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What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness. We look at the whole person for underlying causes of pain. Here we will share articles and information from a variety of sources. References are provided whenever possible.

How Often Should You Workout?

Rick Bramos

Set yourself up for success.

This is a point that is not obvious to most people beginning an exercise program. For most Americans, the goal is general fitness not athletic enhancement. Along with this is weight (fat) loss.

Training like an athlete, as many days as an athlete will set you up for failure. An exercise program MUST fit your lifestyle and time commitments to work and family.

Once you truly understand that weight loss is a result of what you eat not how much you exercise…then you can put exercise into perspective.

What this means is the basis of my program.

2 Strategically designed workouts a week will improve your metabolism, strengthen your muscles…increase your flexibility…improve the integrity of your joints and spine etc.

I have watched thousands of people through the years overwhelm themselves with workouts that are too intense and add to that try to train too many days a week.

This is simply NOT sustainable for most people. Don’t make this huge mistake, Train 2 or 3 days a week and clean up your eating.

women stretching

References:

Ursinyova M1, Uhnakova I, Serbin R, Masanova V, Husekova Z, Wsolova L.The relation between human exposure to mercury and thyroid hormone status.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Sep;148(3):281-91.

Gallagher CM1, Meliker JR.Mercury and thyroid autoantibodies in U.S. women. Environ Int. 2012 Apr;40:39-43

 

Toxic Metals & Weight Loss

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

Can’t lose weight no matter what? Could the weight loss culprit be something as inconspicuous as mercury build-up in your body? 

It is widely accepted that metal toxicity can impair neuroendocrine function. Simply put, this means that normal thyroid function can be impaired from toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and others. 

What are Toxic Metals?

Toxic metals are metals that are not required or of use to your bodies chemistry.  Mercury is the example we are all probably most familiar with. Toxic metals can also be variations of metals for which there is a biological use, but in the wrong form are toxic. 

What is the Weight Loss Connection?

For the purpose of weight loss, or an inability to lose weight no matter what, the effect of toxic metals on thyroid function and estrogen production becomes of particular interest. 

Impaired thyroid function, specifically the impairment of T4 to T3 conversion will act like an invisible force field around your body fat. No amount of diet or exercise will be of use for someone with sufficiently impaired thyroid. 

There is good scientific evidence that metal toxicity can impair endocrine (thyroid) function.

When we look at the scientific evidence for toxic metals and impaired thyroid function, there are numerous studies indicating lead, cadmium, and mercury with impaired thyroid function.

What we can say for sure is this

1.    Toxic Metals in your body are undesirable
2.    Toxic metals may impair thyroid function in certain individuals
3.    If you cannot lose weight, and have high levels of heavy metals, you may consider a protocol to remove toxic metals.

The Best Test to Objectively Measure Your Level of Heavy Metals

I recommend having your physician order the 3 or 6 hour urinary heavy metal toxic test using a challenging agent such as DMSA or DMPS.

** I also recommend the QuickSilver Scientific Tri-Mercury/Toxic Metal Testing.

The following test was ordered on a patient who had an impossible time losing weight. She simply was unable to convert T4-T3.

Once the patient was treated and the mercury and lead were reduced and removed her weight problem was solved. Her T4-T3 conversion issue was again solved.

How Can You Rid Yourself of Toxic Metals?

1: Find a doctor thoroughly trained in the evaluation and treatment of heavy metal detoxification

2: Be certain your phase I and phase II detoxification pathways are functioning optimally

3: Eliminate all heavy metal exposure (we provide guidelines to all of our patients on potential exposure)

4: InfraRed Sauna

5: After a careful evaluation by your health professional, they may recommend DMSA, DMPS chelating agent or the QuickSilver Toxic Metal Protocol.

References:

Ursinyova M1, Uhnakova I, Serbin R, Masanova V, Husekova Z, Wsolova L.The relation between human exposure to mercury and thyroid hormone status.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Sep;148(3):281-91.

Gallagher CM1, Meliker JR.Mercury and thyroid autoantibodies in U.S. women. Environ Int. 2012 Apr;40:39-43

Hybenova M1, Hrda P, Procházková J, Stejskal V, Sterzl I. The role of environmental factors in autoimmune thyroiditis. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(3):283-9.

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 for more information on our training 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.

The CoQ10-Statin Secret

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

The medical literature clearly shows that statin medications like Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor shut down the production of one of the most important nutrients in the body; And I am referring to Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

What many people are unaware of is the fact that when CoQ10 is depleted it causes the LDL cholesterol to become oxidized. This in turn sets off a cascade of events making the LDL cholesterol drill holes in the arterial wall causing major inflammation. This inflammation sets you up for an increased risk of getting a heart attack or stroke.

This a major reason why taking statins drugs is no guarantee you will not die of a heart attack.

I have to admit I am at a total loss why any doctor would prescribe a statin medication without adding the life-saving CoQ10. This may be hard to swallow (excuse the pun) but it should be illegal to prescribe a statin without also prescribing CoQ10.

The following list of health challenges should be a wake up call for people who believe they are safe taking statins without CoQ10. CoQ10 deficiency can cause fatal cardiomyopathy, heart attack, congestive heart failure (which usually carries a death sentence of 5 years), exhaustion, cancer, myopathy, depression resistant to anti-depressants, high blood pressure, gum disease and tooth loss, hair loss, liver disease, sudden complete memory loss or amnesia, cataracts, angina, cancer, folic acid deficiency, damaged cell membranes, and much more.

In fact, it not only increases you from getting a variety of diseases but low CoQ10 levels predict that you can die within 6 months.

So you can see that any doctor who prescribes a statin medication then turns you loose without also prescribing CoQ10 shows lack of scientific knowledge of the very drug he is authorized to prescribe. Take a look at the wealth of scientific references listed below.

Now if you think I am being a bold about what I have just shared with you please understand that this is serious.

Here is something that will shock many of you. Back in 1990’s, the pharmaceutical giant, Merck, decided to add CoQ10 to a statin medication. They even went so far as to get a patent. The patent number is 4,933,165. Go ahead and download the patent document:

Secure Document PDF

So you may ask why in the world would they produce a statin with CoQ10 and the answer is quite obvious. They knew the seriousness of selling the world on statins without CoQ10.

Now you may be thinking whatever happened to this drug. Well it never came to the marketplace. Not sure why but again they wouldn’t have created this combination statin-CoQ10 drug if they were not warned of the serious consequences of promoting a statin without CoQ10.

Hmmm.. makes me very suspicious… 

If you are on a statin medication, I urge you to insist that your doctor checks your CoQ10 levels. You can easily have this done by getting an CardioION test which includes a direct test for CoQ10 and a more sensitive test called hydroxymethylglutarate. This is an organic acid assay which will show you if a particular dose is high enough for your body.

References:
Thomas S. R., Neuzil J., Stocker R, Inhibition of LDL oxidation by ubiquinol-10. A protective mechanism of coenzyme Q in atherogenesis? Mol Asp Med, 18 (suppl.): s 85-103, 1997
Bargossi AM, Battino M, Gaddi A, et at. Exogenous CoQ10 preserves plasma ubiquinol levels in patients treated with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, Internal J Clin Lab Res, 24: 171-6, 1994
Fuke C, Krikorian, SA, Couris RR, Coenzyme CoQ10: A review of essential functions and clinical trials, Pharmacist, 28-41, Oct 2000
Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM, Coenzyme Q10 in cardiovascular disease with emphasis on heart failure and myocardial ischaemia, Asia Pacific Heart J ,7; 3: 160-168, 1998
Langsjoen PH, et al, Treatment of statin adverse effects with supplemental coenzyme Q10 and statin drug discontinuation, BioFactors, 25 (1-4): 147-52, 2005
Langsjoen PH, et al, The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications, BioFactors, 18 (1-4): 101-11, 2003
Mabuchi H, et al, Reduction of serum ubiquinol-10 and a ubiquinone-10 levels by atorvastatin in hypercholesterolemia, patients, J Atheroscler Thromb, 12; 2:111-19, 2005
Lamperti C, Muscle, coenzyme Q10 level in statin-related myopathy, Arch Neurol, 62; 11: 1109-12, Nov 2005
Mortensen AS, et al, Coenzyme Q10: clinical benefits with biochemical correlates suggesting a scientific breakthrough in the management of chronic heart failure, Int J Tissue React, 12; 3: 155-62, 1990
Folkers K, Langsjoen P, Tamagawa H, Lovastatin decreases coenzyme levels in humans, Proc Nall Acad Sci USA, 1990; 87:8931-34
Bliznakov EG, Wilkins DJ, Biochemical and clinical consequences of inhibiting coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis by lipid-lowering HMG COA reductase inhibitors (statins): a critical overview, Advances in Therapy, 15; 4:219-28, Jul/Aug 1998
Ghirlanda G, Oradei A, Manto A, et al, Evidence of plasma CoQ 10-lowering effect of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, J Clin Pharmacol, 33: 226-29, 1993
Willis RA. Folkers K, Tucker JL, Tamagawa H., et al., Lovastatin decreases coenzyme Q levels in rats, Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 87: 8928-30. 1990
Folkers K, Langsjoen P, et al, Lovastatin decreases coenzyme Q10 levels in humans, Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 87:8931-4, 1990
Bliznakov EG, Lipid-lowering to drugs (statins), cholesterol, and coenzyme Q10. The Baycol case-¬-a modern Pandora’s box, Biomed Pharmacother, 56:56-9, 2002
Jameson S, Statistical data support prediction of death within six months on low levels of coenzyme Ql0 and other entities, Clin Invest, 71 (suppl):137-39, 1993

The Answer to Diabetic Leg Pain?

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

One of the complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a result of nerve damage which often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.

People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning as well as a loss of sensation compared to a feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

Peripheral neuropathy is a serious disease of blood vessels that supply the nerves as well as the nerves themselves.

The most common drug prescribed for people suffering with diabetic related leg pain is Lyrica®.

But it comes with a huge price.

To be quite honest, I must wonder how this drug was ever approved.

One look at the PDR will get you wondering too.

Here is a punch-list of some of the recorded side effects:

  • Has an unexpectedly high incidence of hemangio-sarcoma (which is a cancer of blood vessels).
  • It raises your creatinine kinase (leads to kidney disease)
  • Lowers your platelet count
  • Causes changes in the EKG that can lead to heart block
  • Causes weight gain
  • Causes swelling of the ankles
  • Can cause life-threatening angioedema (swelling of the throat and face inhibiting breathing).
  • Causes retinal atrophy as well as corneal inflammation and calcification. (meaning you can go blind from it as it progresses to macular degeneration)

 

Can you believe that many of the above side effects are things that the diabetic patient is trying to avoid?

This drug just speeds up the likelihood that you will get the side effects a lot sooner.

To make matters worse any improvement the diabetic patient gets is short-lived and will commonly wear off after one year.

I simply don’t understand why the public is not be told about proven solutions provided by thousands of dedicated and respected researchers around the globe.

Yes, the research is overflowing with real non-drug answers to peripheral neuropathy. And the best part is most if not all these solutions are free of side effects.

Seldom will you hear about physicians specializing in diabetes seeking to identify the underlying cause of this disease.

In the thousands of medical records, I have reviewed from patients suffering from diabetes rarely, if ever, have I seen any note of looking for the cause.

Just one look at the medical references below should be quite convincing for nutrients that have actually reversed diabetic nephropathy such as acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, vitamin E, etc..

Considering these medical studies are from the very journals of diabetic specialists, I have to wonder why a physician would prescribe Lyrica when they have not first measured and corrected something as simple as ALC (acetyl-L-carnitine) for nerve regeneration?

As shown below there is an abundant amount of evidence showing the power of doing a thorough investigation for nutrient deficiencies and diabetic nephropathy.

Sometimes the answer could also be as simple as fixing a vitamins B1 or B6 deficiency. It all depends on what the person is low in.