Total Health Tips Archive

“Ouch! My aching joints!” Is my lunch the cause?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Being an acupuncturist, I have many people coming to me in search of quick relief from various joint pains…back, knees, hips – you name it. While I do like to help them get immediate relief, I am never completely satisfied with temporary pain relief. I always prefer to find the true source of the pain so that it does not reoccur. For many, daily food choices may be one of the causes. I know you may be hesitant to face the possibility that your cherished morning bagel could cause you harm, but for some, this could be the case.

More and more, science is finding correlations between health issues and the relative health of our digestive tracts. Current research is focused on what is termed the “micro biome” – the inner ecology of your digestive tract. Recent thinking is that a large component of autoimmune disease has an unbalanced micro biome and subsequent digestive weakness at its source. When the micro biome becomes compromised, the permeability of the intestinal lining can increase, allowing larger food molecules to pass into the body’s circulation. As the body reacts to these molecules it now views as foreign, the immune system is activated and creates an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response can then affect our whole body and specifically our joints. Note that most of chronic disease is driven by uncontrolled or even low levels of inflammation in the body. A study in 2008 examined patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that many of the participants had immune reactions related to specific foods including gliadin (a protein found in wheat that is related to gluten). I mention wheat specifically, because it is such a big part of the American diet. When I test patients and find that they are sensitive to wheat and more specifically gluten, I encourage them to remove these from their diet for a period of time to see if they notice a difference in their symptoms. Very frequently I see tremendous improvement in their health, including a reduction or elimination of pain and inflammation.

If you are suffering from chronic inflammation and more specifically autoimmune disease, it is very important to check your vitamin D levels and to test for gluten–associated antibodies and foods that are cross reactive (such as other grains and dairy to name a few) since they play a large role in inflammatory and autoimmune processes.

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Free Lecture in September at Total Health

Thursday, August 25th, 2011


BUILDING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR COLD AND FLU SEASON

Strengthen your digestive health as the root of your body’s immune system.

David will discuss:

Simple nutrition tips, formulas, herbs and home remedies that are effective.

Myths and truths about staying healthy this season.



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH

7:00 PM

At The Maes Center for Total Health

9 East Mission Street, SB, 93101


rsvp: elizabethgaynes@sbtotalhealth.com or 805-682-6492

Is Your Sweet Tooth Killing You?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Join us in September as we continue our FREE Total Health lecture series.

This discussion will help you to navigate the world of sweet.  From high fructose corn syrup to stevia, we’ll examine what is really damaging to your body and which are acceptable and even beneficial sources of sweetness in your diet. We’ll look at artificial sweeteners and talk in more detail about the “low carb craze,” what are necessary carbs and which ones are better left out from your diet. If you are confused by all the information and products out there or are just not sure what is right for you, join us for an engaging hour of food, fun and your optimal health.

TOTAL HEALTH FREE LECTURE SERIES
Wednesday, September 15th
7pm
Total Health (in the Maes Center)
9 East Mission Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Feel free to forward this invitation to friends and family.  Please let us know if you will be joining us.  Space is limited and we will keep a waiting list after spaces have been filled.

Call or email Elizabeth to rsvp: 805-682-6492, or elizabethgaynes@sbtotalhealth.com.

The Power of Fish!

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

If you ever read the news or any sort of health magazine, you have undoubtedly heard about the benefits of fish oil. To recap (and maybe add a few):

1. Fish is a great source of protein that is easily digestible and like other forms of animal protein, the more fat in the fish the better it is for us.

2. DHA, one of the very beneficial components of fish oil, is a necessary nutrient for human health.  In scientific studies, DHA in adequate dosages has been show to arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you want a smart kid, supplementing with fish oil rich in DHA is a great way to stack the cards in favor your child’s intelligence.

3. Fish oil has a profoundly beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system by improving the ratios of HDL and LDL.

4. It also significantly improves the function of the eyes.

I am a big fan of having variety in the diet. I think it gives us the greatest opportunity to include many different types of nutrients in our diet.  Getting stuck in a food rut and consuming basically the same diet day in and day out can be a nutritional disaster if the components of your diet are not really well rounded.  Because of it’s price and availability, for many of us our default protein source is poultry, mainly chicken.  Yes, it’s a good form of protein, but consider the variety principle.  Fish on a semi-regular basis is a good way to switch up your diet and living in close proximity to the ocean give us easy access to a fresh bounty on a regular basis.

Concerned about the mercury content of fish? Certain varieties of fish contain more mercury than others. Check out  ewg.org for a list of fish that’s safer to eat.

There are, however, a number of ways that you can help keep the mercury from being absorbed into your body. Mercury is considered a heavy metal and is a potent neurotoxin. It  can be very detrimental to human health. If your body is flush with with minerals, it makes it more difficult for mercury to bind to human tissues as it competes with other minerals for binding sites. If your body is looking for minerals because it’s deficient, it will take the next closest thing….another metal. So start by making sure that your are getting a good source of minerals. Organic leafy greens are a rich source of these minerals. Chlorella is a type of algae and is sold as a food supplement. It has been shown to bind with and aid the removal of toxic metals from the body. Cilantro will also help to remove mercury and other metals from nervous system tissue. Garlic, while not specifically acting on the metals, will help the body to detoxify by moving toxins out of the body especially through the kidneys. Lemon juice which will neutralize the fishy smell in fish also seems to have a beneficial effect on keeping the toxic metals out of the body.

If you have questions about sources for chlorella or you are wondering if heavy metals may be affecting your system, feel free to give me a ring or e-mail me.

To your good health!

David

Food Labels – The Real Scoop

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

For those of you who missed David’s lecture on Reading Labels, here are the notes.  We are planning to repeat this lecture due to popular demand.  In the meantime…

Total Health Series – Reading Food Labels

Food processing and chemical additives have been created to increase the shelf life of food. This technology is great for business, but in most cases it is detrimental to your long term health and longevity. You are in control of what you consume.  Here are some guidelines when shopping for foods for you and your family.

  1. As a basic rule of thumb, consume real, whole food with as little processing as possible.  This will contain the greatest amount of nutrient in which to support your health and vitality.
  2. If it lasts more than week or two sitting out on your countertop without spoiling, you probably don’t want to eat it.
  3. Just because a company says it is good for you doesn’t make it so.
  4. Be extremely wary of foods that say, “low fat,” “sugar free,” “natural.”
  5. Funky fats: Many packaged foods contain fats/oils that are heated to high temperature. These heated fats can create major free radicals, cardiovascular problems and cancer promoting effects on the body. Be especially aware of any hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils. These have been transformed to extend shelf life without becoming rancid, however they are very dangerous for the body.
  6. Carbohydrate: Watch out for anything that contains white flour or “enriched” in the first 4-5 ingredients.  Look for “Whole Grain” ingredients as the first ingredient in any grain based product.

Avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup,  sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, turbinado brown, sugar,  dextrin, maltodextrin, invert sugar, caramel, agave syrup.  Caution wth Fruit Juice Concentrate. It is usually sugar refined from fruit.

Better sources: (in small amts only) local raw honey, pure maple syrup, fresh or  dried fruits, date sugar, brown rice syrup, fig sugar, blackstrap molasses, stevia

  1. Watch out for preservatives in cured meats such as nitrates/nitrites: These are carcinogenic. Generally if you can’t pronounce it, or it doesn’t sound like food, it was probably synthesized in a laboratory rather than coming from mother nature.
  2. Be careful with synthetic flavorings: MSG is not just used in Chinese food. It goes by other names such as: hydrolized vegetable protein, vegetable protein extract, autolyzed plant protein, sodium  caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast.
  3. Often a product will say it’s organic, but the whole product will not necessarily be organic.  Look at each ingredient.

David Gaynes    Total Health    805-682-6492     www.sbtotalhealth.com