Saturday, December 29, 2012

Essential Oils, Herbal Teas, and Pregnancy

Since my first pregnancy in 2000 I've read about the many things a pregnant woman should stay away from because it could possibly harm the growing baby.  Herbals in the form of teas and essential oils have taken the worst hit due to the bad press about over consumption of certain herbals, using oils in a baby's bath, and the intermixing of herbals with doctor prescribed medication. 

The bad press started back in early 2000 due to a woman reporting stomach problems to her doctor.  Her condition worsened and became serious and they had attributed it to her over consumption of herbal teas, particularly St. John's Wart.  An article about the precautions of taking St. John's Wart is here: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/stjohnswort/a/stjohnswort.htm.  The negativity gained new vigor with a rather recent finding of sterility in infant boys using lavender. 

The lavender study is small and according to Live Strong, the possibility of lavender being the culprit of infertility is minimal http://www.livestrong.com/article/171036-lavender-oil-male-hormones/.  The article only hints the reader at steering clear of lavender when trying to conceive which leads me to believe that there needs to be much further testing on the subject.

Essential oils for a pregnant woman in her first trimester are a different story, however, according to What to Expect and Live Strong http://www.livestrong.com/article/160187-lavender-oil-pregnancy/.  Lavender may possibly cause a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy which is why it is recommended to avoid it until later trimesters where it is considered safe to use. 

Many other essential oils are safe to use in your second and third trimester and a gal on the What to Expect message boards was kind enough to list them.  http://www.whattoexpect.com/forums/what-to-expect-general-message-board/archives/bath-salts-essential-oils-while-pregnant.html

Though I agree with her due to my own research into herbs, it is always best to consult your doctor before using anything because even though these herbs are considered safe by themselves, it may be a different story for you personally if you use them in concentrated amounts or with medications.  Please, please consult your physician before using any product containing herbs because they are still not regulated by the US federal government.

It is important to note that most things in moderation, including herbs and spices you consume in teas and foods, are safe.  But it's always better to be safe than sorry.  You know your body, and so does the little one inside you.  Listen to your body.  If you experience nausea at the sight or smell of something, it may not be just a pregnancy symptom, it may very well be your body alerting you to stay away from that particular food, cleaning product, or drink.  I truly believe that.

A funny thing happened to me the other day which reminded me of my pregnancy "alarm".  My husband had come home from work and had a White Russian.  It's not completely common place for him to have a drink every night, but alcohol is not completely banned from this house either.  In fact, I've been known to indulge in a glass of wine on occasion myself.  After he had his drink he had joined me in bed and I could smell the alcohol on his breath.  It was completely nauseating and I had to roll over on the poor guy. 

Now for obvious reasons, alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy just like certain other things.  I honestly believe that my nausea kicked in because of my pregnancy "alarm".  Call me crazy if you'd like, but I don't think I'm wrong.  I believe our bodies are capable of some pretty fantastic things and I believe this is one of them.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Friday, December 28, 2012

Working through the pain with Bee Natural Fibromyalgia Care Products

“I can't stand to see people in pain.” Marian, owner of Bee Natural said to me in a recent interview I had with her. Bee Natural Fibromyalgia Care Company, a new business, had its infant beginnings in 2011 with its official product research and development but Marian really had had the idea since her Fibromyalgia diagnoses.

“There aren't many products out there geared specifically towards Fibromyalgia sufferers.  Most are for arthritis pain and they include Fibromyalgia.  My goal is to have products like my Deep Tissue Morning Bath Soak on popular store shelves like Walgreens and Walmart specifically for the sufferer.  I experimented with many different combinations of herbs and salts for this product for many years. In fact, one might say that I actually started my research and development way back in 2008 when I was first diagnosed with three different cancers and then Fibromyalgia.”

Marian chose specific herbs and salts for Fibro sufferers in her bath soaks. She adds Basil for alertness.  This helps with Fibro Fog.  And she uses Epsom Salt to draw out Fibromyalgia pain. Her choice of lavender for her other bath soak is for people who may suffer from anxiety along with their Fibro pain. Marian is also working with certain essential oils for Fibro sufferers and plans to have some available on her website soon.
“Sandlewood helps with sleep, calmness, and stomach issues but it has to be pure in order to do the most good.”

Curious about her symbolism in the bee, I asked Marian why she had chosen it as her company logo. I figured that maybe some of her products may contain bee pollen, a substance known to help aid in alleviating fatigue. But Marian elloquently stated that she has never viewed any Fibro sufferer as a butterfly.


“They just don't seem to work as hard as the bee. And even way back in middle school, I can remember working as hard as a bee. I was always sick with something and penicillin never seemed to work. I also had Chronic Fatigue and was home in bed often but I still graduated at the top of my class.”

Many studies have shown that Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to be Type A personalities and a worker bee would fit our choice of lifestyle well. Even when we find that we are becoming sick, we find ways to compensate by doing extra on our good days. Marian, a high school English teacher, used to do her lesson plans on the weekends.

And that's not all that this ambitious Fibromite does. In her spare time she has been writing her own books for Fibro sufferers. She plans to have them go to print shortly. She also would like to eventually set up a brick and mortar store geared specifically towards Fibromyalgia sufferers. These stores would carry anything from bath salts to comfortable clothing. She agrees with me and many other sufferers that some of the clothing on the market today is very uncomfortable for people with pain issues and she'd like to do her part in remedying that.  For more information on Marian, please visit her website http://www.beenaturalfibromyalgia.com/index.html.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pregnancy at Week 4 and 5


Pregnancy at weeks 4 and 5 can be uneventful for some mothers.  In fact, they might not even know they are pregnant at that point.  But for some of the lucky, like me, you can experience anything from fatigue on top of your normal fatigue, sore breasts, sore lower back, constipation, diaherra, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, bloating, food cravings and aversions.  I've been lucky to experience all of the above at week 4 and 5 of my pregnancy.  Up top is a picture of week 4's bloating.  And below is a picture of week 5.


I'm having a hard time fitting into my normal pants at this point and will have to start shopping for maternity clothes this weekend.  OMG! As my 4 yr old would say.  My first two pregnancies were nothing like this one.  I didn't "show" until my third month and even at that point I could still manage to fit into some of my clothes.

Bloating can be from a number of things during pregnancy.  Tight clothing and what you eat play a major role in your bloat and I've been guilty of both.  I cheated this holiday season and had baked goods that contained wheat.  I couldn't help it.  They were calling my name and they looked SOOOO good.  I paid for it, of course, and wound up with some irritable bowel and bloat. 

There are ways to alleviate feeling like the Good Year Blimp, even in pregnancy. 
  1. Wearing loose clothing helps to relieve some pressure.
  2. Chewing your food slowly.
  3. Sticking to a healthy diet of 6 small meals a day rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables and staying away from fried foods, cabbage, beans, and onions that are gas culprits. 



For our own Christmas dinner I stuck to my pregnancy diet and ate foods rich in protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables with roasted duck, ham, baked baccala with roma tomatoes, shiitake mushroom lasagna, and kale with quinoa.  I picked at these delicious dishes most of the day and made myself eat 3 small meals and 1 snack.  I haven't quite worked up to 6 meals a day at this point because I just can't stomach it yet (pardon the pun) but I am getting there! 

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,
Kimberley


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fibro and Fabulous Pregnancy

Coming this August... A new addition to the Fibro and Fabulous Family!  Yes, that is right!  Your favorite Fibromyalgia author is pregnant! 

As I do with everything Fibro, I will be posting about pregnancy from a fabulous stand point and you all will get to see the progress month by month.  Have a wonderful holiday!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Usually a Type A, but Lately...

Doctor Oz had a very interesting segment on today about metabolisms and food and how it can effect you and your health.  I like the Doctor Oz show a lot and I'm so glad that there is someone out there discussing the very things that I've said countless numbers of times over the years about food.

Pills to cure illness were never a common staple with our ancestors and it shouldn't be for us either.  Simple changes in diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference for us all.  I know there are some skeptics out there.  They still want to hold onto to the traditions of pill-profit medicine and that's okay.  But if you'd rather save a few hundred dollars or so every month, you might want to consider the alternative.

After taking Doctor Oz's test, I found that I'm a reformed Type A personality/metabolism.  Type A's suffer from anxiety which is something I've always struggled with, but perhaps the counseling I've gotten over the years for my OCD issues, which stemmed from my mother, has helped me to finally find a balance where I'm now a Type C!  Yes I now crave salty AND sweet foods, I get tired, cranky, AND I have aches and pains.  YAY!!! I'm so excited to be a happy medium!  NOT!!!! LOL!

Regardless of your personality or metabolism, you can change how your body reacts.  Doctor Oz suggests a certain diet to follow for each personality/metabolism, and yes, he does suggest that the foods you eat make up your personality.  A topic I find very interesting.  I know I've changed my diet several times over the course of my life and I've become a different person than I used to be.  I thought it was due to growth and experience alone, but could it really be just the food?

Doctor Oz has suggested that there are many studies out there about personalities and diet, however, sorry to say, this Fibro and Fab gal has yet to see it in the Google searches from a reputable site, except this promising one : http://www.rps.psu.edu/indepth/does_personality_play_a_role_in_the_preference_for_spicy_foods.html.  But that doesn't mean I won't keep looking.

You can follow the discussion from the aired Doctor Oz television show here: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/your-metabolism-type-diet and be sure to take the quiz: http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/quiz-what-your-metabolism-type

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley




 

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