Archive | August, 2011

Diet Sodas – Can It Make You Fat?

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Scottsdale Fibromyalgia Doctor Comments:

I read an article yesterday from Biotics Research that I just have to share.  Many dieters, in their quest to consume fewer calories, often opt to drink diet soda instead of sodas with sugar in them. It turns out that drinking diet soda may not be a very good strategy for losing weight.

Research was performed at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (and presented at the June 25, 2011 American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions) found a connection between diet soda consumption and girth. The researchers monitored 474 subjects between the ages of 65 to 74 years for nearly a decade. They measured the weight, height, and waist circumference of the subjects every 3.6 years. They also kept track of diet soft drink intake.

They found that the weight and waist circumference of the subjects increased proportionally to the amount of diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

The fact that something that does not have any calories can actually cause weight gain may change how we think about calories and weight loss. Another study, presented at the same meeting by Sharon Parten Fowler, Ganesh V. Halade, and Gabriel Fernandes showed a connect ion between aspartame consumption and weight gain in mice. Mice fed food that was high in aspartame (an artificial sweetener sold under the brand name Nutrasweet) actually had higher blood sugar levels than mice not fed aspartame. Fowler postulated that aspartame could trigger an increase in appetite, but it does nothing to satisfy it. It can also interfere with the body’s ability to feel full and can cause overeating. The taste buds may perceive that the drink is sweet, but the brain knows the difference.

One study found that women could not tell the difference between sugar and Splenda in taste tests. When the brain was viewed with functional MRI scans, it was determined that the brain’s reward center responded more completely to sugar than to artificial sweetener.

“Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,'” stated Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study.

Even if  you don’t have a chronic health problem like Fibromyalgia or Hypothyroidism, you should not be putting artificial sweeteners into your body.

Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Phoenix Metro Chronic Fatigue Doctor Comments:

Like most doctors, the most common complaint among patients seeking my care is chronic fatigue.  Often the fatigue is described as a vague complaint with low energy, lack of motivation and inability to do more than absolutely what has to be done.  Other times the fatigue causes the patient to become irritable and lash out verbally to those closest to them (with subsequent remorse and unfortunately harmed relationships).

Patients tell me how the housework piles up, proper meals aren’t prepared, dreams and goals have been thwarted, promotions passed by, even books that can’t be read due to the fatigue various patients present with.  One patient had to hire a nanny to fix the bottle for her child because she could not do it.  She could not even fill out the initial paperwork for our office.  Her husband had to do it for her.

I used to suffer from fatigue issues.  I would take a nap at lunch daily.  I would also nod off while driving for what I considered long distances.  I am lucky I did not get seriously injured and also thankful I never hurt anyone.

Due to my never-ending desire to help people I constantly am learning and growing in my clinical and diagnostic skills I discovered functional neurology and functional endocrinology.  This enabled me to find the cause of my fatigue.

As a result of this discovery (and others) about my body’s reactions to foods and nutrients and how it can impact health, I have been able to assist many hundreds of patients eliminate or significantly reduce their chronic fatigue.

Patients present to our office with several conditions that cause chronic fatigue:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid
  • B Complex and other micronutrient deficiencies due to poor diet (Standard American Diet or S.A.D.)
  • Hypoglycemia and insulin resistance
  • Gluten sensitivity and the resultant malabsorption of nutrients
  • Liver congestion
  • Parasite infestation
  • Food allergies
  • Adrenal fatigue

Each of these conditions or situations can be helped.  Through a specific process of investigation and then treating the underlying cause(s) revealed by that investigation is the key to long-term success in dealing with chronic fatigue.

I use a customized, multi-pronged approach with chronic fatigue sufferers that may include:

  • Diet changes
  • lifestyle changes
  • Specific supplementation
  • Brain-Based Therapy

Every case is unique.  Trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach fails most of the time.  We take a look at the body as a whole and develop a treatment strategy based on proper in-depth testing and individualized treatment that has proven clinically successful.

You, too, can reclaim your energy and zest for life!

Celiac Disease: A Precursor to Fibromyalgia and Thyroid Dysfunction

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, Phoenix Metro Area Fibromyalgia Doctor Comments On The Connection Between Celiac Disease and Thyroid Dysfunction …

So what do we know for sure? As early as 2003, the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago reported some startling numbers regarding the prevalence of Celiac disease in America. A fact sheet distributed by the center made the claim that Celiac disease affects approximately one percent of healthy, average Americans. That means as many as 3 million people in the United States are living with Celiac disease. Of those 3 million, more than 90 percent of sufferers remain undiagnosed, attributing their chronic pain, intestinal irritability and bowel issues to something other than Celiac disease, fibromyalgia or thyroid maladies.

There are more than two hundred signs and symptoms associated with Celiac Disease. Keep in mind that the disease may have no symptoms at all. The symptoms may or may not cause digestive dysfunction.

Up to 60% of children and 41% of adults with celiac disease may be asymptomatic.

Here is a list of a few common symptoms associated with Celiac Disease:

1. Recurring abdominal cramps, gas and bloating

2. Chronic diarrhea

3. Vomiting

4. Liver and gallbladder dysfunction

5. Fatigue

6. Weight loss

7. Greasy, gray or tan, foul-smelling stools

8. Anemia (iron-deficiency that does not respond to treatment and B12 deficiency)

9. Skin rash

10. Stunted growth in children (delayed puberty)

11. Osteopenia or osteoporosis

12. Infertility (recurrent miscarriage)

13. Amenorrhea

14. Sores in the mouth

15. Peripheral neuropathy

16. Anxiety/depression

17. Joint pain

18. Fluid retention

19. Bruising easily

Luckily, several advancements in these specific areas of digestive medicine have been made, and a variety of treatment and testing options are now available to those who want to address their pain.

You can have a blood test or biopsy come up negative and still have Celiac Disease. Genetic testing is available and affordable.
In today’s world, patients are required to take charge of their own health. Only with the guidance, support and knowledge of a medical team that understands the underlying issues can patients truly begin to experience the benefits of modern medicine. Dr Heimlich can guide you to a new existence—one in which the sting of fibromyalgia and thyroid issues can be addressed or eliminated by first conquering what may be undiagnosed Celiac disease and the issues that so often accompany it.

Call us today and take your life back from the discomfort and distress of Celiac disease, fibromyalgia and thyroid complications.

One last thought, a common misdiagnosis of celiac disease is irritable bowel syndrome.