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by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
So often I have individuals on social media or when I am presenting events ask me what I take personally from a supplement perspective. I write this type of article about once per year because while I do have some basics that remain the same, as I learn and grow for myself personally, some of my supplement choices shift within these new understandings.
Before I address the supplements specifically, I wanted to point out some recent research that shows not only health benefits of supplementation but also provides the hard facts on the significant savings in health care cost. To read this article and further information, visit this link.
OK, so what do I take?
I breakdown my supplementation needs based on the most significant factors for myself as an individual. These factors are:
For optimal digestion, I take the Depke Wellness 1, 2, 3 of Digestion daily. This is a
- Optimal digestion
- Increased circulation
- Optimal brain health
- Immune system support
- Adrenal support
combination of the Prebiotic/Probiotic Formula, Prime Digestive Support (enzyme) and the Prime Stomach Acid Support. I take 2 Prebiotic/Probiotic Formula before breakfast daily, one Prime Digestive Support during each meal, one Prime Stomach Acid Support after each meal and one scoop of RepairVite prior to bedtime. The Prebiotic/Probiotic Formula contains herbs to assist the gut environment to optimally utilize the 40 billion beneficial bacteria (the good guys) taken to assist in reaching that all important 9:1 ration of beneficial to detrimental bacteria needed for a healthy gut. The Prime Digestive Support is the full spectrum digestive enzyme that contains both animal and plant based enzymes to break down the wide array of proteins, fats and carbohydrates I'll consume with each meal. This enables me to utilize the first third of my stomach to predigest my food, which in turn will allow for and further ease of digestion as my food progresses through the digestive tract, ultimately making life easier for my pancreas also. Lastly the Prime Stomach Acid Support will assist my body in properly breaking down my proteins, absorb minerals as well as B vitamins. At night before I go to bed, I take one scoop of RepairVite in water knowing that this is a gut restorative supplement. I take this specifically due to gut damage caused by my past consumption of intolerant foods that I was not aware of.
If you want to confirm the use of the use of these with my meals, simply ask anyone that I have eaten out with. I am always reaching into my pocket during and after meals to address these important digestive aids.
To increase my circulation, I take two supplements. One is from Chi Enterprise called Vein Lite which I take 3 capsules of these twice per day after meals. Some days I do this only once but I do shoot for 2 times daily. I also take Nitric Balance which is a liquid that I take one tablespoon in the morning. The Vein Lite has a long term affect on increasing circulation and the Nitric Balance has a more immediate impact on circulation along with a beneficial cellular energy increase. I take these because proper circulation is a key to most everything. This is how you move nutrients, oxygen, hormones and so much more throughout your body. Without proper circulation, all else is hindered.
The brain support is important to me since I have a history of dementia and other neurological disorders in my family. Not withstanding the fact that I was considered epileptic from about 17 to 28 years old. Because of this, I take a liquid omega 3 fatty acid supplementation daily that is very high in DHA, which is the "brain food" component of the omega 3. I am also currently addressing some neurotransmitter issues by taking Serotone Active, Dopatone, Acetyl-CH Active and a Neurotrans spray three times per day. I am not doing this only because of the potential inherited issues but also the simple fact that my brain really needs to be "on" all day when I am working with clients. There is not much time off for my brain so it needs that support. Don't worry though, I also get my fare share of tennis, golf and fun on a regular basis.
As far as my immune system support is considered, most of this is addressed with my gut and brain supplements because as those systems go, so goes the immune system. The only addition I make here is the use of a liquid emulsified vitamin D supplement called Ultra D, which I take on tablespoon per day and about 2000 mgs of a powdered Buffered Ascorbic Acid mixed with a small amount of water before bed. Many people have issues with ascorbic acid, but this is due to the fact that most are derived from corn, which I am intolerant to. Of course the form that I use is manufactured from a healthy source. I also take either the Pure LiquidNutrients which is a yummy mango/orange flavored liquid vitamin/mineral supplement or a mix a Clearvite PSF in my morning smoothy to increase my nutrient uptake.
Lastly, we are looking at adrenal support. I do not take this at all times but due to some recent
adrenal challenges because of a gut infection that I picked up in the recent past I am currently engaging in needed adrenal balancing. To accomplish this I take sublingual liquid forms of pregnenolone and DHEA three times per day and I take two 500mg capsules of the Depke Wellness Prime Adrenal Support daily also.
I do cycle on and off two powerful liquid emulsified anti-inflammatory supplements called Resvero and Tumero, but currently I am in the cycle off period with these. I typically do three months on and three months off.
Overall from a generally perspective, I am always taking something to support my gut, brain and immune function. From there everything else I would take is either for a short duration determined on an acute challenge or other times I simply take something new as an experiment for myself and my clients.
I want to be clear that what I take does not necessary equate into what you need. While general gut, brain and immune supplementation is an advantage to everyone, some areas are tied directly into personal needs for myself, such as the neurotransmitters and adrenal protocols. At least with this information, you can see first hand what your Traditional Naturopath is taking.
You know what's funny though, I do not feel like I take that much until I write it all out. So with that said, here's to my adrenal protocol coming to an end soon. LOL!
Many of these supplements can be found in the Depke Wellness Store where you can either search through all the supplements or go to the headings on the left side of the page to click on specific brands such as Depke Wellness, Chi Enterprise or Pure Encapsulations. We are even building and area of the store that will be available to our current clients to purchase supplements that are not accessible to the general public due to company policies. The good news is that supplements purchased via the Depke Wellness always include free shipping and handling. Yay!
by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
Well, we knew it was coming and we have been warned about this countless times and in my opinion, this has been a challenge for some time already. This something is antibiotic resistant bacteria. Now this may not sound substantial but look at some recently released statistics.
According to the CDC, each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become
infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least
23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many
more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an
antibiotic-resistant infection. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and in my opinion the rate of death from these as posted above is very low.
The New York Times reported that the number of deaths is substantially lower than previous estimates, in
part because researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention stripped out cases in which a drug-resistant infection was
present but not necessarily the cause of death. Infectious disease
doctors have long warned that antibiotic resistance — in which bacteria
develop defenses against antibiotics used to kill them — threatens to
return society to a time when people died from ordinary infections.
Dr Robert Janda, whom I am interviewing Tuesday 9/24/13, had shared in a recent discussion with me that "the bugs are getting smarter." With this information, it is imperative for us to outsmart the bugs, rather than them outsmarting us.
I feel that as a culture we have made the bacterial infection/antibiotic treatment route the norm rather than the exception, which lead to this potentially tragic circumstance we are currently involved in. To be "real", we cannot go back and it truly makes no sense to dwell on the past.
All we can do now is move forward.
The first point that I want to make is that I am not the holistic practitioner that bashes the conventional medical system. There is truly a time and a place where conventional interaction is necessary, but as mentioned earlier, this would be the exception rather than a norm. As an example, if someone has a serious staff infection, go to a doctor and get a powerful antibiotic to address this because that staff infection could kill you. Important right?
So what about low level bacterial infections?
Most bacterial infections start in the gut and are relatively easily addressed. Heck, just last weekend I picked up a bacterial infection while I was out eating. This made me a bit bloated, nauseous and I eventually vomited. I know, pretty picture.
So what did I do? Did I run out for an antibiotic to eradicate this bacteria? Absolutely not. I took approximately 100 billion count of beneficial bacteria to counter the detrimental bacteria that entered my body and between the bacteria and my own body's natural immune defense mechanisms, this was a non issue with relative speed and ease.
So a bacterial infection in your gut can be assisted by the use of a quality probiotic in high doses but what other natural products have antibiotic properties?
Here is a list that may help you out.
For clients in my office I would often recommend a homeopathic I get from Germany called ABB, echinacea homeopathic tablets or a combination of Chinese herbs supplied by Chi Enterprise.
- Cloves (Clove Oil)
- Colloidal Silver
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Oregon Grape Root
- Raw Honey
I can also share another personal example of natural products with antibiotic properties. I had a minor surgery last May and the doctor recommended that I go on antibiotics post surgery. This doctor knew me well enough to know that it was unlikely that I would go on antibiotics but he really was insistent that I at least take an antibiotic for three days as a minimum. Rather that the antibiotic, I chose to take Chinese herbs, Kidney Chi and Bamboo extract for a few weeks as my natural antibiotic and this worked like a charm. Please note that I recommend that you follow your doctors advice or at least have a discussion with your doctor to share your thoughts and opinions.
So why didn't I want to take the antibiotic anyway?
While there was of course a risk of infection with my minor surgery, I recognize that the antibiotic would cause damage to my gut. If the gut is compromised, this would create challenges for my brain as well as weakened immune function.
Doesn't is make sense to have a strong immune system when dealing with an infection, rather than a weakened immune system?
And this was not even taking into consideration the potential of an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria.
So in the end, recognize that our past choices have created antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, so it is now up to you to take matters into your own hands, be in communication with your doctor with natural options and if you are met with resistance, search out a quality holistic health practitioner for advise. Regardless of where you live, Depke Wellness is always just a phone call away.
by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
So what types of cravings do you experience on a regular basis? Sugar, chips, ice cream, breads, salt, chocolate, alcohol and the list goes on...
While most of us crave foods with some regularity, very few understand all of the mechanisms behind these cravings. Understanding this may assist you in curbing your cravings, so here we go.
We'll start with one of the most obvious and that is cravings based on the consumption of high glycemic foods. You know, foods sugar as sugary treats, sodas, processed carbohydrates, alcohol, fruit juices and fruit especially without the skin. When we consume these high glycemic foods, especially without added fat, these drive up glucose which in turn leads to a spike in insulin levels. When insulin levels spike so quickly, this will often send your blood sugar plummeting. As a result you have what...cravings. Often this is for more high glycemic foods also and round and round we go.
So to get off the high glycemic/craving cycle, do what?
How about stopping the consumption of high glycemic foods? OK, so that was too easy of an answer and a bit of a smart (you know what) comment. It is a good idea though to consume high glycemic foods sparingly or only prior to times of physical exertion. What do you do when you simply want to enjoy one of these foods but you are not going to have the opportunity to burn off this sugar with exercise? The answer to this is to eat these foods at the end of your meal and always with added fat. Examples are:
* I am necessarily condoning all of these choices as healthy but I wanted to give you some real life examples.
A significant reason for cravings would be emotions. When we get stressed out what to so many people reach for to sooth their feelings? As mentioned earlier sugar, chips, ice cream, breads, salt, chocolate, alcohol and the list goes on...
Another factor that deals with emotions as tied into sweets is when we feel as if we are missing our own personal "sweetness" of life. So often we get caught up in a life of "doing" rather than a life of "being" and this leads to self soothing again and so often with sweets. Based on our discussion earlier, you now understand what dynamics are occurring when you are self soothing with these sweets.
There is one more craving definitely built into the challenges with emotions. When we are too ramped up, frustrated, irritated and angry we often crave processed carbohydrates such as breads. These choices actually have a sedating or depressing effect on your body to calm you down. Think about, how do you feel after a meal high in processed carbohydrates? You likely feel like hitting the couch and completely chilling. Unfortunately this is not the best way to achieve this due to the effect that this has on further cravings.
- Apple with nut butter
- Wine with cheese
- Bread with olive oil
If you really want to do something to satisfy your emotions, try some deep belly breathing. Take a deep breath through your nose for a count of 7 while expanding your stomach and breath all the way down to your belly button. Hold that breath for a count of 4 and then forcefully blow this out through your mouth while contracting your stomach muscles to push every ounce of that breath out of your lungs. Actually, try this right now and see how you feel.
So why do I recommend the deep belly breathing? Because you cannot be under stress and take a deep belly breath at the same time. This are two opposing aspects of your nervous system function that will not exist at the same time. Take 3-5 of these breaths once per hour during your waking hours would be so helpful for curtailing these cravings and absolutely use this during acute stress.
One more significant factor for cravings is a lack of proper digestion. You know, you are not what you eat, rather you are what you absorb and assimilate. So what does this have to do with cravings?
First understand that you are not hungry to fill your stomach, you are hungry so your body can produce energy. When you make quality nutritional choices and digest these foods properly, your body will produce the energy needed and your trigger for hunger will be cut off. It truly is that simple.
So what happens if you digestive system is not working properly?
This leads to a lack of proper absorption and assimilation, thus leading to a desire for more food. Once the stomach if full though, your trigger for hunger will subside even if you did not reach the desired energy production. Here's the kicker though. If your hunger went away and your stomach is full, you WILL have a craving to follow this meal. The bigger challenge is that this craving will almost definitely be for something sweet because sugar is a definite "quick fix" for energy and we have all had sugar enough for our body to recognize this.
Think about it. How often does this happen? You go out and eat a big meal, fill your belly, yet you still cannot make a move until you get some type of sweet in on top of this. This happens more often that not and most often this is due to poor digestion.
So how do your improve your digestion?
First off, the recommendation of the deep breathing above is definitely a benefit just prior to eating a meal. When you deep belly breath and get your body in a relaxed state prior to eating, this will assist your digestive system.
There are also some basic supplements to use for proper digestion to assist in aleviating cravings.
These are the basics that Dawn and I use personally and typical recommendations for my clients. As a matter of fact, I refer to this trio as the Depke Wellness 1, 2, 3 of Digestion. If you would like to learn more about the 1, 2, 3 of Digestion visit this link provided.
- Digestive enzymes
- Stomach acid
So now you know three of the biggest factors for you cravings, so when you think of cravings now, "uggg" does not have to follow.
by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
So really, what is IBS?
First off understand that IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. According to the National Library of Medicine, IBS is defined as a disorder that leads to
abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other
symptoms. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which
includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the structure
of the bowel is not abnormal.
In itself this really does not seem like much of a definition but it truly makes sense. First of all, when something has the word syndrome after it, it basically means that there is a recognized issue but there is not a defined underlying cause for this issue. Oh, does that mean that there is not an underlying cause for IBS? Absolutely not!
While I will not say that this is an absolute, I would share that most of the clients that visit our clinic find that their diagnosis of IBS is most likely tied into leaky gut.
I get it, the next confusion is what the heck is leaky gut. Honestly if this was to be correctly named, it would be called leaky small intestine. You can see though that this name could perhaps be even more confusing.
Let me explain leaky gut very simply.
In a healthy digestive system, there are extremely small openings in the small intestines known as tight junctions. Through these tight junctions in the small intestines your body will allow nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and coenzymes through into your blood stream to nourish your body and more. This is a very important aspect of digestion and optimal health. Well, when you have leaky gut these tight junctions become compromised, thus widening to the point that they allow large undigested compounds (food), toxins and other bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. When undigested proteins as well as other undigested foods, toxins and bacteria enter the bloodstream this creates what would be considered an autoimmune type of reaction. This then leads to a viscous cycle of further intestinal inflammation and greater loss of intestinal permeability A.K.A., more leaky gut.
When this occurs, what symptoms do you think this will lead to? If you guessed abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other
symptoms you are correct. Do these symptoms sound similar to any other diagnosis in conventional medicine?
You bet it does...IBS.
So the next time you hear the letters IBS think leaky gut because this is more than likely your issue.
The challenge here is that you will almost never hear that words leaky gut from your conventional doctor. From a conventional perspective there is little understanding of leaky gut and even worse, almost zero understanding of what causes this and what it leads to.
Let's first look at what this can often lead to.
If you remember from the definition from the National Library of Medicine, they mentioned that IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which
includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and that with IBS, the structure
of the bowel is not abnormal. While this may be true, if you live with leaky gut long enough and this is not addressed, challenges such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are not far around the corner. Also while the structure of the bowel may not appear to be abnormal at the onset of leaky gut or IBS, long term struggles with this will most often lead to inflammation and structural abnormalities.
With this said, doesn't it make sense to understand leaky gut a bit further and obviously address the underlying causes of this challenge?
Here is a list of the mechanisms for leaky gut.
You may be thinking that based on this list, there is likely a high percentage of people living with leaky gut and they do not even know it. You think???
Just look around you, or perhaps look at yourself. How many people do you know that have some level of digestive disturbance? Remember how this is defined, abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other
symptoms. This can often be recognized as somewhat regular diarrhea or very often constipation. The key for you may be to even define constipation. I share this definition as one bowel movement or less per day. Yes, even one bowel movement per day would be considered as constipation in my book. To be honest, there are so many individuals that actually think that their one bowel movement in the morning is actually normal and health.
So what other type of challenges are associated with leaky gut?
- Brain mechanisms such as a traumatic brain injury
- Stress mechanisms such as a prolonged exposure to stress, which can induce a low-grade inflammatory affect
- Hormone mechanisms such as adrenal insufficiency and a lack of proper testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormones levels in both men and women
- Alcohol mechanism due to its ability to promote detrimental bacteria growth as well as intestinal permeability
- Autoimmunity mechanism based on the fact that not only does leaky gut promote autoimmunity but also the fact that autoimmunity promotes leaky gut
- Nutritional mechanisms such as gluten intolerance, cross reactive intolerance and the standard American diet which is high in sugar, chemicals and processed foods
- Infections in the gut such as but not limited to parasites, protozoa, H-pylori and more
Now how many people that have these above issues would actually equate this with leaky gut? That answer is slim to none and unfortunately many of these people are missing the boat and unfortunately suffering.
To put it simply, if you live with leaky gut long enough you will likely feel fatigued, depressed and inflamed.
So what is a person to do if they feel that they have leaky gut?
First of all define the type of person you are. If you require testing to confirm this, I would recommend Cyrex Labs Array #2. This panel will provide the information you need to recognize this as an issue for you.
If you are the type of person that recognizes that this is likely your challenge and testing is not needed for you confirmation, you can simply move into the steps below.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Inflammatory Challenges
- Chronic Pain
- Inflammatory Bowel
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Food Sensitivities
- Chronic Yeast Issues
- Brain Fog
There are deeper levels to address leaky gut as we do with our clients at Depke Wellness but the steps above are a significant move in a healthy direction for you.
So the next time you, a friend or a loved one her the letters IBS, you'll now have a deeper understanding of what this mean and more importantly, what you can do.
If you are new to Depke Wellness and you have been diagnose with IBS or feel that leaky gut is an issue for you, call our office at (949)954-6225. We offer a complimentary 20 minute phone or in office consultation for all new clients.
- Assess your likelihood of a gluten intolerance or cross reactive intolerance and eliminate the foods that are issues for you
- Significantly reduce sugar and processed foods from your diet
- Drastically cut back on alcohol consumption and always give yourself a minimum of 3 days rest between alcoholic beverages
- Reduce your stress and/or learn healthy ways of addressing your stress
- Work with a qualified natural health care practitioner if you have had a history of brain trauma to address the potential of brain inflammation, mid brain challenges and/or neurotransmitter imbalances
- Balance your adrenals, thyroid as well as other hormones
- Reduce chronic inflammatory states
- Assess your likelihood of gut infections and address accordingly
- Use gut restorative supplements such as L-glutamine, DGL and aloe vera
- Use a quality prebiotic/probiotic such as the Depke Wellness Prebiotic/Probiotic Formula