Holiday sugar hangover cure?

sugar hangover cureThe tin of peppermint bark is empty, the pies polished off, and the Yule log cake reduced to crumbs.

Left in their wake, however, is the sugar hangover, that annual holiday tradition that may include an upset stomach, headache, lethargy, brain fog, skin problems, join pain, mood swings, allergy symptoms, and a heap of regret.

How to recover from a sugar hangover

While alcohol hangover cures are a folklore staple, you can take solid steps to recover from your sugar hangover:

  • Quit eating sweets. Those holiday treats have sent your blood sugar levels skyrocketing and plummeting repeatedly, taxing the immune system, the brain, hormone balance, and every other system in the body.

    To recover, put blood sugar levels on an even keel by eating protein every two to three hours, eating a good breakfast, and avoiding starchy foods, desserts, and sweet drinks (soda, sweet coffee drinks) that spike blood sugar. Instead focus on quality proteins, leafy vegetables, and good sources of fat (olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, salmon, etc.)

  • Drink plenty of water. This is also the most popular alcohol hangover cure for a reason. Staying hydrated with clean filtered water will help flush your body of toxins and aid in recovery.

  • Support your liver. Processing all those sweets burdens your liver. Help your liver flush these toxins with such liver detox nutrients as milk thistle, dandelion, N-acetyl L-cysteine, beet root, panax ginseng, and more. Contact my office for more advice on liver detoxification.

  • Restore your gut. Sweets cause inflammation, promote overgrowth of harmful yeast and bacteria, and irritate the gastric lining. You can restore gut health by avoiding sweets and other starchy foods, temporarily adopting a strict detox diet that eliminates common immune triggers (i.e., gluten), and by eating cultured and fermented foods.

  • Move your body. A brisk walk, a swim, yoga, or some other gentle exercise will get your lymphatic system pumping and blood flowing to help flush toxins and rejuvenate cells. You may want to avoid extremely vigorous exercise until hangover symptoms subside so as not to further promote inflammation.

Why not go for a New Year’s detox?

These are some basics to help you recover from a sugar hangover and get you back on the wellness path. In fact, all of these tips will help you recover from an alcohol hangover, too. For more advanced strategies and to get started on a detox plan for the New Year, contact my office.

What are your tips for a sugar hangover cure?

Of course the best way to cure a sugar hangover is to avoid one. But if you happen to overindulge on special occasions, what are some of your tips for a sugar hangover cure?

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Can stress cause your baby’s allergies?

Can stress cause your baby’s allergies?pregnancy stress baby allergies

A calm, healthy pregnancy and postpartum period could reduce the risk of allergies in your baby, according to a new Swedish study.

Researchers found infants with lower levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone released in response to stress, developed fewer allergies than other infants.

Stress hormone cortisol triggers allergies

The researchers believe environmental and lifestyle factors during pregnancy and early infancy raise adrenal cortisol levels, which increases the risk of allergies.

Studies show high cortisol in a pregnant mother raises levels of the hormone in the fetus.

In functional medicine, we see many women enter into pregnancy with high cortisol. Common symptoms include excess belly fat, insomnia, insulin resistance (high blood sugar), hair loss, and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Stress isn’t just about too much to do on too little sleep (although that is certainly a factor).

Factors that cause high adrenal cortisol

Common factors that elevate cortisol are:

  • Sugary, starchy diets that consistently spike blood sugar (which causes excess belly fat).
  • Excess caffeine.
  • Undiagnosed food intolerances. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are particularly common.
  • Poor gut health. Gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive symptoms are signs of a poorly functioning gut.
  • Improperly managed autoimmune disease. Do you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism or another autoimmune disease?

Rate of childhood allergies rising

The rate of allergies has risen sharply in the United States. About 54 percent of Americans are allergic to at least one thing, an up to five-fold increase the late 1970s. The number of children with food allergies has risen 18 percent since the late 90s; witness the prevalence of peanut-free classrooms.

Manage health before pregnancy

The best thing a mother can do to reduce the risk of allergies in her child is to address her own health and nutrition before conception.

An adrenal saliva test is a good way to measure whether cortisol levels are normal. A mother’s health before conception and during pregnancy greatly influences the health of her baby.

Stress is a fact of life for us all. How have you managed to lower stress levels during pregnancy?

Vitamin D outshines vitamin C at preventing flu virus

Move over vitamin C. When it comes to warding off the flu virus and colds, studies shows vitamin D trumps vitamin C. But are you getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and diet alone?Sneezing young woman

Studies link low vitamin D levels with flu virus

Compelling evidence links low vitamin D levels with illness.

One study showed vitamin D-deficient subjects were 36 percent more likely to report an upper respiratory infection than those with higher levels. That rate jumped significantly for those with asthma.

Another study found children taking vitamin D supplements suffered almost half as many incidences of the flu virus than the children not taking vitamin D.

Also, vitamin D levels were found to be lower in children who died of swine flu than in those who survived.

Vitamin D benefits go beyond fighting the flu

Vitamin D does so much more than fight the flu. Sufficient vitamin D lowers the risk of cancer, autoimmune disease, gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary disease, and weak bones.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a corner stone to good health, however research shows many people do not get enough from sunlight and diet alone. In general, we spend most of our lives indoors, wear sunscreen when outside, and don’t eat a vitamin D-rich diet.

More than 40 percent of the population and 60 percent of children are estimated deficient. Blacks, Hispanics, and other populations with darker skin show the highest rates of deficiency. Living at a northern latitude, obesity, and aging also increase the risk for deficiency. One study found 60 percent of postmenopausal to be deficient in vitamin D.

Boosting your vitamin D levels

Supplementing with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and its cofactors will help you outpace the flu and prevent disease. A 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to measure and monitor your levels, with optimal levels falling between 50–80 ng/mL. However if you suffer from an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, your practitioner may recommend a more specific goal.