Unexplained Infertility – Natural Infertility Treatment Options

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If you and your partner are struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. Ten to 15 percent of couples in the United States are infertile. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples.

Infertility is a rising problem in today’s society. I attempted to find accurate info on how much money is spent annually on infertility treatments, and I continue to only find results for ways to finance treatments for infertility. The saddest part is that in many cases, the body can reverse infertility naturally if given the correct resources. Infertility, like any disease, is simply a sign that something is not right inside the body and must be fixed.

I have worked with many women on this issue, and have seen very few health-related problems that have caused such pain and anxiety as wanting to have a child and being unable to have one. The good news is that the vast majority of the women who I have evaluated and tested for metabolic imbalances have eventually conceived after following my recommendations. Unfortunately, the success rate for in vitro fertilization is just greater than 20%, and the costs associated with metabolic testing and changing diet/lifestyle costs about $20,000 less than in vitro fertilization.

Infertility is often a complex problem with a simple solution. There are so many confounding factors that can cause or contribute to infertility, which is why conventional treatment is rarely as effective… it simply can’t address all the possible causes. Fertility drugs and artificial hormones of any kind, including birth control, can make underlying problems even worse and make future fertility more difficult (this is sad, because hormonal birth control is often prescribed for various hormonal imbalances and problems).

What Causes Infertility?

Infertility can be caused by a huge number of factors or any combination of them: hormone imbalance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Anovulatory Cycles, physical blockage, thyroid imbalance, inadequate hormone production, short luteal phase, lack of luteinizing hormone, high levels or prolactin, and many others.

Poor nutrition often plays a major role, as does exposure to toxins. Age plays less of a role before menopause than was originally thought. While there are many wonderful naturally minded fertility specialists out there, in many cases it is not possible for them to test for and address any of these possible underlying issues. Extreme fertility treatments do work for some, but can be very emotionally and physically exhausting, not to mention very expensive. Given the choice, every woman I have worked with would always prefer to conceive naturally.

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The great news is that dietary and lifestyle changes can make a tremendous difference in fertility, and often help with other issues like excess weight, lack of energy, blood sugar problems, skin issues, and insomnia, in the process.

If you, or someone you know, are experience problems with infertility, please call our office at 877-533-9993 where someone from our staff would be happy to answer your questions!

 

 

Which Natural Sweetener? Agave or Stevia?

Which Natural Sweetener? Agave or Stevia?

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One of the most common questions I get is which natural sweeteners I recommend using. By now, we all know that sugar and high fructose corn syrup are bad for us – they are pro-inflammatory and feed cancer-  but when it comes to the “natural” products on the shelves of health food stores or natural grocery stores, things can get a little confusing…

Agave (pronounced ‘uh-GAH-vay’) nectar is a natural sweetener with a pleasant neutral taste. It ranks relatively low on both the glycemic index and glycemic load scales. It is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than regular sugar and contains roughly 60 calories per tablespoon, which is about 20 calories more than the same amount of table sugar.

I no longer recommend agave as a healthy sweetener. Why? The reason agave ranks relatively low on the glycemic index is because it has a high content of fructose. Fructose does not readily raise blood sugar (glucose) levels because the body doesn’t metabolize it well. New research suggests that excessive fructose consumption deranges liver function and promotes obesity. The less fructose you consume, the better.

As it turns out, agave has a higher fructose content than any other common sweetener, more even than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Because of its reputation as a “natural” sweetener, it is now widely used in products claiming to be good for health – from teas to nutrition bars and energy drinks.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Americans consume much too much fructose, an average of 55 grams per day (compared to about 15 grams 100 years ago, mostly from fruits and vegetables). The biggest problem is cheap HFCS, ubiquitous in processed food.

Fructose is a major culprit in the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  It may also increase risks of heart disease and cancer.

Better alternatives do exist, and I don’t recommend the use of agave nectar at all. If you currently use agave or want to use a recipe that calls for it as a main ingredient, I recommend using stevia instead.

There are nearly 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies evaluating the effectiveness of stevia. to help treat everything from cancer to high blood pressure.  One of my personal favorites, stevia is safe for diabetics because it has zero calories and a glycemic load of zero. If minimally processed, this herb is a fantastic agave nectar substitute. But beware! Not all stevia products on the market are created equal. There can be good or bad stevia side effects depending on the source of the stevia that you use! Most people do well with stevia, but listen to your body because stevia is an herb and everyone’s body may react differently to it. The benefits and possible stevia side effects really depend upon what stevia you choose to consume.

When it comes to the stevia options available today, it’s vital to know that not all stevia is created equal. You should be aware of the three main categories of stevia, including green leaf stevia, stevia extracts and altered stevia, like Truvia. Truvia is really not even stevia at all by time it goes through a 42-step process to make this processed sweetener. First, the rebaudioside is extracted from the stevia leaf, and then chemical solvents are added, including acetonitrile, which is toxic to the liver and is a carcinogen. Then the producers add in a GMO corn derivative called erythritol. Truvia or rebaudioside stevia products are about 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar.  Not all stevia products are created equal. There is a HUGE difference between consuming real stevia and chemically processed stevia products like Truvia which  contains less than 1 percent pure stevia.

The brand of stevia that we recommend and personally use ourselves and with our children is Sweet Leaf Stevia Clear Drops. We carry this product with us everywhere we go to use as a healthy sugar substitute. You may order this product here from our online store! Take 15% off every order every day with promo code 15DAILY. Also, enjoy free shipping everyday with all orders over $100.  http://innovativefamilywellness.com/Store.asp#!/Sweet-Leaf-Stevia-Drops-Clear-4-oz/p/79494812/category=18090007

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Is is All In Your Genes? The Genetic Component of Autism

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Have you ever heard the statement, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”?  When it comes to the seemingly complicated puzzle of autism, many parents stop and ask, “How did this happen to my child?” Did you ever stop to think that the answer could be in your genes? Your genes are the blueprint of your body’s metabolic factory, and how these genes are expressed greatly influences your health. Have you ever imagined that you could influence or change your genetic predisposition to disease or conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?  Did you know that your genes are controlled or “turned on” and “turned off” by a cycle in your cells known as methylation?  Think of this process as the editing software of your computer which corrects your improper spelling on a document. While it’s true that you can’t pick your parents, by knowing more about your genetics, you can be proactive in controlling the expression of disease and achieving overall health.

So, we must ask, “Is there a genetic component of autism?” By close self-examination, the examination of your parents, grandparents and other family members, you may discover traits such as anxiety, depression and OCD. If you inherit the genetic defects in the methylation cycle, you may have mood swings, irritability or aggression. Other common observations in those on the spectrum are behavior and cognitive function abnormalities. You may also discover a family history filled with cancer, heart disease and common mental health problems. The answer lies within the methylation cycle, which happens over a billion times per second in the cells of the human body. A methyl group (CH3) is merely the pairing of a carbon molecule and three hydrogen molecules.  Like water (H2O), its importance cannot be understated. This cycle is dependent on proper genetic regulation, and if defective, your body is greatly impaired in its ability to detoxify heavy metals, fight off infections, and maintain a healthy immune system. Controlling one’s genetic expression is critical to managing disease and optimizing health.

The functioning of this cycle depends on the genetic structure being properly sequenced and in good working order. Understanding the genetic mutations in the methylation pathway and implementing specific nutrients can dramatically change your child’s life. For those of you who are interested in the field of biomedical autism treatments, you are undoubtedly concerned with trying to diagnose, analyze and improve your child’s health through diet, supplementation and medicine. You spend copious amounts of time, energy and money researching various diets, supplements, and the “latest and greatest” biomedical treatments available.

Would you like to eliminate the guesswork from choosing nutritional supplements, avoid a cookie-cutter, one-size- fits- all nutritional approach, and utilize the cutting- edge field called epigentics?   Epigenetics is the science of using customized nutritional supplements and highly specific diets to get around or “bypass” genetic mutations. Nutrigenomics is the newly- emerging science that describes the use of human genetic testing and the results of nutritional and biochemical tests to thoroughly understand what type of diet and supplements are best for the health of your body. It has great application in both the treatment and the prevention of disease. So, what is the connection between genetics and nutrigenomics as it relates to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) such as ADD, ADHD and Asperger’s?

Perhaps you have heard of a genetic mutation called MTHFr (methyltetrahydrofolate reductase) that influences the risk of having heart and cardiovascular disease. What you probably didn’t know that this gene is also highly correlated to children on the autism spectrum. After more than 10 years of practicing  in the treatment of biomedical autism, I have found that approximately 90% of the children on the spectrum have this mutation. The great benefit of knowing your genetics is that it empowers you by giving you the ability to “bypass” this genetic roadblock just as you would take an alternate route when driving in traffic to bypass an accident.  The solution would be to, for instance, select the appropriate form of folic acid based on your genetic profile. This would allow your body to carry out its proper functions, such as making new and healthy cells. For example, those of you with children with digestive problems like “leaky gut syndrome,” could begin to make new and healthy intestinal cells. In other words, it’s like putting cement between the cracks in the mortar and mending the broken wall.

Upon closer examination of the specific biochemistry of the methlylation cycle, it contributes to maintaining healthy levels of glutathione for detoxification, production of serotonin for mood stabilization, melatonin for sleep, dopamine for speech, and epinephrine (adrenaline) for focus and concentration. Proper methylation helps to regulate all of these pathways, including the balancing of these brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. They function in your brain and body in ways that define your personality and your physical abilities. Low serotonin has been implicated in depression, anxiety, OCD, digestive dysfunction, and perseverative behavior. Dopamine is essential for attention, focus, executive function, and goal motivated behavior. Higher norepinephrine relative to epinephrine has been correlated to ADD/ADHD. Understanding one’s genetics allows one to use specific nutrients, vitamins and minerals, as well as make select dietary choices that help regulate these neurotransmitters.

The take home point is that the science of epigenetics empowers one to take control of their health and implement dietary choices that are customized to their genetics. In my personal practice, Dr. Noah’s ARC, I routinely test a patient’s genetics by using salivary and blood tests. This enables me to implement a customized treatment plan using diet and nutritional supplements which essentially treat the child from the inside- out. It is a natural treatment which does not involve the use of prescription drugs. My personal view of autism is that it is a multi-factorial condition involving a compromised immune system, infectious organisms, brain chemical imbalances, as well as heavy metal toxicity with an underlying genetic predisposition, all of which contribute to a neurological inflammatory condition. This condition is also provoked by excessive levels of glutamate, a stimulatory brain chemical that is found in abundance in the typical American diet. This trigger for behavior is also regulated by genetic control, and when out of balance, causes nerve destruction known as exocitotoxin damage.

My personal passion as a biomedical autism practitioner is to identify the unique biological factors affecting each child.  Making the connection between genetic mutations and autism spectrum disorder has completely revolutionized the methods I now utilize when implementing the customized nutritional programs.  In summary, knowing your child’s genetic profile is absolutely critical, and, with valuable information, will enable you to accurately implement the proper forms of vitamins,  and give you the knowledge to make ideal dietary choices to maximize your child’s potential.

10 Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

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More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.

It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?

If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

 

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine Headaches

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

How to test for gluten intolerance?

I have found that one of the best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to conduct food allergy testing. Another option is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system, so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet.

If you suspect gluten to be the cause of your symptoms, food allergy testing is highly recommended.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.

The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. An article published in 2001 states that for those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.

Acupuncture Techniques – March 6, 2015

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Acupuncture Techniques for Pain Management –

Dr. Noah C. Erickson, D.C., Med, Ac.

Acupuncture is a 3,000-year old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the insertion and removal of needles to stimulate the innate healing potential of the body. It can be used to reduce pain, increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, increase range of motion, decrease muscle spasms, and promote relaxation for anxiety and panic disorders. It improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific areas on the body, referred to as acupuncture points.

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The most common method used to stimulate these points is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Needles may be inserted, manipulated, and retained in these points for a period of time. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a multitude of health conditions. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.
An effective acupuncture treatment for reducing pain in a localized region of the body is known as “Surround the Dragon.” In treatment, “Surround the Dragon” is a protocol of circling the area of pain with acupuncture needles to break the vicious cycle of pain. For those who have experienced a sports injury, a work-related injury, or are suffering from the over-use/repetitive strain injuries, “Surround the Dragon” may very well be the treatment that provides substantial relief. For example, in shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tendinitis and frozen shoulder, it is very common to have spasms of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint which greatly limit full range of motion and generate continual pain. To release these painful areas, “Surround the Dragon” is often used as part of an effective plan of treatment that includes chiropractic adjustments, massage, and therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation with ice and heat applications.

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Many people develop trigger points from injured muscles over their lifetime, and seek relief of these painful areas through medicinal remedies, massage therapy, drugs, and injections. We offer another effective technique utilizing acupuncture needles called “dry needling.” Dry needling involves the use of a solid filament needle that when inserted deep into the muscle, mechanically disrupts the integrity of the trigger points. It also creates a therapeutic effect by blocking pains through the release of opiods. Dry needling is an important adjunct of musculoskeletal pain treatment in my professional practice. As many people continue to search for an all-natural and drug-free approach to pain, acupuncture techniques like “Surround the Dragon,” and dry needling are two safe and effective methods for treating trigger points and localized areas of chronic pain.