Healing the Aging Metabolism

In my Naturopathic practice, I have patients who are 40+ and doing everything right, yet packing on the pounds with every passing year. In treating them, I have developed a simple, Naturopathic strategy that has helped my patients re-set their metabolism while improving their overall health and preventing chronic degenerative illnesses – all without hormones or risky side effects.

 

What’s the root cause of this age 40+ weight gain?

 

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the basic unit of cellular energy – the unit that allows all energy-dependent cellular function to occur in a healthy manner – and is a core-level and basic component of every greater tissue, organ and function in the body. As levels of this important “unit” degrade, so does the health of every organ, system, our metabolism and our vitality.

 

Early in life we have an abundant supply of the cellular organelles called mitochondria. The mitochondria house the biochemical pathways called oxidative phosphorylation that produce this precious unit. Further, we have an adequate supply of the nutritional co-factors that support these biochemical pathways. The result? An abundant supply of the life-giving basic unit of cellular energy … ATP. In this ideal state of young and vital health, we experience an abundance of energy, a reasonable metabolism and freedom from chronic degenerative illness.

 

As we age, a variety of stressors to our system take a toll on the total count of the very important mitochondria; and as nutritional status declines and disease status increases, the nutritional co-factors that support this entire important process decline as well. This unfortunate collection of circumstances results in less and less ATP for our bodies to use to support overall health, as well as a healthy, robust metabolism. 

 

Why do we care? 

 

Because this makes us fatter and fatter, even as we maintain the same level of caloric intake and physical activity. Furthermore, it sets up every tissue, organ and system to begin the process of failing.

 

What if we could exert control over this inevitable series of losses? 

 

 

 

The Naturopathic solution

 

Fortunately for me and my patients, there are nutritional supplements that when taken in the appropriate forms, and in potent, meaningful doses, actually deliver results in the clinical setting. It is exciting to witness and experience these positive metabolic changes in the average aging patient, which I currently see happening in my practice.

 

Celleration is a formula that supports the production of more mitochondria.  Mitochondria is the “powerhouse” of the cell, where energy is made.  It contains a standardized extract of trans-Resveratrol.  Use two pills per day morning and mid day with food.

 

Vitalation is a product that serves as the structural building block for the energy itself.  It contains D- Ribose.  Use one to two scoops morning and mid day with food.

 

Q Right is a product that serves as the necessary nutritional cofactor in the production of energy.  It contains a special form of reduced CoQ10 known as Ubiquinol.  This is the special form of CoQ10 that supports energy production in the mitochondria.  Use one to two pills morning and mid day with food.

 

When used in combination, these products deliver sincere weight balancing affects.

 

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I couldn’t be more excited about this protocol. I am thrilled to have found a nutritionally-based solution to the challenge of increasing weight with age. Moreover, addressing the declining ATP levels is another way to stave off the risk of those pesky chronic degenerative illnesses that we all face in our later years.

 

This isn’t just about losing weight anymore. This now becomes about living longer – and healthier! And isn’t that every Naturopathic Doctor’s end goal for their patients?

Wired and Tired?

Adrenal Exhaustion may be the culprit!

Hormonal expert, Dr. Carrie Louise Daenell, ND can help. 

No bigger than a walnut and weighing less than a grape, but don’t let their size fool you; these powerful little endocrine glands contribute to steroid hormone levels such as cortisol, estrogen and testosterone.  When they are in balance, you feel your best.  When they are off balance, you feel like a broken version of yourself.

Adrenal health allows you to do 3 major things:

  1. To maintain estrogen and testosterone hormonal balance and health with age (for women and men).
  2. To deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems.
  3. Maintain your energy levels. 

In primitive times, “stress-hormone-dumping” would mean being able to run away quickly or fight (“fight or flight”) or to endure long periods of physical challenge and starvation.  That is why they can contribute to weight imbalance.  In modern society, these same responses are triggered by a difficult boss, air pollution, family quarrels, financial problems, too little sleep, illness, food allergies or drugs. 

When your adrenal health is compromised, you may also struggle through “the change” -when reproductive hormones are changing with age.  This struggle means the difference between a graceful “change” or an absolutely intolerable “change.” This can lead to a variety of physical, psychological and even relationship challenges that are themselves a further source of stress.

The Good News!  How to cope…

Dr. Carrie Louise Daenell practices Naturopathic Medicine and is an expert in Adrenal Fatigue and all types of hormone balancing.  From flat-fatigue, to wired-and-tired through bio-identical hormonal support – steady energy, health and balance, and a good night’s sleep, can be achieved on an individualized basis.  Naturopathic strategies afford you the ability to feel the way you want to feel while simultaneously preventing the ill-effects of aging and disease.  Truly win-win, health-restoring protocols!

There is no better investment to make at this time, then the investment you make in your health, well-being and ultimately your happiness.  Make an appointment today to get your health back on track and enjoy the tangible benefits of balance.

Your body is filled with environmental toxins, and what you don’t see CAN hurt you!

It is no longer a question of do we need to detoxify, but how best to detoxify our bodies

Our bodies absorb toxins every day, even if we stay nestled indoors. Toxins found in our blood and urine include industrial compounds, pollutants, and chemicals linked to birth defects, immune system toxicity and cancer.  It’s time to “take out the trash”!

What you don’t see can hurt you. We think of a mother’s breast milk as being one of the most natural things in the world. Yet synthetic perfumes have been detected in breast milk at five times the levels noted just a decade ago. Our food safety is also a concern, with bacteria and mercury levels making headlines. Even indoors, the levels of airborne pollutants may be 25 to 100 times higher than outdoors! We can’t live in a bubble!  Clearly, everyone should consider detoxifying their bodies.

I often recommend detoxification to help patients eliminate waste materials and toxins from their bodies, and to strengthen their elimination and immune function. A successful detox does not require harsh stimulant laxatives. It uses balanced fibers and toxin-binding substances, stimulates liver function and bile production, provides targeted nutrients to support the neutralization of toxins and ensures their complete elimination from the body in order to avoid reabsorbing and recirculation of those toxins, and gently increases bowel movement to eliminate waste.”

Stop the toxicity!

  • Drink clean spring or purified water.
  • When available, choose organic foods to avoid exposure to pesticides and other unwanted chemicals.
  • Clean up your body with a safe, natural cleanse. “To be effective, use a protocol that is individualized to your needs, is powerful to effectively remove toxins while binding them up and neutralizing them on the way out.  This ensures that your detox is a “feel good” experience, because when done right – a detox doesn’t have to hurt.
  • Once or twice a year, and especially for the six months after a round of antibiotics, replenish your body’s ‘friendly’ bacteria with an effective probiotics supplement (acidophilus and bifidus). Be careful in choosing the right supplement.   Many are not as potent as the label would indicate, don’t survive the heat of shipping or can contain other bacterial contaminates which compromise digestive health. 
  • Schedule an appointment in our office to discuss a supervised “deep cleanse” tailored to your circumstances.  While this detoxification work is much more thorough than the over-the-counter and self-programs, it is also more comfortable.  Most people report “feeling great” while on these detoxification protocols.

Reward yourself during and after the cleansing process with something other than food. “Choose a walk, book, vacation, CD or anything memorable to remind you of the positive experience.”

Did you know…

High Mercury Levels Found in One-Fourth of Adults One-quarter of adult New Yorkers, roughly 1.4 million people, have elevated levels of mercury in their blood, mainly from eating certain fish, according to survey results released yesterday by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/nyregion/24mercury.html

In a lifetime the average American consumes:  6500 hot dogs, 20,000 M&M’s, 35,000 cookies and 70,000 cups of coffee.

Prescription Hormone Risk In the News!

Recently a study released out of the UCLA Medical Center made a connection between prescription hormone use and breast cancer.  Progestin (a synthetic progesterone-like substance) was mentioned.

 

Progesterone, which is a unique molecule that your body makes is actually health promoting and important to the health of many systems in our bodies.  It differs from “progestin” because the progestin molecule is a progesterone molecule that has been altered in a lab.  In the case of one popular prescription form of progestin (often mistakenly referred to as “progesterone” by doctors and patients), for example… they add a methyl group to the naturally occurring progesterone molecule, rendering the outcome product, progestin, “new to nature.”  That means it doesn’t occur in nature and that the pharmaceutical company that put it together can patent the rights to it.  Obviously we can all understand the need for and uses of being able to patent something.

 

But is that the best thing for us?

 

In fact, there are likely no therapeutic benefits to adding the methyl group, and actually many of the therapeutic benefits of real or bio-identical progesterone are lost in the process.  Further, by adding that methyl group and creating this unnatural molecule, progestin, you are actually adding risks and side effects.

 

Why did the pharmaceutical companies create progestins?  It was not in order to reduce symptoms because progestins often cause so many symptoms that patients ask to be taken off of them.  Progestins were created, in fact, because prior to their creation women were being administered prescription estrogens without any form of progesterone to balance those prescription estrogens.  This scenario created, among other things, an overwhelming increase in uterine cancers.  Instead of taking those prescription estrogen drugs off of the market, they created progestins to reduce the incidence of uterine cancer associated with taking the conventional prescription estrogen drugs. 

 

How does that work?  It does so by causing the lining of the uterus to shed on an ongoing basis, ridding the lining of any opportunistic cancer cells allowed to grow secondary to the use of those prescription forms of estrogens.  Real, bio-identical progesterone could have worked just as well and without the risks and side effects associated with progestins but alas… the pharmaceutical companies cannot patent something that comes from nature and therefore cannot afford to take it through the FDA drug approval process.  Taking a substance through the FDA drug approval process is very expensive.  So in all fairness to them, if they cannot patent it and control the profits in order to gain a return on their investment they cannot move forward with a substance.  So… they chose to make progestins.

 

Those of us practicing on the complementary and alternative side of medicine have had a universal awareness of the risks associated with the progestins and prescription estrogens for years.  This set of circumstances represents some of the many reasons that I am a proponent of the use of “bioidentical” hormone replacement and not a fan of the conventional prescription version of synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  The results seen in this “latest study” are no surprise to me.  In fact it further confirms my caution with progestins and prescription estrogens and my support of alternative and complementary methods, such as herbal-based bio-identical hormones, herbal and nutritional support and especially the need for stress-management and a healthy lifestyle.

 

Some levels of progesterone and estrogens (the naturally occurring forms that your body is supposed to make) actually belong in the body in reasonable levels throughout perimenopause (in a cycling manner each month) and in lower levels throughout menopause and post-menopause (steady levels throughout the month).  A presence or history of stress, and many other factors can interfere with our bodies’ ability to produce adequate levels of these important and health-balancing hormones over time.  For those of us that can produce adequate levels… we enjoy the ability to create balance  between progesterone and the estrogens in our body, resolve “estrogen dominance” and “premenstrual syndrome (PMS)”, support against estrogen-related risks and balance against symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression and anxiety.  Further, many different organs and tissue in our bodies depend on real or bio-identical progesterone and estrogens for their optimal and healthy function.  These includes our bones, brains, immune systems, and cardiovascular systems… the list goes on.  Progestin does not provide the benefits that real bio-identical progesterone provides, and it is also associated with risks.

 

So, when the body can not consistently provide enough progesterone or estrogens, for a variety of reasons, it can be beneficial to supplement them at low levels in the bio-identical herbally-based form (the exact molecules that your body makes). 

 

One can not take the research from progestins and prescription estrogens and apply it to real bio-identical herbally based progesterone and estrogens, and vice versa… the substances are far too different.  Admittedly, more research is needed on the use of these bio-identical forms of hormones.  However… as the emerging research on bio-identical hormones does come out, the news gets better and better!

 

Our office provides a variety of risk-reducing quality-of-life enhancing physician quality supplements, such as:

 

Est Right – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver

Estro Smart – Non-hormonal symptom balancing support for estrogen in the liver

Calcium D Glucarate – Supports estrogen metabolism in the digestive system

Smart Fish – Non-toxic omega 3 fish oil to support estrogen and whole body health

Restore Multi – High quality bio-available multi with added liver support

Bio Restore – Acidophilus non-refrigerated form, protected from heat and stomach to promote estrogen health in the digestive system

Cholesterol, Statins and The Numbers Game

If the numbers are your challenge, there are natural health promoting ways to change them, dramatically and quickly, without all of the risks, dangers and side effects associated with statin drugs.  (Statins may not be considered health promoting as they “cost the body in so many ways.)

If it is risk reduction that keeps hanging on to those statins… did you know that they had to research and re-design the research over and over again, for years in order to get a study to confirm that statin drugs had any value at all at reducing the risk of a heart attack or heart disease?  For a long time… the studies came back “not shown to reduce risk of a heart attack or heart disease.”  You might remember that from the older commercials on tv, for statin drugs.

Finally, they got a study to come back showing risk reduction… and then… they don’t really tell you “by how much,” do they?  It is a shockingly small amount.

On the other hand, something as simple as a non-toxic, stable (not rancid) fish oil, which contains 1,000 total mg of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, once loaded for 3 months, can reduce risk for an event by 90%!  And fish oil has stacks of research documenting its health promoting effects for every cell in the body.  All upside on this one!

I use more fish oil in my practice than any other single supplement, and yet – I spent 2 years researching my options until I could deliver the highest quality product to my patients.  It had to be stable (not rancid – tested not only for peroxides, but also anisidines) and it had to be non-toxic (tested for 200+ known chemical toxins that can make their way into fish, from their living in the ocean.  Namely, DDT and mercury – but many more).  That is my Smart Fish – non-toxic, stable fish oil.

From the numbers perspective, we have had access to a couple of very promising natural substances, over the years and here are the pros and cons there: 

1.   Niacin – regular niacin is effective at changing the numbers quickly, but it flushes, terribly, for some people, prohibiting their taking it.  “Flush free niacin, or inositol hexaniacinate, should/would/could work – but it really doesn’t seem to.  The answer?  Sustained-released regular niacin… avoids the flushing, and actually elongates the time this B Vitamin is available in the body, increasing its value.  That is my Lipidlo – Sustained-released regular niacin.

2.  Red Yeast Rice – works wonders and fast, but it has a reputation for being toxic.  Why?  Not because it works (in a very small fraction of the way) a statin works, but because during the fermentation process for producing this powerful raw material, a toxic substance called “citrinin” is produced.  Studies have shown that many of the Red Yeast Rice products on the market contain this toxic by-product and it is accepted in the industry as a necessary part of using this otherwise important material.  I never thought so.  I refused to use or recommend it until I could source a Red Yeast Rice that was non-toxic and citrinin-free.  I simply call it Red Yeast Rice.

Finally, in order to support cardiovascular health, optimize the production of cellular energy and oxygen (both critical for heart health – and “two sides of the same coin,” so to speak) the use of a good CoQ10 would be prudent.  CoQ10 is a tricky supplement.  The vast majority of CoQ10 sold on the market today is very poorly absorbed, so care must be taken to make certain that if you buy it and take it, you are actually getting it!  The Q Smart – highly absorbable CoQ10 in my Heart Pack, is perfect for the job!

Over the years, my patients (often women) will ask me “do you have anything for my son/husband/father for his cholesterol?”  The answer, now is “yes!”  I made the Heart Pack just for them.  Of course my patients love it too.  It is simple, because it is one small pack with breakfast and the same with dinner.  Not several bottles to open every day.  The small packets travel well in a pocket, or a suitcase, so it is easy to stay on track.  And of course, it works!  A retest in 3-6 months will reveal dramatic changes that anyone can appreciate.  Its components offer so many health-promoting risk-reducing effects that a statin simply can’t offer.  So if your risk and your numbers are of concern – this is your best solution.

Heart Pack

  1. Red Yeast Rice Non-toxic Red Yeast Rice
  2. Lipidlo:  Sustained-release regular Niacin
  3. Smart Fish:  Non-toxic, stable Fish Oil
  4. Q Smart:  Absorbable Co Q 10

No More Food Allergies… Eliminating the Elimination Diet!

Food Allergies… can’t live with ‘em, can’t seem to live without avoiding every food under the sun.  And just when you figure out how to replace wheat and dairy with spelt and soy… well, soon enough you are allergic to spelt and soy.  What is that?!?!

It is annoying, that’s what it is!

Food allergies are part of total digestive ill-health.  When the digestive system degrades so far… it is called “Leaky Gut.”  Leaky gut is associated with so many health problems, it is difficult to list them.  Easily associated are:  Allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities, delayed food sensitivities, (not Type I Anaphylactic allergies that close airways), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, joint pain, headaches, foggy mindedness, eczema, acne… the list goes on.  People that are challenged in this way have so many problems, they get tired of hearing themselves list them!

Further, it is socially isolating to have food allergies and so many health challenges.   People don’t believe, they don’t understand and so many social settings are built on food.  Having pain and fatigue makes it hard to even leave the house to engage socially and then once there, the judgemental comments from well-meaning friends and family, almost make it not worth going at all.  I know.  I have been there.

On a personal note – after a long and disciplined history of food allergy challenges, and a very disciplined diet that spanned the better part of a decade, I thought “what if instead of identifying foods that bother me and eliminating them, I could heal my body and eliminate the fact that I am bothered!”

No one was doing it.  When I shared the dream with some of my colleagues, they suggested that I was just too lazy to want to follow the diet (if only they knew how dedicated I was, and for how long!)  Very few really seems to be doing it 15 years later, even though I have traveled the country teaching doctors how to “eliminate the elimination diet” in their patients’ lives.  But the truth is… it works!  And in fact, with all of the elimination diets that I followed, it seemed that all I got over time was… sicker.  Healing my body at the causal level is the only thing that ever made any sense.

If you knew me, personally, (and if you are reading this than likely you could benefit from developing a working relationship with me in order to find your own healing), you would see that I am vitally healthy!  It is only because of this health that I was able to enjoy making countless and rewarding contributions that I have made in natural medicine over the last 12 years.  Otherwise, I would probably still be trying desparately just to get through each day. 

I have worked with hundreds of patients over the last 12 years taking them through my total digestive repair protocol.  The stories they have to tell are heart-wrenching.  Their triumphs are like watching someone win the Lotto!

The work involves 6 – 18 months, on average (read not an overnight fix), of a fairly intense (read significant financial investment) nutritional supplement protocol, tailored to each individual but adhering to some core values on digestive health, which include:

  • Improving the Digestion of Foods
  • Decreasing Local Toxicity in the Digestive System
  • Enhancing Healthy Bacteria
  • Eliminating Overgrowth of Unhealthy Organisms
  • Reducing Free Radical Activity
  • Rebuilding the Digestive Lining

When you nurture all of these aspects at the same time, all day, over time… you can “get a leg up” on the poor health of your digestive system and completely resolve many seemingly unrelated health conditions, including food sensitivities.  Better yet, you can be done.  Yes, that means you finish the work, and you move on with your life.  Goodbye.  Call me when you need a good multivitamin or fish oil supplement!  Most of all, be so busy living the life you were missing out on for so long… maybe you don’t call me at all for awhile!

Note:  While patients suffering with Celiac will always need to avoid gluten, they can rebuild their digestive system from the damage that so many years of gluten exposure caused them.  This work applies to delayed food sensitivity reactions and DOES NOT fix Type I Anaphylactic Food Allergies that cause airway restriction.

It’s time to get your life back!  Digestive health is the core of your well-being.  Repair it for good.

Depression and Middle Age

“If you are living in the United States you are six times more likely to be depressed, than if you were living in China” – according to a Huffington Post article.  And if you are a middle aged woman, your odds of escaping depression are minimized as well – according to Today Health on MSNBC.  From that same piece “women aged 40-69 are more at risk of killing themselves than other women, according to new research on age-specific suicide rates between 1998 and 2007. In 2007, this age group made up 60 percent of the 7,328 suicides reported among women.  There are a few theories as to why, however, attention must be paid to the fact that women in this age group experience more pain and insomnia than in other age groups. 

Interestingly, pain and insomnia are commonly associated with perimenopausal and menopausal hormonal changes.  And this is the time in a woman’s life when perimenopause and menopause take hold.

The sad fact remains, that most women are not well-managed through these changes and even worse, they fear the management so much, that they don’t seek treatment.  After the National Institute of Health halted two major studies – one on Premarin and one on PremPro several years ago, due to the unacceptable health risks associated with the synthetic hormone drugs, women leaped off of their hormone replacement therapy and into a sea of misery.  Without knowledge of their healthier alternatives, they simply went back on those drugs in the following year or so citing (as was the title of a Redbook article back in the day) “I would rather die of breast cancer than live like this.”

Of course, the real health crisis is that women do not know about or do not have access to healthier alternatives.  And yes, they do exist.  And yes there is research to back up the statement “the alternatives are healthier.”

There is so much more than “nothing” we can do at this stage in our lives… not only to survive, but to thrive!  There are simple, natural ways to provide the body with the building blocks it needs to balance brain chemistry.  These simple ways do not come with the unwanted side effects (weight gain and low sexual drive) that conventional anti-depressant drugs are saddled with.  There are healthier hormones in healthier ratios and there are really healthy, risk-reducing, ways to break those hormones down in the liver in order to provide a woman with not only a happier experience than doing synthetic therapy, but a healthier experience than doing nothing at all.  That is called having your middle aged-cake and eating it too!

Read more:  http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43714272/ns/today-today_health/t/suicide-spikes-among-middle-aged-women/from/toolbar

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/depressed-countries_n_910345.html#s316418&title=France_21

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen Dominance and Poor Estrogen Processing

In the healthy woman, estrogen and progesterone (the two primary female reproductive hormones) exist in balance with one another.  Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen is not balanced in the body with enough progesterone.  In this case there might be too much estrogen, too little progesterone, or both.  There are many different health scenarios that may lead to this imbalance.  Further, estrogen dominance is often closely associated with poor estrogen processing, which only adds to the problems and risks associated with estrogen dominance.  Poor estrogen processing occurs when estrogen is broken down in un-healthful ways while passing through the liver.  Estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing are handled most effectively when a trained health care provider works to identify the probable causes of the estrogen dominance and/or poor estrogen processing and then corrects the problems associated with those specific causes.  Since the causes will vary from one woman to the next, optimal results will be achieved when each woman is treated as an individual. 

Symptoms Associated with Estrogen Dominance and Poor Estrogen Processing

Common symptoms of estrogen dominance and/or poor estrogen processing might include:  PMS, irregular or heavy menses, breast tenderness, fibrocystic or lumpy breasts, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and uterine fibroids.  

Risks Associated with Estrogen Dominance and Poor Estrogen Processing

Breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical health is at risk in the face of estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing. 

Lab Tests and Imaging

 Stool and urine laboratory testing is available to assist the health care provider in determining whether or not and to what degree a woman may be challenged with estrogen dominance and/or poor estrogen processing.  Imaging techniques such as mammography, ultrasound and thermography may assist the health care provider in determining what possible effects estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing maybe be having on breast health.

Non-Toxic Solutions

Establishing a proper balance between estrogen and progesterone while insuring that estrogen is being properly broken down in the liver is the most direct and effective way to support a woman facing estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing.  Specific nutrients have been researched for their ability to target each underlying cause of estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing.  Proper application of these nutrients will support a woman in her efforts to manage estrogen dominance and poor estrogen processing.  Further, establishing and maintaining optimal liver and digestive health serves to promote hormone health and on a long term basis.

Because these supportive measures involve the use of nutritional supplements in lieu of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, their “side effects” include many other health promoting benefits while simultaneously supporting hormone health. 

Genetic Testing: We Have the Technology!

What if you could look into your genetic make-up and determine which chronic degenerative disease states you might be pre-disposed to develop?  Well, now you can!  Laboratory testing is now available to show you just that.  The benefit of knowing this information is that you can act preventatively in order to support the specific biochemical pathways in your body that were programmed in a deficient way, allowing you to make up for that deficiency.  With this information I can apply my understanding of natural medicine to your specific genetic deficiencies and create a preventative protocol from the pure, potent, high quality tools (physician-quality nutritional supplements) that you are accustomed to using in my practice, tailored for your individual needs.  This is a dream come true for Naturopathic Physicians and their patients seeking to help prevent, rather than treat disease! 

Genetic experts, previously senior officers with Quest Diagnostics, a world leading authority on genetic testing, have aligned themselves with leaders in the more scientific arenas of natural and preventative medicine to create test panels that will offer me the ability to look into a patient’s genetic make-up and help them create an individualized lifestyle of prevention.  This technology is very new.  It was launched in Los Angeles on Thursday October 16th 2003 at a continuing medical education seminar that I attended.  Currently there are two panels available.  The first panel is considered a basic panel covering aspects of cardio, immune, detoxification, bone, oxidation and photo-aging health.  The second panel takes an in-depth look into cardiovascular risk.  Further, the testing itself is non-invasive as it involves simple cheek-swabbing for mucosal cells.

Testing is available to patients receiving consultative care in my practice.  It is available to local and long distance patients. 

Depression, Anxiety and Natural Support for Mental Health

Depression can be debilitating.  There are many causes of depression. The circumstances of people’s lives are sometimes traumatic and tragic. Alternatively, life itself, may afford every advantage while the chemistry of the body or brain may be deficient or imbalanced. Chronic and severe fatigue, illness and injury can cause depression. Sometimes a person suffers from a combination of causes.

When depression is caused by a traumatic event, or a series of tragedies, a person will most commonly respond to the support of psychotherapy. This can be conducted on a one-on-one basis, in support groups, or even with the listening heart of a friend.

Where fatigue, body or brain chemistry doesn’t contribute to the depression, natural supplementation or support of the body’s biochemistry does little to correct that depression. There are cases, however, where energetic therapies such as homeopathy or acupuncture and a technique known as EMDR may afford a significant shift in a depressed person’s ability to cope with, process or face a history of significant trauma.

Pharmaceutical agents may be employed in severe cases in order to facilitate an improved emotional state. However, unless the underlying traumatic cause of the depression is addressed in some sort of counseling, dependence upon the antidepressant drug may ensue. If one is unable to make effective use of counseling or energetic therapies under these circumstances, a dependence upon an antidepressant may afford mental health and an improved quality of life. To the person suffering from depression that responds to nothing else, this can be a life saver. Even the patient most interested in natural support of their depression may want come to consider pharmaceutical intervention either temporarily or permanently.  Everyone is unique and that individuality must be respected.

As a naturopathic doctor, I favor the least invasive therapies first, and reserve the more potent interventions as a last resort. This gives the body’s natural ability to heal itself every chance, and often allows a patient to avoid unnecessary and undesirable side effects. In the long run, a treatment strategy that operates in this order preserves health and prevents chronic degenerative disease states. Additionally, although we are not licensed as such in the state of Colorado (where I practice), we are trained as primary care physicians and appreciate the conventional medical prescriptive agents and surgical interventions when necessary. To a modern naturopathic doctor, natural as well as conventional therapies are simply tools in our quest to assist a patient in achieving their greatest state of health. Neither is a religion or a political belief. The tools made by nature stand along side the tools of our modern laboratories. Each has a place. Every patient is an individual and must be treated as such. For some people natural intervention is the more appropriate strategy. For others, conventional medications will best serve their needs.   There are many cases where a balanced combination of the two will deliver the best outcome.

The natural correction of the body’s health and chemistry is reserved for the type of depression that arises out of some sort of deficiency or imbalance in the body’s state of health or chemistry. Chronic adrenal fatigue, blood sugar imbalances, fluctuations and imbalances in neurotransmitter activity in the brain, brain wave activity, stress, nervous system degeneration associated with age or toxic exposure, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, chronic pain, fatigue associated with anemia, poor digestion or chronic allergies, fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, poor diet, and lack of exercise may all contribute to or cause depression. These conditions often respond to nutritional supplementation.

Understanding depression is a complicated endeavor. I would encourage anyone facing depression to seek professional guidance. There are as many ways to support and treat depression as there are causes of depression. Every person is an individual. As a naturopathic doctor, I believe that every patient must be interacted with on an individual basis. No two people are exactly alike, therefore supportive strategies must be designed for each person depending upon the individual contributing factors that comprise their situation. This takes time and attention to detail. Seek a provider that has the time to pay attention to the details of your case. Be discriminating. You deserve it.

Dramatic Nutritional Support May Include:

Neurobalance – This is comprehensive nutritional support for healthy seratoinin, dopamine and gaba levels.  This formula also supports alpha brain wave activity important for sense of well-being, sense of calm and restorative stage III and stage IV sleep.  This formula is NOT a sedative of any sort.

L-Theanine – The most researched form of this important nutrient supports alpha brain wave activity important for sense of well-being, sense of calm and restorative stage III and stage IV sleep.  This nutrient is NOT a sedative of any sort.

Sleep Right – Herbal support for healthy adrenal function allowing the body to maintain the relaxed state necessary for sleep and a sense of calm.

Smart Brain – Herbal and nutritional support for healthy cognitive function.