Posted on Leave a comment

Here’s to Your Health AND your Heart

What you do today, will affect your heart health tomorrow.

Cardiovascular disease is a growing problem and financial burden costing the United States approximately 214 billion dollars a year.  Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to other health problems such as congestive heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and death.

Alarming statistics show that over the past 50 years, cardiovascular disease has been the number one cause of mortality in the United States, but 100 years ago it was not even ranked in the top ten causes of death.  In other countries that have diets lower in salt, cholesterol and fat people have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Most high blood pressure has no identifiable or secondary cause and is considered essential hypertension.

Some causes of essential hypertension include obesity, congestion of the liver, kidneys, or gall bladder, stress, and adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, high alcohol consumption, food allergies, and unbalanced essential fatty acids.  Only a qualified healthcare professional can test for the causes of high blood pressure and put you on a specific protocol that would best suit your needs, but the following are tests and recommendations to consider with your healthcare provider.

Tests to check for the causes of hypertension

  • Lipid profile:  Many people with high blood pressure and cholesterol have been linked with thyroid problems as well
  • Complete thyroid profile
  • Liver enzyme profile
  • Fatty acid blood profile:  breaks down the ratio of omega 3-6-9 and determines what specific nutrient(s) you are lacking

Steps that may help naturally control hypertension

  • Aerobic exercise:  at least 30-60 minutes 3-7 days per week
  • Detox programs:  These can help with clearing out the kidneys, liver, and gastro-intestinal system of any congestion and aid in weight loss (only do with the permission and guidance of a qualified healthcare professional)
  • Replace regular table salt with a sea salt
  • Increase intake of calcium, potassium, antioxidants, CoQ10, and essential fatty acids but make sure that you receive these nutrients in a food based formula, not from synthetic supplements.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management techniques
  • Herbs that are heart helpers include Hawthorne, Coleus, and Garlic.

Already taking a prescribed Statin drug?  Recent research has shown that they upset the omega 3-6-9 ratios and they rob the body of CoQ10, which can then lead to fatigue and shortness of breath.  These individuals need to make sure that they are replacing the CoQ10 with food based supplements and making sure that their omega 3-6-9 ratios are balanced.  It is never too late to begin the journey of eating your way to a healthy heart.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Year, New You

Ring in the New Year with a Weight Loss and Detoxification Program

After the last few months of holiday festivities, overindulgence in the form of food, alcohol, and stress can be at the forefront of our minds.  With the New Year upon us, many people vow to change their lives and lose weight, drink less, and meditate more.  One avenue that most people do not consider after a period of overindulgence is detoxification to rid the body from the chemicals and impurities that accumulated over the holiday season.

Detoxification is defined as the metabolic process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances.  It can be compared to the “junk drawer” that most people have in their home.  Over time, more items collect in the junk drawer until it cannot even be opened anymore.  Your body collects junk in the same way with the food you eat, the water you drink, and the air you breathe.  This junk consists of pesticides, pollutants, preservatives, heavy metals, chemicals and caffeine.

The liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and lymphatic system are all in charge of the handling and excreting of toxins from the body.  If these organs are overburdened, they can become inefficient just like a clogged air filter might.  Signs of toxicity include weight gain, fatigue, poor digestion, difficulty sleeping, food cravings, mental fog, dark circles under the eyes, moodiness, and low libido, just to name a few.

Many detoxification programs exist.  Here are a few key steps to follow when choosing the right program for you:

  • Always check with a licensed healthcare professional before you begin a detoxification program because people with certain diseases like diabetes, need to be monitored especially well while detoxifying.
  • Make sure that the program is made from food and is free of preservatives, chemicals, and artificial sweeteners and ingredients.
  • It is usually better to perform a detoxification program that is gentler on your body, so choose one that lasts for more than a day or two.
  • Buddy up…When you complete a detoxification program with a friend or family member it helps to stay focused and the results are usually more significant.

After the completion of a detoxification program, most people experience increased energy, improved health, weight reduction, improved digestion, clearer thinking, and removal of food addictions.  With all of these improvements the New Year can definitely begin the start of a New You!

Did you know that Dr Stephanie has created her own online detox program?  Her comprehensive step by step system will walk you through a 28 Day Hormone Reset Detox – Want to find out if it’s right for you?  Check out the program link here.

Posted on Leave a comment

What Should I Eat?

I am asked at least on a weekly basis, “What should I eat to maintain or improve my health?”  Although the answer to this question can be very specific for each individual’s needs, there is definitely an underlying theme for all of us in order to eat for health and wellness. 

The first and most obvious answer is EAT! The harder follow up question is WHAT DO I EAT?  To put it simply, we need to eat REAL FOOD, meaning foods that are free of preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes, colors, sweeteners, etc.  Many of these preservatives and additives have been shown to have undesirable effects on us like hyperactivity, increased heart beats, decreased energy, and much more.  Unadulterated foods like fruits, vegetables, pure dairy, butter, meat, fish, are all great places to start.

The beautiful thing about Charleston, South Carolina is that we have many outlets for us to enjoy where we can purchase unadulterated foods.  These include farmer’s markets, health foods stores, CSA’s (community supported agriculture), and even most big chain grocery stores are now carrying local and/or organic food choices.  There are also many chemical free farms in the area that you can drop by and even pick your own fruits and veggies.  For example, I love going blueberry picking at the beginning of summer.  I freeze them and use them throughout the year; this is a great way for me to support local business as well as receiving a high quality product at a reasonable price!

When shopping the grocery stores, I also suggest shopping around the perimeter of the store; meaning that you do not purchase anything that is in the aisles as these are where most grocery stores keep all of the processed foods.  By shopping the perimeter, you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, seafood, dairy, and eggs.

So to reiterate, get out of your house this summer and travel to one of the many local farmers markets in your area, or take a family outing to visit a local farm and pick your own fruits and vegetables.  You will see a difference not only in taste, but also in your bank account and most importantly, your health.

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CCN, CNS is a licensed chiropractic physician, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC.  Dr. Zgraggen has developed a successful method for determining the root causes of many of her patient’s health concerns, and she uses a combination of whole food and herbal protocols to restore health.