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AUGUST BRINGS RISING TEMPERATURES & MIGRAINES – Hot Tips to Stay Cool & Migraine Free

August 10th, 2019

step-into-the-light-summer1There are several weeks of summertime left to enjoy so don’t get stuck in the dark riding out a migraine or headache. August brings extreme heat but also a last chance to plan summer activities and vacations. As schedules change, and temperatures rise so do migraine triggers such as barometric pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, stress and dehydration. Some triggers you can control or avoid and some you can not. There are many things you can do to ease through August if you are a migraine sufferer.
KEEP  FAST-ACTING MIGRELIEF-NOW ON HAND AT ALL TIMES.MigreLief-NOW New bottle FINAL
First of all, for those times when you need help most, keep MigreLief-NOW close by so you can take 2-4 capsules at the first sign of discomfort.  (For children’s dosages age 2-12, see back of bottle).  Keep “NOW” in your car, purse, or suitcase for emergencies if you leave town or are merely on the go.  And for those of you who are back to work or off to school already, keep MigreLief-NOW at your office, or in your school backpack.  Remember, MigreLief-NOW is different than the  daily maintenance formulas… It is an on-the-spot dietary supplement taken “as needed” to provide immediate nutritional support when you need it most… NOW!  (Migraine Formulas-Overview Pdf)

As summer shifts toward fall, for many, August is not a time to grab a last minute vacation but rather a time to endure the extreme heat. The majority of the U.S. suffers hot, sticky August nights and while it’s great for the crops heading toward early harvest, sleeping can be particularly uncomfortable and trouble for migraineurs.

While a lot of people have central air to mitigate the heat, many people have either inadequate air conditioning or none at all.  For several areas of the U.S., August is a rainy season fraught with extremely uncomfortable levels of humidity.  At 90 degrees, anything over 70% humidity is considered extremely uncomfortable and can be deadly for asthmatics.  For those sensitive to barometric-pressure change migraines, the rising and falling humidity of August can make one feel as though they are on a migraine roller-coaster. Migraineurs often feel in August that, around the clock, they either have a migraine or are anticipating one at any moment.

Headache Prevention for Outdoor Enthusiasts
As a basic outdoor strategy, be sure to wear dark sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. Also, staying hydrated is key to avoiding light and heat related headaches. Humidity is really tough to control out of doors, but following some of the suggestions made in preventing barometric pressure and altitude headaches is good general advice for those who will be out in the humidity as well.

The barometer drops rapidly just before a storm, and your blood vessels may react to that, trying to equalize the pressure.   Many sufferers recognize this fact and even find themselves watching the weather channel to know when to anticipate a summer storm migraine.

Strategies for barometric pressure headaches
Some migraineurs have reported that lying down in a dark room can ward off the pressure headache, but if you are or want to be an outdoor enthusiast, you have to figure out other ways to deal with it.  The good news is there are gadgets that can help you. If you are one who prefers gadgets over devices and apps, Newspring  Power International Company, Ltd. offers a fishing barometer designed to check the barometric pressure at specific locations.

The application for migraineurs is that you can set the device for up to six places where you might wish to go for the day, and program it to warn you when a storm is approaching any of those places. If you prefer a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), there are several smart phones and tablets which have barometric sensors with free apps that will send you alarms when pressure reaches the danger zone for you.

Other remedies:

A de-humidifier can mitigate some of the indoor humidity. Also, keep blinds drawn to keep the house cooler.

Keep from exerting yourself as much as possible, especially out of doors, and plan your shopping-musts around the cooler parts of the day.

Cook smart – use your microwave instead of the stove, prepare cool, summer meals involving salads and yogurt products. Don’t succumb to fast foods or snack foods, but have on hand foods that you can put together quickly.

If you sleep under a fan, avoid colds, sinus problems, neck pain that can trigger migraines by covering your neck as you sleep. Keep a towel or light, children’s blanket just for draping over your neck while you sleep.

If you feel yourself getting overheated, wet your skin and lie down in front of or underneath a fan. Putting off your shower till the heat of the afternoon is a good idea for refreshing yourself.  Of course one nice idea is simply getting away to cooler climates in August.

MORE HOT TIPS TO STAY COOL!

  • – Soak a t-shirt in the sink in cool water (not cold or chilled water), wring it out, put it on and sit in the shade or in front of a fan. (You may want to save this one for when you’re alone, unless you’re going for that ‘wet t-shirt’ contest!)
  • – Fill a plastic spray bottle with water and freeze over night. You will have a cool mist that lasts for hours.
  • – Soak your feet in cold water. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will naturally cool the body.
  • – Wear light colors darker colors will absorb the sun’s rays and be warmer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat.
  • – Minty fresh use mint scented or menthol lotions and soaps to cool your skin.
  • – More alcohol just the rubbing alcohol please! Put some rubbing alcohol on a damp washcloth and hold it on the back of your neck and sit near a fan. The evaporative effect can feel 30 degrees cooler.

FROZEN GRAPES:  To stay cool, try this naturally sweet frozen treat. 

These frozen bites always stay icy, but not frozen solid. They must be eaten as soon as they are removed from the freezer before they thaw completely.

1. Wash and dry green or red grapes.
2. Place in sealable plastic bag.
3. Keep in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen.
4. Fill a bowl with several ice cubes and place the bag in the bowl to keep cool while you enjoy!

Again, remember to keep MigreLief-NOW on hand in times of trouble and take 2-4 capsules at the first sign of discomfort.  Children between the age of 2-12, should take exactly 1/2 the adult dose.
Enjoy the remainder of your summer and stay cool!

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

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SUMMER HEAT: HOT TIPS TO STAY COOL

July 10th, 2019

stay-cool

A few ways to stay cool in the extreme heat

  • Soak a t-shirt in the sink in cool water (not cold or chilled water), wring it out, put it on and sit in the shade or in front of a fan. (You may want to save this one for when you’re alone, unless you’re going for that ‘wet t-shirt’ contest look!)
  • Fill a plastic spray bottle with water and freeze over night. You will have a cool mist that lasts for hours.
  • Soak your feet in cold water. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will naturally cool the body.
  • Wear light colors!  Darker colors will absorb the sun’s rays and be warmer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat.
  • Minty fresh – use mint scented or menthol lotions and soaps to cool your skin.
  • More alcohol – just the rubbing alcohol please! Put some rubbing alcohol on a damp washcloth and hold it on the back of your neck and sit near a fan. The evaporative effect can feel 30 degrees cooler!

Enjoy the 4th: Don’t Let a Migraine Rain on Your Parade

June 30th, 2019

4th of July SALE:  Promo Code – SALE20 for 20% OFF any Akeso Condition Specific Supplement at  MigreLief.com – Expires 7/31/19

The 4th of July is fun for most everyone but certain aspects of what we do on the 4th can bring on a migraine attack.
Taking these precautions can help you enjoy the celebration.

Be prepared.  Keep MigreLief-Now on hand at all times in case of an emergency and take at the first sign of discomfort.  (Kids age 2-Adult)

Don’t stress: If you’re in charge of the festivities, make it easy on yourself. Plan a casual day, out of the heat as much as possible. Ask people to bring a dish to share. Don’t plan too many activities; remember to make it about people, not a performance.

Fast-Acting “As-Needed” Formula for Migraine Sufferers Age 2 – Adult

Avoid food triggers: Barbequed meats, cheeses, chips, dips, pickles & olives, meat tenderizers and lots of sugary stuff – the chemicals found in these ingredients have all been associated with migraines. If you are going to a celebration where you might not have your choice of foods, take along foods that you know are safe for you. If you have suffered migraines for a long time, you likely know what foods trigger them. If you’re not really sure what foods trigger your migraines, some safe bets are burgers without tenderizers prepared with basic seasonings like salt and pepper, grilled chicken and vegetables or fruit salads.  At the dessert table, a sugar cookie, slice of watermelon or frozen fruit pop may satisfy your sweet-tooth and will likely not lead to a food-triggered headache.

Don’t skip meals.  By skipping a meal your blood sugar levels may drop to a level that causes your body to release hormones that are compensating for depleted glucose levels, this in turn can cause an increase in blood pressure and can narrow your arteries.  The result can be headaches and migraines.

Hydrate!  Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, tea or coffee. If iced drinks are a trigger for you, be sure to ask for your tea without it. Avoid sodas all together, both regular and diet.

Avoid alcohol: Heat, crowds, and other triggers are bad enough, so don’t add alcohol to the mix as it can make you much more sensitive to all of it.  Stick with water, fruit juice, coffee, or if available, beverages sweetened with stevia or erythritol.

Tamp down lights and sound: Take along ear protection if you are triggered by loud noises. You can buy the little foam earplugs at most stores. Consider wearing sunglasses when you watch the fireworks as bright, strobing or blinking lights can be a major migraine trigger.

Hopefully, these hints will make your day a true celebration instead of just a headache in the making.  Be safe, enjoy and may you stay independent of migraines on Independence Day.

Enjoy these healthy cake recipes with summertime berries.

Click here for recipes.

 

 

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

HOT NEW PRODUCT FROM THE MAKERS OF MIGRELIEF –

SLEEP ALL NIGHT – FALL ASLEEP FASTER…. STAY ASLEEP LONGER.

VISIT MySleepAllNight.com for more information or to buy for 20% OFF (promo code:  SALE20)

 

 

 

Fruit Infused Water – A Great Way to Stay Hydrated and Beat the Heat

June 30th, 2019

 

Recipes Fruit Infused WaterSummer is in full swing and with rising temperatures comes the need for everyone, especially migraineurs to stay well hydrated.  Helping to prevent migraines is only one of the benefits to drinking plenty of water.  Water helps with controlling calories, energizing muscles, and keeping your skin looking good.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water helps keep your body temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of wastes through urination and perspiration.

Your body needs more water in hotter climates, on hotter days and when your more physically active.  If you think you are not getting enough water, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. Choose water over other beverages when eating out and freeze water in a freezer safe bottle for icy cold water all day long.  To jazz it up a bit, make your own fruit infused water.

Fruit Infused Water

Making your own fruit-infused waters is a great alternative to drinking sugary sports drinks and sodas with additives and dyes. Fruit infused water doesn’t really require a specific recipe. You can experiment by making small or large batches and adding as much or as little fruit as you would like to increase flavor and sweetness.  Let your concoction stand for 2 to 8 hours then enjoy!  Popular fruits:  raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, pineapple, oranges, lemons, limes, and cucumbers.Popular herbs:  mint, basil and rosemary.  Slice strawberries but keep other berries whole and press lightly with a spoon to release some of the flavors.  Add your favorite ingredients to a 1/2 gallon pitcher of water, cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Or make by the glass.

4th of July – Star Spangled Frit Infused Water – Red, White & Blueberry

Ingredients:  1 pint of blueberries, 1 pint of strawberries, and a pineapple.
Cut pineapple with star cookie cutter and combine in a pitcher with strawberries and blueberries for star-spangled beverage.  You can infuse water or mix fruit with white sangria or lemonade for a festive punch.

Mango-Ginger Water
This is a delicious drink that boosts your metabolism, acts a natural pain reliever for migraines to menstrual cramps, aides in digestion and boosts your memory.
Ingredients:  1 inch Ginger Root, peeled and sliced + 1 cup Frozen Mango (or fresh)
Drop into a pitcher of water and cover with 3 cups of ice.  The ice is important to hold down the ingredients to help infuse the water.  Chill 1-3 hours and enjoy!

OTHER GREAT FRUIT AND HERB COMBINATIONS FOR FLAVORFUL WATER

Ginger-Lemon-Mint Water
1 lemon slice, 2 sprigs mint, slice of fresh ginger (2 oz)

Strawberry-Lemon-Basil Water
4-6 strawberries, 1/2 lemon sliced, and a small handful of basil, scrunched.

Blueberry Orange Water
2 mandarin oranges, cut into wedges, handful of blueberries.
Squeeze in the juice of one mandarin orange and muddle the blueberries to intensify flavor.

Raspberry-Lemon
1 cup of raspberries and 1/2 lemon sliced.

Mango-Pineapple
1 cup cubed mango and 1 cup cubed pineapple.

Cucumber-Lemon
Cucumber slices and lemon wedges.

Rosemary-Grapefruit Water
1/2 grapefruit sliced, several springs of rosemary.

Lemon-Jalapeno-Cilantro Water
1 lime sliced, 1 halved jalapeno, and fresh cilantro to taste.
Cover and let sit over night in the refrigerator.

Watermelon-Mint-Lime Water
1 lime sliced, 2 sprigs mint, 1 cup watermelon chunks.

Watermelon-Mint Water
1 cup watermelon chunks and 2 sprigs mint.

 

 

 

Many stores carry various “Infusion Water Bottles” but any container may be used.

 

Fruit infused water bottles

 

 

Sleep Like Your Life Depends on It…Because It Does!

June 13th, 2019

Poor Sleep Habits Can Rob Years From Your Life

Downloadable White Paper – Insomnia_PDF – CLICK HERE

REESTABLISHING HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERNS IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL YOU CAN RELY ON FOR HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND LONGEVITY.


If you are having difficulty sleeping, consider a drug free, natural formula for healthy sleep to make a real difference.

Sleep is required for human life, enabling critical functions such as those involved in cellular regulation and repair, detoxification, immune health, and hormone level modulation.(1-4)  Our physiological homeostasis depends on sleep, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults in the United States does not get enough of it.(5)  Given the inextricable linkage between sleep and health, the CDC has warned about the health risks of inadequate sleep, and federal and industry dollars continue to fund research that can help elucidate the roles of sleep in disease and quality of life and to provide solutions for those who struggle with poor sleep.

Developing and maintaining healthy sleep habits may empower people to reduce their risks of illness and disease. Indeed, poor sleep is associated not only with greater risk for developing a host of health problems, including degenerative diseases, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also with a greater risk for suffering debilitating symptoms like migraine headaches and for living a shorter lifespan. (9-16)

Sleep Affects All Aspects of Life
Sleep allows your body to heal and rejuvenate while sleep loss activates undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage
Sleep….

• Improves your immune function and protects against cell damage

• Supports proper brain function and improves focus, memory, concentration, learning, and productivity

• Lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and obesity

• Increases ‘health span” (living longer in a healthier state as opposed to living longer in a debilitated, degenerative state

• Affects glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk

• Short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.

• Poor sleep is linked to depression (sleep affects emotions and social interactions)

One degenerative disease for which there is a growing wealth of research into the role of sleep is the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent cause of dementia in the older population, accounting for 65 to70% of the cases. The formation of amyloid-β (also known as beta amyloid or Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the hallmarks of the disease.

People with healthy sleep habits are at a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.(10) Those at lower risk are those who do not suffer from insomnia and who do not experience sleep disordered breathing (SDB), which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea. The specific role that sleep plays in protecting against dementia is unclear, but studies have shown that insomnia increases both the production and secretion of amyloid-β, leading to higher levels of amyloid-β in those with insomnia as compared to those with healthy sleep patterns.(17)  Research showing that cerebrospinal levels of amyloid-β and its precursor, amyloid precursor protein (APP), are higher at night suggest that it is during sleep that the brain clears itself of these substances.(18) These findings offer some insight into why sleep seems to protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The Sleep Migraine Connection:  Migraines and other forms of headache can be associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, but they are also known to be associated with lack of sleep. Though the relationship between sleep and migraine is complex,(19) it is clear that the two often co-occur. Indeed, disturbed sleep is more common in adults and children with migraine than those without migraine, with between 30% and 50% of migraine patients experiencing disturbed sleep or poor sleep quality.(20-23)  Further, the severity and prevalence of sleep problems increase proportionally with headache frequency, such that the vast majority of chronic migraineurs (68% to 84%) suffer from insomnia on a near-daily basis.(20)

There is evidence that lack of sleep causes migraines and that, conversely, migraines cause loss of sleep. It is therefore likely that migraineurs with disturbed sleep experience a negative feedback loop where migraines and loss of sleep reinforce one another and relief from either condition becomes harder and harder.(20-22)  Nonetheless, restful sleep has been shown to be effective in relieving migraine attacks, strongly suggesting that insufficient sleep causes or exacerbates migraine headaches.

Consistent with this view is the finding that those with migraines are less likely to possess the ability to flexibly adapt their sleep/wake cycles (24) and are thus more likely to become sleep deprived. Even more telling is that lack of sleep is the most commonly reported trigger of headaches.(25,26)

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES FOR SLEEP

Alternative headache and migraine therapies include psychological counseling, biofeedback, and physical therapy, which work by making lifestyle changes. Non-pharmacological treatments for the management of migraines and headaches has a growing field of science to support their use. Biofeedback techniques teach patients to control certain responses of their body to help reduce pain. For example, a patient can learn diaphragmatic breathing, heart rate, muscle tension and how to control temperature to enter a relaxed state, which may bring about better pain control.

Alternative treatments for insomnia and disordered sleep include background music, acupuncture, prayer, deep breathing, meditation, yoga and massage.

Non-pharmacological nutritional therapies include natural supplements for sleep which avoids the serious side effects of prescription drugs. Drug-related side effects include kidney damage, ulcers, dependence, addiction, tolerance development requiring higher doses, rebound insomnia, withdrawal symptoms and daytime grogginess. (19, 20, 21)

Another aspect of over-the counter NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and prescription drugs is that analgesic over-use can cause chronic headache syndrome, where the drug increases the number of migraine episodes per month. Nutritional supplements have never been reported to cause this effect. (22, 23)

FORMULA FOR SLEEP – Nutritional ingredients that have been proven in clinical studies to be of great benefit for people who have difficulty sleeping include:

Hops extract comes from the flowers (seed cones) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. Hops has long been recognized for its relaxation and calming effect. Studies suggest Hops extract may help to improve sleep quality, shorten time to fall asleep and improve sleep brain wave patterns.

Valerian extract is a perennial herb native to North America, Asia and Europe. Studies show valerian may improve sleep quality with fewer night awakenings and greater sleep duration. Valerian is also known for stress reduction and is among the eight most widely used herbal supplements in the world.

Zizyphus Jujube extract is a fruit most frequently used for sleep problems in Traditional Chinese Medicine with little side-effects. It is also used for purposes related to gastrointestinal health and digestion and is also known for its relaxation and calming effect.

Glycine is an amino acid that enhances sleep and supports whole-body health. Early research on glycine and its essential role in sleep was published in 1989 and later in 2008. One of the ways in which glycine aids in sleep was clarified when it was discovered that glycine is responsible for the profound muscle relaxation that occurs during various stages of REM sleep. In another study, glycine improved sleep efficiency, reduced difficulty in falling asleep and enhanced sleep satisfaction.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL) Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL) helps your body convert food energy into glucose, metabolize fats and proteins, and ensure proper function of your nervous system. With these various effects, there are ways in which your vitamin B-6 status may cause or contribute to your sleeping difficulties, or insomnia. Pyridoxine is considered adequate for neurotransmitter production to support sleep. Studies show that vitamin B6 positively impacts aspects of sleep and is essential for promoting and maintaining a good mood.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme-related biochemical processes and appears to influence sleep in a variety of ways. Those who are deficient in magnesium are more likely to have abnormal EEG readings during sleep, more nocturnal awakenings, less time spent in stage 5 REM sleep and self-reports of poor sleep quality. On the other hand, those taking dietary magnesium supplements are more likely to experience better sleep efficiency, the ability to fall asleep faster, and the ability to reduce cortisol levels. Magnesium supplementation also helps to restore normal EEG patterns during sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps to control our body’s biorhythms and thereby helps to regulate sleep. It has become one of the most frequently used non-prescription sleep aids. Melatonin helps to promote total sleep time and can help balance circadian rhythm disruption.

All of these ingredients are included in a new sleep supplement by Akeso Health Sciences called “Sleep All Night.” 

Sleep All Night is an effective dietary supplement and powerful sleep aide to promote deep restorative sleep.

Healthy Sleep Benefits Include:
• Allows your body to heal and rejuvenate
• Improves immune function
• Protects against cell damage and reduces inflammation
• Supports proper brain function
• Improves focus, memory, concentration, learning, and productivity
• Lowers risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and obesity
• Increases ‘health span” (living longer in a healthier state)
• Reduces stress and may reduce depression

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

Vitamin B6 (Pyridozine HCL) 50 mg
Magnesium (Citrate & Oxide) 250 mg
Glycine 1200 mg
Valerian Root Extract (0.8% valerenic acids) 500 mg
Zizyphus Jujube Extract (2% saponins) 200 mg
Hops Extract 4:1 100 mg
Melatonin 3 mg

For more information visit MySleepAllNight.com

SAVE 20% on ‘Sleep All Night’ or any Akeso Health Sciences condition specific products. Enter coupon code:  SAVE20 at checkout.  Expires July 31, 2019

 

References

 

  1. Benington JH, Heller HC. Restoration of brain energy metabolism as the function of sleep. Prog Neurobiol. 1995;45(4):347-360.
  2. Berger RJ, Phillips NH. Energy conservation and sleep. Behav Brain Res. 1995;69(1-2):65-73.
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  4. Siegel JM. Sleep viewed as a state of adaptive inactivity. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009;10(10):747-753. doi:10.1038/nrn2697
  5. HHS. 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep: A good night’s sleep is critical for good health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html. Published 2016.
  6. Akerstedt T, Philip P, Capelli A, Kecklund G. Sleep loss and accidents–work hours, life style, and sleep pathology. Prog Brain Res. 2011;190:169-188. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-53817-8.00011-6
  7. Wade AG. The societal costs of insomnia. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010;7:1-18. doi:10.2147/NDT.S15123
  8. Leger D, Massuel M-A, Metlaine A. Professional correlates of insomnia. Sleep. 2006;29(2):171-178.
  9. Malhotra RK. Neurodegenerative disorders and sleep. Sleep Med Clin. 2018;13(1):63-70. doi:10.1016/j.jsmc.2017.09.006
  10. Shi L, Chen S-J, Ma M-Y, et al. Sleep disturbances increase the risk of dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2018;40:4-16. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2017.06.010
  11. Kawakami N, Takatsuka N, Shimizu H. Sleep disturbance and onset of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(1):282-283.
  12. Bassetti CL. Sleep and stroke. Semin Neurol. 2005;25(1):19-32. doi:10.1055/s-2005-867073
  13. Sofi F, Cesari F, Casini A, Macchi C, Abbate R, Gensini GF. Insomnia and risk of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014;21(1):57-64. doi:10.1177/2047487312460020
  14. Um YH, Hong S-C, Jeong J-H. Sleep problems as predictors in attention- hyperactivity disorder: causal mechanisms, consequences and treatment. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2017;15(1):9-18. doi:10.9758/cpn.2017.15.1.9
  15. Li Y, Zhang X, Winkelman JW, et al. Association between insomnia symptoms and mortality: a prospective study of U.S. men. Circulation. 2014;129(7):737-746. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.004500
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  17. Wolk R, Gami AS, Garcia-Touchard A, Somers VK. Sleep and cardiovascular disease. Curr Probl Cardiol. 2005;30(12):625-662. doi:10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2005.07.002
  18. Malhotra A, Loscalzo J. Sleep and cardiovascular disease: an overview. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2009;51(4):279-284. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2008.10.004
  19. Nagai, M, Hoshide, S, & Kario K. Sleep duration as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease – a review of the recent literature. Curr Cardiol Rev. 2010;6(1):54-61.
  20. How disrupted sleep may lead to heart disease. nih.gov. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-disrupted-sleep-may-lead-heart-disease. Published 2019. Accessed April 4, 2019.
  21. Lao X et al. Sleep quality, sleep duration, and the risk of coronary heart disease: A prospective cohort study with 60,586 adults. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(1):109-117.
  22. Grandner, MA, Jackson, NJ, Pak, VM, & Gehrman P. Sleep disturbance is associated with cardvascular and metabolic disorders. J Sleep Res. 2012;21(4):427-433.
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  27. Phua CS, Jayaram L, Wijeratne T. Relationship between Sleep Duration and Risk Factors for Stroke. Front Neurol. 2017;8:392. doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00392
  28. Ooms S, Overeem S, Besse K, Rikkert MO, Verbeek M, Claassen JAHR. Effect of 1 night of total sleep deprivation on cerebrospinal fluid beta-amyloid 42 in healthy middle-aged men: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Neurol. 2014;71(8):971-977. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.1173
  29. Tarasoff-Conway JM, Carare RO, Osorio RS, et al. Clearance systems in the brain-implications for Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2015;11(8):457-470. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2015.119
  30. Rudnicka AR, Nightingale CM, Donin AS, et al. Sleep Duration and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Pediatrics. 2017;140(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2017-0338
  31. Shan Z, Ma H, Xie M, et al. Sleep duration and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Diabetes Care. 2015;38(3):529-537. doi:10.2337/dc14-2073
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Vitamin D3 – Amazing Health Benefits

April 27th, 2019

Much More Than Bone Health

Vitamin D3 benefits

Most people know Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the diet.  Vitamin D3 benefits are far more extensive and in fact decrease the risk of all cause mortality (death regardless of the cause).  Although vitamin D is made by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight, the majority of people have below optimal levels of D3.  In fact a study showed below optimal levels of vitamin D3 in many people from a group of outdoor workers.  Also, sunscreen, protective clothing, limited exposure to sunlight, dark skin, and age may prevent getting enough vitamin D from the sun.  So even if you are in the sun a lot, that is no guarantee your vitamin D3 levels are sufficient.  Almost everyone should be supplementing with vitamin D3 for the following reasons:

Vitamin D3 supports

  • Supports a Healthy Nervous System
  • Supports Immune System
  • Healthy Teeth
  • Healthy Bones
  • Healthy Lung Function
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Improves Brain Function
  • Regulates Insulin Levels
  • Aides in Diabetes Management

Vitamin D3 Lowers risk of 

  • Flu
  • Diabetes (Type 1 & 2)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Eczema & Psoriasis
  • Bone Fractures
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • All Cause Mortality

Optimal levels of Vitamin D3 range between 60 – 90 nanograms/ml. 

If you fall below this range, consider supplementing with 2,500 -5,000 I.U. daily.  Some people, even with additional daily D-3 supplementation, do not easily increase their vitamin D-3 levels, so you may need to double your daily intake.  If upon having them tested the second time, your levels did not increase very much (despite having doubled your daily dose), discuss this with your doctor.  You may have to take as much as 50,000 IU of vitamin D-3 a day (or more) to get up to 60-90 ng/ml. I know that going to your doctor’s office or a lab can be inconvenient but it is extremely worth it to decrease your risk of death from all causes as well as specifically from heart disease and cancer!

You do not want to miss out on any of the health benefits listed above.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Akeso Health Sciences

 

 

Improve Your Memory Today While Maintaining Healthy Brain Volume as You Age

February 5th, 2019

Brain boosting dietary supplements are very beneficial  for improving memory and recall, but equally important is their ability to maintain healthy and youthful brain volume as you age.

In this age where sophisticated imaging machines can look at the health of our brains, we’ve learned that several parts of the brain can shrink with aging. This shrinking (atrophy) is associated with poorer brain/cognitive function and may even lead to Alzheimer’s disease.  Akeso Health Sciences has included ingredients in the dietary supplement “Calm & Clever” that have been shown to help maintain already healthy and normal levels of brain volume in areas crucial to long-term brain health, cognitive function and memory.  Calm & Clever contains both anxiolytic (stress reducing) and Nootropic (brain boosting) ingredients.  Think of nootropics as food for your brain. When we provide our brains with proper nutrition, it can function at peak performance.

One such supplement is Huperzine A, a potent and well-rounded nootropic famous for its ability to improve cognition and overall brain health.  Huperzine A is an herbal alkaloid compound extracted and purified from the Huperziaceae family of plants. It has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.  Its list of physical and mental health benefits is extensive. From its ability to improve memory and recall, to slowing age-related cognitive decline and providing neuroprotection.

What is acetylcholine and why is it important?

Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas. It is known as the learning neurotransmitter linked directly to memory and one’s ability to retain newly learned information. Acetylcholine also plays a significant role in muscle contraction leading to improvements in physical performance and reaction time.  Huperzine A is known as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI).  In other words, Huperzine A prevents enzymes from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. The enzyme in question is acetylcholinesterase which is an abundant substance in our brains. Therefore, Huperzine A’s inhibition of AChE allows more acetylcholine to build up in the brain.  By increasing the amount of available acetylcholine in your brain, we increase our brain’s capacity to memorize and retain information through enhanced neurotransmission.

Improved learning, memory and recall are just some of the many benefits of Huperzine A.  Studies have confirmed the following cognitive enhancements and overall health benefits.

Huperzine A:

  • Reduces brain fog and enhances mental precision
  • Enhances physical and mental endurance and overall fatigue reduction
  • Improves  physical power output during exercise and quicker recovery following overexertion
  • Enhances human growth hormone (HGH) production in young healthy adults
  • Improves fat oxidation in all age ranges
  • Significantly improves mood without negatively impacting sleep or causing restlessness
  • Provides neuroprotection to help prevent age-related cognitive decline and brain shrinkage (hippocampal atrophy)
  • Promotes nervous tissue growth and development through neurogenesis
  • Can improve and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions
  • Improves focus, concentration and overall cognitive function

Most of the Huperzine A benefits result from the increased acetylcholine production. It is not only a powerful nootropic but an excellent choice for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. The mood boosting effects arise from the subsequent increase in norepinephrine and dopamine levels.

PROTECTING THE BRAIN
Huperzine A performs several vital functions that allow acetylcholine levels to increase. Once increased, it begins to shield your brain from oxidative damage and other common causes of brain cell death. Huperzine A (a NMDA receptor antagonist) prevents glutamate toxicity from damaging neurons. Amino acid glutamate is known for its overstimulation of NMDA receptors, which in turn causes damage to neurons. Huperzine A helps prevent this type of impairment from occurring. 

Huperzine A is just one of the amazing ingredients in the dietary supplement “Calm & Clever.”  To learn about the other  ingredients in this nootroopic and anxiolitic combination supplement, click here.

Brain Supplement

HOW TO LIVE FOR 100 YEARS OR MORE! Copy

February 5th, 2019

On behalf of myself and the MigreLief team at Akeso Health Sciences, I would like to thank you all for following and “Liking Us” on Facebook.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting MigreLief’s goal to improve quality of life worldwide for sufferers of debilitating migraines. In part, because of your support we are reaching more men, women, and children whose lives are disrupted by extremely painful migraines.

As a way of saying thank you, I would like to share, what I believe to be extremely valuable science that you and your loved ones can begin implementing today, in order to significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and thereby increasing the likelihood of living to a ripe old age while remaining vibrant, strong, energetic and young looking.

Chronic degenerative diseases such as,

  • * Heart disease
  • * Cancer
  • * Arthritis
  • * Diabetes
  • * Asthma
  • * Alzheimer’s disease

Though seemingly distinct and different diseases, all have remarkable similarities when we measure certain biomarkers in the blood and spinal fluid that are acknowledged indicators or precursors of disease progression.

Three of the most important destructive aging and disease causing phenomenon that occur and can be measured in the body are:

  • 1- Oxidative Stress
  • 2- Systemic Inflammation
  • 3- Excessive Glycation – (the damage that sugar does to tissue and cellular proteins.)

Oxidative Stress – Many of you have probably heard about the damage that “free radicals” can do to our bodies. Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are missing an electron and steal electrons from healthy cells and damage them or cause them to die or mutate (cancer). Removal of the electron from the healthy cell by the free radical is called oxidation and thus the term “oxidative stress”. To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control oxidative stress!

Systemic Inflammation – Believe it or not, inflammation, when under control is actually a signal used by the body to call white blood cells to an injured/damaged area within our bodies to start healing.  For example, if a cut becomes infected it becomes inflamed. The inflammation is actually a signal for certain types of white blood cells to come to the injured area to “clean” up the infection.

Once the wound is healed the inflammation goes away and we return to normal. But due to poor diets, excessive sugar consumption, and excessive oxidative stress from not consuming enough antioxidants contained in fruits and vegetables, we develop a consistent “low grade” level of circulating inflammatory compounds that over time, if not checked, actually erode our bodies, brains and other organs which accelerates oxidative stress and the on-going damage that occurs over time. To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control “systemic inflammation!”

Excessive Glycation – The chemical process by which part of a sugar molecule attaches to and changes/destroys a protein molecule is referred to as glycation.  Many of you have probably heard how Type II diabetes is becoming rampant in our American population. Due to poor diets, many of us stop responding efficiently to insulin produced by the pancreas that is supposed to make sure that sugar in our blood is transferred to the cells where it can be used for energy and carrying out cellular functions.

When we become less sensitive to insulin, more sugar “hangs around” in the blood and as the blood circulates the sugar in it does damage to the organs like our hearts, kidneys, lungs, brains and eyes. This is why heart disease is associated with diabetes.  To reduce the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases and prevent accelerated aging, we need to control “excessive glycation.”

IF WE WANT TO LEAD LONG, PRODUCTIVE, HEALTHY LIVES WELL INTO OUR 80’S, 90’S AND BEYOND, WE NEED TO CONTROL – “OXIDATIVE “STRESS,” “SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION,” AND “EXCESSIVE GLYCATION!”

HERE’S HOW TO DO IT:

1- The Indian spice TUMERIC and its active ingredient CURCUMIN – Tumeric is the yellow spice that is used in Indian cooking. Extracts of turmeric that contain 95% curcumin are among the most medicinally researched herbal compounds in the world. From cancer, to heart disease, to Alzheimer’s and arthritis, there are studies in animals and humans that show the incredible protective and healing powers of curcumin.

Curcumin is at the same time a powerful antioxidant, powerful anti-inflammatory and also demonstrates some ability to slow down glycation. So there is no wonder why it is on my list of things to take if you want to live to 100 and maintain exceptional health, and resist disease and aging. Take 1000-1500 mg a day of the turmeric extract. Make sure it states it is 95% curcumin on its label.

2- GREEN TEA EXTRACT – Many of you have heard about the multiple health benefits of drinking green tea. I suggest in addition to drinking it, that you take green tea extract as well, because you can never be sure the specific green tea you are drinking has any or enough of the specific phyto-compounds in it that make it so healthy and protective. Take 800-1000 mg a day of a green tea extract in capsule or tablet form that contain 50% EGCG (the most important active compound found in green tea). Several studies that have been published indicate that combining green tea with curcumin is synergistic and enhances the protective and health promoting benefits of each.

3- R-ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID – is a dietary supplement that helps to prevent the advanced glycation end products caused by sugar that do harm to our cells and tissues. It also helps us to maintain our ability to remain sensitive to insulin and reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes.

In addition, lipoic acid protects the energy producing organelles in our cells called mitochondria. As we age the effects of oxidative stress, inflammation and toxins damage the energy producing ability of our mitochondria and thus we experience the lack of energy often associated with advancing age. Lipoic acid helps to reduce this mitochondrial damage from occurring. Take 400-600 mg a day of R-alpha-lipoic acid. (Be sure that the supplement you get says “R” lipoic acid as it is believed to be the active isomer of this compound.)

4- Multivitamin and Fiber – To the above recommendations I strongly suggest that you take a daily comprehensive multiple vitamin/mineral product (that contains at least 25 mg each of Vitamin B-1, 2, 3, 5 and 400-800 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg of vitamin B-12).  Finally, make sure that you get at least 30 grams a day of soluble and insoluble fiber into your diet. Hi-fiber cereals that contain 8+ grams per serving are good places to start. Then you can sprinkle either psyllium or ground FLAX SEED on top of the cereals or into yogurt or salads to further increase your fiber intake.

Healthy Item List:

Tumeric (95% curcumin): 1000-1500 mg/day

Green Tea Extract (50% EGCG): 800-1000 mg/day

R-alpha-lipoic acid – 400-800 mcg/day

plus

Multiple Vitamin – containing at least; 25mg of Vit B-1, B-2, B-3 B-5, 100 mcg of B-12 and 400-800 folic acid

Ground Flaxseed or Psyllium -30 grams (sprinkled on food or mixed into smoothies etc.

I sincerely hope that you take this advice to heart and follow it daily. It will make a profound difference in how you age and how young and healthy you stay throughout the oncoming decades.

To the Best of Health,

 

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

Night Sweats Occur in Women of All Ages, Not Just Perimenopausal Women!

January 30th, 2019

A significant number of women of all ages complain about “night sweats”.  Most commonly night sweats are associated with the approach of menopause but many other factors can cause night sweats.

For night sweats associated with hormonal issues, look into MigreLief+M. This product is not just for migraine prevention. It corrects both the hormonal and blood sugar issues that can lead to night sweats as well as migraines. In some women it can take up to 3 months to achieve optimal results.

I highly recommend the following articles on night sweats:

Other Resources:

MedicineNet has done an excellent review of the Causes and Treatment of Night Sweats.

For information regarding pregnancy and nights sweats, visit MomLovesBest.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

 

 

 

MigreLief is Covered by Flexible Spending Plans (Pre-Tax Dollars)

December 28th, 2018

MigreLief Nonprescription Migraine Relief Qualifies for FSA Plans with a Note from DocAs the end of the year approaches and employees enrolled in Section 125 FLEX PAY PLANS calculate the dollars left in their flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare spending accounts (HSA) due to the “Use it or lose it” policy,  it is a good time to remember that MigreLief is considered an OTC (over the counter) item that qualifies for reimbursement under your flex-pay plan, however you’ll need a note from your healthcare provider.

Pursuant to Revenue Ruling 2003-102, over-the-counter drugs that are used to alleviate or treat personal injuries or sickness are now reimbursable through health care flexible spending accounts. Employees’ flex pay pretax contributions are not subject to federal, state, or social security taxes.  In general, individuals must use funds from a flexible spending account for medical care. Medical care is for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, OR for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body (section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code).

Per the IRS  – Eligible expenses include, “Dietary supplements or herbal medicines to treat medical conditions in narrow circumstances.”

MigreLief qualifies…  however, as of 2011 qualifying OTC items require a note from your doctor.

Many MigreLief users have been prescribed MigreLief by a neurologist, general practitioner or other healthcare professional for medical purposes. If you use any MigreLief supplements, approach your healthcare practitioner for a prescription to be placed on file with your flex-pay plan administrator so you can purchase it monthly with your pretax dollars.

Studies have shown that employees on average lose approximately $100 annually in forfeited balances within their employee health care flex spending accounts because any money remaining in your flexible spending account on Dec 31 disappears and is retained by your employer.

If you have money in your flex-pay account at year end, stock up on MigreLief or other items from the list below to avoid losing those dollars.

Many other OTC items you may not have considered also qualify for reimbursement with a note from your doctor.  The following is a list of common non-prescription over-the-counter items the IRS has determined to be primarily for medical care and eligible for reimbursement, and dual purpose items that are reimbursable with a physician’s statement.

Note:  This list does not include all reimbursable items but is the best guidance provided by the Internal Revenue Service to date.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

Allergy medicine

Antacids

Bactine

Band-Aids/bandages

Anti-diarrhea medicine

Bug-bite medication

Calamine lotion

Carpal-tunnel wrist supports

Cold medicines

Reading glasses

Cold/hot packs for injuries

Condoms

Contact lens cleaning solution

Cough drops

Spermicidal foam

Diaper rash ointments

First aid cream/First aid kits

Hemorrhoid medication

Incontinence supplies

Laxatives

Liquid adhesive for small cuts

Menstrual cycle products for pain/cramps

Motion sickness pills

Muscle or joint pain products

Nasal sinus sprays/strips

Nicotine gum/patches for stop-smoking

Pain relievers

Pedialyte for ill child dehydration

Pregnancy test kits

Rubbing alcohol

Sinus medications

Sleeping aids to treat insomnia

Sunburn ointments or creams

Thermometers (ear or mouth)

Throat lozenges

Visine and other eye products

Wart remover treatments

 

Dual purposes OTC items

The following list of dual-purpose over-the-counter items can be reimbursed if used for medical purposes. They must be accompanied by a medical practitioner’s note stating the item is to treat a specific medical condition and not a cosmetic procedure.

Acne treatment (Retin A) only to treat a specific medical condition such as acne vulgaris

Dietary supplements or herbal medicines to treat medical conditions in narrow circumstances

Fiber supplements under narrow circumstances

Glucosamine/chondrotin for arthritis or other medical conditions

Orthopedic shoes and inserts (only the cost difference between orthopedic and nonorthopedic shoes will be reimbursed)

Hormone therapy and treatment for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats

Pills for lactose intolerance

Prenatal vitamins

St. John’s Wort for depression

Sunscreen

Weight-loss drugs to treat a specific disease including obesity

 

Medical expenses eligible for reimbursement under a Section 125 cafeteria plan

Acupuncture

Adoption related medical costs

Air conditioner filters for allergy relief (supplied by online Goodman furnace and AC)

Alcoholism treatment

Ambulance services

Attendant for blind or deaf student

Autoette

Birth control pills

Blind persons accessories (seeing eye dog, Braille training, special schooling)

Capital expenditures (home modifications for handicapped)

Car modifications for handicapped

Childbirth prep classes (mother only)

Chiropractors

Christian Science treatment

Contact lenses (including replacement insurance)

Cosmetic Surgery (non-elective only)

Crutches

Deaf persons accessories (hearing aids, special schooling)

Dental fees

Dentures

Diagnostic fees

Doctors’ fees

Domestic aid (in home nurse)

Drug addiction treatment

Dyslexia language training

Electrolysis (medical reasons only)

Elevator for cardiac conditions

Eye exams and glasses

Fertility enhancement

Fluoride device

Guide animals

Hair transplant (surgical and medical reasons)

Hearing aids

HMO’s

Hospital care (in-patient)

Indian medicine man

Insulin

Insurance premiums (medical post-tax only)

Iron lung

Lab fees

Laetrile (legal use)

Laser eye surgery

Lead paint removal

Learning disability (doctor recommended special schooling fees)

Legal expenses related to medical condition

Lifetime medical care prepaid-retirement home

Limbs (artificial)

Lodging (for medical care away from home)

Long Term Care Services (qualified medical only)

Meals (medical care away from home)

Medical conferences (relating to illness)

Nursing home (medical reasons)

Nursing services (home care)

Operation (legal, including abortion)

Organ Donor

Orthodontia

Orthopedic shoes

Osteopaths

Oxygen equipment

Prescription Drugs –

Psychiatric care

Psychotherapists

Sexual dysfunction treatment

Sterilization

Stop Smoking Programs (and related stop smoking prescription drugs only)

Swimming pool (for polio or arthritis treatment)

Telephone equipment (for hearing impaired)

Television close caption prescribed by doctor

Vasectomy

Weight loss programs (doctor prescribed for medical reasons)

Wheelchair

Wigs (alleviation of physical or mental discomfort)

X-rays

If you have not opted in to your firm’s flex-pay plan, you may want to consider it during the next enrollment period.  Many other items you use regularly may be covered and it is a good way to cut taxes. In many cases it is permitted to add or a portable air conditioner to the plan. Consult the portable air conditioner guide for all the details.

Though some flex pay plans offer an explicit choice of cash or benefits, most today are operated through a “salary redirection agreement”, which is a payroll deduction in all but name. Deductions under such agreements are often called pre-tax deductions because salary redirection contributions are not actually or constructively received by the participant. Therefore, those contributions are not generally considered wages for federal income tax purposes,  nor are they usually subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA)  and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).

So remember to save your receipt the next time you purchase MigreLief and submit it along with a note from your doctor for reimbursement.

~ The MigreLief Team

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