Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Do You Know Your Cortisol Levels?

Everyone experiences stress. Stress is a normal part of everyday life and to a degree it’s even beneficial to our physiology and well-being, but chronic long term stress that goes untreated can be very unhealthy. The quantity and quality of stress we encounter, our ability to cope with it, and our genetic makeup all contribute to our overall health.

In a stressful event the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland secretes a hormone called ACTH. ACTH tells the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, to secrete a powerful glucocorticoid called cortisol. Cortisol has wide ranging effects on the body. It regulates carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, stimulates gluconeogenesis (the formation of carbohydrates from proteins in the liver), and modulates the inflammatory response, and thereby immune function, due to fever, injury, and allergies. Cortisol stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas and simultaneously decreases the cells’ ability to utilize glucose throughout the body. Excess insulin promotes fat deposition, especially in the belly, and can lead to diabetes melllitus. Cortisol helps the human body adapt to stress by rapidly mobilizing stored amino acids and fats to be used for energy and building other compounds.

In normal transitory stressful events these effects are very beneficial but in long term chronic stress the very same functions of cortisol can be damaging, laying a groundwork for many conditions and diseases, such as depression, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, anxiety, allergies, obesity, impaired adrenal and hypothalamic function, hypothyroidism, loss of mental function, hypertension, increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, gastrointestinal disorders, poor wound healing, muscle loss and wasting, thin skin, sleep fragmentation and severe muscle weakness. Cortisol has significant interactions with certain neurotransmitters in the brain and these circuits are associated with depressive symptoms. For reasons that remain unknown the body’s cortisol regulation system can spin out of control as we age. Cortisol levels increase 5 fold even in healthy individuals when they are confronted with stressful events. Chronic stress can lead to adrenal burnout.

There are twenty signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. If you experience five or more you may have adrenal fatigue.

1. Difficulty getting up in the morning.
2. Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep.
3. Craving for salt or salty foods and sugar.
4. Lethargy
5. Increased effort to do ordinary tasks.
6. Decreased libido.
7. Decreased ability to handle stress.
8. Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma.
9. Light-headed when standing up quickly.
10. Mild depression.
11. Less enjoyment or happiness with life.
12. Increased PMS.
13. Symptoms increase if meals skipped or inadequate.
14. Thoughts less focused.
15. Memory less accurate.
16. Decreased tolerance.
17. Decreased productivity.
18. Muscle weakness.
19. Irregular heartbeat.
20. Increased thirst.

Typical Pattern

1. A.M .Fatigue - Can't wake until 10!
2. Afternoon low between 3 and 4 PM.
3. Feel better after evening meal.
Cortisol is normally secreted in a circadian pattern, rising to a high of 20 ug/dl in the early morning and hitting its low range of 5 ug/dl in the late evening. When we take salivary samples at 6AM, Noon, 4PM, and Midnight we look to see if cortisol is in a normal range. You must know your cortisol all four times and treat it at the time it’s abnormal. As cortisol levels distort high or low this can have a negative effect on insulin and DHEA. Testing is recommended at least once a year. Find out if your cortisol is too high and how to normalize it safely and effectively.

If you are suffering from chronic stress and your cortisol levels are too high you must find ways to start either coping with your stressful situation or changing that situation. If you are not sleeping properly for 7-8 hours per night, you must establish a regular sleeping pattern. This will help to normalize cortisol secretions at the proper times. Effective treatments for high stress and cortisol can include biofeedback, deep breathing, Pilates, meditation and prayer, and exercise. Nutritionally we can use B vitamins, ashwaganda, licorice root, vitamin C, phosphatidylserine, adrenal concentrates, and pantothenic acid. These nutrients do a very fine job of normalizing the stress response in a safe and effective manner. Amino acids may also be utilized to help with the secretion of natural growth hormone, which increases muscle mass, regulates blood sugar, and promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Dietary recommendations are specific to each person but in general we want to increase lean proteins and fresh vegetables and eliminate processed foods such as white flour, rice, and sugar. It’s important to eat specific foods according the results of your test. 64-80 oz of water per day is necessary.

© Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.
Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of nutritional products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never discontinue medical prescriptions without the consent of your physician.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Root of All Disease

What is the root cause of disease and chronic illness? Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases have two core targeted starting points. One is the inability to handle chronic stress and the second is impaired digestion.

Improper digestion of your food leads to toxicity. Undigested food may stay in the bowels for many days. That food ferments, putrefies, and gives off acids and gasses, becoming a fertile lab dish for bacteria, candida yeast, and parasites. The imbalanced gut is a haven for pathologic organisms which then crowd out beneficial organisms. That leads to further incomplete digestion of food and can lead to the ultimate and dramatic irritation of the lining of the GI tract, which destroys the selective barrier of the gut. Then we can begin leaking into our body all this undigested food, candida, bacteria, and parasites. At the intestinal barrier we see the beginning of chronic disease. The liver is also overwhelmed by this flood of internal junk. Coupled with high stress we have the foundation of chronic disease. It can take decades for a problem to develop but when we reach our 40’s and 50’s the accumulation and chronicity of the problem can manifest as the onset of adult diabetes, the tremor of Parkinson’s disease, the confusion and disorientation of early Alzheimer’s, arrhythmias, heart disease, and the onset of cancers. This is a flow chart to summarize the progression of the problem:

Impaired digestion......intestinal toxemia......growth of candida and parasites........imbalance of gut flora........leaky gut syndrome......spilling of junk into our body.......chronic illness

The good news is that there is a six step program I have developed based on the latest research to manage stress and normalize digestive function. Keep in mind that the GI tract is responsible for about 80% of the body’s immunity. On the other side of this healing process is vibrant health! Don’t you deserve it? The first 10 callers will be offered a free initial 15 minute consult. Feel free to email me any questions or to set an appointment.

Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.
Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of nutritional products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never discontinue medical prescriptions without the consent of your physician.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


The natural design of your joints allows frictionless movement over two bony structures due to the smooth lubricated cartilage. In osteoarthritis (OA) joint damage involves injury to this shock distributing cartilage. In many cases breakdown of the cartilage may be due to a number of factors besides trauma such as genetic abnormalities, immune response, allergies, etc.

Research done at the University of Nottingham & NYU Hospital for Joint Disease was published in a recent issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, titled Inflammation May be Culprit in OA.

Scientists found that nearly 1/3 of patients ready to undergo joint replacement surgery for OA have severe inflammation in the synovial fluid that surrounds and protects the joints. This inflammation, already known to cause rheumatoid arthritis (RA), could be a contributing factor in OA as well. Five to ten years ago OA was thought to be due to the degeneration of cartilage due to wear and tear. A number of studies have found that inflammatory mediators promote a more rapid progression of cartilage to be degraded and destroyed. Inflammation leads to degradation of tissue, whether it is joint tissue, free radical damage of the brain in Alzheimer's and dementia, Parkinson’s, in the liver causing hepatitis, or even in the detox systems in the body. 20 million Americans suffer from OA and by the year 2030 about 70 million people in this country will have OA. Also called Degenerative Joint Disease, OA causes the erosion of cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the joints leaving the bones to rub together which causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.

How should a joint function? Take 2 ice cubes, wet them, and then rub them against each other. How slippery is that? Now realize that a normal joint is 80 times more slippery than those 2 wet ice cubes!

In OA there is a drying up of the synovial fluid and the cartilage begins to dehydrate and crack, leading up to bone rubbing on bone. And of course there is inflammation in the joint.

There are 4 aspects to the management of this disease. One thing to keep in mind is that the joint structure should be normal. If that joint is not normal, if there is any kind of misalignment and there is dysfunctional movement in that joint, no matter what treatment you get, whether it be nutritional or medical, is not going to be successful. Dysfunctional movement of a joint will not allow it to heal regardless of the therapy, whether it is surgical, medical, or nutritional. Chiropractic, physical therapy, or osteopathic therapy is needed to diagnose and correct any misalignment.

Summary of Goals

1.Reduce inflammation

Nutritional anti-inflammatories
Fish oils
Sea cucumber
Quercitin ascorbate

2. Detoxify the joint

Glutathione rids the joint of nitric oxide free radicals
Niacinamide & B6
Greens to alkalize acid joints

3. Rebuild the joint

Perna (New Zealand green lipped mussel)
MSM powder

4. Restore normal range of motion. This will maintain the circulation and allow that joint to be fed

All of this will only work if you normalize the structural integrity and dysfunction of that joint. Management of arthritis without medicine or surgery is wonderful and brilliant. There are absolutely no side effects. These 4 steps are a great way to manage arthritis, whether due to trauma, genetic predispositions, or allergies.

(C) Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.

Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of nutritional products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never discontinue medical prescriptions without the consent of your physician.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Health as More Than the Absence of Disease
Have you ever contemplated the meaning of health? Is it understood and accepted that as we age we are destined to come down with illness and disease? Or is it possible to live to an advanced age in good health and go out at the end like a light bulb? What about nature versus nurture? Do our genes determine our destiny? Or can we have a measure of control in their expression? Do our thoughts affect our physical health and vice versa? Do religion and prayer have an affect on our well-being? Can relatively simple measures, such as drinking an adequate amount of water, increase not only the quantity but more importantly the quality of our lives?

The goal of this column is to present you with the information you need to achieve optimal health. All of the news will be drawn from the most recent cutting edge medical research from the top institutions and minds in the world. The focus will be primarily nutrition as a condition specific application and chiropractic neurology, an exciting emerging field, as a method of evoking positive change in the brain and body without pharmaceuticals or surgery. It will present scientifically sound principles as an alternate or as a complement to medicine and surgery.

We will discuss neurological concepts that will increase our awareness of brain based function. We will learn together how the body is simultaneously simple yet complex beyond our understanding. And we will come to see how nutrition and neurology are the foundation of our physical and mental health. Best of all we will get to apply these concepts clinically in the office in order to improve our lives.

Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines health as the state of "optimal mental, physical and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmities." I will be using this definition as a guiding principle in this column and will explore the many ways we can apply this to our everyday lives.

As stated my goal is to give you the tools you need to add years to your life and life to your years!

(c) Reuven M. Rosenberg, D.C.