Sunday, December 15, 2013

Aches, Pain, Stiffness, Why?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

You may know of someone that suffers from one of more of these challenges.
  • Do you find regular joint pain a part of your daily life?
  • Are regular body aches beginning to annoy you regularly?
  • Is your body stiff when you wake in the morning or after sitting for some time?
If any of these are a challenge for you, it is likely that you are suffering from chronic inflammation. If this is your challenge, I do not have to tell you how this affects your daily life, your mood, your health and your happiness. The unfortunate reality is that most with chronic inflammation live with daily aches, pain or stiffness. For those that do not recognize this expression, look at this question.

Did you also know that chronic inflammation is a key component at the core of basically every chronic illness?

With this said, I don't want you to get the impression that inflammation itself is the problem. The true problem are the triggers for this inflammation and the ongoing feed back loops that continue this chronic inflammatory state.

We can first look at the triggers.
  • Mental/emotional stress
  • Gluten and other cross reactive food intolerance
  • Infection
  • Obesity
  • Chemotherapy
  • Addiction
The primary triggers that we see with clients on a regular basis are the first three that are in bold, stress, food intolerance and infection. Obviously a major aspect of eliminating your inflammation is tied directly into reducing or eliminating your triggers, but that's not all. Once chronic inflammation has been your "friend" for a longer period, you can potentially develop one or more of the following feed back loops that continue this inflammation. These feed back loops are listed below. 
  • Understand that chronic inflammation will often inhibit phase I and phase II liver detoxification pathways. This occurs due to the fact that the NF-kB state can create a suppression of cytochrome P450. This suppression leads to a compound hepatic biotransformation, thus activating hepatic end products. It helps to understand that biotransformation is the process of rendering fat-soluble compounds to water soluble compounds so they can be excreted via the urine, feces and sweat. Hormones, toxins and drugs undergo hepatic transformation by phase I and phase II pathways in the liver and are eventually eliminated by a phase III pathway. A significant key though to this biotransformation, phase I, phase II and phase III pathways is the initial release of cytochrome P450. As noted above, chronic inflammation suppresses this cytochrome P450 thus inhibiting the entire liver clearance pathways. When this occurs, further inflammation is initiated and round and round you go. Simply put, the chronic inflammatory state leads to a multiple challenges within the liver, thus leading to more inflammation.  
  • Chronic inflammation can also cause and increase in fat cell production. This increase in fat cells leads to insulin surges which in turn leads to insulin resistance. And guess what this leads to? If you said more inflammation you are right on.
  •  Another challenge created by chronic inflammation is the creation of leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctures, or openings, in your small intestines that allow your macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and and co-enzymes, actually become enlarged. When this occurs, whole food substances will be allowed through these tight junctures and lead initially to an autoimmune reaction. As this autoimmune reaction continues this can lead to a true TH-17 response AKA, tissue destruction and your guessed it, more inflammation.
  • Last but not least, when you are living with chronic inflammation, your body may respond by raising cytokine production. Cytokines are proteins secreted by immune cells that act on other cells to coordinate appropriate immune responses. When these cytokines are responding to chronic inflammation, this often leads to autoimmune disease and more inflammation.
So based on what I am saying, it may sound hopeless and I hear you. Thankfully though, it is not hopeless. I know this personally, because I lived with chronic inflammation for decades before I finally overcame this issue. My inflammation was due to an initial injury followed by years of consuming intolerant foods and life's stressors. Here's my story for your education.

During this video, I mention the "More Than Just Weight Loss" program. During the six week span of this program, my knee pain was actually eliminated because for the first time in decades, I was able to eliminate my chronic inflammatory state. This too can be you.

Follow the link below to get more information on your potential of walking away from aches, pain and stiffness.

More Than Just Weight Loss

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Your Reset Button!

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Wouldn't it be nice if we could hit a reset button and most of the symptoms of our poor health choices could simply go away? Oh, and especially after all the stress, poor food choices, too much alcohol and too little sleep of the holidays. Heck, just over the Thanksgiving weekend I personally put on 10 pounds. Two Thanksgiving dinners, a birthday party and some alcohol at each was obviously a disaster. All with Christmas, traveling and New Years yet to arrive. 


Well thankfully, there is a reset button and I hit it every year after this holiday mess. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays. I love to be with people, the engagement with others, the yummy food and even the occasional Christmas margarita. It's really not a different margarita, just a homemade margarita made around Christmas time. LOL!

As you can imagine, this leaves me a mess just as it does the rest of you reading this article. So what do we do?

Hit the reset button!

For me this is the 6 week "More Than Just Weight Loss" program. I have done this the last 3 years in a row and I am already craving this time again. You may ask, why do I crave this and what is it all about?

First of all, most of us gain weight at this time of the year and while a percentage of this is fat, there is often a significant weight gain accompanying an increase in inflammation. The weight gain isn't even the biggest issue with weight gain, but the aches and pains of inflammation are actually the more significant challenge. In addition to weight gain and inflammation most of us are also dealing with a gut/brain issue due to the holidays. Eating intolerant foods, alcohol affecting your brain function, stress and your lack of sleep are all feeding the gut/brain issue.

Along with this immune system function takes a hit. This is due to a couple of factors. Number one is the fact that about 70 to 80% of your immune function actually originates in your gut, so when there is a gut/brain connection issue, there is an immune issue. Secondly tied into the inflammation, this chronic inflammation actually creates an immune dysregulation that can be scary. Scary because this can lead to multiple chemical sensitivities and the shut down of apoptosis, which long term can lead to cancer. Another factor that is huge for the immune function is the lack of sleep that leads to a weakened immune function also.

Lastly, how about our livers' screaming out at us after the holidays. Heck, daily living is enough of a stress on our liver. Throw some alcohol, stress, poor food and the typical response to dealing with a hangover are all so taxing to the liver. Ouch!

So in the end, you know what to do? Hit the reset button!

The 6 week "More Than Just Weight Loss" program really isn't even a weight loss program. Don't get me wrong, if you have inflammatory or fat weight to lose, this will happen, but the program is actually quite different. It is actually a  gut/brain supportive, immune building, liver detoxifying, anti-inflammatory program.

The first year I did this I lost 16.9 pounds, last year I lost about 12.4 (don't remember exactly) and this year I hope to lose about 9 or 10. But more important than the weight loss and the fact that my pants will be a bit more comfy and I will get back into the "skinny" pants again, I will feel amazing! 

That's what feeds my drive for this 6 week program every year. I LOVE feeling amazing! Don't you?

Find out more about the 6 week "More Than Just Weight Loss" program.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Perfect Storm

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

So what is the perfect storm?

The holidays of course!

I know, we like to think of the holidays as a time for giving, spirituality, joy, love and so on. Think about it though. What do you often recognize during the holidays? Stress, less sleep, poor nutrition and far too much alcohol. Now I'm not asking you to not enjoy yourself, but let's look at how we can quiet this storm a bit.

Let's look at the stress first. During this time of the year, one of the biggest issues is that many of us over commit and make promises that are almost impossible to keep. This is the most important time of the year to use the power of "NO." I "get" that you want to make everyone happy and make every gathering, but one of two things will most often occur. Either you do not keep your integrity of being somewhere that you have committed to or you are so completely stressed out because it ends up being another thing that you have to do. Yikes to both!

A reality during this time of year for all of us is the fact that there will be more stress than other times of the year. To assist with dealing with this stress I would recommend visiting and registering for the complimentary 4 part video series on the home page. The fourth video will provide easy to use yet powerful tools to assist with the stress of the holidays.

The next area is lack of sleep. Very often during the holidays we just simply do not get to bed early enough. I would suggest setting some boundaries for the times you are going to leave your holiday parties and of course, honor those boundaries. If you have an agreement with yourself to leave the parties at 9:00PM you will still have time to be in bed soon after that and get a full nights' sleep. The challenge for most is that they do not set a leaving time. Just show up a bit earlier and hold your integrity to the boundary you set.

Another factor is trying to fit "things" in late at night. I would suggest that instead of adding extra work at night, which ultimately lead to a lack of quality sleep, simply get up earlier. This will still allow some extra time to accomplish your tasks, but this will also mirror more of a natural sleep cycle and likely provide you more energy and mental clarity through the day. Understand that it is healthier to sleep from 10:00PM to 6:00AM than it is to sleep from Midnight to 8:00AM. Got it?

Poor nutrition is often an issue for most during the holidays. This is not only poor choices such as too much sugar, gluten and alcohol, but also typically far too much of all of these. Now for those that know they have a gluten intolerance or other cross reactive food intolerance, the holidays are not a time to "sneak" some in. Remember that if these foods are an issue for you, eating them will lead to inflammation in your gut, a weakened immune system and adrenal fatigue. Now as far as the sugar and alcohol are concerned, if this is not a huge issue for you, go ahead and indulge. Understand though that having one piece of fudge or one drink will typically not be an issue for most, but have several drinks, many sweets and throwing in some gluten can be a HUGE issue for so many. To assist with proper absorption and assimilation of your food choices during the holidays, make sure you are using your 1,2,3 of Digestion.

Also, when you are thinking about alcohol specifically, the timing is very important. The worst thing you can do is walk into your party and start with a glass of wine or a cocktail. If you have this on an empty stomach, watch out! This is an issue because alcohol is actually absorbed right through the stomach wall and an empty stomach allows a quick trip to the blood and the brain. All I can say is, not good! So if you are going to drink, make sure this is after you eat and not before. One more trick is to also eat fat when you are drinking, such as nuts, cheese or guacamole. The added fat will slow the release of the liquid sugar you are drinking and help to normalize blood sugar for you.

I would also add the focusing on all your fundamentals of health during this time will assist you in quieting this perfect storm. Remember that you can easily receive the complimentary 4 part video series for your fundamentals of health on the home page.

Here is a late entry info for you...

A study, led by University of California at San Diego sociology professor David Phillips, looked at 57.5 million death certificates from 1979 to 2004. It found 42,325 more people died of natural causes -- which make up about 93 percent of all deaths -- during the two-week Christmas/New Year holiday period than would normally be expected, given the typical winter increase in deaths.
There also were increases in every major disease group of 1 percent to 10 percent and in every demographic group of 3 percent to 9 percent. In particular, the study looked at deaths from natural causes in which the patient either was dead on arrival (DOA) at a hospital or died receiving emergency care, and it found significant spikes throughout the holiday period. In fact, the three days when the most people die of natural causes in either a DOA situation or in an emergency setting are Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

Thanks to Dr Dan Yachter at for sharing this info.

Begin your focus on quieting the storm today and you may survive the holidays like never before. Here's to a happy and healthy holiday season!