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February 2013

When Good Bugs Go Bad

When Good Bugs Go Bad

When Good Bugs Go Bad
By Robert Lee Lawrence

When Good Bugs Go Bad

Small bowel overgrowth (SBO) is a condition of the small intestine that allows too many bacteria, typically Lactobacillus, to develop and thrive. "So what", you ask? Well the "so what" is that Lactobacillus bacteria are not welcome in that area. They compete with the host (that would be you) for food and the bacteria typically win the fight. Remember that bully in grade school who would always swipe your PB&J from you? You got pretty hungry by the end of the day didn't you? It's like that with SBO because if the bacteria eat your lunch repeatedly you run the risk of malnutrition and a host of unpleasant symptoms.

The small intestine is where the digestion and absorption of your food occurs. Digestion breaks down your meals into the basic carbohydrate, fat and protein macronutrients that a healthy body needs to function at optimum efficiency. As food moves from the early part of the small intestine (duodenum) through the middle (jejunum) and latter parts of the small intestine (ileum), the bacteria increase from relatively small numbers until they reach their highest levels in the large intestine, the colon. In the small intestine, enzymes, acids, hormones and other chemicals manufactured by the body are added to the food mixture (now called chyme) and are there to help digestion and absorption. The presence of these digestive juices, especially the acid, is why only a few bacteria would be expected to be found in a healthy small intestine.

The colon is where all the unusable material from your food is collected and where the bacteria are most numerous. The water content of this material is about ¾ of the total mass. Of the remaining ¼, approximately 30% is bacteria by weight. The bacteria would include the lactobacillus and other probiotic species as well as approximately 400 other species. The weight of all the bacteria in the gut is about 15 pounds. The large intestine is where the bacteria belong.

The beneficial effects of this large biomass on human health cannot be underestimated. The bacteria promote a cleaning of the intestinal cells, manufacture some vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, B-12, and, perhaps most importantly, produce vitamin K, which is important in blood clotting and bone formation. Short chain fatty acids (used as a fuel for colonic cells) are also produced. The downside of all this bacterial activity is the amount of toxic waste produced while the bacteria work for us. If the toxins build up, it definitely would qualify as a Superfund site.

In a normally healthy gut, when intestinal cells are functioning in an optimal fashion, the cells are able to absorb the bacterial toxins and neutralize them directly or pass them on to other sites in the body for detoxification. We get sick when the cells and body can no longer neutralize the poisons such as when pathogenic bacteria are present in overwhelming numbers (Montezuma's Revenge) or when the normal ratio of "good versus bad" bacteria is altered (dysbiosis). If the toxins accumulate without control, and the acid/base balance in the colon is significantly altered and disrupted, serious diseases like cancer can result.

We see a decrease in the numbers of the good bacteria, and the development of dysbiosis, in those cases where there is an overuse of antibiotics, antacids, NSAIDs, poor diet, lack of proper nutrition, stress, or in association with hidden food allergies. When colonic dysbiosis occurs, the symptoms you see would include the typical non-specific bloating, gas, diarrhea (sometimes constipation), nausea, and general malaise. There are instances in gut ecology where, because of changes in the intestinal environment, bacterial populations, especially the probiotic Lactobacillus, can migrate into the small intestine. Environmental changes in the gut can happen because of aging when gastric acid production is in decline. As the stomach acid reduces more Lactobacillus survive the journey through the stomach and into the upper gut and it is easier for them to thrive there. The elderly are more prone to SBO than a younger population and, as a result, develop more issues with nutritional deficiencies. Environmental changes can also happen in cases of pancreatic insufficiency with diseases like pancreatitis or liver diseases like hepatitis. Diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, intestinal surgeries and Scleroderma are also suspected of contributing to SBO.

When SBO occurs, the symptoms would include the typical non-specific findings of bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, and general malaise. Sound familiar? The symptoms are pretty much the same as you would see in colonic dysbiosis and even in Irritable Bowel Syndrome or a Candida overgrowth. In addition, severe cases of SBO can lead indirectly to malnutrition by decreasing the intestine's ability to digest fats and, ultimately, proteins and carbohydrates. With severe, chronic SBO we also see weight loss, B-12 deficiency induced anemia, bone softening, and impaired night vision as the body fails to absorb vitamins because of the diarrhea. In fact chronic diarrhea is considered to be the hallmark of SBO. A recent study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology show SBO to be the causative factor of chronic diarrhea in up to 67% of reported cases. In another study in the same journal 48% of cases were diagnosed with SBO. A separate study showed that up to 83% of patients diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome had SBO instead. SBO is definitely good bugs gone bad.

So how do you know if you have SBO? How is it diagnosed? More importantly, if you have it what do you do about it? If you have the symptoms described above and these symptoms have persisted for more than several weeks you should see a physician who is familiar with functional testing. As its name implies, functional testing refers to lab testing that helps determine the function and interplay of a total organ system rather than an isolated portion of that system. Functional tests ask the question "Why"! Traditional testing asks "What"! When you ask "what" is wrong, it only allows for symptom management. If you ask "why" it's wrong, it allows for the complete management of the cause of the symptoms.

There are several types of functional tests important in SBO. One invasive procedure cultures a bacterial sample taken directly from the contents of the duodenum. Stool microbiology offered by some labs identifies an overgrowth of bacteria by direct observation of the bacteria cultured from a stool sample. There is also a breath test that identifies, indirectly, the metabolic waste of the bacteria. Lastly, your doctor can order an evaluation of your urine collected first thing in the morning. This test looks directly at the waste products given off by the bacteria. If SBO is present, several of these waste products will be elevated.

Once diagnosed, your physician can then determine the next steps to take. You certainly don't want to take Lactobacillus containing probiotic supplements until the overgrowth is controlled. You're simply feeding the fire if you do. In some severe cases, antibiotics may be necessary to control SBO. In less severe cases the natural compound approach may be best. This could include various bactericidal herbs like Oregano, Goldenseal, and Garlic. Adding digestive aids like proteolytics, pancreatic enzymes as well as Betaine HCl may be of benefit. Changing your diet to exclude Lacto-fermented and "aged" foods temporarily as well as reducing high glycemic carbohydrates would be advised. It would be important to resolve the underlying cause for the overgrowth if possible. If the condition that allowed the overgrowth to occur in the first place is not considered then the above dietary changes will only offer temporary relief. After the overgrowth is reduced to normal and the causative factors are controlled, it's OK, and advisable, to return the fermented foods and probiotics back into your diet.

So while you may not have heard a lot about SBO, it does mask itself as several other conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Candida, contributes to the symptom picture in many other conditions, and its proper control can certainly make your life a lot easier.

Robert L. Lawrence, MEd, DC, DACBN

Dr. Lawrence maintains a nutrition practice in Lake Worth, Florida. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Garden of Life whole food supplements. A former instructor at the National University of Health Sciences, he has also served as a consultant in Functional Medicine and Diagnostic Laboratory Testing. Dr. Lawrence has completed an extensive post-doctoral course of study on "Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice" through The Institute of Functional Medicine. He holds degrees in Science Education, Chiropractic Medicine, Clinical Nutrition and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition.

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Fatigue - Overworked & Imbalanced?

Fatigue - Overworked & Imbalanced?

Fatigue - Overworked & Imbalanced?
By Peter Osborne

Are you tired of feeling tired? Are you unable to tap into a reservoir of energy when needed? Fatigue can be the culprit, and for millions of people, its effects can be debilitating. The cause of fatigue is multi factorial. Lack of exercise and improper diet play the largest role for most;1 however, there can be underlying contributing issues as well. Simple laboratory testing can discover a number of potential causes for fatigue: Thyroid deficiency, anemia, liver dysfunction, viruses, etc can all contribute to the problem. But what do you do when your doctor runs all of these tests and they come back normal. This is too often the case for fatigue sufferers. Many doctors cite depression and try to prescribe medication despite adequate proof to do so. Many doctors simply refer the patient out to a psychiatrist. The bottom line is that fatigue sufferers are often left with unacceptable choices that don't address the root of the problem.

To determine the cause and best treatment for fatigue, all of the factors causing the fatigue must be identified.2 Underlying factors that contribute to fatigue should be evaluated and treated when possible. Common contributing factors include: anemia, stress, eating an improper diet, poor sleep habits, excessive caffeine and sugar intake, chronic pain, dehydration, side effects from medications, nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, and abusive relationships.

Nearly 20% of all patients who seek a physician's assistance in treating a health concern include fatigue as a symptom relative to their affliction.5 As with most physical and emotional conditions, medications are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat symptoms of a condition rather than addressing the underlying cause. Many prescription and over the counter medications can have side effects that contribute to fatigue. Some medicines deplete vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to make energy. Some medications affect the liver and kidneys and indirectly contribute to fatigue. One of the most common side effects of medication use is fatigue. This is a big problem because according to an Associated Press Report from May of 2008, half of all Americans are taking prescription medications.

To maintain functional health, the body requires essential nutrients, sun light, clean air, exercise, and emotional stability and support. Most doctors do not take the time to assess these areas of essentiality and rely on tools like the Food Guide Pyramid to generalize their recommendations to patients. Unfortunately, general broad spectrum recommendations do not account for individual variability and can actually make the situation worse. For example, eating 8-10 servings of whole grains can cause severe illness in an individual who is gluten intolerant. Another example is sun avoidance to reduce the risk of skin cancer: Some individuals have genetic variations that do not allow them to metabolize vitamin D as well as others. Sun light avoidance in these individual can actually increase the risk for cancer.

Finding a doctor who practices functional medicine is critical if you want to address the underlying causes of fatigue. The doctor should be willing to spend enough time with you to adequately assess your problems. Less than 40 minutes of face time with the doctor is inadequate to perform a complete history and physical examination. Laboratory testing should focus on identifying genetic variability and functional parameters based on the uniqueness or the individual not just the condition. Additionally, the doctor should practice what they preach. How can you expect someone in poor health to give good health advice?


1. Eur J Neurosci. 2008 Jul;28(2):379-88. The top-down influence of ergogenic placebos on muscle work and fatigue. Pollo A, Carlino E, Benedetti F
2. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2008 Aug 13. A systematic comparison of fatigue levels in systemic sclerosis with general population, cancer and rheumatic disease samples.
3. BMC Health Serv Res. 2008 Aug 13;8(1):175. Implementing cognitive behavior therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome in mental health care: a costs and outcomes analysis.
4. Heart Advis. 2008 Apr;11(4):3 Exercise strengthens muscles weakened by heart failure. Increase your stamina and reduce fatigue with a customized program of aerobic exercise and strength training.
5. Sangyo Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2008 Aug 8. Characteristic Patterns of Fatigue Feelings on four Simulated Consecutive Night Shifts by "Jikaku-sho shirabe"
6. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Aug 10;26(23):3886-95. Evidence-based recommendations for cancer fatigue, anorexia, depression, and dyspnea. Dy SM, Lorenz KA, Naeim A, Sanati H, Walling A, Asch SM

Learn more -

Dr. Peter Osborne, D.C., D.A.C.B.N. is the clinical director of Town Center Wellness in Sugar Land, TX. His practice focuses on integrative holistic care to include chiropractic, decompression, lifestyle coaching, as well as treating complex medical problems by identifying an individuals genetic variations, and correcting nutritional deficiencies through the use of specialized laboratory testing. He has been on Staff at Texas Women's University and HCC teaching Neuroanatomy and Nutrition. He has designed several formulations for different supplement companies including The "Ath-Elite" Protocol, a product customized for professional athletes, and O Organics.

He is a member of the ACA Council on Nutrition, the American Association for Health Freedom, a Diplomate with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, and a co-founder of Nutra/MD, a supplement company with products designed to diminish the side effects of commonly prescribed medications. He is the Executive Secretary for the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, and lectures nationally to other physicians on a variety of nutritional topics. He can be reached at 281-240-2229 or on the web at

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Dark Color Changes To Toenails: Potential Causes and Treatment

Dark Color Changes To Toenails: Potential Causes and Treatment

Dark Color Changes To Toenails: Potential Causes and Treatment
By Scott Kilberg DPM

Dark-colored streaks in toenails are common in the United States, especially amongst people with darker skin toes, particularly in African-Americans. For the most part, these streaks usually represent non-serious conditions. However, especially in fair-skinned people, the presence of these streaks could represent a deadly cancer. This article will discuss the common causes or dark streaks in toenails, and what condition is cause for alarm.

Before beginning, the reader should be aware while reading this article that the information contained is not meant to provide tailored medical advice specific for one's own medical condition, but is meant as a general discussion on this health topic. Any specific questions or concerns for the conditions described in this article should be directed to one's own general physician or specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The toenail is a dense tissue made of compressed keratin. The nail plate itself begins in the nail matrix, which is essentially the root of the nail. The outer edge of the matrix is seen externally as the lunula, or the white semi-circular shaped area at the base of the nail just beyond the cuticle. The nail slowly grows outward, sliding semi-loosely along the skin. The color of the nail itself is a kind of opaque white or cream, with some clearness in it to see the skin below it. Discolorations in the nail plate, be they solid white, yellow, blue, brown, or black, are abnormal and represent a disease process. The most common sources of toe nail discoloration are due to keratin debris built up under the nail from natural nail thickening and aging, as well as discoloration from a fungus infection. These typically create a white, yellow, or yellow-brown discoloration. Since both of these lengthy topics have been covered by this author in other articles, the causes of darker shades of discoloration will be presented here.

Dark toenail discoloration has several causes, and properly diagnosing the cause is key to a successful treatment. The most common reason nails become darkly colored is because of bruising under the nail. Bruising is essentially blood left behind by bleeding. It can occur under the skin, and can also occur under and over the top of the skin located directly under the toenail. Bleeding under a toenail can be caused by dropping a heavy object onto the toe, by pressure from tight fitting shoes, by toes jamming into the end of the shoe as seen often in runners, and by stubbing injuries that cause blood vessels to burst. Spontaneous rarely if ever occurs, and often if one does not remember injuring the toe it usually means the injury was minor enough not to cause initial, memorable pain. The bruising under the nail stays in the nail plate until it grows out with the nail.

Bruises that do not grow out as the nail continues to grow are cause for concern, and a podiatrist should be contacted. The potential cause for this will be discussed later. When the bruising takes up less than a quarter or a third of the nail, it can likely be left alone and the nail can be allowed to grow out. If the bruising is more extensive, covering the entire area of the nail, the nail plate should be removed. This is done for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the blood to properly drain, and limit's the amount of damage the bleeding caused to the nail root when it slightly lifted the nail plate during the time of active bleeding. Secondly, the bleeding may have been caused by a deep cut to the skin underneath the nail plate during the initial injury, and this skin needs to be evaluated for any cuts that need to be stitched. Another concern, especially if a fracture has occurred to the bone under the nail, is pieces of bone sticking out into the skin externally. If these are not removed and the skin cleaned and treated properly, infection can develop which may spread to the underlying bone.

Another cause of dark discoloration is infection. As discussed before, fungus can enter the skin under the nail and cause discoloration, thickening, brittleness, and debris. This fungus is the same in the same group of organisms that causes Athlete's foot, and from a color perspective can change the nail from opaque to solid white, yellow, grey, brown, or even black in some cases. Treatment is somewhat complex, as only certain medications have any scientifically proven effectiveness, and there are many home-spun treatments still used that simply fail to show any real worth. Another source of infection is from bacteria, specifically bacteria from a family of organisms called Pseudomonas. This bacteria is prone to invade skin that has been kept moist for awhile, and is commonly spread in whirlpools and hot tubs. The bacteria creates a green color change in the skin and nail tissue, presumably from iron pigment. The so-called green nail syndrome is common, and is treated with a special diluted vinegar solution (acetic acid) soak, or with specific antibiotics targeted against pseudomonas. This infection rarely progresses to a more serious condition in otherwise healthy people, and is usually easily treated.

Nail discoloration that moves across the width of the nail in a thin line from one side to the other side has many different causes to numerous to discuss in detail. The causes can include disorders of the kidney, deficiencies of certain minerals, toxic metal poisoning, heart disease, chemotherapy for cancer, certain chronic medications, and major injury to the body. Due to the wide variety of causes, a visit to one's primary care doctor, dermatologist, or podiatrist is recommended. There is generally no immediate treatment for these lines, but one's physician may be able to diagnose another condition that needs treatment through examining the nail, especially if something like metal poisoning or mineral deficiency is undiagnosed.

Nail discoloration that travels in a streak from the beginning of the nail to the end is the one symptom that is cause for the most concern. This streak is typically brown, dark blue, or black, and can be found on one side of the nail or in the center. Usually, this streak takes up less than one quarter of the width of the nail itself, although in some cases it can be wider. The usual cause of this streak is the overproduction of the cells that produce skin pigmentation, otherwise called the melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives darker-skinned people their skin tone, and Caucasians their skin tan. It naturally protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, although overexposure to sun can lead to a mutation in the production of melanocytes. This is technically a cancerous growth. In most instances of nail streaking and skin conditions such as moles, this is a benign growth. However, malignant cancer can develop which has the potential to spread to other organs, leading to death. This cancer is called melanoma, and it is deadly. Dark streaks beginning at the cuticle and traveling along the length of the nail are very common in those with darker skin tones, particularly African-Americans.

In fact, many people have streaks on nearly all their toenails, and have had them since birth. These do not generally represent melanoma of the nail, and are usually benign. When these streaks are newly developed in caucasians, or if there is a new growth or change in a preexisting streak in someone with darker skin, the nail and skin surrounding the nail needs to be assessed by a physician. This is especially true if a discoloration of the skin next to the nail is developing, no matter what the original tone of the skin. A biopsy of the streaked part of the nail, the nail root, and the surrounding area of skin needs to be performed to ensure there is no malignant cancer. This is a simple procedure, done usually in an office by a podiatrist, dermatologist, or sometimes a general surgeon or family doctor, and it heals quickly. The nail usually grows back healthy if the condition was benign. If melanoma is present, immediate attention must be made to the toe to prevent further spread. This usually includes amputation of the tip of the toe, or the toe in its entirety depending on the size of the melanoma. This is absolutely necessary to save one's life and prevent spread of the cancer.

As one can see, dark discoloration of the toenails can have numerous different causes. Most are benign, and resolve with simple treatment. Some are simply genetic, such as the common nail streaks in darker-skinned individuals. Others are dangerous cancers that need immediate treatment. Due to the potential for cancer, this author recommends that all areas of dark discoloration in one's nails be assessed by a physician to ensure the condition is benign. The least one wastes is a little time in the doctor's office, and at best one can save their own life.

Dr. Kilberg provides compassionate and complete foot and ankle care to adults and children in the Indianapolis area. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He enjoys providing comprehensive foot health information to the online community.
Visit the website of this Indianapolis foot doctor for more foot health information.

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Sweetened Beverages Linked To Depression, Research Shows



Having a sweetened beverage may not do any wonders for your mood, new research suggests. According to research to be presented at next month's meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers have established a link between sweetened beverages, diet soda and depression.

Dr. Honglei Chen of the National Institutes of Health led a research team which found the connection between sweetened beverages and depression. For the study, Chen and colleagues studied 263,925 men and women between the ages of 50 to 71 years at time of enrollment. During 1995 to 1996, the team evaluated participants' consumption of soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee.

The team then returned 10 years later and asked the study volunteers if they had ever been diagnosed with depression since 2000 (which would have been 4 to 5 years after their beverage consumption evaluation). According to Chen, a total of 11,311 cases of depression were diagnosed.

When Chen's team looked for an association between depression and the type of beverage consumed they found that people who drank diet soda and those who drank fruit juice were more likely to develop depression than people who didn't drink such beverages. In fact:

  • people who consumed 3 or more cans of soda per day was likely to have a 30% greater chance of developing depression compared to those who did not drink soda
  • participants who consumed 4 cans of fruit punch per day were 38% more likely to develop depression than those who refrained from drinking sweetened beverages

Interestingly, people who consumed 4 cups of coffee per day were 10% less likely to develop depression than people who didn't drink coffee. One plausible explanation for this finding is caffeine. 

In a study led by Harvard School of Public Health researcher Michel Lucas, which consisted of 50,739 participants in the Nurse's Health Study, scientists found an association between caffeine consumption and lower risk of  depression in women.

The sample population had a mean age of 60 years which falls within the range of the men and women who participated in Chen's experiment. Similar to Chen, after a ten year follow-up period, Lucas noted cases of clinical depression (2607 to be exact).

They also noted an association between coffee and depression. To be more  specific, Lucas's team found that women who consumed 2 or 3 cups of caffeinated coffee per day lowered the chances of developing depression by 15% compared to women who didn't drink coffee.

Lucas and colleagues said their results need to be replicated but did note that as coffee consumption increased, depression risk decreased in a dose-dependent manner.

Caffeine is a potent neurostimulant and can serve as a neurotransmitter. Therefore we might expect to see it associated with stimulating effects on the mood.

But caffeine can be problematic, too.

Caffeine affects insulin and has been shown to hinder blood glucose metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, caffeine may also cause mental difficulties.

If you've ever eaten anything that contains sugar, you know that it affects mood. When you eat something containing sugar, your insulin levels will rise. When you consider that caffeine also causes insulin levels to increase - and you've just had several cups of coffee - you might initially feel good i.e. sugar high but then feel depressed when it subsides. So, if we think about caffeine and insulin, we might see how caffeine can have a negative effect on the way a person might feel.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins now consider caffeine dependency a mental disorder. Researchers from that university believe that it's possible to become dependent on caffeine and a person may experience withdrawal symptoms if the body is deprived of the stimulant.

Therefore based on the fact that caffeine is a neurostimulant, consumption of the beverage may be of concern to people with with diabetes, heart disease or prone to feeling depressed if they don't get the caffeine their body has grown accustomed to receiving.

In fact, Chen's team cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the association between sweetened beverages and depression. The research team said more work is needed to confirm their findings and that "people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors."


God is compassionate.

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Article Source

Hold the Diet Soda? Sweetened Drinks Linked to Depression, Coffee Tied to Lower Risk - American Academy of Neurology Press Release

Lucas M, Mirzaei F, Pan A, Okereke OI, Willett WC, O'Reilly ÉJ, Koenen K, & Ascherio A (2011). Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women. Archives of internal medicine, 171 (17), 1571-8 PMID: 21949167

Lane JD, Barkauskas CE, Surwit RS, & Feinglos MN (2004). Caffeine impairs glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care, 27 (8), 2047-8 PMID: 15277438

Caffeine Withdrawal Recognized as a Disorder -  Johns Hopkins Press Release


"Sweetened Beverages Linked To Depression, Research Shows" copyright 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.


Feeling Toxic? Poor Thyroid Function May Be Choking Off Your Liver

Feeling Toxic? Poor Thyroid Function May Be Choking Off Your Liver

Feeling Toxic? Poor Thyroid Function May Be Choking Off Your Liver
By Dr. Joseph M. Serpe

There is clear scientific evidence that hypothyroidism can alter liver detoxification pathways and bile drainage leading to elevated liver enzymes (SGOT/SGPT).(1) The liver enzyme elevations are not commonly seen, but poor liver clearance leading to "Feeling Toxic" is commonly seen in my practice.

The liver is our main detoxification organ. There is a two step process by which detoxification occurs - Phase I and Phase II. Low thyroid function can substantially decrease the livers ability to function in both Phase I and Phase II.

Symptoms of Toxicity:


  • Acne
  • Bitter, metallic taste
  • Brain fog
  • Circles under the eyes
  • Constipation
  • Digestive problems
  • Excessive mucous production
  • Fatigue
  • Gas, bloating
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Inflammation
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Poor concentration
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Skin rashes
  • Strong body odor or bad breath
  • Weight gain


Health Issues Related to Toxicity:


  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Leaky Gut
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity
  • Obesity


How Does The Body Detoxify?

A good 80% of detoxification is done by the liver. Many chemicals and toxins are fat soluble so they need to go through a process of detoxification to make them water soluble so the body can excrete them through the kidneys, lungs, skin, etc. Phase I is the first process and actually makes most chemicals more toxic while creating free radicals. The next step, Phase II, is critical so these highly toxic intermediate chemicals can be conjugated (bound up and packaged) for elimination from the body.

If Phase I is too fast then Phase II may not be able to keep up with the demand and the excess toxins can re-enter circulation leading to symptoms. If Phase I is too slow then we continue to have various chemicals/toxins continue to circulate leading to symptoms mentioned above. Hypothyroidism is known to slow down Phase I but can also slow down Phase II processes.

Certain foods can improve detoxification: sulfur containing foods (cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, eggs); vitamins B6 (avocado); zine (shellfish); and protein (meat and legumes).

The detoxification process is a high energy business requiring ample supplies of all the necessary nutrients and vast amounts of energy to process the never ending toxic load that comes out way each day.

Addressing liver detoxification health is an important part of our thyroid program. The liver is also responsible for converting ~60% of T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). If the liver is compromised or burdened by poor detoxification ability that can make handling the thyroid hormone conversion difficult as well.

Liver health is a pivotal player in how we feel. It plays a key role in the 10 steps of thyroid metabolism and must not be over looked when helping support thyroid patients.

1. Saha B & Maity C. Alternation of serum enzymes in primary hypothyroidism. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2002;40:609-611.

Dr. Serpe is clinical director of the NeuroPlus Institute a functional medicine center in Naperville, IL. He may be contacted by calling 630-357-2299 or going to

651 Amersale Drive, Suite 109
Naperville, IL 60563

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Keep Hypertension at Bay With Exercise

Keep Hypertension at Bay With Exercise

Submitted by: Kya Grace

Hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure, poses quite a threat to your heart. This is because if left uncontrolled, it leads to heart attacks and strokes. Your blood pressure can rise due to many factors. Consuming fatty foods or foods high in salt or sodium increases the chance of hypertension occurrence. Sodium rich foods cause water to flow into your blood stream, as a result of which the heart begins to function faster. This increases the blood pressure. Fatty foods will block your veins and make it difficult for the blood to pass through which in turn increases the pressure.

Although you may improve your blood pressure by consuming food rich in fibers, magnesium and potassium, exercising proves to be an excellent solution to keep your hypertension at bay. Your blood pressure is affected to a great extent by stress. A burst of adrenaline occurs when you undergo stress. This results in increased heart rate and clogging of the blood vessels. Eventually, you end up with a high blood pressure. Smoking also weakens your heart since it contains nicotine, which causes harm to your blood vessels. It aggravates clotting of the blood and restricts passage of oxygen to the heart resulting in increased heart rates.

A strong heart will help maintain the flow of blood in your body and will also help keep your blood pressure at a normal rate. Exercises that concentrate on providing strength to the heart are considered to be best. You may do some cardio exercises that involves brisk walking, jogging and running.

Use a treadmill to exercise indoors; workout outdoors by including some aerobic exercises, which will help improve the way your cardiovascular system uses oxygen. Exercising at a moderate level will help lower your blood pressure. Moderate exercising refers to working out for about half an hour a day and four times in a week. It is not necessary to workout for 30 minutes on a continuous basis. Break it up into three 10 minute workout sessions or two 15 minutes sessions depending on what fits into your schedule.

You will notice significant changes in your blood pressure within three to four weeks after you have initiated the exercise regime. But mostly, it is important to continue the workout on a regular basis in order to maintain its positive effects. In order to acquire the best results from a cardio exercise regime, it is necessary to make some modifications in your lifestyle.

You must ensure to reduce weight if, in case, you happen to be overweight. Bring down your amount of alcohol consumption. Reduce it by an ounce of ethanol consumed per day. Alleviate consumption of sodium and do not consume more than 2.3 grams per day. Include potassium, magnesium and calcium rich foods in your diet. Bring down your intake of cholesterol, dietary fat and saturated fats. Cut down on smoking habits.

Most importantly, tailor the exercise regime per your schedule, test it and consult with your physician before you begin the cardio workout program.

About the Author: If you would like to hire Personal Trainers Bondi or to register for a free Bootcamp session, visit Boot Camps Sydney.

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Virginia Firm Announces Massive Pork Sausage Recall



The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that a Virginia based establishment is recalling pork sausage products that "may contain foreign materials". The FSIS says that Smithfield Packing Company, an establishment in Smithfield, Virginia, is recalling 38,000 pounds of pork sausage due to concerns the products may contain small pieces of plastic, likely from gloves.

According to officials, the recalled products are 1-pound chubs of "Gwaltney mild pork sausage roll" with a use-by date of March 12, 2013 and case code  78533109741 . The agency also says the sausage products bear the establishment number "Est. 221-A" inside the USDA's mark of inspection. 

The products were produces on January 11, 2013 and distributed to the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • District of Columbia

Food Safety and Inspection Service officials say the problem was discovered after Smithfield Packing Company received two customer complaints. The FSIS has assigned this a Class II Recall of Low Health Risk. At present, neither the FSIS nor the company have received any reports of injuries.

The agency advises anyone with concerns about injuries resulting from consumption of the recalled products should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers with questions about the food recall should contact Wendy Johnson, Manager of Consumer Affairs, at (877) 933-4625.


Never presume upon God, for He is Supreme over all creation and all persons and things. He knows all of our steps, having set them before time.

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What Is Thyroid-Related Fatigue?

What Is Thyroid-Related Fatigue?

What Is Thyroid-Related Fatigue?
By Byron J. Richards

Energy is the backbone of life. All systems in your body need energy to function properly. How you produce and distribute energy is complex; thyroid hormone function has a major impact on all of your energy systems. However, not all fatigue or tiredness is due to thyroid malfunction. How do you tell the difference?

Thyroid hormone governs the basal metabolic rate, which is like the idling speed of a car engine. Even when you are sitting in a chair or sleeping, 100 trillion cells keep making energy. This type of energy production is the foundation for all other energy and hormonal systems. If it is not up to par, no other system in your body works as well as it should.

When you step on the gas pedal during the day, this is not thyroid hormone that goes into action. Increased activity of any kind is controlled by adrenaline, muscle activity, increased calorie burning, and an increased speed at which your cells make energy. If you have a sluggish thyroid you may still be able to make yourself have the energy to do things based on adrenaline-driven necessity. You may also notice that you have too much reliance on stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, or cigarettes.

A demanding day may deplete muscles of fuel and induce enough wear and tear so that natural tiredness follows. Such fatigue is normal and why we need to sleep. Even pushing it day after day and cutting sleep short may not be a thyroid problem. However, such a poor lifestyle is pushing your system and you may eventually develop a thyroid problem as a result. Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night is asking for trouble.

Thyroid-related fatigue starts to show up when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. If the thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is difficult. You will notice you just don't seem to have the energy to do the things you used to be able to do.

The menstrual cycle, pregnancy, exercise, stress, and physical demands are all examples of increased energy demands requiring increased energy output. Thus, PMS is almost always a thyroid problem to a degree. The increased energy demands of the menstrual cycle are simply too much, partly due to an underlying thyroid weakness. Pregnancy is always a major test of the thyroid, as one's thyroid is called upon to do metabolic work for two bodies. This is why thyroid issues often flare up during or following pregnancy.

Thyroid hormone is synergistic with growth hormone in muscles. When these two are working properly together the muscles feel fit. Exercise conditions thyroid hormone to work properly to assist general energy production while a lack of exercise contributes to poor thyroid function. The more fit your muscles feel, the less likely thyroid-related fatigue will be an issue for you. If you have poor thyroid function you frequently feel like you don't have the energy to exercise and usually don't on a consistent basis. Muscle weakness is a classic hypothyroid symptom.

One of the key symptoms of thyroid fatigue is a heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon. Thyroid hormone activity is regulated differently in the brain than anywhere else in the body, as brain cells themselves convert T4 to T3 (active thyroid hormone). Your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status. This is different than low blood sugar symptoms from not having eaten for a while. The head just feels sluggish or tired, lacking clarity or sharpness. When this head tiredness occurs too many hours in the day then you will feel like you want to sleep all the time and you will feel depressed, signs of more advanced thyroid-related fatigue.

Another key sign of thyroid fatigue is conking out as soon as you sit down and don't actually have to do something (there is no necessity making you have to do something). In this case it feels like your body is a car idling too slowly at a stop sign that just stalls and goes to sleep. This is a clear sign of thyroid fatigue.

You either do or don't have the symptoms of thyroid-related fatigue. If you wake up energized, maintain decent energy throughout the day, are able to maintain mental alertness/sharpness, have energy as needed to meet demands, and your muscles feel fit, you do not have thyroid-related fatigue. The more you don't feel this way, the greater the problem. No lab test is needed. In many cases thyroid lab tests may still be normal, even though you clearly are not. The symptoms tell the story and they never lie.

Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and has been a charter professional member of the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN) since 1991. He is a nationally-renowned health expert, radio personality, and educator. He is the creator and pioneer of The Leptin Diet and has been a featured expert consultant on Fox News Live, CBS Infinity television, and The Wall Street Journal. Richards has appeared on hundreds of radio programs throughout the country. He is also a staunch defender of health freedom and a national leader in the fight against the FDA's desire to eliminate your natural health options. His book, Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA's Betrayal of America is widely regarded as the top book on health freedom today.

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Gout - A Lifestyle Disease

Gout - A Lifestyle Disease

Gout - A Lifestyle Disease
By Nathan Wei

Gout is a metabolic disorder that is due to abnormal metabolism of purines, a constituent of many foods. Essentially what happens is that the excretion of uric acid, which is the product of purine metabolism, does not keep pace with uric acid production. As a result there is abnormal accumulation of uric acid.

Gout causes symptoms because crystals of uric acid form and deposit in tissues. Crystal deposits form when serum urate levels are above the saturation point of roughly 7.0 mg/dl. This assumes that other physiologic factors such as temperature are normal. The goal then of gout therapy is to keep the serum uric acid below a level of 6.0 mg/dl. Below this level, deposits of uric acid shrink and attacks of gout diminish in frequency.

The typical early manifestations of gout are acute episodes of painful swollen joints. The usual sites of the first attacks are the big toe, the foot, and the ankle. If gout is not treated, uric acid accumulation worsens and other joints become inflamed and attacks become more frequent and debilitating. Besides being excruciatingly painful, the attacks also cause damage to joints and to internal organs such as the kidneys.

Gout is increasing in incidence and affects approximately four per cent of Americans. This increase in incidence is felt to be due to environmental factors including changes in diet as well as the obvious increase in obesity. Gout is part of the "metabolic syndrome" since it is often accompanied by other medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.

A number of studies have now identified the major contributing factors to gout. These include obesity, alcohol (especially beer), red meat, shellfish, and fructose containing beverages. The latter include both soft drinks as well as processed fruit juices.

Lifestyle changes can also make a difference as far as reducing the likelihood of gout. These include weight loss, as well as increasing intake of foods such as low-fat dairy products, coffee, vitamin C, and cherries. In fact, the latter have been shown to be gout protective in at least two well-controlled studies. Skim milk also seems to be protective against gout.

Of note, there are dietary factors that play little or no role in the development of gout. These include purine-rich vegetables, moderate to large fat dairy materials, tea, and wine.

While there are effective medications for the treatment of gout, it is a safe assumption to suggest that most people would prefer to treat their disease without having to resort to pills. Dietary management and lifestyle adjustments can play a significant role in the early treatment of uncomplicated gout.

Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR is a rheumatologist and Director of the Arthritis Treatment Center He is a former Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and consultant to the National Institutes of Health. For more info:

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Don't Gain It Back!

Don't Gain It Back!

Don't Gain It Back!
By Monika Klein

We have all seen many celebrities have problems with their weight - needing to stay in the greatest of shape and then just not being able to sustain it. Right before our eyes, on public display, they bare their souls about their struggles. Many of us can identify and try as we might this challenge becomes more and more daunting and difficult to conquer.

Here are five tips on how you can get it and keep it off. Being able to wear your wardrobe easily - year after year. Let's get you back into your Skinny Jeans and keep you there. Talk about true freedom!

Tip #1: Stay connected to the qualified professional who helped you lose the weight in the first place. It's so important to have a strategy and surround yourself with the people who helped you become successful before. Lets me be honest - it's hard to sustain your good eating, exercise, and self care habits on your own. It just is!

We are constantly exposed to triggers in our environment that easily take us off track and distract us from taking care of ourselves. It's important to have someone who can help you stay empowered, inspired, and successful for the long run.

Tip #2: Take things OFF your plate. This is especially true for you women reading or hearing this today. We women tend to overdo things and we feel virtuous and seemingly "guilt-free" by saying YES to everything and everyone. I encourage you to stop this habit as soon as possible. I have found the most successful people in my programs are those focused more on their wants and needs first, before focusing on what everyone else's wants and needs - either in their personal or professional lives.

What happens is that when you are taking care of yourself, a miracle happens. Everyone else seems to be doing just fine and maybe even getting healthier as well. As you start to take better care of yourself, those close to you actually become inspired and start doing the same. Now there's no guarantee this will happen; however, surprisingly, I see this happen a lot. So stop doing for everyone else, fixing everyone else's problems, and start focusing on you. You owe it to yourself. Unless you are dealing with young children or elderly parents, everyone else can take care of themselves more than you think they can. Believe me I see this happen everyday.

Tip #3: Make sure you reward yourself with things other than food or alcohol. There are so many other, non-caloric, ways to give yourself a gift of appreciation for a job well done, or for something you've accomplished, a massage, a new scarf, a new belt, new piece of jewelry, going for a walk on the beach, a concert, a belly dancing class-why not?

I just started ballroom dancing myself, again (I tried it a couple of years ago). Even though I'd always taken dance classes most of my life, ballet, modern, jazz, and most recently hip-hop, which I loved (and didn't think I would). I thought I'd add some "new steps" to my repertoire. You know learning a new activity is not only good for your waistline but also for your mind and your confidence. So go ahead, give yourself a healthy reward. It'll be satisfying in so many more ways than eating a bag of M&M's.

Tip #4: Eat real, whole, and fresh foods as much as possible. They are loaded with the stuff you need and won't leave you starving or feeling deprived because they are providing the nutrients you need to stay slim and healthy. I have never been a big fan of packaged, processed, or altered foods. There is not much to these bagged, boxed, and artificial foods, which I sometimes refer to as just "good tasting cardboard", with the "good tasting" component being questionable of course.

The closer a food is to its natural state or as I always say, "closer to mother nature," the better it is for you. You can't derive much fuel for your mind and body from empty calories. Even if a whole food appears to have more calories like a sirloin steak, in comparison to a box of crackers you will always be further ahead with the real food versus the packaged one.

Consider staying away from packaged "diet foods" as eating these types of foods actually prevents you from learning how to cook healthy foods. Often these pre-packaged foods are loaded with sodium and other additives. So think healthy, not necessarily quick fix

Tip #5: Move. You need to move. There's no getting around this. Find something that doesn't feel like work but is loads of fun. As I just did with the ballroom dancing. Yes, that's right - exercise can be fun (just like eating well can also be fun). Make a point of doing something everyday, even if just for 10 minutes.

You need to make this a habit. It's good for your brain to help with stress reduction by taking a simple break in your day. Have things around that trigger you to move like the weights or pictures of you doing yoga. That is what I have on my Vision Board, which I get to look at every day. I also have a recumbent bike, free weights, ball and bands at home, and a beautiful neighborhood to take walks in if I choose to. Don't just plan to go to the gym someday, take the first step and then stick with it. And also mix it up a bit. Don't always do the same thing everyday. Try something new, so you can work different muscle groups and keep it interesting.

These are the tips that will keep you from heading down the same path that some famous people have gone down. Do these and you will always be in great shape-mind, body, and spirit!

(c) Monika Klein

Monika Klein, BS, CN. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the "Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach." Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika's services and programs, visit

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