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Natural Remedies for Dry, Cracked Heels

The appearance of your skin, including the skin on your feet is a reflection of what’s going on internally with your health. Dry, cracked heels are an indication that your body is out of balance, not an indication that you need an expensive foot cream or a pedicure. Dry, cracked heels are a very common problem that can be embarrassing and unsightly, and easily remedied. When I taught yoga years ago and even nowadays when I attend classes, I can tell you there’s no shortage of folks with dry, cracked heels and crusty feet. Fortunately, there are simple remedies that will result in smooth, happy, healthy feet.

Remedies for Dry, Cracked Heels & Happy, Healthy Feet

  1. Nutrient deficiencies, specifically essential fatty acid deficiencies and lack of quality fats in the diet is often the primary culprit of dry, cracked heels. Other common nutrient deficiencies that can also contribute to dry, cracked heels include zinc, vitamin A and B vitamin deficiencies. 
  2. Start with your diet: increase daily intake of healthy fats including coconut oil, pastured butter, grass-fed meats, fatty fish (sardines with the bones, wild salmon), extra virgin olive oil, egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds. Supplement with only high-quality EFAs that includes GLA such as EFA Sirt Supreme, a blend of DHA, EPA and GLA. Prevent dehydration and drink plenty of clean (non-fluoridated, non-chloridated) water daily.
  3. Dry, cracked heels (and toenail fungus) can be linked to yeast overgrowth, Candida, fungal and bacterial infections. If this is the case, the infection must be addressed and treated properly, and prioritize attention on healing the gut.
  4. Eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, thyroid disorders, pre-diabetes and diabetes, and kidney disease can also cause cracked heels. It’s important to identify the root cause.
  5. Dry brush your feet including the bottoms prior to showering. Use a pumice stone, loofa or soft or dry foot brush every day before showering to gently exfoliate the top layers of dead skin.
  6. If fungus is the problem, aside from following a Candida healing protocol, soaking feet in warm water with 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/4 cup magnesium oil or 1 cup Epsom salts for 10-15 minutes two to three times per week can be very helpful. Add 30-50 drops of liquid iodine forte and either 4-5 drops tea tree oil or 4-5 drops of oregano oil. Dry feet thoroughly afterwards.
  7. Moisturize your feet. Before bed, rub a mixture of coconut oil, raw shea butter or castor oil, a few of sprays of magnesium oil, aloe vera gel and a couple of drops of lavender or myrrh oil into your feet. Wear a pair of light socks. If a fungal infection is the root cause, add liquid iodine forte, tea tree or oregano oil to the mixture.
  8. Exfoliate feet with a with a mixture of sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and your favorite essential oil such as frankincense, calendula, lavender, myrrh.
  9. Do you experience tired, achy feet? Soak them in a foot bath with a few drops of peppermint oil combined with ACV and Epsom salts or magnesium oil and baking soda to relieve and relax tired, worn feet. Dry thoroughly and afterwards massage feet with coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Topical aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E also have excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.
  10. Enjoy a reflexology massage. It's one of my favorite ways to indulge in a little R&R. There are reflex areas on the feet that correspond to every limb, organ and gland of the body. When pressure is applied to these specific points, it stimulates the corresponding limb, organ or gland.
  11. Foot roll out and self-myofascial release. Stand on an avocado pit or golf ball as you apply gentle pressure on the tender trigger points of your feet to release knots, tight and tangled fascia, and restricted and blocked energy. Especially beneficial when done consistently.
  12. Keep your feet and nails groomed. Be aware of nail salons that do not practice proper hygiene and disinfection techniques to avoid bacterial infections.

Apply the above remedies consistently and in just 4-6 weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in the appearance of your heels.

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone and Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will identify the root cause of any underlying health issue and design a healing plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, restore your health and look and feel better than ever.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

Please note that all content on this blog is copyright © Paula Owens and may NOT be used, reproduced or copied without expressed written permission. You may cite with an author credit for personal use. Reproduction of any article found on Paula Owens’ blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Want More Energy? Tips to Boost Energy & Fight Fatigue

Nearly 80 percent of Americans admit they feel tired or exhausted all the time, experience too much stress, low energy and fatigue. Many mistakenly associate it with getting older. Contrary to popular belief, low energy, fatigue and even weight gain, memory loss and aches and pains are not inevitable consequences of aging and getting older.

Men, women, teens, even young kids rely on and are addicted to stimulants such as sugar, energy drinks (that are laced with sugar, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, contaminated water and toxic chemicals), and an excessive intake of caffeinated beverages in an attempt to boost energy. In reality, all of these provide a false sense of energy. High school and college kids illegally abuse psycho-stimulating ADHD drugs (Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine) to increase energy, help them focus for longer periods, lose weight and stay awake to study and cram for exams. They don’t realize or understand the serious side effects from these drugs: sleeplessness, aggression, anxiety, depression, dehydration, arrhythmia, hallucinations and hypertension.

Low energy and fatigue are symptoms that your body and life are out of balance; and may also be signs of a deeper, underlying health problem. Low energy affects everything including relationships, motivation, mood, workout and job performance.

It’s important to realize that the reason your sister, co-worker, friend or anyone for that matter is experiencing fatigue may be completely different than the root cause of your low energy.

Below you’ll find several tips that will turn your energy around 180°. Select one or two bullet points from the list. Commit to put forth determination and dedicated action into those one or two items and see how you feel. Next week add one or two more items from the list.

More Energy & End Fatigue (mind, body & spirit with the four powers): Real Food, a Healthy Lifestyle, Intelligent Exercise & Quality Supplements

Everything is energy. Our energy is affected by the foods we eat; the activities we do; the places we spend time; the people we surround ourselves with; our hormones; the feelings and thoughts we experience; underlying infections & viruses; the music we listen to; and the things in our environment.

Let Food Be Your Medicine

  • Stabilize blood sugar. Avoid long periods of time between meals or skipping meals. Choose nutrient-dense, real food at every meal and avoid carb-heavy, sugary- and chemically-filled processed foods and beverages that’ll leave you exhausted, undernourished and unsatiated.
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast and lunch (whole eggs, wild fish, poultry, red meat, wild meat, grass-fed, full-fat yogurt, some protein powders). Amino acids found in protein stabilize blood sugar, fuel your brain, activate feel-good neurotransmitters, increase drive and alertness.
  • Avoid energy-zappers: sugar, soda, energy drinks, gluten, wheat, grains including whole grains, GMOs, sugar-filled fruity yogurts and all processed, fake foods that zap energy, increase inflammation (and your waist line), spike insulin, intensify cravings, and deplete the adrenals.
  • Dehydration is one of the first signs of fatigue. Drink a minimum of half your weight in water to insure optimal oxygenation to tissues by building blood volume.
  • Balance electrolytes. Add a pinch of Himalayan or unprocessed sea salt to water. Low sodium can cause fatigue, especially during hot weather with increased sweating.
  • Sip on green, oolong, black, white or yerba mate tea before 2pm for energy. Use caffeine wisely. Too much caffeine provides false energy, stimulates the adrenals, negatively affects sleep and amplifies anxiety.
  • Poorly planned vegan or vegetarian diets directly affect energy levels and are often deficient in amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vital nutrients including zinc and B12. 
  • Identify hidden food sensitivities. Eating inflammatory foods your body’s sensitive to will leave you feeling exhausted and tired. If one feels better with meals, it’s usually due to blood sugar imbalances and hypoglycemia. If one feels worse after meals, this can be a symptom of eating the very foods that your body’s sensitive to. 
  • Follow the real food principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Lifestyle
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to overall health, negatively affects the adrenals and other hormones, depresses immunity, increases cravings and belly fat, risk of depression, dementia and hypertension.
  • Run functional lab tests to rule out anemia and co-factor anemia, underlying viruses (Epstein-Barr, CMV, hepatitis), autoimmune disorders, infections (parasites, bacterial, fungi, mycotoxins, Candida), IgG food sensitivities and toxic heavy metals. Contact my office.
  • Identify nutrient deficiencies (i.e. iron; B12, vitamin D, magnesium, amino acids). It can take weeks or months for a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency to eventually present itself. You’ll notice a huge change in your energy, especially if you’re supplementing with a particular nutrient you’re deficient in.
  • Address hormone imbalances, specifically adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroid and low testosterone.
  • Optimize digestion and healthy gut function. Rule out malabsorption issues (gastritis, SIBO, leaky gut, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, GI inflammation) and underlying infections (Candida, parasites, fungi, bacterial, mycotoxins) that drain your body of energy. Contact my office.
  • Poor posture can amplify fatigue due to the bodies unnecessary expenditure of energy to keep the body erect.
  • Unplug. Addiction to electromagnetic stressors (cell phones, iPads, computers, TV) trigger fatigue, tiredness, disrupt sleep and hormones. Do you really need to email someone at midnight? Take your computer on vacation? Text someone during your kids’ bath time? Talk on your phone while grocery shopping?
  • Go outside. Enjoy nature. Get some vitamin D from the sun
  • Put an end to multi-tasking, endless commitments and filling your life with noise, non-stop busyness and chaos that only makes the soul more distressed. Schedule less. Your adrenals will thank you
  • Address emotional depression and psychological stressors. Chronic stress is draining and depletes energy and the adrenals. Emotions and lifestyle choices affect ever cell in our body, impacting biochemistry and overall health. Stress-less   
  • Support and love your liver. Reduce toxic load with these simple detox tips safe enough to do every day.
  • Beware of your thoughts and how you speak. Change “I’m soooo tired” to “It’s a great day to be alive. I’m feeling energized and alert.” Thoughts transmit an invisible energy that have a profound affect your mental and physical well-being.
  • Be mindful of who and what you surround yourself with. If a certain activity or person drains your energy, have the discipline to eliminate that activity or person from your life.
  • Apply feng shui principles to your home and work environment.
  • Observe and notice (without judgment) what sucks the life out of you and drains your energy versus what lifts you up, makes you feel good and elevates your energy.
  • Read something positive every night. Listen to something inspiring every morning.
  • Meditation sustains energy. Aim for at least 5-10 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
  • Aromatherapy. Energizing essential oils include lemon, peppermint, Rosemary, bergamot, orange
  • Consider alternative therapies: chiropractic, EFT, Reiki, reflexology, massage, acupressure and acupuncture.
  • Listen to your favorite music. Music is a natural healer proven to release dopamine and lower cortisol.
  • Follow the lifestyle principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Exercise
  • Walk every day. Hippocrates said it best, "Walking is a man's best medicine."
  • Sit less. Stand more. Take a stretch break or a brisk walk. Bounce on a mini trampoline, do periodic posture checks, sun salutations, the 5-Tibetan rites, squats, pushups, lunges, jumping jacks or jump rope to get the blood circulating and energy flowing.
  • Practice mindful breathing techniques that will revitalize and energize every cell in your body. I used to teach these techniques and many others in seminars that I taught, and the shift in energy was so evident: Breath of fire (strong inhale with forceful exhale through the nose); energy breathing; breath walking; or alternate nostril breathing (activates both hemispheres of the brain).
  • Instead of long, slow distance endurance-style cardio, opt for shorter, smarter and more efficient workouts such as those found in Fat Loss Revolution.
  • Avoid excessive exercise, which will exhaust the adrenals. Clinical Pearl: Increased fatigue the day after exercise indicates vitamin B deficiency.
  • Yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, meditative walks, the 5-Tibetan rites and Qi Gong promote internal energy, release blocked energy and dissolve physical and emotional tension. Yoga asanas such as backbends and sun salutations are stimulating and energizing.
  • Start your day with the energizing 5 Tibetan Rites, exercises used by Tibetan monks to live long, vibrant and healthy lives. The Tibetans claim that these exercises activate and stimulate the seven key chakras, which stimulate all the glands of the endocrine system. The 5 Tibetan rites are performed in a specific sequence. Start off with 5 reps of the 5 poses every day, then each week add 2 until the goal of 21 is reached. Breathe deeply and fully using your diaphragm inhaling through the nose when the body raises and exhale through the mouth as you return to start position. Take 2 energizing breaths between each rite. The benefits of consistently practicing the 5 Tibetan rites include more energy, less stress, increased chi, calm, clarity and flexibility, better sleep and better posture.
  • Need a little energy boost before your workout? Lie on your back on a firm surface (not a cushy carpet). Tuck your knees in toward your chest and wrap your arms around your shins. Rock ‘n roll on your spine from the tailbone to the upper spine 10-20 times.
  • Follow the exercise and workout principles found in The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution.
Supplements
  • Optimize vitamin D, magnesium and B-vitamin status. Consider supplemental support such as B12 and other B-vitamins, HCL with digestive enzymes, L-carnitine, CoQ10, amino acids, probiotics, essential fatty acids and R-alpha lipoic acid.
  • Be aware of the negative side effects from OTC and prescription drugs.
  • Adaptogens help restore harmony and balance, and work uniquely to improve the entire body’s resistance to stress, not just one particular system or organ and normalize imbalances. Some of my favorite adaptogens for fighting the effects of fatigue and boosting energy are ginseng, Rhodiola rosea and ashwagandha. Avoid adaptogens during pregnancy, breastfeeding or if taking any other medications. Rhodiola can be stimulating and cause insomnia in sensitive people.
  • Be smart. Always seek the professional guidance from a functional health practitioner to determine an ideal protocol for your unique biochemistry. 

The higher your energy level is, the more efficient your body is and the better you feel. Have a happy, healthy, energizing day!

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will determine the root cause of any underlying imbalances and design a custom lifestyle plan and protocol for healing and restoration of health so you can live a healthy, vibrant, energizing life.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

Please note that all content on this blog is copyright © Paula Owens and may NOT be used, reproduced or copied without expressed written permission. You may cite with an author credit for personal use. Reproduction of any article found on Paula Owens’ blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Safe & Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals

Part 2 of 2. Heavy Metal Toxicity Part 2 covers dietary and lifestyle preventative measures to reduce heavy metal exposure and the risk of heavy metal toxicity, plus safe and effective methods to detox heavy metals.

Read Part 1Heavy Metal Toxicity: Sources, Signs and Symptoms

*** It’s imperative to identify and reduce the toxin intake and exposure. It’s also important to realize that people are either slow detoxifiers or fast detoxifiers. The process of eliminating heavy metals is extremely important, can be rather challenging and can take several months to remove and clear toxic metals safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process. It’s important that you’re properly nourished, have healthy functioning adrenals and healthy liver function before starting any chelation method or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in heavy metal detoxification for support in identifying toxic metals and guidance in removing them.

Below you’ll find safe, natural and effective methods to remove toxic metals, along with dietary and lifestyle tips to minimize heavy metal exposure, and supplemental support to reduce heavy metal body burdens.

Safe and Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals

Diet – food is medicine

  • The nutrient quality of your diet has a significant influence in modifying the response to toxic-element exposure. Eat anti-inflammatory foods, drink clean, filtered water, grass-fed, pasture-raised and organically-grown foods as much as possible.
  • Chlorophyll-rich foods: Leafy greens, dark green veggies, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli sprouts and herbs especially cilantro and parsley. Daily green smoothies are key detoxifiers.

Cilantro is an especially effective and gentle detoxifing chelator of lead, mercury and other toxic heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. One study demonstrated rapid removal of aluminum and lead from the skeleton and brain with cilantro was superior to any known other detox agent. “Cilantro is probably the only effective agent in mobilizing mercury stored in the intracellular space and the nucleus of the cell.” ~D. Klinghardt, M.D.

  • Foods high in sulfur. These include egg yolks, garlic, onions, horseradish, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, kale, cilantro, collards, watercress, radish, turnips
  • Cysteine-rich foods that create metallothionine: chicken, turkey and duck, egg yolks, whey protein, raw dairy, garlic and onions
  • Pectins in citrus such as lemons, lime and grapefruit naturally chelate heavy metals without depleting important trace minerals.
  • Adequate protein, especially animal protein is necessary for detoxification. Pasture-raised (not conventional) animal protein detoxifies heavy metals from the body naturally by supplying sulfur-containing amino acids, which support liver detoxification pathways and help chelate toxic metals.
  • Spices, especially turmeric. It contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and healing remedy for the liver and kidneys.
  • Avoid canned foods, processed, fast and fake foods.
  • Avoid rice and wheat, which often contain heavy metals. 
  • Do not use table salt. Instead use unprocessed sea salt or Himalayan salt.
  • Educate yourself on which fish and seafood are safest. Avoid albacore tuna, shark and swordfish. Women who ate fish more than once a week have 4.5 times the risk of toxic body burdens. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, especially avoid or restrict mercury-heavy fish, including tuna.
  • Strengthen your body’s immune system through diet and correction of any nutritional deficiencies so that it can resist metal toxins.

Lifestyle

  • Strengthen and support the liver, gallbladder and kidneys.
  • Optimize digestion and healthy gut function.
  • If you have mercury fillings, consider removal by a biological dentist only.
  • Switch to organic and natural personal care products including cosmetics, lotions, toothpaste and deodorants. A study by University of California found lead, aluminum, cadmium and other toxic metals in lipsticks and lip glosses.
  • If you work in an environment where you are exposed to heavy metals (pottery, plumbing, painting, battery manufacture, landscaper and other occupations.…read part 1), shower or at least wash your hands and face at work and change your clothes there. Wash your work clothes separately. Keep your work shoes outside.
  • Detox bath: Soak in a tub of Epsom salts, baking soda and Bentonite clay.
  • Dry skin brushing before showering encourages lymph flow that helps to flush toxins from the body.
  • Honor the importance of sleep and rest. Extra rest and sleep is critical for any detoxification program.
  • Identify your personal and unique nutrient deficiencies. Dietary deficiencies of calcium, iron, and zinc enhance the effects of lead on cognitive and behavioral development. Iron and zinc deficiencies are associated with increased gastrointestinal toxic metal absorption.
  • Get your sweat on to encourage elimination of accumulated toxic metals. Exercise daily, but don’t overdo.
  • Spend time in an infrared sauna on a daily basis.
  • Addressing and resolving psycho-emotional trauma increases the excretion of heavy metals.
  • If you vaccinate, make sure you get thimerosol-free (no mercury) vaccines.
  • Daily bowel regularity is essential in chelating toxic metals and any detoxification program.
  • If you’re planning to become pregnant, both the father and mom-to-be have a high relative risk of elevated levels of lead, mercury and PCBs. Identifying and ruling out toxic metal body burdens prior to becoming pregnant is not only smart, it’s crucial for both the mother, father to-be and the health of the baby. Today, all children are born with some toxic metals acquired in utero. All the toxic metals pass through the placenta from mother to child. This is seen clearly when reviewing mineral analyses of infants. These are babies who have never been exposed to food, yet their bodies are loaded with many toxic metals. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 60,000 American children are born every year with neurological problems caused by prenatal exposure to methyl mercury compounds.
  • Take control of your water supply. Install water filters in your home.
  • Identify and rule out Candida and parasites. Dying fungi/yeasts may release vast amounts of previously bound mercury. 
  • Keep young kids away from imported candy and don’t let them chew on wrappers or gift wrap.
  • Switch to natural household cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, castile soap. 
  • Avoid aluminum and iron cookware. Instead use ceramic or stainless steel.
  • If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Reduce stress. Activate the parasympathetic nervous system and inhibit the sympathetic branch. Stress of any kinds slows down the detoxification process. Stress-Less Solutions

Nutritional supplement support

***Supplemental support for chelating heavy metals will be different for each and every individual and also different for specific metals. Chelation means metal binding. Many chelating agents also remove vital minerals, so these minerals must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies.

  • Digestive enzymes with HCL to adequately break down protein and facilitate proper mineral  and nutrient absorption.
  • Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that supports the body’s own pathways of elimination and boosts glutathione levels. Increase glutathione with grass-fed whey protein, alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA) and methylation nutrients, vitamins B6, B12 and folate to assist in breaking down toxic metals so they can be eliminated by the body.
  • Chlorella, a single cell algae sea vegetable that grows in fresh water is a food-grade natural chelating agent. Chlorella works synergistically with cilantro as it has better binding properties. Chlorella can cause side effects in some people. Always start with the lowest quantity and highest quality form of chlorella as many sources of chlorella contain contaminants and metals. Biotics in-house phytochemistry lab certifies that their Chlorella is free of contaminants, heavy metals and bacteria.
  • Not all fish oil is healthy. Supplement with only high-grade quality omega-3 fish oil such as EFA Sirt Supreme, which is void of PCBs, soybean oil and toxic metals.
  • Optimize the balance of intestinal flora with probiotics. Once again, quality matters. 
  • Optimize vitamin D levels
  • Supplemental support and the choice of which ones to use to gently remove toxic metals will vary for every single individual and may include one or more of the following: garlic, Porphyra-Zyme, HM Chelate, Metal X Synergy, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA), Taurine, Melatonin, Methylguard or Methylfolate, Curcumin (Meriva-SR), Vitamin C and chlorella. I cannot stress the importance that supplemental quality is crucial and support is specific and unique to each individual’s biochemistry.
  • Avoid low-quality supplements and some protein powders as they contain metals and other less than desirable ingredients.
  • Many calcium and other mineral products are contaminated with lead. It is best to avoid calcium derived from sources such as bonemeal, dolomite, oyster shell or coral calcium.
  • Because of the health risks associated with high levels of iron, all men and women over age 40 should have their iron and ferritin levels checked. Excess iron is a PRO-oxidant, a free radical initiator that accelerates the aging process, causes cognitive dysfunction and increases glycation. Symptoms of iron overload may include high levels of toxic heavy metals, lack of energy, joint pain, diminished sex drive, abdominal pain, memory and heart problems.
  • Bentonite clay and food-grade diatomaceous earth mixed with water and taken before bedtime can be consumed internally to safely remove heavy metals, harmful bacteria, yeast, fungus and viruses, pesticides and other toxins.
  • Accumulation of toxic metals in the body is more problematic when other essential minerals are deficient. Identify nutrient deficiencies and Balance Body Chemistry with Nutrition through the Blood Chemistry Analysis.
  • Many chelating supplements and agents (EDTA and DMSA) also remove vital minerals, so these vital minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iodine, iodide and selenium must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Magnesium is one of the most vital and health-giving nutrients.  It’s involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits against metal carcinogenesis risk factors. Avoid magnesium deficiency at all costs.
  • The above suggestions are adequate to detox heavy metals from the majority of individuals. However, there are other chelating processes such as suppositories, stronger chelating agents and IV therapy (which can be quite expensive and should only be administered by top-notch, experienced practitioners).

***The process of eliminating heavy metals is very important, can be rather challenging and can take months to remove them safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process. Always see the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in heavy metal detoxification to support you in identifying toxic metals as well as removing them.

The Healing Crisis. During the process of detoxing heavy metals, many individuals may experience what is called a healing crisis where they feel worse before better. Symptoms may include frequent bowel movements, headaches, fatigue, nausea, GI issues, dizziness or skin breakouts. Emotional and mental symptoms often occur as well such as feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia or mood swings. These symptoms will subside. Honor the process of detoxification: be patient and gentle with yourself, value rest, get more sleep and listen to your body.

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will determine the root cause of any health problem and design a lifestyle plan and protocol so you can heal, restore your health and live a vibrant life.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

Please note that all content on this blog is copyright © Paula Owens and may NOT be used, reproduced or copied without expressed written permission. You may cite with an author credit for personal use. Reproduction of any article found on Paula Owens’ blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Heavy Metal Toxicity: Sources, Signs & Symptoms

Part 1 of 2. Heavy Metal Toxicity: Sources, Signs & Systems

Every single day we’re exposed to chemicals and toxins through the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink and bathe in. Over time, these toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies.

Heavy metal pollutants such as aluminum, lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium can alter and damage cellular function and impair mental and physical health in adults and children. Heavy metals become toxic when they do not get metabolized by the body and end up accumulating in the soft tissue.

Not all metals are toxic though. Certain trace metals are required for optimal health and body balance, such as iron, zinc, copper, chromium, nickel, lithium, manganese and molybdenum, but if there is an excess of any of these they become oxidative and toxic.

Many research studies in the U.S. and Europe have linked heavy metal toxicity such as lead, mercury and aluminum with a wide range of illnesses and health conditions that cause serious damage to the lungs, brain, heart, liver, kidney, bones, GI tract and reproductive systems. Metals can directly and indirectly damage our DNA and can contribute to any imaginable illness.

Signs, symptoms & conditions related to heavy metal toxicity

  • Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and all autoimmune diseases
  • Mood swings, depression, anxiety, schizophrenic-like behavior
  • Neurotransmitter dysfunction
  • Thyroid dysfunction. Elevated Reverse T3 can be indication of toxic metals
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Inflammatory brain conditions such as autism, Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chronic infections (viral, bacterial, Candida)
  • TMJ
  • ADD, lower IQ and learning problems
  • Anemia
  • Food allergies
  • Infertility and reproductive problems in both men and women
  • Genital malformation
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Brain fog, confusion, forgetfulness, memory loss, dementia
  • Hair loss or premature graying hair
  • Chronic muscle and tendon pain or any soft tissues of the body
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive problems, IBS and gastrointestinal complaints
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Respiratory, lung and heart problems
  • Nervous system malfunctions: burning extremities, numbness, tingling
  • Premature aging
  • Visual disturbances

Metal toxicity is connected with all sorts of health problems and diseases that many people think are related to just getting older. These are also diseases many doctors suggest managing with drugs. Medical schools have failed to educate doctors of the dangers of heavy metal toxicity. If you ask your doctor to test and rule out heavy metals because you feel a sense of deep heaviness, are tired, depressed or experience achy, sore or chronic joint pain for no reason, all too often the request is dismissed and instead you’ll probably get a prescription for an antidepressant.

Heavy metals build up in the body over time and present no discernible symptoms in the early stages. Toxic metal body burdens are neurotoxic meaning that these metals trigger an inflammatory response and oxidative stress causing adverse symptoms that affect the psycho, neuro, immune and endocrine systems.

The top three heavy metals that are most harmful to our health include arsenic, lead and mercury, which was confirmed by The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) when they compiled a list of the "Top 20 Hazardous Substances."

According to a Brown University study, researchers found that nearly 23 percent of American women of childbearing age met or exceeded levels for all three environmental chemical pollutants (lead, mercury, and PCBs), and 56 percent of the women exceeded the median for two or more of the three pollutants. All but 17.3 percent of the women aged 16 to 49 were at or above the level for one or more of these toxic chemicals that are passed to fetuses through the placenta and to babies through breast milk.

Age is the most prominent risk factor associated with increased odds of having higher levels of lead, mercury and PCBs. Eating fish and heavy alcohol consumption also increase the risk of having higher levels of toxic metals. As we grow older, the risk of exceeding the level in two or more of these pollutants increases. Individuals age 30-39 have 12x risk, and those 40-49 have 30x the risk because these chemicals accumulate in the body over time and also these individuals were born in the 1950s and 1960s before most environmental protection laws were enacted.

Certain occupations are more susceptible to increased risk of toxic metal body burdens. Some of these include plumbers, construction and refinery workers, hairdressers, dentists, lithographers, farmers, painters, auto body paint and radiator repair, miners, welders, fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers. 

Heavy Metal Sources

        * Amalgams (silver fillings) * Vaccines and flu shots
        * Contaminated fish (especially tuna, shark, swordfish) * Tattoo dyes
        * Lipstick and cosmetics * Paint, plastics & enamels
        * Many Rx and OTC drugs including antacids * Baby formula and breast milk
        * Foods sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides * Some protein powders
        * Industrial exposure from coal burning * The water supply
        * Household cleaning products * HFCS and processed foods.
        * Foods cooked in aluminum cookware or foil * Some chocolate (high in lead)
        * Metal stints inserted in a surgical procedure * Dust, exhaust and pollution
        * Non-organic and GMO foods * Hair dyes
        * Grains, candy, soda & baked goods * Heavy alcohol consumption
        * Deodorants and personal care products * Cigarettes
        * Costume jewelry, batteries, ceramics * Electronics, lamps & light bulbs

According to Ellen Silbergeld, Ph.D., a professor at John Hopkins University even low amounts of heavy metals can be harmful.

  • There are no safe levels of lead. Brain development is impaired in fetuses and infants exposed to lead. Lead toxicity, even low levels reduces a child’s IQ. For every 17mcgs of lead in the body, IQ is reduced by 10 points! (Richard L. Canfield, Ph.D. New England Journal of Medicine 2002).
  • Aluminum is the most abundantly found toxic metal in the Alzheimer brain. It is also highly implicated in Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s.
  • Mercury is one of the most toxic heavy metals and very damaging to the cells and organs. It is particularly destructive to the brain, liver and kidney.
  • Arsenic and cadmium pose health threats as well.

According to Jonathan Wright, M.D., our cell, tissue and organ function are impaired anywhere toxic metals are deposited. In addition to causing direct damage, the toxic metals also cause damage by displacing nutritional minerals in key positions in cellular function, which results in slowing down or stopping these functions altogether.

It is not possible to completely avoid exposure to toxic metals (Singh 2011), but one can minimize exposure with healthy eating and a healthful lifestyle. Even those who are not occupationally exposed carry certain metals in their body as a result of exposure from other sources, such as food, beverages or air (Washam 2011; Satarug 2010). However, it is possible to reduce metal toxicity risk through dietary and lifestyle choices that diminish the probability of harmful heavy metal uptake and promote the safe metabolism or excretion of ingested heavy metals (Peraza 1998). 

Part 2 of this article will cover dietary and lifestyle preventative measures to reduce the risk of heavy metal toxicity and safe, effective methods to detox heavy metals.

Heavy Metal Testing. Blood tests do not accurately measure the accumulation of lead, mercury or other heavy metals at the level of organs and tissues and are pretty worthless for detecting heavy metal toxicity. Hair tests only partially detect metals, unless it is a hair tissue biopsy test.

A simple urine test and a provoking, chelating agent that binds to heavy metals will accurately detect total body load.

In 2005, my test results indicated extremely high levels of lead. In part 2 of this article, I will share with you the tips I personally followed to excrete the high levels of lead from my body.

Be smart. Rule out toxic heavy metals with an inexpensive test. Contact my office to order your kit today.

Don’t forget to click “Like” at the top of this article and share this valuable information with your friends, family and loved ones. Thank you!

Star Part 2 ►Dietary and Lifestyle Preventative Measures to Reduce Heavy Metal Exposure PLUS Safe and Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals

Schedule a free-15 minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will determine the root cause of any health problem and design a lifestyle plan and protocol so you can heal and restore your health.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All rights reserved.

The material in this article and on this blog is copyright material and may NOT be reproduced or copied without written permission. Reproduction of the articles on this blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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Stop Sugar Cravings

Do you struggle with sugar cravings? If so, this article will shed some light and enlighten you with information as to why you crave sugar and provide you with solutions and strategies that will put an end to sugar cravings for good!

Research has shown that sugar is addictive…eight times addictive as cocaine! In 1821, each person consumed approximately ten pounds of sugar annually. Today that number is an astounding 160-190 pounds of sugar per person annually; 350 calories daily from added sugar (equivalent to roughly 22 teaspoons of sugar and 25 percent of daily calories). On top of that about 55 percent of the sugar produced in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, 95 percent of which have been genetically engineered.

It’s not just sugar that is addictive. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition eating highly processed carbohydrates have a similar effect on brain chemistry as addictive substances

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has shown that unhealthy maternal and early postnatal dietary patterns (sugar, processed and refined foods, high-sugar beverages, high-sodium snacks) elevate the risk of behavioral and emotional problems in children.

The most common sources of sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, candy, dairy desserts and fruit juice drinks. Don’t be fooled by other hidden sources of sugar. Sugar is hidden in more foods than you can imagine including cereal, granola and protein bars, yogurt, tomato sauce, chewing gum, bread and bagels, juice, milk, salad dressings, sports drinks, low-fat and non-fat items, flavored coffee creamers, canned fruits and soups, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, infant formula, ketchup, and off-the-shelf vitamins. These processed foods quickly break down to sugar in your body.

When you consume sugary foods (corn, rice, wheat, candy, pasta, bagels, breads, muffins, soda, fruit juice and grains) that quickly convert to sugar, a hormonal message is sent to your body that says, “I’m going to store more fat.” Excess sugar and carbs that aren’t used by the body accumulate in the liver, leading to excess weight gain, stubborn belly fat, fatty liver and elevated triglycerides.

Sugar is often disguised in processed and packaged foods, such as evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, barley malt, maltodextrin, fructose, sucrose, sucralose, agave, brown rice syrup and any item that ends with –ose. Other forms of sugar include sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, manitol or xytlitol that often cause digestive distress for many individuals.

Excess sugar intake is directly linked to an increased risk of heart disease, hormone dysfunction, kidney and gallstones, diabetes, inflammation, leaky gut, fatty liver, memory loss and cognitive decline, increased appetite and cravings, damaged skin collagen, and is a fuel source for Candida and parasites.

According to Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, sugar is making us obese and sick. The immune system is suppressed for 8-12 hours after consuming sugar. Sugar consumption amplifies pain and inflammation, and also triggers mood disorders and depression. Research shows that high-sugar and low nutrient-value foods are commonly consumed by those with depression, anxiety, and high levels of chronic distress, thus exacerbating the condition. Another study by the University of Copenhagen found that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant cancer cells. 

Sugar has also been shown to cause a more porous intestinal lining, the consequences of which include systemic access to food antigens, environmental toxins, endotoxins, and structural components of microbes

Diets high in sugar cause low energy and fatigue, brain atrophy and memory problems, wrinkling of the skin, acne and premature aging, low libido, elevated blood sugar, and rob your body of important nutrients. Eating sugar blocks absorption of essential minerals like zinc and magnesium. When you’re deficient in these important minerals, the tendency for sugar cravings intensify even more. 

Sugar is nutritionally-void and a poison for health, vitality, longevity and fat loss. When you consume sugar, glucose levels rise. Shortly after, glucose levels plummet and crash causing low blood sugar, which triggers intense and increased cravings for more sugar so glucose levels rise back up. This vicious cycle continues. The end result is low energy, moodiness, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, insulin resistance and an increased risk of diabetes.

Sugar stimulates pleasure and reward centers in the brain. Socializing, sexual behavior, alcohol and drugs also activate these reward centers. When these reward centers are over-stimulated too much and too often, it will cause a downward spiral out-of-control effect that results in intense cravings, loss of control, increased tolerance and addictive affects on the brain.

Cravings provide insight into your unique metabolism and are a sign of imbalances often in conjunction to specific nutrient deficiencies, hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances. 

It’s important to determine the root cause and understand why you experience cravings so you can break the cycle of addiction to sugar.

Sugar cravings will be different for each person and are triggered by…. 

  • You’re not properly nourished with a balance of nutrient-rich food
  • Candida, intestinal yeast and parasites
  • Hormone fluctuations and imbalances
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Dehydration
  • Insulin resistance, blood sugar fluctuations and imbalances
  • Unmanaged stress
  • Adrenal dysfunction. High or low cortisol or a problem with the cortisol rhythm
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Digestive problems, bacterial imbalances and hypochlorhydria
  • Recovering alcoholic. Former alcoholics often replace alcohol with sweets and sugary beverages without realizing that sugar disrupts nutrient balance and intestinal flora, promoting Candida and other fungi. Under certain conditions these pathogenic yeasts actually convert sugars in the gut to alcohol. Walk into any AA meeting and you’ll find a spread of candy, cakes and cookies. Some recovering alcoholics will even convert the sugar to alcohol metabolically and maintain their alcohol addiction in this way. There are well-documented cases of inebriation caused by sugar consumption and Candida overgrowth in persons who abstain from alcohol.

Stop Sugar Cravings (taken from my books, Fat Loss Revolution and The Power of 4). Realize that it’s not uncommon to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and mood swings when you give up sugar. These symptoms subside in a few days.

Diet

  • Consume high-quality protein at every meal. Eat a protein-rich breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, which has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar throughout the day. Protein-rich meals send signals that travel between your gut and brain generating feelings of satiety.
  • Eat real food. Sugar, grains, fake and processed foods increase cortisol and are making us and our kids fat and sick. Get back to basics!
  • Don’t skip meals. Long periods without food trigger and intensify cravings for sugar. And, grabbing an energy bar is not considered a meal. Nip this in the bud by eating real food at breakfast, lunch and dinner that includes protein, fat, and fiber from veggies and leafy greens to increase satiety, prevent cravings and fluctuations in blood sugar.
  • Plan ahead so when you’re hungry there are healthy options readily available to choose from. 25 Healthy Snacks
  • Opt for a healthier alternative sweetener such as stevia that will not disrupt blood sugar.
  • Spice it up with cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom that help reduce cravings and stabilize blood sugar.
  • Include more fat in your diet from pastured egg yolks, grass-fed and pastured meat, coconut oil, avocado, pastured butter, nuts and seeds that provide fullness and satiety.
  • Remove all processed, sugary treats, artificial sweeteners, sodas and sugary beverages, any item with wheat and gluten, and processed junk foods from your home and office to avoid the ease of accessibility and the temptation for these foods. Artificial sweeteners and processed, fake foods can actually cause addiction and intensify cravings. Replace with healthier options (see options below and more options in my book Fat Loss Revolution.)
  • Include more fiber-rich foods in your diet from a variety of fresh dark green vegetables and dark leafy greens, which help prevent cravings, increase satiety and control blood sugar.
  • Be a label detective. Make it a habit to read the list of ingredients on every item to avoid hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners.
  • Drink plenty of clean water. Dehydration can trigger cravings.

Lifestyle

  • Investigate food sensitivities, which among other things can be the direct cause of intense cravings.
  • Don’t under estimate the importance of sleep. The amount and quality of sleep you get every night has a direct influence on cravings. Strive for seven to nine hours of restful sleep every night. When you’re sleep deprived or don’t sleep soundly, appetite increases especially for sugar, carbohydrates and junk food. Sleep Solutions
  • Be mindful of emotions, events and situations that trigger cravings for sugar and carbs.
  • Exercise daily. Walk every day preferably outdoors.
  • Balance hormones, specifically insulin (what you choose to eat) and cortisol.
  • Avoid medications, stimulants and excess alcohol consumption that not only deplete vital nutrients from your body, but also stimulate appetite, intensify cravings and encourage excessive eating.
  • Honor and listen to your body’s request for R&R. It’s more challenging for an exhausted body to make healthy choices. Schedule quiet moments for restoration, relaxation and deep breathing. Practice mindfulness and parasympathetic activities.
  • Re-direct your mind. When you experience an intense craving, shift your mind and focus your energy on healthier, more pleasurable activities. Call a friend. Meditate. Go for a walk. Light some candles and take a warm bath. Write in your journal about gratifying moments in your life or things, people and places that you love. Read a favorite novel or something spiritually uplifting.
  • Commit to a 7-day sugar fast. Although this can be quite challenging, the outcome and benefits are tremendous. Detox Tips Safe Enough to do Every Day
  • Investigate and rule out gut pathogens including Candida, fungus and parasites, which thrive on sugar.

Nutrient support that help reduce sugar cravings and support sugar withdrawal

Note: Nutrient selection and dosing is different for each individual based on their unique biochemistry, nutrient needs and deficiencies. Schedule a consultation to determine your specific nutrient deficiencies and needs.

Kick sugar cravings to the curb with these crave-busters

  • Simply taking a teaspoon of coconut oil will reduce sugar cravings
  • Two tablespoons apple cider vinegar in a glass of water help eliminate or reduce a sugar craving.
  • Ten grams of L-glutamine in a small amount of water or heavy cream has blood sugar-stabilizing effects, which helps to eliminate sugar cravings.
  • Protein smoothie: 25-40 grams of your favorite protein powder, 10 grams BCAA powder, 5 grams L-glutamine powder, 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon blended with carrageenan-free coconut or almond milk and ice.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these healthier sweet treat alternatives 

  • Chia pods. My favorite flavor is vanilla bean.
  • Homemade cocoa. Mix one tablespoon of organic cocoa powder with a cup of hot water. One tablespoon organic heavy cream. Sweeten with SweetLeaf Stevia.
  • One half cup nuts with real maple syrup sprinkled with cinnamon
  • One cup of organic frozen berries with heavy cream sprinkled with raw cacao nibs.
  • Cocoa Berry Smoothie
  • Sliced banana, dipped in coconut oil, rolled in coconut flakes and cocoa nibs. Refrigerate.
  • Energizing Green Smoothie

Determine the root cause of your cravings and do what works for you specifically. We are each unique biochemically, physically and emotionally. As always, go slow, be patient and loving with yourself. Follow the guidance and healing direction of a trusted professional to allow your body to heal and restore naturally.  

Schedule a free 15-minute consult. I consult with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype and with clients locally in the Phoenix area. I will identify the root cause of your sugar cravings and design a lifestyle plan and protocol so you can heal and restore your health.

Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.

The information in this article and on this blog is copyright material and may NOT be reproduced or copied without written permission. Reproduction of the articles on this blog may be shared and are permissible ONLY when instructions found at the bottom of this blog are followed. Thank you.

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