“For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. In the less than two decades of their use, the synthetic pesticides have been so thoroughly distributed throughout the animate and inanimate world that they occur virtually everywhere.”
Detoxification seems to be a buzz word these days. Just google detoxification. You will find everything from water detoxification to colon cleanses.
So what is detoxification? The official definition of detoxification is this: the chemical changes of a xenobiotic, a phytochemical, or an endogenous (one your own body makes) compound that renders it less toxic and ready to be excreted. In layman’s terms, detoxification is the way our body protects us from things that we take in that could damage our body.
The ideal situation is toxins in and toxins out, right? If the body is working as designed, then it should be toxins in and toxins out. And how does the body get toxins out? There are many organs that detoxify: the skin (through sweating), kidneys (through urination), and the liver – the most important detox organ. The liver detoxification mechanism involves 2 main processes: Phase I and Phase II detoxification.
Phase I detoxification involves the cytochrome P-450 system in the liver. This is the first line of defense against all toxins. Toxins are tagged and altered for further detoxification, which then occurs in Phase II. Any break down in this process will result in increased toxin load on the body.
We are what we eat, drink, breath, and touch. But did you ever think that we are what we don’t eliminate? Without elimination of the toxic chemicals we take in and produce every day, our bodies swim in a sludge pool of toxins.
This increased toxic load on the body leads to inflammation, the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory substances. The balance between Omega 6, a pro-inflammatory subtance, and Omega 3, an anti-inflammatory substance, is the perfect example.
It is the chronic imbalance of pro-inflammatory substances that then leads to disease.
Shouldn’t the aim of all health care be to prevent inflammation and, therefore, disease? It is in fact, one of the main focuses of the Seasons approach to health and wellness.
Ever wonder if you need to detoxify? My first recommendation is look at and listen to your body. The body will tell you if it is in trouble or imbalanced. How? Physical signs or symptoms are our body’s message that all is not right. Here’s how to know if you body’s signs and symptoms are saying that you might be suffering from toxic build up.
- Muscle aches and pains
- Skin disorders
- Chronic infections
- Altered mood
- Altered cognition
- Weight gain
- Altered stress tolerance
- Altered libido
Where do toxins in our bodies come from? Toxins are everywhere. The sources can range from toxins like Dioxins to prescription medication. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs have been ranked as the 4th to 6th leading cause of death in the US according to the Journal of American Medical Association. This amounts to over 100,000 deaths per year. The cause of adverse drug reactions is an overloaded pathway in Phase I of detoxification (CYP3A4), the pathway that detoxifies over 50% of all drugs in your system. The costs associated with adverse drug reactions has been estimated at up to $4 billion. With the rising costs of health care, treating the cause of these adverse drug reactions in addition to decreasing prescription drugs are two excellent ways to prevent complications and lower costs.
The most dangerous sources of toxins are environmental. Organochlorine pesticides, industrial chemicals, and unintended chemical byproducts surround us everyday and expose us to unwanted toxins. Widespread production of pesticides began less than 80 years ago. Recently, the EPA estimated that more than 4 billion pounds of chemicals were released into the grounds natural water sources in the year 2000.
In addition to pesticides and chemicals, the average American eats, unknowingly I might add, 124 pounds of additives per year. Frightening to think of it, isn’t it? And over 2.5 billion pounds of pesticides are used on crop lands, forests, lawns, and fields. The unfortunate fact is this: we live in a toxic world.
How can you decrease your daily exposure to toxins? Here are some great ways.
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid fats
- Avoid tap water — use filtered water
- Avoid excess caffeine
- Avoid excess alcohol
- NO tobacco
- Limit chronic medicine, if possible
- Daily exercise
- Avoid exposure in your workplace
- Avoid living near industrial plants
- Avoid liver dysfunction
- Avoid kidney problems
- Avoid intestinal dysfunction
The first ten suggestions are steps you and I can take every day to decrease our toxin exposure. But the last three require a bigger step: detoxification. By detoxifying your body, the liver, kidney, and intestines can operate more efficiently and effectively.
So, the question is not who needs detoxification, but who does NOT need detoxification? The answer? EVERYONE will benefit from a periodic detoxification program. For more information on how to detoxify, contact our office at 865-675-WELL(9355).
You’ve probably seen video recorded at night showing police chasing a suspect, or soldiers seeking the enemy, or maybe even wildlife agents tracking poachers. In many of these situations what you saw was video from thermal, or “infrared” imagers. Even with absolutely no visible light, these devices allow us to see things merely by the energy they emit or reflect. They are completely passive, meaning they don’t use any projected radiation such as x-rays or ultrasound. Wouldn’t it be great if these wonders could be used in medicine? They can and they are!
While the military were the first to pursue applications for infrared technology, the medical community was not far behind. In fact, did you know that infrared technology has been approved for breast cancer screening by the FDA since 1985? Let me tell you a little about this fascinating technology and why it’s so valuable for breast cancer screening.
Believe it or not, even unwanted structures such as tumors, depend upon the circulatory system. They cannot grow without the same supplies as the rest of our cells. They also need to have their “waste” removed. In order to grow, they send a message to the circulatory system that requests “utility service.”
Blood flowing through our circulatory system causes adjacent tissue to warm. This temperature elevation can actually be “seen” at the surface of the skin through the use of infrared imaging. A tumor requests “service” from the “utility company” when it is still very, very small. Any extra blood flow will generate a “hot spot.”
The human body can constrict blood vessels to prevent heat loss. Surely you’ve felt your hands and feet get cold at one time or another. If you are exposed to a cool environment, your autonomic nervous system activates blood vessel constriction to prevent damage to vital organs. Likewise, if exposed to a warmer environment these vessels are dilated to allow heat to dissipate. New blood vessels, however, do not have the muscle fibers present to provide the constriction.
The protocol employed at Seasons Wellness has been tried and proven over decades. It involves taking images before and after a cold-water “challenge.” This allows the interpreting physician to witness blood vessel response. If the vessels in an area of interest do not respond to the challenge, they may be supporting a new growth, or tumor.
The majority of all breast biopsies reveal a benign condition and biopsies aren’t widely reported as being fun. Why go through such a procedure when you can wait and watch? Many tumors are treated quite effectively by our own body’s defense mechanisms. If you have indications supporting the presence of a tumor, infrared thermography will allow you to monitor the area without any invasion or radiation. A needle biopsy actually punctures the tumor – do you really want a hole to expose your entire body to the cells from within a tumor?
A traditional mammogram exerts around 120 pounds of pressure on the breast. Tumors can burst with as little as 40 pounds of force. The force employed in Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is exactly 0 pounds. Nothing and no one touches your breast during an infrared imaging session. And the only pain you will feel is the “pain” of placing your hands in cold water for 60 seconds.
Most doctors, and all major breast health organizations, advise against mammograms before age 40. Why? The benefit of early detection does not outweigh the risk of radiation exposure. Breast cancer is a terrible disease, and early detection is vital to a healthy prognosis. How can we screen early without the radiation exposure? DITI.
So who is DITI really for? Everyone, but particularly those with a family history of breast cancer, under age 50, with implants, and with fibrocystic breasts. Will you escape mammograms forever? Maybe not. They will always have a role in medicine. But they should complement DITI. If DITI indicates a possible tumor, and it grows with time, mammograms and biopsies may be necessary tests prior to treatment. But DITI can allow you to track your breast health actively without putting yourself at risk. For upcoming Thermography dates or to schedule an appointment, contact Seasons Wellness at (865)675-9355.
This guest post was provided by Raymond Crews. Raymond is a partner at Infrared Services LLC. As an instructor pilot in the Air Force Reserve, he taught and utilized infrared technology to pinpoint targets with minimum collateral damage. On recognizing the potential for other applications, he and his business partners realized a largely unmet opportunity in the field of medicine. His company provides equipment and trained technicians to capture images and a licensed doctor with decades of experience in the field reviews every report. It is his desire to provide a service that helps detect and monitor potential problems as early as possible without any possibility of adding to the danger some conditions present.
TD has become such a widespread problem that one study (The 20-Year Public Health Impact and Direct Cost of Testosterone Deficiency in U.S. Men) projects over the next 20 years TD will:
- Be involved in the development of approximately 1.3 million new cases of cardiovascular disease;
- Be involved in the development of 1.1 million new cases of diabetes mellitus;
- Be involved in the development of over 600,000 osteoporosis-related fractures; *create medical-related costs, in the first year, of approximately $8.4 billion;
- And be directly responsible for approximately $190–$525 billion in inflation-adjusted U.S. health care expenditures over the 20-year period.
So if TD is causing such widespread health issues, how will we solve the Low-T problem? As I mentioned in my last post, there are four components necessary for wellness, good physiologic function, and symptom-free living. Let’s take a look at the fourth on the list.
Hormone receptors must appropriately respond to the signal sent by the hormone to your body. To take a closer look at the Low-T problem, let’s look at androgen receptors.
What is a hormone receptor? Hormone receptors are the landing place for hormones inside your cells. Once a receptor receives the hormone and its message, the receptor undergoes a change sending a signal to the cell nucleus and DNA. [Side note: This is one reason that hormone testing via saliva (not just blood) is such an effective way to evaluate hormones in the body. Saliva testing allows a look at hormones at the sight of action, revealing the free, bioactive hormone inside the cell.]
What is an androgen receptor? Androgen receptors play catch to the two most potent androgens, Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which actually compete for the same receptor. These two hormones are present in both males and females but are typically known as male hormones. Both Testosterone and DHT are very important in development, but here’s an unexpected fact – the androgen receptor actually likes DHT better than Testosterone. What?
You heard me correctly. The androgen receptor has an affinity for DHT over Testosterone. So why in the world are we prescribing so much Testosterone to cure the Low-T problem if it’s not the best solution? Here are some DHT facts.
- DHT inhibits estrogen production. Remember estrogen is a major culprit in inflammation, obesity, weight gain, and hormone imbalance.
- DHT is a more potent androgen than Testosterone. DHT is the most potent androgen exceeding that of Testosterone by a ratio of 3:1. Its increased potency is through its greater affinity for the androgen receptor. And that greater affinity is by a ratio of 3:1.
- DHT does not get converted to estrogens. This is a major problem with simply prescribing Testosterone to men…the body is converting much of it to estrogen.
- DHT binds with a higher affinity and longer duration (5 x longer) to the androgen receptor. Testosterone compensates for this by increasing it’s concentration relative to DHT. Only about 5% of testosterone is converted to DHT. So, a smaller amount of androgen (DHT) has a larger signaling effect due to it’s higher affinity and binding time with the receptor.
It’s a fact: Americans love eating out. We blog, Tweet, and post about it. It’s very gratifying to share a meal with friends or family while taking a break from cooking at home. Even while on a diet, you may give yourself a pass to “treat yourself” or overindulge while dining at your favorite restaurant. But have you ever thought about what you are eating and where the restaurant purchased their food? Well, it is quite eye-opening!
Dining out will make you fat and very unhealthy! Unless you are dining at a health food type restaurant (which are few in number), the average restaurant meal is usually between 1,000-1,500 calories. Studies show that we eat about 40 percent more when we are in groups as opposed to eating alone. However, the main reason we eat more is due to the portion size at restaurants, usually much larger than we would consume at home.
The goal of most restaurants is to make a profit, not to provide healthy foods that will reduce your risk for heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Because they want you to come back, most restaurants will provide foods that simply taste good but are high in fat in forms of processed oils, trans fat, butter and lard. Even the healthier options can still be loaded with calories. And don’t forget the high amounts of sugar including high fructose corn syrup, a cheap form of sweetener.
Since profit is the main goal, most restaurants are not serving high quality food. Unless they advertise themselves as providing truly healthier options like grass-fed/organic meats, USA or Canadian wild-caught fish or organic grains, fruits and vegetables, they are likely serving you genetically modified foods (GMOs). Since 60-75 percent of grocery foods are genetically modified, the likelihood is pretty great that these cheaper sources of food will be found in restaurants.
In addition to harmful GMOs, you may also end up eating industrially bred and raised food loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. There are alarming and unhealthy practices that go on at a CAFO facilities (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). The problem begins at the massive CAFOs where cows, chickens, and pigs are fed genetically modified corn, soybeans, and excessive grains in general (not their natural diet, i.e. grass), along with many other unbelievable feed ingredients such as:
- Plastics: this is used for many animals whose digestive systems need more roughage to pass through them, thus CAFOs are now feeding them plastic pellets.
- Manure and animal feces: this can include cattle manure, swine and poultry waste. It also can include wood, sand, sawdust and other non-food substances.
- Roxarsone: more commonly named arsenic, which until recently was put into chicken and pig feed to control parasites, though Nitarsone (another arsenic-based poultry drug) is still approved. Chicken litter (containing the arsenic that passes through the birds) is also collected from chicken CAFOs and is fed surprisingly to feedlot cattle.
- Animal byproducts: categorized as “animal protein products,” this includes hair, skin, hooves, blood, internal organs, intestines, beaks and bones, dead horses, euthanized cats and dogs, and road kill.
Fast foods do not fare any better, and are usually chemically laden for shelf life and profit. Two examples of synthetic chemicals in popular fast food chicken nuggets are:
- Dimethyl polysiloxane: a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and variety of other goods like Silly Putty
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): a petroleum-based product that has antioixidant properties.
Due to all of the processing (added sugars and other ingredients), studies have shown that eating fast food just twice a week, can cause you to gain excess weight, but even more alarming is that it doubles your risk of developing insulin resistance, the driving force behind many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Try these strategies for making healthier decisions while dining out.
- Reserve dining out for special occasions, not a bi-weekly habit.
- Seek out healthier-minded restaurants using seasonal, sustainable, non-GMO, organic, free range, or wild-caught ingredients and dedicated to preparing meals with healthy fats in mind.
- Ask questions about where they buy their foods.
- Avoid fast food as much as possible unless they advertise a truly healthier option as mentioned earlier.
Asian Lettuce Cups
- 1 1/4 lb. 93% lean, free-range/organic ground turkey
- 1 Tbsp cold pressed/organic oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger (can use fresh equivalent if desired)
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced organic green onions (about 4)
- 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 12 Boston lettuce leaves (or organic iceberg)
- 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce (recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp lower-sodium organic gluten free soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp organic rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. roasted red chili paste, organic if possible
- 1/8 tsp. whole mineral salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground organic black pepper
Homemade Hoisin Sauce
- 4 Tbsp. lower-sodium organic gluten free soy sauce
- 2 tsp. organic white vinegar (or lemon/lime juice)
- 1 tsp. organic sesame seed oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted organic unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. organic/raw honey, molasses or brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. hot sauce/chili sauce (this will vary depending on your preference)
Mix together until blended. (Note: may need to slightly heat the sauce to disperse the peanut butter more uniformly)
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes or until turkey is browned. Stir to crumble. Combine turkey mixture, onions and chopped water chestnuts in a large bowl, stirring well, and set aside.
Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted red chili paste, salt, pepper and drizzle over the turkey mixture. Toss to coat completely. Add about 1/4 cup turkey mixture to each lettuce leaf, serve, and enjoy!
Recently on his daily television show, Dr. Oz discussed IV nutrition therapy. I was very disappointed when Dr. Oz questioned the validity, benefit, and safety of this invaluable therapy. He had a guest physician on his show to defend IV therapies, but his guest talked in generalizations with no specifics and no scientific data. Dr. Oz’s conclusion at the end of the show, and I will paraphrase, was: “I guess if the Hollywood celebrity types are doing it, there must be some benefit.”
Wow! Now that’s scientific (insert sarcasm). We live in day where we have instant access to data and scientific research, and that is his closing statement?
As physicians, we often forget that we are scientists. Our testing and therapies should be based on science, not opinion. Yet, neither Dr. Oz nor his guest presented any scientific data to support their statements in favor or opposition. So, allow me to do the job that Dr. Oz and his guest did not.
Intravenous nutritional therapy has been around since IV vitamin C was first used for treatment of polio in 1949. Is it something everyone needs? Of course not. Should everyone take insulin? You get my point.
At Seasons, we evaluate a client’s needs based on symptoms. The symptoms lead us to extensive metabolic testing to determine the specific presence and severity of deficiencies of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. Only then do we recommend IV nutritional therapies using the metabolic test results combined with the client’s symptoms. That is what medicine is all about – using the art and science of medicine for the patient’s benefit.
Another reason to use IV nutritional therapy is that for most Americans, our guts are a wreck (and that is putting it mildly). Absorption problems are a major concern for Americans. If you can’t absorb a vitamin or nutrient, it doesn’t matter how good the source or the dosage of therapy is, it just won’t be absorbed. If you are dealing with severe deficiencies, then you’ll never catch up.
How about an analogy to paint a clearer picture? A patient seeks help from a physician for severe dehydration. The patient just can’t keep anything down. Is the physician going to give the patient a pat on the back, tell them to just drink more water, and send them on their way? Of course not. The physician knows that the patient cannot tolerate oral therapy at that point. The deficiency is severe. The physician knows that he/she must catch the patient up, and then instruct the client to drink more water. And how does the physician “catch” the patient up? Well, IVs of course.
Does Dr. Oz question the safety, validity, and benefits of this therapy? Of course not. That is because it is standard practice. Standard practice is defined as: whatever everyone else is doing. I remember my mom often asking me, So…if everyone else jumps of a cliff, are you going to do that too?
And the testing to determine dehydration? Very limited. Usually, a urinalysis, complete blood count test (CBC), maybe a general chemistry, and of course a physical exam. From experience and training, I can tell you that the IV fluids are started based on the physical exam, before the test results get back. That is not how we approach IV nutritional therapy at Seasons. Dr Oz gave the impression that people just walk into a Doctor’s office to order IVs as one would a hamburger at a fast food drive-through. We customize therapy to specific needs and match it with their specific metabolic demand.
So, what does the science say about IV nutritional therapy? The science is overwhelmingly in favor of IV nutritional therapy.
The research below looks at surgical patients. It is well known that poor nutritional status of the patient undergoing surgery effects outcome. These studies showed that IV nutritional therapy improved outcomes. This is not total peripheral nutrition (TPN). TPN is therapy to replace all nutrition. Intravenous nutritional therapy is just to replace vitamins, minerals, and maybe some targeted macronutrients.
- Bellantone R, Doglietto G, Bossola M, Pacelli F, Negro F, Sofo L, Crucitti F. Preoperative parenteral nutrition of malnourished surgical patients. Acta Chir Scand. Apr 1988;154(4):249-51.
- Rham D. A guide to perioperative nutrition. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. July-August 2004;24)4):385-390.
- Xu J. Yunshi Z, Li R. Immunonutrition in Surgical Patients. Current Drug Targets. Aug 2009;10(8):771-777.
- Beier-Holgersen R, Boesby S. Influence of postoperative enteral nutrition on postsurgical infections. Gut. 1996;39:833-835.
So, what about the other benefits of IV nutritional therapy?
- Wolk RA, Rayburn WF. Parenteral nutrition in obstetric patients. Nutr Clin Pract. Aug 1990;5(4):139-52.
- Rayburn W, Wolk R, Mercer N, Roberts J. Parenteral nutrition in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstet Gynecol Surv. Apr 1986;41(4):200-14.
- Russo-Stieglitz KE, Levine AB, Wagner BA, Armenti VT. Pregnancy outcome in patients requiring parenteral nutrition. J Maternal Fetal Med. 199;8:164-7.
- Zibell-Frisk, Jen KL, Rick J. Use of parenteral Nutrition to maintain adequate nutritional status in hyperemesis gravidarum. J Perinatol. 1990;10:390-5.
First trimester miscarriage
- Acacio B et al. Pregnancy outcome after intralipid infusion among women experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss. Fertility & Sterility. Apr 2008;89(4):S11.
- Roussev RG et al. Duration of intralipid’s suppressive effect on NK cell’s functional activity. Am J Reprod Immunol. Sep 2008;60(3):258-63.
- Klenner FR. Massive doses of vitamin C and the virus diseases. J So Med & Surg. April 1951;113(4).
- Schencking M, Vollbracht C, Weiss G, Lebert J, Biller A, Goyvaerts B, Kraft K. Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of shingles: results of a multicenter prospective cohort study. Med Sci Monit. Apr 2012;18(4):CR215-24.
- Gorton HC, Jarvis K. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. Oct 1999;22(8):530-3.
- Tanaka H, Takayoshi M et al. Reduction of resuscitation fluid volumes in severely burned patients using ascorbic acid administration. Arch Surg 2000;135.326-331.
- Crimi E et al. The beneficial effects of antioxidant supplementation in enteral feeding in critically ill patients: a prospective, randomized, double, blind, placebo- controlled trial. A & A. Sept 2004;99(3):857-863.
- Dentico P et al. Glutathione in the treatment of chronic fatty liver disease. Recnti Prog Med. Jul-Aug 1995;86(7):7-8):290-3.
- Smith SW, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Nelson LS. Acetaminophen overdose with altered acetaminophen pharmacokinetics and hepatotoxicity associated with premature cessation of intravenous N-acetylcysteine therapy. Ann Pharmacother. Sep 2008;42(9):1333-1339.
- Mitchell JR et al. Acetaminophen-induced hepatic necrosis. IV protective role of glutathione. JPET. Oct 1973;187(1):211-217.
- Chen JY, Chu CC, So EC, Hsing CH, Hu ML. Treatment of postherpectic neuralgia with intravenous administration of vitamin C. Anesth Analg. 2006;103:1616-1617.
- Schencking M, Sandholzer H, Frese T. Intravenous administration of vitamin C in the treatment of herpetic neuralgia: two case reports. Med Sci Monit. 2010;16:58-61.
- Chen JY, Chang CY, Feng PH, Chu CC, So EC, Hu ML. Plasma vitamin C is lower in postherpetic neuralgia patients and administration of vitamin C reduces spontaneous pain but not brush-evoked pain. Clin J Pain. Sep 2009;25(7):562-9.
- Riordan HD et al. A pilot clinical study of continuous intravenous ascorbate in terminal cancer patients. P R Health Sci J. Dec 2005;24(4):269-76.
- Mikirova N, Casciari J, Rogers A, Taylor P. Effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C on inflammation in cancer patients
- Ohno S, Ohno Y, Suzuki N, Soma G, Inouse M. High-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) therapy in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. Anticancer Research. Mar 2009;29(3):809-815.
- Chen Q et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. PNAS. Sept 20 2005;102(38):13604-13609.
- Juraschek SP, Guallar E, Appel LJ, Miller ER III. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. May 2012;95(5):1079-1088.
- Schneider MP et al. Superoxide scavenging effects of N-actylcysteine and vitamin C in subjects with essential hypertension. Am J Hypertens. 2005;18:1111-1117.
- Mikirova N, Rogers A, Casciari J, Taylor P, Effect of high dose intravenous ascorbic acid on the level of inflammation in patients with rheumatoid. Modern Research in Inflammation. 2012;1(2):26-32.
- Sechi G et al. Reduced intravenous glutathione in the treatment of early parkinson’s disease. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Oct 1996;20(7):1159-1170.
- Hauser RA, Lyons KE, McClain T, Carter S, Perlmutter D. Randomized, double- blind, pilot evaluation of intravenous glutathione in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. May 15 2009;24(7):979-83.
- Kuwabara S et al. Intravenous methylcobalamin treatment for uremic and diabetic neuropathy in chronic hemodialysis patients. Intern Med. Jun 1999;38(6):472-5.
- Ziegler D et al. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1999;107(7):421-30.
As you can see, the benefits of IV nutritional therapy are abound. That is not my opinion, but scientific fact.
How safe is IV nutritional therapy? The studies below showed the safety of IV nutritional therapies in all states of health, including pregnancy.
- Greenspoon JS, Rosen DJ, Ault M. Use of peripherally inserted central catheter for parenteral nutrition during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. May 1993;81(f (Pt2)):831-4.
- Valencia E, Hardy G. Practicalities of glutathione supplementation in nutritional support. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. May 2002;5(3): 321-326.
- Padayatty SJ et al. Vitamin C: Intravenous use by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners and adverse effects. PLos ONE 5(7):e11414.
Just because Dr. Oz (the great and powerful, Dr. Oz) says it is so doesn’t make it so. I hope I’ve helped pull back the curtain and expose the real science supporting IV nutritional therapy.
My pre-60th birthday journey to improve my previous test results from Seasons of Farragut continues! This month I decided to focus on the first tenet in our Seasons wellness regimen – nutrition!
About two years ago I took the ALCAT test and was astonished at my lengthy list of reactive foods! The ALCAT is a fascinating food sensitivity test in which white blood cells are introduced to a variety of foods, chemicals, and herbs. The severity of the reaction determines if a substance is mild, moderate, severe, or normal within my body. Since knowledge is power, I decided to receive the news that gluten and dairy were on my “severe list” as a positive indicator rather than “buyers’ remorse” for having performed the test!
Lyn-Genet Recitas has written a book, The Plan, which explains how inflammation from food intolerance can cause symptoms such as joint pain, skin disorders, fatigue, weight issues, headaches, and digestive disorders. Whereas a food allergy can have almost an immediate effect, a food sensitivity may not show up for several hours to 3 days later. For weight gain, it’s not as much about the calories as the chemistry of the body. One person may benefit from last night’s salmon and broccoli but someone else may actually gain 2 pounds. Inflammation from food intolerance causes damage to the lining of the gut. As the lining becomes “leaky” with gaps present, foods begin to slip through not completely digested. This causes the body to attack undigested foods.
As we age, inflammation can increase which causes our systems to slow down. Many of us have much less stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down food. This can ultimately alter our weight and our health. Reactive foods cause our bodies to produce more histamine which causes water retention via dilated capillaries. The brain responds by increasing the production of Cortisol. As more Cortisol is produced, fewer sex hormones are produced since both sets of hormones depend on the same building blocks. Increased Cortisol causes an increase in glucose which causes an increase in blood sugar! This domino effect alters the good bacteria in the gut and can increase yeast production. The altered gut flora leads to a weakened immune response since about 70% of our immune system is in the gut.
The thyroid gland can also be affected by food intolerances. White blood cells that attack undigested foods may migrate to the thyroid gland and begin to attack it. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland. This is determined by a blood test that measures the number of specific antibodies against the thyroid gland. As I began to avoid gluten, my own antibody level began to decrease. I was able to decrease my thyroid replacement dosage. This month, I repeated my ALCAT test and found that many of my food intolerances had improved. Not only had I attempted to avoid specific foods, but I also worked intentionally on healing my GI tract. I take a powerful probiotic daily as well as a digestive enzyme with my dinner. For one month of each season, I take a protein shake that is loaded with L-Glutamine. This amazing amino acid helps to heal the leaky gut. It is packed with anti-inflammatories and herbs to help my liver and GI tract detox.
Two years ago, I had about a dozen foods on my severe list. This year, I only have one – apples! So, I’m going to give them up for the next 6 months. My moderate reactive list contains 18 foods which I will have to have great discipline to avoid. These are healthy foods but for me, can cause hidden inflammation. Gluten now causes moderate reactions in my body. I have noticed that when I indulge in gluten, the next morning, my joints ache and my stomach hurts. I doubt if I will ever reintroduce gluten. Dairy is moderate also. Fortunately there are lots of great choices for me and I look forward to continual healing of my GI tract. Our Nutritional Consultant, Carolyn will keep me focused on this life-long journey of wellness. Be sure to check out her amazing recipes on our website!
Long term benefits with this specialized nutritional therapy will keep inflammation down and hopefully help me avoid chronic disease as well as weight gain. If you would like more information regarding the ALCAT test, call Seasons today. Let’s age intentionally with nutrition being our number one “medicine!”
Medical Bills. A horrible enemy that attacks the family budget. They just don’t stop coming. One surgery, one accident, one runny nose; the bills just keep flooding in the mailbox. You’re not prepared, and bills have got to be paid. What is your defense mechanism?
Rather than letting the bills pile up, there is a temporary solution to consolidate all of your medical bills with no interest financing. “CareCredit is a personal line of credit for healthcare treatments and procedures for your entire family, including your pets. Simply pay your minimum monthly payment and pay off the entire balance by the end of your promotional period* and you pay No Interest.”
So, how do you get started? Here’s 7 steps to help cure your medical debt with CareCredit:
1. Find a provider that accepts CareCredit. CareCredit is accepted by over 140,000 providers nationwide for services including Cosmetic Services and Procedures, Surgery, LASIK, Dentistry, Hearing Care, Veterinary Care, and more! Visit www.carecredit.com to find a provider near you!
2. Pick a Payment Plan. Not all practices offer every payment plan. Contact your healthcare provider to find out which plans are offered. Be sure to speak with the office manager or billing advisor.
3. Estimate Monthly Payments. The CareCredit website offers a Monthly Payment Calculator. This convenient service offers clients the ability to see what the projected payments will be based on the payment plan you decide on.
4. Apply for your Card. The application process is simple. It can be done through the providers office by filling out an application, online, or by simply by calling 1-800-677-0718. Upon applying, you will instantly learn if you are approved.
5. Visit your Healthcare Provider. Once you receive your CareCredit card, you will be able to use it at your chosen healthcare provider and other providers that accept CareCredit. This process works with ease, just as if you were to use a credit or debit card, no questions asked!
6. Anticipate Interest-Free Payments. Your interest-free payments will appear on a billing statement within 30 days of your charge being processed. For your convenience, payments can be made online simply by accessing your online CareCredit account.
7. Use it again and again. Once you have a CareCredit card, you will be able to use it again for additional medical expenses that come up for your family, including your pets. Like any other credit card, as long as you are in good standing and you have available credit, you can use CareCredit anywhere the card is accepted.
*No interest promotional periods must be paid in full within 6, 12, 18 or 24 months on purchases with your CareCredit card. Minimum monthly payments are required.
This time of year it is really hard to find fresh produce. Most farmer’s markets are not meeting and many local farms don’t have much winter season produce. The local grocery store will have a variety of fruits and vegetables but your best bet is to stick to the produce that is in season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables will give you the most nutritional bang for your buck. Buying local is the first choice but if local is not available, opt for what’s in season.
Vegetables in season right now include:
- Greens (kale, collard and turnip)
- Brussel sprouts
- Winter squash
And don’t forget about fruits. God is creative in His planning of seasonal foods and what nutrients are more abundant at certain times of the year. Winter is full of fruits that are loaded with vitamin C to ward off colds and the flu. Fill up on your vegetables for meals and have oranges, mandarins, clementines and grapefruit for dessert.
Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale and Brown Rice
- 3 medium red bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces kale, (6 cups lightly packed), trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. To prepare peppers: Preheat oven to 400°F. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached. Remove the seeds. Lightly brush the peppers outside and inside with oil; sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until peppers are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Turn cut-side up.
2. To prepare filling: Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water; squeeze dry. Finely chop.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the kale. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in rice, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the filling among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.
4. Add 2 tablespoons water to the baking dish. Cover the peppers with foil and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.
Recipe provided by eatingwell.com
Perspective. It affects everything. Take, for example, the beauty of the earth. Some might look at the magnificence of the earth and think of Darwinian theory. But as I stand in my back yard, I am amazed by God’s creation. When I look out of the window on my many plane flights, I am amazed by God’s creation. And when I see the perspective from space as seen by astronauts, I am still amazed at God’s creation.
Perspective colors the way we see everything around us. For those, like myself, who believe in the God of creation, I view the world a certain way. And for those who choose to believe otherwise, they view the world a certain way.
Perspective is an important part of the medical world as well. As technology improves, the amount of information available to me as a physician changes the way I treat my patients because I now have more data than I’ve had in the past helping me make a better decision.
So, let’s talk about how perspective is an important part of evaluating hormones! (And you thought the only important perspective about hot flashes was “where’s the air conditioner”!)
If men were only about testosterone and women were only about estrogen, life would be easy and all would be symptom free. Unfortunately, that is, in a nutshell, the current perspective on treatment of hormone imbalance issues. It is not, however, an accurate perspective based on physiology. Just watch an hour of TV in the evening. The pharmaceutical companies are inundating us with ads about testosterone creams and the like. Regardless of clever marketing, looking at the reality of physiology based on the latest testing methods reveals that hormones are a lot more complicated than treating the level of just one hormone.
When it comes to hormones, there are four important components necessary for physiologic function and symptom-free living.
- Hormone levels need to be in the “normal” range. We don’t need the respective hormone levels too high or too low.
- Hormones need to be balanced. This is where many in the medical field get it wrong since all hormones work together to communicate to the body.
- Your body needs to effectively use the hormones present. Hormone metabolism is a key element in evaluating hormones in the body.
- Hormone receptors must appropriately respond to the signal sent by the hormone to your body.
The past (and current) perspective of the medical community is that the absolute levels of individual hormones are what is important and little attention is given to balance between hormones. Very little attention is given to the balance between hormones. For example, women, post-hysterectomy, are prescribed estrogen only. But we know that prior to the hysterectomy, all hormones are needed for a normal, functioning cycle, not just estrogen alone.
Some of the risks associated with estrogen therapy pertains to how the individual metabolizes or detoxifies the estrogen. Hormone metabolism can be affected by internal factors like genetic variations, or SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), located in the detoxification pathways. These are small genetic coding errors. Hormone metabolism can also be affected by external factors such as magnesium and zinc, co-factors in those same internal detoxification pathways of hormone production and metabolism. Just the presence of the detoxification pathways does not a functional detoxification pathway make.
Finally, and the purpose of this post, are the receptors. Hormone receptors determine how the hormone’s signal to the body is then interpreted. Here’s an analogy to help you understand hormone receptors. I have four beautiful children. As with any parent, getting them to clean their room is an ongoing battle. The signal I give them is a verbal instruction such as “Kids, it’s time to get your rooms cleaned.” How that signal is interpreted is quite different. That signal may be interpreted differently based on the environment or pre-existing conditions. If my children are in one of their “moods” (side note: all four of my kids are redheads), then they may just not clean their rooms out of defiance. There is a reason we call the youngest one “the spicy tomato.”
All this to illustrate one important fact — how the signal is interpreted is just as important as the signal that is to be interpreted.
Scientifically speaking, hormone receptors are defined as “a large family of ligand-activated nuclear transcription regulators, which are characterized by organization into different functional domains and are conserved, to differing degrees, between species and family members.”
Was that as clear as mud? In plain English, hormone receptors are how the external signal, hormones, provide to the internal genome a message to turn genes on or off. There is also non-genomic signaling, but a large portion of signaling is actually done with your DNA. This is what hormones do — interact and turn on and off the expression of your DNA. Pretty amazing, huh? And you just thought hormones floated through your blood causing hot flashes in women or ED in men. That is the way most, including physicians, see hormones. However, that just couldn’t be more further from the truth. There’s so much more to it than that.
Hormone receptors are being used in the medical vocabulary today. If you know someone with breast cancer, you might be familiar with the term ER/PR positive or negative. This is in reference to estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors. This evaluation occurs from an actual tissue sample from the tumor itself and allows the medical team to determine the best course of action for that particular individual. In ER/ PR positive tumors, hormone therapy is used in contrast with ER/PR negative tumors where no hormone therapy is used.
The medical community is addressing the realities of hormone receptors and the role they play in disease. But what about those individuals with hormone imbalance symptoms like hot flashes or erectile dysfunction? Stay tuned. This testing hasn’t made it to the clinical setting yet, but animal testing holds great promise in helping to complete the full picture and improve the perspective that we have on hormones and all their related issues and factors.
Hormone receptors are my current area of research, and I’m writing articles on estrogen, progesterone, and androgen (male hormones) receptors as part of that research. Visit the Seasons Wellness Clinic blog often in the upcoming months so that YOU can become more educated on the body’s communication system — hormone and their receptors.