Dr. Benjamin's - Phone/Fax: 517-223-9900 - Cell: 517-290-7517
"Stop treating symptoms and get to the root cause"
 
 

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 FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
 
The FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE style that we practice is the Kalish Method. In working with patients we evaluate the HORMONES for adrenal fatigue, GUT for "LEAKY GUT" or infections and your DETOXIFICATION pathways to see how well the body is removing the yucky stuff out of the body.

THE FIRST STEP: Your adrenal glands are each no bigger than a walnut and weigh less than a grape, yet are responsible for one of the most important functions in your body: managing your stress.

When your adrenal glands are overtaxed, a condition known as adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion sets in, which in turn can set a cascade of disease processes into motion. One tell-tale sign of adrenal burnout is feeling chronically fatigued.

It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States.

The basis of adrenal fatigue or burnout is stress, which over time can tax your adrenal glands to the point of causing other health problems, such as the "BIG FIVE":

·         Sleep disorders

·         Weight gain

·         Fatigue

·         Depression

·         GI or “GUT” problems

The precipitating event for most people is a period of intense emotional stress. We find in our practice that approximately 95 percent of his patients report having experienced major emotional stress around the time their health began to falter.

The Three Stages of Adrenal Burnout

Adrenal issues are divided into three general categories: stage one, stage two, and stage three.

In a stage one pattern, your cortisol levels are very high, and you’re under a lot of stress. But it’s usually an enjoyable type of stress. Perhaps you’re a student or a new parent, which is stressful, yet you’re enjoying yourself and you feel more charged and alive than anything else. You need that excitement. Your body requires it. It’s somewhat like exercise. But the key is to have the adaptability and the resiliency to absorb that stress, enjoy it, benefit from it, and then dissipate it.

If you don’t sufficiently rest and recharge, your adrenals will get overtaxed, causing your cortisol levels to drop, and this is where most people notice there’s a problem.If you stay in this high-cortisol state for long enough – at stage one – you eventually go to stage two.

Stage two means that the cortisol levels are now starting to fail. This is when people start to gain weight. This is when people start to not be able to sleep. This is when your sex drive starts to go away. This is when people just know that there’s some health problem.- Many of our patients report these symptoms at their initial consultation. If you stay at stage two long enough, and you fail to change your lifestyle to address your failing adrenals such as not eating right, not resting, and not exercising, you eventually enter stage three.

In Stage three adrenal fatigue, your adrenals are actually burned out and your cortisol levels are low all the time, causing you to feel chronically fatigued and unable to recover your energy despite resting.

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Four Causes of Adrenal Dysfunction

There are three main reasons for adrenal fatigue and dysfunction:

1.     Emotional stress: typically related to grief or loss

2.     Poor diet: Eating too many carbs can disrupt cortisol and a certain group of corticosteroids (a blood pressure-stabilizing hormone), and the Standard American Diet is a perfect recipe for destroying your adrenal glands.

One of the most important things that cortisol does is regulating secretory IgA in your gut which is our immune system. This means that the immune response in your gut is controlled by cortisol. Therefore, if you’re stressed, the immune response in your gut suffers (under functions) and the gut tissue becomes damaged and "LEAKY" and good bacteria give way to bad bacteria, causing immune dysregulation that is centered in and around your gut.

Two important components to address this problem are to 1) regularly eat fermented foods, which will dramatically increase the beneficial bacteria in your body (which automatically will help decrease pathogenic bacteria), and 2) to eat a diet low in sugars and carbs, as that will also promote a healthy gut flora.

3.     Chronic inflammation in your body: Inflammation is the hallmark of virtually every disease you can think of, from diabetes to cancer, and when chronic, it stresses your system, including your adrenals.

One little-known strategy to counter inflammation is grounding or earthing, which requires nothing more than taking off your shoes and walking barefoot outside, ideally on dewy grass or on the beach. Connecting your soles to the earth will massively increase the influx of free electrons into your body, which helps dissipate inflammation due to their potent anti-inflammatory action.

Another common hormonal cause of adrenal fatigue is hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Thyroid function is diagnosed by a blood test, but there’s some controversy over what is normal and what’s not. Many alternative doctors feel the conventional reference ranges are far too broad, and opt to treat people exhibiting sub-clinical thyroid symptoms.

What happens to the thyroid and the adrenals is that as the cortisol levels go up, one of the normal body mechanisms is to downregulate thyroid.  So, most everybody with high cortisol is going to have lower than ideal thyroid hormone levels. At that point, it becomes a decision as to if you want to work on the adrenals, work on thyroid, or work on both together...

More than 90 percent of the time, the adrenal healing program is enough to restore thyroid function. The biggest reason for doing the adrenal testing and treatment first, is that when you start taking thyroid hormones your internal production of thyroid hormones drop. With the adrenal glands, it’s the opposite. When you start to take these adrenal-support products, your internal production of adrenal hormones comes back. If we can restore adrenal function, then we can save the person from having to be on thyroid medications potentially for the rest of their life.

How to Test Your Adrenal Function

In the allopathic or conventional medical world you would see an endocrinologist who would evaluate your adrenal glands, or perhaps a doctor of internal medicine. Unfortunately, they tend to primarily test for specific diseases like Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease, both of which are relatively rare.

When your doctor thinks about the adrenal glands, they really only think about these extreme medical conditions that are not going to be what most suffer from. The conventional medical provider will conduct medical testing that determines whether you have one of these rare endocrine disorders or not.

In the conventional medical world most doctors really are not aware of the kinds of lab tests called a functional adrenal stress profile. It means that we the Functional Medicine practitioner, is not worried about the disease processes as an endocrinologist would be, but we’re really looking at functional problems. Those are problems that are not going to send people to the hospital, but are more of disrupting your day-to-day life. These would be fatigue, depression, problems with weight gain, and problems with sleep....the BIG FIVE.

The type of Functional Medicine testing that we utilize to evaluating your adrenal function is done by taking four saliva samples over the course of a day. This maps out your circadian rhythm, showing how your cortisol levels rise and fall throughout your day. Saliva is collected at approximately four-hour intervals: first thing in the morning upon waking, then at noon, late afternoon, and again at night before going to bed.From the test result we find out exactly how your body is dealing with the stress it is experiencing. When Adrenal Fatigue is present a customized treatment protocol is developed to allow the adrenals to heal naturally.

How to Normalize Dysfunctional Adrenals

To normalizing dysfunctional adrenals and restoring normal adrenal function is what your customized "Health Plan" is all about. It’s a clinically validated method that’s been used for a long time, yet most physicians are still not aware of it.

What we find is that if we just restore what’s missing in the person for a period of six months or maybe at the most 12 months, the adrenal glands and the internal production of these hormones comes back. By supporting the adrenals properly we can actually restoring the normal production of these hormones in the body. The treatments, therefore, are relatively short-term; six months to a year. The only way we’ve found to do this real repair process is to use these really low dosages of DHEA and pregnenolone plus the proper nutritional supplementation over a period of time. Along with health & lifestyle coaching, stress management is the key to helping your body rebuild your health!

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To learn more about how we address Step 2 - Leaky Gut and Step 3 - Detox issues please contact us directly at the office.

(Contact Us Today!)

Call our office for more details on how to begin your Functional Medicine health analysis today!
 


Email Us at info@benjaminchiropractic.com
or
Call Us at 517-223-9900



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