Seasonal Affective Disorder

dreamstime_m_35188315-Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD primarily affects people during the fall and winter season. It is a form of depression, with periods of being sad, angry or irritable and may leave you feeling more tired than usual.

The shorter days and the lack of sun light, especially in areas located far from the equator can disturb your internal clock and you may feel the need to sleep more than usual.

Presumably, food was scarce during most of human prehistory, and a tendency toward low energy during the winter months would have been adapted by reducing the need for calorie intake. Hibernation is an extreme example, but even species that do not hibernate often exhibit changes in behavior during the winter months.

In the fall cravings for carbohydrates to prepare for the season ahead are common and weight gain is often experienced during these times of low energy and with less time spent outdoors it is getting progressively worse as the winter season continues.

Seasonal mood variations are believed to be related to light. Treatment with a light box (Bright Light Therapy) has been proven to be effective and should be started in the early fall and continued throughout the long winter months. Once the days get longer towards the spring and summer the symptoms usually fade away gradually and healthy eating and outdoor activities will prevent the weight gain to become permanent.dreamstime_m_35188315-

If You Have A Heart Attack – Insist On This

dreamstime_m_21122666-If you end up in the emergency room with a heart attack, make sure you insist on a 2 cc injection of magnesium sulfate.

In double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific study, they looked at 273 patients who were admitted to the hospital for a heart attack. The study published in one of the most prestigious medical journals revealed that after 4 weeks, the people who received the magnesium, only 7% died versus 19% who did not get the magnesium. That means magnesium cut the death rate a walloping 63%.

What was interesting is the fact that the study indicated that the people in the study were given far less than the 2 cc of magnesium recommended above.

Furthermore, the injection of magnesium decreased arrhythmias by 55%. Remember having a heart arrhythmia is one issue doctors are seriously concerned about following a heart attack.

In another study in the same medical journal approximately ten years later revealed that magnesium produced a 24% reduction in the number of deaths in one month after the heart attack.

Besides the proven benefits for victims of a heart attack, another study showedpeople who were given IV magnesium had a 76% reduction in death from a fatal blood clot.  And by the way this same study showed that aspirin made no difference.

It is in your best interest to insist that your doctor check your magnesium levels. However, don’t settle for the serum magnesium commonly ordered by most physicians. This test only evaluates the extracelluar magnesium which makes up only 1% of the magnesium in your body. You want your doctor to order the goal standard “intracellular magnesium test” which gives you the “real” picture of your level of magnesium in your body.

Your best protection is to keep your magnesium level high enough to possibly prevent having a heart attack in the first place. Considering that government studies show the average American diet only provides 40% of the magnesium that we need in a day, your best protection against a heart attack is to keep your magnesium level high enough. The best absorbed form of magnesium I’ve seen in 31 years is Magnesium Chloride Solution 200 mg/cc, and use half teaspoon once or twice a day.

 

 

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S

References:

Rasmussen HS, et al, Intravenous magnesium in acute myocardial infarction, Lancet, 234-5, Feb. 1, 1986

Woods KL, et al, Intravenous magnesium sulfate in suspected acute myocardial infarction: Results of the Second Leister Intravenous Magnesium Intervention Trial (LIMIT-2), Lancet, 339: 1553-8,1992

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com to find practitioners thoroughly trained in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.

 

Isolation and Special Care

dreamstime_m_41414453-When someone is known to be infected with a contagious disease, they are placed in isolation and special care with precautions taken to protect the uninfected.

The practice of isolation or quarantine – the separation of the diseased from the healthy – has been around for a long time. Quarantine periods can vary in length and can be very short, such as in the case of a suspected anthrax attack, in which persons are allowed to leave as soon as they shed their potentially contaminated garments and undergo a contamination shower or can last for extended periods.

Anti-biotic resistant bacteria such as the intestinal infection called C.difficile is considered to be a problem in many hospitals and some of the isolation rooms are occupied by patients harboring these germs.

People can be infected with dangerous diseases in numerous ways. Some germs are passed from animals or insects to humans, others are carried to people from contaminated food or water and still others are transferred directly from person to person.

Quarantine applies to those who have been exposed to  a contagious disease and may or may not become ill, whereas isolation applies to persons who are known to be infected with a contagious disease.

 

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnelCarpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in between the tendons and the forearm muscles. This compressed nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

There may be a sudden, sharp pain shooting through the wrist and up your arm. Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers. The fingers may feel useless and puffed up with little or no swelling present.

The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night and a person with carpal tunnel syndrome may wake up feeling the need to move their hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen the tingling may also be present during the day. A decrease in grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks.

The current recommendation by the medical community, if symptoms persist for more than 6 months is surgery which involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

Before submitting to surgery the treatment option is vitamin B-6 (75mg a day) and Zinc (50mg per day).

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Gluten Sensitivity

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain, diarrhea, or it may present a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity, autism, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain.

Gluten is defined as those proteins, commonly found in wheat, triticale, rye, barley or oats to which some persons are intolerant and can develop a sensitivity to at any point in life.

Until recently, the terms gluten sensitivity and celiac disease were used interchangeably. However, emerging research is beginning to identify the differences that exist between celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity. If the medical history of a patient, along with clinical tests, rule out celiac disease and wheat allergy, a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity may be considered. Treatment for all three conditions is a gluten-free diet. The difference being that with wheat allergy drugs may be administered, whereas in the case of celiac disease a gluten-free diet needs to be adopted since even ingesting very small amounts of gluten-containing food could cause damage. In the case of gluten sensitivity, the withdrawal of gluten from the diet may only need to be temporary.

Wheat, in addition to creating gluten sensitivity, is also an appetite stimulant, it makes you want more – more cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, candy, bagels, muffins, tacos, pizza. For some people wheat is addictive much like a drug and can influence behavior and mood. Imagine, something as simple as wheat can effect the central nervous system much like nicotine or crack cocaine. The good news is, research has shown that the drug-like neurological effects can be reversed by eliminating gluten from your diet.

Pet Allergies

pet allergiesAllergies to pets with fur or feathers are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma..It is estimated that 15 to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats, dogs, dust mites and dander.

Some of these people with may be allergic to all dogs or to only some breeds.

Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.Cat and dog allergens are everywhere in your home, in the air, in carpets and beds. Pet dander is even in homes never occupied by these animals because it is carried on people’s clothing.

The allergens get in the air with petting, grooming or stirring the air where the allergens have settled. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended for long periods of time. If you must have carpets, select one with low pile and steam clean frequently. Better yet, use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water.

Wear a dust mask to vacuum. Vacuum cleaners stir up allergens that have settled on carpets and furniture and make allergies worse. it is best to use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter if possible.

The Gut – Brain Connection

Gut - Brain ConnectionIncreasing evidence shows that our digestive systems play a significant role in our overall health, both physical and mental.There is evidence of a connection between hormones, the intestinal bacteria, probiotics and mental functions. An imbalance in bowel flora may lead to depression, anxiety and mental illness.

Gut bacteria play a vital role in the immune system, chronic pain conditions, diabetes, obesity and autism. By altering dietary intake to include more vegetables, fiber and probiotics instead of high fat and carbohydrates based diets many physical and mental conditions can be improved.

Just as there are neurons in the brain, neurons are also in the gut. These neurons produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are also found in the brain. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in the intestines, not the brain.

It’s quite possible that this might be one reason why  anti-depressants, which raise serotonin levels in your brain, are often ineffective in treating depression, whereas proper dietary changes can improve anxieties or depression related behavior naturally.

Fingernails – An Indicator of Health

fingernail=1Your fingernails can provide clues to your overall health — but do you know how to read the signs? Nail pitting are small depressions in the nails. Nail pitting is most common in people who have psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin. Nail pitting can also be related to connective tissue disorders and hair loss.

With yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows. This results in a yellowish discoloration of the nails. Nails affected by yellow nail syndrome might lack a cuticle and detach from the nail bed. It is often a sign of respiratory disease, but can also be related to the swelling of the hands.

 

Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years. Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease and with inflammatory bowel disease.

Spoon nails are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. This could be a sign of iron deficiency  or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.

Terry’s nails is associated with the tip of each nail having a dark band. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging. In other cases, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes.

Beau’s lines are indentations that run across the nails. The indentations can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Conditions associated with Beau’s lines include diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as illnesses associated with a high fever’s and can also be a sign of zinc deficiency.

Onycholysis is associated with the fingernails becoming loose and separating from the nail bed. Sometimes detached nails are associated with injury or infection. In other cases nail separation is a reaction to a particular drug or consumer product, such as nail hardeners or adhesives. Thyroid disease and psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin — also can cause nail separation.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice and was provided by www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com

Living with Parkenson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in a region of the midbrain.  The cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty walking.  Later, depression, thinking and behavioral problems may develop, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson’s disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50 and diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based

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Food Allergies – often overlooked contributors to chronic disease

No one wants to be sick, but where does disease really begin? Food allergies are often not included in a Medical Doctor’s assessment of one’s problem.

Food allergies or sensitivities are caused by a reaction of the immune system to specific proteins in a food. According to Health Canada, current estimates are that food allergies effect as many as 5-6% of young children and 3-4 % of adults in the westernized countries.

In allergic individuals, a food protein is mistakenly identified by the immune system as being harmful. The first time the individual is exposed to such a protein, the body’s immune system responds by creating antibodies. When the individual is exposed to the same protein again, the antibodies and chemicals such as histamine are released and may cause a reaction in the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system. In the most extreme cases food allergies can be fatal.

Although any food can provoke an immune response, a few foods are responsible for most of the allergic reactions. The ten substances most frequently associated with food allergies and allergic type reactions include peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, soy, milk, eggs, fish including crustaceans and shellfish, mustard, wheat and other cereal grains containing gluten and sulphites.

Severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylactic reaction) occur when the body’s immune system strongly reacts to a particular allergenic protein or irritant. These reactions may be caused by foods, insect stings or medications.

The Quantum Healing Institute offers advice on food allergies and therapies to strengthen the immune system. More information is available by calling 905 528-8484 or by e-mailing to: quantumail@aol.com.