Not many people are familiar with nutritional endocrinology. And yet it's one of the essential things to know with regards to our health. Because with nutritional endocrinology, we learn how our body works. To enlighten us on how to recharge, gain energy, balance hormones, and lower stress, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo expounds on the components of nutritional endocrinology in this episode.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo describes herself as a hyper-achiever during her 20s. As a result, her health started falling apart. Going to a doctor, she was prescribed to take valium to take care of her constant headaches.
Working hard after college also had its consequences. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo had to deal with chronic sinusitis and brain fog apart from her constant headaches. Initially, she didn't know she had fatigue because she didn't feel tired. It's because she was drinking a lot of black tea and diet coke, which were both high in caffeine.
Finding A Cure
Trying to find a cure for her health issues, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo decided to get herself tested for ulcers. She went to a gastroenterologist who told her she didn't have an ulcer. But the doctor also told Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo that because she had no idea what was wrong with her, the doctor advised Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo to keep taking the medication meant for ulcers.
That made Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo think. Why would she have to take medication for a condition she didn't have. Hence, she started questioning a lot of other things. One of them was diet.
So, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo asked her doctor if her condition had to do anything with her diet. Her doctor disagreed. But Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo didn't listen and proceeded to figure out how to change her food choices lifestyle. In the end, she did get well.
Her heath obstacles fueled Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's desire to help others. She wanted to be the person who helps people get well and not take years to do so. Losing her parents and sister to illness strengthened Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's goal to carve a meaningful career path.
Pursuing further knowledge, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree and Masters in Nutrition. Shortly after, she started her practice. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo began to a lucrative career in 1996 and was one of the few women professionals in the industry at that time.
Realizing the food played a big part in nutritional endocrinology, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo started to eat more vegetables. She began eating salads and fresh fruits.
Eventually, she also gave up milk. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also started eating whole wheat bread but then switched to whole grains. She also decreased her alcohol intake.
Wanting to improve her health and learn more things, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo found a doctor in New Jersey who worked at a medical nutrition center. That doctor found that Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo had candida overgrowth.
Because of the discovery, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo was advised to make significant efforts to take out sugar and alcohol from her diet. As a result, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo started to feel better after that doctor suggested fasting.
Fasting changed Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's life. Ideally, proper fasting takes 28 days. Either way, before you do fasting, it's best to get guidance from a trained professional.
“Fasting depends on the person. If you are stressed, it produces more cortisol, increases blood pressure and blood sugar,” explains Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. “Do not over-exercise. Do a periodic short fast because cortisol prefers breaking down muscle.”
Ideally, we are supposed to do fasting for 12 hours overnight. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo says the people who advocate eating every two to three hours to keep a nice steady blood sugar are clueless. Because they don't know the physiology and biochemistry of how the body works.
“It's the worst thing to do if you want to maintain a healthy weight. Because insulin suppresses growth hormones. It suppresses the ability to burn fat,” Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo explains. “And that's not a good thing. So, exercise regularly. Hunger also stimulates growth hormones. You don't have to satisfy hunger as soon as it hits.”
Regulating Food Intake
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo says it is dangerous to have constant access to food. It puts you in an insulin state all day long. She advises not to stretch hunger for hours because it would turn into a stress response.
“Typically, if you get hungry and you can comfortably go three hours without eating, and start to lose it, start first for 15 minutes and gradually build up by trying to adapt,” said Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. “The more you choose the way you're eating, get rid of the processed sugary foods that cause the blood sugar roller coaster ride. Eat good healthy fats, and the body will eventually adapt beautifully.”
Foundational Lifestyle Habits
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo says there are foundational lifestyle habits that everybody needs to adapt and get in balance. She calls them the body freedom foundation. Because when we have these foundational lifestyle habits under control, you get the ultimate freedom in your life.
First and foremost, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo advises that we have to make it fun. How much fun are you having? Most people aren't. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo says most people who are sick are higher achievers, and they feel that fun is not a good thing.
Next is restful sleep and not sleep with the tv on. She says waking up in the middle of the night is a sign that you have low blood sugar and stress.
“It's amazing how many people fall asleep with the tv on, eat right before bed, do real stress activities and expect to get a good night's sleep. Having a clean environment is also an important factor to consider when it comes to destressing your body,” said Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also stresses the importance of diet. It's not just about eating a healthy diet or eating less and exercising more. There's more to it than that. Think about how to put the best diet in place for yourself.
Next is an outlet. Think about what your outlet is and if you have an optimistic outlook. Do you have a goal that you are working towards to? Is there reasoning why you want to change what you want to do?
Finally, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo mentioned mindfulness. Take it one at a time. Because in most people, fasting blood sugar is the last thing to change. A lot of that is something happening overnight. Something stressful is raising the cortisol levels. We can confirm it by doing a cortisol test or saliva test, a 24-hour urine test to figure out if what you are feeling is stress-related.
Sometimes, health issues are related to parasites. Parasites are active in laying their eggs overnight. If that happens, it keeps people awake. There is no restful sleep, and the sugar is high. Another indicator is getting up several times a night to go to the bathroom. That can contribute to high blood sugar.
“The things that create energy are mitochondria. Mitochondria are in every cell in the body. And they take sugar and oxygen, come up with ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells,” Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo explains.
She adds, “When something is wrong in that mitochondria, we're not going to create much energy. We don't have enough of the nutrients. It can take a while to replenish nutrient deficiency. And they might not have the right amino acids which explain protein malabsorption.”
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also reveals that the adrenals could be stressed out from years of stressful life. Plus, the thyroid is the thermostat for every cell. It dictates how much we are going to burn oxygen to make energy. So looking at thyroid issues is also essential.
“Shallow breathing could also be creating a problem. They are not getting full oxygenation to their tissue. That could be creating the deficiencies of any of the nutrients. If someone has switched their diet, they have not replenished the nutrients that got depleted from a previous diet.”
That's why Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo trains nutritional endocrinology practitioners and other health professionals to look at the big picture. Bottom line, stress and all kinds of trauma are significant contributing factors to deteriorating health. It's about how we look at it, how to unpack and correct them.
Shifting from sympathetic to parasympathetic and transpersonal energy healing is something Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo offers in her program. Tapping is a fantastic method to address trauma as well.
“Heartmath helps people shift from stress mode to rest, digest and heal response in the body. It's a simple process that's been studied very scientifically from the Institute of Heartmath,” said Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo.
She adds, “It's a combination of deep, diaphragmatic breathing and appreciation. They measure people before and after. I recommend people do this throughout the day before each meal because it helps to digest.”
First, you can do this method with open or closed eyes. Place your right hand on your heart, left hand on the belly to focus attention. Take in slow, deep breaths. Hold it at the top of the breath and let it go.
“If you feel like taking another breath, push a little bit further and take another long deep breath. Pay attention to your shoulders and neck, allow to soften and relax,” Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo said.
She adds, “Take another long, slow, deep breath. This time as you are breathing in, transport yourself in space and time where you can be appreciative. In that state of relaxation, bliss, and appreciation, you shift and change the chemicals in your body.”
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo explains that at this point, hormones improve, as well as blood pressure, enzymes, immune system, and digestion. Then when you are ready, slowly open your eyes and come back to the present with the intent of bringing that back in with you. And know that anytime within that day, you can go to this place.
Foods that are stressful to the body are foods that amplify our need for detox. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo reveals that it damages the tissues in our digestive tract.
“Coffee contains acid and caffeine. It revs people up, gets them out of parasympathetic and into sympathetic. You can stress the system. Green tea is better because even if it has caffeine, it's less than coffee. It has antioxidants that support the liver, and it's not alkalizing,” said Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also says sugar and pesticides are stressful to the system. The same goes for processed food. So, it is best to reduce the toxic load to restore the adrenals to minimize the stress load.
Evaluate where is the stress coming from. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo strongly recommends doing Heartmath techniques five times a day before meals, before you get out of bed in the morning and before you go to sleep. Recommended duration is 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
“The adrenals need vitamin C more than any part of the body. So eat vitamin C rich foods as well as supplements. The recommended dosage is 1,000 milligrams three times a day to build adrenals,” Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo advised.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo also recommends her energy elixirs. It can be taken via a cold or hot drink. Either way, there's always some tea or water as a base. Blend it with some healthy fats like coconut butter or shredded coconut, hemp seeds, and add herbs. She also says medicinal mushrooms help adrenal function as well as lime or orange essential oils.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's website is packed with great resources on how to regain optimal health naturally. Aside from an online shop, you'll find links to her books, programs, and upcoming live events so do check it out.
“My message is empowerment. Empowered self-care. Learn how your body works and how it's all put together. And learn about lab testing so that if there are lab tests you need, learn what to ask your doctor for,” advises Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. “They don't know about nutrition. You can't put your health in the hands of someone else. Because you need to take charge. That's when true health happens.”
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is passionately committed to transforming exhausted high achievers all over the globe into high energy people who love their lives and live to their full potential.
She founded the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology so that she could be instrumental in transforming our current broken disease-management system into a true health care system where every practitioner is skilled at finding the root cause of health challenges.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo specializes in using the wisdom of nature married with modern scientific research restore balance to hormones with a special emphasis on thyroid, adrenal, and insulin imbalances. Her practitioner training programs empower health and nutrition professionals, including health coaches, physicians, nutritionists, nurses, and others to use functional assessments and natural therapeutics to unravel the mystery of their clients’ complex health challenges, so they become known as go-to practitioners for true healing and lasting results.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic with Certification in Acupuncture and is a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board. She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and has completed a 500-hour Herbal Medicine Certification Program.
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo has trained certified hundreds of practitioners in the art of using palate-pleasing, whole fresh food as medicine. As a certified HeartMath® provider, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is passionate about using stress transformation techniques to guide clients to reduce the negative impact of stress on their health.