Did you know ? ....... Sugar and some carbohydrates cause you to have pain.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.
There are no short cuts for improving your health. We can check your genetics, test for pathogens, optimize your nutrition with supplements, and even use a prescription here and there, but there must be a focus on improving the following areas of your life to maintain balance and sustained health.
Eat REAL food. Limit food products that come in a box or package and have ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Eliminate food colorings/dyes, GMO foods, and artificial flavors. Limit all forms of sugar except fruit as much as possible. Do not eat sugar or carbs in the morning. Instead have protein to stabilize your blood sugars to prevent diabetes. Consume healthy fats like avocado, coconut, olive oil, and grass-fed organic animal products to build brain and nerve tissues.
Fresh air and sunshine. The breath of LIFE. We need oxygen to permeate our cells for proper function. Without ample oxygen our internal chemistry becomes unbalanced and a ripe environment for diseases to thrive. Sunshine is not the enemy! We need sun to create vitamin D which is a hormone that affects every system in our body. "Increasing levels of vitamin D3 among the general population could potentially prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly one million lives throughout the world each year. Incidence of several types of cancer could also be slashed in half!" Please get your vitamin D level checked and aim to get it up to about 70 using supplements if you need to.
Movement/exercise. Our bodies are designed to move. The lymph system, (the waste removal system) does not work optimally if our muscles are not contracting, this leads to a build up of toxins that affect every system in our bodies. Exercise boosts our immune system, releases endorphins which decrease pain, balances neurotransmitters to lower anxiety and depression, tones the heart and vessels to prevent heart disease and stroke, builds stronger bones, lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity to prevent diabetes, builds more neurons to prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, stimulates colon health and helps prevent constipation, and releases many natural hormones that prevent cancer.
Sleep. Sleep is the anabolic or "healing and repairing" time. If we do not get adequate quantity or quality, the damage from the previous day is not repaired and this accelerates aging/pain/anxiety/illness. Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior. Using a sedative drug or medicine like ambien is not the answer, they sedate you rather than letting you flow through the differing sleep waves. Using calming herbs or amino acids can help by resetting the sleep rhythm.
Hydration. Many common ailments are a result of chronic dehydration. Coffee, tea, and sugary carbonated drinks further dehydrate us. We need to consume half our body weight in ounces per day of pure water to keep our cells hydrated, our bowels regular, and our electrons moving correct to make energy.
Emotional/spiritual/mental health. A good attitude and happiness is CRUCIAL to any healing. If you don't have believe that you can heal, it will be harder. If you have a negative attitude, feel like a victim, and obsess about things that aren't true, you will strengthen those neural networks. You will replay those tapes over and over in your head. This can be a self sabotage. If you FOCUS ON THE GOOD, have hope, BELIEVE in the powerful healing ability of your body you WILL improve! You will manifest the physical body to repair and heal itself.
The mental state cannot overcome a lack of nutrients and bad habits. However a pessimistic and futile attitude can derail a perfectly healthy body and diet/lifestyle.
Social support/relationships. surround yourself with positive supportive people and messages. If the news is fear based and negativee and causes anxiety, find a new news source or skip it all together! If a relationship is toxic and causing constant stress or demeaning feelings, figure out how to change it, get out of it, or learn healthy boundaries and self care skills.
Avoidance of toxins. We have more chemicals in our world than ever before. Some are obviously not good for us and others we are lead to believe are perfectly harmless. This is rarely true. Some of the most harmful chemicals are found in our everyday products like shampoo, fabric softener, air fresheners and cleaning products. Phthalates, parabens, and artificial fragrances cause a disruption of our endocrine system which will alter the level of hormones in the body causing symptoms or illness in any system in the body. Chemicals also put extra stress on the liver which can get 'behind in its job' and cause effects on the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, immune system, nervous system, and more. This leads to hormonal imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, high cholesterol and heart disease, digestive distress, frequent illness, anxiety, depression, and more. Purifying your life, using chemical free products, & eating organic can make a huge impact on your health. Visit www.ewg.org/skindeep to check the toxicity status of your products.
Supplements/targeted nutrition Our food does not contain as many nutrients as it used to. And a lot of our food has added toxins and chemicals that are not good for us. Using supplements to augment the lack of vitamins and minerals, support detox pathways, and manipulate metabolic processes can be highly therapeutic and speed recovery time.
Testing Biomarkers. You can eat right, exercise and meditate all day but if your thyroid is off you may still have anxiety, depression, weight gain, constipation, etc. This emphasizes the need for regular testing to fix an underlying problem that may be hijacking your health and wellness. Try to find a Naturopathic physician or Functional Medicine doctor who will do thorough and if needed advanced testing to find the underlying cause of your symptoms. Call ME! :) . 520-887-4287
Hair Restoration with Platelet Rich Plasma.
You may have heard of PRP for arthritis, sports injuries or trigger points. But did you know that the same healing growth factors also stimulate hair follicle activity? Platelet rich plasma is the part of the blood after the red blood cells have been spun off. Platelets are the small blood cell that rushes to a site of injury. It helps form a clot but then releases its growth factors to heal the injury, whether that be knitting the skin back together, remodeling damaged tissue, or forming new tissue. Numerous proteins are contained in the alpha-granules of platelets, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), platelet factor interleukin (IL), platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor IGF and fibronectin.
Hair growth has three cycles. Anagen (growth phase), catagen (follicle renewal), and telogen (hair shedding). 70-85% of hair follicles are in anagen at any given time. Adult skin is not able to make new follicles, current follicles shrink and the catagen phase does not result in as efficient renewal. If there are nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune complications, hormonal/thyroid imbalances or other factors, this further compounds shrinking follicles and thinning hair. However, these follicles are still alive! PRP can stimulate these follicles and revert them to the anagen phase resulting in thicker hair.
In office, the patient’s blood is drawn and spun down to separate the plasma rich platelets (PRP) from the other blood components. This PRP liquid is then injected into the patient’s scalp using a series of injections into the areas of hair loss. This may sound scary but it is actually not terrible. The needle used is very tiny and with our new methods being perfected, the injection solution is less painful. Once the treatment is over, there is usually zero to minimal discomfort.
For best results, consistency is key. Treatments are typically once a month for three to four months and then every three to six months thereafter for maintenance and re-stimulation. Results are usually seen in two to three months. A decrease in shedding is initially seen, followed by early regrowth (thickening) and lengthening. Significant change is usually evident and remarkable by 4-6 months.
PRP can be a stand alone hair rejuvenation treatment or combined with other modalites. Some that I highly recommend are:
Folinic acid: Folinic acid is a molecule slightly different than folate. Folinic acid is crucial for the synthesis and repair of DNA bases. Like the skin and the lining of the intestines, hair turns over very rapidly and has large quantities of DNA. Folinic acid deficiency results in poor repair of these cells. At appropriate doses, 800 mcg 1-2x/day, folinic acid can encourage hair growth. Results are usually seen in 1-3 months.
MSM: methylsulfonylmethane is a sulfur rich compound that has been found in research to elongate the anagen phase of hair growth as well as create stronger molecular bonds. Start with 1000mg twice daily and increase by 1000mg every week until a steady dose of 4000-6000mg/day in divided doses is reached. If indigestion occurs, lower the dose and wean up slower.
Maximizer: Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA) with biotin. ch-OSA nourishes proteins by activating enzymes used by collagen-generating cells to make collagen. In one research study, 10 mg/d of silicon as ch-OSA for nine months improved hair tensile strength including elasticity and break load and resulted in thicker hair. As a bonus, ch-OSA has also been found to reduces wrinkles, strengthens nails, support healthy bone mineral density, support bone flexibility, and promote connective tissue formation for healthy joints. One capsule twice daily.
Glutathione, carnitine, taurine, curcumin, coQ10, and pterosilbene are also very important.
Dr Kam Tecaya is a naturopathic physician practicing at NatureMedica Clinic in Tucson Arizona. She has a passion for utilizing the body’s ability to heal itself given the right circumstances. She graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and trained as an expert in natural medicine. She utilizes functional medicine testing to discover the root cause of illness and natural treatment modalities to restore health and balance. She uses many modalities including nutrient therapy, IV therapy, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, body-mind techniques, biopuncture, and regenerative therapies like PRP.
Of course we know it is not good to live next to a toxic waste dump. And many of us think twice about using chemical pesticides and herbicides around our home. But what about the hidden chemicals that can insidiously affect our lives? Our skin lotion? Our cleaning supplies? Drinking ‘healthy’ bottled water? These are just a few of the everyday items we use that expose us to chemical compounds that can be detrimental to our health.
Have you heard of triclosan? Probably not. Also known as Microban and Biofresh, triclosan is a chemical antimicrobial used in personal care products like toothpaste, shaving cream, cosmetics and hand soaps, as well as plastic toys, kitchenware, and even clothing. This pesticide bioaccumulates in our bodies and disrupts thyroid function which effects our caloric metabolism and hundreds of other processes in our bodies. It has also been linked to asthma, allergies, dermatitis, obesity and sex hormone disruption.
Triclosan is just one of millions of chemicals that have been introduced into our world over the past decade. Most of us don’t even know how severely the hidden, and not so hidden, sources of toxins are affecting us. Many of these toxins are not water-soluble and absorb into our fat cells and are stored. They are not readily excreted from the body and accumulate over a person's lifetime, multiplying the body burden (the amount of build-up) and increasing the malfunction of the body’s metabolic processes.
Many of the chemicals that we are exposed to are called “endocrine disruptors”. Endocrine disruptors bind to hormone receptors, which affect all the endocrine glands, as well as the nervous and immune systems. Even in very low doses over time, these compounds cause errors and insufficiency of our thyroid, pituitary, adrenals, pancreas, and ovaries/testes. Pregnant mothers and children are the most vulnerable populations to be affected by exposure, and the effect of exposures to endocrine disruptors may not become evident until later in life.
It’s not as easy to live a clean life as it once was. Nowadays, more than 287 chemicals are found in newborn babies blood. Avoidance is an important step to minimize the health effects of toxins but detoxification and depuration are crucial. Depuration is defined as “to free from impurities”. Liberating and excreting the toxins from fat cells and other tissues can be facilitated with different therapies and are used for different purposes.
There are ways to test your body burden and many options for depuration. Far Infrared Saunas are used to increase lipolysis (breakdown of fat molecules). Fat-soluble toxins are then released so they can be excreted. Yes! This will help weight loss as well. Colon Hydrotherapy creates a flush of bile, which holds toxins, from the gallbladder. These bile toxins are removed from the body, which improves liver health, and helps cleanse the blood. Constitutional hydrotherapy is contrasting hot and cold wet towels applied to the body with electrodes strategically placed to decrease sympathetic response and promote cellular waste removal. Nutrient IV’s flood the blood and tissues with much-needed vitamins and minerals, allowing metabolism of waste to be more efficient. Oral or IV Chelation uses a substance that has an affinity to bind to certain toxins and enable them to be excreted.
With a blend of the above-mentioned therapies and of course some diet and lifestyle changes, lowering your toxin load will improve your mental and physical health drastically.
Some sources of exposure:
Consuming contaminated fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, dairy, and fish.
Drinking contaminated water
Living near golf courses, factories, and hazardous waste sites.
Plastic containers, household cleaners, personal care products & cosmetics, household electronics, air fresheners, prepackaged foods, vinyl flooring and new carpet.
Inhaling chemical vapors or contaminated dust, soil, and house dust
Direct skin contact
Bioaccumulation from mother
Toxicity often lies at the root of many chronic illnesses
Chronic bacterial, fungal and viral infections
Chronic neurological illnesses
Endometriosis / Estrogen Dominance issues
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Immune system disorders
Increased risk of
Tremors & Restless leg
I imagine most people have heard of the taking probiotics for intestinal health. This is a good practice to balance the microbiome, the various beneficial bacteria, virus and yeast in the intestinal tract. However, it is high time to give it a lot more consideration and respect. Rebalancing your gastrointestinal microbiome may be the most important thing we ever do for our health. These organisms outnumber our cells by 10:1. Their DNA exceed our DNA by nearly 100:1. They perform over 6000 biochemical processes that we are physically unable to do and would die if absent, like make vitamins K and B12, turn up or down our immune system, control how much fat we store, and communicate with our brain. Some medical circles are now calling this community of organisms inside us as the Forgotten Organ. It may have more control over our health, physical and mental, than any other organ in our body. No wonder we feel a variety of symptoms if the balance and quantity is not optimal.
According to numerous well-designed, peer-reviewed studies on rodents and humans, an unhealthy microbiome appears to be a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, lymphoma, PCOS and hormone imbalances, liver cancer, alzheimers/dementia, psoriasis, and more. It very well may be that they have command over us, not the other way around. A good article in The New Yorker called The E.Coli Made Me Do It highlighted the effect these microbes have on our mental health.
Unfortunately, many of the lifestyle habits in industrialized countries are destroying the balance of species in our gut. Cesarean birth, taking antibiotics, eating foods with glyphosate/Round-Up, using antibacterial soaps and cleaning supplies, eating processed foods and genetically modified foods, chronic stress, poor sleep, drinking excessive alcohol, taking NSAIDS, and NOT eating enough good foods devastate this critical part of our bodies.
The more we feed them, the more they thrive. There are thousands of different strains of microbes living within us. Some are more beneficial to us and some are quite detrimental if given the chance to propagate into large numbers. Studies have found that the most beneficial strains eat very different things than the harmful ones. Bacteroidites, a group that does lots of valuable things for us, like lose weight, lower inflammation, and prevent cancer, like to eat fibers and polyphenols from fruits and vegetables and tubers. Another major group, Firmicutes, thrive more on sugars, grains, and things we find in processed foods. When the Firmicutes outnumber the Bacteroidites they cause sugar/carb cravings, weight gain, inflammation and moods swings. One study transplanted the gut bacteria from obese mice (high in firmicutes) to normal mice and it caused the normal mice to gain weight. We knew our epidemic of obesity and chronic disease is from the standard American diet and now we are starting to understand the intricacies of why.
Switching out Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, starving the ‘bad’ can cause some symptoms if done rapidly and drastically. Remember, these guys outnumber us by 10:1! When we begin starving out a certain group, they will protest. If you have been feeding them sugars, starches and processed foods for years, the types that eat those foods have become the largest colony and will object and remonstrate their demise. It is also important to know that other areas in your body are basically addicted to sugars and starch and stopping may cause withdrawal. (Many grains and sugars actually do activate the opiate receptors, but that is a whole different article.) Symptoms may include sugar and junk food cravings, mood swings, headaches, strange aches and pains, etc. Don’t let this stop you! The health benefits are imperative! In time your taste buds and desires will change. Your cravings will go away. You will start to savor healthy vegetable dishes. You will lose unhealthy fat and build lean muscle. You will sleep better. You will be happier and appreciate life.
The bacteria have a very short lifespan. They are constantly reproducing voraciously but a single one truly only lives for about 20-30 minutes. This is why it is so important to keep replenishing good species and giving the right guys enough food to keep reproducing. We know that different cultures across the globe have very different combinations of microbes. The science on this is very new and we are learning more daily. The best strategy is to consume a wide variety of organisms in their most natural state possible like our ancestors did.
How to build a healthy microbiome:
o Eat some fermented foods daily. Just a couple bites or a few sips- ideally a couple different kinds -a few times per day. Get creative and make your own! It is easy and inexpensive! Fermented foods available in stores: Sauerkraut -true fermented, kim chi, kombucha, kefir- coconut or dairy, tempeh, fermented coconut water, fermented pickles – Bubbies brand, apple cider vinegar -with the ‘mother’ -Braggs brand, and RAW, organic, KOSHER cheeses – 5 Spokes brand. (If fermented foods seem to make you worse, it could be an histamine intolerance. This requires other measures be taken.)
o Eat large amounts of colorful vegetables and fruits.
o Eat jicama, chicory, sunchokes, and other foods with Inulin fiber in them to feed the beneficial bacteria. Other foods for the beneficial flora are asparagus, carrots, garlic, leeks, okra, onion, radishes, and tomatoes, turmeric and cinnamon. (If eating these makes you feel worse, ei: bloated, painful, increasing constipation or diarrhea- call me asap to get tested for SIBO)
o Avoid processed foods and eat very little or zero grains (limit breads, pasta, cookies, cakes, tortillas, crackers, rice, etc).
o Avoid alcohol. More than two drinks can cause intestinal cells to ‘open’ more than they are supposed to and this allows some parts of the detrimental bacteria to get through into the bloodstream. Having polyphenols from color-rich foods can help halt this. Alcohol in general tends to breakdown the lining of the gut so its best to avoid it or at least no consume on a regular basis.
o Avoid food additives like artificial flavors and colors, artificial sweeteners, carrageenen, trans fats, preservatives, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup.
o Avoid NSAIDS like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Also avoid chemicals in your environment. Perfumes, dryer sheets, phthalates, PBA, ... Visit www.EWG.org or www.skindeep.org to analyze your personal care and cleaning products.
o Take a probiotic with many strains/variety of bacteria. Look for ones that are at least 50% bifido species and ideally that have some bifidobacterium lactis HN019.
o Eat bitter foods more often – endive, dandelion greens, arugala, dill, sesame, etc.. Or take a supplement that has bitters in it – berberine, gentian, goldenseal, oregon grape, turmeric, etc.
o Go Organic and GMO-free!!!!! New research is now telling us that GMO foods can alter our DNA as well as our microbiome’s DNA.
o Get plenty of good sleep! Getting less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night deprives us of the parasympathetic/relaxation sleep cycle to fully repair high-energy gut tissue.
o Practice stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or HeartMath. Stress can unbalance the microbiome by altering hormones and chemicals.
o Eat slowly, chew well, be calm and happy while eating. The entire digestion process starts in your mind and your mouth. RELAX, have gratitude for the wonderful things in your life. FOCUS ON THE GOOD THINGS!