I wanted to hold off on posting this yesterday out of respect for 9/11.
Are you sad? Not feeling like yourself? Do you feel as if something is missing from your life?
If you feel it, you are more than likely correct.
Emergency providers as a whole are sick and dying at an alarming rate. High blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, strokes, cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and mental health issues are taking out our brothers and sisters. We are fat, sick and nearly dead all the while saving others who are in similar situations. Over 80% of emergency services workers are morbidly obese. Well over 50% are taking at least one medication for a major medical issue. Shift work, 24 hour shifts, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise, circadian cycles disrupted and years and years of stress lead to these lifestyle diseases and early deaths. We know from science that these lifestyle habits from our careers actually shorten the telemeres on our DNA strands. This job is literally and metaphorically killing us sooner. With the standard American diets, it is sending our death rate into LUDICROUS SPEED!!! NOT LUDICROUS SPEED!!! LUDICROUS SPEED. (Spaceballs Pun) If you don’t know, figure it out.
With this lifestyle we lead, we must be aware and conscious of our dietary and supplement regiments. If you are going to be in this career field you live, eat and train like a professional athlete. With the wear and tear being put on our bodies and mind, we absolutely must train for war! We can’t live, eat and train like a Kia expecting Ferrari performance. We cannot get down and acting like Mr. Poo Poo pants when we don’t feel well mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally when we aren’t preparing, mitigating stressors and recovering. I tell my clients all the time, no flipping wonder you don;t feel well, you’re killing yourself. The key to transforming our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health lies within the cave.
One way to hack, (I hate the word hack) is our nutrition, supplements to be more specific. With all of the stressors that come with the role as an emergency responders and standard American diet the majority are in a nutrient deficient. Our hormones and vitamin levels play a MAJOR role in our health and well being. When we start feeling down, depressed, off balance or just like T Total Sh** we start looking past the simple answers for a cure to what plagues us. What some times feels like depression is just a hormonal imbalance or a Vitamin D deficiency. Personally, I can feel a major difference in my mental and physical health when my Vitamin D levels drop. Emergency responders and shift workers are at high risk of vitamin d deficiency. Poor diet, crappy sleep, no exercise and tons of stress lead to vitamin deficiencies which can lead to feelings of depression. It’s estimated that over 1 billion people suffer from vitamin d deficiency, which leads to significant physical and psychological issues.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is also a hormone. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, which helps you have healthy toofy’s, bones and muscles. Vitamin D also activates the genes that regulate the immune system and release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. serotonin. As you can see, Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin and hormone. Night shifters are even more at risk for vitamin and hormone imbalances. The body is inherently designed to sleep at night, so it can rest, repair and regenerate. So when the body is supposed to be sleeping, it’s working. When the sun is up, night shifters are sleeping in their bat caves with no sun light. Sun light is the largest source of vitamin d, it’s not just for tanning.
One way to combat vitamin deficiencies is supplementation. I have to supplement daily with vitamin d due to the fact that I do not synthesize it like I should. White people problems I suppose. I currently use ONNIT Vtiamin D spray with K2. Pro tip: Make sure you take K2 with Vitamin D to help with absorption. I take 1000iu each morning sublingual. I like the SL because I feel like is has faster absorption.
Some S&S of Vitamin D deficiency:
Getting Sick or Infected Often.
Fatigue and Tiredness. Feeling tired can have many causes, and vitamin D deficiency may be one of them.
Bone and Back Pain.
Impaired Wound Healing.
B12 is another vitamin that we are at risk of being deficient in. I was first turned on to this when I took a peer support training class years ago by Susan Simmons from Under the Shield. Some of the billboard signs and symptoms of a B12 deficiency are weakness, fatigue and mood swings… Sound familiar, we all know this person. B12 is a water soluble vitamin, so whatever you do not need you just pee out. Stress affects our B12 and folate levels, along with poor diets, lack of sleep and exercise. Are you starting to see a trend of causation? Poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, shift work = early death.
S&S of B12 deficiency:
A smooth tongue
Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
Weakness tiredness, or light headed
Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
There are a few ways we can counteract these deficiencies. Like I said earlier, Supplementation as well as proper nutrition. Supplementation helps, but if you are eating like Shiite then all you will have is expensive piss. You have to make sure you are optimizing your gut to aid with absorbing the vitamins. If your gut health sucks, then your health will suck and taking vitamins will be futile. As I am, most are not great at taking supplements each day. It is hard to keep up with a tub of vitamins and remembering when to take them. Thin Fit Line has taking this to mind and created a Hero’s pack made for Hero’s. They saw the stressors that first responders are under and created the Hero’s pack to help those who live on the road. We aren’t sponsored by Thin Fit Line, they just make a great product and they give back to first responders. Their supplement pack is a one stop shop for vitamin d, b12, k2 and a plethora of other vitamins! Instead of having to buy multiple vitamins, you can get them all in one with the Hero’s pack. So we will rep that any day! Support those who support us! I will drop a link to their website down below.
If you need help wading through the vast sea of nutrition and wellness give me a call today. I can help walk you through you goals and questions in regards to nutrition and lifestyle. I have been there, so I get it.