The Next Phase in Natural Heartburn Solutions

  • By irsfeldphar48589293
  • 26 May, 2017
In the last article, I spoke about how in the grand scheme of things, we might be treating heartburn the wrong way and I focused on alternative or complementary options for treatment. Keeping in mind that we are often only treating symptoms, not the root cause, which in turn opens the door for issues such as nutrient depletions including magnesium and calcium which can then lead to cardiovascular and bone issues, as well as allowing for the growth of bad microbes and opportunistic infections.Today I want you to drive home the fact that digestive symptoms like heartburn might be merely symptoms of something greater, and how to support our bodies from the foundation.Before we go any further, I must address probiotics and how I consider them part of the Fab 5 for foundational nutrition. In my mind, taking a probiotic is a must, especially if we are dealing with digestive disorders, or any of the multitude issue which can be linked to the gut; such as mood, brain, neurological, metabolic disorders and more.So now let’s talk about foundational components of your digestive tract which you might be running low on for various reasons; enzymes, betaine/HCL, and even bile acids. Simply due to age, we might be running low on certain enzymes, and then add in an unhealthy diet, stress, surgery, and other lifestyle issues which can all add fuel to the fire.As far as digestive enzymes are concerned, there are 3 main digestive enzymes; amylase, lipase, and protease which breakdown the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins.There are also specific enzymes with targeted roles. There are enzymes that aid in the digestion of dairy sugar or lactose; these are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. There are enzymes, which support the digestion of gluten and casein, proteins that can cause much digestive distress.Bile acids help support fat utilization through the emulsification of fats, and are especially helpful in individuals with gallbladder problems, or have even had their gallbladders removed.Betaine and pepsin are gastric-juice components essential to the digestion of food and absorption of most nutrients; including protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. Betaine is converted into hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Helping the stomach maintain an acidic environment creates a front line of defense destroying ingested bacteria and microorganisms.So, you can see why I recommend a broad-based digestive enzyme, for those who are symptomatic with digestive issues, or are simply looking to enhance their digestive function.Stop by the pharmacy to see if digestive enzymes might be an appropriate option for you. 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!!

In the last article, I spoke about how in the grand scheme of things, we might be treating heartburn the wrong way and I focused on alternative or complementary options for treatment. Keeping in mind that we are often only treating symptoms, not the root cause, which in turn opens the door for issues such as nutrient depletions including magnesium and calcium which can then lead to cardiovascular and bone issues, as well as allowing for the growth of bad microbes and opportunistic infections.

Today I want you to drive home the fact that digestive symptoms like heartburn might be merely symptoms of something greater, and how to support our bodies from the foundation.

Before we go any further, I must address probiotics and how I consider them part of the Fab 5 for foundational nutrition. In my mind, taking a probiotic is a must, especially if we are dealing with digestive disorders, or any of the multitude issue which can be linked to the gut; such as mood, brain, neurological, metabolic disorders and more.

So now let’s talk about foundational components of your digestive tract which you might be running low on for various reasons; enzymes, betaine/HCL, and even bile acids. Simply due to age, we might be running low on certain enzymes, and then add in an unhealthy diet, stress, surgery, and other lifestyle issues which can all add fuel to the fire.

As far as digestive enzymes are concerned, there are 3 main digestive enzymes; amylase, lipase, and protease which breakdown the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

There are also specific enzymes with targeted roles. There are enzymes that aid in the digestion of dairy sugar or lactose; these are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. There are enzymes, which support the digestion of gluten and casein, proteins that can cause much digestive distress.

Bile acids help support fat utilization through the emulsification of fats, and are especially helpful in individuals with gallbladder problems, or have even had their gallbladders removed.

Betaine and pepsin are gastric-juice components essential to the digestion of food and absorption of most nutrients; including protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. Betaine is converted into hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Helping the stomach maintain an acidic environment creates a front line of defense destroying ingested bacteria and microorganisms.

So, you can see why I recommend a broad-based digestive enzyme, for those who are symptomatic with digestive issues, or are simply looking to enhance their digestive function.

Stop by the pharmacy to see if digestive enzymes might be an appropriate option for you. 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!!

Irsfeld Pharmacy Blog

By 7004252051 02 Aug, 2017

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!!

By 7004252051 16 Jul, 2017

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. 


By 7004252051 16 Jul, 2017

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. 
By irsfeldphar48589293 08 Jun, 2017
I am willing to guess over the last year or so, you have read or heard of someone touting the benefits of bone broth. Here is some insight into that topic.When looking at integrative medicine, the following statement is often times a summation of that practice; the best of age old wisdom and modern day discoveries. And this is exactly the way I feel about bone broth, it’s ingredients, supplements which have spurred from it, and of course, all the benefits.Bone broth has been a staple of ancestral cultures, as they made a point to use every part of the animal, for health, sustainability, and avoiding waste. On the plains of ND, those animals were most likely buffalo and deer. The benefits of bone broth first caught my attention from a study out of the University of Nebraska. Researchers found that patients who were consuming homemade and simmered chicken soup were experiencing increased immunity, digestive health, and relief from arthritis.At first, they thought it was the antioxidants from the vegetables, which were providing the benefits, but then realized it was the collagen from the chicken bones.Benefits of bone broth include immune support, digestive health, reducing food sensitivities, reduce inflammation, and supports healthy skin. It’s no wonder it has been a food staple and remedy for centuries.Collagen is a protein found in animal’s bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible. Collagen helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. It has also been linked with reducing the visible signs of wrinkles, puffiness and various other signs of aging. Some have even found a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen.The way the best bone broth is made is by simmering the bones, ligaments, etc., for up to a day or more, which leads to the release of the beneficial ingredients including collagen, amino acids, glutamine, glucosamine, chondroitin, and minerals including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.You can make your own bone broth, buy it from a natural grocer or take a powder concentrate. Always look for organic, as well made from grass fed animal bones.If bone broth is not your thing, or you rather take a higher concentrated dose in nutritional supplementation, the best collagen sources are from either hydrolyzed collagen or UC-II (undenatured collagen).The hydrolyzed collagen is the best for hair, skin, and nails, and provide good support for joint health. If joint health and support is your main concern, such as in cases of arthritis, then I recommend the UC-II. Stop by the pharmacy to see if you have any questions about product selection. 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!!
By irsfeldphar48589293 26 May, 2017
In the last article, I spoke about how in the grand scheme of things, we might be treating heartburn the wrong way and I focused on alternative or complementary options for treatment. Keeping in mind that we are often only treating symptoms, not the root cause, which in turn opens the door for issues such as nutrient depletions including magnesium and calcium which can then lead to cardiovascular and bone issues, as well as allowing for the growth of bad microbes and opportunistic infections.Today I want you to drive home the fact that digestive symptoms like heartburn might be merely symptoms of something greater, and how to support our bodies from the foundation.Before we go any further, I must address probiotics and how I consider them part of the Fab 5 for foundational nutrition. In my mind, taking a probiotic is a must, especially if we are dealing with digestive disorders, or any of the multitude issue which can be linked to the gut; such as mood, brain, neurological, metabolic disorders and more.So now let’s talk about foundational components of your digestive tract which you might be running low on for various reasons; enzymes, betaine/HCL, and even bile acids. Simply due to age, we might be running low on certain enzymes, and then add in an unhealthy diet, stress, surgery, and other lifestyle issues which can all add fuel to the fire.As far as digestive enzymes are concerned, there are 3 main digestive enzymes; amylase, lipase, and protease which breakdown the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins.There are also specific enzymes with targeted roles. There are enzymes that aid in the digestion of dairy sugar or lactose; these are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. There are enzymes, which support the digestion of gluten and casein, proteins that can cause much digestive distress.Bile acids help support fat utilization through the emulsification of fats, and are especially helpful in individuals with gallbladder problems, or have even had their gallbladders removed.Betaine and pepsin are gastric-juice components essential to the digestion of food and absorption of most nutrients; including protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. Betaine is converted into hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Helping the stomach maintain an acidic environment creates a front line of defense destroying ingested bacteria and microorganisms.So, you can see why I recommend a broad-based digestive enzyme, for those who are symptomatic with digestive issues, or are simply looking to enhance their digestive function.Stop by the pharmacy to see if digestive enzymes might be an appropriate option for you. 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!!
By irsfeldphar48589293 23 May, 2017
It seems almost like a daily occurrence, a patient stops in and states that they have been taking their proton pump inhibitor for 10 years and now they have either read that it can have some long term side effects or their prescriber tells them they need to stop taking it. Proton Pump Inhibitors such as Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Nexium and others, are indicated for gastrointestinal symptoms and are to be used for 4 to 8 weeks and then should be stopped. However, there are several conditions that require long-term treatment with these medications. The hard part in trying to stop these products is that they can create a rebound acid secretion that reinforces the need to keep taking themThese Proton Pump Inhibitors as well as Antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, and H2 blockers, including Zantac and Pepcid, all come with short and long term issues we must be aware of.First off, they are some of the biggest offenders leading to nutrient depletions including; B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, iron, zinc and can cause disruption of healthy gut bacteria.Then there is altered pH. pH is a measurement of both acid and alkaline balance. Where a pH of 7 is considered neutral, the human digestive tract varies greatly in pH. Saliva has a pH between 6.5 to 7.5. The stomach where the secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) and pepsin takes place is much more acidic, between 1.5 to 4.0. We need hydrochloric acid to break down and absorb vitamin B 12, calcium, iron, as well as fat and proteins from food. This acidic environment acts as a first line of defense to various bacteria and viruses that can come through our foods.Our pH can become altered from the natural aging process, unhealthy dietary choices, or from the over use of antacids. If the pH becomes to alkaline in certain areas of our digestive tract, our good gut bacteria can be destroyed, and overgrowth of bad bacteria such as C. Defficile may ensue.When people come to me with heartburn or acid reflux, even though their body might need betaine HCL, this is not where I like to start. The reason being, they could have an active ulcer, which betaine HCL might only make worse, or they could have excessive irritation from years of reflux and heartburn, which the betaine HCL could irritate.The common therapy for heartburn and acid reflux is antacids. Where this might be appropriate for the short term, especially in the case of ulcers, as we mentioned, the long term can lead us down the path of nutrient malabsorption, losing our front line of defense against various pathogens, and altered pH.I like to begin with a product called Heart Burn Essentials from Pure. This can be added to current antacid therapy with the intention of weaning off the antacids, or by itself, if nothing has been tried yet.Heartburn Essentials provides natural ingredients and enzymes which are designed to support natural gastric secretion, enhance digestion, sooth and support the integrity of the digestive tract while offering relieve for occasional heartburn and indigestion. Stop by the pharmacy to see if we can help you with your digestion issues. 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!!
By irsfeldphar48589293 30 Apr, 2017
Cough and cold season seems to be finally coming to an end. It has been a long and painful year for many who have suffered for weeks dealing with the affects of upper and lower respiratory conditions. As we exit one season, unfortunately, we enter another, ALLERGY season. There is a thin line between allergies, colds, and respiratory infections this time of year. When we find ourselves battling allergies, our immune system begins to run on over-drive and it sets the stage for colds and infections. The symptoms are often the same; tiredness, head congestion, sore throat, cough and even difficulty breathing.Lately at the pharmacy we have been seeing a lot of people being treated for late winter illnesses, caused or at least aggravated by allergies of the fresh and new spring season.This leaves people wondering if the cold will ever go away, asking why the antibiotics or immune supporting supplements are not working, or why their allergies are worse than ever before?Since allergies are often the stepping stone to upper and lower respiratory infections, I would like to share with you some strategies to a healthier allergy, cough and cold season.First step would be to eliminate allergens from your environment. Obviously we cannot control mother nature, although we can control the environment within our living and work spaces. One of the best things you can do is make sure that your home air filters are changed at least every 3 months.Secondly, when you think of allergies and immunity, you should consider your diet, especially food intolerances. Food intolerances can lead to issues of inflammation, congestion, and immune suppression. One can have a food allergy or intolerance to any food, although avoiding or reducing dairy and gluten can provide a great benefit as they are common intolerances people experience. Avoiding foods including excessive alcohol, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and flavorings that can tax our immune systems is also recommended.Common medications used for symptom control include antihistamines and decongestants. Not only can these come with unwanted side-effects such as drowsiness, and interactions with conditions such as high blood pressure, they only treat symptoms. This is why I prefer utilizing natural preparations which cast a wide net of prevention and resolution.What I really love about natural supplement is that we are supporting the body from the foundation of immunity. These supplements contain a blend of nutrients that support both our innate and adaptive immune response, and have shown to provide nasal comfort, enhance immune cells, and has shown to stabilize our mast cells from going haywire, leading to the allergic reactions and inflammation.Lastly, I recommend taking time out. Whether it be a cold, infection or allergies, we must take some weight off our immune systems, and one of the biggest challenges is stress; physical, emotional, and mindful.So if you haven’t gotten relief or are having unwanted side effects from your current allergy/cold regimen, stop by and we can talk about alternative options that will address the issue from a different angle.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!
By irsfeldphar48589293 24 Apr, 2017
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 antibioticsYou 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!!
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