BEWARE! The Secret Cause Behind Common Health Issues!

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We live in a world where our bodies are being taxed ALL the time by stress–our jobs/career, families, environment, medications…you name it. It’s no secret that stress is NOT benign! Furthermore, our body has to use many nutrients just to keep your organs healthy, especially under chronic stress.

As with everything, there are consequences and eventually all that stress and strain on our bodies can cause nutritional deficiencies. In the cases of chronic stress-induced fatigue, headaches/migraines, constipation, sleep issues, anxiety, Restless Leg Syndrome or muscle cramps, it could all be caused by a hidden nutrient deficiency. MAGNESIUM! Yup, the hidden cause your doctor may be overlooking is hypomagnesemia or low magnesium.

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Health experts claim most of us are magnesium deficient due the body’s high demand for this nutrient in metabolic processes. Recommended daily intake is 310-320mg for adult women and 400-420mg for adult men. Adults can safely take up to 1000mg, however, be careful and gradual with dosing because sudden high intake of extra magnesium can quickly reverse the constipation into diarrhea.

Also, be sure to ask your doctor if you’re on any medications that can deplete magnesium stores such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or even antibiotics. Sometimes taking too much calcium or vitamin D can create a magnesium imbalance too!

Click this link to learn more about magnesium.

Magnesium can easily be supplemented into your diet from eating the following foods:

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Courtesy Google Images

For those of you who don’t want to put the extra effort to supplement your intake all by food, take a daily supplement! My favorite magnesium product is Alka Calm by Professional Complementary Health Formulas.* It is a combination of powdered magnesium and potassium that morphs water into a fizzy yummy drink. I usually drink my cup about 30-60mins before bedtime to calm my nerves, muscles, and thoughts, into a relaxed state ready for sleep!

As always, please consult your doctor first before making any changes in your health regimen. Cheers to health!!

*No company affiliation or compensation are associated with the recommendation of this product. 

When multiple friends completely unload all of their study tips and advice to me about boards thinking it’ll help my preparation

Thanks dudes but sometimes too many tips and advice are NOT helpful and forces me to say…

And now here’s my own advice that I’m following to prepare for boards: Ignore everyone and just do YOU!

At the end of the day, you know yourself best and what works well.  It’s easy to allow everybody else’s panic, anxiety, thoughts and advice to overwhelm you because I almost started to let it affect me too.

Now when a friend asks me if I want his/her advice or recommendations about boards I simply say: “No thank you!” 🙂

First Year Anatomy Lab (aka Dead Lab)

Since I’ll soon be digging out my anatomy notes to prepare for boards this Summer, I’m reminded of when I first had anatomy lab as a lil newbie.

Before I entered my first Dead Lab:

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After I entered lab, the smell of formaldehyde and dead corpse filled my nose:

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I don’t miss that lab!

Injection Practice in Stab Lab goes a little like…

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Vitamin B12 shots anyone? 😉

My thoughts about the first GPA…

I thought I’d feel like this…

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But it actually played out more like this…

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I was blessed to pass my GPA-1, but I still had this cathartic release of emotion. I cried! I didn’t cry from happiness…I cried because I’ve finally hit this limit of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Tired of being tried and tested, critiqued, judged, and constantly readjusting my expectations to accommodate the burn-out. It SUCKS…it really does. I even got pissed for NOT being perfect. I know…that sounds ridiculous!! But hey, that is definitely how I felt. I couldn’t get passed my own disappointment in not meeting my OWN expectations for myself that it completely masked the true victory. And you know what, I know I wasn’t the only one who may have struggled with mixed emotions (once again). So I called my momma because quite frankly I didn’t know who else would understand the paradox of me not being happy in that moment. And this is what her words did for my soul…

I want to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to all the awesome, amazing MOMMAS!!! THANK YOU!!

That phone call gave me the encouragement and love that I needed to hear so I could move on and celebrate my achievement. She doesn’t completely understand what I’m going through, but to hear her express her admiration for me and the people who choose this path was beautiful! In the midst of taking all these tests, pulling 10-12hr days, and constantly feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not good enough…it helps to know there are people who see you and appreciate the sacrifice you make to protect them and help heal them. THANK YOU!!! Your belief gives me the strength to do the things that most people wouldn’t want to do. And while my colleagues and I are in the thick of it now…our day is coming.

So congratulations to everyone who successfully made it through their first GPA and took that GIANT leap closer to becoming a practitioner!! You are amazing and I’m glad I can share this journey with you!

And for those who did not receive a passing grade this first time around, please don’t despair! YOU DID NOT FAIL! Think about how much you have learned this year to make it to this point. That in itself is a SUCCESS! My heart feels for you because I know you are beyond exhausted and the idea of repeating this damn thing can be very disheartening. I BELIEVE IN YOU!! Believe in yourself! You are more than GOOD and SMART enough, and you will make it through this hurdle. We didn’t all come this far for anyone to get let behind. I plan to see ALL of us cross that finish line and be the great doctors we are destined to become.

We chose are very difficult and challenging road. There will be road bumps and blocks along the way. Often times, we feel segregated like nobody truly understands how much we are hurting and struggling to make this dream happen. But it won’t always be like this. Cry, scream, kick, and yell…and know you are stronger for it!

Now, who wants a drink? Hey! Wine has antioxidants that are good for you!!!

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The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto’s GMO corn

As a follow-up to last week’s post, here is an article that names popular cereal brands that contain genetically modified corn products. Many of us probably consumed a lot o these cereals either as children or at some point in our adulthood. I know they taste good (coming from a former sugar cereal lover)..but here is more proof why these cereal brands are not good for you and your long-term health. Despair not!! There are yummy healthy and non-GMO alternatives you can switch to 🙂

The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto\’s GMO corn

via The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto\’s GMO corn.

Shocking findings in new GMO study: Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early

Note from Vitamin Ray: This article is great evidence as to why I am against genetically modified food and the high occurence of it in the food that we eat everyday. When you go to the supermarket, if a package does not say “100% organic” and “Non-GMO” then you are probably purchasing food containing ingredients that have been manipulated and chemically altered in a lab somewhere.

Even with foods that ARE labeled “Non-GMO” might have trace amounts of or cross-contamination with GMO foods due to the lack of regulation with food labels and manufacturing processes. However, I always pick  the product labeled “Non-GMO” versus the product that fails to say whether it is GMO or not because I know in this case LESS is BEST!

Please click the link and read the following article carefully and keep this knowledge with you the next time you go to the grocery store. Enjoy the read!! ~Vitamin Ray

Shocking findings in new GMO study: Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early

via Shocking findings in new GMO study: Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early.

AACHOO!! There Goes My Allergies…

‘Tis the Spring season, and with it comes the Spring allergies. Many people  fall victim to pollen’s stronghold and experience unwanted symptoms of  sneezing, coughing, itchy/red eyes, and more. And what’s worse, I often hear people express frustration with the over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription allergy medications because they receive either little to no relief for their symptoms. Finally, your prayers have been heard and I’m here to present some all natural remedies to give you that coveted relief.

TOP 5 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ALLERGY RELIEF

1.) NETI POT/ NASAL IRRIGATION: It sounds crazy to pour water into your nose and have it come out through your other nostril, but it actually works. Why does it work? When you irrigate (or pour water inside) your nose with saline solution (salt water), this action helps to clean out any pollen, dander, dust, etc that may be sticking inside on your sinuses. And if your nose is free of these irritants, then VIOLA…no sneezing or other nasal symptoms. See neti pot video for a demonstration of how to use it.

2.) STINGING NETTLE TEA/ SUPPLEMENTS: Stinging nettle is an unique plant weed (common in the United States) that has the ability to block your body’s histamine response. In other words, it’s an all-natural antihistamine without any of the bad side effects of OTC or Rx drugs. You can experience it’s benefits by making your own tea from the leaves or taking 300 mg/day of the freeze dried extract. For the tea, you can purchase the stinging nettle teas or leaves from a specialty health food store or from online.  To brew, simply add the tea/leaves to boiling hot water, remove the pot from heat, and let it steep for 20 minutes. You can drink this tea 2-3 times a day for allergy relief.**Butterbur is another common weed with antihistamine properties, but be careful not to take this if you’re allergic to ragweed or it’ll worsen your allergy symptoms.

3.) QUERCETIN: Quercetin is a bioflavonoid and antioxidant found in a myriad of fruits and vegetables (i.e. apples, red onions, red grapes, citrus fruit, broccoli, leafy greens, etc). It has powerful anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. A good abundance of this flavonoid helps keep allergy symptoms away. If you rather pop a vitamin form of quercetin, purchase the 500mg capsules and take one capsule twice daily. For better absorption, you can also take 100mg of bromelian along with the quercetin. **Remember to consult your physician first before your begin this supplementation.

4.) HONEY: That’s right, I said honey! Incorporating at least 1/2tsp daily of local  honey (or local comb honey) into your diet actually improves your allergies. Essentially, you’re doing another form of “natural” immunotherapy. Local honey is made from local bees who use the pollen of local flowers to create their honey. Ingesting this local honey prepares your immune system for the local pollen that usually aggravates it when Spring arrives.

5.) MEDITATION/STRESS RELIEF: Now this may seem as a surprise, but there is a strong correlation between allergies and stress. Keep in mind, our bodies function at their best when we are in balance. Being in balance includes maintaining harmony with your mind, body, and soul. When one of the three is in distress, the other two will experience a strain or stress as well. In the case of allergies, experiencing excessive stress or trauma can strain your adrenal glands and cause an immuno-response (a.k.a allergies) to develop. One example is if you find yourself experiencing worse allergy symptoms now than ever before, then there might be another stress factor involved other than pollen. So do yourself a favor…take a few moments each day to relax or de-stress.

Additional Helpful Reads:

1.) Homeopathic Remedies Help Allergies and Hay Fever

2.) Natural Allergy Relief

3.) Acupuncture Clears Seasonal Allergies

Natural Solutions for Managing Cholesterol: Courtesy of Health.com

Hey Everyone! I stumbled upon this article today about natural supplements you can take for controlling/lowering cholesterol:

Supplements for Cholesterol-Health.com

Cholesterol issues can affect a person at almost any age. Many cases of high cholesterol are induced by poor dietary choices coupled with lack of exercise, but genetics can also play a role too. If you or anyone you know suffers from high cholesterol, please pass this post along to them. And even if you don’t have high cholesterol, still read the article just to learn something new.

A little knowledge can carry a person a long way. Take the initiative to learn more about the causes of high cholesterol so you can better disease-proof your future!