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Gluten’s Effect on Your Health & Brain

Is Gluten-Free for Real or just a passing fad?  Well for those with gluten sensitivity, it certainly is for real and can cause multiple health problems.

And did you know that about half the people with gluten sensitivity don’t have any gut symptoms?

Often times with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease there are only brain and neurological symptoms / disorders, such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • dizziness
  • brain fog
  • ADD / ADHD
  • dementia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • seizures
  • ataxia
  • neuropathy

Other gluten sensitivity and celiac symptoms can include:

  • abdominal pain, gas and bloating
  • diarrhea and/or constipation
  • fatigue
  • PMS
  • lack of menstruation
  • infertility and miscarriages
  • migraines / headaches
  • joint pain and inflammation
  • muscle aches
  • acne
  • dermatitis, eczema  and skin rashes
  • “chicken skin” on the back of the arms
  • canker sores
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • anemia
  • failure to thrive and short stature
  • developmental delays
  • learning disabilities
  • asthma
  • hair loss
  • autoimmune diseases
  • and many other conditions…

There are actually two types of gluten sensitivities.  One is Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune condition that results in intestinal damage from gluten.

And second is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) which can still cause most all the same symptoms and conditions, just not intestinal damage.

Many can go their whole life without being properly diagnosed.  One reason is that basic lab tests your doctor would routinely order don’t check for gluten sensitivity.

Even if you can get your doctor to order the typical gluten antibody or celiac test, the results miss more than 50% of the cases.

A few years ago, a college student came to the Natural Medicine Clinic complaining of  acid reflux, burning in her stomach, bloating and constipation that all started four years earlier.

She used to have PMS but then had not had her menstrual period for many months.  She also had very low energy, and said she was tired all the time.

She had been to many doctors including the Mayo clinic.  They could not find anything wrong with her but prescribed her laxatives and acid blocking drugs.

Using a very sensitive diagnostic test, we were able to determine she in fact did have a gluten sensitivity.

After placing her on a gluten free diet, and some nutritional supplements to enhance healing, all her symptoms cleared up within two months and she was feeling great!

The gluten sensitivity test I’ve found most helpful checks for not just the usual 2 -4 components that the major labs offer, but 24 antibodies involved with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

So while gluten-free may seem like a passing fad, if you truly have a gluten sensitivity, it can cause a whole host of problems.

And getting to the root cause of your condition is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness.

If you need help in finding your health solutions, or would like to find out if gluten is affecting you or a family member, email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us  at 561-627-5800.  We would be happy to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

Thyroid’s Dramatic Effect on Brain Function and Health

Hypothyroidism

If you want more energy, vibrant health and better brain function, then you need to have a healthy thyroid.

Brain symptoms of low thyroid function include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • moodiness
  • brain fog – difficulty concentrating
  • poor memory
  • slow speech

Other hypothyroid symptoms include:

  • fatigue and exhaustion
  • difficulty losing weight
  • hair loss
  • dry skin and hair
  • itchy skin, hives and rashes
  • aches and pains
  • plantar fascitis
  • numbness and tingling
  • low sex drive
  • infertility and miscarriages
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • high cholesterol
  • chronic infections
  • constipation
  • headaches
  • insomnia,  and the list goes on…

Millions of Americans with hypothyroidism go undiagnosed.   Standard blood tests which include TSH and maybe T4 on your routine labs are simply not enough.

For instance, I had a young woman come in to the Natural Medicine Clinic complaining of back pain, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), fatigue, depression, anxiety, poor memory and concentration, digestive problems, dry skin, frequent infections, hair loss, obesity and being unable to lose any weight despite dieting.  She said blood tests from her doctor were always normal.

After a thorough history and examination, I ordered comprehensive blood testing which included TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, Thyroglobulin Antibodies and TPO Antibodies.

Her results revealed low thyroid function, and her antibodies were elevated.   This indicated an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, which happens to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

Besides providing treatment for her back and foot pain, I put her on a comprehensive wellness program with supplements and a personalized diet.  The end result was that all of her symptoms cleared up and she lost 50 pounds!  And that was without any medication.

Interestingly, her TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 were within the “normal” lab ranges but one of her antibodies was elevated, confirming the diagnosis.  This is one reason why so many cases go undetected, as you can have “normal” lab values and still have a thyroid condition.

Often times, prescription thyroid hormones are needed.  If so, many individuals do much better on the natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions rather than the synthetic hormones.

The great thing about discovering a low thyroid condition is that you can dramatically improve your energy and clear up many different, long-lasting symptoms by just fixing your thyroid!

If you or a family member would like any help with testing your thyroid or guidance in this area, feel free to email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us at 561-627-5800.  We would be happy to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

Have More Energy, Better Health & Brain Function with Vitamin D

Natural Medicine Formulas Vitamin D Supplement

Have More Energy, Better Health & Brain Function with Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with many brain disorders including:

  • depression
  • dementia
  • MS
  • Parkinson’s
  • schizophrenia
  • epilepsy
  • generalized cognitive impairment

Other conditions linked with low vitamin D levels include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes and Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Back Pain and Neuropathy
  • Cancer and Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Dental Cavities and Rickets
  • Asthma and Influenza
  • Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

In fact, recently a group of researchers from Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and seven other institutions published a study in the BMJ that concluded that low vitamin D levels were responsible for almost 13% of U.S. deaths.

That falls between the 20% of U.S. deaths associated with smoking and 9% for alcohol consumption.

They also determined that vitamin D3 supplementation reduced the risk of premature death by 11%.

They estimated that almost 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which they defined as having vitamin D levels of less than 30 ng/ml.

I have found similar results here at the Natural Medicine Clinic, as most of our patients whose blood levels I check for the first time are low in vitamin D.

Although the lab normal ranges are typically 30 to 100 ng/ml, the optimal range of Vitamin D 25-OH is considered to be 50-80 ng/ml by the Vitamin D Council and other authorities.

The primary source of vitamin D is from the sun, as it is not readily available in our diet in sufficient amounts.

So why even here in sunny Florida are so many people low in vitamin D?

First, sunscreen can prevent the absorption of vitamin D.

Second, most of us don’t have the time to get a daily 10-15 minute dose of mid-day sun on most of the body.

Third, the darker someone’s complexion is, the less vitamin D they produce from the sun.

Years ago, a patient flew over from the Bahamas to see me. He had many different symptoms including depression, fatigue and chronic pain and had seen many doctors without any answers.

After running some tests, I found out he was extremely low in vitamin D, even though he was a landscaper and was out in the sun (with no sunscreen) for over 40 hours per week!  Apparently his very dark Bahamian skin prevented any absorption of vitamin D.

So how much vitamin D do you need?  Well, that depends on your blood levels.

I have found that most teenagers and adults need to take 2000 to 5000 IU Vitamin D3 per day and most infants and children need 1000-2000 IU per day depending on their age and weight.

I do, however, recommend that you get lab testing before you just start taking vitamin D supplements because it is a fat soluble vitamin, and you can get too much of it.

Just remember, making sure you get enough of this vital nutrient is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness.

If you need any help in this area feel free to contact us.  If you have any questions or would like yourself or a family member to have their Vitamin D levels checked, email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us  at 561-627-5800.  We would be happy to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

P.S. We have three vitamin D supplements to choose from. One is a convenient liquid Vitamin D for the kids.  Click here to take a look!

 

Better Brain Function & Hormones

How do Hormones affect Energy, Brain Function and overall health?

All hormones including estrogen, progesterone and DHEA can affect brain function and overall health.  But here we are going to focus on testosterone in honor of the all the men out there. Actually, low testosterone can occur in women as well.

Symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • moodiness
  • lack of focus and concentration
  • memory loss
  • low sex drive
  • sexual dysfunction
  • infertility
  • increased body fat (especially belly fat)
  • reduced muscle mass and strength
  • increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • decreased bone density

Another low testosterone condition is gynecomastia, which is development of breast tissue in males, especially in older men and teens.

Speaking of teen boys with low testosterone, they can also develop depression and other emotional problems, low energy and failure to develop muscle mass as a result.

A young man in his early 20’s came in to the Natural Medicine Clinic complaining of   gyneocomastia, low energy, weakness and depression for many years.  As a teen, he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and ADD, and on put on many different medications.

I ordered lab tests which revealed a very low testosterone level of 220.  This was just under the lab normal range of 280-1100, but  way below the optimal testosterone level of above 550 ng/dl for adult men!

What if this was discovered years ago as a teenager?  Could he have avoided years of misery?

So what are the causes of low testosterone and why is it so prevalent?

  • too much sugar in the diet
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • excess stress, which raises cortisol
  • endocrine disruptors found in plastics, pesticides and other chemicals
  • medications like statin drugs and beta-blockers

Also, having low cholesterol below 150 can result in low testosterone, as cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone and other hormones!

A while ago, I saw a 70-year-old male patient who was suffering from severe depression, exhaustion, low self-esteem, fear, worry, anxiety, insomnia and weight loss.  His doctors ran multiple tests and put him on antidepressants, but he was still feeling terrible. This was in addition to statins and the many other prescriptions he was taking.

I ran additional blood tests which revealed a “normal” testosterone of just above 400 but below the optimal levels of 550. His cholesterol was “normal” at 128 but well below optimal range of 150-200!

After putting him on a personalized nutrition program, he made a dramatic recovery and he was soon back to feeling good again.  His doctor was even able to take him off antidepressants and some of his other medications.

So what are the solutions to low testosterone?  You don’t necessarily need to do injections, patches or slather gel all over you.  Often times, testosterone levels can be raised with natural treatment.

Our natural testosterone support protocol includes:

1. Complete lab testing to measure testosterone and other hormones, and to identify what other factors may be involved, such as adrenal and  thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

2. The FreeDiet™ which includes  plenty of good quality proteins, essential fats, vegetables and some fruit, and avoids soy, sugar and grains.

3.  A customized nutritional program to ensure you’re getting the proper vitamins and minerals.  The most common deficiencies we see with low testosterone are zinc, magnesium and vitamin D.

4.  Herbal remedies for testosterone support.  Adrenal and thyroid support if needed by including DHEA,  adaptogenic herbs and glandulars.

5.  Stress reduction and getting plenty of sleep is very helpful as well.  Remember, high cortisol can lower testosterone.

6.  Exercise, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weightlifting are both extremely important for optimizing testosterone.  Be aware that over-training, too much or the wrong types of exercise, can have the opposite effect and lower testosterone.

7.  And lastly, avoid xenoestrogens which are chemicals that have estrogen like effects. Some of the ways you can avoid these endocrine disruptors are by:

-storing your food in glass containers instead of plastic, avoid using plastic in the microwave, avoid most non-stick pans.

-use natural cleaning products in your home and natural personal care products such as shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste, and lotions.

-avoid artificial food additives and eat organic produce, dairy and meats whenever possible.

If  you or a family member has any of the above symptoms and would like to have your hormones checked, email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us  at 561-627-5800.  We would be happy to help you get treatment for low testosterone levels in Palm Beach FL.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

 

 

Improve Energy & Brain Function with Iron

Having the proper iron level is so vital to your health and energy!

Neurological symptoms of low iron include:

  • lack of concentration
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • foggy thinking
  • headaches
  • slowed growth & development
  • behavioral problems in children

Other symptoms of low iron include:

  • weakness
  • restless legs
  • coldness in hands and feet
  • low sex drive
  • pale skin
  • arrythmias
  • chest pain
  • heart murmur
  • enlarged heart
  • shortness of breath
  • hair loss

Recently, I saw a 10-year-old girl who was diagnosed with ADHD. Her symptoms were irritability, impulsiveness, mood swings, anger, hyperactivity, restlessness, headaches and sometimes fatigue.

She had seen her pediatrician and a psychiatrist.  Apparently, her blood tests were “normal” and she was prescribed ADHD medication as well as counseling.

The first thing I did was order more complete lab testing including Ferritin (stored iron). As it turns out, her level was 19 ng/ml, which was within the lab normal range 10-143 but way below optimal levels of 70-120.  You can have many symptoms as Ferritin levels drop below 50.

After putting her on a personalized nutrition program which included our  iron supplement, just six weeks later her symptoms were gone and she had been able to go off her ADHD medication.

It’s important to note that, taking iron is not the answer for everything, and you can actually have too much iron which can cause a whole host of other problems. So I would not recommend just taking iron without first getting a blood test to see if and how much you need.

You want to have your Ferritin level checked, which measures how much iron is stored in your body. This is the most accurate measure of whether you have optimal iron levels.

Another patient I saw, a women in her early 40’s, was experiencing hair loss and low energy.  And if you are a female with hair loss, you know that depression and anxiety about this can soon follow.

Her doctor couldn’t find anything wrong and prescribed Rogaine.  She did not want to take this or any other medication so she came in for a more holistic approach.  After thorough lab testing, we found that her Ferritin levels were only 10.  Again, within her “normal” lab ranges of 10-232 but way below optimal levels of 70 to 120.

I put her on a comprehensive, personalized nutrition program which included our iron supplement and within two months, no more hair loss and she was feeling great!

Be aware, many iron supplements on the market are not well absorbed, can cause stomach irritation & constipation, and contain aluminum dyes.

I have found a highly absorbable, non-constipating iron that is well tolerated by most everyone; and the cost is just pennies a day. Click here to take a look.

So, make sure you have the proper iron levels; a simple solution for more energy and better brain function!

If you have any questions or would like your or a family member’s Ferritin level checked, email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us  at 561-627-5800. We would be happy to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

 

B12 for More Energy & Better Brain Function

Fatigue, lack of focus and concentration, memory loss, depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders and ADHD are all very common symptoms that I see in patients.

After helping many improve their health, energy and brain function over the years, I have found some common points that seem to be most helpful.

For one, vitamin deficiencies seem to be rampant in both adults and children.  Patients come in without having any prior labs, or the tests from their doctor or pediatrician are very basic and incomplete.

So when ordering lab work, I find it extremely important to check, among other things, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Ferritin (stored Iron), RBC Magnesium and Vitamin D levels.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • fatigue 
  • brain fog 
  • lack of focus and concentration 
  • memory problems 
  • mood swings 
  • lack of motivation & apathy 
  • insomnia
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness and tingling
  • depression &  anxiety
  • dementia
  • hyperactivity
  • psychosis
  • behavioral disorders 
  • tremors… the list goes on and on.

It’s very rare that someone will bring in a blood test from their doctor that ever tests Vitamin B12.  If they do run a test, the lab normal range is typically 200 to 1100. So if you are at 201 that’s considered “normal.”

But you can have severe symptoms and an actual deficiency at levels under 500. Labs in Japan actually have this as their lower level.

Not too long ago, a 20-year-old college student came in with lack of concentration, fatigue, tremors and shakiness in her hands. I ordered lab testing and her vitamin B12  level was 237.  She was soon better after following my recommendations which included a sublingual B12 supplement.

There is a big difference between “normal” and optimal levels of vitamin B12, which depend on many factors. But I would certainly recommend staying over 600 pg/ml.

Once we identify low levels, we use a sublingual product called B12 Supreme that I found to be extremely effective. Be aware that there is a vast difference in quality and absorption between brands and types of B12.  Some are much better than others.

There is rarely a need for B12 shots, as I have found and studies also show that sublingual B12 is just as effective, if not more than B12 shots. Click here for a highly absorbable, bioavailable B12 that I have had great result with.

I would not suggest just going out and loading up on B12 unless you actually need it, as it may cover up some other issue that you are unaware of.

Look for upcoming emails for more information on how to improve your energy, brain function and overall health.

If you have any questions or would like you or a family member’s B12 level checked,  email us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call us  at 561-627-5800. We would be happy to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

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    Content on this website is based upon the opinions of Thomas Rofrano, D.C. and is not considered medical advice. It is designed to be a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Rofrano and his community. Dr. Rofrano encourages you to make your health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Dr. Rofrano is a chiropractic physician and offers physical and nutritional support and guidance to those seeking alternative or complementary care to traditional medicine. His care is not meant to replace that from your primary doctor and specialists but rather to help you on your path to achieving life-long vibrant health.

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