The parathyroid is named for its snuggled up position around the thyroid. These 4 little rice grain-looking structures regulate the calcium level in your bones and blood. The muscular and nervous systems must have Calcium in order to properly:
- Clot blood
- Conduct electrical messages
- Contract muscles
The bones and teeth are the body’s storeroom for Calcium—99% of it! When blood Calcium levels drop, the Parathyroid glands release Parathyroid Hormone (PTH).
Fun fact: our bodies can’t make Calcium—not a lick of it. So…it must come from our diet. When we fail to take in what is needed our bodies pull it from elsewhere.
PTH signals these changes:
- Increase absorption of Calcium in the intestine by activating Vitamin D.
- Kidneys pump up Calcium conservation from blood stream.
- Osteoclasts ramp up free Calcium by breaking down bone.
What does abnormal look like? Low PTH (weakened or stressed Parathyroids) causes fatigue and anxiety. A hyperactive Parathyroid (hormonal imbalance) causes increased Calcium in the blood stream and less in the bones, resulting in low bone density and calcium build up in the vessels.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends men and women take between 1000 to 1200 mg daily.
Where do we get Calcium in our diets? We suggest finding the closest source of whole, unprocessed, grass-fed milk you can get your hands on.
As mentioned above, our bodies can’t absorb Calcium without Vitamin D. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends men and women over age 50 take 800-1000 IU daily, while those under 50 take 400-800 IU daily.
Luckily, our skin can make Vitamin D with ample sunlight. Wild-caught salmon and other fish also contains Vitamin D. For those with conditions preventing exposure to the sun, and for many people during the winter months, it may help to invest in a high quality vitamin D supplement. Supplemental Vitamin D comes in D3 or D4 form—both are effective in Calcium absorption processes.
Young Living’s Master Formula is one of the best whole food multi-vitamins for daily health available.
- Naturally supports general health and well-being for the body.
- Has gut flora-supporting prebiotics.
- Ingredients help neutralize free radicals in the body.
- Includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other food-based nutrients.
- Contains 400 IU of Vit D3 and 200 mg of Calcium.
As we’ve seen over the past few months, the endocrine system is intricately…and inextricably linked to diet. Without the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins our body was designed to run on, break-downs happen. Just like an internal combustion engine was not designed to run with water as the fuel source, so our bodies cannot function with vigor and vitality on the typical modern diet of processed and stabilized foods.
We’ve looked before at the Two Types of Nutritional deficiencies:
Primary deficiency is found when the nutrient is not physically present. A secondary deficiency is found when you fail to absorb or utilize the nutrient because of some other lack. Examples… fat is needed to transport vitamin A,E,D, or K to where it is needed in the body. B9 and B12 are needed for the body to utilize iron. Protein or the break-down of proteins are necessary for the transportation of iodine to the thyroid.
These secondary deficiencies are much harder to pinpoint the cause of. Unfortunately, many people are just too busy to put in the time and effort to correct such maladies caused by a lacking diet with what is needed: Good Food. This is what happens as nutritional deficiencies persist:
- Reserves in the body are depleted.
- Nutrients are depleted from body tissues.
- Depletion is detectable in body fluids such as blood and serum.
- Body creates symptoms like gas, indigestion, heartburn, headaches, cramps, pain etc.
- Depletion causes changes in the body such as degeneration of bones, discs, muscles etc.
Good Food is found as close to the source as possible, as fresh as possible. The result of a diet of highly processed, high temperature, and high pressure treated foods are a distinct lack of enzymes among others. Next time we’ll begin a discussion of the digestive system. It’s been called the foundation of health, and it begins before you even take a bite: with the enzymes in your mouth!
If you’d like more info on Young Living’s nutritional support, go here.
Grass-fed dairy is such a great resource to have access to! It may take some work, but more than likely there is a farmer near you doing the right thing who would like another good customer. Try here.
One of our favorite things about having our grass fed raw milk is making whey to have on hand for lacto-fermentation of all sorts (from pickling veggies, to making tasty healthy drinks, to soaking whole grain flours before baking, and so much more)! Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon is a great go-to on the how-as well as why-of lacto-fermentation. The other by-product of making whey is the best cream cheese you've ever had. Don't be intimidated! You don't even need a stove to make this cheese!!!
To start, we get a fresh 2 quart mason jar of creamy milk. You'll love step #2....you put the sealed jar on the counter out of the sun....and do nothing. Seriously. Wait 2 to 4 days depending on temperature, etc. You'll know the milk has clabbered when you see voids on the glass walls as you gently move the jar. Next get a good cheese cloth, a colander, and a large bowl. Line the colander with the cheese cloth, put the colander in the bowl, and dump the clabbered milk in the cloth lined colander. Next, fold the cloth over the milk and let it sit for a day or two in the fridge or cellar. In the bowl you now have the whey, (about 1 quart) and the cream cheese in the cloth. You can mix in honey, maple syrup, berries, fruit, or whatever you like to taste. We've also enjoyed adding some of this cream cheese to homemade yogurt to thicken it up some. Yum. The whey lasts for several months.
A large part of maintaining bone density is exercise. If we don't use it, we lose it. Exercise is commonly prescribed now for it's health and stress reduction benefits. Hormone health has also been linked to exercise--especially for men and testosterone production. Any activity is better than no activity. However, I would like to make a case for HIIT (high intensity interval training) if you are able, as opposed to a slower paced activity like walking, biking, or jogging.
Functional exercise is important. In my mind, if I'm going to grab a barbell it's because I'm training my body how to move correctly so I don't get hurt during a normal activity of daily living. Picking up the box of Christmas decorations from the floor and lifting it to a shelf overhead for storage is an example of daily activity that could injure you if you don't train on good body mechanics beforehand.
The clean and jerk is an exercise that pays dividends for bone density, coordination, strength, and flexibility. I suggest learning and warming up with a broom stick or PVC pipe. You can also clean and jerk things besides a barbell for workouts--boxes of decorations, a medicine ball, fire wood log sections, stones, hay bales, a container filled with sand...it's a recycling project:) Check out the video, below, go slow and light to learn, and have someone watch you if you're not sure. Remember to keep your back straight, butt down, and drive through your heals.
Don't hesitate to comment on your simple changes to diet, exercise, toxin reduction, or natural health!
What will your small intentional change in lifestyle be for 2016?
We wish you all the best in the new year.
Clint and Joy