Functional Medicine – is this a new thing?

You may have heard the term, “Functional Medicine,” and wondered what this is about.  Functional Medicine describes a form of health care that focuses on the patient as a whole, rather than one organ or system.  It is called “functional” because poor bodily function results from imbalances in your metabolism.  These metabolic imbalances are really the underlying cause of your problems contributing to your lack of health.  Instead of referring to a patient as “the person with kidney problems”, a Functional Medicine practitioner looks for the causes, and will begin by the metabolic imbalances that contributing to poor kidney function.  This may include several organs or systems.

This requires looking at the entire patient, to determine what can be creating the kidney problems.  Many Chiropractors and Physicians who practice these concepts have also used the term “Integrative” to describe this healthcare approach.

A basic philosophy in Functional Medicine is that imbalances in your metabolic function often occur as a result of a person’s unique “biochemical individuality”.   Biochemical individuality recognizes that we are all unique individuals with different health needs. Metabolic imbalances can be caused by factors that include diet, pollutants, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, as well as trauma.  Trauma can be processed by one’s body, emotions, and spirit differently for different people, as we have unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs related to our cultural and social experiences.

Functional Medicine (integrative health care practices) works well with people who have health concerns that are not always easy to resolve and those who have not improved with traditional, symptom-based health management approaches. These would include chronic health challenges involving fatigue, pain, neuromuscular, immune and auto-immune and structural imbalances.  Blood tests that are done generally go beyond the normal blood type testing, and can identify nutritional deficiencies that can be materially contributing to health issues.

Click here for more information about Functional Medicine

Click here for more information about practice of Dr Phil Sleldz, DC and his Functional Medicine practice in Austin, TX

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Have a healthy heart and a clearer mind

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential to our well-being. Heart issues can contribute to a number of decreased quality of life issues, including feeling as if you do not have as much energy as you did when you were younger, circulation issues such as cold hands and feet and swelling in the ankles, and poor endurance and stamina. We’ve had successful results providing measureable outcomes when it comes to addressing suboptimal heart concerns.

How Cardio Vascular Health Declines
Free radicals not only perpetuate inflammation and damage our cells, but they also leave small tears on the inner surface of our blood vessels, which can result in scarring. The body’s ability to repair these micro-tears diminishes with age, leaving spaces that allow the build-up of arterial plaque, which can eventually lead to clogged circulation. Over time, your heart muscle has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood through congested, rigid, less flexible blood vessels. This can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Important first steps to combat this and related effects begins with anti-oxidants, cardio tonic nutrients, and techniques for correcting chronic inflammation

A healthy heart is a well-nourished and oxygenated heart. Because long standing nutritional deficiencies can lead to poor oxygenation, and cramping of the heart, we use a special set of nutrients that provide nourishment and help the heart receive and use oxygen. We’ve consistently seen people have non-drug improvements with common cardio-vascular issues using bio-available supplementation.

We have a unique set of tests that we can use to detect a lack of antioxidants in the body, or can assess if your antioxidants are working properly. By working with blood tests and developing the right heart health protocol, inflammation and free radical damage can be reduced and tissues can begin to heal.

How do we recognize impending heart problems?
To identify heart problems before they happen, we use the Myeloperoxidase enzyme test. This test, developed by leading cardiovascular doctors at Cleveland Heart Lab, is specific and very sensitive, with the ability to detect heart problems months prior to the actual event. The Myeloperoxidase enzyme test is more accurate than any other lab test, including cholesterol, C-Reactive Protein, and homocysteine, used to detect impending heart problems. (For more information about the reliability of cholesterol to predict heart problems, please search under “cholesterol”  on our blog site.)

The professional online journal, DentalEconomics.com, began their 2013 publication year with an article titled, “State of the oral-systemic union: 2013.” The author of this article, Dr. Richard H. Nagelberg, DDS, discusses MPO (refers to Myeloperoxidase), “Other parameters that indicate an increased risk of vascular disease include the level of myeloperoxidase (MPO). MPO impairs endothelial function and increases the vulnerability of arterial plaque to rupturing, which triggers CV events. MPO predicts the future risk of coronary artery disease in healthy people.”

Blood Oxygen Levels Help us Look and Feel Younger
Low levels of blood oxygen have been shown to contribute to physical and mental fatigue, “fuzzy” thought, poor endurance, a sluggish metabolism leading to weight gain, lactic acid build up and a decreased ability to heal. To increase your blood’s ability to carry oxygen, debris in the blood needs to be cleaned up. The cleaner the blood, the more effectively it can transport oxygen to essential body parts such as muscles and the brain. Debris includes high serum protein levels, and oxidized solids such as plaque, uric acid and fibrin, all which decrease the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

Blood tests to identify these conditions can be done in our office via live blood cell analysis, and out of office via our comprehensive functional blood chemistry analysis.

Regaining a clearer mind
When our cognitive skills begin to decline, it largely results from oxidative stress, inflammation, and low oxygen present within the brain, which begins to degrade our nerve cells, called neurons. Our brain can suffer a similar fate as our blood vessels and heart, when oxidative stress and inflammation are present. Like our blood vessels, the brain is susceptible to damage from free radicals, and can accumulate plaque and inappropriate clumps of proteins called Lewy Bodies (associated with dementia), which hinders normal function.

Additionally, the outer protective sheath of our nerve cells, called myelin, is largely responsible for the directed transmission of impulses from one nerve cell to another. When this sheath is damaged by oxidative stress, and unable to repair itself due to key nutritional deficiencies, our nerve cells function less effectively. As a result our nerves can send “mixed messages” and transmissions can fail to get to their intended destination. We may experience this as poor cognition, decreased memory, or lack of proper muscle control and coordination. Working with our schedule of care, we can help your brain feel clearer as well as improve your overall energy levels.

Reference:
http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-103/issue-1/practice/state-of-the-oral-systemic-union-2013.html

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Reducing the visible signs of aging with nutrition

Many anti-aging techniques focus on cosmetic solutions, but ignore what is going on inside your body. While cosmetic solutions can mask some of the signs of aging, without addressing nutritional issues, it is difficult to not appear haggard when the body needs key nutrients.

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to visible signs of aging, as well as feeling that loss of vitality! This can happen for a number of reasons. The high stressed, fast paced lifestyle that most people experience increases poor dietary choices, which hastens nutrient depletion even if you are eating well.

As we age, most people begin to experience an increase in fine lines and deep creases, skin wrinkles, our faces begin to appear more hollow and less plump the way we looked when we were teenagers, and even issues like receding gums. We address these issues by looking at what builds health in the body by focusing on the foundational areas that contribute to looking older. In addition to helping our skin and joints look and feel better, a key to turning around the aging challenge also addresses digestive issues. As a result, the visible signs of aging slow, and even reverse, for people who have followed our schedule of care.

Skin, Joints, and Gum Health
After the age of 40, our collagen levels begin to decline. Collagen, the most abundant body protein, is responsible for giving skin a youthful, resilient, wrinkle free appearance. It is also an important protein that helps to hold our joints together as well as to cushion them. With collagen, we can have a bounce to our step. When collagen levels are lower than they should be, the bounce is replaced by a feeling of stiffness and discomfort. Less collagen also means our skin begins to lose the fullness we had in the past.

That “bounce to your step” is also impacted by the presence of Chondroitin Sulfate, due to the shock absorbing features that it provides. Low levels of it can make you “feel” your joints with every step you take. If your levels of Chondroitin Sulfate are sub-optimal, then maintaining a lively gait can be much of a challenge.

Hyaluronic Acid, or H.A. also is a key factor needed to maintain a youthful appearance, because it is responsible for giving our skin a more full, wrinkle free look. It also lubricates our joints! Maintaining the right levels of H.A. means that we look and feel more youthful. As our H.A. levels decline after birth, we often experience more physical effects of aging, including joint stiffness, discomfort and decreased range of motion. Low levels of H.A. are also associated with skin wrinkles, creases, deep folds, and fine lines. Patients have also reported improved gum health as well as reduced, and even corrected dry eye problems. With regular use of highly absorbable form of H.A., the body is able to produce the natural lubrication that the eyes need for good ocular health.

Food Absorption Impacts Muscle Mass
Even if you eat the right foods which contain quality protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, that does not mean you will necessarily absorb them! Under production of Hydrochloric (stomach) acid, and stomach acid suppressive therapies, along with low levels of enzymes can lead to mal-absorption of nutrients. One way this is evident is with a decline of muscle mass. Without addressing this, a person can become frail, which means they have inadequate muscle mass for their age. As we lose muscle mass, we begin to more easily accumulate fat since muscle is required to burn fat. Once the stomach’s acid production is returned to normal levels, and sufficient levels of enzymes are present, we can absorb our nutrients.

Weight gain and loss
Enzymes, exercise, and good colon health help our bodies regulate proper weight by absorbing and eliminating our food quickly, thereby speeding up our metabolism. Enzymes help us detoxify our tissues more quickly, and at a deeper level, which helps our body have a proper metabolism needed to maintain a healthy weight. Eating foods that are appropriate for our blood type can determine how efficiently we “burn” calories, and how we look and feel. Weight gain can often occur when we eat foods that are not compatible with our blood type.

Regain that peppy feeling
Today most people are drained and tired, feeling depleted of energy. One of those factors is stress. Stress can come from environmental factors, our demanding lifestyle, and physical injuries, whether from accidents, traumas, or sports related. While we can mask the feeling of stress by using caffeine, nicotine, and refined sugars, the key is to address your energy levels at the cellular level so that you can feel energetic in a way that helps your body and builds good health, while helping you feel more energetic.

Mental Clarity
Low levels of blood oxygen have been shown to contribute to physical and mental fatigue, “fuzzy” thought, poor endurance, lactic acid build up and a decreased ability to heal. To increase your blood’s ability to carry oxygen, debris in the blood needs to be cleaned up. The cleaner the blood, the more effectively it can transport oxygen to essential body parts of your body such as the heart, muscles, and the brain. Debris includes high serum protein levels, and oxidized solids such as plaque, cholesterol, uric acid and fibrin, all which decrease the blood’s ability to carry oxygen by congesting your blood and thickening blood vessel walls via inflammation.

Blood tests to identify these conditions can be done in our office via live blood cell analysis, and out of office via our comprehensive functional blood chemistry analysis.

At Fundamental Health Solutions, our anti-visible aging supplementation program includes the use of a clinically tested, bio-available liquid supplement that contains highly absorbable collagen, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, known for helping to hydrate your skin, as well as the ability to contribute to joint lubrication

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Feeling better than your age

One of the biggest issues associated with aging is that a person usually doesn’t feel as energetic as they have in the past. They find that they are unable to participate in activities as they could when they were younger. By focusing on nutritional approaches to address and correct aging issues, we’ve seen the issues commonly associated with aging, reduce or turn around with our schedule of care.

Aging and Cardio Vascular Health
Free radicals damage our cells as well as leave small tears on the inner surface of our blood vessels, which can result in scarring and perpetuate inflammation. The body’s ability to repair these micro-tears diminishes with age, leaving spaces that allow the build-up of arterial plaque, which can eventually lead to clogged circulation. Over time, your heart muscle has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood through congested, rigid, less flexible blood vessels. This can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Important first steps to combat this and related effects begins with anti-oxidants, cardio tonic nutrients, and techniques for correcting chronic inflammation. A healthy heart is a well nourished and oxygenated heart. By using nutrients that can help the heart receive and use oxygen, many common cardio-vascular issues can be corrected with bio-available supplementation, without drugs. We also suggest taking the Myeloperoxidase enzyme test, known for identifying heart problems before they happen

Muscle Mass is key for weight loss
Eating the right foods, which contain quality protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients does not mean you will necessarily absorb them. Under-production of Hydrochloric (stomach) acid due to stress and aging, or stomach acid suppressive therapies, along with a lack of enzymes, leads to mal-absorption of nutrients. One way this is evident is with a decline of muscle mass. Without addressing this, a person can become frail, which means they have inadequate muscle mass for their age. As we lose muscle mass, we begin to more easily accumulate fat since muscle is required to burn fat. Once the stomach’s acid production is returned to normal levels, and sufficient levels of enzymes are present, we can absorb our nutrients.

Healthy bones depend upon many things
Optimal bone health means strong, flexible bones, not necessarily thicker bones, and is dependent upon good digestion, coupled with a variety of nutrients. Studies which include only calcium supplementation show mixed results in restoring healthy bone density. Since our bones require many nutrients, we obtain the best results when we supplement with all of these nutrients. Using a non-radiation, urinary assay to measure present bone loss, and the bone loss rate, we can measure your bone health every 3 months, or less, versus less frequently if you have a DEXA (radiation) scan. This enables us to monitor the effectiveness of the recommended protocol, as well as measuring system wide bone loss, versus (DEXA) focal bone loss.

Skin, Joints and Gum Health
Our supplementation program includes the use of a clinically tested, bio-available liquid supplement that contains highly absorbable hydrolyzed collagen, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, known for helping to hydrate your skin, as well as the ability to contribute to joint lubrication and regenerate cartilage. Together, these three nutritional substances can help turn around many of the more uncomfortable contributors to aging such as joint discomfort, losing mobility, and joint flexibility. Patients have also reported improved gum health as well as correcting dry eye problems.

Weight Gain
Often, the aging process includes weight gain, especially where hormonal shifts contribute to metabolic slowdown. Enzymes, exercise, and good colon health help our bodies regulate proper weight by absorbing and eliminating our food quickly, thereby speeding up our metabolism. Enzymes help us detoxify our tissues more quickly, and at a deeper level. Virtually all weight experts agree that minimizing toxins in organs and glands are needed to ensure their proper metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.

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The Anti-Aging Telomerase Enzyme

Telomere and DNA

Telomere and DNA

What is a Telomere? A telomere is a protective cap at the end of our DNA double helix strand which keeps them uniform and tight. As we age, our Telomeres become shorter. Therefore, with each cell replication the DNA strands get less tight, like shoelaces with no cap, the DNA strands begin to unravel. Since our DNA carries our genetic information for each cell replication, as the strands get less tight, the genetic information vital for cell replication gets less and less exact. The result is a less than perfect copy of your cells until the replicated cells cannot sustain life. We see this process as aging. Even though two people may have the same chronological age, their biological ages and appearances may be very different. Telomere length is a true measure of your biological age- how we look, feel and function. At Fundamental Health Solutions, we use a special tests which can measure telomere length and accurately determine your true biological age.

What Is Telomerase? Telomerase is the enzyme which builds and maintains our Telomeres.  We are distributors for Telezyme, the only product which contains the actual Telomerase enzyme. Telomere lengthening is significantly enhanced by supplying adequate amounts of actual telomerase enzyme prior to cell replication. Younger people have higher amounts of Telomerase enzyme in their cells than older people. As we age, we gradually lose the capacity to produce Telomerase enzyme which is required to make an exact copy of your cells.

What Are The Best Ways To Help My Telomeres? Good Nutrition, exercise and managing stress minimize the shortening of our Telomeres. If you want to elongate your Telomeres, like when you were younger, take Telomerase enzyme. Telomerase enzyme supplement gets absorbed by our cells and replaces lost Telomerase enzyme required to make an identical copy of your cells.

The Significance Of Telomerase And Aging Shortened telomere caps lead to unraveling of our DNA which damages our genetic material, as a result our cells function less efficiently. Once a critical length is reached, called the “Hayflick limit”, the cell dies and cannot reproduce. If telomerase activity is high, our cells can reproduce and we see a profound delay in the aging process. If telomerase activity is low, we see accelerated aging, and problems associated with aging. PhD Biologist, Dr. Michael West, cites telomerase enzyme as the “cellular fountain of youth”. Cell biologist Calvin Harley shows that cells can live up to 100 times longer, and in a more youthful state under the influence of telomerase enzyme.

Are There Other Products Like This?
We have found only one commercial product that contains the actual telomerase enzyme based on the Nobel Prize Winning Research in 2009. In 2011, the commercial product was developed by a Nobel Prize Finalist and Enzymologist, and his research team. (unrelated to the Nobel Team of 2009) 
Since the Nobel Prize was awarded to the team of scientists who discovered Telomerase enzyme, many commercial products have resulted that claim to elongate our Telomeres by using special nutrient co-factors and/or hormones.  However, we take our cue from the research provided by the Nobel Prize winning scientists who demonstrated that the critical influence that limits Telomere elongation is due to insufficient amounts of Telomerase enzyme.  Therefore, only by increasing quantities of actual Telomerase enzyme in the blood, like when you were younger, can regenerate your Telomeres. 

Some interesting facts about telomerase:

  • Younger people have longer telomeres than older people. When compared to older people, younger people tend to have less illnesses, less risk factors for illnesses and recover faster from injuries and illnesses.
  • Studies peformed on healthy people versus people who were seriously ill showed that healthy people had longer telomeres than sick people, therefore higher activity levels of telomerase enzyme. This measurement was statistically significant.
  • A preponderance of research which shows that decreasing stress, good nutrition, and healthy amounts of exercise all minimize the shortening rate of telomeres.
  • Certain nutrients, such as antioxidants, have been shown to minimize the shortening of telomeres and offer protection to telomerase enzyme.

How Long Do I Need to Use Telomerase Enzyme in Order to See Results?
Telomerase enzyme works by elongating our Telomeres during cell division, therefore it is the rate of cell division that determines how soon we see and feel results.  Each of our cells divide at different rates, and this rate slows down as we age.  Some of our blood cells, such as platelets, can divide in 8-12 days. Other cells can take as long as 6-8 months.  In both cases, the time needed for our cells to divide increases with age (which is why we heal more quickly when we’re younger).  Although we are all unique biochemical individuals who respond differently to therapies, a general rule of thumb is that if you take 11% of your age, you can estimate the time needed to see external results.  For example, for a person who is 40 years old, he or she can expect to see external changes in about 4.4 years while taking Telomerase enzyme on a consistent daily basis.   Additionally, people who follow our health and wellness schedule of care will tend to see results more quickly than those who do not.

 

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Can Polyamine levels contribute to digestive problems and weight gain?

Polyamine’s role in digestive problems
Your body needs polyamines in order to repair certain tissues, and to help you maintain a healthy nervous system. However, polyamines must be kept in balance if we are to remain healthy. Polyamines in high amounts can contribute to creating a toxic state in your tissues. Biochemistry textbooks commonly refer to polyamines as “dead flesh” proteins.

When living tissue is shocked, or dies, it’s protein structure cracks open. Bacteria or enzymes contained in the food itself subsequently convert many of the protein fragments into polyamines, and is why they are found in high amounts in injured or traumatized patients. Polyamines are also found in foods that are have been permanently altered—shocked by rapid freezing, overly processed, canned, packaged, and radiated. Certain types of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes also contain high concentration of polyamines.

Indicators of high polyamine levels
There is no convenient direct method to assess polyamine levels, although you can use several other indirect measures as barometers of polyamine levels:

  • High or abnormal serum albumin: Polyamine synthesis has a positive effect on albumin levels.
  • High urinary indican: Large amounts of indicans are a sign of high bacteria counts in the upper intestine. High indican levels are associated with liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal health problems.
  • Halitosis (Bad breath): If you experience persistent bad breath, despite diligent brushing and flossing, you probably, then it’s likely your polyamine levels are too high.
  • Frequent headaches from fermented foods- (red wine, raw sauerkraut) Polyamines enhance the effect of histamines, which are implicated in certain types of headaches. Histamines dilate blood vessels, including those in the brain, which can then transmit pain throughout the head.
  • Certain Grains- when consumed by certain blood types, such as when type O’s consume wheat, will increase your production of polyamines which can lead to inflammation, joint problems, bowel difficulties and difficulty losing weight.
  • Several other problems such as odiferous stools, mental agitation, carbohydrate intolerance, fatigue can also indicate improper balance of polyamines.

Eating for your Blood Type can have an important effect in reducing your exposure to weight gain related lectins. If you follow your specific blood type diet, you can balance the proper amount of polyamines along with minimizing your exposure to lectins that are incompatible with your body. Eating for your blood type can give you more energy, greater mental focus and clarity, reduces stress and helps you lose weight.  It is important to have a complete nutritional assessment which determines your blood type, secretor status, and genotype when it comes to choosing a diet that will create optimal health and wellness and allow us to age gracefully. Genotype refers to the genetic make up – this takes into account one’s genetic history. We perform this type of analysis in our office, which can help everyone, and help unravel some of the mysteries that some people of mixed race ancestry have also experienced when it comes to diet and their health.

SWAMI can help!
In our practice, we incorporate a detailed diet plan as an integral tool to optimize energy, decrease inflammation, and most importantly change the way your immune system expresses itself within the blood. We believe that each person has “biochemical individuality.” This means that we respond differently to foods and our environment. The food you eat can affect you negatively or positively, or be neutral. To build good health, you need to eat the foods that create positive effects for you.

To help patients turn their health issues and symptoms around by changing their diet and eating for their blood type, we develop a highly specific set of dietary guidelines complete with individualized recipes. This not only takes into account your blood type, but mitigates food allergies and sensitivities by helping you avoiding foods that are problematic for you. We do this with SWAMI GenoType software. This enables us to quickly tailor unique one-of-a kind diets, based on a person’s blood type, fingerprints, health history, biometric measurements and over ninety other variables.

SWAMI GenoType helps you to understand why certain diets that have been great for your friend’s ability to lose weight may have left you feeling less than well. It is a tool we use to help our patients select foods that work to build your immune system, blood, and entire body chemistry. You can read more about SWAMI on our website by clicking here:

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What is oxidative stress and how it contributes to cellular damage

Experts say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you ward off infections like colds and flu, because they contain immune-boosting antioxidants. Fortunately we can also take in nutrients via supplementation, and we’ll share why this is so important.

What are antioxidants? They are certain vitamins (A, C, E), some minerals such as selenium and zinc, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Many experts believe this damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. So fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong, making you better able to ward off colds, flu, and other infections. (WebMD, 2012)

The body needs a variety of antioxidants to accomplish a variety of tasks. Not all antioxidants can go everywhere in the body. Some antioxidants can only work inside our cells, like glutathione, and certain enzyme based antioxidants. Some antioxidants are small enough to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and protect our brain from excess oxidation which contributes to neurodegeneration and plaque buildup in the brain. Antioxidants protect our cells from a secondary form of oxidation, also called “oxidative stress”, which yields free radicals.

What is “oxidative stress”?
The terms oxidative stress and free radicals have become familiar in recent years, but what does this mean? If you want a detailed explanation, please check out our article called Anti-Oxidants and Oxidative Stress  in the Library Section of our Blog. “Oxidation” is the chemist’s term for the process of removing electrons from an atom or molecule. Oxidation occurs whenever our cells use oxygen.  We must have oxidation in order to survive, without it we would die. However, oxidation can yield harmful byproducts after our cells burn an oxygen molecule; these harmful compounds are called “free radicals”. A free radical is a stray, unpaired electron.

Free Radicals Electrons don’t like to be unpaired, therefore an electron will seek out other electrons by stealing them from healthy tissues in order to stabilize itself. After stealing the electron, a damaged leftover cell that unwillingly gave up an electron is left behind. This damaged cell functions less optimally than before, and if it gets damaged by enough free radicals can become crippled and not do its job properly, or die prematurely. This process continues on and on, free radicals damaging tissues unless it can be stopped with an antioxidant.

Ways that we increase oxidation are through exercise, inflammation, stress, poor diet, smoking, exposure to radiation, illicit drugs, several medications, and pollutants to name a few. Being alive requires oxidation, there is no stopping it, and therefore it is important to have a healthy diet to absorb these free radicals which result from oxidation.

Exercise increases oxidation because anything that considerably speeds up our metabolism yields more free radicals. Exercise is good, we need it! However, we must consume foods that provide healthy amounts of antioxidants to neutralize the harmful byproducts that exercise can leave behind. We’ve all heard of Marathoners who have had a heart attack at a young age. Free radical damage can not only affect our cells, but can scar the inner smooth surface of our blood vessels. If these tiny micro-tears are not properly repaired by the body, they can create spaces that allow arterial plaque to take hold and build up.

We have defenses against oxidative stress: substances in our diets, for example, Vitamin C and E, can donate electrons and end the destructive chain reactions, as well as aid in repair. We all experience different levels of oxidative stress. The key to slowing down aging and age-related sickness is reflected in our ability to cope with oxidative stress over time.

How does an antioxidant work?
Have you ever seen the movie “The bodyguard” with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston? At the end of the movie the bodyguard hero, played by Kevin Costner, jumps in front of Whitney Houston as the villain attempts to shoot her. Kevin Costner, the bodyguard, “takes the bullet”, sparing Whitney Houston and saving the day. This is how an antioxidant works. Antioxidants “take the bullet” of free radicals, so your joints, tissues and cells don’t have to. An antioxidant has the unusual ability to safely absorb free radicals, therefore prevent further damage to your cells and tissues. An antioxidant does this by generously sharing its outer ring electrons to bond with harmful free radicals. The greater the number of electrons in the outer ring, the more powerful the antioxidant due its higher absorbency potential. Antioxidants essentially “mop up” free radicals in the body.

How do you recognize a lack of antioxidants in the body?
Many common health issues are a result of short or long term Free Radical damage. Before experiencing serious health problems, it is recommended that you get tested to identify whether you have a lack of antioxidants in your body. Even if you are taking antioxidants, we can assess if they are working properly.

References:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/antioxidants-your-immune-system-super-foods-optimal-health
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400537/Stumped-by-Oxidative-Stress.html

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Healthy Bones are needed for good health

Mature healthy couple enjoying life togetherWe need healthy bones to be healthy!

Besides providing our body a structural framework which allows our muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue to work, our bones provide a mineral reserve that our body calls upon during times of depletion and stress.

Contained within our bone tissue are large amounts of important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, boron, protein, and vitamins.  These are used by our body, released from our bones, to drive other essential chemical reactions in the body. For long term bone and overall health, your bones need to have an adequate supply on reserve.

Why is bone health so important to the rest of our body?    Our bone marrow, the innermost portion of our bones, is the “manufacturing plant” for all our blood cells.   Bone marrow makes our red blood cells, which carry precious oxygen to our organs and glands, and returns the gaseous waste product carbon dioxide back to our lungs.  Bone marrow makes all of our immune cells, called white blood cells, which are the guardians of our health.   Our bone marrow also makes platelets, the third type of blood cell, which serves to clot blood when we are bleeding.  When our bone health suffers, only a good “Health Detective” will seek out the underlying cause.

Thick Bone Versus Strong Healthy Bone
It is the quality of a bone’s composition that makes them strong, not necessarily the thickness.  Because conventional approaches only look at thickness, and not bone quality, the structural integrity of our skeletal system is suboptimal.  For example, one type of conventional approach allows weaker, poorer quality bone tissue to build up to achieve thicker bones.  The quality of these thicker bones often contains dead bone tissue that should have been removed in the first place. Good quality bone means that the bone is of strong architecture.

At Fundamental Health Solutions we use a more sensitive laboratory test called the NTx Osteomark Urinary Assay to assess bone health. The NTx urinary assay measures a specific amino acid unique to bone which is found in the urine and detects subtle changes in bone loss, which occurs in everyone over the age of 50. This test provides more information than traditional tests, such as a DEXA scan, without radiation exposure.

DEXA Scan Versus The NTx Urinary Test

The NTx Osteomark Urinary Assay measures present, not past bone loss and it measures the bone loss rate.  Unlike DEXA scans, we can measure your bone health every 3 months, or less, versus annually.  This also allows us to monitor the effectiveness of the recommended protocol, as well as measuring system wide bone loss, versus (DEXA) only focal bone loss.  The NTx Urinary test is an easy and non-invasive way for our patients that enables us to monitor and identify potential problems with your bones before they turn into a more serious problem.

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How Lectins contribute to immune system and weight gain issues

Have you ever wondered why other people can use a popular diet, and the pounds shed for them, but when YOU try this diet you end up gaining weight? How can this be?? Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found in all foods that interact with your blood type; all foods interact with your blood in a good, bad or neutral way. Lectins and polyamines are compounds found in foods which can interfere with a variety of health promoting processes in the body.

When you eat a food that’s incompatible with your blood type, they can interfere with digestion, metabolism, and your immune system. Not only can this contribute to poor health, inflammation, and illness, but it can also contribute to weight gain and make it extremely difficult to lose weight. Not only do lectins cause our blood to needlessly stick together, making it difficult to eliminate toxins, but lectins interfere with an appetite suppressing hormone called leptin (note the difference).

Lectin’s role in weight gain
When the hormone leptin is found in sufficient amounts, it tells the brain that “we’re full” thereby suppressing appetite and helps us burn calories more efficiently. When we have hormonal leptin resistance, incompatible lectins can occupy these hormone sites causing an abnormal and voracious appetite.  When these hormone receptor sites are blocked, it is difficult to feel satisfied even after eating enough food, and we may constantly feel hungry. Obese people have been shown to have very high levels of hormonal leptin resistance. Poor quality calories, lack of enzymes and nutrients, eating junk food or refined overly processed foods can also be a source of incompatible lectins.

Lectins, Blood Type and weight gain
Our blood type plays an important role interacting with lectins. A common effect of lectins is to cause the sugars on the outer surface of our cells to cross-link with those of another cell, effectively causing our cells to stick together. This process of cells sticking together is called agglutination, which is the most well known effect of most lectins. Not all lectins cause agglutination. A few types of lectins cause certain cells to proliferate. Basically, lectins make things stick to other things. The degree that lectins “choose” the cells they stick to is primarily determined by the degree of “glycosylation” that a particular tissue has. Glycosylation refers to when a sugar attaches to proteins, fats and other molecules. For example, the cells lining the small intestine wall usually are very well glycosylated therefore have many sites for lectin binding.

If you have incompatibilities with wheat, and you eat wheat, these lectins bind to the intestinal wall. This can cause a myriad of problems, one of which can be weight gain. This is also one reason why some people who are diagnosed with CD, or Celiac Disease, are not necessarily the extremely underweight sterotype that plagues many CD diagnosed people.

Lectins and digestive issues
A person who is incompatible with certain types of meat (because of lectins), can become weak, lethargic and susceptible to infection. Lectins have been known to cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, fatigue, buildup of unfriendly bacteria and a smorgasbord of immune system problems. When cells begin to stick together, and there’s not a specific reason requiring this to happen such as clotting, serious health problems can begin to appear. Lectins that are incompatible with your blood can cause the inhibition of digestive hormones as well as the production of toxins. Some lectins resemble the sugars found on harmful bacteria; therefore can cause an autoimmune attack on our own cells.

Lectins can attack your system in various ways—well beyond what we normally think of as digestive problems:

  • Lectins can cause weight gain, and make weight loss difficult
  • Lectins can interfere with the immune system
  • Lectins can interfere with protein digestion
  • Lectins can activate autoantibodies in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions
  • Lectins can damage the intestinal lining
  • Lectins can influence gut permeability and can contribute to “leaky gut”
  • Lectins can block the transportation of hormones
  • Lectins can impair absorption of nutrients
  • Lectins can stimulate organ overgrowth (such as our pancreas in cases with insulin resistance)
  • Lectins can penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) and contribute to cognitive problems

Eating for your Blood Type can have an important effect in reducing your exposure to weight gain related lectins. If you follow your specific blood type diet, you can balance the proper amount of polyamines along with minimizing your exposure to lectins that are incompatible with your body. Eating for your blood type can give you more energy, greater mental focus and clarity, reduces stress and helps you lose weight.

It is therefore important to have a complete nutritional assessment which determines your blood type, secretor status, and genotype when it comes to building the foundation needed to create optimal health and wellness and allow us to age gracefully. Genotype refers to the genetic make up – this takes into account one’s genetic history. We perform this type of analysis in our office, which can help everyone, and help unravel some of the mysteries that some people of mixed race ancestry have also experienced when it comes to diet and their health.

What if my genetics are the cause of my health decline?
Genetic issues regarding diet and health do not need to be a problem where you have to give up, and believe that you have to accept “the hand we were dealt.”  While we can’t eliminate or add new genes, we can turn up the volume on certain genes and silence others through careful application of diet and supplementation. This is called epigenetics. The net result is a vast improvement in our health and happiness. Supplementation is imperative today, but we only get partial results with our health when we leave out the importance of diet.

SWAMI knows genotypes and what you should eat to build your health!
We work with the SWAMI GenoType software to help our patients build health through food and nutrition. SWAMI creates one-of-a kind diets, based on a person’s blood type, fingerprints, health history, biometric measurements and over ninety other variables. SWAMI incorporates over

100,000 years of forensic anthropology following ancestral diets. By emphasizing cultures with good health and longevity, SWAMI GenoType evaluates each of over 700 foods for over 200 individual attributes (such as its cholesterol level, gluten content, presence of antioxidants, etc.) to determine if a food is either a superfood or toxin specifically for you.

Based on your specific test results, SWAMI GenoType considers a food to be either of three values: a ‘superfood’, ‘neutral’ or ‘toxin-avoid’, then each category of foods are broken down based on these values. Certain genotypes of people can pack on the pounds when consuming certain whole grains like wheat, while others require these foods for adequate blood sugar balance.

SWAMI is especially helpful for those who have made many changes to eat healthy, but have still hit plateaus in feeling better or turning around chronic health issues. SWAMI provides the analysis and provides many recipes that can work for you. Additionally, we apply our clinical judgment by identifying specific nutritional deficiencies during the examination and provide appropriate supplement recommendations needed to bring about rapid optimal healthy change.

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The Value of Blood Chemistry – Catching Health Problems Early

There is no general screening test that is more effective and efficient than a comprehensive blood chemistry panel. A comprehensive blood chemistry panel will allow a healthcare provider to quickly assess the degree of health in a patient. This tool is very effective for any healthcare provider attempting to identify imbalances in body metabolism. It is relatively inexpensive and can help manage many serious health challenges. Over the past decades, the demand for healthcare providers who have mastered the fundamentals of blood chemistry principles has increased. Experience, training and skill vary amongst practitioners when interpreting lab tests and providing recommendations. A comprehensive blood chemistry analysis is a great place to start when looking for problems.

One of the many conveniences of this type of testing is that patients all over the nation can have their blood drawn close to their residence, and then have their lab results delivered electronically to a doctor of their choice for interpretation. This way allows a patient to work with a healthcare practitioner across the country, or across the world.

Functional Versus Pathological Blood Chemistry Lab Ranges
There are two main types of ranges in the field of blood chemistry analysis: a functional and pathological range. The pathological range is a larger range used to identify when a person is sick. All laboratories which perform blood chemistry analysis use these ranges. Many people who fall inside the normal pathological range are told they are “healthy”, yet may continue to experience health problems. These lab reference ranges are formulated from testing sick people, not healthy people. Therefore, if you fall in this range you may be told that everything is normal, yet continue to have the same problems.

On the other hand the functional range is a narrower range, taken from healthier people, used to assess risk for health problems and detect serious health challenges before they develop. Because of conventional dogma, many traditional healthcare practitioners do not embrace the concept of the functional range. What it boils down to is your definition of “health” and how healthy you want to feel. Embracing the functional range embraces a higher definition of health, vitality and wellness compared to the pathological range. The functional blood chemistry ranges used at Fundamental Health Solutions have been determined by the American Association of Clinical Chemists (AACC) taken from healthy subjects.

Interpretation
Although there are some individual lab values for blood chemistry that are specific, most lab values must be evaluated in conjunction with other lab values in order to make an accurate assessment. For example, the lab value LDL Cholesterol is associated with heart health. This value is also associated with liver health, oxidation, and antioxidant deficiencies in the body; therefore an elevation can indicate problems in these areas of the body as well. This example points out the importance that blood chemistry analysis is about identifying patterns to ascertain probabilities. Patterns can only be accurately determined when sufficient lab values are tested. The most important attribute of any healthcare practitioner is learning to identify patterns and provide an appropriate course of action to improve health.

Know Your Numbers
Additional tests, or specialty tests, may be ordered based upon each individual case but only after notification and consent is given by the patient. If you already have had these values tested recently, please submit them for our review. We would be happy to provide further interpretation and assistance.

 

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How your blood type can affect weight loss

We often hear of people who are very careful about the foods they eat.  They will get a balanced diet of fresh vegetables, fruits and grains, not drink calorie laden sodas, eat moderate portions of meat and get frequent exercise – yet despite all of that, they still struggle with gaining weight and/or the inability to lose weight.

What can be even more frustrating is following a calorie restriction diet.  It is very common for people to go on a diet that restricts the intake of calories – and then suffer with frequent hunger pangs.  Considering that most Americans eat 33% to 50% fewer calories than in the past, yet weigh almost twice as much, calorie counting is not the magic bullet to sustained weight loss and a healthy body that is nourished properly.

Low and poor quality caloric diets are credited with creating people described as “TOFI” – Thin Outside, Fat Inside.  This refers to women, in particular, who are visibly “thin” for their height and weight, yet have extremely inadequate muscle mass needed for burning fat.  TOFI people have disproportionately higher amounts of body fat when compared to muscle mass for their size.  They are “thin”, but soft, and flabby with poor muscle tone, as a result of eating poorly.

Others may lose weight by counting calories but hit a plateau and seem stuck there.  Others will decide that eliminating meat products is the way to go so they turn to vegan diet.  For some, the vegan diet can seem like the answer to their problems and the pounds peel off and they feel great.  For others, this switch to a seemingly healthy diet causes them to end up feeling worse than they were when they were eating meat.  How can this be?

Let’s look at soy.  Soy based products have long been an alternative protein source.  Is soy the wonder food?  It can be if your soy based products are good for you.  During a discussion with an alternative healer, some years ago, she commented that most of the people she had seen did not handle soy products that well over long periods of time, unless they were of Asian descent.  When you consider that most soy products are consumed as Tofu, a food based in Asian cultures,  people with Asian genetics have had some 2,000 years for their genetics to adapt and metabolize this food.  For many others, soy based products may actually present a different challenge.

In 1997, Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a Naturopathic Doctor, published a book called, “Eat Right 4 Your Type.”  Dr. Adamo had spent the past fifteen years researching the connections among blood type, food and diseases, and built upon the thirty years of research done by his father, to produce a book that helped countless people make sense of the curious inconsistent results regarding many popular diet plans.

Basically, Dr. A’damo states that your blood type reflects your internal chemistry:  it is the key that unlocks the mysteries of disease, longevity, fitness, and emotional strength.   In his book he explains how your Blood Type can determine your susceptibility to illness, the type of foods you should eat, and the ways to avoid many health problems.  Perhaps one of the most profound findings, which tie into our practice of Functional Medicine at our offices at Fundamental Health Solutions, is Dr A’damo’s findings on how to slow down the aging process by avoiding factors specific to your blood type that cause rapid cell deterioration.

Out of 6617 individuals who reported their results from following the Blood Type Diet for a period of one month or more, three out of four (71-78%) had significant improvement in a variety of health conditions. Weight loss was the effect most often observed, and not surprisingly, so were a number of reported improvements in digestive function, resistance to stress, overall energy and mental clarity. The percentages (71-78%) of patients reporting positive results are consistent across all the blood types.

Are You Eating Foods Correct For Your Blood Type and Genotype?
How does this work?  A single drop of blood contains the biological blueprint of who you are as an individual. Your blood type is the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, illness, longevity, physical vitality and emotional strength. It determines what foods you should eat and how you should exercise. It determines your energy levels and the efficiency with which you “burn” calories.

Although there are four blood types-O, A, B and AB-it would be an oversimplification to suggest that there are only four types of people in the world. The reality is far more intricate and complex. Subtyping your blood type provides even greater specificity. An additional set of simple genetic tests further individualize your needs and formalize a final diet plan for you. The final product is a 38 page diet plan telling you the foods you CAN eat, with helpful recipes. No two diets are exactly the same. Additionally, we provide the types of exercises that will benefit you most to help you maintain good

For more information on adapting the D’Adamo dietary guidelines, and visiting our office for an in office consult and overview of your body’s current ability to absorb and metabolize what you are eating, please contact us at Fundamental Health Solutions.  We are located in Austin, TX and can offer some long distance consultation as well.  Click here to contact us

Research
1) Diet, Health and The ABO Blood Groups taken from The Mayo Clinic

Further Reading:
Bland, Jeffrey, Genetic Nutritioneering, Lincolnwood: NTC Contemporary Publishing Group, 1999  Dr Bland has stated that, “By selecting the right diet and lifestyle for our genotype—related in part to our bloodtype—we can turn off the expression of certain genetic messages that trigger ill-health and turn on the expression of messages that foster good health.”  Dr. Jeffrey Bland is the  Founder of Functional Medicine.

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Bone Health for Women

We all know that as we age, many people, especially women, begin to develop brittle and more fragile bones. What are some of the factors involved in this breakdown?

Hormones, especially estrogen, play an important role in our bone turnover rate.  Sufficient amounts of the proper form of estrogen have been shown to reduce bone breakdown, also called bone resorption. Estrogen therapies do not directly build, or increase bone, but attempt to minimize the breakdown. Hence women, especially menopausal women, have increased risk factors. In many cases hormonal imbalances stem from high levels of cortisol (aka the “stress hormone”) in the blood. There are ways to detect high levels of cortisol, which suppresses normal levels of other hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, in addition to assisting your body’s natural production of hormones.

Physical Activity — Culturally, women are taught to be less physical than men. Often times, women often do not participate in enough physical activity, especially lifting heavier objects. Cultures where women are more physical, for example, in Africa, appear to have far less levels of osteoporosis.

The role of aging – As we age, we also lose our ability to make the hydrochloric (stomach) acid needed to activate many of our enzymes to digest our nutrients, and put them into a form that our body can use. Without HCL, certain enzymes (especially protein digesting types- proteases) will not work at all.  We can eat and eat, but not absorb what we need.  There’s a saying in nutrition, “it’s not what you eat but what you absorb that matters.” This implies that even if you eat the right things for your health, you may not absorb all the nutrients needed to provide good health and build healthy bones.

Not Enough Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) – HCL isn’t just for digesting your food.  HCL serves another purpose which is to “ionize” our minerals.  Ionization of our metal based minerals (Zinc, Boron, Copper, Iron, Iodine, etc.) means the mineral is broken down into its smallest form but still while keeping its properties intact.  When something is “ionized” it can easily slip into and out-of a cell, meaning that your body can utilize it.  When minerals are not ionized, not only are they nearly impossible for our cells to use, but they can accumulate and become lodged into our tissues. This can lead to health conditions:  for example, in Wilson’s disease there is an accumulation of copper found typically in the brain and liver.  Hemochromatosis/Hemosiderosis are iron accumulation diseases of varied severity, both due to improperly ionized forms of a mineral. This is why ionizable minerals and nutrients are extremely important.  Many people are unaware that the crux of what happens here goes back to digestion. Proper functioning digestion and taking the right mineral forms can help reduce bone loss, increase collagen and help improve your joints.

Too Much Hydrochloric Acid- In addition to reflux, too much HCL can contribute to bone health related problems too.  During times of enzyme deficiency, we increase our production of HCL to aid digestion. This can result in HCL leaking past our buffer systems in into the periphery where it can interfere with bone health.

Just the Right Amount- When our body excretes just the right amount of HCL, and our digestive organs are working harmoniously, our body has an easier time maintaining homeostasis or balance.

Nutrient Status – Many of us are told that we should supplement with only Calcium in order to improve the health of our bones.  Studies which include only calcium supplementation show mixed results in restoring healthy bone density.  Since our bones require many nutrients, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Boron, Potassium, Vitamins C, D, and K, and a protein called “collagen”, we obtain the best results when we supplement with all of these nutrients.

At Fundamental Health Solutions, we use a non radiation, urinary assay to measure present bone loss, and the bone loss rate. Unlike with DEXA scans, we can measure your bone health every 3 months, or less, versus annually. This also allows us to monitor the effectiveness of the recommended protocol, as well as measuring system wide bone loss, versus (DEXA) focal bone loss.

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What is an Autoimmune Disorder

Many of us have heard the word “auto-immune” but what does this really mean? Basically it means that a person has a condition where their immune system cannot separate a “bad” invader from their own body tissue.   How does this work? When the body identifies a foreign substance, it recognizes proteins, called “antigens.” The role of the antigens are to alert the immune system so that it can neutralize their “harmful” effects. In a healthy person’s body, serve to quickly locate foreign invaders and debris, such as viruses, bacteria and toxins. In an autoimmune disorder, the immune system becomes overwhelmed because it has to do extra work besides fighting foreign invaders, and in the process the body damages its own tissue. Also, there can be an overaggressive or insufficient response to an antigen.

It is commonly believed that in an “autoimmune disorder”, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. The general misconception is that the body is attacking itself due to some rogue immune system problem. Actually, the body is mostly doing what it is supposed to do. The body is trying get rid of something called “Immune Complexes” (IC’s) by using every available resource, any way possible, no matter what. The body is trying to reach all those IC’s, even if normal tissue is “in the way” of what it needs to do. The side effect is that a person then experiences the common autoimmune flare ups and remissions.

Immune Complexes are part of a normally occurring process of the Immune System, initially triggered by a threat (antigen). The problem begins to occur when there are too many antigens that overwhelm the process. Not all of these antigens are things like viruses, bacteria, molds and pollen; some of it is undigested food in your blood. When this happens, the response that follows can lead to a hypersensitivity reaction similar to the response in allergic conditions. In allergies, the immune system reacts to an outside substance that it normally would ignore. With autoimmune disorders, the immune system reacts to seemingly “normal” body tissues that it would normally ignore.

An autoimmune disorder may result in abnormal growth of an organ or changes in organ function. It can affect one or more organ or tissue types. Organs and tissues commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include your blood vessels, connective tissue, endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas, joints, muscles, red blood cells and skin.

A person may have more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time. Examples of autoimmune (or autoimmune-related) disorders include:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Bullous Pemphigoid
  • Celiac disease – sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
  • Dermatomyosititis
  • Graves disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Type I diabetes

People with autoimmune conditions may experience a wide range of health problems, varying in duration and intensity that can include: fatigue, digestive complaints, skin problems, joint discomfort and a general feeling of malaise just to name a few. A person’s individual response depends on what part of the body is experiencing autoimmunity. When autoimmune conditions exist, usually there is more than one tissue, organ or gland that is being affected.

Identifying Autoimmune conditions
There are various laboratory tests that can help uncover signs of an autoimmune condition, and even more importantly, unhealthy trends occurring in your blood that can be found before the autoimmune condition begins to affect your quality of life.

Current Model for Managing Autoimmune Conditions
Conventional healthcare for autoimmune conditions focus on reducing symptoms by suppressing the entire immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to opportunistic infections and other health problems as a result of decreased immunity.

Functional Approach to Auto-immune Conditions
Without suppressing the immune system, we help direct a normal immune response by helping the body clear a major underlying cause of autoimmunity- Immune Complexes. Furthermore, we bring in other tools to help normalize over and under active parts of the immune system, needed to restore balance.

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The Power of Thought in Healing Outcomes

Krebiozen was a promising new cancer drug in the 1950’s
In the 1950s, a man named Mr. Wright was medically diagnosed to have cancer, and given only days to live. Hospitalized in Long Beach, California, he was a terminal cancer patient dying from advanced lymphosarcoma. He had tumors in his neck, axilla, chest, abdomen, and groin the size of oranges.

Dr. West was one of the doctors chosen to evaluate the use of Krebiozen. Upon learning of this new experimental drug, Mr. Wright begged to be included in the study. Dr. West administered the first injection on Friday. When he returned to the hospital on Monday, Dr. West was amazed to find Mr. Wright out of bed and well on his way toward a miraculous recovery. His large tumors had “melted like snowballs on a hot stove”.

When Mr. Wright later read medical reports that the horse serum Krebiozen was a “quack remedy” and “an ineffective drug “ he suffered a relapse. Dr. West devised an experiment. He told Mr. Wright that he was scheduled to receive “a new super-refined, double strength” product the next day. This time with great fanfare, Dr. West administered an injection of saline (salt) water. Mr. Wright regained his optimism and his second recovery was even more rapid than his first.

After the AMA issued a press release that “nationwide tests show Krebiozen to be a worthless drug in the treatment of cancer,” Mr. Wright’s condition once again deteriorated and he died two days later. While this remarkable true story is often quoted as an example of the placebo effect, it also provides a vivid illustration of the power of the mind to control the body and to contribute to our ability to heal.

Psychologist Dr. Adler, and many researchers since then, identified that there is an emotional state of mind that accompanies poor health, and a different state of mind that accompanies good health. In 1981 the mind/body connection concept of “psychoneuroimmunology” was born. This new field of study explores the inter-relations between the mind and emotions, the brain and central nervous system, and the immune system.

Conventional ways of thinking
Conventional healthcare views the placebo effect as an obstacle in finding new and effective ways to restore health. The placebo effect is acknowledged to help between 35-70% of patients, while drug therapy rarely achieves this level of significance. A pragmatic viewpoint of the placebo effect is that it should be researched and used to achieve optimal health.

Direct your genes and DNA to express good health, not poor health
Most people who are in the midst of a health crisis generally feel powerless to do anything about their seemingly hopeless downward spiral. Did you know that our environment and mind can manipulate our genes and DNA? Our environment, which is the combination of our thoughts, beliefs, traumas and toxins, provide the signals that determine which genes get activated, and which genes remain silent.

We are not powerless “victims”, waiting for our genes to dish out an inescapable fate, as commonly perpetuated. We can change the way our genes and DNA express themselves and thus affect our health. This field, recently coined as “epigenetics”, is nothing new to healthcare practitioners who have understood the mind-body connection (Lipton, 2005). This field is an integral part of your health recovery and one used at Fundamental Health Solutions.

footnote
Lipton, Bruce The Biology of Belief, Naomi Zack, Lanham, MD: Mountain of Love, 2005 (In his book, “The Biology of Belief”, Dr. Bruce Lipton PhD, an international authority on genes and genetic expression, explains the role and interactions that our mind, environment and genes play in our health. Dr. Lipton is a stem cell biologist and has held professorships at Medical Schools including the University of Wisconsin and St. Georges University. He has also been a lead researcher at Stanford and Penn State University. Dr. Lipton now lectures and travels throughout the world explaining a more accurate role as to how our genes influence health.)

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The Health Detective is Born

The word US Marine evokes the image of men and women who are tough, healthy, and strong in mind and body. When we think of Marines who accomplished and passed the rigors of Naval Flight School, we also think of a special kind of Armed Forces. When you meet Phil Sledz for the first time, you may not be surprised to know that he, too, was a U.S. Marine. Being able to achieve difficult goals and overcome challenges has been one of Phil’s passions in life. It is why he joined the Marines.

These qualities would prove to serve him well as he experienced the hardship of physical disability, and the stress and emotional turmoil that comes with this. What resulted for Phil is a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical transformation as he sought to recover from mobility problems, seemingly unending pain and serious illness.

How the journey began
In 1997, US Marine Pilot Phil Sledz sustained an athletic injury which resulted in two simultaneous disc herniations with radiculopathy. Radiculopathy refers to the condition caused by a compressed nerve in the spine that can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. By 2000, this injury culminated in a herniation. The chronic pain led him to obtain an MRI consult, where the orthopedist and radiologist showed him the images of his dehydrated, shrinking intervertebral lumbar discs. The complications left him with chronic pain, tingling and numbness that radiated into one of his buttocks, hip, leg and foot.

This surgeon told him, “Son, you have the back of a 60 year old.” Already walking with a limp, his nerves and muscles so damaged that he could only walk with what is called a “foot drop,” which is a condition caused by the inability to lift your feet normally when walking. Instead of a normal walk and gait, he had to raise his right leg high enough to accommodate a toe dragging step. This left him with an uncontrollable slap of the foot.

Phil Sledz was only 28 years old at the time. He felt heartbroken – a diagnosis like this would end his career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, and his plans to be a future airline pilot.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
During another medical consult, Phil was diagnosed by an MD with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer which attacks the lymph nodes. In addition, Phil was experiencing a myriad of health issues that continued to deteriorate his once athletic body. Previously the beacon of physical strength and health, he was now so chronically fatigued that even the 14-16 hours per day of sleep did not relieve him of the deep exhaustion he experienced. During this time, 3 lymph nodes enlarged to the size of plums in his neck, armpit and groin. Add bouts of dizziness, a smorgasbord of gut and digestive problems, unintentional weight loss, night sweats, erratic fever, and brain fog, he was unable to perform required activities of daily living. He had documented over 34 symptoms as caused by his poor health.

Choosing Life and having a goal
After the diagnosis of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Phil began a serious search of alternative methods for the purpose of recovering his health. After his herniation diagnosis, he sought a Chiropractor, and a DO who worked with three Naturopathic doctors. Together with structural and biochemical help from his practitioners, he finally began to experience pain relief: a 50% improvement using only natural methods. Prior to this, he was still using some conventional modalities, primarily oral steroids and prescription pain medication, to temporarily mask the symptoms. Side effects from these medications was making him feel worse, which served to clarify what was covering up symptoms versus what was truly proving healing for his body. Now having a flicker of hope that his health problems could be reversed or repaired, he was energized and began a further quest for knowledge that could help him improve and recover his own health.

The Health Detective is born
By late 2004, Phil decided to attend Chiropractic school. Prior to May 2006 he took the necessary prerequisite courses, and completed his Doctor of Chiropractic in 2011. Driven by a sincere desire to help others achieve a better quality of life, Phil, now Dr Phil Sledz, DC, continued his education. With the goal of Board Certification in Functional Medicine, “Dr. Phil,” as his friends and patients like to call him, has specialized in building health through nutrition.

By doing additional coursework in areas that include blood chemistry analysis, neurotransmitters, endocrine and autoimmune assessments, Dr Phil not only recovered his own health but discovered and met with many researchers who could bring his health goals to even higher levels. Overcoming his previous health challenges was the original goal, but now the bar was set higher: to achieve optimum health.

Further Discoveries in the use of nutrition to repair and heal health issues
Dr Phil Sledz, DC was fortunate to study with many knowledgeable people who have researched and created bio-available, effective formulations. These people include a Nobel Prize Finalist specializing in immune-enzymology, immune system disorders and holistic interventions for autoimmunity. While researching specific products, he consulted with a team of Harvard and Stanford educated researchers who produced a restorative joint protocol so effective that it had to be protected with multiple patents.

TODAY
Dr Phil Sledz’s transformation from disability to optimum wellness gave him crucial insights and observations regarding the health recovery puzzle:

1) Only a highly functioning immune system, combined with improved cellular communication, can redirect your body towards optimal health.

2) When you see ONE PART of your body breaking down; it’s a clue that ADDITIONAL PARTS of your body are breaking down on a cellular level, at different rates. Conventional healthcare mostly focuses on the body part that is failing, versus the entire body.”

From Dr Phil Sledz, DC

“It’s my job as a detective to help you find this, and show you what can be done to safely arrest and redirect this process. Needless to say, my career in healthcare has been nothing short of spectacular; I have helped countless people achieve a higher level of health and wellness.

Due to diligence, focus and passion, I was able to elevate my health to the level I presently experience today. No limp, and can run 3-5 miles without any back or leg discomfort. I now experience more energy and less digestive issues that I can ever remember, even as a child. I have a healthy body weight, and my blood and immune system are measurably optimal. I lead by example; I show others that you do not have to live a life of misery and sickness if you don’t want to. You can have optimal health once again and feel good about living your body, but you must earn it!”

There is no magic bullet

“Restoring hope, confidence and self-sufficiency are key ingredients to successfully turning around the most severe health crisis. A common and erroneous belief is that there is a magic bullet that will fix everything, or that a person just needs to find the right doctor who can fix you. The truth of the matter is that you are responsible for your health improvement: it is your responsibility to embrace healthier lifestyle changes that can lead to your own health transformation.”  — Dr Phil Sledz, DC

“Dr Phil” believes that with proper guidance, you can fix yourself – and experience the excitement of not only seeing but feeling the difference. He has built his practice on everything that has provided good results. He ascribes to the belief that by changing the quality of your health, you can change your life. Feeling great allows us to have great life experiences, something we all deserve.

The motto for the Marines is “Semper Fidelis, or Semper Fi”—Always Faithful. For Phil Sledz, this translates to his faith in helping others, so that they can live life well and feel free from what holds them back in life.

— Editor

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