Sore, swollen breasts? An iodine deficiency may be to blame

Do your breasts become tender, swollen, and painful at certain times of the month or during pregnancy and breastfeeding? Breast sensitivity often gets chalked up to normal hormonal fluctuations. But these symptoms may actually indicate an underlying iodine deficiency. Iodine is a mineral that plays a critical role in thyroid health and breast tissue regulation. Your breasts need sufficient iodine intake to control glandular activity and mitigate oestrogen’s effects. When iodine levels drop too low, breast tissue becomes hypersensitive to oestrogen. This leads to fluid buildup, cyst formation, and breast pain. Iodine helps counter oestrogen’s tendency to cause proliferation and inflammation in breast tissue. Breast pain can flare up coming up to ovulation when oestrogen is peaking, and coming up to your period if oestrogen is not balanced by progesterone. Breast swelling and tenderness is also common in pregnancy and breastfeeding when demands for iodine are highest. Iodine deficiency is also associated with: Restoring iodine levels can provide relief from hormone-driven breast pain. A daily iodine supplement under supervision may be beneficial. Eating iodine-rich foods like sea salt, seaweed, eggs, fish, and prunes can also provide dietary iodine.

Could your wrinkles be a sign of osteoporosis?

If you look in the mirror and see new wrinkles forming, you likely blame aging skin. But emerging wrinkles may actually be signalling diminishing bone density. It turns out osteoporosis and skin crepiness share some surprising connections. Several studies reveal that women with osteoporosis and osteopenia tend to have more pronounced wrinkling and other signs of skin aging compared to their peers with normal bone density. Why does low bone mass translate to wrinkly skin? A few reasons explain this link: Studies show that skin and bones share common building blocks-proteins, and aging is accompanied by changes in skin and deterioration of bone quantity and quality. Deepening and worsening skin wrinkles are related to lower bone density – the worse the wrinkles, the lesser the bone density, and this relationship is independent of age or of factors known to influence bone mass. Your wrinkles are trying to tell you to take care of your bones! Don’t dismiss these visible clues your body provides. Boosting bone density through having collagen daily, including weight-bearing exercise, nutrition, and other interventions can renew skin thickness and hydration.

Why pain under your right side ribs may signal gallbladder trouble

If you’ve ever felt a sharp, cramping pain under your ribs on the right side of your abdomen, it likely signals a problem with your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ that stores and concentrates bile created by the liver. Bile helps digest fats from the foods we eat. Issues like gallstones or inflammation can prevent proper bile flow and cause gallbladder pain. Gallstones form when hardened deposits of cholesterol and bile salts build up in the gallbladder or bile ducts. These stones irritate the gallbladder wall, which can trigger painful spasms. Gallstones also block the release of bile, causing it to back up into the gallbladder. This added pressure on the organ results in the agonizing pain under the ribs. This same pain can be referred to an area between the shoulder blades. In addition to gallstones, inflammation from infections, bile duct issues, and other gallbladder diseases can all impair its ability to release bile. Without enough bile, the gallbladder never fully empties and bile becomes sludgy and concentrated. The excess bile can also crystallise into new gallstones, fuelling the problem. Symptoms of an underperforming gallbladder extend beyond pain under the ribs. Some other signs include constipation, indigestion after meals, bloating, light coloured stools, nausea, and vomiting. Making dietary changes to maintain bile flow may help relieve gall bladder pain. These include eating bitter herbs, staying hydrated, and limiting processed foods. Supplements that include whole beet concentrate like BetaTCP can improve the flow of bile in a few days, clearing the pain and improving digestion. Don’t ignore recurring pain under your ribs as it often indicates problems in the biliary system.

Unbearable period pain? It could be endometriosis

Do your menstrual cramps cause so much pain that it disrupts your daily activities? Extreme cramping is not normal. Having intense pain during your period is common. But when cramps become so excruciating that they disrupt your daily life, it may signal a condition called endometriosis. For most women, the very first period brings agonising cramps from the start. This early onset of debilitating menstrual pain can be a red flag for endometriosis. However, diagnosis usually takes years due to menstrual pain being downplayed as “normal.” Endometriosis is estimated to affect at least 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium (uterus lining) grows outside of the uterus. These tissue growths respond to hormones just like the uterine lining does. So during your period, they break down and bleed. But because this blood has no way to exit the body, it causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissue. This wayward endometrial-like tissue can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, and other pelvic structures. The buildup of blood and inflammation each month leads to intensely painful cramping along with other symptoms like: Yet despite these debilitating symptoms, endometriosis often goes undiagnosed for years. This is because pelvic pain with periods was long considered normal. But painful periods are NOT normal. If cramps routinely prevent you from work, school, or other activities, it warrants investigation. Medically, endometriosis can be managed with pain medication, hormones, and surgery. While surgery can remove endometrial lesions and hormone treatments may temporarily suppress symptoms, endometriosis tends to recur. This is where functional medicine shines – by identifying and treating the underlying imbalances perpetuating endometriosis. Potential functional medicine approaches include: Functional medicine aims to relieve symptoms by addressing root causes, not just covering them up. This gives women natural tools to manage endometriosis long-term and take back control of their health Hope for Endometriosis: P.G’s Journey to Healing As a functional medicine practitioner specialising in hormonal health, I’ve helped many women successfully manage the suffering of endometriosis. The crushing pelvic pain, digestive distress, and fatigue take over their lives. But true healing is possible, as recounted by my client P.G.: I have had a drastic improvement since following my plan to manage my endometriosis. My pain and nausea have massively reduced. I had been suffering from very bad period pains for a long time, ever since my periods started, when I came to see Sandra. I was diagnosed with endometriosis while having surgery at age 25. I had been to see many doctors and was prescribed lots of different drugs and treatments, including painkillers, pills, hormone treatments and surgery. But nothing seemed to improve it and I was in crippling pain every month. I was also suffering bad nausea every month. With Sandra’s plan I followed a diet and started taking several supplements. She advised specific foods to eat a lot of (and ones to avoid). I have had a drastic improvement since following the plan. My pain and nausea have massively reduced. I have also had additional ‘side’ benefits – lots of people have commented, unasked, on how my skin looks clear and glowing, and how shiny my hair is! My appetite has become more stable and I feel generally more healthy too. The plan has been an effort for me but it has definitely been worth it.I feel much better able to manage my life, work and activities when I have my period now – I don’t have to miss out. I really believe that seeing Sandra has changed my life. 2 YEARS ON, PG SENT THIS MESSAGE: I just wanted to email you to let you know that my health and endometriosis pains continue to be so much better these days, because of your diet and supplement programme!I continue to be amazed all the time at how much it has changed, and I tell everyone I meet about it! I am so grateful to you for changing my life. Take a deeper dive with my free Endometriosis Explained course Book a discovery call and see if this approach is right for you

Spotting after your period? It might be a vaginal infection

Seeing blood spots in your underwear when your period ended days ago can feel puzzling and concerning. Known as intermenstrual bleeding, spotting between periods and ovulation is not normally cause for alarm. But in some cases, it can indicate an underlying vaginal infection needs treatment. The most common culprits of bleeding between cycles are bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections, and sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Here’s an overview of how these infections lead to spotting: Rising oestrogen levels approaching ovulation create an environment in the vagina that promotes the growth of bad bacteria and yeast. The hormonal changes make women more susceptible to infections during this time of the cycle. While usually not severe, vaginal infections should always be treated properly. The first step is to test for any infections. My preferred options are at a local sexual health clinic, making sure that also include a test for BV, or I can order the Vaginal Ecologix test for you, and you can gain a comprehensive picture of your vaginal microbiome and identify specific infections. In most cases, vaginal infection-related bleeding is short-lived once treated. But if you ever experience heavy, persistent bleeding between cycles, seek medical care promptly. So don’t ignore sporadic spotting. It may be your body’s signalling an underlying infection needing attention. With proper treatment, you can restore healthy vaginal flora, tissue, and pH balance.

Dark circles under the eyes plaguing you? Excess histamine may be why

If you constantly battle dark circles under your eyes no matter how much sleep you get or concealer you use, excess histamine could be the culprit. Histamine is a chemical involved in immune responses, stomach acid acid secretion, and regulating wakefulness. It also helps control our menstrual cycles, ovulation, and oestrogen levels. Excess histamine can cause dark circles under the eyes by: Having too much histamine can cause a long list of issues. Here are some of the most common high histamine associated symptoms experienced by women: What causes high histamine? Common triggers include food allergies/sensitivities, an imbalance in gut bacteria, hormonal imbalances, and high stress levels. Medications like over the counter painkillers and antibiotics also raise histamine. Persistent dark under eye circles may be just one manifestation of histamine intolerance. Checking for other high histamine signs can clue you in.

Bloating after every meal? How low stomach acid might be the cause

Do you feel gassy and bloated after eating meals? While overeating can easily cause bloating, there’s another culprit that often goes unconsidered – low stomach acid production. Your stomach relies on hydrochloric acid (HCl) to break down food and kill off any potential pathogens. Adequate HCl is especially crucial for digesting protein rich foods like meat, eggs, and fish. When your stomach acid is too low, food sits in the stomach undigested for longer. This gives more time for fermentation by bacteria, which produces gas and causes bloating. Low HCl also means the stomach empties more slowly, allowing gases to accumulate. Some other signs of low stomach acid include: What causes low HCl? Stress is a major factor as it redirects blood flow away from the gut. Insufficient chewing, eating too fast, and food intolerances can also reduce acid secretion. Advancing age is another common cause, with HCl output declining as we get older. Chronic antacid use likewise impairs HCl production over time. Improving low HCl can prevent bloating and the many problems linked to poor digestion. Strategies include reducing stress, drinking apple cider vinegar with meals and taking HCl supplements like betaine hydrochloride. Relieving bloating may be as simple as improving stomach acid levels. Work with me to determine if low HCl could be at the root of your discomfort after eating. With a few lifestyle changes and strategic supplements, you can get your digestion back on track and say goodbye to post-meal bloating for good within a few days.

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