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Registration Open for ACAM Fall Conference & Tradeshow

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 2, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Registration is now open for ACAM's annual Fall Conference and Tradeshow. The event is taking place Nov. 14 - 18, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Practitioners may earn up to 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM over the duration of the symposium.

We invite you to take advantage of Early Bird rates through Oct. 14th. During the Early Bird promotion all a-la-carte courses are $100 off.

The General Session topic is: New Developments in Gut Health & Its Relationships to Systemic Illness, featuring experts in GI and gut health.

Pre-conference workshops (Nov. 14th and Nov. 15th) will be on the following topics:

  • An Integrative Approach to Balancing Hormones
  • Chelation Therapy
  • The GI Microbiome in Depth: Clinical Applications and Lab Testing
  • Hands-On Hyperbarics
  • Autoimmunity: Permeability, Pathogenesis, Prediction
  • Oxidative Medicine

For more information, view the event website at: www.acamvegas.com

Tags:  Annual Meeting  fall meeting  las vegas 

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Cracking the Weight Loss Code

Posted By Andrea Purcell, NMD, Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A groundbreaking study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on June 27, 2012 by Dr. David Ludwig out of the Boston Children’s’ Hospital settling the debate about how we lose and gain weight.

Up until this moment there have been two sides to the weight loss discussion.

Side A – Quantity, how much we eat determines our weight. In essence the calories we take in minus the calories we burn will determine our fate. For example: If we require a 1400 calories per day and we eat 1900 calories then we are at a surplus of 500 calories that will get stored as fat and cause us to gain weight. If we require 1400 calories and consume 1400 calories then we break even for that day and will not gain weight.

Side B – Quality, the quality of our food matters. For example: If we require 1400 calories per day and we eat 1400 calories it will depend on the food groups that make up those calories which will determine weight gain. In essence if we eat 1400 calories of potato chips those will be metabolized differently than 1400 calories of chicken. The quality side argues that even if we eat within our caloric limits certain foods are more likely to be stored as fat than others.

In this study Dr. Ludwig took a group of obese patients and put them on a starvation diet to lose 10% of their body weight. In this case a 300lb person would lose 30lbs and be 270lbs at the beginning of the study.

The starvation part is not the interesting part.

This next part is what is most interesting:

Patients were then divided into three groups and given 3 different food plans.

Dr. Ludwig wanted to see what would happen to these patients over 30 days when they were given the same caloric load but different qualities of food.

1) Group one was put on a high carbohydrate low fat diet. (60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat)

2) Group two was put on a low glycemic diet similar to a diabetes diet. (40% carbohydrate, 40% fat, 20% protein)

3) Group three was put on a high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate diet. (60% fat, 30% protein, 10% carbohydrate)

At the end of 30 days Group three, the very low-carbohydrate diet, had the most beneficial effects on energy expenditure and several metabolic syndrome components. Group one had the most unfavorable outcome of all the groups.

Note from Dr. P: This is something that Naturopathic Doctors have known for some time. Calories in, minus calories out, are an extremely generalized view of the complex metabolism of the human body and typically only help younger individuals lose weight. As we age hormonal fluctuations contribute to a sluggish metabolism and weight loss becomes increasingly difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this, "Dr. Purcell, I don’t know what happened I’m gaining weight and my diet hasn’t changed, I’m still eating what I always ate.” Women’s bodies’ change every 5 years. What worked when you were 30 is not going to work when you are 40. That means we need to change our food choices. Women especially are plagued by weight gain in peri-menopause and the quality of the calories makes the biggest difference for weight loss and a healthy weight.

Tags:  nutrition  weight 

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Allergens Lurking in Your Home

Posted By Hyla Cass, MD, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

When I moved into my current home in Southern California nearly 20 years ago, I went searching for nontoxic paint, carpeting, and other furnishings. My efforts were met mostly with odd looks and raised eyebrows (ah, the olden days!). So I was overjoyed when I finally found Mary Cordaro, just starting out on her path as a consultant on healthy, green home building and remodeling. She spoke my language! She immediately became my non-toxic home guide, and over the years I have referred her numerous friends and patients: people with allergies or, simply, those interested in green, clean living. Mold, volatile chemicals, indoor and outdoor pollution -- you name it, she has a resource. President of Mary Cordaro, Inc., she works as a healthy home consultant and certified Bau-biologist, lecturing around the country as well.

My latest concern, likely in response to some incessant commercials on the subject, is the existence of disgusting, invisible dust mites that camp out in our mattresses, living off our skin flakes (yuck!) and generally up to no good. I asked Mary what she does for this scourge, and she gave me some great solutions, along with some advice covering the gamut of home toxins, which I'm including here as well. We'll start with the creepy crawlies.

Death to Dust Mites According to the Mayo Clinic, the average bed is home to 100,000 to 10 million dust mites (and you thought a snoring mate was a problem!). Along with their favorite food, our skin particles, mites thrive on warmth, moisture and darkness. So, before making the bed, pull back the covers and air your bedding, reducing moisture. When it's sunny, air your bedding outdoors. Wash sheets in hot water weekly if you are dust mite-sensitive. You'll itch if you are. Unless they are filled with organic or chemical-free wool, which is naturally mite-resistant, encase mattresses, pillows and comforters with nontoxic dust mite barrier covers tightly woven to at least 4.91 microns. Seek barrier covers that are free of PVC and antimicrobial, stain- or wrinkle-resistant treatments. No more dust mites!

Now for the other invisible threats within our castles.

Allergies on the Rise. They've doubled since the 1970s, according to a 2005 study by the National Institutes of Health. Some of that increase may be because most of us spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, meaning we are almost constantly exposed to airborne allergens in our offices, homes and cars.

The most common home allergens are particulates and chemicals. Particulates include seasonal pollen, mold, dust, dust mites and animal dander. Indoor chemicals associated with allergies include formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (chemicals that outgas from products such as plywood and fiberboard), conventional paint and finishes, and permanent fabric treatments. By improving air flow and reducing sources of particulates, chemicals and moisture, we can reduce our homes' levels of typical airborne allergens. Here are some strategies:

Allergenic Particles. Many of the chemicals in our homes are tracked in from our shoes and on pets' feet. One of the easiest ways to reduce our homes' particulate and chemical loads is to remove shoes upon entering the house. They do it in Japan and Hawaii, and I've instituted it in my own home as well. And make bedrooms off limits to pets.

To control allergens that do get in, vacuum frequently, including upholstered furniture, with a HEPA vacuum independently certified to capture at least 99 percent of particulates (e.g., Miele, Nilfisk). This is especially important if you have wall-to-wall carpet or pets. If you don't have a HEPA vacuum, open windows while vacuuming and for 30 minutes afterward, as non-HEPA vacuums can stir up allergens. You might also invest in a HEPA air cleaner that filters particulates such as dust, pollen, dander and mold. The best HEPA cleaners contain carbon for chemical filtering as well.

Moisture Patrol. Moisture helps create an ideal environment for mold and other allergens. One of the most common sources of indoor moisture is condensation from bathing and cooking. Run exhaust fans when cooking and for 30 minutes after bathing, even if your bathroom has a window. Make sure exhaust fans vent to the outdoors. While fans are running, it's wise to crack a nearby window to provide a source of makeup air (see "This House Doesn't Suck" below). Outdoor moisture may also lead to indoor mold. Make sure your home's drainage directs water away from foundation walls.

In basements, avoid materials that mold thrives on, such as drywall and carpet. Instead, choose hard materials such as concrete, ceramic, tile and stone. Keep moist basement air out of living spaces by installing an airtight seal around the basement door and caulking holes where plumbing and electrical wires pass from the basement to the ground floor. Also install weatherproofing around attic doors.

Carpet cleaning and humidifying increase indoor moisture. If carpet doesn't dry quickly after cleaning, you may end up with low levels of mold you can't see or smell. Use chemical-free cleaning methods that require the least water and only clean carpets when humidity is low and you can open windows. If you hire professionals, ask them to extract as much moisture as possible. If you use a humidifier, use filtered water and clean the reservoir with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide before refilling to prevent mold and bacteria.

Increase Air Flow. Unless you have seasonal pollen allergies or live in a highly-polluted area, open windows whenever weather allows. Fresh air and sunlight are great remedies for high levels of particulates, mites, moisture and chemicals. For fast relief, open windows and turn on all exhaust fans. Whole-house fans ventilate your entire home. If you install one, make certain its exhaust is mechanically vented to the outdoors, not into the attic.

This House Doesn't Suck. When you turn on your furnace, air conditioner or exhaust fans, your home may become negatively pressurized, an effect that causes indoor air to suck in pollutants from basements, wall cavities, attics and crawl spaces. To prevent this, keep all interior doors open and crack one window on each floor when furnace or fans are running. Change furnace filters when you see grime buildup or once every six months.

Tags:  allergies 

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Overcoming Chronic Lyme Disease with Integrative Medicine

Posted By John C. Pittman, MD and Mark N. Mead, MSc, Monday, June 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lyme disease is a chronic inflammatory condition caused when a certain type of bacteria, called Borrelia burgdoferi, is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick or black-legged tick. Other common infections transmitted by ticks—notably Babesia, Bartonella and Ehrlichia—will very often contribute to the severity of the condition. Although Lyme disease is easily treated in its early stages, the condition is difficult to diagnose. This is due mainly to the wide range of symptoms and to the poor reliability of lab tests that are currently used for identifying the Lyme-related infections.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness reported in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, annual cases reported in the nation more than doubled between 1991 and 2005. Again, however, most cases are likely to be missed and thus are not reported.

Symptoms commonly linked with chronic Lyme disease include severe fatigue and debilitating joint pain, which some physicians refer to as "Lyme arthritis”. In fact, however, Lyme disease as a multisystem disease that affects the entire body, including muscles, bones, cartilage, brain, heart, skin, eyes, ears, head, neck, and face, as well as the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, reproductive and nervous systems. The symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses can be so diverse as to seem mind-boggling in complexity. For example, the digestive problems can include diarrhea, constipation, nausea and stomach pain, as well as symptoms of gall bladder disease. The respiratory and circulatory challenges may include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, heart palpitations, night sweats, heart blockage, murmurs and even heart attack.

Other signs of advanced Lyme and tick-borne illness include unexplained changes in weight, repeated infections, increased allergic reactivity, pain that moves from one part of the body to another, and symptoms that come and go. For some people, the infection can lay dormant for years and then manifest for no apparent reason. For many others, symptoms manifest within a few months following the initial tick bite—whether or not antibiotic treatment was received at the onset.

Because most physicians do not have adequate training in identifying Lyme and tick-borne disease symptoms, the condition is frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed. Moreover, because some Lyme-related symptoms are psychological in nature—e.g., frequent anxiety, heavy moods, poor concentration and short-term memory lapses—the condition tends to be dismissed as being "all in your head.”

Insights from Dr. Pittman’s Recent Physician Trainings

At this writing, I now have over a decade of clinical experience working with Lyme patients and have regularly attended the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society Annual Conferences, the "Lyme literate” professional organization of which I am a member. Beginning last year, I decided to intensify my training by participating in one-on-one preceptorships in New York, considered "Lyme Ground Zero” due to the enormous number of cases documented there. My mentors for this training were two of the top Lyme-literate physicians in the world, Dr. Richard Horowitz of Hyde Park and Dr. Bernard Raxlen in Manhattan.

These clinical trainings led me to create a three-week Lyme Stabilization Program, which we have begun implementing at our Raleigh-based Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine. The program provides intensive nutritional, digestive and detoxification support in preparation for targeted antibiotic protocols that include both pharmaceutical and herbal antimicrobials. Our center is a full-service integrative medicine facility that provides various intravenous (IV) therapies, which are immensely helpful in stabilizing very ill patients. Once stable, patients are started on antibiotics and herbal anti-microbials, with many patients requiring IV antibiotics for treatment to be effective. We have taken steps to make this approach as cost-effective as possible and, to some extent, have been able to maximize insurance coverage for our patients.

Upon returning from my recent clinical training with Drs. Horowitz and Raxlen, I realized that many of us who have been treating tick-borne diseases have overlooked a very basic detail: Treatment must be specific for each stage of the life cycle of the Lyme organisms. After being transmitted by the tick bite, the infectious agent actually changes its structure upon reaching each phase of its life cycle within the human host. Unless the antimicrobial treatments target each and all of the life-cycle stages, the disease will persist and treatment success will be relatively short-lived.

Another key insight concerns the severity of tick-borne coinfections, especially blood parasite Babesia. Even though it is difficult to get reliable test results on Babesia’s presence, we know that it is a very common co-infection. Babesia is a very challenging organism to treat, often requiring multiple anti-parasite medications as well as herbal antimicrobials. My training up in New York also helped provide a clearer understanding as to which patients need to be on antibiotics early on (as opposed to trying the herbal antimicrobials first), as well as which patients probably will never get better without IV antibiotics.

Tools for Overcoming Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases

The Carolina Center’s approach to treating Lyme and other tick-borne diseases is grounded in principles laid out in the Physician Training Program, sponsored by the International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society. Our approach utilizes a combination of strategies that address nutrient deficiencies, immune dysfunction and hormone imbalances, along with the careful use of antibiotics, which serve as a first line therapy and thus play a pivotal role in combating Lyme disease. Much of the art of treating this condition is determining when and how to use antibiotics, immune and hormonal support, detoxification, nutritional therapies, and some combination of these options.

Antibiotics are always the first course of action for anyone who has experienced a tick bite and now has acute symptoms of fatigue, body pain, headaches, and generalized flu-like symptoms. Although Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics in its early stages, if undiagnosed until it has progressed considerably, then chronic symptoms can develop. This more persistent form of Lyme disease obviously requires a more aggressive treatment approach..

Other factors that affect the ability to recover from Lyme disease include the following: treating the co-infections with other tick-borne organisms as well as other organisms (bacteria, yeast or parasites); removing toxic metals and other environmental pollutants that disrupt the immune system; correcting cellular nutrient deficiencies that ultimately compromise the immune and detoxification systems; and addressing hormonal imbalances that are often due to Lyme-related damage to the hypothalamus, resulting in numerous deficiencies.

The tools we embrace for treating Lyme disease at the Carolina Center are designed to not only eradicate the infection, but to bolster energy, sleep, mood, and overall functioning. These changes, in turn, give our patients the sense of peace and control they need to fully turn this situation around.

The key components of our integrative medicine protocol include:

  • Stabilization of chronically ill patients, using a combination of intravenous nutrient therapies (to correct deficiencies) and detoxification therapies (colon hydrotherapy, glutathione support, and other techniques);
  • Treatment of the digestive system with a variety of nutrients that improve absorption, bolster immune system functioning, and restore the normal flora to an optimal balance.
  • Treatment of chronic gut infections, focusing on removal of the "biofilm” that protects these organisms using a combination of pharmaceutical and natural anti-microbial agents.
  • Promotion of elimination and detoxification through the use of colon hydrotherapy
  • Implementation of other detoxification techniques including modified fasting, chelation therapy and glutathione therapy.
  • The use of hyperbaric therapy to promote cellular repair, immune system stimulation and detoxification.
  • The use of immune boosting pharmaceuticals and supplements necessary for the body to ultimately control the infection when antibiotics are no longer being used.
  • Note: For patients who have been on extended periods of antibiotic therapy prior to being seen at the Carolina Center, we often recommend a break from those treatments to assist with improving detoxification, immune function and gut repair.

Our overall approach continues to be informed by clinical trainings sponsored by the International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society and through direct work with leading Lyme physicians in the Northeast. Also, by affording increased antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection, the addition of specific nutritional and herbal supplements can further improve therapeutic outcomes for Lyme patients, as reported by University of California researchers in the September 2009 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

A Story of Hope: Janet’s Recovery From Lyme [Case of Barbara Miller]

Two years ago, a 56-year-old woman named Janet came to our Raleigh office complaining of various symptoms that had progressively worsened over several years. These included back pain, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, fevers and sweats, numbness and tingling of her lower extremities, shooting pains throughout her body, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and irregular heartbeats. She has been to numerous physicians, including three neurologists who claimed they could find nothing wrong with her.

The relentless pain and discomfort took a toll on her normally upbeat disposition. "The symptoms gradually took over my life,” Janet recalls. "I became physically and mentally handicapped. Prior to the diagnosis, I went through a long period of time where the symptoms and intensity increased. It was both stressful and discouraging to be passed along from one doctor to another without any positive results or a diagnosis.” Three of her doctors had suggested that she see a psychologist.

Her initial labs were strongly positive for active Lyme Disease and she had a classic history of numerous tick attachments dating from shortly prior to the onset of her symptoms. Prior to commencement of antibiotic therapy, Janet underwent comprehensive testing to assess her nutritional status and immune, toxic burden, detoxification capacity, and other factors then treatments were employed to redress nutrient imbalances and prepare her digestive system for antibiotic therapy.

We then started her on an aggressive treatment protocol that helped her feel more at peace and in control. "It was a huge relief to finally get on a plan designed to get my healthy life back,” says Janet. "Over the past year I have worked with every person at the Carolina Center and felt totally supported and encouraged. At this point, I have greatly improved, and my attitude is once again positive. I am feeling and functioning much better every day, and am deeply grateful to have my life back.”

As of the spring of 2012, Janet was 75% better, with nearly all body pain eliminated and most other symptoms resolved. However, she still suffered from periodic dizziness, disorientation, and numbness and tingling in her extremities—all symptoms attributed to neurologic Lyme disease. At that point, we realized Janet was not going to fully recover without antibiotic therapy that could penetrate the blood brain barrier and reach the central nervous system.

We started her on a Lyme-specific antibiotic called Rocephin (ceftriaxone), and her oral antibiotic regimen was adjusted so that all life cycle stages of the Lyme bacteria were addressed. We also treated her for the coinfection known as Babesia, which was strongly suspected in her case due to her pattern of fevers and sweats. Janet immediately noticed a more dramatic response to treatment. "I can feel this working in my head like nothing else,” she said soon after starting the new treatment protocol.

Though Janet did experience a brief worsening of her symptoms—the Herxheimer or "die off” reaction that results from toxins being released as microbes are killed by antibiotics—she is now stable and feeling positive about her future. "I have begun to have days when I feel like my old self more than ever,” she says. "It’s been a long journey, but I’m feeling stronger and better than I have in a very long time.”

My hope is that Janet’s story will inspire other patients who are striving to overcome advanced, chronic Lyme disease. Though her recovery from this condition is ongoing, there is little doubt that she has largely reclaimed her life and her health. At least some of the credit must be given to her proactive attitude and willingness to embrace a healthier diet and lifestyle, as well as the nutritional and herbal supplement regimen to which she has been adhering. As she continues to get even stronger, I expect that Janet will motivate others with chronic Lyme disease to face their challenges with authentic hope and with the conviction that they can, indeed, overcome this seemingly intractable illness.

* Dr. Pittman is Medical Director of the Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine, former President of the North Carolina Integrative Medicine Society, and a member of North Carolina’s Vector Disease Task Force. Mark N. Mead, MSc, is a nutrition educator and research consultant. For more information about the Carolina Center, call (919) 571-4391 or visit www.carolinacenter.com

Tags:  integrative medicine  lyme disease 

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When Do You Take Your Supplements?

Posted By Joel Lopez, MD, Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are you taking handfuls of supplements? You might wanna think about what you’re doing if you’re in the habit of doing that. Timing of supplement intake is as important as the form in which you take them. That would have to be a totally different discussion altogether though. For now, let’s discuss ways in which to optimize the effectiveness of your nutritional supplement program. One thing to take note though before I make general recommendations is that everybody is metabolically different and unique and as such, an individualized program has to be in order.

Multivitamins, whole-food based, should be taken with food a couple of times a day. I’m not a huge fan of time-released multis because they usually come in the form of tablets (which by the way, may have unnecessary binders and fillers).

Probiotics ideally, are taken on an empty stomach unless they’re enteric-coated.

Supplements such as essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K are best taken with the heaviest meals.

Mineral supplements are taken apart from meals since fiber from food would actually interfere with their absorption.

Amino acids should ideally be taken apart from food as well. Examples include NAC, L-carnitine and L-tryptophan.

Digestive enzymes such as pancreatic enzymes should be taken 15-30 minutes prior to meals.

Plant-based enzymes such as bromelain and papain are more stable in an acid environment and as such, can be taken with meals.

I’m available for in person and virtual consultations. Contact me at +1-415-800-3757 or on Skype at drjlopezmd. Yours in wellness, DrJLo. www.drjlopez.com

Tags:  integrative medicine  supplements 

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Dr. Douglass Writing 2nd Edition of Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
World renowned physician W. Campbell Douglass III, MD, MS is writing a second edition of his successful book Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle, to be published in both hard copy and eBook formats. The new book will have an updated list of physicians that offer intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy. Additionally, it is anticipated that the electronic version will contain links to the various practice websites that are listed. If you are interested in having your practice included in the book, please contact Dr. Douglass.

Dr. Douglass also invites you to provide case reports of patients you have treated. Such reports would be presented as coming from your practice, but without patients’ names to ensure patient privacy is maintained.

Interested parties please contact Dr. Douglass at your earliest convenience. Phone: 888.317.6767. Email: info@douglassfamilypublishing.com.

Tags:  hydrogen peroxide 

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Vitamin D "101"

Posted By Holly Lucille, ND, RN, Monday, May 21, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Besides commanding celebrity status these days, with Vitamin D deficiency being fairly common in the general public.,Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (other fat soluble vitamins are E, A and K) that actually functions as a pro-hormone (a precursor to hormones). Vitamin D plays many roles in the body, enhancing absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestines, promoting healthy bone structure, influencing cellular growth, modulating the immune system and in addition, it appears that vitamin D enhances the secretion and action of insulin. There are a couple of different forms to understand. Vitamin D3 is also known as "cholecalciferol” and you can obtain it from foods such as cheese, beef liver and egg yolks. It can also be made in the skin after exposure to sunlight and is the preferable form when it comes to supplementation. Vitamin D2, also called "ergocalciferol” is actually a synthetic form, not normally present in the body, made from fungus.

Potential consequences of low vitamin D levels include a faster rate of bone loss, an increased risk of falls among the elderly, decreased resistance to infection, and a potential increased risk of developing cancer and certain autoimmune diseases. Studies have shown that individuals suffering from diabetes, cancer, hypertension, lower back pain, the seasonal flu, and a myriad of other illnesses typically have depressed levels of Vitamin D in there blood.

And yes, you can get too much. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, dry mouth, abdominal or bone pain, and dizziness are the classic symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. As the condition progresses, signs of impaired kidney function, such as excessive urination, may arise. Itching, calcification of organs and blood vessels, osteoporosis, and seizures are still other signs that develop at the later stages.
A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test, also referred to as a 25(OH)D is the test usually performed to measure Vitamin D in the blood and optimal levels are between 50-80ng/mL. At this time I recommend that levels be monitored periodically however there is some debate over the accuracy of this particular test.

Recommended dosage for supplementation vary, the Vitamin D Council recommends the following amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 per day in the absence of proper sun exposure.
Healthy children under the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU.
Healthy children over the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.
Additionally, children and adults with chronic health conditions such as autism, MS, cancer, heart disease, or obesity may need as much as double these amounts.
The US Government’s Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D is set at 4,000 IU per day.

Tags:  vitamin D 

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New Vaccine Information

Posted By Gina Nick, NMD, PhD, Thursday, April 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

A new groundbreaking study published this month in the journalImmunitycontradicts the basis for the use of vaccinations. The current theory is that your body must produce antibodies to a virus in order to fight a viral infection. Hence the need for vaccinations that trigger a portion of your immune system, the adaptive response, to produce necessary antibodies that will fight the virus if you are exposed.

Now we are learning that the innate immune response, that does not require antibodies to a particular virus to fight, is effective in fighting viral infections. This portion of the immune system uses macrophages and interferons to effectively prevent fatal viral infections.

Just prior to coming across this new research, I had listened to a continuing medical education seminar on Autism treatments where a pharmacist outright stated that we should simply stop conducting any research into the link between Autism and vaccines because there is none. In light of this new information, that questions the very basis of vaccines, and begins the exploration into other means of preventing fatal viral infections, we should certainly be investigating the effects of vaccinations on our children and newborns, and whether the risks actually outweigh the benefit.

This is the most hope I have seen regarding the vaccine controversy. We have other options for viral protection, involving stimulation and strengthening of the body’s innate immune response, rather then its adaptive response. Breastfeeding, homeopathic preparations, and nutritional interventions all play a role in the innate response, that will likely gain more attention in the years to come. That is good news for those physicians and parents concerned about the damaging effects of vaccines on our children.

In health,

-Dr. Gina


Tags:  vaccines 

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Pharmageddon: Can a New Weight Loss Drug Really Save Us?

Posted By Mark Hyman, MD, Friday, March 23, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

This week, in an act of desperation to turn back the tide of the obesity epidemic that now affects almost seven out of every ten Americans and over 80% of some populations (African American women), the advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 20 to 2 to recommend approval of Qnexa, a "new” obesity drug that is simply the combination of two older medications, phentermine (the "phen” of phen-fen”) and topiramate (Topamax).

It is a misguided effort at best, and a dangerous one at worst. Mounting evidence proves that the solution to lifestyle and diet-driven obesity-related illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and even cancer, won’t be found at the bottom of a prescription bottle.

By 2020, over 50% of the US adult population will have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, with annual costs approaching $500 billion. By 2030, total annual economic costs of cardiovascular disease in the US are predicted to exceed $1 trillion. By 2030, globally we will spend $47 trillion; yes trillion, to address the effects of chronic lifestyle-driven disease.

Prescription medication for lifestyle disease has failed to bend the obesity and disease curve. Statins have been recently found to increase the risk of diabetes in women by 48%. And large data reviews by independent international scientists from the Cochrane Collaborative found that statins only work to prevent second heart attacks, not first heart attacks, which means they are not helpful and most likely harmful for 75% of those who take them.

Avandia, the number one blockbuster drug for type 2 diabetes has caused nearly 200,000 deaths from heart attacks since it was introduced in 1999. The drug was designed to prevent complications of diabetes, yet heart attacks are the very disease that kills most type 2 diabetics. In 2011, the FDA issued stricter prescribing guidelines for Avandia, but the drug is still on the market.

The large ACCORD trial found in over 10,000 diabetics that intensive blood-sugar lowering with medication and insulin actually led to more heart attacks and deaths.

Something is deeply wrong with our medical approach.

The problem of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, is not a medication deficiency, but a problem with what we put at the end of our fork.

The emperor truly has no clothes. Why would good men and women of science vote to approve a medication for a condition that is a social disease and requires a social cure? The social, environmental, economic, and political conditions of America and increasingly the global community have created an obesogenic environment.

Clearly we need to do something. But it is not better medication or surgery or more angioplasties and stents, which have no proven benefit in over 90% of those who receive them. The data show they work for acute coronary events, but not stable angina or blockages.

We continue to pay for expensive treatments for chronic disease, despite the fact that they don’t work, while insurance does not pay for nutrition counseling unless the patient has kidney failure or diabetes.

Chronic disease is a food-borne illness. We ate our way into this mess and we must eat our way out.

Every year the average American consumes 24 pounds of French fries, 23 pounds of pizza, 24 pounds of ice cream, 53 gallons of soda (or a gallon each week), 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners, 2.7 pounds of salt, 90,700 mg of caffeine, and about 2,700 calories a day. And that’s just the average.

Do we really think that we can medicate our way of this problem with a repackaged old diet drug (phentermine), combined with an older anti-seizure medication (Topamax)? Both these drugs have concerning side effects, including increased heart rate, heart attacks, and birth defects such as cleft lip.

I recently saw a patient on 26 medications and 450 units of insulin. This is Pharmageddon. His physicians were treating the downstream symptoms, not the causes. They were mopping up the floor while the sink was overflowing.

Large studies published over many decades show that 90% of coronary heart disease cases, 90% of type 2 diabetes cases, and one-third of cancers can be avoided by maintaining a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, and stopping smoking. We must treat the cause, not the symptoms.

Mounting evidence points to the power of food to reverse heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and even to lengthen our telomeres, slowing the aging process. In a recent study, intensive dietary change reversed advanced type 2 diabetes in only 12 weeks. There is no medication that can achieve those results.

The science of epigenetics and nutrigenomics documents how food regulates gene expression and can upgrade our biologic software reversing obesity, type 2 diabetes and chronic disease.

There is a solution to our obesity epidemic. But it is not at the bottom of a pill bottle. It is at the end of our forks. It is simply more effective than any medication and works better, faster, and cheaper, not just as prevention, but also as treatment for what ails us in the 21st century. We can change our obesogenic environment through individual small choices we make every day, and making changes in our homes, our families, our schools, our workplaces, our faith-based communities. We have the power to take back our health. Let’s start today.

My new bookThe Blood Sugar Solution is a personal plan for individuals to get healthy, for us to get healthy together in our communities and for us to take back our health as a society. Obesity and diabetes is a social disease and we need a social cure.

My personal hope is that together we can create a national conversation about a real, practical solution for the prevention, treatment, and reversal of our diabesity epidemic.

To learn more and to get a free sneak preview of the book go towww.drhyman.com.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Are you currently taking statins and what is your experience on them?

Have you developed diabetes as a result of taking statins?

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

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How is Your Glutathione?

Posted By Matt Angove, ND, NMD, Saturday, March 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

In 1994, the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry stated, "Disease states due to glutathione deficiency are not common.”

Well, 25 years and 90 thousand journal articles later we have found this statement to be false on all levels. Glutathione is recognized as an extremely important intracellular antioxidant that also plays a central role in the detoxification and elimination of potential carcinogens and toxins. Studies have found that glutathione synthesis and tissue glutathione levels become significantly lower with age, leading to decreased ability to respond to oxidative stress or toxin exposure.

The higher the glutathione peroxidase in the plasma or red blood cells, the more your body is running through and out of glutathione. Now consider the follow…

Total glutathione peroxidase activity was elevated in females 65 years of age or older. Cigarette smoking significantly elevated glutathione peroxidase. Alcohol elevated glutathione peroxidase, with the highest levels seen in drinkers who also smoked. Increased glutathione peroxidase was also seen in vigorous exercise, especially triathletes and marathoners.

According to the National Cancer Institute, dairy products, cereals and breads are low in glutathione. Fruit and vegetables have moderate to high amounts of glutathione. Frozen versus fresh foods had similar amounts of glutathione. Processing and preservation resulted in considerable loss of glutathione.

A 27% reduction in glutathione has been reported in the cerebrospinal fluid of schizophrenic patients.

Studies have shown that dietary glutathione enhances the metabolic clearance and reduces net absorption of dietary peroxidized lipids, which cause intense cellular damage.

  • High altitude exposure reduces glutathione levels.
  • Glutathione functions as an antioxidant and can maintain vitamin C in its reduced and functional form.
  • Chronically low glutathione levels are seen in premature infants, alcoholic cirrhotics and individuals with HIV.

Glutathione increases sperm motility patterns and sperm morphology. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of infertile patients, patients were randomly and blindly assigned to treatment with one injection every other day of either glutathione at 600 mg or an equal volume of placebo. All the glutathione selected patients showed an increase in sperm concentration and a highly statistically significant improvement in sperm motility, sperm kinetic parameters and sperm morphology. Want to get pregnant? Make sure your husband has optimal levels of glutathione.

From the journal of Digestion:Glutathione is extremely important in normal functioning of the pancreas, being needed for normal folding of the proteins that will ultimately form key digestive enzymes when the pancreas is stimulated after a meal. In patients with chronic pancreatitis, it has been found that glutathione is often significantly depleted, suggesting that lack of glutathione has a role in the generation and/or maintenance of the disease. In addition, many patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis appear to be under xenobiotic or oxidant stress, creating an even greater need for glutathione. Since the pancreas is under relative glutathione "stress” during the normal process of packing and secreting digestive enzymes, it is easy to see how the lack of glutathione could have a role in chronic pancreatitis.

From the Journal of Brain Research Reviews: Glutathione depletion can enhance oxidative stress and may increase levels of excitotoxic (toxins that excite neurons to the point of death) molecules, which may initiate cell death in specific nerve cell populations. Evidence of oxidative stress and reduced glutathione status is found in Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

From the Annals of Pharmacotherapy: Glutathione is important in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, metabolism of toxins and carcinogens, enhancement of immune function, prevention of oxidative cell damage and enzyme activation.

From the Journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica: Low levels of blood glutathione were found in patients with pemphigoid, acne conglobata, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.

From the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology: Intracellular glutathione enhances the immunologic function of lymphocytes (perhaps the most important immune cell line in preventing infection and cancer). Low levels of glutathione limit the optimal functioning of T cells. Cytotoxic T cell (necessary to eliminate cancer) responses and interleukin-II-dependent functions are inhibited even by a partial depletion of the intracellular glutathione pool.

From the journal of Ocular Pharmacological Therapy: Susceptibility of the lens nucleus to oxidative damage and loss of transparency has been shown in experimental animal models, including exposure to hyperbaric oxygen, x-ray and UVA light. Depletion of glutathione allows the levels of oxidant to damage lens tissue and structure. From the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Science: An increased incidence of low glutathione levels in apparently healthy subjects suggests a decreased capacity to maintain metabolic and detoxification reactions that are stimulated by glutathione. The authors stated that glutathione status, physical health, and longevity are closely related.

From the Lancet: The plasma glutathione in young, healthy adults was 0.54 umol/L; in healthy elderly it was 0.29 umol/L; in elderly outpatients it was 0.24 umol/L; and in elderly inpatients it was 0.17 umol/L. Aging results in a decrease in plasma glutathione and an increase in oxidative damage in apparently healthy individuals.

Simply put, if you want young cells and the ability to overcome disease you need to work on getting your glutathione levels up!

Visit Dr. Matt Angove's blog here for more informationhttp://drwholeness.com/blog/.

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Prolozone for Damaged Joints: A Non-Surgical Solution for Injured Joints & Chronic Pain

Posted By Andrea Purcell, ND, Friday, March 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
As we age, trauma from injuries accumulates in the connective tissue of our bodies, specifically, the ligaments, tendons and joints. As one joint becomes injured it affects the surrounding joints and then multiple joints frequently become involved. A good way to think about the joints is like the tires on a car, tires need to be rotated, checked for air, and replaced when they get worn down. This is exactly what happens to our joints. The goal with prolozone therapy is to keep the joint functioning as long as possible without having to replace it. In this example, we are working with the healing ability of the body to get as much mileage out of the joint as possible.

Additionally, as we age declining hormone levels can exacerbate the damaged areas, due to a decrease in muscle mass and less elasticity inside the joint. This places additional stress on the joints causing pain syndromes that reflect a lifetime of repeated injury and internal joint breakdown.

When a joint is injured, ligaments become over stretched and loose. In an effort for the body to maintain function, muscles become tight and go into overwork or spasm.


Low back Pain:

Low back pain is often caused by repetitive strain of the ligaments of the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint; this is one of the most common injuries that people sustain. An unstable sacroiliac joint affects the entire spine and aggravates most back pain including sciatica. Prolozone is extremely effective at healing back pain caused by sacroiliac injuries.

There are two main areas that require assessment in low back pain and both may be involved.

1) Sacroiliac ligaments are the most frequent cause of unresolved chronic low back pain in patients. Prolozone is very effective is stabilizing low back pain from the sacroiliac ligaments.

2) Lumbar spine and disk injuries. These require careful assessment as pain may be from several areas.

Note from Dr. P:

*Pain syndromes can be corrected with naturopathic medicine, proper hormone restoration, exercise and prolozone.
*Prolozone is effective at eliminating back pain, and healing injuries.
*Prolozone repairs the stretched and unstable ligaments and damaged connective tissue.


When the ligament strength is restored, the muscles relax; this decreases pain and increases range of motion. Then specific exercises need to be performed to stabilize the joint.
Patients often have MRI's and X-rays and we ask that you bring your reports to your visit. If you have films or CD's bring them also. Reports indicate if spinal degeneration, herniated disks, joint damage and arthritic changes are mild, moderate or severe. We assess these carefully looking for the significant areas that can be treated effectively.

Conditions successfully treated:
Low back
Sacroiliac
Cartilage injuries
Knee pain
Shoulder injuries
Tennis elbow
Upper back pain
Sciatica
Ankle sprains
Torn meniscus
Arthritis

-Be Healthy, Happy & Holistic

Tags:  health  joints  nutrition  prolozone 

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Diabesity - A Reversible Epidemic

Posted By Mark Hyman, MD, Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

What life threatening, life sapping, energy robbing condition affects one in every two Americans (that is EVERY OTHER person) including 80% of those overweight and up to 40% of normal weight people? What condition is responsible for more deaths from heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia than anything else? What condition also causes acne, infertility, sexual dysfunction and depression?

What condition accounts for more then 70% of our $2.4 trillion annual health care bill and will account for most of the $47 trillion we will spend globally over the next 20 years to deal with chronic disease? What is responsible for nearly twice as many deaths every year as infectious disease, even in the developing world?

And what condition is not even diagnosed in over 90% of those who suffer from it?

What condition are doctors not trained or reimbursed to diagnose, treat or prevent, yet makes up the majority of health care visits and costs?

And what condition is nearly 100% preventable, treatable and reversible?

Diabesity.

It is the single biggest health challenge facing us individually, as a nation and as a global community.



Diabesity is the continuum of metabolic disturbances from mild blood sugar and insulin imbalances to pre-diabetes to full blown type 2 diabetes. It occurs in about 40% of people of normal weight – these are the skinny fat people who look thin but are metabolically fat and have all the same risk factors for disease and death as those who are overweight. And it occurs in 80% of overweight people.

Since it affects every other American, watch this video to see if you have it.

The solution is not coming from our health care system or doctors, not from our government, or from most corporations. There are too many people vested in maintaining the status quo or worse profiting from making us fat and sick. We need a solution.

That is why I wrote, The Blood Sugar Solution. It has a bold central goal: to address and begin to reverse a global epidemic. It is a personal guide and plan, as well as a program for helping people get healthy together, based on functional medicine, and it is a blueprint for us to take back our health as a society.

Obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes or what I call diabesity, which now affects one in two Americans arises out of existing social, economic and political conditions. In fact obesity and diabetes are social diseases and need a social cure and collective action on many levels to reverse the tide.

Over 10 years, these conditions will cost America over $3.5 trillion in direct costs, not including lost productivity and the costs in quality of life. From 1983 to 2008, worldwide diabetes rates increased seven fold from 35 million to 240 million. In just 3 years from 2008 to 2011, the roll call for diabetes increased another 110 million.

Children less than 10 years old now get type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes, and have strokes and heart attacks by age 15 or 20. One in three children born today will have diabetes unless we do something differently.

I wrote The Blood Sugar Solution to tackle this problem head on.

It is a personal plan that breaks through myths about obesity and diabetes that keep us sick and fat. And lays out the seven key steps to preventing, treating and reversing diabesity by dealing with the underlying causes. It is an eight-week plan that takes you through step by step how to reboot your metabolism, lose weight, reverse type 2 diabetes.

It is a plan for us to be more successful by working together to get healthy. We do twice as well and lose twice as much weight when we get support from others in community. We are better together.

We recently did a "beta test” of this program with about 150 people. Their results were astounding:

  • The group lost a total of 1,536 pounds in just eight weeks. That’s an average weight loss of over ten pounds per person!
  • More than half the group lost more than ten pounds. Some lost as much as 28 pounds.
  • Average waist size decreased by 1.5 inches, and some people lost so much of their waist that they had to go out and buy new clothes. One woman lost eight inches from her waist. Imagine, eight inches in eight weeks. No medication can help you do that.

But The Blood Sugar Solution is about far more than weight loss; it’s about taking back your health and your life. People who completed the program reported an average reduction of 14 points on their systolic blood pressure, their fatigue evaporated and they had more energy than they had felt in years, their joint and muscle pain vanished; the program improved their mood and sleep, eliminated their brain fog, and a provided a deep sense of well being. The Blood Sugar Solution gave these people a new lease on life, here are a few of their stories.

The Blood Sugar Solution is a plan for each of us to take back our health as a society. Our health has been hijacked from us, taken from us slowly, quietly, over the past century. Our current food, social, family, school, work, faith-based, and community environments, health care institutions, and government policies make it hard for us to make healthy choices. We are presented with choices that foster bad habits. But
together, getting and staying healthy is possible given the right information, tools, support, and collective action to take back our health.

Navigating the Terrain of Disease: Getting to the Root of the Problem

To effectively treat diabesity we must shift our focus away from the symptoms or risk factors of the disease and begin taking a hard look at the causes. All of our attention is on treatments that lower blood sugar (diabetes drugs and insulin), lower high blood pressure (anti-hypertensive drugs), improve cholesterol (statins), and thin the blood (aspirin). But we never ever ask the most important question:

Why is your blood sugar, blood pressure, or blood cholesterol too high and why is your
blood too sticky and likely to clot?

Put another way: What are the root causes of diabesity?

Answering that question must be the focus of our diagnosis and treatment of the disease if we are going to solve this global epidemic.

The good news is that the answer is shockingly simple.

The Real Causes of Diabesity

The entire spectrum of diabesity including all of its complications—diabetes, elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol—are simply downstream symptoms that result from problems with diet, lifestyle, and environmental toxins interacting with our unique genetic susceptibilities.

Those are the real causes of diabesity.

And the reason these dietary and lifestyle factors lead to diabesity is because they create a condition known as insulin resistance. Contrary to what most people think, type 2 diabetes is a disease of too much, not too little, insulin. Insulin is the real driver of problems with diabesity.

When your diet is full of empty calories and an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars, liquid calories, and carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes), your cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin and needs more and more to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even. Thus you develop insulin resistance. A high insulin level is the first sign of a problem. The higher your insulin levels are, the
worse your insulin resistance. Your body starts to age and deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid and premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.

As your insulin levels increase it leads to an appetite that is out of control, increasing weight gain around the belly, more inflammation and oxidative stress, and myriad downstream effects including high blood pressure; high cholesterol; low HDL, high triglycerides; weight gain around the middle; thickening of the blood; and increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression. These are all a result of insulin resistance and too much insulin. Elevated blood sugar is not the source of the problem. And because insulin resistance (and diabesity) are a direct outcome of diet and lifestyle, the condition is 100 percent reversible in the vast majority of cases. Most people just need to eliminate the things that are sending their biology out of balance and include what’s needed to help the body rebalance itself. For most the interventions required are extremely simply and extraordinarily effective.

8 Steps to Reversing Diabesity

In my new book The Blood Sugar Solution I outline a comprehensive 8-week plan for overcoming diabesity in all its forms. Here is a sneak preview of the steps outlined in the book:

1. Get the right tests. Most doctors focus on fasting blood sugar. This is actually a poor indicator of diabesity. The best test to tease out the condition is an insulin response test where insulin levels are measured fasting and then 1 and 2 hours after a glucose drink. Demand this test from your doctor.
2. Get smart about nutrition. Despite the media hype and the seeming confusion amongst doctors, the basics of nutrition are extremely simply. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates, include whole real foods like lean protein (chicken or fish), veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.
3. Get the right supplements. There has recently been a frenzy of negative reports about supplements. Most of them are unfounded. Supplements are an essential part of treating diabesity. A good multivitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, and special blood sugar balancing nutrients like alpha lipoic acid, chromium polynicotinate, biotin, cinnamon, green tea catechins, and PGX (a super fiber) should also be included.
4. Get relaxed. Stress is a major unrecognized contributor to insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalance. Push your pause button every day with deep breathing, visualization, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.
5. Get moving. Aside from changing your diet, exercise is probably the single best medication for diabesity. Walk for at least 30 minutes every day. For some, 30-60 minutes of more vigorous aerobic exercise 4-6 times a week may be necessary.
6. Get clean and green. Environmental toxins also contribute to diabesity. Filter your water, look for green cleaning products, and avoid plastics when you can.
7. Get personal. While the steps above will address 80 percent of the problems with diabesity, some may need to take additional steps to optimize key areas of their biology. Remember, the medicine of the future is personal medicine. Seek out your own biological imbalances and look for ways to address them.
8. Get connected. Research is beginning to show that we get better more effectively when we get together. Invite your friends, families, and neighbors to change their diets and lifestyle along with you. Together we can all take back our health.

I hope that my book The Blood Sugar Solution will be the beginning of a larger transformation – for individuals, communities and for society. In the book I outline all of the social, economic, biological, and medical underpinnings of this health epidemic and provide an 8-week, step-by-step system that will allow you to dig deep into your own biology and heal even the most severe cases of diabesity.

Get a book, get two and give one to someone you love – you might be saving their life. When
you purchase the book from this link you will automatically receive access to the following special bonuses:

  • Special Report—Diabetes and Alzheimer’s: The Truth About "Type 3 Diabetes” and How You Can Avoid It.
  • More Delicious Recipes: 15 Additional Ways to Make The Blood Sugar Solution as Tasty as It’s Healthy!
  • Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Nutrition Coaching – FREE for 30 days!
  • Hour 1 of The Blood Sugar Solution Workshop DVD

For more on diabesity, join us on www.drhyman.com

Tags:  diabesity  prevention  weight 

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ACAM Wins Best Health Blog at World Media Awards

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is thrilled to announce winning Best Health Blog at the World Media Awards.

The World Media Awards recognizes successful bloggers and publishers from across the globe. To see all of the 2012 winners, visit the World Media Awards website at http://themediaawards.com/winners.

"I am thrilled to help shine a spotlight on some of the best blogs from around the world. I think it's important to hold up examples of bloggers and publishers doing great things," said, Murray Newlands, Founder of the World Media Awards.

The ACAM Integrative Medicine Blog features articles by world-renowned integrative medicine physicians and may be found at: www.acamblog.com.

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

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Diet Soda Intake Linked with Adverse Vascular Events

Posted By Zina Kroner, DO, Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
"Vascular events" have now been added to the widely known laundry list of ill-effects of diet sodas. An eye-opening study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.
Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Columbia University Medical Center studied the soda-drinking habits of 2,564 people in a multi-ethnic, urban population over a 10-year period, and discovered that daily drinkers had a 43 percent higher risk of having a vascular event than non-drinkers.
In today's fast paced climate, where zero calorie sodas find their way in many people's daily lives as an assumed healthier alternative to sugary drinks, many are disregarding much solid evidence showing that diet sodas are associated with multiple side effects.
The Ingredients:
Caffeine is quite dehydrating. For every ounce of soda, one needs 2 ounces of water to handle the toxin level. Caffeine causes irritability and palpitations in some. Caffeine elevates cortisol levels which contributes to weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. It is addictive in nature and depletes B-vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine). Fatigue, nervousness, general aches and pains, and headaches are all symptoms of a low B1 level. This level can be assessed by your physician. It contributes to a general malabsorptive state, and therefore depletes a variety of minerals as well, leading to fatigue and muscle cramps.
The FDA granted aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, a "generally recognized as safe" status, or GRAS. It is composed of two amino acids – phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and contains10% methyl alcohol, a light volatile flammable liquid alcohol used as a solvent and anti-freeze. It is a known neurotoxin.
Saccharin is quite dangerous as well. It is a non-caloric petroleum derivative and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is excreted unchanged in the urine being that it is not modified by the body.

Phosphoric acid's acidic nature dissolves calcium out of the bones. Caucasian women in particular have been shown to suffer from osteoporosis in the setting of high phosphoric acid intake (soda & coffee).
In spite of this study and prior research on the ill-effects of diet drinks, the diet soda industry is not going downhill after this study, especially being that soft drinks in general account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States.

Tags:  food and drink  nutrition  vascular 

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6 Tips for Better Health

Posted By John Gannage, MD, Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
1. DRINK WATER. There is not a more important, or inexpensive, endeavor physically than replenishing our bodies of clean water. All of our systems require water to function optimally - our cells bathe in it, wastes and nutrients flow because of it, our detoxification systems rely on it, digestion is impaired without it. At times chronic headaches and low back pain are related to water deficiency. We are 80 % water in our physical makeup. Two litres per day for most people is required; or take your weight in pounds, divide by 2 and drink that amount in ounces (e.g. a 150 lb woman would drink 75 ounces daily). I suggest avoidance of chlorinated drinking water. Re-mineralized reverse osmosis is a good choice.

2. A SALAD A DAY. At my clinic I routinely conduct a diet review with all new patients. I consistently find, especially in patients that are chronically fatigued, chronically pained and/or chronically constipated that, not only is their water intake diminished, consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is much reduced. North American diets are horribly inundated with refined, packaged, nutrient poor foods, white flour and refined sugar. Eliminate these, and replace them with fiber, nutrient dense leafy greens and other vegetables. For those that have a challenge with gas and bloating from fruits and vegetables, a reasonable approach is to start with steamed vegetables. A useful intervention is digestive support, as with enzymes, during meals, and avoidance of food sensitivities.

3. CHOOSE ORGANIC. Organic food has made its way into the marketplace for healthy reasons. Foods high on the food chain concentrate chemicals and hormones in their tissues, and yet we require many such foods for optimal nutrition balance. The dominance of hormones in our food supply accumulates progressively in our own tissues, leading to problems with reproductive tissue structure and function, and ultimately to the worst kind of pathology: cancer. Antibiotic use in livestock takes place at a huge cost to human health, affecting bowel flora balance and contributing to reduced effectiveness of antibiotics when required to fight life-threatening infections (i.e. antibiotic resistance). Organic food has been shown to possess 40% more nutrients than non-organic counterparts, since chemicals negatively impact soil richness. In Canada, our largest exposure to pesticides comes from our standard diet. One's greatest defense against environmental toxicity in general is nutrients. Our diets, therefore, must be sources of nutrients, not chemicals.

4. PAY ATTENTION TO SYMPTOMS. Ignore, or worse suppress, symptoms at your own peril. Headaches, bloating, gas, fatigue, muscle pain, frequent colds, skin rashes and so on are all signs of an underlying disturbance calling out for correction, not mere suppression. Track symptoms, listen to your body, and learn to describe them in detail to a health provider who will listen. The greatest amount of information about one's health comes not from lab tests or scans, but from symptoms interpreted meaningfully.

5. BE KIND TO YOUR LIVER. Sub-optimal liver function lies at the core of many medical symptoms. It is an organ with multiple roles, from detoxification, to digestion, to hormone metabolism, to regulator of circulation. Being kind to the liver means avoiding undue exposure to chemicals, both in the diet and around the household. It means paying attention to healthy intestinal function, thereby reducing bowel toxicity and autointoxication. It means using probiotics routinely, and other supplements, particularly antioxidants and herbs, that are therapeutically supportive to liver functions. It means understanding Eastern medicine concepts detailing the liver as an emotional organ, and its connection to anger.

6. PRACTISE ACTIVE LIVING. Exercise has innumerable health benefits, for mood and sleep, for immune system strength, for cardiovascular function, for sweating and detoxification. A sedentary lifestyle is a choice for chronic medical conditions, and the options for inactive living are far too accessible. Computers, television and video games, combined with unhealthy snack foods and drinks, have assisted the development of our current pediatric obesity epidemic. Over 50 % of adult Ontarians are overweight and obesity is now recognized by experts as the second-leading preventable cause of death after cigarette smoking. For most of us, overweight or not, active living can also mean taking the stairs, raking the leaves, parking further away, or not driving at all. It is time to get back to active living, to get off the couch or desk chair, and to breathe some fresh air outdoors.

Tags:  health  nutrition 

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Free Integrative Medicine and Practice Development Webinars

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
ACAM member, Craig Koniver, MD, will be hosting a series of three Free Webinars about Integrative Medicine and Practice Development.

The topics will include:

- How to create a extremely successful integrative medicine practice

- All the nuts and bolts of running an integrative medicine practice

- How to set up an integrative medicine practice

- Fees to charge for labs, supplements, IVs, etc

- How to use social media to your advantage

- How to truly connect with your patients which is the key to bringing in revenue and creating positive change for each patient

- And much more!

Part I will take place on Tuesday, Jan 24th at 8PM EST. Sign-up for the webinar at: http://4ac.am/xtJXEI.

Dr. Koniver completed his undergraduate work at Brown University in Rhode Island and graduated from medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. His practice is Primary Plus Organic Medicine and is located in North Charleston, South Carolina. Learn more about Dr. Koniver and his practice at: www.organicmedicinenow.com

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ACAM Welcomes New President and CEO Neal Speight, MD

Posted By Liz Pullman, Thursday, January 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is pleased to welcome new President and CEO Neal Speight, MD.

Neal Spieght, MD will serve as the organization’s leader from 2012 to 2014. He follows in the footsteps of Eleanor Hynote, MD who has lead ACAM for the last two years.

"Dr. Speight has been a longtime member of ACAM and we are pleased to see him step into this new leadership role," said Rachel Weaver, Director of Education and Operations for ACAM.

Dr. Speight has been a member of ACAM for 14 years and has served on ACAM’s Board of Directors since 2000. His practice is in Matthews, North Carolina where he applies nutritional and environmental approaches in the treatment of his patients. Among the patients he sees are people suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, hormone imbalances and lyme disease.

Dr. Speight did his undergraduate work in chemistry at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He attended medical school at East Carolina School of Medicine and completed his residency at University of South Carolina-Columbia. He is board certified in Family Medicine and has additional training in metal toxicology and integrative medicine. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine. Additionally, for five years he served as an assistant professor at Capitol University of Integrative Medicine in Washington, DC.

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

Tags:  member benefit  welcome 

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Marketing Help for Integrative Practitioners

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Are you looking for help to market your practice? Don’t know where to start? GetWellnessPatients.com can help!

GetWellnessPatients.com is an instant marketing system where all practice marketing is done for health care practitioners; from building your website, to search engine optimization (SEO), to social media. The system is completely customizable and there’s no work for you. Through a five-fold attack: SEO, website enhancement, social media, offline ads and an e-mail marketing system, GetWellnessPatients.com promises to take care of all your marketing needs for you.

GetWellnessPatients.com founder and President, Pat Necerato began in health care marketing by providing personal fitness consultations to health clubs. After helping various chains increase their membership numbers and rise to the top, Necerato decided to continue studying marketing and start his own business to help podiatrists, dentists, chiropractors, and now integrative physicians reach their marketing goals.

Perhaps you have a beautiful website with a high ranking on Google, but if it’s not bringing you new patients, it’s missing the mark. GetWellnessPatients.com uses lead generation tools to turn your traffic into actual leads. Not only do they capture the leads but through e-mail blasts they do the follow-ups for you too.

GetWellnessPatients.com has three different packages for you to choose from; Standard, Ultimate, and Premium. With the Standard package GetWellnessPatients.com will do your website and all your e-mail marketing for you. They’ll follow-up with leads, do your newsletter, and reactivation system, it’s a great place to start. The Ultimate package does all of that, but also includes extensive market research to get your SEO higher. GetWellnessPatients.com will look at the town you practice in and determine what residents there are searching for. For example are they looking for ‘holistic,’ ‘wellness,’ or ‘integrative?’ Once GetWellnessPatients.com determines the key words people are searching for, they then saturate your website with them. They will also get you higher rankings on about three search engines in addition to Google. With the Premium package you get even more. The market research is more extensive, not only do they study the city your practice is in, but they research the surrounding areas as well. This is a huge perk for integrative practitioners because the services you offer are life-changing and people are willing to travel great distances to receive these therapies. With the Premium package you will also be placed on about ten additional search engines, which will really get your rankings higher. Learn all about GetWellnessPatients.com by watching their 90 second demo video on the website at www.getwellnesspatients.com.

One New Jersey doctor began using GetWellnessPatients.com and without putting any work in himself immediately started receiving around two new patients a week. Another practitioner received 15 new leads in his first week of using the system, which turned into 10 new appointments, additionally earning him an extra $7000 in revenue. You may view all the testimonials at www.getwellnesspatients.com.

No matter what your specialty is GetWellnessPatients.com will help you customize a marketing system that will work for you. Call John Marrone with GetWellnessPatients.com at 1-888-857-2621 (ext. 1) and tell him you heard about the system from ACAM and receive 10% off your activation! John is familiar with ACAM physicians and is more than happy to personally consult you for all of your in house marketing.

Tags:  integrative medicine  practice marketing 

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Ten Practical Strategies to Improve the Health and Wellness of Your Family

Posted By Jeffrey Morrison, MD, Monday, December 19, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
During the month of December and before the end of the year, let’s take this opportunity to appreciate the wonderful things we have in our life and consider modifying certain personal behaviors that may have adverse affects on our health. I am presenting you today with ten practical health-improving strategies for you to consider incorporating into your home and family life in 2012. Consider using this list as a home health inventory. Some of these suggestions are items to remove from your pantry, some are items to
add to your home, and some are to debunk nutrition myths. I hope that you find these strategies useful, helpful and above all, promoting health and wellness for you and your family.

Items to remove from your kitchen / home:

1. Plastic Bottles and plastic containers: Plastics are known endocrine disruptors, which means they interact with hormone receptors, possibly making a person more susceptible to precocious puberty or hormone related cancers. Food and liquid stored in plastic can absorb plastics during the heating process, which can occur when they are heated in a microwave oven or if they become hot in a car or storage container. Instead, store food and liquids in glass or ceramic containers. If you must use plastic, choose the ones with recycle numbers – 1, 2, 4 and 5

2. Aluminum or Teflon cookware: Aluminum is a metal that can leach into food during cooking. Aluminum has been associated with neurodegenerative conditions. Also, Teflon cookware is made from a Fluoride containing toxic chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) that can leach into food when the surface is scratched. Consider cooking with cast iron, pyrex or stainless steel instead.

3. Canned Tuna: Tuna is a large predatory fish that is known to bio-accumulate mercury in its fat. Mercury is a known neurotoxin and causes autoimmune reactions. Replace tuna or canned tuna with canned Alaskan salmon.

4. Antibacterial soap: The main ingredient in antibacterial soap is triclosan, an endocrine disruptor and pesticide. Prolonged use of these soaps has been implicated in causing drug resistant bacteria and adding to hormone related health problems. Use glycerin or castile soap, both of which clean our skin very well.

5. Cool Mist humidifier: During the winter, ambient air humidity is low leading to a variety of irritating health conditions such as dry skin, dry sinuses and increased susceptibility to colds. Adding humidity to the air can be very helpful to prevent these conditions. Rather than using a cool mist humidifier, which is susceptible to mold, and bacterial growth, instead boil water or use a warm mist humidifier.

Items to add to your home:

1. Broad Leaf Plants: Plants are natural air purifiers and make attractive home decorations. Choose plants with the best air filtering affects, such as: peace lily, rubber plant, Boston fern, and weeping fig.

2. Water Filter: It is well known that New York City has very clean water at its source. By the time that water gets to your tap it has picked up sediment and heavy metals from pipes, as well as bacteria and parasites. Chlorine is added to the city water to kill the bacteria and parasites. An under sink or counter top water charcoal filter can help to remove a great deal of this unwanted contaminants.

Debunking nutrition myths:

1. Beef is bad for you? It is well known in nutritional science that when cows eat grains, which are not natural in their diet, the beef has very high levels of the inflammatory chemicals called arachidonic acid, which can contribute to heart disease. When cows are raised eating only grass, which is their natural diet, the beef has very low levels of arachidonic acid and levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that rivals Alaskan salmon. Grass fed beef can be a healthy part of your diet.

2. Egg Yolks are unhealthy? Chickens that are raised on grains, which are not in their natural diet, produce egg yolks high in arachidonic acid, which causes inflammation in our bodies. When chickens eat a diet that consists of seeds, bugs and even green plants, their eggs yolks are high in DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid and anti-inflammatory. You can tell a healthy egg yolk by its deep orange color and creamy taste.

3. Milk is essential for strong bones? While it is true that milk contains a good amount of calcium, about 250mg per cup, some adults and children are on a milk free diet due to dairy allergy. There are many other options to get calcium for people looking for non-dairy options. Some examples include: almonds, about 400mg per cup; Salmon, 360mg per 6 oz; dried figs, about 270mg per 10; and broccoli, about 178 mg per cup. Milk has been implicated in causing food allergies and rashes in children, so they do have non-dairy options to get their calcium.

I hope you have found this information useful. Please visit visit my website, www.morrisonhealth.com for more nutrition information and to follow my blog.

Jeffrey A. Morrison, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The Morrison Center and The Daily Benefit Program, an award-winning author of Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine. Visit, www.morrisonhealth.com to follow him on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and watch his videos on You

Tags:  family  health 

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Give to the ACAMef

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 16, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is currently fundraising to support the ACAM Educational Foundation, a 501 (c)(3), non-profit organization.

The Foundation was chartered on September 21, 2005, with the purpose of advancing integrative medicine through education and advocacy. Support for the organization comes by means of charitable donations from individuals, corporations, as well as volunteer efforts.

"Through the Foundation ACAM is able to provide integrative medicine research and offer medical students and residents with opportunities to learn about therapies and theories they may not learn in their conventional education settings," said Rachel Weaver, Director of Education and Operations for ACAM.

The income from endowments made to the Foundation is used to support the creation and dissemination of educational resources, professional development for physicians and licensed health care providers, public awareness, and other programs that enhance integrative medicine education.

Give to the ACAMef at www.acamnet.org/donate.

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

Tags:  donations  education foundation 

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An Expanded View of Prenatal Care: 11 Points to Consider

Posted By John Gannage, MD, Saturday, November 19, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Prenatal care from a conventional medicine perspective follows a standard that is an excellent starting point. Tobacco and alcohol restriction, measuring iron levels, checking fetal structural development, BP and urine measurements, and other aspects of primary care prenatally are important pillars. With more funding, and if asked to direct a higher standard of care, these are the additional recommendations I would make:

1. Disseminate information to would-be parents,prior to conception, that a pre-pregnancy session with a trained professional is advisable.

2. During the pre-pregnancy session, an individualized treatment plan would be outlined by a holistic professional, with the intention of optimizing mom's health. This session could be used to understand Mom's lifetime habits and exposures, address nutrition imbalances, optimize liver function, provide support for digestive and intestinal health, and detoxify tissues following the principles of functional medicine. Setting the target date for conception based on a measurable change in Mom's health would be advised. (The same process can be used for Dad based on research indicating the importance of sperm health.http://www.ivf.net/ivf/sperm-damage-can-be-passed-to-children-o3239.html)

3. During the pre-pregnancy session, a discussion would take place emphasizing the importance of: a balanced diet; the avoidance of dietary chemicals like high fructose corn syrup, MSG and aspartame; assessment and avoidance of food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities; organic food choices with direction on avoiding "the dirty dozen"http://bit.ly/ltSaBM; the best fish choiceshttp://bit.ly/Q5mC3; and the basics of hydration including the healthiest water sources.

4. A home survey would be conducted, with education about: the importance of avoiding home renovation projects during, and perhaps prior to, pregnancy; cleaning up indoor air quality; the common sources of household leadhttp://1.usa.gov/lj9KsB; and the strict avoidance of chemicals like pesticides. Scanning the home for EMF's and geopathic stress could be included.

5. Aworkplace survey would be included as well, again with the purpose of identifying and avoiding sources of poor air quality, excessive radiation, and oxidative stressors.

6. Provide sound advice about dental procedures and cleaning during pregnancy where amalgam fillings are involved.

7. Check Mom for an Omega 3 score, and optimize Essential Fatty Acid balance. EFA's are vital to fetal nervous system development.

8. Measure Vitamin D blood levels, and supplement into a healthy range, while also avoiding calcium deficiency.

9. Aggressively treat iron deficiency, which along with point 8. helps to avoid/lessen the impact of stored bone lead mobilized during pregnancy.

10. Measure and ensure normalcy of Mom's glutathione and/or homocysteine levels.

11. Instruction on appropriate physical activity, air travel, emotional stress and other impactful daily activities that are often taken for granted.

This is a list that can be expanded as research develops regarding how to best protect a developing fetus from any negative influence of environmental and nutrition factors. It is based on personal experience in my medical practice where taking detailed case histories, including pregnancy exposures, of a tremendous number of families has been part of my daily routine for over 10 years.

The goal is ensuring the healthiest newborns and children possible, understanding that studies have shown that at birth 287 chemicals have been found in cord bloodhttp://bit.ly/pIsyQ. For some children, perhaps the ones with susceptibilities or compromised nutrition, a chemicalized start to life inside, and then outside, the uterus is a contributing factor in developmental disorders.

Parents are advised to bear in mind that fetal tissue concentrates many chemicals to a much higher level than what exists in Mom's tissues, that many chemicals move to the baby from Mom during pregnancy, and that the blood-brain barrier is not fully developed until at least 6 weeks after birth. A little education in this area can go a long way, which in my mind should begin prior to conception. Because the question needs to be asked: are we as a society, in the 21st century, doing all we can to ensure a healthier start for our newborns?

(Dedicated to my kids)

Tags:  integrative medicine  nutrition  prenatal 

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November is National Diabetes Month

Posted By Therese Patterson, NC, Thursday, November 10, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

November is National Diabetes Month, which is fitting since we are entering the time of year when we tend to overindulge and gain weight. Take action now to reduce your risk or slow the progression of the disease.

A whopping 79 million people in the United States have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be fully diabetic. Many don’t even know they have elevated blood glucose levels ("blood sugar”). In addition to increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, those with prediabetes also face an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. This epidemic is due largely to the growing problem of obesity and a more sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that with the right diet and lifestyle changes, you can delay or even prevent diabetes from developing.

Being physically active on a regular basis can help make muscle cells more sensitive to insulin’s action. It also aids in weight control. When you weigh less, insulin works better and keeps blood sugar levels in better control.

Good nutrition and healthy diet choices are critical in getting elevated blood sugar levels back to normal. Start with these diet basics to get you back on track:

  • No juices, regular sodas or other sugar-laden beverages.
  • Eat 2-3 servings of fruit and a minimum of 3-6 servings of vegetables per day. Fruits and veggies are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and low in sodium and fat. A serving is one medium sized piece of fruit (think tennis ball), ½ cup of cut up fruit or vegetables, 1 cup raw leafy vegetables and ¼ cup dried fruit.
  • Aim for 30 grams of fiber per day.
  • Avoid products made with refined grains and white flour and limit intake of starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn.
  • Fill up on lower carbohydrate containing veggies: green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, onions, water chestnuts, radishes, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, kale and other greens.

Another great tip: Cinnamon spice could help those with poorly controlled diabetes improve their blood sugar levels. A recent study found those who consumed 2 grams of cinnamon for 3 months had lower average blood sugars and lower blood pressure than those who did not take the cinnamon.

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A Closer Look at MRIs & Scans in Sports Medicine

Posted By Scott Greenberg, MD, Thursday, November 3, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

In an article appearing in the NY Times, October 29, 2011. Specialists and medical researchers concluded that "(MRIs) are easily misinterpreted and can result in misdiagnoses leading to unnecessary or even harmful treatments.”

Dr. James Andrews, best known for his surgical work on professional athletes, did his own experiment. He scanned the shoulders of 31 perfectly healthy professional baseball pitchers. Quoting the article, "The pitchers were not injured and had no pain. But the MRIs found abnormal shoulder cartilage in 90 percent of them and abnormal rotator cuff tendons in 87 percent.”

"If you want an excuse to operate on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder, just get an M.R.I.,” Dr. Andrews says.”

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we rarely if ever rely on an MRI. In our opinion these tests are a waste of money. A patient can come in with a big file of films and scans that cost them a lot of money out-of-pocket, and typically, there will be no useful information that will help us get the athlete back on the field. A skilled physician can make a more accurate determination of an athlete’s injury and treatment plan with a careful physical examination and history.

Unfortunately, there is a certain appeal to the patient to get an MRI, especially the athlete who thinks it is part of the normal process of treatment. It is sometimes difficult to get the patient to understand that when they get an MRI there will be a recommendation for a surgery that many times is unnecessary.

Before you consider the surgical option based on an MRI, before you take your star athlete off the field for a year of surgical recovery, a consultation with a doctor trained in non-surgical treatment of ligament and tendon injuries, such as Prolotherapy and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy, may be an option to explore.

This article was originally published at: http://www.drmagaziner.com/prolotherapynewjersey/why-mris-and-scans-are-not-an-important-part-of-our-sports-medicine-practice/

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Breast Cancer and Nutrition

Posted By Andrea Purcell, ND, Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

October is breast cancer awareness month. There are walks for breast cancer sponsored by various groups; many working to find a cure for cancer. A walk I recently attended was with Support Connection, a non-profit organization providing free support services for women with breast and ovarian cancer.

From a Naturopathic perspective, preventing cancer is the first step, curing and or surviving cancer is the second step. It seems as if many people miss the first step, and by the time they get to the second step there is a lot of fear involved.

There is some basic information that will keep you informed about how to prevent breast cancer and why conventional medicine often provides a false sense of security around this topic.

Point #1: Nutrition is important. Sadly, more often than not I come face to face with women with cancer and close family members who do not realize that nutrition has an impact on survival rate and overall health. Sugar feeds cancer cells and it lowers the immune system. Gluten and dairy products are inflammatory and will cause more inflammation slowing down the cellular repair processes. Certain vegetables such as dark green leafy greens, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and parsley have chemical compounds proven to prevent and fight cancer. Artificial colorings, flavorings, dyes, hormones, and preservatives in food are often suspect carcinogens.

Point #2: Most conventional doctors do not discuss nutrition with their clients. Nutritional biochemistry is not taught in conventional medical schools. The reason your doctor most likely did not discuss nutrition with you is because the importance of it is not stressed in medical schools.


Conventional doctors do two things very well:
Diagnose and treat disease with drugs and surgery. The key word is disease. If you have a disease they will either recommend drugs or surgery. If you are trying to prevent a condition that you don’t officially have yet, it means your conventional doctor can’t help you. Conventional doctors diagnose and treat diseases only. If you want to know how to help yourself with nutrition, or pursue natural therapies to help your body, do not expect to get all the information that you need from your conventional doctor.

Point #3: Mammograms do not prevent cancer, mammograms screen for cancer. A mammogram will not tell you if you will develop cancer next year or evaluate the current health of breast tissue. Therefore, mammograms have limitations. If you are relying on your annual mammogram to give you the green light, for another year of bad nutrition, and lack of exercise, think again. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to make some healthy lifestyle changes now? As Benjamin Franklin said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Mammograms are not recommended in younger women for two reasons:
Reason 1:Younger women can have denser breasts, which create less visibility and therefore less accuracy on a mammogram.
Reason 2: Mammograms are x-rays. Repeated radiation of breast tissue can accumulate in the body and cause cellular damage to breast cells. X-rays are known carcinogens. Receiving a note that your annual mammogram is negative provides a false sense of security to a woman who may have some pre-disease states manifesting that will ultimately impact the health of the breast tissue.

Note from Dr. P:
As usual, naturopathic medicine has the other side of the story.
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition, I can’t stress this enough! How can you expect your body to perform optimally for 40+ years on Frappuccino’s, lunch at the local sandwich shop, and take out? It just won’t. Yet, I see some highly educated women out there who put everything before food, nutrition, and feeding themselves. This has got to stop! Food is our gasoline; it provides the fuel for every body system. Usually we can "cheat” up until age 40 but as usual, you can only make withdrawals from the body for so long before it becomes bankrupt. I call it nutritional bankruptcy. From this point, we go into accelerated aging, the development of chronic diseases, hormone imbalance, depletion, and we are left wide open for cancer and other undesirable conditions.

Whole food is food that grows. When you are reviewing ingredients and food choices, ask yourself, have I ever seen this growing on a farm or in the soil? Hint: Frappuccino’s don’t grow on any farm anywhere.


Mammograms are an important screening tool, yet they need to be properly understood in order to see the whole story. Breast health is an indication of whole body health; the breasts cannot be separated from the rest of the body. Naturopathic medicine has a lot to offer women with pre-existing hormonal imbalances, which will enhance the health of breast tissue over time, reduce fibrocystic densities, and prevent cancer.

- Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic

Tags:  cancer  nutrition 

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To Play or Not to Play? That is NOT the Question

Posted By Scott R. Greenberg, MD, Thursday, October 6, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Yesterday, hockey fans – were rocked by the news that Sidney Crosby would be placed on injured reserve (IR) on Monday, October 10th. There had been much anticipation surrounding Crosby’s return to the ice being sidelined since January when he suffered a severe concussion – a concussion that has left him with recurring headaches and dizziness.

Frankly, I am relieved to hear that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ medical staff decided that he is not yet ready to make a comeback. It’s not that I don’t want Crosby back in the game – I do. He is a dynamic player who brings incredible energy every time he takes the ice.

But, post-concussion syndrome requires more than a quick fix or a lessening of symptoms, which is difficult because among sports-related injuries, post-concussion syndrome is one of the most elusive and challenging problems to treat. While many patients will recover from their concussion, just as many will not. To make matters worse, as an athlete sustains repeat concussions, the chance of recovery becomes less
likely.

Since I don’t treat Crosby, I cannot speak to what his doctors are seeing. I do know that most patients who suffer from post-concussion syndrome will have normal blood work, normal MRI examinations, and normal vital signs. Since we cannot "see” an apparent cause of their symptoms by these traditional tests, a conventional treatment for post-concussion syndrome does not exist. Those that suffer from this disorder are asked to rest and possibly undergo physical and occupational therapy until symptoms resolve. They say waiting is the hardest part – add chronic pain to that and you have a recipe for disaster, proven by the Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears safety who suffered from the physical and psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for more than 10 years before taking his own life last February. Duerson shot himself – in the heart, not the head, in order to preserve his brain which he requested be donated to science – specifically the science of looking at the long-term impact of severe hits to the head, the same type of hits that have grounded Crosby.

There is a better way to address post-concussion syndrome than just waiting it out and dealing with pain. In fact , we at the Magaziner Center for Wellness have been using innovative regenerative joint procedures to get many professional and collegiate athletes back in their respective games. We have had great success with prolotherapy, a holistic procedure that involves a series of injections into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints that produce a healing response within the damaged tissue, ultimately leading to repair of the damage. The mechanism for this non-surgical repair is mediated through immune system modulators which cause the concentration of cells known as macrophages and monocytes along with chemicals known as chemokines, to remove microscopic debris and fix damaged tissues.


Agents used for Prolotherapy restoration include lidocaine, dextrose, phenol, glycerin, and more recently growth factors derived from the patient’s own body known as platelet rich plasma (PRP). The exact mixture or substance used in prolotherapy is not nearly as important as the precise diagnosis and treatment into the area of damage that is causing the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.

So, how do injections into the neck and head cure the problems of concussion and head injury? The answer has to do with a complete understanding of what happens during a head injury. I have studied films of the hits that have caused devastating concussions and observed that trauma to the skull does not just damage the brain; it also creates a significant whiplash injury to the neck and the base of the skull. Within these areas lies the brainstem, an area of the brain that controls our balance and coordination, and supplies nerves to the muscles that control the eyes, ears, face, and portions of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). Injury to the cervical and skull base changes the relationship between the brainstem, base of the skull, and cervical canal, causing increased pressure on the nerve control that I have described above. This leads to many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Fortunately, prolotherapy and
PRP injections (injections of a patient’s own platelet rich plasma) into these damaged areas can normalize the relationship between the skull base and cervical canal, and relieve excessive pressure on the nerve. Once this happens, symptoms of post-concussion syndrome resolve!

Prolotherapy and PRP injections are certainly the silver lining around a dark cloud, but must be used with caution. Having performed well over 50,000 procedures in my career, I know it takes an extreme amount of skill and dexterity to treat damage from concussion. However, successful treatment leads to regaining the patient’s life, allowing them to function again without pain, headache, blurred vision, and all of the other
lingering symptoms of concussion. While there has never been a controlled clinical trial on prolotherapy for treatment of post-concussion syndrome, the results speak for themselves … on and off the ice.

Tags:  concussion  sports medicine 

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