Monday, March 27, 2017

Adrenal Fatigue- Stage 1: Compensation Phase

I call this the “compensation phase” because when you are at the beginning of adrenal fatigue, your cortisol rises in an attempt to compensate for the stressor that affects you. At this point, our mother hormone DHEA also endures the stressors well. Signs that you’re in the “compensation phase” include mild tiredness when you wake up (even after a good night’s sleep). Patients I see at this stage quite often say, “I need a coffee to start my day, otherwise I can’t get going.” Tiredness can also hit mid-afternoon, where again you start to crave sugar or need a coffee to keep you going. These quick fixes help you compensate for the fact that your adrenals are not working optimally. Reversing stress at this stage will reverse symptoms, but many people think this is ‘normal’ and just keep going.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Benefits of Maca

From Peru, this is one of the adaptogen family of herbs, which work to balance your body. This makes it particularly good in conjunction with the reproductive hormones as it won’t raise levels that don’t need alteration. It’s also anti-inflammatory. In studies, maca has been linked with favorable estrogen and testosterone levels, thus preserving your youthful hormones, and is shown to help tackle symptoms of menopause caused by hormonal fluctuation. There’s not a set dose for maca- how much you use depends on your weight, age and how your body reacts to it. Start with 3g daily of powder, adding a little more if you don’t get effects. The maximum dose consumed should be 9g daily. #AskDrNigma

Friday, March 10, 2017

Know your Dairy

Most of us just think about milk, but it’s also yogurt, hard cheese, soft cheese, cottage cheese, crème fraîche, butter, ice cream and Quark. Plus a myriad of processed food items contain dairy products- anything with a creamy taste will have some level of dairy within it, but surprisingly so can foods such as bread, cereal and processed meats. Protein shakes also commonly include whey or casein.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Smoking and Premature Aging

This is one of the primary ways to trigger premature aging in skin. In fact, it’s my experience that the average smoker can look up to 10 years older than a non-smoker, and studies have shown that if one twin smokes and the other doesn’t, the damage is so obvious that 57 percent of plastic surgeons can spot a smoking twin from a picture of their face. I can do exactly the same thing- smokers have more bags under their eyes, more wrinkles, particularly around their lips, and less firm skin, particularly around the jawline, than non-smokers. Smoking also causes free radical damage and triggers the release of a protein called MMP-1, both of which directly attack collagen and elastin levels- and it also directly triggers inflammation. Every time smoke enters your lungs, it irritates the delicate cells within them; those cells see this irritation as an attack and, as with so many other factors that I’ve talked about here, that irritation triggers an inflammatory response. If you do smoke, quitting is one of the most important things you can do for your health and looks.