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Integrative Practice

by Sharon Thurow on 02/09/16

This week, I have decided to blog about my practice and why I do what I do. I spent years in “the system” and I could not, in good conscience, continue to prescribe medications that did not cure anything at all. Don’t get me wrong-there is a time and a place for conventional western medicine-how I was trained. I got tired of seeing no improvement in my patients and, often, as each year went ticking by, they did not improve or got worse. Why? I asked myself…

Fortunately, I got involved with integrative functional medicine and started to look for the cause of patients’ medical conditions. I expanded on what I was already doing to include holistic medical care. I started to learn about gut health and soon came to realize that everything started there. Imagine that-your gut being the key to one’s health! I continued to delve into this further and soon came to realize that from the gut came inflammation caused by a condition that affects everyone to some degree called intestinal permeability or “leaky gut.” This is when the gut gets overwhelmed with triggers including, but not limited to, antibiotics, aspirin or NSAID products (e.g., Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil), gluten, GMO foods (genetically modified foods), and stress. When this happens and the body can no longer keep up with “cleaning” the toxins and free radicals from the intestine these actually start to leak into the blood stream and become the basis for inflammation. I have written about this before, but I just could not believe how this could affect an individual and their medical conditions manifested in the form of hypertension, hypothyroidism, and even autoimmune diseases.

I have finally found my niche in the health care field. I can identify causes through blood testing with a Singulex panel (full panel that includes cardiac risk biomarkers) that can help to identify one’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, autoimmunity, and hormone issues. By identification of these biomarkers, I can help a patient address their risks before they become a problem- a proactive approach. I also utilize a stool test from Genova Diagnostics that helps to identify intestinal overgrowth (yeast and other bacteria and organisms) as well as food sensitivity testing. All of this information is so valuable and helps to really look at the cause of your medical risks/conditions.

My staff and I are ready to work with you and take the time to find out the cause of the cause. No more medications just for symptom control. When you eat a healthy diet, exercise, maintain appropriate water intake, work at stress reduction, include needed supplements and medications, you, with our help, can have a better path to health. Contact us today! 

What Is Helping You Now, Could Actually Be Destroying Your Gut!

by Sharon Thurow on 01/21/16

Have you ever experienced diarrhea with antibiotic use? This is due to a imbalance in the normal intestinal flora and possible overgrowth of pathogens, unfriendly or dangerous bacteria.  There is a lot of research regarding even a single use of antibiotics. It could permanently change the gut flora (micro biota) & decrease good bacteria protecting your gut. The use of antibiotics can potentially let bad bacteria overtake your gut environment, causing dysbiosis.  Imbalanced micro biota in the gut is also a factor in autoimmunity, when your body doesn’t recognize its own tissues and attacks them.

Your gut is responsible for approximately 80% of your immunity to fight against disease. The gut is naturally permeable to very small molecules in order to absorb vital nutrients from the food that you eat. In fact, regulating intestinal permeability is one of the basic functions of the cells that line the intestinal wall. The destruction of healthy gut bacteria (flora) can make the mucosal lining more susceptible to leakage. When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body into your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these foreign toxins as pathogens and attacks them.  A lack of healthy gut bacteria is associated with allergies, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis (most common cause of hypothyroidism or slow thyroid), IBD, and general autoimmune reactions happen when this all comes into play.

How can you heal this now leaky gut?

1.      Replace the good. Add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes (Spectrazyme Complete by Nutri-dyn)

2.      You need to restore the gut-friendly bacteria and micro biota with probiotics. One option could be UltraFlora Spectrum (a Nutri-Dyn product)

3.      You must work on repairing the intestinal lining with glutamine which heals the intestinal lining (for example, Glutagenics from Nutri-dyn).

Antibiotics are sometimes needed in the setting of illness and should be used with careful consideration. You should try to take steps to increase your immunity through a healthy diet, exercise, adequate water intake and the daily use of probiotics. Natural alternatives with antimicrobial properties include Candibactin AR, a formula designed for intestinal microbial balance and proper digestion. It is aimed at harmonizing digestive and respiratory function, believed to be essential for a strong immune function.  An alternative could be Candibactin BR for intestinal illnesses, a berberine formula for healthy intestinal environment to support immune and detoxification functions.

At Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare, we take your health and the use of antibiotics seriously. As our patient, you receive the opportunity to purchase Nutri-Dyn products on-site in our clinic or for a 10% discount online. Call to make an appointment today! It would be our privilege to be a part of your health management and care team.Top of Form

Why Am I So Tired?!

by Sharon Thurow on 01/05/16

When a patient sees me for the complaint of fatigue, I start to think about the various causes of this vague symptom. It is just a symptom, but one that can overtake quality of life. There are different causes of fatigue that may include lifestyle, anemia, diabetes, and thyroid among others….

Lifestyle

With my patients, I focus on three areas of health: sleep, diet, and exercise, If you aren't getting good sleep, it's hard to eat well, and it's hard to exercise.

Adults need to sleep for 7 to 9 hours as well as eat a balanced diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables. Exercise is imperative and should be done most days of the week. Dehydration is a very common cause of fatigue. Adequate intake should be half your body weight in ounces of water.   Imbalance in any of these areas, can ultimately lead to fatigue.

Anemia

This is a reduced absolute number of circulating red blood cells –which carry oxygen in your blood. When a patient does not have enough red blood cells as in iron deficiency anemia, they may feel tired, possibly dizzy when standing and even short of breath. Lack of oxygen results in fatigue.

Diabetes

When you eat, food is changed into sugar for energy to be stored in the cell. When there is more than the cell can store, sugar floats freely in the blood and the pancreas, which is responsible for secreting insulin- works overtime. This is what causes the cell to take up more sugar and blood sugar to be lowered in the blood –sometimes too much-as in the case of Diabetes. Low blood sugar causes fatigue.

Thyroid

It's a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits in your neck. It makes a hormone that helps control how you use energy-your metabolism.  When your thyroid gland is not working normally, you don’t feel normal either.

People with an underactive thyroid are going to feel tired and may be the cause of your fatigue.

Heart Disease

Extreme tiredness is a common symptom of congestive heart failure- which happens when it doesn't pump as well as it should. You will become short of breath with exercise and sometimes even at rest. This ultimately results in fatigue.  Your primary care provider can help you determine if this is the case.

Sleep Apnea

This disorder keeps you from getting enough oxygen when you sleep due to shallow breathing or not breathing for a period of time. This means you won't get real rest during the night. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be accompanied by night time leg cramps, restless legs, or also waking up with a morning headache. A device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can help keep your airways open for a solid night's sleep. Your provider will help screen you for OSA if this is suspected.

Menopause

If you're a woman who's going through menopause, you may find it hard to get good sleep. Your hormones change a lot at this time, and this may result in night sweats which can keep you from getting good rest resulting in subsequent fatigue.

Depression

Stressful situations can lower hormones, for example serotonin. This can result in depression and your energy levels diminish and result in feeling tired during the day.

We at Thurow Primary listen to “your story” and a full work up is done to help identify your unique cause of fatigue. Make your appointment today.

 

Is Your Fat and Being Inactive Killing You?!

by Sharon Thurow on 12/30/15

Obesity is rampant throughout the United States and starting to expand world-wide. Our diet, lack of exercise with a sedentary lifestyle adds fuel to the fire. Most people who have insulin resistance don’t even know it for as many as 20 years prior to becoming diabetic. Excess belly fat actually causes inflammation and is the primary mechanism of insulin resistance. Belly fat plays a big part in the inflammation process and over time, because our largest immune system being in the belly/intestines, it becomes compromised as well. Insulin resistance does not cause diabetes but does set the stage by placing such a big demand on the pancreatic beta cells that produce the hormone, insulin. 
Insulin takes the blood sugar from the foods you eat into nutrition stored energy (glucose) into the cell. There are a limited number of insulin receptor sites that can do this job effectively. When fat cells take over the insulin receptors, the body stops listening and blood sugar flows freely to the blood, body and ultimately you become a sugar factory! As a result of this, muscle, fat and liver cells don’t respond to insulin and cannot absorb glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream. The body needs higher levels of insulin to help the sugar get into the cells for energy. The pancreas tries to keep up with the increased demand by producing more insulin. Over time though, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus and then the excess sugar leads to other serious health problems. 
Lifestyle changes are essential to addressing this epidemic problem. Diet-Mediterranean with healthy veggies, fruits, proteins and good fats, adequate water intake (1/2 your body weight in ounces of water), exercise 30min most days of the week, stress reduction through meditation, yoga or just having some fun and joy in your life, supplementation, and prescription medications can help to turn this around for you. 
In clinical practice, no single laboratory test is used to diagnose insulin resistance syndrome. We determine if a patient has insulin resistance through consultation within the clinic and by reviewing lab results. 
Would you change the course of your health if you knew what the end game was going to be-if you could be healthy? We at Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare are here to assist you to find out the answers that could unlock the secrets to your health.

Inflammation CONTROLS our lives!

by Sharon Thurow on 12/30/15

Have you dealt with any other following problems-pain, obesity, ADHD,diabetes, HTN, heart disease, migraines, thyroid issues, or even cancer? If you answered YES to any of these disorders, then you are dealing with inflammation.

Most of us are actually suffering from one or more of these problems but have absolutely no idea of how to deal with how to get rid of this inflammation. Most providers are prescribing medications that are addressing the symptoms that we are coming in with, but not addressing the core of the problem. Traditional medicine tries to cure from the outside in rather than from the inside out.

Think about this-inflammation starts in our larges immune system-Our GUT! When our body becomes overwhelmed with inflammation, it starts to show up in our blood and becomes now systemic inflammation.

The gut is made up of a large semi-permeable lining-with the surface area encompassing 2 tennis courts if spread out. The degree of permeability fluctuates in response to a variety of chemically mediated conditions. When you get upset, your cortisol level starts to elevate and in time, you see this in your stomach that now sticks out-and you cannot lose the weight. When this lining becomes repeatedly damaged, it becomes leaky-and eventually, digestion is impaired, and absorption of nutrients negatively affected. As more exposure occurs over time, your body attacks these “foreign invaders” and your body responds with inflammation, allergic reactions and other symptoms that we relate to a variety of diseases. These are just some of the diseases that start in this fashion and include;
Alzheimers, HTN, Diabetes, Autism, asthma, arthritis, chf, fibromyalgia, GERD, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, heart attack, kidney failure and the list goes on and on.

Since inflammation is commonly mediated by the gut is is a logical starting point in the evaluation process of any patient. There are 7 common areas that should be considered when looking for the cause for gastrointestinal dysfunction that creates the negative environment of inflammation. 
Diet, alcohol, gluten, casein, processed foods, sugar and fast foods,
Medications including corticosteroids, antibiotics, antacids.
Infections such as helicobacter pylori (responsible for stomach ulcers), yeast or bacterial overgrowth, viral or parasitic infection. 
Stress as mentioned, increases cortisol and elevated blood sugar, weight gain……
Hormones that affect the thyroid, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone to name a few…
Neurological including brain trauma, stroke.
Metabolic that cause an elevation of hemoglobin A1C for example (3month avg of blood sugars) and eventually can become diabetic, autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

First and foremost-FOOD MATTERS! The inflammatory cascade takes place by a trigger (diet, medications, and infections, stress, hormonal, neurological or metabolic). This then can break down the gut permeability and allows for the leaky gut mechanism to “kick into action.” Leaky gut is the primary trigger for the inflammatory process.

Inflammation is rampant. How can you address this and get healthy?

1. Lifestyle, and remove adverse mechanisms such as stress, over exercising, poor sleep to list a few.
2. Restore beneficial mechanisms-create conditions of love and appreciation, positive attitude, maintain proper exercise adequate sleep, and facilitate healthy social interactions. 
3. Dietary support-stabilize blood sugar through healthy diet with whole foods including protein, fruits and veggies. Promote intestinal integrity with pre and probiotics including fermented foods, and supplement with a good probiotic.

The bottom line is that there are a wide variety of health problems all rooted in inflammation which can be properly addressed if you want to be healed. We at Thurow Primary have a Lifestyle Change Program called First Line Therapy and eager and ready to help you get healed-TODAY!