Waking at 3 to 4 am on the regular?

Find yourself waking up between 3-4am — perhaps a little anxious, or in a puddle of sweat — on an occasional or recurring basis? While some causes are related to hormonal balance concerns, in this week’s ‘kitchen table talk’, I would like to address sources within your dietary habits, and how they may factor into this trend.

This can empower you with managing the effects of dietary habits upon sleep patterns.

Habits such as a high-starch dinner, high starch/fruit/sugar-based snacks, and wine or spirits in the evening can contribute to the increased overnight liver activity in processing carbohydrates (or alcohol) into glucose.

Glucose is the simplest unit of sugar, which comes from any plant, nut/seed or grain; Any foodstuff that is not animal flesh contains variably-complex (or simple) carbohydrates, with variable protein and fat composition.

The key here is the “complexity” of the carbohydrate; The longer the chain of carbons, the longer and more sustained energy it will provide with a slower rate at which glucose (sugar) enters the blood stream. Glucose is then taken-in by cells for metabolic energy or converted for storage in the liver (future use). Any glucose that is not utilized for activity or stored in the liver will be converted into fat.

Sometimes, diet composition is not the singular “cause” of sleep disruption. The Central Nervous System and Endocrine hormones are intricately intertwined to sustain all of our coordinated cellular metabolism and normal function, which requires a more specialized approach to remedy.

Sleep patterns are directly related to these hormonal imbalances, that evolve from numerous potential factors — more than can be mentioned here in a simple post. It is within this NeuroEndocrine relationship that is where we seek to normalize this “higher, brain-to-hormone” control center of cellular metabolism and sleep patterns.

Applying Integrative medical approaches via University-based clinical study and post-graduate work in England and France, we tailor remedies to these hormonal imbalances; We provide what the body requires to restore normal hormonal production pathways, regulation and overall function. We prepare unmatched-quality organic whole plant extracts — not factory-made — onsite at our Clinic for Herbal Medicine on Mendham Road in Gladstone.

Your medical history is uniquely Yours; Shouldn’t its care be expertly tailored to You?

“I need to Detox!” Concepts in Detoxification

“After all of this, I am going to need some serious Detox!”

Sound familiar? Detoxification is decidedly amongst the most popular trends of recent years. There is a deep history of varied methods for ‘purification’ on physical, mental/emotional and spiritual levels, which can be overwhelmingly daunting for seekers of cleansing the body and mind.

“How do I get started?”

First, we must understand precisely how the body functions, and what “detoxification” truly means. We can then take an approach that actually works WITH the body’s healthy physiology. That is, “general detox” may miss the mark after an unpleasant, inconvenient, and complicated process. Enduring ‘suffering’ is not necessary to optimizing our energy and vitality.

In fact, it places more STRAIN upon the body’s natural processes – and can trigger exacerbation of existing conditions – notably when enduring intense deprivation routines alongside certain medical conditions or imbalances.

Secondly, we must clarify our imbalances and goals. We must ask ourselves: “Could my imbalances require more than a simple ‘detox’?

Ideally, tailoring the process to our own medical history, lifestyle demands, and nuances of current imbalances supports effective, longer lasting results. There are certainly foods and plant medicines to hasten (enhance/accelerate) the movement of waste through the body’s Channels of Elimination, when selected with these factors in-mind.

There are no ‘celebrity’ herbs — no ‘plant du jour’ or cure-all — in the plant kingdom. They must be selected with the entire individual’s history, imbalances and goals considered as well as accommodated.

Embarking on a “One Size Fits All” detoxification program may seem beneficial in the short term, but like a custom-crafted gown or suit, there is much to be said for the long-term benefits of exclusive designs and highest quality materials: Not all plant preparations are created equal or appropriate for each of us.

In this sense, seeking professional counsel is one’s best approach to defining goals, understanding related key medical considerations, and ensuring safety with efficacy.

Timing is Everything. The body does not ‘purify’ its tissues or reset its hormonal functions simply because we force/insist a complex routine of tablets, capsules or juices upon it for three to 14 days.

Every organ system has its own timing of cellular life cycles.

Radical programs don’t alter these normal timelines. In fact, some programs stress the body with enough to create an imbalance as it struggles for equilibrium to function around it.

For instance: Liver cells regenerate through a three week cycle. That is, if you were to donate half of your liver to a recipient, in approximately three weeks, the size/mass of the organ would grow back. The new growth becomes fully functional in variable timing/weeks later.

Detoxification can be effective without the “healing crisis” of headaches, nausea, low energy, lack of mental concentration, lightheadedness, diarrhea, or distracting sense of hunger.

Why suffer? “Healing crisis” doesn’t make the liver cells fully renew themselves in those three to 14 days, just because that is the timeframe we dedicate or a “program” dictates.

Forcing excessive bowel elimination for days or weeks not only depletes the body of nutrients and vital energy, it dehydrates and causes opposite rebound effects after the diet.

Most of the trendy programs have followers singing their praises of “feeling great” after getting through a number of decidedly crummy days. The Truth is — even without complicated routines or handfuls of nauseating capsules — the favorable reports are primarily a result from:

  • A daily predominance of vegetables and some amount of fruits (not excessive fruits, which can spike blood sugar and facilitate the “crash” of headaches and nausea).
  • Regularity of intake timing. Consuming at least something every 2-3 hours sustains healthy blood sugar levels, and as such, keeps hormonal balance more reasonable, despite complex outlined routines.
  • Cutting: Processed foods, artificial additives, flavor enhancers, preservatives, sodas, added sugars, meats, dairy, shellfish, fried foods, pesticide/herbicide-laden and genetically modified foods, sweeteners, protein ‘isolates’, and isolated nutrients of questionable sources.
  • Increased water intake. Adequate hydration can have immediate results upon improved elimination, metabolism, acid/alkaline (pH) levels, and cognitive [mental] clarity.

Radical programs help some people break behavioral habits through a dramatic shift in routine, but fall short of exacting deep physiological detoxification for long lasting effect.

“I made it through the cleanse, so why am I not feeling better?” One must get to the cause of the imbalance, which may not be just a simple build up of toxins. Just as fingerprints are unique to each of us, so is our personal medical history.

Our physical care should be precisely tailored to functions that are not up to par, and true detoxification occurs when we incorporate reasonable, sustainable changes over longer periods of time.

There is little physiological benefit or rationale to an intense period of ‘suffering for purification’ — it merely provides a break in behavioral habits.

True detox at a physiological level happens when it is in-sync with the body’s actual cellular life cycles and factoring-in one’s own medical history with functional goals.

[N.B.]: Those with issues such as IBS, Colitis, Autoimmune, and Metabolic Disorders, Thyroid Disease, on prescription medications, compromised immune systems and other hormonal pathologies should not take part in radical detoxification programs without supervision.

Keynote Concepts in Detoxification: Incorporate reasonable, sustainable changes over longer periods of time.

Tami Bronstein is a Medical Herbalist qualified through BSc at the University of Wales in England (UK) with Post-graduate work alongside Medical Doctors of France — in an Integrative NeuroEndocrine-Immunology therapy model. Tami also holds a BSc in Exercise Physiology and Psychology from Hofstra University in New York, with 25 years nationally certified experience in Neuromuscular, Osteopathic and Joint mobilization manual therapies for Pain and Rehabilitation.

Available at the Clinic and By-Phone, for patients out-of-state or further afield. Custom-compounded Medicines shipped direct, as required.

Clinic: 17 Mendham Road, Suite 400, Gladstone, New Jersey 07934