While many health screens and lab tests are overrated or unnecessary, there are a few that are vitally important, such as vitamin D. I recommend checking your vitamin D level at least twice a year.
Two other really important tests are serum ferritin (which measures stored iron) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase or sometimes called gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT; a liver enzyme correlated with iron toxicity, disease risk and all-cause mortality). By monitoring your serum ferritin and GGT levels and taking steps to lower them if they're too high, you can avoid serious health problems.
For adults, I strongly recommend getting a serum ferritin test and GGT on an annual basis. When it comes to iron overload, I believe it can be every bit as dangerous to your health as vitamin D deficiency. In this interview, Gerry Koenig, former chairman of the Iron Disorders Institute and the Hemochromatosis Foundation, explains the value of these two tests.
Iron Overload Is More Common Than Iron Deficiency
Iron is one of the most common nutritional supplements. Not only can you get it as an isolated supplement, but it's also added to most multivitamins. Many processed foods are also fortified with iron. While iron is necessary for biological function, when you get too much, it can do tremendous harm.
Unfortunately, the first thing people think about when they hear "iron" is anemia, or iron deficiency, not realizing that iron overload is actually a more common problem, and far more dangerous. Many doctors don't understand or appreciate the importance of checking for iron overload.
Virtually all adult men and postmenopausal women are at risk for iron overload due to inefficient iron excretion, since they do not lose blood on a regular basis. Blood loss is the primary way to lower excess iron, as the body has no active excretion mechanisms. Another common cause of excess iron is the regular consumption of alcohol, which will increase the absorption of any iron in your diet.
For instance, if you drink wine with your steak, you will likely absorb more iron than you need. There's also an inherited disease, hemochromatosis, which causes your body to accumulate excessive and dangerously damaging levels of iron.
If left untreated, high iron can contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and many other health problems, including gouty arthritis. In one small study, 2 100 percent of the patients achieved marked reduction in attacks or complete remission after phlebotomy was used to remove iron and maintain an iron level at near-iron deficiency — "the lowest body iron store compatible with normal erythropoiesis and therefore absence of anemia."
Iron causes all this harm by catalyzing a reaction within the inner mitochondrial membrane. When iron reacts with hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl free radicals are formed. These are among the most damaging free radicals known, causing severe mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn is at the heart of most chronic degenerative diseases.
GGT Is a Potent Predictor of Mortality
GGT is a liver enzyme involved in glutathione metabolism and the transport of amino acids and peptides. Not only will the GGT test tell you if you have liver damage, it can also be used as a screening marker for excess free iron and is a great indicator of your sudden cardiac death risk.
In recent years, scientists have discovered GGT is highly interactive with iron, and when both your serum ferritin and GGT are high, you are at significantly increased risk of chronic health problems, because then you have a combination of free iron, which is highly toxic, and iron storage to keep that toxicity going.
"Recently, [GGT] was proven by the life insurance industry as the single measure that is most predictive of early mortality," Koenig says. "In other epidemiological studies, it's linked to pretty much every cause of death, because it provides those free radicals and hydroxyl radicals …
I believe that … people born after World War II are now at greater risk because of the environmental toxicants we face … Basically, reduction in glutathione levels — your body's most important antioxidant — is indicated by an increase in GGT …
[G]lyphosate, excess iron, all of the substances in the environment — whether you take it in as food or it's in the air — that utilize your body's toxic waste disposal system in some way [will] reduce your antioxidants, whether it's vitamin D, cholesterol, vitamin E or vitamin A. A reduction of those makes you more vulnerable to disease, particularly chronic disease and autoimmune diseases across the board."
Ideal GGT and Iron Levels
As with many other lab tests, the "normal" ranges for GGT and serum ferritin are far from ideal. If you're in the "normal" range, you're virtually guaranteed to develop some sort of health problem. Based on Gerry's recommendation I had my GGT tested last month and it was 17, which is healthy especially since my ferritin level is 37. You really need both tests to confirm lack of iron toxicity as he explains in the full interview.
According to Koenig, women with a GGT above 30 U/L have a higher risk of cancer and autoimmune disease. Interestingly, while for most other tests the range between what's healthy and what's risky tends to be quite broad, in the case of GGT, the range between health and disease is in the single digits.
"Part of it is dependent on body weight," Koenig says. "Strangely enough, the most recent indications are that people who are too thin (whatever their level of GGT is), it could be harmful if [their GGT is] relatively high.9 For instance, for a thin woman with a GGT … in the range of the second quartile, which is going to be generally 14 to 18 today it can be dangerous if she's expecting to have children and has a very low BMI."
When it comes to serum ferritin, a level of 200 to 300 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) falls within the normal range for women and men respectively, which is FAR too high for optimal health. An ideal level for adult men and non-menstruating women is somewhere between 30 and 60 ng/mL.
You do not want to be below 20 ng/mL or above 80 ng/mL. The most commonly used threshold for iron deficiency in clinical studies is 12 to 15 ng/mL. Maintaining a healthy iron level is also important during pregnancy. Having a level of 60 or 70 ng/mL is associated with greater odds of poor pregnancy outcomes. That said, iron deficiency during pregnancy is equally problematic, so make sure you get tested.
Last but not least, since the ferritin and GGT are interactive, low GGT tends to be protective against higher ferritin. So, if your GGT is low, you're largely protected even if your ferritin is a bit higher than ideal. Still, it would be wise to take steps to lower your ferritin to a more ideal level nonetheless. On the other hand, even if your ferritin is low, having an elevated GGT levels is cause for concern, and needs to be addressed.
When Might a Transferrin Saturation Test Be Useful?
If you are thin, with a body mass index (BMI) below 22 or 23, Koenig suggests getting a transferrin test as well, which gives you a percentage saturation level. A level of 25 to 35 percent is typically considered healthy. In the 1970s, the transferrin saturation test was used as a marker for early death. Having a transferrin saturation percentage of over 55 indicated a 60 percent increased risk for premature death.
At that time, an estimated 2.6 percent of the U.S. population had transferrin saturation percentages that high. Today, it's down to half of that, in large part because of the increase in obesity, which "dilutes" your saturation percentage, and the transferrin test is no longer used as a marker for early death. However, if you are very thin, it can still be a useful test.
"Anything between 25 and 35 is safe. If you're unusually thin, I would get that test because there you could have unsuspectingly high transferrin saturation, particularly if you're malnourished … Anorexia nervosa has severe effects on the brain when you're that thin and your BMI is at 14 or 15," Koenig says.
Why Excess Iron Is so Dangerous
Your body creates energy by passing the electrons from carbs and fats you eat as fuel to oxygen through the electron transport chain in your mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Ninety-five percent of the time, the oxygen is converted to water. But 0.5 to 5 percent of the time, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are created. ROS are not all bad as they are important biological signaling molecules, but excessive ROS leads to mitochondrial damage and dysfunction.
Iron can react with hydrogen peroxide in the inner mitochondrial membrane. This is a normal part of cellular aerobic respiration. But when you have excessive iron, it catalyzes the formation of excessive hydroxyl free radicals from the peroxide, which decimate your mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial electron transport proteins and cellular membranes. This is how iron overload accelerates chronic disease.
If you eat excessive net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) the situation is further exacerbated, as burning carbs as your primary fuel can add another 30 to 40 percent more ROS on top of the hydroxyl free radicals generated by the presence of high iron.
Unfortunately, most people reading this are burning carbs as their primary fuel. If you struggle with any kind of chronic health problem and have high iron and eat a standard American diet that is high in net carbs, normalizing your iron level (explained below) and implementing a ketogenic diet as described in my book, "Fat for Fuel," can go a long way toward improving your health.
Taking extra antioxidants to suppress ROS generated by high iron alone or in combination with a high-sugar diet is inadvisable, as ROS also act as important signaling molecules. They're not all bad. They cause harm only when produced in excess.
Your best bet is to lower the production of ROS. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to eat a diet high in healthy fats, adequate in protein and low in net carbs. Eating healthy fats can make a bigger difference than you might think, especially if you have high iron.
How to Lower Your Iron
The good news is it's easy to lower your iron level if it's too high. One of the easiest ways is simply to donate blood two or three times a year. If you have severe overload you may need to do more regular phlebotomies. Two years ago, my ferritin was 150 ng/mL. I implemented self-phlebotomy where I would take out anywhere from 2 to 6 ounces of blood every few weeks, which brought me below 100 ng/mL.
I stopped the phlebotomy when I started a comprehensive detoxification strategy involving near and far infrared sauna, and interestingly, despite the fact I was no longer removing blood, my ferritin continued to drop over the next nine months. Now, it's down to 37 — far lower than I was ever able to get down to with therapeutic phlebotomies, and as I mentioned earlier I have a healthy GGT level of 17.
As it turns out, an effective detoxification program can lower iron as well. While this was a surprise to me, Koenig confirms that this has indeed been documented by Dr. F.S. Facchini in some of his research on iron. While I've long recommended donating blood as the solution to iron overload, I now believe a balanced approach using phlebotomy, detoxification and reducing dietary iron, especially meat, is the best way to go about it.
Keep in mind that trying to control high iron through your diet alone can be risky, as you will also forgo many valuable nutrients. That said, to avoid maximizing iron absorption, avoid eating iron-rich foods in combination with vitamin C-rich foods or beverages, as the vitamin C will increase iron absorption. If needed, you could also take a curcumin supplement. Curcumin acts as a potent chelator of iron and can be a useful supplement if your iron is elevated.
How to Lower Your GGT
GGT is inversely related to glutathione, a potent antioxidant produced in your body. As your GGT level rises, your glutathione goes down. This is part of the equation explaining how elevated GGT harms your health. By elevating your glutathione level, you will therefore lower your GGT. The amino acid cysteine, found in whey protein, poultry and eggs, plays an important role in your body's production of glutathione.
Red meat, which does not contain cysteine, will tend to raise GGT, as will alcohol, so both should be avoided. Research also suggests eating at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables rich in in vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene, anthocyanins and folate per week can help reduce GGT. Examples include carrots, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots and tomatoes.
Also, be aware that certain medications can raise your GGT. If this is the case, please confer with your doctor to determine whether you might be able to stop the medication or switch to something else, and avoid over-the-counter medicines, including ibuprofen and aspirin, both of which can damage your liver.
General detoxification is another important component if your GGT is high, as your liver's job is to remove toxins from your body. The fact that your GGT is elevated means your liver is under stress.
The Protein-Iron-GGT Connection
I personally typically eat only 2 to 4 ounces of meat per week Americans tend to overeat meat in general, and most of it is dangerous CAFO meat loaded with toxins. Additionally, while the meat supplies you with more iron than you likely need, excess protein can also cause problems. Another little-known fact is that giving iron to a person who is malnourished and cannot process protein properly can be extremely dangerous. Koenig explains:
"I've been studying malnutrition for several years now, mainly kwashiorkor (also known as protein-calorie malnutrition), which is a typical malnutrition disease, along with marasmus in developing countries. There you have a situation where the children, particularly in kwashiorkor, cannot synthesize important proteins because of essential amino acid deficiencies …
[When] giving iron too early in a recovering child with kwashiorkor, or an adult for that matter, the measure that skyrockets early on, in that particular case, happens to be GGT.
High amounts of free iron [are dangerous] because they don't have the proteins to safely contain that iron into either transferrin, which is the protein that protects the body from the iron in the bloodstream, or ceruloplasmin, which is necessary for copper transport. To get iron safely into the brain, it needs to be complexed with ceruloplasmin. Those can't be synthesized in a malnourished person. [So, giving] iron to a malnourished person is highly toxic."
African and Chinese Research Confirm GGT's Relation to Chronic Disease
Koenig recently found a few African studies showing the importance of GGT. In the 1990s, when GGT was tested broadly in the U.S. as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III, 1988 to 1994), results revealed that African-Americans had higher levels of both serum ferritin and GGT than Caucasians and Hispanics.
"Back then, those measurements were compared to measurements in Zimbabwe. In [Zimbabweans] who were not exposed to spraying for mosquitoes … the [ferritin and GGT measurements] were roughly half.
They had obviously been on a native diet … But I found, through several papers recently submitted in South Africa, that those measurements now are very high. They're catching up and probably surpassing the American Blacks' measurements, and they're suffering the [same] chronic diseases …"
More recent studies from South Africa depict increasing GGT levels are associated with insulin resistance and cardiometabolic disease risk. Moreover, a recent Chinese study showed that while having a GGT level above the midpoint raised the risk of chronic kidney disease, when combined with high serum ferritin, that risk increased nearly fivefold. Other common diseases associated with high iron and GGT include diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Blood Donations Lead to Radical Reduction in Disease
A number of epidemiological studies have also documented a significant reduction in chronic diseases among those who donate blood two or three times a year — findings that support the notion that iron overload is prevalent, and contributes to chronic disease. In some, heart disease and cancer were reduced by as much as 50 percent, Koenig notes.
Unfortunately, many doctors are still unaware of the importance of checking for iron overload (based on ideal levels and not what's considered normal), and may overlook the GGT test as well.
"One of the reasons it's difficult to get doctors to order GGT tests is they're discouraged because they know some prescription drugs increase [GGT]. Although the overall effect may be protective, it's not a happy situation to see a measure of disease increase just by taking a drug. There's resistance in that area of getting tested. But it's a pretty simple test. It would be recommended. And blood donation basically keeps one healthy," Koenig says.
In summary, if you're concerned about maintaining your health and preventing chronic disease, I would strongly encourage you to get a ferritin and a GGT test regularly, and if needed, implement the strategies discussed above to get them into their optimal ranges.
Serum ferritin and GGT are markers for iron toxicity, which is a major mostly unrecognized contributor to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and many other chronic diseases. High iron even increases your risk of infections. As noted by Koenig, you really don't want to check into a hospital with high iron, as your risk of contracting a hospital-acquired infection will be that much greater. The good news is, it's so easy to turn around, thereby dramatically reducing your risk.
If either serum ferritin or GGT is elevated, you need to take action. The treatment couldn't be simpler. Unless you're a menstruating woman, simply donate blood two to three times a year. If you do not qualify to donate blood, ask your doctor to write you a prescription for therapeutic phlebotomy.
2 Rheumatology 2003 Dec;42(12):1550-5
3 Disease Markers 2015; 2015: 818570
4 Leading Contributors to Mortality Risk in Life Insurance Applicants
5 Journal of Insurance Medicine 2012;43(3):162-8
6 Clinical Chemistry 2007; 53(5): 940-946
7, 8 Irondisorgers.org, Four Important Tests Where Ranges for Normal Vary (PDF)
9 Biomedical Reports March 2016; 4(3): 307-312
10 Diabetes Care. 2014;37(7):1878–1884
11 Transfusion Medicine April 20, 2017, DOI: 10.1111/tme.12408
12 Mercola.com, Gerry Koenig Interview, June 12, 2016
13 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition April 2004; 79(4): 600-605
14 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008) 62, 60–67
15 Livestrong March 2, 2012
16 European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2014 Dec;21(12):1541-8
17 Disease Markers 2017; 2017:9765259
I first want to give you a brief overview on how medications impact important nutrients.
HOW MEDICATIONS AFFECT NUTRIENTS
The following are a few ways that blood pressure medications can affect how our bodies absorb essential nutrients.
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors) are one of the most commonly used families of blood pressure medicines. Examples include; ramipril, enalapril, lisinopril, quinapril, fosinopril, trandolapril and captopril.
Nutrients that can be depleted by these medicines are zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Deficiencies in these nutrients can cause hair loss, slow healing of wounds, loss of taste or smell, prostate problems, loss of sex drive, frequent infections, leg cramps, weight gain, bone loss, high blood pressure, higher risk of cancer
CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS
Another commonly used family of blood pressure medicines. Examples include; amlodipine, nifedipine, felodipine, diltiazem and verapamil.
Nutrients that can be depleted by these medicines are potassium, calcium, vitamin D and possibly Co-Enzyme Q10.
Symptoms that can occur due to deficiencies in these nutrients are fatigue, leg cramps, frequent infections, thirst, muscle weakness, bone loss, confusion, high blood pressure, confusion, heart disease and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Examples of beta blockers include; atenolol, metoprolol, sotalol and bisoprolol.
Beta blockers can deplete the body of Co-Enzyme Q10 and melatonin.
Symptoms that can occur due to deficiencies in these nutrients are insomnia, disrupted sleep, increased risk of cancer, autoimmune disorders, muscle cramps, memory loss.
CENTRALLY ACTING BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATIONS
Clonidine and methyldopa are examples of this.
These blood pressure medications can deplete Co-Enzyme Q10.
Depletion of Co-Enzyme Q10 can result in fatigue, weakness, muscle and leg cramps, memory loss, frequent infection, liver damage, higher risk of heart attack, higher risk of cancer.
The above blood pressure medications may in fact cause nutrient deficiencies making it more important to consider supplementing with these nutrients to decrease the negative symptom consequences
Always discuss this important information on blood pressure nutrient deficiencies with your healthcare provider.
Pharmavite. Common drug classes, drug-nutrient depletions, & drug-nutrient interactions. www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/about_us/sponsored_resources/Nature%20Made%20Handout.pdf. Accessed September 20, 2019.
Compliments from Functional Medicine University and
have it linked back to www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com
Histamine intolerance occurs when there is a buildup of histamine in the body. Many foods contain high histamine levels, and various health conditions and medications can contribute to an intolerance (See below for a list of common symptoms).
Histamine is a chemical that sends messages to the brain, signals the release of stomach acid for digestion, and is released as part of the immune system's response to an injury or allergic reaction.
An intolerance to this chemical happens when the body cannot break down enough of it in the intestines, causing histamine levels in the blood to rise.
This typically results from having low levels of an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO), which is the primary agent that breaks down digested histamine.
When histamine levels get too high or when it can't be broken down properly, it can adversely impact normal bodily functions.
Symptoms of histamine intolerance
The enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) is responsible for breaking down histamine that you take in from foods.
If you develop a DAO deficiency and are unable to break down histamine, you could develop an intolerance.
Some individuals have altered DAO production due to a number of different factors including:
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): some gut microbes produce high amounts of histamines as a byproduct of their metabolism.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: Intestinal permeability creates major inflammatory stress in the body which can contribute to poor DAO function.
GI inflammatory conditions: Crohn's, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), colitis
Celiac disease and those with gluten intolerance
Certain drugs: NSAIDs, acid-blocking medications, anti-depressants, immune suppressants.
Nutritional Factors to Consider:
The DAO enzyme is dependent on vitamin B6, B12, iron, copper and vitamin C, so it makes sense to increase the intake of these compounds.
Copper and Vit C are crucial components of the DAO enzyme and B6 is a key cofactor that enables DAO to degrade histamine.
Copper deficiency is another possible cause for low DAO activity, as copper is a central atom of the DAO and thus essential for its function.
Controlling histamine levels with diet
Foods to avoid or at least limit.
Histamine-rich foods are:
alcohol and other fermented beverages
fermented foods and dairy products, such as yogurt and sauerkraut
processed or smoked meats
There are also a number of foods that trigger histamine release in the body, such as:
nuts, specifically walnuts, cashews and peanuts
food dyes and other additives
Foods to eat
If you have a histamine intolerance, the following low-histamine foods can help reduce symptoms.
Some foods low in histamine include:
fresh meat and freshly caught fish
gluten-free grains, such as quinoa and rice
dairy substitutes, such as coconut milk and almond milk
fresh vegetables except tomatoes, avocados, spinach, and eggplant
cooking oils, such as olive oil
Diagnosing Histamine Intolerance
Your doctor might also take a blood sample to analyze if you have a DAO deficiency.
G-DAP from https://precisionpointdiagnostics.com is a good test to check your DAO and Histamine levels
Supplement Recommendation to Block Histamine and Replenish DAO
Histamine Block from Seeking Health
Replenish the supplements necessary for the production of DAO: B6, B12, iron, copper and vitamin C.
Ideas obtained from https://mthfrsupport.com.au
Ideas and concepts obtained from Dr. Ben Lynch--https://mthfr.net
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have it linked back to www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com
Neck pain is a prevalent health problem, largely reported in adult patients. However, very recent data show that new technologies are inducing a shift in the prevalence of this relevant issue from adulthood to all of the pediatric ages. In fact, the precocious and inappropriate use of personal computers and especially cell phones might be related to the development of a complex cluster of clinical symptoms commonly defined as “text neck syndrome”. The purpose of this article is to analyze the new phenomenon of the “text neck syndrome”, the underlying causes and risk factors of musculoskeletal pain, that can be modified by changes in routine life, in different cultures and habits, and on the “text neck syndrome” as increased stresses on the cervical spine, that can lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications. Findings support the contention that an appropriate approach for an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to properly evaluate this emerging issue worldwide in children and adolescents who spend a lot of time watching smartphones and computers; additional research with more rigorous study designs and objective measures of musculoskeletal pain are needed to confirm significant relationships. Existing evidence is limited by non-objective measures and the subjective nature of musculoskeletal pain.
For the complete study, click here:
1. Practice Posture-Posture is a developmental process, meaning that the more that you stay in a certain position, the more that you’re going to remain in that position. That means that good posture is something that you have to constantly practice. Posture largely affects the amount of strain that you’re putting on various parts of your body, so making sure that you’re sitting up straight while you’re at your desk can be the difference between a healthy back and unpleasant bi-weekly visits to the chiropractor.
2. Get the Exercise Going-Stretching regularly and exercising is a great way to loosen up your body, making it more malleable to your good habits. You’re relieving stress centers that exist in your body, providing your posture with the relief that it needs to make you look and feel great. By exercising, you’re protecting your body from stress that can cause chiropractic problems. It’s not only good for your chiropractic health, though. Exercise is going to improve your overall health, improving every part of your life, including both your body and your mind.
3. Watch Yourself at Work-If you want to stay on top of your chiropractic health, you need to make sure that you’re watching yourself during your workday. Ideally, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re never sitting for more than forty-five minutes at any given time. Make sure that you get up and walk around for a little bit, it’s going to keep you loose and make sure that you continue feeling great.
Unless you’re in a job that requires it, you should be cutting out as much heavy lifting from your lifestyle as possible. If you can’t, make sure that you’re utilizing the proper lifting techniques to prevent potential injuries from occurring. Lift with your legs, not with your back, and if you have to carry something heavy, don’t put all of the weight on just one shoulder, or you might get shoulder pain, which can result in even worse problems.
4. Avoid Bad Sleeping Habits-One of the easiest ways to cause back problems is to sleep on it incorrectly. In order to get the spinal health you want, make sure that you never sleep on your belly, and on your back if you can. Your mattress should be more firm than soft, and you should have a contoured pillow that will fit your neck correctly while you rest. If you don’t do this, you might start experiencing the back pain that millions of Americans are already experiencing.
If you’re falling asleep on the couch at night, make sure that you’re not using the arm of the sofa as a pillow, as this can strain your neck substantially, causing you to need some serious chiropractic work. Try to sleep on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between them. Not only is this a very comfortable position, but it’s also the best position for your chiropractic health.
5. Wallet in the Front Pocket-There are many seemingly harmless things that you can do to practically ruin your chiropractic health, but among them, having a wallet in your back pocket is probably the worst. Having something constantly digging into your posterior is not only uncomfortable, but it also throws off the entire alignment of your spine, making it almost impossible for you to retain the good chiropractic health habits that you want to have. Make sure that you don’t keep anything in that back pocket, it’s more for decoration on your pants anyway. You can be sure that your lower back is going to thank you for it.
Practice Chiropractic Wellness-Chiropractic wellness is a simple matter of practice. Catch yourself next time you’re at your desk and notice that you’re slouching. Discipline yourself to get out and exercise whenever you can. Cut out the lifting, and make sure that you avoid all of the bad sleeping habits. These are all tips that can prevent chronic pain from becoming a problem in your body. By practicing all of these, you substantially reduce your risk of experiencing pain, which can take several chiropractic appointments over a matter of weeks to fix.
If you want to stay flexible, reduce your stress, and prevent a myriad of disease, you need to stay on top of your chiropractic health. The only way to do that is to have regular appointments with a chiropractor who has a plan that’s based on your specific chiropractic needs. From physiotherapy, to spinal adjustments, your chiropractor has a plan for you. What do you do when you’re not with your chiropractor? How do you stay on top of that chiropractic health in the interim? Here are a few tips that you can use in your everyday life to improve your chiropractic health so you can stay on top of things between the appointments that you have with your chiropractor.
Provided by: Premier Chiropractic & Wellness
Oxalate (or oxalic acid) is a compound found in a variety of plant-based foods. Under a microscope, oxalates are jagged in structure and look somewhat crystalline.
During metabolism, oxalic acid combines with other minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium to form compounds like calcium oxalate and sodium oxalate in the kidneys. This in turn may be responsible for mineral deficiencies.
One of the most common issues with increased oxalates in the urine (hyperoxaluria) is the formation of kidney stones. However, if the body struggles to eliminate oxalate it can accumulate as crystals anywhere in the body. Commonly it accumulates in blood, then the eyes, bones, skin, muscles, blood vessels, heart and other organs.
High oxalates have also been linked with autism and inflammatory bowel disease. It can also be an underlying issue in those with ongoing gut problems or irritable bowel syndrome.
Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates because oxalate in tissues trigger the inflammasome reactions of the body's innate immune system.
As a side note, the thyroid will also suffer as oxalates can bind to T3 and disturb thyroid function.
The following list of vegetables should be helpful in identifying foods high in oxalates.
As you can see from the list above your favorite spinach (> 900 mgs of oxalates) green smoothie may be contributing to a host of health issues!
Low oxalate diets involve eating less food that's high in oxalates. Foods high in oxalates include certain types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes.
On a low oxalate diet, you should limit your oxalate to 40 to 50 mg each day.
Whether for kidney stone prevention or to address other possible chronic health conditions, a low oxalate diet may be the solution.
On a low oxalate diet, you may notice a decreased risk of kidney stones, improved mineral absorption, diminished joint and muscle pain, improvement in fibromyalgia, autism symptoms and improvement of autoimmune symptoms.
The damaging effects of oxalates
Oxalate, inflammasome, kidney disease
How to eat a low oxalate diet/
Oxalates control in autism therapy
Pubmed - Pathogenic role in autism
Pathogenic role in autism
Increased cardiovascular disease
Arterial plaque contains oxalate/
Lowering urinary oxalate excretion
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Cardiovascular Risk: To Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke, Monitor 10 Risk Indicators, Not Cholesterol
With cardiovascular disease claiming the lives of one out of two people in America today, it's no wonder people look to medicine for help preventing heart attacks and strokes.
However, the focus on high cholesterol as the main cause of heart attacks and strokes is woefully misguided. The clinically proven indicators of cardiovascular disease include elevated levels of trigycerides, insulin, cortisol and C-reactive protein, but not high cholesterol.
What About Cholesterol?
Unfortunately, medical studies show that lowering your cholesterol won't actually lower your risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. According to William Castelli, M.D., a former director of the Framingham Heart Study, people with low cholesterol (lower than 200) suffer nearly 40 percent of all heart attacks. In addition, people with low cholesterol (less than 180) have three times as many strokes as the general population.
What are the Real Risk Factors for Heart Attack and Stroke?
The following ten items are some of the most important clinical indicators that show you have a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
1. Cardiac arrhythmia. This includes atrial fibrillation and other disruptions of the heart's normal rhythm.
2. Elevated triglycerides, particularly an elevated ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol. Studies have implicated triglycerides in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
3. Elevated homocysteine. One study found that men with extremely high homocysteine levels were three times more likely to have a heart attack than others.
4. Elevated insulin.
5. Elevated cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol are associated with hypertension, which increases your cardiovascular risk. Patients with heart diseases exhibit higher cortisol levels than do others.
6. Elevated estrogen in respect to progesterone.
7. Low testosterone (in men). Higher levels of testosterone has been found to offer men greater than five-fold protection against coronary artery disease.
8. High testosterone (in women).
9. Lipid peroxide. Lipid peroxides are the products of chemical damage done by oxygen free radicals to the lipid components of cell membranes. High levels of lipid peroxides are associated with cancer, heart disease, stroke, and aging.
10. Elevated C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a marker associated with production of inflammatory cytokines, which represent a threat to cardiovascular health. Men with CRP values in the highest quartile had three times as many heart attacks and two times as many ischemic strokes as the general population.
Other risk factors include thyroid insufficiency, magnesium deficiency,fatty acid imbalances and lipid fractionation.
Is It Hard to Manage Your Risk Factors?
The good news is that it may not take a long time to rectify the imbalances that show up in a thorough cardiovascular evaluation. One 54-year-old patient of mine with high blood pressure and elevated triglycerides was able to lower her risk factors in just six weeks from 10 to only 4.
By: Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS, CFMP
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com.
The recent headlines about coconut oil say that because it's higher in saturated fat than beef or lard, it's bad for you. “You'll drastically increase the chances of cardiovascular disease if you eat it because saturated fat raises cholesterol, which leads to heart disease and mortality.” That kind of warning comes from the American Heart Association (AHA)—a powerful organization that continues to promote the mythical direct link between saturated fat and heart disease.
We know from the research that saturated fat can in fact raise your cholesterol. However, it raises it in a good way. Evidence has shown if your LDL cholesterol contains a lot of small, dense particles and you also have high triglycerides, then you're setting the stage for heart disease. Those small, dense particles come from a diet that's high in carbs and low in fat. Reduce your carbohydrate consumption and increase the good quality fats, your cholesterol particle ratio of bad to good will almost certainly improve.
However, if your LDL cholesterol is mostly made up of large, fluffy particles and your triglycerides are low, your risk of heart disease is much lower.
What makes the difference between dangerous small, dense LDL particles and safer LDL isn't the amount of saturated fat you eat. In fact, study after study shows that your fat and cholesterol intake have almost no impact on your blood cholesterol. It's the amount of sugar. The AHA estimates that the average person eats 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. Sugar raises your LDL cholesterol, lowers your HDL cholesterol, and increases your triglycerides. It has been shown to increase insulin resistance and trigger inflammation. In fact, an important study in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014 proved conclusively that high sugar consumption is closely linked to death from heart disease—and that link is far closer than it is for cholesterol, smoking, hypertension, or any other risk factors. That is the statistic– about the dangers to your heart and your health–is where the real headline scare should be.
There's no need to avoid saturated fat as long as it comes from a healthy, plant-based source. Coconut oil is definitely preferable to cheap, highly processed vegetable oils that have had their nutrients stripped away. Coconut oil has other health benefits as well. The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which has well-known antibiotic, anti-microbial, and anti-viral benefits.
Coconut oil also helps stabilize blood sugar and helps soothe digestive upsets. Eating a lot of coconut oil does, indeed, raise your cholesterol levels–in a positive way by raising HDL (the good cholesterol), lowering triglycerides, and lowering the amount of small LDL particles.
So go ahead. Use coconut oil in your cooking.
Compliments from Functional Medicine University
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is the hormone produced by your pituitary gland to control the function of your thyroid gland. A high TSH means your pituitary senses that your thyroid is underactive. Many labs are misleading physicians by using outdated ranges of normal for TSH, thus preventing doctors from giving their patients the most effective thyroid treatment they need. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) demonstrated that the mean TSH in apparently normal, healthy participants is 1.4 uIU/mL. Based upon the results of NHANES III, The National Academy for Clinical Biochemistry has recommended since 2002 that a serum TSH level between 0.5-2.0 uIU/mL be considered the optimal therapeutic target for replacement treatment of hypothyroidism. There are several studies showing that any TSH above 2.5 is associated with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, elevated fasting triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, and higher body mass index. Here is one representative study: This study found that subjects with a TSH in the upper “normal” range (2.5-4.5) had a significantly higher BMI, higher fasting triglycerides, and their likelihood for fulfilling the ATP III criteria of the metabolic syndrome was 1.7 fold increased. The study concluded that a TSH above 2.5 is associated with an unfavorable metabolic profile.In the event your TSH is above 2.0 it is my opinion you should first NOT accept this as normal and second you should seek a health professional knowledgeable in the identification and treatment of thyroid disorders.
Most physicians will ignore a TSH of 2.0 and insist that this is normal.
I beg to differ and would suggest that you demand that your doctor order a total T4 and T3 and a free T4 and T3. I would also recommend you ask your doctor to order an Anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb).
I have worked with many patients who were told their TSH was perfectly normal and soon discovered after running the above labs they had full blown Hashimoto's Disease. This is an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.
Don't be a victim to what some doctors consider a normal TSH. Fight for your right to achieve optimal health.
Dr. Schenker and Dr. Grisanti
Ruhla S, Weickert MO, Arafat AM, Osterhoff M, Isken F, Spranger J, Schöfl C, Pfeiffer AF, Möhlig M. A high normal TSH is associated with the metabolic syndrome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 May;72(5):696-701
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.