How Do You Know if You’re Lactose Intolerant?

Woman holding a glass of milk and having a stomachache.

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that, although harmless, can have many uncomfortable symptoms. The good news for people with lactose intolerance is that there are many natural treatments available.

What Is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is the inability to fully digest the lactose, or sugar, in milk. Those who develop lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase, the enzyme responsible for lactose digestion, in their small intestine. Lactose intolerance can develop in three ways.

  • Primary lactose intolerance occurs suddenly in adulthood.
  • Secondary lactose intolerance occurs following surgery, injury, or illness involving the small intestine.
  • Congenital lactose intolerance occurs when a child is born with the condition due to the passing on of the same gene by each parent.

What Are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

This condition has many symptoms, but gastrointestinal symptoms between 30 minutes and two hours following the eating or drinking of lactose are most common. These symptoms can be mild to severe and include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Headaches, eczema, fatigue, and joint pain have also been reported by those with lactose intolerance. These can arise due to a milk allergy or another food allergy.

How Is Lactose Intolerance Diagnosed?

Typically, answering questions about your symptoms is all that’s required to diagnose lactose intolerance. A practitioner’s suspicion may also be confirmed by asking you to avoid dairy foods and monitor your symptoms.

Blood sugar and hydrogen breath tests can reveal whether or not you’re breaking down lactose normally, and may be ordered by your practitioner.

Treatment for Lactose Intolerance

Doctor talking with old patient

The best way to ensure you receive the right treatment for lactose intolerance is to first confirm the condition with a lactose tolerance test. Testing is important because you can experience the above symptoms but have no problem absorbing and digesting lactose normally.

Food Restriction and Nutrient Replacement

Limiting or eliminating lactose-containing foods from your diet is typically the first step in treating the condition. Foods to restrict or avoid include ice cream, cheese, and milk. Alternatively, you can choose lactose-free products, or those with a lower amount of lactose. These include soy milk and soy cheese or any of the other many dairy alternative products made with oat, hemp, coconut, rice, or cashews and other nuts.

However, it’s important to note that you will need to replace the calcium and other nutrients lost by restricting the consumption of dairy. Therefore, you will want to eat more of the following foods:
Lactase drops

  • Almonds
  • Salmon, sardines, and other boned and canned fish
  • Collards, kale, turnip greens, and broccoli
  • Juices, cereals, and soy products fortified with calcium
  • Well-tolerated fermented milk products like yogurt and kefir

Lactase Products

Supplements like Lactase Drops provide your small intestine with the liquid lactase enzyme it needs to properly digest lactose and eliminate your symptoms. This allows you to continue enjoying the dairy products you love.

All of the products found at Forrest Health combine only the best natural ingredients with the latest technology. This results in quality products that offer you maximum health benefit. Visit our website or call for more information: 408-354-4262.

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NAD and Aging

For millions of people across the nation, the fight against aging is an ongoing preoccupation—and for perfectly understandable reasons. It is a well-established medical fact that the aging process is closely linked to a wide variety of illnesses and medical conditions, including cancer and certain metabolic disorders. That’s why so many people search for supplements and natural remedies as a way to slow down aging and forestall the ailments associated with it.

Although the medical world has yet to discover a “magic bullet” that stops or reverses aging, there have been various discoveries that show promise in preventing or at least delaying many of the physical complications that arise as we grow older. Among these vital discoveries is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). What is NAD? It is a coenzyme, found in each and every cell of the body, that is believed by numerous medical authorities to control aging functions. A deficiency of NAD may be a primary cause of many age-related diseases. Therefore, optimizing the levels of NAD in the body could be one of the keys to maintaining good health.

How can you increase your levels of NAD? One commonly recommended way is to use supplements that have been specifically designed for this purpose. At Forrest Health, you have access to a range of reasonably priced, high-quality NAD supplements. View the infographic below for more information on the science of NAD anti-aging functions, how to identify NAD precursors, and the value of supplementation.

NAD and Aging Infographic

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What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women?

Diagnosis Low testosterone and pen on a desk.

Just as with any other hormone, having low or high testosterone levels can wreak havoc on health and wellbeing. When this type of hormonal imbalance occurs, a woman can experience a number of mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. However, there are many ways to correct testosterone imbalance.

Do Women Really Need Testosterone?

Yes; the right levels of testosterone are absolutely crucial for women, as this sex hormone helps maintain health and wellbeing. Produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries, testosterone supports reproductive system health and regulates mood. When a woman produces testosterone in normal amounts, testosterone also:

  • Helps decrease body fat in post-menopausal women
  • Assists with bone growth and maintenance
  • Helps women increase their muscle mass
  • Supports a healthy sex drive

Just as it does in men, this hormone affects many important bodily systems and processes.

What Causes Low Testosterone?

There is more than one cause of low testosterone in women.

Aging

The natural process of aging means that testosterone levels will decline gradually until menopause. When a woman has reached menopause, estrogen production continues in the ovaries, but testosterone does not.

Medication

There are some medications that can affect testosterone levels. Glucocorticoid steroids can decrease the function of adrenal glands, which ultimately lowers levels. Oral contraceptives prevent normal testosterone production and also decrease the free testosterone in the body.

Physical Conditions

Several conditions can lead to decreased testosterone. Anorexia nervosa significantly reduces body fat, which is a primary supplier of testosterone in women. LH or luteinizing hormone, which signals the ovaries to make testosterone, is made in the pituitary gland. The operation of this gland is negatively impacted by anorexia nervosa.

Women with improperly functioning adrenal glands may also experience low testosterone levels. The same is true of women with pituitary gland dysfunction and women with HIV.

Surgery

Women who have had both ovaries removed via surgery can have significantly lower amounts of testosterone than postmenopausal women.

When insufficient amounts of this hormone are being produced, a woman may experience any or all of the following symptoms.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Young tired woman in eyeglasses sleeping on desk with laptop at workplace

Low testosterone has an effect on several aspects of sexual function in women, including:

  • Decreased sexual satisfaction
  • Decreased libido
  • Less of an interest in sex
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which includes many of the above symptoms

Women with low testosterone also experience cognitive difficulty in the form of:

  • Concentrating
  • Planning for the future
  • Finding words
  • Communicating
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Short-term memory loss

Lack of testosterone can also manifest itself with mood problems, including:

  • Mild to moderate depression
  • Unexplained periods of low mood
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia

Other common symptoms associated with low testosterone are:

  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Progressive weight gain
  • Decreased muscle mass production
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Bone density changes
  • Thinning hair
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning skin

Natural Ways to Balance Your Testosterone Levels

Happy woman eating fresh vegetables while preparing salad in kitchen

Any of the above symptoms can be, at the very least, uncomfortable to experience. If you suspect that your symptoms are due to low testosterone, the best way to confirm this is to request a blood test from your health care practitioner. There are also several ways to manage your symptoms.

Diet

Healing via consuming a healthy diet is ideal; choose fruits and vegetables of all colors, and ensure you get enough high-quality meat and vegetable proteins. Don’t forget to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and turmeric, which offer many benefits.

Exercise

The proper diet will provide you with the energy you need to exercise. If unused to movement, start small by choosing stairs instead of the elevator or by taking short walks. Gradually increase your amount of exercise, aiming for at least 90 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Always consult your health care practitioner prior to starting any exercise regimen.

Stress Reduction

Stress is a leading cause of many types of disease. That being said, reduce stress wherever possible by meditating, participating in creative activities, or volunteering. Sufficient sleep is absolutely essential to your overall health; consider learning more about sleep hygiene and using natural methods such as lavender and other essential oils to help you fall asleep.

Address Sexual Difficulties

If you are experiencing persistent sexual difficulty, there are many methods to try. Sex therapy may help you restore healthy sexual function. Yoga and similar practices can restore flow to your chakras, the energy centers of your body. Chiropractic and acupuncture are both drug-free ways to restore nerve communication and rebalance hormone levels.

Consider Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, can be a very effective treatment option with very  few to no side effects. Although there are many ways to ingest testosterone, it should never be taken orally in supplement form.

Injection or Surgery

TRT can be accomplished via injection either into the muscle (intramuscular) or under the skin (subcutaneously). Testosterone can also be ingested in the form of a hormone pellet, which is a device filled with hormones that is surgically inserted into the body. Hormones are released by the device periodically.

Liquid

If you are experiencing low testosterone symptoms, you may also be able to obtain them in liquid form. Another very common way to rebalance your testosterone levels is to use compounded therapy.

Compound

testo creme for women
A compound is a type of preparation that’s applied to the skin, also known as transdermal application. Like smoking cessation patches, a testosterone patch delivers the hormone to the body over a period of time.

Testosterone is also available in gel and liquid form. Finally, the creme form is also a very common means of ingestion that can be both very effective and safe. The creme is best absorbed when applied to thinner areas of skin with sufficient capillary blood flow, such as the inside of the wrist.

When doing TRT, you would typically take the therapy for a certain number of days, and then stop taking it for one week before resuming.

High-Quality, Natural Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testo-Creme for Women is a 100% natural and homeopathic product, specially designed to help increase your testosterone levels safely. Ingredients like ginkgo biloba, DHEA, and homeopathic formulations of testosterone and HGH improve sex drive, skin health, and much more.

Forrest Health is proud to offer Testo-Creme and many other high-quality natural products to benefit overall health. To learn more, visit us online or call 408-354-4262.

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Skin Microbiome: Why It’s So Important and How to Improve It

relaxed black woman has gentle skin after taking shower

Where it comes to being healthy, skin is not likely to be the first thing we think of. However, our skin—more specifically, the skin microbiome—plays a vital role in our overall health. Join us as we explore ways to improve skin microbiome balance.

What Is the Skin Microbiome?

You may have heard of the gut microbiome, which refers to the trillions of beneficial and not-so-beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. The skin microbiome refers to the fungi and bacteria on your skin. These also include some of the bacteria that can be found in the gut microbiome, although in far smaller amounts.

Why Is Having a Healthy Skin Microbiome Important?

Having a healthy skin microbiome is important for many reasons. This largest organ in the body is responsible for:

Infection protection – When healthy, the skin microbiome is the first line of defense against infection-causing bacteria, ensuring they remain at low numbers. It does this by keeping its pH at a level that prevents the growth of these bacteria.

Ensures effective communication – The skin microbiome communicates with the immune system on a regular basis. It’s this conversation that helps to regulate, strengthen, and improve the efficiency of both communities.

It shields us from environmental threats – When running at optimal efficiency, skin not only helps with healing wounds but forms a skin barrier that shields us from allergens and helps lessen oxidative damage. The skin microbiome also regulates hydration as it protects from the damage caused by UV rays.

How to Achieve a Healthy Skin Microbiome

Maintaining skin health means keeping it balanced, and there are many ways to achieve this balance from inside as well as out.

Support Your Gut Microbiome

Considering the close relationship between the gut and the skin, supporting your gut health just makes sense. Consume at least one serving of probiotic foods or supplements daily; the general recommendation is to consume between one and ten billion CFUS (culture-forming units) of these good bacteria per sitting.

Once you’ve populated your gut with beneficial bacteria, you’ll want to ensure you’re giving them the nutrition they need to thrive. Prebiotic foods like garlic, asparagus, and oats all contain the fibrous carbohydrates necessary for the healthy and diverse gut microbiome your skin depends on.

Speaking of foods, some dairy- and gluten-containing foods are notorious triggers for inflammatory skin issues like acne and eczema. Try eliminating these if you have skin conditions.

Get Adequate Nutrition and Hydration

Eating a healthy diet will be instrumental to the health of your skin. Be sure to choose healthy fats like avocado, as well as protein and vegetables.

Equally important is adequate hydration; your gut needs sufficient hydration for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, and your skin uses hydration for healing and feeding the bacteria in its microbiome.

Work Up a Sweat

When you sweat, you feed your skin microbiome and help to regulate its pH. Aim for at least 90 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and you’ll not only feel better, but your skin will take on a healthy glow, too.

Learn Proper Cleaning Technique

girl washed with scrub to clean the pores

The best way to clean your skin is gently; scrubbing too much will remove healthy bacteria, as well as cause damage to your skin, which invites infection. Always pat skin dry instead of rubbing; this will keep microbes and your skin structure intact.

Transform your Skin Hygiene Routine

Another way to support your skin’s microbiome is to take inventory of the soaps, moisturizers, and other products you use on it. Aim to eliminate any antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizers, which destroy skin flora.

Because so many soaps are alkaline, their regular use can throw your pH out of balance, causing dry or oily skin. Consider fewer showers or start researching microbiome soap options. When it comes to moisturizing, choose gentle products that attract water and preserve natural oils.

Get Everything You Need for Healthy, Glowing Skin

The importance of your skin’s microbiome cannot be understated, and the best way to maintain its health and balance is by choosing products that support it. Forrest Health helps you achieve the skin you want by carrying only products that contain natural, organic ingredients.

We are now proud to offer the Renue skincare line, which includes nourishing modern hygiene formulations for face and body, as well as high-quality professional products from companies including Emerita, Suki, Kamedis, and many more.

To explore our product lines, visit our website or call Forrest Health today: 408-354-4262.

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