Heal your Adrenals with this Easy Program

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Éiriú Eolas (pronounced “AIR-oo OH-lahss”), the amazing scientific stress-control, healing, detoxing and rejuvenation program which is THE KEY that will help you to change your life in a REAL and immediately noticeable way. Available online at eebreathe.com

If you are “adrenals are shot”, then your stress-coping abilities are severely depleted. That is, you’ll just stress out.

Adrenal fatigue can affect anyone who experiences frequent, persistent, or severe mental, emotional or physical stress. It can be a contributing factor in health conditions ranging from allergies to obesity. Despite its prevalence in our modern world, adrenal fatigue is for the most part ignored and misunderstood by the medical community.

The adrenals are located on top of your kidneys and they are responsible for producing noradrenaline and adrenaline which are important for your “fight or flight” acute response. Your adrenals are also responsible for producing steroid hormones from cholesterol, including DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and cortisol.

Cortisol has a fundamental role in coping with chronic prolonged stress (psychological, physical or emotional). Cortisol is anti-inflammatory; it increases stamina, boosts mental and physical energy and has a role in your immune/defense system response. It is here where the low fat scam takes its toll. But several things may go wrong other than low cholesterol levels. For instance, your adrenals and your HPA axis might be overstressed or dysfunctional.

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is what can be considered the head master of your adrenals. As the name suggests, the HPA axis is composed of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (both in the brain), and the adrenal glands.

Our hypothalamus is that part of the brain considered to be the master gland of the endocrine system due to its homeostatic (balance) effect over all our hormonal system.

This is why the HPA axis regulates many functions such as blood pressure, digestion, circadian rhythms, sex drive, body temperature, balance and coordination, heart rate, sweating, water balance, blood sugar levels, adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and metabolism.

The HPA axis, as the head master overseeing your adrenals, has an effect in your reactions to stress. What is more, chronic stress can suppress the HPA axis, leading to lower production of cortisol by the adrenals.

If there is an imbalance of the HPA axis, it will disrupt your body’s ability to maintain the homeostasis of the hormonal system. Thyroid function may become compromised by any disruption to the HPA axis, so stress can definitely have an effect on thyroid function. A dysfunctional HPA-axis can cause estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone to become imbalanced as well.

If you have leptin resistance due to a high carbohydrate intake, that will make your HPA axis most unhappy as well. Leptin is a major hormone that ultimately influences all other hormones and the functions of the hypothalamus in the brain. Thus, leptin controls the function of the HPA axis. As it happens, it seems that leptin enhances your flight or fight response and it inhibits the secretion of steroid hormones (cortisol) by the adrenals.[1] Thereby it promotes the stress response and it discourages anti-inflammatory effects.

An imbalance in your HPA axis is known to cause symptoms such as muscle or joint pain, dizziness, fatigue, low body temperature, a compromised immune system, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, and less mental acuity.[2]

People with low cortisol levels have a tendency towards allergies, especially hay fever, and the beginnings of arthritis. Low cortisol is associated particularly with autoimmune disorders, such as asthma, arthritis, allergies, ulcerative colitis, and fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome

 

Adrenal fatigue refers to the concept of too much stress depleting your adrenals and causing a decrease in the output of adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol. Even though mainstream medicine denies its existence, adrenal fatigue has been called hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, subclinical hypoadrenia, adrenal neurasthenia and so forth.[3]

Low cortisol levels may make you less able to respond when you need to, and it has been associated with low grade, frequent emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse and neglect.[4] There is a strong link between low cortisol and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Low cortisol has also been associated with a lack of positive good feeling.

Years of poor sleep, excessive stimulants such as coffee, chronic psychological stress (anything from a divorce to an economic collapse without mentioning stressful climate changes…), surgeries, traumatic events, and environmental toxicity can have a very heavy toll in your adrenals.

The adrenals, in their effort to regulate blood sugar extremes from a lifetime of a high carb diet, become overburdened, eventually burning them out.

People can look normal, yet they are living with a general sense of unwellness. People who suffer from adrenal fatigue often have problems regulating their blood sugar, they tend to experience more delayed food allergies, they are more vulnerable to infections and they tend to have pains and mood problems such as anxiety and depression other than sleeping problems. People with frequent respiratory infections, rhinitis, asthma, frequent colds, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, autoimmune disorders tend to have adrenal fatigue. In fact, allergies seem to get worse when there is more stress since cortisol is needed to counteract the inflammatory reactions.

People with adrenal fatigue tend to skip breakfast. They wake up without appetite and the only thing they want is coffee. This has the effect of stimulating their adrenals, extracting the very last juice of them so they can start-up the day. Under more stress, they can faint easily if they skip further meals or just drop exhausted anywhere. So if you are to heal your adrenal function, you must absolutely eat a big fatty breakfast.

Other hormones produced by the adrenals also may leave the ladies prone to more facial hair or acne.

People can crave more salt since the adrenals are also responsible for releasing a hormone related with salt and water. In adrenal fatigue, more sodium is lost than usual, leading to drops in blood pressure, tiredness and lots of salt craving. It is a crime to deprive a person with adrenal fatigue of salt. As it happens, salt has anti-inflammatory effects since it is a natural anti-histaminic. Why do you think it is recommended for sinus congestion?

Since the adrenals produce the rejuvenating steroid hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) – precursor for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – people with adrenal fatigue tend to have bone loss, loss of muscle mass, depression, aching joints, decreased sex drive and so forth.

Another thing often overlooked is that if you are meant to normalize a low thyroid function, you must absolutely heal your adrenals first, otherwise, nothing will happen. Thyroid function often normalizes when you support your adrenals and remove delayed food allergies. Thyroid problems often mean gluten intolerance, and if gluten is removed on time, and you support your adrenals, the damage is reversible.

Adrenal Fatigue Protocol

 

Adrenal fatigue symptoms and signs include chronic stress, tiredness, excess facial or body hair growth in women, several food sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, hair loss, acne, salt cravings, recurrent infections, low blood pressure, tend to skip breakfast in the morning (lack of appetite and/or drink only coffee), or feeling cold. Keep in mind that you’ll never normalize a low thyroid function (diagnosed either by lab tests or clinical symptoms) if you don’t address adrenal fatigue.

First, try titrating doses of vitamin C since it is a very important nutrient for adrenal function and repair, other than cholesterol. Most folks need only to up their intake of this important nutrient in the form of supplemental vitamin C (most fruits are so loaded in sugar that it makes them useless for the little C that can be obtained from them). For more information on vitamin C, see Heal Thyself with Homemade Liposomal Vitamin C.

Low Dose Hydrocortisone

Dosage as follows[5]:

– Start with 2.5 mg (a quarter of a 10-mg tablet or half of a 5-mg tablet) per day between 6 and 8 am for one week.
– Increase the dose to 5 mg per day between 6 and 8 am if you saw no positive response with the lower dose for one week.
– Increase the dose to 10 mg per day between 6 and 8 am if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week
– Maintain your dose of 10 mg in the early morning and add 5 mg at noon if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week.
– Maintain your dose of 10 mg in the early morning and 5mg at noon, add 5 mg at 4pm if you saw no positive response with the previous dose for one week.

If at any point you experience carbohydrate cravings, bloating or insomnia, feel hyper, or have any other negative symptoms, either stop or reduce the dose. This is not meant to be a permanent therapy, you can stop this protocol a few days after you feel better, regardless of the dose you were taking. In case of illness or trauma or physical stress, you can take hydrocortisone again with double the dose.

Ask your physician for a hydrocortisone prescription. Most doctors will prescribe therapeutic or  lower doses of cortisone for inflammatory conditions, do they shouldn’t have a problem prescribing such a low dose of hydrocortisone. We are not talking here about therapeutic dosages. This is very important to understand.

Hydrocortisone is the chemical form of the cortisone your adrenal gland produces. The average daily production of hydrocortisone in your body is about 30 to 40 mg. If you have adrenal insufficiency (low adrenal function or adrenal fatigue), you may be producing much less and have symptoms as a consequence. By supplementing your low production with 5 to 20 mg of hydrocortisone, your body’s supply becomes normal and symptoms should promptly disappear.

The misunderstanding with this low dose hydrocortisone protocol stems from the use of high-dose cortisone therapies like prednisone, medrol, etc. With such high doses there are significant side effects such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, Cushing syndrome, immune supression and so forth. But these effects have absolutely nothing to do with low-dose hydrocortisone treatment. In fact, the reason why most doctors are reluctant to prescribe it is because the dose is way too low in order to make any difference whatsoever. Keep in mind that mainstream science is completely ignorant about adrenal fatigue. The low doses we are talking here is even much lower of what your body normally produces, even if your adrenal’s output of hydrocortisone is normal. High-dose mainstream treatment of cortisone is several times your body’s daily output, that is, 60 to 300 mg of hydrocortisone per day. So if someone tells you that you are crazy for being in cortisone because it has serious side effects, you can reassure them that you are taking below levels of physiological doses of what your body already produces. Remember, it is not prednisone, it is hydrocortisone. 5 mg of hydrocortisone is the same as about 1 mg of prednisone. Fludan.com sells hydrocortisone in powder form which people can then weight with a scale for mg, such as a jewel scale. If you are unable to get a hold of hydrocortisone or experience unsuitable symptoms on it, you can use low dose progesterone cream to support adrenal function.

Keep in mind also that the best test to see if you will benefit from this therapy is the trial one, that is no lab test will be able to tell you with accuracy if your adrenals need a boost. People who have negative tests often benefit from low dose hydrocortisone therapy.

Of course, these are temporary measures. As useful as they may be, they will never replace the need for eating a diet that is most supportive to your body’s physiology and functioning. For more information on a healing diet that will prolong your life and support your adrenals, see Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. Eating animal fats and protein, cutting out on sugar, grains and foods full with anti-nutrients is essential to heal our bodies.

 

A note of caution

Those with chronic fatigue, recurrent infections and joint pains should keep in mind that iron overload (ask your physician to test for ferritin, transferrin, TIBC and iron) should be ruled out. Ferritin levels should be ideally less than 80 and transferrin saturation should be ideally less than 40%. If you are above those levels, you might want to donate some blood or refer to the Iron Disorders Institute. A great book on the subject is The Elephant Iron by Roberta Crawford. In addition to that, people with iron overload are discouraged from taking vitamin C without proper monitoring.

For an immediate stress-relief breathing and meditation program, check out Éiriú Eolas (pronounced “AIR-oo OH-lahss”), the amazing scientific stress-control, healing, detoxing and rejuvenation program which is THE KEY that will help  you to change your life in a REAL and immediately noticeable way. Full program available online for free at eebreathe.com.


Notes

 

[1] Malendowicz LK, Rucinski M. et al. Leptin and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Int Rev Cytol. 2007;263:63-102.

[2] Rodger H. Murphree. Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Definitive Guide for Patients and Physician. Harrison & Hampton Publishing; 2 edition (January 2003)

[3] James L. Wilson. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. 2001, Smart Publications.

[4] Sue Gerhardt. Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain.Routledge; 1 edition (24 Jun 2004)

[5] Sidney MacDonald Baker. Detoxification and Healing: The Key to Optimal Health. McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (August 27, 2003)

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Comments

  1. Jordan Kyle Bokser  July 30, 2016

    Hello Doc.

    I have been dealing with adrenal issues for a few years now.

    recently my MD prescribed me HC at 5mg morning 2mg lunch 2mg dinner.

    At this low of a dose do i run the risk of exhausting and atrophying my adrenals?

    I am taking the sea salt. adrenal cortex 5g vit c 400mg mag a day atm

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  July 31, 2016

      That is a very low dose, don’t worry. If you don’t have iron overload, you could take more vitamin C.

      reply
  2. Spencer Steele  July 30, 2016

    Also going to nurture the glands with adaptogens come next visit.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  July 31, 2016

      Sounds pretty good for starters. I would not increase the iodoral dose just yet. Perhaps in a couple of weeks or one month. Other culprits to explore, specially if you don’t see progress with your current program: environmental toxicity (i.e. heavy metals, xenoestrogens) and other non-fungal stealth infections. A FIR sauna should help you with the detox.

      reply
      • Spencer Steele  July 31, 2016

        How does one go about testing or treating stealth infections :\.
        Where does one find a FIR sauna as well lol. Is a regular sauna better than nothing?
        Thanks Doc

  3. Spencer Steele  July 31, 2016

    5-10g Vitamin C
    5000iu Vitamin D3
    400mg magnesuim glyceniate at night
    switching to lugols 12.5mgs
    200mcg Selenium
    39mcg T4, 9mcg T3
    any other supplements I need?
    Always Appreciated!

    reply
  4. Tired Mama  August 1, 2016

    I started hydrocortisone 5 days ago. The first day I took 5mg upon waking then 2.5 at noon. I found it made me feel very sleepy about 30-45 after taking it. I reduced the dose to 2.5 waking and noon which is a bit better but I still feel the tired kick in. I have also been very hungry which is good since I’m underweight and do crave carbs more than before. I’m also taking progesterone cream 5mg morning and 5 mg night. Any higher causes terrible side effects. Vit C 2000 per day. Licorice root very small dose breakfast and lunch. My main question is … Is the Cortex suppressing my adrenals and making me tired ? Do I need more time to adjust?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  August 11, 2016

      I think it is more an indication of something else at play in your health that needs to be addressed. I would also replace in minerals. There could be many causes, but minerals are always important when there is tiredness.

      reply
  5. Seana Moayer  August 11, 2016

    Do you thnk a 10mg hydrocortisone dosage needs to be tapered off if someone is on it say 6-12 months?

    You said before this is a very low dosage and wont cause supression or atrpohy of adrenal function.

    Thank you

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  August 12, 2016

      That is a very low dose, it really doesn’t need to be tapered off. Best!

      reply
    • Eddie  August 13, 2016

      Be sure to monitor your potassium levels. Taking HC may cause your levels to drop. Best

      reply
  6. Tahera Morshed  August 19, 2016

    Hi
    Hydrocortisone is not available in my country (Bangladesh) . Can I use a very low dose of Prednisolone ? The lowest dose available is 5 mg . Will a quarter of that do ?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  August 21, 2016

      That could do. A quarter of prednisolone 5mg is the equivalent of 5mg of hydrocortisone.

      reply
      • Tahera Morshed  August 21, 2016

        Thank You

  7. LWalsh  October 20, 2016

    Is it safe for my 81y/o father, who had a bilateral adrenal hemorrhage, to take desiccated bovine adrenal supplements along with his 20mg of hydrocortisone?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  October 21, 2016

      It should be fine, although I would start with the lowest dose of hydrocortisone, 2.5mg and increase the dose if necessary.

      reply
    • Eddie  October 21, 2016

      LWalsh, You may consider adding Pantothenic Acid (B5) along with the HC. Vitamin B5 is essential for adrenal function. Also, if you’re not doing so already, you may want to add some vitamin C to your daily regimen. Vitamin C helps the adrenals produce cortisone and is an anti-stressor. Since Vitamin C is water soluble, you need to add it to your daily diet.

      reply
  8. Someone  January 6, 2017

    Hello, thanks for the article doc !! I have Addison disease and in the first 3 years I was felling sooooo goood at 30 mg of hydrocortisone, but then I saw another endocrinology doc and he wanted to put me on 40 mg and doing so for a year now I feel sooo bad I get sick a lot and my blood test always show high white cells 12000, and also my thyroid is overworking with no antibodies nor a goiter could it be that I took sooo much iodised salt ? Thank you

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 6, 2017

      I wouldn’t necessarily blame the iodized salt, although it is important that you get your sources from non refined salt sources. I actually love iodine! Have you tried lowering your hydrocortisone dose?

      reply
  9. Eddie  January 6, 2017

    Hi Dr. Segura, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had several saliva cortisol tests done and they’ve all come back demonstrating extremely low cortisol levels through the day. My ENT specialist prescribed a low dose HC of 30mg a day. I occasionally take 10 to 20 mgs on weekends but have not been able to bring myself to use it daily because of what I’ve read online. I’ve read that is can cause thinning of the skin, weight gain and decreased immune function. In your experience are these side effects occur often or are they the exception? Thanks.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 7, 2017

      A low dose hydrocortisone is not the same as mainstream doses. Nevertheless most people do a low dose on an occasional basis when it is most needed. If you feel better while doing it, then do one or two weeks consecutively. Then use on the weekends or an occasional basis. The important thing is to get to the root causes of the adrenal fatigue. The rest is just little help here and there.

      reply
      • Eddie  January 7, 2017

        Hi Dr. Segura, If I use HC for two weeks, is it necessary to wean off it, or is that when someone uses HC on a long term basis? Thanks again for your comments.

      • Gabriela Segura, MD  January 7, 2017

        You can pretty much stop it, Eddie.

  10. Eddie  January 7, 2017

    Thanks again Dr. Segura. Have a great day!

    reply
  11. Liam  January 12, 2017

    Excellent article. Thank you so much. I find these dosings much better than other advices. I felt much better my first day of symptom dosing at 5mg within 15 minutes! Natural thyroid treatment alone has been several months with minimal improvement but this additional hydrocortisone has been excellent.
    Thanks again for the article.

    reply
    • Eddie  January 12, 2017

      Liam, the rule is one should always address weak adrenals before treating a low thyroid. I’ve read that treating a low thyroid without addressing adrenals first can be devastating on the adrenals. Adding the HC make have been what you really needed. Best.

      reply
  12. Stefano  February 26, 2017

    Hi doc,

    1-5 pm I feel fatigued, tired and with the need to sleep everyday. I also train everyday and have been skipping breakfast. Diet is okay… plenty of protein fruits veggies fats. Should i try hc to see how I feel?

    reply
    • Eddie  February 26, 2017

      You need to determine if your cortisol is low. Have your done a diurnal saliva cortisol test yet? Thanks

      reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  February 28, 2017

      I would try eating breakfast and skipping another meal instead. For training, choose your body work carefully. If you do “fight or flight” type of training, that will only strain your adrenals.

      reply
  13. Yolanda Pond  March 5, 2017

    What a miracle to find this website. I had a surgery and a very large scar. Dr wanted me to see a rehabilitation dr. She injected my scar with 204 mg of kenolog mixed with other stuff. This was a period of 3 months. Started loosing hair in clumps, then 2 months after dry mouth, dry skin, dizzy, nauseous and severely depressed and emotional. Went to several dr not understanding what was happening. They tested me for EVERYTHING!! Nothing showed up. Then I was getting so dizzy, nauseous and body ache I Couldnt to stand it I thought I was dying. Also still lots of hair falling out!!! They admitted me in hospital and did acth test. I had 2.4 levels and then when they gave me the acth it went up to 18 in a half and hour and 21 I an hour. They said I had adrenal fatigue. Started me on hydrocortisone at 25/15 made me very ill then lower to 20/10 still to high!! I felt even more sick on the pills!! Then lowered it to 10/10. Still inflammation and headaches, dizzy, nauseous. My question is I also have very abnormally high fsh and low progesterone. I am in perfect age for menopause. I am 46 and have had partial hystrectimy and they also think I am in menopause. Can menopause be the culprit!!! Causing the low cortisol levels am I taking to high i
    Of a dose. Should I be on progestrogen. Dr said hormones can’t kill me but my adrenal fatigue can. HELP!!!

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  March 20, 2017

      You can do a search on low dose progesterone cream, it might alleviate the symptoms.

      reply
  14. Melissa A. Mathurin  March 17, 2017

    Good morning. Is it advisable when first starting hydrocortisone to take it at bedtime if your main symptom of low cortisol is the inability to fall asleep? My saliva test results are:

    8 am – 20 nM (13-24)
    Noon- 7 nM (5-10)
    5 pm- 3 nM (3-8)
    10 pm- 2 nM (1-4)

    cortisol burden 32 (23-42)

    reply
  15. Melissa  April 14, 2017

    I am trying to determine if I may have adrenal fatigue. I have been so nervous and panicky that much of the time I can’t still for months. I almost always feel far better and even almost normal in the late afternoon and nights. I usually sleep well at night. I have labs witg elevated thyroid antibodies but all thyroid hormone levels are normal each time ive had labs. I have also had a normal thyroid ultrasound. I thought it was hyperthyroid, but I feel so much better at night that I googled and it said at night many people often feel better with adrenal fatigue. Basically, Im so nervous all day that I can barely function but at night I feel almost normal. What are your thoughts?

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  April 14, 2017

      I would try eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in animal saturated fat and I would take magnesium, taurine and GABA. If you have no excess iron in the body, vitamin C therapy is a good first option for detoxing and adrenal support purposes.

      reply
      • Melissa  April 15, 2017

        So the low dose hydrocortisone regimen described above would not be beneficial then?

    • patty  April 15, 2017

      Welcome to the club! I get up in the morning, eat, then have to lie down. I can hardly function til mid afternoon, then like Cinderella I become normal and very productive afternoon and evenings. I’ve been taking adrenal supplements, really good organic diet and much more for years, rest when I need to, etc… and it doesn’t seem to improve. Always have low cortisol morning and noon. However, learned a year ago that I had/have severe PTSD. Went through very intense therapy for several months (EMDR), and I am hoping that even though it made me worse short term (I got every respiratory bug around and took FOREVER to get over this winter/spring/ TOTALLY exhausted, that in the long run, the release of that severe stress will help me finally heal.

      reply
  16. Michael Landers  May 3, 2017

    Please help Dr. Segura. I am a 66 year old male with secondary adrenal insufficiency and HBP, diagnosed 4 years ago. I have been on Hydrocortizone 20/10/dly for that entire time period until recently. This level had stabilized most of my symptoms, including body temperature regulation and fatigue. However, about 6 months ago I noticed a gradual re-occurrence of hot flashes along with dizziness upon initial standing, then chronic vertigo, and extreme fatigue again.

    My MD took me off of some of my HBP medication which alleviated the initial dizziness from the LBP. However, all of the other mentioned symptoms remained and actually increased in severity. So, I self-medicated and increased my Hydrocortizone to 30/20/dly over the next few months. Unfortunately, my symptoms have continued to increase in severity. So much so that I now sway slightly standing still even and there are days that I sleep for most of the day, waking up periodically. Do you think I should increase my daily dosage? Thank you in advance for your help.

    reply
    • Gabriela Segura, MD  May 11, 2017

      Hello Michael,

      I wouldn’t recommend increasing the dose. It is important to get to the root of the cause of the adrenal insufficiency. Whether detox, nutritional support, dietary changes, etc… those should take precedence over hydrocortisone support. The moment the dose starts to be too big for physiological purposes, the worse. Work with your health care provider exploring several venues as to the root of the cause and/or do some research/detective work yourself. Every single step towards this direction would help. Hope you get better.

      reply
    • Eddie  May 11, 2017

      Hi Michael, have you checked your electrolytes recently? Hydrocortisone lowers calcium and potassium levels. You may also want to limit your sodium intake as HC causes sodium and water retention. This may contribute to the dizziness you are experiencing. Also, do you have optimal vitamin D levels? Optimal levels for D are around 70 ng/mL. If you do supplement with Vitamin D make sure it is D3. You will also need to take Vitamin K2 (MK-7) with the vitamin D3 and take them with a fatty meal since they are fat soluble vitamins. Finally, you need to avoid processed sugars. Eat fruits, mainly berries for sweet cravings. It’s all about the diet. Poor diets are usually what create our health issues. Best and keep us posted.

      reply

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