Exercise and Good Health

Exercise is on everyone’s mind in the New Year. Gyms are packed, my wife is jogging and everyone is making resolutions to get healthier. No matter your fitness level, you can benefit from daily exercise. Our bodies are designed to move. Like many of you, I have resolved to improve my personal health by starting an exercise program.

Physical movement done with the intention of improving health (exercise) is a fundamental necessity for human health.

➢ Exercise moves our lymphatic fluid, the liquid that carries immune cells and eliminates cellular waste. Unlike blood, which is pumped throughout the body by the heart, the circulation of lymphatic fluid is entirely dependent on skeletal muscle contraction.

➢ Exercise lifts the mood, improves energy, and overall feeling of wellbeing. Most of us suffer from “stuck energy” caused by excessive work, excessive stress, and lack of physical movement.

➢ Exercise improves insulin sensitivity.

➢ Exercise increases metabolism and helps with fat loss and the production of lean muscle mass.

➢ Exercise strengthens the heart, reduces cardiovascular risk, and increases HDL.

5 ways to get the most out of your new years exercise program:

1. Make your personal health your #1 priority. Most of us are excellent at ignoring our own needs so that we can push harder for the people we love. While based on good intentions this pattern can easily become pathologic. Remember that your loved ones need you healthy and functional!

2. Concentrate your workout with high intensity short duration interval training. Interval training consists of short bursts of high intensity exercise that train your metabolism, muscles, and cardiovascular system to adapt for maximum power output. Research shows that high intensity, short duration interval training is more effective than traditional low intensity, high duration “cardio” for burning fat, increasing lean body composition, increasing metabolism, and for strengthening the heart. Another benefit of interval training is that it requires minimal time commitment in order to get results. With interval training, you can get a very effective and intense workout in just 20 minute each day.

3. Make daily exercise a habit. It helps to work out at the same time every day. I do 20 minutes of interval training before I get ready for work each the morning.

4. Do what it takes to make yourself achieve your goals. If possible, workout with someone who will help keep you motivated. This definitely helps, whether it means making your spouse your workout buddy or hiring a personal trainer. A journal may make you more accountable too.

5. Stretch! Stretching is essential for keeping your muscles supple and your joints lubricated. An easy way to make stretching part of your daily routine is to do it while you are watching TV and unwinding.

Andropause or Male Menopause

Most everyone is familiar with the term menopause, which refers to the end of a woman’s reproductive years. What some people don’t know is that men also go through a similar transition, known as andropause or male menopause, during their later years. In both cases, the transition is associated with hormone deficiencies and tends to coincide with other age-related declines. Fortunately, appropriate hormone treatment generally provides symptom relief, and also tends to delay other age-related illnesses or conditions.

Read whole Article by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy

Hypothyroidism

By: Javier Manrique NMD, CCT
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck, right below the Adam’s apple. Hormones produced by the thyroid determine the rate of energy production in each one of our cells. Therefore, the thyroid can be thought of as the master control gland for our body’s metabolism. Proper levels of thyroid hormones are necessary for the health of every tissue and organ system in the human body.

When the thyroid is unhealthy, the effects on the rest of the body are profound. Below are the classic symptoms of low thyroid function, hypothyroidism, and of an overactive thyroid gland, hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

(Low thyroid function)
Fatigue
Cold hands/feet
Weight gain
Depression
Myxedema (thickening of the skin)
Constipation
Hair loss
Dry skin
High cholesterol
Muscle pain

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism

(overactive thyroid gland)
Racing heart
Intolerance to heat
Insomnia
Diarrhea

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Unfortunately, thyroid dysfunction is shockingly common. According to data from the Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study, a large, well designed study with 25,862 participants, 11.7% of all study participants and 21% of women 74 years and older had some type of thyroid disease, as was defined by abnormal thyroid blood tests.

The actual incidence of thyroid disease is probably much higher than can be estimated with thyroid blood tests alone. It has been my experience that many patients suffering from hypothyroidism (as diagnosed by patient history and physical exam findings) actually have completely normal thyroid blood tests. Despite their seemingly normal test results, these patients suffer from the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism (fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, etc), they exhibit the objective physical signs of hypothyroidism: (myxedema, sluggish deep tendon reflexes, decreased basal body temperature, carotenemia), and they promptly recover when treated appropriately with thyroid hormones.

Other physicians have noticed this pattern as well and labeled it hypothyroidism type II, theorizing that these patients suffer from cellular receptor insensitivity to circulating thyroid hormones similar to the insulin resistance syndrome found in type II diabetics. Type II diabetics are commonly treated with insulin or oral medications that stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin, although their lab tests would show that they actually have normal to high levels of circulating insulin.

Ultimately, lab tests are just one of many diagnostic tools that should always be interpreted within the context of the “big picture”. I believe that lab tests alone are not capable of diagnosing or ruling out thyroid disease in every case. Since each person is unique, every diagnosis should ideally be based on all of the information available: presenting symptoms, family history, lifestyle, physical exam findings, and lab results.

Things you can do to optimize your thyroid health

Genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiencies, and exposure to environmental toxins all play a role in the development of thyroid disease. Here are some things that you can do to optimize your thyroid function.

1. Minimize your exposure to toxic halides. The halides are a family of elements that includes iodine, chlorine, bromine, and fluoride. Iodine is the only member of the halide family that is necessary for life. It is concentrated in the thyroid, breast, and prostate and is an essential component of thyroid hormones. All other halides are toxic. Since they are so similar in structure to iodine, they can displace it in the body, disrupting the synthesis of thyroid hormones. While iodine is relatively scarce in our diet and environment, toxic halides are ubiquitous. Chlorine occurs in tap water and cleaning products. Bromine is used as an anti-caking agent in all flour products (bread, crackers, etc) unless specifically marked “unbrominated” and it is absorbed through the skin from pool water. Fluoride is added to tap water and toothpaste.

2. Consume sea vegetables. Sea vegetables provide a rich source of essential trace elements including iodine and selenium, trace elements necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. While most people still think that the iodized salt that they sprinkle on their food provides all the iodine that they need to be healthy, exposure to toxic halides in the environment increases the body’s iodine requirements. Numerous research studies suggest that the Recommended Daily Allowances of iodine may not be sufficient for optimal health and thyroid function.

3. Eat 3 healthy, normal sized, meals per day. I see countless patients who are unable to lose weight despite the fact that they hardly eat. Excessive calorie restriction actually slows the body’s metabolism by preventing the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the metabolically active triiodothyronine (T3). During calorie restriction T4 converts to the inactive thyroid hormone reverse-T3, a survival mechanism that allowed our ancestors to survive for long periods with little food.

What is Anti-Aging Medicine?

Most people in our society believe that physical and mental decline are inevitable as we age. It is common to hear well meaning family, friends, and even physicians say that we’d “better get used to chronic pain, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, etc. because you’re getting older”. (Pick your symptom to fill in the blank.)Anti-aging medicine is a medical specialty based on the fact that the physical and mental degeneration commonly attributed to aging is preventable and, in many cases, even reversible.  With the help of a knowledgeable doctor, one can optimize their health through nutrition, exercise, detoxification, hormonal balancing, and other anti-aging therapies.

Drug companies, insurance companies, and conventional medicine often label the treatment of the broad category of imbalances attributed to “aging” an unnecessary luxury.   This reasoning ignores the important role that quality of life plays in a person’s health. With the advances in integrative medicine it is possible for everyone to feel great long into their Golden Years.

Things that you can do to slow the aging process and improve your quality of life include:

Remember that you are what you eat!  Avoid tobacco, alcohol, soda, sugar, and hydrogenated oil.  These substances strongly promote systemic inflammation and damage DNA. We are designed to eat fresh fruits and veggies, grass fed meats, raw nuts, and naturally occurring fats such as extra virgin olive and coconut oil.

Move your body every day.  Daily exercise is essential to health.  Muscle contraction moves our immune cells through the lymphatic system.  High intensity, low duration exercise has been shown to naturally increase growth hormone, testosterone, and other hormones that repair damaged tissue.

Minimize stress.  Chronic stress promotes the production of oxygen free radicals and excessive fight or flight hormones like adrenalin.  It is important to take time every day for yourself to do activities that you enjoy.  Get out of toxic relationships! Eat regular meals and take breaks at work.

Sleep at least 8 hours per night! Adequate, restful sleep is absolutely essential for the production of human growth hormone, the substance our body uses to repair damaged tissues.  If you are having trouble getting enough sleep, try blacking out your windows and removing electronic devices from your bedroom.

• Stay in tune with your body. If you notice symptom such as

chronic fatigue, weight gain, loss of sleep, low libido, hot flashes, or depression, realize that although most consider these  to be the norm “for your age”, you can take an active role in preventing or erasing these symptoms from your reality. Visit an anti-aging specialist to discuss personalized treatments for optimizing your long-term health.

 

Dr. Javier Manrique is a Naturopathic Physician and board certified chelation therapist. He specializes in integrative medical therapies aimed at preventing and reversing age related disease and degeneration.

Diabetes Can Be Prevented and Cured Naturally

By Javier Manrique NMD

Diabetes is responsible for 60% of all non-traumatic limb amputations.

The prevalence of diabetes is rising steadily by about 5% every year.  More people are suffering from diabetes than ever before.  In the United States, there are 25.8 million diabetics, and an additional 79 million people who have pre-diabetes.  This means that 1/3 of the US population is either diabetic or is likely to develop diabetes within the next ten years.  It is important to know what your risk is for developing diabetes.  This serious disease can be effectively treated and prevented with natural medicine.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison

What is diabetes?

Diabetes characterized by the body’s inability to properly regulate blood sugar.  It damages every tissue in the body and leads to serious complications such as vision loss, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, and even amputations.

About 95% of diabetics have the type II form of the disease. Diabetes type II/Insulin resistance is caused by a combination of improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. These patients can’t regulate blood glucose because their cellular insulin receptors do not respond appropriately to insulin. They require much higher concentrations of insulin in order to get glucose out of their bloodstream and into their cells.

Excessive insulin production contributes to obesity.

In addition to regulating blood sugar, insulin has powerful effects on fat metabolism.  Insulin prevents the utilization of adipose tissue for energy and signals the body to store any dietary calories that are not immediately used for energy as body fat.

Medical management of type II diabetes provides a temporary fix.

Managing diabetes strictly with pharmaceuticals does not address the underlying cause of insulin resistance.  Medications are not a cure for the disease and do not work indefinitely to prevent its complications.

There is another way!

The good news is that in the majority of cases, diabetes can be prevented, or even cured, with simple diet and lifestyle modifications.  Insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes are caused by a combination of: genetic predisposition and excessive carbohydrate consumption. Insulin receptors can regain their sensitivity if one adopts a diet that is extremely low in refined carbohydrates, similar to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.  I highly recommend The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain for anyone who is interested in learning more about the health benefits of a traditional hunter-gatherer diet.  Most type II diabetics can completely cure themselves if they are willing to adopt a strict hunter-gatherer diet and a regular exercise program.

Dietary recommendations for restoring insulin sensitivity:

1)   Water: Drink 2-4 Liters of water per day. Avoid non water drinks: soda, alcohol, ice tea, fruit juice.

2)   Avoid simple carbohydrates: sweets, bread, pasta, white rice.

3)   Limit your consumption of grains.  Even whole grains can contribute to insulin resistance for many diabetics.

4)   Eat healthy fats with every meal: Olive oil, coconut oil, butter, raw nuts, avocados, and pasture fed animal fat.  Healthy fats not only help to stabilize blood sugar, they also provide energy to the brain, liver, and other tissues without requiring insulin.  A low carb diet is not safe without adequate fat consumption!

5)   Eat fresh vegetables with every meal.

6)   Eat high quality protein with every meal: unprocessed meat/fish, eggs, raw nuts.

Dr. Javier Manrique is a naturopathic physician who specializes in treating the causes of disease and helping his patients reduce their dependence on medications.  He offers unique solutions for achieving glycemic control in type II diabetes and in type I diabetes with insulin resistance.  Dr. Manrique’s clinic has moved to a new location on the Deuce of Clubs, just East of Autozone.  928-537-4242

See more about Dr. Manrique’s nutrition

What is Chelation Therapy?

By Javier Manrique NMD

Chelation is the only recognized medical treatment that safely and effectively removes toxic metals from the human body.  The chelating agent, ethylenediaminetetraaceticacid (EDTA) has been used intravenously since the early 1950’s as an antidote for acute heavy metal poisoning.

Acute heavy metal poisoning is much less commonplace today than it was in the days of leaded gasoline and lead paint.  Unfortunately, we are all still exposed to low levels of heavy metals on a daily basis.  Modern sources of mercury exposure are: coal burning power plants, seafood, dental amalgams, and vaccinations.  Lead comes from dust in older homes, ammunition, plumbing solder, and cosmetics such as red lipstick.  Modern science has shown us that there is no safe level of lead or mercury exposure.  The harmful effects of chronic, low level exposure to heavy metals on all body systems are cumulative and real.  Blood lead levels of as low as 0.10 umol/L have been associated with an increased likelihood of stroke, heart attack, and all cause mortality.

Increased body burden of toxic metals can be a significant factor in the development of many chronic diseases.  At the Good Life Health Center, we have found a correlation between low level heavy metal exposure and a wide range of seemingly unrelated health conditions:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • cardiovascular disease
  • autoimmunity
  • decreased kidney function
  • chronic pain
  • allergies
  • hormonal imbalances
  • neurologic deficits
  • toxic encephalopathy (brain fog)

Can essential nutrients cause harm?

All metals are potentially harmful depending on their concentration in the body.  Metals are divided into two broad categories: essential and non-essential

Essential metals such as iron, zinc, copper, and calcium have specific functions in the human body and are necessary for life.  Their levels are tightly regulated and they are bound to special proteins for transport in the blood.  However, if these essential metals overwhelm the body’s transport protein binding capacity they can exist “free” (unbound) in the blood stream or may become deposited in diseased tissues.   Even relatively small amounts of unbound essential metals can be harmful since they are a major catalyst in the production of oxygen free radicals.  Oxygen free radicals are extremely reactive substances that damage all tissues and are one of the main causes of systemic inflammation.

Slightly elevated iron stores as measured by ferritin levels of only 200ug/L have been associated with a 220% increased likelihood of heart attack and stroke! Intravenous chelation is a preventative, minimally invasive therapy that safely and effectively removes free iron, zinc, copper and calcium from the bloodstream and from their deposits in diseased tissue.

Is chelation therapy right for you?

Toxic burden can be evaluated through blood, urine, or hair testing.  Each testing method has its own advantages and limitations.  Objective evaluation of an individual’s heavy metals stores is essential before beginning any chelation program.  Testing shows whether or not chelation therapy is likely to be helpful for a particular patient’s situation, it allows me to choose the appropriate chelating agent, and it is important because it is used as a measure objective improvement.

In my practice, I have found chelation therapy to be extremely helpful in treating patients with a wide variety of health concerns.  Sub acute heavy metal exposure is often the common link between many vague and seemingly difficult to treat conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and idiopathic cardiovascular disease.

Body burden of heavy metals should be evaluated more often in patients with chronic disease.  Modern science continues to show that there is truly no safe level of heavy metal exposure. The harm caused by chronic, lead and mercury exposure is measurable and real, as are the benefits that patients experience when these toxic metals are removed with appropriately administered chelation therapy.

Chelation therapy resources:

American College for Advancement in Medicine

1-800-532-3688 acamnet.org

ACAM is a medical association that trains and certifies physicians in the safe use of chelation therapy and other integrative medical techniques.

Bypassing Bypass Surgery by Elmer M Cranton MD

Everything You Should Know About Chelation Therapy by Morton Walker DPM and Hitendra Shaw MD.

More about Chelation from Dr. Manrique

________________________

Dr. Javier Manrique received his medical education from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.  He is a naturopathic physician and board certified chelation therapist.  He has a special interest in educating his patients and promoting self-healing.

Infrared Mammography: Safe & Painless Breast Screening

By Javier Manrique NMD

Infrared Mammography is a unique breast  imaging tool used in conjunction with clinical breast exam and traditional imaging techniques for detecting breast cancer. It is used in detecting and monitoring benign breast lesions and evaluating the effectiveness of treatments aimed at improving breast health.  It works by measuring heat emissions that correspond to the physiologic activity of the tissue being studied.  There is:

– No Radiation

– No Compression

– Up to 10 years earlier detection than any other imaging method

While x-ray mammography and ultrasound work by comparing the physical density of different areas of the breast, Infrared Mammography, like MRI mammography, actually measures the physiologic characteristics of the breast tissue. Infrared Mammography is the best tool for detecting the unregulated flow of core blood to the breast. This is a pattern that occurs in the blood vessels that feed malignant cells, even before a tumor is large enough to be detected by other methods.

Standard x-ray mammography is an excellent method for detecting cancer in post-menopausal women who are not receiving hormone replacement therapy. This technology is extensively developed, widely available, and universally covered by insurance plans.

However, the clinical effectiveness of x-ray imaging techniques is limited by the fact that they can only detect differences in tissue density, not physiology. Tumors that are extremely similar in density to the surrounding healthy tissue can not be effectively found using x-ray based imaging techniques. This makes x-ray mammography a less effective screening tool for younger women or women with dense or fibrocystic breasts.  Thus, even though breast cancer is now the leading cause of death for women ages 29 – 45, mammograms are not usually recommended for this age group and most young women do not get any kind of screening.  Mammograms are also ineffective for women receiving hormone replacement therapy and women with a history of biopsy or breast surgery.

 

Infrared mammography is ideal for:

– Women who want to avoid radiation and breast compression

– Pre-menopausal women

– Women receiving hormone replacement therapy

– History of breast biopsy or breast surgery

– Dense or fibrocystic breasts

– Very large or very small breasts

– Women with implants

– Women who are pregnant or nursing

– Detection of inflammatory breast cancer

 

We suggest women get a baseline screening as early as age 25 and then once a year starting at age 40.

Infrared Mammography is available at the Good Life Health Center in Show Low, AZ.

Contact us for more information at 928-537-4242

Understanding the limitations of laboratory reference ranges

Most patients and doctors mistakenly believe that a laboratory’s reference range defines the “normal range” of a particular measured lab value within a population of healthy individuals.  Any value within the normal range should be normal for a healthy person and any value above or below the reference range should be abnormal for a healthy person.

In reality, reference ranges define something else entirely: they merely represent the lab values of 95% of the patients who are tested by the lab.  Reference ranges vary from lab to lab and change over time as new patients are added to the sample and as different diseases become more prevalent in the general population.

For example since the advent of cholesterol lowering statin drugs, “normal values” for cholesterol have continued to go down representing a larger portion of the population taking statin drugs.

Reference ranges are based on arbitrary statistics, not logic or health.  A lab result falling within the “normal reference range” does not necessarily represent a healthy value.  There is no universally accepted definition of health, just a comparison to the mean or average value measured by the lab.  A “normal” lab test result simply means that the result fall less than 2 standard deviations from the mean on a Standard Normal Curve.

Mean: The average.  The red line in the picture below represents the mean value.

Normal reference range: includes all values that are +2 or -2 standard deviations from the mean.  The normal range includes 95% of all values measured.  It excludes the upper and lower 2.5% of values measured.

Each laboratory determines it’s own reference range for each test.   The actual range is determined by the lab results of patients who are tested: 95% of patients who get a particular test run fall less than 2 standard deviations from the mean and therefore by definition their results make up the lab’s normal range.  5% of patients results are greater than 2 standard deviations from the mean so their lab results are by definition “abnormal.”  Of these abnormal values, 2.5% fall above the reference range and 2.5% fall below.

Laboratory reference ranges represent what is normal for a sick population.

Laboratories don’t use thousands of optimally healthy subjects to determine their reference ranges for each test.  Instead, they use the data obtained by testing patients whose doctors have requested that they have a particular test run. These are people who’s doctors already suspect have a problem in the area being tested and do not represent a healthy popluation.

Insurance contracted physicians must restrict their testing to what is absolutely necessary and can be justified as essential to the patient’s insurance company.  In other words, physicians may only order tests that have a high chance of being abnormal and only test patients who are obviously sick.

Today the percentage of sick individuals who help determine a lab’s reference ranges is higher than ever before because of the tremendous pressure that insurance companies place on physicians to minimize the number of tests ordered in order to reduce costs.

Laboratory reference ranges are often too broad to be meaningful.

All reference ranges contain the values obtained from both healthy and unhealthy people.  Remember that reference ranges are purely statistical: by definition, 95% of the people who walk into the lab to be tested will be normal whether they are healthy or not.

The reference range for thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH is a good example of an excessively broad reference range.  Labcorp’s reference range for TSH is: 0.450 uIU/ml – 4.500 uIU/ml.  Patients with TSH of 4.500uIU/ml have a 10 times more TSH than individuals with 0.450 uIU/ml it is absurd to consider both as equally “normal” or “healthy”

Why does my doctor say that everything is fine when I don’t feel good?

Many people can relate to this scenario. You go to the doctor every year and are told: “all your labwork is normal”.  All of the sudden, after 10, 20, or 30 years of being normal, you all of the sudden are diagnosed with a severe disease such as cancer or diabetes which we know does not happen over night.  Another common scenario is “I have been feeling bad for a long time and my doctor insists that nothing is wrong because my labwork is normal.”  What this really means is that your labwork does not fall within the 5% of cases that are so severe that your insurance company will allow him to diagnose and treat you.

How should the reference ranges for variations of normal between healthy individuals be determined?

Lab data obtained from young adults who do not have health concerns severe enough to make them seek medical help is more likely to represent the optimal, healthy levels of a particular lab value.

However, each patient’s optimal range for each lab value is unique.  Because each patient is an individual, lab testing alone cannot diagnose or rule out an imbalance in most cases.  Since each person is unique, physicians should base their diagnosis on all of the information available: presenting symptoms, family history, lifestyle, physical exam findings, and lab results.

This comprehensive approach allows not only the detection of advanced disease: the relatively rare, severe, and obvious imbalance that causes lab results to fall outside of the lab’s normal reference range.  It also allows the detection of the much more common and subtle clues that indicate the start of a disease process that is not yet obvious enough to cause a test value to fall outside of the lab’s reference range.  Ultimately, correcting a health imbalance before it becomes a diagnosable disease by conventional medicine’s low standards of “normal” is true disease prevention.

ES

To the White Mountain Area Community:

I appreciate so much the expertise that Dr. Manrique has brought to Show Low and the communities of the White Mountains. He is caring and helpful, but his professional skills and knowledge are abundantly apparent.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April, 2011 which I suspected at least for a few months. My problem was that I really did not have confidence in any of the doctors who practice conventional medicine. Through a referral from some patients of Dr. Manrique, I made an appointment in March. Dr. Manrique determined that I am also diabetic, recommending a change of diet, along with some lifestyle changes, all of which made a difference in my blood sugar levels, which would definitely affect the situation with a breast tumor.

He referred me to an oncologist for tests for cancer and a definitive diagnosis and I was scheduled to start on a unique conventional regimen, specific to breast cancer. Another part of being somewhat nervous with delays and concern over cancer in general, I felt some stress and drama with my situation. Dr. Manrique was very encouraging, giving a dose of confidence as well as encouragement to make solid changes in my health. In June I had started the conventional therapy with the first treatment. At my next consultation with Dr. Manrique, the tumor lesion had shrunk more than half of what it was in March. Significant progress had been made as a result of Dr. Manrique’s recommendations.

I am happy to say that the lesion is gone and I am continuing to use alternative methods to ensure a positive outcome. I was referred to Dr. Manrique at a time when treatment for cancer was crucial. He was very encouraging and helpful, not only in outlining what measures I needed to take to recover but also to direct my focus to other health professionals that I needed for my best options. I appreciated his recommendations for my course of action. I have come to trust his knowledge and his opinions for the depth of his medical resources and for his ability to help patients who come for his help.

I appreciated having Dr. Manrique in our area, especially at a time when I needed his help.

Sincerely,
ES