The endocannabinoid system. This term sounds complex, but it is actually just what it sounds like: the body’s internal (“endo”) system that responds to cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is so named because it was first discovered when scientists were studying the effects of cannabis on the body.1 The ECS is perhaps most notable for its role in regulating the limbic system, a part of the brain responsible for emotions, motivation, and our stress response. This system responds to our body’s own endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, and to exogenous cannabinoids. A well-toned endocannabinoid system can help us recover from major stresses, prevent stress-related overwhelm, regulate cortisol levels, and will naturally increase during times of stress.
With the menopause transition comes a change in estrogen levels. That change affects just about EVERYTHING, including sex. Estrogen is responsible for keeping the tissue of the vagina moist and well lubricated. It keeps this tissue plump and healthy and even helps keep the good bacteria in the vagina healthy! When estrogen levels decline, the tissue in the vagina can become dry, thin, less lubricated and less elastic, all of which can cause sex to feel painful or cause a burning or tearing sensation. For some, this pain can be significant enough to deter all interest in sexual activity. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to protect this tissue and to keep sex (touch and/or penetration) comfortable.
Roughly 75% of reproductive aged females will experience at least one vaginal yeast infection (vulvovaginal candidiasis or VVC), with half of them developing a second episode at some point. Additionally, between 5-9% of these women will go on to develop recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, meaning numerous episodes over the course of a year.
June was National Safety Month and it brings to mind an important form of safety that is different from wearing seat belts, applying sunscreen or not talking to strangers. Challenges with mental health, such as those caused by depression, are a significant factor to consider when ensuring a child’s safety.
Imagine running through a field of tall grass and wildflowers, arms spread wide, sunshine on your face and the breeze blowing in your hair. That may sound like an afternoon well spent! For many of us however… the scene I described just sounds like an allergy nightmare! What can one do to start enjoying the outdoors again?
Vaginal discharge? Vaginal irritation? Odor? What to do? Vaginal infections are exceedingly common. In fact, they are so common that the majority of women will experience at least one in her lifetime. Vaginitis complaints are responsible for roughly 10% of doctor visits each year, amounting to nearly $10 million in annual costs.
Constipation is a common complaint among pediatricians’ offices. Most children experience brief periods of constipation over time that usually resolve on their own. Symptoms that warrant medical attention include recurrent, prolonged constipation, bleeding, pain, excessive straining or fear of passing stool. Many children who have previously experienced painful bowel movements instinctively begin to withhold their stool, causing a vicious cycle of even harder-to-pass stool that may lead to impaction.
The previous posts outlined lifestyle modifications for improving sleep, as well as various nutraceutical and botanical treatments for attaining better sleep.
A note about supplements and botanicals: herbs are powerful medicines that hardly ever have just one function. On the contrary, herbs and nutraceuticals have various actions that act synergistically. Please check with your clinician who is knowledgeable in these areas before initiating a new product as it carries the risk of interfering with other medications.
Although it may be an obvious fact, it must be said; sleep is an integral part of our lives. A good night’s sleep allows the body and brain to rest.
While we sleep, our immune system goes on high alert and scans the body for infection. Our brain converts short term memories into long term storage, a process called consolidation. And lastly, our conscious brain temporarily takes the back seat while our subconscious runs loose.