Do I Need Medical Testing?

Dear Friends,

I’d like to thank all of you who came out to my lecture this weekend at the Conscious Life Expo!  I enjoyed seeing you and hope you had a great time at the expo.  It was another jam-packed weekend of holistic events.  I love how popular all this stuff is getting.  The LAX Hilton parking lot was full when I got there with attendees…. pretty amazing.  I think it says a lot that in the midst of much of the chaos and stress in our nation, and internationally, and in our individual lives, that so many people find it a priority to attend an event like this… See you next time…
Now, on to a more clinical note:  I’m asked a lot, and it was a major topic of discussion at my lecture this weekend….. When is it good to be tested and what type of testing is needed?  So I’ve written this short article to give you a primer on medical TESTING…
Do I Need To Be Tested?
This is a question I am often asked by my patients.  The question comes up in a few different contexts:
The first is when I ask a patient to get a blood test who has not had any testing in more than a year.  They sometimes object, saying: “This is alternative medicine; why do I need a blood test?”
I explain that testing can often lead to a better, more specific and thorough diagnosis, as compared to Chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis alone.
The second is when the current tests are not comprehensive enough.  Often, and especially with HMO insurance, the type of testing done is not adequate and complete enough to form the type picture needed to diagnose accurately from the Chinese medical perspective.
In What Circumstances Will Testing Really Help Me?
The answer to this question is based on a number of variables.  It largely depends on you and your health goals and situation.  But frankly, and to be practical, it also depends to a large degree on your health budget and financial situation.
In my mind, and for me working with you as your doctor, it’s always preferable to see the results of scientific tests.  The more black and white information I have, the easier it is for me to diagnose you accurately and treat you effectively.
But if you’re on a tight budget, then I sometimes won’t require you to be tested.  The exception to this is that at a minimum, I like all my patients to get basic blood tests.
Testing gives us both a more scientific way of knowing where you stand and gives us the tools we need to treat you more effectively.
Because of my 30 years of medical experience, I can  sometimes predict some of your test results and spare you the extra fee.  Not with blood tests, but sometimes with neurotransmitter testing, or adrenal stress testing.
But this is not always the case.  And I can discuss your options with you.  In general, I prefer the tests, if at all possible.
Which Tests Might We Want To Perform?
The following is a list of some of the more common tests that I routinely perform on my patients:
Blood Testing – general CBC, cholesterol, Chem Panel, Hormones, kidney and liver functions, Vitamin D Blood Tests
Urinalysis – blood sugar, infections
Hormones – Blood and Saliva
Brain Neurotransmitter Testing – Saliva
Adrenals – Blood and Saliva
Stool Tests for parasites, yeast, bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut, and digestive function
Anemia Testing – blood
Blood – Food Allergy Testing
Blood – Digestive Function and Leaky Gut Syndrome Testing
The following is a partial list of symptoms and problems which you may have that benefit from testing to get a more accurate diagnosis and create a more effective treatment plan:
Acne
Herpes
Infertility
Low Sex Drive
Low Motility and Male Sperm Count
Excessive Sex Drive
Addictions, Compulsions, Panic
Compulsive Eating
Bulemia and Anorexia
Alchohol or Sugar cravings
Drug Usage
Chronic Fatigue
Low Energy
Epstein Barr Virus
Lupus
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Menopause
PMS
Low or High Thyroid
Hashimoto’s Disease
Depression
Anxiety
Phobias
Irritability
Chronic Insomnia
Chronic Pain Syndrome
Headaches
Migraines
Attention Deficit or Hyperactivity
Memory Loss
Candida
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic Digestive Problems
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Gas and Bloating
Will My Health Insurance Cover the Cost of Testing?
In some cases, yes.  You will have to call and ask your insurance company about the specific tests.  Each insurance company has different rules.
How Do We Know Which Tests I Will Need?
This is what we will discuss during your consultation.  If you are already a patient, please schedule an appointment for a consultation to evaluate if you need testing and if so, which tests will help you to achieve your health goals.
Together ~ Let’s Make 2013 a Healthier Year
*Acupuncture*
*Homeopathy*
*Chinese Herbal Medicine*
*Nutritional Counseling and Diet*
Dr Randy Martin, OMD, LAc, PhD, CCH
Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Certified Classical Homeopath

 

Encino Office:  PRIMARY MAILING ADDRESS

Tuesday and Thursday

12:30 – 7:30 pm

17000 Ventura Blvd #220

Encino, CA 91316

Telephone: 818 905 6171

 

West Los Angeles/Santa Monica Office:   

Wednesday

12:30 pm -7:30 pm

1444 Carmelina Blvd #132

West Los Angeles, CA 90025

Telephone: 310 979 6495

 

Valencia Office:

Saturdays and Mondays

12:30  - 6:00 pm

23332 Valencia Blvd

Valencia, CA 91355

Telephone:  661 312 9868

 

Email:  drrandymartin@gmail.com

On the Web:  www.drrandymartin.com

 
Dr. Martin’s Book Optimal Health is now available on Kindle and in ITunes
Dr. Martin’s Book Optimal Health – Now Available as an Audio Book on Audible.com

 

 

Addiction, 12-Step Programs and Holistic Health

THE ROLE OF ADDICTIONS AND TWELVE-STEP PROGRAMS IN ACHIEVING OPTIMAL HEALTH

Twelve-Step Programs are extremely effective for many people in helping to control addictive behaviors.  But there are four parts to any recovery program.  The reason twelve-step recovery programs work for some people and not for others is that some people are very strong in one or two of the four areas, but weak in the others.  The four components to any recovery program are emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical.  The problem with twelve-step recovery programs is that they are very weak in the area of physical tools for recovery.
The tools and steps of the twelve-step programs focus primarily on the emotional and spiritual areas of the recovery process and, to a lesser degree, on the intellectual level.  But they offer almost no tools for the physical and physiological/chemical aspects of recovery.
How to pray, meditate, take a personal inventory, connect with others in the form of fellowship, community and sponsorship, inner dialogue and an ongoing assessment of how one is “working the program” are the hallmarks of successful recovery.
But on the physical level of recovery, only a few behavioral tools are discussed.  “Abstain no matter what,” is a common saying.  “Abstinence comes first,” “First thing’s first,” etc., are also common slogans.  “Use the phone” and “Call before that first bite or first drink” are other favorite sayings.  But these sayings, or tools, of the twelve-step programs do not give sufficient help.  They are part of a behavioral approach to addictions, but they do not address the physiological aspects of addictions.
If you are in a substance abuse program, you are warned of the evils of breaking abstinence on that particular substance, whether it is alcohol, drugs, or food.  And if it is a type of behavior you are trying to abstain from, such as obsessive sexual behaviors, co-dependence, or compulsive spending or gambling, you attempt to get some abstinence from these obsessive-compulsive behaviors by following the steps and using the tools of the program, as well.
Basically, the program only offers a “white knuckle” or behavioral approach to physical abstinence.  If you diligently follow the steps and incorporate the tools into your life, the “white knuckle” approach is workable.  But often a person is unsuccessful at abstinence, especially at the beginning of the program.  In fact, a very large segment of people who try to use the twelve-step programs drop out at an early stage.
In many cases, people who “fail” at twelve-step programs are “working” the steps and using the tools of the program as diligently as anyone can expect.  But these “failures” are due to the fact that they are experiencing physical imbalances, which are controlling them and limiting their recovery and ability to succeed.
It is common to judge one’s success in the twelve-step programs by how long he or she has achieved abstinence or sobriety.  This is based on the assumption that if they are “working” a strong program, he or she will also be successful at abstinence and sobriety.
Yet, there are many people who have a very strong connection to God or a “higher power”, have worked the twelve-step programs, have had a great deal of therapy under their belt, and who really try to work the twelve-step programs correctly, but are failures at permanently abstaining from their obsessive or compulsive behavior.
Why is this?  Why do some people succeed in twelve-step programs while others fail?  If people are working just as hard at the same program, why do some have an easier time of it than others?
There is a missing link, a hidden dimension, and a mysterious factor, which the twelve-step programs do not address.  What is this missing element?
To reiterate, the missing element is the physical component.  Without all four components being addressed, many people are doomed to failure. Some people simply cannot abstain, nor alter their behavior, no matter how hard they try or how good their connection with God is, or how well they “turn it over” and work the TWELVE-STEP PROGRAM steps to recovery.
There is also another category of “failure” in the twelve-step recovery programs.  This is the person who has long-term abstinence/sobriety and recovery in their program, but is still as obsessive-compulsive as they were before abstinence or sobriety.  They have just substituted one compulsive or obsessive behavior for another.
For example, some people will substitute another addiction, such as smoking or compulsive eating, when they give up drugs or alcohol.  Another example is the person who compulsively goes to Twelve-Step meetings even after they have achieved their goals, instead of finding a more meaningful activity in their life.
Still, another type of failure in the twelve-step program is the person who has achieved long-term abstinence or sobriety and is still, physically, not very healthy.
This is because all of these people are ignoring the physiological aspects of the addiction process.  There is a joke in Overeater’s Anonymous about the mother who keeps telling her overweight child that she doesn’t have an eating problem and that it is just a case of her thyroid being “under-active.”  Most people in OA think this is a joke, but, in fact, most Compulsive Overeatersm (CO’s) do have a thyroid problem, as well as an adrenal problem and an imbalance in their neurotransmitters!
The general thinking in the twelve-step programs is that the program is a complete system and all one needs to achieve sobriety or abstinence.  This is sad because there are so many tools available that are very compatible with twelve-step programs, yet come from other resources outside the program’s twelve steps and traditions.
Most CO’s do have a weak thyroid, just as most alcoholics have liver and other endocrine gland problems, co-dependants have adrenal gland problems, and sexaholics have pituitary gland imbalances.  Virtually all compulsive and addictive personality types also have serious imbalances in one or more hormones.  Additionally, all people with addictions or compulsive behaviors also have imbalances in their brain neurotransmitters.
In fact, most people in our culture today, whether they perceive themselves as having a compulsive or addictive personality or not, do in fact have addiction problems.   If caffeine and sugar were no longer available, the whole culture would come to a screeching halt, who could get to bed at night or wake up in the morning?
The purpose of this article is not to downplay the importance of working a strong twelve-step program as a pivotal key to recovery, but to fill in the missing link for those people for whom the program is not enough.
The people who most need the information in this article are the following:
1.  People who, despite well-intended behavior and motives, fail at twelve-step programs.
2.  People who succeed and then slip back into their old behavior.
3.  People who succeed, but don’t get as far as they would have liked to in the program; they only achieve their goals in part.
4.  People who succeed at the program and achieve their program goals, yet are still not in good physical or emotional health, even after two or more years of strong abstinence, sobriety, and recovery.
The common aspect of all these problems may be the same: a lack of understanding as to the role the body plays in addictions and the addictive process.  Understanding addictions and the physiology and anatomy of addictions can help people in all of these categories succeed in achieving their goals more effectively and efficiently.
As I said before, the twelve-step program is very effective at addressing problems on the first three levels, (spiritual, emotional, intellectual) but if the primary place of imbalance is on the physical level, which it often can be, then the TWELVE-STEP PROGRAM will be very weak and offer very little hope in terms of recovery.
Often, if one is successful at working the program, the physical imbalances will take care of themselves over time.  The liver will naturally detoxify, regenerate, and become healthier, if given the opportunity through healthy diet and exercise.  Prayer, meditation and visual imagery are also very helpful in this regard.
It is also very important not to take the addiction as the reality.   In other words, an addiction is only a symptom of imbalance on a deeper level.  The addiction is not the root cause of the problem.  The magic of the holistic approach, which takes into account the physical imbalance, is that often when removing the physical imbalance, the addiction is inadvertently cured as well.  Patients always have an easier time giving up alcohol, tobacco, sugar, drugs or caffeine if they are being treated using holistic methods.
Oriental Medicine and Addictions
According to the law of five elements in traditional Chinese medicine, each person is born with some weaker and some stronger elements, organs, and meridians.  And depending on the particular weakness, it predisposes a person to a particular addiction.
So when Western medical research speaks about children of alcoholics having a higher chance of becoming alcoholic because of being born with a particular enzyme in their body, this is something that Chinese medicine agrees with very strongly.
If one’s father was an alcoholic, then that person inherits a liver meridian (or wood element) that is more likely to be a precondition for substance abuse in the child.  Similarly, if a parent was obese or underweight, the child has inherited a weak earth element or fire element that predisposes them to also be obese or underweight.
Depending on the particular weakness you are born with, a person can be successfully treated using Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture to strengthen that particular problem.  In strengthening the weak organ and accompanying acupuncture meridian, the predisposition to the addiction will be removed or, at a minimum, it will be significantly reduced.
Endocrinology 

Another area where the holistic approach is very effective is in treating weak endocrine glands and hormonal levels in the body.   A weakness of any gland in the body can predispose a person to a particular craving and subsequent addiction.  This predisposition to imbalance and disease is a key to diagnosis and treatment.
By utilizing blood, saliva, and urine tests and questionnaires, we can quickly and easily determine the weak endocrine glands that are contributing to addictive behaviors.  Using various minerals, glandular supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies can significantly strengthen these glands.   There are also specific exercises that can be recommended to strengthen each particular gland.
But please remember that any holistic program should always be undertaken with the advice and supervision of your medical doctor.  And never take yourself off of any medications prescribed by your medical doctor without his or her knowledge and approval.  Some people actually do much better with prescription medications, than Chinese herbal or natural products.  This is something I discuss with my patients during their first visit to the office.
Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of our body.  Recent research has shown that a lack of specific amino acids can contribute to emotional instability or be a root cause of obsessive or addictive behaviors.  Supplementing the diet with specific amino acids can reduce cravings or addictive desires.
Example of Recovery from an Eating Disorder 

As an example of one patient I treated for an eating disorder, I will share the case of Rebecca.  She had been overeating and compulsively binging for many years, and came to me with a goal of losing about 40 pounds.
The first step was to obtain her blood test results and take saliva and urine tests to assess her neurotransmitter levels.  The results of the two tests showed that she was very low in mineral/electrolyte levels and in her assimilation of protein.  Late at night when she was binging, her excitatory neurotransmitters were much too high.  This explained her need to sedate herself with carbohydrates.
I put her on a regimen of Chinese herbs and supplements to balance her serotonin and relax/turn off her brain so that she could more easily unwind at night.   We also used a homeopathic remedy to control her sugar and chocolate cravings. The remedy was called Sepia.
This homeopathic remedy is a “cousin” to Natrum mur and is a great remedy for water retention.  Both remedies are great for ailments that begin with sadness, loss or grief.  Not surprisingly, she had mentioned to me at her first appointment that her overeating began when she lost her mom many years ago.
Acupuncture helped her to control her cravings by balancing her nervous system and strengthening her Spleen meridian.  She also started on an herbal Chinese tea designed to burn fat each time she ate a meal.
After two months, she had lost most of her weight and was put on a maintenance program.  She also continued her twelve-step program of Overeaters Anonymous.  Her subsequent blood and neurotransmitter tests showed vast improvement.
Recovery of an Alcoholic 

Gene had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for about five years, and his cravings for alcohol had disappeared after about the first two years of sobriety.  But he still felt emotionally out-of-control and was in danger of losing his wife due to his frequent outbursts of anger.
This is fairly typical because alcohol creates what Chinese medical doctors call Stagnant Liver Chi, or Toxic Liver Syndrome.
When I performed blood tests, his liver enzymes were on the high side, so I started him on a program of Liver Detoxification using herbs, teas and acupuncture.  In addition, he was put on a homeopathic remedy call Lycopodium, a great homeopathic remedy for the liver and kidneys.  It has a keynote symptom of anger aimed at those he or she is closest to, although at work or with friends they may appear to be very sweet, kind, open, and communicative.
After about 6 weeks of treatment, his wife reported he had become gentler and was willing to start couples therapy.  About a year later I saw him for lower back pain.  He said his marriage had been completely transformed and that the two of them had never been happier.
This is a great example of how homeopathy and Chinese medicine can help someone with an addiction, even many years after they have stopped using the particular substance they were once addicted to.
Recovery from Smoking Cigarettes 

I have been told by many of my patients that cigarette smoking is the hardest addiction to break.  They have also mentioned that of the many different methods they have tried in order to stop smoking, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and homeopathy were the easiest ones.
My program uses detoxification herbs, relaxation herbs, amino acids designed to increase serotonin levels in the brain, and acupuncture to relax and create that post-exercise feeling of relaxation or “high.”
I have been told by many ex-smokers that acupuncture works quite well to help them get over their other cravings, as well.  During the process, they found themselves feeling healthier and craving less sugar and caffeine.  The entire process usually takes about six weeks, and most people have completely stopped smoking by week three.
The homeopathic remedy Tabaccum works great for many people by helping to decrease their cravings and eliminate toxins in the lungs.   For others, I might use Rescue Remedy, Magnesium phos for relaxation, or Kali phos for the nervous system.  Still, others require a more individualized approach to homeopathy called “Classical” or “Constitutional” homeopathy.  The bottom line is that there is simply no single treatment that is right for everybody, which is why everyone in my practice is always treated as a unique individual.
 Summary and Conclusions 

“This stuff really works,” is most often the remark people make after they are on their supplements and acupuncture for at least a week.  “Yes, it does,” is my response.  After 28 years, I am still astounded and amazed at the magic produced by a good diet, some exercise, a nice relaxing acupuncture treatment, and the correct homeopathic remedy.
It’s mainly due to a lack of knowledge that people say acupuncture or homeopathy doesn’t work; however, it always works when the treatment is tailored to the individual!
“….You Got To Love Your Acupuncturist….”
*Acupuncture*
*Homeopathy*
*Chinese Herbal Medicine*
*Nutritional Counseling and Diet*
Dr Randy Martin, OMD, LAc, PhD, CCH
Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Certified Classical Homeopath

 

 

 

Link to Dr. Martin’s Book on Amazon – also available as EBook

 

 

 

Encino Office:  MAILING ADDRESS

Tuesday and Thursday

12:30 – 7:30 pm

17000 Ventura Blvd #220

Encino, CA 91316

Telephone: 818 905 6171

 

West Los Angeles/Santa Monica Office:   

Wednesday

12:30 pm -7:30 pm

1444 Carmelina Blvd #132

West Los Angeles, CA 90025

Telephone: 310 979 6495

 

Valencia Office:

Saturdays and Mondays

12:30  - 6:00 pm

23332 Valencia Blvd

Valencia, CA 91355

Telephone:  661 312 9868

 

Email:  drrandymartin@gmail.com

On the Web:  www.drrandymartin.com

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress – Anxiety – Depression – Insomnia – Fatigue

~ Products for Stress ~

 

(All Products available from Dr. Martin by special order.  Note:  Testing available to determine exactly which products you need based on your blood, urine and saliva test results.  Tests determine mineral deficiencies, and neurotransmitter excesses, or deficiency.  Email our office for pricing and for more information.  Insurance often covers the costs of testing.)

 

PharmaGABA-Pro

for enhanced relaxation, day or night*

GABA is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It acts like a “brake” during times of runaway stress.* In addition, studies indicate GABA can promote relaxation and enhanced sleep.* Clinical studies show the natural GABA in our PharmaGABA-Pro increases the production of calming alpha waves in the brain.

5-MTHF

an essential nutrient for maintaining a good mood*

Along with vitamin B12, 5MTHF functions as a methyl donor, which is vital to the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin.* 5MTHF also works with tetrahydrobiopterin to ensure enough serotonin is available in the brain.*

Deproloft

for safe mood enhancement*

Many nutrients are needed for proper mood and cognition. Deproloft combines several botanicals and key nutrients that promote healthy adrenal and neurotransmitter function.*

 

Rhodiola

an important brain adaptogen*

Rhodiola is categorized as an adaptogen because of its ability to increase resistance to chemical, biological, and physical stressors.* Rhodiola can enhance relaxation and increase focus.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP)

important serotonin precursor*

5HTP is the intermediate metabolite in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with the regulation of sleep, mood, and appetite.* Supplementing with 5HTP bypasses the fist step of tryptophan conversion, which can be inhibited by stress and nutrient depletion.*

Sedaplus

for restful, restorative sleep*

The combination of ingredients in Sedaplus (Valerian, Hops, Chamomile, Passion flower, and Rhodiola) helps promote relaxation and restful sleep.*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tired of Being Tired???

Tired of being tired?

 

 

You could be suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiency.

 

Link to Blood Lab to Check your Vitamin and Mineral Levels Inexpensively on Your Own

Do you wonder why you feel tired, or don’t recover well from illness? It could be that you lack the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.  As complex and amazing that our bodies are, they cannot produce these necessary nutrients on it’s own. Vitamins and minerals are found in foods and nourish our bodies to help keep us healthy. Keep in mind that it’s best to consume a variety of foods, instead of just taking a multivitamin, to make sure that your body is able to absorb the micronutrients properly. 

Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development and help cells and organs do their jobs.  Knowing exactly what vitamins and minerals your body is lacking or exceeding in allows you to give it exactly what it needs. Having the correct amount is important for the body to function properly.

Vitamins have many functions and influence the health of nearly every organ in the body. It is impossible to sustain life without all the essential vitamins. Minerals play a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in food. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.  

Below is a list of interesting facts about the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy and keep our bodies functioning properly.

 

Vitamins

Vitamin A

Vitamin A keeps the immune system healthy. It prevents blindness and promotes healthy skin and hair. It is crucial for bone growth and tooth develpoment. Good sources are milk, liver, fish, orange vegetables and fruit. 

Deficiency: Night blindness, dry skin, poor bone growth and weak tooth enamel. Major sources are milk, eggs, spinach, carrots and almonds.

Excess intake: Liver damage, headache, abnormal vision and bone pain

 

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a large family of vitamins which include B1, B2, B6, B9 (Folic Acid), Niacin, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. They are vital nutrients for cell repair, digestion and metabolic activity. Vitamins B6 and B12 are found in most foods such as whole grains, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy products and leafy green vegetables. 

 

Deficiency: Short breath, dizziness, pale skin and irregular heart beats

Excess intake: Liver problems. numbness in feet and hand

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to reduce cholesterol levels and helps to regulate blood pressure. It resists infection in your body and is important in immune system function. The main sources for vitamin C are found in fish, oranges, tomatoes, lemon, spinach, onions and broccoli.

Deficiency: Nosebleeds, swollen gums and weakness

Excess intake: Upset stomach and kidney stones

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced naturally by the body when exposed to sunshine, therefore we do not need to obtain it from our diets. Our bodies need vitamin D because it absorbs calcium which is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth. Direct sunlight, spinach and vegetables are all sources of vitamin D.

Deficiency: Osteoporosis

Excess intake: Irreversal damage to kidneys and heart, muscle weakness and high blood pressure   

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E promotes formation of red blood cells and prevents appearance of wrinkles. Preventions external damage to the lungs by air pollutants, prostate cancer and heart disease. Helps maintain the tissues in your eyes, skin and liver. Foods rich in Vitamin E are whole grains, leafy green vegetables, sardines, egg yolks, nuts and seeds.

Deficiency: Loss of balance and anemia

Excess intake: Blood-clotting problems

 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is important for the function of blood clotting in the body. It is also linked to preventing Alzheimers disease in the elderly. It regulates blood calcium levels and activates at least 3 proteins involved in bone health. Vitamin K is found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables and soybean oil. 

Deficiency: Bruise and bleed easily, prolonged blood clotting. However, these symptoms are limited to people that have liver problems and are very rare.

Excess intake: Some forms of vitamin K can cause anemia. Again this is extremely rare.

 

 

Minerals

Calcium

Calcium is important for making our bones and teeth strong and for maintaining healthy gums. It is also essential for the nervous system. Milk, fish, seafood, almonds and green leafy vegetables are good sources for calcium. 

 

Deficiency: Osteoporosis 

 

Excess intake: Tiredness, loss of appetite, upset stomach

 

Iron

Iron is the most important component of blood. It is used in the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Without iron, the tissues, muscles, and other systems do not receive adequate oxygen, and thus cannot function properly. Good sources of iron are spinach, beans, eggs, dried fruits and whole breads. 

 

Dificiency: Fatigue, difficulty in breathing and anemia

 

Excess intake: Hemochromatosis 

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is required for proper relaxation and contraction of muscles and for proper functioning of certain enzymes. Food sources include dark green vegetables, apples, bananas, milk products and meat

 

Deficiency: Fatigue, irritability, insomnia and poor memory

 

Excess intake: Nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and slow heart rate 

 

Phosphorus

Phosphorus helps filter out waste in the kidneys and plays an essential role in how  the body stores and uses energy. It is also an important nutrient in building strong teeth and bones. Some health conditions such as diabetes, starvation, and alcoholism can cause levels of phosphorus in the body to fall. Good sources include milk, fish, eggs, apples and carrots

 

Deficiency: Painful bones and fatigue

 

Excess intake: Kidney damage and Osteoporosis 

 

Potassium

Potassium is necessary for building a healthy nervous system. It regulates nerve impulses, heartbeat and blood pressure. Fish, meat, whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. 

 

Deficiency: Muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat and fatigue

 

Excess intake: Weakness and irregular heartbeat

 

Zinc

Zinc is useful for the body in many ways and carries out various functions, such as cell growth and division, and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and energy. It also helps in curing skin problems such as acne, boils, and also sore throat. If the proportion of zinc in the body is low, it can become a major cause for genetic disorders such as dwarfism. Other indications of low zinc are skin problems such as acne, weight loss, diarrhea, emotional instability, joint pain and hair loss. Food sources include oysters, lean beef, seafood, lima beans, nuts, poultry and dairy products. 

 

Deficiency: Genetic disorders, skin problems, weight loss, diarrhea, emotional instability, joint pain and hair loss

 

Excess intake: Nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, lethargy and fatigue

New Years Supplement Recommendations

New Years Resolution – Start Taking Your Supplements

 

 

 

Summary:  Everyone needs the most basic supplements, which include:

*Omega 3, 6, 9 Oils

*Probiotics

*Magnesium

*Multi Vitamin/Mineral Fromula for your age and gender

*CoQ10 for your cardio-vascular system

*Individualized program based on symptoms and blood analysis 

 

We all need vitamin and mineral supplements — Right?  With our higher levels of awareness for our body’s health and healing process, who could logically say:  “No—-not me, I don’t need vitamins?”  

 

One might say that medical doctors and many scientific investigators don’t believe in the need for supplements, but this is no longer true.  In recent classes I’ve taught to medical doctors throughout the Los Angeles area, I’ve seen an incredible interest among many physicians  and an honest desire to learn what’s best for their patients.   Many of these docs are taking vitamins, herbs and other supplements themselves and seeing firsthand that they really work!

 

Some of the most common reasons for taking vitamin and mineral supplements are:

 

1.  Large-scale commercial agra-business has depleted our soils of nutrients.  Soil has been scientifically researched and found to be deficient in many necessary minerals.  Organically grown food is much better, and richer in vitamins and nutrients, but is more costly and still hard to obtain for our everyday needs.

 

2.  Pesticides are used around our homes, are found in most of the foods we eat, and are hidden in the form of ant and roach “hotels”, moth balls, mildew removers, fungicides, termite eradication and others.  These pesticides inevitably get into our body.

 

3.  Other environmental pollutants also claim a toll on the body, creating a need for more anti-oxidants and other minerals and vitamins.

 

4.  Smog:  Living in Los Angeles, we are all subject to the effects of poor air quality.  Breathing smog on a daily basis depletes the body of anti-oxidants.

 

5.  Smoking, prescription medications, recreational drugs and alcohol deplete the body of valuable nutrients and electrolytes.  This is why most people who smoke have a lot of dental and bone density problems:  The minerals needed to build healthy teeth and bones have been leached out of the system.

 

6.  Electromagnetic Field Pollution is everywhere.  From airports, cell phones, X-Rays, MRI’s, radio waves, microwaves, television and computer screens, we are constantly bombarded by radiation in every direction we turn.  If you own an electro-magnetic field detector as I do, you’d be amazed by measuring the amount of daily radiation you are subjected to.   Radiation alters your electro-magnetic field, your chi/energy, and personal gravitational center, thus causing stress-induced depletion of minerals and vitamins.

 

7.  We all live under tremendous stress.  Unless you live in the desert  and are on retreat 100% of the time, it’s likely that your endocrine system, including your adrenal glands and thyroid, are functioning on overdrive much of the time.  Stress depletes the body of its essential nutrients, including vital antioxidants and electrolytes.

 

8.  The “Quickening” — Few could argue that we perceive time as speeding up.  The physical body is dealing with a constant onslaught of energy, the mental body is constantly overwhelmed by too much data and information, and the emotional body is being called upon to integrate and make sense of all this additional information.  All of this contributes to stress, which depletes the body by sending it into “overdrive” much of the time.

 

But which supplements are the best ones for your particular body and mind?  Although we are all mostly exposed to the same common environmental problems,  not everyone needs the same products. 

 

Our bodies vary tremendously, and so do our physiological needs.  

 

In 1996, Dr. Roger Williams, the scientist who discovered Pantothenic Acid, wrote a book called Biochemical Individuality.   In this book, he discusses various research studies demonstrating people’s unique needs. 

This is why  the best way to determine your individual needs is through individualized testing and analysis.   And the most reliable form of testing uses the blood.

 

Health is relative, and a person who doesn’t have a known disease is not necessarily healthy.  So the best way to analyze blood chemistry is in terms of “optimum” rather than “normal.”

 

Your blood is alive!   By that I mean that your blood is electrically charged.  Each mineral molecule in the blood carries either a positive or negative electrical charge.   Each negative charge is attracted to a positive charge and each positive charge is attracted to a negative charge.

 

Problems like insomnia, low or high blood pressure, weight gain or loss, fluid retention, arthritis, colitis, constipation, allergies or asthma all begin to make sense when we look at the blood in this way.  

 

 Looking at the typical blood chemistry analysis and CBC, I have an entire picture of exactly which organs are weak, or “under-active,” and strong, or “over-active,” from the point of view of Chinese medicine.   

 

Taken together, these two methods of blood test analysis give a very clear indication of which supplements and herbs are needed to bring the body into balance for optimal functioning.  

 

 

The Problem with Low Blood Sugar – by Dr. Randy Martin

Hypoglycemia – How to Understand and Treat this Serious Problem by Dr. Randy Martin, OMD

Too often a patient comes into to see me with a list of various problems that their physician has no solution for.  Sometimes the underlying problem is the real cause, and sometimes this underlying problem involves faulty blood sugar metabolism.

Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar dropping below the normal range. And while many people also have blood sugar within this normal range, their blood sugar may also swing too quickly from high to low or from low to high.  Either imbalance shares the same symptoms:  foggy thinking, headaches, blurred vision, muscle aches and pains, hypersensitivity, overly emotional, hypersensitive to noise or smells or light, anxiety, sweating, nervousness, faintness, palpitations, and the brain simply not working right.

The causes are sometimes genetic, or sometimes related to stress, over exercise, not eating well, or what we call in Traditional Chinese medicine, stagnant liver chi or weak spleen meridian.  Dietary causes can be a history of eating too much sweets, refined carbohydrates, such as white bread or pasta, or drinking too much alcohol or cold sweet drinks, such as soda.

The Traditional Chinese medical diagnosis for hypoglycemia can be complex.  There are quite a few types of diagnosis that could be associated by hypoglycemia.  According to E. Douglas Kihn, OMD, LAc, in an article published in The California Journal of Oriental Medicine (Vol 16, No 2, Fall 2005,) Liver yang rising with liver wind affecting the qui and blood of the head, is one of the primary causes of hypoglycemia.  There are other possible causes, however, including kidney yin weakness, disturbed shen and weak genetic qi.  My book, Optimal Health, How to Get It, How to Keep It, has a more extensive discussion of all these Chinese syndromes.

According to Dr. Kihn, the underlying reason for hypoglycemia is excessive heat caused by too much movement or friction. As a result, the liver overheats, causing Liver Rising, thus generating Liver wind.  Wind scatters and confuses the qi and blood in the head leading to dizziness, headaches, confusion, and the like.

The simple explanation or cause for this excessive heat is that at some point, we all experience stress and may become overworked.  In our culture, most of us are trying to accomplish way too much and don’t rest enough.  We worry and are constantly busy at trying to respond to stressful situations or trying to accomplish something. 

Many people in our culture have what we call in Traditional Chinese medicine stagnant liver chi. If you have gone to a Traditional Chinese medical doctor, you may have been told that you have this imbalance.  My patients always ask me what I mean when I tell them they have stagnant liver chi.

While Traditional Chinese medicine does use the name of the traditional organ system to describe the problem, Chinese medicine has a lot more to say about the organ.  In Chinese medicine, the term liver includes the actual organ, the meridian and the functions.  The meridian, or invisible energy pathway, travels from the foot, up the inner leg, and into the groin area, ending in the chest cavity area. Any problem along that meridian would be reason to treat the Liver meridian.

Hypoglycemia includes the classic symptoms of liver chi stagnation:  dizziness, headaches, sugar cravings, poor digestion, unstable blood sugar, mood swings, PMS and other hormonal imbalances.

From the Western perspective, our fast-paced lifestyle causes the adrenal glands to pump out too much epinephrine.  This hormone stimulates insulin production from the pancreas.  When the body is in this constant “flight or flight” mode, there is too much epinephrine being secreted and thus too much insulin production as well.  The net result is lowered blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

Western treatment for this is to eat more frequently, in order to keep the blood sugar at a more normal level.  Although this works in the short run, it doesn’t solve the problem from a traditional Chinese perspective.  In fact, overloading the body with food, when a person is not hungry, actually places a heavy load on the liver.  Even though this technique will relieve the current symptoms of hypoglycemia, it will actually worsen the problem in the long run by creating further liver heat and stagnation.

The long-term danger of maintaining the hypoglycemic diet is that may lead to exhaustion of the pancreas.  Every time you eat, the pancreas must secrete insulin.  But over time, the pancreas may become exhausted, and lose its ability to function properly. This will end in diabetes type II.  In the end, from the Chinese medical perspective, eating too frequently causes even more liver heat and stagnation, thus exacerbating the original problem.

Traditional Chinese medicine offers a solution by eliminating the heat, strengthening and supporting the liver and spleen.  The method of treatment is to detoxify and support the liver with herbal formula such as Xiao Yao Wan and Relaxed Wanderer.  Acupuncture points such as Spleen 4, 6, Liver 2, 3, 14, CV 4, Du 14, LI 4, 11.  For relaxation and stress, Pc 6 and Ht 7, and ear Shen Men.

Relaxation exercises, meditation techniques, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and daily exercise are also very important. 

How to Withdraw From Medications, Drugs or Succeed at Weight Loss

How to Withdraw More Easily from Prescription Medications, Smoking or Drugs, and Even Succeed at Your Weight Loss or Quit-Smoking Program.

It’s important to NEVER stop taking any prescription medications without the advice and support of your Medical Doctor.  The reasons are explained below:

Many times, patients come to me with the primary desire to stop taking their prescription medications or recreational drugs.  Other times, patients see themselves getting healthier and more balanced after receiving holistic treatments, and they ask me if they can get off one of their prescription medications.  Still other people, may have inadvertently become accustomed to taking a medication for the side effects of a surgery or an accident or trauma in their lives, and then they want to get off the medication after their life becomes more stable.The medication could be an anti-depressant, hypertension medication, anti-histamine, pain medications, hyper-acidity medications, diet pill, prescription hormones, marijuana, alcohol, or any number of other prescription medications or self-medications, such as sugar, carbohydrate addiction, caffeine addiction or hard drugs.

I would like to quickly outline below the most common mistakes I see my patients making when they try to get themselves off their medications, independent of their doctor’s advice:

1.  They do not first discuss their plan with their Medical Doctor.  It’s really, really important to not only discuss your plan with your Medical Doctor first, but to also get his or her approval for your plan.  This is because your Medical Doctor is in the best position to help you develop a rational plan for how to withdrawal off your medications.   Your Doctor knows your medical history, and also the pharmaceutical effects of the medication you are taking.  He or she is in the best position to help you develop a strategy for exactly how to stop the medication, and in exactly what increments it will be best to do it.

2.  Going too fast.  Many people start feeling really good after they start acupuncture or homeopathy and then they just stop their other medications, or stop them too fast.  This usually leads to having to go back onto their medications.  However, the best way is to actually go a lot slower then you might want to.  Thus you can head off any negative effects and catch yourself before you start feeling bad or your symptoms come back.   If you think you might want to stop over a period of three months, then extend it to six months.  The longer you take to do this, the more success you will probably have in the end.

3.  Not taking the right natural supplements as you taper off your prescription medications.  The body acclimates or even becomes addicted to some prescription medications.  When on a medication, your metabolism or hormones or neurotransmitters may have completely changed.   So if you are going to stop taking that medication, or significantly reduce it, it’s important to feed your body and mind with the nutrients needed to begin to work correctly without the medication.   Without taking natural supplements to replace your body’s dependance on the medications, it is much, much harder to go off any prescription medications.  Obviously, it can be done, but it’s a lot more challenging.

Here is a list of some of some of the more common natural supplements I sometimes recommend my patients take during this most difficult time.

*Homeopathic Kali phos – to support the nerves
*Homeopathic Mag phos – for relaxation, stress and for spasms
*Homeopathic Bio-Plasma – for overall support to keep the system strong during the transition
*Rescue Remedy – for the anxiety and panic that might occur.  Good to keep on hand*Homeopathic Tobaccum – for tobacco withdrawal
*Homeopathic Arnica – if you feel “beat up” and achy all over
*Homeopathic Aconite – for panic in the middle of the night or extreme fear anytime
*Amino Acids:  Theanine, Tryptophan, 5HTP, Taurine, Arginine, GABA, or a good mix of amino acids to support the system during withdrawl.   These amino acids will help to relax the nervous system, and reduce anxiety and alleviate other symtpoms of withdrawl.
*High Potency B-Vitamins – overall support
*Multi-Mineral Formula including large amounts of Magnesium and Calcium – relaxation and to keep the nerves and muscles from creating pain or spasms
*Plenty of fluids.  This should include electrolytes like Emergen-C, and detox tea such as Dandelion and Licorice (to balance the blood sugar).  Detox and blood sugar stability is critical!
*Extra Chromium to balance the blood sugar
*Herbal Pain Relievers for Pain and Herbal Sleep Medications to help with sleep. – I have many in my office and there are many others on the market.  Find what works for you and have it in your medicine cabinet for those times you need it.
*Rejuvamen HGH for energy
*Ponay Tea for energy, weight loss, and to assure assimilation of your proteins and fats
*Protein Powder made with Rice Protein for Detox and blood sugar.  (May also be used as weight loss aid to replace one or two meals per day.)
*Carry Protein Bars with you throughout the day to stop a sudden drop in blood sugar before it occurs. Exercise and breath are also key ingredients.  Exercise, even just daily walking, really will help. And if you cannot get out and exercise daily, try and remember to do breathing exercises, or Tai Chi, or some other centering exercise with breathing.

One really relaxing exercise is called “Cupping” or “Palming”.   Here is a web link for how to do it: 

http://community.livejournal.com/holistic_vision/tag/yoga

By relaxing your eyes, your brain will also stop repeating the same thoughts over and over again.  The eyes are a window to how the mind works.For women, it’s important to regulate the hormones.  If you are menstruating, then regulating and balancing your periods is critical to success.  There are many herbal formulas, and acupuncture, to aid in doing this.  If you are in menopause, it’s critical to balance your hormones, as any additional stress might throw your hormones off and cause another layer of symptoms. In my experience, the people who have the greatest success in withdrawing off prescription medications, stopping an addictive behavior or substance, or stopping recreational drugs have one quality in common:  They don’t give up!Time and time again, I see people stopping treatments or stopping their natural supplements, only to return 6 months later, back on their medications, or addicted again to a drug or harmful behavior.  They say “it didn’t work.”  But actually it did work, but they didn’t stick to the natural program long enough to see the results really take root.  The people who are really successful have follow-through. In general, it’s a good idea to really think through your choice before getting off any prescription medication and to discuss it with your Medical Doctor before making any decisions.  The worst thing you can do is to just go off it on your own without any support.    Your Medical Doctor should be the lead doctor in this decision, and remember to do it very, very slowly, if you really want to succeed.Lastly, anyone who has received acupuncture knows the relaxing effects.  So if you are not phobic of needles, and it’s convenient to get into an acupuncturist’s office, then regular treatments will really help at this transition time.  Even daily treatments for the first week are a good idea, or at least weekly or every other week.  Health insurance usually covers a percentage of the acupuncture treatments as well. Best of Luck on your healing journey. 

Help for Migraine Headaches

Acupuncture Today
August, 2008, Vol. 10, Issue 08

Acupuncture Effective for Migraine Relief
By Editorial Staff
As any chronic sufferer will tell you, migraine headaches can be debilitating, affecting concentration and the ability to perform daily tasks. In fact, the odds are high that a patient will come to see you with a complaint of migraines.

The latest epidemiologic data estimates 28 million Americans (approximately one in 10) suffer from migraines. Furthermore, almost half of those migraine cases are undiagnosed.

Fortunately, as research suggests, Chinese medicine may help stop migraines in their tracks. In the March 2008 issue of the journal Headache, Italian researchers published the results of a study that involved 160 migraine patients. Researchers divided study participants into different groups, each of which received one of the following treatment protocols: real acupuncture plus migraine medication, two different methods of mock acupuncture with migraine medication, and medication alone. Patients were evaluated three and six months after starting treatment. Migraines were classified according to the following TCM symptoms:

    •    exogenous wind-cold attack;
    •    exogenous wind-heat attack;
    •    exogenous wind-dampness attack;
    •    excess of liver yang;
    •    obstruction of the middle jiao due to damp phlegm;
    •    deficiency of kidney essence; or
    •    stagnation of qi and blood.

For patients receiving true acupuncture, each syndrome was treated with a specific acupoint selection according to TCM. Twice a week, patients submitted to two courses of 10 acupuncture applications each, with a one-week rest period between the treatment courses. The sessions lasted 30 minutes.

In patients receiving ritualized mock acupuncture, the protocol was the same as in the actual acupuncture group, but the needles were not inserted. A small cylinder of foam was applied to the skin by a double-adhesive plaster on each acupoint. Needles with blunted tips were then inserted into the cylinder, touching but not penetrating the skin. This allowed the patient to feel a superficial, light pricking-like sensation, thus simulating needle insertion. A slight pressure was applied on the needle to simulate the arrival of qi. This procedure was used in order to check possible placebo effects related to the use of the TCM approach.

In patients who received standard mock acupuncture, only the Western approach was used for diagnosis and the following standard acupoint selection was used: tou wei (ST 8), xuan lu (GB 5), feng chi (GB 20), da zhui (GV 14), lie que (LU 7). The same method of needle insertion as for ritualized mock acupuncture was used.

All patients were allowed to take rizatriptan to treat migraine attacks, The rizatriptan wafer was administered at a dose of 10 mg, and a second dose was allowed after two hours if the pain persisted.

The researchers found that of all the groups studied, only the group that received real acupuncture showed a significant improvement both in terms of migraine disability and reduced medication use, both at the three- and six-month follow-up. Mock acupuncture showed a slight placebo effect, but only at the three-month follow-up.

============

Dr. Martin’s Comments:  My experience is that of every problem I have treated over a 25+ year history, migraine headaches are truly one of the easiest and most effective problems I’ve treated.   In most women, they are commonly associated with hormone imbalances.  In both men and women, they are commonly associated with stress.

Most of my patients who suffer from migraines are also low in magnesium and calcium and don’t get enough exercise.  The other very common ingredient in most of my migraine patients is that many have a low thyroid, but it doesn’t show up on blood tests.

When we use the basal test to check the thyroid, it turns out that the thyroid is a bit low.  We use natural supplements to help with both the low thyroid and hormone imbalances, and along with the acupuncture, we see some great results!

If you are someone who is afraid of needles, then we can treat you using homeopathy and herbs only.  I also always look at the blood work of patients who have migraines because there is usually some imbalance. 

I’ll also have them write down what they eat, so we ca see if there is any blood sugar problem or other nutritional deficiency going on.  Often changing the eating and exercise patterns will also help to make a big difference.

Ginseng – Uses, Effects and Side Effects

Ginseng:  The Renowned Rejuvenator

                 The Chinese have been using it for nearly five thousand years, and here in the States it’s reputed to be a curative for impotency, low energy, failing eyesight, and just about every other problem you might have. But is it true? Is ginseng really the elixir it’s cracked up to be?To begin, ginseng is a root, and an extremely YANG root, according to Chinese Medicine. YANG means MALE energy, as compared to YIN, or female energy.It grows all over the world, but the best for your money is said to be Korean white ginseng. 

Americans also grow ginseng, and the wild version is said to be more potent than the cultivated.The ginseng root can be chewed, or you can buy an extract and add it to a tea.  It also comes in a granulated tea form and in capsules. It is a great pick-me-up for anyone with low energy; and it also works well to strengthen weak digestion, weak adrenal glands and the spleen.  It’s also used for anemia and cold hands and feet, hypoglycemia, insomnia, low blood pressure and impotence.

As a general rule, since it is a very yang herb, it is good for people who are very yin.  It isn’t a good herb for people who have high blood pressure, high energy and are built very strong, people with a good sexual appetite, and built like Mary Lou Retten, Ed Asner, or a football player.  Because these are all indications of yang.  I also rarely use it for women, since their constitution is more yin than men. 

I once had a female patient who began to grow hair on her face after taking ginseng regularly! It is important not to take too much ginseng, even for short periods of time, since it can over stimulate the central nervous system.  It could give you headaches or make you feel jittery or anxious.If you begin to use it too frequently, it will begin to actually weaken the body and create a dependency and long-term imbalance.  In some ways, it’s similar to coffee and caffeine.  But, in moderation, it can cure a cough, a cold, asthma, a fever, and lessen the effects of menopause, hay fever, sinus attacks, or glandular swelling.  But again, this only applies in people who are more yin, and weak.   And if you have high blood pressure you should NEVER take ginseng — never/ever! A good tea can be made by taking three cups of water and one shredded teaspoon each of ginseng, licorice root, and ginger; boil for fifteen minutes, steep until cool, strain, and drink.The most innovative idea I have heard is to use it as the Chinese do–add the root to chicken soup!   Kind of Jewish Chinese soup.  :-)

Ginseng Types and Uses:

American Ginseng is a yin tonic; calm the spirit; nourishing, memory and brain, normalize blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, resist fatigue, increase oxygen utilization, immunity; adaptogenic, cooling, yet energizing; eliminates fever; all the benefits without the heat (Panax Quinquefolii Radix)Oriental Ginseng is more of a chi tonic…… including Siberian (Eleuthercoccus senticosus) – Siberian or Russian is more stimulant and tonic; it rarely produces excitation like Panax ginseng Tienchi (Panax notoginseng). Tienchi also activates blood circulation and is a chi tonic; this is one of the first herbs used for high cholesterol.  Works well.

Chinese and Korean ginseng are both Oriental and are more Yang. The Chinese and Korean types are more yang tonics than the Siberian and Tienchi which are more of Chi Tonics. Korean Red is the most Yang and Korean White is the next most yang behind Chinese.Women need blood tonics more often than chi tonics. For women who need a tonic, I will use an herbal formula called Women’s Precious Formula.  This is especially needed immediately after pregnancy, and while nursing to re-build the blood and chi. Works much better than Ginseng for women.  Red Ginseng is more Yang and should only be used infrequently, for performance, test taking, studying, or if you didn’t sleep and need to perform the next day. Never use Ginseng for more than a few days at a time, with the exception of Tienchi, which is no “real” ginseng anyhow.  Your body will grow addicted to it, just like it would nicotine, caffeine or any other stimulant or drug.

Hypoglycemia: A Better Approach

Hypoglycemia:  A Better Approach!

 

Have you ever been prone to mood swings, headaches, foggy thinking, dizziness, allergies,  tingling in your hands or feet, cold hands or feet, heart palpitations, insomnia, memory loss, depression, confusion, sugar or chocolate cravings, bursts of anger or sadness for no apparent reason, irritability, shyness or low sex drive?  This is just a small list of the possible symptoms you may experience if you have hypoglycemia.

 

Hypoglycemia just may be the most underdiagnosed disease of the century!  Since most of the above symptoms look just like other diseases, your doctor will often diagnose you with some other problem, while missing the overall diagnostic picture of  hypoglycemia completely.   But hypoglycemia is as real as the thousands upon thousands of people who have it.  And not only that, it can be totally debilitating and create divorce, arguments on the job, anger towards children, road rage, criminal acts and other anti-social behavior.

 

The good news is that hypoglycemia is easily diagnosed and cured.  You just need a doctor who will take the time to evaluate your symptoms and run the appropriate tests.  The first step in evaluation is to list all of your symptoms.  If you have many of the above symptoms, then the next step is to have a fasting blood glucose test run.  If you have a low glucose reading, then the next step is to have either a hair analysis or saliva test run.  The hair analysis will tell you if your adrenal glands are overstressed, and the saliva test will tell you the stage and severity of your adrenal burnout.   Additionally, a blood chemistry panel will be able to evaluate the level of your electrolytes, which are key indicators of how much stress is being placed on your body.

 

A number of years ago, most doctors would run a 6-hour glucose tolerance blood test on you to determine if you were hypoglycemic.  This test is very hard on the body, since you have to fast for a minimum of 12 hours and then drink 8 oz. of syrupy sugar water.  Then your blood is drawn every hour for 6 hours to see how your body responds to the sugar water.  If you are hypoglycemic, your blood sugar will go way up after drinking the sugar, and then go way down an hour or so later.

 

In reality, you probably already know if you’re hypoglycemic.  If you crave caffeine, sugar or any other stimulants, and your mood and energy gets really good after consuming them, but then two hours later you feel really horrible, and need some chips or more sweets or coffee to pull you back up, this may indicate hypoglycemia.  It’s especially easy to diagnose in women who are experiencing PMS, since it’s more common at that time. 

 

Blood sugar is a term for how much glucose you have circulating in your bloodstream  at any given time.  If there is too much, then you have diabetes, and if there is too little, then you have hypoglycemia.  Either way, your glucose is out of balance.  Many people have what is called dysglycemia, which means that your blood sugar swings too quickly from high to low or low to high, causing just as many, if not more, problems as in hypoglycemia.

 

In terms of Chinese medicine, the main reasons for, or causes of hypoglycemia are either Stagnant Liver Chi, Weak Kidneys, or a weak Spleen.  Therefore, in Chinese medicine we work to strengthen these organs by using acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  Some of the formulas that will work very well for the Weak Kidneys are the Rehmannia 6 and Rehmannia 8 Formulas, and Dynamic Warrior.  For the Liver, I like to use a formula called Relaxed Wanderer.  In treatment of the Spleen, I prescribe Ginseng and Astragalus or Aucklandia and Cardamon.

 

Other supplements which will help a lot in balancing your blood sugar include the following:  Chromium, P5P, Licorice Root, Dandelion Root, a good balanced B-vitamin complex and multi-vitamin, and vitamin C.  There are also many homeopathic remedies which are very effective in treating hypoglycemia.  But, in general, these need to be prescribed for the individual based on their specific symptom picture.

 

 

 

A media personality and an author,  Dr. Randy W. Martin, OMD, PhD, CCH, QME, Lac, has been in private practice in Encino and West Los Angeles for over 19 years.  His book “Optimal Health”  discusses how to heal yourself using herbs, homeopathy, acupressure and nutrition.  He specializes in treating women and children, with an emphasis on headaches, PMS, menopause, ADD, ADHD, fertility, childbirth, cysts, fibroids and endometriosis.  He can be contacted through his website at: www.optimalhealth4u.com .