Some of you participated in our one day symposium, Take Charge of Your Health: A
Functional Medicine Symposium.
For those of you who missed it, here are some highlights from the previous event. Be
sure to look for announcements on our website and Facebook page for upcoming
Doctor’s Guide to Optimal Wellness
Gerard L. Guillory, M.D.
The Care Group, P.C.
Dr. Guillory, founder of The Care Group, began the symposium by explaining,
“Traditional medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Usually that
treatment involves the use of pharmaceuticals. Functional medicine looks at the
underlying cause of the problem and on the prevention of disease by bringing more
tools than just the prescription pad to a patient, we are able to provide an integrated
approach in treating the whole person.”
Focusing on optimal wellness, Dr. Guillory mentioned a number of health and dietary
issues facing patients today:
· Inflammation – Cellular inflammation adversely affects overall health, as well as
our biological clocks and signs of aging. Inflammation can be reduced through
elimination of transfats and staturated fats, as well as foods with high glycemic
indexes. Adding Omega 3 and olive oil to your diet along with the herbal
supplement, Zyflamend, has been found to successfully reduce inflammation
helping with the symptoms of arthritis. By reducing inflammation you can slow
your biological clock and you may delay the onset of many age-related disorders.
· Bad Bacteria – The “bad” bacteria in your gut causes inflammation through
biological reactions that are similar to making sour milk inside the gut. These bad
bacteria activate the immune system and cause inflammation. This condition can
lead to digestive disorders, cause fatigue and inflammation which can promote
other more serious problems. Probiotics are the good bacteria that can be added
to the diet through probiotic supplements to dramatically improve gut functioning
and overall health.
· Water – Acidic beverages such as soda are not good for you. Some bottled
drinking water can also have a high level of acidity. When drinking bottled water,
look for water that is from springs, which will usually have a neutral pH and
contains a range of health promoting minerals. We recommend obtaining a
simple filtration system for clearing out some of the impurities found in your tap
water and only drinking bottled water when the situation dictates it – such as
· Headaches – MSG and Aspartame stimulate receptors in the brain, which can
trigger headaches. Being aware of these chemicals and avoiding them in the diet
can eliminate headaches and other reactions to these additives.
· Gluten Sensitivity – Gluten sensitivity is a growing concern in society that can
cause auto-immune disorders. Being tested for sensitivity and eliminating gluten
which is found in wheat from the diet has been shown to dramatically improve the
health of those with gluten intolerance. Once thought to be a rare disorder
affecting one in 3000 people, gluten sensitivity now affects one in 100 people and
is on the rise. Have you wondered why you see so many more gluten-free
products these days?
· Low Ferritin – This condition, low iron, can cause fatigue, restless leg syndrome
and ADD, and often is the result of using acid-blocking drugs. With the antacid
compounds interfering with iron absorption, adding iron back into the diet can
increase energy and eliminate the discomfort associated with restless leg
· Iodine Deficiency – For many years iodine has been added to highly refined
salt. Iodine deficiency is making a comeback as we avoid salt to minimize other
health issues. With unrefined sea salt gaining popularity, an increase in iodine
deficiency has been seen due to the fact that sea salt is not usually fortified with
iodine. Iodine deficiency is most often associated with disorders of the thyroid
gland and has also been implicated in ovarian cancer. We recommend using an
unrefined sea salt which contains a range of minerals and trace elements that are
beneficial for optimal health. Appropriate supplements through your healthcare
provider can bring the iodine back in to balance within the system.
· Vitamin D Deficiency – This has become a very common condition, almost a
national epidemic, and is associated with high blood pressure, heart attacks, 16
different types of cancer, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections,
osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and a range of other diseases. Adding additional
vitamin D is essential and can be the most important vitamin to have for
achieving optimal overall health.
The Doctor-Patient Relationship
Jay A. Krakovitz, M.D.
The Care Group, P.C.
Dr. Jay Krakovitz provided valuable insight into finding a physician who practices
functional medicine, preparing for a visit to the doctor’s office, and how to deal with an
insurance carrier (he was formerly the medical director for a major health insurance
To find a physician that best meets your personal needs, Dr. Krakovitz recommends:
· Look for a physician who has a relationship with a compounding pharmacist who
can custom blend needed medications and supplements.
· Look for a provider who gives you his or her undivided attention, makes eye
contact, and exhibits a caring attitude.
· Look for a medical home – a place where you feel comfortable and where you
feel you will be treated as though you are a member of the doctor’s family.
To prepare for your visit with the doctor:
· Make a list of questions that you want to ask of the doctor.
· Make a list of what you are taking, including prescription drugs, supplements and
over the counter medicines.
· Bring in a log of your blood sugar and blood pressure readings.
· Talk about visits with other doctors, specialists, and health care providers. The
more your primary care physician knows, the better your treatment will be.
· Be honest and fully disclose anything relevant to your health.
· Discuss emotional and psychological health aspects since they can directly
impact your physical health.
· Discuss financial barriers. Some patients cut medications to save money. The
doctor needs to know if this is happening.
For dealing with your insurance provider, Dr. Krakovitz suggests:
· Know what benefits you are entitled to.
· Locate your certificate of coverage, which lists your benefits and your legal rights.
· Always take advantage of every preventative heath care service available.
Companies often waive co-pays for these critical services.
· Appeal all denials. Denials can happen for many reasons, mainly due to lack of
complete information or understanding of the situation on the insurance
company's side. Contact them directly to explain your claim.
The Integrative Approach to Cancer Therapy
Dr. Sami Diab, M.D.
Colorado Integrative Cancer Care
Dr. Sami Diab, M.D., said that although the use of Complementary and Alternative
Medicine (CAM) is widespread and increasing, yet most mainstream oncologists have
little understanding of these therapies which combine conventional cancer therapies
with those focused on enhancing well being, such as:
· Hypnosis – An artificially induced state of consciousness in which a person is
made receptive to suggestions. Studies have shown a reduction in post-surgery
pain and distress as a result of pre-surgery hypnosis. It has also been
demonstrated that cancer patients have a reduction in pain, nausea, fatigue,
discomfort, emotional upset at discharge, and even a reduction in institutional
cost with the use of hypnosis.
· Music therapy – When combined with conventional cancer treatments, music
therapy has been found to help cancer patients maintain a better quality of life.
· Massage therapy – Massage therapy helps relieve symptoms commonly
experienced by cancer patients, reducing anxiety, pain, fatigue, and distress.
· Acupuncture – This Eastern medicine practice releases neurotransmitters and
changes brain-functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signals which has
been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting symptoms often associated with
chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
· Yoga – Studies show that combining Yoga’s physical movement, breath control,
and meditation, can lessen the negative social affects of chemotherapy among
breast cancer patients, resulting in more favorable outcomes for overall quality of
life, social, emotional well-being, and spirituality.
· Relaxation imagery – Studies have repeatedly demonstrated significant
reductions in tension, depression, anger, and fatigue for those who received
relaxation imagery during cancer treatment.
· Support Groups – Other research suggests improvements in quality of life,
aspects of immune function, and life expectancy for cancer treatment patients
who participated in a psychologist-led support group.
· Exercise – One study of nearly 3,000 breast cancer survivors demonstrated that
3 to 5 hours of average-speed walking per week lowered the risk of breast
cancer-specific mortality by 50 per cent, compared with women reporting about 1
hour of walking.
· Diet: Nutrition - There is a wealth of epidemiological, animal, laboratory and
human trials to support choosing or avoiding certain foods in order to reduce
cancer risk. Diet is thought to account for 35-60% of cancer risk.
An anti-cancer diet consists of:
· Plant based diet with less meat and dairy
· 5-10 servings per day of a variety of fruits and vegetables
· Low in saturated and trans fats
· Beneficial ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids (also called omega-6 and omega-3
· High fiber including whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans
· Avoidance of known carcinogens such as HCA's, pesticides, nitrates
· Inclusion of probiotics, and Vitamin D
5 Secrets to Lose Weight, Increase Energy & Live Longer
Mike Mutzel, MSc, CPT (NASM, ACE)
The Care Group, P.C.
Body weight, energy level and mental function is a reflection of overall health. Mike
Mutzel, certified Nutritionist and personal trainer explains optimal health can be
achieved through a healthy lifestyle which goes beyond diet and exercise, including
these 5 basic lifestyle practices:
1. Stress Reduction – Being exposed to high levels of stress, it is important to
learn how to better handle and cope with stressors; because if left unchecked,
the hormonal environment that is created leads to damage in nearly every bodily
and organ system. Such effects include increased fat gain, loss of mental
capacity, sleep loss, heart disease, cancer and more. Practicing daily meditation
or prayer is also beneficial in reducing stress.
2. Sleep – Even mild sleep deprivation leads to increase levels of stress hormones,
decreased mental function, fat gain, and increased preference for simple sugar
containing foods. Seven to nine hours of sleep is optimal.
3. Mediterranean anti-inflammatory diet – This diet consists of 5 core food
groups: vegetables, fruits, lean protein (wild fish and unprocessed lean meats),
nuts, and seeds. Ideally, the fruits and vegetables are rich in deep colors. Minor
consumption of the grains brown rice, quinoa or oat products can be added.
Seventy percent of dark chocolate, red wine, dark beer and other treats are
acceptable on occasion.
4. Exercise: both aerobics and strength/resistance - The combination of daily,
short duration, high intensity exercise has been scientifically proven to balance
hormones and stimulate the formation of lean body mass and removal of fat at a
faster rate than either exercise in isolation. Aim for 3-5 days of 20-40 minutes of a
combination of both strength and aerobic exercise.
5. Essential Supplements – Modern societies have an increased level of toxic
heavy metals, petrochemicals and other foreign materials which challenge the
body, requiring more nutrients to help detoxify. Moreover, recent advanced in
agricultural practices have lead to decreased nutrient content in our food supply;
mainly lower levels of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Balance
your life through supplements:
· Omega 3 fatty acids
· High potency multivitamin/mineral
· Vitamin D
Short Circuit Your Stress Cycle
Audrey Boxwell, Ph.D., CHT
Audrey Boxwell, Ph.D., CHT, treats a variety of physical and emotional disorders
through hypnosis and guided imagery. She explained that we process over 100,000
thoughts a day, many of which are negative and stress-inducing. These stresses can
cause a flight or fight reaction that can create health issues. Finding ways and time to
release stress is key in reducing the negative impact on the mind and the body. Besides
moving and exercising, two quick and highly effective stress reducers are:
1. Stop and take a step back – Put things into perspective and focus on the
important things in your life. If you are having a problem managing your stress,
talk to your healthcare provider for ways to help get control of the stress.
2. Just Breath – You can use a breathing technique anytime, anywhere to regain
3. Slowly inhale and count to 4
4. Hold your breath and count to 7
5. Now exhale slowly while counting to 8.
Repeat this cycle 4 times. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. You
will be amazed at how calming this can be.
Food Allergies: How Foods Make You Sick
US BioTek Laboratories
John Thoreson with US BioTek Laboratories explained our gut lining is 200 times the
surface area of our skin. It’s one cell thick. It has a massive responsibility, processing
one ton of food per year. And, with the gut having 100 trillion bacteria in it, not all those
bacteria are going to be friendly.
We have evolved to tolerate certain bacteria that live in our gut, but there is an
increasing number of foods that can trigger allergic responses such as nuts, milk, eggs,
gluten, soy and some meats. These allergies can cause a whole host of health issues.
Functional testing is now available that can identify inflammation in the body, nutritional
deficiencies and imbalances, environmental toxicities, as well as food allergies and
sensitivities. The test is a simple blood test that analyzes the affects of different food
groups. Working with your healthcare provider, you can identify foods to avoid for
maintaining good health.
Susan Davenport, R. Ph.
Pencol Compounding Pharmacy
Hormones give messages to every cell in the body. They are a part of the anti-aging
process, but around age 50, they begin to decline. To compensate for this decrease in
hormone production, patients are often treated with hormone replacement therapy using
bioidentical hormones, which are molecularly identical to the hormones that the body
produces. These Bioidentical hormones, sometimes referred to as natural hormones,
are often used to treat menopause symptoms, perimenopause, and post-menopause.
“Because commercial BHRT products are very limited, a compounding pharmacy can
often meet specific patient treatment requirements by purchasing hormones and then
compounding them for the patient,” explained Susan Davenport, licensed pharmacist
with Pencol Compounding Pharmacy.
Working with a doctor and a compounding pharmacist, a patient can gain several key
benefits from pharmaceutical compounding, including:
· Avoiding Side Effects – Medications can be compounded to meet your unique
health needs and avoid possible side effects.
· Allergen Avoidance – Certain dyes and other possible allergens can be avoided
in the compounding process, eliminating the dangers of allergic reactions.
· Unavailable/Discontinued Medications – Many effective drugs that are no longer
commercially available can be obtained through a compounding pharmacist by
· Difficult Regimens – Many dosage forms may be difficult to swallow, especially
for children and the elderly. A compounding pharmacist can produce alternative
forms like liquids or transdermal patches, flavoring, etc. to help the medicine go
· Custom Dosages - Pharmaceutical companies package many medications in set
strengths and, unfortunately in many cases, one strength does not fit all needs. A
compounding pharmacist can provide prescriptions in custom strengths
prescribed by your doctor.
Neurotransmitters: Their Role in Health
Bridget Meyers is a medical liaison, bringing the most clinically relevant, applicable and
valid tools for assessing the nervous, endocrine and immune systems in order to
identify root causes of illness and to effectively determine treatment protocols. Bridget
spoke about Neurotransmitters and how they are chemicals inside our bodies that
enable nerves to communicate with each other. These communicators regulate aspects
of our body’s operation – moods, how we sleep, and how we live. If our
neurotransmitters become imbalanced, our moods, bodies, and overall health reflect the
imbalance in a negative way. Stress, eating the wrong foods, toxins such as household
chemicals or molds, and challenges to our immune system can throw neurotransmitters
into an imbalanced state.
Unlike hormones, which are created through the endocrine glands and go through the
bloodstream, neurotransmitters are released by a nerve cell and sent directly to an
adjoining receptor, so blood tests can not detect any problems. Historically, health care
practitioners would ask a few questions and target just one neurotransmitter. Then
through trial and error, a whole series of different treatments might be used to find the
right balance. There are now comprehensive tests that can be performed on collected
urine or saliva samples so that a tailored treatment regime can be prescribed, thus
avoiding the waste of time and money on the trial and error method.
Osteopathic Medicine: The Path to Health
Dr. Emmy Lawrason, D.O.
Colorado Osteopathic & Integrative Medicine Associates
Dr. Lawrason defined Osteopathy as a hands on approach to healing. Working with the
body, Osteopaths listen through their hands to identify physical problems and facilitate
the body healing itself. “We can feel decreased movement and other problems. It’s a
continuous learning process. Anyone can find disease. I find health, and focus on
getting back to the cause of the problem,” she explained.
Osteopthic medicine is a holistic approach to treatment that has a combined focus on
the mind, body and spirit. Using an integrated approach, many treatment modalities are
combined to treat all tissues of the body. Patients seek out osteopathic medicine for
relief from pain, post-operative conditions, as well as stress experienced by adults,
children and even newborns who experienced stress during delivery with the use of
vacuum assist and forceps.
Taking charge of your health and designing a personalized approach to health care can
help create a healthier, longer, more satisfying life. As always, The Care Group
suggests you work in conjunction with your healthcare providers to create a plan and
products that work best for you.
For more information about the topics covered in this summary, please visit the article
section on The Care Group website: http://www.thecaregrouppc.com/.
We would also like to thank the following companies for helping make the symposium
· Biotics Research Corporation – www.bioticsresearch.com
· Colorado Integrative Cancer Care – http://drdiab.info
· CO Osteopathic & Integrative Medicine Associates – www.cointegrative.com
· G Food Concepts - www.gfoodconcepts.com
· HealthOne Clinical Services – www.healthoneclinics.com
· NeuroScience – www.neurorelief.com
· New Chapter Organics – www.newchapter.com
· PenCol Compounding Pharmacy - www.pencolrx.com
· Pharmax – www.pharmaxllc.com
· PsycheHike – www.psychehike.net
· Spectracell Laboratories – www.spectracell.com
· US BioTek Laboratories – www.usbiotek.com
Director of Communications
The Care Group, PC