Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Calcium does not help Osteoporosis

The Harvard Nurse Study was a 12-year prospective study among 77,761 women aging from 34 to 59 in 1980, who had never used calcium supplements. They found no evidence that higher intakes of milk or calcium from food sources reduce fracture incidence. Women who drank two or more glasses of milk per day had relative risks of 1.45 for hip fracture (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.87, 2.43) and 1.05 for forearm fracture (95% CI = 0.88, 1.25) when compared with those consuming one glass or less per week. Likewise, higher intakes of total dietary calcium or calcium from dairy food were not associated with decreased risk of hip or forearm fracture.

CONCLUSION: These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other calcium rich food by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures.

A large scale Australian study also confirms that.

We should have known that , despite the US has the highest intake of calcium, its osteoporosis rates are (still) the highest in the world. Countries with lower calcium consumption have relatively lower rates of hip fracture and osteoporosis.

So how do we preserve our bones?

1. Balance and replace the lost hormones.
Women get osteoporosis after menopause, so replacing Estradiol and Progesterone builds healthy bones. Testosterone and DHEA are powerful bone builders for both men and women, with only bioidentical hormones in right dose and mimicking natural rhythms of the body, of course.

2. Train and exercise strenuously three times a week.

3. Alkalize your system by consuming more fruits, vegetables with less animal products or processed food.

4.Optimize your Vitamin D3 levels.
Other nutritions like Vit K, boron, magnesium etc. are also important.

If calcium supplement is required, I would suggest the whole bone concentrates rather than calcium itself , or, instead, patients can cook at home fresh bone soup three times a week.Enjoy the beautiful fall season and stay healthy!

H1N1 and what we can do holistically

I firmly believe the decision of vaccination should be made by the patients after consulting their physicians basing on their age, immunity, the vaccine side effects and other risk factors. I am not encouraging any one of you to get vaccination or not.

Since the government is asking all health care professionals to get the H1N1 vaccines, I have to make it clear that I will not get it. Actually, I never took any flu vaccine for the past two decades of my professional career serving so many flu patients each year. Yes, I had flu many times, but I never took any day off just due primarily to that illness ,because I know how to keep a good immunity, what to do when I was exposed or infected. The immunity is what really counts.

So after discussing with your own physician, and you decided not to be vaccinated, here are some tips to protect yourself on top of good nutrition and gentle exercise.

1. Keep optimal Vit D3 level (60-80). Adults should take about 5,000 IU a day in winter, and monitor it by blood work.
2. Take daily Iodine/Iodide solution, in right dose and proper proportion as instructed. Yes, the thyroid is a major immune organ which accumulates enough Iodine and cleans the blood each time blood circulates through it. Iodine kills virus, fungus and any bacteria. Follow the blood level for correct dosing.
3. Irrigate your nose and sinus after work, school or returning from any public places.

When you feel you are sick, triple your Vit D3 doses for 3 days and double your Iodine for two days. Also start your natural antibiotics in low dose as the one given before. Do it ASAP.

But if you feel you are getting very sick, start Mega dose Vit D3, which you can get from my office, for three days, double Iodine for two days and take high dose natural antibiotics.

Use common sense, of course, and seek medical attention if you are sick, but just don’t do home treatment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Adrenal fatigue, Chronic fatigue syndrome

Dear Patients,

I would like to share with you a piece of my good news. I passed, after an Anti Aging conference this month, the written board examination of American Board of Anti Aging Medicine ,and will take the oral board exam next April. With most of the baby boomers entering their 50s', people began to notice an interesting topic - How To Keep People Healthier And Younger For As Long As They Could , which has become one of the national priority tasks because , with the advent of so many scientific discoveries like stem cell, nanotechnology, bioidentical hormones and new neutraceutical products, we now don't have to age the way our parents did.

On the other hand, however, the not so good news is that the general population suffering from abnormal adrenal functions increased from 20% some ten years ago to 80% up to date, according to one of the doctor’s observations . I myself noticed a lot more patients suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome which made them feel, most of the time, so tired that it hampered their jobs and family lives. After the deadly 911 catastrophe and the two fatal financial crushes, most of us feel physically unsafe and financially insecure and this is not a surprise.

Adrenal glands secret Cortisol is a stress hormone to help us deal with stressful situation and make fight-or-flight decision. When we are under chronic stress, our adrenal glands secret Cortisol is constantly in high level and that makes us anxious. Our adrenal glands eventually become exhausted and can not produce enough Cortisol for our need, and we easily feel tired.This is how our adrenal fatigue starts.

The common symptom of an adrenal fatigue is difficulty waking up until 10am, with a bit better feeling by noon but then get almost exhausted around 4pm. Most of the patients feel best around dinner time only to be followed by an hardly-able-to-keep-awake by 9pm. For people who force themselves to stay awake, get a second lease of energy by 11pm for a little while.

Blood test may not be the best way to detect Adrenal fatigue because patients usually get nervous when a needle is pointed at them and Cortisol level raises temporally. Adrenal saliva test done at 8am, noon, 4pm and 10pm will be the best way to detect Cortisol level throughout the day. Other causes of fatigue also need to be ruled out.

The Fundamental treatments on adrenal fatigue include the following steps :
1. Remove the reasons that cause the disease at the first place.
2. Adjust our life style to eat healthy, exercise properly and sleep restfully
3. Live a healthy life style with positive mindset to decrease the stress.

Since the above steps take months to revive the adrenal gland, I usually give my patients some natural help , instead.

The first one is herbal supplements that strengthen the adrenal glands, with the second, the adrenal glandular products from reliable source to revive the glands ,and the third, a short course of bioidentical cortisol hormone to give Adrenal glands a break so it heals and resumes normal function. I usually reserve the Cortisol for the very sick patients or for the ones who do not response to the first two treatments. The dose and schedule also got to be guided by experienced physicians so as not to suppress the normal function of the Adrenal gland. The Cortisol needs to be weaned off in few months so our healed adrenal glands can resume their normal functions. For the very stressed out patients, a course of acupuncture will do magic to relieve anxiety, regain the body balance and revive the stamina.

All our hormones synchronize like a symphony, with adrenal glands being the king of the hormone glands that play a crucial role in balancing our hormones. If hypothyroid patients do not improve with proper thyroid hormone replacement, it may be attributed to the depleted adrenal glands. A depleted Adrenal gland can not meet the need of increased metabolism induced by increased thyroid hormones.

Since both adrenal gland and thyroid dysfunction can cause fatigue, and many patients have been depleted both, I usually correct their adrenal gland and supplement patients with proper Iodine before I give them thyroid hormone. It works best that way.

It’s the turn of the season again. Enjoy the beautiful foliage and get soaked with the little sunshine left. It’s the best time to come in for your quarterly acupuncture tune up to get ready for the long winter. Have a healthy autumn.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Holistic treatments of suboptomal thyroid function

Aug.14, 2009

How are you all enjoying the summer?

I received many enthusiastic responses and got some new patients as a result of my June newsletter - Thyroid Hormone – The Difference Between Normal And Optimal, And Which Hormone To Test And Treat. This tells me that many people have this problem and they are either undiagnosed or not properly treated, so I would like to add a few details about the treatments that most patients requested.

After completing tests that demonstrate the patient has suboptimal thyroid function, we need to do some ground work before we start thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

As with all holistic programs treating any health conditions, we have to start with nutrition and life style changes. On top of eating healthy, it’s crucial that we stop using table salt and instead, start consuming sea salts, like Celtic sea salt, RealSalt from www.realsalt.com or Himalayan salt (no financial interests in any).

The regular table salt has mainly sodium chloride with Magnesium carbonate added to make it move more freely. The added iodide in the table salt is not enough and not the right form of iodine for optimal thyroid function and health. It gives the table salt its notorious reputation like causing hypertension because it does not have the same balanced minerals as the real sea salt. The real sea salt has many minerals such as iodine,potassium and others that our bodies need to achieve a balanced state. The real salt is not bad; on the contrary, it is necessary for our bodies if consumed in proper amounts.

The second is to add iodine to our diet. Since most Americans do not eat seaweed or kelp on a regular basis, the easiest way is to take iodine as a supplement. I also discovered that if we only gave iodide (the salt form of iodine, used by many health practitioner), patients improved slightly. Patients really feel better when they use iodine and iodide in right combination as supplements.

Iodine is not for the thyroid only. There are many other body tissues that need iodine, especially breast tissues. One of the reasons women suffer from the cystic breast disease is iodine deficiency, and I have successfully reversed this condition for many women. This has probably saved them not just pain or discomfort, but the need for aspiration exam when the nature of the cyst is in question. Having more breast tissues may be the reason (why) women suffer more frequently from low thyroid function than men because they need more iodine for their breast tissues. Our ovaries, uterus, prostate, brain, and—for that matter—probably every cell of our body needs iodine for health.

For people with a mild suboptimal thyroid, proper use of iodine and iodide can improve its function. Some may benefit from adding other natural thyroid supplements, but not everyone needs thyroid hormone replacement.

Even for people who have severe hypothyroidism, I would still supplement thyroid hormones with iodine for them. For whose who have low iodine, hypothyroidism maybe a natural protective mechanism that slows down their metabolism in order to conserve iodine. Giving thyroid hormones to keep the body functioning at full speed without replacing iodine may further rob the needed iodine from other parts of our body.

Mild hypothyroidism can be treated with bioidentical thyroid cream made from wild yam with a customized T4/T3 ratio. More severe conditions may need to take thyroid hormone replacements orally for better and faster results.

Iodine and iodide supplements have their side effects. Sudden large doses have been reported to have further lowered the thyroid function of borderline patients in rare occasions. Large doses can cause toxicities. The initial loading dose should be reduced once the body is saturated; therefore, the safe use of the Iodine should be under the strict guidance of experienced physicians.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thyroid hormone – the difference between normal and optimal, and which hormone to test and treat

Many patients came to me with all the symptoms of low thyroid function, but they were diagnosed that their thyroid tests were normal and nothing could be done. The tests ordered usually included TSH and T4.

I would order their complete hormone panel including thyroid hormone tests like TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), free T3 (thyroxin 3), free T4 (thyroxin 4), thyroid antibodies and reversed T3.

I noticed some patients have normal thyroid hormone test, but in the low range; and yet,they have many low thyroid function symptoms like cold extremities, low body temperature, fatigue, especially in the morning when they wake up, hair thinning or loss, constipation and yes, middle weight gain that’s impossible to loose. Those conditions were called “suboptimal thyroid function” or “subclinical hypothyroidism”. These patients usually improved significantly after I gave them bioidentical thyroid hormon that contains the physiologic combination of T3 and T4.

We have to understand that laboratories get their normal value by measuring certain amount of patients' blood and they call the middle 90-95% normal. We could easily understand that when one third of our population is over weight, the normal does not mean healthy, not even to mention “optimal”. So it makes sense that when a good portion of general public has low thyroid function, the normal does not mean healthy, and the optimal would be close to upper third range for T3 and T4, and below 1.5 for TSH . But most of the physicians do not agree with this approach.

Many physicians do not order T3 test and they only replace hypothyroid patients with T4 (Synthroid). T3 is the active form of T4, and some patients have problem converting T4 to T3. So patients will have picture perfect thyroid hormone test if only T4 and TSH was checked and still have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism when their T3 were low. These patients’ symptoms improved again with bioidentical T3, T4 combined hormones.

Some patients’ low thyroid function was very difficult to correct due to other imbalanced hormones. Since they share some common pathway, their thyroid hormones are hard to be right when their adrenal glands were burnt out. The same is true with estrogen and progesterone for women. All hormones of our body synchronize with one another in their specific rhythms. The melody would not be in harmony until all instruments were tuned.

One easy way to test hypothyroidism at home is to check early morning temperature. Get the thermometer ready (shaken down) next to your bed, and put it under your arm for 5 minutes when you wake up first thing in the morning. Women should do it before their ovulation like from day 3 to day 11 of their cycle. Check it for three consecutive days and if your basal temperature is below 97 degrees F, come in to have your hormones tested.

Undiagnosed and untreated hypothyroidism, which affects the metabolism of every cell, undermines any health program and longevity.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical Hormones Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical hormones (BIH) mean the hormones that are exactly the same structure as the hormones naturally found in our bodies.

Most of us have abundant hormones to keep our bodies functioning at their peak when we are young. However, hormone levels decline as time goes by and result in many aging signs .The most well-known period of our hormones’ sharp decline is called menopause for women and andropause for men. Symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, migraines, depression, mood swings, hot flashes, GI discomfort , weight gains and sleep problems, etc.

Many of us would like to have our hormone levels restored in our mature age to achieve optimal health; but to make them work best for us, we want to make sure the hormones are bioidentical because non-bioidentical hormones have many unwanted side effects.

We also need BIH to be manufactured properly to make sure they are delivered, without harmed, to our body. In view of this, I want my patients to have their BIH prescriptions filled only at few selected pharmacies, for which I have already examined their product efficacy by documenting the hormone level changes for many of my previous patients.

The routes of hormone delivery are also very critical. Hormones are naturally secreted from our endocrine systems and circulated through the blood and other body fluids. They never go through our digestive systems. Taking hormones through our mouth is not just ineffective, but put burdens on our livers as well. Hormones should be delivered transdermally, sublingually or transmucosally (with the exception of human growth hormones).

The schedule on which we take BIH is also very important. We want to take BIH the way as our bodies naturally secrete them, i.e., in a rhythmic dosing. Women have their estrogen peak during the first part of their cycle ,and progesterone peak during the second. Static hormones dosing is not physiological and may not serve our bodies best.

I also believe our bodies and souls are parts of our bigger universe. I would dose BIH of post-menopausal women cycle with the moon and men with the sun as I found our bodies function best this way,with every patient’s dose and schedule customized to his or her need.

I also draw patients’ blood hormonal levels before and after treatment to scientifically document their hormonal levels and adjust the dosage accordingly, making sure all hormones are checked, and not just the sex hormones only, because every hormone interacts with each otherr. Since each hormone plays a certain role in our body, only when every hormone hums its happy tune will our life become a song of joy and harmony.

Though BIH is a wonderful anti-aging tool, it is not a cure-all panacea. Before I give patients BIH, I examine their diet, lifestyle, mental health, and dietary supplements to make sure their other health issues are well taken care of. Many patients will also benefit from acupuncture treatments to balance their meridians. To be healthy, we need every part of our body to function well. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dear patients,

It has been two years since I started my holistic and acupuncture practice. I have always wanted to write a newsletter to my patients, but I just got a chance to do it the first time now.

First, I would like to thank all of you to believe in me and tried my alternative treatments against the traditional medical wisdom. I can’t say I have been able to help every patient walked though my door, but I had been helping more patients and more health conditions than I originally expected. I myself was pleasantly surprised by the demand of alternative treatments, the power of the acupuncture & holistic medicine and the harmony & cooperation between holistic patients and doctor (you and me).

The mid to end of January will be the time people suffered from depression most, partly due to lack of sun exposure, exercise, and Vitamin D deficiency. I would like to encourage you grabbing the rare opportunity to do outdoor exercise when the precious sun peaks out, and please make sure you take enough Vitamin D. Most adults would need 2000 IU twice daily in winter according to the blood work I do for most of my patients. I have been checking the vitamin D level of the majority of my patients before and after the Vitamin D supplement and found out that almost every one has insufficient level of Vitamin D unless they were properly supplemented.

Most of the physicians do not check their patients’ Vitamin D level. But even when they do, normal level of Vitamin D reported by most laboratories give such a wide range (around 30-100) that many physician would tell their patients they are fine even their levels are not optimal for their health (around 60-80).

I also want to bring to your attention that Vitamin D3 like the one I use in my office will be the one to use. Vitamin D3 is the active form of Vitamin D and many patients have problem converting D2 to D3 and make some supplement ineffective.

Researchers have found that Vitamin D is more than a Vitamin, but a hormone as well. It does not just benefit bones, but also immunity, mental health, and almost every part of our health. Vitamin D deficiency certainly contributes to the frequent infection and cold in the winter time. American Academy of Pediatrics just realized how important Vitamin D is and how insufficient of the recommended daily dose and increase the recommended Daily Vitamin D of infant to be 400IU.

In this challenging financial time, our mental and physical bodies get more stress than usual winter season, please take care yourself, and do not hesitate contacting me for your holistic health care. Chinese has a proverb “If we keep the mountain green, we will never run out of fire woods”. It means that if we keep our body healthy, we can handle all challenges and the money, job,love, luck and other things will eventually come back to us”.

Have a happy and healthy new year!

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