Fibromyalgia: Result of Injury to Spirit, Soul, Body

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In 1995 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had been experiencing flu-like symptoms for over a decade but trips to the doctor turned up nothing. By the time I was diagnosed, I had already been in the hospital eight years earlier for unexplained chronic fatigue, later diagnosed as Epstein-Barr syndrome. I had just had a baby and was working in the Post Office where I had to get up at 1:30 AM every morning to get to work and could not be 1 second late. I collapsed and slept for 3 days.

My husband was no help with the baby. I would go to sleep early, or try to but when she cried or fussed, he handed her to me, or woke me up. I needed this job. My husband’s employment with the Navy was over an hour away and the medical insurance only covered near the base in New London, Ct. If we were to move closer to the base, I would not have my support system of family, friends and church nearby. I was afraid to be without my support group.

Prior to my husband joining the Navy in 1984, he had another pastime. Giving me bruises. I did not leave him because I knew that deep down, he was a really good guy and wasn’t loved properly. He was working on getting his life together and I already had a child with him and wanted my son to grow up knowing his father.

Besides. Who else would want a 23 year old with a child?

That is the backstory. Fast forward to 1995 and I was sleeping for 18 hours per day, had unexplained muscle pain, chronic spasms and depression. I would lie pinned to my bed and had to pick up my right arm with my left, grab it and roll onto the floor, crawl to the bathtub to run my hands under cold water for relief and pull myself up in front of the bathroom mirror to start my day. This took hours.

Unrelated to all this, which turned out actually, related, I was still with my husband. I had become a Christian in 1985 and from everything I read and was told, I needed to stick it out with him unless he was unfaithful. I changed, but he didn’t. He still had a past time of terrorizing me, gaslighting me and keeping back some of the household money to do whatever it was he was doing.

I saw a counselor for depression and kept insisting the pain in my body came before depression. If only I could get rid of it, then the depression would be gone. I was told it was the opposite way around and a doctor prescribed Prozac. I became more depressed because I felt like nobody was really listening.

Invalidated by the counselor because he didn’t believe in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue as a primary issue. Invalidated by the doctors because they could not find any thing via medical testing. Invalidated by members of church because it must have been some attitude I had that let opened a door to a spirit. Invalidated by family because “there she goes again, always overreacting”.

Eventually, I learned to accept that I was overreacting and should just take ibuprofen for the pain on a regular basis. Before coming to know the Lord, I handled any emotional or physical pain by having a few drinks to calm my nerves, but it seemed that since I stopped drinking, the pain became greater.

Or was it all now finally becoming visible?

I got the courage to leave my abusive marriage in 1998 and I later remarried. In 2004 I joined an online group for fibromyalgia sufferers. At the time, it still was not accepted by the medical community and there was no medication for it. In order for there to be medication, there has to be a disease. Fibromyalgia was just a collection of symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, depression and muscle pain. Many members of my online group had lobbied Washington DC to change the labeling of disorder to disease in order to get a prescription.

We did it! We won! It became a disease and now there was medication.

I started my own group for fibromyalgia in 2004 on MSN until MSN groups no longer existed. In 2007, my fibromyalgia group closed down. But I felt like it was good timing because many were coming to understand fibromyalgia and doctors were prescribing the medication needed.

There was a problem however. Those who took the medication were disappointed. It lasted only 2 months.

I began developing other symptoms by this time. Frequent head colds with mucous, chronic flu like symptoms, and burning pain in my face and legs. I had seen several neurologists and had MRI’s and nothing was found. It all got put in the medical junk drawer of fibromyalgia.

I decided to get off the merry-go-round. What IS fibromyalgia? Is it really a diagnosis? Breaking the word down, it means “Fibrous (Fibro) Muscle Tissue (My) Pain (Algia)”. Where does it come from? Why is it now everyone seems to be getting it when only a decade earlier it was rare and invalidated by the medical community? So many questions.

I dabbled in the herbal field for a few decades so I had learned a little, but I could not help anyone else. Just experiment. In 2009 I was praying and I “saw” the Lord extend his hand and say “Come” and I somehow knew exactly what that meant because of the way He was responding to previous prayers and words He had given me. I didn’t like the fact that Christians avoided most health food stores because of the new agey and occultic presence in many or most. He said “Come. Creation belongs to me. Take it back”. I started a journey in November 2009 that changed it all.

I wrote all of the above because the backstory here is important to the “diagnosis” of fibromyalgia.

So, let’s look at this Fibrous Muscle Tissue Pain. Why is this a diagnosis? Why did the medicine not work for longer than 2 months? Why was anti-depressants once a prescription for this? Specifically SSRI’s or Selective-Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors? What role does Seratonin play in pain? Why is it released? Why is it suppressed?

Chronic Fatigue was my first noticeable physical symptom. I recall falling asleep in the car, whether as a passenger (or driver at times), in the mid 70‘s.

Depression was my first noticeable injury to my soul. That arrived at 11 years old when my father left the family just one year prior. There were no goodbyes. Just abandonment.

Abandonment was the act that assaulted my spirit. I felt unloved, unwanted, and unloveable. Unresolved spiritual issues opened the door to unresolved emotional issues which led to unresolved physical issues. The fact that I was crying out for someone to fix this pain in the spirit and soul to no avail led me to fix it myself.
A fifth of vodka here, a Percocet there, and a joint almost always, helped to medicate.

The Lord took me on a journey to see where this began. And I will tell you, the reader right now, that I know this as a fact, because when we “walked back to the beginning” and I submitted it all to Him, I no longer walk in fibromyalgia today (unless I get sloppy, but I have learned to use inflammation as a sort of electric fence – I stepped out of the boundaries He set up for me.)

For those who just want quick facts on the root of fibromyalgia, I’ll give it to you right now. For those who need to understand it in a greater way, I am continuing to add to this blog.

**The door is opened through chronic abuse and neglect.
**When the chronic abuse or neglect becomes reality, we accept lies. Lies about love. Lies about who we are. **Lies about our purpose. It involves relationships to others and the Godhead.
**When we accept the lies, we open the door for a battle within ourselves. Our immune system, which is the front lines of battle in the body, throw out all the arsenal it has to protect itself by releasing hormones that go after enemies, both foreign and domestic. On the one hand, we are told we are loved and accepted. On the other hand, we don’t feel it and what we do feel is not good. At this point, there is heightened inflammation, in the body and in the soul realm. Others just see overreaction. (Hence invalidation)
**When we have this war inside our bodies, it affects every system in the body. Digestive, Metabolic, Circulatory, Muscular. At this stage, we often receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, along with IBS and other digestive disorders, Migraines, Chronic Fatigue etc as if they are all separate from each other when they are all related.
**By the time we have a “diagnosis” of fibromyalgia, we have these other conditions which we take separate medications for. Medications have their place, however, they are extreme measures and should only be prescribed for something that can be relieved by taking the medication and for a short time. As my neuro medical student and one time friend said to me once “Medications are an atomic bomb on the body. Yes you got the target, but you also destroyed innocent civilians along the way.”
**By the time we have a “diagnosis” for all these conditions which are actually related, the root is no longer clear. We are on a cycle of pain and medications; high blood sugar and medications; high blood pressure and medications; high trigylcerides and medications; thyroid disease and medications.
**The way out of fibromyalgia, which is not a real diagnosis, begins with closing the door to the lies we have accepted about who we are and the love of our Father. It has to begin with a daily reminder of love. We must tell ourselves and our sisters and brothers that they are loved.
**For those of us on the other side of fibromyalgia, we need to model that love without going over our own electric fence boundaries.
**We need to forgive those who have neglected and abused us. If it goes back to childhood with parental abuse, meditate on Psalm 27: 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
**Read these words and then agree with His word aloud. Know that His thoughts are not your thoughts but you can agree with them even if it isn’t the present reality.
**Soaking music and meditation are very helpful.

The Stress Response

We have a built in system that alerts us of oncoming threat. In the event of imminent danger, such as a lion chasing you or dog growling or someone entering your home unlawfully, the brain has already done triage to determine whether it should send out hormone signals to the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) or the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response).

The area of the brain that processes emotion and interprets images and sound is called the amygdala. It then sends a message to the Hypothalamus, or the Command Center of the brain. If it is determined that all is well and that the threat is no longer (or never really was), it will alert the parasympathetic nervous system, providing the “Rest and Digest” response. The body is at peace, hormones are normal, heart rate and blood pressure is normal, and sleep is satisfying. If the brain determines that the body needs to mobilize the troops, so to speak, the sympathetic nervous system is alerted, providing the fight or flight response.


Per Very Well Mind, physical signs that can indicate the fight-or-flight response has kicked in include:

  • Dilated pupils: In times of danger, the body prepares itself to be aware of its surroundings; dilation of the pupils allows more light into the eyes and results in a better vision of the surroundings.
  • Pale or flushed skin: Blood flow to the surface areas of the body is reduced while flow to the muscles, brain, legs, and arms is increased. Paleness or alternating between a pale and flushed face as blood rushes to the head and brain is common. The body’s blood clotting ability also increases to prevent excess blood loss in the event of injury.
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing: Heartbeat and respiration rate increase to provide the body with the energy and oxygen needed to fuel a rapid response to danger.
  • Trembling:The muscles tense and become primed for action, which can cause trembling or shaking.

    For greater detail on how this works check out Harvard Health Publishing here.


The fight-or- flight response is necessary to equip the body with tools for an actual threat, but we were never meant to go through a daily crisis event. When we deal with chronic stress events that go unresolved, our bodies becomed trained . “This is the way it is.”

Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit. Our spirit speaks to our soul the things it has learned from His Spirit. Our soul is the deciding factor for our lives. “I have been told I am loved. Am I loved? Is this real?”

Our brains process that we are in a threatening situation. It alerts the body to handle the crisis accordingly. Once the actual crisis is over, we can exhale and then allow our souls to process what happened.

For the person who has not meditated on the Word, or does not know the Holy Spirit, this processing takes awhile. Sometimes the event is buried. Sometimes it takes talking to someone else. This may mean that the chronic stressful situations keep taking place, but the processing of the what and the why’s take longer. The trauma remains in the body and soul, while we process or we bury it.

That does not change what the scripture says about spirit, soul, and body. In fact, it supports it.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God, being living and powerful and alive in us who have His Spirit, can do the processing for us. It divides what is soul and what is spirit. It divides what is joint and what is marrow. It divides what is thought and what is intent; without which, the person who does not have the Word living on the inside keeps processing and burying, processing and burying, until it arrives at the only thing that is real according to what is seen and felt.

But so many Christians have fibromyalgia too! Does this mean that the Word is not living and active? No!

But remember, fibromyalgia is not a real diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is FIBROUS MUSCLE TISSUE PAIN. This is a result of injury that is unresolved. Maybe the crisis no longer occurs, but the effect of the crisis is still unresolved.

Before I get too far, I want to offer some relief tips for fibrous muscle tissue pain. More on root causes later.

Stretch, Detox and Nourish

Fibrous muscle tissue pain often gets stiff with inactivity. I have experienced, and all those I have observed and counseled say the same. The muscles tend to “shrink” and become stiff.

Stretching is more important than rigorous exercise. When you wake up in the morning, gently stretch those calf muscles and neck muscles and whichever muscles are affected. Walking is higher priority than running.

There are seven critical pathways of elimination; liver, lungs, kidneys, sweat, colon, blood, and lymph.

The liver is responsible for many functions. When the liver is not functioning properly, the body becomes sluggish. The liver must be allowed to process all that comes into the body, whether food, or supplement or medication, without getting bogged down. This is why overeating causes weight gain. The liver has to process it before the next supply of food comes in. Too many supplements at one time can cause the liver to become sluggish. Too many medications. Moderation is very important for liver health. Herbal supplements like dandelion root and milk thistle help to support liver health. Tea is better.

Deep breathing is critical to opening up lung capacity. Stale gasses do not get released with shallow breathing and is the underlying cause of anxiety as well as metabolic acidosis which prohibits release of toxins.

Hydration is very important for kidney health, however, drinking too much water at one time, without minerals, can lead to electrolyte loss. Drink 5-8 glasses of water per day, not at one time. Purified water is best. I’m not a fan of distilled water because of the electrolyte loss. More on that later.
Blood pressure is regulated by kidneys, not heart. So a higher than normal blood pressure often means that the kidneys are working harder to pump fluids out.

Sweat is not a dirty word. Antiperspirants are not healthy because they block the toxins in the body from being removed via the sweat glands. Deodorants are better and maybe some baking soda to absorb moisture, but the sweat glands need to be cleared to release those toxins.

Bowel movements should be firm, well formed and should glide easily out of the body.

To be continued……




Why Omega 3s?

Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA AND DHA. There is only one plant source for EPA and DHA and that is algae. Omega 3’s cannot be obtained by diet alone; you would need to eat fish every day, every meal to equal 1300 mg, the necessary daily amount to keep you out of deficiency.

EPA is good for heart, joint, mood and immunity. DHA is good for eyes, brain, fetal development and memory.

If 1300 mg is necessary per day to keep you out of deficiency, what is too much? No studies have been done to show what is too much, however, for pain and inflammation (joint health) you might want to have upwards of 2000 mg per day.

FIsh in a supplement should come from wild caught fish in the Atlantic. Sardines and Anchovies are the best source.

You CAN take too much cod liver oil – it contains Vitamin A, which can be toxic if taken in excess.

And, the FDA removed the previous warning of taking too much fish oil if you are on blood thinners. Those on blood thinners are safe at 3000 mg or less.

 

An Attitude of Gratitude – How it Affects Your Body

 

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Luke 22:17 And when He (Jesus) had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;
vs 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”
vs 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Whenever Jesus broke bread, He always gave thanks first.  He had gratitude.  His gratitude, or thankfulness was beyond His words.  His thankfulness was in His heart.  He was truly appreciative of what He was about to partake in, and that His Father provided the food for Him.  This is the example He gave to us that we should also be sure to practice.

But, let’s move beyond the rote prayers we say and get right to what happens in the body when we truly give thanks from our heart.

Gratitude puts us at ease.  Gratitude changes our PH from acidic to more alkaline.  Gratitude helps digestion.

On the contrary, stress creates an acidic environment.  Stress activates the fight or flight response in your central nervous system causing digestion to shut down because your central nervous system shuts down blood flow, affecting the contractions of your digestive muscles, and decreasing secretions needed for digestion.

You need a central place to eat to bring your body to a place of peace.  Eating in the car on the way to work, or anywhere else, is not that place.   Eating in front of the television is not that place.  Eating while upset at your spouse or children causes food to go undigested.  Stomach acid backs up out of the stomach into the esophagus causing acid reflux and when it backs up OUT of the stomach, it is not breaking down food properly IN the stomach.

I’ll take this out to the furthest extreme to give a snapshot of what a lifestyle of stressful  eating can cause.

Stressful eating reflects a heart of anger and bitterness.
Anger and bitterness lowers the ph in the body, causing acidity.
A chronic high acidity level produces inflammation.
Any “ITIS” is chronic inflammation; arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, etc.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by inflammation, therefore ALL CANCER began with an unresolved anger.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by chronic acidity.
Autoimmune diseases are preceeded by leaky gut (poor digestion), and poor digestion has a root in stressful eating.

Develop a heart of gratitude.  You have control over your emotions because you have control over your thoughts.  Emotions are products of your thought life, although hormones play a part in what kind of emotions we have as well.  It is important to focus on what thoughts you are giving power to, which is why avoiding distraction at the dinner table is critical to health and well-being.

Give thanks before each meal.  Although you prepared the food, it would not exist if the Lord had not provided it.  He knows exactly what you need.  Release a blessing on your food as well.  We aren’t always able to eat organic or whole food and sometimes we eat out and are trusting that the preparers had clean hands and the kitchen is sanitary.  Release a blessing.

Don’t put a bite to your mouth until you are at peace.  Peace in your body activates the “rest and digest” response in the body, which signals that all is well.  The esophagus doesn’t spasm, as when under stress, and therefore acid remains in the stomach and digestion is about to happen.

Resolve family issues before eating.  This is critical.  1 Corinthians 11:27 exhorts us to examine ourselves before we eat.  Check our hearts to see if there is any unforgiveness (which leads to bitterness and bitterness produces acidity).  Jesus says that many are “sickly and have fallen asleep” because we have not discerned the body correctly.  I believe that means our own physical body and the body that we are apart of with others.

Eat together whenever possible. This goes along with the above. Enjoy each other.  Let eating be combined with fellowship and blessings. Eating together in peace provides a sense of belonging, security, and joy.  These promote alkalinity and the “Rest and digest” response.

Eat at a central area, away from television and other distractions.  Practice mindful eating.  That means consider what you are putting in your mouth when you eat.  You can’t do that in front of the television because your mind is elsewhere.  Romans 14 says we are to be fully convinced that the way we are eating and what we are eating is pleasing to the Lord.

Thank the Lord for your body for it is fearfully and wonderfully made.   Psalm 139 says “I will PRAISE you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”   PRAISE produces alkalinity and may lower inflammation.  PRAISE is Gratitude.  “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise.”  (Psalm 100:4)  When you thank the Lord for your body, knowing it is FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made, you know that God has created your body for OPTIMAL FUNCTION and WELLNESS.  He didn’t design you to be sick.   SO THANK HIM!  PRAISE HIM!

Resolve offenses.  It may have been years since you ate while angry with someone and stuffed it.  Resolve offenses going forward.  Ask forgiveness for those you have been angry with in the past.  If restitution needs to be made, make it.

He made you to be whole.

fear and respect

do not be wise in your own eyes(1)

Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean trembling in the presence of a big meanie. It means taking Him seriously when He says “If you do this, then this will happen.”

If the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING OF WISDOM, let’s move onto walking in wisdom. That is respect. And THIS will bring health and nourishment to your entire being; spirit, soul and body.

STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!

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If this much is good, more must be better.

This is the thinking of most of us. “If I take 350 mg of magnesium and feel pretty good then 700 will make me feel great!” No, it will likely become your next remedy for constipation.

Or “I took 3000 mg of vitamin c and didn’t feel any different. I’ll try 6000 mg.” You may end up calling off work that day and get someone to drive yourself to the hospital because the cramping will make you feel like you’re dying.

More is not necessarily better.

But sometimes more IS better. 400 IUs of VItamin D used to be the required daily allowance and then they raised it to 600 when they learned it was too low and most of the population was deficient. Still deficient, it was raised to 800.

But we are STILL deficient.

I recently was speaking to a women in the health food store who was very depressed and wanted something to help her out of depression. I’m not a doctor so I could not suggest anything for depression; I’m a wellness consultant who thinks in terms of nutrition. I asked her “Are you on a good multi-vitamin?” She said she was not. I led her over to our multi-vitamin section where I showed her the balance of nutrients in one brand that also included a botanical blend of herbs noted for bringing emotional balance. “Look at all those goodies in there!” I said to her and suggested she start there.

Another woman (whom I know), was standing nearby and heard me. This particular woman had her gallbladder removed and had a weaker constitution than the customer I was talking with. Upon hearing me proclaim “Look at all those goodies” she turned to me with a look of horror. That is because SHE cannot have a lot of “goodies” in her supplements. It throws her off balance, affects her adversely, and so for HER, LESS IS MORE.

The man I used to work for is a nutritional braniac and I am thankful for learning so much from him – his philosophy was “if you have a particular issue, take it all in high doses for a short while. Tell your body who is boss.” And there are many practitioners who think like that. Then there are Western herbalists who believe that you train your body by not forcing it into submission – small amounts and fewer herbs at a time. (Chinese herbalists like a lot of various combinations of herbs, however).

But then, there is homeopathy – the philosophy behind that is the more diluted a substance, the stronger it is. So, Arnica Montana diluted 6x is weaker than Arnica Montana diluted 30x.

At one point, I wanted to just scream “STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!” and sometimes I still get there, but it’s not as hard to navigate having been through this maze.

There are different philosophies because there are different goals, different issues, different values and perspectives. What you believe has much to do with what you choose, because your belief about something has a say in what you decide upon. If you have a personality that dives into everything and cleans the mess up later, you may not have a problem trying new things, and stronger medicine. If you approach life cautiously, it may take you a long time to decide on just the right multi-vitamin, and you may end up just opting out.

Is one more right than the other?

Back in the 90s, I tried a protein powder for the first time in my drink. I felt as if my body was saying “THANK YOU! I HAVE NEEDED THAT!” It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t the actual BRAND of protein powder I needed, but that my body was not breaking down protein so protein powder in general was actually being absorbed. I have learned to “hear what my body is telling me I need.”

The other day, a representative of a medicinal mushroom company was holding a sampling of products. He was explaining that the Reishi mushroom is the top sought after mushroom for a wide variety of complaints. In this particular brand, the mushrooms were formulated into a tincture. He gave me a few drops in water. I wasn’t feeling it. I told him I wanted to try some of the others. He then gave me Chaga. I immediately felt it resonate in my body. There was that “Thank you” again. It had nothing to do with the taste of either mushroom. It was what my body needed. I learned AFTERWARD that Chaga was helpful for the immune system support, what I needed.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I used that and it worked great but after 2 months it stopped working.” THat is because your body no longer needs it. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made. If you need something today, you may not need it in 3 months from now. Your body knows it no longer has need for it. In fact if you try to force your body to take it when it no longer has need, you my be overwhelming your system.

I don’t advocate this way for beginner’s. It’s a place to arrive at, but definitely needs to be kept in mind as you start out learning what your body needs. In fact, if your only desire is to get yourself out of crisis, you may be constantly craving what ISN’T good for you, thinking your body needs that.

If you are a Christian, you understand that repentance must be a part of your life so that you are able to discern the Holy Spirit speaking to you; leading you, guiding you. That path may lead you all of a sudden out in front, as the leading expert in a certain field. That path may lead you behind the scenes not being seen at all. But you will know because you have learned to listen, and put down the things that are not good for you, and put away things you no longer need (“childish things”).

In navigating your way through all the information and confusion surrounding what your body needs, it is uniquely your own journey, but you have people you trust along the way. Stick with this people, let the ones who have gone before you help you along. Gather information but don’t adopt it as being right for you until you have that peace in your heart that it’s time, but every day, start removing what you know to be hindering your health. From processed foods, to refined sugars, or maybe its grains. Or maybe its chemicals in your cupboard. Whatever you need to remove, remove one thing daily. Then, you will hear clearly what your body is telling you it needs.

MCT Oil

Benefits and Uses of MCT Oils

Fad foods come and go, but one substance that continues to gain traction is MCT oil. Look around in health stores today, and you’re likely to see multiple products raving that they contain this metabolism-boosting superfood.

But what is MCT oil, and will it make a difference for your health? Here are the things you need to know about MCT oil to decide whether you should add some to your diet.

What is MCT Oil?

More than just a buzzword in the health world, MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is one of the most bioavailable forms of energy in the world today. These natural fat sources create ketones that generate thermogenic effects for your body.

The majority of oils come in three sizes of fatty acid chains: short, medium, and long. Medium chain fatty acids typically contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains. These oils are composed of fatty acids naturally contained within coconut and palm oils. However, coconut and palm oils also include longer chain triglycerides that aren’t considered to be as healthy because the molecules are often stored as fat because they take longer for your system to metabolize.

Most of us are familiar with thinking about saturated fats as forbidden foods. However, their bad rap isn’t entirely earned because saturated fats like MCTs have incredible benefits for your health. Thanks to how quickly they can be digested, MCT oils are almost immediately metabolized into energy.

Longer chain fats like butter, beef fat, olive oil, and unprocessed forms of palm oil and coconut oil are burned more slowly and typically stored as fat instead. For this reason, most MCT products in stores are purified extractions of one or both of these oils, ensuring that they contain only MCTs.

Thanks to its energy-boosting abilities, MCT oil is most typically used by those who want to lose weight or improve their athletic performance.

How MCTs Work

In many ways, MCTs act like carbohydrates because they provide with a quick energy source. Unlike carbs though, MCTs won’t raise your blood sugar or increase insulin levels.

The mitochondria might not get much attention, but this small cell part is responsible for producing all the energy needed for your tissues to function. MCTs are one of the most efficient ways to fuel the mitochondria because they can quickly cross through the double mitochondrial membrane without L-carnitine, an enzyme necessary for LCT absorption.

This process produces acetyl-coA, which breaks down into ketones within your body.

About Ketones

Your body fuels itself with two primary energy sources: glucose and ketones. Glucose comes from sugars, starches, and proteins that are metabolically processed into blood sugar. Most people predominately burn this fuel type because of how common carbs are in their diet.

In contrast, ketones are substances produced by the liver when it breaks down fat, and they are uniquely suited to fueling the brain. You are more likely to rely on ketones if you fast, go on a low-carb diet, or follow a moderate protein, high-fat diet.

The body can make ketones from its stored fat or from digesting MCTs, which is why this oil chain is considered so valuable.

Dietary Fat and Your Health

If you follow a standard western diet, you probably aren’t getting an adequate amount of MCTs in your diet. This is because health nutritionists have long lead the public to believe that saturated fats should be avoided. However, recent research continues to reveal that these fats are far healthier than previously thought. Today, many nutritionists believe that saturated fats have benefits for your heart, brain, and waistline, especially if you eat them daily.

These substances both stabilize blood pressure and enhance your body’s energy production capabilities, making them a proven way to improve your metabolism, enhance cognitive function, and reduce inflammation.

Natural Sources of MCTs

Coconut oil and palm oil contain some of the best natural sources of MCTs, but you can find small amounts of this critical compound in a variety of foods, including goat’s milk, grass-fed butter or yogurt, and ghee.

Roughly 65 percent of the fats in coconut oil are MCTs, including concentrated caprylic, capric, lauric, and caproic acid with all the longer chain fatty acids removed.

Caproic Acid: As the smallest chain of MCT with just six carbon chains, caproic acid is only found in trace amounts of most food. This is a good thing, as too much can lead to digestive problems.

Caprylic Acid: Found in a 6% concentration is coconut oil, caprylic acid has 8 carbon chains and contains the most potent anti-microbial properties of MCTs.

Capric Acid: This 10-carbon chain MCT has potent anti-inflammatory properties and provides quick energy for cell mitochondria.

Lauric Acid: Making up roughly 50% of coconut oil fatty acids, lauric acid behaves similar to long-chain fatty acids and requires liver bile to be metabolized efficiently. Research shows that it acts as an anti-microbial, though capric and caprylic acid are more effective.

One fundamental difference between the functionality of coconut oil and concentrated MCT oil is that MCT oil has proportionally less lauric acid. This is because some of the compound are extracted out with MCT oils.

5 Things You Need to Know About MCT Oil

High-quality MCT oil has many unique features that are worth knowing about before you decide to use the compound for cooking or other uses.

  • No Taste: Because all flavors and scents are removed from MCT during processing, the oil is entirely tasteless.
  • Liquid at Room Temperature: Unlike the oils it is derived from, MCT oil has a lower smoking point than coconut oil and will be liquid at room temperature.
  • Easy to Absorb: High-quality MCT oils can be quickly converted into energy in your body, but cheaper generic brands are often blended with other fats to cut costs, making them less useful for absorption.
  • Highly Soluble: The size of the carbon molecules in MCT oil increases their solubility in water and fluids like blood.
  • Processed Efficiently: MCTs reach the liver quickly because they don’t have to go through peripheral tissues as LCTs do. Likewise, the medium chain acids don’t need to be broken down before your body can absorb them.

7 Uses of MCT Oil

Knowing that MCT oil is beneficial for your health and understanding the best way to take it are different matters. What are the best ways to take this clear, flavorless liquid? Here are things you need to know about MCT oil to ensure you’re using it right.

Thanks to its lack of flavor, MCT oil is impressively versatile in a variety of dishes, including the following.

  • Cooking Oil: Concentrated MCT oil is excellent for cooking because it has a high smoke point and doesn’t add unwanted coconut flavor to the meal.
  • Salad Dressing: Combine a tablespoon of MCT oil with herbs and vinegar for an extra healthy afternoon salad.
  • Homemade Mayonnaise: Mix a tablespoon of MCT oil into your favorite mayonnaise recipe, and you won’t notice any difference in the overall taste or texture.
  • Coffee & Tea: If you want to give your brain a boost first thing in the morning, add a teaspoon of MCT oil to your daily source of caffeine.
  • Baked Goods: You can use MCT oil as a coconut oil substitute in baking recipes to boost the ketone production potential.
  • Smoothies: For smoothie fans who want to stay full longer, you can add 2 tbsps. of MCT oil into the mix to curb hunger throughout the day.
  • Straight off the Spoon: There’s no need to dress MCT oil up if you merely want to take it as a supplement for its health benefits. It’s best to start slowly with half a teaspoon a day and work your way up to one tablespoon over time.

Beyond consumption, there are plenty of other ways to take in the benefits of MCT oil. You can use the oil however coconut oil can be used, meaning that it can be a stellar ingredient in homemade lip balms, shaving creams, teeth whitening treatments, facial masks, and more.

Buying MCT Oil

Because commercially available MCT oils are often made from blends of both coconut and palm oils, they qualify as proprietary blends, meaning that the company doesn’t need to disclose the exact ratio of fats it contains. This makes it difficult to know precisely what MCTs are within your oil, and the proportions can vary considerably between brands. For this reason, the best strategy for you might be to experiment with several oil brands and try small samples until you find one that your body responds well to.

Using MCT Oil for Health and Wellness

Don’t worry about believing the hype about MCT oil- this product really does have the potential to make a difference in your health and energy levels.

To get the best benefits for your body, seek out ways to add some MCT fatty acids to your diet each day. Whether that’s from adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your morning coffee or taking a teaspoon of concentrated MCT oil straight from the bottle, your brain will appreciate the quick, high-quality energy supply.

This article is not my own but from
https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/things-you-need-to-know-about-mct-oil?utm_campaign=SmartBug%202016&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=62781268&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9Dm6YVqd7BfgW7vo-GIp9d7G4S1oGJ1bQVLD38xv9WGDVAb4PqVE6Kh2aYStrSJ3L4gVLzd1akKEuKT1X19YXztZHD6g&_hsmi=62781268

Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

A question was asked yesterday by a man with atrial fibrillation, if he could take fish oil while he is on blood thinners.  My response was “yes” but with caution.

From Livestrong:  Fish oil does thin the blood in similar ways to blood thinners, notes leading health and medical writer Jack Challem in his book, “The Inflammation Syndrome.” This effect happens through the prevention of the platelets found in blood from sticking together and forming clots. Challem adds that the blood-thinning effects may be magnified if you are taking natural blood-thinners, such as vitamin E or gingko. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are taking fish oil.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/467353-can-you-take-fish-oil-with-blood-thinners/

From Heart MD:  Modest amounts of fish oil, say 1–2 grams daily, generally can be tolerated even if you are taking prescription blood thinners. However, doing this is not without some risk—so it’s absolutely essential that you be up front with your doctor about the fish oil products you’re taking and how much, to avoid unsafe drug interactions. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must work collaboratively with your physician and regularly monitor the clotting agents in your blood.

Is It Safe to Mix Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

Can You Take Fish Oil With Blood Thinners?

Flax Seeds for Hot Flashes

Yesterday in the store it was a typical scenario; a woman experiencing hot flashes walked up to the women’s section and browsed all the supplements for menopause.   Then she asked me “What is good for hot flashes?  I sweat when it’s hot.”

I replied most people do, but after a bit more dialogue we got right to the main issue.  She is 64 and has been sweating like this since she was 50.

I asked her if she knew what her hormone levels were and she said she did not.

I thought she needed to put the supplements down since she did not know if her irregular temperature was due to insufficient or elevated progesterone, insufficient or elevated estrogen, insufficient or elevated DHEA, cortisol, TSH, etc.   A saliva test by a qualified health professional can determine this though insurance does not cover it.  Generally it is $125 to $200.

I believe that if you don’t know what is causing hot flashes, start with food first.  It is often more helpful and is cheaper than experimenting with pricey supplements for menopause control (although many are very beneficial when you know what hormone you are supporting).

When you think of inflammation, think “heat”.  When you think of hot flashes, think “the body is trying to cool the heat”.    When you think of foods to cool the body, think “Omega 3s”, such as salmon or fish oil and flax seed or flax seed oil.

Start with flax seed and grind what you need when ready for use.   Use only 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed daily as it may cause bloating.   Flax seed contains omega 3 fatty acids.    These omega 3’s “put out the fire”

At the store, we sell whole flax seed for $1.99 for 13 ounces.   Start there.  You might even find your cholesterol levels have improved.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/284290-flaxseed-flaxseed-oil-for-hot-flashes/