There are different possible causes of abdominal pain and digestive problems. Sometimes a bulging disc is the cause. A bulging disc that is causing abdominal…
Re-energize from a lack of energy and fatigue with Bio-chiropractic. Millions of individuals struggle to get through the day or night depending on work/school schedules…
Hormones are responsible for many functions throughout the body. The body depends on these levels to be stable and released at the proper time. For…
Eating healthy and spinal health are interconnected. Eating healthier will help to lose weight, and provide a healthier body mass index. This means more muscle…
The nutritional supplementation in the general population contributes to the proper function of physiological and genetic mechanisms. Indeed, vitamins of the B complex are potent…
What is Adrenal Stress/Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue has been applied to individuals who suffer from a group of symptoms. These symptoms include body aches, restless sleep, digestive problems, nervousness, lightheadedness, and overall fatigue. Individuals with these symptoms are recommended to do a diagnostic test to determine their level of adrenal hormones. A test we use is a Stress & Adrenal Hormone Panel from ZRT Laboratories. A sample report is shown below:
Natural Ways to Combat Adrenal Stress
Over time, adrenal stress impacts the body by raising cortisol levels and causing fatigue. There are many areas to be considered when dealing with adrenal stress. The first step is to identify the sources of stress. Stress can be caused by exogenous and endogenous factors. An example of exogenous stress could be from grains if one has an intolerance. This causes an inflammatory response on the adrenal axis. Other examples include family, financial, or work. Endogenous stress is typically a side effect of a medication or oxidative stress. Once the main source of stress has been discovered, remove as much as possible.
The second crucial factor for proper adrenal function is adequate sleep. Sleep hygiene is often overlooked when in reality, it should be a priority. Below is a page of suggestions on how to improve sleep quality. *include living matrix sleep hygiene sheet*. The human body utilizes the hours we sleep to physically repair. Without a restful full night’s sleep, the body is not able to regenerate itself.
Thirdly, reduce the amount of coffee and tea as they interrupt the sleep pattern. Anything with caffeine should be limited and avoided before bed.
Maintaining glycemic control is another important factor for adrenal health. By improving cortisol balance, the insulin level will not spike rapidly and drop drastically after meals. To maintain glycemic control, individuals need to eat complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes. Excess carbohydrates have an adverse effect on blood sugar levels by excessively raising the levels of insulin. This puts a significant amount of stress on the adrenal glands.
Exercise is a great component in relieving adrenal fatigue as it oxygenates the body. Regular exercise reduces depression, increases blood flow, normalizes levels of cortisol, insulin, growth hormone, and thyroid. Interval training and resistance training are highly recommended.
Finally, eating a well-balanced diet, especially breakfast, will reduce blood sugar spikes. If the body is low on glucose and breakfast is skipped, the body will react by secreting cortisol. Cortisol activates gluconeogenesis to increase sugar levels.
The phase angle is how health care professionals can monitor the integrity of cellular membranes. If the phase angle begins to decline, it has been linked directly to a decline in overall health. Similar to if phase angle increases, overall health is increasing. The integrity of cellular membranes is essential as cell survival depends on solid membranes. When the cellular wall is weak, it can collapse. From here, it is difficult for the body to take up the proper nutrients it needs. Additionally, with a weak cellular membrane, the cell is left with little to no protection from outside invaders. Stress impacts phase angle by causing individuals to release cortisol, be under adrenal stress, gain weight and decrease their overall health.
We monitor a patient’s phase angle with the use of the InBody 770. This advanced machine allows us to not only track the phase angle of our patients but many other areas of their health as well, including but not limited to intracellular and extracellular water.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwbIsPNUYqs[/embedyt]
“IT IS IMPORTANT NOT ONLY FOR PHASE ANGLE BUT FOR THE OVERALL REDUCTION OF INFLAMMATION TO REDUCE STRESS. THOSE WHO ARE CONSTANTLY STRESSED AND UNDER ADRENAL FATIGUE ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO GETTING SICK, AMONGST OTHER DISEASES. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO START, IDENTIFYING STRESS AND STARTING TO EXERCISE IS A GREAT STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. -KENNA VAUGHN, ACSM-EP, SENIOR HEALTH COACH”
Yancey JR, Thomas SM. Chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Oct 15;86(8):741-6. PMID: 23062157.
Additional Online Links & Resources (Available 24/7)
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Online Functional Medicine Assessment: https://bit.ly/functionmed
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. Read More…
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico
Alzheimer’s disease is one that impacts many lives. There are multiple factors that go into the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, some people’s diet, environment, genetics, head trauma and more. The classic symptoms include loss of memory, memory issues that begin to disrupt everyday life (such as where you keep your coffee mugs), difficulty completing familiar tasks in the workplace or home, confusion with time or place, and trouble understanding images.
Normal Aging vs Alzheimer’s
With normal aging, we see brain atrophy, some neurotransmitter loss, and oxidative damage. These changes occur but they do not interfere with daily tasks or quality of life. To determine the difference, we can perform a simple test in the office that consists of a few questions. The score will determine if the aging of the brain is within normal limits.
As mentioned above, head trauma can lead to Alzheimer’s as it increases synapse loss. Things that contribute to head trauma include physical trauma, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. Additionally, high cholesterol, high homocysteine, low exercise, and specific genes.
Although we are unable to change the genes we were born with, we can alter their expression. There are steps that we can take to alter these genes to express in a positive manner rather than negative. This can help slow down the progression or onset of Alzheimer’s. The genes we specifically look at in reference to Alzheimer’s are those that impact lipid metabolism, inflammation, and are dopaminergic and neurotrophic. These include:
We have the ability to perform genetic testing through DNA Life to assess your genes and your susceptibility. DNA Mind provides an identification of the level of impact of any genetic variant. It also provides us with a broken down explanation of the genes and their specific impact on the biochemical area and mental health. Additionally, this test not only reports on Alzheimer’s disease but also dementia, cognitive decline, addictive behavior, risk-taking behavior, and mood disorders. A sample report can be seen below:
Lifestyle : InBody
As previously mentioned, we see a direct link between lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and Alzheimer’s disease. We are able to create personalized nutrition plans for your body as well as determine other predisposing factors with the help of the InBody 770 system. This advanced machine provides a great deal of information for us regarding the patient. We track patients Anthropometric measurements in order to determine their lean muscle mass, fat density, visceral fat (fat surrounding the organs- a key indicator of disease risk), water percentage, and height and weight. We measure our patients every 8 weeks and keep a detailed record. These reports are great indicators for health and also assess inflammation and edema. There is more information regarding the InBody below.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3_BEhgJCGc[/embedyt]
GENETIC TESTING IS AVAILABLE NOW AND PROVIDES US WITH MORE INFORMATION THAN EVER BEFORE. WITH THIS INFORMATION AND THIS TECHNOLOGY, WE ARE ABLE TO CREATE PREVENTABLE PLANS GEARED TOWARDS YOU. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GETTING TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND YOUR GENES. -KENNA VAUGHN, SENIOR HEALTH COACH
The link between inflammation and many diseases was made less than 15 years ago. With that being said, there is still so much we are constantly finding out about the connection. Inflammation and disease can be thought of as a circle, the relationship is complex and goes both ways. Inflammation is not always felt by the patient. Majority of inflammation happens in the gut and digestive tract. This leads to something we call “Leaky Gut” or Intestinal Permeability.
Contributing factors to systemic inflammation include:
It is important to keep in mind that not all inflammation is bad. In fact, we need inflammation. Inflammation is a natural and normal response within the body to help repair damaged areas. However, when the inflammation gets excessive, we begin to see problems arise. The first steps we take is to eliminate and reduce the contributing factors of systemic inflammation. Smoking includes second hand smoke as well environmental pollutants. These create excessive inflammation in the body and we are unaware of what we are truly breathing in. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight typically go hand in hand. Adipose tissue or fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals at a faster rate than lean muscle mass. When we live a sedentary lifestyle and begin to carry around added weight, we are adding fuel to the inflammatory fire. Lastly, stress can add unnecessary inflammation to the body by causing cortisol to release into the adrenal pathways.
Anti-Inflammatory diets are constantly circling around. There have been studies with benefits linking to diets that include healthy fats, low glycemic, wheat-free, Mediterranean, ph-balanced, and antioxidants. One thing that all healthcare providers seem to have in common is agreeing that nutrition is linked to inflammation and pro-inflammatory foods include trans fats, SFA, ARA, and high glycemic loads.
In order for a patient to be on a true anti-inflammatory diet that helps recover their gut and reduce inflammation, lab work is needed. The reason is that one food that is anti-inflammatory in one individual, might be causing major irritation and inflammation in another.
To start off, we run a Food Sensitivity Test from Vibrant America. This tests to make sure they do not have any specific IgG reactions to foods consumed, like wheat, vegetables, fruits, and more.
Migraines and Fibromyalgia have one thing in common, they are both due to mitochondrial dysfunction. More often than not we see those with mitochondrial dysfunction suffering from more than one type of discomfort. The first thing we do is take a detailed history, to truly understand the patient’s history, environment, previous treatment plans, and symptoms.
Mitochondrial function is a necessity for the body to perform properly. There have been studies that show that magnesium and malic acid is needed for mitochondrial function. In fact, giving magnesium malate 2 tabs, three times a day showed decreased pain in fibromyalgia patients. Magnesium also helps as a laxative and is often helpful in cleansing the gut and beginning to restore gut health. Another step we take to restore gut health is to perform a food sensitivity test to make sure they do not have any specific IgG reactions to foods consumed in their daily diet. We use the Food Sensitivity Test from Vibrant America. Genes
There is research supporting that individuals who have an MTHFR gene mutation are more susceptible to instability in the central neurovascular system. Those who have a MTHFR gene mutation can not convert folate to methylfolate. This is linked to migraines, mood problems, and increased susceptibility for fibromyalgia. For more information regarding MTHFR, please refer to GeneCards: MTHFR.
Nutrition / Supplements
After analyzing lab work, and when implemented correctly, there are many foods and supplements that can help patients with symptoms associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
Some foods to eat include:
almonds and other nuts and seeds
dark leafy greens
The supplements we use are from Biotics Research and include:
Bio D Mulsion
Optimal EFA caps
When a migraine hits, it can take you out anywhere from 2-72 hours. Often times, individuals report their migraines consist of a pulsating feeling and sensitivity to light. In fact, many who suffer from migraines report an “aura” before the migraine begins. An “aura” is a visual change (lights, the shape or size of an object, or dark spots in line of vision), auditory changes, and something deja vu, tingling, or strange smells.
Those with migraines typically make less nitric oxide. In women, that increases their chance of myocardial infarction, strokes, and angina two times more likely. In men, 42% of them who have migraines, had heart attacks.
The inside coating of a blood vessel is referred to as vascular endothelium. It is made up of endothelial cells. The purpose of a healthy endothelium is to suppress inflammation, prevent clots, and keep blood flowing. If the endothelium becomes damaged, its function becomes compromised. Those with migraines showed a decreased number of endothelial functions.
One thing that sets functional medicine apart from traditional medicine is the lab work and genetic consideration. We work with many high tech diagnostic lab companies to determine the underlying cause of symptoms. In fact, there is a specific genetic mutation that leads to elevated homocysteine levels. It is MTHFR 677- the methylation gene. In fact, many patients who suffer from migraines have a family history of it.
We can break down a migraine even further and look at how it affects the rest of the body. Oxidative stress is a free radical that floats around the body. Oxidative stress is normal and necessary but too much of it begins to cause issues. In migraine sufferers, there is an increase in superoxide dismutase and elevated levels of catalase.
The standard American diet has done nothing but increase migraine factors. The foods consumed negatively influence gene expression as well as contribute to obesity. Many individuals have success when they switch from the standard American diet to the paleo diet. This diet gets rid of gluten and grains and patients tend to see improvement quickly. On top of this, they are now providing their bodies with the proper nutrients and healthy fats for optimal function. Here is an article that provides more information on acute migraine strategies.
We are able to create personalized nutrition plans for your body as well as determine other predisposing factors with the help of the InBody 770 system. This advanced machine provides a great deal of information for us regarding the patient. We track patients Anthropometric measurements in order to determine their lean muscle mass, fat density, visceral fat (fat surrounding the organs- a key indication of disease risk), water percentage, and height and weight. We measure our patients every 8 weeks and keep a detailed record. These reports are great indicators for health and also assess inflammation and edema.
There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease is when the body is so inflamed from the inside, it begins to turn on itself and begins to attack its own cells. What the body attacks determines what autoimmune disease an individual has. Some diseases that are associated with autoimmune conditions are Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia.
There are different events and circumstances that bring on an autoimmune disease. It varies from person to person. However, it has been shown that environmental exposures are linked. Environmental exposures occur when we breathe in poor quality air and eat food that has been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. It is referred to as an antigen overload.
An antigen is a substance that enters the body. However, when this antigen enters the body the body reacts by producing antibodies. Similar to what happens when you get a vaccine. However, these substances that enter the body are not ones that we want a reaction to. Antigens can include things like toxins and bacteria.
Part of natural healing and using functional medicine as an approach to discover the underlying reasons for health conditions involves evaluating possible causes. To find what is causing a patient’s hypertension, functional practitioners need to consider:
Mercury toxic exposure
Fatty acid imbalance
many people suffer from the occasional racing heart, pounding heart, skipping a beat, flipping, and irregular tones. More often than not, these symptoms have specifics that make them better or worse.
Dr. Heather Wolfson and Dr. Jack Wolfson found that when they combine appropriate nutrition, many of these symptoms disappear. Food is one of the best medicines there is. Properly fueling the body shows a dramatic difference in health. For example, vegetables are loaded with rich vitamins and minerals that replace many deficiencies that are a leading cause for these irregular heart rhythms. Free-range meats and fish have omega-3s while eggs contain choline and healthy fats.
What is Neuroinflammation? Neuroinflammation is an inflammatory response that involves brain cells such as neurons and microglia. Inflammation is an essential part of our biological…
The Elimination diet is a therapeutic approach to adverse food reactions. It focuses on reducing inflammation and toxic burden and promoting a healthy microbiome through…
Assessing a patient’s nutritional status has always been a fundamental part of the medical record, but most of the time is not explored in an in-depth way In Functional Medicine
Inflammation is the human body’s natural response to protect itself against injury, infection, and illness. Trauma, exposure to foods (poor diet), microbes, and/or toxins, can…