A Naturopathic Understanding of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia


Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH

BPH is a highly prevalent imbalance in aged men, characterized by dysregulation of cell growth of the prostate epithelium and stroma.  The prevalence increases from 8% to 50% once a man reaches 50 years of age. Symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and incomplete voiding of urine.  BPH can lead to prostate cancer in some men, and so it is important to take preventative measures, and make changes to reverse or minimize the risk factors.


Metabolism, or breakdown of testosterone

Testosterone is metabolized to DHT via an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, and is metabolized to estrogen via aromatase enzyme.  There is research showing both DHT pro_prostateand estrogen directly contribute to BPH.  Normal regulated metabolism of testosterone in a healthy man does not create the environment for BPH.  Answers to healing or preventing BPH lie in reducing the metabolism, or rather, reducing the overstimulation of metabolism to these downline metabolites – estrogen and DHT and in addition to reducing inflammation in the body overall.


Stress and BPH

Harvard study showed two mechanisms are involved.  Stress increases both adrenaline and testosterone.  Adrenaline is triggered to release by the sympathetic nervous system and constricts blood vessels in smooth muscle including the prostate and bladder. This mechanism can make it difficult for a man to urinate.  Testosterone is produced in addition to other stress hormones triggered by the hypothalamus and the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG axis).


Testosterone replacement therapy

There has been much debate over testosterone therapy and BPH.  Low testosterone in men has been recognized and treated with testosterone replacement therapy for many years now.  Low testosterone can contribute to erectile dysfunction, low mood, insulin resistance and obesity in men.  Testosterone therapy in hypo gonadal men (those with low testosterone) who have BPH, showed improvement in 31% of the 120 patients.  This is a small study, however, it shows that clearly there are other factors than testosterone alone involved in the development of BPH.  Another study of Japanese men showed those with the highest testosterone levels had the smallest prostates, and those with the highest estrogen levels, had the largest.  Alcohol increases aromatase enzyme which creates more estrogen from testosterone.  So the combination of frequent alcohol consumption and testosterone therapy may lead to BPH symptoms.


Exercise and BPH

Harvard study of 3743 participants, found an inverse relationship between physical activity and BPH, even low to moderate activity.  The reason is unknown, one theory is that exercise ultimately lowers activity of the sympathetic nervous system.  Also, the study showed that those who spent the most time watching television were twice as likely to have BPH symptoms.



BPH is highly likely in a man who is obese.  Obesity can be measured by height/weight ratio or BMI (body mass index) over 30.  A Harvard study of over 25,000 men concluded that if a man’s waist is more than 43 inches in circumference, they are 2.4 times more likely to need surgery for their BPH than a man whose waist is less than 35 inches.  Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular disease and increased inflammation in the body all are strongly associated with BPH.  Excess adipose tissue on the body (fat) alone, without the other factors, can cause BPH due to the estrogenic activities in the fat tissue, especially abdominal fat.  Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with increased 5-alpha reductase activity, which metabolizes testosterone to DHT and stimulates prostate growth.


Understanding insulin resistance

Cells of the body need glucose to grow and function.  Insulin is responsible for helping the glucose get into the cells.  When a diet rich in carbohydrates or is eaten on a regular basis, the baseline insulin levels rise to lower the blood glucose level.  The cells then become resistant to the “call” of insulin.  This leads to higher and higher levels of insulin, which signals the body to store make triglycerides to store fat.  Insulin resistance causes abdominal fat deposits, and obesity.


Prolactin levels

The hormone prolactin in men is involved in BPH.  Prolactin increases the effect of the androgens, both testosterone and DHT on the proliferation of sexual organs, including prostate.  Ones level of sexual satisfaction in both men and women has correlated with levels of prolactin.  Drinking beer can also increase prolactin levels, and also increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, which can worsen BPH.  Prolactin is also increased by hypothyroidism and by smoking marijuana. High dose pyridoxine or B6 has been found to lower prolactin levels in men.



Prostate cells contain the highest amount of zinc of any cell in the body.  Zinc has been shown to dramatically reduce the prostate cell’s rate of growth. Zinc plays an important role in regulating prostate cell growth.  Pumpkin seeds contain a high amount of zinc.  They also contain beta-sitosterol which is a fatty compound that blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT.  A German study of over 2500 patients showed pumpkin seed extract reduced BPH symptoms by 41%.  An Australian study linked heavy metals in the body to BPH.  Heavy metals block zinc.  Other toxins linked to BPH are poly aromatic hydrocarbons and BPA, BPA was found to bind to zinc.


Inflammation and NFkB and how to reduce it naturally

NFkB is a naturally occurring chemical in our bodies that is activated in immune cells and increases the production of cytokines (inflammatory) and growth factors (can cause BPH) that can cause a normal cell to lose its regulatory mechanisms and become a cancer cell.  To prevent BPH and cancer, it is important to inhibit or reduce the level of NFkB in our bodies.  NFkB is increased when cells are exposed to high glucose for prolonged periods of time, such as in obesity, diabetes, and insulin-resistance.  Eating a Mediterranean diet, meditation and yoga have shown to inhibit NFkB.

Much research has been done on vitamins and nutrients that reduce inflammation and NFkB activation.  These include vitamin C, vitamin E, N-acetylcysteine, S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Zinc, and EPA/DHA (omega 3 fatty acids).  Also curcumin, lycopene, resveratrol, EGCG from green tea, capsaicin, licorice root extract, clove extract, basil, rosemary extracts, ginger and pomegranate fruit extract have studies that show they decrease or inhibit NFkB.  Plants and vitamins all affect NFkB in different ways to exert the health benefits and modulate these inflammatory processes.

lycopene tomato

Plant medicine

Botanicals with multiple positive studies showing effectiveness in reducing the mechanisms involved in BPH.  Saw palmetto berry extract, when taken with selenium and lycopene, blocks conversion of testosterone to DHT.  Pygeum africanum blocks DHT’s activation of the receptors on the prostate cell.  Stinging nettle reduces the size of epithelial cells of the prostate.  It has shown effectiveness equal to the drug finasteride and does not have side effects.  Remember to find products with these in combination.  Botanicals work best together, as they are synergistic and have different modes of action on the prostate.  Standardized extracts of botanicals are more potent forms, as opposed to raw herb powder.


In conclusion, BPH can be prevented and or healed by making a few simple changes in our life.  I hope you are inspired to take some of this into consideration and share the information with your loved ones.  Here is where we can make a difference, by working with our body to create an environment that will promote health, rather than disease.  Natural medicine can play a role.  As always, if you have questions, please Contact Me.  Be well!

Auto-immunity, the what, where, why and how

My favorite question is “why?”.  I ask it many times in my mind during an intake until I really get to the root causes of the health concern.  When we ask ourselves, our body, “why is this happening to me?”, we can often find the answers ourselves.  Our body is always trying to communicate to us what it needs and doesn’t need.  With awareness of the wisdom of the body, even in its dis-ease, we learn, grow, have hope, and enlighten ourselves and all that we touch.  We learn to trust the body, its vital energy to heal itself, and this leads to miraculous healing power emerging.  So this is a conversation, into the “why” of auto-immune disease.  Enjoy.

What are common auto-immune diseases?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis

What causes auto-immunity?

It happens when our immune system sees our normal cells as foreign cells.

Why does this happen? The term is cross-reactivity. The cells of our immune system are not operating properly and see a particle in the blood that should not be there, they make a “red flag” warning label for this particle. This particle looks VERY similar to a protein in our body’s structure, and sends the immune system army to attack it.

Why does this cross-reactivity happen?

2 reasons

First reason.  The immune system is geared more towards something called Humoral and Cell-mediated Immune response (aka TH2 response). The body has allowed foreign substances into the blood stream.

Why is the immune system tipped toward TH2?

Because the TH1 system or balance is suppressed.

Why is it suppressed?

Toxins in the body suppress it. Such as mercury and lead, pthalates (perfumes), exhaust from diesel, benzene, pesticides, insecticides and more. These actually suppress the chemical signals of the TH1 immune system, and use up our glutathione (the most important de-toxer in the body)

What is the first sign that this is happening in the body?

Allergies, and a person that “never gets a cold/flu”, or one that has chronic infection they cannot fight.


Second reason.  The body allows things into the body that should not be there, term is permeability.

Why does this happen?

Body linings have become permeable, or “leaky”


Some insult to the body causes this, here are a few.

Stress (I know you hear this all the time, it is researched to be true)

Drugs, commonly, steroids, NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), anti-biotics, alcohol, other infections

Food intolerances, eating foods you are intolerant to, causes toxins in bowel

Dehydration cause dry cracked membranes (nose)

NSAIDS break down our healthy mucus protective barrier

Anti-biotics kill our natural immune barrier army

Alcohol damages the lining of the gastrointestinal tract

Other infections such as candida

So what can I do?

Avoid chemicals and things that suppress our immune system. Buy a high quality air purifier for your home or at least your bedroom. Chemicals travel on dust particles. Change your chemicals for cleaning out for vinegar, boric acid and baking soda. Do not wear perfume. Eat organic, non-GMO foods. Avoid plastics as much as possible. Sweat daily, in the form of exercise, sauna, or hot Epsom salts baths. Take NAC or n-acetyl-cysteine and buffered vitamin C daily to increase glutathione. See a naturopathic physician to help guide you through the process.


Can I reverse auto-immune disease?

Yes, while we don’t yet understand how to regenerate damaged tissues, you can certainly lower the anti-body levels, put your disease in remission, and live a long healthy life.



Another Cancer Cause Revealed

Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the U.S. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for 2014 are 96,830 new cases of colon and 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. The lifetime risk is 1 in 20 or 5%. There are factors within our control to lessen our chances (research based) such as eating less red meat (beef, lamb, liver), especially processed meats (lunch meat, hot dogs). Also, increasing vegetable and high-fiber foods, and getting daily exercise have been proven to be effective. Obesity, is a strong risk factor within our control, as is Vitamin D deficiency, drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day and radiation exposure.


A new study links eating a high-carb diet to colorectal cancer re-occurrence. It is highly likely that the participants in this study always enjoyed a high carb diet and did not start AFTER their colorectal cancer bout. That being said, I add eating a high carb diet to the list for a clear risk factor for colorectal (or any) cancer. Here are the study facts.


This study analyzed data on 1,011 adults, most in their early 60s, who had surgery and chemotherapy for Stage III colon cancer, in which the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in the immediate area but had not metastasized to distant parts of the body. In about a seven-year span, the cancer recurred in 343 people; 262 of them died, as did 43 others who had no recurrence of cancer. People who consumed the most carbohydrate-rich foods were 80 percent more likely to have had a recurrence of colon cancer or to have died than were those who consumed the least of such foods. Among people who were overweight or obese, high carbohydrate consumption more than doubled the risk for a cancer recurrence or death.

Anything we do to our bowels that is not healthy can contribute to cancer.  Cancer is a cell that has mistakenly gone awry.  The cells of the body are wise however and can convert back to normal cells.  This happens all the time in the body.  Problem is, often we only start to care about ourselves and the health of our cells, AFTER something has gotten our attention (i.e. a tumor), and then it seems too late to make changes.  Some things that come to mind that can harm the gut lining are taking too many antibiotics, steroids, acid blockers, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, not moving the bowels daily, eating foods we are intolerant too (causes toxins), eating “foods” that are not real food, preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, insecticides, fake sweeteners and other chemicals.


Naturopathic medical doctors play a powerful role in getting to root cause of the health issue. I highly recommend finding a naturopath to support your health.  I am governed by the naturopathic principles of do not harm, and treat the cause. I also can help stimulate the vital healing power of your body and with the help of nature, optimize your health, for you and for all.


Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299, or email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  Check out my facebook page and follow our feed on twitter.

Exhausted and labs normal: adrenal fatigue?

“Am I crazy?  The doctor said I am normal!  I have every test and then was prescribed an anti-depressant!”

No, no, you are not crazy.  The doctor is just looking in the wrong place for the answers to your health issue.

I would like to address one of the most common underlying causes of exhaustion, and that is…Adrenal Fatigue.

Our two adrenal glands, are endocrine glands that are located near our kidneys and control many parts of our health.  adrenal pic They secrete adrenaline which gives us energy and resilience during stressful times.  They wake us up in the morning and get us going, and put us to bed at night.  They help control the immune system and keep allergies in check.   Other functions include helping control  our blood sugar, convert thyroid hormone and help with blood pressure.

First, let’s check in and see if you pass the test.  Here is a Self-Test you can take to determine if adrenal fatigue is your underlying cause.  Or maybe you do not have adrenal fatigue, yet you are just not handling stress well.

There are other underlying causes of fatigue that must be ruled out, such as low-level anemia, sub-optimal thyroid function, nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity and sex hormone imbalance.  Testing may be needed if one of these causes is suspected.  Don’t worry, I use functional medicine or optimal function ranges, not “normal” ranges to determine imbalances.

Ok, so here are some clues for you.  Some of the common things I hear from patients that may make me suspect adrenal fatigue

  • “I get dizzy when I stand up quick”
  • “my stress level is very high”
  • “I cannot handle stress like I used to”
  • “I wake up and feel as if I haven’t slept”
  • “I get a burst of energy at night before bed”
  • “I’m always cold”
  • “I bruise easily”
  • “I have allergies now, and never did before”

How do I confirm I have adrenal fatigue? Well testing is helpful to understand the stage and severity of the imbalance, but it is not always necessary. Testing to confirm the suspicion is done via a saliva test from specialty lab.  The test samples are taken at 4 times during the day to give a full picture of their function, or lack of function.

So what to do if your adrenals are fatigued?  Now what to do?

Remember, this is an IMBALANCE not a permanent, incurable disease! The adrenal gland is a part of the body that has been overworked. So the answer is most often to REST the gland (give it a break), then feed it what it needs (certain nutrients), and change the reasons why it got off-balance in the first place.

Yes supplementation can definitely help you feel better quickly yet we need to ask, “why and how did your adrenals get fatigued?”. Here lies the real healing.   The treatments can vary greatly, this is the art of what I do.  Once all the information is gathered a treatment plan is put in place using naturopathic principles, recovery happens in 3-6 months for most.

  1. Remove obstacles to cure (if possible) – i.e. high stress lifestyle is primary obstacle to cure
  2. Establish a healthy regimen – i.e. include more techniques to deal with stress in life, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, massage
  3. Support weakened systems – i.e. feed the glands what they need – vitamin C and minerals, and take their work load off so they can rest – give herbs and glandulars

Here is an example. 54-year-old man, new onset of chronic fatigue, wakes up tired, cannot stay awake during the day. He has a history of running marathons (EXCESS STRESS). He was eating a whole foods diet, nothing processed. Testing revealed very low cortisol throughout the day (adrenal fatigue stage 4) and low testosterone. Treatment is to discontinue exercise for now, vitamin C intravenously to replete the stores in the adrenal gland, high dose glandular adrenal supplementation. After several months he began to “wake up” and felt good in the morning even before taking his supplement. This was the sign to begin weaning down off the medicine and introducing mild exercise. At this point, he has weaned off and is doing fine on his own.

Another example. 39-year-old female, executive, high stress job, 2 teenage sons, and mother just passed away (EXCESS STRESS). She got a second wind of energy every night at 9pm and had trouble sleeping. She was truly exhausted and was not eating well or drinking enough water. She had adrenal fatigue, stage 1.  Treatment began with support for sleep, grief counseling, and a nutrient dense diet. We added 2 liters of water per day with minerals, anti-oxidants and adrenal support that lowered cortisol and helped her adapt and deal with the stress. This was all she needed. After 6 months, she fully recovered.

Side note: I often prescribe an active meditation technique that helps you be stronger in yourself and not be so influenced by the outside world. Here is the video and the handout for this healing meditation technique.  Also, here are some other stress management techniques and Things to do to avoid getting too stressed out.

Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299,  email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  Check out our Facebook page and follow our feed on twitter.

Why am I sensitive to certain foods?

What is happening to me?  Now I am sensitive to foods!  Finally, the body is trying to tell you what foods are harmful, the signal is getting louder, and you are hearing it!  These symptoms are truly blessings in disguise.

As you may know, trying to figure out exactly which foods are bothering you can be maddening.  Everyone has 1 or more food intolerances, and have had them since birth.  Many of us don’t ever notice symptoms, others notice and patch the symptoms with medications.  In recent years, with the surge of gluten intolerance, the idea of food intolerances is becoming more popular, so more and more are catching on.

The symptoms of eating foods you are intolerant to are as unique as we are.  They can arise in minutes, hours or days.  They can range from itching to hives, gas/bloating to fatigue, heartburn to abdominal pain, migraines to sinus congestion .

If you have been eating the foods you are intolerant to, this tells me that your GI tract may be unhealthy and not functioning properly on a cellular level. What are the OTHER underlying things that may cause unhealthy GI tract?

  • Antibiotic use
  • Chemotherapy – (methotrexate)
  • Alcohol use
  • Eating food you are Intolerant to
  • Chronic use of NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc)
  • Steroids (prednisone, cortisone, etc)
  • Surgery/Trauma
  • Recent gastroenteritis
  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Low anti-oxidants
  • Poor diet


So what can I do about it?

The first thing I would do is test your Food Intolerance via a blood test.  Clearly, eating these foods cause an unhealthy GI tract in a major way.

What is food intolerance anyway?

Your body cannot digest the foods you are intolerant to properly.  These partly digested food particles produce measurable levels of toxins in the GI tract.  These toxins are “work” for the body to get rid of.  They also lead to microscopic deterioration of the healthy GI lining.  The undigested food particles basically “rot” in the intestines and interfere with normal functioning of the body.  This can lead to chronic disease.  These intolerant foods are a source of maldigestion, intestinal toxemia, dysbiosis, gastroparesis, leaky gut, and cause chronic irritation to body tissues.

Once this food or food combination is determined through testing and then eliminated, your body begins to heal.  I can also help you heal the GI tract.  In order to do this, certain nutrients are needed.  Occasionally a GI cleanse may be needed first.  Of course, we must first avoid, as much as possible, drugs that harm the GI tract, high stress, and we must eat a healthy diet of plenty of plant foods and no processed foods or sugars.

Here are some things that help the GI to heal.

L-glutamine – food for the GI tract cells

Probiotics – good bacteria that help the GI tract by producing food for GI tract cells, by keeping at bay foreign invaders that make us sick, and they help increase our immune system

N-acetyl-glucosamine or NAG – is from seafood and helps produce healthy mucus lining which protects the GI tract cells from damage

Fiber – absorbs toxins and pulls them out of the body, helps feed the good bacteria and keep them healthy, moves things along so stagnant conditions don’t ensue.

Slippery Elm – helps produce healthy mucus lining, an important part of the health of the GI tract

All patients benefit from complying with the food intolerance test results.  This is the first step, however.  Some patients need deeper support and further testing such as the stool analysis.

How can I find out what my food intolerances are?  Contact me anytime or call the office and set up an appointment for the FIT or food intolerance test.

Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299 or email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  For coupons and the latest updates, check out our facebook page, follow our feed on twitter, and sign up for a monthly newsletter.


The Science behind Raspberry Ketones

Who can resist the beauty of a red raspberry?  Their aroma is just as nice.  And what an amazing discovery, the power of the ketone molecule in that aroma!  Raspberry ketones are very small molecules called “phenols”.  They are found in raspberries, and also cranberries, 200px-Raspberry_ketoneblackberries, and anise.  Here is a little bit of the science behind the miracle of raspberry ketones.

Studies show Raspberry Ketones (RK) increase the breakdown of fat tissue directly with these two methods:

  1. Increasing the secretion of adiponectin in fat cells
  2. Increasing norepinephrine induced hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL)

Adiponectin is a hormone secreted by fat cells.  It is found in high amounts in thinner people and lower amounts in those that are overweight.  Adiponectin increases glucose uptake by the cells, increases insulin sensitivity, protects blood vessels from damage, and stimulates the break down lipids in fat tissue.   This shows promise for persons with Type 2 Diabetes, which is increasing in developing countries, and often exists undiagnosed.  Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or fatty liver is a condition related to diabetes, RK shows promise in protecting the liver from damage, improving cholesterol profiles, reversing insulin resistance and increasing overall anti-oxidant capacity.

What else can increase adiponectin?  Daily low mercury fish intake, a high fiber diet, and plenty of exercise!

Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is needed to move fat stores into usable energy forms.  It is stimulated by norepinephrine, and inhibited by insulin.  Overweight or obese individuals (pre-diabetic) often have high levels of insulin, which makes it difficult for them to lose weight.  RK has been shown to stimulate HSL to move from the inside of the cell to the fatty tissues to break them down.   These findings were from animal studies, no human trials could be found.

What else can increase hormone sensitive lipase?  Aerobic exercise!

Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299 , or email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  Check out our facebook page and follow our feed on twitter.

Detox and lose weight with the far infrared sauna

Our world is full of toxic chemicals.  Never before have such large numbers of people been exposed daily to chemicals from building materials, home furnishings, food additives, solvents, pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals, phenols, formaldehyde, BPA’s, PCB;s and VOC’s.  These are found in hundreds of products we touch every day.  The problem is that these toxins accumulate in the body, commonly in the adipose or fat tissue, and eventually make us sick.  Toxins in the body are known to be part of the underlying cause of the following conditions.  Ever wonder if you are toxic?  Take the Toxicity Questionnaire and find out.

Some of the chronic illnesses associated with toxicity:


Chronic fatigue syndrome

Rheumatoid arthritis

Auto-immune conditions



Chronic pain

FIR sauna therapy is an effective way to get these toxins out of the body and heal from these chronic diseases.  FIR stands for Far Infra-Red, which are rays from the sun.

Recently, Oprah Winfrey, featured an FIR sauna on her show as a “life extension” device.  Dr. Oz, who was featured on the show, explained how the FIR can burn up to 700 calories in an hour.  The FIR also helps increase circulation, promote healing of tissues, lower blood pressure, and remove toxins through the skin.

Imagine relaxing in a sauna for 10-30 minutes 3-4 times per week and greatly benefiting your health at the same time.  The FIR sauna is not like regular dry or wet sauna found in health clubs. Sauna therapy with far-infrared sauna is quite unique.

How do the Far Infra-Red rays work in the body?  How are they different?

Far-infrared (FIR) rays are beneficial to the body by causing a physical phenomenon called cellular “resonance”.  This resonance invigorates the cells, promotes metabolism, blood circulation and cellular renewal.  Increased metabolism means that the cells use more energy, and release more waste products.  Fat soluble toxins are stored in fatty tissues of the body which are under the skin.  The FIR rays penetrate a few inches into the body, into the fatty tissue and stimulates the cells to release these toxins.  When the body sweats, these toxins are released.  Research studies confirm that toxins are released during sauna treatment.  The urine samples taken after sauna treatment  is complete contain less toxins.  

Other natural “side effects” or benefits of FIR sauna therapy include reducing pain in the body, blood pressure, joint stiffness, relief from muscle spasms, tissue healing, cellular rejuvenation and weight loss.  

Not all FIR saunas are alike.  Contact Dr. Wells to discuss the pro’s and con’s of various sauna’s prior to purchase. 

Check out Zazen Health Solutions for interesting research information or Heartspring for my research article on the subject.

Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299, or email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  Check out our facebook page and follow our feed on twitter.

Do I need to detox?

 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingd_of_the_skype_highlighThe most comprehensive study to date looked at a much smaller number of persons (9) for the presence of 210 different chemicals.

Remarkable, in total, all subjects carried the following chemicals:

76 chemicals linked to cancer in humans or animals, 94 chemicals that are toxic to the brain/nervous system, 86 chemicals that interfere with the hormone system, 79 chemicals associated with birth defects, 77 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system, 77 chemicals toxic to the immune system


The burden of chemicals that we all appear to be carrying:

Heavy metals (lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury from foods, coal electric plants, dust, smoke)

Dioxins (from waste incineration, paper bleaching)

Volatile compounds (styrene, xylene, dichlorobenzene, ethyl phenol, formaldehyde from plastics, dry cleaning, food containers)

Chlorinated compounds (DDE/T, PCB;s, Chlordane from pesticides, fish, water supply)

Pesticides (organophosphates from non-organic foods, household pest killers)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (burning fuel, grilled/blackened meats)


How do these chemicals affect our health? 

  1. Immune system
    1. Decreased in function
    2. Manifests in allergies, asthma, eczema, chronic infections, autoimmunity, cancers
  2. Nervous system
    1. Toxic encephalopathy – aka “brain fog” and forgetfulness
    2. Neuropathies, axonopathies, myelinopathies – M.S. symptoms
    3. Coordination changes, numbness, tingling, pain
  3. Endocrine system
    1. Metabolism of hormones affected, menstrual disorders, fibroids, breast cancer
    2. Sleep disturbance, low energy or mood, changes in weight, appetite
    3. Changes in bowels, sexual interest, hair growth, texture

Detoxification pathways are affected

Heavy Metals and other chemicals deplete our body of glutathione, one of our most important detoxification factors.  When we cannot detox properly on a daily basis, we begin to have toxicity symptoms.

Detoxification is needed for most all patients that come in my office.

For some helpful tips, go to my Articles page and look under the heading TOXICITY.

Here are some plants that help clean the air!   My favorite water filtration system.  List of foods never to eat unless organic.

For more a personal evaluation, call 480-607-0299 for a free 15 minute consult, I’d love to talk to you!

Why can’t I lose weight?

Often I am faced with patients who desperately want to let go of extra pounds, but just can’t seem to do it.  Bless their hearts, they have tried every diet, every strategy, exercised 2 hours per day and don’t lose a pound.  Fortunately, when looking at these patients through the lens of naturopathic medicine, I can help.  Each person is unique.  Each has a different reason.  Today I would like to share with you how I look for underlying causes of weight challenges.

First, one must check for hormone imbalances.  Suboptimal hormones can put you in a “freeze zone” in regards to weight loss.  Second, one must put a plan together to optimize the body chemistry so it returns to its natural state… and natural size. Thyroid is a hormone that controls metabolism or how much energy is used in the resting state.  Most doctors check different markers and have different ranges.  So this change can make an extraordinary difference in how one feels.

Fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, hair loss, cold sensitivity, high cholesterol are symptoms of suboptimal thyroid function. Adrenal glands control our energy and respond to stress.  If you happen to be fatigued after a nights rest, you may consider evaluating your adrenal function.  Stress increases the hormone cortisol which increases cravings, especially for sugar and fat.  It also makes the body store fat in the abdominal area, around the vital organs.  So under-active adrenals make us too tired to get in our full workouts, and excessive adrenal function makes us eat the wrong foods! Inflammation is when the body is in “alarm” mode.  This produces excess water weight.  If you have stiffness in your hands and feet in the morning, or chronic pain, think inflammation.  There are many, many causes of inflammation, and the causes are different for each and every one.  If all major inflammatory diseases are ruled out, the best way to control inflammation is through diet.

First, I use food intolerance testing to find exactly what foods and food combinations are causing inflammation.   Second, I will recommend moving toward an anti-inflammatory diet.  Third, I check morning fasting insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar and so much more.  If insulin is high, losing weight is difficult.  Why would insulin be high you ask?  If sugar is in your blood and you are not using it for energy (sedentary), then your will secrete insulin to lower blood sugar.  With our habits, we will teach our pancreas how much insulin we need on a daily basis.  If we have a history of eating high carb meals or snacks, we most likely will have high insulin.  Our cells get tired of insulin always knocking to let more glucose into the cells, then it becomes resistant – insulin resistant. There are specific diets and monitoring needed in this case.  Insulin also controls lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).

Once all these are in check, then the answer to weight loss is simply in input vs. output!

Be well!  Naturally! For more information, you may contact me with your questions and concerns, or call 480-607-0299 for a free phone consult.

Brain health and exercise, new research

We know this is true, we feel it in our body and mind.  After exercise, we feel better!  Our mood improves and our attitude is more positive.  But what is actually happening?  It’s not just about more blood flow, serotonin and endorphins.  

Recent research from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago shows that stem cells are “turned on” when we exercise our bodies.  Stem cells are the cells that stimulate new growth.  The conclusion is that exercise stimulates neurogenesis or the making of new nerve cells.  It can happen at any age, but the most significant time is in our teenage years.  So let’s get out there and get moving! 

Are you feeling symptoms of brain imbalance?  If so, neurotransmitter testing can help.

Remember for a free consult, contact the office at 480-607-0299, or email me directly.  I’d love to talk to you!  Check out our facebook page and follow our feed on twitter.