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Adrenal Fatigue & Adrenal Insufficiency

March 15, 2017

The Adrenal GlandsAdrenal glands
This pair of tiny hormone secreting organs sit on top of your kidneys. They are orange in color and measure about a half inch tall and three inches wide. They weigh in at a mere 3-5 grams each. Gram for gram, the adrenal glands receive more blood flow than any other part of the body–including the heart and the brain. The body is a very efficient machine and so this relatively massive dedication of blood flow is an indication of how important these often overlooked organs are.

The Adrenal Medula & Cortex
The adrenal glands each have two layers that secrete different sets of hormones. The inner layer (the adrenal medulla) secretes epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine. These two immediate “fight or flight” hormones are released in large amounts in response to sudden major stressors, low blood sugar and exercise. Together epinephrine and norepinephrine raise blood pressure, mobilize glycogen and fat stores to increase blood sugar, and dilate blood vessels in the large skeletal muscles to prepare them for major action.

The outer layer of the adrenal gland Read more…

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Starbucks Coffee in California Must Have Cancer Warning

April 6, 2018

giphy

I read this in a Medscape article while I was, literally, drinking my morning coffee. California law is aggressive and clear about how any significant carcinogen in a consumer product must be labled. The fact is that consuming coffee does pose some increased cancer risk due to the acrylamide chemical that is made in significant amounts when coffee beans are roasted.

Separately, drinking coffee upregulates phase I liver enzymes (primarily CYP1A2) which activates other cancer-causing agents we modern folks are exposed ot every day includin: aromatic heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aflatoxin.

Acrylamide and the CYP1A2 issues are even more problematic when the body’s slower and more metabolically costly Phase II detox systems can’t handle the increased load of our modern toxin-loaded lives.

Phase I and II immage

Honestly, I am more concerned about the chemicals used to line the inside of paper cups: PFCs or polyethylene plastics. Plastic lids from disposable cups are highly suspect too. They have Polystyrene: a known carcinogen and a neurotoxin, especially when HEATED. (Zoiks!!)

I finished my coffee while researching this post, and I’m going to continue drinking it–at home, in ceramic or stainless steel mugs. That’s because I take care of my liver with a high-vegetable diet with ample fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. I also hydrate well and use extra phase II liver support and probiotics to help ensure that my body is more effective at eliminating the toxic chemicals I inevitably encounter in today’s world.

The take-home point is that is you are a coffee drinker, DO NOT USE DISPOSABLE CUPS–for all kinds of environmental and health reasons and also be sure to take care of your vital liver and gut function. These simple steps will help reduce your risk of serious chrionic illnesses including diabetes, cancer, thyroid problems and autoimmune conditions.

Coffee Cup Trash

I consult with patients in the Seattle area and worldwide through remote consultations. If you are interested in maintaining your optimal health, or if you are suffering from a chronic illness that that conventional medicine alone could not fix,  I invite you to check out my services and reach out for a consultation.

May we all be well!

Functional Medicine Check-Up

October 5, 2017

Lab tests can be expensive. Without insurance, the ten tests I routinely order for adults to monitor and ensure optimal health would cost $1237. With special access to direct laboratory pricing, these tests are available through me for just $150. That’s 88% off, and less than a 20% insurance copay.

Through 2017, new patients can also receive a 20-minute introductory consultation for $50 where health goals, current concerns, medication and supplement lists, lifestyle factors, and past diagnostic testing can be reviewed from anywhere in the world. Please visit https://trmorrisnd.com/ for more details.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL SLIDESHOW: Affordable Lab Tests & Functional Consultation Read more…

A Functional Approach to Thyroid Health

August 17, 2017

Optimal thyroid hormone production is one of the most important factors to whole body health. In response to TSH signals from the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland produces the vital T4 and T3 hormones that set the basic metabolic rate for every cell in the body. This includes brain, heart, lung, bone, muscles, your immune system, digestion, liver and kidney function and everything else.

Sub-optimal thyroid function can cause a wide range of chronic or debilitating symptoms including: fatigue, depression, weight gain, brain fog, cold intolerance, hair loss, constipation, low bone density, and poor immune function.

With a system this important, you might think that conventional medicine would be completely up to date on how to keep track of this vital hormone. However, if you thought that conventional medicine had this well in hand, you’d be completely wrong. Read more…

How to Grow And Protect Your Brain Function

July 26, 2017

It was long believed that neurons in the human brain were incapable of growth and repair after maturity. We now know this to be false and that the human brain retains the potential for self-renewal throughout our lives. Even more exciting is that self directed neuroplasticity is a real possibility.

Neuroplasticity: The ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. Even more exciting is that self directed neuroplasticity is a real possibility.
Neurogenesis: is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF): A growth factor encoded by the BDNF gene that promotes both neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

Much to the chagrin of the pharmaceutica industry, there is no “silver bullet” for preventing and reversing cognitive decline and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Instead, what we do have is “silver buckshot” in the form of numerous dietary and lifestyle interventions that can increase the body’s production of BDNF.

Things you can take to increase neuroplasticity, and neurogenesis and BDNF levels include: Read more…

Is the form of a supplement important?

March 23, 2017

The quick answer is yes. Absolutely. AND, we should always be looking first to spend our time and money on picking good foods high in the nutrients we are concerned about.

Food vs supplemetns

For minerals, I do prefer zinc picolinate. For calcium and magnesium, I always recommend chelated forms, and there are many (citrate, malate, aspartate, etc.). I don’t usually care which chelated form they take so long as there is no magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate in the product.

For patients with documented methylation defects (e.g. MTHFR 667, high or highish homocysteine, or a high normal MCV), I prefer Read more…

How do we reduce and manage stress?

March 23, 2017

One of my favorites ways to get patients to reduce and mediate their stress levels is to use a free “breath trainer” on their smart phone or computer. There are a lot of free apps to do this, and my favorite is MyCalmBeat. It works for both androids and iPhones. It’s as simple as a metronome with a breathing visual. Read more…

What does “normal” really mean when it comes to lab tests?

March 23, 2017

Naturopathic and functional medicine practitioners often interpret conventional labs more carefully than just a binary determination of “normal/abnoral”. There is good reason for this. A more careful look at lab values can an ammount to a life preserver for medical refugees who are castaways from strict interpretations.

Shoe size is a good analogy regarding lab interpretation. Most labs define “normal” as the average result of a pool of asymptomatic patients plus or minus 2 standard deviations. This covers about 90% of the “normal” population. If you were to use this standard to determine what the average shoe size was, it would probably be somewhere between 6 and 12. Given biological individuality, it becomes rather absurd to suggest that you could give any human being a shoe between size 6 and 12 and expect it to fit. Read more…