How Is Your Gut Microflora Making You Fat? : Gut Health, Toxins, Inflammation, Weight, and Illness

Do you eat the same types, healthy or unhealthy, amounts of food as your friends but find yourself piling up more pounds than they do? It is possible that they have hit the genetic jackpot and can eat everything they want and still stay lean. However, there is actually more to it than genetics. There is one other contributing factor that you could correct to help you reap the benefits of your healthy eating habits with the occasional cheat meal, and still manage a healthy weight.


Recent studies have discovered that the microflora found in our gut plays a significant role in how many extra pounds we tend to carry. A study found that the guts of individuals that were either overweight or obese were dominated by pathogenic (bad) bacteria. Opposite of this, individuals with guts dominated with beneficial (good) bacteria were leaner. The main issue seems to lay on the interactions between fat cells and bad bacteria because they form a cascade of chaos in other body processes.

Pathogenic bacteria get to work, interacting with fat cells, producing superantigens (toxins that activate white blood cells called T-cells) and ultimately causing the over production of cytokines triggering the inflammation response. Researchers have found E.coli to hinder detoxification processes due to its production of the toxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS). With high amounts of bad bacteria detoxification processes such as the LPS detoxification fails contributing to a vicious cycle of toxin accumulation, cytokine production and inflammation of the body.obesity.inflammation of liver

  1. Gut filled with pathogenic bacteria allow large amounts of toxins to circulate the body
  2. Toxins interact with fat cells causing production of cytokines
  3. Superantigens accumulate
  4. High concentration of toxins in the body affects detoxification processes (e.g. LPS)
  5. The inflammation response is constantly active due to cytokine over production (lead on by toxin activated T-cells)

Chronic inflammation can damage cells possibly making them insulin resistant and increasing the potential for developing diabetes a known side effect of obesity.

When the gut is filled of bad bacteria other accompanying issues include digestive discomfort, inflammatory based conditions, and carrying extra weight. Using probiotics and prebiotics can help restore a balance in the gut microflora. Cleansings will help clear out any accumulation of toxins in the body triggering overall inflammation.

gutobeseDealing with the inflammation is also important in preventing the onset of other illnesses. Adding natural supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties will help in the process of restoring beneficial bacteria as well. Cytokine signaling can be decreased with the aid of Serrapeptase, an enzyme with both fibrinolytic and anti-inflammatory properties, in combination with prebiotics and probiotics it will gradually improve the guts health, digestion, and eventually ones attempt at staying lean and preventing disease.

The key idea here is that if we provide our bodies with the right tools to up keep a gut filled of beneficial bacteria our other efforts to stay healthy will be reflected.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Are You Putting Yourself At Risk?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be a very uncomfortable condition to deal with. Not to mention how it can be a continuous cycle of infections, inflammation and a variation of some or no symptoms. The precise mechanism by which microorganisms ascend from the lower genital tract in to the upper is not exactly understood. However, there are a few ideas as to what may contribute to the development and cycle of PID.


There are two phases of PID that occur during the onset of the condition. The first step is the acquirement of a vaginal or cervical infection. This is most often sexually transmitted. During this stage it is common to be asymptomatic and this may carry on throughout the condition. At the second phase there is an ascent of microorganisms from the vagina or cervix in to the upper genital tract leading to infection and inflammation.


Generally the mucus of the cervix is the main line of defense in preventing upward spread of microorganisms. However, as inflammation increases the effectiveness of this barrier is vastly decreased. Hormonal changes can also contribute to decreases in the level of protection. During menstruation the opening of the cervix can allow for exposure and facilitate infection, retrograde flow can also ease the ascent of microorganisms.bacteria and pid

Bacteria can be carried up the genital tract via rhythmic uterine contractions or transported into the uterus and fallopian tubes when carried along with sperm. Intercourse increases the chances of these events occurring. However, practicing healthy, hygienic and preventative sexual habits can help decrease the risks of developing PID. A high number of sexual partners, history of STI’s, sexual abuse, douching, and Gynecologic surgical procedures can increase the risks as well. Hysteroscopy, curettage, and endometrial biopsies are just a few examples of the procedures that break the cervical barrier and predispose the patients to ascending infections.


Although there are treatments for PID, it is possible to continue having the infection in the body if these are not taken as directed. That is why it is important to manage the condition and its symptoms if any are present. Considering a healthy weight, controlled diabetes, estrogen levels, and the use of antibiotics are a few of the contributing factors to the development of PID, overall wellness and preventative measures are important. Probiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, enzymes, and other natural supplementation can ease the task of helping the body fight off anything potentially harmful.

Proteases can help breakdown cellular debris and toxins that can trigger inflammation. Other enzymes such as Serrapeptase and papain contribute to this by breaking down fibrin that can accumulate in the body initiating the inflammation response cascade. Chronic or frequent inflammation is harmful to the body and can contribute to a multitude of other conditions and reproductive limitations. Yeast bacteria, being one of the most common affecting women also needs special attention. Supplements that include chitosanase help breakdown the cell wall of yeast making it easier for proteases to target its contents for disposal.


According to laparoscopic testing, approximately 30% to 40% of PID affected females have polymicrobial infections.  Although these infections may begin with a single bacterium, there is high opportunity for other bacteria to also begin invading the genital area. Inflammation of the upper genital tract is one facilitator for the movement of other pathogens because it can isolate the bacteria allowing it to continue growing undisturbed and abscesses to form.

The best treatment is prevention. Keeping a good level of hygiene and practicing a healthy sex life is very important. Once damage has been done to the reproductive organs it is irreparable. Inflammation can potentially lead to these complications if left untreated. Because PID can be asymptomatic doctors highly recommend women get regularly tested to protect themselves from harmful infections.

6 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget


In today’s hectic daily routine many say it’s too costly and time consuming to eat healthy. People are sent running from fast food chain to fast food chain for breakfast lunch and dinner in hopes of a quick bite at an unbeatable price. What they are really paying for are mystery meats with a side of harmful preservatives at a low price. Not realizing those bargains will have them running just as frantically for a health care clinic months down the line to save them from their acquired health problems. Do not worry, you no longer have to think fast food is the only way to eat on a budget. With these simple guidelines eating healthy on a budget is easier than you think. All it takes is a little planning and you will be on your way to a healthy, happy lifestyle.

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Are Cosmetics Putting Your Health at Risk?

Chemicals in MakeupDay in and day out women of all ages use countless cosmetic products on their skin. Would you still use such products if they were putting you at risk for cancer and chronic disease? Unfortunately, the FDA does not closely regulate the cosmetic industry. Only the color additives in cosmetic products are regulated. This presents endless loopholes for big name companies to abuse. Nearly all cosmetics stocked in local retail stores contain multiple carcinogens. From shampoos, lotions, deodorant to lipsticks and cosmetics, carcinogens are getting absorbed into your skin daily. The five most common toxins in top brand cosmetic products include:

Parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used as preservatives used in shampoos, lotions, and facial scrubs. Parabens are closely linked to elevated estrogen levels because they mimic estrogen cells by binding to the hormone cell receptors. In some cases, parabens have been found in biopsies of breast tumors. Parabens can be found on labels under several different names including: mathylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben, and butylparaben. To avoid this look for products labeled “paraben-free.”

Phthalates have been recognized by the EPA as “probable human carcinogens.” Controversy surrounding phthalates has grown tremendously over the past decade. Phthalates are used in everything from cosmetics, vinyl flooring, and household cleaning products. Many times phthalates are used to help lotion absorb into skin faster. Research has shown that phthalates disrupt hormone function and are particularly harmful to developing children. Some phthalates such as Dibutylphthalate and Diethylphthalate can be abbreviated as DBP and DEP on product labels.

Quaternium-15 and Formaldehyde are often used as preservatives and have been linked to cancer. Quaternium-15 is a preservative and studies have shown a direct correlation to the preservative and leukemia. Most nail products and hair gel contain formaldehyde. Shockingly, some baby shampoo formulas have even contained these dangerous carcinogens. Be sure to check for Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and bromopol on any cosmetic labels before making a purchase.

Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin that builds up in the bloodstream leading to cognitive problems and increased aggression. According to the FDA close to 60% of lipsticks sold in mass retail markets contain high levels of lead. The FDA has yet to take considerable action against the major manufacturers endangering public health.

Methylisothiazoline (MIT) was brought into the spotlight lately by research studies due to findings that show MIT causes substantial neurological damage. MIT is used as an antibacterial preservative to remove unwanted bacteria and fungi. MIT is found in many well-known shampoos and conditioners in the retail mass market.

Luckily, due to increased awareness and consumer demand for safer product standards, Walmart is implementing the removal of toxic chemicals from products sold in their stores. As many as ten toxic chemicals are no longer allowed in cosmetic products sold at the consumer level. Walmart started this revolutionary phase-out this September to take a step towards a safer cosmetic industry. As long as consumers keep pressuring big name companies, it’s only a matter of time before the correct actions are taken and true changes are made for us as consumers.

Diet Tips for Fibrocystic Breast Disease

fibrocystic-breastWomen who suffer from fibrocystic Breast disease often experience variations of pain and discomfort in their breast, and sometimes spreading as far as their arms. It is extremely common for the breasts to feel swollen, tight, and weighed down. Breasts can develop cysts or lumps throughout the tissue causing pain which may increase during their menstrual cycles.

Consuming a healthy well-rounded diet can help in decreasing pain related to fibrocystic breast. Below is a list of items every woman with fibrocystic breast should add to their grocery list immediately!

    • Vegetables. As children it has been engrained into our minds that you must eat your vegetables! This is 100% correct. Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals we need to strengthen our immune system and cognitive function. Vegetables are also incredibly effective in removing excess fluids from the body thus aiding in decreasing swelling in breast tissue.

<li>Fish. One of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is fish! Whether it is salmon, mackerel, or sardines, Omega 3’s reduce inflammation and help improve blood circulation. The FDA recommends consuming no more than 5 ounces of fish to meet your desired protein intake.

  • Nuts. Walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds are high sources of omega 3 fatty acids for those who would prefer to surpass the fish option. Just ¼ cup of walnuts will supply you with over 90% of your daily value of omega 3! It is extremely easy to incorporate flaxseed and chia seeds into any meal throughout your busy workday.
  • Meat. When choosing meat for dinner remember that low fat meats are the best option. It is important for women suffering from fibrocystic breast disease to keep that fat intake low, this prevents any further health complications or worsening of their current symptoms. Good low fat meats include skinless chicken breast, turkey, and extra-lean beef. Beef is best consumed in moderation due to its increased levels of saturated fats and cholesterol.
  • Low Sodium Foods. Sodium helps your body to retain water. Not only can it worsen the swelling of your breasts it can also bloat your stomach adding intestinal discomfort. Don’t think too extreme and eliminate all salt from your diet. Salt is vital for proper neurological function. To make sure you are consuming the proper amount of salt, choose foods low in sodium and use seasonings that are sodium free.
  • Whole grain foods. Whole grains are extremely beneficial to one’s health. Studies show that the regular consumption of whole grains reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Examples of whole gain foods include oats, quinoa, and brown rice. The FDA recommends women ranging from 19-50 years of age consume 6 ounces of whole grains a day.

Just by incorporating the few tips listed above into your daily meals you can positively impact your health. The cascade effect can affect your overall happiness and outlook on life. For Instance, consuming whole grains and while limiting added salt can reduce inflammation in the breast tissue, and increase blood circulation thus reducing major irritant which cause you so much pain. With reduced inflammation and pain levels you will be happier throughout the day and more productive.

**Before trying any of the recommendations above please consult with your medical doctor to ensure it is the right choice for you.


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Uterine Fibroids and Pregnancy


Women with uterine fibroids are often concerned about their ability to conceive. Although uterine fibroids are benign tumors, they have the potential to negatively affect pregnancy. The growth of tumors is affected as estrogen levels are elevated. This is why some tumors expand during pregnancy when hormone levels spike. A fibroid can cause infertility by blocking the entrance to the fallopian tubes preventing sperm from implanting into the egg (ovum). Even if the egg is fertilized, submucosal fibroids can prevent implantation and further growth of the embryo. Large fibroids may block the birth canal resulting in a cesarean section. Women with several growing fibroids during pregnancy may indirectly limit the growth of the baby.  In some cases, uterine fibroids have been linked to miscarriage, premature birth, and postpartum hemorrhage. Complications from uterine fibroids can vary greatly.

When planning a pregnancy with uterine fibroids, be sure to weigh all benefits and risks. Most women do not require surgery to remove cysts before getting pregnant. Pre-pregnancy fibroid removal is only encouraged when the tumors are large enough in size to impede the baby’s growth; or if the predicted loss of blood or hemorrhage is high. If surgery is necessary, give your body ample time to recover before trying to conceive. A uterine myomectomy is a surgical procedure which removes fibroids while preserving a woman’s reproductive capabilities. Uterine Fibroid Embolism is a newer, less invasive procedure, where the doctors enter the uterus through small incisions in the stomach and uses a small device to block blood vessels leading to the fibroid. With the blood supply to the fibroid blocked, it slowly deteriorates and removes itself from the wall of the uterus. The recovery period for a regular myomectomy is four to six weeks, where a uterine fibroid embolism only requires a one to two week recovery period. The uterus needs to fully heal before carrying something as precious and delicate as a child. Remember most women do not require fibroid removal to conceive and carry a child to full-term.

The good news is most fibroids have little to no effect on the pregnancy. The most common complication resulting from uterine fibroids is a cesarean delivery. Common symptoms of uterine fibroids during pregnancy include constipation, abdominal cramping, pelvic pressure, and frequent urination. The majority of fibroids that grow during pregnancy shrink after giving birth because hormone levels decrease. As long as the fibroids are not extremely large or directly blocking vital areas of the uterus, many doctors suggest going on with your pregnancy as normal. Doctors assess the severity of each case individually to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Uterine fibroids are easily monitored during a pregnancy through periodic ultrasound appointments.

Many doctors advise their patients to steer clear of over dramatic views on uterine fibroids. Ultimately, doctors know what is best for each woman under her individual circumstances. As long as the fibroids are monitored on a regular basis and all precautions are taken, there is no reason why you can’t have a successful pregnancy with uterine fibroids.

Inflammation and Psychological Disease

With psychological disorders like depression becoming increasingly common upon Americans, researchers have extensively studied the basis for such diseases, and found that inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of some of the most common emotional disorders. Studies based on experimental inflammatory conditions and antidepressant medications support the inflammation hypothesis, concluding that emotional disorders are associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation. Clinical depression, for example, is coupled with free radical damage caused by the associated inflammatory condition, and may contribute to progression of the disorder..

Depressed Brain

With the link between psychological disorders and inflammation established, researchers are now attempting to locate the source of the inflammation that’s causing their progression. Here are some of the theories regarding the source of inflammation in psychological disorders:

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Inflammation and HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus (commonly known as HIV), is a virus that damages the immune system, interfering with the body’s natural defenses against disease and pathogenic attacks. HIV can weaken the immune system so severely that it causes AIDS, which can potentially be life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but medical advancements have made it possible to slow the progression of such diseases, while lessening the

HIV symptoms can be severely debilitating, ranging from fever, muscle soreness and flu-like symptoms to night sweats and oral/genital ulcers. The symptoms tend to vary depending on the stage of HIV the patient is in, and the symptoms can even go unnoticed in primary HIV infection. When the condition is latent, there are often no signs or symptoms, however, some patients experience swelling in the lymph nodes even during this phase. The virus can multiply within the body, progressively destroying immune cells. If no treatment is given, the disease may progress to AIDS.

Because HIV is a disease of the immune system, inflammation plays many roles, both directly and indirectly. For example, having HIV can make the patient extremely susceptible to other conditions – most of which have an inflammatory basis. Meningitis is a common central nervous system infection associated with HIV, and is characterized by inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Kidney disease is also a common complication among HIV patients, as inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys causes major disruptions in kidney function. Continue reading

The 4 Stages of Endometriosis

endometriosis stagesEndometriosis is an extremely painful condition where the endometrial lining grows outside of the uterus. As it changes with each menstrual cycle it builds up and breaks down. This is similar to the normal endometrial lining, which ultimately irritates the surrounding tissue. This abnormal occurrence causes inflammation which leads to scarring and scar tissue build up. This scar tissue formation contributes to the majority of abdominal and pelvic pain women suffer from. Other symptoms include substantial bleeding and infertility. Endometriosis is categorized under four different stages, depending on the severity of the condition. The stages are dictated by the location, the number, and the size of endometrial implants; specifically:

  • The extent to which the implants have spread
  • Other pelvic structures involved
  • The extent of pelvic adhesions
  • The blockage of the fallopian tubes

Breaking endometriosis up into stages can be beneficial both for the patient and the doctor. It ensures that the doctor accurately expresses the severity of the woman’s condition. It allows the woman to research the various stages of the condition, and it gives the woman symptoms to look for, or whether or not her condition is progressing. The stages are as follows:

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Endometriosis: Top 3 Soothing Heat Therapy treatments to Ease Pain


Nearly 10% of women in the United States suffer from endometriosis. This debilitating condition begins with the growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can form on the uterine walls, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and inside the pelvic cavity. In progressive stages it can spread to the cervix and vagina. As the tissue thickens, cysts form causing severe pain. Woman can experience symptoms including extreme abdominal cramping, lower back pain, and fatigue. Most women experience lower back pain and cramps simultaneously. This deep discomfort causes many women to curl up in the fetal position longing for some kind of relief. There are multiple over-the-counter medications targeted towards treating menstrual cramps; but many have little effect on the intense pain felt by women suffering from endometriosis.  Hormone treatments are also offered as a pain reliever for women with endometriosis. Hormone injections and birth control are shown to alleviate symptoms and prevent further scarring. The majority of treatments can be costly. Heat therapy is perfect for women looking for a more immediate, less expensive way to soothe their cramps.  Heat therapy is a useful way to reduce lower abdominal pain by relaxing the surrounding pelvic muscles.

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