What could be more unnerving than being a turkey at Thanksgiving? Demyelinating nerve conditions, of course! These conditions are very debilitating and difficult to overcome.
Nerves are similar to the electrical wiring in your home. They have a protective insulating layer called the myelin sheath that is an electrically insulating phospholipid layer surrounding the nerves and enabling impulses to flow. Having healthy myelin is necessary for proper nerve signaling and to prevent 'short circuits'.
Demyelinating disorders are conditions that damage myelin. When this happens, scar tissue forms in its place. Brain signals can’t move across scar tissue as quickly, so your nerves don’t work as well as they should.
The most common symptoms of demyelinating disorders are:
• Vision loss
• Muscle weakness
• Muscle stiffness
• Muscle spasms
• Sensory changes
One of the most well known demyelinating nerve conditions is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In this disorder, your immune system attacks the myelin sheath or the cells that produce and maintain it. This causes inflammation and injury to the sheath and ultimately to the nerve fibers that it surrounds. The process can result in multiple areas of scarring (sclerosis).
Other demyelinating nerve conditions include Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), Transverse Myelitis, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis and Trigeminal Myalgia (TN). TN is also known as the 'Suicide Disease' due to the unbearable, excruciating pain caused by shocks to the face from the trigeminal nerve. Talk about unnerving!
Some of the known causes of nerve demyelination include immune challenges such as a virus, inflammation from an immune response that goes awry and causes your body to attack its own tissues (autoimmune condition), a genetic predisposition or even nerve injury.
However, there is another very insidious contributor to these unnerving issues - aluminum. Unfortunately, aluminum is found in everything from personal care products and cookware to our food and water. Aluminum is a toxin that damages the myelin sheath around nerves. It does this by dissolving the phospholipid layer because of its ability to bind with phosphorous (a major component of the phospholipid layer).
This is exactly the premise behind the workings of anti-perspirants and many deodorants. The aluminum in the products purposefully damages the nerves to stop the body's ability to sweat in that area. Since the body is constantly repairing, you will be able to sweat once again when the nerve and myelin sheath are repaired. Rather than continuing to use such a toxic product, it is time to find a better option. Some people like to use salt crystal deodorant which works by inhibiting odorous bacteria growth (but doesn't stop the sweat).
While it is difficult to eliminate all the aluminum exposure from our food and water, we can remove some significant sources in this area, too. Avoid using aluminum utensils and cookware. Opt instead to use stainless steel, glass or porcelain. Avoid the use of aluminum foil with acidic foods, like tomatoes (sauce) and lemons, or to heat food. Also, reconsider buying products in aluminum cans; purchasing items in glass is much better.
One other hidden source of aluminum may be baked goods. Baking powder is often full of aluminum. Sodium aluminum phosphate reacts with heat and the other leavening ingredients to allow baked goods to rise. If you bake, make sure to find aluminum-free baking powder. In general, avoiding commercially baked goods as well as processed foods is a smart choice for reducing your aluminum exposure.
In addition to its nerve damaging effects, aluminum is a known neurotoxin. It contributes to cognitive dysfunction and may contribute to Alzheimer's disease. This is especially problematic because it can cross the blood brain barrier and it is difficult to rid the body of aluminum.
It certainly can seem an overwhelming task to address all the ways you may be exposed to aluminum. We suggest just picking one area to address and then building on your progress over time.
We also recommend supplements to help protect nerves and rebuild the myelin sheath. If you are struggling with a nerve condition, please set up an appointment so we can get you started on a supplement protocol to promote healing as soon as possible. The sooner you address nerve-related issues the better. Your nerves and brain will thank you!
We know that everyone has heard plenty about how bad sugar can be for you.....that it is a poison to the body....more addictive than many drugs.....cripples your immune system..... But there is another scary side to the sugar equation you may not have thought a lot about.
It isn't just the sugar in cookies that makes them less than an ideal breakfast choice. Come on, many cereals are really just cookies in a box....Cookie Crisp anyone? It is the simple carbs, like bleached white flour, that really make cookies doubly frightening. Simple carbs quickly become elevated blood sugar (also called glucose) when you consume them. That means there are other breakfast monsters like bagels, toast, pancakes, waffles....all before you add the jelly and syrup. It continues through the rest of the day with things like crackers, rice and pasta.
The thing that you need to pay attention to more than if something tastes sweet or not is the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a system that assigns a number (1 to 100) to carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much each food increases blood sugar. Sugar would rate 100. Low glycemic foods rate 55 or below. The glycemic index is a very helpful tool when you are trying to figure out which foods may be raising your blood sugar too much. You can't always judge the glycemic index by how sweet something tastes. For example, berries are often sweet but have a fairly low glycemic index.
You can find a lot of information about the glycemic index of foods online. Here is one resource to get you started: https://glycemicindex.com/
In addition to being aware of what you are eating, consider using supplements that are helpful with blood sugar balance. Inositol and Gymnema both help curb sugar cravings. Cataplex GTF is a chromium product that helps with sugar metabolism. Pancreatrophin PMG and Country Doctor Pancreas both support healing of the pancreas and healthy insulin levels. Diaplex is a great digestive aid for anyone working to lower elevated blood sugar levels. Glucose Assist is a brand new product from Standard Process that comes in either chocolate or vanilla to make healthy low-glycemic protein shakes. We even have Inositol Powder that can be used as a sweetener replacement in baking, shakes, etc. Please let us know if you have any questions about these products and blood sugar balance.
Back in the day, it was spelled R-O-L-A-I-D-S. Remember those commercials? Antacids have come a long way since that time and are as commonly used as breath mints these days.
Heartburn, acid indigestion, or GERD all refer to what seems like a simple problem with a simple answer. Stomach acid is making you uncomfortable, or really causing you pain, and the easy answer is to use an over-the-counter or prescription antacid.
You have many options starting with the basic antacids that counteract (neutralize) the acid in your stomach to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Examples include TUMS, Rolaids, and Alka-Seltzer. If you are looking for a quick home remedy, baking soda in water will do the trick.
If you need something stronger, H2 blockers are a group of medicines that reduce the amount of acid produced by the cells in the lining of the stomach. These include things like Famotidine (Pepcid AC, Pepcid Oral, Zantac 360), Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB) and Nizatidine Capsules (Axid AR, Axid Capsules).
Need something even stronger? PPIs - Proton pump inhibitors have eclipsed H2 blockers and are now the most commonly prescribed class of medication for the treatment of heartburn and acid-related disorders. They work by blocking the site of acid production in the cells lining the stomach. PPIs include lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (AcipHex), and esomeprazole (Nexium).
But where is all this heartburn, acid indigestion and GERD coming from to begin with?!
Here are some of the top culprits:
Looking at this list, it really does seem like the best answer is to just block the acid causing the discomfort to begin with. Not so fast...this is one health problem you better not continue to medicate and cover up.
It is helpful to review some of the reasons that stomach acid is important. It is essential for digestion and breaking down foods - especially proteins. When our food is not broken down or digested correctly, we develop nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can contribute to a host of negative health conditions. In addition, undigested food itself causes indigestion and can begin to create problems such as allergies and autoimmune conditions over a period of time. Stomach acid is also required as our first line of defense against oral pathogens - bacteria, virus and parasites. Your good health depends on appropriate amounts of stomach acid!
Antacids, H2 blockers and PPIs have been linked to increased incidence of bone fractures, B12 and magnesium deficiencies and increased gut infections, such as C-Diff. A 2015 study even showed an increased risk of cardiovascular issues with PPI use.
We don't disagree that taking a pill to solve heartburn is much easier than dealing with the underlying root causes. However, you are risking some significant health issues down the road with this approach.
We offer a number of supplements that give you some healthier options to help reduce heartburn. We can also use muscle testing and lab work to assist you in understanding what may be at the root of the issue for you. Give us a call when you are ready to get to work!
There are many different types of biofeedback. Biofeedback describes a collection of tools used to help you learn to control some of your body's functions, such as your heart rate. Heart Rate Variability testing has become fairly commonplace today. In addition to heart rate, things like temperature and respiratory rate may also be used. In the past, traditional biofeedback was frequently used to help people learn to control headaches - especially those induced by stress. Even muscle testing is a form of biofeedback and we use this tool extensively at our office.
Biofeedback techniques have continued to improve and newer devices are often computer-based and can provide the body with information via sound, light and other frequencies. This 'frequency' information is used by the body to achieve a balanced state.
Signs that your body could use some balancing include:
The type of biofeedback we provide is computerized and based on galvanic skin response (the same technology as a lie detector test). Our system quickly and accurately scans the body for imbalances due to sensitivities related to foods, chemicals, toxins, bugs (viruses and bacteria), and animals, as well as environmental factors like pollen, mold, and pollutants.
Once imbalances are identified, balancing frequencies are delivered to the body through the skin and laser light. This quick and painless therapy is a great way to improve symptoms caused by all types of sensitivities. Positive effects may be experienced in as little as one session. However, we recommend a series of 10 sessions and then following up with rescans whenever you feel 'out of balance'.
We all have those days when we just 'aren't feelin' it'. It is amazing how much our mind and mood control everything in our world. They can affect our perspective, outlook, confidence and even our physical health. What a sorry state we are in when we feel like our mind is broken. It can feel absolutely impossible to overcome or change anything. So, how can you mend your mind?
While we in no way can come close to covering all the things that can impact your mind and mood, we would like to at least provide some hope and tools for mending your most important asset - your mind. First, let's cover some of the broad categories of issues that may point to a need for some 'mending'.
Traditionally, issues with the mind and mood center on diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. and then on to dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. However, another category of issues that may be related to the mind are chronic physical issues such as pain (fibromyalgia), fatigue, autoimmune conditions, etc. This isn't to say that our physical ailments are all 'in our heads', but that there is often a mind or emotional component contributing to them. This is why we find the Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) so helpful for people. Another category of mind-related issues includes conditions like brain fog, inability to focus, lack of motivation, feeling 'stuck', not being able to reach our goals and more serious addictions.
While these issues are very broad and diverse, the root causes of why our minds seem to be broken in all these different ways can be very similar. Many of these dysfunctions can be caused by inflammation (which we covered previously) and neurotransmitter imbalances. There are all kinds of tests that can be done to find out the specifics of your brain, but we suggest starting with the basics. We recommend everyone focus on what Kimberley calls the D.R.E.S.S. protocol. This stands for Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplementation when needed.
Diet goes beyond just eating 'healthy'. You may have hidden food sensitivities causing inflammation throughout the body. In addition, you may NOT be eating correctly for your metabolic type. These issues can be identified through some simple testing. However, when testing isn't in the budget, we suggest at least trying to remove the most likely inflammatory foods - gluten/grains, dairy, nuts, processed foods, sugar, soy and corn. Also, don't forget hydration with pure clean water - at least 1/2 oz. per pound of body weight per day.
Rest means getting the best sleep possible. Shoot for at least 8 hours of slumber and going to bed as early as possible. The hours of sleep before midnight are much more beneficial than the hours of sleep after midnight (I see my mother smiling and nodding).
Exercise can be any kind of movement that isn't 'over doing it'. In Colorado, we find that many people on a healing journey are exercising too much and using up the resources their bodies need to heal most efficiently and effectively.
Stress reduction is very broad and can include everything from taking down time and breathing exercises to finding hidden stressors in the body such as stealth infections or parasites.
Supplementation can be very helpful in making up nutritional deficiencies and providing therapeutic amounts of various nutrients. In addition, herbal and homeopathic supplements can provide 'energetic' information to help balance the body. We have many supplements available related to mind and mood.
While this D.R.E.S.S. protocol is simple, we know it isn't always easy to do on your own. We would be glad to help you create a plan to address these key areas or to do some testing. These basic diet and lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping to mend your mind. However, we are also provide even more support for mind and mood with psychotherapy services.
If you have some extra time on your hands, here are some other resources we recommend:
A Mind of Your Own by Dr. Kelly Brogan. This book focuses on the effects of SSRIs and how to reduce or eliminate their use. It is especially focused on women and how they can heal their minds and bodies.
Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Leaf also has tons of great YouTube content if you would rather listen or watch than read.
The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk. This book is especially geared to those dealing with past traumas.
There are just so many great resources out there. Please don't stay 'stuck' if you are dealing with mental health and mood issues. We would love to partner with you on making progress toward mending your mind!
You know how the rest of that saying goes and 'fire' has become that four letter word that we don't even want to utter. There used to be a 'fire season' in Colorado, and many other states. Now, it seems to be a non-stop threat. Colorado has had more than its share of massive fires in recent years, the latest being the Marshall Fire that started in Boulder County on December 30th of 2021 and devastated so many homes and lives.
Unfortunately, many of us are also dealing with a fire we may not even be aware of - the fire of chronic inflammation. The body sends all kinds of smoke signals to warn us about the danger. We can help you decipher those smoke signals and put out the fire of inflammation.
While inflammation can be a healthy response to your body's signals to address challenges, sometimes this inflammation goes overboard, attacking healthy tissues and creating a chronic inflammation response. The way your body reacts to inflammation is very individualized to you and depends on things like genetics, health status, diet, blood sugar regulation, hormone balance, stress and the environment.
Inflammation in the body can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation happens immediately after tissues and cells are damaged and lasts for a short amount of time. This is a good use of inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation lasts much longer, up to several months or even years and leads to most degenerative diseases.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by unresolved infections (bacteria, virus, parasites, yeast), unresolved injuries, food sensitivities, allergies, uric acid build up and even proteins, such as the Beta-amyloids associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Some of the smoke signals the body may send to warn of chronic inflammation include arthritis and joint pain, cancers, psoriasis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, weight gain, and the list goes on.
You can see that putting out the fires of inflammation is paramount to good health. Unfortunately, there are many pharmaceuticals that are good at shutting down the inflammatory response in the body, but don't necessarily address the root cause. There are also unwanted side affects of many of these drugs, causing kidney, liver and gut damage.
We have a number of ways to help you get to the root cause of inflammation, as well as supplements that can help support you in reducing inflammation. One of our most holistic solutions to addressing the root causes of inflammation is called SHAPE. Check that program out here.
'Tape Face', of America's Got Talent fame, was likely unaware of the many health benefits of the funny skits he always performed with his mouth taped shut.
Did you know that "mouthbreathing... changes the physical body and transforms airways, all for the worse? Inhaling air through the mouth decreases pressure, which causes the soft tissues in the back of the mouth to become loose and flex inward, creating less overall space and making breathing more difficult. Mouthbreathing begets more mouthbreathing." This material was taken from the book 'BREATH' by James Nestor. It is an excellent read if you really want to delve into breath and breathing correctly.
There are many other issues that can be caused by mouthbreathing that range from poor dental health, dehydration, impaired athletic performance, snoring, mild sleep apnea, foggy thinking and the list goes on. Learning to breathe through your nose is one of the cheapest, easiest and most beneficial things you can do to improve your health.
We started the journey to stop mouthbreathing by ensuring we sleep with our mouths shut. Surgical tape can be used to help keep the mouth closed throughout the night. It can take some practice to keep the tape on all night if you have sinus issues, but, once you do, you will reap the benefits of a better night's sleep. Mouth-taping is often used to resolve snoring and mild sleep apnea. Opening up your sinuses is similar to working a weak muscle - the more you practice, the better your sinuses will perform. Here is an informative 23 minute video with more insight on mouth taping.
Living in a trashcan with garbage would make just about anyone grouchy. Just ask Oscar! Unfortunately, many of us may be living in more garbage than we even realize. Toxicity is rampant today and the body does its best to deal with the onslaught of 'poisons' with which we come in contact.
While we all hear about the overload of toxic junk in our lives, why should we care? Here are some reasons:
We start the day with a shower - chemicals are often added to our soaps and shampoos to make them smell and feel just right. And what about the water? We soak up and breathe in a good dose of chlorine (among other things) to start the day, too.
Next, we dress and breathe in the familiar smell of our laundry detergent and dryer sheets - two more sources of toxins that we breathe throughout the day or absorb through our skin. Sodium lauryl sulfate (just ONE of many toxic ingredients common in laundry detergent) may cause irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, reproductive issues, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption, cellular damage, and even cancer. For those using other personal care products such as deodorant, lotions and makeup, it is well known that many ingredients used in these products are also harmful.
On to breakfast and the possible toxins coming to us through our food in the form of herbicides and pesticides. US-grown organics can definitely be a better option for avoiding some of these added chemicals. We also need to be cautious about using plastics and non-stick or aluminum cookware.
Perhaps we also start the day with a prescription medication or two - yes, another possible source of toxins the body will have to deal with.
Of course, we could continue this story through the day listing the toxins we inhale from air pollution, manufactured fragrances in everything from perfumes to candles to cleaning products, and even the off-gassing of the new paint and carpet in our homes.
This isn't a very cheery story, and it is daunting to even try to lessen the garbage filling up our proverbial trashcans. But there is good news! You live in a body that is made to detoxify and get rid of all the trash.
We recommend taking a two-pronged approach to the problem of toxic garbage that we are all living with.
First, begin removing and avoiding toxins in your day-to-day. Start by replacing a product you use up with a product that uses natural and safe ingredients. If you are a 'do-it-yourself-er', there are many ideas and recipes for making your own products. There are also many brands available now that use much safer ingredients.
Second, clean up your detox pathways to help support the bodies normal 'trash collection'. There are many ways to support your body's detox pathways. Epsom salt baths are very helpful and easy to do. A general rule of thumb for baths is soaking in very warm water for at least 20 minutes. Soak up to your ears with about 2 cups of Epsom salt. You may want to add some lavender or your favorite oils to further relaxation and experience better sleep. It is also important to drink pure, clean water to help stay hydrated and flush toxins. Try to drink an ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you will drink 75 ounces (about 2 1/2 quarts) of water. More intense detox can be achieved through the use of infrared saunas, castor oil packs, enemas and binders.
Monthly office visits (schedule now) can help you move from toxicity overload to efficiently clearing toxins. Regular rechecks help you easily stay ahead of toxins and naturally detox more effectively. We also have lots of great supplements to help with detox, including binders.
Learn so much more about the toxins in your environment from the Environmental Working Group. Are your products safe?
What?!! Why would we say that?
'NO', in this case, stands for Nitric Oxide and it is quite important for your heart and overall cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, the ability of our bodies to make NO decreases significantly as we age. Thankfully, we have a backup system of NO production that happens in our mouths when we eat nitrate-rich foods.
But, let's start with a little more background since the field of nitric oxide study is fairly new. NO is a gas when produced in the body and is a simple molecule made up of one atom of nitrogen and one of oxygen. This molecule is so important that it was named “Molecule of the Year” by Science Magazine in 1992, and in 1998, a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to the three US Scientists responsible for its discovery.
What is really important, though, is how crucial NO is to our overall health. While there is much research showing the benefits to the heart and cardiovascular system, NO also helps with everything from supporting the immune system to easing depression to reducing the risk of diabetes and kidney disease. Since NO is a signaling molecule, there is really no cell or tissue in the body that doesn't need healthy levels of NO. NO signaling tells arteries to relax and expand (lowering blood pressure), immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer cells and brain cells to communicate with each other.
There are two ways that the body is able to make much-needed NO. The first way requires the endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels) to metabolize NO from L-arginine. The ability of the body to produce adequate NO from this process reduces significantly as we age due to numerous factors (i.e. poor diet, toxicities, lack of exercise, EMFs, stress, genetics, etc.). This is why supplementing with L-Arginine may not be effective for many to raise nitric oxide levels.
The second way depends on having the correct bacteria in the mouth (oral microbiome). When we eat foods containing nitrate, it is metabolized by the bacteria living on the back part of our tongue into nitrite. This is a good reason to chew your food slowly to ensure that as much of the nitrate-rich foods you consume come in contact with this important bacteria as possible. We also need to avoid killing off this very necessary oral microbiome through use of antiseptic mouthwash, fluoride-containing toothpaste or antibiotics. When we swallow nitrite, stomach acid converts it into the magical molecule of NO. When stomach acid is being reduced by meds, antacids or blocked by PPIs, NO will not be produced in sufficient quantities.
More recently, it has also been found that nitric oxide is produced in the paranasal sinuses. This NO will normally reach the lungs with inspiration, especially during nasal breathing. Another good reason to stop mouth breathing!
There are a number of general things you can do to help your body with NO production. You've likely already heard them all more than once:
Here are some more specific recommendations:
....take care of your brain! The saying goes that 'elephants never forget' and elephants live almost as long as we do. How is your memory doing?
Just like breathing and a perfectly beating heart, we can take our brains for granted. It is a mistake to assume we can wait to take care of that grey matter between the ears only when we notice signs of forgetfulness or foggy thinking. Brain issues begin years before the symptoms become apparent – even 20–30 years before! However, there are things we can do now to help prevent (or at least postpone) debilitating mental illness.
First, make sure you eat well! Your brain is dependent on the nutrition you provide your body. There are many resources available with lists of brain-healthy menus you can follow.
One of our mentors has a theory that elephants have such good memories because of all the Gotu Kola leaves that they eat. Gotu Kola is excellent for cognition. You may not find the leaves as delicious as elephants do, so we suggest supplement forms you can take instead.
Second, make sleep a priority. Getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep a day helps with memory retention. Your brain is also actually working to detox while you are sleeping. Don't skimp!
Third, you need to exercise - body and brain.
Physical activity that gets your heart pumping can literally grow new brain cells and new synapses in the hippocampus, a brain area critical for our ability to form new memories. (Taken from HFC website).
Learning new things is a great way to exercise your brain - a new language, a new hobby, or a new skill. Playing games and doing puzzles will help keep your mind sharp. Don't feel like you have time for any of this? Just experiment with driving a different route to work or doing things with your non-dominant hand.
Fourth, take care of your emotional well-being. Reduce stress as much as possible, hang out with positive people, watch a comedy....don't forget that 'laughter is like internal jogging'. Your brain will thank you!
We understand that some people may be dealing with head injuries that require more than a 'do-it-yourself' approach and are happy to help with services using cold laser therapy and cranial work. We also use a 6-week supplement protocol to help 'regain the brain'. Even if you had a head injury many years ago, it could be causing you brain issues today.
We hope we have given you some 'food for thought' when it comes to brain health. Make it a priority to take care of yours...before you forget!