Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Staying Well In Winter

Winter. In most of the United States, cold winds blow. Snow, sleet, and icy rain pound the rooftops and pavement. Streets are slushy. Shoes are wet. Clothes are cold and damp. Even in the Southwest, winter is a radically different season. Temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s in Southern California feel like the 30s to local residents. It’s definitely not warm.

In winter, the sun is low in the sky. Sunlight is angled downward and brings much less warmth. The sun goes down around 4:30 p.m., hours earlier than in spring and summer. You may wonder how to stay healthy and well in these challenging weather conditions. 1,2
You know that winter is approaching when “FLU SEASON” ads start blanketing the airwaves, even in Los Angeles and San Diego. It seems that every other commercial is for a cold medicine or flu remedy. Well, as an old chiropractor used to say, “When it’s going around, let it go around you”. Really. You don’t have to be sick, too, just because everyone else is. The key to having a fighting chance of staying well in the winter is to strengthen your immune system. There are a few simple ways to do this, but it’s important to be consistent.
1. Drink sufficient water each day. For most of us, this is a radical proposal, but it’s the most important nutritional advice that can be given. However much water you’re drinking each day, it’s probably not enough. If you’re not drinking enough water, your internal environment is toxic. This will, of course, make you a prime candidate for hosting unfriendly germs and viruses. A good standard is six to eight glasses each day. If you’re not drinking much now, start with two or three glasses, building up to six or eight glasses per day over the next four weeks.
2. Each week, make sure you’re eating consistently from all the major food groups: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, and dairy products. If you’re not a dairy fan, make sure your daily calcium intake is sufficient (1000 mg per day). If you’re not a meat and poultry fan, make sure your diet contains “complete protein”, containing all the necessary amino acids.
3. Get enough rest. This is self-evident. Not getting enough sleep (seven hours is a good median) will tend to weaken your immune response.
4. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, four or five times per week.3 Even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends this amount of daily exercise. Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, which promote a sensation of well-being. Additionally, many peer-reviewed scientific studies have demonstrated that exercise strengthens the immune response. Empiric observations suggest that those people who exercise consistently get sick a lot less than those who don’t.
5. Finally, a note of personal hygiene. Wash your hands several times a day. In New York City, for example, mass transit is a plentiful source of germs. Handrails, doors, and seats have all been recently touched by many other commuters. Likewise at the gym, the free weights and machines all contain microscopic residue of recent human contact. So, do your best to avoid touching your face, eyes, and lips with your hands during your gym time and travel time, and wash your hands frequently.
6. Visit your chiropractor. Chiropractic health care is one of the best treatment methods available for maintaining optimal levels of health and well-being. Visit your chiropractor regularly and make sure you’re performing at your peak!

1McGeehin MA, Mirabelli M: The potential impacts of climate variability and change on temperature-related morbidity and mortality in the United States. Environ Health Perspect
109(Suppl 2):185-189, 2001
2Molneddin R, et al: Seasonality of primary care utilization for respiratory diseases in Ontario: a time-series analysis. BMC Health Serv Res 28(8):160, 2008
3Tucker P, et al: Preventing paediatric obesity; recommendations from a community-based qualitative investigation. Obes Rev 7(3):251-260, 2006

Do You Have Mental & Emotional Stress?

"If you are experiencing an increase in Mental/Emotional Stress, you are not alone.  What you may not know is how that causes you to feel tired and develop physical problems.  If you are tired of feeling this way, please read the following article."
Stress!  We all experience it from one degree or another; and yet we may not realize how that will lead to physical health issues.  It begins with the first indicator, loss of energy.  You may be saying, "I guess that makes sense, but why would that lead to physical problems?"  Appreciate the following:
Our Nervous System processes millions of pieces of information every minute of every day.  From monitoring our blood pressure, our digestion, our hormones, to our more conscious experiences of what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel.  Let's face it, our Nervous System is one busy system.  And what goes on in the main processing plant, called our brain, is all of the conscious and unconscious processes that get categorized into various "files" within the storage areas of the brain. 
For example: when you were a child, say 3 or 4 years of age and you have a particular experience, one where you were playing with a puzzle or toy that had several different pieces and you were trying to "put it together."  And in that process, you become frustrated since it wasn't working out the way you would like it to.  You can't make it do what you think it should do and the frustration builds, which turns to anger as a result.  And the more you try, the more frustrated and angry you get until you throw it or break it and then you begin to cry.  Your mom or dad come over and console you and you go through the process of crying and being taken care of until you and your brain get distracted with new stimuli and you move on to something else.  The experience of the trauma, with all the different stimuli associated with the trauma, (i.e. the sights, sounds, smells, feelings etc.) get wrapped up in what we call a Neuro-Emotional Complex or NEC.  It is a bit of memory that is made up of a complex of different stimuli, all wrapped up into one memory. 
Now, your life continues on and as you get older, you accumulate many more experiences where you can't seem to make something you are "working with" go the way you'd like it to.  All through grade school, junior high, high school, through college and into the work world, you experience these situations and circumstances.  And all along the way you continue to have these experiences where you can't make something do what you want it to, or something that is supposed to work one way doesn't, and each time you have one of these events, your Nervous System does a funny thing.  It recalls the original experience from when you were 3 or 4 and your physiology (how your body functions in that moment) goes right back to the original event.  And then it does something you need to be aware of.  It duplicates the original physiology from when you were 3 or 4 causing you to experience within your body a feeling of anger and frustration, almost to the point of crying.  Perhaps you even do cry; or possibly you have been conditioned through many other experiences stressful situations that you are not allowed to cry.  And your life goes this way and you suppress the emotion of crying every time you get angry and frustrated.  Plus you may also learn to suppress your anger and frustration.  After all, it is not acceptable by societies standards to express your emotions openly.  And yet each of these emotions do affect their corresponding organ.  Each is stored specifically in a different organ leading to organ stress.  Stress from the storage of negative emotion.  Anger, for instance is stored in your Liver.  Crying is stored in your Large Intestine.  So as you continually stuff your emotions in your organs and your organs will begin to dysfunction.  You will begin to manifest things like blurred vision, arthritis, constipation, Irritable Bowel or diarrhea.  And all of this stems from having a particular experience that occurred when you were 3 or 4 years old, which you were traumatized by and did not have the understanding of how to process it in a balanced way.  
So what can you do to deal with all of these suppressed emotions that have been stored within your subconscious mind that create negative reactions to your current life situations?   There is a technique I use in the office called Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET).  I have been certified and practicing this technique for the past 13 years.  And recently, I have learned an additional technique that allows the participant to transform the old neuro-emotional complexes into a new, more conscious, desired outcomes.  This helps you to facilitate the outcomes you would choose to have in your life.  It allows you to start creating the life you deserve, rather than the one you currently have that never seems to get better.  And it allows this new life that excites you to show up in a faster way. 
In order to help you, I simply ask you to call the Office with an issue you'd like to transform.  Come see me with the understanding of what you don't want, and together we can determine what you truly desire.  And even better, we can then help you reprogram your Nervous System to now become an attractor for what you do desire.  We can help you fascilitate the life you've longed to live, instead of the one you've been living in quiet desperation.  Call the Office at (845)561-2225 and schedule yourself for this special appointment.  What does this appointment cost?  For the Month of January, the cost is normally $75.00.  But as a New Years Special, the initial appointment to show you how I can help you transform these thought-forms will be FREE.  But you must act fast.  Since January will be over before you know it, don't delay.  Call the Office now and schedule yourself for this FREE office visit to determine what you'd like to Begin Again in your life so you can have a great 2012.  2012 is the Year of Ascension.  So why not begin again without your old past traumas?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Overlooked Contributor To Obesity?
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in iodine.
Thyroid hormones are known to affect obesity and lipid (fat) disorders, and one often-overlooked component in this equation is iodine deficiency.  Obesity and metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) are increasing dramatically worldwide, contributing to cardiovascular morbidity, as well as other obesity-related endocrinopathies.
Dietary iodine is recognized as an essential nutrient, as it is necessary for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), both of which are required for normal thyroid function.  The dietary reference intake for dietary iodine, as dictated by the WHO, is 90 micrograms/day for children 5 years of age or younger, with an increase corresponding to age: 120 micrograms/day for children 6 to 12 years, 150 micrograms/day for adults, and 200 micrograms/day for pregnant or lactating women.
Worldwide Deficiency
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in iodine.  Included in this figure are an estimated 285 million school-age children with iodine deficiency.  In the United States, iodine status is considered marginal at best, within the range of 100 to 199 milligrams per liter.  However, in some parts of the world, iodine deficiency remains a significant health problem.  Added to insufficient intake is the recurrent exposure to the halogens chloride, bromine and fluoride, which also contributes to the deficiency.
Of the dietary iodine intake, approximately 80 % is sequestered by the thyroid gland, which uses it for the synthesis of thyroxine, via the sequential addition of four iodine molecules to the amino acid tyrosine.  In addition to the thyroid, other bodily tissues also concentrate iodine, including the salivary glands, the gastric mucosa, choroid plexus, the lactating mammary glands, and the ovaries.  Consequently, as a result of the decreased iodine status or deficiency, thyroxine cannot be made, which may ultimately result in thyroid dysfunction and subsequent weight gain.
Since thyroid hormones affect many bodily functions, including muscle, heart, liver, kidney, and the developing brain, optimal status is crucial for favorable health in all age groups.  In one study with morbidly obese patients, a high degree of sub clinical hypothyroidism (19.5 %) was observed, with subjects having elevated T3, T4, FT3 and TSH.  There is also evidence of a significant correlation between the metabolic syndrome, of which symptoms include abdominal obesity and insulin resistance, and thyroid dysfunction, both of which contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Iodine deficiency manifests as a variety of illnesses, collectively termed iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), which results when iodine intake is less than 20 micrograms per day.  With iodine deficiency, an increase in serum TSH, and a significant decrease in both serum T4 and free T4, have been noted.  These observations have been both correlated with marked thyroid histological alterations, including "cylindrical epithelial cells, diminution or absence of colloid and dilatation of blood capillaries."  In moderate iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland, under the influence of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), hypertrophies to concentrate iodine in itself, resulting in a colloid goiter.  Most of these cases remain euthyroid.
Iodine and the Thyroid
The pattern between thyroid disease and iodine intake is distinctly correlated, despite cretinism and endemic goiter.  Depressed iodine status has been correlated with elevated serum TSH, and it is an indicator of an insufficient T3 receptor saturation.  Additionally, iodine deficiency affects brain development, which is particularly important in young children and adolescents.  Given the increased obesity level in children, iodine status is a crucial consideration.  An elevated serum TSH, along with a normal T4 and T3, is an indication of sub clinical hypothyroidism, while overt hypothyroidism is associated with an elevated TSH and a low T4, along with variable levels of T3.
A 64 % reduction in plasma thyroxine has been confirmed with iodine deficiency.  Despite the consumption of iodized salt, iodine deficiency disorders continue to exist, and goiters are still endemic in many populations.  Sari et al have evidenced a "positive correlation between thyroid volume and body weight, body mass index, body fat percentage, and weight circumference," along with a positive correlation between TSH and both body weight and body fat.
In children and adolescents, goiter/hypothyroidism, impaired mental function, retarded physical development, and an increased susceptibility of the thyroid to nuclear radiation are correlated with a dysfunctional thyroid.  Considering the marked increase in childhood obesity, a nutritional deficiency in iodine should be addressed.  Implications of thyroid dysfunction in adults include goiter/hypothyroidism, impaired mental function, spontaneous hyperthyroidism in the elderly, iodine-induced hyperthyroidism, and increased susceptibility of the thyroid to nuclear radiation.  Consequently, the spectrum of IDD includes serious complications.  Of these implications, brain damage and irreversible mental retardation in children are considered the most significant disorders induced by iodine deficiency.
Supplements Available
Although iodine deficiency has been addressed via the widespread application of public iodine supplementation programs, including the iodization of salt, in many regions of the world iodine deficiency remains a public health concern.  Consequently, supplemental iodine represents an optimal approach to deficiency.  Various forms of supplemental iodine are available--including several from Standard Process which we offer through the office.  All of which are whole food concentrates which include potassium iodine or iodine derived from food sources such as kelp. 
The earliest form of potassium supplementation was that of Lugol's solution, first made in 1829 by the French physician JGA Lugol.  Lugol's solution is composed of 5 % iodine along with 10 % potassium iodide, with a final concentration of 130 mg/mL iodine.  Iodine derived from kelp offers a natural alternative to supplementation.  However, concerns with kelp derived iodine should be considered, specifically with the knowledge that they are typically heavily contaminated with heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium and mercury.
Determining iodine status in overweight patients offers a valid therapeutically beneficial approach toward deficiency.  It has been noted that the benefits of iodine therapy far outweigh the risks induced by excess iodine.  Continual monitoring along with the use of an easily regulated source of iodine offers a definitive approach toward the ultimate goal of adequate iodine status.  Additionally, correcting the iodine deficiency plays an important role in optimizing thyroid function, and in turn may be an important factor in weight reduction.
A majority of this article was written by Rachel Oliver, MS, ND, PhD, whom is a physician advisor for Biotics Research Corp.
My Offer To You
If you are suffering from the post Holiday weight gain, and would like to Start The New Year by shedding those unwanted pounds, it may be possible that you have an iodine deficiency.  I will be offering an Iodine Check for any and all who would like it during your next regularly scheduled office visit.  Simply call the Office and ask Dr. Huntoon to schedule an extra moment of time with you and the test will be done for you free of charge.  How can you beat that.  It's FREE!  So call the Office at (845)561-BACK (2225) and tell Dr. Huntoon you want to be included in the FREE Iodine Check!  This is your way of Starting The New Year Off Healthy!  This offer is good through the end of January.  As of February 1st, the offer will be gone.  So don't wait!  Call the office TODAY!