Do you retain water whenever you increase salt in your diet? Then read on. Lots of people have problems with water retention, otherwise known as edema. There are many conditions that relate to this mechanism including excessive sweating, diminished function of the kidneys and bladder, nightmares, glaucoma, and gastritis.
The water retention is being caused buy an increase in osmotic pressure. When we have to much fluid in the eyes, and we can’t get out it is called glaucoma.
In a 2010 study of ICU patients, urea, also known as carbamide, was used to treat euvolemic hyponatremia and was found safe, inexpensive, and effective (1). Guyton’s textbook of medical physiology (7th ed) states that carbamide is a dieutric and improves the transfer of fluids through cellular walls.
Carbamide is used in the urea breath test to detect the presence of the bacterium H. pylori in the stomach and small intestine of humans, and is associated with peptic ulcers. The test detects the enzyme urease, produced by H. pylori, by a reaction that produces ammonia from urea. This increases the pH (reduces the acidity) of the stomach environment around the bacteria allowing it to multiple.
The FDA outlaws selling carbamide saying that it is inert even though it was studied in 2010 and used successfully in treating patients in the ICU! So what Standard Process did to get around this is take carbamide and mix it with Vitamin C and Vitamin A, and sell the product as a primary a Vitamin A/C mix. However the product is 90% carbamide. This makes it more complex and a bit more expensive but at least it is available. This is a great product for anyone who starts retaining water when they increase their salt intake.
If you buy this product make sure to keep the container sealed very tightly because it absorbs moisture.
A/C CARBAMIDE CAPSULES: 2-4 a day with a full glass of water, available in 90 capsules (#0625) or 270 capsules (#0635)
1. Decaux G, Andres C, Gankam Kengne F, Soupart A (14 October 2010). "Treatment of euvolemic hyponatremia in the intensive care unit by urea" (PDF). Critical Care. 14 (5): R184. doi:10.1186/cc9292. PMC 3219290. PMID 20946646.
Meet Michael McDowell, a medical student who has completely transformed his body and his health through proper nutrition and diet. Mike has lost over 40 lbs and improved all his blood lab values in a few months. Mike followed the dietary recommendations we give to all our patients, and the results speak for themselves. Full disclosure, Mike is my step son. You can download the same guide I gave Mike by clicking the button below. Remember, you can also take advantage of my free symptom survey recommendations and take your health to a stellar level while losing weight!
DISCLAIMER: You should not start any diet without first consulting with your primary doctor. While this diet has been shown beneficial for many patients it is not for everyone and therefore you should proceed at your own risk. We do not suggest the same diet for every patient.
Food is the original medicine. All my supplement recommendations are either whole food concentrates or herbs. There is no question that the best nutrition comes from eating whole foods. These are foods you might find in the grocery store, like peas, radishes, and beets. Unfortunately, in today's society, most people just don't get enough nutritious food in their diets. Conventional farming techniques leave soil depleted and food saturated with toxic chemicals. Given proper nutrition, the human body has a fantastic ability to heal. To do so, we need to eat whole, organic foods and eliminate destructive habits. Of course, very few people eat this way so supplementing with whole food concentrates provides the missing keys.
One of the first things patients will do when I make recommendations is to shop the list at the local drug store or vitamin section of Wal-Mart. If you think that all vitamins are the same, you are wrong. Other products are synthetic and similar to drugs in many ways. For example, the supplement B12 is cyanocobalamin. Low-end vitamin manufacturers won't tell you that this form of B-12 is bound to a toxic cyanide molecule that must then be detoxified by your liver. Cyanide is a known poison, but you won’t know that by reading the label. You see the FDA has not defined the word natural so it can be used it legally to describe just about anything. Another example is calcium supplements. The most common drugstore supplement is calcium carbonate, which is not usable in the body. Calcium Carbonate is limestone, yet it is promoted as a natural supplement. You can go outside and lick the sidewalk; it will be the same thing, and it won’t help anything. Whole food concentrates from Standard Process are different. They are of low potency because they represent nature. A good example is synthetic Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) which usually comes in the form of 500 or 1,000 mg pills. A slice or orange has about 10 mg of vitamin C, and yet it can prevent scurvy. What’s the difference? The orange has many other elements that are only found in the orange and cannot be made in a lab. It turns out that those unreproducible things are the key. Think about the difference between the natural sugar found in an apple and the white, crystalline stuff that you put in your coffee every morning. The scientists (who work for the chemical companies) will tell you it’s the same, that sugar is sugar. They will tell you that drinking a glass of orange juice is the same as a can of Coke Cola. Here in America, synthetic nutrition is marketed with such stellar budgets that the principles of whole foods have been forgotten.
Herbs are powerful medicines. Many drugs are based on herbal designs and so you have to approach herbs with the same respect and caution that you would a prescription. In our clinic, herbs are used for an immediate effect, like pain relief or trouble sleeping whereas food concentrates are used to slowly change the body chemistry and improve health over time. I only use a Mediherb for my recommendations because they grow and process all their own products and conduct extensive testing to prove the effectiveness of the extracts. Again you are not going to find these products on your local vitamin store shelf. As an example, one of our more popular products is Boswellia Complex #M1152. This is one of the most effective ant inflammation products available and it contains, among other things, 277mg of Boswellia. Now this is a 7:1 extract of Boswellia that is made from 1.9 grams of Boswellia serrata gum oleoresin. So they are taking 1.9 grams of product to make 277 mg of medicine in 1 tablet. If you go to the vitamin store and buy say 500 mg of Boswellia you are just getting 500 mg of the whole plant, and that is going to be very wet with little if any medicinal properties.
So what’s the simple difference between artificial and whole food nutrition? Well, it's the difference between something that's living and something that's dead. Throw out your synthetic vitamins, start following these recommendations and then contact me with your success stories. Plants are our friends and plants are medicine!
Gotu Kola is one of my favorite herbs and it is also known as Indian Pennywort. This plant is just a humble weed that is found in many places around the world. At first it does not seem to be anything special but its casual appearance hides one of the most useful medicines on our planet. If I had to summarize the benefits of Gotu Kola into one word it would be circulation. But I really hate to do that because unlike synthetic drugs herbs contain many natural triterpenes that offer synergistic results that truly effect multiple systems in the human body. We see Gotu Kola showing up in many traditional treatment protocols for healing the skin and it was this that first lead European scientists to investigate. What the researchers found was a group of phytochemicals in Gotu Kola known as triterpenes (specifically asiaticoside) that were found to have wound healing activity in many experimental models (by injection, oral and topical administration). The mechanism of action includes the stimulation of type I collagen and a resulting decrease in the inflammatory reaction. The constituents also stimulate glycosaminoglycan production and act specifically to shorten the immediate phase of healing. Again, a really cool thing about Gotu Kola is that it is effective by injection, oral or topical administration. I have used a liquid form topically with excellent results on many skin conditions. There are not many herbs that can be used in this way.
Now let's talk about circulation. Gotu Kola is a natural way to keep the vascular system in good condition and promote normal blood circulation. It can be a powerful aid to maintaining good health by supporting healthy connective tissue and the integrity of blood vessel walls. It can be argued that circulation of lack of it is a foundational cause of most degenerative diseases. Certainly conditions like neuropathy and sciatica are due to a type of nerve ischemia. When we increase the blood flow to the damaged areas, symptoms decrease and the body's innate response begins to work better, and people start healing. Blood carries vital nutrients and clears away wastes, giving tissues the best opportunity to regenerate.
There are two ways you can buy Gotu Kola, as a tablet, Gotu Kola Complex M1313 and as a Gotu Kola liquid 1:2 extract M7060. Personally with this herb I like the liquid extract. I start most people off at 4ml twice per day. Gotu Kola is a very safe herb and I have never seen a negative reaction in 20 years of use. Mix the 4ml with a bit of water and take it in one quick "shot", because it tastes horrible. In fact you will need a chaser standing by, I like grape juice. I have also used the liquid extract as a topical, applying it with a foam paint brush. It stains, it stinks and it works! My wife has mixed it with moisturizer cream and used it that way. You can email me for her secret recipe.
So, if you are needed to heal tissues in your body, Gotu Kola is your number one "Go To"... I have used it for everything including stomach ulcers, arthritis and even post surgical trauma. Remember, only Mediherb has the patented extraction process to make sure you are really getting the medicine that is hidden in the herb. If you are not convinced that you should only buy Mediherb, then please save yourself alot of trouble and first read this article (HERE) before you go out to walmart and spend money on dangers vitamins .
Here are some great benefits for all the geeks out there ( I mean that with love, I am also a science geek!)
1. May increase brain power.
A small 2016 study compared the effects of gotu kola extract and folic acid in boosting cognitive function after a stroke. This small study assessed the impact on three groups of participants — one taking 1,000 milligrams (mg) of gotu kola per day, one taking 750 mg of gotu kola per day, and one taking 3 mg of folic acid per day. Although gotu kola and folic acid were equally beneficial in improving overall cognition, gotu kola was more effective in improving memory domain. A separate study looked at the cognitive enhancing effects of gotu kola water extract on mice. Although both young and old mice showed improvements in learning and memory using the Morris Water Maze, the effect was higher in the older mice.
2. It may help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Gotu kola has the ability to enhance memory and nerve function, which gives it potential in treating Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, one 2012 study on mice found that gotu kola extract had a positive effect on behavioral abnormalities in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The extract was also shown, in lab and animal studies, to have a modest effect on protecting brain cells from toxicity. This could also protect the cells from forming the plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.
3. It may help reduce anxiety and stress.
Researchers in an animal study from 2016 found that gotu kola had an anti-anxiety effect on male mice that were sleep deprived for 72 hours. Sleep deprivation can cause anxiety, oxidative damage, and neuroinflammation.
Mice that were given gotu kola for five consecutive days before undergoing sleep deprivation experienced significantly less anxiety-like behavior. They also experienced improved locomotor activity and less oxidative damage. A 2013 study of anti-anxiety herbal medicines also concluded that gotu kola has an acute anti-anxiety effect.
4. It may act as an antidepressant
Gotu kola’s positive effect on brain function may also make it an effective antidepressant. A review from 2016 supports these findings, in part due to a study on 33 people with generalized anxiety disorder. The participants were asked to take gotu kola in place of their antidepressant medication for 60 days. They self-reported decreased stress, anxiety, and depression. Another study discussed in the review assessed the effect of gotu kola on rats induced with chronic depression. The herbal remedy had a positive effect on certain elements of behavioral depression, including body weight, body temperature, and heart rate.
5. It may improve circulation and reduce swelling
Research from 2001 found that gotu kola can reduce problems with fluid retention, ankle swelling, and circulation tied to taking flights that last longer than three hours. Participants who experienced mild-to-moderate superficial venous disease with varicose veins were asked to take gotu kola for two days before their flight, the day of their flight, and the day after their flight. Researchers found that participants who took the supplement experienced significantly less fluid retention and ankle swelling than those who didn’t. Older research has also shown that gotu kola can be useful in treating varicose veins. This may be because gotu kola has a positive metabolic effect on the connective tissue of the vascular wall.
6. It may help ease insomnia
Given its perceived ability to treat anxiety, stress, and depression, gotu kola may also be used to treat the insomnia that sometimes accompanies these conditions. Some consider this herbal remedy to be a safe alternative to prescription medications used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.
7. It may help reduce appearance of stretch marks
According to a 2013, gotu kola can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It’s thought that the terpenoids found in gotu kola increase collagen production in the body. This may help prevent new stretch marks from forming, as well as help heal any existing marks.
8. It may promote wound healing and minimize scarring. Researchers in a 2015 study on rats found that wound dressing containing gotu kola had healing effects on multiple types of wounds. This includes clean cuts by sharp objects, irregular tears caused by blunt-force trauma, and infected tissue.
9. It may help relieve joint pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of gotu kola may be useful in treating arthritis.
In fact, one 2014 study on collagen-induced arthritis in rats found that oral administration of gotu kola reduced joint inflammation, cartilage erosion, and bone erosion. Its antioxidant effect also had a positive effect on the immune system.
10. It may have a detox effect
Newer research is taking a look at gotu kola’s effect on liver and kidney toxicity.
According to one 2017 animal study gotu kola can be used to suppress the toxic side effects of the antibiotic isoniazid. Isoniazid is used to treat and prevent tuberculosis. Rats were given 100 mg of gotu kola for 30 days before they were given the antibiotic. These rats experienced less toxicity overall. Rats that did experience toxicity in the liver and kidneys resumed to near-normal levels after being given gotu kola.
I have been in clinical practice since 2001, and what that means is just that I have spent my work days seeing patients. People come to me with problems and I help them with solutions. Unlike a traditional medical doctor, most of what I offer is not covered by insurance, which means that people have to pay me directly for my services. Now some things are covered and of course there are exceptions but basically I am a cash for service doctor. Immediately I get haters for that, people say things like, "If it's not covered by insurance it can't be any good". Not true. Not even close to the truth. In reality, medical insurance is the biggest scam ever created (more on this later). But as mentioned I have been in practice since 2001, so if I was not very good at solving problems you could assume I would have never lasted more than 20 years. In fact, I have never been sued and in 20 years I can only remember one person that was ever very unhappy with me, and I gave him back all his money. Later I found out his dissatisfaction had nothing to do with my care, but regardless there are going to always be these weird exceptions. So my point is that I do know something about helping people and in fact I would say that in all my experiences the one thing that I am certain of is my ability to fix people with back pain. In my busiest days, working in Battle Creek, Michigan, I would treat over a hundred patients per day, five and a half days a week. I have seen and treated everything related to back pain and I even had my own personal experience with severe back pain, which I wrote about extensively in the book, The Philosophical Physician. So today I want to write a few pages about what I have learned and how you should approach back pain if you or a loved one is suffering. Let's dive in!
It seems that as humans, we are plagued with back problems. Many theories exist, but I believe it has to do with the fact that our original design is based on four legs, not two. In the evolutionary process of standing up, the spine develops several curves to maintain the head over pelvis. These curves act as springs in a coil to reduce mechanical forces in the body but they also place additional stress on the spinal joints and discs. While this is only a theory we don’t see spinal conditions like scoliosis (lateral curves) in any other mammal.
The spine is 24 bony vertebrae that encase and protect the more delicate the spinal cord. These vertebrae are separated by spinal discs that act as a shock absorber while allowing for the safe movement. The spinal cord runs down through the vertebrae like a telephone cable, branching out through small holes between the bones called foramen. Nerves exit the spinal cord and travel throughout the body controlling your muscles and organs. Damage in the spine will routinely cause illness and dysfunction in the organs; for example, a spinal injury can cause bladder problems or even high blood pressure. Back pain is a systemic problem.
In 1996 doctors Vert Mooney, MD, Jeffery A Saal MD, and Joel S Saal, MD, published the Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain. In this, the doctors identified the leading causes of back pain as follows, the spinal disc was responsible for 85%, the facet joints 10%, and the sacroiliac joint 5% with muscles, fascia, and metabolic factors acting as contributors to each of those cases (1).
At 85%, you can almost certainly assume if you are having back pain it is a disc problem. But most laypeople do not automatically think disc; instead, they think muscle. When someone presents in my clinic, that’s the most common thing I hear, “Oh, it’s just a pulled muscle.” And they are right, but only partially. Muscles are usually involved in all cases of back pain but only as a secondary cause. The muscles will often spasm to brace the spine from further injury, but the underlying cause of the problem is the spinal disc. The disc can tear under stress and squish out into the foramen where it will irritate the nerve and cause pain, weakness, numbness or even organ dysfunction. Damage to the spinal disc is cumulative, and over time repeated injuries cause degeneration and stenosis.
The disc itself is active tissue that contains significant mechanisms for self repair (2). Under a published study proper treatment can correct 88% of people who have back, neck or sciatica pain (3) and in a 4 year post treatment follow up study those who got better stayed better (4). Take a moment and let that really sink in, especially if you have a bad back because it means you can likely end your pain and avoid drugs, needles and surgery.
The spinal disc is an essential structure in the human spine, but it is avascular. Since there are no vessels to feed blood and oxygen to the disc directly, it must get its nutrition from diffusion. Small blood vessels branch to the surface of the spinal vertebrae and poke through the endplates where they sit under the discs. Like a sponge, the disc draws blood up through these vessels, and then when under pressure, like a sponge, the disc releases waste. This process is called the pump mechanism of disc nutrition.
This pump mechanism is a natural process that occurs through the movement of the spine. When injured, the body automatically can limit spinal motion and, in the process, prevent the pump mechanism. Without the pump, the spinal discs cannot receive vital fluids needed to repair and regenerate. Overtime waste products will build up in the tissues, and the disc begins to degenerate. Clinically I have seen injuries that happened many years ago, where someone hurt their back, and the initial pain went away, but the pump mechanism is not restored. Now years later, that same person has severe arthritis and degeneration of the spinal discs and does not know why. Luckily, even in these chronic cases, once the pump is working correctly, the spine will begin to heal. Restoration of the pump mechanism is the main focus of treatment.
To assist the spinal discs in regeneration, you must create a negative pressure from within the structure. This pressure difference will produce a slight vacuum that will draw in bulges and herniations as well as vital fluids that will stimulate the repair process. The suction from the vacuum also stretches the small blood vessels that feed the endplates, causing controlled stress that overtime stimulates the body to meet that stress by growing new blood vessels. This mechanism of building new blood vessels is called angiogenesis.
Before continuing lets take a moment to understand the significance of spinal disc pressures. Simply put more pressure is bad and less pressure is good. Pressure puts the spinal disc under stress that can lead to injury and premature degeneration. When the disc is hurt we want to maintain a lower pressure environment, which will assist natural healing. Normal pressure is about +75 mm/Hg, when we lie down and raise up our legs we can reduce it to +45 mm/Hg but with decompression therapy we can lower the pressure to -150 mm/Hg, enough to create a suction effect.
My first experience with this specific treatment approach was in a student clinic at Logan College of Chiropractic. The school had community outreach locations throughout the city where people could get reduced Chiropractic care administrated by students in their final year of study. Despite being a student clinic, the quality of care was still very high because experienced doctors carefully supervised everything. Most of the time, things went smooth in the student clinic, and I would adjust people, many times, whole families without any problems. One Saturday morning, I was doing my shift, relaxing, and finishing my second cup of coffee. Saturdays had a more relaxed atmosphere that offered more one on one time with the supervising doctor. I was at the front desk making small talk with the receptionist when I noticed two men helping an older gentleman get out of his truck. As they carried him towards the clinic, I wondered what I was going to do to help this man. He was obviously in severe pain and doubted if I would be able to adjust him. After taking some x-rays and ruling out any red flags that would require a medical referral, I discussed the case with my supervisor. The working diagnosis was a damaged spinal disc, maybe a bulge or herniation. He would need an MRI to confirm the extent of the damage, but for now, we needed to reduce his pain. The patient’s back was in spasm, and he was bent forward, unable to straighten up. I doubted I would be able to get him on my table, and I certainly was not confident I could adjust him.
The clinical director looked at the x-rays one more time and then turned to me and said, “You need to get the pressure off his disc, you need to decompress him.” We led the patient to the back of the clinic past all the traditional Chiropractic adjusting equipment and into a small room that contains a funny-looking bench with a hinge in the middle. “Set the table in flexion,” the doctor instructed me. “Now sir, slowly lie down but do not try and straighten up, use your arms to keep the pressure off, that’s it, slowly now, take your time.” As the injured man assumed his place on the table, he immediately started to relax, he was able to maintain his bent position but with support. The pain was quickly reduced. Again my mentor led me through the process, “Now unlock the table and gently distract the spine, slowly, carefully use a pumping motion while supporting his spine with your other hand.” I could hear the patient moaning slightly, “Are you alright?” I asked. “That feels better, he reported.
After about 15 minutes of treatment, I was able to reduce the swelling on the patient’s disc enough that he could get up from the table with 50% less pain. Next, we braced his spine with a lumbar orthotic and instructed him to wear it for the next two hours with an ice pack in place for the first 20 minutes. The gentleman was able to walk to the front desk by himself, where he made an appointment for a follow up on Monday morning. Before leaving, he turns to me and suddenly hugged me with tears in his eyes, “Thank you, doctor, you saved me.” It was the first time anyone called me a doctor, and it was my first experience with decompression treatment.
Fast forward, how is all this going to help you? Well here's the good news! A friend of mine, John Lee was so impressed with this story that he designed and patented a do it yourself version of this decompression treatment. This is a decompression belt that is manufacture by his company DDS. John and I have been friends for over 10 years and I have prescribed his decompression belts for just as long. At our last count John told me I have ordered almost 2,000 belts. The success with this treatment rate on reducing pain is almost 100% but more impressive is that more than 44% of those scheduled for back surgery cancelled the operation after using this device (5). Now I wrote an entire article just on this device alone and I encourage you to check it out (HERE) but in the meantime just realize that by using this belt you can reduce the pressure in your spine and help your back heal. Better than any inversion table, you can walk around with this on and heal while you move. The minimum requirements are you must wear it for 2 hours per day for 30 days. Most people feel improvement after the first 2 hour session.
Now let's talk about our friends the plants. Of course there several plants that can really help fix our bad backs. Many of these I covered in my article on general pain which you can read (HERE) however, in cases of back pain the one single plant you must use is Gotu Kola. This herb promotes angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) and tissue regeneration. Honestly it helps with any type of healing but works dramatically with spinal discs. You can take it in tablet form as Goto Kola Complex #M1313 2 tablets, 3x a day or in a powerful liquid extract #M7060 taking 5 ml a day, adjusting dosage based on your size.
Another winner is Turmeric Forte #M1448. Turmeric is a miracle herb that reduces inflammation better than any other product. The problem is that turmeric is poorly absorbed. This product is different in that it combines the turmeric with fenugrek thus allowing the powerful medicines of the curcuminoids to pass into th eblood stream and be used by the damaged tissues. Here is a ridiculous but true statement, turmeric forte by Mediherb is the only product in the world that does this. Honestly, it is perhaps one of the top 3 most useful herbs I prescribe.
Finally, if you are just really having a hard time with the pain, and this is common when you are dealing with problems like sciatica (this is when the sciatic nerve is being pinched by a bulging spinal disc) you need willow stem bark extract, Saligesic #M1395. This is a great non addictive pain reducer that is safer than Advil. I recommend using then "as needed" because they are super expensive but they really work great on difficult back and sciatica pain.
So now you have your Decompression belt and your Plant Medicine, here are some final tips. First don't use ice, use heat. Buy a nice moist heating pad and apply it for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Remember it is all about blood flow, we don't want to constrict the flow with ice. I know what you have been told about ice but heat is the king to healing. Ice will numb the area and reduce your pain temporarily however heat will increase the circulation and promote healing. Use heat. Secondly, move around every 2 hours. The ideal situation is that you get into a pool and wade around floating on a pool noodle, again 20 minutes every 2 hours. If you don't have a pool get up and force yourself to walk, slowly and carefully for no more than 20 minutes every 2 hours. This promotes circulation and keep your muscles from spasming. Thirdly, you must sleep to heal. Take afternoon naps if you can and if you are not able to sleep at night I recommend either Valerian Complex #M1452 (to stay asleep) or Kava Forte #M1345 (to go to sleep). Again Kava is a powerful plant, expensive and very strong, it will literally knock you unconscious if you take to much. Use it with optimistic caution.
Hey wait a minute? What about Chiropractors, lasers, massage, acupuncture and all those treatments? Ya, they can help, but do you own a laser? These recommendations are simple and affordable. Try them out and let me know how you do. Back pain is a serious problem and in some cases you may need surgery but if at all possible you should try everything possible before making that sort of commitment, remember back surgery has a 74% failure rate (6).
1. Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain Vert Mooney, MD; Jeffery A Saal, MD; Joel S Saal,MD Clinical Symposia Vol. 48 Number 4 1996.
2. Humzah MD, Soames RW: Human intervertebral disc: structure and function. Anat Rec 220:337–356, 1988
3. Efficacy of Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D) on Chronic Low Back Pain: A Study of Dosage Regimen Ramos G., MD, Journal of Neurological Research, Volume 26, April 2004
4. VAX-D Reduces Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain- 4 year Study Odell R., MD. Ph.D, Boudreau D. DO Anesthesiology News, Volume 29, Number 3 , March 2003
5. The following patient survey results are a combination of a survey performed by Disc Disease Solutions, Inc. in late 2011 and again in early 2014. DDS, Inc. mailed out a multi-page questionnaire to all patients who received a DDS 500 LSO Brace within the time period of 1/1/2009 and 12/20/2013 and who had returned to DDS the enclosed warranty card that is included within the product packaging. The total amount of questionnaires returned was 879.
6. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 (Feb 15); 36 (4): 320–331
So for me this is really a personal topic. I've gone through just about every diet you can think of and for a long while I got a lot of my protein from soy products. At the time I was experiencing a lot of gastrointestinal dysfunction and I just assumed it was because I increased my intake of beans and fiber and of course that may have been something to do with it however in retrospect knowing what I know now I believe it was the soy I was eating. Now, I didn't know very much about soy at the time, and unfortunately most of what I was eating was tofu. And in just a minute I'll explain why that was a grave mistake. I know, I know, we love plants right? This is Real Plant Medicine after all, what is this Blasphemy. Hang on ok? It will all make sense in a few paragraphs, I promise.
Let me back up a bit first and just say that there is an endless supply of independently published human research on the value of soy foods, and soy isoflavones. The studies go back for decades. I mean if you start researching different diseases and conditions like cancers, menopause, prostate health, heart and artery disease, you will see that soy contains isoflavones which in many cases can help and even reverse these conditions. I am taking this very seriously when I suggest that soy can reverse disease, and I encourage you to take a few moments or even a few hours and review many of the links below this article that contains this research. So is a undisputed fact, and it really should at least peak interest even skeptics. Here are a few highlights to perk your interest. The Journal of Nutrition (v 131, 2001 and v 132, 2002) stated on the value of soy isoflavones for heart and artery health, "The data suggests a protective role for dietary soy intake against CVD in post-menopausal women." The women (several hundred) with the highest intake of isoflavones had lower body mass indexes, lower body fat, smaller waists, and much lower insulin levels. High insulin leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and other illnesses. A second study from the famous Framingham Study evaluated 939 women and stated, "High intake of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women appears to be associated with a favorable metabolic, cardiovascular risk profile." In fact, they found a massive 34% difference in CHD disease between women with low soy intake and high soy intake. I mean 34% folks, I think that is significant.
Let's also take a quick look at cholesterol and soy. There have been many studies published on the value of soy supplementation for lowering total cholesterol and LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol. Soy added to the diet also raises HDL (the good kind) cholesterol levels. All this without any change in diet or exercise. In fact, one of the benefits I found when I add soy to my own diet was a huge drop in cholesterol. My total cholesterol was about 300 and after six months of eating soy as a major protein source, my total cholesterol dropped to 180. For those no doctors reading this, such a drop would be impossible by just taking statin cholesterol lowering medication.
Still, there is a lot of the anti-soy messaging being promoted. Soy is really one hated plant but since I love all plants I decided to give it a chance. I dug deep and found a strong trail of negative propaganda that led back to the America Dairy Association (ADA). Hmmm, well I am I to assume that they are bias. I mean all those hippie, new agers, dropping cows milk for plant based soy must cut into profits a bit right? Or am I over thinking this? Interestingly one of the charges made by the ADA against soy is that it will alter hormone levels, but this is untrue soy is not a “phytoestrogen” as it is completely and totally unrelated to any kind of estrogen. Hormones only exist in animals and not plants. Soy has Isoflavones which are plant pigments, not phytoestrogens. Our estrogen receptors will not accept soy isoflavones. No one else on earth is going to tell you that there is no such thing as "phytoestrogens"... but now you know, I have done the research. More interesting is that drinking beer with hops is one of the strongest sources of feminization in men. Hops contain 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN), which binds to alpha receptors that are responsible for triggering cell growth in tissues affected. Conversely, soy binds to beta receptors that are responsible for retarding the cell growth response. In other words, soy has anti-growth effects whereas hops tell tissues to grow. This is one reason why heavy beer drinking men develop so-called man-boobs, gynecomastia. I say, very interesting, don't you think?
Now listen, all is not rainbows and sunshine for soy users. You see soy is a significant cash crop in this country and it is grown in massive amounts to feed livestock. Yup, your steak burger was raised on soy but not the friendly healthy type, no instead this is GMO (genetically modified) and grown with many nasty chemicals to produce optimal yields. Hmm, consider that the ADA is telling you not to eat or drink soy products, but it is buying these same products, the heavily poisoned, GMO version and feeding it to the animals they are selling you to eat and drink (cows milk). Now that's really screwed up isn't it? I cannot make this stuff up, it's that unbelievable.
So now here are the take aways, first make sure all your soy foods are marked “organic” or “non-GMO”, so you avoid GMO soy. Personally, I enjoy organic plain soy milk and Tempeh almost daily, and by the way, I have full blood work done twice a year, and my hormone levels are perfectly balanced, in fact, my estradiol is <5 (which is actually very low), so no man boobs in my future. Of course, I also do not drink beer... just saying. Since I started eating organic soy products my LDL cholesterol has come way down and my HDL cholesterol has gone up. This is a good thing. Also, my blood pressure has come under control without medications (I tend to run a bit hypertensive), and all my numbers show I am much more healthy. Of course, I am not eating as much red meat and other animal products because of the soy substitution so all these should be considered factors, like the fact I am drinking green tea. Still the overall vibe for soy is positive, and I am always recommending it to patients, as long as they do not have adverse reactions to it.
You see there is not one size fits all, and I acknowledge some people just don't do well on soy... or dairy, or fish or nuts. So as always, we have to make smart decisions based on our individual biochemistry, but when you hear that eating soy causes terrible illness like thyroid conditions, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, pancreatic problems, endocrine disorders, brain dysfunction, and even various cancers, well it's just not true. Many people, however, take such ravings seriously and in the process are likely throwing the baby out with the bathwater (that's a horrible saying, right?). Look, when you try to find proof of these allegations, they start to evaporate. If you actually hunt down any of these so-called "studies" and look at them in detail, you'll see most have no validity at al and are funded by people with other motives.
If you want to improve your health, you can drink organic soy milk and use it in cooking or you can just take a 40 mg isoflavone supplement capsule daily. This will benefit you in ways we haven't even discovered yet. New studies are being done all the time in clinics around the world. Soy is good stuff, science has proven it, just make sure you eat organic and fermented if possible. Remember that just about anything will be better for your health than pasteurized, non grass fed, cow's milk. Also, I don't just enjoy soy milk I also like organic coconut milk, there are lots of healthy, plant based options.
SOME SOY RESEARCH:
Phytoestrogens and Disease:
Phytoestrogens and Heart Disease:
Phytoestrogen and Kidney Disease:
High soy can result in 59% less breast cancer study: http://tinyurl.com/j8ywsra
Soy yields 13% lower LDL/Bad Cholesterol Study: http://tinyurl.com/hhf4weq
Soy and Men Hormones Study:
Meta-analysis on men, soy and phytoestrogen extracts: http://tinyurl.com/ja5s9k2
30-50% of men get manboobs:
Phytoestrogen content of various foods: http://tinyurl.com/z3kpvsw
220 women over 2 years soy study:
Meta-analysis on 47 studies no estrogen change: http://tinyurl.com/hsm6ctb
Soy Men Review/Final Quote on Soy being fine for men: http://tinyurl.com/zwddamh
Ouch! In this article I am only going to talk about reducing pain and I make that distinction because if you don't fix the cause the problem will likely continue to surface. But here I'm gonna break the rules and talk about just treating the symptoms and in particular the symptom of pain. There's a reason for this, look it's fine to develop a lengthy program to correct the underlying cause however in the meantime if the pain is too high no one's going to follow that program. Also, if the human body is experiencing pain for too long it develops negative neurological pathways they will reinforce the painful sensation and overtime the body will grow new receptors that will feed the pain and create a chronic pain disorder that will be almost impossible to fix. So we need to get the pain down almost immediately, while we're working on the underlying condition.
Ok, luckily there are only a few products you need in the toolbox (medicine cabinet) to defeat pain. Each product works fro a specific type of person so you may not have results with them all and you will need to find the one that is most compatible to your constitution. The first on my list is a old, tried and true stand by, Saligesic (Mediherb). This is a high potency Willow bark extract that knocks out pain while also reducing inflammation. This is a safe alternative to NSAIDs for joint, muscle and nerve pain. This unique extract of Willow bark, standardized for the vital compound, salicin. Willow bark is a traditional herbal remedy that has been used for thousands of years. As early as 200 BC, Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) used the leaves and barked from the Willow tree to help many aliments. Native Americans also used Willow bark by boiling one ounce (28 grams) in a pint of water and then consuming the liquid over the period of a day. This dosage is identical to the 32 grams of Willow bark that I recommend. Age-old wisdom has once again been validated by modern science. Clinical trials in Germany and Israel found that standardized extract of Willow bark supported musculoskeletal health, particularly the knees, hips and lower back. Those taking part in the study saw their normal mobility and flexibility improved. The daily dosage contained 120 to 240 mg of salicin, the amount in 2 to 4 of these tablets. I will dose up to 2-3 tablets three times a day in severe pain cases. This is not for maintenance use, Saligesic is for short term use only, a few weeks at most. Many people smirk and say that this is just asprin, but they are wrong, we are using the entire herb here which makes a big difference in how your body accepts the active substance. Where high doses of asprin can injure your body, studies on Saligesic have shown relatively safe usage at even high dosages. This is my personal go to pain reliever which works exceptionally well for sciatica pain.
Now if you can’t get the pain to ease up by getting into different positions or if you cannot sleep at night because of the pain I will prescribe California Poppy 1:2 Liquid Extract (Mediherb). This is a member of the poppy family and has mild opiate activity, which is very useful for relief of intense and systemic pain. I have had a lot of success with this over the years, and patients report immediate effects. It comes in a 200 ml bottle, as do all our liquid herbs and I usually recommend a 5 ml dose, up to a maximum weekly dose of about 40 ml. This is a systemic product good for overall pain syndromes like fibromyalgia or when the patient is compromised with other illnesses in addition to the current injury. When combined with Valerian Complex (Mediherb), 2-3 tablets, 1 hour before bed it will put, even the most alert person to sleep. Valerian Complex contains Valerian, Passion Flower, and Ziziphus. The Ziziphus is used in traditional Chinese medicine for insomnia and dream disturbed sleep. This is a great anti-anxiety supplement, and most people in pain suffer from difficulty falling asleep and nervous tension. We will discuss this in a later article.
Another fantastic product that really helps reduce pain of all causes is Chlorophyll Complex (Standard Process). Made from alfalfa, buckwheat, pea vines, tillandsia, sesame seeds and soybeans, this a miracle product. The chlorophyll molecule is very similar to the human hemoglobin molecule. Magnesium is the primary molecule in chlorophyll whereas iron is the central molecule in hemoglobin. Chlorophyll has a robust neutralizing effect on guanidine, which is a toxic byproduct of constipation and arthritis. If you have arthritis, I guarantee you have a guanidine problem and a liver problem. Taking 3-9 of these on an empty stomach will take care of it. These are handled very well by the body, and I find myself taking them frequently whenever I feel I need a little healing boost. This product is essential for any person suffering from ulcers or colitis. We go through more Chlorophyll Complex than any other product. If nothing else make sure you pick up a few bottles, it also serves as an excellent whole food multivitamin. You will see me constantly recommending this product throughout all my articles, it is my favorite supplement because it helps with so many things and is so gentle on the body. I personally like chewing them but have been told that is not recommended because they will stain your teeth over time. Are my teeth green? Let me know if we ever meet. Since we are speaking about pain want to take a few minutes and mention the value of a moist heating pad. There is much debate about whether you should use ice or heat when you are injured. Ice reduces swelling and numbs the painful nerves so it would seem like the right choice, but it is not. The only time you want to use ice is if you have a recent traumatic injury such as a fracture or tear and you are needing to reduce blood flow to the area. Applying ice on injuries will decrease the rate of healing and also smartly the nervous system which in turn causes vasoconstriction and maintains the system in a state of shock. Yes, it can reduce pain, but moist heat is much better. Most heat penetrates into the body and relaxes the nervous system, it increases blood circulation and speeds up the lymphatic drainage. Use moist heat for 20 minutes every 2 hours as needed. The best heating pads in the world are currently made by Battle Creek Medical Equipment, they are expensive, but they get really hot and create a steam like effect which promotes the ideal healing environment. We have them at our office, and they are our number one product that we sell. People are quick to discount the value of heat but it remains one of the most potent and effect means of stimulating healing and reducing pain in the human body. I personally use moist heat everyday, after exercise or even at night while I meditate 20 minutes before bed to relax my whole body. I have given these heating pads to my friends as gifts and they last forever.
You can buy directly from Battle Creek Medical Equipment or off amazon, my favorite model is the, Thermophore Classic Heat Pack (Model 055) 14" X 27" Tan.
You can purchase any of these products by setting up a patient direct account (HERE).
How are your hands? Do they ache? Are they stiff and swollen? Have you been told you have arthritis, carpal tunnel, or trigger finger? I have an easy solution I want to tell you about that has saved my patients from needing painful injections, awkward braces, and invasive surgeries. So simple, you are going to think, no way! But proven through lots of medical studies (that I will include in the links below). Let’s jump in!
So I practice in Florida and I tend to treat a lot of seniors with stiff, sore hands. They complain about opening jars, or holding tennis rackets, that sort of stuff. One of the easiest ways I screen the hands is with the Ellis Test (remember that name). Place your hands together like this and then reverse them like this then, make fists like this. We are looking for pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling. Usually, if any of these movements cause symptoms, I will be able to help them with my protocol.
Ok, so what is the treatment? Well, I never thought much about hand pain until a few years ago when I started to notice my own hands would start hurting at the end of the workday. Now as a Chiropractor, I work a lot with my hands so I started looking for a solution. I tried many different treatments including wrist braces, massage, stretches, and exercises but nothing worked. By the end of the workday, my hands were bound up in little tight fists and I had to go home a soak them in Epsom salts just to be able to open my hands. No good right? Maybe you can relate? Anyways in my research I discovered a book written in the ’60s by Dr. John Ellis, a medical doctor from Texas, The book is called, The Doctor who looked at hands.
Dr. Ellis was able to conclusively demonstrate that the synovium which is the membrane that allows the tendons to slide, underwent degenerative changes in the absence of vitamin B6, which resulted in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis and Tenosynovitis, as well as many other forms of soft-tissue diseases. Ellis tested this theory and document the results he saw in his patients. In conclusion, Dr. Ellis wrote that 90% of what is called arthritis in the United States is, in reality, a biochemical change in the synovium caused by a lack of B6. He stated that a person will see improvement in 6 weeks with definitive changes in the joints and tendons by the 12th week and in cases of severe stiffness, there will be gradual improvement up to a year.
Now B6 is found in foods like turkey, chickpeas, tuna, salmon, potatoes, and bananas but it is difficult to build up your levels without supplementation. The recommended solution is a product called B6-NIACINAMIDE from Standard Process. This contains a ratio of 50 mg of B6 pyridoxine (which assists in the healing of the synovium) and 10 mg niacinamide (which is a nerve relaxer that also helps bring blood to the injury). A natural product that is made up of only Nutritional yeast, liver, organic mushroom powder, no binders or fillers. Patients will take 3-6 tablets these per day for 12 weeks. I have yet to see it fail and it is exactly what worked for me. You can purchase B6-NIACINAMIDE and other useful products (HERE).
LINKS AND REFERENCES:
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Hello, I am Dr. Stephen Stokes, my patients call me Dr. Steve, and my friends call me Steve. So what can plants do for you? Well, the short answer is everything! Keep an open mind and discover what you have been missing. Please share this information with everyone you know.