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Articles for Health and Wellness in Carmel, IN

How to tame inflammation in body and brain

If you have an autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation, or signs of brain inflammation (such as brain fog), you may have noticed it can be tough to tame the inflammation. This is because the body can get trapped in vicious cycles that feed the inflammation. Luckily, researchers have pinpointed what perpetuates these cycles and ways to stop them. They include targeting two immune messengers called “nitrous oxide” and “IL-17.”

IL-17 and inflammation
The immune system triggers inflammation by releasing an immune messenger called IL-17. IL-17 triggers other immune cells to damage body tissue, such as the thyroid gland in the case of autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism or joint tissue in rheumatoid arthritis.
IL-17 isn’t all bad—in a healthy immune system it prevents infections. But chronic inflammation or an autoimmune disease create too much IL-17.

IL-17 and “bad” nitric oxide
IL-17 damages body tissue by activating a compound called “inducible nitric oxide.” Nitric oxide is a gas in the body that activates various processes. Two good forms of nitric oxide tame inflammation: endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide.
However, IL-17 triggers the pro-inflammatory inducible nitric oxide, which damages body tissue.

Targeting nitric oxide to tame inflammation
When it comes to taming chronic inflammation, we want to dampen IL-17 and inducible nitric oxide. So why not just take the nitric oxide booster arginine? Although arginine may boost the anti-inflammatory endothelial nitric oxide, it also may increase the inflammatory inducible nitric oxide.

It’s safer, therefore, to go with nutritional compounds that boost the anti-inflammatory endothelial nitric oxide for maximum inflammation fighting effects:

  • Adenosine
  • Huperzine A
  • Vinpocetine
  • Alpha GPC
  • Xanthinol niacinate
  • L-acetyl carnitine

Endothelial nitric oxide aids in tissue repair and regeneration, enhances blood flow, dissolves plaques, and dilates blood vessels. Exercise is another excellent way to boost endothelial nitric oxide.

These compounds may also boost the activity of neuronal nitric oxide, which enhances the health of the brain and nervous system.

Other anti-inflammatory tools
Others inflammation busters include vitamin D3, omega 3 fatty acids, and glutathione. Glutathione is vital to dampening inflammation, repairing damaged tissues, maintaining a healthy gut (which houses most of the immune system), and buffering the body from the many stressors we face these days. In some cases we deliver glutathione intravenously for greater absorption and benefit!

Other helpful tools are high doses of emulsified resveratrol and curcumin. Taken together, these two compounds dampen IL-17 and quench inflammation.

Of course, eliminating pro-inflammatory foods with an autoimmune diet (especially gluten), getting enough sleep, not overstressing yourself are important, too. Ask our office for advice.

Best Weight Loss

Did you know that the FAILURE rate for losing weight and keeping it off long-term is approximately 95-97%. That’s a 3-5% success rate!

Why is that so amazing? Because it means that diets, pills and potions and all the other stuff out there for weight loss just do not work most of the time. Want to know something funny? The SUCCESS rate of clients on our Weight Loss Program in Indianapolis is very high! But, that is because this is so much more than just a diet program.

“What I really appreciate about this program is that it does not focus only on dieting. Programs that focus exclusively on what you can’t eat do not work. You must change your lifestyle and mindset to successfully lose weight and keep it off. This program is fantastic in that it walks you through the steps of changing your mind, body and soul to a healthier lifestyle! Great program…highly recommend! Five stars in my book…” – Michael F.

We approach weight loss in a holistic fashion, always looking to address the root cause of why your body is holding onto fat… but we also take the time to discover what drives your eating habits as well.

So what does this mean to you?

We will evaluate your metabolism, look for nutritional deficiencies and toxicity, evaluate hormone and thyroid function and then provide you the means to get your metabolism functioning optimally naturally! We will also provide you with cutting edge diet information focused on health, energy and melting the fat off your body! And yes it will be tailored completely to you and your needs as an individual for maximum health and fat loss. One size diets do not fit all, never has never will.

The only “perfect diet” for you, is the one that is tailored to your body, physiology and metabolism.

But we will also look “beyond diet” to the true cause that is creating roadblocks in your ability to lose weight. This program will help you end your emotional connections to food or any other dis-empowering food associations you may have. We will counsel you on how to end disempowering relationships with food; you will quickly get the control back in your life as you begin to eat for the right reasons.

We will also design an exercise program just for you. You will feel the confidence and physical emotional health that exercise brings as you start to get in better shape each day using Power Plate Technology and Kettlebells. Your weight loss exercise program will maximize benefit and fat loss in the shortest amount of time. By the end of the program you will know exactly how to exercise to keep the fat burning and health increasing in the comfort of your own home.

We believe in creating an environment of caring and compassion and it is this connection to clients that success blossoms. There is so much more that goes on with this program that will help you look and feel fantastic! If you have 25 pounds or more to lose and are ready to take the next step beyond fad diets or novelty exercise programs, then give Health and Wellness of Carmel a call and make an appointment today!

Methylation

The doctors at Health and Wellness of Carmel feel it is important to consider many variables in designing your unique, personalized wellness plan. We evaluate you for hormone imbalances, environmental toxicities, nutritional deficiencies, PH imbalances, mineral imbalances, and your biological terrain. Rather than forcing patients into the “one- size fits all” chemical strait-jacket of medications (and their side-effects), we actually treat the problem from its root cause. Specifically, the doctors utilize individually tailored nutrients to correct the underlying imbalances. Using a careful interview and thorough physical exam, we are then able to analyze insurance covered labs that help us identify your unique bio type. Using the concepts developed by Ortho Molecular© medicine, it is possible to see profound changes in one’s health when one begins a personalized nutritional supplement protocol.

Why are physicians so excited about methylation status??

The methylation pathway influences many biological systems in our body. One example would be a specific biotype known as pyrole disorder. This biotype leads to low stress tolerance, white spots on nails, tendency towards anxiety, and food sensitivities. It is treated with a unique combination zinc, B6, and primrose oil. Another example would be, undermethylation (histadelia). These patients often have severe depression, and may have a tendency toward aggression and perfection. Frequent colds and allergies are noted as well. Patients respond very well to methyl donors such as SAMe, TMG, and L-Methionine. Another example would be overmethylation (histapenia). These patients would have a tendency towards dental caries and ringing in the ears, unexplained body pains, and arthritis. They frequently have severe food allergies, easily fatigued and frustrated. These patients respond to methyl blockers, such as, Niacin, B12, and DMAE. By carefully monitoring bio markers such as, ammonia, histamine, homocystine, RBC folate, RBC zinc, RBC copper, you can continuously adjust the regimen until optimal methylation status is achieved.

The new science of nutragenomics

Methylation is the message

Methyl groups are the body’s messengers and movers and shakers. They join with other compounds to “jump-start” a reaction (such as turning a gene on or activating an enzyme). When the methyl group is “lost” or removed, the reaction stops (or a gene is turned off or the enzyme is deactivated), OR when a methyl group is lost a gene is turned on (for example, a gene related to cancer) when it is not ideal to have it turned on.

The complexity of modern ailments

In addition to the rising number of chronic conditions such as, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, doctors are now seeing a myrid of new syndromes such as, FM, CFS, Chemical sensitivity, PANDAS, etc. Many people are facing the fact that these disorders aren’t as easy to “fix” as we first hoped they would be back in the 1950s. Where once people felt assured that the right drug could combat almost any disease, we are just beginning to understand that health conditions are more complex than that and do not occur as an isolated incident or event. There is no panacea, no magic cure, nor do most conditions arise from just one cause, like a hostile bug or toxin. Many different factors act together to influence their development; and as our understanding of their complex origins changes, so does the manner in which we address them. Still, most people and even many doctors find the complexity confusing, as they have to face up to the reality that the days of simple treatments and health guarantees are behind us. So is the time where we could entirely entrust our health with experts. As a result, many more people have decided to take matters into their own hands. In this new territory, people need solid information and a road map, with clear directions they can follow to journey toward healing. This is one of our goals at Health and Wellness of Carmel. Ideally, we will encourage you to obtain a simple saliva test so that we can analyze your own unique genetic variability.

The Alphabet of Genes

In nutrigenomic testing, we are able to identify changes in the “spelling” of the genetic basis. These spellings are a short hand used by scientists which deploy the letters A, t, c, MG to designate each ¼ of genetic basis. They combine in various ways. These four bases are organized into a particular sequence to create or “spell” every single one of the genes in the body. Taken together, these bases make up all of our DNA. To understand this further, let’s take a deeper look at the tasks performed by each gene. That task will differ depending upon the functional area that the gene impacts. A change in the gene will change the action of the enzyme, catalyst, or activity. Enzymes do many different things. Certain enzymes join together to make components needed to perform a particular task. Other enzymes may break down one biochemical or transform it into another. Enzymes also pick up speed and efficiency with which these tasks are performed. Biochemical actions can also be slowed down or accelerated by genes. One example would be many people feel overstimulated and have trouble going to sleep if they drink caffeine before bedtime. On the other hand, some individuals possess a biochemistry that can handle it. Just as the caffeine “speeds up” one’s energy, certain SNPs “speed up” or “slow down” certain biochemical functions. Accelerated activity can be more efficient, or can produce undesirable effects. By identifying the presence of a SNP, we can compensate for it, and give the body the support it needs to perform its tasks successfully. Briefly, all individuals carry at least a single mutation in the methionine folate pathway. As a result of decreased activity in the methylation pathway, there is a shortage of methyl groups in the body that would otherwise serve a variety of important functions.

Defects in the methylation cycle lay the ground work for further assault by environmental and infectious agents, resulting in a wide range of conditions.

Promoting detoxification safely by optimizing the methylation cycle

Many bodily systems act together to remove harmful substances or waste. But if these processes are not operating effectively, or we absorb more toxins than our system can handle, our body will store them, eventually creating a toxic overload that acts as a prime contributor to ill health. Methylation helps to keep toxins and foreign substances at safe levels where they cannot harm the body. A core principle of naturopathy and other forms of holistic healthcare is to give the body what it needs and to remove from the body whatever causes harm or imbalance. What is the scope of the problem? The last century was the golden age of chemistry. White coated scientists worked in in labs synthesizing a continuous stream of novel substances. Many products now widely used in food agriculture never existed before this revolution in chemistry. As a result, human beings and the earth itself have been exposed to a wide range of new substances. None of us keep a tally of how many of them we have absorbed over our life time. Safety studies only look at toxicity for single elements and no one has looked at evaluating the bodily effects of carrying multiple toxins simultaneously. We have unintended synergies that multiple chemicals interact in novel ways potentially causing serious problems. These safety assessments do not look at the many kinds of interactions that are occur outside of the controlled lab environment, in real life, in our bodies. As a result, there is much that we do not know about the bodily impact from novel ingredients. But our body knows. And our body lets us know that it has more than it can handle by creating a health symptom or condition. The cumulative toxic overload is one of the reasons we believe there is such a growing rate of symptom complexes and degenerative diseases.

How do the doctors interpret the nurtigenomic tests?

When reviewing the report of the methylation Gene SNPs, the doctors will note which genes have homozygous mutations (++) and which have heterozygous mutations (+-). Individuals who have a double homozygous mutation may have a more pronounced dysfunction at that gene.

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis is a condition that involves chronic inflammation of the bladder. The symptoms can be quite severe with chronic pelvic pain, frequency of urination, pain with urination, pain with intercourse and recurrent urinary tract infections. A recent study revealed patients who suffer with this condition can be as debilitated as those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Until recently, there was no cure for interstitial cystitis. Doctors simply treated the recurrent bladder infections and provided symptomatic relief with pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and a prescription drug called Elmiron. This drug does not cure the condition but rather puts a “sealant” over the bladder lining thus reducing symptoms.

Just a few years ago, a dramatic discovery was made as to the root cause of interstitial cystitis. A Nurse Practitioner working for a urology group in Washington DC, was convinced a specific microorganism had to be responsible for this debilitating condition. She commissioned Dr. Stephen Fry, a nationally recognized medical doctor who developed an independent clinical diagnostic and research laboratory dedicated to identifying vector-borne diseases. After scrutinizing the blood and urine samples from hundreds of interstitial cystitis patients he discovered a protozoan infection which was seen in the vast majority of these patients. It turns out this was an organism that had never been identified. This was confirmed by United States government and the organism was named Protomyxzoa rheumatica. These patients frequently demonstrated significant biofilm. Obviously no long term studies have been performed on this newly discovered organism. In our experience these patients often have co-infection such as Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Babesia, Bartonella, Chlamydia, and Mycoplasma. This parasite has a predisposition to mucous membranes which explains the frequent involvement of the bladder. This organism has been frequently identified in our patients with rheumatologic and gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, we feel it is likely a major player in rheumatologic symptoms causing inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints. This parasitic infection is also felt to be responsible for inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and perhaps is the frequent cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome. It may be a major player in the development of biofilm. Many microorganisms secrete a gelatinous substance that creates a bio slime which can harbor a multitude of organisms, DNA, protein and sugar. This substance can allow the microorganisms to live in a protected environment and to hide from our immune system, thus making them much more difficult to be destroyed with antibiotics.

There are multiple factors that lead to this condition. They include an altered immune system and an infectious process.
This suppression of the immune system, often seen with a low CD57 count, may explain why it is difficult to eliminate Lyme disease by using short term antibiotics. The protozoa damage the wall of the bladder allowing microorganisms to hide in the deeper tissue which would explain the frequency of urinary tract infections.

At Health and Wellness of Carmel, we may obtain highly sensitive urine cultures to identify any bacteria producing urinary tract symptoms. We often obtain special blood stains evaluating for protozoa, biofilm and other potential pathogens. Proper lifestyle and diet is important for those with a weakened immune system, those experiencing difficulty with healing, chronic fatigue and other health problems. We can provide patients extensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan which will be directed at the root cause of symptoms rather than prescribe prescription drugs that will only treat symptoms. We believe that no man or woman needs to suffer from the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. We enjoy working with our patients to develop a customized treatment plan directed for the individual.

Dr. Clifford Fetters M.D. practices functional medicine for adults and children along with Bruce Thomas M.D., Michael Mountain D.C. and Jerry Weber Naturopathic Physician. Their practice is located at 11900 N. Pennsylvania St., Carmel, IN 46032. Their phone number is 317-663-7123. Website: hwofc.com

Autoimmune Diseases

(Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, alopecia, celiac disease, diabetes, eczema, endometriosis, thyroid disease)

According to a new study, the prevalence and incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, is on the rise and researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are unsure why.

I believe the most likely explanation is the role our environment plays on our genetic code and digestive system. The vast majority of our patients that develop autoimmune conditions are ”undermethylaters”. Methylation is a chemical reaction that occurs in every cell of the body. The methyl groups that are produced from this reaction are responsible for protecting, as well as, turning on and off our DNA, keeping our immune system in check, allowing proper detoxification, hormone production, balancing the autonomic nervous system, etc. Heavy metals in the environment, particularly lead and mercury can significantly impair the Methylation Cycle. Electro-magnetic fields, physical and emotional stress can harm our immune system. Genetically modified foods and pesticides can induce Leaky Gut Syndrome which will cause the immune system to become overactive and one area yet less active against potentially threatening germs that reside in the body. This weakened immune system, I believe, has led to a great increase in incidences of Lyme disease and other infectious diseases. I believe the root cause virtually of all of immune conditions is an active chronic infection within the body. The most common germs associated with autoimmune disorders are viruses such as Herpes, CMV, Coxsackie, Strep, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Systemic Protozoa, Babesia, Rickettsia, Erlechia and Bartonella. Many of these infectious agents can live together in biofilm within the bloodstream and can affect most organ systems of the body. These infections are now called “MSIDS”, multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome. I believe this disorder is the root cause of most chronic disease in the Western world including autoimmunity. The immune system is not usually confused, attacking itself but rather attacking the germs that reside within the affected organ. The Lyme spirochete has been well studied and has been proven to alter the immune system.

At Health and Wellness of Carmel, we will evaluate the Methylation Cycle with blood tests. I would consider genetic testing on anyone with significant health problems. Proper nutrients should be prescribed to maximize the Methylation Cycle. Immune markers can be evaluated and nutrients may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and to balance the immune system. Most important is a meticulous search for offending infectious agents. Blood, stool, urine, and muscle testing can be used to identify parasites such as protozoa and intestinal worms, viruses, spirochetes, which can cause Lyme disease, bacteria, such as mycoplasma and chlamydia, and molds. There are multiple ways in which infections can induce an immune response. Infections may cause direct damage to the intestinal wall causing Leaky Gut Syndrome. Many have the ability to up regulate the part of the immune system that allows allergies to occur and they may cause inflammation by a direct invasion of the lung and sinus tissue.

Infectious agents may be treated with herbs, antibiotics, electrical fields, anti-parasitic, antifungals and anti-molds.

Correcting anything by curing autoimmune conditions is quite challenging. However, success is often achieved by a taking a comprehensive evaluation of every organ system in the body. Situational and emotional stress must be conquered. Proper diet digestion and the elimination of leaky gut are mandatory. The endocrine system including the thyroid, adrenals and sex hormones must be in balance. Heavy metals and other toxins should be eliminated from the body. The liver should be given maximum support to aid in detoxification. Proper immune modulators and anti-inflammatory nutrients should be considered.

Life Without Allergies and Asthma

Prior to my exposure to holistic medicine, I never knew what it was like to live without allergies. My parents just thought I was a sick kid. I suffered from chronic ear infections, ruptured eardrums, ear tubes, asthma, eczema and multiple hospitalizations for asthma and pneumonia. Things got a little bit better as a teenager. As long as I remembered to use my puffer before practice I would only have wheezing and shortness of breath at the end of football or track practice. If it was not winter time, I had a chronic runny nose, itchy eyes, frequent sneezing, and itchy skin. I did see an allergist in college and my symptoms were much improved by using sodium cromolyn eye drops and nasal spray along with antihistamines, Singulair, and a steroid nose spray.

I now live life essentially free of all allergy and asthma symptoms and prescription drugs. I do have to avoid my particular food allergies which are: dairy, gluten, and soy. Likewise, I have found nearly all of my allergy and asthma patients possess food allergies and a genetic typing referred to as, Under Methylation. This genetic biotype leads to increased activity of the immune system and results in high levels of circulating histamines, which in turn generates allergy symptoms. Additionally, it leads to a lack of stomach acid production and poor digestion. Lab tests may be used confirm this diagnosis. They are: whole blood histamine, RBC copper, RBC folate, homocystine, ammonia, urinary, pyrroles, and routine blood tests such as a CBC, Complete Metabolic Panel, and thyroid and adrenal panels.

Reduced methylation and poor digestion lead to food allergies\sensitivities as well as environmental allergies to dust, pollen, trees, plants, molds, or animals. These under methylation individuals are at increased risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and virtually all autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. In other words nuisance allergies may be an early warning sign for bad health problems to come. Therefore, I prefer to treat the problems by correcting Methylation rather than just treating the allergy symptoms.

Food allergies are almost always induced by a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome aka intestinal hyper permeability. Prescription drugs, infections and poor digestion can lead to the intestinal lining becoming more porous which allows undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (bacteria, yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste products) to enter into your bloodstream. The immune system will start producing antibodies against these substances creating immune complexes which can be deposited virtually anywhere in the body. The most common locations that produce obvious symptoms are the sinuses, lungs and joints. A simple blood test can identify IgG, IgA, and IgG food and environmental allergens. Treatment consists of avoiding the offending foods, improving digestion, healing the gut and avoiding any offending prescription drugs. The health of the digestive system can be measured by the Bio 101*.

Traditional medical doctors treat allergies and asthma with antihistamines, leukotriene inhibitor such as Singulair, steroid or sodium cromolyn nasal or oral sprays. They also recommend avoiding allergy triggers such as going outdoors during high pollen counts, dust mite proof covers for your pillows and mattress, good air filters for the furnace and keeping the windows shut in the car and home.

If you prefer to take the natural route without prescription drugs, I recommend you see a holistic doctor, who understands problems with food allergies and methylation. All clients should be given a treatment plan based upon their individual genetic makeup. As a general rule, most of my patients take Vitamin C 1000 mg 3 times a day with meals to help clear the histamines. If I suspect sulfite sensitivity, i.e., hives, migraines, and reflux, I also add Molybdenum. Folic acid is not metabolized normally by most under methylater’s therefore; I recommend a good multivitamin with the active form of folic acid, (methyl tetrahydrofolic acid), in place of folate.

Vitamin D and a high quality probiotic are the most important supplements to help regulate the immune system. My average patient takes 5000 units of D3 per day and my goal is to achieve a serum level of 60ng/dl to 80ng/dl. Other vitamin immune modulators are Vitamin E, selenium, and Vitamin A. Important vitamins for the methlyation pathways and energy are the B vitamins, as well as the minerals zinc and magnesium. The under methylation biotype often does well with SAMe., methionine, inositol, and TriMethyl Glycine (TMG).

Natural supplements that treat allergy symptoms are quercetin, stinging Nettles leaf, bromelain, and OPC’s from grape seed or pine bark. All allergy sufferers and asthmatics should drink at least 8 full glasses of filtered water per day. Individuals should increase quality proteins and fresh and raw foods. You should eliminate all prepackaged and refined foods and all hydrogenated fats and oils.

If allergy and asthma symptoms persist then the individuals should be evaluated for a chronic infection. Blood, stool, urine, and other unique testing can be used to identify these infections. The infections might be common bacteria, viruses, yeasts, but may even be parasites such as protozoa and intestinal worms, spirochetes which produce Lyme disease, or mycoplasma, chlamydia and molds.

There are multiple ways in which infections can induce allergic reactions. Infections may cause direct damage to the intestinal wall causing Leaky Gut Syndrome. Many have the ability to up regulate the part of the immune system which allows allergies to occur. Or, they may cause inflammation by a direct invasion of the lung and sinus tissue.

In summary, allergy symptoms and asthma should not be treated lightly. At HWOFC, we feel all individuals should be evaluated for the source of these issues. We utilize lab tests to evaluate adrenal, thyroid and Methylation function, problems with digestion and food sensitivities. We also consider chronic infections in the complete therapy of an allergy/ asthma patient.

Dr. Clifford Fetters M.D. practices functional medicine for adults and children along with Bruce Thomas MD, Michael Mountain D.C. and Jerry Weber Naturopathic Physician. Their practice is located at 11900 N. Pennsylvania St., Carmel, IN 46032. Their phone number is 317-663-7123. Website: hwofc.com.

Benefits & Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy

There is considerable debate whether or not to treat women in menopause with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The Women’s Health Initiative has given us new insights on the pros and cons of HRT. What we do know from this study is that estrogen combined with the unnatural progesterone call Provera or medroxyprogesterone, does increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and breast cancer.

This combination does significantly decrease the risk of osteoporosis and the risk of colon cancer. Estrogen alone, in the form of Premarin (estrogen derived from horse urine), without the addition of Provera, showed no increase in the incidence of breast cancer in this six year study. Long term studies have shown that estrogens prevent heart disease after 5-6 years of treatment.

Short-term hormone replacement therapy increases a woman’s blood clotting ability and does increase her risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, all women who have risk factors for heart disease or stroke should be screened prior to starting HRT.

We know that estrogen protects women from osteoporosis, colon cancer, and premature atrophy (thinning) of the genitourinary system including the breast. It improves the health of the skin. It certainly reduces menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. Progesterone helps balance estrogen, improves sleep, has a natural calming effect, lowers blood pressure, increases scalp hair, increases metabolic rate, is a natural antidepressant, is anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, stimulates production of new bone , enhances the action of thyroid hormones, improves libido, promotes a healthy immune system and is neuroprotective. Progesterone comes in pill form, sublingual troche, or a cream.

Too much progesterone without adequate estrogen increases weight gain as well as total cholesterol and causes depression, fatigue, decreased libido, elevated cortisol and increased insulin resistance.

Testosterone increases sexual interest, emotional well-being, increases muscle mass and strength, improves memory, helps skin from sagging, decreases excess body fat, helps maintain strong bones and elevates norepinephrine in the brain. Many studies have shown that medroxyprogesterone has negative health consequences in women. It certainly seems logical to use natural progesterone in the treatment of menopause. Natural progesterone is the same chemical structure that is produced by a woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands. During pregnancy a woman’s progesterone level can rise to 300-400 ng/ml .When treating menopause we usually keep blood levels between 6 and 20 ng/ml. Long-term research on natural progesterone is lacking. Pharmaceutical companies cannot obtain a patent on natural progesterone therefore it is unlikely that a large amount of money will be spent on this compound.

The main objection to hormone replacement therapy is the theoretical increased risk of breast cancer. Most functional medicine physicians believe that the dramatic rise in breast cancer over the past 50 years is due to the toxic environment in which we live. The industrial revolution has led to an unprecedented amount of toxins in our air, water, soil, and food supply. One can decrease this risk by drinking purified water and eating fresh organic foods and minimizing processed foods. Too much stress leads to impaired digestion which in turn leads to nutrient deficiencies and a weakened immune system. High insulin levels are fuel for cancer; therefore all individuals should minimize simple sugars and junk food and engage in routine physical activity. Lactic acid produced from exercise helps remove heavy metals from our body.

Whether or not a woman wants to take HRT is her personal decision. Logic tells me that if a woman is taking hormones and she has side effects such as breast tenderness, increased breast density, or a decreased sense of well-being, she should not be taking hormones. However, if a woman has no increase in breast density or tenderness, and no change in her mammogram and breast examination, and has an improved sense of well-being, I would consider the benefits of HRT over the theoretical risk. I strongly encourage women to have their hormone levels checked at routine intervals and at some point, have a 2-16 estrogen metabolismAquamatic Automatic Cover ratio obtained to further evaluate the risk for breast cancer. I also recommend women not take hormones if her blood tests demonstrate high oxidative stress. Women can decrease there risk of breast cancer by engaging in routine exercise, following a healthy diet, optimize her vitamin D level, and take essential fatty acids such as a omega-3,6 and 9. I recommend a good probiotic taken in the evening. These are healthy germs in a pill that will help aid in detoxification, vitamin production, and support the immune system.

Childhood Obesity

Take a look around your local school playground and the epidemic is obvious. Nearly one-third of all American children are considered obese. Consequently, children are developing diseases that previous generations saw only later in life. Adult-onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, stroke, and neuropathy are being diagnosed in today’s children. The primary cause of this epidemic is the horrendous standard American diet. We have now entered the second generation of children raised on “unreal food.” Processed foods are designed for our convenience and for increased profit margins of giant corporations. In order to maximize shelf life, enzymes that help digest food must be destroyed; nutrients and other minerals must be removed; and sugar, partially hydrogenated fats and oils, and a vast array of chemicals are added to make this “food” palatable. Experts now believe that only 2% of American children consume a truly healthy diet. Our children are among the most overfed and undernourished children in the world. Combine a horrible diet with severe inactivity, and you’ll find many very unhappy, unhealthy, overweight children.

The solution is simple: Parents need to make healthy lifestyles a family priority. We need to stop over-scheduling ourselves and our children and take time to prepare nutritious meals. The whole family can get involved in meal preparation, and parents can make it fun. Real food does spoil fast; therefore, someone needs to go to the grocery store at least twice a week. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the fresh foods. Do your best to pick out natural, organic, hormone- and preservative-free, non-genetically modified foods. Concentrate on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meat. If it comes in a box, a bag, or a can, it is most likely processed and should be avoided. I prefer never to see more than 10% of total calories coming from sweets and desserts. I do recommend you stringently avoid the most toxic foods. What I consider to be poisonous foods are most commercial sweets, baked goods, potato chips, commercial french fries, blackened meats, candy, high fructose corn syrup, soda, donuts, commercial salad dressings made with soybean oil, and anything that contains partially hydrogenated fats or oils. Children may not listen to everything a parent says—but they are always watching. Parents that drink soda pop, eat junk food, and watch a lot of television set a poor example for their children. We should encourage our children to be outside. Go for a walk together, a bicycle ride, or make a trip to the park, and encourage sports or an individual exercise program. The key is to find activities that the children enjoy, and emphasis should be on creating a healthy lifestyle rather than on competition.

Sunscreen: Friend or Foe

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen has reportedly infuriated cancer experts by describing sunscreen as “poison.” This came as no surprise to me, as many reports in medical literature have shown that sunscreen has never been proven to prevent skin cancer. Medical research studies have actually shown sunscreen may increase the risk of skin cancer.

It was over ten years ago that the FDA warned of the dangers of Vitamin A in sunscreen. Retinyl palmitate has been shown to be directly toxic to the skin and to increase the risk of skin cancer. Another common sunscreen is oxybenzone, which chemically interferes with the hormones of the body and directly enters the bloodstream. The best way to protect your skin is to avoid excessive exposure and to avoid the sun during the most radiant hours of the day, typically 10AM to 2PM. Australia has had such an epidemic of skin cancer that they have banned sporting events during these hours. I recently had the pleasure of bonefishing off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The guide there taught us it was mandatory to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a scarf covering our entire face, as well as long-sleeved pants, shirts, and protective fishing gloves. If you must be out during the midday, I highly recommend finding shade. If you must go to the beach or sporting event, bring an umbrella.

Perhaps the question is: Is sunscreen really necessary? Many commercially available sunscreens are loaded with toxic chemicals harmful to the body. The other concern is that they block the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that provides many health benefits. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve mood, improve the immune system, improve kidney function, improve bone health, and enhance muscle strength. Twenty minutes of direct sunlight to the body generally leads to significant Vitamin D production, but you will need exposure during the brightest part of the day. The general rule of thumb is if your shadow is longer than your height, you will not have enough ultraviolet light to stimulate Vitamin D production. Twenty minutes of daily exposure is considered insufficient to increase your risk of skin cancer. In fact, the benefit of the Vitamin D probably lowers your risk of skin cancer. As soon as your skin starts to turn pink, though, it is imperative to cover up.

If you have to work in direct sunlight, the two most effective sunscreens, hands-down, are titanium and zinc oxide. These substances actually block the sun’s radiation from hitting your skin, forming a protective layer between you and the radiation. Most other sunscreens rely on a chemical reaction that occurs on your skin. The concern is that this chemical reaction may cause more harm than good.

Other ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer, or any cancer, is to consume foods high in antioxidants and to take supplements. Most important is to eat fresh, organic, unprocessed foods. Make sure you are consuming enough essential oils such as flax, olive oil, and coconut oil, as well as a wide variety of nuts and seeds and an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables. I would ask your health care provider to recommend the best antioxidant blend for you—one tailored to your individual needs.

The Truth about Saturated Fat

The news media and even the medical establishment has demonized all fats as being bad for you. Back in the 50s and 60s doctors postulated that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet was leading to the increased incidence of coronary heart disease. The truth is that there is very little evidence to support this theory. In fact, prior to 1920 coronary heart disease was rare. Today, heart disease causes at least 40% of all deaths in America. During this time, animal fat consumption in America has declined from 83% to 62% and butter consumption has decreased from 18 pounds per person per year to 4. Research studies have shown that by decreasing saturated fat in ones diet you increase a persons risk for death from cancer, brain hemorrhage, suicide and violent death. Studies from Northern India, Japan, France, and the study of Eskimo’s has shown that these people can consume a high percent of their caloric intake from animal fats and be virtually free from heart disease.

Saturated fats have many benefits. They constitute at least 50% of our cell membranes and are responsible for maintaining proper integrity. Eating saturated fats improves cardiovascular risk factors. They help raise levels of HDL, the so called good cholesterol, and they lower lipoprotein(a) (also called Lp(a)) which is a substance that is strongly correlated with risk for heart disease. They play a vital role in the health of our bones allowing calcium to become incorporated into the skeletal structure. Saturated fat enhances our immune system and improves lung function.

The true cause of heart disease is not from eating animal fats and cholesterol but rather the eating habits of our modern day society. Most of us have become so overwhelmed with work that we have left no time or energy to prepare healthy, wholesome meals. The Standard American Diet is truly SAD! This includes the consumption of partially hydrogenated fats and oils, excess consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour, vitamin and mineral deficiencies from poor digestion, lack of physical activity, and the over exposure to heavy metals and other environmental toxins.

In addition to having an active lifestyle, the best way to prevent heart disease is by consuming a diet that provides animal foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12, preferably animals that are raised free range and are hormone and antibiotic free. We should consume a wide variety of organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and drink purified water. It is best to consume fresh whole natural foods and avoid processed foods. As a general rule: if it comes in a bag, box or can – avoid it. If you must eat processed food, learn to read labels. Avoid any food that contains partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn oil, safflower oil and canola are the worst oils you can eat and use for cooking, as these are rich in unhealthy omega-6 fats. They also tend to become easily oxidized or rancid when exposed to heat from cooking, which results in the formation of trans-fat and damaging free radicals. Coconut oil is the ideal cooking oil. Do not be afraid to cook with real butter or even lard.

American Needs an Attitude Adjustment!

America is SICK! As a society we are not well. The World Health Organization recently rated the United States thirty-ninth in the world for “quality of health.” Yet, our country is number ONE in healthcare cost. We also have the number one berth in obesity. Something is not working. Our present healthcare system has turned into an expensive “sick care” system. Something needs to change.

America’s emphasis on treating disease with a quick fix, synthetic drug has run it’s course. The American public is getting smarter. We no longer are satisfied with covering up symptoms, knowing there will be side effects. We want answers. We deserve answers. We deserve better health and the last twenty years has not shown this. It is time to focus on health, not sickness.

To better your health you must work with health care professionals who are focused on you as a whole person. They are dedicated to finding the root cause of the problem, instead of covering it up.

America is no longer “the land of the brave and the home of the free.” Over 60% of Americans are using prescription medication. Our children are taking drugs. This is no way to live. This is not living free. This is not health. You can not be healthy and be on any prescription medicine. If you are on even one drug you are not as healthy as you can be. I do understand that prescription drugs are needed in severe cases and thank God for them in a time of need, but.. prescription drugs will NEVER get you healthier.

It is time to take back your life. It is time to take responsibility for your body and for your health. Yes, you need top doctors to help you on this new chosen path. But, beware. Not all doctors are created (or trained) the same. Most MDs have had very limited amount of nutritional education.

You will need to possibly change your attitude and your habits about who’s hands you are putting your health in. You must be open minded to new ideas, have the willingness to go beyond the norm. To believe in natural health.

Functional medicine is the medicine of the future. Functional medicine is a practice of professional health care providers who combine traditional medicine with natural health. Medical doctors, Naturopath doctors, PAs and nutritionists work together with one goal in mind – getting you healthier, naturally.

How Old Are You – Really???

What year were you born? How many times have you been asked how old you were? Of course, we all know how many birthdays we have experienced but how many of us really know how old our bodies are? I am not talking about chronologically (the number of birthdays),but rather how old our body “thinks or feels” it really is (biologically).

Chronological vs. biological is the difference between your given days and how well your body is performing. We are only as healthy as our weakest and oldest cells. And as the saying goes, ” we are only as strong as our weakest link.” This statement is true for your body. But, how do you know what your “real” age is – really?

At Health and Wellness of Carmel, Dr. Cliff Fetters states, ” if you could take only one test to know about your health it would be the Bio 101.” This test not only gives you an evaluation of your “real” age, it gives you important information to use to get yourself healthier.

I know because I just had my first Bio 101. As a Naturopath doctor I thought I was fairly healthy and healthier than most but when I got my report back I was shocked. This report told me things including my biological age and my numbers were sad. Now I didn’t take this has bad news. As a master muscle tester and Naturopath doctor I knew that I could use this information to “make my self younger and healthier. And that is what we can do for you!

Yes, age is only a number, but, numbers tell the story. The way to live the healthiest is to have your chronological age equaling your biological age. This can be accomplished using the power of medical testing and muscle testing. This marriage of both worlds allows you to see your weakness that are making you age faster through medical testing and use muscle testing to find the remedies that makes years fade away.

No, we can’t change our birth years but we can improve our biological age. We can make ourselves younger, healthier and more vibrant. But there is two things you must have to accomplish this goal – the correct information, and a natural health professional to guide you. Whether you are looking for an MD specializing in Functional Medicine or an ND specializing in all natural modalities, the best thing to do is start today.

And the best place to start is at Health and Wellness of Carmel. Their entire staff is dedicated to Functional/natural medicine with three functional medical doctors and a naturopath doctor. With this unique combination all of your health concerns will be answered.

What are you waiting for? Call today for your appointment. You are not getting any younger – chronology or biologically.

How can a Naturopath doctor help you?

How can a Naturopath doctor help you? To better understand how this natural health specialist can help you let’s look at the differences between allopathic medicine and functional medicine or alternative health practices.

To have the best health possible you need both of these health experts. Your “regular” doctor is working on the concept of discussing your symptoms and then relieving that symptom, in most cases, with medication – never actually addressing the problem at the root cause but rather offering instant relieve from the discomfort. This is a needed service, but if you are wanting to focus on better health and not disease a Naturopath doctor is going to be your best first option.

A Naturopath doctor, like Dr. Weber, views symptoms of the body as messages that the body is screaming “help me!” These symptoms are positive proof that the body is not in balance. With the belief that the body as an innate ability to heal when it is in balance he uses his twenty five years of natural health experience and muscle testing expertise and helps the body heal – 100% naturally!

How does Dr. Weber have such success? MUSCLE TESTING.

Muscle testing or kinesiology was discovered in 1964 by a chiropractor named Dr. Goodheart. Dr. Weber has taken these teachings and have advanced them into a very precise and proven system that truly works to address all health issues. And the great thing about his system and muscle testing is it is inexpensive, and you have answers about your personal health in just a short thirty minute appointment.

Dr. Weber is more than your health coach. He knows how to give you the exact answers to your specific needs through a method that is not available at most medical offices.

Your body knows and it can not lie to a muscle test. What is your body trying to tell you? Don’t cover it up with medication. Begin today on a new journey of better health and start with a muscle test by Dr. Jerry Weber.

Parasites – Are they eating you alive?

Parasites! Just the sound of this scary word can instill fear in most of us. The thought of something alive that is living in us sounds like some bad science fiction movie but the truth is that parasites are real and much more prevalent than most people think.

So, what are parasites? Parasites are not just the worms that all of have heard the terrifying stories about. Parasites are any type of living organisms that live in a body as a host. They live in this host, stealing nutrients, damaging tissue, causing toxins (parasite waste), and eventually making the human host very sick. Most parasites never kill their host, just make them so sick they wish they could die.

Let me give you a few examples. Lymes disease is caused by a parasite that the human gets from a tick bite. This terrible condition is caused by a parasite called spirochetes. The flu is caused by a virus, which is also a parasite. Peptide ulcers in the stomach are caused by H. pylori bacteria, which again is a parasite.

If you or a loved one has been working with your medical doctors and have been suffering with a chronic illness my suggestion is be tested by a qualified parasitologist. This will probably not be a conventional medical doctor. Rather, choose a medical doctor who works with functional medicine (another name for integrative medicine) who muscle tests and works side by side with a naturopath doctor like myself.

Mildew, fungi, Protozoa, flukes, pathological bacteria, tapeworms, pinworms, mold toxins, virus, spirochetes and even candida yeast. Any of these parasites could be attacking your body. In just one visit we can tell you whether your body is under siege from any of these parasites. If you are in any pain, or suffering from illness it is worth the investment to visit us today. In just one visit you will know the truth about whether you have parasites in your body.

Here at the Health and Wellness of Carmel, functional medical doctors Dr. Cliff Fetters works along with me, Dr. Jerry Weber, as a naturopath doctor and together we focus, understand and know how to eliminate parasites out of your body so you can live a healthier life.