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How to Determine and Deal With Food Allergies

Talking about the common problem of food allergies with Dr Nicholas Jensen

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. we’re here with Dr. Nicholas Jensen, he’s a Naturopath in Vancouver BC. How’re you doing today, doc?

Dr. Nicholas: Great Mark, thanks for having me again. I’m doing fantastic.. how’re you today?

Mark: I’m good. So we’re going to talk about food allergies, how to determine and deal with them. Si guess the first question really out of that is how do you know whether it is a food allergy that’s got you not feeling particularly great?

Dr. Nicholas: I guess, this conversation started with the last talk we did regarding inflammation and obviously the topic of food sensitivity has come up. So how do you know really if you’re dealing with them? There are only a few things that happen throughout each and every day where you’re having a direct influence on your health. I mean, we’re bombarded with all sorts of environmental influences, whether it’s friends, family or stresses with work or whatever, which obviously all play a huge role in the health of the body, but one thing that is so consistent is what we put into our bodies every single day. When we start to take a closer look at how we’re feeling after each meal, over time we just get used to a new normal. So what we really want to do is take a step back and get a clearer look at the food that we’re eating and there’s all sorts of ways to find out if there’s a specific allergy or sensitivity going on. So is this a new topic, do you feel like or is this something you’ve heard of Mark?

Mark: Well sure, you know people talk about it a lot our son had a lot of, we self diagnosed, issues around all kinds of foods and so for a long time we were vegans and we followed a pretty strict diet because it really helped with our son’s growing up period and then as he got older, it seemed like his immune system was able to deal with a lot more stuff. He’s not a vegetarian, he eats whatever he wants and we’ve continued on with being vegetarian for the last 28 years. So it’s something I personally know, but I don’t have the background that you do so that’s where I’m interested in, well there’s the anecdotal stuff but then how do you guys know and pinpoint when you’re actually testing someone. What are the tests that you use?

Dr. Nicholas: When we’re doing the intake with a patient, we are addressing what are you putting into your body on a regular basis and for most people we would start to look into the food sensitivity picture when there is an obvious imbalance in the digestive process. This can be something that happens early on in life, people just go through life and deal with it – they just used to a new normal; or they decide to do something about it. In the western medical system everything is talked about with regards to allergy and the word sensitivity is a term that gives medical doctors and GP’s a shiver down their spine because it’s typically something that is not discussed and it’s not something they have experience with dealing. So many things get diagnosed as mood disorders, or chronic fatigue, or chronic migraine headaches, or heartburn, insomnia, hormonal imbalance… all these things get diagnosed under different ideas and the problem is because we’re just looking at the symptomatic picture. So if we take a step back looking what’s the bigger picture, what’s the underlying thing that you’re doing on a daily basis that’s possibly causing problems, now we’re getting somewhere.

So what we do is: we’ll do a blood test – we do a blood draw at the clinic and send it off to the lab – the lab is reading something called an IGG which is basically an antibody that reads high or low when introduced to a certain food item. For a particular food item, if your immune system is reacting to it, the IGG levels will be really high and could be moderate or mild depending on what it is you’re eating a lot of or depending on what your immune system does’t like.

So it’s quite different from an allergy, and to really separate the two – an allergy is an immediate reaction that happens in the body. It’s usually upper respiratory in nature, sinuses, nose, sometimes it can be difficulty breathing or asthma – so it’s usually the upper respiratory tract, can also be headaches and things too. The thing with allergies though, is it’s a short time frame – comes on strong usually and then it dissipates fairly quickly through the body, possibly within 24 hours at the most 48 hours.

Sensitivity on the other hand – it’s called a delayed hyper sensitivity reaction which basically means that this reaction can happen the moment you put that food item in your mouth but it can also last up to five days. And the issue here, is that so many people may only have this particular food item, maybe twice or three times a week, but because it’s a delayed reaction these symptoms won’t actually show up for a few days and that can become very frustrating especially when you’re doing things on your own and saying, well I tried this and I didn’t eat that today and no reaction, or I did eat this today and there’s a reaction. How do I know what’s going on? At the end of the day, it just causes a lot of confusion for people. So for those people that have a difficult time with some of the food elimination pieces, like following an anti inflammatory diet for example, we’ll often recommend a blood test to figure out what it is that their body is actually sensitive to. And once we find that, we put together a detailed plan or nutrition plan based on those food sensitivities and with the proper elimination, not with just the one or two items, but with say the five or six items that are really causing the problem, people have had extremely, profound benefit to eliminating them.

There’s always a problem that shows up when after we see people doing that elimination for that first month because we’re so used to eating a certain way and it can be a bit of a difficult process for some people – so they want to reintroduce those foods as fast as they can. And when you do that, that’s when big problems happen. So in particular, just thinking back to a few different patients who have done a too early reintroduction, their symptoms have come back in an extreme kind of way because their immune system is just hyper sensitive and waiting to react to that food item and when it’s brought in too early, the body has a pretty big reaction. So the general recommendation is 90 days to avoid these particular foods, for some people they need to wait a little bit longer but the whole goal is to change a lifestyle pattern; so these symptoms that are often diagnosed with different names start to clear. That sounds like a similar process to what your son went through.

Mark: Sure, you know like corn chips. Let’s pick on something, something thats an obvious and fairly, a lot of people know that corn is a pretty big culprit and can cause sensitivities. I love how you defined how sensitivities are different than allergies. To me it is almost like a sensitivity more of a chronic thing that’s ongoing and it just sort of runs you down – where the allergy is like – bang – it’s the punch in the head – like whoa I just can’t eat that and it’s obvious. So corn chips, if you cut them out of your diet – so what would be the result.. would somebody have less mucus, better bowel movement, more energy – how does this manifest?

Dr. Nicholas: That’s the funny thing with sensitivities. Like I said, where allergy is upper respiratory in nature and usually clears fairly quickly. A food sensitivity can look like almost anything. I’ve had people with food sensitivities that have had chronic migraine headaches, eczema rashes, psoriasis, joint pain, fatigue, mucus formation or chronic sinusitis, extreme difficulty with the bowels. And often, and here’s a case where someone with Crohn’s or colitis, very serious bowel disorders, so often, can’t say always, but they are so often an underlying food sensitivity problem. This is the funny thing, when people start to open up to food sensitivities they start to see that there’s such a vast array of symptoms that can happen for any one given individual and so I can never really predict what it is that particular food item will do once it’s out of the system. But like I said, when you’re taking someone who has had chronic digestive upset for a good part of their life, or difficulty breathing, or chronic joint pain or headaches and you clear that out of the way, it’s like you’re in a new body basically. Everything comes back on line, thinking clear, energy, hormones start to change to and it’s quite profound.

Mark: So if somebody wants to get clarity as to whether they suspect, because we really don’t know, the lay person without testing. Basically they’ve just got to book an appointment and come in say – hey, lets tune up this engine here

Dr. Nicholas: That’s just it. It doesn’t always mean we have to do a food test, I always want to let people know it doesn’t have to go there. Sometimes with some good coaching we can get some good resolve. However, for a good majority of people that testing becomes such a helpful tool because it is something we can track down the line too. We are in the day and age of needing objective information because there is so much – do this, do that out there and it’s easy to get lost on the internet reading all these different ideas or following a specific diet plan that’s been written in the latest book. Just because it’s general information or it’s popularized, doesn’t mean it’s going to be very specific for you as an individual. So that’s the focus that we try to overlay for the patient, that this is your nutrition plan, it isn’t your mom’s or sister’s or brother’s – this is your’s and if it works for you great. And like I said, when people do eliminate those things that are on the food tests, I’d say at least 90% removal of those symptoms and the phenomenal change and how the health is in the body. Definitely come on by or give us a call to ask about what is involved in getting a food test and maybe that’s the direction you need to go and maybe there’s another one for you. Look forward to seeing you.

Mark: So basically, it’s so complicated how are current health is a pretty complex stack of blocks basically and then what we’re putting into it is really different, as well as any environmental issues, or our own stress levels and what we’re doing to deal with the stress level that we have – all that becomes a really complex package that you need a professional to unpack and make sense out of what that complexity is and that’s where a Naturopath has the training and the experience to start to be able to make sense out of it. So you have a direction that works instead of experimenting.

Dr. Nicholas: Exactly. I can’t tell you how many people come in for their first visit with a giant bag of supplementation and a list of all the things that they’ve done. My first question is – how’s that working for you? – and it’s usually, I’ve been banging my head against the wall because I don’t know. I don’t know what these 10 supplements or these 20 supplements are doing for me but they’re supposed to be good for me.

So again, individualized, very focused, professional treatment is really helpful and it’s going to, like I tell most people, is you end up saving money in the long run because you’re actually targeting what needs to be targeted. So, who’s not guilty of that..before Naturopathic Medicine, I would of looked on the internet or looked in books to see what’s wrong with me, I’m going to try to figure it out. So just like if we’re going to get our computer fixed, or our car fixed – we’re not going to take it to our neighbour, we’re not going to ask our friends or relatives what we should do, we may ask for a referral to go see someone to seek professional advice and that’s what we’re recommending here as well.

You get targeted, focused health care that’s individualized for yourself and not for the general public.

Mark: Awesome. So if you have or you suspect you have any kind of food allergies or food sensitivities, this is the guy to come and see. Dr. Nicholas Jensen. You can see their website at divineelements.ca or give them a call 604-568-3735. Thanks Dr. Nicholas

Dr. Nicholas: Thanks so much Mark. We’ll see you again soon. Bye

What Gets in the Way of Balancing Our Hormones?

Details about improving your health with Dr Nicholas Jensen

Mark: Hi, Mark Bossert Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with Dr. Nicholas Jensen from Divine Elements in Vancouver talking about balancing your hormones. How’re you doing today Dr. Jensen?

Dr. Nicholas: Doing great today Mark, thanks for asking. How are you?

Mark: Good, really good! So what gets in the way of balancing our hormones?

Dr. Nicholas: This is a great topic because we’ve addressed some of the adrenal stuff, the thyroid pieces and some of the sex hormones. I like to talk about this with every patient whether or not we’re doing a hormonal check up, it’s really looking at what our obstacles to feeling as great as we can. So when we’re looking at obstacles, especially in a hormonal system, we often look at those lifestyle strategies and then specifically I want to talk a little bit more about the digestive system. So we all know that the digestive system, it’s function is really for taking in nutrients, simulating the food, detoxifying – and really it’s speaking to – what do you do on a daily basis that’s either helping your body heal or helping to create dysfunction? It’s almost like the one piece of control that we have have to really determine how our bodies going to react. So taking a very basic example for eating a fair amount of fast foot, it’s going to be loaded with carbohydrates and who know what gets put in sauces, sugars and things that are in there, trans fats and so on and so forth. This is causing a major surge in our insulin pathways and cortisol pathway which is directly related to the stress response. So basically, what we do on a daily basis can have a huge impact on what’s happening to our hormonal system. So digestion is a very specific topic that is essential for addressing. So what we can do is either with their diets or whatever we’re doing on a daily basis is either going to help heal or help us create more dysfunction. As we do more of the dysfunction, we develop more of these imbalances in our body; so the fatigue, the feeling over weight or the poor body composition and when we add in good nutrition our body starts to shift in very positive ways.

So any feedback from you on how you feel when you’re putting a good meal in as far as energy goes?

Mark: Well, I’ve implemented a couple of your recommendations which first was the shake meal, the heavy 30 grams of protein or more first thing in the morning and it’s amazing the difference in energy level that I have and the second one is adding a lot more water, even though I thought I drank a fair amount of liquid, I’ve added a lot more water to my daily diet and again, another boost in energy, in focus, in being able to keep on task and get things done. So I’m a believer, keep going, what’s next?

Dr. Nicholas: So it’s important to understand that in most situations a hormonal imbalance is not necessarily a cause. Menopause is a very specific example, andropause for men, peri menopause, we spend so much time just focusing on the hormones that are out of whack. The hormones only go out of whack for the most part because we have an imbalance in what we’re doing on a regular basis. Whether it be we’re not sleeping enough, not hydrating enough, not getting enough of the right foods in – so this is a really fundamental piece. What I do is I layout for every patient, at least five basic steps to make sure that they’re doing in order to address this lifestyle piece when we’re addressing hormones.

The first one, as you mentioned was the hydration piece. As a general rule that I tell people to do is follow the rule of 2/3 an ounce for every pound of body weight. So a 150 lb person that’s roughly 3 – 3.5 litres a day and generally that’s a good amount. Now, there’s a ton of controversial talk on water, alkaline versus acidic, kangen water or ionized water; our tap water is said to have better regulation that regular bottled water so that’s a better scenario. But if we are going to look at proper hydration, it would be ideal to get into an alkaline system so we’re actually helping to down regulate acidity. Most people in general, especially with a North American diet are going to be in more of an acidic state which leads to more inflammation which complicates a hormonal picture. So that’s a very obvious one.

Secondary again looking at blood sugar balance, blood sugar is totally related to insulin, insulin and cortisol are two of the, or can be two of the real problematic hormones that become disrupted over time. So yes, starting your day off with 30 grams of protein, a nice protein smoothie, helps to fill you up, feel satiated and the research actually shows that 30 grams, no less that this, that amount actually helps to convert fat tissue into lean muscle and it’s ideal for bold sugar metabolism. If we were to look at that, anything more apparently doesn’t do a whole lot more than the 30 grams; I know there’s a lot of people out there that are pumping tons of protein in their bodies, maybe you know don’t need that much – 30 grams seems to be the number.

The next piece is something we call the anti inflammatory nutrition plan, if you’ve seen your naturopathic doctor this is a very common prescription as far as diet goes. Inflammation and blood sugar irregularities are huge contributors to chronic illness that will show up over time so when we’re looking at an anti inflammatory diet plan often involves looking at someone’s food sensitivities which is a whole other topic which we can get into later on. Basically these pieces that can be put into our diet so regularly are going to be major contributors to inflammation, and again inflammation again is a precursor to the effect of the hormonal imbalance.

The next thing is a very common one that your mom’s been telling you since you were a little kid and that’s to get to bed early. We are as a culture night owls. We tend to stay up as late as we can and most patients say that’s my most productive time, do not take that away from me, I need to work late into the wee hours of the morning. When we do this, we really suppress our natural hormonal or circadian rhythm. So melatonin which its peak release is between midnight and three in the morning, the growth hormone subsequently rises with the rise of melatonin, so this is a really critical piece.

And lastly, number five is exercise. There’s too much information out there showing us that exercise is beneficial. How many of us are couch potatoes or lead a more sedentary lifestyle because of work, sitting down for most of the day. We need to get up and move. I don’t need to be a research scientist or a naturopathic doctor to tell you that you need to move. It’s pretty straightforward. One little point that I l do encourage people to consider, when you’re exercising is important as well. Ideally you’re doing a early morning exercise before you take in your protein smoothie, which I often recommend, and that’s shown to help with metabolism, helps with the fat burning process and also helps to support healthy later evening melatonin surges. So that’s the top five list.

What’d you think Mark?

Mark: Those are very obvious, I mean, the only one I’m not totally clear on the anti – what was it? The third one?

Dr. Nicholas: The third one was the anti inflammatory diet.

Mark: The anti inflammatory diet plan. What are we cutting out or adding in order to have…

Dr. Nicholas: So a typical anti inflammatory diet often coincides with food sensitivities but the typical proinflammatory foods are your dairy, wheat, gluten, red meat, too many grains in general, sometimes eggs or soy, sugar’s an obvious one, alcohol, coffee. Some of these are very obvious for people, others are not because they’re part of the food pyramid. We’ve all been taught so well that you’ve got to get your greens in, then your dairy and then your meats – we’ve been led to believe that these are great foods, but in fact actually very proinflammatory. So inflammation is really modulated in party by prostaglandins which are related to Omega 6 and Omega 3. Everybody knows about Omega 3 – we need much more of them to balance out this inflammatory cascade. There’s a lot of buzz about the Paleo Diet, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it really promotes getting in good quality vegetables and good meats as far as protein goes. I have no problem with meat protein, but in general red meats are more proinflammatory. So if people are experiencing arthritis, hormonal decline, precursors to cancer and things like that, sometimes too much of this red meat is not a good idea. That’s where we educate about portion sizes, type of cooking, the type of quality of meat, all those can play a hugely important role.

Hopefully that highlights a little bit more and thank you for reminding me about that piece.

Mark: That was a question that popped into my mind right away, I understand all the other ones pretty clear and I’ve put most of them into place and am feeling great, feeling better than I have in probably 20 years. Another part of that motion kind of thing for me has been, like I stand up all day now – I have a stand up desk – believe it or not I’m standing up right now – so that’s made a major difference. I mean, my back pain is way down, I just feel way better in lots of ways. All of these are little incremental changes, I think that’s how I’ve experienced it anyways, nothings been like the wild – I’m Superman – it’s just not going to happen anymore – that was in my 20’s

Dr. Nicholas: Well, anything’s possible, you know that Mark

Mark: I think there’s the reality too of age

Dr. Nicholas: I wanted to talk about a recent patient that came in and about their success story. So this patient was on hormone therapy for roughly about 6 months and was doing great, making some good progress, however there was some limitations to how much could change because he did have some irregularities, some of his food habits and he was over weight by about 50 pounds. So we implemented a specific weight loss program in our clinic which we call Healthy Transformation and within the first month of implementing, he lost 18 pounds in total – so almost 20 pounds in the first month. He came in and he was not only feeling extremely satisfied with the fact that he was able to follow the plan but it made a huge change in his energy, his digestion, his mood, and the hormonal plan really started to come together and it’s not just about the weight, it’s really about the weight loss plus detoxification, plus the change in the food habits and really starting to take responsibility for what this individual was actually putting into his body. It was part of a whole transformation in consciousness around food, around portion sizes, about what the body is capable of doing when given the right tools. And what that helped to remind me was that, as when we do see patients as all doctors do, we tend to get really focused on the pieces that we know really well and when you bring it back to the basics, like the five things I recommended and just focus on proper lifestyle changes and some weight loss and detox, we start to get a more of a holistic picture of what’s actually happening. We can get so focused on what we do, we prescribe nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals based on a symptom profile, but in general when we can fix up a lot of these external factors, weight loss and body composition and what not with these remedies, our body will adjust accordingly. So it was a great success with this patient and to be able to a part of it was fantastic.

Mark: Awesome. So we’re talking with Dr. Nicholas Jensen from Divine Elements in Vancouver. You can reach them at their website www.divineelements.ca but you can also give them a call 604-568-3735. He’s my naturopath and I recommend him highly. Thanks Dr. Nicholas.

Dr. Nicholas: Thanks so much Mark, see you soon.

Mark: Bye

Adrenals and Adrenal Support

Speaking to Naturopath Dr Nick Jensen about adrenal health and what to do to support these very overworked glands.

Mark: Hi, Mark Bossert Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here Dr. Nicholas Jenson, he is a Naturopath here in Vancouver at Divine Elements Health in Kitsilano. How are you doing this morning Nick?

Dr. Nicholas: Great Mark, how’re you doing?

Mark: I’m good, we’re going to go over the five tips for adrenal support and health – how does that work?

Dr. Nicholas: In the last video we talked a lot about how the adrenal dysfunction shows up and we’re going to address what you can do now to get started. So step one is to really look at the sleep pattern. When we’re getting a good amount of sleep, most of us look at five, six, seven, eight hours of sleep a night and that’s the end of the story. The reality is that’s just the beginning of the story because the number of hours is really critical when you’re looking at the actual timing of sleep. So it takes about 90 minutes to get into a deep delta stage of sleep and that’s 2 cycles of REM. In that 90 minutes is basically where we allow your body to get deep enough in order to trigger restoration. So if we’re looking at hormonal secretion throughout the day and the night, melatonin’s peak release is from midnight to three in the morning. So many of us are night owls, we stay up way later than we need to and so we actually bypass this really critical rhythm that’s happening in our bodies. I tell my patients that the ideal bedtime is no later than 10:30 pm and if you do, it’s possibly a detriment of melatonin secretion. So once melatonin secretes, melatonin allows for growth hormone to circulate in the system, growth hormones basically doing everything for repair. Melatonin is an important antioxidant, the grown hormone basically triggers all the sex hormones, recycles all the catecholamines which are the stress hormones, allows your body to get into a deep state of relaxation to basically repair and rebuild. Roughly around five thirty or six in the morning is when cortisol should up come and that’s our get up and go hormone. So for most people when they’re burning the candle at both ends, by working too much, not enough relaxation, not enough sleep then we’re really creating major fluctuations in our cortisol and greatly suppressing your growth hormone and melatonin. So that’s step one.

Any thoughts on that Mark?

Mark: Well, I know that I’ve been struggling for 57 years to go to bed earlier and I’m doing it finally, like last night I only got 6 hours sleep, but I was in bed by 10 and sleeping by 10:30 – and even though I woke up at 4:30 – I spent a couple hours fruitfully meditating and I feel, great quite honestly… so most days that would be a recipe of being over caffeinated and my ass dragging and I haven’t had any caffeine today so – I feel great – so I believe you.

Dr. Nicholas: The area in which you’re speaking to is actually an ideal scenario because when we allow ourselves to wake up before sunrise kicks in, I mean, every ancient culture talks about getting up, when the veil is the thinnest, and this is really the time where out natural hormone secretions can really serve us. Or we can sleep in and it can be to our detriment. So that’s a big one. So good for you – that’s fantastic!

So step two is looking at sugar. Everybody knows about sugar. Sugar is a major contributor to adrenal fatigue and burn out. The biggest reason is because sugar triggers a cortisol response, it triggers a rise in our stress hormone. As soon as that goes up, our cravings go up, insulin goes up and basically what the insulin is doing is taking sugar from your blood and it’s pumping it into fat cells and so we put on weight. What happens over time as we produce more and more belly fat, which is a hormonal expression of our weight is as those fat cells actually start to secrete more of the cortisol as well and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. We take in more sugar, we build more fat, we build more stress hormone and we stop feeling like ourselves. So that’s a big one.

Step three is looking at the basic nutrients for adrenal repair. That’s vitamin C, I usually recommend for everybody in general take anywhere from three to five thousand milligrams per day. Especially if there is an adrenal depletion going on. B5 is extremely critical for adrenal function. Magnesium is another important one which we would recommend people dose at night time, anywhere from four hundred to six hundred milligrams is usually fine, and then there’s the amino acids, all the amino acids are really critical, there are a couple that are a little more important like tyrosine. So those are the basic adrenal nutrients. Most people have had the experience of taking B vitamins for increased energy, this is just kind of fine tuning it a little bit more.

Step four would be looking at the adaptogenic herbs. An adaptogen is basically a herb that helps you adapt to your stress. We see so many people in our clinic who are shift workers. They’re working again late into the evening and they’re sleeping through the day and these are people that absolutely should be on some of adaptogenic herb and definitely supporting their adrenal glands. But all that is is a glorified going to bed too late. So anybody who’s going to bed too late, is going to eventually suffer. The major adaptogenic herbs are Withania, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus which is another form of Ginseng, Tribulus; there are many different adaptogenic herbs, those are some of the common ones. Have you heard of any of these, or is this kind of Greek to your Latin?

Mark: No, I’ve used Ginseng in the past and Tribulus at times when I was trying to gain weight.

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah, and they all play a slightly different role in the body but each of them, depending on what your symptom profile looks like would have different role to play. So this is why it’s always great to seek professional advice when seeking adrenal support.

The last one is possibly the most important one, which is just R&R. We take for granted how much the mind plays a role on shutting down the body and most of us live in our heads, we live in our worries, we live in future time and we forget the connection we need to reestablish with our bodies. So yoga, meditation, Tai Chi,
Chi Kung, you name it, there’s a ton of different things out there that hope to reconnect the mind-body and if that’s something that people can do on a regular basis that would be phenomenal. There’s definitely something to be said about going to the gym and lifting weights and that’s fantastic as well. What we see in our culture, and I know you’ve seen this whether or not in your own family or yourself, is that over exercise can actually greatly contribute to adrenal fatigue as well. We see many people pushing it at work, pushing it with all the fun and activities, and pushing it harder at the gym. These people have a difficult time putting on lean muscle and that’s a huge sign that they’re in a catabolic state which means that the cortisol is not being metabolized properly in their bodies. You definitely can’t say enough about some rest and relaxation, stimulating the brain to get into that deep theta and delta state, tuning out all the negative thought processes that we are all so well trained to do. I know you have some amazing tools that you use yourself Mark, and that may be a whole other video that we should go into – you’re tapping into some pretty neat stuff with helping to regulate brain wave function and tuning the mind-body together. I’d love to hear more about what you have to say on that.

Mark: Well, it’s something I’ve played with for years, i don’t claim to be any kind of expert about it, but having struggled with an extremely busy mind, as I’m sure many, many other people have. I had to, just for self preservation, I had to find some kind of belief. And rather than trying to use drugs or alcohol which is sort of a stopgap or fall back position for a lot of folks, I explored other things as well and those I found over time worked a lot better and were a lot better for me, quite honestly. And as I get older, I appreciate them even more. I started when I was pretty young, in my late teens with meditation and stuff but now it’s has to be part of my day pretty much.

Dr. Nicholas: That’s great, we always love connecting with patients who are either on the verge of being open to that or people who are seasoned at keeping that into their lifestyle. Many of us are using coffee, which can be a great supporter, using alcohol which can be fun socially as crutches – we use these things to help us sleep or help us get going in the day and then look for medications and things to keep some level of sanity in the form of an anti-depressant or what not. But the reality is that we’re just burning ourselves out even more. So when we can slowly implement these things, these are amazing tools and time and time again, every single patient will say this if they’ve never done it before – I’m the person who can’t meditate, I cannot do this, my mind is too busy. Welcome to being human. Everybody has a busy mind, everybody’s got the monkey mind. You have to start somewhere, and the process that I usually tell people for meditation isn’t to be in this blissed out state, it’s to kind of work through some of that garbage that comes up and allow yourself to have some slightly less level of insane activity that happens so regularly through the day. So really, it’s just a starting point, and it’s new. It’s no different than brushing your teeth. It’s something that should be implemented daily.

Mark; Exactly, I agree a 100%. So that’s awesome. I want to ask you about magnesium for a second because of the things that I have been using for the last few months is – they call it magnesium oil – it’s basically sea bed magnesium from Holland that’s been put into water and I woke up this morning – I was doing a lot of manual work on the weekend and I woke up and I was quite sore – so a few spritzes of that on the back of my legs and lower back – a couple hours of mediation I wake up and I’m not sore anymore and that’s something that I’ve consistently seen is that it will help – I don’t know if it flushes out the lactic acid or helps repair tissue – I’m not sure but it works to reduce that kind of muscle pain. Have you experimented with that kind of stuff at all?

Dr. Nicholas: Magnesium oil will work differently for different people. I find some people who have slightly cleaner diets and have less of an inflammatory load overall can do really well with magnesium oil. Whether people maybe have a little bit more comprised detoxification mechanisms may need slightly higher dose orally .But magnesium is one of those … that are used in almost every enzyme reaction in the body. It is so ubiquitous and diffused throughout our bodies and it’s also one of the ones that becomes deficient the most. It plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation, plays a role in dilating blood vessels, that helps with detoxification, helps with again energy through the adrenal system …

Mark: We’ve lost Dr. Nick again. so that’s it for this week. We’ll take with Dr. Nick again. Thank you. You can reach them at www.divineelements.ca or give them a call 604-568-3735.

How To Support Your Adrenal Health, Part 1

We’re talking about adrenal health – what are adrenals, why are they important, how do we measure adrenal health?

Mark: Hi, this is Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here today with Dr. Nicholas Jensen from Divine Elements in Vancouver. How are you doing today, Dr. Nicholas?

Dr. Nicholas: Great, Mark. Thanks for having me. It’s great to see you.

Mark: So we’re going to be talking about how to support your adrenal health. I guess we should start with the basics: What are your adrenals?

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah well since we talked about the thyroid gland last week, we can’t talk about the thyroid without mentioning the adrenal gland. So, the adrenals. We’ve got two of them, they sit on top of both kidneys, and they’re responsible for releasing over 50 different hormones. Most notably the secretions that they release are responsible for controlling inflammation, regulating heart rate and blood pressure, helping to support or enhance the fight or flight stress response. So we often talk about these adrenal glands in relation typically to coritsol and DHEA. Cortisols are our main stress hormone, or catabolic or main break down hormone. DHEA is one of our main anabolic hormones. These are the main systems that are working in the body.

Mark: So these sound pretty important. What do we do with that information?

Dr. Nicholas: They’re definitely important, and they’re often overlooked in the mainstream medical system. The reality is that this is definitely an area for naturopathic doctors and functional medicine doctors to address for patients. The symptoms can look like someone experiencing chronic low mood or low energy all the way up to autoimmune conditions to low libido. So the sad reality is that if the symptoms are present, the most common prescription is going to be again the same old story – an antidepressant for suppressing those symptoms that are showing up.

So as a Naturopathic Doctor, our role is to get to the root cause of why things are happening and these symptoms are long and many but they can include a more increased response for allergies, skin conditions, like I said before autoimmune, low libido, increased inefficiency at regulating blood sugar – so there’s usually a weight management control problem that shows up with this as well. There’s basically too many symptoms to list but the biggest one is definitely fatigue, just having a poor coping mechanism to the stress on a day to day basis.

Mark: Ok, so probably like most people I have some of those issues – so what are we going to do about it?

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah, I mean, you’re definitely not alone. We just talked about a couple weeks ago, we just had our second child so we’re feeling the adrenal fatigue big time and our main cause is obviously, lack of sleep. Yes, most people do have adrenal fatigue and recognizing the underlying reason is definitely the most important piece and because it’s such a common issue for so many people it’s something that is often overlooked. It needs to be addressed. What we do in the clinic, in the TrueBalance Program, what we’ve been speaking about over the last few weeks, is for people who are experiencing these types of symptoms we often recommend running a 24 hour urine test which measures the cortisol DHEA levels in the urine and also measures the breakdown products or the metabolites of these hormones. We get a very, very clear and very specific about how these hormones are presenting in someone’s body and then administer therapies to target those imbalances very specifically. It’s also quite interesting that when people are struggling with their hormonal system and the adrenal glands and/or the thyroid gland have not been addressed, then a lot of times people only get so far in their bio identical hormone program. So sometimes we need to take that extra step and really address and get to the bottom of how the adrenal system is working. That will really determine your ability to create long term health.

Mark: So what do you mean, if somebody started on the testosterone or whatever the female hormone type, what you would normally think of as bio identical hormone treatment that perhaps they haven’t had it in the DHEA supplementation or the adrenal supplementation and thyroid stuff that they need… is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah, essentially – every time we do our two month program what we’re doing is looking at the core hormones, we’re looking at testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen; when we get that picture balanced and basically the blood levels are looking great and symptoms are improving, but we’re not getting to where we could get to, that’s often where the thyroid and adrenal system need a little more attention. It helps us filter out part of the problem and get closer to an underlying issue that in reality, the adrenal system has been off for quite a few years. Through our lifestyle practises, we’re people that are eating too fast, eating fast foods, are racing from one job to the next and where we’re flying by the seat of our pants most of the time, unfortunately. Our minds are racing much faster than our bodies. The reality is that we’ve become more toxic, we’re living fast paced lives and we’re burning ourselves out. So what the core hormones do is decrease inflammation, support the metabolic pathways in the body and protect the nervous system from degenerating down the road. And with the adrenal and thyroid system is basically tighten up that picture and bring together that extra support that maybe is missing.

Mark: So I guess for most of us, probably caffeine is our major go to – this is how I can feel better and keep going and of thing and what kind of effect does caffeine have on the adrenal system?

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah, that’s a good question. There’s very few people that aren’t using caffeine to help get them going through the day. It’s such a common piece and is so accepted to use caffeine. The way I encourage patients to look at it, is this is a drug; it’s something that stimulating your brain and it should be used wisely just like any other medication. So what we say is don’t over do it typically but caffeine is essentially causing a surge of cortisol in your adrenal glands. Caffeine lingers in the body for over 8 hours in the system – that’s it’s half life – so that means it takes roughly 16 hours for your body to process. If you want to get more scientific about it, it actually stimulates the same receptor sites as cocaine does in the brain. It’s a huge excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain so it can be really detrimental using caffeine, as a technically as a medication. Having more than 3-4 cups a day would be detrimental to adrenal health. Essentially that’s just going to put us into a burn out stage and recovery gets a little more challenging. That would definitely be part of addressing an adrenal program. Thanks for bringing that up. That’s an important piece.

Mark: I just know that, I mean look at our culture, I mean there’s 200 plus coffee shops in downtown Vancouver alone – so it’s obvious that we’re all cranking as much coffee into us to keep going and it’s a common joke “I’m going to IV the stuff” except – what’s the long term consequence of doing stuff like that?

Dr. Nicholas: Yeah, when you look at it like that, it’s no different than chronic sleep deprivation. Take a look at yourself, rewind back to when you were having kids and not getting that sleep your mind isn’t as sharp, you’re feeling low energy, you could punch any person that you see that rubs you the wrong way and we just have no capacity to handle stress and that’s because you know you’re sleep deprived. Well caffeine does. . .

Mark: We’ve lost Dr. Nick. The wonders of the internet have failed up so we’re going to wrap this up right now, perhaps to start this subject again or do another one about this subject. It’s a really important subject. You can talk with Dr. Nicholas Jenson from www.divineelements.ca or you can give them a call 604-568-3735
Talk to you folks later.

Naturopathic Support for Mom and Baby

Taking pre and post natal natural support with Dr Sonya Jensen.

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here today with Dr. Sonya Jensen from Divine Elements, a naturopathic clinic in Vancouver. Today we’re going to talk about naturopathic support for mom and baby. How are you doing today, Dr. Sonya?

Dr. Sonya: I’m good, thanks for having me, Mark.

Mark: So what’s your core findings around the kind of support a naturopath can provide for mom and baby?

Dr. Sonya: Well, my main goal is to really support families, especially mothers, and the way I do that is by introducing them to naturopathic medicine. I now have two children and I know how powerful this medicine has been for me, so I’m able to relate that back to the mother in turn, who supports her baby. I’ve found throughout both of my pregnancies, I kind of did a self-experiment, and I saw what changes I needed to make for myself in order to have a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth, and healthy baby. I’ve found it’s my kind of duty to share that with other women.

So some of the things I’ve seen in my practice is, I had a mother that I was supporting throughout her pregnancy with nutrition, with IV therapy because she was feeling really fatigued and had some nausea. She had a great birth, and everything went really great, but then came the post-natal period where she was feeling quite down, and depressed. One of the things that I worked on with her was just that acceptance of being a new mom, and not feeling so guilty, and just giving her a supportive environment, with a lack of judgement from anyone. So really, the key thing was that emotional support, but also nutritional support to give her that boost so she actually had the energy to deal with the changes that have happened.

There was a study done where they actually have seen low levels of selenium can increase post-partum in women, so it’s not just in their minds, but really there’s a chemical component to it, too. So by educating them, they know, ‘Okay, I can actually do something about this, and I can be the mom I know I can be.’

Mark: That’s great advice. I know, as a father of a couple of children, it just never seems like you can do a good enough job.

Dr. Sonya: No, it’s never enough! There’s always something that you’re doing wrong! [laughs] There’s this great video that’s been going around where they ask the children, like, ‘What do you think about your mom?’ And they said, ‘We love them, they do this and that for us, they play with us.’ Then they ask the mother, ‘Oh, I haven’t done this, I haven’t done enough, or playing with them enough, I’m not getting them enough.’ It’s all about perspective. It’s my goal to change that so that the woman actually feels empowered and like a super mom, because you actually are a super mom.

Mark: Awesome. Is there any other support that you offer beyond nutrition?

Dr. Sonya: Yes. Well, there’s the IV therapy that we’ve been doing with a lot of a new moms. So after you find out you’re pregnant, there’s usually that nausea component that happens. What we have found over time is that by doing an IV every week, it actually helps their symptoms go down because they’re feeling more supported internally in the body.

The big thing about pregnancy is the unknown, of what’s coming up in the next trimester. What I do is see women once per trimester and kinda set them up and let them know what things to watch out for, or what changes that their bodies are going to be going through. These are the things that we can do to support you, to give whatever support that you need. When I talk about support, it’s not just nutritionally, it’s talking to them about family support. It’s encouraging them and their partner to be connected throughout the pregnancy, too. Traditionally in a lot of cultures there’s this 40 day period that happens after a baby is born, where you’re getting meals cooked for you, you’re getting your house cleaned, and all of that is happening. I not only talk about what her physical body is doing, but also the emotional state that her mind and body will be going through.

Mark: Yeah, that’s really important. What about getting pregnant?

Dr. Sonya: Yes, we do a lot of fertility work, too. There’s been a lot of couples that come in, that maybe have been trying for a year or two years, and things aren’t shifting. Sometimes it is simply just nutritional. A lot of times, it ends up having an emotional component — sometimes there’s something from their past that hasn’t been dealt with. You know, a baby arriving into your body is a big deal. Sometimes it’s just a little bit of cleansing on all levels — which is physical, mental, and emotional. Sometime’s it’s reconnecting with their partner. I kind of provide an environment where both partners are involved in the rpocess. So from there we figure out what needs to be tweaked, whether it’s their hormones, their nutritional status, or whether it’s the emotional work that needs to be done with each other.

Mark: Awesome. So, if you want some help — you’ve just become pregnant, you want help getting pregnant, or want help with the aftermath of pregnancy and having a baby, and being a new parent — these are the folks to call at Divine Elements. You can see their website at DivineElements.ca or give them a call at (604) 568-3735. We’ve been talking with Dr. Sonya Jensen. Thanks a lot.

Dr. Sonya: Thank you.

5 Tips to help keep your family Healthy and Happy during the Holidays

 
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1. Sunshine in a Bottle-Vitamin D
More and more research is coming out about the benefits of optimal Vitamin D levels. It is usually during the cold and dark winter months that its deficiency becomes really apparent.
Low moods and higher incidences of the cold and flu can be a direct indication of low Vitamin D levels, so if you cant get out to the tropics this Winter you may just need a little liquid sunshine!

2. Getting Outside
With the colder temperatures and the holidays near, you might feel like you want to stay in the cozy indoors, however, this can create an environment filled with indoor air pollutants which have been ranked part of the top five pollutants hazardous to health
Getting the kids outdoors builds their immunity, lifts their mood and allows them to get some exercise . . .

Click here to read the full article.

Why Detox and How To Do It Right

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with Vancouver Naturopathic Doctor Nicolas Jensen of Divine Elements. How are you doing today, Nick?

Dr. Nicolas: Great, Mark. How are you doing today?

Mark: I’m good. So we’re going to talk about why do we want to detox, and how do we do it right?

Dr. Nicolas: As you know, we live in an extremely toxic world. We’re constantly bombarded with toxicity all around us, whether it’s fumes from a bus, or filling your car up with gas, or painting the walls, or putting in a new carpet, etc., etc. We’re constantly bombarded. It’s been reported that billions of pounds of these toxins have been emptied into our environment over the years. Some of these toxins being phosphates, PCBs, BPAs from plastics, heavy metals — everyone knows about mercury toxicity and lead, etc. etc.

So we’re constantly being bombarded with these toxins. What’s happening is that, unfortunately, it’s starting to have a tickle down effect into early fetuses, the babies that are being born now are more toxic than ever in history. Samples have been taken from umbilical cord blood to find out the heavy load of these toxins [in the babies’ systems].

Our kids are expected to live fewer years than us as adults. Being parents, it’s so important to see our kids live long and healthy lives. This is a really important point to address. So the take home with that is why are kids lives’ estimated to be shorter?

Well, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune conditions — these are all escalating at an phenomenal rate. Obviously diet and lifestyle factors and all these other pieces play a role, but we do see huge increases of these toxic elements either through urine or blood testing that determines that our bodies are being bombarded and overloaded.

So for the general public, what does that look like? How do you know if you’re a toxic person? Everyone’s going to have some level of toxicity in their systems, and those symptoms manifest differently in each person. Preliminary signs would be skin irritation, constant rashes, feeling fatigued all the time, fibromyalgia, headaches, joint pain, digestive upset. You name it, a toxic burden can show up in so many different areas of the body.

It’s our job as naturopaths to teach people how to clear these toxins from the body so they don’t accumulate and become a chronic problem down the line.

If we haven’t scared you enough about the toxic load in our environment, the take home here is what do we do about all of this stuff? Juice fasting is pretty popular now, and there’s something called a master cleanse with lemon and honey and cayenne. There are a ton of different things out there. What we’re interested in, though, is seeing the scientific proof for what kind of nutrients are actually pulling these toxins out of your liver, out of your fat stores (which is where toxins are typically stored), and flushed out of your body. Doing a juice fast for 3-5 days isn’t really going to do a whole lot for you. Doing a medical, food-based detoxification plan will actually trigger phase 1, phase 2 of your liver to help eliminate these toxins out of your body very efficiently. So we’re talking about heavy metals, phthalates, BPAs, all these toxic — even medications, medications people have been on for many years, it’s an overwhelming state for our systems to be in.

So the way we set it up, we have a system called a medical food-based plan. What that means is that it’s been scientifically validated to clear fibromyalgia, clear chronic fatigue, and it’s been proven to pull heavy metals from your body. It’s a very simple plan, and is broken down into either a 10 day program, or a 28 day program for people who have a higher toxic load in their body. What we compile is a very strategic and easy to follow meal plan, which tells you ‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s with regards to the different food groups. It also tells you serving sizes of each of these food groups to have. It tells you how much of your medical food and extra liver support supplements that you need, and how many days that you need to do it for.

It’s basically broken down into three stages: the first is preparation; second is toxic elimination; third is regeneration. This three step formula is very simple, very easy to follow, and makes phenomenal changes for people.

My most recent detox patient came in with a ton of food sensitivities, history of dental work; a typical toxic load. They were feeling fatigued, had skin issues, they were tired all the time, had digestive upset. Within about 3-4 days they began to feel like a new person again. By the end of the 10 days, they loved how much better they were feeling that they decided to continue for the full 28 day program. This is typically what we see — people start to get into a new state of health, they start to feel fantastic, their energy comes back. They get really excited about eating healthy and seeing the results.

It’s a phenomenal program, and it’s called Clear Change, and we run it through our clinic here at Divine Elements.

Mark: Awesome. So, if you want to get started with a detoxification program that is proven to work, that will actually clean out heavy metals and other toxic elements in your body, give Doctor Nicholas Jensen a call at (604) 568-3735 or go to their website at divineelements.ca. Thanks, Dr. Nicholas.

Dr. Nicholas: Thanks, Mark. Have a great day.

Mark: You too.

How to Boost Children’s Immunity in the Flu Season

ABC’s Of Nutrition for Children with Dr Sonya Jensen

Mark: Hi, this is Mark Bossert from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with Dr. Sonya Jensen, a naturopathic doctor with Divine Elements in Vancouver, BC. How are you doing today, Dr. Sonya?

Dr. Sonya: I’m good, how are you?

Mark: I’m good. So we’re talking about how to boost your children’s immunity for lovely upcoming flu season — though today it’s nice and sunny out. What are the ABCs of nutrition for children?

Dr. Sonya: So the ABCs are basically talking about how we can really improve a child’s immunity. This is that no matter what bug is in their environment, they have that vital force to fight off those bugs, whether it’s a virus or bacteria.

A) Always eating breakfast. I mean, as simple as it sounds, what it does is actually stabilizes their blood sugar levels. So that their mood is okay, they’re focused, and also they’re then not reaching out for those sugary snacks in order to boost up their energy throughout the day. Sugar is just so part of regular diet now with children that it’s actually diminishing their immune system — especially in breakfasts, and breakfast cereals, and things like that. So if you’re starting with a hearty breakfast, like oatmeal with quinoa and millet, or protein smoothie with kale and other nutrients in it, it can really help boost up their immunity — not only for the rest of their day, but for the season itself.

B) Bacteria. Our entire body is filled with bacteria, especially our gut. They’re kind of our good soldiers, is how I would describe it to kids. They help fight off the bad stuff that comes in. There’s a stat that 1 out of 3 deliveries are from c-section. When there’s a c-section delivery, babies aren’t born with the right amount of bacteria in their gut to fight off disease. Not a lot of people know this. If we’re able to replenish that good bacteria, and give them the right strains for their gut, they’ll be able to actually fight off the stuff that comes in. Most of our immune system actually sits in our gut. That’s something we’re not really aware of.

C) Colour. A variety of colour in our food is really important because that actually adds antioxidants, which help to stabilize our cells. They help reduce any damage that our cells may get from radiation, or anything in our environment, so that’s also increasing their vital force to fight off anything that comes in.

D) Drop the donuts. CDC actually put out a report just a little while ago, saying that 16% of a child’s diet is composed of high sugar. I mean, if you think of just those fruit drinks, there’s up to 4 tablespoons of sugar in just that one drink. We think it’s harmless because it’s fruit, but there’s just so much added sugar in our daily diet that needs to be looked at.

Mark: How do we teach our kids to eat better?

Dr. Sonya: I think there’s some secrets when it comes to hiding things in smoothies and soups and stews and things like that. Really, leading by example is the best way. Teaching them about the body and why you’re want them to eat the way you eat. So if you’re chugging down on sugar, they’re going to want to do the same thing. It’s not even about the child, it’s about the whole family dynamic and changing how everyone eats.

You know, those basic things we can talk to them about, too. Like sleep, and hygiene are so important. A lot of kids these days are getting a lot of “screen time” — whether it’s TV or iPads or iPhones, it’s just our environment now, which, fair enough — but before bed, it’s so important to shut all that off. We need to really increase our hormonal melatonin, which is a sleep hormone, and also contributes to our immune system. TVs and all of these gadgets, they have blue light behind the screens which stimulates our brains and keeps us up. We need red light to stimulate melatonin. That’s only going to happen by shutting all these things down.

The next really is washing hands. The most simple thing you can get them to do is to wash their hands. Before and after school, especially preschool kids. That’s really when they really start bringing the germs home, so the more they can wash their hands and make sure they’re using good soap, the better. It doesn’t have to be antibacterial soaps, because that actually kills the good bacteria on our skin, as well.

The last thing I’ll touch on is looking at what’s in our medicine cabinet. So different herbs and different vitamins that help to boost kids’ immunity. Vitamin D is really essential now, moving into the fall and winter months. There are lots of studies coming out about how important vitamin D is for our immune system. It actually helps the immune cells do their job better. It’s so important to have that in our cupboards. Also herbs like elderberry, for instance, it’s a great herb that you can start giving your kids at age one. It’s got great antioxidants and great immune boosting properties, and it tastes good. Another one that I sometimes get parents to have in their cupboards is echinacea, which is safe in pregnancy and after.

Mark: Awesome, so there you have it. Pretty basic. But obviously not a lot of us follow these with the diligence we ought to do in order to ensure our kids are looked after.

Dr. Sonya: So again, the top three things really would be: healthy, wholesome foods, nutrition; making sure they get adequate sleep, wash their hands; and finally having those immune boosting herbs and vitamins on hand. And also giving these things to them at the start of the flu season so that we’re preventing and not waiting for the cold or flu to come on and having to reach for different kinds of medications.

Mark: So that’s Dr. Sonya Jensen with Divine Elements in Vancouver. If you want to explore getting your kids healthier, and get some coaching on good nutrition, what kind of herbs and vitamins you ought to be taking, and nutritional support that you need, these are the folks to go see. You can reach them at DivineElements.ca or give them a call at (604) 568-3735. Thanks, Dr. Sonya.

Dr. Sonya: Thank you.

How to Strengthen Your Immune System

5 tips for strengthening the immune system in Northern Climes with Dr Nicholas Jensen

Mark: Hi, I’m Mark from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with Dr. Nicohlas Jensen of Divine Elements in Vancouver, BC. He’s a naturopathic doctor. We’re going to talk about how to strengthen your immune system. How are you doing today, Dr. Nicholas?

Dr. Nicholas: Great, Mark. Thanks for having me. How are you?

Mark: I’m good. So today we’re going to talk about 5 tips for strengthening your immune system.

Dr. Nicholas: This is the time of year to really focus on the immune system. We see it all over the place with regards to flu shots at the pharmacy, bus stops, TV — everyone’s talking about the next virus that’s coming out and to get in for your flu shot.

What’s also being talked about more and more is the shorter days, the lack of sunshine and everyone’s starting to get on board with vitamin D. So there is a lot more information about how to be a little more proactive.

That’s kind of what I want to bring up here, just really looking at how to support your own, natural immune system. It’s called you innate immune system. Everyone has one, and it’s just a matter of how strong it’s functioning. So your innate immune system is basically first on the scene to any mircovirus or whatever that comes into the system. It communicates with your deeper immune system, to establish a quick attack for anything that’s not supposed to be there.

All the symptoms that we ever feel with an immune system response is just because our immune system is ramped up. So this includes the runny nose, the cough, the chills — this is actually signals from your body’s immune system to fight off a virus. This is normal, this is not a bad thing. We don’t need to prevent this from showing up, but we can do things to prevent this by supporting the innate immune response.

There’s some interesting numbers here that I just want to read off with regards to vitamin D, and because vitamin D is a craze right now, it’s important that everybody be supplementing.

The first fact is anything north of Georgia, USA, from the months of November until March are very unlikely to produce any sort of vitamin D at our latitude. So unless you’re going somewhere hot, plan on implementing supplementation during these months. If you’re deficient of vitamin D, you’re 50% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. At optimal levels of vitamin D, you prevent 50% of all cancers. Any deficiency of vitamin D is going to be associated with a multitude of different chronic illnesses.

There were some interesting studies done by Dr. Michael Holick, he’s one of the vitamin D gurus, he’s written a book on it. He is constantly sampling the United States population for vitamin D deficiency, and one report discovered that 32% of all children and adults were vitamin D deficient. This was very specific population. On a national health report, 50% of children between the ages of 1 to 5 were said to be vitamin D deficient; 70% percent of children between the ages of 6 to 11 were found to be vitamin D deficient. So it’s roughly estimated that 50% of the population is vitamin D deficient. This is unbelievable. The reality is, since we’re the United States’ Northern neighbours, the likelihood of us producing enough vitamin D is even less.

Let’s get into the 5 tips.

First thing, we’ve talked about vitamin D, this is very important. I recommend all my patients at some point to get their vitamin D levels checked through blood; that way you can dose accordingly. In general, though, 3000 IUs per day is pretty safe for most people.

Second thing — we’ve talked about this many times — is lifestyle medicine. This includes getting to bed on time, helping to balance your blood sugar through whole foods (“avoiding the middle aisles of the grocery store” as many nutritionists would suggest), and lastly, making sure to hydrate. Even though it’s not hot outside, we still need to hydrate ourselves.

Third one is looking at adaptogenic herbs, these are stress adaptation herbs. The reason a lot of us do get sick is because we maybe have deficiencies and whatnot, but we’re also very stressed out — which decreases the function of the immune system. A great herb for long-lasting viral or immune infection is astragalus. We all know echinacea, eleutherococcus, withania, rhodiola, Korean ginseng — these are all great, immune boosting adaptogenic herbs.

Fourth — Specifically at our clinic, on top of those things, we will recommend immune boosting intravenous treatments. This is where we can give you a high dose of vitamin C and other minerals and B vitamins, and very quickly and efficiently boost people’s immune systems and keep them from getting sick. We have many patients in our clinic who will come in during this time of year and do a series of five or six IVs to prevent any signs of cold from showing up. They count on this treatment to make sure that happens.

Fifth is immune boosting homeopathic intramuscular shots. If people don’t like getting an intravenous drip, a quick shot into the shoulder, three to six times, can do a whole lot to really prevent your immune system from getting out of control.

So when you need an alternative to the flu shot, or you’re questioning it, there are a ton of different options out there. Do your research, listen to the videos, and I hope you keep on learning.

Mark: Awesome. Those were some pretty basic tips — vitamin D being the biggest message, make sure you’re supplementing with that, because we just don’t see the sun often enough.

Thank you, Dr. Nicolas. If you need to get in touch with these folks — they know what they’re doing and will make you feel better. Give them a call at (604) 568-3735 or visit their website divineelements.ca

Hormone Signature – Why is it important?

Mark: Hi it’s Mark Bossert, Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here today with Dr. Nicholas Jensen from Divine Elements. How you doing today Nic?

Nic: Good – thanks Mark, I’m doing well. How are you?

Mark: I’m good. So I understand you’re a proud new father?

Nic: mhm, we have two now. Our second came last week, so we’re pretty exhausted and happy

Mark: Awesome! So today we’re going to talk about hormone signatures and why it’s important. So who would benefit from having their hormones checked?

Nic: So, just to re-cap what a hormone signature is – it’s anyone who is coming in with symptoms of low energy, fatigue, low libido, not feeling quite like themselves – all these symptoms – we compare with a laboratory assessment and blood work. Once we discover the symptoms and the blood work we’re able to discover more about how it’s expressing in the body and that’s essentially your signature. So who would benefit from this hormone imbalance is basically anyone who is feeling stressed, tired or over weight, not feeling quite like themselves, disconnected from their partner. Hormone imbalance can show up in so many ways and looking at the underlying mechanism for it, we’re really looking at a stress response in the body. When things seem like there out of control and the only solution we’re aware of at the time is maybe, antidepressants or some sort of medication to suppress the symptom. We should be looking in other areas and definitely looking at hormones as one of those areas to pay a good amount of attention to.

Mark: You kinda covered this, but what type of patients benefit from this program and who do you see mostly?

Nic: The patients that benefit most are definitely those that are experiencing symptoms and the age range can be anywhere from 25 to 65 years old, it could be men, it could be women. Typically, the most common patient would definitely be a female in that peri-menopausal stage around 45-55 years old and those are the ones that are really noticing the up swing and down swing of all their hormones. So that’s the majority and second to that would be men – again around the age of 45 and up. Those are men who are not feeling quite like themselves, losing their energy, maybe feeling a little disconnected, low libido with their partner. I think it’s been quoted as the “mid-life crisis” for men and it’s always been a little bit hush hush and suppressed and when we look more closely at it, it really just a hormonal imbalance. There’s a mind component to it, there’s a physical component and we look into it we can see there is a population of people who are really suffering and they don’t have to.

Mark: Right, so further to that… what type of patients do you want to work with?

Nic: Ideally we want to work with people that want help, that want to look for an underlying cause for why their feeling the way they are. We want people who are motivated and inspired and want to be inspired about making healthy changes. At the end of the day, we can balance a hormonal system but if people aren’t on board with making some of the lifestyle changes and the nutritional changes that really augment and support the therapy then maybe those aren’t the best type of patients to work with. So ideally we want someone who’s motivated, who’s excited to make a change and who’s tired of the system that’s been treating a disease model and not supporting a health model and that’s the kind of visionary scope that we want to work with.

Mark: Tired of being tired.

Nic: Exactly, and when you look at it you could say everybody’s tired of being tired. We live in a stressful world. How it expresses in someone’s body may be different in some others and when it’s affecting your quality of life and it’s affecting your relationship, it’s affecting how you’re feeling in your body then it’s time to look for some answers.

Mark: So, weight loss and hormone imbalance – what’s the interplay between those factors?

Nic: This is one of the bigger reasons I think people get stuck with the nutrition plan or tried thousands of different diets and nothing is working for me. We’re not looking at the mechanisms that actually allow for proper metabolism. So hormones are that pathway, if our hormones are really out of whack we have a real difficult time shifting into a proper body composition. We look at thyroid function which really controls that metabolism pathway, we look at the adrenal function which looks at the stress response to see how the cortisol and insulin play a role in how our bodies hold in fat or build muscle. Then we look at testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. All these hormones play a pivotal role in body composition. There is plenty of research to show that rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, even prostate cancer link to love levels of testosterone in men. These are very serious illnesses and what we find with bio identical hormone replacement therapy is that when you’re implementing a program such as this you’re actually decreasing all-cause mortality. So it’a really powerful way to invest in your health for the long run.

Mark: I guess it’s a great way to avoid the skinny fat guy.

Nic: Well yeah, if you go into an old folks home and you see pot bellies and no muscles in their arms and no muscles in their legs and this just a development of what is called sarcopenia or a loss of muscle mass that shows up over time, and it doesn’t just have to happen in the old folks home, it’s happening much earlier than that. When we look at how we stress our bodies out, we’re building fat and not building muscle. So balancing the hormones is a major key to getting things back on track.

Mark: Awesome. Thanks a lot Nic, this has really been enlightening and also kinda frightening – but I’m really glad that there’s an answer. Something that I’ll be coming to see you about personally. My wife is enjoying her hormone treatments right now and working really well.

So we’ve been talking with Dr. Nicholas Jensen from Divine Elements. You can reach them at http://www.divineelements.ca or you can call them at 604-568-3735. Get some sleep ok?

Nic: Thanks so much Mark. Have a great day

Mark: Bye