Women seeking relief from symptoms associated with peri-menopause and menopause often reach for the progesterone cream. If you’re going through it, no pun intended, you know the symptoms. In case you’re unfamiliar, here are some of them: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, increased pain, digestive disturbances, depression, memory lapses and more. Although bio-identical hormone replacement therapy might be appropriate for some people, the use of transdermal (through the skin) creams should be avoided. (more…)
Archive for the ‘remedies’ Category
So far in this series I’ve covered the basics of weight loss and detox. Obviously a whole book, or even several books can be written about weight loss and detox which is beyond the scope of this series. That said, in this last part I’ll mention some other issues that may be impeding your efforts to lose weight and detoxify. (more…)
Now that you’ve cut out sugar and starches, you’ve started to eat breakfast and stopped skipping meals, and you’ve embarked on an elimination diet – let’s continue with the necessary steps to lose weight and detox. If you’re not following me right now, please read parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series by clicking on the numbers above. In this part, I’ll continue on the benefits of eating healthy and normalizing blood sugar.
If you’ve just completed the elimination diet and immediately realize that you lost 5-10lbs already, inflammation is one of your biggest problems. Inflammation is probably the most destructive process that occurs in the body, and is essentially everyone’s problem regarding any health challenge. And even though inflammation serves a very important purpose, when it’s constant, it can (and will) wreak havoc on every system in the body. When there’s inflammation in the digestive tract from constant consumption of food sensitivities, it will usually cause systemic inflammation. So what’s the problem with inflammation you ask? (more…)
In this part, I’ll be discussing one approach to an elimination diet, which can be a very useful start to both losing weight and detoxing. Click here to read part 1, and click here to read part 2 of my series “Weight Loss and Detox”.
One concept to keep in mind about any detox or diet is that time is definitely a factor. You can’t expect to detox years of indiscretions or shed years of excess pounds in one week. I mention the concept of time because the same goes for an elimination diet. To achieve the full benefits of this type of program, you’ll need to invest at least two weeks of your time and effort. Now remember, that’s only for the elimination diet. You’ll certainly need to invest more time after the initial two weeks if you’re looking to lose weight (and keep it off) and you’d be wise to continue eating well if detox is your goal also. I discussed the importance of eliminating foods you are sensitive to in part 2 of this series. Here, I’ll discuss one way to go about incorporating an elimination diet to get you started on your path. (more…)
In part 1 of my series titled “Weight Loss and Detox” I spoke about choosing healthier foods in order to attain your New Year’s goals. I focused mainly on the importance of eating a diet low in sugar and starch. Here in part 2, I want to explain the importance of eliminating foods that you may be sensitive to which will also affect your ability to lose weight and certainly impede detoxification. (more…)
Juice cleanses seem to be all the rage these days, especially with celebrities like Beyonce, Demi Moore, Ashton Kusher and Gwyneth Paltrow touting them. A patient of mine recently sent me an article from The New York Times titled “The Juice Cleanse: A Strange and Green Journey”. She was asking my opinion about juice cleanses, and because they’re so popular I thought I should write about it.
First things first. I feel that (organic) vegetable juicing is by far one of the most health-giving ways that we can support our body and mind. Drinking fresh, live vegetable juice offers the most efficient way I know of getting an enormous amount of natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients into our body. The healthiest way to go is with “green” juices, as they contain the most chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, and other supportive and detoxifying nutrients and antioxidants. Therefore, they’ll help build blood, bone, and other important tissues in addition to helping detoxify and regenerate the liver, colon, kidneys, and just about all the organs and cells of the body. So as far as drinking vegetable juice – I’m ALL for it! What about juice cleansing though?
Juice cleanses will obviously offer the body all of the great nutrients and benefits mentioned above. However, there can certainly be (and more likely will be) a drawback for most people. The problem often arises when we consume ONLY juice in a single (or several) day(s). That problem mainly relates to the lack of other macronutrients, with the primary one being a lack of protein. The effects of going without protein for days (or even a single day) can be very detrimental. How (if at all) detrimental it is will certainly depend on the individual and his or her state of health, and also how the cleanse is actually done. The other issue that arises is when a person attempts to detoxify while their organs of elimination (liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system) are not “up to par”.
Several problems of going without protein include severe blood sugar fluctuations and resultant spikes in insulin and stress hormones. See my articles on insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation to get more specific information on this. Additionally, without eating protein, your body will begin to break down muscle in order to get the protein it needs to survive. Blood sugar fluctuations or imbalances and/or a lack of protein and muscle mass are the cause of many people’s symptoms and disease to begin with. Therefore a juice cleanse can make a person even more imbalanced and unhealthy. And let’s not forget that protein is absolutely necessary in order for the body and especially the liver to properly detoxify in the first place. I’m not saying the answer solely lies in protein intake, because you may also need other supportive nutrients to support the organs of elimination while detoxing.
That said, here’s my take on some of the comments in the NY Times article. Here’s the first comment in the article that I’d like to touch upon: “As Mr. Glickman explains on his Web site, if you experience symptoms like cravings, fatigue, irritability, headaches, pains, nausea, vomiting, hot bowel movements (!) … congratulations! That means you were supertoxic, and the cleanse is working.” OK – this statement may be true, as those symptoms can definitely result from going on a juice cleanse. HOWEVER, if a person does in fact experience these symptoms, I would not say “congratulations”. These symptoms are actually the result of faulty detoxification pathways. Many people might call this a “healing crisis” and say “the cleanse is working. The reality is that the toxins are being released from the cells and tissues, but in fact NOT being released from the body. This is a classic example someone who needs support for their detoxification organs, as the organs can not keep up with amount of toxins that are being released. In a case like this, I’d support a patient with supplements (usu. herbal or homeopathic) that would help to actually get the toxins completely out of their body. Without support to help the drainage of these organs, people that undergo this type of reaction are most definitely simply transposing the toxins to another area of their body. And if they have a “leaky” blood-brain barrier, they can cause some serious harm by allowing chemicals/toxins to be deposited in the brain. In a sense this type of reaction is diagnostic that the detox organs aren’t up to par. Well, you say, isn’t that why we are detoxing, because the detox organs aren’t up to par? Sure, but if the above mentioned symptoms occur, without specific support to the detox organs (which would prevent those symptoms), you are likely doing more harm than good. So it may be OK to go ahead with the cleanse, but the appropriate support/drainage remedies need to be taken as well.
The next comment I’d like to make is in regards to these statements by the author: “By the third day I felt great in the way I’m told that the imminently drowning feel great right before they give up and inhale that last mouthful of water. My juice-aficionado friend Gilly told me I was on an endorphin high”. If you’ve ever been on an “endorphin high” you’d know that it doesn’t feel like “giving up” and inhaling a mouthful of water before your ultimate death. It may feel like you’re floating a bit, perhaps related to lightheadedness or dizziness, but not like you’re about to drown. The feeling the author is describing sounds more like both, a severe blood sugar imbalance with concomitant stress hormone and adrenaline (stress neurotransmitter) release, while the body is freeing up toxins into the bloodstream but not able to get rid of them. Adrenaline and stress hormones are catabolic, meaning they actually assist in breaking down the body, instead of building it up. That said, I wholeheartedly agree with the following comments made in the article by Dr. David Colbert: “That giddy feeling you get is what diabetics get when your body runs out of sugar and starts using other products for energy“.
Lastly, I respectfully disagree with these comments made from Dr. Colbert: “You have to ask yourself this question: With a juice cleanse, what are you really cleaning? Really, nothing. The bowel self-cleans. It’s evolved over millions of years to do this.” Here’s my response to that. The bowel will self-clean but more often than not, it does need a cleanse or specific dietary changes and/or supplements in order to do so well. To elaborate, consider these points. The entire body is meant to detoxify chemicals, metals, etc.. However, day in and day out I see patients whose complaints are directly related to an inability to detoxify these substances – therefore, some of us have “lost” this capability. The body was meant to produce a proper amount of thyroid hormone, but in many cases it doesn’t (for many reasons); and hypothyroidism is rampant despite our evolution. The female hormonal system is meant to self-regulate through feedback loops as well, but PMS and a grueling, symptomatic shift into menopause for many woman seems to be the norm. The body is designed to “self-defend” via the immune system, but so many people are afflicted with acute and chronic bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, etc. infections. So even though the body is designed to function a certain way, that doesn’t mean it will. And even though the bowel “self-cleans” as Dr. Colbert points out, that doesn’t mean it will efficiently and effectively. The body doesn’t always work the way it was designed to. Believe me, I wouldn’t have a practice if it did. If the body did everything it was “supposed” to do, we wouldn’t have such a huge health crisis with rampant degenerative disease and illness.
In conclusion, juice cleanses can be done safely, and you don’t necessarily need to avoid consuming food while attempting to detoxify. Your best option is to find a practitioner that can monitor your progress in order to make sure it’s going safely and you achieve the benefits you set out for.
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiology
Pain is one of the most common reasons that people visit my office for treatment. That said, I thought I’d write a little bit on the topic.
Interestingly, pain doesn’t occur where you “feel” it or believe it to exist. In fact, pain really isn’t a “thing”. Pain is a perception triggered by the activation of certain areas in the brain. These “pain centers” (the neurology can get quite complex, so I’ll keep it simple) in the brain receive signals from specific nerves that have pain receptors (nociceptors) on them. So in the case of low back pain, for instance, the nociceptors harbored in the spinal joints, muscles, etc. get stimulated which then send nerve transmissions to be interpreted by the brain as pain. It’s because of this reason that “nerve blocks” work; basically blocking the signal to the brain. Now, what do we do about pain (other than a nerve block)?
Well, that of course depends on the type of pain you’re talking about. You see, nociceptors can get stimulated in different ways. Specifically, they respond to mechanical forces, inflammatory chemicals, and temperature changes.
As far as mechanical forces go; compression or stretching of a nerve(s) causes the stimulation of nociceptors, and results in the perception of pain. This can be caused by any number of structural imbalances, whether acute or chronic. The treatment for this type of “pain” stimulation is to balance muscle and joint function in order to eliminate the compression or stretching of the nociceptor. Furthermore, balancing muscle and joint function results in the stimulation of nerves that harbor mechanoreceptors (sensitive to light touch, vibration, position-sense, etc.) which actually act to: a) directly block the transmission of nociceptor signals to the brain, and b) travel faster to the brain in order to allow for the perception of something other than pain. By the way, “a” and “b” are the reason we rub an area of pain in order to relieve it.
Chemical pain, on the other hand, results from the stimulation of nociceptors via various inflammatory mediators/chemicals. So why do inflammatory mediators get released? Simple, because of tissue damage. This can certainly result from a structural abnormality that causes damage; in addition to a “chemical assault” that results in inflammation such as a food allergen or sensitivity, infection, toxin, or nutritional deficiency. All of the above can (and usually do) cause an inflammatory reaction. The chemicals involved include the likes of histamine, prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, etc.. As a result, these chemicals need to be kept at bay in order to prevent pain from being perceived. This is the reason why you may still sometimes feel pain after a chiropractic treatment. The treatment is designed to balance the structural components of dysfunction, however if there are still inflammatory chemicals circulating in response to tissue damage, the pain will persist. Once the healing begins, the pain should diminish and ultimately resolve. Chemical mediators of pain can be controlled by balancing muscle and joint function in order to prevent further damage, in addition to being controlled by nutritional substances that assist in healing and reducing inflammation.
Thermal or temperature-related pain… To relieve this…take your hand off the stove and don’t play with matches!
This idea of mechanical and chemical-mediated pain can be of extreme importance in diagnosis. Let me explain. If the pain experienced can be fully relieved by holding your body in a certain position, then your pain is solely caused by mechanical insults. However, if there is no position you can get into that relieves the pain, your problem most definitely has an inflammatory chemical component to it. And of course, if a certain position relieves some of the pain but not all of it, then there is both a mechanical and chemical component involved (this is most often the case). Whenever there is a chemical component to the pain, your doctor needs to have methods that can easily determine why you are inflamed. Remember, this can be the result of the normal repair process from structural damage, a chemical toxin, a food allergen or sensitivity, and/or a nutritional deficiency.
Several decades ago, it was found out that the mind cannot be separated from the body (through the field of psychoneuroimmunology). Now, if we were to dismiss the chemical component of pain, we’d basically be trying to separate the body from the body. Hopefully this helps to explain why your doctor may ask you to avoid certain foods, change your diet altogether, and take supplements even though your primary complaint is “physical” pain.
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiology
some information in this article was sourced from: Chris Astill-Smith, DO, DIBAK – metabolics.com