Stress and adrenal fatigue and burnout

rbs1_22Recently, I’ve been hearing more and more patients complain about high levels of fatigue. As a Functional Medicine practitioner, I need to know the stress factors that can be contributing to this. Our Adrenal glands act as a buffer to stress, and along with our Thyroid gland, help regulate our energy levels. The Adrenals do not differentiate between types of stress, rather they regulate the chemical reactions that occur whenever the body is “under stress.”

Many Patients do not realize how much stress they are under normally, and that additional stress can push your body’s normal level of functioning into overload. The types of stress that are common for most people include relationship stress (parents, spouses, co-workers), financial worries, health concerns, children, physical injuries, overextending oneself to take care of family members, menstruation, poor dietary habits, etc. Additionally, a lack of sleep, or having irregular sleep, indicates high levels of stress in an individual.

Adrenal exhaustion, or Adrenal burnout, is one of the symptoms of this type of stress. While it is not the only source of fatigue, it can be an important one. The Adrenal glands make hormones, including cortisol, which helps your body deal with stress and inflammation. However, there are other conditions that can affect your energy levels besides your adrenal glands; it is important to find out what is causing your lack of energy and fatigue. In some cases, an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to lack of energy. It’s important to eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, while avoiding processed and refined foods, as well as junk food. It is also important to exercise regularly. Diet, along with a comprehensive digestive enzyme formula, as well as a quality multi-vitamin formula helps correct hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia leaves many people feeling sluggish, lethargic, and tired in-between meals. Likewise, both enzymes and a comprehensive multivitamin formula containing certain minerals and other nutrients such as Alpha-lipoic acid help correct ‘insulin resistance’ which results when we can’t get sugars into our cells, leaving us tired quickly following a meal.

It is also a good idea to have your doctor order a CBC, to check for abnormalities in your blood and also check hormone levels. A low-functioning thyroid gland is a very common cause of fatigue in the US.

Testing for Adrenal Fatigue
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, and together they produce several classes of molecules. Two of them that relate to fatigue are cortisol and DHEA. Together, these hormones regulate: blood sugar levels, energy levels, sleep rhythms, blood pressure and heart rate, and inflammation levels in the body.

When someone is under acute stress, adrenal gland hormone levels rise to help the individual cope with the stressor. Essentially, these hormones prep the body for “flight or fight” responses. However, if the levels remain elevated over a long period of time, or there is a major stressor such as death or loss, they can eventually drop even lower and initiate fatigue, and lead to chronic fatigue. In addition, these hormones levels can drop excessively due to lack of exercise, poor diet, and toxins in the environment. One way adrenal fatigue can be definitively diagnosed is with an Adrenal Salivary Index (ASI) lab test.

Is your home or office creating chemical stress in your body?
Assessing our indoor environments for stressors is also important. Looking at your daily exposure of toxic chemicals, pesticides, and EMFs is important. For those who have never heard the term EMF’s before, EMF’s are Electromagnetic Frequencies that permeate our environment, as a form of non-ionizing radiation. They silently and unseen, pass through our homes, body and are a part of our lives.

At its most basic source, EMFs were mostly prevalent in household and building wiring at the 60Hz level. Fast forward to 2014, and we now live in a world where it is virtually impossible to avoid EMFs: satellites that feed information to a variety of users (including weather, your entertainment media, etc). That EMF emitting hair dryer that so many people used to be concerned about, now pales in comparison with the length and type of exposure. Nowadays, most people are bathed in EMFs 24/7, whether it be from radar, security systems, that intelligent office building that knows where you are at all times, and just walking through the door of most retail establishments. EMF’s are within a wide range of the invisible light spectrum, but because they are in the light spectrum, their constant presence can disrupt your hormones in the same way that never sleeping can.

Early research in the areas of EMFs indicate that these frequencies create stress for our cells, glands, organs, and can contribute to premature aging and help create immune system challenges such as low immunity and auto-immunity, and also contribute to anomalous pain based illnesses such as Fibromyalgia. In 2012, the NCBI reported that “studies on other common sources of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) such as mobile base stations have shown alterations in the cortisol level following exposure of humans to these sources.” As noted earlier, at one time, the primary exposure from EMFs was generally from electrical substations, power lines and indoor wiring. Nowadays, with Wifi routers being in nearly every apartment and home, EMF’s bathe us 24/7.

Determining your body’s energy production
In addition to a thyroid panel and an Adrenal Salivary Index, we prefer using the TRIAD Blood Spot by Genova Diagnostics to determine energy production in the body. This test not only detects factors that can rob us of our energy, such as food allergies, leaky gut, and hidden parasitic infections such as ‘bad’ bacterial and fungal overgrowth, but also measures how well our cells are producing energy. We also work with our patients to help them eliminate poor food choices, and show them how to make better food choices that work with their body’s metabolism.

When it comes to supplementation, besides the few that we have already mentioned in association with blood sugar, we also use specific formulas that target Thyroid and Adrenal performance. For an assessment of your energy levels, contact us at 512 299-1223.

Achieving athletic excellence through nutrition

147718786While having a consistent and achievable workout routine is important to achieve physical strength and health, nutrition is the vital piece for reaching optimum sports performance. There are many things the athlete needs to do, to provide proper fueling before, during and after competition that can give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed. Understanding how to fuel your body correctly throughout the day will enhance your body’s ability to recover from training and maximize your physical development.

Meals Plans, Testing and Competitive Fueling

How We Detect Performance and Health Related Issues
We use The TRIAD Blood Spot test, which is a simple test that our patients perform in the comfort of their home. It requires obtaining a blood spot/smear, and a urine collection, all contained within the kit performed by the individual and does not require a lab. This test, which is billable to insurance, collects a large amount of data, more than most lab tests used today, that tells us what nutrient deficiencies you are experiencing, how well your body is healing and repairing itself, neurotransmitter status required for optimal brain function for athletic coordination and balance, gut health, any hidden infections, food sensitivities which can hinder performance, and energy production and maintenance.

Individualized Meal Plans – Eat for your Blood Type!

The reason we work with meal planning is to help athletes meet their physical and training goals so that they can take their performance achievements to the next level. Our Eat for your Blood Type meal planning takes into account genetics, your blood type, and what foods test beneficial for you.

Increasing oxygen to your blood cells (naturally)

By working with specialized blood tests, we can look identify any debris that is in your blood that should not be. These debris interfere with the oxygenation of your blood cells and thus, achieving a higher performance level.

Nutritional Absorption
Did you know that you can take all the correct nutrients, but your body may test deficient in certain areas? We can identify what nutrients are not being properly absorbed. When a multivitamin is not bio-available, or if your system is blocking absorption due to another reason, we can identify the problem. For example, muscle cramping is commonly associated with needing more magnesium, and we have found instances where something was preventing the absorption of magnesium despite the patient taking appropriate levels of the mineral.

Competition Fueling, Naturally

Many of our Patients have already begun to “clean up their diets” or are in the process of doing so. This translates to eliminating refined sugars, refined flours, eating whole grains and fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, preferably organic if you can do so. A common quandary that our athlete patients have is how to replenish lost nutrients during, after and throughout the day, with sports food items that are currently on the market, especially if they are on a specialized diet. Because we work with the Eat for your Blood Type meal planning, the bulk of our direction may come from the results of your dietary testing. We also work with highly bio-available nutritional supplements that go into most of our patient’s workout bags so that they are there when we need them.

A concern of all athletes during any workout that leads to much fluid loss is ensuring adequate amounts of fluids, consuming adequate electrolytes, and also getting the right amounts of protein and carbohydrates to enhance performance while limiting muscle damage during and after competition. Our athletes enjoy using Biocell Collagen® because it provides the nutritional support that can help injured athletes recover faster by using its unique and patented form of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, and other bioavailable anti-oxidants. Liquid hydrolyzed collagen, which is only found in Biocell Collagen®, has been shown to regenerate joint cartilage, and connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments. It is also available in a convenient “chew” form, that can be ingested anytime and anyplace that dissolves under the tongue.

Many of our patients who are not actively working out have reported being able to return to some type of exercise routine after taking Biocell Collagen, especially if their problems have been knee (joint) and cartilage related. Because of its anti-aging properties, many patients who reduced their workout routines or who have stopped completely, have been able to resume their all-important exercise routine.  

Call or contact us now for more information on how we can help you to gain your competitive edge, or to help you to return to a workout routine.

Diabetes and how nutrition and botanicals can help you

181293605 lowAn April 14th, 2014 article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors discussed the role of nutritional and botanical agents in the management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.  Among some of the most beneficial supplements included in the article, the author, Dr. Morstein, N.D.,  mentioned both Alpha-lipoic acid and Resveratrol.

“R-ALA: Alpha-lipoic acid has numerous benefits to the diabetic patient. It is both a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant and has been shown to protect patients with fatty liver from liver disease progression. It can help insulin resistance and has been shown to protect diabetics from developing complications in their nerves, eyes, and kidneys. It is very safe. The R isomer is the only active isomer in the body and, since it can now be stabilized, should be the form recommended to patients, instead of regular lipoic acid wherein half the isomers are the nonhelpful S isomer.”

“Resveratrol: This is a bioflavonoid that has been shown in diabetic studies to protect pancreatic cells, reduce inflammatory cytokines, and increase antioxidants. It may also help improve insulin’s actions and lower levels of glucose, A1C, and insulin. It was also shown to help decrease body weight, systolic BP, cholesterol, and triglycerides.”

Alpha-lipoic acid, among other crucial nutrients for health, is contained in our Enriching Gifts supplement line.  Resveratrol is also contained in liquid Biocell Collagen, which has had excellent anti-aging results with many of our patients.  By employing blood testing and nutritional diagnosis, often many diabetic patients reverse their diabetic condition, lose weight, have better range of motion and flexibility, and have improved energy.   Call us for more information on alternative ways to combat diabetes and remain drug free.

Townsend Letter for Doctors, The Role of Nutritional and Botanical Agents in the  Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Morstein, Mona, ND. April 2014

Mental Clarity

Human head silhouetteMental Clarity Low levels of blood oxygen have been shown to contribute to physical and mental fatigue, “fuzzy” thought, poor endurance, lactic acid build up and a decreased ability to heal. To increase your blood’s ability to carry oxygen, debris in the blood needs to be cleaned up. The cleaner the blood, the more effectively it can transport oxygen to essential body parts of your body such as the heart, muscles, and the brain. Debris includes high serum protein levels, and oxidized solids such as plaque, cholesterol, uric acid and fibrin, all which decrease the blood’s ability to carry oxygen by congesting your blood and thickening blood vessel walls via inflammation.

Blood tests to identify these conditions can be done in our office via live blood cell analysis, and out of office via our comprehensive functional blood chemistry analysis.

At Fundamental Health Solutions, our anti-visible aging supplementation program includes the use of a clinically tested, bio-available liquid supplement that contains highly absorbable collagen, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, known for helping to hydrate your skin, as well as the ability to contribute to joint lubrication

How to decrease and manage joint pain at the same time

joint-pain-compressed As we age, it is typical for us to feel our joints when we walk, and to notice our flexibility decreases as a result of joint pain. Getting relief from joint pain has long been associated with going to the Chiropractor. Chiropractors have been successfully treating back and neck pain for decades. According to the medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Chiropractic care is considered “More effective than medication in both short and long term for acute and sub-acute neck pain.”

While quality Chiropractic care is excellent for managing pain and increasing function, if there is a problem with where your joints and cartilage are not in optimal health, then we need to address this beyond what an adjustment can do for your joint health. At this point we need to address turning around, ie reversing, what is contributing to joint degradation, which can be done via nutritional adjustments. As we age, often there is degeneration in our joints, and ultimately a loss of cartilage, along with inflammation. In order to reverse cartilage loss we need to replace the ingredients that make cartilage in the body.

Joint and cartilage health declines after the age of 35
Lower levels of these joint and cartilage nutrients begin to occur after the age of 35. This can be countered by nutritional supplements, but unfortunately most over the counter supplements that contain the needed replenishment ingredients are not completely bio-available. Their cellular forms tend to be very large. In order for your body to effectively utilize these nutrients, they must be modified into a smaller form or your body cannot absorb them. There is a modified version of Liquid Biocell Collagen that provides optimum absorption, which translates to being able to more fully reverse many of the symptoms associated with joint degeneration caused by illness or injury.

Reversing the causes of joint degeneration
As a Chiropractor, when patients adopt an integrative approach of addressing the need for physical adjustments while simultaneously using nutritional therapy, they have reported feeling younger. They have reported having more energy and not noticing their joints the way they used to when they would walk, run, exercise or climb stairs. Using our approach, we not only see pain levels decrease within a 90 day period, but our patients report that their pain levels continue to decrease as they continue on your home based nutritional therapy.

Unlike targeted injections, this nutritional support helps every joint in the body, not just your neck and spine. Our ultimate goal is to hear our patients come into the office for a maintenance appointment while telling us how much their mobility and range of motion has improved, all without surgery! This doesn’t mean that you should entirely stop your maintenance schedule of care with your Chiropractor, but our goal should be to get you to the point where you’re not as dependent upon your Chiropractor, or at all, in order to manage your joint concerns.

Rebuilding joint and cartilage health
While Chiropractic adjustments can relieve the inflammation issues associated with aging, we work with a clinically proven joint formula that’s backed by clinical trials to help rebuild the joint and cartilage degradation.

The liquid Biocell supplementation we work with contains all the ingredients that comprise our joints. Those ingredients are: Type II collagen (specific to joints and connective tissue), Hyaluronic Acid (also called H.A.), chondroitan sulfate, glucosamine and MSM.

These ingredients make up all joints and connective tissue in the body, and must be replaced if we are to halt or reverse the process of joint degeneration. Many of these ingredients are not new to joint nutrition: however, a very important aspect of nutritional therapy involves taking the right supplementation that provides optimum bio-availability to your body.

Bio-availability means that these ingredients are in a more absorbable form that can be assimilated by our joints. Liquid Biocell simultaneously addresses joint pain anywhere in the body. This allows for quick results that continue to improve with time; this is aligned with our goals for our Patients, to get your quickly and firmly on the path of healing and recovery.

Being tired does not have to be a part of aging

Businessman asleep at his desk on white backgroundAre you constantly tired and notice that you don’t have the energy levels that you did when you were younger? Do you experience fatigue after eating meals and find yourself often drinking coffee or tea, and or having a candy bar of sugary snack during the day as a quick “pick-me-up?”

Many Americans suffer from daily drowsiness resulting from “adrenal burnout.” Adrenal Burnout makes life harder because our body has to work very hard just to find enough energy to go through life. This includes basic activities like driving a car, work related activities, sex, trying to get a good night’s sleep, and all of this can even cause you to miss family events and leisure time activities (according to the National Sleep Foundation).

Fatigue can be caused by many health related issues. One of the most common causes of fatigue is inflammation and pain. If you have been feeling fatigued on a consistent basis, please make an appointment to our Functional Medicine practice. We are trained to look at all of your body systems, in order to best ascertain why you have low energy levels. This includes your environment, work, home, and lifestyle, as well as your physical issues.

Nutrients that can help you maintain your energy levels:

Co-Enzyme Q10, or Ubiquinone
Co-Q10 is responsible for pumping up the mitochondria in your cells. Mitochondria are considered the “powerhouses” of your cells and regulate cellular respiration, which helps your cells run optimally, which is a requirement for you to feel energized. Co-Q10 is also helpful in liver function as well as maintaining a healthy heart and kidneys, and is known for helping to lower blood pressure.

Several B Vitamins are required by your liver, adrenal glands, brain tissue, nervous system, heart, and many other areas of the body. Vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B3 (Riboflavin), B6 (Pyroxidine), B12 (Cobalamin), Biotin, and Folic Acid are also critical B Vitamins necessary for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. B-Vitamins are also lost in greater amounts if we drink coffee with our vitamins, because they can inhibit their absorption. Many Americans have Vitamin B deficiencies, and in many cases their medication may be a contributing factor. Another reason for vitamin deficiency is that people are taking vitamins that are not bio-available, so the body cannot really absorb and utilize them.

Many of us have rapidly depleted our digestive enzymes required to break down and utilize our nutrients. According to Nobel Prize Enzymologist Ronald K Schneider, we lose approximately 10% of our digestive enzyme producing capacity per decade, after puberty. For example, if puberty ends in a person at the age of 20, by the time they are 60 years old, they will have 40% less enzyme producing capacity then when they were 20 years old. Enzymes are required to break down and assimilate your nutrients. Without nutrients, our cells have no fuel to carry out their duties.

There are many things that “rob” us of our energy:

Insufficient Sleep
Many Americans lack sufficient sleep today, either because they do not allot enough time for sleep, or because they cannot sleep soundly through the night. Without sufficient sleep, our body cannot perform the deep healing and recuperation necessary to carry out the next day’s activities. Usually sleep issues relate to thyroid and adrenal gland issues that are brought on by inadequate diet and system toxicity.

Another overlooked area for not getting good sleep is when you have too many EMF generating electronics in the bedroom. EMFs, or Electromagnetic fields, are a part of the invisible light spectrum. Having light waves bathe you while you sleep may contribute to your body’s ability to produce melatonin, which is a major hormone in the body and affects many major functions, including the immune system.

Low grade and hidden infections can make us feel tired
Many Americans are suffering from low grade infections, many of which can remain “hidden” from traditional lab tests and can slip by undetected. Parasitic Bacteria, fungal infections, Candida Albicans Yeast infection, Lymes, Herpes Simplex I and II, Shingles are several examples of infections that go undetected in the body for a long time. We use functional lab tests, which do a better job of detecting these infections before they fully manifest. (true?)

The Thyroid Gland is considered a very important gland when it comes to energy management in the body. When operating normally, our body temperature operates at an ideal range so that our body’s cells can function in an optimal manner, so we can feel optimal. When our body temperature gets too low, our cell function begins to slow and we can feel tired.

Adrenal Fatigue
Most Americans have “adrenal burnout” because our fast paced lifestyle and inadequate diet are major contributors to adrenal insufficiency. Often people find it easier to opt for a quick fix, by reaching for poor quality, and high sugar energy drinks in an attempt to ward off fatigue.

Our Adrenal glands produce many hormones and chemicals provide bursts of energy that help us live well despite having stress. The real adrenal energy that your body needs is not in an energy drink can or bottle; these beverages can end up draining our adrenal glands more rapidly. This is because they fail to replace nutrients that our adrenals need to function. The best way to detect adrenal insufficiency is with an Adrenal Salivary Index (ASI).

Alcohol robs us of our energy by disrupting normal R.E.M deep sleep patterns. Many people drink alcohol before going to sleep, because it provides a temporary feeling of relaxation and they fall asleep more easily. Alcohol does not help us maintain the deep sleep patterns necessary to feel energized the next day. Web MD summarized 27 studies showing us how alcohol and quality sleep don’t mix!

Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs)
Besides the EMF issues that can impact our levels of Melatonin production, our bodies are constantly being stressed by being bathed in these man made frequencies, 24/7. Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are both analog and digital. Man made EMFs first interacted with humans when motors and other electric devices became a part of our quality of life. By 2013 we now also have a swathe of digital EMF waveforms that our human, analog body interacts with. Virtually every electronic item we live with and use is emitting EMFs. Dr Robert O. Becker, MD had done much research on the negative bio-effects of EMFs on the human body. These EMFs affect subtle areas of our brain, such as the pineal gland, which can disrupt healthy sleep needed to feel energized the next day.

To learn how you can achieve more restful sleep, contact us today!


Aging and brain deterioration

186470430While brain degeneration can impact anyone, it is commonly thought of as a part of “getting older.” “Neurodegeneration” is a broad term describing the progressive loss of nerve cells in our brain and peripheral nervous system. Neurodegeneration occurs in everyone, but at different rates for different people. Noticeable symptoms of neurodegeneration includes memory loss, a decreased sense of smell and taste, and various stages of dementia that can range from mild to serious. This can include Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

While more noticeable as we age, people of all ages can exhibit neurodegeneration symptoms:

  • A person’s speech become sluggish, and their speaking abilities deteriorate.
  • It is more difficult to recall people, places and events;
  • The absence of, or lowered inabilities to show outward facial emotions and expression.
  • Increasingly poor body posture. This occurs when the body lacks the ability to maintain proper muscle tone in our postural muscles. The result is a tendency to slouch and have a “stooped over posture.”
  • Gait and mobility issues that can indicate indicate brain degeneration and brain neuron loss:
  • A person who used to walk in a full stride is now reduced to some form of a shuffle;
  • The normal opposing arm swing becomes diminished or disappears;
  • Feelings of vertigo or a loss of balance are both indicators of a rapidly deteriorating brain;

When these signs occur as a person ages, there is often the belief that there is little or nothing that can either stop the effects of aging on the brain, much less reverse the issues. Here are non-drug options that can help this brain degeneration, and can help you to have a better quality of life.

The chemical effects that occur when the brain degenerates
Free radicals are stray electrons that damage our cells and tissues, and are a key contributor to “oxidative stress,” inflammation, and lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain. A major contributor to brain degeneration is caused by “free radicals” that result in a lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain. This can lead to a buildup of plaque in our brain, and the rapid deposit of “Tau Proteins.” Together, these conditions have been considered to be center to many neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and memory loss.

Brain and Neuro Degeneration can be minimized and reversed
Surprisingly, some of the fixes are obvious and simple. For starters, our brain is the master control center for our nervous system, and if we don’t exercise it, then we start to lose it more rapidly. So, “use it our lose it” applies here! It’s important to do memory exercises every day. Playing the card game “concentration” we played as kids is a great way to have fun, and maintain healthy brain neurons. Crossword puzzles provide another great way to challenge a person’s recall of events, places, words and details.

Physical exercise and exertion activates areas of our brain because our muscles are directly wired to specific areas of our brain and provide stimulation to these areas when we move! More importantly, exercise temporarily increases blood oxygen levels which gives our neurons an essential fuel needed to function.

Whenever we see a diminishing ability, such as poor speech quality, balance, or movement, we need to challenge this system by engaging in therapeutic activities involving this activity. More details on brain based exercises and activities will be covered in a future blog; the focus of this blog will be to highlight the important nutrition required to help our brain stay sharp as we age.

Nutrients to protect our brain
There are brain essential nutrients that can protect our brain from free radicals, inflammation and oxidative stress:

  • Co-Q10 is a co-enzyme that increases the efficiency of energy production, and serves as a potent brain and heart antioxidant.
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid regenerates other important brain antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E, and Glutathione, thus extending the life of other antioxidants while providing powerful antioxidant properties.
  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) dramatically increases the body’s production of glutathione, another very important brain antioxidant. It also helps detoxify our brain.
  • Acetyl-L_Carnitine, like Co-Q-10, enhances our nerve cell energy production. This benefits damaged brain neurons, which have low energy production. Studies show that this nutrient profoundly slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It enhances our nerve cell energy production by transporting fuel into the mitochondria (energy plants) of our cells.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to limit free radical damage in the brain and has been noted to outperform an Alzheimer’s drug in clinical trials, per the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Diets rich in Vitamin E, when supplemented with Vitamin C, have been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinsons by 61%.
  • Gingko Biloba improves brain metabolism, increases brain blood flow and provides additional antioxidant protection according to double blind placebo trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Gingko Biloba was also shown to stabilize Alzheimer’s progression, and was cited in contributing to actual improvement results in standardized psychological tests.
  • Vitamin D has been shown in studies to have many free radical scavenging abilities that help the brain.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the “myelin sheath” around your neurons, which is the equivalent to the protective coatings on electrical wires. The myelin sheath not only helps to conduct electrical nerve signals throughout your body, but helps to prevent “mixed messages” when neurons cross. When neurons messages become “crossed” we see problems such as neurological tremors.
  • Phosphatidyl Serine produces the important neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is responsible for healthy muscle contraction, organ function and most of all memory.
  • Flavonoids are found in citrus fruits and many types of berries. These nutrients function like antioxidants and help build the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which keeps toxins out of our brain.

Other nutrients that are also essential to a healthy brain include Magnesium, Calcium, all of the B-Vitamins, Sodium, Potassium, EPA, DHA, and many amino acids. Many of these nutrients and more are already included in the highly bio-available daily multivitamin our patients take.

The truth about Cholesterol, Statins and Heart Disease

156044101 webThe Statin-Heart Disease connection came about when cholesterol was identified as an indicator of heart disease. This study, referred to as the Framingham study was conducted during the 80’s, which led to the belief that lowered cholesterol levels was a good indicator of heart health. The common ways this was addressed was by taking Statin medications, and to adopt a so called, “heart healthy low fat” diet. Statins became a standard prescription drug by western Medicine practitioners, believed to be an effective treatment to reduce or prevent heart disease. Despite the large numbers of Americans taking Statin medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control in 2012, heart disease was still ranked as number as the number one illness related cause of death. Statins have been used in the US for over 30 years, yet Heart Disease has been edging out cancer, which is a close second place.

For decades, organized healthcare has touted the effectiveness of Statin medications amidst the ever-growing prevalence of heart disease. Today, Statins are the most widely prescribed medications throughout America, with some estimated 35 million Americans taking Statin Medications today, which could double based upton the new guidelines released in November 2013 by the American College of Cardiology. (

What you should know about Statin Drugs:
Cholesterol over predicts heart attack risk
The New York Times just reported (11-18-2013) that using Cholesterol “over predicts” heart attack risk and is “flawed. Dr Peter Libby MD, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s hospital says they have a “real disaster in terms of credibility”, and “something is terribly wrong.”  (

2.Statin drugs are good for lowering cholesterol, but not at reducing heart disease. Many studies show that 50% of all heart attacks and strokes occur in people who have normal to below average cholesterol. This indicates that high Cholesterol alone is not the cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Statin Side Effects
A side effect from taking Statins is that the liver becomes “more sick,” which contributes to a lowered level of health for you. Statins are used to shut down the enzyme in the liver that produces cholesterol, which limits the amount of cholesterol produced. Your liver produces 80-90% of your cholesterol, versus from dietary intake. It does not heal the cause of why your body is producing more cholesterol than it should.

Statin drugs cause neuropathy
Neuropathy refers to “nerve pain” and together with myopathy, can leave a person unable to walk without difficulty due to both weak muscles and “nerve pain.” The Myelin sheath is a cholesterol based and coated fatty sheath. Statin drugs inhibit our ability to make this sheath, which leaves our neurons in a damaged, weakened, and irritated state that can become painful.

Statin drugs cause myopathy
This is one of the most common side effects of Statins. Myopathy is a term that means muscle pain. Your liver processes most of your body’s proteins which are needed to repair muscle. Statins disrupt this protein synthesis, leaving your body unable to adequately repair muscle tissue. Because your heart is also a muscle, the Statin user may be at an even greater risk for heart troubles!

6. Statin drugs can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Erratic blood sugar contributes to a host of additional problems, including diabetes. The FDA now requires this risk to be labeled on all Statin medications.

7. Statin drugs can cause memory loss.
The FDA has mandated this warning be added to the labels as well. Memory loss is a symptom of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.

8. FACT: Cholesterol is needed by your body!
Cholesterol is used to make many of your hormones, to include your sex hormones. Taking Statins can throw your hormonal system into an unnatural state of disarray.

We require cholesterol in order to metabolize cholesterol!
Cholesterol makes up “bile salts” which are a component of bile. Bile, which is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, is needed to emulsify, digest and remove cholesterol and other fatty acids. Statin drugs make it harder to make bile, and cholesterol, which in turn makes it harder for your body to metabolize cholesterol.

Oxidized cholesterol is the culprit of plaque
What makes this interesting is that the non-oxidized type of cholesterol is the version tested in a standard lipid panel. Oxidized cholesterol has been transformed into a solid, which can now clog blood vessels. The non-oxidized form cannot. Oxidized cholesterol can be detected, and even lowered with proper care, but your doctor has to use the right test, and have a good protocol in place to create a favorable outcome. We use the Ox-LDL lab test developed by cardiologists at Cleveland Heart Lab.

Elevated cholesterol levels indicate a metabolic problem.
The most important aspect of testing for elevated cholesterol is that it indicates a liver metabolism problem (not necessarily an impending heart disease problem.) Usually when our liver starts to raise cholesterol levels in the body, it due to nutritional deficiencies, including: Vitamin C, many of the B vitamins, plant sterols, chromium, selenium, glutathione, copper, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and enzymes.

Because our liver produces most of your body’s cholesterol in our body, when these levels elevate, this indicates that your liver is losing its ability to metabolize cholesterol. Tumeric and krill oil are two supplements among many that can be used to help your liver metabolize cholesterol, thereby lowering its levels.

Alternative treatments for heart disease

The real cause of heart disease is inflammation!
Inflammation is what scars the inner lining of our blood vessels, which in turn allows oxidized solids, such as plaque, to deposit into these freshly cut scars. The byproducts of inflammation transform cholesterol into its oxidized, solid form. It’s the oxidized form of cholesterol that we need to be concerned about, but this is not what’s tested in your standard lipid panel. The standard lipid panel tests for the pre-oxidized form of cholesterol.

Identifying oxidized solid cholesterol in your body
There is a test to detect oxidized solid cholesterol in the body. This test was developed by leading cardiologists at Cleveland Heart Lab. This test looks at a very specific enzyme, called Myeloperoxidase, that is capable of detecting “vulnerable plaque.”

Vulnerable plaque is plaque embedded in your blood vessel walls that is capable of clogging your circulation. It can be large enough to break away, float through your bloodstream and block a smaller blood vessel further downstream. This is a more accurate method to detect heart disease, and is a test that is a part of a larger Inflammation Panel that we recommend to many of our Patients.

Besides providing the capability of predicting these impending heart events, our protocol is designed to help your body reduce the inflammation that lowers the level of health, well-being, energy, and quality of life that we all deserve to have. Our approach is to lower the inflammation that is caused by high cholesterol, getting at the root of the problem. This helps us work with our Patients so that we can reduce these levels in a way that promotes health and well-being. Contact us today for more information on scheduling a consultation or taking the Cleveland Heart Lab test.

Back pain and Getting Shorter are not natural aspects of aging!

169280938One very common outward “symptom” of aging is losing height. It is a frequent comment at family gatherings, to hear adult children comment about grandparents who are “getting shorter.” Our cultural beliefs accept this, and increasing aches and pains, as well as increased back stiffness and pain, as a part of the “normal” aging process. These are actually examples of when the joints can no longer produce a special fluid, called “synovial fluid.” According to Dr Louis P Brady MD, who pioneered hip replacement surgery in the US, our joints begin to degrade when our joints no longer produce adequate amounts of “synovial fluid” that nourishes our joints. This fluid contains the ingredients needed to repair and rebuild our joints from the inside. A lack of this fluid can contribute to disc degeneration.

Vertebral Disc Degeneration Can Lead to Pain
Anyone who has experienced degeneration of their vertebral discs knows the associated pain, stiffness and discomfort that can occur in the spinal area. When our discs degenerate, we can experience disk dehydration and shrinkage.

Disc dehydration
Our discs “desiccate”, or dehydrate. When this happens, our disc height shrinks due to fluid loss; the fluid lost is largely water, supplied by synovial fluid. This is one of the most common experiences when a person has vertebral disc degeneration.

The outer walls of our discs can become weak and give way, resulting in a protrusion or “bulge”, and even tear in serious cases. This may cause impingement upon a nearby nerve root, with pain being the result. Our discs can also become “irregularly shaped” as a result of degeneration, and have a “lumpy” and “bumpy” appearance on X-Ray or MRI. These irregularities can create stiffness and discomfort in our spinal joints.

Vertebral Discs Can Shrink Without Proper Nutrition
The discs in our spine, called Vertebral Discs, or Intervertebral discs, are made up of cartilage. Tough, resilient, and long lasting, especially when you have the proper therapeutic activities and nutrients in your diet to support the repair and healthy maintenance of your discs, your cartilage can withstand intense pressures and torsional forces, even into old age. Cartilage tends to not fail unless it is neglected from proper care.  Our discs can degrade due to wear and tear, trauma, injury, chemical and emotional stress, and an American diet that not only fails to support healthy discs and cartilage, but can also hasten their deterioration and demise.

Disc Degeneration can be reversed!
Drugless and non-surgical solutions can rehydrate our vertebral discs. Our joints need to transport and retain water, and a vital, missing ingredient in this chemical process is called Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A. Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A., also makes up synovial fluid. This important protein should be present in our joints, and is capable of holding 400 times its own weight in water. When we begin to lose this protein, we begin to show wrinkles. Our skin begins to wrinkle largely because H.A. holds water in the good places of our skin and joints. This all important protein, Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A. not only lubricates and nourishes our joints, but it “holds” the water in our discs keeping them hydrated so they don’t shrink.

With less H.A. in our vertebral discs, they begin to lose their hydration
We can then begin to experience stiffness in our back and impingement of nearby nerves. This occurs because of lost “disc height space” needed to keep our spinal vertebrae from collapsing upon each other. Fortunately, Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A. can be effectively replaced.

Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid
In our clinic, we use a unique and highly absorbable clinically proven form of H.A. called “low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid.” The low molecular weight allows this very large protein to be absorbed when consumed orally. Without this modification, the H.A. is too large to be absorbed and must be injected if it is to be of any use; if not, it will pass through our digestive tract unabsorbed, and exits via the bowel. Low molecular weight H.A. has an additional benefit; it has been shown in studies to inhibit the enzyme Hyaluronidase, which is responsible for breaking down H.A. in our body.

Drinking this low molecular weight H.A. inhibits the enzyme Hyaluronidase; this can allow your H.A. levels rise by over 60 fold (6000%) in the blood, as demonstrated in clinical trials. The result for you is a better nourishment of your joints which provides better outcomes, and delays the effects of aging throughout our entire body.

For more information about how to increase disc, and skin hydration, and decrease joint discomfort and stiffness, contact us today. (link to FHS contact page)

Bone health for women as they age

121715883Developing brittle and fragile bones is often something many women fear, as the move up in their age.  Understanding some of the factors involved in this breakdown can help you address these issues before they become a serious problem.
Hormones, especially estrogen, play an important role in our bone health.
Proper levels of estrogen are important for reducing bone breakdown (also called bone resorption.)  What allopathic estrogen therapies do is to attempt to minimize the breakdown. Hence women, especially menopausal women, have increased risk factors. In many cases hormonal imbalances stem from high levels of cortisol (aka the “stress hormone”) in the blood. There are ways to detect high levels of cortisol, which suppresses normal levels of other hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, in addition to assisting your body’s natural production of hormones.

Lack of Physical Activity
Both men and women can benefit from weight bearing exercises (lifting heavier objects).  Many women do not participate in the types and levels of physical activity that can help their bone health.  Often poor bone health is not discovered until a person’s weakened bones have caused a painful fracture.  Also, once a person has suffered an osteoporotic fracture, they are often likely to suffer another one (due to the overall state of their bone health).

HCL production declines as we age
As we age, we also lose our ability to make the hydrochloric (stomach) acid needed to activate many of our enzymes to digest our nutrients, and put them into a form that our body can use. Without HCL, certain enzymes (especially protein digesting types- proteases) will not work at all.  We can eat and eat, but not absorb what we need.  There’s a saying in nutrition, “it’s not what you eat but what you absorb that matters.” This implies that even if you eat the right things for your health, you may not absorb all the nutrients needed to provide good health and build healthy bones.

HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) ionizes your minerals
Many people are unaware that the crux of what happens here goes back to digestion. Proper functioning digestion and taking the right mineral forms can help reduce bone loss, increase collagen and help improve your joints.  HCL serves another purpose which is to “ionize” our minerals.  Ionization of our metal based minerals (Zinc, Boron, Copper, Iron, Iodine, etc.) means the mineral is broken down into its smallest form but still while keeping its properties intact.  When something is “ionized” it can easily slip into and out-of a cell, meaning that your body can utilize it. 

When minerals are not ionized, not only are they nearly impossible for our cells to use, but they can accumulate and become lodged into our tissues. This can lead to health conditions:  for example, in Wilson’s disease there is an accumulation of copper found typically in the brain and liver.   Hemochromatosis/Hemosiderosis are  iron accumulation diseases of varied severity, both due to improperly ionized forms of a mineral. This is why ionizable minerals and nutrients are extremely important. 

We need just the right amount of Hydrochloric Acid
In addition to reflux, too much HCL can also contribute to bone health related problems.  During times of enzyme deficiency, we increase our production of HCL to aid digestion. This can result in HCL leaking past our buffer systems in into the periphery where it can interfere with bone health.  When our body excretes just the right amount of HCL, and our digestive organs are working harmoniously, our body has an easier time maintaining homeostasis or balance.

Calcium alone is not enough
Many people have been led to believe that they should supplement with only Calcium in order to improve the health of our bones.  Studies which include only calcium supplementation show mixed results in restoring healthy bone density.  Our bones require many nutrients, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Boron, Potassium, Vitamins C, D, and K, and a protein called collagen;  we obtain the best results when we supplement with all of these nutrients.

Non Radiation Testing
At Fundamental Health Solutions, we use a non radiation, urinary assay to measure present bone loss, and the bone loss rate. Unlike with DEXA scans, we can measure your bone health every 3 months, or less, versus annually. This also allows us to monitor the effectiveness of the recommended protocol, as well as measuring system wide bone loss, versus (DEXA) focal bone loss.