The Thyodine Effect

A few weeks ago, I indulged in one of my addictions, which is shopping online for beauty and health products on my favorite site, Lucky Vitamin. I put one of my “can’t do without” products in my cart only to find out a week later it was on back order. As of this writing, it’s still not arrived, but I think I figured out why. But before I figured this out, I searched online and found other online stores were also completely out! What I discovered was people have been buying excess amounts of iodine due to the recent earthquake in Fukushima, Japan. If you’ve been keeping up in the news, you know the earthquake affected a nuclear power plant which released massive amounts of radiation into the area. Iodine prevents the thyroid from absorbing radiation and can even prevent future thyroid cancer. People in Japan and on the West Coast of the US decided to turn to potassium iodide (a.ka. iodine) for protection. I’ve been taking this miracle substance for a while and was lucky enough to find two bottles at my local nutrition store. I’m glad I called and begged the guy to put them on hold for me! So why do I take iodine?

For years I had a problem with my weight and never thought my thyroid was the culprit. More recently, I began experiencing dry skin, hair loss and bouts with depression. Have you ever been unhappy and just couldn’t figure out why? That was me and I found out exactly why. I went to a local naturopath and had a Bio-meridian assessment. BMA measures the body’s energy meridians and is able to provide feedback on organs and nutritional deficiencies. My practitioner told me my thyroid was out of whack. As you can see, this was not only affecting weight loss, but also my external appearance. If you’re feeling some of the same symptoms I did, chances are it could be thyroid related…so do you know if you’re thyroid is slow or fast and how can you tell?

Hypothyroidism Cause and Treatment

What I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I didn’t understand what it was. Hypothyroidism means your thyroid is not making enough hormone…in other words, low thyroid function. Why is this important? The thyroid runs the body’s metabolism…if your metabolism is running slow (and you have difficulty losing weight) then you may have hypothyroidism. Over 10 million Americans and as many as 10% of women may be suffering with this issue and not even know it. Hypothyroidism is caused by an inflammation of the thyroid gland. This inflammation damages cells which prevents them from making sufficient hormones. If you have thyroid problems in your family, it may be hereditary, but I tend to believe environmental factors play a larger role.

Some of the symptoms you may experience if you suffer from hypothyroidism are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, pale skin
  • Depression
  • Irritability (I definitely had that one!)

I felt all of these and believe me, I felt hopeless nothing would help me overcome them. Besides the depression, one of the worst effects was the hair and skin problems. No matter what shampoo or facial cream I used, my hair was dry and unmanageable (and was falling out) and my skin looked dull. I did find something to help however, which I will discuss later in the article.

The treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid replacement, which may be natural or synthetic. I prefer to use natural options so my practitioner suggested a glandular hormone (from bovine sources) and bio-identical hormones. This can help greatly….I strongly recommend seeing your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.

Hyperthyroidism Treatment

Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of Hyper- in this case, the thyroid makes too much hormone. The immune system can attack the thyroid gland (this is called Grave’s Disease) and to fight back, the thyroid increases its hormone production. Some of the effects include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nervousness
  • Moodiness
  • Sweating
  • Rapid Heartbeat

Some treatments include beta blockers, radioactive iodine, and anti-thyroid medicine.

Speaking of Iodine….

I’ve been hinting a bit at my miracle cure for hypothyroidism. It’s iodine! People are extremely iodine deficient nowadays. In the past, breads and salt contained iodine and people were able to get their iodine through the foods they ate. Today, most salts are iodine free and most breads are made with bromine, which leaches iodine from the body! The lack of iodine in the diet plays a key role in the development of serious diseases. Areas with low iodine consumption have higher breast cancer rates and mental deficiencies. It can also cause Goiters, or enlargement of the thyroid gland. To make matters worse, fluoride is added to the water supply and it’s absorbed in the thyroid. In years past, fluoride was used as a treatment for hyperthyroidism…..until it was later discovered to alter thyroid function. In reality fluoride is a toxic poison which has no business being in our water or our toothpaste. It serves no function other than being a detriment. So where does iodine come in? Iodine plays a key role in thyroid function. If you take an iodine supplement, it can counteract the fluoride and help “push” it out of the thyroid so it can function properly. A note of warning though…talk to your doctor or naturopath before beginning an iodine supplement as too much iodine can be unhealthy.

Get Iodine Naturally Through Foods

There’s a reason why the women is Japan have much lower incidences of breast cancer than the US. Their iodine consumption is off the charts! People who eat sea vegetables, kelp, or chlorella obtain healthy amounts of natural iodine through the foods they eat. People in the US don’t typically eat these foods…but with thyroid problems on the rise, maybe it’s time to start! Along with eating sea vegetables, you can use salts such as Real Salt, a salt which is not bleached like most commercial salt products. You may also want to eat kelp noodles…which may sound gross, but they are actually white noodles similar to pasta. You can substitute them in your favorite recipes and get all the healthful benefits. I made a dish with kelp and chicken and it was delicious! Here are some iodine rich foods:

  • Kelp
  • Kelp noodles
  • Chlorella
  • Real Salt
  • Seaweed
  • Brown algae
  • Red Algae

When I began integrating more iodine rich foods in my diet as well as supplementing with iodine, I felt better. Know what else happened? My hair and skin improved as well. It’s true what you put into your body affects the outside. You could be the healthiest person ever yet thyroid issues may still affect you. Sometimes we can’t control environmental factors influencing our health. If this is the case, you have to take charge of your health and use supplements and good nutrition practices to combat them. Through my research for this article, I also was reminded of another thyroid helper: coconut oil. I am speaking of the organic unrefined variety. Many testimonials as to its thyroid strengthening power exists online. You can cook or bake with it or just take it as a supplement each day (3 tablespoons a day.) Have you been affected with thyroid disease and how have you handled it? Let’s share our experiences. I’d love to hear your story and know what you think of mine.

Beauty at Any Cost – Helping Young Women Avoid This Dangerous Trap

It’s no secret that our society and the media have established and continue to promote an idyllic, almost impossible, standard of beauty that women consistently judge themselves against and are always aspiring to achieve.

With the advent of readily available cosmetic surgery and treatments, this quest has reached a new fever pitch. By one estimate, American women spend almost $7 billion dollars a year on products used in the pursuit of beauty.

And we’ve all seen or heard stories of women addicted to Botox or plastic surgery -some have had so many nips and tucks that their faces resemble cartoon characters and still they want more! These extreme cases are the casualties of a popular culture that is saturated with images of airbrushed, over sexualized, and perfectly coiffed celebrities and models that can make even the most confident of us feel a little insecure or inadequate at times.

The extent of this problem was documented in a 2008 report released by the YWCA called “Beauty At Any Cost”. The report underscores the substantial health implications for women on the endless treadmill of “unrealistic beauty attainment.” Through chronic and unhealthy dieting, using smoking as a weight-loss aide, taking unnecessary risks during cosmetic surgical procedures, and absorbing unsafe chemicals through cosmetics, women are placing themselves in precarious health situations to maintain some semblance of their idealized physical selves. Women and girls are at risk for lifelong health problems – and the problems start at an early age.

Add to the mix a $50 billion a year unregulated cosmetics industry that puts unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing or monitoring of health effects, ready to profit from these narrow beauty standards to convert women and girls into life-long customers. Many of these companies go to great lengths to market to teens and “tweens” (8 to 12 year olds) as part of this goal. Their emphasis is on creating cheap products that appeal to this demographic with little or no regard for the potential health or environmental impact of the chemicals used to produce them.

Clearly, young girls and teens are more vulnerable and susceptible to harm than ever before. However, with a little guidance they can learn to make safer, healthier choices for themselves and set an example for their peers.

What can you do to help the young girls and teens you know avoid falling into this trap? Here are some guidelines that you can use:

1. The Buck Starts and Stops with You

Most children are influenced by the behaviors and attitudes of their parents and caretakers. So it’s up to you to set the bar for what’s acceptable. If you want your daughters, nieces, or younger sisters to adopt healthy habits then make sure you are doing the same. Take a look at your inventory of cosmetics and personal care products and eliminate those that contain ingredients that are known to be harmful. If you’re not sure where to start, check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database available online.

Their comprehensive database contains over 25,000 cosmetics and skin care products from both major companies and smaller ones you may not even know. The products have all been researched, catalogued, and ranked for safety concerns based on currently available data on toxicity of their ingredients. The database also provides lists of the Top 10 Worst and Best Products and Companies based on their ratings.

Show them how to use the database and make it clear that you will not fund the purchase of products that have been ranked with high safety concerns.

2. Turn Them Into Smart Shoppers

Share your concerns with them about the safety of many beauty products on the market and how even small amounts of repeated exposure to certain ingredients can cause harm. Teach them how to read product labels and look for problem ingredients to avoid.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires ingredients to be listed in descending order of concentration. So ingredients listed at the top are the most prevalent and the ones to pay more attention to.

Teens Turning Green (formerly Teens for Safe Cosmetics) has compiled a list of chemicals in personal care products to avoid called the Dirty Thirty. You can download it at their site. Review the list together, then use it as a guide for reading labels and ruling out the products that contain them.

3. Encourage Them to Take Action

There’s nothing more powerful than kids and teens united and engaged in action to promote a worthy cause, and what could be a worthier cause than their health and safety? Encourage them to learn more about this issue and how they can get involved to make a difference.

Whether it’s action to pressure the government to regulate cosmetics, or participating in consumer boycotts that force companies to change in response to trends in the marketplace, or joining groups that teach and promote self-esteem and healthy body images — all of these activities serve to enlighten them and reinforce the positive messages that will ultimately lead them to make better choices and influence their friends to do the same.

4. Turn Them On To Greener Alternatives and Make it Fun

Throw a spa party at your home for your daughters and their friends and introduce them to the ever-growing variety of safe and healthy skin care products, natural scents, and cosmetics available, and make it “cool” for them to explore and indulge their senses. Make it a recurring event so that they have a chance to be constantly exposed to a lot of new and different products.

Or take them to the local health food store for a shopping spree where you can review and compare the products together and make it a contest to see who picks the best ones first. Remember, just because a product is sold in a health food or natural product store, it doesn’t mean that product is safe or natural. It can be an excellent teaching moment to help them (and you) become a truly discerning shopper.

5. Reward Them for Making Good Choices

Focus your efforts on helping them make the best possible choices and then reward them for it. Make sure that the rewards you give them are in line with what you are trying to teach them. In other words, don’t reward good choices in one arena with bad choices in another (i.e. taking them out for junk food or offering them candy).

If you succeed in convincing them that personal care products made with organic ingredients are better, there’s a good chance you can convince them that organic foods and foods made without chemicals and additives are also better for them!

Copyright 2009 Dropwise Essentials

Tips For Taking Beautiful Travel Photos

Travel photography can be described in many ways, but for most people it simply entails getting memorable photographs of the things they experience as they explore the world. Travel photography includes such things as road trips, long vacations or trips within your own local area that require you to pack a bag and leave your house. Before you load up the car, take a look at these quick hints to help ensure your photographs turn out as great as your adventures.

Get the Right Gear

If you want to know what type of camera takes the most detailed and beautiful images possible it’s a large format camera. But if you want to go on a hike you’ll likely not want to pack an enormous 8×10 camera around with you for the day. Before leaving the house, take a realistic inventory of your gear and cross-reference it with your plans – anything that you won’t realistically need or that may become a burden should be left at home. For nearly every application, an SLR camera with one or two lenses and a backup battery should be more than sufficient.

Find Overlooked Beauty

So you flew all the way to Paris and you came back with pictures of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. But the problem is so does everyone else who has ever been there. If you’re really interested in creating memorable and unique photographs, you need to be willing to get off the beaten path. Take a tour of obscure landmarks, or ask locals for advice on where to find the best sunrise in town. The world is beautiful and photography allows us to capture its beauty, but there are many amazing photographs being missed if you’re not actively exploring. Try finding new places and try to get lost in every place you see and you’ll likely find the hidden beauty just out of view.

Work Safe

In addition to bringing backup batteries, you should also be sure to have a few rolls of film (or an extra memory card). Another good idea is to always bracket your shots. Bracketing means shooting three photos instead of one; the first is shot at the recommended aperture, then the second and third are shot one setting too low and one too high. Travel photography is unique in that many of the photo opportunities you have will never be available to you again, so bracketing ensures you have a lot to work with when you get back home.

Share Your Story

Every time you go somewhere you should think of yourself as an ambassador to the place you’re visiting. Picture that your photo editor has given you an assignment to tell a story with the photos from your trip. Every picture you take while you’re on your trip is part of a greater story of your overall vacation. Whenever you can, try to have every picture have meaning and represent a part of your trip. For instance, a good theme for shooting in the desert would be isolation, while celebration would be great for a place full of people. You should always have some kind of connecting line between your pictures.

Without a doubt, travel photography is one of the most fun photography niches to focus on. You get to work hard doing what you love and creating beautiful images, all while exploring some of the most interesting places on Earth. As long as you take pictures with a purpose and use the right gear, your friends will likely be admiring your travel photos for many years to come. Just remember to take a little time to enjoy the experience while you’re there; it’s easy to get caught up in the camera and completely miss the joy of the trip.

Dermaxin Review – How Well Does It Work?

When it comes to cosmetics, experts say nothing is clear, especially when you talk about wrinkles. A lot of products promise to help but only a handful actually deliver. That can be frustrating for someone who’s looking for a miracle.

“Skin care today is nothing less than a riddle, bottled in pretty glass and wrapped in perfumed boxes, promising extraordinary results and remarkable powers – ‘in just 48 hours.’ Clearly we have lost our way,” wrote Shari Roan of the Los Angeles Times.

“Somewhere near the intersection of hope and science, marketing has launched a thousand hyperboles. Advertisements blur the lines between drugs and cosmetics. Manufacturers trot out studies that reveal little about how a substance works. And high-priced products carry the false promise of quality and effectiveness,” she added.

However, you don’t have to have an advanced degree in advertising or marketing to sort out the good products from garbage. In most cases, all it takes is a little common sense and some product awareness. Check out the labels and do a little research. That way, you’ll know what you’re buying.

Take the case of Dermaxin for instance – a product that claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restore skin elasticity and smoothness, revitalize the skin, and reduce the signs of aging. These benefits may sound too good to be true but on closer examination, you’ll find that Dermaxin contains the right blend of ingredients to do exactly what it says.

First, there’s Matrixyl 3000, a peptide that triggers a heal-and-repair response that stimulates the development of collagen and elastin among others. Collagen is a tough protein that gives the skin the ability to stretch while elastin is a protein similar to collagen that makes the skin elastic. In one double-blind study with 23 subjects aged 39 to 74 years old, Matrixyl helped reduce the appearance of wrinkles by as much as 45 percent.

Another winning ingredient is Argireline, another popular peptide that relaxes facial muscles from triggering a muscle contraction. Scientific studies show that this substance reduces wrinkles on the face, forehead and around the eyes and helps reduce skin aging due to repeated facial movements.

Then there’s collagen that keeps the skin young, soft and smooth. Dermaxin effectively replaces the collagen that we lose with aging because of its hydrating effect. Studies show that collagen moisturizes the skin by 42 percent and decreases wrinkles by 31 percent.

Last but not the least is hyaluronic acid, another moisturizer that holds over 1,000 times its weight in water, thus increasing skin smoothness, softness, and elasticity. The Cleveland Health Information Center describes hyaluronic acid as a substance that “occurs naturally (and quite abundantly) in humans and animals, and is found in young skin, other tissues, and joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the body’s connective tissues and is known to cushion and lubricate. As you age, however, the forces of nature destroy hyaluronic acid. Diet and smoking can also affect your body’s level of hyaluronic acid over time. Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin.”

All these make Dermaxin a cut above other anti-wrinkle products in the market today.

Deanna is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the health and beauty news magazine http://www.HealthNewsJournal.com

MaxoLash Review – How Effective is This Product?

Some women are born with full, beautifully-textured eyebrows and long, plump lashes, but they’re definitely the minority. For many women of all ages, eyebrows that are overly thin and lashes that are short and brittle are problems that must be dealt with on a daily basis. These beauty issues can add years to the face and prevent people from noticing a woman’s beautiful eyes.

One way to give lashes the illusion of fullness and length is to use mascara. Eyebrow pencils, which can be used to fill in sparse areas and give brows a more defined look, are also an option. Unfortunately, these products are not a permanent fix – once they are washed off, brows and lashes revert to their original state and appearance.

MaxoLash(TM) is a product that promises to deliver permanent results, something no mascara or pencil can offer. Specifically, the makers of MaxoLash(TM) claim the product can stimulate new hair growth, condition brows and lashes to moisturize them and protect them from damage and breakage, and make brows and lashes fuller and healthier looking, thereby improving their appearance.

Naturally, such grand claims automatically inspire doubt. Can MaxoLash(TM) really deliver what it promises? Will MaxoLash(TM) work on even extremely thin brows and fragile lashes? Can MaxoLash(TM) actually stimulate new hair growth? Let’s examine MaxoLash(TM) a little closer to see whether it’s the real thing or just another ineffective beauty product designed to make us part with our hard-earned money.

Who are the makers of MaxoLash(TM)?

It’s always a good sign when beauty products are made by well-known and reputable cosmetic companies, and MaxoLash(TM) definitely passes this initial test. The Dermagevity Skin Care company, which manufactures MaxoLash(TM), has been in the cosmetic business for a long time. They produce a variety of other beauty products as well, including Eyelastin, MaxoLip, and Skinlastin. The Dermagevity name is one that instantly inspires confidence.

Is MaxoLash(TM) safe?

Before you use any type of cosmetic or beauty product, it’s important to be sure that it’s safe, and won’t cause irritation or adverse reactions. This is particularly true with a product like MaxoLash(TM) because the eye area is extremely sensitive. MaxoLash(TM) passes the safety test with flying colors. MaxoLash(TM) complies with all U.S. safety and regulatory standards, and has also been tested for its potential to cause eye irritation to ensure it can be safely applied around the eye area. A consumer skin sensitization patch study and a skin irritation study were also conducted. All study and test results indicate that MaxoLash(TM) is a safe product that is unlikely to cause any unwanted or painful effects.

What are the key ingredients in MaxoLash(TM)?

One of the best ways to determine the likelihood that a product will deliver the various results promised is to consider the properties of its key ingredients. The most important ingredients in MaxoLash(TM) are:

Hyaluronic Acid: This substance, commonly known as HA, occurs naturally in the body, and is one of the best moisturizers in nature. Studies have shown that this remarkable compound can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid can also encourage hair growth by stimulating blood vessels.

Glycoproteins: The special formulation of glycoproteins found in MaxoLash(TM) are wholly derived from plant sources, and can vigorously stimulate hair follicle cells to encourage growth.

ProVitamin B5: Also commonly known as panthenol, this substance is frequently included as an ingredient in cosmetics and hair care products. It is an extremely effective moisturizer, and can also strengthen eyelashes over time. This will help prevent further damage, make lashes and eyebrows healthy looking, and facilitate lash growth.

Based on the proven moisturizing and hair growth stimulating properties of the ingredients found in MaxoLash(TM), it appears likely that the product would be able to deliver on its promises to improve the look and increase the fullness of lashes and eyebrows. It is worth mentioning that MaxoLash(TM) has undergone extensive clinical testing. The results support the manufacturer’s claims regarding the effectiveness of the product and its key ingredients.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for thinning eyebrows and short, brittle lashes, and you don’t want to have to rely on pencils and mascara for the rest of your life, you may want to consider giving MaxoLash(TM) a try.