FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN?
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I applaud the individuals who did this study. If you --- my readers --- are looking to break out of the prison that is your health, I've got the perfect post for you (HERE). And if you know others that could benefit from this information, be sure to get it in front of them. The easiest way is to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK.
THE GUT - MICROBIOTA - BRAIN AXIS: MOST DISEASE STATES ARE DIFFERENT MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SAME UNDERLYING ISSUESRead Now
MOST DISEASES ARE JUST DIFFERENT MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SAME THING
(THE GUT / MICROBIOTA / BRAIN AXIS)
"In two different animal models of hypertension, there is decreased expression of several tight junction proteins in the gut and a concomitant increase in intestinal permeability. Furthermore, their data show that in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model, the increase in permeability is a result of increased sympathetic nerve activity before the development of hypertension. They therefore conclude that there is a direct, causal link between the sympathetic nerve activity derived from the central nervous system and increased gut permeability. They further hypothesize that the changes in gut permeability result in hypertension and cause a shift in the types of bacteria that are present in the gut. Finally, they have shown that the changes in sympathetic activity resulting in increased gut permeability are also associated with an increase in inflammatory cells within the intestinal wall."
Catch what they are saying here (I have a very cool diagram I created down the page). Even though I had SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE at the #4 position in my list from the link at the top of this page, the authors of this study -- both cardiologists -- are saying that it is actually the starting point. Furthermore, these changes in autonomic nervous system function lead to the INCREASED GUT PERMEABILITY (Leaky Gut Syndrome) that causes HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. This is why I can say with authority that giving people high blood pressure medications is NOT ACTUALLY CHANGING HOMEOSTASIS, but instead covering the symptom (in this case, HBP) by forcing a short-term physiological change. How is this done? For starters, most people with hypertension are going to end up on drugs known as beta blockers.
Also known as beta-adrenergic blockers, these drugs block your adrenergic system. When you think adrenergic, think adrenaline. The thing to remember is that the medical community does not call adrenaline adrenaline any more, they call it by its other name, epinephrine. Whatever you decide to call it, when you block it, you block the sympathetic side (fight-or-flight) of the Autonomic Nervous System. While this will likely decrease your blood pressure, you automatically change the function of everything in your body (you slow it down). While this might sound good on the surface (most health issues tend to hyper-stimulate the sympathetic side of the ANS), as you might imagine, the side effects of this drug (according to Mayo Clinic) frankly suck --- tiredness, fatigue, weight gain, depression, and others. These authors also revealed that beta blockers actually increase your triglyceride levels, while decreasing your "good" cholesterol (HDL). Most people on these drugs complain of DIMINISHED LIBIDO as well.
The bottom line is that the drugs and vaccines we are consuming from cradle to grave, while in certain cases possibly adding years to our life, are not necessarily adding life to our years (HERE). Read between the lines in this study from the May 2013 issue of Trends in Neuroscience (Gut–Brain Axis: How the Microbiome Influences Anxiety and Depression). "Within the first few days of life, humans are colonized by commensal intestinal microbiota. Here, we review recent findings showing that microbiota are important in normal healthy brain function.... the relation between stress and microbiota, and how alterations in microbiota influence stress-related behaviors. New studies show that bacteria, including commensal, probiotic, and pathogenic bacteria, in the gastrointestinal tract can activate neural pathways and central nervous system."
What do we learn from the study's abstract, that stress causes mental issues, and that mental issues cause stress (DEPRESSION falls under the massive category of "INFLAMMATORY DISEASE," which is why SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE always leads to some sort of stress --- again, see link at top of page). Furthermore, with infants being "colonized" by mom's good bacteria "Within the first few days of life," should we be even slightly surprised that VACCINES given in these first few days can cause serious problems? It helps explain why AUTISM is always concurrent with some sort of Gut / Bowel issue. Also be aware that what we are talking about today are "Axes," and that an Axis cuts both ways (metabolic and neurological pathways are bidirectional).
Case in point is a study from a five year old issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology (Regulation of the Stress Response by the Gut Microbiota: Implications for Psychoneuroendocrinology), which shows that not only can inflammation cause Gut issues, Gut issues can cause stress, and stress causes inflammation (you could work it backwards as well). Mechanism? That durned leaky gut. "Stress induces increased permeability of the gut allowing bacteria and bacterial antigens to cross the epithelial barrier and activate a mucosal immune response [inflammation], which in turn alters the composition of the microbiome and leads to enhanced HPA drive [HPA AXIS]. Increasing data from patients with irritable bowel syndrome and major depression indicate that in these syndromes alteration of the HPA may be induced by increased gut permeability." Here's the crazy part of this. Give me ten minutes and I could show you a hundred studies showing the same thing (I'll show you a few more momentarily).
Here's what's doubly crazy. If you you go back a century or so, you will find that there were many sanitariums (Clearview may have been the most well known) treating mentally ill people using CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS as well as therapies like COLONIC IRRIGATION. Why? Firstly because the drugs for treating these conditions had not been invented yet (PEOPLE WITH SEIZURE DISORDERS WERE TREATED WITH KETOGENIC DIETS), and secondly, it worked. The adjustments (particularly upper cervical specific) toned down the sympathetic nervous system, thereby reducing inflammation; and the colonic irrigation worked to clean out the Gut. All you have to do is look back at a 1932 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine to see this (Colon Irrigation in the Treatment of Mental Disease). Furthermore, once you understand that about 90% of the body's Serotonin and Melotonin are made in the Gut, this all begins to make more sense. But get ready because I am going to throw you a bit of a curve ball.
When people become inflamed, they end up with diseases on these two lists (HERE and HERE) as well as CHRONIC PAIN. Naturally, because their doctor, along with about a trillion TV commercials, told them drugs (medications) were the only way to roll, they tend to first reach for their medicine cabinet and pull out some OTC antiinflammatory medications. Unfortunately, there are only about a jillion studies linking NSAIDS to intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) --- an almost universal component of chronic disease. But they are not the only drugs that lead to Leaky Gut --- not by a long shot.
Antibiotics always cause at least some degree of dysbiosis (HERE) --- a problem that will always be found concurrently with increased intestinal permeability. Similarly, CORTICOSTERIDS --- an extremely powerful class of anti-inflammation drugs --- causes increased permeability as well, because they SUPPRESS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. While this might not seem like a big deal on the surface, once you realize that 80% of your immune system is housed in your Gut, you can start to see the propensity for collateral damage. And when we talk about AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, no one can act shocked by the fact that extremely harsh chemotherapy drugs cause permeability as well (these include the "mab" class of biologics --- monoclonal antibodies --- used to treat autoimmune diseases). The truth is, in the same way that Dr. Art Ayers warned us years ago that all drugs have antibiotic properties (HERE), it is starting to appear that the same thing is true concerning intestinal permeability as well.
Other things that are known to cause intestinal permeability include coffee, GRAINS (yes, GLUTEN is a biggie, but any grain can be problematic), LECTINS, TOO LITTLE STOMACH ACID (far more common than the opposite), alcohol & SUGAR (they are metabolized along similar pathways and can both lead to dysbiosis and CANDIDA OVERGROWTHS --- especially true of HFCS). If you have food allergies or PARASITES, you are at risk for increased permeability as well. And here's the rub. Things that cause your Gut to become "Leaky" (increased permeability) have been shown by mountains of peer-review to cause other epithelial barriers to leak as well. These include, but are not limited to your brain ("Leaky Brain"), spinal cord ("Leaky Cord"), nervous system ("Leaky Nerve"), lungs ("Leaky Lung"), etc, etc, etc (HERE).
Oh, and for the record, to show you some of the evidence pointing to the fact that antidepressants themselves are likely contributing to the very issue that's causing them in the first place --- intestinal permeability --- take a look at this study from the University of Michigan (Depression, Antidepressant Medications, and Risk of Clostridium Difficile Infection) that was published in BMC Medicine. After looking at the medical records of nearly 17,000 individuals who had come down with C. DIFF, they determined that those with C. Diff were 37% more likely to have been diagnosed with Major Depression. "Our complementary studies reveal that adults with depression and those that use specific anti-depressants seem to be more likely to experience C. diff infections." And we haven't even touched on the fact that ALUMINUM also causes intestinal permeability --- something we learned 20 years ago in a 1997 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Mechanisms of Aluminum Absorption.....). The importance of knowing this comes into view when you realize just how much aluminum we (the American public) are being exposed to on a daily basis (see link). Interestingly enough, most SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANTS contain FLUORIDE --- a toxic byproduct of the aluminum manufacturing process (i.e. Prozac's official name is Fluoxetine).
THE GUT-BRAIN-MICROBIOTA AXIS
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD!
What you have to do is figure out how big a wrench it's going to take to jam the gears and stop this vicious cycle. Remember, drugs might change your symptoms, but they never stop the cycle. What I would like to do right now is take a quick look at some of the studies that show this cycle, and how this dysfunction all works together in unison (I chose these particular studies because if you are interested, you can look them up and read them in their entirety). The point of doing this?
For those of you who are deep into these and other similar disease processes, you need to realize there is hope (stick around and I'll prove it to you). One critical fact you must grasp before we begin is that it is not as likely as you have been led to believe that your children will be condemned to the same fate as you simply because of their genetics. Why not? Science has given genetics way too much importance as far as the development of most diseases is concerned. What do I mean by this? If you don't understand the difference between genetics and epigenetics as related to chronic inflammatory degenerative illnesses and autoimmune diseases, it is imperative that you take five minutes to read THIS POST on the topic. Also, if you are not sure what INFLAMMATION is (hint; it's not swelling or infection), don't bother continuing because it won't make sense.
- PARKINSON'S DISEASE: Listen to the conclusions from a two year old issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis in Parkinson's Disease). Make sure to look for all five entities mentioned in the cycle above (BTW, this is quoted word-for-word). "Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by alpha-synucleinopathy that affects all levels of the brain-gut axis including the central, autonomic, and enteric nervous systems. Recently, it has been recognized that the brain-gut axis interactions are significantly modulated by the gut microbiota via immunological, neuroendocrine, and direct neural mechanisms. Dysregulation of the brain-gut-microbiota axis in PD may be associated with gastrointestinal manifestations frequently preceding motor symptoms, as well as with the pathogenesis of PD itself, supporting the hypothesis that the pathological process is spread from the gut to the brain. Excessive stimulation of the innate immune system resulting from gut dysbiosis and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and increased intestinal permeability may induce systemic inflammation, while activation of enteric neurons and enteric glial cells may contribute to the initiation of alpha-synuclein misfolding." Why am I at least somewhat concerned about this nasty creature named by doctor Parkinson? I undoubtedly carry the gene (HERE). And for those who are not sure what GLIAL CELLS are (you'll see them come up time and time again), just click the link.
- NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS: This collaboration (Gut-Microbiota-Brain Axis and Effect on Neuropsychiatric Disorders with Suspected Immune Dysregulation) between Greek and American scientists / physicians was published in HHS Public Access, and is one of the most amazing put-it-all-together studies I have yet to see on this topic. "Brain function and psychological make-up are now increasingly considered to have a reciprocal relationship with the gut. Disruption of the gut microbiota (dysbiosis) is known to contribute, among others, to the pathogenesis of GI diseases, and reported to directly induce inflammation and pain. Accumulating evidence suggests that the gut microbiota maintain bidirectional interactions with critical parts of the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system through direct and indirect pathways. These involve the endocrine (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis), immune (chemokines, cytokines), autonomic nervous system (ANS), and enteric nervous systems forming the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Antibiotics, environmental and infectious agents, intestinal neurotransmitters / , sensory vagal fibers, cytokines, essential metabolites, all convey information about the intestinal state to the CNS. Such interactions appear to influence the pathogenesis of a number of disorders in which inflammation is implicated such as mood disorder, autism-spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention-deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and obesity (Obesity has been called a psychiatric disease) and is associated with depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders). Neuro/immune-active substances derived from the intestinal lumen can penetrate the gut mucosa, be transported by blood, cross the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and affect the CNS. Acute stress increased GI and BBB permeability. Moreover, chronic stress disrupted the intestinal barrier and permitted penetration of luminal antigens, microflora metabolites, toxins and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the systemic circulation and the CNS." Did you notice that all five aspects of the cycle were present in full-blown Technicolor and Dolby Surround Sound?
- MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: So, in light of everything that I've shown you, should we be even bat an eye when articles like STAT'S Gut Germs Play Role in Multiple Sclerosis, are published? No way! While it's certainly good to know (I've discussed this link at least twice before --- HERE and HERE), the real question remains; what are you doing about this since your doctor isn't doing much of anything other than prescribing more drugs? In the first of two brand new studies, both from last month's issue of PNAS, researchers compared the MICROBIOMES of 71 people with MS and 71 without MS. What they found was that "specific bacterial taxa were significantly associated with MS" (dysbiosis). But interestingly enough, they also found that there was a certain strain of bacteria that was "reduced in MS patients." Because the researchers believed this bacteria was associated with antiinflammatory properties, they introduced feces from the MS group into mice that had been genetically raised to be "germ free". The result was mice with fewer TREGS (T-suppressor cells that dampen immune system responses as to prevent autoimmunity) and fewer antiinflammatory cytokines, leaving them with symptoms of MS ("experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis"). In the second study, the authors took identical twins, where one had MS and the other did not. They noticed that when they transplanted feces of the MS twin into mice that had been genetically raised to express "spontaneous brain autoimmunity," those mice were much more likely to develop an "MS-like autoimmune disease." I need to note to you; one major difference in MS patients is that they tend to have low sympathetic function (as opposed to high), which often results in heart, bladder, and bowel issues. By the way, I found studies over two decades old (Digestive Diseases and Sciences --- Multiple Sclerosis Patients Have Increased Intestinal Permeability) that showed this link via their title. The moral of this story is NEVER underestimate the importance of GUT HEALTH in dealing with chronic conditions!
- CHRONIC "LEARNED" PAIN: This two year old study was done at St. Louis' Washington University and published for the International Anesthesia Research Society (Identification and Treatment of New Inflammatory Triggers for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and Obstructive Sleep Apnea). "Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formally known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a neuropathic pain disorder that may fail to respond to current therapy... There is a known relationship of CRPS and the gastrointestinal tract. Dysbiosis (alterations of the microbiome) and increased intestinal permeability (which is present in SIBO) have been reported in CRPS, and these two conditions also cause chronic systemic inflammation. IBS is common in CRPS although the relationship has hitherto not been elucidated. In multiple studies, SIBO was found to be present in up to 50% of IBS-d patients." IBS and IBD are both known to be autoimmune, while SIBO is typically the result of a sensitivity to FODMAP-CONTAINING carbohydrates. And as you might imagine from its old name (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), the sympathetic side of the ANS is hyped to the max in those with CRPS.
- INTENSE EXERCISE: Just ten short months ago, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study called Exercise-Induced Stress Behavior, Gut-Microbiota-Brain Axis and Diet: A Systematic Review for Athletes. The European authors concluded that "The demands during intense exercise can initiate a stress response activating the sympathetic-adrenomedullary and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes, resulting in the release of stress and catabolic hormones [these break your body down], inflammatory cytokines and microbial molecules. The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that have fundamental roles in many aspects of human biology, including metabolism, endocrine, neuronal and immune function. The gut microbiome and its influence on host behavior, intestinal barrier and immune function are believed to be a critical aspect of the brain-gut axis. Recent evidence in murine models shows that there is a high correlation between physical and emotional stress during exercise and changes in gastrointestinal microbiota composition. Diet is known to dramatically modulate the composition of the gut microbiota. Due to the considerable complexity of stress responses in elite athletes (from leaky gut to increased catabolism and depression), defining standard diet regimes is difficult." There are the five; together again for what hopefully turns out to only be a 'limited engagement'.
So, what are you supposed to do if you have these or other inflammatory, degenerative, or autoimmune disease? The first thing you must is learn everything you can about it you can and make yourself an expert. Thanks to the internet; some diligent study on your particular condition (use PubMed or other databases of medical studies, as well as message boards), and a large percentage of you will be as knowledgeable as your doctor(s) on your particular issue. Face it; the gap between the cool stuff coming out of medical research (the stuff I showed you today) and the standard fare of CRAPPY DRUGS or WORTHLESS TESTS you get at your doctor visits makes the Grand Canyon look like the tiny ditch in your front yard. Be willing to step out of the box just a bit and watch what happens!
Secondly, using said information, sit down and create yourself a top-to-bottom EXIT STRATEGY. Although you may have to modify your plan along the way for any number of different reasons (including new information coming available) purpose in your heart to stick with it and work it as though your life depends on it --- because it probably does. Fortunately, I have created an extremely generic template for making this happen (HERE). For many of you, this is all you'll need. For the rest, there are people out there versed in FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY and FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE that can likely help. One last thing. If you are chronically ill, DO NOT go to sleep tonight without learning the basics of one of the hottest topics in the medical research field right now --- FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS.
HELPING YOU FIND AN EXIT STRATEGY
Because of (or maybe in spite of) our technological advances, modern medicine has proved itself the dream scenario for BIG PHARMA and our healthcare system, which it LARGELY CONTROLS. When it comes to DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, CHOLESTEROL ISSUES, ARTHRITIS, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY, AUTOIMMUNITY, as well as a myriad of others, our medical community will tell you that there's no cure. Instead, there's only a lifetime of tests, DRUGS, procedures, EXAMINATIONS, DOCTOR VISITS, MISERY and BRAIN-WASHING. In the words of those two CUT OUT GUYS from the old Guinness beer commercials, "brilliant". What more could the people making billions of dollars off this system ask for than for the American people to live longer than ever, while being sicker than ever as well (HERE)? That's why I created my site.
My goal is to weed through the available peer-review and provide you with a synopsis --- the pertinent information that you and your family should be aware of if you value your health / their health (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE are a few examples of hundreds). And because the starting point for solving chronic health issues, getting out of pain, and getting your life back is essentially the same (only because the causes of most ARE THE SAME AS WELL, I have also provided you with A GENERIC BLUEPRINT for getting there --- an "exit strategy" if you will.
Why is having an exit strategy so important when it comes to your healthcare? As the old cliche says, a failure to plan is planning to fail. If you follow the pack (i.e. do exactly what your doctor tells you to do), you'll never be anything more than what Corporate America (the Pharmaceutical Industry included) sees you as ---- a commodity ---- a dollar sign ---- a gold mine. To them, a chronically sick public is the goose that's perpetually laying golden eggs.
Think about the importance of exit strategies in terms of our national involvement in the wars we've fought since the SECOND WORLD WAR. With today's technology, it's downright easy to go into a country, blow things up, kill people, and generally be destructive on every level. But having a valid / effective exit strategy --- that's much more difficult. It's likewise true in the medical field. It's easy to run lots of tests and chase symptoms by by prescribing drugs or performing unnecessary surgeries (HERE). But getting off the MEDICAL-MERRY-GO-ROUND; that's the real challenge. And unfortunately, it's not something your doctor can do for you. In fact, don't be surprised if your doctor and your family / closest friends are against you even trying (HERE). The truth is, if you want to enjoy life as you get older (or for that matter, now), you'll have to knuckle down and do it yourself.
Is it hard? For awhile it may be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. But believe me when I tell you it gets easier. the following is an interview / testimonial from Carol. Carol saw her health and quality of life slipping away as she was diagnosed with SEVERAL AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, including RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, SCLERODERMA (an autoimmune disease that essentially causes your entire body, organs included, to turn to fibrosis / scar tissue) as well as am unnamed lupus-like disease. I have a vested interest in this case because Carol is my youngest sister. Pay close attention, because her story --- at least the first part of it --- is not unique. There are many of you out there who will read this and see yourself in her. I have added my links into her letter, which were her emailed answers to "interview" questions.
- WHAT ARE THE HEALTH PROBLEMS YOU'VE HAD? Scleroderma has made me deal with joint pain (whole body), muscle pain, CHRONIC FATIGUE, lack of energy, DEPRESSION, brain fog, Raynaud's (in both hand and feet), swelling that has left me no longer able to totally straighten my fingers, etc. Taking lots of medications has led to GERD AND A STOMACH ULCER. Then I got put on more meds for that (HERE). Just a vicious cycle!
- HOW MUCH DO / DID THESE PROBLEMS AFFECT YOUR LIFE: My pain got so bad that I could hardly function anymore. In two years time I watched myself no longer be able to get on my knees, sit on the floor, do much climbing, etc. MY KNEES were so bad it prevented me from doing those kinds of things. There were some days I needed help getting out of bed, getting dressed, etc. I was not able to partake in outdoor activities when it's cold. Raynaud's makes it too painful...my hands become purple, numb, and sore [Raynaud's is a form of vascular NEUROPATHY combined with SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE].
- WAS IT COSTING YOU ANYTHING TO HAVE THESE PROBLEMS? Absolutely!! I could no longer live a "normal" life. I couldn't participate in activities my family did because I physically couldn't handle it. It made basic things like walking, sitting, or even lying in bed painful. Very depressing to become a person who can no longer function without pain. I became very dependent on my husband and sons to help me on a daily basis. Financially it's very expensive as well! Medications, Dr. visits, scopes, and lots of other tests are not cheap. Just this past week my rheumatologist ordered an EKG and breathing test. Scleroderma can affect your internal organs, and he wants to make sure they look okay. The whole cycle just never seems to end!
- DID YOU OR YOUR DOCTORS EVER TALK ABOUT AN EXIT STRATEGY? My rheumy basically made me feel like there was no hope. I could never be "cured" of my autoimmune diseases. His goal was just to keep them from progressing by throwing MORE AND MORE MEDS at me. I'm supposed to go to see him every 3 months, keep taking my meds, and do whatever testing he sees fit... for the rest of my life. Doesn't sound like much of a life to me. The thought of an EXIT STRATEGY resonated with me.
- WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET OFF THE MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND? I'm still very much in the process. It all started when my brother, Dr. Russell Schierling, talked me into reading IT STARTS WITH FOOD and doing an ELIMINATION DIET. I guess I had finally reached a point in my life where I felt I couldn't go on like I was any longer. I was sick of the pain and ready for a change. I completed a Whole62 and now strictly eat AIP paleo (AUTOIMMUNE PROTOCOL PALEO). It's amazing how much better I feel when I'm no longer eating out or eating JUNK! I still have bad days, but they happen a lot less frequently. I'm also going to have food sensitivity testing done to see if I can eliminate more pain by finding out what healthy foods don't agree with my body [suggestion: when joint pain is a major issue, take a hard look at NIGHTSHADES. FODMAPS are an issue for many people as well as GLUTEN-CROSS REACTORS].
- HOW HAVE THESE CHANGES AFFECTED YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE? I feel like there is hope again! My Dr. may be right in saying I will never be cured of my autoimmune diseases, but I am not going to let them ruin my life any longer (HERE). What I eat and how I take care of myself affects how I feel. I'm no longer going to sit back and do nothing. I'm going to keep moving forward with my new healthy lifestyle.
- DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR MOTIVATION FOR MY READERS? Find at least one person who is willing to make the journey with you. I have made it this far because of the love and support of my family and a couple good friends. Don't give up on yourself. You are worth it!
Just to let you know, our original conversation was in May of 2015. I saw her on Jan 1 of 2016 for my PARENTS 50TH. Eight months after starting this program, Carol had lost almost 100 lbs and got off most of her meds --- she looked and felt great! Her husband, who followed the same program, lost maybe as much weight, and started riding his bike to work in a town that is 11 miles away. Within a year and a half he has become a serious competitive long-distance bike racer (he just won a big race down in Austin), who is good enough he's been sponsored by a riding team from Kansas City. Way to go guys!
HEALTH'S BIG IDEA
"Get the big idea and all else follows." - Dr. BJ Palmer
One of the common denominators found in the thought process of early pioneers in the natural health field is that they believed in Common Causes and Common Cures of diseases. You had BJ PALMER in Chiropractic ("Get the big idea and all else follows") who taught that SUBLUXATION was the cause of all sickness and ill health. There was the father of Osteopathy, ANDREW TAYLOR STILL, who believed that FASCIA held the solution to all health problems (HERE is a modern example of his work). And what about early Dentists and MD's like WESTON PRICE, FRANCIS POTTENGER, or ROYAL LEE? These men had good reason to believe that all disease was directly related to diets not based on WHOLE FOOD principles. I would hate to leave out one of my heroes, DR. JACK LaLANE (that's right, Jack was a Chiropractor). We could have written a book talking about these sorts of healers and their ideas about health. The truth is, I think that on some level, they were probably all correct. Diet, exercise, and the relationship between the structure and function of the body are all of critical importance to good health.
It's nothing for people to drink 6-12 SODAS a day. Unless you go out of your way to avoid it, the animal products we consume (particularly meat and milk) have so many hormones, an epidemic known as "ESTROGEN DOMINANCE" is sweeping the country by waves. Animals are given ANTIBIOTICS just to make them fatter (HERE). And most younger kids won't eat anything that isn't heavily SUGARED and processed because their parents have forgotten who the boss is in the parent / child relationship. As for vegetables, the government has gotten sneaky about the way they list foods when it comes to school lunches (pizza counts as two servings of vegetables -- HERE) because research has shown that large numbers of children get zero servings of vegetables unless its in the form of pizza or fries and ketchup (each counts as a serving). And this does not even begin to touch the issue of how active previous generations were when compared to ours.
WHAT IS HEALTH'S "BIG IDEA" IN THE NEW YEAR?
If you want to get the Big Idea, you'll have to start thinking differently than you've been trained to think. For instance, if you are one of the millions of Americans with CHRONIC SINUS PROBLEMS, you'll have to start asking why, instead of simply taking round after round after round of Antibiotics. If you never get to the root of the issue, the issue will never resolve. The same could be said with almost every single chronic health problem facing our nation today. The great thing is, if you are really interested in getting down to business, HERE are some links to read. Once you begin to realize that you are not totally controlled by your GENETIC MAKEUP, you can begin to take charge of your health. Simply read the information, formulate a plan, and like Kristol said at the top of the page, stick to it. Give it some time, and for most of you it will turn your life, mood, energy levels, and libido completely around.
SOLUTIONS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
FORTUNATELY THEY'RE MOSTLY THE SAME!
"Nearly 45 percent of all deaths in the developed world are attributable to fibroproliferative disorders." Dr. Thomas Wynn talking about fibrosis on the National Institutes of Health website. Dr. Wynn says that Fibrosis is the number one cause of death, not only in the United States, but the world (HERE).
"These are the days of miracle and wonder... don't cry baby, don't cry." Paul Simon from 1986's BOY IN THE BUBBLE (Graceland)
Follow along as I show you that not only are most chronic conditions not hopeless, in many cases they can be turned around quickly and radically --- sometimes in a matter of months; or even weeks (HERE). This is because most sickness, disease, and pain tend to be different manifestations of the same aberrant physiological processes (HERE). Thus, for most of you, the fundamentals of effectively addressing said diseases will be likewise similar.
The medical community often acts as if they have all the solutions --- solutions that practically always revolve around DRUGS & SURGERY. But when these approaches don't work, you become the scapegoat, frequently being told that your problems are all in your head (PSYCHOSOMATIC), due to YOUR AGE, or because of the "BAD GENES" you inherited from your mom and dad. The problem is, EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is not bearing this out. In fact, you do not have to look very far to see that the practice of medicine is not only terribly ineffective for getting to the root of most Chronic Conditions, it can be quite dangerous as well (see the first link in this paragraph). Fortunately for the majority of you, there are some simple and straightforward methods for effectively addressing the problem(s) you are dealing with.
Although there are a wide range of approaches for regaining one's health, the starting point for practically all patients dealing with Chronic Pain and / or Chronic Illness will be similar. In other words, although some of you might require some very specialized tests and treatment (HERE), the first steps will be identical or nearly so for almost everyone (HERE). No; I won't kid you --- it's not as simple as POPPING A PILL OR RECEIVING AN INJECTION. But the results that you get, you get because you're really better --- because you've actually CHANGED YOUR PHYSIOLOGY. Not because you've simply covered or masked the symptoms, all while digging yourself deeper and deeper into the rut that will one day (probably way too soon) become YOUR GRAVE.
Because the root causes of pain and disease are SO SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER, below are some universal concepts that have the potential to change your life. They happen to be the very same things that I would advise my own family to do if they were struggling with chronic health-related problems (in a moment I'll show you my sister's amazing results from working this plan). And although I would contend that there is nothing on this list that is harmful, make sure to consult with your physician before starting this or any other protocol related to health. The information on my site is just that --- information, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific person or condition. Heaven forbid someone actually "cured" themselves of anything without their doctor's permission!
- DO A THIRTY DAY ELIMINATION DIET: If you are dealing with Chronic Pain or Chronic Illness and still consuming GLUTEN, stop it already! There are so many reasons that a PALEO DIET will help you, I am not really sure where to begin. Simply follow the links and start studying. Just the other day I saw a patient who I have been urging to do an ELIMINATION DIET for well over a year. She finally got up the gumption to do it, and cut her (serious / severe) symptoms by 80% in about a week. HERE is another example (this person's debilitating back pain was 100% resolved with some simple dietary changes). On top of everything else, the old excuse that you can't afford to eat healthy because it costs too much doesn't work any more (HERE). Bottom Line: If you have food sensitivities of any sort, whether overt or occult, you are risking a host of out-of-kilter Immune System reactions that will end in INFLAMMATION, AUTOIMMUNITY (your body's own Immune System attacking itself), and something called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which I will discuss in a moment.
- EAT PLENTY OF THE RIGHT FATS: It amazes me that after all this time there is still a war against dietary fat (HERE, HERE, and HERE). Sure, there are some deadly fats out there (HERE), but once you understand that good fats are extremely anti-inflammatory (HERE), you'll wonder why the whole "fat free" craze ever happened in the first place. And while many in the media may be phoo phooing THE KETOGENIC DIET, remember that it's been the medical standard-standard-of-care ---- the 'go to' if you will, for any number of neurological problems (weight loss and controlling blood sugar and blood lipids is simply an added benefit). Bottom Line: The fats you consume are either driving inflammation or squelching it. It's critical to understand the difference.
- GET OFF AS MANY DRUGS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN: Our own government has shown that despite the United States having only 3% of the world's population, we consume 75% of the world's pharmaceuticals (HERE). This would be fantastic if said medications actually did what they claim do. In most cases, they don't, and it's not even close (HERE is a common example). If they did, we would rank number one in the world as far as overall health is concerned. Instead, year in and year out we hover in the mid thirties (and when it comes to chronic, degenerative, inflammatory diseases, we rank around 90th). If you want to see a few of the numerous and sickening way that we are collectively being duped by BIG PHARMA --- a group that views sick and suffering humanity as little more than walking, breathing dollar signs --- HERE and HERE are the posts. If nothing else, skim the titles. Oh, before you decide to simply stop taking your meds or flush them all down the toilet, talk to your doctor first. Bottom Line: Drugs kill, whether pushed or prescribed (HERE). They also foul your liver function, consuming valuable cellular-detoxification resources (more on this in a moment).
- CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: Although this one could easily be incorporated into the bullet point above, it's so important that I gave it it's own. Strictly regulating your Blood Sugar is vital to your health, as almost every conceivable health problem you can name (even many of those that are supposedly "GENETIC"), is intimately related to this issue. BLOOD SUGAR issues are not only intimately related to ENDOCRINE and HORMONAL ISSUES, they are usually the top factor in your ability (or inability as the case may be) to LOSE WEIGHT as well. I have written numerous posts on this topic, and shown you REPEATEDLY that if you fail in this point, you will not succeed in regaining and maintaining your health. For some of you, a KETOGENIC DIET might be a better option than a Paleo Diet. And if you are one of those who are fighting a hardcore SUGAR ADDICTION (as severe as an addiction to cocaine or other hard drugs --- HERE), there are ways to conquer this as well. Furthermore, if you are one of the numerous people who thinks their DIABETES MEDS are controlling the problem, you had better click the link to see just how badly you are being conned. And if you think you're off the hook because you only have "PRE-DIABETES' and not the full-blown disease, think again. Bottom Line: Blood Sugar Dysregulation strongly promotes virtually every health problem you can name (including INFECTIONS and CANCER) and most you can't. Oh; I forgot to mention that blood sugar roaches your fascia and other connective tissues as well (HERE).
- IF YOU TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, MAKE SURE THEY ARE MOSTLY WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: Supplements are just that ---- they "supplement" (NOT SUBSTITUTE for) a healthy diet. If you are going to take supplements, I strongly recommend that they be WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. If you think I am blowing smoke about THE DIFFERENCE between natural and SYNTHETIC NUTRITION, I have some COAL TAR for you. Should you consult your doctor on this subject? Sure. Just realize they might know less than you do --- and if they are in the know, they probably won't take the time to share it with you because they are either "BURNED OUT," told by their employer they can't, or have realized that prescribing drugs is much easier and is covered by insurance (HERE). There is a time and a place for synthetic supplements, but just realize they act like drugs in your body, as opposed to food. This might be the best place to suggest using copious amounts of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES for cooking as well. Bottom Line: There is a large difference between food or supplements that come from nature, or foods / supplements created synthetically / artificially / chemically.
- FIX YOUR GUT: By now, most of us have heard that 80% of our Immune System is found in our Gut (HERE). GUT HEALTH is so critical to your overall health that in similar fashion to Blood Sugar, virtually every disease you can imagine is being tied back to what is going on in your DIGESTIVE TRACT. Furthermore, this issue goes far beyond simply taking a few PROBIOTICS every time your doctor gives you ANTIBIOTICS (HERE). In fact, for some of you dealing with certain serious illnesses or out-of-control inflammation, you might have to contemplate measures that many would consider DRASTIC OR BIZARRE. And because this post is aimed at those of you who are struggling with Chronic Conditions, make absolutely sure you understand what "THE LEAKIES" are before you read any further, as they are a deal-breaker as far as successfully addressing any Chronic Condition is concerned (and don't forget that your SMALL INTESTINE --- SIBO --- could be the source of your problem as well). For many of you, fixing your Gut is going to require that you INCREASE YOUR STOMACH ACIDITY by getting off PPI'S. And while this might seem like a strange place to mention it, if you click the link, you'll understand why ANEMIA is not only a deal-breaker as far as getting healthy is concerned, it also happens to be another aspect of health that is intimately related to the health of your Gut. Another factor that seems strange to find filed under Gut Health is VACCINATIONS. however, there is ample evidence that vaccinations of all sorts, including the FLU SHOT, cause numerous problems by attacking both the Brain and the Gut. As a bonus, HERE is a post I wrote on what it takes to heal your Gut. Bottom Line: The 'olde-tyme' healers had things right with their simple mantra, "Heal the gut, heal the body."
- DEAL WITH YOUR BODY'S TOXIC BURDEN: We are all exposed to a plethora of TOXIC CHEMICALS and ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS on a daily basis. Do what you can to reduce your exposure, and make sure your liver is functioning as it should. Your liver is where most detoxification (the medical community refers to this as "Biotransformation") takes place. If your liver is not functioning properly (HERE), you are going to have a difficult time clearing toxicity from your body. Bottom Line: Whether you are polluting your body from without or within, doesn't really matter as far as your liver is concerned.
- DRINK WATER AND ONLY WATER: It's 2014. I should not have to tell you to maintain your level of hydration, and do it by drinking plenty of water. Unfortunately, far too many people in the United States understand this point as, "drink more fluids". In fact, many people seem to be drinking everything but water (HERE). Of course, the worst of these drinks is probably SODA (yes, especially DIET SODA), but there are any number of others that people FOOL THEMSELVES WITH as well. Also be aware that besides drinking enough water, the kind of water you are drinking is critical to your health as well (HERE). Just don't get stupid about it as you can literally run your body's minerals out in your urine if you are drinking too much --- something I occasionally see. Bottom Line: Most people live in some degree of dehydration, which is crippling when you realize that between 2/3 and 3/4 of your body is made up of water.
- CONTROL YOUR AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) has two separate and distinct parts to it --- the SNS or Sympathetic Nervous System, which is based on "fight or flight," and the PNS or Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is the "rest and digest" or "feed and breed" system. As you might guess from this little tidbit of knowledge, you do not want your ANS to stay in a state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE --- something that the medical community can actually measure via Heart Rate Variability (HERE). Tipping the balance of your ANS away from the SNS and toward the PNS has been shown to be a potent attenuator of inflammation. Want to see how easy it is to reduce inflammation and halt Sympathetic Dominance at the same time? Check out THIS POST --- a post that next to the one you are reading right now, is arguably the most important I've ever done. Bottom Line: It really is important to get your mind right (HERE).
- EXERCISE WISELY: Although exercise is wonderful; depending on what sort of health issues you may be dealing with, you must be wise about the way you attack this bullet point. LESS IS MORE --- particularly for those of you dealing with Chronic Pain or Chronic Conditions. For many of you --- particularly those of you with ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA --- the last thing you want to do is to stimulate anything that would lead to a further state of Sympathetic Dominance. This is only one of the many reasons that when I suggest exercise, I often suggest some sort of short-duration RESISTANCE TRAINING or INTERVAL TRAINING as opposed to STRAIGHT CARDIO. REBOUNDING has proved to be extremely effective as well --- not only for weight loss but for boosting Immune System function via stimulation of the lymphatics. For those of you who simply cannot exercise, WBV can be helpful to get the process started, and there are various ways to do get the incredible neurometabolic boost extra oxygen can give you with EWOT. Bottom Line: Although everyone needs to be doing some form of exercise. Not all exercise is created equal.
- LAY OFF THE SCREENS AND PUT YOUR BED TO GOOD USE: Our beds should be comfortable enough that we enjoy sleeping in them. By the way, "getting plenty of rest" does not mean spending 8 hours a day lounging in front of the TV, in front of your computer, or on your phone (HERE). If you are having trouble resting, you are likely in a state of Sympathetic Dominance --- the "Fight or Flight" response turned perpetually to overdrive --- which is burning out your Adrenal Glands (HERE) and at the very least, contributing to the FIBROMYALGIA you either already have, or soon will. Another function of the bed is for sex. I'll not delve into the benefits of sex on your health here, but suffice it to say there are lots. Unfortunately, our collective ill health is taking a toll on our ability to enjoy this part of our lives (HERE). And lest we forget, there are many of you who cannot sleep simply because you cannot breathe (SLEEP APNEA). If this is you, click the link. Bottom Line: All too often here in America, the bedroom is not being used for purposes it is intended to be used for.
- UNDERSTAND INFLAMMATION: If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: not one person in a thousand has any real idea what INFLAMMATION is, how it works, what drives it, what do do about it other than take DANGEROUS DRUGS, or the many ways it will devastate your MIND and BODY if left unchecked. It is my belief that understanding Inflammation is so critical to the ability (or inability) of those of you struggling to regain and / or maintain your health, that a failure in this department usually translates to overall failure. Some of the common (but hidden) things that tend to drive Inflammation include YEASTS, MOLDS, ANTIBIOTICS, DYSBIOSIS, HEAVY METALS or ALUMINUM, PARASITES, OVER-CLEANLINESS, as well as many others --- some of which I have previously discussed in this post. I always suggest you deal with Inflammation by consuming an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET. I would also add that you take a look at GROUNDING / EARTHING as it may be a missing link for you. Controlling inflammation is critical for you to understand because Inflammation ALWAYS leads to Scar Tissue and Fibrosis (HERE). Bottom Line: A failure to grasp the implications of Systemic (whole body) Inflammation will prevent you from getting out of pain and regaining your health.
- MAKE SURE YOUR MOUTH IS NOT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM: No; I'm not talking here about being a bit too lippy or sassy. I'm talking about ORAL HEALTH. You would probably be shocked to learn that BAD TEETH, unhealthy gums (see first link in this bullet), and particularly ROOT CANALS have the potential to drive all sorts of chronic health issues. Bottom Line: Problems in your mouth can act as a "toxicity pump" that spews forth any manner of disease-causing microbes as well as the toxins they create.
- MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BODY IS MECHANICALLY SOUND: Although this could easily encompass any number of topics, I am talking specifically here about biomechanics. In other words, if your body is not functioning like it was mechanically created and designed to, it will not function well electrically or chemically. This is a simple fact seen in the practice of CHIROPRACTIC and our work with FASCIAL ADHESIONS. To understand more about this particular point and understand that I do things much differently than most chiros (HERE), take a moment to watch a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS. Because so many of you deal with CHRONIC NECK PAIN and HEADACHES, I would suggest you read THIS as well. Oh, and don't forget about DRY NEEDLING FOR CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS. Bottom Line: As crazy as it may sound, an intact Fascial and Musculoskeletal System are directly related to your overall capacity for health and being touted as the number one causal factor in chronic pain and chronic illness (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).
- LEARN HOW TO WIELD LIGHT AS A HEALING MODALITY (SUNSHINE / VITAMIN D / LASER THERAPY / CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS): Vitamin D is not so much a vitamin as a type of gene-biomodulating compound that acts as the precursor for numerous hormones. It is also intimately associated with proper immune system function and has antiinfflammatory properties as well. The cool thing is that your body can make Vitamin D out of cholesterol in the presence of sunshine. This is why exposure to sun is one of the best ways to get real Vitamin D. In the off-season I recommend supplementing with liquid D drops and possibly artificial UVR. To see the numerous benefits of sunshine, HERE is the place to visit. HERE is the information about controlling your circadian rhythms to affect both your health and weight. For more information about the amazing effects of light in the form of Low Level Laser Therapy, HERE is the post Bottom Line: Since Vitamin D is related via peer-review to almost every major category of health you can name (the studies are virtually endless), it would behoove you to keep your levels up. This is especially true if you are dealing with or prone to autoimmunity. The more we learn about light, the more important it becomes to realize that it will either be working for you or against you!
The truth is, there is an array of things that can go wrong in the body, and this list is by no ways definitive. For some of you, there are any number of issues you may have to deal with. For instance, how is your HPA-AXIS holding up? Might you be dealing with CENTRAL SENSITIVITY? Are your HORMONES out of balance? What about METHYLATION or the energy production cycles (MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION)? OXIDATIVE STRESS can be a deal-breaker as well. Around here, Tick-Borne Illnesses are especially common, as are any number of other "LATENT INFECTIONS". HEAVY METALS and HALIDES can present major problems for some people as well. And as far as the BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM are concerned, it's a wild-card that might require the intervention of a qualified FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST.
Bottom line; you can't go wrong using this post as a template for getting your health back. For Pete's sake; forget everything else and just go Paleo. Worst case scenario, it won't make you worse (HERE). HERE is one example of a person who used the ideas in this post to turn her life around and lose 100 lbs in seven months, getting off her meds in the process --- this after being diagnosed with and bedridden by five (5) different autoimmune diseases, including RA and a lupus-like disease with no name.
Also, HERE is a generalized "Life Plan" from a friend of mine who is a motivational speaker and life coach. Years ago his wife developed interstitial cystitis (an autoimmune disease --- HERE), and after using some of the techniques described in this post, she got her life back (and he got his wife back). Super powerful stuff that helps transform the hopeless into the hopeful! BTW, if you appreciate free material like this, be sure to show us some love on FACEBOOK --- it's a great way to reach those you love and care about most with important health-related information.
"The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole." Ancient Proverb
I have written extensively about what it takes to help yourself with problems like the ones above --- as well as many others (HERE). Why do I say, "help yourself"? Because if you have lived in the world above for any length of time, you are already aware that doctors and modern medicine cannot do it for you. No; mine is not the definitive word on the subject. But if you want to get healthy and start working towards a better life, my website is a good place to start. You see; the old way of thinking about health (I have symptom 'X', what can you give me for it?) is rapidly becoming a thing of the past --- whether you are talking about Western Medicine or natural remedies (HERE).
The only way to effectively lick CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES is to deal with the root of the problem ---- from the ground up, and inside out. THIS is what it looks like and THIS is what can happen when you follow these simple protocols. Spend 15 minutes going link-to-link on my site, and you'll quickly see what I mean. Use this knowledge and make the commitment to re-invent yourself starting today!
ARE ALL DISEASES RELATED?
We now know that practically all diseases are related to each other, either directly or indirectly. In my UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR post, we saw that improperly regulated blood sugar is being causally tied to almost every health issue under the sun --- even in the absence of outright DIABETES. Furthermore, we know that gluten is heavily-linked to autoimmunity (HERE). We also know that Depression is linked to both obesity and diminished libido (HERE). Now we see a couple of brand new studies saying that Depression is tied to chronic or acute infections and autoimmunity, and that people with Autoimmune Diseases such as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS ---- a form of PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY) do not live as long as the general population. Let's spend a couple minutes looking at these studies, and what they mean to us here in the real world.
The latest issue of JAMA Psychiatry published a study done at Aarhus University in Denmark (Autoimmune Diseases and Severe Infections as Risk Factors for Mood Disorders: A Nationwide Study), that looked at all 3.56 million people born in that country between 1945 and1996. The study showed that people who were hospitalized because of an Autoimmune Disease (the list is fairly crazy --- HERE), have a 45% greater chance of being diagnosed with DEPRESSION or some other mood disorder later in life. Take it a step further; if you were hospitalized for an infection of some sort, your chances of developing Depression increase by over 60%. And if you were hospitalized for both? Your chances of developing Depression or other mood disorders soared by 235%.
The study hypothesized that INFLAMMATION caused Depression by altering the way that NEUROTRANSMITTERS worked in the body, subsequently causing the NEUROENDOCRINE SYSTEM to malfunction. Although they are surely correct, my guess is that it also has a lot to do with the fact that people with infections are given ANTIBIOTICS, which, while being a potential life saver, are simultaneously a huge Immune System destroyer HERE. This is probably why there is a ton of research showing that PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE FISH OIL is beneficial to such a wide variety of Inflammatory health issues --- including things like ADD / ADHD, Schizophrenia, and yes, Depression. The study also talked about the way that Inflammation leads to fatigue (CHRONIC FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA) and insomnia (SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE). In the words of Scooby Do's Velma, "Jinkies"!
This is a big deal because not surprisingly, lots of Autoimmune Diseases are not only heavily associated with a loss of quality of life, but also with an early death. Some of these killers are obvious (Lupus for instance). But some are not only not obvious; people are often not even aware that they are dealing with an Autoimmune Disease. In a study published in this month's issue of Neurology (Prospective Study of Restless Legs Syndrome and Mortality Among Men), we learn that men with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) were nearly 40% more likely to be dead within 8 years of their initial diagnosis than were men without RLS. And this is after factoring out things like age and other chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, etc, etc. BTW, the study said that RLS affects between 5% and 10% of the population (VALUABLE INFO ON RLS AND OTHER FORMS OF PN). Possibly even more shocking is that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 2 Americans have some form of Autoimmune Disease.
If you are dealing with known Autoimmunity, or Chronic Health Issues, please study and learn what you will need to do to take care of these problems. One thing I can assure you of ---- If you are not willing to step outside of the "box" that you have been living and treating in, you will never find the solution you are after. And because Autoimmune Diseases tend to travel in packs like wolves, you are likely to end up with a half dozen of them. You may benefit from reading about the UNIVERSAL CAUSES AND UNIVERSAL SOLUTIONS of most forms of sickness and disease.
DISEASE, HEALING, WELLNESS, AND FITNESS
THE CHOICE IS ALL YOURS
Playing the blame game is the easy way out. Especially when it comes to health. But blaming things other than yourself never gets to the root causes of why you are unhealthy in the first place. And it certainly never changes things for the better. In order to change things, you have to have the will to change, as well as the knowledge to know how to change. Knowledge is power. Let me help motivate and empower you to change your life.
What is disease? When broken down to its simplest components, all sickness and disease is really just one thing (HERE and HERE). It is some form of abnormal cellular function. There are essentially two reasons that cells malfunction. On one hand, the body can have too much of something (Excess). On the other hand, it might have too little of something (Insufficiency). These excesses and insufficiencies could pertain to just about anything (vitamins, minerals, calories, protein, neurotransmitters, inflammatory mediators, etc, etc, etc), and either side of the equation will ultimately lead to abnormal cellular function. What are the pathways that lead us to insufficiency or excess, eventually causing abnormal cellular function (sickness & disease)? Follow along while I show you.
There is a chasm between the medical research community who does the scientific research, and the average treating physician who see patients on a day-in-day-out basis. Most of this chasm is so great that the two groups can rarely see each other (the Grand Canyon is 18 miles across at its widest part), often going about life as though the other group doesn't exist (HERE). The facts about why people get sick in the first place, what it takes to get healthy, and what it takes to actually stay healthy, are frequently ignored. How else do you explain the medical community's continued ignorance concerning some of these pathways. Let's briefly look at them.
- NUTRITIONAL: This is big. Although everyone learns from the time they are a first grader, "You are what you eat," the medical community seems to be the last to catch on. If you have not yet figured out that nutrition is intimately linked to health and cellular function (or dysfunction), you are probably sick. I have all sorts of blog posts on this topic, ranging from GLUTEN, to PALEO EATING, to WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION, to CONTROLLING BLOOD SUGAR & DIABETES NATURALLY, to TRANS FATS, to GUT HEALTH, to KETOGENIC DIETS, and a host of others. Why does the medical community continue to largely ignore nutrition? Easy. Firstly, they know very little about it (HERE), and secondly; when compared to drugs, there's is no real money in it (HERE).
- CHEMICAL / HORMONAL: This one is easy to figure out. Excesses of certain kinds of chemicals create toxicity. Not enough of certain kinds of chemicals and you have a deficiency. Either one can destroy your health, or even be the difference between life or death. Our medical community understands this. In fact, they understand it almost too well. Because they see the "Chemical Group" as by far the biggest of the five groups, it is how they attack most diseases. You already understand this. Doctor's first line of treatment for almost any given health problem is to give people chemicals in the form of drugs. Does this work? Certainly it does ---- sometimes --- at least for awhile. And it certainly works if you are a Pharmaceutical Company. But all too often, looking at health from strictly a chemical point of view is covering symptoms without ever addressing underlying causes. If a hammer is the only thing a carpenter carries around in his tool box, everything starts to look like a nail. BTW, if you want any hope of effectively dealing with this bullet, you need to get a handle on BIOTRANSFORMATION.
- MECHANICAL AND / OR ELECTRICAL: Although I PROVIDE LARGE AMOUNTS OF INFORMATION for my patients concerning the other bullets, this is where I spend the majority of my practice life. Many people have deficiencies (or excesses) in joint motion and / or nerve function. Whether their problem was the result of a SPORTS INJURY, a CAR CRASH, SCAR TISSUE, SUBLUXATION, or any number of others, they frequently end up with mechanical problems that can ultimately lead to a whole host of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES. This always creates a vicious cycle based on inflammation, with an end-result of some sort of DEGENERATION. This category would also cover things like too little or too much exercise, POOR POSTURE, as well as a host of others. It is very important to be aware that the body's Electrical System is intimately linked to its mechanical system (musculoskeletal system). Nerve interference and various sorts of BRAIN DYSFUNCTIONS cause untold amounts of sickness, disease, and health problems (HERE is a crazy example of this). Furthermore, there is a growing number of elite physicians and scientists who believe that this dysfunction is the root of all disease (HERE). I'll throw SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE here, as science continues to show this as an underlying feature in most chronic disease processes.
- MENTAL: If you are not aware of the mind - body connection in health and disease, you may need to take a bit of time and research this topic. This can be almost anything from stress to DEPRESSION, to worry, to any number of others. Science has told us that the mind-body relationship is a major factor in as much of 70% of all disease processes. We also know that things like TV, VIDEO GAMES & PORN (not to mention a lack of exercise) will rot your mental capacity as well.
- GENETIC: This is one that despite having billions of dollars thrown at it, is proving to be less and less important all the time. Much of this has to do with the field of epigenetics (first link in the post). EPIGENETICS is a rapidly expanding field within genetics saying that genes do not matter nearly as much as we have been led to believe. The real question we need to find out is whether a specific gene has been turned on or not. What turns genes on and allows them to express ill health? Although it can be a variety of different things, they are usually the same things that we associate with an unhealthy lifestyle.
I could have included another category and called it something like "Germs". The truth of the matter is that germs can cause disease. But they also maintain health (HERE). In the same way that genes get too much credit for sickness and disease, bacteria and viruses sometimes get too much credit as well --- at least when talking about acute illnesses. Taking a cue from FDR's "New Deal", in the 1960's LBJ created his "Great Society". He declared war on poverty, ignorance, and yes, disease. How has that worked out? Just look around you.
We have more stupidity (particularly in Washington), more people sponging off the American taxpayer, and more people struggling with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES than at any time in the history of our country. Despite the explosion of technology (as well as UNCONTROLLED MEDICAL SPENDING), "MEDICINE" has not panned out like it was supposed to (unless, of course, you are part of "The Pharm"). And simply giving people ANTIBIOTICS and huge numbers of VACCINATIONS has proved to be a double-edged sword that is permanently destroying the health of as many people as they save. What is the answer? How about following the advice of the inventor of the light bulb.
Back in 1903, the January 2 edition of the Newark Advocate ran a story appropriately called Wizard Edison, which quoted him as saying, The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. What do you think? Good advice? Although I am prejudice in the matter, I certainly think so. In fact, I believe in this concept enough that I created you a generic template for getting your health back.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO GET
HEALTHY AND STAY HEALTHY?
THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING THEORY OF MODERN DISEASE
Some of this information is way oversimplified. Some of it is probably not quite technically correct. And you should be aware that the various steps in this cycle can be in a different order than I've shown, can overlap each other, or can be skipped altogether. Regardless, this model is accurate enough (and hopefully understandable enough) to get you in the ballpark as far as recognizing the roots of chronic illness. Just remember that in the same way that there is no "Universal Cure" for all physical ailments, neither is there a single cause of these ailments. However, this is great information that will give you something to think about if you or a loved one are struggling with chronic health problems.
STEP 1: INFLAMMATION
Although these chemicals are good (even vital) in small amounts; in large amounts they promote a veritable Pandora's Box of health problems, and can be the result of many different things (GLUTEN, MOLD, YEAST, PARASITES, HEAVY METALS, THYROID ISSUES, a wide array of ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS, SUGAR), but at least in the Westernized world, is almost always tied to poor diet choices in some form or fashion. Just be aware that SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION (large amounts of Inflammatory chemicals coursing through your blood stream) eventually leads to..........
STEP 2A: THE LEAKIES
I would guess that at least half the American population ---- maybe more, have some degree of this problem, and occurs when the Small Intestine's "tight junctions" --- the gaps between individual cells ---- become loose. In healthy individuals, these tight junctions are just big enough to allow fully digested food particles to get through so they can be absorbed into the blood stream. As Inflammation increases, it destroys the compounds that hold the cells tightly together, allowing the tight junctions between the cells to become looser / larger. This then allows the Small Intestine to become increasingly permeable (leaky) to substances that should never be allowed to get through.
Just remember that this is not only happening in the Gut. Once this junk makes it into the blood stream where your body will invariably recognize them as foreign, it will begin to make antibodies against them. These "foreign invaders" include everything from parasites, to partially-digested or undigested food fragments, to bacteria, to viruses, to yeast, to heavy metals, to chemical toxicity, to medications, etc, etc, etc. The process of getting sick causes even more Inflammation. Do you see the vicious cycle starting to churn? Oh, and just remember this can happen in the lungs, as well as the BBB (Blood Brain Barrier), not to mention the similar layer of epithelium that protects the nerves and spinal cord. There is, however, another aspect of GUT HEALTH. A flip side of the coin if you will....
STEP 2B: DYSBIOSIS
STEP 3: FOOD SENSITIVITIES, INCLUDING GLUTEN
It is absolutely critical to realize that despite most people thinking of Gluten Sensitivity in terms of "Gut Symptoms" (bloating, gas, diarrhea, etc), the majority of the symptoms of Gluten Sensitivitiy will manifest as NEUROLOGICAL problems --- many of which show few (or even no) overt digestive / GUT SYMPTOMS. One of the best examples of this phenomenon is the outlandish number of Americans dealing with THYROID PROBLEMS. As you can see from THIS POST, this part of the process is a well known mechanism for developing.........
STEP 4: AUTOIMMUNITY
"Celiac Disease is what the average doctor thinks of when they think of Gluten Sensitivity. This is not really accurate. Celiac is the manifestation of Gluten Sensitivity as seen in the Small Intestine. But Gluten Sensitivity manifests very differently in other tissues and organs. For instance, in the Brain and Nervous System, Gluten Sensitivity / Toxicity manifests as clusters of symptoms we refer to as Multiple Sclerosis, or ALS, or Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's, or Seizure Disorders, or Neuropathy, as well as Sympathetic Dominance."
In other words, thanks to inflammation and a FREAKED OUT NEURO-IMMUNE SYSTEM, our bodies start picking fights against themselves. Dr. Noseworthy used out-takes from dozens of scientific papers from the most prestigious biomedical journals on the planet to prove his point. To be honest with you, it was shocking seeing so much proof in black and white. And although this idea is certainly not embraced by practicing physicians (yet), it is currently being touted by some of the world's most brilliant doctors ---- particularly the experts in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE.
Once people's immune systems begin making antibodies to Gluten; for reasons that are not yet clearly understood, these same immune systems begin making antibodies to self (HERE). This is called AUTOIMMUNITY. Unfortunately, once a person is Autoimmune, they are always Autoimmune, although there are some very cool things that can be done to dramatically dampen an overstimulated immune system. Autoimmunity leaves people susceptible to a whole host of ---- you guessed it ----- AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES ---- diseases that tend to travel in packs like wolves. In other words, if you have Psoriasis, you are 'Autoimmune' and will likely end up with many more of the diseases listed in the previous link if you do not get the situation under control.
This is because, as strange as it may sound, your problem is not the disease itself, it's the fact that your body is making antibodies to itself and will likely continue making antibodies to itself until you dry up the source of Inflammation, fix the Leaky Gut, and get the Dysbiosis under control (this includes SIBO as well). Fixing a Leaky Gut will take anywhere from 1-2 months (in some cases longer) and require real effort on your part as far as what foods you eat and supplements you take. HERE is an example of someone who followed our advice to the letter and did it with a condition widely considered "incurable". HERE is a person who successfully addressed five autoimmune diseases and lost 100 lbs in the process, all in about seven months.
STEP 5: RECOVERY
If you want to begin addressing some of the root causes of your health problems, you can start by reading HOW TO SOLVE JUST ABOUT ANY HEALTH ISSUE. The great thing is that no matter what is wrong with you, there are universal steps that must be taken by everyone in order to dry up their volcano and get well. Fortunately, some of you will be able to do much of this on your own (WE EVEN ADMIT THIS). Be aware, however, that depending on the severity of your particular situation, you may need to see a physician who will help you step out of the box.
If you are honest about it, you have to realize that the new paradigms of health and disease have bypassed the average doctor's office, leaving them in the dust. The problem is that most of them are so far behind the curve that they still think they are in the lead. Most are still using the "Better Living through Pharmacology" model (HERE) because, well, that's what pays the bills. The problem is, this model is not only not helping most of our population's chronically sick people get well (HERE), it is often times a significant contributing factor to the development / propagation of Leaky Gut / Leaky Brain Syndrome. But hey; it makes a heck of a lot of money for a heck of a lot of people. Drugs might mop up the inflammation, but they never turn off the faucet where it's pouring out of (HERE).
There is not another profession on the planet with a wider gap between the scientific research community and the professionals in the field (HERE). These two groups within medicine are often 180 degrees opposite of each other. This blog post should more than alert you to this fact. Just more proof of the myth of EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE. What does it all mean to you? Only that if you care about your health and the health of your family, you had better do some simple research into what it takes to get healthy and stay healthy! I realize that it's a tough revelation to swallow, but the truth is, it's all up to you, and I've given you a starting point. Nope, it's not a "cure," but a place to start making a plan to get better (HERE).
HOW TO CURE ANYTHING
People come to me all the time asking the same general question. Doctor Schierling. Have you got anything natural for my high blood pressure? What sort of natural supplement do you have that will let me loose about 70 pounds? What about my heart problems ---- anything natural for them? Can you cure my digestive problems naturally? What sort of natural treatment can you do for my hormones, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibro, Blood Sugar, Autoimmune Disease, or (________ insert your disease du jour here)?
But read between the lines. What is the question that most folks are really asking? "Hey Doc, What have you got that will take care of my health problems, help me drop about 70 pounds, keep me active in the bedroom, but allow me to keep the same self destructive habits I have had my whole life? I mean gosh darn it doc, it's my parents fault! I'm just one of the unlucky ones who has bad genes." Blaming others is easy. It's something we all do well --- especially that GENETIC THING. No one likes to admit that their health problems just might be their own fault. After all; health is no longer our responsibility ---- it's what our doctors and government do for us.
Doc, I have symptom "A", so give me drug / supplement "B". I have a cold so give me an ANTIBIOTIC. I have a pain, please prescribe me some PAIN MEDS. It's the easy way out. It is the promise modern medicine has been making for decades. Doctors are just doing what Ray Davies and The Kinks sang about back in the early 80's ----- they're giving the people what they want. After all; it doesn't really require any effort from patients. Just like putting a tithe in the offering plate is easier than getting down to the hard work of spreading the gospel person by person by person, it's just plain easier to pay someone else to take care of our health. That's America today. It's not my fault doc. It's not my responsibility doc. Do it for me. And by golly, make sure it's easy! Oh no, no, no doc ---- I hate vegetables. Are you crazy doc, I could never give up my DIET SODAS --- I just don't like the taste of water. You have to understand; I'm just way too tired to move when I come home from work. I used to really like you doc when all you did was "pop" my back, but now you're stepping on toes.
Doctor's appointments, EXAMINATIONS, diagnostic testing, SCANS, procedures, drugs, more drugs, and still more drugs. And then we start down a bit rougher path --- only now it's not just drugs; it's surgeries. People think that if they can just keep that MEDICAL MERRY GO ROUND spinning long enough, maybe one of their many doctors will finally figure out what's wrong. It's comforting to believe that someone else can do it for us. But the problem is, far too often; they can't. If you really search your souls, most of you will have to admit that far too many of the promises of modern medicine are hollow ---- like a tree that looks good on the outside but is rotten in the middle.
TAKING THE CURE
So; what do you do? Almost every single patient reading this, no matter what sort of health condition you are dealing with, could benefit from THIS basic get-back-to-health protocol.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration