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Kiss Your Cold Sores Goodbye

Kiss Your Cold Sores Goodbye

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Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small lesions that appear on the lips or surrounding skin. They are primarily caused by infection with the herpes simplex type 1 virus although they can result from herpes simplex type 2 virus, which is the virus that causes genital herpes. Once you are infected, you carry the virus for life. It can remain dormant and then periodically cause outbreaks, particularly when the immune system is weakened. Approximately 80% of people carry virus, and of those 20-40% experience recurrent outbreaks. The good news is that there are a number of natural methods to help prevent an outbreak and speed healing. Lifestyle Suggestions Reduce intake of foods containing high amounts of arginine (chocolate, nuts, whole-grains and gelatin) as this amino acid allows the cold sore virus to thrive. Boost intake of foods high in the amino acid lysine (legumes, fish, meat and dairy) as it helps reduce arginine levels. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables as these foods are loaded with immune-supporting antioxidants vitamins and minerals. To avoid contracting or spreading the virus, don’t share personal items such as drinking glasses, toothbrushes, razors, lipstick or towels. Since the sun can trigger outbreaks, apply sunscreen to lips and face before venturing outdoors. Moisturize – use lip balm regularly to prevent the lips from becoming dry, chapped or cracked. Relax -reduce stress, which is a common trigger for cold sores. Sleep – get adequate rest, which is essential for proper immune system function. Know the Warning Signs Those who get recurrent cold sores typically experience prodromal symptoms a day or two before an outbreak – tingling, itching or burning around the lips. This is the warning sign, but it is not too late as both thermal therapy and lysine supplements can help prevent an outbreak at this stage. Thermal Therapy – Health Canada recently approved an over-the-counter device (interceptCS™) for prevention of cold sores. The device emits a special type of heat that enhances the immune system response and stops the virus from coming out. It is most effective when used during the prodromal phase. Lysine – an amino acid that inhibits growth of the cold sore virus and may prevent an outbreak. It should be taken at the first sign of a cold sore. Dosage: one to three grams daily. Creams containing lysine can help promote healing but do not prevent outbreaks. If you have an outbreak, consider the following: Apply an ice pack, wrapped in a washcloth, for five minutes several times a day to ease pain and help dry out the sores. Dab the cold sore with a witch hazel on a cotton ball. Witch hazel has antiviral activity against HSV-1 and can reduce inflammation and spreading of the virus. Lemon balm has antiviral properties and can help speed healing. Look for a cream containing 1% lemon balm extract. Apply two to four...

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Love the Skin You’re In…Pearls to Beautiful Skin and a Radiant You!

Love the Skin You’re In…Pearls to Beautiful Skin and a Radiant You!

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Your skin is your largest organ providing a barrier to protect internal vital organs and forming your appearance and shape. Here are some “pearls” to taking care of this important organ. Reduce oxidative damage- Continued oxidative damage from free radicals deteriorates our skin, damages our DNA and causes aging. Fortunately, we can slow this process by harnessing the powerful effects of antioxidants. Applying antioxidant creams such as vitamin A at bedtime and vitamin C in the morning should be a key part of your skin care program. You can also eat your antioxidants through a diet rich in vitamin A (carrots, broccoli), vitamin C (citrus and berries), vitamin E (nuts and seeds), and polyphenols found in green tea. Consider a daily anti-oxidant supplement for a truly supercharged anti-aging regimen. Practice Safe Sun- Sun exposure is another threat to our skin as it thins, weakens and deteriorates our skin, causing fine lines and pigmented patches not to mention skin cancer. Avoid excessive sun exposure with a broad rimmed hat, sun glasses and staying indoors during peak UV hours of 10am to 2pm. Apply daily physical sun blocks using naturally occurring earth minerals, such as zinc and titanium dioxide, as these block UVA and UVB rays as opposed to chemicals which absorb UVB only. UVA rays, which cause cancer and photo-aging, can penetrate windows, making sun block a necessary step to skin care all year round even when indoors. Revolumize Naturally- As we age, we lose all components of our soft tissue including collagen, elastin, and fat. Taking a supplement with vitamin B complex including biotin can help support collagen renewal. Smile..it’s easier- Prevent deep furrows and frown lines by facial relaxation. Smiling requires less energy and uses fewer muscles than frowning. Sleeping on your back can help minimize sleep lines that form along the lower face. When we feel good …we look good!- So take time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as a necessary step to beautiful skin and a radiant you!  Visit www.pearlrejuvenation.com for more information. Dr. Jennifer Pearlman Dr. Jennifer Pearlman is a medical doctor with a focused practice in the area of women’s health and wellness. She is a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and is attending staff physician at the Menopause Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Pearlman has been awarded a focus practice designation by the Ontario Medical Association to enable her to work as an expert consultant to other physicians in the area of women’s health. Dr. Pearlman completed her medical school and residency training at The University of Toronto. She graduated with Honours and received numerous scholarships and awards. Dr. Pearlman is an active member of the Canadian and Ontario Medical Associations, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She is an active...

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Is there anything natural to take for PCOS rather than Diane 35?

Is there anything natural to take for PCOS rather than Diane 35?

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PCOS is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, excessive hair growth and obesity. One of the key features with PCOS is insulin resistance, which can affect fertility, cause weight issues and even increase heart disease risk. It is not known whether PCOS causes insulin resistance or the other way around. Birth control pills such as Diane 35 are often used because they lower levels of circulating androgens (hormones that are associated with hair growth and oily skin). The concern with taking products such as Diane 35 are the side effects such as low libido, mood swings, depression, headaches and bloating to name a few. Here are some things that you can do naturally to help improve PCOS: Follow a low glycemic index (GI) diet and get regular exercise because both of these things can improve insulin sensitivity. All our hormones are interconnected, and if something is out of balance (like insulin) it can affect other aspects of health, such as weight and fertility. A low GI diet means avoiding all refined/white flour products such as white bread, pasta, rice and baked goods. Instead have the whole grains (brown bread/rice/pasta). Cut down on sugar and juice. Eat small frequent meals with low GI carbs, healthy fats like olive oil, fish and avocado, and lean protein. For exercise aim for 30 minutes to one hour of moderate intensity activity daily. Exercise can help improve body composition, insulin sensitivity and androgen levels and it may help restore ovulation. For supplements I would recommend: Hormone Balance by femMED – contains ingredients that help to balance hormones Chromium 200mcg daily to improve insulin sensitivity Fish oil (omega-3) 1000mg twice daily For more information refer to this article: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm Graafian Follicle Cumulus Oophorus in Human Ovary Pathological and histological images courtesy of Ed Uthman at flickr. Sherry Torkos Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:...

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Hormonal Imbalance in Women and Fibroids

Hormonal Imbalance in Women and Fibroids

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Is there something that will help shrink or get rid of fibroids? Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours or growths of the uterus. They are very common – about half of women have fibroids, and in many cases they go undetected until they grow large enough that they cause symptoms such as urinary frequency, pelvic pain or heavy bleeding during menstruation. Fibroids usually grow slowly and in most cases treatment is not necessary. Fibroid growth is stimulated by estrogen, so they eventually shrink and go away when women go through menopause. If your fibroids are causing you discomfort there are a few things that you can try to shrink them: Diet – eat more cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel spouts. They contain compounds that help the liver detoxify estrogen. Choose organic foods to avoid pesticides ingestion (pesticides can act as endocrine disruptors and worsen estrogen dominance). Supplements – Hormone Balance by femMED helps to correct hormonal imbalance in women resulting in estrogen dominance. There is also a product called Breast Health that contains calcium D-glucarate and indole-3-carbinol and these ingredients assist in the detoxification and elimination of estrogen. Acupuncture can help relieve pelvic pain and swelling and it also reduces stress (stress can be a contributing factor to hormonal changes that worsen fibroid symptoms). Exercise regularly to reduce stress and maintain a healthy body weight. If you carry excess body fat, that can serve as a reservoir for estrogen. Sherry Torkos Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:...

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Is there any way to regulate my thyroid without medication if I have hypothyroidism?

Is there any way to regulate my thyroid without medication if I have hypothyroidism?

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 It depends on your individual situation and the severity of your hypothyroidism. The majority of people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition that causes destruction of the thyroid gland over time. As this destruction progresses, the thyroid gland becomes less and less able to produce enough hormones to meet metabolic needs. This is reflected in an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The thyroid gland produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroixine (T4).  It is important to know that many people with borderline hypothyroidism are symptomatic but have blood tests may show thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) that are slightly low or even within the normal range, or just a slightly elevated TSH. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, dry hair/skin, brittle nails, easy bruising, cold intolerance, constipation, low libido, headache, joint aching, and slow heart rate. If you have mild or borderline hypothyroidism, which is quite common, then taking supplements that help support the body’s production of thyroid hormone may be helpful. Guggul is a supplement that increases production of thyroid hormone (T3). Many nutrients are required to produce thyroid hormone such as vitamins C, E, A and the B-vitamins. Selenium is reu=qurid for the conversion of T4 to T3. Ashwaganda is an herbal product that also helps boost thyroid function. For many people with moderate to severe hypothyroidism thyroid hormone medication is often required. There are several different types of thyroid medications such as the synthetic forms of thyroid hormone (Synthroid and Eltroxin), which provide the body with T4. There is also Cytomel, which provides the body with active T3 however it needs to be taken three times daily. Lastly there is natural thyroid hormone, which can be made at a compounding pharmacy. Sherry Torkos Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:...

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Time for a spring refresh? Get your hair, skin and nails warm weather ready with these quick tips.

Time for a spring refresh? Get your hair, skin and nails warm weather ready with these quick tips.

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After a long winter stuck indoors, many of us can’t wait to shed our coats, hats, gloves and boots for shorts and sandals. But a quick look at the condition of our hair, skin and nails is often enough to send many of us back indoors. Dry winter air can wreak havoc on the condition of our skin, nails and hair making them dull, dry and lifeless. With the following tips you can be ready for your spring debut and not break the bank along the way. 1. Consume some omega-3 fatty acids. A great source is salmon but if you don’t like fish, try adding some ground flaxseed into your diet. Omega-3’s are essential for maintaining scalp health and soft supple skin. When your diet is deficient in these it can reult in dry skin and lifeless looking hair. 2. Get adequate protein. Whether it’s chicken, turkey or eggs, high quality protein is essential for maintaining strong nails and hair. Eggs are especially good since they contain biotin, important for strong nails and vitamin B-12. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to darkening of skin and nails and graying of hair. 3. Try getting a professional manicure/pedicure if you never had one before. Just remember to make sure the business is clean, licensed with qualified staff. Try to get the first appoinment in the morning since the footbaths are the cleanest and if possible tru to bring your own kit including: nail clippers, nail brushes, files. toe separators and any disposable items you’ll need. You can even bring your own nail base and polish. 4. Get your hair professionally cut and conditioned. For those who colour their hair, spring is time to look to lighter shades and highlights or even a completely new hairstyle. If you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, try some of the great conditioners you can make at home with products you can find in your fridge like avacados.  Simply mix up a ripe avacado, add, a few drops of wheat-germ oil and a teaspoon of jojoba oil. Apply to freshly washed hair and cover with a plastic cap or wrap. Leave on for 15-30 minutes and then rinse out. 5. Try a treatment mask for your face. Use a mask made from clay for a detoxifying and acne-clearing effect that leaves your skin clean and glowing. If you are after a moisture surge, some masks contain hyaluronic acid, honey or other moisturizing ingredients to sink into your skin. For a radiance boost to dull skin, try an exfoliating mask made from fruit acids. We read all the time about how important it is to wear hats and sunscreen, and stay out of the sun as much as possible to protect our skin. But with gorgeous summer days coaxing us outside and yearning for a bit of a summer glow, many of us don’t protect our skin...

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