A new research study from the University of Ohio shows that the quality of good and bad bacteria in the gut can have a profound effect on mood, attention and focus in children. Diet and its effect on the gut are an important part of “Whole Body” approach we take at the Functional Medicine Center of Fort Collins.
It seems almost everyone has insomnia these days, including, possibly, you. People either can’t fall asleep, they wake up after a few hours of sleep and can’t go back asleep, or they aren’t able to sleep deeply. The reasons for insomnia vary from person to person, but it’s typically not due to a sleeping pill deficiency.
Instead, the reasons behind insomnia or poor sleep can be startlingly straightforward, although addressing them may take some diet and lifestyle changes.
In this article I’ll go over often overlooked issues that cause insomnia and poor sleep. Don’t assume a powerful sleeping pill is your only answer. Look at the underlying causes first and address those.
Five things that can cause insomnia
Low blood sugar. Do you wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., racked with anxiety and unable to fall back asleep? That could be caused by a blood sugar crash, which raises stress hormones (hence the anxious wake up). Eating small but frequent meals, never skipping meals, and avoid sugary and starchy foods are important to keep blood sugar stable. Additionally, eating a little bit of protein before bed and at night if you wake up may help.
High blood sugar (insulin resistance or pre-diabetes). Do you fall asleep after meals yet struggle to fall asleep at night? Do you wake up feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck, but are wide awake at bedtime? It could be high blood sugar, a precursor to diabetes, is driving your primary stress hormone cortisol and keeping you up. A telltale symptom of high blood sugar is falling asleep after meals, especially starchy meals. Minimizing sugary and starchy foods, not overeating, and exercising regularly can help you rewind insulin resistance and sleep better at night.
Too much blue light. Are you staring into a computer, phone, tablet, or TV screen right before bed? If so, you’re confusing your body’s sleep hormone production. The body recognizes blue light as daylight, which suppresses the production of melatonin, our primary sleep hormone. Limiting your exposure to blue light at night can help boost your body’s production of sleep hormones. Wear orange glasses two hours before bed, use orange bulbs in your nighttime lamps, and limit your evening screen time to boost melatonin.
Inflammation. If you are chronically inflamed it drives up your stress hormones, which can keep you awake. This is particularly true if you’re experiencing inflammation in your brain, which can cause anxiety. One of the most common causes of chronic inflammation is an immune reaction to foods, especially gluten, dairy, eggs, and various grains. Screening for undiagnosed food sensitivities and an anti-inflammatory diet can help you hone in on what’s causing your insomnia or poor sleep.
Hormone imbalances. Hormone imbalances can significantly impact sleep. Low progesterone, which is a common symptom of chronic stress, heightens anxiety and sleeplessness. An estrogen deficiency in perimenopause and menopause has been shown to increase anxiety, insomnia, and sleep apnea. In men, low testosterone is linked with poor sleep and sleep apnea. Also, low hormone levels can be inflammatory to the brain, increasing anxiety and insomnia.
Many things can cause insomnia and poor sleep, however these are some of the more common. While you are addressing the underlying factors of your sleep issue, you can aid your ability to sleep with safe and natural compounds, depending on the mechanism.
Take a moment to read this article featuring Dr. Galyardt and his experience as an applied kinesiology practitioner.
Applied Kinesiology: Effective, Affordable Alternative Medicine
What if your body could simply tell you what’s wrong? What if when you had back pain, for example, rather than getting a series of x-rays and tests, being groggy from pain medication, and possibly undergoing extensive and risky surgery, you could find the source of the pain and treat the underlying cause naturally for a fraction of the cost?
Sounds too easy, doesn’t it?
It really is that simple with applied kinesiology (AK), according to Dr. Benjamin Galyardt, DC, of the Applied Kinesiology Center of the Rockies in Fort Collins.
Applied kinesiology was developed in the 1960s by Detroit chiropractor George J. Goodheart, Jr. who experimented with muscle testing, correlating specific muscles to each organ using the acupuncture meridian. Essentially, specific muscles become weaker when an organ, structure or chemical is out of balance. Whether there are scientifically provable results from this type of alternative medicine is a matter of debate, especially within traditional Western medicine.
Applied kinesiology can be used to diagnose and identify a variety of conditions including food and environmental allergies and sensitivities, mechanical structural imbalances or traumas, pain relief and organ dysfunction.
Gluten, Soy, Nuts, Dairy and Wheat
Food sensitivities can be identified through the use of AK. “There is a direct neurological link between the tongue and brain that can be stimulated via taste or smell and it will cause muscle strength change based on either one of those stimuli,” explains Galyardt. “The brain recognizes a problem as soon as it [the food being tested] touches the tongue.”
For example, to identify a soy allergy, soy is placed on the tongue and a kinesiologist tests a muscle associated with male and female hormones, the gluteus medius. The patient is asked to resist force applied to the muscle; if the muscle reacts abnormally or is determined to be weak, then a soy allergy or sensitivity is determined to be present. There are different correlating muscles for gluten, soy, nuts, dairy, wheat and other foods.
“We can determine food and chemical sensitivities very quickly, without having to send it [samples] out to a lab, and we still get consistent and accurate results,” says Dr. Galyardt.
To read the rest of this article, just click this link.
Please take a moment to read one of our patient’s amazing story about her daughter finding some relief from Type 1 diabetes after working with us!
From the blog: Be Balanced 52
It is highly unusual that Kendal is still not on insulin, 10 months after diagnosis. A lot of people ask me about this so I thought I would write about it this week.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system starts mistakenly attacking some part of your own body. With Type 1, the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas are attacked and eventually eliminated completely. Everyone needs insulin to survive. Think of insulin as the gateway for the “sugar” in our blood to get to your cells to give you energy. When you don’t have insulin the sugar has no way to get out of your blood and into your cells. Since your body isn’t producing insulin you have to get it externally. There are two ways to get the insulin: shots or an insulin pump. Kendal was on shots for a couple months just after diagnosis. She would get one insulin shot just before each meal, and one at bedtime to tide her over for the night. So yes, four shots a day. It was extremely difficult to keep her blood sugar in the recommended range of 70 to 180.
Dr. Ben Galyardt
I went out on a limb and took Kendal to a doctor that I had seen to improve my overall health and to see if he could fix my neck pain. I say I went out on a limb because Dr. Galyardt is a kinesiologist. I thought it seemed a little weird taking Kendal to this type of doctor for diabetes but he focused so much on nutrition when I saw him that I thought maybe he could help her. After doing some tests for food sensitivities, a full blood panel, and a few visits we made several changes: we went gluten free, dairy free and low glycemic. He also taught me how to pair food to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels. This doctor changed our lives. Shortly after making these changes Kendal was completely off insulin. Completely. No shots.
Do I think he cured her diabetes? NO. Does he think he cured her? Of course not. We are simply feeding her in a way that works best with her limited insulin production. Will this work forever? Unfortunately not. Kendal’s immune system will most likely continue to attack her beta cells and she will eventually stop producing insulin altogether. I’ve also been told that an illness, especially a high fever, could cause this to happen very quickly, ending all insulin production and forcing us back to the regimen of 4 shots per day.
Please click here to read the rest of this article and follow Kendal’s story. We’re so honored to be a small part of making this amazing child feel better as she battles this disease.
Technically speaking– yes!
No, it is not imaginary, it is your brain restricting the range of motion. The vast majority of frozen shoulder/restricted shoulders can be fixed quickly when we can convince the brain to finally let go of the thought that there is a trauma still going on in the joint.
The brain does not know if the issue just happened six minutes ago or six years ago. With the Trigenics shoulder procedure we are able to quickly and precisely convince the brain to let go of the restriction that it has developed over time.
Once the change takes place to the range of motion in the shoulder then true healing can begin. It is amazing how often after we release a patient’s shoulder and have them raise their arm, they get a huge smile on their face. They will raise the arm to the position that it normally would stop at and then keep going and going. Increasing the range of motion is only the first step.
Specific rehab for the shoulder starts next, including cold laser to rebuild cartilage, PEMF to recharge the muscle cells, and acupuncture to increase blood lymphatic and blood flow.
As people’s shoulders heal, the thing we hear the most is “Wow, that was fast and easy!” We just have to get your brain to believe it can happen.