Today I would like to talk prevention of skin conditions, and the, often ignored reasons why they occur. Whether it is acne, psoriasis, rashes, or any persistent or episodic conditions of the skin.
If you have ever come to me asking for recommendations on a skin issue, I probably first asked you if you have any digestive conditions and most often the answer is “how did you know”?
And even if you said no, I most likely took the conversation down the road of asking about food intolerances, consumption of dairy or grains and gluten, if there are any foods which you have a strong emotional connection with (aka, you can’t live without), or if there was past antibiotic use. In the case of acne, this seems like a trick question, as acne is often treated with antibiotics
You might have heard of the gut – brain connection, where the health of our digestive tract can influence our mood, behavior, and more. Well there is also a gut – skin connection which has been recognized in our medical system since the 1930’s, and much further back in older systems of medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine.
If you think about it, both the intestines and our skin provide similar functions. They are both physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense systems against foreign invaders.
Both have permeability issues. When the intestines are afflicted with increased permeability, or even leaky gut syndrome; undigested food particles, proteins and other toxins slip through and make it to the blood stream. This invasion of foreign items can cause systemic inflammation, and often an altered immune response results. The skin can then become a mirror of what is going on in the intestinal tract.
Research indicates that unhealthy bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine is ten times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy people, and that correction of the bacterial overgrowth leads to marked clinical improvement.
Similarly, a significant percentage of patients with digestive issues such as ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac disease are also afflicted with skin manifestations. One common thread in nutritional support is being on a quality probiotic supplementation.
As with almost everything, the formula is “out with the bad, and in with the good.” This is why my recommendations are often the same when dealing with skin issues; avoid or limit the highly intolerant foods such as dairy, soy, grains and gluten, and get on a quality probiotic.
Remember how I mentioned acne and antibiotic therapy? If you are not replenishing the good bacteria from what the antibiotics are killing off, you are merely plugging the damn with bubble gum.
Please visit my website at www.irsfeldpharmacy.com to find this and other archived articles in the blog section. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
I have spoken about this topic on various occasions and for some of you this may sound like white noise. That's ok because we need to hear it over and over again. Lifestyle modification is one of the hardest things to accomplish because it requires sacrifice. Sacrifice from a place that is comfortable and easy.
Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you don’t modify the things in your life, your situation will never change.
In the last 2 weeks I have asked two young men in their mid 40’s the following question, “If the direction of your health continues on the same path it is right now, where do you see yourself in 20 years?”
Both answers were just a little bit shocking. One said he will be 6 feet under and the second answer was a little more blunt, dead. It kind of leaves you speechless for a split second then you have to become the teacher.
Most people don’t know how to make change and it can be paralyzing to know where to start. The best thing is start with what you can do and accomplish and build off of that.
Drinking right. An easy place to start is with drinking water. The rule of thumb is ½ of your body weight in ounces per day. So a 150lb person would shoot for 75oz of water per day. That water should preferably be filtered or bottled water. If you are only drinking 16oz of water per day, increasing that to 50oz per day is a win and a start in the right direction.
Eating right. Let food be thy medicine. Simply stated, you can eat yourself to good or bad health. It is your choice. Every time we put something in our mouths, it is a choice. If we choose food that is depleted of nutrient like junk food, we are sowing the seeds of poor health. Once again making small gains, decreasing our consumption of soda, juices and energy drinks, which hide empty calorie’s is also a good start. Substituting a piece of fresh fruit in place of a cookie will get you going down a healthier path.
Moving right. The next thing we look at is exercise or lack of it. For some the change may be to exercise less for others it may be to just move 15 minutes 3 days per week. Some patients do too much cardio with no weight resistance. Starting with simple body weight exercises that can be done at home with no extra cost of joining a gym. Something so easy as grabbing a doorknob and doing 20 assisted squats or jumping rope or doing jumping jacks.
These 3 small changes can be the foundation to making serious change in transforming your health. When looking at our health, it is like a marathon, there are no quick fixes. You need to put in the hard work to see results. This hard work can start at age 5 or age 80, there is never a bad time to start making a change. I love this quote “You do not climb a mountain without taking the first step”.
I hope you found this information helpful. Stop by the pharmacy to set up a consultation to begin the change.. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
It seems like almost monthly a new supplement hits the market with claims for health and wellness that often times seem too good to be true. Colostrum could be included in this group, so I want to discuss the potential benefits of incorporating this into your supplement regimen.
Colostrum has been around for as long as there have been mammals on this earth. Colostrum is what is often referred to as "pre-milk", or the fluid produced by the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours following the birth of a child
For those of you who have breastfed your children, you are probably well versed in this subject. For others this may seem a little foreign and for cattle producers, this has been studied since the 1960’s to treat sick calves.
Mothers In the 1950’s were encouraged to forgo breast-feeding for manufactured formulas, which were supposed to be better for infants. We know that science is good but God is better especially when knowing what is best for an infant, hence the return to breast-feeding today.
One of the benefits of colostrum is that it contains PRPs (proline-rich-polypeptides), which have been shown to be beneficial to our immune system. Some PRPs work by stimulating an underactive immune system to help fight viruses and antigens. Other PRPs work by toning down an overactive immune system, which is typical of autoimmune conditions where the body essentially attacks itself.
Nearly all infectious and degenerative diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are preceded or accompanied by impaired functioning of the immune system. This impairment can occur years or decades before the actual disease is diagnosed. Studies show that colostrum contains powerful immune factors that work to help restore a properly functioning immune system.
As I discussed in my previous 2 articles on autoimmune disorders, leaky gut may be the weak link in allowing foreign materials into our body causing an inflammatory response. Colostrum supports the immune system, tones down an overactive immune response and most importantly contains growth factors to heal a leaky gut.
You may be asking yourself, “Is bovine colostrum safe for human consumption”? Good question, but keep in mind that we are already safely consuming bovine milk and according to Dr. Robert Preston with the International Institute of Nutritional Research, "Colostrum is so safe, it has been prepared by nature as the first food for infants. It would be hard to imagine any nutritional substance more natural or beneficial."
Three things to consider when choosing a colostrum product: First, colostrum should come from pasture-fed cows that are pesticide, antibiotic and hormone free — essentially "organic". Second, flash pasteurization (to kill pathogens) plus low-heat spray drying is critical for an effective supplement. Third, a liposomal (enhanced) delivery system is important for optimal absorption. All products are not created equal and you get what you pay for.
I hope you found this information helpful. Stop by the pharmacy for more information on colostrum and its benefits. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
I indicated in my last article that we would look at some non-drug ways to deal with autoimmune disorders. Before we dive into that lets take a look at something that I have spoken about many times in the past, the gut. As Hippocrates was quoted as saying in 4th century, “All disease begins in the gut”. Why would he say that? And wow did he hit the nail on the head.
Our guts or our gastrointestinal tract, are really outside of our body. Think of a tube running through the middle of our body from our mouths to our backside. They are in our body but not really in our body. Think of it as being similar to our skin however several things make it rather unique.
The lining of our gut is only 1 cell thick. These tightly packed cells are what protects us from a sewer system. We absorb nutrients through this lining, which is designed to absorb 1, 2 and 3 chain amino acids through and in between these cells. If our gut is not healthy, we can develop leaky or hyper-permiable gut ,which are gaps in the tightly packed cells that line the gut.
As I had indicated in my last article, if our bodies detect something that is foreign, it creates an inflammatory response. If larger chain amino acids or proteins are absorbed and distributed throughout our bodies, the natural response will be inflammation.
This response is not an anaphylactic response similar to a person with a peanut allergy whose airways close off and they could die from coming in contact with the allergen. The reaction is more low level and is harder to pin down. I like to pick on gluten because it is easy these days as many people prefer a gluten free diet. I personally choose that because I find my knees to be less achy when I don’t eat gluten.
If you eat gluten, or potentially any food, every day, and you have a leaky gut, those proteins being absorbed and your body looks at it as foreign creating an inflammatory. How would you know you had a gluten issue? The same can be said about a microbe, a toxin or any food.
The closest thing we will come to for a cure is to pinpoint the thing that is causing the inflammation and avoid it. In the case of a leaky gut, fixing the gut and taking care of that natural defense mechanism.
Fixing the gut can be done with the use of products like probiotics, glutamine, aloe vera and colostrum. Keep in mind that once we fix the gut, we need to take care of it. That goes back to many tenants of the Magnificent 7: Eat, Drink, Sleep, Move, Think, Talk and Poop right. For many, this will be an overhaul of the way they live and will not be easy but then again not feeling well for the rest of your life is not easy either.
I hope you found this information helpful. Stop by the pharmacy for more information on leaky gut and how to fix it . Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
It seems like more and more patients that we see in the pharmacy are dealing with autoimmune disorders (AD). According to Amy Myers, MD, author of the Autoimmune Solution, "In the past 50 years, the incidence of autoimmunity in the US has tripled”. Statistics show that up to 5% of the US population suffers from AD, which adds up to about 15 million.
Some of the most common AD’s include: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, sjorgrens syndrome, and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The AD spectrum or umbrella may have up to an additional 80 disease states.
In todays article we will discuss some of the causes and conventional treatments with a follow-up article discussing ways to deal with the disorder without medications.
The way our bodies handle inflammation is really quite amazing. When we come in contact with something that is foreign or if we sustain an injury, our natural response is to create an inflammatory reaction. We send “inflammatory mediators” such as white blood cells, macrophages and lymphocytes to the site to address the breach in our defenses.
Eventually when our bodies have the issue under control, the inflammation subsides and we get back to a normal state. In an autoimmune state, we start the inflammatory process like we normally would but instead of things returning to normal, the inflammation is ongoing and does not subside.
A common question is “why does inflammation continue?” The answer lies in determining what the cause is. Microbes (bacteria, virus or parasite), toxins, allergens, poor diet and stress can all be causes of this ongoing inflammation. For some, it can be a lifelong search to find the cause, for others taking medications to deal with the problem may be the only option that they know of.
The pharmaceutical options work well for many but come along with a huge price tag, up to $60,000 per year, with serious side effects and in the end are only a band aid to the ongoing disease process, they are not a cure.
A better potential band aid would be the use of low dose naltrexone a drug that has been around for 50 years. The patent has expired many years ago and therefore drug companies are not willing to invest in it because they would not have the exclusive rights to the drug.
It is a safe, low side effect and inexpensive way to treat autoimmune conditions. In its low dose, it needs to be compounded by a compounding pharmacy. It is, once again, a band aid, but in my opinion it is a better band aid than what is currently available. The cure, however, lies in the cause and I will discuss that in my next article.
Stop by the pharmacy for more information on low dose naltrexone or research for yourself online https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org . Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
The definition of a Drug Induced Nutrient Depletions (DIND) is quite simple, you take a medication and over time it depletes a necessary nutrient from your body. This is a subject that you will be hearing more and more about and it can have a significant effect on your long-term health if it is not addressed.
One of the most commonly recognized forms of this is taking a water pill also called a diuretic that depletes potassium from your system. Your practitioner monitors potassium closely and will often times prescribe a potassium supplement to counteract what is going on in your body.
Here are some of the side effects to low potassium:
• Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles.
• Tingling or numbness.
• Nausea or vomiting.
• Abdominal cramping, bloating and constipation.
• Palpitations (feeling your heart beat irregularly)
Unfortunately diuretics are not the only medications that can cause DIND’s. A class of compounds called statins is famous for depleting the body of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which can cause muscle aches and other troublesome side effects. CoQ10 is required for the conversion of carbohydrates to ATP, which is energy and it happens in the mitochondria of our cells. It is hard to function without energy production so depletion can have significant consequences. Energy production is accomplished by good nutrition from our diets but also by replacing CoQ10 being depleted by statin drugs.
Magnesium is another nutrient that is commonly depleted. I have talked about magnesium in previous articles and how it plays a role in approximately 300 functions in the body. There are over 100 medicines that cause magnesium depletion such as diuretics, atenolol, omeprazole, estrogen, and numerous antibiotics such as doxycycline.
How do you know if you are taking medications that deplete nutrients? The best way would be to ask your practitioner or pharmacist. The solution is often an easy fix with replacing the nutrient being depleted. If you want to dig deeper, micronutrient testing from a company such as Spectrocell is an option.
Stop by the pharmacy for more information on DIND and for help in reviewing your current medications for potential depletions. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
I feel the reason someone should take a multivitamin is four-fold. First, is to help balance common nutritional inadequacies. The second is to support metabolic, cellular and enzymatic functions. Third is protection against toxins, and fourth is to tie this all together based on your needs, age, gender, and lifestyle factors.
I am often asked the question, “doesn’t diet give us all the nutrients that we need?” Given the state of nutritional deficiencies, coupled with needs of metabolic functions, probably not.
For instance, zinc is important for the immune system, thyroid function, helps fight age related macular degeneration, used in the production and metabolism of testosterone, and even plays a critical role in heart-beat.
The average adult dosages are between 15 mg to 50 mg daily, although aside from oysters, food sources do not have appreciable concentrations to balance lifestyle health challenges.
Most of the world population in industrialized nations are woefully low in vitamin D. Vitamin D provides, immune support, is necessary for healthy development of bones and teeth, is critical for thyroid function, cardiovascular, cognitive health and more. Lab tests suggest levels of 30 and above is adequate, research supports levels of 60 to 80 for optimal health.
It is estimated that 75% of North Americans ingest less than the RDA of magnesium. Considering magnesium is critical for heart, immune, hormone, metabolic, and cognitive health, supports relaxation, helps manage stress, and is needed for the activation of over 300 biochemical actions in the body; we need to be getting it from elsewhere.
Co Enzyme Q10 is necessary for heart, muscle and immune health, and our body’s manufacture very little. CoQ10 is not plentiful in foods, unless you eat a lot of liver. CoQ10 is depleted by numerous medications, including statin drugs, beta-blockers, and diuretics.
As I stated in the title of the article, choosing a multivitamin should be all about you. Most patients want that vitamin to be in a single dose taken once a day, I tell them for that to happen the tablet would have to be the size of a hockey puck. We laugh but then I tell them that I am serious. The minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, take up a lot of space, which adds to the size.
I am not a very compliant patient so I take my vitamins when I brush my teeth, in the morning and at bedtime, that's what works for me. Other patients have no problem taking multiple doses in a day. Finding the right vitamin and regimen that works best for you is the key and making sure it is loaded with potent quality ingredients is a must.
My go to vitamin is PhytoMulti by Metagenics because of its activated vitamins & minerals coupled with phytonutrients to protect your cells and maintain DNA stability.
Stop by the pharmacy to see if you would like more information or need help with choosing the best vitamin to suit your needs. Please visit my website at www.irsfeldpharmacy.com to find this and other archived articles in the blog section. Until next time, be vigilant about your health!!
One of the questions I like to ask my patients is “how old would you like to live to?” There is usually a short pause, then comes something like, “well if I can do the things I would like to do, I would like to live until I’m ___ years old.” It is a given that we all want to age gracefully and enjoy the years that we have, hopefully of sound mind and body. What are you doing today to make that a reality in 20 or 30 years?
Age isn’t just how old you are, it is also an acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products. They are formed when protein and excess sugar combine to form a bond. This is a naturally occurring process that can lead to the irreversible formation of AGE’s. This process leads to stiffening of tissue, think of our skin and arteries and what happens when that tissue gets stiffens. We get wrinkles and hardening of the vessels and arteries. Blood glucose that is not controlled will escalate this process leading to further complications which is yet another reason to keep our blood glucose under control.
AGE’s are a source of inflammation in our body and are direct precursors to cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
AGE formation is ongoing in our systems but they can also be consumed in the food that we eat. Our body’s best defense against AGE’s is to limit their intake. The less our body has to deal with them, the easier time we have decreasing the burden.
It is grilling season this time of year and really for many of you, all year long. Who doesn’t like a good charbroiled brat or steak? Our taste buds do but our bodies don’t necessarily like them. This cooking of food with high heat causes that reaction of proteins and sugars and the more charred your food is, the more AGE’s will be consumed. Not to rain on your parade (if I could make it rain these days, I surely would), but keep this is mind in your cooking process. With everything, moderation is the key.
Alternatives to high heat cooking include; Steaming, braising and poaching. These are cooking methods that use low heat and decrease the formation of AGE’s. Another novel cooking approach is sous vide cooking. This entails pre-packaging your food and placing it in a water bath that has a set temperature. Your meat will be cooked at the appropriate temperature all the way thru. If you are curious about this technique, here is a link to the explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide
One way to slow the AGE effect involves the use of certain supplements that have been shown to inhibit the formation of AGEs. Notable in this regard are: benfotiamine (vitamin B1), carnosine, alpha-lipoic acid, and rutin.
Stop by the pharmacy to see if you would like more information or need help with supplements to decrease AGE’ing.
If you have been reading my articles for some time, then you know that I am a fan of probiotics. One thing I have come across over the years is the belief that “I don’t have any stomach problems, so I don’t need to take probiotics.”
When you think of probiotics, it’s important to understand that the hundred-trillion of them we have in our bodies (yes we have more bacteria than our bodies have cells) make up what is referred to as the microbiota, or gut ‘biome.
Consider the microbiota much like a rainforest, rich in various types of life, continuously discovering new species, aiding and providing life to the rest of the planet (aka your body).
What I don’t want people to get caught up in is the thought that probiotics are only for the digestive tract. In fact, if you were to list all the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome, the digestive issues would only be a fraction.
The gut ‘biome is ground zero for immune and metabolic issues that go on in our body. Therefore, you probably hear terms such as “gut-brain”, “gut-mood”, or the “gut-heart” connection.
The gut ‘biome is a source of genetic diversity and influence, a modifier of disease responsible for 80% of our immune cells, while 90% of serotonin is made here. This is why probiotics are part of the Core Four foundational nutrition, which also includes a good multivitamin, Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin D.
One of the biggest factors I believe to a healthy microbiota, thus reason for probiotic supplementation, is that it can play a major role in how effective your supplements and medications are.
Lets take a look at Berberine, which is one of my favorite supplements for metabolic support. It helps decrease blood sugar, insulin levels, lowers LDL, triglycerides, and helps to promote a healthy gut ecology.
Like many other plant-based supplements, berberine needs to be metabolized by the gut bacteria to become “active” and provide relevant bioavailability. Research has shown similar response with certain medication therapy as well.
If your plan is to utilize supplements to better your health and you don’t think you need probiotics, you might want to reconsider. Remember, we are not necessarily what we eat, but we are what we absorb.
The goal of probiotic therapy is diversity and can be gained by eating things like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, certain yogurts and other foods containing probiotics. In the event these foods are unavailable or you simply don’t like to eat them, taking a probiotic supplement will help to fill the void. Selecting one that utilizes multiple strains of relevant concentrations with guaranteed viability is at the heart of probiotic therapy.Stop by the pharmacy to see if you have any questions about product selection.