Dr. Adam Baumgardner

Genetic Testing

The Genetic Testing that is available today is amazing!  We are seeing all kinds

Genetic Testing gives a wealth of information, but what it actually tells you is often misunderstood!

of new opportunities for understanding open up.  There is some misunderstanding about how to look at it though so I thought I would lay out some basic guidelines that I use in looking at Genetic Testing.

 

First you need to know that genetic testing tells you what will happen easily.  Not what will happen.  My favorite nutrition instructor has horrible genetics when it comes to his cardiovascular system and blood pressure.  That means that without some serious effort he will have high blood pressure and will most likely die from cardiovascular issues.  Here’s the thing though… he gets tested every year and has the cardiovascular system of an 18 year old!

 

Genetics only tells you what you need to focus on. Not what will happen.

Why doesn’t he have an issue?  He knows where the weakness is in his system so he makes sure to do what is required to keep that part of his body healthy.  That is the advantage of it.  It tells you where you need to be strict and where you don’t have to worry as much.

 

A new area that also has started to make serious strides in helping patients is the new Genetic Testing for medication response.  Dr. Barbara, with whom I practice, has recently started to do this with patients who have difficulty with side effects and lack of positive response too medications.  What this test does is it tells you which pathways are open and which aren’t.  Essentially telling you what your Genetic type will respond well too and what it won’t in terms of medication!

 

The field of Genetic Testing is a brand new one and one that has many new problems to be overcome.  Recent companies like 23andme are exploring this

Test tubes don't tell you who you are. You decide that!

and bumping heads with the government as they try to figure out how to regulate it.  The main thing I think we need to realize though is that while Genetic Testing gives us a key to understanding… it is how we treat our bodies that ultimately determines our quality of life.

 

You are really the one who is in control.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently!  

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Mental Health and Physical Stress

English: Upper Yosemite fall with reflection

The mind and body are not separate. They reflect each other! (Photo credit Mbz1)

Integrated Practices for physical and mental health

Many are surprised when they find out that Dr. Barbara Baumgardner and I work together on many cases of Stress, Depression, Anger and Mental Health.  They often will say a ‘Psychologist and a Chiropractor working together… how does that work?’  It isn’t really that confusing when you understand that mental health can also be a reflection of physical health.

Hormones

One excellent example of this is that of hormones. Low thyroid hormone can lead to depression.  Lower sex hormones can lead to a loss of libidoHaving high levels of the hormone cortisol during a stressful time can lead to lower production of neurochemicals like serotonin, leading to loss of self control, or Dopamine, making you feel less satisfied or loose interest in things that you used to find joy in.

Pain

Pain is a big motivator for people.  It can also modify their behavior.  Next time you see someone stub their toe try to have a calm, rational conversation with them!  Sometimes people have dealt with pain or physical stressors like a blood sugar issue for so long they don’t even recognize the need for help.  They don’t know why they are angry or unhappy with their lives.  They just are!

Psychosomatic Stress

 

Horiuchi-san

Classic example: Japanese woman experiencing real stomach pain due to stress (Photo: tototo)

Many don’t know that we hold stress in our bodies.  Psychologists have recognized for many years now that mental health issues can manifest in a very physical way.  This is not imagined, but a real physical outcome.  This can manifest as high blood pressure, digestive distress, or even muscular complaints.  These are not things that can be imagined up, but are a real sign the the brain is in charge and if it is stressed it will show in the rest of the body!

What I can do

Because of the number of patient referrals from Dr. Barbara I have felt the responsibility to go and learn how I can help support the body in its effort to deal with these types of issues.  I approach these cases with a combination of care that might include:

Through aiding the body with the pain, psychosomatic issues, and hormone balances in this way we take much of the physical stress off of the patient.  They are then able to focus on their mental health and see much greater progress.  

 

It is always a pleasure to work with patients who want to become, not only mentally healthy, but also physically healthy so that the work they do is much longer lasting and effective.  It is certainly easier on their pocketbook in the long run!

My Favorite Healthy Smoothie!

 

With the right ingrediants a smoothie can be healthy and taste good!

Rushed for time?  Looking for a quick breakfast that won’t leave you hungry or tired later?  Feeling like the summer heat is getting to you?  Here is my favorite healthy Smoothie!

Notes:

Before I give you the ingredients I should say that this is a very forgiving recipe and if you are rushed for time there really isn’t a need for exact measure… in fact I never measure!  You will figure out quickly if you make this a few times that you like more peanut butter or maybe less yogurt… play with it until you like it!  If you like it post it on the facebook page ;)

 

Also on a side note.  The cold foods we eat do impact our bodies in a certain way.  If we are overly hot they can have a wonderful cooling effect.  It does take extra work for the stomach however and effects the actions of the cells in the stomach that digest our foods.  Also from an acupuncture standpoint the stomach’s function is very important to the pancreas.  For this reason if you have acid reflux or blood sugar issues cold foods might not be for you.  Also as the all the nutrients in this smoothy are easy to digest it is ok for the food to be cold.  I wouldn’t, however, drink a Smoothie and then try to eat a steak right away!

Quick and Cool!

Healthy Smoothie Recipe:

2-3 cups of ice

1 medium size banana (organic of course)

2-3 table spoons of plain organic whole yogurt

2 table spoons of organic unsweetened peanut butter

1 scoop Micellar Casein protein powder (not whey if you don’t want to be hungry after)  You can buy this hereI don’t add any sweetners or flavorings.  I just get the protein and make my own stuff.  Tastes better this way!

2 scoops powdered KAL brand stevia (to avoid the stevia aftertaste)

1 table spoon organic flaxseed oil

Empty one capsule of Natural Factors brand Ultimate Probiotic 12/12 formula

 

Blend it all up and enjoy!!!

Macro Ingredient Ratios Balanced!

Four-rocks-balance

Having a balanced ratio of carbs/fats/proteins is good for keeping blood sugar from droping and stressing your adrenals! (Four-rocks-balance by Daliel Leite)

As an added bonus it is balanced in ratios of carbs/fat/protein and has 7 grams of fiber to boot!!!  If you want a Healthy Smoothie that doesn’t leave you hungry afterward this is a must!

 

Grams of Carbs            =37g

Grams of Protein          =37g

Grams of Fat                 =37g

Grams of Fiber              =7g

Vegetarians without Nutritional Deficiencies

 

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Vegetarian can be a colorful lifestyle. Make sure it is a healthy one too! (pic-Wikipedia)

I have no real issues with Vegetarians.  It is a lifestyle choice and when someone tells me they are a vegetarian I never try to talk them out of it.  I have noticed trends with many vegetarians in terms of what they eat and there are several health issues that can pop up.  This post is focused on preventing those problems from showing up. 

After all many who choose this lifestyle want to be healthy. It would be a real shame to make mistakes that lead to anything other than healthy vegetarians!

Vegetarians and B12

B12 is the main problem found with strict vegetarian/vegan diets.  This is really only found in enough quantity in meats.  It is also vital for brain and nerve function.  Damage from not having enough in your diet can be irreversible!  Therefore an alternative source should be taken by all vegetarians.  There is much literature out there on the web making statements that you can get enough from vegetables and not to worry.  Please don’t be pulled in by this.  There is no good research for these statements and blood tests prove otherwise.  As supplements go the best I have found is methylcoboalamin.  This is B12 with a methyl group attached that your brain can then use to transport neurochemicals around… double the good stuff!

 Vegetarians, skin, Calcium and Omega 3

English: Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) Itali...

Almonds are a great source of protien and calcium (Photo from Wikipedia)

Calcium often becomes deficient if enough vegetables aren’t consumed and even if they are other parts of a vegetarian diet can get in the way of good calcium absorption.  A supplement is helpful.  You will need both a good Calcium (not Calcium Carbonate as this takes a lot of acid to digest) and enough essential fatty acids in your diet.  Also Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and hormone production.  If fish is ok then fish are especially high in Omega 3 or

Mohandas K. Gandhi

You can be a vegetarian like Gandhi without the leathery skin :) (pic-Wikipedia)

you can supplement with cod liver oil or other Omega 3 supplement.  Often the bad looking skin seen on vegetarians is usually a combination of low omega 3 fats, and thyroid problems.  A good source of the precursors to Omega 3 is Flaxseed Oil.  You will want about 2 Tbl for an adult, 1 for a child.

 Soy Question and Vit D thought

Soy foods are often consumed in larger quantities by vegetarians.  This can slow down the thyroid and clog up the liver.  Supplementation of iodine or consuming large quantities of iodine rich foods is suggested as is taking in lots of green leafy vegetables to help with liver detoxification.  Selenium is also needed for good thyroid function and may not be found in large enough quantities if the right foods are not consumed.  This is found in Brazil nuts.  You don’t have to go crazy there.  A handful a day is fine.

Sun

Sun exposure isn't all bad. Turns out without enough you're in trouble!

Vitamin D can be produced by exposure to the skin or supplementation will be needed.  this is especially vital for those who don’t get any from other sources in their diet.

 

 

Good Sources from food for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 – supplements

Calcium – Nuts, seeds, tofu

Iodine – Kelp, asparagus, green leafy vegetables (very limited), iodized salt

Omega-3 fatty acids – flax seeds and oil, hemp, walnuts, green leafy vegetables,

Vitamin D – 30 minutes to an hour in the sun without sunscreen or supplementation

Selenium – Brazil Nuts

 Protein

The other major concern for vegetarians is getting enough protein.  This is where most lack as it is just easier to eat carbs.  Remember that you will have problems with both strength and eventually heart problems if you don’t consume enough proteins.  A lot of initial signs of protein depravation only come on in extreme cases so you need to pay attention to this area even if you feel ok. 

English: A chocolate-flavored multi-protein nu...

Whatever shake you pick, make sure it is the right sweetner too! (Pic - Sandstein)

Look for a protein shake that is sweetened with Stevia or dextrose, not sucralose, fructose, Splenda or aspartame.  Hemp is an excellent source of protein though it can be harder to find.  Make a smoothy or two every day from your shake to make sure that you are getting plenty of protein.  60-80 grams is a good average, but you may need more or less depending on your size and level of exercise.  Between a couple of shakes and the nuts and seeds in your diet you should be able to get enough protein in every day to protect muscle mass and energy. 

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