Exercise Is An Effective Anti-depressant

Hello again to everyone: Do sleep problems, fatigue and physical inactivity lead to a depressed mood, or is it the other way around? The answer seems to be that it goes both ways: depression can lead to inactivity, or inactivity can lead to depression. Read more

Burnout: Part 6: Whole Body Systems Approach

Hello again: This is the last of our installments on burnout and the underlying systems dysfunctions that are the causes, perpetuators or activators of the fatigue that accompanies chronic activation of the stress-response systems. The most common things that I find in those with ‘burnout’ are the same things that I find with issues that underlie most chronic health conditions, and it is usually a combination of: ·        Latent or hidden infections ·        Gut and digestive issues, including food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities ·        Persistently living in ‘fight or flight’ with anxiety issues ·        Nutrient imbalances from poor dietary choices or unique metabolic needs not being met ·        Blood sugar imbalances such as insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, carb and sugar cravings ·        Trauma, new or old ·        Autoimmune disorders (frequently ... Read more

Burnout: Part 5: A Systemic Fatigue Problem

Hello again everyone: In the last newsletter, we unwound the controversy between stages of conditions where things are either white, black or grey…and with burnout, we went over the point that burnout is mostly a grey condition and should be called HPA axis dysregulation or dysfunction. We also mentioned that it most often results from chronic stress of multiple types that add up to create the feelings, signs and symptoms of burnout. When the cumulative stress of life grinds down our stress response systems, our mental, physical and biochemical reactions can become dysregulated, or dysfunctional. This is when we see things in the lab tests like the elevated or low morning cortisol, but overall normal total cortisol amounts in a day. Or we see that cortisol is low or normal all day but high at night when it should be at the lowest levels, and so on…the point is that these abnormal ... Read more

Burnout: Part 4: Resolving the Controversy

Hello again: Thanks for staying tuned for Part 4, as this subject is important and lends an understanding as to how chronic health conditions evolve and what to do about them…so this newsletter is a bit longer than usual. If you have not read this link, please do so to understand the issues, it is not that long and is pretty good: Read more

Burnout Part 3: Diagnosis Tips

Hello once again everyone: So now we go into the lab tests to diagnose adrenal status, but before we do, we need to cover the two primary types of adrenal problems. Rarely, are the adrenal glands over active. This is called Cushing’s Disease and is suspected when you have high cortisol and blood pressure unresponsive to medication and other physical signs, such as a round or moon shaped face that you did not have before. Lab tests that confirm high cortisol then lead to the next step, which is undertaken with an endocrinologist to establish the possible cause. One possible cause is an adrenal or pituitary adenoma, and imaging studies may be ordered along with other lab tests to find out if this is a primary (an adrenal tumor) or secondary issue (a pituitary tumor). Mild increases of cortisol seen on blood and/or saliva tests without moon face or blood pressure concerns raise the ... Read more

Burnout: Part 2: Bye-Bye Health

Hello again: Here we continue the discussion about burnout, which is essentially our bodies response to prolonged and elevated stress. Whenever stress of ANY kind hits us, our brain signals our adrenal glands to pour out adrenalin and cortisol. Adrenalin gives us the energy rush to overcome the stress, and cortisol supports the stress response through multiple functions:

  • Increases blood glucose by decreasing insulin release,
  • Promotes gluconeogenesis by liver,
  • Increases protein and lipid synthesis for energy,
  • Acts with glucagon and epinephrine to produce a greater response,
  • Anti-inflammatory effects.
That is great, unless the stress response becomes turned on too much and for too long, which is when we have the negative effects of stress hormones such as:
  • Weight gain mainly in the face, chest ... Read more

Is Burnout Real?

Hello again everyone: Most of us at some point in our lives, have felt burnt out. This is usually from chronic stress that is usually a combination of different types of stresses. These may include work and/or emotional and mental stress, biochemical stress and physical stress. Examples might be: working 50 to 70 hours per week; stressful work situations including how well we get along with our boss or co-workers; poor eating habits; recurrent illnesses; nutrient depletion and imbalances; poor sleep; lack of appropriate exercise; frustration in not achieving our purpose; relationship issues; substance abuse such as sugar and/or alcohol or food; medications; etc. Burn out is real, and now the medical profession has even given the condition it’s own diagnostic code: Z73.0 – Burn-out state of vital exhaustion Symptoms include: extreme fatigue; anxiety; insomnia; weariness; loss ... Read more

Digestive Health Series Part 6: Home Steps To Help Digestion

Hello again: In this final installment, we will cover 6 steps to a healthier gut: 1.       Try an HCL supplement as outlined in Part 3. 2.       If you get some partial relief with taking HCL, you might consider adding a good digestive enzyme with the HCL. Remember, if you get any burning ache or pain, or any negative reaction (diarrhea for example) in your digestive tract from either step 1 or 2, then stop and get checked for a possible ulcer or infection. If you are a current patient, then call me right away. 3.       Try adding a good probiotic supplement to help reduce dysbiosis: If you have allergies, stick to a probiotic that has mostly lactobacillus acidophilus strains and avoid bifidobacter strains. If you have autoimmunity, avoid lactobacillus rhamnosus. This approach helps to alleviate dysbiosis and often assists with SIBO and SIFO. If you suspect Small Intestinal ... Read more

Digestive Health Series Part 5: Stress and SIBO

Hello again: Here we go on the last bit before we get into how to recover from these issues. Low acid can also play a significant role in the development of SIBO and or SIFO , or Small Intestinal Bacterial and/or Fungal Overgrowth, a very annoying problem where the normal gut bugs that are supposed to only inhabit the large intestine, begin to be active in the small intestine…lots of bloating, gas, discomfort, distention and a general increase in toxicity burdens. This is often related to stress being high for long periods of time, and even concussions, which cause a down-regulation of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the 1oth cranial nerve, which starts inside the skull in the bottom of the brain stem, and travels to the entire chest and gut. It is the opposite of fight and flight and is called the rest and digest nerve because it calms us down and regulates digestion. High ... Read more

Digestive Health Series Part 4: Stomach Acid, Food Reactions and Dysbiosis

Hello again everyone: Here is more on what can happen with low stomach acid: Because stomach acid is the first step of digestion, low acid levels can result in undigested food that will leave the stomach and pass into the intestines where they will ferment and rot. Proteins will putrefy, carbs will ferment and fats will go rancid. This can lead to irritation and inflammation of the intestinal lining and increase the normal permeability of the gut lining and create what is known as ‘leaky gut’. A ‘leaky gut’ is a hyper-permeable gut. This is important because 70 to 75% of our immune system lines the intestines, and when a hyper-permeable gut allows entry of undigested food particles as well as bacteria or whatever came along with the food we ate, it can result in an immune activation that can be seen with food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies. These reactions are all ... Read more