Poor digestion can cause depression

By Dr. Joe Alaimo, MA,DC

I went to see my natural medicine practitioner for depression and she wants to work on my digestive health. I don’t get the connection.

Many people would be surprised to learn how greatly gut health affects brain health. A poor diet, inflamed gut, and intestinal permeability definitely can promote depression.

Depression a not-so-obvious symptom of poor digestion
Sometimes digestion issues are obvious; they cause gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. Other times the main symptom is not so obvious—depression.

An unhealthy diet and compromised gut health can promote depression in several ways.

Poor nutrition
When one eats a junk food diet laden with processed foods, trans fats, sugars, and artificial chemicals, the brain suffers. The brain needs healthy fats, high-quality protein, abundant vitamins and minerals, and a diet low in starchy foods and sugars.

Gluten is directly linked to depression in some. It causes gut inflammation, which can lead to inflammation in areas of the brain that regulate mood. Some people digest gluten into gluteomorphin, an opioid similar to heroin or morphine that can cause depression (not to mention constipation). Gluten can also cause autoimmune attacks in the brain with symptoms of depression. Dairy or other foods may also cause depression, depending on sensitivity.

Leaky gut
Leaky gut happens when the lining of the intestines becomes overly permeable. This allows undigested foods, bacteria, and other pathogens into the bloodstream, creating inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain may cause depression.

Inflammation in the gut also inhibits absorption of nutrients necessary for good brain function. An example is tryptophan, an amino acid found in proteins. The brain synthesizes tryptophan into serotonin, a “well-being and joy” brain chemical.

Always consider gut health
Depression is a complex, multi-faceted condition that can have its roots in various causes. However the role of diet and digestive health should always be included in a functional approach to depression.


Could I have a food intolerance?

By Dr. Joe Alaimo, MA, DC

I’m told food intolerances can affect my health. How can this be true when I don’t have any digestive symptoms?

Sometimes it’s difficult to connect a food we eat every day with such health complaints as joint pain, brain fog, mood imbalances, congestion, skin rashes, or chronic inflammation. It’s not obvious a particular food is at fault until after you quit eating it for a period of time.

The elimination/provocation diet
A variety of lab panels can diagnose food allergies and intolerances, however sometimes the most reliable test is to go cold turkey on a group of common foods for several weeks. Some of the best foods to eliminate are gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, yeast, and nuts. It’s important to strictly eliminate these foods for two to three weeks for the test to be accurate. You may want to consider going grain-free for best results.

Symptoms pop up after reintroducing the food
Reintroducing these foods one at a time every 72 hours after a temporary abstinence can suddenly elicit a powerful and negative response. Symptoms vary but include digestive upset (bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.), abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain, respiratory congestion, skin rashes, brain fog, mood changes, or flare-ups of an autoimmune condition.

A restored immune system produces reactions
Why would a food you have been eating your whole life suddenly make you feel terrible after a three-week break? Because eliminating it from your diet has allowed your immune system to rest and recover. While eating the food regularly your immune system had to work constantly to buffer the damage, draining it of strength.

The elimination diet allows the immune system to become more robust. It is then able to sound the alarms to a food intolerance with uncomfortable symptoms. This lets you know eating that food negatively impacts your health.

Say goodbye to problem foods and hello to better health
Permanently eliminating foods to which you are intolerant allows your digestive system to repair, your immune system to strengthen, and other systems in your body to come into better balance. Many people find chronic health conditions improve or disappear after the elimination, or find they feel more alert and energetic.

However, if it turns out you react to practically everything you consume, you may need qualified guidance for advanced gut repair.

Do Men Go Through Menopause?

My middle-aged husband has no motivation and is always cranky. He has also put on a big belly and lost his libido. Do men go through menopause?

Many men suffer from what is called andropause, a hormonal and neurological cascade that affects their health and their personality. Some refer to it as “male menopause.”

Andropause: “male menopause”
The defining marker for andropause is a skewed ratio of testosterone to estrogen so that estrogen becomes dominant. This has long been associated with middle age, but clinicians are increasingly finding it in younger men too. As andropause comes on gradually the symptoms can be overlooked or relegated to “getting older.”

Symptoms of andropause include:
• Decreased libido
• Decrease in morning erections, fullness of erections, and the ability to maintain erections
• Mental fatigue and inability to concentrate
• Depression
• Lack of motivation
• Decrease in physical stamina

Men with andropause often have high cholesterol and triglycerides, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal weight gain, the development of “breasts” and “hips,” and varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Some men even have hot flashes.

What causes andropause
Many factors are suspected to contribute to andropause, including abundant estrogens in pesticides and environmental chemicals, poor essential fatty acid status, gut infections, and poor liver detoxification. However the most common cause is chronic stress caused by high-carbohydrate diets and poor lifestyle habits.

Blood sugar imbalances can cause low testosterone
A diet that is consistently high in starchy and sugary foods, such as sweets, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, soda, and sweet coffee drinks chronically over stimulates the production of insulin. This triggers an enzyme called aromatase that synthesizes estrogen. It also leads to insulin resistance—when insulin cannot get into the cells to deliver glucose and vital nutrients—which causes hormonal imbalances.

Addressing andropause
Addressing andropause is not as simple as using testosterone cream to boost testosterone levels. That can lead to testosterone excess and hormone resistance, exacerbating symptoms. Instead a salivary hormone panel that includes levels of testosterone and estrogen will show the mechanism of the condition and what the best course of action is for you.

This can include dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce stress on the body, nutritional therapies to address deficiencies and imbalances, and complementary protocols to address the effects of andropause on heart and brain health.

Wilmington, NC Chiropractic Office Helps Locals Have Optimal Health Quickly

Wilmington, NC Chiropractic Office Helps Locals Have Optimal Health Quickly

Wilmington Thyroid chiropractors are well known for their hard work in helping members of the community with the tools, education, resources and care needed to gain optimal health. Chiropractors carry out work on their patients to help immediate problems that are interrupting their daily lives and activity. They help patients reach optimal health that is, the best health possible that a person can aspire to.

Chiropractors form-long term plans that will help the patient enjoy better energy, movement and flexibility. They can help those in pain live an improved lifestyle. Chiropractic care is safe, gentle and effective.

A Chiropractic therapist has a duty of care to ensure that a patient’s health is improving quickly and safely. Their primary motive should be to enhance the life of someone who is in constant pain. Many people take their health for granted. However, if someone gets ill they will have to seek help.

A Chiropractic therapist can carry out therapy completely naturally without pain killers or other drugs. Chiropractic therapists create a holistic approach to helping patients in the community. They will help every aspect of a patient’s life and support them in being proactive towards their wellness.

It does not matter what illness a person is living with, a chiropractic therapist will help them to be in the best of health possible. A chiropractic therapist is trained to the highest levels. They help teach patients to cope with situations that can lead to pain or injury.

Wilmington Thyroid chiropractors provide information about how to live more healthily to achieve the best out of life. When a person first meets a chiropractor, they will be thoroughly examined including a conversation about lifestyle, health, exercise and activity levels. Chiropractic therapy needs to be carried out alongside diet, exercise and lifestyle changes for the best results.

For a center that addresses issues with the thyroid and other glands, Wilmington Thyroid is recommended. You can learn more about the therapeutic measures when you visit http://WilmingtonThyroid.com now.

Wilmington Thyroid Issues Alleviated Naturally With Chiropractic Options

Wilmington Thyroid Issues Alleviated Naturally With Chiropractic Options

Wilmington Thyroid chiropractic care providers have been offering patients of the disorder drug-free alternatives to get and keep it under control. The methods provided are effective because they target the specific cause of the disorder and help deal with symptoms without the harmful effects of conventional drugs.

The most important thing for patients to do is confirm that they have a disorder and, if so, which one since this will determine what method of therapy will be selected. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces hormones to regulate metabolism and growth. Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland is under-performing or not producing enough of the required hormones.

Alternative ways of managing the disease look at symptoms, triggers for symptoms and non-medicinal ways to address them. It has been acknowledged that not everyone who tries these methods is successful, and some may even have to combine alternative and traditional regimens, but overall many patients have had great success.

Acupuncture ranks high on the list of alternative methods, in fact it has been argued that the WHO (World Health Organization) has listed the condition among some 40 diseases that can be addressed with the technique. Herbs and homeopathic remedies are also used.

The gland works by using the iodine in our body (mainly from what we eat). Some persons argue against the benefits of iodine on the gland, but proponents can point to studies showing benefits. Neural therapy which aims at addressing and stopping pain instantly (often through an injection) is also used.

Although there are arguments for and against the use of certain types of diets to help manage the disorder, the Wilmington thyroid caregivers believe that foods such as cabbage, kale, spinach, soy, turnips, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens and cauliflower slow the production of the hormones that cause the disorder; hence, those with hypothyroidism should avoid those foods, while those with hyperthyroidism should take advantage of them.

Finding ways to resolve Wilmington thyroid issues with natural means is the goal of local practitioners. You can learn more about techniques and methods used when you visit the web pages at http://WilmingtonThyroid.com today.

Mastering The Thyroid With Dr. Datis Kharazzian

Mastering The Thyroid With Dr. Datis Kharazzian
Dr. Alaimo will once again have the opportunity to learn the latest approaches to natural thyroid health from Dr. Datis Kharazzian himself! Dr. Kharazzian is the author of the number one selling thyroid book in the nation “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms, when all my labs are normal?”. Dr. K has spent many years sifting through the most up to date research on thyroid and applying it to patients clinically. The extensive research he put into this model can be witnessed in the over 400 citings in the manual to Mastering the Thyroid seminar and his book. Dr. K. doesn’t personally lecture much anymore due to his research commitments, however, Dr. Alaimo is excited to have the privilege of being mentored by one of the top experts in the world.


Does Hashimoto’s Increase Your Risk Of Thyroid Cancer?

Does Hashimoto’s Increase Your Risk Of Thyroid Cancer?

Hashimoto’s disease (HD), also known as chronic thyroiditis, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. This condition, an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack, and destroy, your thyroid, is linked with numerous health complications ranging from heart disease and depression to birth defects and infertility — but the link to cancer is hotly debated.
In the latest study, researchers found nearly 2 percent of those with HD tested positive for papillary thyroid cancer, compared to just under 1 percent of those with Grave’s disease (the most common cause of hyperthyroidism). Given the findings, researchers suggested:
“We recommend performing US [thyroid ultrasonography] at the time of the initial visit in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease, who have a high prevalence of thyroid papillary carcinoma, to detect malignant thyroid tumors.”
Past research has also found a heightened risk, including:
  • A study in the Journal of Surgical Research, which found female patients with HD undergoing thyroidectomy were 30 percent more likely to have papillary thyroid cancer.
  • A study in Thyroid, which found “… cancer is common in patients who have a thyroidectomy for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis even when not suspected preoperatively.”
What does this mean for you if you currently have Hashimoto’s?
It’s simply a risk factor to be aware of, and one that you may want to keep a close eye on in partnership with your health care practitioner. It’s not a reason to panic. As Jerome Hershman, MD wrote in Clinical Thyroidology:
“Despite this long-standing controversy concerning whether Hashimoto’s thyroiditis predisposes to thyroid neoplasia [tumor formation], I generally tell my patients that Hashimoto’s disease does not predispose to thyroid cancer (aside from the rare lymphoma), but that distinct nodules found on ultrasound have to be evaluated in a conventional manner.”
In the United States, about 4 percent of the population has hypothyroidism, and another 13 million have the condition but have not been diagnosed. Many of these people have Hashimoto’s as well, but may not be aware of it yet because conventional lab tests to diagnose the disease can be misleading, labeling thyroid hormones as within the normal range when a problem still exists.
If your health care practitioner is not experienced with the complexities of thyroid conditions, there is an even higher likelihood that the diagnosis could be missed entirely, especially considering that the symptoms often mimic those of other diseases.
Further, many health care practitioners will advise not treating Hashimoto’s disease in its early stages, but this may be a crucial time to stop the disease before it progresses. By working with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who is experienced with thyroid problems, you can often stop Hashimoto’s disease and its associated low-thyroid symptoms before serious or permanent damage occurs.