Tag Archives: Magnesium

Could Women’s Hearts be More Sensitive to Stress?

heart, mind, health, stress

Stress of the mind can hurt your heart.

Your heart is racing. Your palms are sweaty. Sometimes you may feel dizzy, disoriented, or nauseous. These are all potential symptoms when you are faced with a stressful situation. However, one of the most dangerous symptoms of stress is constriction of blood vessels. A recent study has found that women may be more at risk for heart-related health problems in response to stress.

What is stress?

Stress is a normal reaction to the demands of life that can affect both the body and mind. A little bit can be healthy to remind you to be more alert or more motivated. However, too much can contribute to a variety of health conditions such as:

  • ulcers
  • digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • asthma
  • headaches
  • back pain

In addition to such conditions, stress can also increase blood pressure, which can in turn increase risk of heart disease. This is due to the body’s response to a perceived threat. The body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode in which the body constricts blood vessels to provide more blood flow to the major organs. Also, digestion slows to keep the body focused on providing blood to the brain and the heart.  However, if anxiety or chronic exposure to the perceived threat(s) occurs, then this response can negatively impact health.

Women, Stress, and the Heart

A recent study in the journal Arteriosclerosis looked at 678 people with coronary artery disease, or plaques in the major arteries that affects blood flow. Each person was asked to engage in public speaking, a commonly known fear of many, to see if it triggered myocardial ischemia, or a reduction of blood flow in the heart.

About 15-percent of study subjects triggered myocardial ischemia. Men and women were affected by this condition at a similar rate, but the cause was different.  In men, blood flow was mostly affected by high blood pressure and increased heart rate. On the other hand, in women it was caused by a constriction of blood vessels, also known as microvascular dysfunction. The difference between the two reactions is that in men, the perceived fear increased workload on the heart. However, in women, the dysfunction of vessels impaired blood flow.  It is not known whether this increased incidence of myocardial ischemia can increase risk of heart disease, but such studies are being planned.

Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress

You can help decrease stress, and in turn, lower risk of heart disease in a variety of ways.  The following list includes way you can lower stress on both your body and mind.

  • Limit coffee and caffeine since such constrict blood vessels, thus impacting blood flow. Two to three cups a day is suggested for adequate health benefit.
  • Quit or don’t smoke since smoking can also constrict blood vessels, and in turn blood flow, this increasing heart disease risk.
  • Live a balanced life. It is important to make sure that as hard as you work in your job and in exercising, you should also rest your body just as readily. A good balance of rest and activity is around 30 minutes a day of moderate activity such as walking combined with about 7 hours of sleep each night.  Being both active and resting well each night are important for the regulation of body fluids, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels in the body, among other things.
  • Be mindful in everything you do. When you are more mindful and aware of the choices you make each day, it can eliminate a lot of stress on the body.  The following are a list of small things you can do each day to be more mindful and in turn reduce stress on your body inside and out.
    • Plan and prep meals and snacks ahead of time.
    • Make healthy choices at meal and snack time such as less processed food and more fresh foods.
    • Portion out food choices to prevent excess intake.
    • Set a designated bedtime to help your body get more rest.
    • Make a to-do list to keep track of your weekly tasks and delegate any tasks that you can to others.
    • When you get stressed, give yourself a time-out with relaxation breathing to help you better face the situation at hand.
    • Make time for yourself in your schedule by setting aside 15 minutes a day to meditate, read, or do something your enjoy to give your body and mind a break.
  • Take supplements to help with sleep and managing stress. There are many herbal supplements on the market that claim to help with sleep and stress. However, it is important to do your research. Perhaps the supplement most well-known for its sleep-inducing properties is melatonin. It is actually a hormone produced by the brain’s pineal gland that affects the sleep/wake cycle and produces drowsiness. Those that may be deficient in this hormone may experience trouble sleeping or insomnia. However, it is important to remember that since it is a hormone, it may not be suitable for everyone, so be sure to check with your doctor first before starting a melatonin regimen.

Another supplement to try is Sereneo by Vita Sciences. Sereneo contains a combination of magnesium, chamomile, and valerian to help promote a feeling of calm by working to help reduce stress and anxiety. Valerian and chamomile have been found to be safe, natural herbal remedies to help induce sleep, while magnesium has been found to help promote reduced anxiety and irritability. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know before starting any new supplement regimen to be sure it does not interact with any of your currently prescribed medications.

-written  by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

Sources:

American Heart Association (June 2014) “Fight Stress with Healthy Habits”

American Heart Association (June 2014) “Stress and Heart Health”

Berkeley Wellness (October 1, 2013) “Can Supplements Help You Sleep?”

Centers for Disease Control (March 2, 2017) “How Much Sleep Do I Need?”

Deans, M.D., E. (June 12, 2011) “Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill.” Psychology Today.

Harvard Medical School: Division of Sleep Medicine (December 18, 2007) “The Characteristics of Sleep”

Mayo Clinic (March 31, 2017) “Stress Management”

Medline Plus (December 21, 2017) “Are Women’s Hearts More Vulnerable to Stress?”

Rodale Wellness (August 25, 2017) “4 Sleep Supplements That Actually Work”

 


  • Can Meditation Help Those With Anxiety Focus?

    Even after thousands of years since its development, meditation is still used as a way to develop the mind and evolve spiritually.  However, even though the term “meditation” may provoke thoughts of religious context, the exercise itself simply involves a specific, comfortable posture, a focus of attention, and an open attitude. Specifically, this may involve repetition of affirmations, relaxation breathing, and clearing your mind of extraneous thought.  According to the National Institutes of Health, meditation holds significant health benefits.  In particular, research has shown the exercise tomeditation anxiety focus mental health benefit those with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even irritable bowel syndrome. Furthermore, in those with anxiety, meditation helps diffuse worries by improving focus on the present-day.

    A recent study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition looked at a group of 82 people with anxiety. Subjects were asked to perform a computer task and were interrupted frequently to test their focus.  Next, subjects were divided into a meditation group and an audio story group.  Results show that those who meditated had greater focus in the second half of the study then those who listened to the audio story.

    Therefore, it is safe to say that meditation exercises show promise for helping those with anxiety.  Researchers of the study state that mind wandering account for nearly half of a person’s consciousness. Furthermore, when those with anxiety wander off into repetitive off-focus thought, they may have trouble learning, completing tasks, or functioning safely. However, the National Institutes of Health want to remind you that meditation should not replace primary conventional care of health conditions.

    What Are Other Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety?

    Besides meditation, there are various ways you can help reduce anxiety:

    • Visit your healthcare provider for counseling or medication treatment
    • Exercise on a regular basis for at least 30 minutes a day; low impact exercises such as walking will do the job.
    • Schedule “me-time” every day engaging in an activity yo love to do such as reading, painting, watching a movie, or cooking; do something that relaxes your mind.
    • Delegate tasks on your to-do list; get others to help with some tasks or schedule some things for another day.
    • Stay connected with a support system through family, friends, coworkers, or community and religious organizations.
    • Use essential oils such as frankincense and lavender to provide a calming scent when practicing relaxation breathing. You can either place oils in a diffuser, or dab on wrists and neck for a more concentrated scent.
    • Drink herbal teas such as peppermint to calm digestion or chamomile to help soothe the mind and promote sleep.
    • Try a supplement such as Sereneo by Vita Sciences. Sereneo contains natural ingredients such as magnesium, chamomile, and valerian that have been shown to promote a boost in “feel-good” serotonin, relieve anxiety, and calm mind and body.

    Also,  visit websites such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for more information on anxiety, treatment options, and ways you can support anxiety research.  anxiety depression treatment research

    -written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

    Sources:

    Dallas, M.E. (May 5, 2017) “Meditation Can Help Improve Focus in People With Anxiety” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165274.html

    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (updated March 17, 2017) “Meditation: In Depth” https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

    National Institute of Mental Health (accessed May 10, 2017) “5 Things You Should Know About Stress” https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

    Puff, Ph.D., R. (July 7, 2013) “An Overview of Meditation: Its Origins and Traditions” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meditation-modern-life/201307/overview-meditation-its-origins-and-traditions


  • Natural Migraine Relief- At Last

    Natural Migraine Relief- At Last

    Migraine headache specialists recommend combining natural migraine relief tactics with conventional medicine for best results. Many popular natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals have beneficial properties that have been used for centuries to combat everyday ailments. These have also been proven to help with chronic migraine attacks.

    Natural migraine relief supplements

    In a study published in 2003 by the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, researchers noted exceptional benefits when migraine sufferers used a variety of natural ingredients as part of their daily migraine management regimen.

    Listed are some of the best supplements recommended by migraine clinics worldwide.

    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E helps to maintain normal blood flow and is helpful for your immune system. For migraines, researchers found that vitamin E supplements are particularly helpful for women suffering from menstrual migraines. Out of 72 female migraine sufferers, the participants who took vitamin E noticed positive results in relation to migraine sensitivity to bright lights, noises, and nausea.

    Vitamin B6

    Vitamin B6 is a nutrient that requires constant replenishment. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the immune system and the assimilation of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 deficiency is linked with depression, anxiety, and increased risk for neurological illnesses, such as migraine. Researchers have noted abnormally low serotonin levels in migraine patients, possibly as a result of low vitamin B6 levels.

    In a 2009 study on migraines with aura, patients who took a combination of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid saw a 50% difference in the brain’s response to migraine triggers, noting an allover improvement in health and comfort.

    Butterbur

    Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries to help with common debilitating symptoms. Today, butterbur supplements are advised for people who experience frequent migraines and allergy symptoms. Beneficial properties include muscle spasm reduction and a proper biological response to inflammation, both of which are helpful for migraines.

    Only PA-free butterbur supplements are safe for human consumption.

    Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

    Riboflavin is a popular ingredient in migraine vitamins, as it is helpful for producing red blood cells and maintain good mitochondrial health. Doctors have seen vitamin B2 deficiency in people who complain of frequent migraine headaches. In a 2004 study, patients who took riboflavin reported substantial benefits, compared with those who took a placebo pill. Factors considered included number of headaches per month and the amount of painkillers needed to provide relief.

    Coenzyme Q10

    Coenzyme Q10 helps your body produce healthy cells, and also boosts energy. Doctors often recommend CoQ10 for people suffering from cardiovascular problems and migraine attacks. In several placebo-based studies, scientists noticed positive results in migraine sufferers who took Coenzyme Q10.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones. Many of us don’t utilize vitamin D well as we age, resulting in osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also helpful for immune system integrity and your body’s inflammation response. In 2008, the American Headache Society published a report shedding light on a 42% vitamin D deficiency in people with migraines. In 1991, a separate study found that vitamin D is helpful for daily pain symptoms that don’t respond to common painkillers.

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is an essential mineral for many biological responses throughout your body; it supports your immune system, enzyme production, and nervous system health. For migraineurs, magnesium helps to maintain a normal neurological response to common migraine triggers. Doctors have also noticed unusually low magnesium levels in people who experience frequent migraine headaches with aura. Scientists are currently investigating the healthful properties of magnesium in supporting good heart health and blood pressure.

    Takeaway

    For advanced migraine care, try a supplement containing all of the most effective natural ingredients in one pill.

    Speak to your healthcare provider before beginning any natural migraine relief regimen. The information stated here is not meant to take the place of a doctor’s advice.

     

    References:

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb6.asp

    http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/12/2240

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601201

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp#h3

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coenzyme-q10/NS_patient-coenzymeq10

     

     


  • What Works for Migraines? New Study

    In a recent study, patients tell researchers what works for migraines, comparing prescription migraine drugs with natural, alternative vitamins and lifestyle changes. The results may surprise you.

    What works for Migraines

    Migraines are a neurological illness that inflicts sufferers with frequent crippling headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, vertigo, and all-over body pain. Doctors have been working on a “cure” for years, but it seems that some of the most effective treatments that help don’t require a prescription at all.

    What works for migraines?

    Disclaimer: Please don’t ever consider stopping your current migraine medication or starting a new one without your doctor’s consent. This does not constitute medical advice, but rather a general awareness of what researchers have discovered when interviewing patients of chronic migraine attacks.

    Eighty percent choose natural therapy.

    Results are based on a survey by Cure Together that is available online.

    Of the top ten best-rated treatments for migraine headaches, only two are migraine prescription medications; that’s an 80% success rate for natural preventative medicine and migraine trigger avoidance.

    Top 10 list

    1. Sitting in a dark, quiet room.
    2. Taking a nap.
    3. Avoiding red wine.
    4. Waiting it out.
    5. Eliminating MSG.
    6. Avoiding smoke or quitting smoking.
    7. Wearing sunglasses, even indoors.
    8. Intravenous dihydroergotamine Injection (DHE)
    9. Imitrex (sumatriptan) injection
    10. Pressing an ice pack or cool towel on head or neck.

    Popularity vs. effectiveness

    Interestingly enough, some of the most effective treatments for migraine headaches are also the least practiced. According to the infographic on Cure Together, the most oft-prescribed migraine drugs are rated by patients as the least helpful in relieving migraines. Conversely, natural migraine strategies that work, such as lifestyle changes and nutrients such as butterbur, riboflavin, CoQ10, and magnesium seem to be the least prescribed and the bottom of the go-to list for migraine prevention.

    Is it any wonder, then, that so many people continue to suffer from excruciating migraine attacks?

    Natural vitamins, herbs, and other nutrients

    Out of all the treatments rated in this survey, the one that got the best response- lying down in a quiet room- garnered 893 points. Using that number as a guideline, you can see that vitamin supplements for migraines get a huge thumbs-up for simple effectiveness without side effects.

    • Magnesium- 556
    • Vitamin B2- 380
    • Coenzyme Q10- 296
    • Vitamin B12- 247
    • Vitamin D3- 130
    • Butterbur-  115
    • Vitamin B6- 106

    Hint: Migravent has all of the top-rated ingredients!

    Migravent for Migraines

    Please share!

    What treatment do you believe works for migraines better than anything else?

    Did you like this article? Please tweet, blog, or share this on Facebook with anybody who suffers from migraines or is otherwise involved with migraine awareness. Feel free to leave your comments below.

     Image by Stuart Miles


  • Understanding Migraine Disorder

    It’s a myth that migraines are mainly really bad headaches; they’re so much more than that. Many migraineurs are surprised to learn that unusual symptoms like vision problems, vertigo, and olfactory hallucinations are linked to migraine disorder. By playing “connect-the-dots” you can come to a better understanding of how migraines work, and things you can do to prevent them.

    Understanding Migraine Disorder

    Migraine symptoms

    Chronic migraines are attacks that occur more than 15 times per month. Symptoms can vary between patients, and may not always include headaches.

    Signs of migraine attack can include the following:

    • Excruciating throbbing headache
    • Strong urge to vomit
    • Stomach cramps
    • Dizziness, vertigo
    • Weakness, fatigue
    • Visual disturbances (aura)
    • Partial numbness
    • Sensitivity to lights and noise
    • Neck pain
    • Difficulty communicating
    • Impaired spatial awareness

    Migraines are neurological

    Unless you’ve been to a neurologist or other migraine specialist, you may not have realized that your migraine attacks are caused by “overexcited” neurons in your nervous system.  Migraine disorder is classified as a neurological disorder that occurs when certain elements trigger migraine attacks in your brain.

    A migraine trigger can be anything from a salami sandwich to a dry martini; from an intoxicating scent to a stressful day.

    Although there is no universal cure for migraines, doctors are sometimes able to reduce your odds of experiencing an attack by preventing such triggers from invading your nervous system.

    Trigger avoidance

    When a doctor prescribes antiepileptic medicine or antidepressants for migraine headaches, it’s because he believes that the same mechanism that occurs with epilepsy or depression may be related to your migraine attacks.

    Migraine trigger avoidance is an extended form of migraine prevention, as it focuses on elements in your daily life that make migraine headaches more likely to occur. There are hundreds of migraine triggers that affect migraine sufferers differently. By determining which ones are “red light” triggers, you can effectively reduce the number of migraine headaches you experience each month.

    Examples of migraine triggers are foods, scents, lights, weather, hormonal changes, stress, eating habits, sleep schedules, and loud noises.

    To identify your triggers, try using a migraine diary for at least a few months. Take note of things like food, mood, weather, medications, sleep, and anything else you think may be relevant.

    Migraine prescriptions

    Doctors recommend alleviating migraine headaches with over-the-counter medications before visiting a specialist. If NSAIDs fail to relieve migraines, then you may be able to get some help from a neurologist or headache clinic.

    However, many prescription migraine drugs come at a high cost- side effects can include memory loss, addiction, dizziness, anxiety, and even…headaches.

    Natural migraine supplements

    Alternative, complementary nutrients are finding their way into conventional migraine practices. Doctors have seen where magnesium or vitamin B deficiency can worsen or trigger migraine frequency. Certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs help to correct vitamin deficiency while also promoting healthy neurological functioning needed to sustain day-to-day living without migraines.

    In various clinical trials, doctors have found the most benefit when migraine patients take a combination of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, coenzyme Q10, and PA-free butterbur root each day.

    Summary

    For migraines, the best approach is one that combines the best of conventional and natural applications.

    • Minimum painkillers, under doctor supervision
    • Preventive treatments, also under strict supervision
    • Simple lifestyle modifications
    • Relaxation and exercise
    • Supplementation of nutrients known to help migraines

    Try this:

    Natural support for migraine syndrome: try best-selling Migravent, with all 4 of the most effective migraine-specific nutrients: magnesium, butterbur, CoQ10 and riboflavin.

    Migravent Bottle

    Get Migravent for $39.99 $38.95

    Image by marin