Choose An Exercise Program That Is Right For You!

Exercise Program For Breast Cancer

By: Rika Keck, Medical Exercise Specialist For Women’s Wellness.

It is well known that an exercise program is supportive before, during and after surgery and treatment. Off course it is essential to see it within context of the individual, medical procedures, reaction to meds and energy levels.

Moderation is a big key and it is a great idea to work-out and to ‘work-in’ with quiet, stress reducing modalities such as meditation, Gentle Yoga, Qi Gong or a walk in Nature.

Here are a few points regarding exercise during and post-surgery and/or treatment:

  • Strength training will support bone integrity that becomes compromised with chemo and steroids. Discuss this with your physician if lymph nodes are affected in your cancer treatment or lymphodema in the arm is present.
  • A moderate/low intensity cardio program will support a healthy heart, circulation and mood – a mild sweat is a good guideline. Do wipe off the sweat so it does not re-enter the body, after all, the skin is an organ of elimination. (While undergoing radiation treatment, do discuss this with your doctor, as there are restrictions.)
  • Clothing might present some challenges. Make comfortable and organic cotton choices that allow free movement and airflow.
  • Physical therapy, post-therapy exercise will provide ROM (range of motion) as incisions start to heal. You want to avoid restrictions in movement to prevent secondary shoulder, wrist, neck and back problems. The process of regaining full range of motion after surgery does take time.
  • Acupuncture on the scares and adhesions is a good idea as scars can disrupt the nervous system. At the same time it will boost immune function and provide stress reduction. It is necessary to wait for healing of the skin.
  • Fatigue must be respected – yet a gentle exercise program will actually increase energy and support lymphatic flow.
  • Posture exercises: With the physical, emotional and psychological trauma, it is ‘normal’ to pull inwards in a protective manner esp. after surgery. Awareness and gentle exercises that pay attention to good posture will support the physical body and energetic flow between organs and glands.
  • Social support and laughter are so important. If possible seek out a fun, nurturing and safe environment. Uplifting music does help too!
  • Radiation adversely affects heart and lung health. (I am aware that this is a controversial point.) The bottom line is: Do support your cardiovascular system.

When it is cold outside, we must make sure to get our daily movement. Certainly there is nothing more refreshing and immune – stimulating than taking a brisk walk outside! However, trying to maneuver icy pavements or paths in Central Park can be challenging and this does increase the risk of falling.

I believe in ‘risk assessment’: Exercise regularly and moderately, but in a safe and fun environment.

Basic Facts: Let’s Talk About Exercise, Heart Health & Nutrition!
For bone health, esp. in menopause, it is important to add ‘stress’ on the bones. Walking is great, but it is not enough to facilitate sufficient bone stress and remodeling of bone. Walking does support a healthy cardiovascular system, lymphatic drainage and detoxification – besides burning off those Holiday treats…

Resistance training is essential to support stronger bones, especially if one has a genetically predetermined small frame. It is not about lifting heavy weights ‘a la Schwarzenegger’ and one generally does not ‘bulk up’ easily – a concern I still hear about today. Weight training for healthy bones is about a regular ‘overload’ on the connective tissue. If you carry your own shopping bags twice a week, you are doing your bones (but maybe not your back) a favor!

As a Nutrition and Exercise Specialist, I do stress that bones must be supported with good nutrition and a regular weight – training exercise program. It is also helpful not to live on an adrenaline rush. The hormones, esp. elevated cortisol, will adversely affect the mineral metabolism and bone health.

Acid-blocking medications will affect the absorption of calcium and magnesium from foods. This can result in a calcium deficiency affecting bones and teeth, increasing the risk of fractures and cavities. If you are using acid blocking meds, you are welcome to connect with me to discuss your options.

As we age, our tendons are more at risk, esp. if we have not been exposed to using weights or athletic movements. It is better to err on the side of caution by receiving expert guidance. Schedule a few sessions with a professional to get you going or join an exercise class with a good instructor. (Do your research!!!)

If there are pre-existing and additional physical restrictions e.g. joint concerns or joint replacements or other medical considerations, I would recommend starting up with the advice of an exercise professional. I have some clients, whom I meet for a few sessions to ‘get the ball rolling’.

Exercise movements that are functional and support balance training should be incorporated. Core training, stability and flexibility training must also be part of the program. All will support activities of daily living. As we age, generally it is the lack of flexibility and muscle tissue that can predispose us to a greater risk of injury, falls and decreased function.

Heart Health?
Despite all we hear about cancer, it is important to note that heart disease is still the #1 killer of men and women. Certainly, many factors play a role. However, do consider that the heart is a muscle and it needs to be kept strong with regular and continuous exercise.

Heart health requires good nutrition and regular exercise. Various medications will rob nutrients from the heart, brain and body. These nutrients include vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and CoQ10 and more…All are essential to maintain a healthy heart. If you are on medications, you would want to consider the possibility of medication induced vitamin/mineral deficiency. Chronic stress, living on an adrenaline charge and lack of sleep affects heart health adversely. Exercise is a great stress-reducing modality – but do make sure you rest too and do not over-exercise esp. cardio training!

What Else?
From a mind body perspective, integration of Yoga or other stress – reducing techniques incl. mediation are terrific.
Pilates is very popular too and it is very helpful for flexibility and reduced joint stress.

What matters most?
Choose an exercise program that is right for you!
Choose an exercise program that suits your needs, is effective and does not create pain. Sure, a little sore muscle here and there after strength work will let you now that you made ‘communication’ – your bones will be happy. What can happen with strength training is ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)’. This happens within 24-48 hrs.

Before starting on an exercise program, do check in with your physician if you are on medications and/or have health concerns. Should you have had surgery, it is best to receive ‘clearance’ from the doc before starting to exercise.

In the meantime, let’s keep walking, healing and smiling!

Rika KechRika Keck is a nutrition, fitness women’s wellness consultant and contributor for Breast Cancer Authority Blog
Customized Nutrition, Medical Exercise Specialist and Women’s Wellness
NY Integrated Health
www.NYIntegratedHealth.com

Spring Is On Its Way! – Yippie!

Spring is on its Way - Breast Cancer Authority BlogBy Rika Keck: Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.

However, with Spring come allergies and they certainly can put a damper on that ‘Spring Feeling”! But let’s look beyond allergies and also consider respiratory irritations that are also diagnosed as Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma and any another symptoms or secretions that manifest in the ears, eyes, nose, throat, skin and lungs.

Spring is also the time when we hear more about detoxes and liver cleansing, I am ‘onboard’ with that already, it is essential part of every cancer treatment protocol. I actually believe that everyone needs liver support, as our 21st Century environment is extremely toxic. We need to support the liver where hormones, allergens, meds chemo and toxins are metabolized!

Besides the focus of detox, it must also be considered that the liver plays a large role regarding the histamine metabolism, an overreaction of the immune system. A sluggish gallbladder and liver function will be more susceptible of histamine build-up resulting in acquired sensitivity, esp. with a compromised gut flora. Genetics do play a role and seasonal allergies will be passed on from the parents to the kids – blame the parents !

I am aware that often anti-histamines are given in conjunction with chemo to offset an allergic response to he drugs. However, I am also aware that there is chemo-sensitivity testing for that reason. It is wise to consider all options…..

Should you be challenged additionally with Spring allergies, here are a few pointers that might help you during the Allergy Season:

  1. Bifidia (probiotic): Your gut flora can play a large role in immune function and environmental adaption. A specific strain of probiotic, called Bfiidia, is helpful to modulate an overactive environmental immune response. Do consider adding the probiotic Bifida into your daily regime.
  2. Omega -3: Anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid that will also be supportive in cancer treatment. Do discuss this with your physician if you are on blood thinning medication or are undergoing any surgery.
  3. Vitamin D: An immunomodulatory hormone, immune system modulator, anti-inflammatory. Deficiency is rampant. Do get your blood levels checked regularly as it really is cancer protective
  4. Adrenal Support: The stress glands, also known as adrenal glands, come into play with allergies or an overactive immune response. With environmental allergies, I do recommend to add an adrenal tonic. The herb, Rehmannia, is also a great combination of an adrenal support and an immune system modulator. I use a variety of immune modulators, drainage support and adrenal support in my practice.
  5. Diet: The daily nutrition exerts a major influence on immune function. Elimination of inflammatory foods (processed foods, sugar) and dairy is very helpful. Dairy promotes mucous formation.

Environmental Allergies are associated with inflammation. Here is a list of targeted nutrients that can be helpful:

(Do avoid if sensitive to any nutrients listed below).

  • Quercitin: yellow anti-oxidant (onions esp. red, tea, red grapes, apple skins, berries, tomatoes) Inhibits release of histamine, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory (Also used in contact Dermatitis and to offset photosensitivity)
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs: incl. Rosemary, nettles, cleavers, marshmallow root (not with stains), dandelion, milk thistle, aloe vera,
  • Boswellia is my favorite anti-inflammatory for swollen mucous membranes and associated sinus or bronchial pain. (Note: Does have blood-thinning properties.)
  • Curcumin and turmeric: Two well-known anti-inflammatory spices. (Note: Does have blood-thinning properties.)
  • Other supportive anti-inflammatory and detox supplements include: ALA, NAC, and CoQ10
  • Zinc: immune support
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: support liver function and optimizing pH
  • Vitamin C Complex and A Complex: mucosal integrity and function
  • Sea salt or Himalayan salt – natural anti-histamine properties

Even though the Spring feeling with it’s longer days makes everyone feel more cheerful, I do know that Spring allergies can be an additional stressor when going through cancer treatment. As the gut health and flora become more compromised with chemo, meds and radiation, it is really important to support the gut lining and the gut flora.

Modulation of the immune system is important; I work additionally with specific supplements that address inflammation, immune modulation. Drainage and supporting lymphatic drainage is a big part of preventing secondary bacterial infections. Use of a netti pot and ‘oil pulling’ with coconut oil can be helpful.

Other important helpful measures to decrease exposure and supporting the respiratory system include using an air filter at home and taking a shower at night to wash off the allergens before climbing into bed with the allergens.

Have a Happy Spring, Rika.
ACN, FDN, Metabolic Typing
http://www.NYIntegratedHealth.com

 

Rika_KechRika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
NYIntegratedHealth.com
For more information, contact
Rika@NYIntegratedHealth.com

Ready To Move With A Groove? Exercise – Healthy Bones And A Healthy Heart!

Exercising For Breast Cancer RecoveryHere we are in 2014 and it certainly has been a frigid start to this year! I hope you all had a great ‘jump’ into 2014 and feel inspired as we head into the new year. During the Holiday Season healthy nutrition , can be challenged with the array of Holiday cookies, ‘chocos’ and candies.. Now it is time to place our focus on healthy living. Magazines and Blogs are filled with Detoxes and Cleanse posts…. In this Blog, I instead chose to focus on one of my favorite topics:

It is well known that an exercise program is supportive before, during and after surgery and treatment. Off course it is essential to see it within context of the individual, medical procedures, reaction to meds and energy levels.

Moderation is a big key and it is a great idea to work-out and to ‘work-in’ with quiet, stress reducing modalities such as meditation, Gentle Yoga, Qi Gong or a walk in Nature.

Here are a few points regarding exercise during and post-surgery and/or treatment:

  • Strength training will support bone integrity that becomes compromised with chemo and steroids. Discuss this with your physician if lymph nodes are affected in your cancer treatment or lymphodema in the arm is present.
  • A moderate/low intensity cardio program will support a healthy heart, circulation and mood – a mild sweat is a good guideline. Do wipe off the sweat so it does not re-enter the body, after all, the skin is an organ of elimination. (While undergoing radiation treatment, do discuss this with your doctor, as there are restrictions.)
  • Clothing might present some challenges. Make comfortable and organic cotton choices that allow free movement and airflow.
  • Physical therapy, post-therapy exercise will provide ROM (range of motion) as incisions start to heal. You want to avoid restrictions in movement to prevent secondary shoulder, wrist, neck and back problems. The process of regaining full range of motion after surgery does take time.
  • Acupuncture on the scares and adhesions is a good idea as scars can disrupt the nervous system. At the same time it will boost immune function and provide stress reduction. It is necessary to wait for healing of the skin.
    Fatigue must be respected – yet a gentle exercise program will actually increase energy and support lymphatic flow.
  • Posture exercises: With the physical, emotional and psychological trauma, it is ‘normal’ to pull inwards in a protective manner esp. after surgery. Awareness and gentle exercises that pay attention to good posture will support the physical body and energetic flow between organs and glands.
  • Social support and laughter are so important. If possible seek out a fun, nurturing and safe environment. Uplifting music does help too!
  • Radiation adversely affects heart and lung health. (I am aware that this is a controversial point.) The bottom line is: Do support your cardiovascular system

When it is cold outside, we must make sure to get our daily movement. Certainly there is nothing more refreshing and immune – stimulating than taking a brisk walk outside! However, trying to maneuver icy pavements or paths in Central Park can be challenging and this does increase the risk of falling.

I believe in ‘risk assessment’: Exercise regularly and moderately, but in a safe and fun environment.

Basic Facts: Let’s Talk About Exercise, Heart Health & Nutrition!
For bone health, esp. in menopause, it is important to add ‘stress’ on the bones. Walking is great, but it is not enough to facilitate sufficient bone stress and remodeling of bone. Walking does support a healthy cardiovascular system, lymphatic drainage and detoxification – besides burning off those Holiday treats…

Resistance training is essential to support stronger bones, especially if one has a genetically predetermined small frame. It is not about lifting heavy weights ‘a la Schwarzenegger’ and one generally does not ‘bulk up’ easily – a concern I still hear about today. Weight training for healthy bones is about a regular ‘overload’ on the connective tissue. If you carry your own shopping bags twice a week, you are doing your bones (but maybe not your back) a favor!

As a Nutrition and Exercise Specialist, I do stress that bones must be supported with good nutrition and a regular weight – training exercise program. It is also helpful not to live on an adrenaline rush. The hormones, esp. elevated cortisol, will adversely affect the mineral metabolism and bone health.

Acid-blocking medications will affect the absorption of calcium and magnesium from foods. This can result in a calcium deficiency affecting bones and teeth, increasing the risk of fractures and cavities. If you are using acid blocking meds, you are welcome to connect with me to discuss your options.

As we age, our tendons are more at risk, esp. if we have not been exposed to using weights or athletic movements. It is better to err on the side of caution by receiving expert guidance. Schedule a few sessions with a professional to get you going or join an exercise class with a good instructor. (Do your research!!!)

If there are pre-existing and additional physical restrictions e.g. joint concerns or joint replacements or other medical considerations, I would recommend starting up with the advice of an exercise professional. I have some clients, whom I meet for a few sessions to ‘get the ball rolling’.

Exercise movements that are functional and support balance training should be incorporated. Core training, stability and flexibility training must also be part of the program. All will support activities of daily living. As we age, generally it is the lack of flexibility and muscle tissue that can predispose us to a greater risk of injury, falls and decreased function.

Heart Health?

Despite all we hear about cancer, it is important to note that heart disease is still the #1 killer of men and women. Certainly, many factors play a role. However, do consider that the heart is a muscle and it needs to be kept strong with regular and continuous exercise.

Heart health requires good nutrition and regular exercise. Various medications will rob nutrients from the heart, brain and body. These nutrients include vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and CoQ10 and more…All are essential to maintain a healthy heart. If you are on medications, you would want to consider the possibility of medication induced vitamin/mineral deficiency. Chronic stress, living on an adrenaline charge and lack of sleep affects heart health adversely. Exercise is a great stress-reducing modality – but do make sure you rest too and do not over-exercise esp. cardio training!

What Else?

From a mind body perspective, integration of Yoga or other stress – reducing techniques incl. mediation are terrific.

Pilates is very popular too and it is very helpful for flexibility and reduced joint stress.

What matters most?

Choose an exercise program that is right for you!
Choose an exercise program that suits your needs, is effective and does not create pain. Sure, a little sore muscle here and there after strength work will let you now that you made ‘communication’ – your bones will be happy. What can happen with strength training is ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)’. This happens within 24-48 hrs.

Before starting on an exercise program, do check in with your physician if you are on medications and/or have health concerns. Should you have had surgery, it is best to receive ‘clearance’ from the doc before starting to exercise.

In the meantime, let’s keep walking, healing and smiling!

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at NYIntegratedHealth.com
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.
Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
http://www.NYIntegratedHealth.com
646 285-8588
646 285-8588

What To Do About The Flu And You?

A portrait of a young woman blowing her noseBy Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA Specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness.

 

Life is busy, going at 160 miles per hour! Deadlines at work for the end of 2013, social commitments, Holiday preparations, shopping, staying more indoors because of the cold outside, not getting enough sleep, more sugary treats at home and the office – all will lead to a weakened immune system and that sets up the terrain for viral and bacterial infections. Oh, and by the way, trying to recover from breast cancer surgery and/or cancer treatments of various kinds?

It is within the above landscape that health, detoxification and strength of the immune system need to be addressed and supported. This is not medical advice and I do recommend discussing the information with your health practitioner or holistic-minded physician before embarking on a supplement program.

As a Holistic practitioner, I believe in supporting health while also using anti-viral and anti-microbial protection. I use specific nutritional and herbal supplements plus homeopathic remedies, but I wanted to address some easy immune-supporting  ‘DIY-at-home’ tips.

I am not in favor of the Flu-shot for multiple reasons including the harmful ingredients and preservatives used in the ‘vaccine’. I do believe everyone must make their own choice regarding what they put into their body. It is worth knowing what is in a Flu shot, esp. as it injected directly into the bloodstream. http://www.drfranklipman.com/the-truth-about-the-flu-shot/

‘Natural Flu Protection’ Measures?
(This is not medical advice. Please check in with a Health Practitioner if on medications.)
Optimal nutrition with seasonal whole foods including free range / wild sourced protein, healthy fats and complex carbs go a long way to boost overall immune health at any time. Consider eating multiple different colored organic vegetables and some seasonal fruit daily to assimilate a variety of protective anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. With toxic cancer treatments, the body has a higher need for food-based anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Did You Know This About Probiotics?
70-80% of the immune system is in the gut! This is why probiotics play such an important role in supporting your immune system. There are multiple strains, various dosages and multiple companies available.

With chemo and radiation, the micro flora in the gut becomes disrupted. This weakens the immune system, resilience and absorption of nutrients. Opportunistic ‘bad bugs’ and fungal infections can gain a foothold in a compromised environment resulting in additional physiological stress.

General info: In today’s world, probiotics are an imperative part of our daily maintenance program. Why? Consider the amount of antibiotics used in commercial foods. These alter the healthy flora in your gut, “they destroy the good guys.” As such, it is great to consider a high quality probiotic for your daily wellness.

Rotation? Rather than choosing one probiotic, do rotate your probiotic to assimilate different strains besides acidophilus. lactobacillus, bifidia. The healthy yeasts, saccaromyces boulardii, are very helpful in various gastro-intestinal challenges and yeast infections.

I would use a high dosage of probiotics when feeling immune-compromised, ‘under the weather’ or recovering from surgery. (Also, It has been shown that probiotics will shorten the duration and severity of a cold.)

Health Fats And Your Immune System?
Healthy fats, esp. coconut oil, are terrific immune boosters. This saturated fat will keep your metabolism humming by supporting thyroid function. The thyroid is adversely affected by chronic stress, radiation and chemotherapy. Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids that are antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal. Adding it to the creamed buckwheat, or over steamed dark green veggies or adding it to your chicken curry, it will go a long way to support your health!

Cod Liver Oil will support with vitamin A and vitamin D – both are needed for immune support, gut-lining support, plus the DHA supports brain health and memory! (Do check-in with your physician before any surgery!!!!!)

What About Supplementing With Vitamins?
When you feel that you are getting sick, I do recommend increasing complex vitamin C, E, vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, calcium and zinc. It is during this preliminary time, that you have a chance to ‘put a brake on the Flu infection pedal’.

Taking higher doses of nutrients for a few days can be very supportive in fighting off a viral infection. If you are on medications esp. heart or blood thinning meds, you do want consult with your physician before going on a short term, therapeutic and higher dose regimen.

What About Synthetic Vitamins?
I strongly discourage use of any synthetic ‘natural’ vitamins, which are made from cheap ingredients. Even though promoted as ‘natural’, these synthetic supplements often non-food based, plus they contain harmful fillers, colors and toxic additives. Quality matters!

Look for only ‘whole food supplements’ that contain complexes and phytonutrients, not isolated and fractionated compounds. Synthetic vitamins have a long shelf life and are not bioavailable, e.g. Synthetic vitamin B is made from coal tar, ammonia, acetone and hydrochloric acid……
BTW, synthetic vitamins are used in clinical studies – no wonder the outcome is not favorable….esp. regarding vitamin A and vitamin E…It is important to stay with organic and whole food supplements.

Minerals: Which minerals have good anti-viral properties?
Selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, All are immune boosters and are helpful. When you feel you are coming down with a viral infection, I would suggest using doses in small increments regularly throughout a few days – Just using one mega dose in the morning will not be effective.
Iodine supplementation is also very helpful regarding infections and this is best discussed with a practitioner.

What else?
Herbal Teas: There are great teas at the Health store that will support mucous membranes in the sinuses and bronchioles. Check for teas that include herbs such as Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root (not with statins), Nettles, Golden Seal, Licorice Root (avoid if high blood pressure), Choose from a great selection of herbal teas that will soothe inflamed membranes and support drainage. Arnica and Boswellia will provide inflammatory relief. Saline nasal sprays or use of the netti pot is helpful too.

A Few Additional Tips?

  • Avoiding of sugar: One teaspoon of sugar depresses the immune system by 4 hours. (This is important not just for the Flu Season.)
  • Hydration: With the heated buildings, being dehydrated poses a risk, as the he boy is not flushing efficiently.
  • Sleep: Getting enough sleep is so helpful for immune support.
  • The obvious: Washing of hands, not touching eyes, nose or mouth to avoid viral transfer via mucous membranes
  • Put up your feet; listen to some nice music while you are enjoying a cup of tea!
  • Meditation, Yoga – any form of stress reduction that resonates with you will support your immune system during the Winter months.
  • Dry skin brushing helps lymphatic flow and it is supportive during cancer treatment too.

Find joy and laughter – the best ‘medicine’!

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at NYIntegratedHealth.com
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.
Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
http://www.NYIntegratedHealth.com
646 285-8588
646 285-8588

Breast Cancer – Consider Your Thyroid’s Health

Your Wellness: Have You Considered Your Thyroid’s Health,
While addressing other health challenges?

Breast Cancer and Thyroid Health
By Rika Keck Post Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist
As a holistic practitioner specializing in stress management, I look at ‘all pieces of the puzzle’. Building energy, addressing mental wellbeing and bringing life towards better balance are fundamental wellness factors. Additionally, supporting foundational physiological health during all stages of ‘dis-ease’ is essential.

At any time in a woman’s life, it is important to make sure that thyroid function is in optimal, not normal, blood lab ranges. When addressing the whole person, it is imperative to correlate thyroid function in conjunction with adrenal function. This is not (yet) recognized in Western medicine, however addressed in the Functional Medicine approach.

A hypothyroid condition or a thyroid autoimmune condition e.g. Hashimoto Thyroiditis, will affect health, energy, weight management, sleep and resilience during any health challenge.

When being challenged by a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, treatment and post treatment, there are certain priorities that need to be addressed. Stress levels are very high and it is important to monitor other areas of health that might become compromised during this time.

My post provides information regarding thyroid function, esp. as regards to hypo function or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease. It is helpful to test for a thyroid health baseline prior to surgery or treatment. Thyroid function affects all areas of metabolic function. Energy capacity, immune function, detox ability, heart rate, mental and physical wellbeing all have a strong connection with the thyroid.

Especially with a chronic stress load and chemical overload, thyroid function will be compromised. There are often clinical symptoms, even if the labs are ‘normal’. The thyroid, in conjunction with adrenal function, must be supported at any time.

Radiation affects thyroid function adversely. This can be a trigger of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid. The toxicity of chemotherapy affects the gland and thyroid function, which often is compromised already.

Besides being a hormonal gland, the thyroid is also a blood filter and it helps to ‘clean’ the blood. Chemicals, viruses and toxins greatly affect thyroid health and optimal function. Sadly, this is not acknowledged in allopathic medicine.

To check on the status of your thyroid, ask your physician to do the whole blood test profile. That includes TSH, T4, T3, rT3 and TPO antibodies.
From my professional experience, I seldom see the whole panel being done, yet it can provide a lot of functional information. As a ‘health investigator’, it gives me helpful information regarding my client’s overall stress handling and possible hidden immune challenges.

One can be asymptomatic for many years. A hypothyroid or hyperthyroid condition often precedes the autoimmune condition. An enlarged thyroid, a goiter, must be investigated.
Certain nutrients are essential for thyroid health and conversion of the hormones T4 to T3. Nutrients include vitamin E complex, essential fatty acids, selenium and zinc. During cancer treatment, it is important to work with a health practitioner.

I also use a certain iodine supplement in my health practice. It must be done with caution as it can bring on a strong detox. Before using iodine, I ask my clients to get checked for antibodies on the thyroid, an autoimmune condition that is becoming more prevalent.

Use of iodine is CONTRA-INDICATED in a Hashimoto’s conditions. The anti-body count needs to recede to an optimal range. Often a hypothyroid condition is underlying the autoimmune disease. Consult with a practitioner before using any iodine supplements.

When in doubt, use organic whole food sources as your nutrient sources. However, food does often not contain enough nutrients required, esp. for therapeutic purposes. (Westonaprice.org provides great nutritional resources regarding cancer.)

Autoimmune Conditions, Gluten And Your Gut Health:Should you be diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition e.g. Hashimoto’s, the following information will provide information on how you can regain health of your thyroid.

6 Ways To Regain Your Thyroids Health

1) Healthy Nutrition: Changes in nutrition are the first step: Elimination of all foods that contain gluten, and possibly dairy, is essential. Focusing on organic/free-range whole foods will support the thyroid. Do steam/sauté all cruciferous vegetables, which have thyroid inhibiting properties. (Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages).

2) Support The Gut Lining: Your stomach lining integrity is a big player regarding your thyroid health? This intestinal mucosal barrier (‘inner tube’) protects us and it is comprised of mucous membranes, the immune system, a good blood supply and the hormones.
Medications, radiation, stress, alcohol, meds, junk foods, lack of sleep, GMO foods all wreak havoc with the stomach lining. Over time, the gut lining becomes permeable and food particles can leak through. Dairy and gluten molecules are especially inflammatory.
By continuing to eat foods that contain these inflammatory proteins and having a ‘leaky gut’, the immune system is constantly in action to destroy these foreign particles. Over time the immune system becomes dysregulated and it loses the ability to distinguish ‘self’ from ‘non-self’ = auto-immunity.

3) Support Digestion And Gut Flora:Since chemotherapy and radiation adversely affect the gut flora health and gut lining integrity, it can increase the likelihood of a ‘leaky gut’ that can result in a challenged thyroid. During treatment, supporting the gut lining and gut flora will be extremely helpful. Different probiotic strains, slippery elm, aloe vera are just a few supplements to support gut lining. Digestive enzymes will optimize a compromised digestion and the added nutrient absorption will support healing, energy and wellbeing.

4) Can This Condition Create Hidden Inflammation?
YES. Foods, leaky gut, an over-reactive immune system are all part of an autoimmune condition that is associated with inflammation. Inflammation takes a tremendous toll on the endocrine system, esp. the adrenal glands.

Cancer is already linked to inflammation. By addressing any inflammatory thyroid challenges e.g. Hashimoto Thyroiditis, it is possible to lower the systemic inflammatory burden. Improving the health and function of the thyroid will support with energy, mood, toxin elimination, sleep, memory, pain and mental wellness.

5) Homeopathic detoxifiers/drainage remedies will reduce the toxic burden induced by radiation and chemotherapy. All must be done under the guidance of a health care professional.

6) Support thyroid function by assessing adrenal function in a four sample, one-day saliva test.

Conclusion: Especially with a chronic stress load and chemical toxicity overload, thyroid function will be compromised. There are often clinical symptoms, even if the labs are ‘normal’. The thyroid, in conjunction with adrenal function, must be supported at any time. Take care of your’s today!

Rika_KechRika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
NYIntegratedHealth.com
For more information, contact
Rika@NYIntegratedHealth.com

Do You Know What Chemicals Are Stored In The Breast?

Breast Cancer Toxin ChemicalsBy Rika Keck: Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition & Holistic Life Coach

“Healthy Breasts”:Do you know what chemicals are stored in your breast tissue?

The renewed interest of the effect of environmental toxins on health at DNA level is terrific news. It is time to firmly increase awareness of the health implications, esp. cancer (and infertility), related to environmental toxins.
Detoxification is not a ‘Juice Cleanse’; it requires a much more comprehensive approach addressing lung, liver, kidney, skin and colon detoxification pathways. Specific nutrients, not drugs, are used in conjunction with this process and I also find that homeopathic which support drainage, moderated exercise and colonics are a great support in this transformative process.

Testing  For ToxinsTesting for chemical toxicity can have its challenges, why?

  • Toxins are not stored in the blood, thus they are hard to investigate in the blood.
  • If you have silver fillings, your blood levels might be low, yet you are storing mercury in your tissues, and organs.
  • Some toxins are stored primarily in fatty tissue. This is a large factor why some individuals cannot lose weight despite calorie restriction and exercise. The toxins must be mobilized and bound for elimination Mineral deficiencies will inhibit detoxification of metals and chemicals.
  • Only specific labs can do the testing. These are most often not covered by insurance.
  • Conventional medicine does not recognize the impact and dangers associated with environmental toxicity.
  • There is a strong link between environmental toxins and cancers. Toxins are stored in organs and tissues. Sluggish lymphatic flow is a hindrance regarding detoxification capacity. Tight clothing and bras (esp. in the armpit area) diminish lymphatic flow in the breast area.

Pesticides Cause Breast CancerWhy is it important to test your chemical exposure?

  1. Toxic chemicals can disrupt our hormonal balance and this can have implications especially regarding our thyroid and breast tissue health. A lot of toxins are stored in the thyroid, which is really a filter as the blood continuously passes through the thyroid, just as it does through the liver. Toxic chemicals include Fluoride, chlorine, bromine and others settle in the thyroid and they can inhibit optimal thyroid function.
  2. Fibrocystic breasts can be indicative of toxic overload. A need for an iodine supplement would be helpful in combination with lymphatic drainage and detoxification. I would not recommend the common ‘wait and see’ approach. I would want to change direction to restore non-­dense breast tissue.

Regarding chemicals and your hormones: Certain chemicals mimic estrogen. We call them ‘xeno-­‐estrogens’ as they behave like estrogen but are actually harmful chemicals. They are also known as ‘endocrine-­‐disruptors’. This affects babies, children, men and women. The ‘dangerous’ estrogen is implicated in various disease and hormonal imbalance conditions if it is out of balance.
Prevent recurrences of certain cancers, which are linked to chemical toxic exposure such as breast, uterine and prostate tissue. This particularly affects reproductive tissues such as breast, ovarian and prostate tissue.

household-chemicals
What are common concerns for breast health?

  • Airborne chemical exposures e.g. hair sprays, perfumes, cigarette smoke.
  • Fabric cleaners, new carpets, dry-­‐cleaned clothes
  • Personal care products including parabens, ‘estrogen-­‐like’ hormones, 
shampoo, make-­‐up, deodorant, toothpaste
  • Plastic containers, esp. if put in the microwave (AVOID)
  • Commercial household cleaning products
  • Materials used in teeth restoration, root canals, crowns
  • Water: tap water, water in cheap plastic bottles

How can you find out what toxic load is in your body (and breasts)?

1) The EPP Test: (US BioTek) 
This is the “Environmental Pollutants Panel” test from US Bio Tek and it is very affordable esp. in view of the most valuable health information you receive. It will change your health (and life). 
This is a great and simple test to assess urinary metabolites connected to phthalates, benzene, styrene, toluene and more environmental toxins related to paints, furniture, air fresheners in offices, fragrances, car exhausts, plastics, polystyrene food containers and cups, cosmetics.

2) Urinary Metabolic Profile Test: (US BioTek) A simple Urine Collection Strip for over 36 metabolites!
This test is cutting edge and eliminates the need to freeze or refrigerate urine samples (used during Iraq/Afghanistan war – cutting edge technology to prevent spoilage of samples).

These tests are a must for any condition associated with Cancer, chronic fatigue, mental health concerns as it affects neurotransmitters, fibromyalgia, mold and or/chronic co-­‐infections related to Lyme’s, sleeping disorders, skin conditions and other chronic health conditions.

If you are having health challenges that you cannot get id rid of, consider the above testing. Both tests are affordable and will provide some missing pieces to the health challenges.

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at NYIntegratedHealth.com
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.

10 Healthy Tips For Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Mind Body and SpiritBy Rika Keck, CMTA,ACN
Holistic Health Advocate & Applied Clinical Nutritionist

“How we can support our healing and energy during cancer treatment with self-empowerment tips, ranging from nutritional support to emotional healing”.

Having attended various ‘Clinical Approaches to Cancer’ symposiums, it is very clear that whole food nutrition, nutritional (non-synthetic!) and botanical supplementation support the individual – without adversely affecting treatment, or sometimes enhancing medical treatment if that is desired.

Each individual and case is different – after all, it is not about the illness. It is about the individual who is experiencing a serious health crisis. And about the dear ones providing support!

When faced with chronic illness, it is important to address various pieces of the puzzle that contribute to the dis-ease.
Once one hears a cancer diagnosis, stress levels understandably go through the roof. There is fear, anger, confusion, emotional numbness, pain, frustration, a scattered brain, anxiety, sadness – “your rug is pulled from underneath you..” And there is a feeling of loss of power. It is vital, to regain a sense of ‘Self’, maintaining one’s identity during this crisis mode.

With this in mind, I decided to write regarding self-empowerment tips, ranging from nutritional support to emotional healing. It is all about the Mind-Body-Spirit connection and I hope it will be helpful information (you are welcome to share).

So, how can we support our Healing, Wellbeing and Energy from a Mind-Body perspective?

Mind, Body,Spirit, Balance

1) Before any treatment or surgery, make yourself as strong and healthy as possible. Blood labs show nutritional deficiencies, and in most cases, there is time to address these within a few weeks prior to treatment.

2) Nutritional/herbal supplementation is recommended. From personal experience, I am aware that most oncologists will nix both. I do recommend consulting with an integrated practitioner, as there are certain considerations with different treatments.

3) Weight training, Yoga, rhythmical movement, Qi Gong are very helpful to improve circulation, lymphatic detoxification and oxygenation of tissues. Anything that ‘builds and moves chi’ will be helpful in supporting vitality. Getting into the pool, if that is an option, is also helpful if one likes the water. (Chlorine is another matter…).

4) Getting rid of toxic relationships that are draining is essential. We need the support of healing energy, love and compassion. Bad relationships, in any shape or form, will pull us down, will affect out energy and wellbeing. Negative thinking will create and draw-in more negative effects.

Happy and Healthy Relationship

Creating a social support that is supportive and calming, taking care of any outside ‘struggles’ that deplete energy is a good idea. Ideally, troubling matters are brought to closure before beginning of treatment so there are no distractions along the treatment way. The focus is on getting through it, while supporting min-body wellness.

5) Also, trust 100% in whatever surgeon, procedures and treatments you have chosen. Others might come with their suggestions, their projections, and their worries.

You have chosen your path for your reasons. Cast aside ALL DOUBT. Doubt will lower your vibrations. We need to raise our vibrations, not easy during a tough time, surround yourself with good vibrations. (On that note, listen to uplifting music or inspirational healing words.)

6) Meditation, acupuncture, cranio-sacral are terrific. All modalities will build energy and reduce inflammation. They will support you, decrease stress, help immune function and build energy.

7) Nutritionally? Eating organic, vibrant foods will support vitality. It is best to steam foods slightly as digestion will be weaker during treatment. It is important to support the digestive process and gut Flora.

8) “Stop beating yourself up! ” Accepting rather than fighting will save you energy. Keep faith in the body’s ability to heal, connect with spirit as you are going through difficult times, “it is what it is”…

9) Take it one day at a time, finding joy in small daily things that we sometime take for granted. Compassion, love, grief, guilt, shame and forgiveness – all are connected to cancer. Cast them aside – “make room for living in the present, seeing beauty in daily creations of Nature”.

10) Consider energy medicine to take emotional burdens of your heart and mind, raise your energy and let your spirit become free to soar. Free-up emotional blockages that keep you ‘stuck’ and ‘clogged up’ at an energetic level.

Energy Medicine For Breast Cancer

By Rika Keck
This is written from my heart, this is personal.
Love and light Rika Keck.
NYIntegratedHealth.com
Holistic Health and Nutrition
CMTA, ACN

 

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