Staying Healthy in the Midst of Life’s Storms

September 25, 2017 | Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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Staying Healthy in the Midst of Life’s Storms
Our hearts and thoughts go out to those affected by the recent hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and other natural disasters and traumas in our country and across the globe. These events take an enormous toll in so many ways. Recovery needs affect each individual in different ways physically, mentally, and emotionally. The toll it takes also affects those who provide aid. There are many layers of insult and damage, but also various layers of support that are needed. Recovery often takes weeks, months, and even years. In the midst and aftermath of these life changing events are the daily struggles that affect all. Here are some tips to help reduce the toll on health and to run the race of life’s ups and downs.

The basic needs in life are food, water, sleep, and shelter. Trauma disrupts any one or all of these. Adults and children alike need support.


Sleep and rest are vital to recovery and repair from the challenges. When overwhelmed and exhausted by yet another stressful day, sleep and rest is all that is wanted. However for many, sleep does not come or it is fitful. It may be difficult for the mind to calm down. Perhaps, one is sleeping in a new environment with different sounds, smells, and artificial light at night. Perhaps traumatic events and worries prey on the mind in dreams or intrusive thoughts. Or it may be allergies to molds or other concerns have made snoring problems worse, causing sleepless nights for those around you. Or your body is aching from the day’s work, making it challenging to fall asleep. Whatever the concern, restorative sleep must occur.

Basic support for sleep includes magnesium glycinate, calcium with coral minerals or chelated with amino acids, lemon balm with theanine. More intermediate support may include melatonin for the circadian rhythm and sleep disruption brought on by artificial light exposure. Arabinogalactin, quercetin, and bromelain are often helpful for lymph and nasal congestion that may contribute to snoring. Other support for severe stress and locked-in insomnia may include vitamin D, phosphatidyl serine, quercetin, calcium aep, grape seed extract, and omega-3 fish oils used later in the day and at bed. For more support and information, consider these resources

Tips to Improve Sleep Naturally 

Sleep Tips: Get Back in Rhythm 

Taming the Mind at Night 

Are Your Stress Brakes Working? 

All Wound Up – Substance P 

A Sluggish Lymph System Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea 

Nighttime Artificial Light Exposure Linked with Obesity and Hormone Changes 


During stressful times, eating patterns are often disrupted. You may be exposed to different foods, foods that may be a little old or risky with food poisoning, or foods that you are intolerant or allergic. These challenges may lead to increased gut inflammation, indigestion, flare-ups of food allergies, GERD, constipation, diarrhea, etc. An absolute must for basic gut health is probiotics and digestive enzymes. Beneficial bacteria help support many other aspects of health including the brain, heart, blood sugar, weight, thyroid, skin, and liver. Plant based enzymes help break down proteins, fat, carbohydrates, gluten and dairy.

Additional support may be needed if you have abdominal rumbling, loose stools, foul smelling gas, and discomfort. This may include NAGS/N-acetyl-d-glucosamine, omega-3 DHA and omega-6 GLA, glutamine, oregano oil, caprylic acid, and other support. Constipation may occur because of altered schedules affecting bowel rhythms, travel, food changes, etc. Probiotics, turkey rhubarb, higher dose vitamin C and magnesium may help healthy bowel motility and getting the bowels to move. Add fiber in slowly once the bowels are moving each day. This will help push things through, support regularity, and help detoxification. Additional support for stress-induced indigestion may include pine nut oil, d-limonene, tocotrienols, and coenzyme Q10 amongst other favorites.

Probiotics, Stress, and Digestion

Healthy Poop: What is Your Digestive Tract Telling You?

Do You Need Digestive Enzymes? 

Stress: What’s Eating Your Digestive Tract? 

Leaky Gut Syndrome: More Than Just a Gut Problem 

Repair Your Leaky Gut Naturally 

New Insights on How Stress Causes Acid Indigestion 

Tocotrienols Offset Stress-Induced Digestive Problems 

Can Q10 Help Digestive Distress? 

Stress, Energy, and Exhaustion

Stress effects vary greatly from person to person. Intense acute stress versus chronic stress and burnout has different effects and recovery times. Stress causes innumerable affects on the body like sleep and digestion. It also affects heart, blood pressure, blood sugar, mitochondria, adrenals, thyroid, brain, joints, lungs, immune system, kidneys, etc. It affects the whole body. Support your body with at least the basics and adaptogenic herbs and build from there if needed. Avoid running your body into the ground and crashing at it creates massive oxidative stress. Often the body reaches a breaking point if this happens repeatedly. At this point the body may not bounce back or take years to recover.

Basic stress support includes magnesium, B vitamins, and omega-3 fish oils. Intermediate support may include adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola, cordyceps, and ashwagandha, vitamin B5/pantethine, acetyl-l-carnitine, and coenzyme Q10. Additional antioxidant, stress tolerance, and energy product support may include carnosine, curcumin, tyrosine, alpha GPC, fisetin, whey protein, lipoic acid, noni, PQQ, astaxanthin, iodine and plant based antioxidants like green tea, lycopene, and berry extracts.

Magnesium is Essential for Preventing Substance P Overload 

Adaptogenic Herbs Improve Stress Tolerance, Adrenals, and Energy

Broken Heart Syndrome

GABA: Managing Brain Stimulation, Anxiety, and Other Consequences

Tyrosine Helps Maintain Mental Ability Under Stress

Lipoic Acid Protects the Heart and Immune System from Acute Emotional Stress 

Five Nutrients That Support Adrenal Health

Summer Heat Stress – More Than Just Dehydration

Fisetin Protects the Brain from Stress

Curcumin Protects the Brain from Inflammatory Stress

Pantethine Prevents Injury to Dopamine Neurons

Brain Fatigue 101

Chronic Fatigue: Tools to Help Recover

Stress and Adrenals: Restoring the HPA Axis 

Magnesium and Vitamin B1 – Team Players Needed for Brain, Muscles, Metabolism, and More

B Vitamin Deficiency: Are You at Risk?

Low Thyroid vs. Adrenal Fatigue

Physical Recovery/Aches and Pains

Aching joints, sore muscles, headaches, wounds, broken bones, worsened arthritis, and other injuries often take place with trauma and recovery. Basic support to consider includes curcumin, bromelain, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, calcium, and grape seed extract. More intensive support may include ginger, quercetin, boswellia, glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin D, MSM sulfur, and zinc.

Natural Support for Joint Pain

DHA Can Reduce Pain

Researchers Suggest Curcumin to Treat Tendonitis 

Ginger Reduces Muscle Pain Following Exercise 

Quercetin Reduces Pain, Anxiety, and Depression

Advanced Solutions for Osteoarthritis 

Vitamin D is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory 

Oregano Oil as a Pain Killer 

Grape Seed Extract May Help Arthritis 

Taming the Chronic Migraine 

MSM Sulfur Helps Arthritis Pain, Inflammation, Skin Strength, and More 


Detoxification abilities of the body are tested during trauma and stress. The liver, gut, lungs, kidneys, and skin are the main organs of detoxification. These organs have to process environmental chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, plastics, flame retardants, cleaning chemicals, formaldehyde, petroleum products, molds, infectious waste, perchlorates, and more. Road blocks with detoxification can lead to the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” with long term health outcomes. Children may be especially vulnerable to toxins. Basic support may include probiotics, fiber, silymarin, dandelion root extract, and N-acetyl-cysteine. Additional support may include I3C/DIM, B vitamins, glutamine, zinc, copper, MSM sulfur, magnesium, selenium, chlorella, arabinogalactin or oat bran fiber, lipoic acid, iodine, whey protein, and richly colored fruits and vegetables, and sulfur rich foods like eggs, radishes, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.

Liver Detox: Get Rid of Toxins

Daily Balancer for Natural Detoxification Support

Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Natural Solutions

Carnosine Shines: Help for Depression, OCD, Kidneys, Heart, Diabetes, and Formaldehyde Exposure

Precocious Puberty – A Growing Dilemma for Today’s Children

Thyroid Toxin Perchlorate to be Regulated in Drinking Water

Immune Challenges

Immune challenges often coincide with detoxification challenges. When disasters and traumas occur, the immune system may react in both a heightened and exhausted response. Outbreaks of colds, flus, and intestinal illnesses occur with mass movements of the population. Allergies often worsen. Flooding and water damaged buildings allow for mold toxins to develop. This can mimic a lot of different things and be a game changer for one’s health. Candida problems often flare. Autoimmune disorders can worsen. Brain fog, exhaustion, sinus and ear congestion, not feeling well, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and a myriad of other complaints may happen due to mold, candida and immune dysregulation.

Basic support to consider includes N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin D, curcumin and probiotics. Germ killing support may be needed with nutrients like olive leaf extract, oregano oil, noni, colloidal silver, and lauricidin. Additional support may include arabinogalactan, glutamine, lactoferrin, vitamin C, astaxanthin, and others. Mold illness can create devastating health changes. It is vital keep this in mind with any change in health after environmental exposures. Individuals with chronic complex illness like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic lyme, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune disorders will need to be very diligent about support. In our experience, children do especially well with arabinogalactan, grape seed extract, lauricidin, and probiotics. These are easily mixed in water, juice or apple sauce if they are not able to swallow capsules.

Protect and Energize Your Immune System

Scientists Recommend Antioxidants to Protect Lungs from the Flu

Oregano Oil Shines as Antifungal and Antibacterial Nutrient

Glutamine Maintains Gut Barrier Integrity Following E. Coli Exposure 

Do I Have Problems with Candida?

How Stress Can Turn Germs Hostile 

Chlorella Prevents Immune Suppression from Stress & Exercise 

Noni: Tropical Super Fruit – Powerful Support for the Immune System, Brain, Bones, and More 

Hi-Ho, Silver – Powerful Immune Support

Combat Ear Infections and Congestion Naturally

Mold Allergies and Toxins – Damaging Effects Must Be Managed

Lactoferrin – Keeping Candida Friendly

Pomegranate Extract is a Potent Candida Killer

Vitamin C Helps Children With Asthma

Lipoic Acid Proven to Clear Acetaldehyde in Humans

Chemical Soup: Pesticide Adjuvants and Low Chemical Exposure Proving Dangerous

Ten Things That Interfere with Thyroid Function

Managing Brain and Nerve Health, Oxidative Stress, and Mitochondrial in CFS, FM, and Lyme Disease 

Whether you are crying or laughing out of sheer exhaustion, hanging on by a thread, or coping, our body and brain needs nourishment at all times. Nourishment comes in different forms and is needed in different amounts at different times. Use the basic nutrients as outlined and then increase support in the worst areas of concern as needed. Stress of all types increases nourishment and rest needs. After traumatic events, it is easy to dismiss symptoms due to stress, or to try and push through things no matter what, or to blame it on PTSD. These events and recovery process are often major game changers in health. Take care of yourself so you can also help your loved ones as they need you. If you don’t put your life vest on first when danger arises, then you cannot help others around you.

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