ARE YOU FATIGUED OR JUST TIRED? LEARN THE DIFFERENCE AND WHAT TO DO! Interview with Dr. Amber Golshani

fatigueA lot of the topics that I choose to write about are ones that my clients have asked about or are suffering from.  Sometimes I choose topics because it is an issue I have dealt with.  Today, I am choosing a topic that is often a problem for my clients and something I dealt with this summer.  So, let me tell you a little about my experience first.  My youngest daughter was born last September and as I usually do, I bounced right back from the birth.  I had great energy and mood, even while breastfeeding and getting up with her at night.  But then when she was about 6 months old, I found my energy levels were decreasing and I was often moody and irritable.  By the time this summer rolled around, I knew something abnormal was going on.  I was always tired and wanted to sleep all the time, but sleep never made me feel rested.  I also did not want to do the fun summer activities that you do with your children (swimming, parks, ect.).  Everything felt like a chore!!!  I was no longer just a little tire; I was fatigued all the time.  It was very frustrating to me because I am a nutrition and exercise coach and I know the correct ways to eat, exercise, and manage stress.  To make a long story short, there are some awesome naturopathic physicians and integrated physicians in my area.  They helped diagnosis some digestive issues and hypothyroidism.  I have been being treated since early August and my progress has been amazing to me.  I am (almost) a morning person again, I no longer dread working out, I want to play with my kids, and I feel blessed and thankful.  Because of my first-hand experience and issues my clients have had, I wanted to interview an expert on this topic and give some practical solutions.  As you will see from the interview, fatigue can be very much lifestyle related and not related to an underlying medical condition.  Fatigue is not mandatory for all moms!!!  So, below I share my interview with Dr. Amber Golshani and some information on her background!

I’m Dr Amber Golshani, integrative doctor, woman’s fatigue expert and author of Radical Energy Recovery (www.beatyourfatigue.com/rer). I choose this area to focus on mostly because it’s something that I have battled with myself. At 22 years old, I was tired, overweight, cranky and had all sort of various menstrual problems. The doctors wanted to put my on birth control pills to ‘fix’ my period, but offered no other advice about my increasing weight, mood swings and energy crashes. I took matters into my own hands and booted up the ol’ dail-up internet, bought some books and basically pieced together a plan to help me feel better. You can read more about that here if you want. (http://drambergolshani.com/confessions-from-a-former-fat-girl-me/).

To make a long story short, it took a long time, lots of effort, learning and education, but I figured out how to make my body work—stable moods, good balanced energy and even my periods got better. Yay! J  My quality of life is so much better now…my fatigue, or cramps, or whatever,  don’t stop me from doing everything I want and feeling great while doing it. I even did two obstacle races and two triathlons in the last two years— if you asked me 15 years ago, I would have said you are crazy, I can’t do that!!

The thing I am most proud of is that I have two kids, in addition to running two businesses, a household, volunteering and a marriage.  I honestly feel excited about my life and have the energy to get everything done I want to. And I do it happily-not saying I never loss my cool, but I can only imagine how hard it must be to not feel good, to never feel like you have enough energy to go kick the soccer ball with your daughter, or have the energy to cook the healthy meals you want to. Not feeling like you are living anymore, but just surviving can definitely bring you down.

And that’s why I love working with woman who are tired. When they feel better, EVERYONE around them feels better too. Kids (and spouses) get better care and more attention. When you are not worried about your health you can go out in the world and shine.

1. How common is fatigue among women, especially moms? (not sure is you know any statistics but some info about what you find in your practice would be fine)

Fatigue is very common in women, especially moms. It is one of the most common complaints to medical providers. And motherhood adds a new layer of responsibility onto our already busy lives. Many of the women I work with are not just physically tired and worn out, but mentally and emotionally too. I would say that 70-80% of the women I work with take no time to relax, no time for stress management or even exercise. One patient asked me if the 1 minute she spent peeing (alone) in the morning counted!

2. What are the consequences of chronic fatigue for a woman’s health?

Fatigue is a daily feeling of a lack of energy that inhibits your ability to perform normal functions. Everyone gets tired sometimes—late at night, or if you had a bad night of sleep the night before, or after you run 10K. These are examples of ‘normal’ tiredness. Fatigue is a feeling that is with you day after day.

The other-side of fatigue, is, then paradoxically many woman find they can’t calm down or relax at night. I call this the “wired but tired” syndrome and this is where I see MOST of my moms. Running around all day, taking care of others, fueled by coffee, teas, sugar or energy drinks, and then when it comes time that they can actually rest their weary bodies, they can’t. They are up cleaning the counter, folding one more load of laundry, checking their email. “I know I should relax, but I can’t!” is something I hear all the time!

What we are talking about here are symptoms though. Fatigue, or tension, or “up-tightness” (it’s a word, trust me!), are all symptoms of some underlying causes. It’s my job to figure out what that is for each individual woman and then work to correct that. It may be a food intolerance, it may be circadian rhythm disruption from reading too late at night, it may be a thyroid issues, sleep disruption or doing a job you hate. The list goes on. But until that underlying reason for the fatigue is fixed, everything else is just a band-aid-the coffee, the herbs, the sugar, etc.

3. There are several of my clients with young children that may be up with them multiple times a night, what is the best way for them to deal with this?

Speaking of sleep, for mothers of young children waking at night, the number one best advice I can give is to keep things as dark as possible. Do not turn on any lights (even night lights) if possible. Even a little light can disrupt your nighttime hormone secretion that helps you sleep deeply and wake rested. This is even good advice for your kids. Growth hormone is released at night and those nightlights may be inhibiting optimal secretion.

4.  What are the causes of fatigue?

The 4 main causes of physical fatigue are blood sugar issues, what you eat (food intolerances), adrenal issues, and thyroid issues. My BEAT Your Fatigue program is dedicated to correcting these underlying issues, but one them that runs through them all is the importance of what you eat. There are some foods which can help fatigue, depending on what is going on. One little nugget of advice I can give, is that many women simply aren’t eating enough protein to sustain their energy and moods.

5. What are your top tips for moms to start using now to increase their energy?

Top 10 Fatigue-Proof Life Tips

This checklist is meant to address some of the potential underlying causes of fatigue that come from lifestyle issues. It is not exhaustive or complete. That is beyond the scope of this two page report!

These ‘to-do’s’ are lifestyle changes that will help to increase the overall function and performance of your body and not treatment of any specific illness or disease. This is not meant to take the place of a doctors visit and diagnosis.

□ Drink lots of water.

□ Eat real, whole, unprocessed foods

□ Have protein and veggies at each meal

□ Get some sunshine every day

□ Rise in the morning and retire at night at the same time everyday

□ Take deep, full abdominal breathes

□ Say “no” when you need to

□ Aim for 8+ hours of sleep a night

□ Make sure your bedroom is completely, 100% dark

□ Adjust your exercise: If you aren’t doing any, start. If you are doing too much, slow down.

If you want more tips, tools and info on how to Fatigue-Proof your life, sign up here.

If you want more info about the BEAT Your Fatigue Program (coming October 2013), get on the early-bird list here.

AS THE DOCTOR MENTIONED ABOVE, DIET AND EXERICSE CAN PLAY A HUGE ROLE IN YOUR ENERGY LEVELS AND ARE SOME OF THE FIRST THINGS TO ADDRESS!  I AM A FAT-LOSS COACH THAT WORKS DIRECTLY WITH CLIENTS DEVELOPING PERSONAL NUTRITION AND EXERCISE PROGRAMS THAT OPTIMIZE NUTRITION AND EXERCISE FOR BOTH ENERGY LEVELS AND BODY COMPOSITION.  IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT info@nurturingfitness.com.

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Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities, Fat-Loss Resistance: Interview with Dr. Jillian Teta Part 2

gi1Fat-loss is not always as simple as is sounds.  It can be very frustrating when you are eating right and exercising smartly and not meeting your goals.  I have run into this personally.  When I investigated further, I found I had a number of gastrointestinal issues (without a lot of gastrointestinal complaints) that were making me fat-loss resistant and feel unhealthy.  The good news is that with removal of the foods of the foods I was sensitive to and healing of my gut, I left so much better and my fat-loss resistance disappeared.  I also run into this with my busy mom clients.

All of these issues are inter-related and optimal health cannot be achieved until stress is dealt with and the gastrointestinal system is functioning appropriately.  I have quite a bit of knowledge in this area but am not an expert.  But I am privileged to know an expert in this area personally and professionally and had the honor of interviewing her for this post!

This expert is Dr. Jillian Teta.  She is a medically trained naturopathic doctor and the author of “Natural Solutions for Digestive Health”, which is being released January 2014 by Sterling Publishing. She practices at the Naturopathic Health Clinic of North Carolina where she focuses on digestive health. Through working with thousands of clients, she has created the Fix Your Digestion Gut Restoration Program, an online educational and practical program that guides you step-by-step on how to heal your digestive tract.

So, in my first interview I ask Dr. Teta a number of question about how stress, the gut, and fat-loss are related!  If you missed that post, you can view it HERE.  This week’s post will concentrate on the topics of food sensitivities, fat-loss, and solutions. Here are this weeks questions and responses:

Can you briefly describe food sensitivity verses an allergy?

A food allergy tends to have symptoms that are very fast acting, intense, severe and potentially life threatening. Common examples are peanuts and shellfish. A food allergy is a specific way the immune system expresses itself (through IgE antibodies – the “evil” antibody). People with food allergies almost always know what foods they are allergic to and avoid them and carry an EpiPen for emergencies.

With food sensitivity, symptoms tend to be slower, more chronic and connected to other symptoms in the body. Food sensitivities are mediated through another avenue of the immune system (through IgG and immune complexes). People with food sensitivity may not be aware of what their sensitivities are and likely consume these foods regularly, which often contributes to their symptoms.

Symptoms of food sensitivity can be body-wide. Many don’t often connect the dots that their symptoms could be due to something that they are eating and sensitive to. Symptoms can include: Burning Tongue, Reflux, Indigestion, Heartburn, Frequent Belching, Intestinal Gas, Bloating, Abdominal Pain, Intestinal Pain, Constipation, Loose stool, Undigested food, blood or mucous in stool, Oily stool, Diarrhea, Fecal Urgency, Fecal Incontinence, Joint Pain, Dermatitis/skin rash/itchy skin, Dandruff, PMS, Intolerance to vitamins/supplements, Intolerance to probiotics, Intolerance to fiber, Intolerance to fruit, Intolerance to gluten, Intolerance to milk products and early satiety.

There are many diseases and conditions that are associated with food sensitivity as well, including: arthritis, autoimmune diseases (including thyroid, Lupus and RA), osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, anemia, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), eczema, migraines, gastritis, ulcer, alzheimer’s and more.

 What is the best way to determine what your food sensitivities are?

The “Gold Standard” of food sensitivity testing is a complete elimination-challenge diet. This is where foods that are commonly problematic for people are eliminated for 4 weeks and then systematically re-introduced while monitoring symptoms. Food elimination diets are restrictive and can take a while. Some are happy to do this, while others would prefer something quicker.

IgG food sensitivity testing is the option for people who want something quicker. This is a blood draw that looks at your response to a wide variety of foods. It is different from skin-prick testing, which check for food allergy that we covered above – anaphylactic, IgE driven reactions. The two are different.

IgG food sensitivity testing is not perfect, but can give you a guide of where to start. Typically I look for a couple of different things when I get these results back. I look for 1-2 things to come back strongly, or many things to come back mild to moderate, or a mixture of the two. If there are many things that come back, this signifies leaky gut. If just a few things come back, those are foods to eliminate for 4 weeks and reintroduce later and monitor results.

 In my clinic, I always conduct a gut restoration program with clients who are trying to figure out food sensitivities. This is to heal the gut, enhance digestive ability and to make sure beneficial bacteria are robust. Through this lens, you have a much better view as to what certain foods are doing to the body.

How does poor gastrointestinal health result in fat-loss resistance?

 If you are not eliminating regularly, you have spent hormones and other metabolites that remain in the body and affect hormonal signaling negatively.

 If you are eating a food that you are sensitive to, you are likely to turn off fat burning machinery and hold water through inflammatory molecules.

 If you are having frequent loose stool, you may be impairing your absorptive capacity which will make fat loss difficult. In the short-term you may lose muscle and water, but a malnourished system will do its best to hold on to fat.

 If you are having GI issues from being chronically stressed out and have damaged the metabolism, fat loss can be an issue because insulin and cortisol are not balanced. If blood sugar is out of control it is nearly impossible to burn fat.

What are the best foods for gastrointestinal health?

The best foods are the ones that you tolerate the best, which can vary widely person to person. Some of my favorites are : bone broth, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, bok choi, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gelatin, apples, coconut products, turmeric and non-dairy fermented products like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha.

 What would you recommend for busy moms to do if they feel they are having digestive issues that are stress related? 

In addition to the above recommendations, busy moms may want to consider a gut restoration program. Gut restoration is a multi-faceted approach to eliminating digestive symptoms. Through eliminating food sensitivities, taking a probiotic, boosting up digestive ability and healing the lining of the digestive tract you can kick symptoms to the curb – for good. I have created a gut restoration program that is easy to adopt and that can be completed at your own pace.

Through my personal fat-loss coaching, I assist my clients in identifying when they may have gastrointestinal issues and with dealing with stress.  To find out more about my programs, go HERE or email me at info@nurturingfitness.com.

Here are the links to find out more about Dr. Teta’s Gut Restoration Program or to connect with her:

http://fixyourdigestion.com/restoring-gut-function-2/#

http://fixyourdigestion.com/work-with-dr-jillian/

She loves to connect on social media. Find her at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FixYourDigestion

Twitter: @jillianteta

Instagram: jillianteta

Google+: jillianteta

YouTube: Jillian Teta

The Key Physical and Mental Changes That Can Occur in 4 Weeks, Leading to Lifelong Health

JennOrr     With less than one week before the sign-ups for the Fall Shape-Up for Busy Moms ends and only a few spots left, I wanted to do one last interview to let all of you (that might be interested in participating) know what you will be able to take with you and use long-term.  So, meet Jennifer!  She is a mom of two (ages 5 1/2 and 9 1/2).  She is also a teacher.  Prior to the 4 Week Summer Shape-Up this past May, she had not been consistent with exercise for several years.  Her final results from the 4 week program included a weight loss of almost 5 pounds and 6 inches off her waist and hips.  Below are the questions I ask her and her replies.
 
1. What is one thing that you feel like you learned that you can keep doing forever now?
  
Protein, protein, protein!  I like vegetables but they don’t stay with you as long as protein – I learned to always eat protein with a snack or meal and I stay full longer.
2. How has your mindset shifted around body change?
 
I don’t beat myself up as much and I realize that one meal doesn’t make or kill a diet.  I try not to fall off the wagon and splurge the whole day.  I just look at my one splurge as a treat.
3. Do you feel like you can do this forever?
 
Yes and no – I feel like I can eat more protein, less starchy carbs, and more vegetables.  The 4 week program is pretty strict but is not meant to be done forever but the results are great motivators!  I have trouble giving up my glass of wine but was able to incorporate it somewhat 🙂
4. What’s your favorite part of this program?
 
I can work out in 20 – 30 minutes a day max and feel accomplished.  They are intense but quick – something I can do during one episode of Phineas and Ferb 🙂
5. How has this program made your life easier?
 
I rarely think eating right is easier – it takes time and planning but I have less stomach issues and feel better about myself.  I don’t workout for an hour + ever!
6. What improvements have you experience in energy or non-weight related measures?
 
My clothes fit better, my legs are leaner, and my arms are more toned.  If you eat the snacks, you feel good energy without an afternoon let down. I am a Starbuck’s mocha addict and I was able to curb the addiction but still enjoy it on occasion.
 
     So, as you can see from Jennifer’s interview, she learned exercise and nutrition techniques that she can carry on and utilize for optional health and fitness for the rest of her life.  That goals of this program are to obtain fast results and to teach all participants how to understand her individual responses to food and exercise.  I want each of client to have a program personalized for her own body that she can utilize to reach and maintain her goals after the program has ended. I walk you through the entire process  with ongoing online coaching.  This program is designed for those who are committed to making a change and want to gain a greater understanding of their body and how to eat & exercise to attain and maintain a lean, fit body.  If you are ready to learn a lot and make permanent body change or just want to find out more, click HERE.  

 
     I hope you’ll join me Sept 9th for a transformational program! Let me know if you have any questions.
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