age reversal

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.

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

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.

Look younger than your age

121198176As we get older, most of us would like to look younger than our biological age.  Many anti-aging techniques focus on cosmetic solutions, but ignore what is going on inside your body. While cosmetic solutions can mask some of the signs of aging, without addressing nutritional issues, it is difficult to not appear haggard when the body needs key nutrients.  One reason that we focus on nutritional deficiencies is because they can contribute to visible signs of aging, as well our feeling a loss of vitality! This can happen for a number of reasons. The high stressed, fast paced lifestyle that most people experience increases poor dietary choices, which hastens nutrient depletion even if you are eating well.

Common outward signs of aging include an increase in fine lines and deep creases, our skin wrinkles, our faces begin to appear more hollow and less plump the way we looked when we were teenagers, and receding gums. We address these issues by looking at what builds health in the body by focusing on the foundational areas that contribute to looking older. In addition to helping our skin and joints look and feel better, a key to turning around the aging challenge also addresses digestive issues. As a result, the visible signs of aging slow, and even reverse, for people who have followed our schedule of care.

Skin, Joints, and Gum Health
After the age of 40, our collagen levels begin to decline. Collagen, the most abundant body protein, is responsible for giving skin a youthful, resilient, wrinkle free appearance. It is also an important protein that helps to hold our joints together as well as to cushion them. With collagen, we can have a bounce to our step. When collagen levels are lower than they should be, the bounce is replaced by a feeling of stiffness and discomfort. Less collagen also means our skin begins to lose the fullness we had in the past.  That “bounce to your step” is also impacted by the presence of Chondroitin Sulfate, due to the shock absorbing features that it provides. Low levels of it can make you “feel” your joints with every step you take. If your levels of Chondroitin Sulfate are sub-optimal, then maintaining a lively gait can be much of a challenge.

Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A. also is a key factor needed to maintain a youthful appearance, because it is responsible for giving our skin a more full, wrinkle free look. It also lubricates our joints! Maintaining the right levels of H.A. means that we look and feel more youthful. As our H.A. levels decline after birth, we often experience more physical effects of aging, including joint stiffness, discomfort and decreased range of motion. Low levels of H.A. are also associated with skin wrinkles, creases, deep folds, and fine lines. Patients have also reported improved gum health as well as reduced, and even corrected dry eye problems. With regular use of highly absorbable form of H.A., the body is able to produce the natural lubrication that the eyes need for good ocular health.

How well be absorb our food impacts our muscle mass
Eating the right foods which contain quality protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients,  does not mean you will necessarily absorb them.  If there is an under production of Hydrochloric (stomach) acid, and stomach acid suppressive therapies, along with low levels of enzymes can lead to mal-absorption of nutrients. One way this is evident is with a decline of muscle mass. Without addressing this, a person can become frail, which means they have inadequate muscle mass for their age. As we lose muscle mass, we begin to more easily accumulate fat since muscle is required to burn fat. Once the stomach’s acid production is returned to normal levels, and sufficient levels of enzymes are present, we can absorb our nutrients.

Weight gain and loss
Enzymes, exercise, and good colon health help our bodies regulate proper weight by absorbing and eliminating our food quickly, thereby speeding up our metabolism. Enzymes help us detoxify our tissues more quickly, and at a deeper level, which helps our body have a proper metabolism needed to maintain a healthy weight. Eating foods that are appropriate for our blood type can determine how efficiently we “burn” calories, and how we look and feel. Weight gain can often occur when we eat foods that are not compatible with our blood type.

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