This weekly email comes to you from Rebuilding My Health, your source for natural and integrative health success stories to inspire hope and healing in those with chronic or complex illness. We’re bringing you ground-breaking success stories from Rebuilding My Health and insights from other hand-picked, trusted sources.

Source: Rebuilding My Health

For three decades, beginning at age 13, Jill Grunewald’s hair came and went. She initially thought it could be related to Hashimoto’s disease, but after sending her Hashimoto’s into remission with nutrition, her alopecia – in the ophiasis pattern – continued.

Finally, a functional medicine doctor screened her for mast-cell activation syndrome – and she answered yes to every question. With mast-cell activation syndrome, mast cells, which form part of the body’s defense system, are inappropriately triggered. This can lead to hives, swelling, shortness of breath, digestive issues and more.

The doctor believed this could be the missing link for Jill’s hair loss. She began a low-histamine diet, mast-cell stabilizers and anti-histamines. She also started needling her scalp and applying essential oils that have been shown to be even more effective than the active ingredient in Rogaine. And, her hair grew back completely!

Jill, now a health coach, points out that each person’s root cause is different. Sometimes it’s autoimmune-related and sometimes not. But there is foundational work to support the immune system, plus some condition-specific actions that can slow loss or reverse alopecia, whether it’s androgenic (all-over thinning) or another type. (Though the former type can take longer to resolve.)

The takeaway: In some, it’s possible to reverse alopecia.

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Source: Break the Rules podcast

In this podcast, host Dr. Lauren Lax interviews Beth O’Hara, a naturopathic doctor and owner of Mast Cell 360.

From childhood past college, Beth O’Hara suffered from horrible allergies. By the time she was in college, severe joint pain left her nearly bedridden. Beth spent over $150,000 seeing 50 doctors, and was no better for it.

Eventually, her research led her to a condition called mast-cell activation syndrome, or MCAS, which she suspected in herself. When our mast cells (immune cells) do their jobs, they protect us. But chronic toxicity or chronic infections can disregulate our mast cells, O’Hara says.

With ongoing illness, our mast cells can become overly vigilant – which can cause itching, runny nose, hives, congestion, joint and muscle pain, heart palpatations, dizziness, low blood pressure, food sensitivities, sleep issues, digestive problems, mood problems and more.

O’Hara says it affects 10-15 percent of the general population and about 50 percent of the chronically ill.

She attributes her own MCAS to growing up in a moldy home, plus Lyme disease, Bartonella and Epstein-Barre virus. Other potential causes of MCAS: food triggers, genetic factors, nutritional deficiencies, low oxygen, hormone imbalances, and stress or trauma.

Over time, Beth successfully turned around her MCAS by resolving her own root causes. Now, she’s active and runs a busy naturopathic practice.

Reversing MCAS can take a while. Beth says it usually includes gut health, mold testing, testing for Lyme and co-infections, and more. By going slowly, you avoid a “mast-cell cascade” that can lead to more inflammation. Curious if you may have MCAS? Take Beth’s symptoms survey.

The takeaway: 10-15% of the population is estimated to have over-active immune cells that can be behind symptoms such as those above. If you suspect you may have MCAS, find a practitioner with expertise in this condition.

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Do you ever feel like life is just too much?

Too much work.
Too much chaos.
Too much weight.
Too much stress.

Life can feel so full of demands that you never get to fulfill your real purpose.

In an upcoming FREE virtual summit, I’m joining close to 40 of the world’s experts in living lighter – mentally, physically and emotionally.

As editor of a health magazine, I’ll be sharing the strategies I see over and over that help people lighten their lives physically, mentally and emotionally.

Here’s how you’re going to live lighter with the summit (100% online and free):

• Learn how to eliminate all the excess (the clutter, chaos, and complexity) so you can finally start living your dream life.
• Get easy tools that can help you live lighter – with a lighter body, mind and heart.
• Stop living with distractions and start living with purpose. In just a few days, your whole life (and mindset) will change forever.

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Source: Neurology

We’re passionate about helping you prevent cognitive decline. And there’s good news on that front.

A six-year study involving approximately 2,000 Americans looked at lifestyle factors relative to Alzheimer’s dementia risk.

The five lifestyle factors they considered: non-smoking; light to moderate exercise; light to moderate alcohol consumption; a high-quality Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet; and engagement in late-life cognitive activities.

  • Participants with 0 to 1 of those lifestyle factors had a 37% lower risk of Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Those with 2 or 3 lifestyle factors had a 60% lower risk
  • And participants with 4 to 5 factors had a whopping 95% lower risk

The takeaway: It’s clear. Clean, healthy living can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. Choose one of the lifestyle factors to master, then gradually tick off others.

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Thanks for being part of our mission – to showcase and share natural and integrative* health success stories to inspire hope and healing in those with chronic and complex illness.

*Integrative medicine combines conventional and natural approaches.