Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's Up With My Thyroid?

by Glen Depke

I am amazed to see the increasing number of clients diagnosed with thyroid challenges that enter my clinic. Even more amazing to me is the misunderstanding of the underlying causes of these thyroid imbalances and the unwillingness to address the core challenges for many. Thyroid challenges have increased to the point that it is almost looking like a part of the natural aging process but I cannot scream out enough that there is nothing natural about this. So what are some of the underlying challenges?

This will not be a dissertation on thyroid function, but I want you to understand some of the basics.

Let’s first look at what many conventional docs are using to diagnose this. Many are looking at T3 and T4, which are hormones produced in the thyroid as well as TSH, which is produced in the pituitary gland. If these are shown as being “off” there is often a very quick diagnosis of hyper or more often hypo thyroid. Before we jump into this it is important to look at other challenges tied into the T3, T4 and TSH.

First let’s look at these hormones. TSH which is the thyroid stimulating hormone is produced as mentioned above in the pituitary. The TSH communicates the need for production of T3 and T4 in the thyroid. Most do not look at the precursor to the production of the TSH though. Before the pituitary gland can produce the needed TSH, the adrenal glands require optimal function to communicate the need for TSH. Due to this, very often the underlying adrenal challenge is never addressed and we are not getting to the core. I will see this often in what I refer to as a “lazy” pituitary. To address this, it is important to follow a proper protocol for optimal adrenal function.

Another challenge is tied into the body’s need to convert the protein bound T4 produced in the thyroid into a usable or “free” T4. This free T4 can then be utilized by your body as needed. This conversion actually occurs in the liver and often when there is adequate protein bound T4 but the conversion does not happen due to a sluggish liver. When this is the challenge it is obviously very important to support liver function to allow proper balance.

Another challenge for many is hyperthyroidism. I would suggest that it is often the case that this has a direct tie into an autoimmune challenge and addressing the immune system function is a must in these cases. I also recommend that anybody that is challenged with hyperthyroid also work with an Endocrinologist on a consistent basis.

There are other dysfunctional patterns potentially tied into your thyroid challenges but I wanted to cover the more common of these challenges. As always it is important to recognize the importance of addressing your fundamentals of health as the starting point of any health challenge.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post below and I will answer you personally.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub, What's in my Tub?

How many of you know that there are ingredients in our personal care products that are cancer causing?

(All information is provided by Network News and Publishing 2004)
Publishers Note: “Statements of fact made in this publication are based on research and all information has been obtained from previously published, studies, journals, magazines, newspapers and material safety data sheets. Opinions are those of the publisher and the validity of such is up to the reader to decide.”

First I want to share the answer to that question and secondly, I will share with you information that will allow you to make healthier decisions for you and your family from today on.

How many of you know someone who is chronically ill, perhaps with gastrointestinal issues, skin issues or even cancer? Can you imagine a life, a world without these health issues?

Think of a few health challenges you are currently struggling with personally. It may be
• Headaches
• Low back pain
• Fatigue
• Or even cancer

How many of you know that there are ingredients in our personal care products that may be causing your health challenges? Below are listed a few of the products that have been shown to cause serious health issues for humans.

According to the US Dept. of Health & Human Services, “DEA (di-ethanol-amine) when applied to the skin resulted in clear evidence of carcinogenic (cancer or contributing to cancer) activity.” From a 2 year study concluded in 1997.

DEA is found if over 600 personal care products such as
• Soap
• Detergents
• Surfactants
• Shampoo
• Conditioner
• Bubble bath
• Lotions
• Cosmetics
• Dish soap; laundry detergents

Propylene Glycol: Propylene Glycol is a colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid used in anti-freeze solutions, hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. It is a substance that helps “retain moisture” and has been implicated in (according to Material Safety Data Sheets)
• Contact dermatitis
• Kidney damage
• Liver abnormalities
• Inhibit skin cell growth
• Damage to cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage.
• Gastro-intestinal disturbances
• Nausea
• Headache
• Vomiting
• Central Nervous System depression
• May be harmful by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption

Propylene Glycol is found in:
Anti-freeze, brake & hydraulic fluid, de-icer, paint, floor wax, laundry detergents, pet food, tobacco, cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, processed foods and many more personal care items.

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate): is found in harsh detergents, and used as a surfactant to break down the surface tension of water. Found in
• Concrete Floor Cleaners
• Engine Degreasers
• Car Wash Detergents

According to the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Vol. 2, No. 7, 1983 “SLS can be a mutagen. In sufficient amounts it is capable of changing the information in the genetic material found in the cells and has been used in studies to induce mutations in bacteria.”
• Found routinely in clinical studies to irritate skin tissue
• Corrode hair follicles and impairs ability to grow hair
• Carcinogenic nitrates can form when SLS interacts with other nitrogen bearing ingredients
• It enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain form skin contact
• Can damage the immune system, cause separation of skin layers and cause inflammation to the skin.
Found in
• Shampoo
• Conditioner
• Toothpaste
• Lotion
• Baby wash
• Body wash
• Bubble bath
• And so many more products

Warning Label on a bottle of Minnie Bubble Bath states that if swallowed contact a POISION CONTROL CENTER immediately, yet we are supposed to bathe our children in it??

Talc: is a very fine substance, so fine it can be used as a “dry” lubricant. Talc is chemically similar to asbestos, a known cancer causing substance. It’s found in many body and baby powders, feminine powders, cosmetics, and used as a dry lubricant on condoms.

According to Nutrition Health Review, Summer 1995 n73, p8(1)
“Talc’s harmful effect on human tissue has been known for quite some time. Long ago, its dry lubricating properties were used as a glove-donning powder for surgical gloves. As early as the 1930’s, Talc was linked to post-operative granulomatous peritionitis and fibrous adhesions.

A possible tie between talcum powder and ovarian cancer was strongly supported last week when a study found a higher risk of the cancer among woman who dusted themselves with talc or used feminine deodorant sprays.

“The study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that woman who used talcum powder in the genital area had an increased ovarian cancer risk of 60% and woman who used feminine deodorant sprays had a 90% increase risk.” In 1994, the FDA conducted a scientific workshop on the issue and did not find enough of a causal link to justify even a consumer warning!

Aluminum: Aluminum-containing antiperspirants are designed to be absorbed, and studies show that regular use of these products can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as three-fold….a municipal water supplies treated with aluminum sulfate…as least 7 studies show that people drinking water high in alum are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

Parabens: are used to retard the growth of bacteria in personal care products. This is a highly controversial ingredient because parabens are naturally occurring in blueberries. You will see more and more companies are advertising on their labels “No Parabens”, so controversial or not, they are beginning to make the choice to leave them out of our products.

Now that you have read a little bit about these ingredients and some possible damage they can cause, do you see any symptoms you currently have or someone you know that may be linked to personal care products?

It is obvious that supportive research is out there, my question is why hasn’t our governing agencies (FDA, EPA, etc) made us aware of these concerning ingredients or band them from being used? We can’t blame the manufacturers if they aren’t aware of the damage these ingredients are causing; however, who is to blame or who needs to be taking responsibility for our health & well-being. More and more, I feel it is up to us individually to educated one another and demand healthy alternatives!

My suggestion to you is to do your due diligence and educate yourself. Become a conscious consumer and only buy natural healthy products so that you know what’s going ON your body and IN your body. It’s time we take our health into your own hands and educate ourselves to make better, healthier choices.

If any of you are concerned with checking levels of parabens please contact Glen Depke for a Paraben Profile Test Kit. Detox protocol is available through Depke Wellness.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trouble Sleeping?

by Glen Depke

So really, how important is a positive night’s sleep? Your body does most of its maintenance and repair when you are sleeping and I do not know of anyone that does not require a regular dose of this maintenance and repair. While your immune system is always active on some level, it kicks into high gear during your sleep cycle.

First let’s define a good night’s sleep. I would suggest that this is typically 8 hours and generally from the times of approximately 10:00PM and 6:00AM. During the winter months you may require even more sleep to be at your best. Recognize that I also put specific times since it is not OK to simply get eight hours of sleep if you are going to bed at 1:00AM and sleeping to 9:00AM. Yes, this is still eight hours but it is an unhealthy eight hours since it is not in alignment with natural shifts in cortisol and melatonin. If you have a positive focus on your fundamentals of health and good hormonal balance, it should be easy to fall asleep and you should have no challenges staying asleep until morning.

So what helps us create this positive pattern? A big part of this is tied into hormonal balance. If you follow our newsletter regularly, you understand the importance of the adrenal glands and cortisol production. Most do not understand though that cortisol production and melatonin have a direct relation to each other. When cortisol goes up, melatonin goes down and when cortisol goes down, melatonin goes up. When melatonin increases, this sets you up to fall asleep easily, as well as allowing you to have uninterrupted sleep. This raise in melatonin also stimulates your body to initiate an increase immune systems response for your maintenance and repair.

So to address this let’s review what is setting up this positive pattern. Recognize the importance of having balanced adrenals since low cortisol at night is what raises night time melatonin. If this is not balanced, this will throw off your circadian rhythm all day and lead to even further adrenal imbalance. In my opinion too many individuals have been led to believe that the answer lies in supplementing with melatonin. This may provide some immediate relief but long term it may actual create further hormonal imbalances and long term insomnia.

Typically speaking what will lead to improving the circadian rhythms is to improve production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and/or the essential amino acid tryptophan. The flow to produce optimal melatonin is tryptophan, serotonin to melatonin. Often if you supplement with tryptophan and support serotonin production you can normalize your melatonin production and improve your circadian rhythm. This in turn can help balance your adrenal function and make life much easier if you are using a proper protocol per your adrenal imbalance.

Obviously, it will be helpful to reduce stress, get out in the sun daily and “shut down” about an hour before bedtime.

Please “get” that a regular positive night’s sleep is so important. If you are not reaching this goal, please look for direction of a qualified natural health practitioner that understands these processes.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please leave your comment below and I will personally address this.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School is Omega 3 Time

by Glen Depke

While it is important to achieve proper omega 3 balance throughout the year, it is especially prevalent during back to school time. This is due to the fact that maintaining proper levels of these very important essential fatty acids plays a role in mental and emotional function. So the question is, as your children are heading off to school are you putting them in the best mental capacity to be at their best?

Another factor that is assisted in proper omega 3 consumption is tied into proper immune function. As our children are put into the environment where there are large groups of other children in an enclosed area, this leaves them open and susceptible to catching colds, the flu or may other diseases that are common among children. Maintaining proper omega 3s may assist in improving the immune system of your children and I trust that this is a concern of any parent reading this post.

Another factor to understand it that omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to assist in regulating blood sugar. Blood sugar levels out of control with your child could create some challenges with behavior or could lead to a blood sugar “crash”, which is a far from optimal state for learning.

Please understand that this is not only true for our children but for all of us reading this post. The omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, have been shown to aid in all that is listed below:

• Inflammation
• Cardiovascular health
• Blood sugar regulation
• Normalize cholesterol levels
• Liver function
• Regulate hormones
• Improve immune function
• Anti-aging
• Increase joint comfort
• Improve mental/emotional health
• Increase healthy skin

Personally, I choose to take krill oil for my omega 3 supplementation. This is my choice based on the high level of bio-availability of the DHA and EPA in krill plus that fact that krill oil also has an anti-oxidant property as an added bonus.

While most are only suggesting supplementation we would also like to suggest nutritional recommendations. Consuming wild caught salmon is one of the best nutritional sources as well as consuming grass fed meats. The challenge of course is maintaining quality sources so we will provide you with the sources we prefer in our home to achieve our recommended Omega 3 intake.

In our opinion the best quality salmon as well as other seafood can be ordered from a company called Vital Choice, Wild Seafood and Organics. To learn more about Vital Choice or to order the best wild caught salmon feel free to visit the Preferred Health Partner page at www.DepkeWellness.com and click on the Vital Choice link.

Our preferred source of grass fed meats with a significantly higher Omega 3 content than conventionally raised meats is Blackwing Quality Meats. To learn more about Blackwing or to order the grass fed meats we prefer in our household visit the same Preferred Health Partner page listed above.

Now you can enjoy the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids from multiple sources as you further your journey to optimal health and wellness.

If you have any questions or replies to this post, please leave your message to me below and I will personally address this.