Tag Archives: depression

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Panic Attacks & Anxiety; Where to Begin?

Panic Attacks & Anxiety; Where to Begin?

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Depression, Serotonin, Inflammation & The Gut

Depression, Serotonin, Inflammation & The Gut

Cholesterol: Rethinking Statins

As of the spring of 2014 one in four Americans over 45 were taking a cholesterol lowering drug known as a statin.  Over 43 million Americans between the ages of 40-75, along with an increasing number of younger customers are now including a Lipitor or Crestor as part of their daily regimen.

As the lab values that serve as the criteria for prescribing a statin continue to change, the umbrella for those deemed in need of statin therapy continues to widen.  Leaning on the outdated and now uneducated vilification of fats and cholesterol, the multibillion dollar statin industry continues to thrive.  Sad thing is, cardiovascular disease and overall health have not improved despite the low fat, statin fueled culture we know find ourselves in.

So is this widening spread use of statins necessary?  Is it safe?  Here are some facts about statins and cholesterol that should at the very least provoke some individual concern and subsequent investigation.

In 2012 the FDA issued a statement declaring statin drugs can cause cognitive side effects such as memory lapses and confusion.

An AMA (American Medical Association) study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated a 48% increased risk of diabetes (a powerful risk factor for type III diabetes aka Alzheimer’s) among women taken statins.

It is well known that statins paralyze cells’ ability to make coenzyme Q10, a vitamin like substance found throughout the body, where it serves as an antioxidant and energy producer.  Depletion of CoQ10 leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, mobility & balance problems, muscular pain & weakness. CoQ10 deficiency has also been linked to heart failure, hypertension & Parkinson’s.  CoQ10 has actually been proposed as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.  At the absolute very least, individuals currently undergoing statin therapy should consult with their physician about adding CoQ10 to their regimen.

How about Vitamin D deficiency? Vitamin D is derived from cholesterol in the skin. When statins lower cholesterol, the ability to generate Vitamin D is hampered leading to (amongst other things)  a heightened risk for diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease and ultimately dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Consider the fact that our sex hormones are also derived from cholesterol.  Lowering cholesterol through use of statins and diet can lead to lower testosterone levels and subsequent decreased libido and ED (erectile dysfunction) which are common complaints amongst statin users.

LOWER levels of cholesterol have been linked to depression, dementia and even earlier death.

This type of information and suffering will hopefully continue to provoke reconsideration and remodeling of the current paradigm.  As we learn more through research and prior failures, the appropriate response is to act on this newfound knowledge and improve.  Unfortunately pride and profits appear to be standing in the way, so it is on us as individuals to educate and investigate when it comes to our health.

When it comes to evaluating cholesterol levels, they are usually included in a lipid panel. This entire process should be reevaluated as well, but there are ways to alter and more accurately measure your triglyceride and small LDL.  Before resorting to a statin, why not attempt to uncover the reason for the unfavorable levels, and attempt to remedy it?

How about starting with rethinking the dietary approach?

No not the seemingly logical, oversimplified and outdated, disproven theory that dietary fats and cholesterol are the main culprits behind “bad” cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

You must once again look to carbohydrates and the subsequent release of insulin, which triggers fatty acid synthesis in the liver.  This starts the chain that eventually leads to the rise of triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol.  It is no coincidence that diabetes (a disease which features erratic blood sugar and insulin levels) is associated with the lipid triad of low HDL or “good” cholesterol, and high triglycerides and small LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

(Calling HDL and LDL cholesterol is actually incorrect as the “L” actually stands for Lipoprotein, and the “HD” and “LD” stand for High or Low Density.  These are carrier proteins that transport cholesterol throughout the body.)

The majority of type II diabetes can be reversed by reducing carb consumption, and the same holds true for naturally improving your lipid panel.

Another area to look at is thyroid function.

Patients with hypothyroid symptoms often display a lipid panel that includes high triglycerides and high LDL due to the body making fat much quicker than it can burn it.  The slower metabolism seen with hypothyroidism leads to:

…a sluggish liver and gall bladder making fat less likely to be metabolized and cleared from the body.

…it causes cells to be less receptive to LDL circulating which sets the stage for the LDL to accumulate and be oxidized.  This is actually when LDL becomes harmful, not merely its presence alone as it is actually necessary to deliver vital cholesterol to our body’s tissues.

…leaves an individual less able to burn fat as fuel as a healthy person would.  This creates a reliance on glucose (carbs/sugar) for fuel and the subsequent insulin release, fat storage and higher triglycerides and small LDL.

Diet and hampered thyroid function are just two possible reasons for an unfavorable lipid profile, and in many cases can be improved with lifestyle changes and the application of functional medicine.  Depending on the individual, cleaning up the menu, fortifying the digestive system, balancing the immune system, supporting the adrenal and thyroid glands and detoxification pathways can all be used to improve underlying function, which in turn creates a healthier human who can hopefully steer clear of statins and the accompanying baggage.

As always, consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes.  If you are interested in a unique, knowledgable approach based on the most current research, experience and understanding of the underlying function of the body and would like to learn more, call us today.

Beat the Stress of the Season

For many, “the most wonderful time of the year” can bring about not so wonderful emotions like stress, anxiety, or depression.  This is quite unfortunate as the joy of the Holiday Season and conclusion of another year can also serve as a time for catching up with friends and family; a time to count our blessings and keep things in perspective, and a time to allow the foot to ease off the gas pedal as we reflect, relax, and recharge.

Understandably though, many do succumb to some degree of stress or another during this time of year.

Not to worry.

The following article does an informative job of breaking down the potential stress pitfall while also offering some intelligent remedies for dealing with it.  I came across this article the other day and in the spirit of the season would love to share it with you in hopes that it will provide a clearer path to tranquility this holiday season and beyond:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/18/holiday-stress-grief.aspx

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Supplement Series #2: The Good Bacteria

probiotic211

ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH

PROBIOTICS

  • WHAT ARE THEY?
  • The beneficial or “good” bacteria that reside in your digestive tract.
  • 80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEM lives in your gut, and a large portion of this is due to the presence of this bacteria.
  • WHY?
  • They aid in digesting food, particularly hard-to-digest foods and foods to which some individuals are more sensitive.
  • Without proper digestion we are not receiving the nutrients and fuel that we are consuming the food for. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to systemic repercussions.
  • Support your immune system
  • The “gut” is one of the four main barrier systems in your body to protect you from outside invaders whose presence can lead to things conditions like AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
  • Mounting research pointing towards a strong relationship between your gut health and brain health. Inflammation or permeability (aka “leaky gut”) in the gut has been shown to lead to the same in the brain.
  • This is why there is a growing correlation between gut health and conditions like DEPRESSION and ALZHEIMER’s
  • Promotes vaginal health in women
  • (the same “good” bacteria that populate the gut also populate the vaginal region)
  • Antibiotics, drinking or swimming in chlorinated water, chronic blood sugar spikes, consuming inorganic, GMO and processed foods all wage a war in your healthy gut flora (aka probiotics)

 

  • FOOD SOURCES:
  • Fermented (UNPASTURIZED FOODS: sauerkraut, kimchi, various UNPASTURIZED dairy)

As we’ve stated in the past, it would be ideal to keep the number of supplements to a minimum while obtaining all the externally derived nutritional support from our diet.  However, due to poor quality of our food source as well as the hazards we are exposed to, certain supplements would be advantageous to our wellbeing.  A couple of months ago we started this list with a daily dose of high quality Omega 3 fatty acids.  (https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2014/03/12/supplement-series-the-good-fats/)

The second supplement that virtually everyone can benefit from is a high quality probiotic.  This term has become somewhat of a buzz word in the mainstream as more and more research emerges backing the benefits behind making sure your “good” bacteria is at a premium.

As with all supplements, you want to make sure you’re spending your money and efforts on a quality product.  Certain strains of bacteria are more likely to survive the stomach acid bath en route to your intestines, so you want to make sure those are included on the label.

You also want to be wary of certain foods (yogurts are notorious for this) that falsely tout the added benefit of various live cultures or strains of bacteria.  If a product is pasteurized, which most dairy is, the beneficial bacteria which they use as a selling point have most likely been destroyed by the heating process.  Unpasteurized is becoming a selling point like organic or gluten free so if it doesn’t make mention of it, assume it’s pasteurized.

In addition to the immune and digestive benefits (which should not be understated) the gut – brain connection is a major reason why a good probiotic makes my list of essentials.  We carry and take the brand pictured at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness.  However, if you have questions about another brand or supplement, your inquiries are always welcome.