Signs of Abnormal Ovulation

Signs of Abnormal Ovulation

Anovulation (lack of ovulation) or abnormal ovulation is a common cause of infertility, but it can also lead to a host of other issues including digestive problems, mood imbalances, cognitive function changes, and difficulty with weight management.

Anovulation means that ovulation is either not occurring or not happening at the appropriate time within your menstrual cycle, which is typically about halfway through. This accounts for 30 to 40 percent of infertility cases.

Here are the top signs of abnormal ovulation:

  • Irregular cycle length: Cycles that are shorter than 24 days can indicate difficulties with ovulation. A short menstrual cycle may suggest that your luteal phase is insufficiently long to allow your uterine lining to adequately prepare for pregnancy. Additionally, a decrease in available eggs may prompt an increase in FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), leading to early follicle development and premature ovulation, thus shortening the cycle.
  • Long cycles: If your cycle lasts longer than 35 days, ovulation may be absent or occurring irregularly. Longer cycles can occur when a follicle does not mature and release an egg, preventing progesterone release. Without progesterone, the uterine lining thickens continuously due to estrogen, becoming unstable and eventually resulting in often heavy, unpredictable bleeding.
  • Lack of ovulation signs: Key hormonal changes during ovulation impact cervical mucus and basal body temperature. During ovulation, cervical mucus should become clear, slippery, and stretchy, like egg whites. A lack of these changes can indicate anovulation.
  • No rise in basal body temperature (BBT): BBT tracking each morning can help determine if and when ovulation occurs. A typical post-ovulation increase in BBT, due to heightened progesterone levels, will be absent in cases of anovulation.
  • Very light menstruation: Bleeding for fewer than two days or very light bleeding could suggest high cortisol levels disrupting normal hormone production.
  • Heavy menstruation: Experiencing large blood clots, soaking through pads or tampons frequently, bleeding for more than seven days, or having unbearable menstrual cramps can indicate an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. This may occur if the follicle fails to release, causing excess estrogen, or if it releases too early, leading to excessive progesterone. This results in a thickened uterine lining and heavy bleeding.

Common causes of abnormal ovulation include:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • High prolactin levels
  • Certain medications
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure before age 40)
  • Stress
  • Blood sugar/insulin imbalances

Many of these issues suggest an immune system under stress or nutritional deficiencies affecting the endocrine system. Addressing the root causes of these imbalances, such as parasites, chemicals, heavy metals, and stress, is crucial. Supporting hormonal health through diet—rich in healthy fats, proteins, and foods high in B vitamins, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, and magnesium—is very important.

My top three favorite supplements to support ovulation are: Ovex, Symplex F, and HPA Axis.

If you suspect you have abnormal ovulation, consult your healthcare provider or contact our office to learn how we can support you.

Dr. Taggy Bensaïd, ND

Zoom In and Zoom Out

Zoom In and Zoom Out

My approach to holistic health is to help the whole body.

Everything is connected. Anything can cause anything. So, I use the thought process of zooming in and zooming out to see the whole picture.

When you think of a symptom or problem – that is zooming in. Headaches, pain, mood problems, bowel trouble, and allergies are all pieces of the puzzle that can give you information. When you zoom out from there you could notice that all of these problems might be connected and originating from a liver/gallbladder that is not functioning well.

This view can be taken with supplements, too. Zooming in: Cal Amo by Standard Process is a mineral salt. It supports the acid/alkaline balance of the body. Zoom out: When a person takes Cal Amo it can support the sinuses, lungs, adrenal glands, and joints. So, seeing the bigger picture of the benefits of specific supplements is important. 

Dr. Schmidt developed the 7 Step Blueprint to Optimal Health. These steps are the way the Practitioners in this office approach how to fix the problems of your body in a step-by-step fashion. This is how we zoom out and see the bigger picture. But, each step can help you zoom in on specific areas or concerns that may be the cause of chronic illness or poor health. Here is a link with information on Dr. Schmidt’s 7 Step Blueprint to Optimal Health.

A similar zoom in/zoom out approach can be taken with food. We can zoom in and look at ingredients and recipes to create meals for ourselves and our family. And, we can zoom out to see bigger picture truths such as eating real food, not products. Eat good quality healthy food like organic meats and organic vegetables.

I also apply this philosophy to life. When I zoom out I am setting goals and targets. When I zoom in I am making plans, taking steps to get to the goal. So, make plans and start taking steps to get to your health goals. We can help you with that. At The Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor, we help solve complex chronic conditions and illnesses by looking at the big picture and zooming in and out to help make a healthier you.

Yours in health,

Kerry Cradit

Unlocking Vitality: Nurturing Your Lymphatic System for Optimal Health

Unlocking Vitality: Nurturing Your Lymphatic System for Optimal Health

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often forget to pay attention to one of the most crucial systems in our body – the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system plays a vital role in maintaining our overall health and assisting in the detoxification process. Let’s explore the significance of lymphatic drainage, the benefits of dry brushing techniques, and discover natural solutions to combat lymphatic congestion.

The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels, nodes, and organs that works tirelessly to rid our bodies of toxins, waste, and excess fluids. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, relying on muscle contractions and body movements to facilitate the flow of lymph fluid. When this flow is hindered, it can lead to lymphatic congestion, causing a range of issues such as swelling, fatigue, a compromised immune system, and many other common symptoms.

Lymphatic drainage is the natural process of eliminating waste and toxins from the body. For starters, it helps maintain fluid balance and promotes overall well-being. When the lymphatic system is functioning optimally, it assists in the removal of toxins and ensures a healthy immune response to everyday life. Dry brushing is a simple yet effective technique that can enhance lymphatic drainage. By using a dry brush with natural bristles, you can stimulate the lymphatic system and promote circulation. Here’s a basic guide to dry brushing:

Choose the Right Brush. Select a brush with natural bristles; we sell one here at The NHCAA. Brushing Technique:

  • Start at your feet and move upwards in gentle, circular motions.
  • Always brush towards the heart to follow the natural flow of the lymphatic system.
  • Pay special attention to areas with a high concentration of lymph nodes, such as the armpits, breast area, and groin.

In addition to dry brushing, incorporating these natural remedies can further support lymphatic health-

Hydration:

  • Adequate water intake is crucial for maintaining lymphatic flow and preventing congestion. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Herbal Teas or Supplements:

  • Certain herbs, such as dandelion and nettle, have diuretic properties that can aid in reducing fluid retention and supporting lymphatic function. Ask your practitioner which supplements you are on or should be on to support your lymphatic system.

Exercise:

  • Regular physical activity promotes muscle contractions, aiding the movement of lymph fluid. Incorporate activities like walking, yoga, or rebounding into your daily routine.

Massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage:

  • Professional massages or manual lymphatic drainage sessions can help stimulate lymphatic flow and alleviate congestion. Using an essential oil such as myrrh, tea tree, or castor oil when doing manual lymph massages is also beneficial.

In a world focused on quick fixes and external solutions, it’s essential to recognize the importance of nurturing our internal systems, especially as we are binding up toxins in our body. By embracing lymphatic health through practices like dry brushing and incorporating the above natural remedies, we can unlock the potential for a healthier, more vibrant life. Prioritizing the well-being of our lymphatic system is a small yet powerful step towards overall wellness.

Mikaela Cradit, CNHP

Why You Should Get a Thermogram

Why You Should Get a Thermogram

Thermography is a non-invasive, radiation-free imaging procedure. Through infrared technology, a thermogram measures temperature changes in the body. Finding areas of heat (inflammation) allows for early detection of disease processes. Although thermograms are not diagnostic in and of themselves, they can empower you to be proactive about your health.

Thermography can be done on the whole body but is most commonly done on the breast, neck, and head. Breast thermography can help assess the risk of developing breast cancer and the health of the surrounding lymph. A hormonal score can be assigned as certain warming patterns can indicate a hormonal imbalance. Thermography on the neck can help indicate thyroid and surrounding lymph inflammation. Thermography on the head can show issues hiding in the teeth and sinus, and can show some problems brewing with the facial nerves.

When it comes to the pros and cons of thermograms, there are many pros and only a few cons.

The Pros:

  • Does not require a doctor’s order
  • Can track on your own to be proactive
  • Safe and non-invasive
  • Can be done frequently without negative consequences
  • Relatively low cost
  • Empowers you to track progress of health interventions

The Cons:

  • May warrant further testing
  • Not fully diagnostic on own
  • Not covered by insurance

If you are a client at the NHCAA, your practitioner can use your thermography results and come up with a plan specific to you. After an intervention is in place, we can track progress over time with a follow-up thermogram. For example, I have a client who, on a scale from 0-5, had a risk rating of 4 on one breast and 4 + on the other. I put her on a plan to address her hormones, breasts, and lymph. She did a new thermogram in 6 months. Her risk rating on the 4+ breast decreased to 4 and all the heat changes reduced. The change over time shows improvement and validated that we are on the right track. We now modified the plan to add castor oil packs to expedite her progress.

I am a huge advocate of thermography because of the great health information provided, how easy it is to have done, and how safe it is. Although thermograms do not replace mammograms, they can be used much more frequently to keep tabs on your health. Thermograms can also assess other areas of the body and elucidate areas of inflammation that perhaps you did not know you had. Thermography is a powerful tool in your health arsenal that can empower you to prevent health issues in the future and to find solutions for current challenges you may have.

Dr. Amanda Childress

The Miracle Nutrient You May Not Know About: Inositol

The Miracle Nutrient You May Not Know About: Inositol

I have worked in the field of medications and supplements for 23 years; first as a pharmacy intern, then as a pharmacist, and now as a holistic pharmacist. I have always had nutritional supplements involved in my work. Throughout this time, I’ve been well aware of the importance of having adequate levels of Vitamin D, B12, iron, and so on. However, it was not until I started studying nutrition and holistic health and working hands-on with clients that I learned about the value of a nutrient called “inositol.”

After over 13 years of work with supplements, I can confidently say that Inositol is my #1 favorite supplement of all time. The use of this nutrient has produced clinical miracles, and in some cases, very quickly.

What is inositol?

Inositol is sometimes called a B vitamin; however, it is not actually a vitamin at all. Inositol is a type of sugar that your body, and the bodies of other mammals, produce from glucose. Don’t let the word “sugar” mislead you; inositol helps increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose. 

Food sources of inositol

Inositol is also contained in many foods. You can find inositol in high amounts in many legumes, fruit (especially citrus), whole grains, liver, and honey.

Functions of inositol in the body

The extent of inositol’s role in the intricate functions of the body is not fully known;  however, there is strong evidence for many very important functions such as:

  • Hormonal regulation
  • Nervous system health/neurotransmitter signaling
  • Insulin sensitivity/glucose regulations
  • Fertility/egg quality
  • Lipid (fat) metabolism
  • Cardiovascular health

Side effects of inositol

Inositol is not a drug, so it does not cause side effects. However, some individuals may experience some mild, unwanted effects, especially at higher dosages (over 1500mg) and more commonly if a high dose is started without a gradual increase in dose. These effects are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

My clinical results with inositol

As I mentioned, inositol is my favorite supplement. I have seen this supplement bring people out of crisis and into stability and good health. I have also seen inositol play a pivotal role in controlling many chronic conditions.

Here are my top clinical scenarios to use inositol:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive thoughts and compulsions
  • Depression
  • PCOS and many other menstrual irregularities
  • Pain (especially nerve pain)
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia
  • ADHD
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Headaches
  • Helping assist psychiatric drug tapering

Essentially, when I think of nervous system stress and neuroendocrine issues (issues that involve how the nervous system and hormonal systems interact), I think of inositol.

Real cases that inositol helped

I had a client who was working with her doctor to taper off anti-anxiety medications in a class called benzodiazepines (or Benzos). Benzos are very habit-forming and can cause troubling, even dangerous effects as someone is trying to discontinue them.  She was working with her medical doctor, but even with tapering down the dose, she was struggling. I helped her successfully and safely discontinue her Benzo by using inositol along with her tapering process.  With the help of inositol, she was off her benzo in less than a year.

I have 2 cases within the last year where the issue was extreme anxiety and panic with resulting insomnia. Both cases told me they were considering going in-patient in a psych hospital. Both cases responded to inositol within 24 hours of starting it and were able to avoid hospitalization.

Other specific results I’ve seen with inositol

  • Reducing and sometimes stopping tics, twitches, eye blinking, and vocal “stimming” in children
  • Return of a regular menstrual cycle in PCOS cases
  • Chronic pain under control
  • Reduction in pain from shingles

Not only does inositol do many amazing things for health, but it has other desirable aspects, too.

First, it is very safe and traditionally well tolerated. Any ill effects are usually mild and often resolve with a slower increase in the amount. It can be used in children and during pregnancy. Inositol can also be a safe alternative to side-effect-laden anxiety medications.

Second, it tastes really good! Inositol has a sweet flavor, which makes it pleasant to take. The sweet taste makes it very easy to administer to children. I typically use the inositol tablets by Standard Process, which are sourced from honey. These tablets can be chewed. There is also a powdered formulation that is so easy to add to drinks or smoothies. The powder is also very helpful if taking a higher dose.

As a bonus, the sweet taste and glucose-assisting properties can even help to reduce sugar cravings.

Sweet endings

Inositol is a nutrient that, in the right situation, can achieve clinical miracles. It is safe, well-tolerated, and tastes good. All these factors make it a nice adjunct to many healing plans.  If you have anxiety issues, I highly recommend this product to see if you can find safe relief.

Swap in New Ideas

Swap in New Ideas

I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. However, this is the time of year when I develop a plan for the upcoming year. I set goals, generate ideas for travel, and make strategies for what I want to do with my diet and health. I write these things down so that I can be accountable for them. It is a to-do list for the year.

I am currently cleaning out cupboards, the food pantry, and closets (donating things I don’t wear). I make space for new things by getting rid of things I no longer need or that don’t serve a purpose. I also organize and assess my unused supplements that I’ve saved. Some people prefer to finish their bottle of a supplement, while others like to save unused supplements. I keep my unused supplements in case the need arises for them later. The following are some ideas on when to get rid of old supplements: throw away expired items. Some things do last past their expiration date, but if something is long past (more than 6 months), it is time to get rid of it. Unused liquid supplements that have been opened should be discarded after about six months.

I looked up “out with the old, in with the new” and found this statement: “To change the old for the new. To leave old things or ideas behind and bring in new things or ideas.” Bringing in new ideas can be refreshing. With this “out with the old” approach, I employ the thought of doing better when I bring something new in. If I am going to buy food or any new item, I think about what would be a better option than the thing I am replacing. Not everything needs to be replaced. It can be economical and less clutter to keep things simple. But if you are going to buy something, quality matters.

Some examples of swapping out the old and in with the new/better are:

  • Instead of commercial, buy organic.
  • Instead of margarine, use organic butter.
  • Instead of canola, use coconut, avocado, or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Instead of commercial salad dressing, use vinegar and oil, or make your own dressing.
  • Instead of brand-name flavored syrups, use real maple syrup or honey.
  • Instead of white refined pasta, eat red lentil or chickpea pasta.
  • Instead of white refined sugar, use coconut crystals or monk fruit sweetener.
  • Instead of fake, get real.

Level up with what you buy for yourself and your family in the new year. Swap out old habits and products with new and improved thoughtful ideas and choices. Make 2024 a great year! Here’s to your health and wellness.

Yours in health,

Kerry Cradit

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