“Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” —John Gray PhD Women and men are very different. The concept seems fairly easy to grasp. Most get it. It seems obvious. Even the science supports it. However, this point seems to escape most in Medicine today. The perfect example of this biochemical difference […]
Will eating healthier make it easier to achieve superior skin health? If you’ve had a nutritional consultation at Forum Health Knoxville, then you already know the answer. Yes! The food you put into your body has a direct effect on how you feel and look. Being diligent about applying SPF and regularly visiting your skin […]
It’s a fact: Americans love eating out. But dining out will make you fat and very unhealthy! Read this eye-opening article about food loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.
Recently on his daily television show, Dr. Oz discussed IV nutrition therapy. I was very disappointed when Dr. Oz questioned the validity, benefit, and safety of this invaluable therapy. He had a guest physician on his show to defend IV therapies, but his guest talked in generalizations with no specifics and no scientific data. Dr. Oz’s conclusion […]
My pre-60th birthday journey to improve my previous test results from Seasons of Farragut continues! This month I decided to focus on the first tenet in our Forum Health Knoxville wellness regimen – nutrition!
About two years ago I took the ALCAT test and was astonished at my lengthy list of reactive foods! The ALCAT is a fascinating food sensitivity test in which white blood cells are introduced to a variety of foods, chemicals, and herbs. The severity of the reaction determines if a substance is mild, moderate, severe, or normal within my body. Since knowledge is power, I decided to receive the news that gluten and dairy were on my “severe list” as a positive indicator rather than “buyers’ remorse” for having performed the test!
Lyn-Genet Recitas has written a book, The Plan, which explains how inflammation from food intolerance can cause symptoms such as joint pain, skin disorders, fatigue, weight issues, headaches, and digestive disorders. Whereas a food allergy can have almost an immediate effect, a food sensitivity may not show up for several hours to 3 days later. For weight gain, it’s not as much about the calories as the chemistry of the body. One person may benefit from last night’s salmon and broccoli, but someone else may actually gain 2 pounds. Inflammation from food intolerance causes damage to the lining of the gut. As the lining becomes “leaky” with gaps present, foods begin to slip through not completely digested. This causes the body to attack undigested foods.
As we age, inflammation can increase which causes our systems to slow down. Many of us have much less stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down food. This can ultimately alter our weight and our health. Reactive foods cause our bodies to produce more histamine which causes water retention via dilated capillaries. The brain responds by increasing the production of Cortisol. As more Cortisol is produced, fewer sex hormones are produced since both sets of hormones depend on the same building blocks. Increased Cortisol causes an increase in glucose which causes an increase in blood sugar! This domino effect alters the good bacteria in the gut and can increase yeast production. The altered gut flora leads to a weakened immune response since about 70% of our immune system is in the gut.
After the holidays, most of us like to start anew by establishing health and wellness goals for the New Year. A few important questions to answer after you’ve established your goals are…
Even though my 60th birthday is a little over 6 months away, I am planning now for better health, mental acuity, energy, and sense of well-being! My goal is to improve all of the test results that I have previously had at Forum Health Knoxville. You may remember that I did a Telomere test several months ago – a fascinating test revealing how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Those results showed that I was above average for my age range; however, there was definitely room for improvement!
For my birthday countdown, I have chosen to begin with a detailed cardiac evaluation measuring specific markers in my blood. My total cholesterol has always been slightly elevated; however, over 50 percent of patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarctions had normal lipid levels as defined by the traditional blood tests. Functional medicine has identified over 400 risk factors, but they are all exacerbated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction (chronic infections).
Cholesterol is not the villain portrayed in the statin commercials! It is a biological necessity for creating vitamin D, our steroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as other tasks. High levels are not a sure sign of cardiac disease, nor are low levels a promise of heart health. Our bodies manufacture most of our cholesterol with a smaller amount coming from the food we eat.
Since cholesterol has to travel through the blood which is watery, the body packages it in various “containers” called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins vary according to the amount of protein, fat, and cholesterol they contain. Those with more protein and less fat/cholesterol are called high density lipoproteins or HDL. Those with less protein and more fat/cholesterol are called low density lipoproteins or LDL. A third type carries even more cholesterol and fat with less protein and it is called very low density lipoprotein or VLDL.
The outside thermostats are definitely rising this summer. But the heat outside shouldn’t mean sudden bursts of “personal” heat, otherwise known as hot flashes!
Oddly enough, I have personally experienced fewer hot flashes when I am at the beach! Is that a strange but true fact? Indeed it is. But there is a great explanation. It’s not the outdoor temperature which contributes to those hot flashes, it’s actually Cortisol fluctuations that wreak havoc on our internal thermostat.
Many women are surprised to discover that their saliva tests indicate significant imbalance with their adrenal glands. These tiny glands located right above each kidney secrete a number of hormones to help the body deal with stress. Cortisol is commonly called the “stress hormone” due to its involvement in your response to stressful situations.
Adrenal fatigue from chronic stressors such as blood sugar imbalance, inflammation, insomnia, as well as emotional issues can manifest itself through intense hot flashes and/or night sweats. Unless Cortisol levels are measured, it’s difficult to treat because both high and low levels can have the same symptoms. Healthy adrenal glands significantly improve a sense of well-being!
“I feel stupid, fat, and tired,” is a recurring theme with many of our new patients at Seasons. Many factors play a role in this syndrome.
One common but overlooked contributor is environmental toxins. A new study by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) found over 48 toxic chemicals in women’s blood and urine. Besides toxic metals, chemicals such as pesticides, BPA, phthalates, etc. were discovered in large amounts.
At Forum Health Knoxville, we know wellness is not about taking a prescription medication to control a symptom. True wellness is the result of balancing five key points: nutrition, exercise, hormone balance, inflammation reduction and detoxification. At Forum Health Knoxville we address each of the five points of wellness to help you achieve not only weight loss goals, but more importantly your health and wellness goals.
Here are my top five suggestions for the pursuit of wellness.
1. Evaluate Your Diet. Do you make good food choices? Are you overweight? The latest statistics indicate that 58 million Americans are overweight, 40 million are obese, and 4 million are morbidly obese. The vast majority of illness is caused or complicated by being overweight.
2. Evaluate Your Activity. Do you exercise? Small choices add up to increased physical activity, So park further from the grocery store entry and WALK. Take the stairs. Stop working at the computer for 5 minutes and do 50 situps.
3. Have A Wellness Checkup at Seasons of Farragut. The Seasons approach to wellness is centered around balance and prevention. A few medical tests will reveal where your body is deficient. A wellness regimen tailored to YOUR body will relieve hot flashes, sleep difficulties, mood swings and even weight gain.
4. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D. Studies indicate the importance of Vitamin D in disease prevention. The level of cold and flu increases in the winter largely due to the decrease of Vitamin D in our system. Medical research even suggests that Vitamin D is the BEST prevention for flu–even better than the vaccine. At Seasons, we evaluate your Vitamin D levels and offer medical-grade Vitamin D supplements in capsules, drops, and even injections, if needed.
5. Decrease Stress. Stress is the enemy. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Take time to smell the flowers. Find a de-stresser that works for you, whether it’s weekly Bible Study, a good book, or coloring with your kids.