Loving Life Without Gluten

By Crystal Dodson, Holistic Health Coach

www.NourishedWithLove.com

 

Back in October 2009 I realized something was very wrong with my oldest son who was two at the time. He had begun developing as a typical child does, then around 16 months I noticed that he was changing. He would no longer look us in the eye. His smile was gone. He began to have constant temper tantrums. He was upset more often than he was happy. I just had a new baby and my first son didn’t want to have anything to do with his new brother.

He didn’t have any language to tell us if he wanted or needed something. It seemed like my son was slipping away. He was in his own little world, content to engage in repetitive stacking of blocks instead of connecting with us in a meaningful way. I began to suspect that my child might have Autism. The word scared me. I didn’t want to talk about it or even think about it.

 

Around the same time my good friend Rachel suggested that I look into a gluten-free casein-free diet for my son. She said she heard it was making a big difference for a lot of children who were dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

I was offended that she would bring this up. I was doing the best I could to feed my children the healthiest possible way I knew. I didn’t give them junk food. They never ate fast food. How dare she suggest that I wasn’t doing enough! Something changed in my heart as I realized she was just trying to help.

 

I began to research the diet and discovered that parent surveys done by The Autism Research Institute list the gluten-free casein-free diet as one of the most successful interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders. According to one theory most, if not all, children with Autism have a damaged intestinal lining or “leaky gut”. Because digestion is compromised, the child’s body is not able to properly digest the gluten and casein proteins.

 

These incomplete proteins, or peptides, travel through the “leaky gut” into the blood stream where they cross the blood brain barrier and bind to opiate receptors in the brain. The peptides then alter the person’s behavior, perceptions, and responses to his environment. It all seemed very overwhelming. I didn’t even understand what gluten was. How was I supposed to take it out of his diet? I decided to start with removing casein because I knew what that was.

Flickr photo credit Laura Dahl

I remember the first night I gave my son a little almond milk instead of regular cow’s milk before bed.  He didn’t drink it.  I felt like I was depriving him.  I started questioning my decision already!  The next night we tried the almond milk again, and again he didn’t drink it.  We sauntered off to bed, but this time when I leaned in to kiss him goodnight, he didn’t turn away!  This was the first time that he let me kiss him square on the mouth!  I remember cheering, clapping, and celebrating with tears flowing down my cheeks.  I must have kissed him 50 times in a row.

 

This is what it felt like to have a child respond to a mother’s love.  It was absolutely incredible!  I decided right then and there that I would commit to doing whatever it takes to help my son.  I felt empowered.  There was something I could do to help him!

 

I didn’t care that the pediatrician thought diets didn’t work.  When my son was officially diagnosed with Autism in November of 2009, I realized that I was already proving the pediatrician wrong.   My son was fully capable of loving me.  We just had to figure out how to help his little body heal so he would be able to express that love more easily.

 

I started researching gluten and slowly trying to replace our old foods with gluten-free alternatives.  Many times I bought things thinking they were gluten-free, only to find a hidden source of gluten.  I decided to give myself some grace.  I might not have him transitioned to a gluten-free diet overnight, but I was doing the best I could to head that direction.

 

My son had a lot of texture sensitivities.  I remember putting a spoonful of food up to his mouth and he would start dry heaving before it even touched his tongue.  There were lots of days that he hardly ate anything.  I stayed the course.  Through trial and error we made it work.

 

I made muffins with shredded carrots and zucchini.  I blended vegetables into smoothies.  I could get him to drink almost anything.  I started juicing and he would drink his fresh green juice so quickly.  As his body healed he became tolerant of more foods.  This was a very slow process.  Many nights dinnertime felt like World War III.

Flickr photo credit Radek Szuban

We have been on an all organic gluten-free, casein-free diet for three years now. My son is now five and has made incredible progress. He talks in complete sentences. His eyes are sparkling. He loves hugs and kisses. He plays with his little brother. He is brilliant. He reads at a second grade level and is fascinated with solving word problems. He loves life. I am so blessed to be his mommy. What a little miracle he is! We still have a ways to go on his journey to recovery, but I do believe he WILL recover. With God all things are possible!

 

If for any reason you are considering going gluten-free I would encourage you to try it. Start by figuring out what foods have gluten in them and replace those with gluten-free alternatives. Search the internet for gluten-free recipes. Buy ingredients one at a time to make foods that are exciting to you. Get in the kitchen and experiment!

 

Remember, just because something doesn’t turn out perfectly the first time doesn’t mean it is not worth trying again. Your attitude is incredibly important here. Focus on what you CAN eat. Be thankful that you choose to take a step to increase your health and happiness. Take it one step at a time. Surround yourself with support. Give yourself grace. Stick with it and I bet you will agree that it was worth it!

Flickr photo credit Natalie Buzina

— By Crystal Dodson

    Holistic Health Coach

    www.NourishedWithLove.com

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Should You Choose “Gluten-Free”?

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

We’ve been hearing about gluten more and more these days. Your grocery store may even have a “gluten-free” section of food items. Often clients in my holistic chiropractic practice wonder if gluten could be the cause of their symptoms. This month, I’d like to bring you up-to-date on what science knows about gluten and its role in celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and the gluten-free diet.

 

Gluten is not a protein itself but rather a protein composite that is found in the grass-like grains of wheat, rye, barley spelt, kamut and triticale. Oats also contain gluten and certified gluten-free oats are available.

 

Flickr photo credit Rik Lomas

 

The first health condition discovered to be caused by exposure to gluten was celiac disease. This is an autoimmune attack on the small intestine. Common symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping, and alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.

 

By damaging the intestinal lining, gluten can result in maldigestion and malabsorption of nutrients. A blood test is required to properly diagnose celiac disease. Gluten can also travel through the body and damage other organs. Almost any chronic health condition you can think of has been associated with gluten sensitivity, including aching joints, stress and anxiety.

 

There are several ways that gluten can produce adverse health effects. In sensitive individuals, the immune system produces antibodies against gluten. This causes inflammation and attack on various organs. What is the organ most commonly affected by gluten? The brain is the organ most damaged from gluten sensitivity. From headaches to dementia, from seizures to schizophrenia, including learning disorders and developmental delay, gluten sensitivity can be a major factor.

 

Flickr photo credit Laura Dahl

 

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is another condition that may result from eating foods with gluten. Individuals who suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity suffer very similarly to people with celiac disease, but tests for that disease are negative. Through my holistic modalities, I am able to pinpoint gluten sensitivity and address it immediately.

 

Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are both treated with a gluten-free diet. Gluten avoidance is not an easy undertaking, yet can be life changing. Those with celiac disease need to practice lifelong gluten avoidance. Whether people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can ever go back to eating gluten is not clear at this time.

Flickr photo credit Anssi Koskinen

 

Nor does a gluten-free diet aid weight loss, experts say. Unless your body is reacting negatively to gluten, eating gluten-free food will not help you lose weight. Eating gluten- free can cause deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients because people are avoiding breads, cereals, and grains that are fortified.

 

In contrast, many gluten-free products are not fortified. Be careful when choosing from the growing number of gluten-free products on the market shelves. They’re typically higher in carbohydrates, fat, and sodium, and lower in fiber. Instead, people can bake healthier bread at home that’s higher in fiber and protein and made with gluten-free grains that have been certified to be uncontaminated and gluten-free, such as quinoa, amaranth, or millet.

 

 If you are having digestive issues or suffering from a chronic health condition, please call Crystal at (805) 644-0461 in our Ventura office and schedule an appointment for an office visit. Find out if gluten is a health factor for you!

Beyond Diet and Exercise (or Other Reasons Your Weight May be Sticking Around!)

by Dr. Michael Roth

 

Guess what? There is more to losing weight than a healthy diet and regular exercise!

 

Many of the patients I see in my holistic chiropractic practice are making good food choices, moving their bodies, reducing their stress and are willing to do the work digging into the emotional reasons behind their eating habits. Yet, some are still not losing weight as fast as they would like.

 

If you’ve been stuck on a weight-loss plateau, read on. This month I want to tell you about six other causes that can slow down weight loss.

Flickr photo credit tipstimes.comdiet

1. Lack of Sleep

Not enough sleep can have a negative impact on your weight loss by altering levels of hormones that regulate hunger. In one study at the University of Chicago, people who slept only four hours a night had an 18% reduction in the hormone leptin that signals your brain it has had enough food and a 28% increase in ghrelin, the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry! Plus, after such little sleep, the participants craved sugar, salty and starchy food and had a 24% increase in their appetite for candy, chips and pasta.

2. Sitting too Much

If you spend too much time sitting during your day, you could be packing on the pounds. It isn’t simply the lack of exercise. Even those who exercise regularly may experience this phenomenon. Sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. When you sit, instead of being absorbed by your muscles, the fat recirculates in your blood stream where it may end up being stored as body fat!

 

Sitting not only has a negative effect on fat and cholesterol metabolism, but also stimulates disease-promoting processes. Standing and moving slightly will re-engage the enzymes. So remember to stand rather than sit as often as you can!

3. Depression

Depression and being overweight often go hand-in-hand. People who are depressed are more likely to become overweight and those who are overweight are more likely to become depressed. Depression increases the risk of obesity by 58% according to a recent study by Dutch researchers. It is common for people with depression to overeat, especially “comfort” foods that may be high in fat and sugar.

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

 

4. Medications

Certain prescription drugs may have the side effect of weight gain. They include corticosteroids, antidepressants, epilepsy drugs, and drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Also birth control pills, diabetes drugs, and blood pressure drugs may cause weight gain.

5. Portion Sizes

You may be watching the types of food you eat and making better choices, yet if your portion sizes are too large, you won’t be losing the pounds. Portion sizes in the United States have been growing larger over the past decades. For example, in 1970 a bagel weighed three ounces and contained 230 calories. Today, the average bagel is about six ounces and 550 calories! I recently attended a seminar locally in which some of the participants were from Canada and they were all commenting on the size of the portions they received in the restaurant here!

6. Obesity as a Symptom

If you feel you are doing everything you can to lose weight and are still not getting anywhere, it could be a red flag that there is another underlying health problem. The following conditions could be the cause: thyroid disorders, diabetes, lupus, cancer, congestive heart failure, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and metabolic syndrome. See your health care professional to determine if one of these conditions may be involved.

 

It is my desire to support each of my patients to their greater health and wellness. I will work with you to determine your weight loss goals and how to effectively achieve those goals. Weight loss and better health are achievable and I am willing to go the distance with you. Please call Amber in our Ventura office today and make an appointment for an office visit to get you on the wellness wagon!

The Myth of Cholesterol

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

It seems common knowledge in this day and age that a high cholesterol count is bad for your health. Cholesterol is blamed for heart attacks and arterial disease. As a holistic chiropractor, I see patients who are stressed because they have been told they have high cholesterol. Yet, remembering that our bodies are innately programmed for wellness and wholeness, let’s take a look at just what cholesterol is and why we need it.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. Cholesterol is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.

 

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat.

 

Cholesterol has received plenty of negative media over the last decade as the reason behind heart attacks and arterial disease. Yet, several pivotal studies have shown that cholesterol is not the cause behind problems of the heart as once thought.

 

Cholesterol has been blamed for heart disease, however inflammation is actually the true culprit. When the body experiences an inflammatory response due to an injury, the system responds by constricting blood vessels, thickening the blood, and triggering cells to multiply in order to repair the damage.

 

Cholesterol is produced because cells need it to form. It helps create plaque in our blood vessels when a damaged artery needs to be repaired. When an individual is in a chronic state of inflammation, the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack greatly increases. It is the chronic inflammation, not the cholesterol that increases the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure.

 

The Great Cholesterol Myth authors Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra reviewed the data of numerous studies and found that cholesterol levels are not a good predictor of heart attacks:

• Half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol

• Half of the people with high cholesterol have healthy hearts

• Keeping cholesterol levels low has few benefits

The Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 and continues to this day, distinctly shows that those who lived the longest were inclined to be in the highest cholesterol category.

 

In another study in the 1990s, researchers in France decided to observe the effect of different diets on heart disease. One group was asked to eat the American Heart Association diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. The second group ate a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, and olive oil.

 

The study ended early because the results of the Mediterranean diet were so striking. Those in this group had a 70 percent reduction in fatal heart attacks, yet their high cholesterol levels remained the same throughout the study!

Flickr photo credit Kelly Sue Deconnick

So, what does this all mean to you? Turn your attention away from your cholesterol level number and the pharmaceuticals that you may be using to “control” it and put your attention on the things that you can control that will make a difference. Eat healthy foods, take nutritional supplements and reduce your stress to improve your heart health.

 

Please call Amber in our Ventura office at (805) 644-0461 and make an appointment with me for an office visit to discuss the health of your heart and body. Your choices do affect your health and your health is more than just a number!

Your Gut Response

By Dr. Michael Roth

At one time or another, most of us have felt our stomach talking to us. Perhaps we overate, or ate something that didn’t agree with us. Maybe we are stressed by our thoughts or our circumstances, or can’t “stomach” what is going on in our lives and it is affecting our health.

The fact is that most of us will suffer from one digestive disorder or another at some time in our lives. The highest number of calls received by the National Health Service is from people suffering with digestive problems. Our diet and the foods we eat play a major role in keeping our digestive system in good order. This month, I’d like to discuss three common digestive problems that I see in patients in my holistic chiropractic practice: heartburn, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

Heartburn

First of all, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart itself. Rather, it is a term used to describe the burning sensation that occurs in the chest area, just behind the breastbone. Heartburn pain is often worse when lying down or bending over.

It may be accompanied by other symptoms including: regurgitation, a bitter taste at the back of the mouth or throat, excess salivation, belching, and difficulty or pain when swallowing. There is often a feeling of “fullness” after eating, feeling sick and/or vomiting. Heartburn can develop at any time and may not always be as a result of eating or drinking. Stress is also a common cause of heartburn.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Normally when you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. The acid backup may be worse when you’re bent over or lying down.

Flickr photo credit evindc

The advice for sufferers is to eat slowly and in a relaxed environment, concentrate on enjoying your food and chew it thoroughly. Do not drink too much while eating. Sip fennel, mint, chamomile or apple tea.

Foods to avoid include crisps, chips, nuts and rich creamy or fried foods; acidic foods like vinegar and pickles; citrus fruits or unripe fruit can cause acid reflex. Smoking can also cause heartburn—another reason to quit!

 

Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term used to describe one or more symptoms including a feeling of fullness during a meal, uncomfortable fullness after a meal, and burning or pain in the upper abdomen. Sometimes the term indigestion is used to describe the symptoms of heartburn, but these are two different conditions. A person can have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn.

Indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive tract such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts. If the condition improves or resolves, the symptoms of indigestion usually improve.

Sometimes, however, a person has indigestion for which  a cause cannot be found. This type of indigestion, called  functional dyspepsia, is thought to occur in the area where  the stomach meets the small intestine. The indigestion  may be related to abnormal motility—the squeezing or  relaxing action—of the stomach muscle as it receives, digests, and moves food into the small intestine.

Most people with indigestion experience more than one of the following symptoms:

Fullness during a meal. The person feels overly full soon after the   meal starts and cannot finish the meal.

Bothersome fullness after a meal. The person feels overly full after a meal—it may feel like the food is staying in the stomach too long.

Epigastric pain. The epigastric area is between the lower end of the chest bone and the navel. The person may experience epigastric pain ranging from mild to severe.

Epigastric burning. The person feels an unpleasant sensation of heat in the epigastric area.

 

Some people may experience relief from symptoms of indigestion by eating several small, low-fat meals throughout the day at a slow pace, refraining from smoking, abstaining from consuming coffee, carbonated beverages and alcohol, stopping use of medications that may irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, getting enough rest, and finding ways to decrease emotional and physical stress, such as relaxation therapy or exercise.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS affects a third of the population at some time or another and about one in ten people suffer symptoms bad enough to go to the doctor. It can be painful and distressing, and a qualified medical practitioner should confirm diagnosis of IBS.

Symptoms include abdominal pain or a sharp pain felt low down inside the rectum, spasm/diarrhea and bloated stomach, rumbling noises and wind, constipation, nausea, belching and vomiting. Stress is believed to play a significant part in the occurrence of IBS.

Despite current awareness of IBS and its effect on the quality of life, a cure has yet to be found. Some people find their IBS is due to food intolerance. Foods to avoid are wheat products, cereals, pastries and pasta and sauces made with flour. Cut down on diary intake – milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and custard.

It is best to keep food as light as possible – try milk substitutes such as organic soy or rice milk. IBS is sometimes aggravated by particularly fatty and rich foods like fried or creamy dishes.

 

Stress

The common denominator found in all three of these conditions is STRESS!  Mental, emotional and physical stress often shows up as dis-ease in our body. Our “gut response” is a communication from our body that something needs to change.

I have found QNRT (Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy) to be an excellent program to remove the emotional stressors that prevent the body from functioning at its best. QNRT is a great complimentary therapy designed to aid with any other treatment you are now seeking to find relief from disease, behavioral issues, relationship challenges and addictions.

Flickr photo credit Celestine Chua

If your gut has been talking to you and you don’t know what it is saying or asking, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment for an office visit with me. Don’t let the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion or IBS rule your body and your life. You CAN take charge of your health and wellbeing!

Remodeling Your Brain

by Dr. Michael Roth

 

Remember that old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Now, research is discovering that “new tricks” are exactly what “old dogs” need to keep a youthful and healthy brain! The brain is not an organ that is separate from the rest of the body, and as a holistic chiropractor, I often see clients whose health has suffered from the stress of poor brain-body connections.

 

For many years it was believed that childhood and early adulthood was the only time for brain growth and development and that adults later in life experienced declining brain function; that because their brains were aging, older adults were set in their ways, more forgetful and uninterested in experiencing the new.

 

Cognitive decline can be evidenced by affects on memory, response time, attention skills and the ability to speak and understand what others are saying. Even though this decline is still considered a normal part of aging, studies have shown that people who remain mentally active seem to experience less cognitive decline.

 

An individual’s brain may be aging, yet it is also continuing to develop. Brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to physically change, for better or worse, throughout life. It is a concept that is simple: the brain is not static, it responds to new circumstances and to new learning. In response to new stimuli, new neural pathways and connections are created. These physical changes can happen at any age. Here are some facts about our brain that modern science has discovered:

  •  The brain continues to form new brain cells (neurogenesis)
  •  The brain can change its structure and function (plasticity)
  •  Positive stress can be beneficial to brain plasticity and negative stress can be detrimental
  •  The brain thrives on novel challenges
  •  The brain needs to be exercised, just like the body.

Flickr photo credit Laura Dahl

The brain’s natural plasticity can be enhanced by the right stimuli. More is needed than simply solving crossword puzzles, reading a newspaper or daubing a bingo card. A brain fitness program must be intensive and progressively challenging. By pushing the brain to learn new skills, it builds and refines neural pathways. Combining mental exercise with physical exercise can greatly improve general cognition and boost creativity.

 

In my practice, I utilize QNRT (Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy) as a process to stimulate neuroplasticity in the brain. QNRT is designed to create a quantum shift by resetting the brain from emotional shocks lodged within the nervous system.  For more information, click on the QNRT tab on my website, www.RothWellnessCenter.com.

 

Many adults have a tendency to get set in their ways, not trying new things and not thinking about new ways to do old things. The truth is that change can be one of the best ways to keep aging brains healthy! The following benefits are created when a person learns something new, especially if is outside their area of expertise:

  • Keeps the mind fresh and gives a spark to life
  •  Serves as a reminder of what it was like to be young and eager to learn
  •  Invigorates mental “muscles”

 

Brain plasticity is a physical process. Neural connections can be forged and refined or weakened and severed. Changes in the physical brain manifest as changes in our abilities. Each time a person learns something new, it reflects a change in their physical brain by creating new neural pathways that give instructions to their body on how to perform a new task.

 

The growing understanding of and interest in brain plasticity is driving a revolution in brain health and science. Scientists and institutions around the world are beginning to look at plasticity- based therapies for treating a wide range of cognitive disorders. Not only can regular brainpower and health be improved, but also new ways are being learned to treat a variety of conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain. Programs based on brain plasticity use the brain’s natural learning mechanisms and lessen requirements for invasive procedures or drug therapies.

 

Keep your brain young, healthy and functioning. Exercise, proper nutrition and adequate sleep are essential. Adopt a positive philosophy of life and develop good relations, not only with family and friends, but with all you meet. Welcome and seek out new challenges and adventures and become a life-long learner.

Flickr photo credit Andrew Schwegler

If you are concerned about declining cognitive function in yourself or someone you love, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment with me for an evaluation. Your brain (and body) will thank you!

Published in: on September 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hypoglycemia — Low Blood Sugar

By Dr. Michael Roth

A couple months ago, my newsletter’s main article was about sugar and what too much of it could do to your body and your health. This month, I’m choosing to address sugar again from a different point of view—the effect of too little sugar in the body.

Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body’s main energy source. Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with the treatment of diabetes. However, a variety of conditions, many of them rare, can cause low blood sugar in people without diabetes.

Like fever, hypoglycemia isn’t a disease itself — it’s an indicator of a health problem. In my holistic chiropractic practice, it is a condition that occasionally presents itself in my clients.

Flickr photo credit Fatcat Anna

 

Your body needs a steady supply of sugar (glucose) in order to function properly. You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you’ve gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It’s easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about.

However, if glucose levels remain too low, as occurs with hypoglycemia, it can have detrimental effects on your brain and your body.

The stress that hypoglycemia creates produces symptoms that can vary from person to person and be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops.

Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat, or your skin might turn cold and clammy.

Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking.

Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death.

 

Flickr photo credit marwho

 

If you’ve had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. You may have nightmares, or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up.

These signs and symptoms aren’t specific to hypoglycemia. There may be other causes. A blood sample to test your blood sugar level at the time of these signs and symptoms is the only way to know for sure that hypoglycemia is the cause.

Possible causes in people with diabetes

If you have diabetes, the effects of insulin on your body are drastically diminished, either because your pancreas doesn’t produce enough of it (Type 1 diabetes) or because your cells are less responsive to it (Type 2 diabetes). As a result, glucose tends to build up in your bloodstream and may reach dangerously high levels. To correct this problem, you likely take insulin or other drugs designed to lower blood sugar levels.

If you take too much insulin relative to the amount of glucose in your bloodstream, it can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia may also result if, after taking your diabetes medication, you don’t eat as much as usual (ingesting less glucose) or you exercise more (using up more glucose) than you normally would.

 

 

What causes hypoglycemia in people who don’t have diabetes?

Most hypoglycemia occurs when you haven’t eaten (when you’re in a fasting state), but that’s not always the case. Sometimes hypoglycemia occurs after a meal because the body produces more insulin than is needed. This type of hypoglycemia, called reactive or postprandial hypoglycemia, may occur in people who have had gastric bypass surgery. It may also occur in people who haven’t had surgery.

Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can also be caused by:

• Diseases of the liver, kidneys, or pancreas

• Metabolic problems

• Certain medicines

• Use of alcohol

• Missed meals

• Severe infection

• Adrenal insufficiency

If you notice symptoms coming on 2-5 hours after eating, there is a chance you have hypoglycemia. Heavy starch foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and other grain products should be avoided as much as possible. Also, foods and drinks with table sugar, honey, sucrose, glucose, corn syrup and any other sweetener that is high on the glycemic index should be avoided.

There is one very important thing you can do for free and it will have a big impact on the symptoms–chew your food till it is liquefied! This has a dramatic impact on the blood sugar level and if you do this you will quickly notice a reduction of symptoms.

Flickr photo credit Nik

 

If you suspect that you or someone you care about may be experiencing the effects of hypoglycemia, please call Amber in my Ventura office at (805) 644-0461  and make an appointment to see me. I will work with you to find which organs or bodily processes are malfunctioning and recommend supplements and procedures to build your body back up for your optimum wellness and well being!

Published in: on August 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Your Thyroid Gland — The Butterfly in Your Throat

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

The thyroid gland is part of the body’s endocrine system. This means it is a gland that produces secretions called hormones, which are delivered to the body through the blood. The thyroid gland is located in the neck, just under what we call the Adam’s apple. It is in the shape of a butterfly, with 2 ‘wings’ or ‘lobes’.

 

 

Controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, the thyroid combines iodine from the food we consume with the amino acid tyrosine and produces two main hormones. Over the years, in my holistic practice at my chiropractic office in Ventura, I have seen the health of many of my patients compromised by an out-of-balance thyroid.

 

The hormones produced by the thyroid do two important things:

1) They help the necessary enzymes and electrolytes pass into each cell of the body.

2) They help the processes of energy production in the mitochondria.

 

The mitochondria are the “energy-generating stations” within each cell. In the mitochondrion (singular), enzymes are used to combine carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, forming carbon dioxide and water, and releasing chemical energy. This process of converting oxygen and the food consumed into energy needed by the body is referred to as metabolism. This conversion is imperative to carry out every function necessary to maintain life.

 

The hormones produced by the thyroid also perform the following functions:

1. Raise the metabolic rate of almost all the cells in the body

2. Stimulate protein synthesis and degradation

3. Stimulate the heart

4. Increase the breakdown of fat

5. Interact with the adrenals and the catecholamines (the fight-or-flight hormones)

 

When the thyroid is working improperly, or is out of balance, one of two conditions tends to happen. Hypothyroidism is the term referred to when the thyroid produces too little or is underproductive. The overproduction state is called hyperthyroidism.

 

If the thyroid is under-producing, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue or lethargy, weight gain, cold hands and feet, infertility, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), constipation, dry skin and hair, sensitivity to cold, sinus congestion, premenstrual syndrome and depression.

 

An overactive thyroid may leave you with feelings of being anxious or nervous for no apparent reason, increased pulse rate and rapid heartbeat, the inability to gain weight even when eating above-normal calories daily, frequent loose bowel movements, and excessive sweating.

 

These are not comprehensive lists, yet they show the diversity of the effects of an out-of-balance thyroid. Because the symptoms of a thyroid condition can appear to be problems all their own, thyroid conditions are often mis- or under-diagnosed. As a holistic chiropractor, I use non-invasive procedures to determine if the thyroid gland is the culprit in my patient’s dis-ease.

 

Stress, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins and other diseases such as diabetes and cancer wreak havoc on the thyroid. Therefore developing a healthy lifestyle is just as much key to having a healthy thyroid gland as it is to your general overall health.

 

Ensure you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, taking omega-3 oils, eating complex carbohydrates rather than refined sugars, and limiting your fat intake. Remember the higher the quality of nutrition your body has to work with, the better quality fuel it can create.

 

Exercising, getting plenty of uninterrupted sleep and reducing or dealing with life-stressors as efficiently as possible, are also lifestyle factors that can help keep you running your best.

Flickr photo credit der wunderbare mandarin

 

If you are experiencing any of the possible symptoms of an over-or under-active thyroid, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461and make an appointment with me for an evaluation.

 

Stop Your Sugar and Food Cravings Naturally!

I recently made the acquaintance of a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner (RNCP) named Nancy DesJardins.  I was so impressed by her research, and her passion to help people overcome their food addictions and reclaim their health, that I wanted to share it with you.  Here is a short article she wrote on sugar:

Sugar. Even the word sounds sweet.

Did you know that by some experts’ count, we are all eating the equivalent of 160 pounds of sugar each year?  And that sugar is one of the worst ingredients – some say poison – you can put into your body?

If you crave chocolate, or cake, or any other sweet stuff, the fact is, like most people, you’re probably addicted to sugar. Of all bad habits, it’s one of the worst. In fact, this is one bad habit that can poison your entire life.

But you can change that. Because like smoking, you can break bad habits – and addictions. The choice is yours.

Step 1: You Decide

The first step, then, is choosing to trade your bad habits for good ones. Out with the bad, sugary foods, and in with the healthy. It’s as easy as that! With this one step, you can change your entire future.

Step 2:  Look Around

Once you’ve made up your mind, the next step is to look around and evaluate the foods you’re putting into your body. Why are you eating them? Are you getting any nutrition from them? There’s a lot of  learning and taking stock ahead. This won’t be easy.

Changing your beliefs and attitudes about yourself and your eating is one of the most difficult challenges you will ever face. But it can be done with good old-fashioned stick-to-it determination, effort, and education. Many people just like you have kicked the sugar habit. I know it can be done – I’ve helped people do it. Not only did they get a new outlook on life, they lost weight in the process!

Recipe for Success

If you are to be successful at breaking the sugar habit, then it’s important to understand how sugar affects your body. And how healthy food – your new, good habit – can give your body the nutrients it craves. Once you learn that, you will never again want to put poison into your body.

For more information, visit www.7daysugarfreediet.com.



A Holistic Chiropractor Takes a Look at Sugar…and YOU!

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

“Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at suppertime…” 

The lyrics of this song from a bygone era address the sweetness of love. However, in today’s modern world, the sugar we consume at meals is very real and very addictive!

Flickr photo credit Moyan Brenn

 

Most people are not aware that they are addicted to sugar. Yet, try to go a few days without it and you will briefly experience the pangs of withdrawal. Most of the clients I see in my holistic chiropractic practice know that too much sugar is not good for their bodies and their health.

 

Sugar leads to excess weight gain and puts you on the path to Type II diabetes. Although you most likely won’t be able to eliminate sugar from your diet completely, I offer here a few tips to reduce your sugar intake.

 

Plenty of people eat sugary foods throughout the day because their bodies tell them that they are hungry. One of the best ways to combat this feeling is to drink plenty of water. In addition to staying hydrated, you will not feel as hungry.

 

 

It is very common for people to eat all sorts of foods without bothering to read the list of ingredients. If you are trying to overcome your addiction to sugar, then make label-reading a habit. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients, don’t buy it.

 

The type of food that you eat is very important. Eat foods that are as close to their original form as possible. For example, instead of eating canned peaches in syrup, eat a whole fresh peach. Eat organic oatmeal for breakfast instead of packaged cereal, which usually has added sugar.

 

In my book, The Healing Code of Weight Loss, I recommend the following:

 

Avoid large beverages such as “super-sized” sugar-sweetened soft drinks. They have a large number of calories. Instead, try drinking water with a slice of lemon. If you want to drink soda, choose a calorie-free beverage or fruit juices instead.

 

Eat a breakfast that contains protein and fat to keep sugars low. This will help stave off cravings for chocolate and starches. Protein takes longer than sugar for your body to digest. You will feel full for a longer period of time and be less inclined to reach out for a sweet snack.

 

Stay away from fast food. The high sugar and fat content of fast food, combined with lack of exercise, creates a chain of events that puts the body into chemical stress. The digestive system is down-regulated when the body is under stress and one of the symptoms is belly fat.

 

Keep an accurate journal of everything that you eat. You may be surprised at how your sugar intake adds up when all of the foods you eat are combined. Keeping a journal will allow you to see exactly how much you consume.

 

You will also help yourself by staying as active as possible. People tend to eat more often when they are sitting around relaxing or watching TV. Starting an exercise regimen is a great idea since it helps you get or stay in shape. In addition, when you are physically active, you will be too busy to reach for the sugary foods!

Flickr photo credit Brett Lohmeyer

 

If you are concerned about your sugar intake and overall health, and if you would like assistance in developing healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices, please call Amber in my Ventura office to make an appointment for a personal consultation and start singing a different tune! (805) 644-0461