint discomfort. Just as your health needs are unique, your joint care and mobility issues are also unique. You many have an autoimmune disease or other condition that makes joint discomfort and mobility issues part of your day-to-day. Regardless, we want you to know that you’re not alone in living with and managing this discomfort. You do not need to suffer in silence and we urge you to speak up when your joints are giving you trouble or the discomfort has worsened. In this article, we take a deep dive into joint discomfort, looking at some of reasons for it and different treatment options and recommendations. Please do seek medical attention for any joint discomfort you have – take our word for it – your health is too important to not give it the attention it deserves. Don’t Ignore Those Aches You likely know someone who had a minor ache that they decided to ignore. Funny thing about these minor aches, this is our body telling us to slow-down and figure out what is going on. But so many of us, ignore these minor joint aches, believing “it’s nothing” and then a few months later when the ache has become more than just “a little ache” we drag ourselves to a healthcare practitioner. Don’t do this. Listen to your body – give it the respect it deserves. If you really believe the sudden ache in your knee or wrist is from something you did, for example, spending the day digging in the garden or playing in a tennis tournament – then rushing off to your doctor may not be immediately necessary. Rest, ice, and pay attention to the source of discomfort – if after a few days you’re still sore – then get some medical attention. Okay, so now you know – don’t ignore aches, joint discomfort, mobility issues and other physical symptoms. This is your body’s warning system, letting you know that something is going on. What Are Common Reasons for Joint Discomfort? Joint discomfort can be caused by a range of illnesses and conditions, emphasizing the need to stay in-tune with the signals your body is giving you. Common conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, joint strains, sprains, and other trauma to your joints. Joint discomfort is incredibly common with most people dealing with knee, shoulder, and hip discomfort. The tricky aspect to this joint discomfort is the wide range of symptoms – some joint discomfort is associated with swelling, redness, and soreness to the touch while other joint discomfort may have none of these symptoms. One thing is definite, ongoing chronic joint discomfort can greatly impact your quality of life.
  • Arthritis: there are more than 100 types of arthritis. It impacts people of all ages, gender, and activity levels. The common symptoms include swelling, discomfort, stiffness, and mobility issues.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: this is an autoimmune disease, causing the immune system to attack otherwise healthy joints. This causes inflammation in the joints, causing swelling and discomfort, making it hard for the joints to move easily.
  • Osteoarthritis: this is the most common chronic joint condition. When the cartilage breaks down between the joints, this causes discomfort, swelling, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is most common in people 65 years and older.
  • Lupus: this is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks various body parts including the joints, kidneys and other organs, skin, blood, and the brain. Lupus can range from mild to severe and is associated with joint discomfort, fatigue, hair loss, skin rash, kidney problems, and light sensitivity.
  • Fibromyalgia: this chronic condition is associated with joint discomfort, chronic overall body discomfort, fatigue, memory issues, and frequent mood changes. Fibromyalgia affects over 3.7 million Americans, most who are women between the ages of 40 and 75.
  • Gout: this is a type of inflammatory arthritis that develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. This uric acid can create the formation of needle-like crystals in joints, causing sudden swelling, redness, heat, and discomfort. Often this condition occurs in the big toe joint.
This is a high-level snapshot of different conditions that can cause joint discomfort. Do discuss your joint discomfort with your healthcare practitioner to get to the source of your joint problems. How is Joint Discomfort Treated? Joint discomfort treatment ranges based on the source of the discomfort. While the range of treatments for joint discomfort is as long as the reasons for your joint discomfort, there are some widely accepted treatment options including:
  • Medications: the medication prescribe by your healthcare practitioner depends on the severity and source of your joint discomfort. These medications can range from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs to stronger and targeted medications designed to treat specific types of arthritis and other conditions.
  • Topical agents: topical agents that include capsaicin, can relieve some joint discomfort and is typically applied in a cream or in a wrap that can applied to knees, the upper back, or elbows.
  • Injections: for severe joint discomfort or that which is associated with an autoimmune disease, strong medications are delivered with injections or with intravenous therapy.
  • Exercise: this might sound counter-intuitive, but by building muscle and supportive strength, the stress on sore and inflamed joints can be lessened. Many arthritis patients for example, benefit from swimming, water exercise, cycling, and yoga.
  • Physical therapy: working with a physical therapist with ultrasound, hot and cold therapy, massage, electrical nerve stimulation and other specialized treatments can help alleviate and treat joint discomfort.
  • Alternative natural treatments: choose a natural supplements that can support cartilage and joint function health. Look for options that are all-natural and are backed by proven research studies.
  • Rest and recovery: giving your joints a chance to rest and recover from strains and sprains can help ease associated joint discomfort.
As always, listen to and follow the advice of your healthcare practitioner. Pay attention to the signs and signals your body is giving you.