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. 

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HERB HUMPDAY: 10 Reasons I LOVE Lavender

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It’s Wednesday…Happy Hump Day!!! Almost through the week and a great time to talk about one of my favorite topics…HERBS! Herbs, botanicals, plants, etc…whatever you like to call them there are two things certain: they are important and powerful.

My favorite herb of all time is Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). It is part of the mint family and possesses both cooling and drying properties. We all know it best for its aromatic quality….mmmm, how I love the smell of thee!

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Ten Reasons I Love Lavender:

1.) Stress-reliever: Mellows you out.

2.) Sedative: Helps you sleep. Create a lavender linen mist to spray on pillow before sleep.

3.) Spasmolytic: Calms cramping and muscle spasms.

4.) Anti-inflammatory: Remember those cooling properties? Well, this herb cools off inflammation making your aches no more! Helps with burns too!

5.) Carminative: That’s a fancy word for saying it soothes your tummy gripes and helps minimize gas.

6.) Antidepressant: Who doesn’t feel happier after smelling or using lavender? Ok, maybe those rare folks who are allergic or just down right murderers of joy. 😉

7.) Antimicrobial/antiviral: Next time you have a cut wound or even a cold, try using some lavender to ward off those offending micro-buggies.

8.) Mild Diuretic: That’s right, lavender helps your body release excess water, so grab a glass of fresh lavender tea the next time you feel a little “bloaty.”

9.) Nootropic: Another fancy word for saying lavender improves mental alertness and may enhance mental accuracy.

10.) PRETTY! I love the purple hue and using the leaves as food garnish or even adding to flower arrangements. The color of lavender is therapeutic in its own right.

lavender2Lavender is very versatile! You can smell it, eat it, drink it, or just simply look at it to enlist the benefits. Lavender essential oil is a permanent stable in my home due to my obsession. For more information on lavender check out here and here.

**Please consult your doctor before trying any new herbs or supplements. Anything can be harmful depending on the form and dosing.

Fitness Challenges: Necessary Evils!

Well folks, I survived another quarter of midterms

What’s next? Well,  I decided to commit to a month of Crossfit. Yea, I caved in to join the paleo-diet, fitness-crazed fanatics to liven up my exercise routine (or lack there of). Living Social finally made me an offer I couldn’t refuse 😉

I realized that typical exercise routines bore me! When I’m bored, then I just won’t do them. This happens more so when I’m stressed and tired. So I came up with the idea to make myself do a new fitness challenge each month. If I commit to one fitness challenge for 30 days, it’ll keep things interesting, be short enough time for me to not get lazy, and expose me to differ movements that can keep my body always guessing, thus, encouraging more muscle tone to develop.

I challenge you all to pick your own fitness challenge for this month. Set a 30 day exercise challenge and commit! You don’t necessarily have to do it everyday, but decide on a routine (2x/week, 3x/week, etc.) and see what happens. See what benefits and difficulties may arise for you. The best advice that has worked for me is to PREPARE for it. Preparation can make all the difference in achieving success!

I leave you with these final words…

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3rd Year So Far: Attempting to establish contact with the outside world again

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Hello World! Did you miss me? You should have…we have a special thing going on. In fact, by my calculations, you should be pretty deficient by now from not receiving your doses of Vitamin Ray. Are you ready…open wide….

Whoever said 3rd year is much easier and chill is a LIAR!! Since day one I’ve been running fast out the gate and the only two times I’ve slowed down have been due to getting sick. Ha! Yea, sick twice in 5 weeks!! That’s what happens when you’re at 31.5 credits (13 classes) and doing two clinic shifts. You ready to trade lives for a day??

If you think taking vitamin C, D, multivitamin, probiotics, greens, Chinese herbs, etc will save you, think again!! They help, but none of it matters if you don’t get rest. Of course rest/sleep is overrated in med school. Just like Etna Mode (The Incredibles) saying “NO CAPES!”… med school tell me “NO SLEEP!” The bastard!

Don’t listen to it! One of the biggest allies in staying healthy and sane = SLEEP! It’s not advice, it’s down right fact.

Moving on to new business, what the heck am I’m doing with this blog this year?
My answer: I HAVE NOT A CLUE!

If you don’t mind, I’m just going to feel it out and be whimsical. You may see some article postings, random recipes, the occasional vent, and more entertaining visual graphics depending on how easy I find them (I don’t make ANY of these gifs). I certainly won’t be able to always post daily. Unfortunately, there is just not enough time for me to do that. However, I’ll do what I can to keep you all satiated with healthy doses of Vitamin Ray!

As always, thanks for the support and love! Stay tuned to my never-ending shit-show 😉 XOXO

When I momentarily debate on wearing Depends during my boards exam to avoid using the bathroom while testing

A part of me thinks it’s a good idea…while the other part says it’s a crazy idea:

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Ultimately, my inner Cuddy won (FOR ONCE!!). Like I said…it was just a passing thought. Crazy thoughts and ideas are side effects of my burn-out. But wouldn’t it be great to stay well-hydrated while maximizing test time? Catheter maybe? Hahahaha, I kid..I kid 😉

 

When a patient says “I have a tight ass” during the digital rectal exam

It took everything I had to fight back laughing while I was still in the room:

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Even now, I’m still cracking up from the fact someone actually said that while a clinician’s finger was still examining the patient’s bumhole. The patient was serious about the comment, but definitely meant it for some humor too.  I’m telling you folks, this stuff is too good to make up!

It’s moments like these where being in clinic and working with patients reminds me why I love my job!

 

My default response when friends ask me “how’s life treating you?”

This isn’t pessimism folks…it’s real life! I think we all can relate to having days where you just feel utterly defeated in your efforts. Some days can even seem futile. Whether people want to admit it or not, med school definitely consists of days like that (at least for me it is).

What motivates me to keep going? Ha! I guess ultimately I know failure is NOT an option. I also don’t try to fight my feelings when they hit. If I have to go cry and yell that sh*t out for a few minutes, then I do. I also find it helpful to exercise or either call a friend who I know won’t say cliche inspirational b.s. to me to make me feel better, but actually listen and let me vent.

We all have good and bad days…one isn’t necessarily better or worse than the other since both are important to cultivating who we are.