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Everyone wants to find the most efficient path to health, wellness, and longevity. This overwhelming demand creates an abundance of products and protocols claiming to be the best. One of the hottest buzzwords amongst these products is the detox. And while a true detox/cleanse can not be overlooked as an intricate tool to utilize during the construction or renovation of our health, there exists a separate targeted approach that is just as, if not more important when it comes to creating an internal environment that facilitates the ability to thrive.
What we are talking about is fortifying the site where the bulk of our immune system resides.
We are talking about ensuring that maximum potential is achieved when it comes to reaping the benefits of the foods we consume via absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; and conversely minimizing the risk for nutritional deficiencies and infection.
We are talking about rebuilding the major barrier systems of our body that protect us from exposure and subsequent damage to our respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, and brain.
We are talking about optimizing and balancing the immune response and not ending up as a statistic representing the alarming growing number of seemingly idiopathic auto-immune conditions sweeping the country.
We are talking about setting the stage to grab control of glucose and insulin levels, weight and minimizing the stress response from within.
The foundation for health that we’re talking about is an optimally functioning GI (gastrointestinal) or digestive tract. Healing and sealing any intestinal permeability or a leaky gut is absolutely essential when looking to address a countless number of issues. Improving function on this level often times leads to an attenuation or outright termination of seemingly disconnected signs or symptoms. When we recognize, respect and comprehend the complex interwoven matrix that is our bodies, this holistic approach becomes not only understandable but mandatory for attaining true health from the inside out.
For a number or reasons (diet [food sensitivities or high sugar/carb], antibiotics, chlorinated water, excessive use of NSAIDs, etc.) our intestinal wall can begin to falter. This is problematic due to the fact that the majority of our immune system resides there and because it serves as a major barrier system in our bodies.
It’s relation to the three other major barrier systems (blood brain barrier, lungs, and skin) becomes blatantly obvious when gut dysfunction leads to mental fog, fatigue and forgetfulness, respiratory infections and asthma, or psoriasis and eczema, respectfully. Further strengthening of the relationship is seen when correction of the gut dysfunction leads to a change in many of the aforementioned conditions.
This is where full acknowledgement and respect must be paid to the holistic nature of our bodies. When one of these barrier systems is effected, damaged or dysfunctional, the effects can be seen amongst the others. Never is this so obvious as when healing and sealing the intestines, coupled with an elimination diet leads to massive improvements or outright resolution of what appears to be unrelated issues.
If a leaky gut is left unaddressed, undigested food particles and other organisms that would otherwise be refused access, freely enter into our bloodstream. This causes the immune system to do it’s job and launch an attack on the unwanted visitors.
The problem occurs as the immune system is called upon to perform this search and seizure so frequently that it becomes hypersensitive and begins to attack our own tissues, some of which have a similar molecular structure to the unwanted invaders. This can manifest as allergies, asthma, rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), hypothyroidism; even MS depending on the tissue attacked.
The longer the door is open and an attack persists, the more tissues that can suffer as condition after condition can begin to mount. It is for these handful reasons, and countless more that fortifying the gut by way of clearing, replacing and rebuilding is at the core; the foundation of attaining optimal health.
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates appeared to be onto something when he stated, “all disease begins in the gut.” In a relatively short time, the changes I’ve witnessed personally and clinically have been nothing short of game changing for all involved.
The knowledge and path to practical implementation exists and is waiting.
As always, we’re ready when you are.
Being a practitioner that places a heavy amount of emphasis on nutrition, I’d be remiss if I didn’t continue to elaborate on the far reaching hands of the adrenal glands. Being a beaming new father who has been blessed with a beautiful and healthy wife and baby, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t go into more detail about how adrenal dysfunction can influence the sex hormones responsible for reproduction and beyond. Well, nobody wants to be labeled as remiss, so here we go.
In the simplest terms, the adrenal glands are our stress glands.
(For a review on these essential workhorses feel free to refresh: https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/03/12/de-stress-your-life-part-1/
When they are overworked for any of a variety of reasons (mental or physical stress, food intolerances, etc.) they shift towards an overproduction of cortisol in order to help us deal with stress. One of the many downsides to this is that the production of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone decreases.
In order for the adrenal glands to make cortisol in response to sustained levels of elevated stress, it ends up stealing the cholesterol precursor that would normally be used to make something called DHEA, which is the precursor to our sex hormones. This is a phenomenon called pregnenolone steal and can result in hormonal imbalances, PMS, infertility, male menopause, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Your hormone production is also dampened by overactive adrenals on a cerebral level. As we’ve discussed in the past, the adrenal glands are under control of a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn directs the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland either makes, pumps out or sends the signal to trigger hormones like growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, oxytocin, as well as hormones that signal the adrenals.
The anterior pituitary is also responsible for LH (luteinizing hormone) and thus progesterone, and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and thus estrogen. These hormones are intracle in properly regulating the menstrual cycle, reproduction and beyond. Adrenal overdrive overworks the pituitary causing it to be sluggish in its output of other hormones, like LH or FSH.
Another fact to be cognizant of is the fact that an inflammatory diet or unknown food intolerances will also have the adrenals logging extra hours at the office. This not only attenuates hormone production for reasons described above, but it also downgrades the immune system. This is critical for us all, but especially for a mother and her un or newborn child.
When dealing specifically with pregnancy, studies have shown that a mother with adrenal dysfunction can actually pass it on to her unborn baby by drawing hormones through the umbilical cord. We’ve illustrated the systemic effects of adrenal dysfunction in the past, so a newborn child with this condition is highly susceptible to immune and gut dysfunction, allergies, eczema, food intolerances, even autism.
The best thing to do if you are having issues that have been deemed or you presume are hormonal is to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner. Cleaning up the diet and repairing the gut, identifying potential food intolerances, providing adrenal support if necessary, making lifestyle changes, making sure the nervous system (which ultimately controls ALL) is balanced, and just taking a deeper look inside for the root of the issue is the logical course of action.
If you or anyone you care about is going through any of this, please give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll work through it together.
On a personal note, as I prefaced in the intro, my wife and I are proud new parents. Going into 2013 we didn’t have a time table to begin trying. However, my wife is a patient of mine and we actually had her on various adrenal support and supplements due to symptoms she was having and the results of an exam. After that we both partook in a fast/detox/cleanse together, while congruently sticking to an elimination/provocation diet. A couple of months later we decided to “stop not trying” to get pregnant. A month later Ashley was pregnant. And 9 plus months later we have a healthy baby boy.
I realize there are always other factors that contribute to hormonal imbalances and things such as pregnancy. But don’t rule out these seemingly simple things. Don’t fall victim to the current status quo and believe that “that’s just the way it is,” or you need a pill to fix that. Keep hope alive. Trust the body and treat it well and most likely it will return the favor. This goes for the current topic or any other.
Good luck and do not hesitate to call for a consult if any of this resonates with you.
ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS (aka Fish Oil)
- Literally thousands of studies have demonstrated that a deficiency in Omega 3s can contribute to:
- MEMORY and CONCENTRATION PROBLEM
- HEIGHTENED RISK OF ALZHEIMER’s:
- Our brains are 60% fat, and require an adequate source of the Omega 3 fatty acids: DHA in order to function properly.
- WEIGHT GAIN
- HEART DISEASE
- INFLAMMATION (pain, swelling, etc.)
- ATHEROSCLEROSIS and BLOOD CLOTS
Ideal to have 1:1 ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 for better HEALTH and LONGEVITY.
Unfortunately due to our lifestyles and dietary choices, the ratio favors Omega 6s, which tilts the scale in favor of a PRO-INFLAMMATORY environment and all of the conditions listed above.
Food sources of Omega 3s are inferior due to toxic accumulations in wild fish, the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 rich diet fed to farmed fish, and the additional step required to convert the ALA found in plants (flax, chia, hemp, etc.) to the desired Omega 3s (EPA and DHA).
That’s why REGULAR SUPPLEMENTATION with a good source of OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDs is imperative to HEALTH, WELLNESS and LONGEVITY.
At Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness we encourage all to obtain our nutrients from whole food sources. However, we also recognize a few supplements that appear to be so beneficial that supplementation may be advantageous.
We carry and recommend that most patients regularly supplement with Omega 3 Fatty Acids. However, this is always based on the patient’s individual condition and health status. You should never start or stop any supplements and/or medications without consulting with your trusted healthcare professional first.
If you are interested in confirming whether or not you are a candidate for some Omega 3s or any type of supplements in your life, feel free to give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll sift through what you need and don’t need.