Chances are, you know someone who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome—a long-term illness characterized by a variety of symptoms, the most common one being extreme tiredness. This syndrome occurs in people of all ages, and even in children. Chronic fatigue syndrome is more likely to develop in women in their mid-20s to mid-40s. 

According to many experts, there is no one specific reason behind it’s development. Let’s talk about some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

Symptoms Of CFS

While long-lasting extreme tiredness is the most common symptom of CFS, there are many other possible CFS symptoms:

 

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Sleep problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Feeling sick in general

 

You can see that the symptoms of CFS are very similar to those of many other health issues, which can lead to difficulty and delays in being correctly diagnosed and treated by healthcare professionals.

Common Causes Of CFS

A few of the potential triggers for CFS symptoms include:

Viral Infections:

Everyone suffers from viral infections like colds and flus periodically, but if the proper care is not taken to allow the immune system to fully recover, then chronic fatigue syndrome may later develop. Certain viruses have been found to be linked to the development of CFS, such as the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), the mouse Leukemia Virus and Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6).

Immune System Impairment:

It’s also said that people whose immune system is weak or impaired are more likely to develop CFS. However, this issue alone isn’t enough to diagnose the disorder.

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated?

The root cause of CFS is often unknown, but the symptoms can be managed effectively with proper care and treatment. Recovery will depend on how your CFS is responding to treatment. 

Some of the common treatments are:

  • CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • Graded exercise therapy
  • Natural supplements such as vitamins, essential amino acids, and antioxidants to strengthening the mitochondrial function and improve energy production

Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, smoking and other unhealthy habits can also help CFS sufferers to sleep better and have more energy during the day. 

 

I’ve been seeing a ton of skin issues with my patients lately, so I thought it would be helpful to share 5 of my best tips for radiant skin with you today, because who doesn’t want clear, youthful-looking skin every day?!

Most skin issues stem from internal toxicity or imbalance (often a gut microbiome imbalance, acid reflux or mold toxicity), rather than what you’re putting onto your skin externally. But certain skincare products can definitely cause breakouts and rashes as well, especially for those of us with sensitive skin.

Skin issues—from acne to rashes of all kinds to excessively dry or oily skin—are all linked with having too many bad bacteria, yeasts and fungi in the gut, and not enough good ones (aka lactic acid probiotic bacteria). 

This sort of gut imbalance is very common in the US and around the world now, and it’s fueled by our excessive antibiotic use (in medicine and in our food), diets full of highly processed junk food, and chronically high-stress lifestyles, yeast overgrowth among other factors.

The result can be experienced as anything from various types of digestives issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, autoimmune diseases, skin issues and more. 

Many people don’t realize that their skin issues are related to an internal imbalance, and they try to resolve it by trying new skincare product after product, often to no avail. But the good news is that there are many all-natural ways to help balance your gut microbiome and therefore your skin from the inside out. 

Implementing a few of these strategies consistently can go a long way in strengthening your digestion and giving you the skin that you’ve always dreamt of. So let’s dive into my 5 top radiant skin strategies!

1) Stick to an Anti-Inflammatory Skin-Friendly Diet

My top recommendation for radiant skin shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

What we eat is very closely linked with every aspect of our health, including our skin health. So I recommend avoiding inflammatory foods as much as possible—ones like dairy, wheat/gluten, soy, eggs, and processed foods. Alcohol is also super bad for skin and health in general, so it’s best to keep it to a minimum or avoid it altogether if you want that youthful glow.

Instead, focus on eating an abundance of fresh fruits & vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, seeds and clean proteins like legumes and grass-fed/wild-caught meat and seafood (once a week). Organic is best!

Eating this way the majority of the time will help tremendously with establishing and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and giving you all of the nutrients that your skin needs to truly thrive. You’ll be amazed at what this one change (when done right) can do for your skin, and for every single aspect of your health. A diet full of whole foods can literally make you glow!

2) Eat Kimchi Daily to Balance Your Gut Microbiome

Kimchi is my favorite functional food, as it does so much to support our gut and skin microbiome and our overall health, thanks to the billions of probiotic bacteria in every serving, along with the organic acids, vitamins, and minerals it contains.

It’s been shown to help with eczema (atopic dermatitis), and it helps to heal leaky gut conditions, preventing any unwanted wastes, acids, or bacteria from getting into the bloodstream—a major contributor to skin issues, allergies, and autoimmune conditions.

My new book The Kimchi Diet is the best way to help you start incorporating kimchi into your daily diet for optimal results. In it, I share everything you need to know to make and enjoy your own kimchi at home, the traditional Korean way—all clearly outlined in my simple 8-week program which includes a new batch of kimchi every 2 weeks.

If you’re new to kimchi or fermented vegetables in general and want to start adding it into your diet, I recommend starting with just a tablespoon or two per day at first and slowly working up to about a ½ cup per day. Increasing the amount you consume slowly over a few weeks or months will help to minimize any digestive discomfort you may experience as the kimchi works to reinoculate your gut with billions of lactic acid bacteria. 

The result? Better digestion, clearer skin, more energy, sharper thinking, and much more!

3) Support Your Digestion With Enzymes

Digestive enzymes can be a huge help in resolving skin issues if you’re having problems digesting your food completely—which unfortunately is very common these days.

Your body produces its own digestive enzymes, but it may not be producing enough of them or all of the right ones, due to various factors like stress, nutritional deficiencies, etc. 

But by taking a digestive enzyme supplement (one with betaine HCL and ox bile to ensure protein and fat digestion) at the beginning of your meals, and you’ll begin to experience more complete digestion and absorption of your macronutrients, which can lead to clearer, healthier skin in a matter of weeks.

4) Protect Your Skin’s Microbiome With Natural Soaps

Did you know that we have an entire microbiome on the surface of our skin? And that we have different types of bacteria and other microorganisms living in different areas of our body? For example, there are certain microbes that live in our belly buttons vs. our armpits vs the skin on our face or our scalp.

It’s not a pleasant thought for most of us, but just as the microbes in our gut are critical to our digestive and overall health, so are the ones living on our skin. So it’s important to treat your skin gently with natural skincare products that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils and won’t kill off all of the microbes living there.

I love our probiotic cleansing bar, as it does an amazing job of protecting the skin and supporting a healthy skin microbiome!

5) Purigenex Intensive Collagen Serum & Mask Kit

So many people ask me what’s my skin secret…do I get any fillers or Botox, and the answer is an emphatic “NO! I’m totally free of fillers, injections, laser treatments, facelifts, etc.!”

My favorite skin secret for the past 11 years has been applying Purigenex Collagen on my skin and now at almost 57 years old, my skin looks better than it did in my 40’s!

Our flagship Intensive Collagen Serum & Mask 8-week kit is medically engineered to be transdermally absorbed, with the world’s most highly purified form of collagen. It helps to reduce the signs of aging and dramatically improves cell turnover as it activates the body’s own collagen production. 

Try adding my 5 skin favs into your life, and tell me if you start feeling and seeing a difference in a few weeks—vibrant, glowing skin, naturally…

And if you’re ready to learn more, click here to get free access to my Skin Secrets Mini-Series, where I reveal the exact steps that I took to heal my 2nd-degree sunburn in one hour and make my skin look 10 years younger!

With spring finally here and days are getting longer, temperatures will continue to rise with warm sunshine and clear blue skies.

So, before stepping outside, we want to be mindful about sun protection, and should apply the correct formula that protects our skin and your children’s delicate skin, particularly in the areas that a prone to sun exposure and damage, such as your face, shoulders and chest.
drsusanne-paddleboardHere I am all covered up under the hot La Paz sun!

With so many different brands available as well as various types of chemicals in sunscreens and sun blocks, you may feel overwhelmed and often have difficulty choosing the right type of formula or SPF.

I am going to make it easy for you and give you the details on which best sun care formulas to get and some tips and tricks in natural sun protection.

1. First let me give you some Sun Facts!

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet light that affect human skin, UVA and UVB. UVB is much stronger than UVA, and it has an immediate impact on skin, within 60 seconds.

It is most powerful during the summer and especially between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. UVB is completely blocked by glass (windows) whereas UVA radiation penetrates through glass and windows and can cause damage to the skin even during cloudier days.

Although UVA is lower in intensity and is not felt by the skin, it is the main cause of premature skin aging (wrinkles, sagging and age spots) and possibly skin cancer.

I have to tell you that a few weeks ago when I was in Miami for a conference, I actually got a second-degree burn on my skin!

I acted quickly and healed my blisters and pain in one hour, so miraculously that I got so inspired and made a 4 part Skin Secrets miniseries that goes into detail on how to heal damaged skin from the sun and premature skin aging.

You can go to drsusanne.com/miniseries to get the free 4 part Skin Secrets miniseries!

2. What does SPF mean?

It stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF numbers are designed to describe the length of time you can stay in the sun before you start burning your skin. For example, if you normally start to burn after 30 minutes of direct sunlight, then an SPF 30 product should let you stay in the sun for approximately 30 times longer without burning.

What is the difference between sun blocks and sunscreens? Both formulas protect our skin from sun damage by different mechanisms.

Sun blocks actually sit “on” the skin and act as a barrier to reflect away ultraviolet (UV) rays — both UVA and UVB radiation can cause sunburn and skin damage, and possibly even skin cancer.

So it “BLOCKS” the sun UV rays from penetrating into the skin and damaging the delicate tissue. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both sun blocking agents for both UVA and UVB rays.

Sun blocks usually start at an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. All SPF ratings apply only to UVB protection, not UVA.
In comparison, sunscreens are made with chemicals that absorb and neutralize the ultraviolet radiation.

Sunscreen chemicals typically protect against either UVA or UVB, while only a few protect against both types of radiation.
As a result, sunscreens usually have mixtures of both kinds of chemicals in order to be labeled as “broad spectrum” — and to be fully protective.

The SPF levels of sunscreens are widely varied, starting as low as 2 and rising as high as 100+.

I have big concerns about chemical sunscreens acting as endocrine disruptors — compounds that mimic hormones and activate hormone receptors. Some studies have indicated that these chemicals may generate free radicals that can damage skin and possibly cause skin cancer.

3. Go for the sun blocks rather than the sunscreens.

  • I always suggest using sun blocks rather than sunscreens. Look for formulas that have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in them. Out of the two, zinc oxide causes fewer allergic reactions. These are natural mineral compounds that will “block” the UV rays from penetrating the skin; the only drawback I know of is that they may leave a white residue.I suggest staying away from products claiming they use “nano-particles” (between 1 to 100 nanometers), which can penetrate skin. Don’t forget to follow product warnings for infants under 6 months old.
  • I believe in avoiding synthetic estrogen compounds, which appear under names such as oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), as well as other derivatives that are super free radical generators (causing skin damage) such as avobenzone, Parsol 1789, dioxybenzone, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnimate, 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, protamine salicylate, homosalate and PABA.
  • Also avoid—Sunscreens with added insect repellents such as deet and permethrin, they are super toxic and can cause damage to you and your child’s nervous system.
    Purchase cream-based products only. Avoid sprays and powders, as the vapors and particulates can easily be inhaled and irritate nasal passages and respiratory system.
  • Use an SPF of at least 15 — and apply plenty of it often.
  • Before using any sunscreen or sunblock, test it by applying a small amount to your child’s wrist. If the skin turns red, itchy or irritated within 20 minutes, try another brand.

4. The best defense from damaging UV rays is prevention.

Use these common-sense Sun Safety Tips before grabbing the sunblock/sunscreens:

  • Wear loose, cotton/linen, and light-colored clothes. Long sleeve shirts, pants and dresses will reduce UV rays from penetrating the skin. A good hat with a large brim will protect the face, neck, eyes and ears.
  • If you are a water sports lover like I am, wear a rash guard or even full-body rash guard/swimsuit. It also works beautifully for children who love to be in the water for hours at a time. Use a hat that can be cinched down under the chin.
  • Play in the shade. Use a parasol or umbrella at the beach or park, and keep infants completely out of the sun: sunscreen should not be used under six months of age due to their sensitive skin. In addition, infants under the age of 12 months do not have enough melanin, a protective pigment in skin that helps block out UV rays.
  • Schedule indoor or shaded play dates around the peak sun hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses to prevent skin damage around the eye and cataracts. Do attach the glasses to straps, so you don’t lose them!
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car.
  • Eat organic foods high in antioxidants to build up your “internal sunscreen”, including fresh vegetables, dark greens and fruits such as berries, pomegranate, acai and goji berries. For children who shy away from veggies, give them a daily antioxidant supplement loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and greens.

We do need our daily dose of vitamin D, but on sensitive areas that are well known to grow skin cancer, such as your face, chest and shoulders, do use the best form of sunblock to prevent premature aging and sun damage and definitely to keep your healthy glowing skin!

While you’re at it, grab your hat before going out too!

BTW: Don’t for get to join me on the Glowing Skin Summit, it starts today, April 27, 2015!

https://drsusanne.com/glowingskinsummit
Healthy Travel Summit

Planning for your summer vacation? Before you do so,
Join me on the Healthy Traveler’s Global Summit!

I’m curious: Do you have any skin issues that you just can’t seem to get rid of?

If so, you’re not alone. In fact, 30% of my patients come to my office for skin issues like acne, rosacea, hives and rashes as well as signs of early aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin.

My patients often have a hard time figuring out the cause of these issues on their own, so I put together a short little video explaining some of the biggest reasons, and inviting you to a brand new (free) skin summit!

Introducing… The Glowing Skin Summit

I’m so excited share with you that I am a guest expert at the Glowing Skin Summit hosted by Dr. Trevor Cates, along with 35 top clinical nutritionists, functional medicine and skin specialists!

This is a free online summit where I will share my best natural strategies on how to heal allergic skin conditions, prevent skin aging and start reversing your biological skin age!

Glowing Skin Summit

In our video interview I go into detail about how allergies and food sensitivities can have a huge impact on skin health, contributing to acne, eczema, rosacea, hives and of course wrinkles and aging skin.

Then I will share my 7 Secrets to a Fabulous Face, including valuable tips and tricks you won’t want to miss!

The summit is from April 27th through May 4th, and my personal video interview with Dr. Trevor will be live on April 28th!

Click here to register now and claim your complimentary gifts (which will not be available after the summit starts!)

Don’t miss this brand new event on how to maintain and achieve healthy, glowing, and vibrant skin now and into the future!

Register now to the Glowing Skin Summit!  And I’ll see you on April 28th!

dll-collageSpring is here and it is time to start thinking about “Spring Cleaning” of our bodies and mind so that we can shed the toxins we accumulated in Winter and become our most brilliant and healthy self. That is why I am so excited to share with you my upcoming ALL-INCLUSIVE 3-day, 2 night weekend “Spring Cleaning” retreat happening at the Deer Lake Lodge on April 26th – 28th.  This very special 3-day retreat was designed with my clinic patients and online community in mind will be an exceptional opportunity to jump start your brilliance.

During this special “you” weekend, you will learn to tap into your inner strength and be brilliant so you can achieve your life goals and passions by improving your nutrition and lifestyle. My goal for the weekend is to provide specific, practical and easy-to-apply suggestions, which can improve your ability to reach your optimal potential in physical and mental health.

The Deer Lake Lodge is a unique wellness resort which specializes in cleanses and detoxification in a natural, sustainable setting. Their holistic approach addresses your mind, body and spirit. The Deer Lake Lodge is simply amazing in all that they offer their guests in complimentary classes, products, use of their equipment and so much more! Here is only a partial list of the many amenities that you will receive during your stay: daily cleanse program, organic robe and slippers, himalayan rock salt, organic juices, specialty teas for cleanses, supplements, yoga classes, nutrition and raw food classes.

dll-swimmingpoolDuring this 3 day, all about you weekend, you will learn:

  • About food allergies and how they contribute to inflammation; disease, and obesity;
  • Why sleep can be your best medicine and how to get more!;
  • How to recalibrate your “Bio-Rhythms of Life” to increase energy, vitality, lose weight and increase lifespan;
  • 7 foods to eat for energy, mental clarity and weight management;
  • How to prevent the three most common physical complaints of America- fatigue, indigestion, headache;
  • Why time management is key to your health and success.

And much more!

This amazing three day experience will help you revitalize your energy, stimulate your mind, bring out your brilliance and set you on a path for optimal health and personal success.

Click here to find out more now and to reserve your space. If you register before March 31st, you will save $500. Also, if you choose to come in early you can do so for just $200.

I would love to see you there!  Step into your brilliance and sign up today for a weekend all about you that will cleanse your mind, body and spirit so that you can be your most brilliant self.

Staying healthy is not just about what you eat or how often you exercise, it is also about your hygiene. We touch hundreds of things every day and transfer thousands of germs around without a second thought. It is in small work environments or hospitals however, where most people contract a common bacterial infection, staphylococcus aureus, or staph infection.

A staph infection is usually found on the skin or in the nose and may appear as an abscess on the body that is discolored, swollen and more often painful. Staph infections are contagious so it is important to take precautions every day to protect yourself. Do not share personal hygiene items. The bacteria is not usually transferred through saliva or hugging but sharing a razor or eye drops are easy ways for the bacteria to enter your body. If the bacteria enters your bloodstream the infection has the potential to become fatal. It is best to keep all wounds covered and treat them correctly, wear shoes in public places, especially locker room showers, and wash your hands often with soap.

I recommend taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic supplements to help prevent or treat staph infections. The probiotics helps your body produce good bacteria it needs to fight off the bad ones each day. It contains “12 strains of live lactic acid bacteria, 4 organic acids, 10 vitamins, 8 minerals, and 18 amino acids.” Dr. Ohhira’s products are famous for treating and preventing not only staph infections but e coli, stomach ulcers, and even morning sickness. There is also a Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics soap available. It is great for everyday use to keep your hands germ free and moisturized. It can also be used on the face to heal acne. Taking the right precautions are so effective in keeping your body in good health!

References:

http://drohhiraprobiotics.com/dr_ohhira_probiotics_about.php

http://www.staph-infection-resources.com/mrsa-infection-control.html

 

Believe it or not, the next big thing in skincare is a gem produced by our very own bodies called glutathione, and it is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking radiant day in and day out. Glutathione is naturally found in every cell of the body but the highest levels can be found in the liver. Glutathione is great at fighting free radicals to help fight against cancer and is great for detoxifying the body.

Nowadays you can find glutathione in supplement form at your local vitamin store. The supplement elevates the levels your body normally produces and fights the signs of aging by refine your pores. For people struggling with acne, the glutathione helps to balance out your body and contain your acne and skin cells to help with acne scaring. Over time, glutathione will rejuvenate the skin so it can glow and become the radiant skin it should be. As if that weren’t enough, it also helps fight cataracts, infertility, regulates thyroid and liver problems to help against chronic fatigue.

As with any supplement, however, you may want to consult your physician before ingesting anything that may affect your skin, the largest organ on the body. As great as glutathione can be for the skin, it has been shown to sometimes lighten skin or darken sun spots, depending on your skin color. Be sure to educate yourself on all the side effects before taking glutathione into consideration!

References:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50746

http://www.glutathioneexperts.com/

http://www.skin-whitening-product.com/skin-whitening-pill.html

various-types-of-flowers.blogspot.com

Edelweiss is more than just a wonderful song from The Sound of Music–it is a blossoming flower that packs a punch. This flower, found along the ridges of the Himalayan and Alpine mountains, is known to be one of the best kept cosmetics secrets to date.

The active ingredient in edelweiss is leontopodium alpinum. It is produced by the plant as a defense mechanism against its harsh living environment. The stems produce a natural UV ray protection that scientists have been able to collect and produce on a large scale. Endangering the plant life, however, is not a problem. Scientists are able to produce metabolites from its stem cells and can then recreate all of its properties over and over again without endangering the plant’s longevity.

Edelweiss has recently been used in cosmetic stores in makeup and lotions. Its properties naturally protect against the sun’s harmful rays as well as provide the skin with a healthy bounty of antioxidants. Edelweiss can be used as an anti-inflammatory and aid your skin in the endless fight against aging and sagging. It has the restorative ability to build up collagen in the skin and slow down its degradation.

That such wonderful benefits can be extracted from a plant really makes you question the potency of  popular skincare products on the market. Can those multi-syllablic chemical names really be as effective on the skin as the natural extract from a plant? Go with the nature cure!

References Used

http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Edelweiss-stem-cells-could-help-in-the-fight-against-ageing

 http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Edelweiss-stem-cells-could-help-in-the-fight-against-ageing

http://www.incosmeticsasia.com/ExhibitorLibrary/276/Brochure_Leontopodium_Stems_G_2.pdf

 

Do you Jojoba? If you do not, now is a great time to start and here’s why. Jojoba oil is natural, safe, effective and pretty much has everyone in the skincare industry buzzing with excitement. What is this strange sounding oil exactly?

Jojoba oil is actually not an oil at all. It has the same consistency as oil but is actually not made from triglycerides, like most oils. In this case, Jojoba oil is extracted from the Jojoba plant grown in southern parts of the United States or northern parts of Mexico. It takes about three years for the plant to produce the seeds for harvesting.

When the oil is taken from the plant before processing, it has a bright yellow color to it. However, once it has been processed, it loses all its color and looks a bit like white vinegar.

Jojoba oil is rarely sold in its pure form but I always suggest taking a bit of extra time to seek out the places that carry it unprocessed. When things are processed they have a tendency to lose most of the nutrients and vitamins that are most beneficial to the body.

Perhaps the best thing about Jojoba oil is that:

  • It is chock full of minerals and vitamin E
  • It is a wonderful antioxidant, preventing free radicals from entering the body
  • Jojoba is an antibacterial, non-allergenic and non-toxic oil that can also be used as a natural cleaning solution for household horrors like bathroom mildew
  • It’s healing properties have been known to help with acne-ridden skin and keep moisture locked in the skin to prevent dryness
  • Men can even use as an aftershave!

How is that for versatility? For more tips on healthy living, including how to handle allergies, be sure to follow @drsusanne on Twitter. You can also join my community on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/drsusannebennettallergyspecialist

 

inmyprofessionalopinion.blogspot.com

As we age, it becomes more and more important to take care of our skin. Finding what works for you however, can sometimes be the hardest part to a great skincare regimen. I find that a great tip for keeping skin smooth and healthy is weekly exfoliation.

Exfoliating the skin takes away the build up of dead skin cells on your outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. As we grow older cell turnover slows down and excess skin can build up, leaving it dry and discolored. Exfoliating your skin twice at week at most, will leave it glowing and looking like new.

Exfoliation is simple and fast. There are two main types, mechanical and chemical. Mechanical or physical exfoliation is when you use scrubs or rough cloth to gently smooth away excess skin cells. This should always be performed in small circular motions all along the face and neck. Avoid using body scrubs on your face, they are too abrasive and will take off too many cells. Over exfoliating can happen if you exfoliate more than twice a week or use too harsh a scrub or cloth. You will notice if you have over exfoliated if your skin looks red and irritated and dry all over. I would suggest using a non-detergent or non-drying cleanser with a washcloth.

Chemical exfoliation does not involve scrubbing, but chemical solutions that work to break down old skin cells and rinse away. Both of these methods are effective and can be performed at home or by a professional. Overall a good skincare regimen consists of a great cleanser, an exfoliator and a moisturizer. Remember, only exfoliate once or twice a week to help facilitate cell turnover and improve circulation for your skin.  Simple weekly routines can make a world of difference!

References:

Please click here for my Huffington Post article on bathing and exfoliation.