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Archive for August, 2016

Waiting for weight loss….

Are you in a rut when it comes to your weight loss goals? Eating like a bird and exercising 24/7 (I’m exaggerating, of course) and still not an iota of change in your body composition? This, inspite of being on a “scientific” weight management program? Maybe it’s about time to look into other possible causes of weight gain. In the next few blog entries, I’ll be discussing a few of the most common causes of being overweight or obese. Let’s begin with your thyroid. Most doctors screen for thyroid function only by checking the pituitary hormone TSH. The normal range for TSH is quite wide. And remember, normal values are based on statistics. The healthier the population, the higher the normal values. Case in point, the normal values in Western Europe are somewhat higher than that of the North American population. This is definitely influenced by diet and lifestyle. Anyway, the optimal range for TSH is between 1-2. If you’re above or below that, further testing may be necessary esp. if you have symtoms of a sluggish thyroid, one of which is poor metabolism leading to weight gain. Ideally, a comprehensive thyroid test should include the following: fT3, fT4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. A functional test for the thyroid includes basal body temperature testing. A temperature less than 97.8 could mean a sluggish thyroid. There’s a condition called Wilson’s syndrome which basically is a person with all the classical symptoms of low thyroid, has normal basic thyroid tests and when it comes to temperature testing, has subnormal temperatures. All enzymatic processes in the body function optimally at ideal temperatures. If temperature is sub normal, then these physiologic processes don’t proceed as normal. One condition that could also affect thyroid function is chronically elevated cortisol levels with stress. This prevents conversion of T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. Deficiency in minerals like selenium also prevent this conversion process. A group of elements belonging to the halide family such as fluoride (in water/toothpaste), bromide (in baked products, soda), and chlorine (in water), actually affects thyroid hormone production by competing for the same receptors for iodine. In conclusion, there are a lot of possible causes of thyroid hormone imbalance that could ultimately affect one’s metabolism. Make sure that this is addressed comprehensively prior to starting a weight management program. Otherwise, it’ll be a complete waste of time and resources. Another way to put it, you only lose days, not inches (or fat, for that matter). 

How to Avoid the C word

imageEveryone dreads about hearing the C word from their doctor. Actually, it’s nothing to be afraid about. That is, if you have a healthy immune system. Each one of us has cancer cells in the body. Cancer cells are just abnormal cells resulting from a defective manufacturing process (cell division). Factors that contribute to this malfunction include excessive free radical formation (oxidative stress), chronic inflammatory processes, chronic toxicity, poor oxygenation, defective metabolic processes (such as impaired blood sugar metabolism, sluggish thyroid), defective DNA repair mechanisms and inefficient detoxification processes, among many other things. Oftentimes, the only risk factors for cancer that doctors discuss with their patients are smoking and  drinking alcohol. It’s not that doctors conveniently forget about these numerous other causes. It’s just that a functional or molecular or nutritional approach in medicine has not been espoused in medical school or post-graduate training. There is a heavy empasis on pharmacology during medical training. After med school, continuing education primarily comes from pharmacaeutical companies. Unless a doctor’s interested in a different approach in healing, then it’ll always be the same approach in dealing with patients and that is, the allopathic approach. Anyway, ways to ensure that you have a healthy immune system to prevent chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, is first and formost, having a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, exercise, rest and relaxation, adequate water intake and sunlight exposure, and  healthy relationships are important. In today’s industrialized and over-polluted world, I would add nutritional supplementation and regular detoxification procedures as part of one’s ultra-preventive program. There’s an abundance of superfoods or nutrients that have anti-carcinogenic properties. It’s important to work with licensed health practitioners who have a knowledge and experience in integrating allopathic and complementary/alternative if one’s ever diagnosed with it. And just FYI, there’s a test available called a chemosensitivity test. This takes the guesswork out of what natural and synthetic chemotherapy drugs to use for a particular cancer. No more trial and error or better yet, guesswork on what would or wouldn’t work. A holistic personalized approach in treating any illness beats a one-size-fits-all approach any time. More info on this chemosensitivity testing in future blog entries. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Got Lupus? (Or rheumatoid arthritis, MS, etc.). A different approach to treatment…

Different diagnosis, same treatment. That goes for most autoimmune diseases, where the ongoing medical belief is that it’s due to an immune system gone haywire. That is, the immune system starts attacking the body’s own cells. There is no explanation on why these conditions happen to certain people. It’s often explained away as a genetic predisposition to have the disease. The standard treatment is to suppress the immune system using steroids or through the use of chemotherapeutic agents. Symptom relief is quick for most but the attendant side effects are horrendous. Long-term steroid use for instance, can cause osteoporosis, hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia, peptic ulers, etc. Side effects of chemo drugs vary depending on the class of meds used. (An example is the class of meds called anthracyclines, to which Doxorubicin belongs. It’s notorious for causing heart damage by depleting coenzyme Q10 levels) You really have to weigh the risks versus benefits when someone decides to go for the traditional treatment. In holistic medical circles though, it is our belief that autoimmune disease can be due to different conditions such as food intolerances/sensitivities, chronic toxicity, hidden infections and chronic inflammatory states. Just like any chronic degenerative diseases, it is our belief that once we address the root of the problem, then the symptoms typically disappear. In contrast, treating symptoms alone, whether using synthetic drugs or natural medicines, may provide temporary relief.  The underlying disease process wreaks havoc elsewhere, however, ultimately leading to future complications. In summary, my job as a holistic MD is like that of a private eye, look diligently for the cause of the problem and when it comes to treatment, always personalize treatment recommendations based on biochemical individuality. And of course, always work in partnership with the client.

Gluta, anyone?

imageBy now, most people are aware of IV glutathione. People who use it actually do so because of it’s whitening effect. Unknown to many, there are actually other benefits of glutathione. Among these are it’s antioxidant role in the body, it’s liver cleansing effect, and it’s support for immunological, dermatological and neurological system health as well. The most effective form of glutathione is through the intravenous route. Topical glutathione such as those found in soaps are garbage. Don’t even believe the marketing hype about it. The marketers repeat the lie so often that people eventually accept is as Gospel truth. Anyway, back to IV glutathione,  it’s best given with vitamin C because of it’s synergistic effects. Vitamin C that’s derived from beet sources is better than the ones derived from corn since most corn grown in the US are GMO, unfortunately. A lot of places, including salons are offering this treatment. One should be wary of going to those places because it’s unsanitary and the staff are not trained to do so. Even some clinics that do offer it have medical staff that didn’t actually train in organizations like ACAM or A4M, the organizations that are at the forefront of age management medicine. So, before you even think about having nutrients put directly into your veings, do your research. More next time on different kinds of IV therapies specific for asthma, headaches, macular degeneration, atherosclerosis, heavy metal toxicity, etc.

Got high BP? 

  • Are you aware that high blood pressure is not a medical illness but actually just a symptom (of some underlying problem)? Unfortunately, high blood pressure is being treated like it’s a disease. And as such, there’s always a corresponding medical treatment. The usual treatment to control high blood pressure is to take any of the different classes of anti-hypertensive meds. Nothing bad about that especially if it’s only given during times of extremely high blood pressure. These meds are sometimes taken indefinitely however, resulting in long-term side effects. Are you aware that a lot of nutrients can actually be depeted by chronic intake of these medications? Among them include vitamins B1, B6 and C, CoQ10, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, and Sodium. Once people start having symptoms of nutritional deficiency, unfortunately they’re treated with more medications. It becomes a vicious cycle until eventually, the combination of medications cause damage to the liver and kidneys, among other things. Anyway, there a lot of underlying causes of high blood pressure. Treat the cause or causes and you resolve the underlying problem. Treat only the symptom and you’ll run into more problems. Among the possible causes of hypertension could include nutritional deficiencies (potassium and magnesium), toxicities (elevated tissue levels of lead and mercury), hormonal imbalance (low testosterone in men, evelated cortisol levels in both sexes, estrogen dominance in women), chronic inflammatory states, obesity, dehydration, stress in general, etc. These underlying conditions can be addressed by a nutritionally-minded doctor who can order tests such as a comprehensive nutritional profile, blood or salivary hormone panel, hair mineral analysis, autonomic nervous system analysis, skin carotenoid testing, body composition assessment, and genomic testing. In my practice, it’s not uncommon to get people off of synthetic medications once the root cause of the problem is addressed. Chronic conditions can be reversed by using what we call TLC or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. More to this TLC on subsequent blog entries. Have a great week everyone!

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