Monthly Archives: November 2013

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.