Archive for Nov 2010

11.23.10

Healthy on Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m making it a goal to not have to unbutton my pants after dinner (and to be comfortable with them fully buttoned!). However, this doesn’t mean I want to just eat a salad with no dressing and a few slices of turkey breast. The average person eats about 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner and is left in a food coma. So how do you avoid this?

Don’t starve yourself all day and “save” all of your calories for dinner; eat normally so that you aren’t ravenous by the time the buffet is laid out.

  • Cocktails are high in calories and have zero nutrients. Have a glass or too of wine at dinner, and leave it at that.
  • Skip the cheese and creamy dips for appetizers, substitute vegetables and hummus or fruit
    Turkey itself is low in fat and high in protein, just don’t slather gravy all over it
  • Salad will help you to feel full without adding a lot of calories. Instead of a creamy dressing (like ranch or blue cheese), try using vinaigrette, which will save a lot of calories and fat.
  • Cornbread stuffing has around 350 calories per cup. Only take a few spoonfuls of stuffing or try one of these Paleo diet recipes, for less calories and no gluten: http://bit.ly/d5E0d5
  • Have as many non-starchy vegetables as you want as long as they aren’t in a rich casserole.
  • Try mashed sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes or sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense and won’t have a great of an effect on your blood sugar.
  • A simple dinner role can have 200 calories or more (without the butter!), so omit the role and save those calories for dessert!
  • Go ahead and have dessert, but don’t take a large slice of every dessert on the table. Pecan pie is delicious, but with up to 800 calories per slice, you might want to think twice. A great option is to have a small slice of pumpkin pie with cool whip. Last year I made a Paleo pumpkin pie that was so good no one even knew it wasn’t a normal one; here is a great recipe to try: http://bit.ly/82VU1l

After dinner go for a leisurely walk around the block rather than falling asleep on the couch. Last but not least, remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food; concentrate on enjoying your family and friends!

Category: Weight Management |

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11.23.10

Warm Drinks for Cool Weather

Now that it might finally start to get “cold” here in Arizona, those warm, frothy Starbucks drinks are starting to sound pretty good. If you are like me, though, you are trying your hardest to not gain 5 lbs for the holidays. While a simple latte may not sound like a diet disaster, you may be surprised at how many calories they contain. Luckily, all you have to do is make a few simple changes to your beverage to make it healthy.

  • Get the “Tall” size at Starbucks (or small anywhere else). Unless you are ordering a hot tea or coffee without anything added, a small is all you need.
  • Have skim milk in your drink. If you are making a drink at home, you can also try rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (just be sure to buy the unsweetened varieties).
  • If you absolutely have to have flavored syrup, get sugar free, but remember that artificial sweeteners may have harmful side effects and should not be consumed on a daily basis.
  • Ask your barista to hold the whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce—whipped cream can add almost 100 calories to your drink!

Remember to look at the sugar content of drinks along with the calories count; 15.55 grams of sugar are in one tablespoon, so if a Grande White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream has 60 grams of sugar, that is almost FIVE tablespoons of sugar in one drink!

All of Starbucks nutrition facts are online.

  • Brewed Tazo Tea (0 calories)
  • Brewed Coffee (5 calories)
  • Caffé Americano (10 calories)
  • Nonfat Cappuccino (60 calories)
  • Skinny Vanilla Latte (90 calories)
  • Nonfat Caramel Macchiato (140 calories)
  • Caffé Latte (150 calories)
  • Nonfat Vanila Crème No Whip (150 calories)

Also, they are selling those cute reusable cups with the candy cane straws again, which is a great excuse to go try out a new drink 🙂

Category: Weight Management |

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11.23.10

Naturopathic Medicine Defined & How It Can Help You

Without question, the principles of naturopathic medicine and natural healing modalites have roots from thousands of years ago. However, as a distinct profession, it was founded in 1902 by Benedict Lust, a prominent physician from New York and originally from Germany. The profession went into near extinction by the 1950’s when the atomic age ushered in a more reductionistic view of science in general and in medicine specifically. The use of “miracle drugs” such as penicillin dominated the medical culture. By the 1970’s, a lack of solution to rising chronic disease lead to the public demanding more results from the failing medical model. Naturopathic medicine and other natural based systems of healing offered a solution to this crisis, and the profession started to reemerge. Today, due to the efforts of thousands of physicians and patients, naturopathic medicine has emerged as an integral part of the healthcare system.

The current scope of practice and training for naturopathic medicine is broad and includes traditional conventional medical diagnostics, botanical or herbal medicine, Homeopathic medicine, nutrition, physical medicine including basic orthopedics and advanced manipulation, Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, environmental medicine and detoxification practices, counseling and stress management, minor surgery, and when applicable, prescription drug medications.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary care medicine. Its distinction lies in two key areas; one, in its principles of practice and two, it underlying philosophy of practice.

The six principles listed below give rise to a medical practice that emphasizes the individual and engenders empowerment towards greater responsibility in personal health care.

First Do No Harm – Primum Non Nocere
The first and most important principle in all medical practices, particularly of within the philosophical tenets of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicine utilizes therapies that are both effective and safe.

The Healing Power of Nature – Vis Medicatrix Naturae
This key tenet of naturopathic medicine and refers to the innate and inherent ability of the body to heal itself. The Vis Medicatrix Naturae is a concept elaborated in the writings of Hippocrates and is not unlike the concept of chi or qi, or pranna, or any other concept of a life-generating and sustaining force.

Discover and Treat the Cause – Tolle Causam
Naturopathic physicians seek to treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms are viewed as natural expressions of healing which guide the physician towards a holistic view of the patient that reveals the true cause.

Treat the Whole Person – Tolle Totum
We are whole beings, with mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical dimensions that must be viewed while trying to help any condition.

The Physician is a Teacher – Docere
A personal favorite, the physician must help and guide the patient towards newer understandings about themselves and their health. The physician must teach and with that commitment be a perpetual student for the benefit of the patient.

Prevention as the best cure – Preventire
Through education and lifestyle changes the naturopathic physician can lead the patient towards preventing disease processes before they occur or reoccur. Physicians can assess risk factors early on and intervene appropriately to prevent illness.

Upon these six unifying principles, adopted in 1989 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), prominent thinkers in naturopathic philosophy and policy, Drs Zeff and Snyder articulated a Therapeutic Order that expounds upon basic naturopathic philosophy.

Naturopathic Therapeutic order:

  1. Establish the conditions for health
    Identify and remove disturbing factors
    Institute a more healthful regimen
  2. Stimulate the healing power of nature
    (vis medicatrix naturae): the self-healing processes
  3. Address weakened or damaged systems or organs
    Strengthen the immune system
    Decrease toxicity
    Normalize inflammatory function
    Optimize metabolic function
    Balance regulatory systems
    Enhance regeneration
    Harmonize with your life force
  4. Correct structural integrity
  5. Address pathology
    Use specific natural substances, modalities, or interventions
  6. Address pathology
    Use specific pharmacologic or synthetic substances
  7. Suppress or surgically remove pathology

From Zeff J, Snyder P. Course syllabus: NM51 71, Naturopathic clinical theory. Seattle: Bastyr University, 1997-2005. “The actual therapeutic order may change, depending on the individual patient’s needs for safe and effective care. The needs of the patient are primary in determining the appropriate approach to therapy.”

This Therapeutic Order allows the physician to approach the clinical situation in a patient-centered fashion utilizing the least invasive measure when possible but providing the avenue for more heroic measures if needed. In the end, the patient receives the best possible care that provides true healing of the entire system.

Currently, fourteen states and four provinces in Canada allow the practice of naturopathic medicine including Alaska, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Manitoba, Montana, New Hampshire, Ontario, Oregon, Saskatchewan, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. In the great State of Arizona, Naturopathic Doctors enjoy a broad scope of practice and are fully licensed primary care physicians and many health insurance plans offer coverage of naturopathic medical services.

At Iluminar, Dr. Bosch provides the most comprehensive and individualized naturopathic approach for each patient helping to guide them towards their goals of Metabolic Health.

Category: Naturopathic |

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11.23.10

Weight Management, Metabolic Health Concerns, Thyroid Health

The two major problems with conventional medical treatment present themselves to my office on a regular basis.

  1. Patients are on the wrong type of thyroid hormone.
  2. Patients are not taking an adequate amount that relieves them of the clinical signs and symptoms of their hypothyroidism.

Let’s address the first problem. The typical type of thyroid hormone that is prescribed is synthetic levothyroxin or T4, most commonly Synthroid®. In fact, Synthroid® is the third most commonly prescribed medication of all medications. This form of thyroid hormone has some problems for many patients. Levothyroxine or T4 is not the active form of thyroid hormone; it is merely a prohormone. The T4 must be converted into the active form of thyroid hormone called T3 or liothyronine or triiodothyronine. This conversion process is not always possible for many patients and they never achieve results from the medication they are taking. I have also seen patients with actual toxic responses to the synthetic T4 they are taking including rashes and severe headaches. Unconverted T4 is toxic to the system.

Natural desiccated thyroid hormone such as Armour® or Nature Throid® is a far more complete product that most people do much better taking. Desiccated thyroid hormone medication is derived from USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) porcine, or pig, sources. It has been successfully treating hypothyroid patients for about 100 years. This medication naturally contains all active and inactive forms of thyroid hormone including T4, T3, and the more inert forms T2, and T1. It also contains small amounts of calcitonin, which is a hormone naturally found in the thyroid gland that regulates calcium metabolism by keeping calcium in the bones and out of the blood. This form of thyroid hormone would inevitably contain things that we have yet discovered or understand. Nature has a way of providing a complement of things that are far beyond the basic understanding of science.

The argument by many physicians against the use of desiccated thyroid hormone medications stems from the incessant need to prescribe a synthetic hormone that is perceived as “more stable” and “more superior” than a natural product. Both of these arguments are patently false. Sources of desiccated thyroid such as Armour® and Nature Throid® are FDA regulated to achieve a particular potency in each batch. And the superiority of natural thyroid speaks loud and clear by the overwhelming majority of patients whose symptoms are largely relieved from a whole product. This is not unlike the marketing that used to take place regarding the “superiority” of infant formula versus breast milk. In fact, many women who still breast-fed were looked upon as being uninformed of the “science.” This, of course, has been proving incorrect. There was no manufactured formula that could possibly compete with the natural known and unknown beneficial components of breast milk.

The second problem regarding the treatment of hypothyroidism is the actual dose of thyroid hormone used. Too often, patients are woefully under treated by thyroid hormone doses that are too low to provide complete symptomatic relief of their hypothyroidism. It is not uncommon to see this with patients on synthetic T4, but I have even seen patients on natural desiccated thyroid hormone who still suffer from the symptoms of hypothyroidism. This is one reason why patients will think that the natural form of thyroid hormone medication “did not work” for them. They were prescribed the desiccated thyroid hormone but were kept on doses that too low for relief. The medication gets the blame when it was actually the doctor who was wielding the medication who should get the blame. So, why is this happening?

The main reason why patients are left on inadequate thyroid hormone doses is because of the laboratory analysis that is used to determine a particular dose. Enter, the TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. Patients always tell me that they were left on a particular dose of thyroid hormone medication because their doctor said their “labs were great” or “my TSH was normal” even though their clinical signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism were not. The clinical approach to changing a dose of thyroid hormone should be based on the clinical response of the patient’s body tissues to that particular thyroid hormone dose. The TSH simply does not necessarily tell a doctor what is going on with a patient’s body’s response to their thyroid hormone medication. The clinician must learn to be just that…a clinician, and listen to the subtle nuances of the patient. This of course takes time and effort that most conventional doctors cannot afford nor have the specific training to do.

At Iluminar, the individual patient is considered and an in depth clinical process of determining a patient’s cellular response to a dose of thyroid hormone is considered. Some of these clinical assessment tools include the basal body temperature, a thorough tracking of the known clinical signs and symptoms a patient is experiencing, Achilles tendon reflex, and an advanced Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) machine that determines the metabolic rate as it relates to the thyroid hormone dose used.

Contact us now to find out how you can achieve superior results for your Metabolic Health.

Category: Weight Management |

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11.23.10

Fibromyalgia: The Elusive Hypometabolic Disease

This controversial condition was first recognized by the American Medical Association as recently as 1987. It is defined by the presence of disperse body pain and tenderness with often debilitating fatigue and depression. It is currently a condition that is ineffectively treated and at times even ignored. Despite being present in approximately 2% of the general population, many patients still find proper diagnosis and treatment elusive.

The diffuse pain of fibromyalgia is identified as a series of painful points on the body called trigger points. A doctor, such as a rheumatologist, makes the diagnosis of fibromyalgia based on the presence of 11 of 18 specific trigger points that elicit pain when pressed. The diagnosis also includes six months or more of persistent related signs and symptoms. Another significant complaint is extreme fatigue. Fibromyalgia is often found in conjunction with a diagnosis of “chronic fatigue.” Fibromyalgia may also result in sleep disturbance, weight gain, skin complaints, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few. Cognitive dysfunction is evident by anxiety, depression, and a common “brain fog” referred to as “fibro fog.” Symptoms are extremely varied in intensity but often render the patient handicapped by interfering with normal daily activities. Doctors often have difficulty in agreeing on a diagnosis for fibromyalgia due to a lack of significant supportive laboratory evidence. Due to fibromyalgia’s nonspecific presentation, it is often considered a diagnosis of exclusion or a diagnosis made when no other disease pathology is found.

Fibromyalgia’s wide spread effects and most doctor’s inability to properly assess related laboratory evidence, makes it necessary to identify the underlying cause to effectively treat this complicated disease. At the core of fibromyalgia lies either undiagnosed or poorly treated hypothyroidism or “resistance” to what thyroid hormone is present in the body. “Thyroid hormone resistance’ means the body cells cannot use the thyroid hormone effectively even though adequate thyroid hormone levels are present. It is similar to Type II Diabetes, or “Insulin resistance”, where insulin is present in adequate amounts but is unable to do its job effectively, resulting in elevated sugar levels. Clinical evaluation includes assessing the patient’s symptoms and the symptoms of fibromyalgia almost perfectly match the clinical presentation of hypothyroidism. When a doctor knows how to properly assess the patient’s metabolic and endocrine functioning, which is almost invariably low in patients with fibromyalgia, a diagnosis and course of effective treatment become possible.

Hypometabolism can only be determined through analysis of blood thyroid hormone levels (beyond what is often done conventionally), measuring basal metabolic rates, assessing nutritional status, and by thorough clinical examinations of medical history, and symptoms and signs. This type of thorough examination is often by-passed by physicians because they inappropriately rely on a simple blood test that measures the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level. It is this mainstream practice of relying on a TSH reading alone to evaluate thyroid function that has resulted in many patients inaccurately being dismissed by their physician as having “normal” thyroid function, whether they are diagnosed as hypothyroid with concomitant treatment or not.

When undergoing proper metabolic evaluation and treatment, the patient must use a holistic metabolism-raising approach that includes thyroid hormone replacement, diet modifications and nutritional support, exercise, mental and emotional support, soft tissue manipulative medicine, and when medically appropriate, avoidance of metabolism lowering medications such as pain medications and antidepressants. It is through appropriate hormonal support coupled with a holistic, comprehensive approach, that the patient achieves full body recovery.

Many fibromyalgia patients are already being treated for hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone medication in the form of inactive T4, most commonly Synthroid® or synthetic levothyroxine. If a patient finds that they are already being treated for hypothyroidism, they should not be satisfied with the use of a thyroid product containing only T4. Most hypothyroid or fibromyalgia patients will not recover if their thyroid hormone treatment includes the use of a T4-only product. Most patients find greater success on a product containing the active form of thyroid hormone called T3. A common thyroid hormone medication that has decades of successful treatment is natural desiccated thyroid such as Armour® thyroid or Naturethroid®. At times, plain synthetic T3 is necessary for fibromyalgia patients to achieve full recovery.

Fibromyalgia, although presently considered an incurable condition, has the potential to be effectively controlled. Focusing treatment on the underlying cause of the hypometabolism, rather than attempting to dissect the condition into seemingly unrelated symptoms with ineffective drug therapy, will help ensure successful and permanent results. Patients and physicians must understand that fibromyalgia is ultimately a hypometabolic condition dependant on diminished thyroid hormone levels or a resistance to the hormone that is present. Fibromyalgia patients must remain hopeful and understand that the condition can be treated effectively if the hypometabolic state is properly addressed.

Category: Fibromyalgia |

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11.16.10

Be healthy this Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m making it a goal to not have to unbutton my pants after dinner (and to be comfortable with them fully buttoned!). However, this doesn’t mean I want to just eat a salad with no dressing and a few slices of turkey breast. The average person eats about 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner and is left in a food coma. So how do you avoid this?

  • ·Don’t starve yourself all day and “save” all of your calories for dinner; eat normally so that you aren’t ravenous by the time the buffet is laid out.
  • ·Cocktails are high in calories and have zero nutrients. Have a glass or too of wine at dinner, and leave it at that.
  • ·Skip the cheese and creamy dips for appetizers, substitute vegetables and hummus or fruit
  • ·Turkey itself is low in fat and high in protein, just don’t slather gravy all over it
  • ·Salad will help you to feel full without adding a lot of calories. Instead of a creamy dressing (like ranch or blue cheese), try using vinaigrette, which will save a lot of calories and fat.
  • ·Cornbread stuffing has around 350 calories per cup. Only take a few spoonfuls of stuffing or try one of these Paleo diet recipes, for less calories and no gluten: http://bit.ly/d5E0d5
  • ·Have as many non-starchy vegetables as you want as long as they aren’t in a rich casserole.
  • ·Try mashed sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes or sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense and won’t have a great of an effect on your blood sugar.
  • ·A simple dinner role can have 200 calories or more (without the butter!), so omit the role and save those calories for dessert!
  • ·Go ahead and have dessert, but don’t take a large slice of every dessert on the table. Pecan pie is delicious, but with up to 800 calories per slice, you might want to think twice. A great option is to have a small slice of pumpkin pie with cool whip. Last year I made a Paleo pumpkin pie that was so good no one even knew it wasn’t a normal one; here is a great recipe to try: http://bit.ly/82VU1l

After dinner go for a leisurely walk around the block rather than falling asleep on the couch. Last but not least, remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food; concentrate on enjoying your family and friends!

Category: General |

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11.16.10

Warm drinks for cool weather

Now that it might finally start to get “cold” here in Arizona, those warm, frothy Starbucks drinks are starting to sound pretty good. If you are like me, though, you are trying your hardest to not gain 5 lbs for the holidays. While a simple latte may not sound like a diet disaster, you may be surprised at how many calories they contain. Luckily, all you have to do is make a few simple changes to your beverage to make it healthy!

  • ·Get the “Tall” size at Starbucks (or small anywhere else). Unless you are ordering a hot tea or coffee without anything added, a small is all you need.
  • ·Have skim milk in your drink. If you are making a drink at home, you can also try rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (just be sure to buy the unsweetened varieties).
  • ·If you absolutely have to have flavored syrup, get sugar free, but remember that artificial sweeteners may have harmful side effects and should not be consumed on a daily basis.
  • ·Ask your barista to hold the whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce—whipped cream can add almost 100 calories to your drink!

Remember to look at the sugar content of drinks along with the calories count; 15.55 grams of sugar are in one tablespoon, so if a Grande White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream has 60 grams of sugar, that is almost FIVE tablespoons of sugar in one drink! All of Starbucks nutrition facts are online at http://tiny.cc/xzgpa.

  • ·Brewed Tazo Tea (0 calories)
  • ·Brewed Coffee (5 calories)
  • ·Caffé Americano (10 calories)
  • ·Nonfat Cappuccino (60 calories)
  • ·Skinny Vanilla Latte (90 calories)
  • ·Nonfat Caramel Macchiato (140 calories)
  • ·Caffé Latte (150 calories)
  • ·Nonfat Vanila Crème No Whip (150 calories)

Also, they are selling those cute reusable cups with the candy cane straws again, which is a great excuse to go try out a new drink 🙂

Category: General |

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