This weekend I had the pleasure and honor to speak at Boulderfest 2008 put on by a company I no longer have anything to do with unfortunately due to unethical management. Here is the PowerPoint presentation I gave this past Thursday, July 17th. Also, to all the attendees, I was energized by all of your care and interest in helping people. It is inspiring!!!
I just gave a talk in Boulder, Colorado at the Healing Journey Seminar on the use of laboratory testing and inflammation. For those of you interested in the subject, I’ve uploaded the Powepoint presentation. Enjoy!
Before I get into today’s discussion on inflammation, please go to this link put up by Chance News, a group dedicated to reviewing information about the use of statistics in the news. They review the cholesterol news and and the statistics behind it. Go down halfway down the page to see the report.
Inflammation. That is the key driver of many disease progressions. From arthritis to coronary heart disease and from cancer to many neurological disorders, if you control inflammation, you control the disease. Two things are important in determining what to do when it comes to your, or your patient’s inflammatory issues. First is proper laboratory testing is lifestyle changes.
The tenet of biochemical individuality is that each person must be dealt with as a unique being. By suggesting that everyone who has a risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) should take one drug or one supplement is an insult to Dr. Roger Williams concept. The only way to determine what is going on is to do the appropriate lab tests.
When looking for markers of inflammation as they relate to coronary heart disease, one jumps out as being a primary marker and that is C-Reactive Protein. CRP is a protein produced by the liver and is increased during inflammatory processes. People with elevated levels are more likely to have a coronary event than people with low levels. It is important to note that a single high reading is not a good marker for CHD, a number of elevations (>3.0 mg/L) would signify a problem. ZRT Laboratories is a place to get a simple, in-home test (Cardio/Hormone Risk Test) that uses blood spot and saliva to test not only for CRP, but a number of other coronary risk factors as well as hormone levels.
What would cause an elevation in inflammatory markers? Toxicity is one so testing for urinary markers of petrochemicals which is done only by US Biotek, is a good place to start. By seeing if you are excreting chemicals like benzene, styrene, xylene, toluene, phthalates or parabens, you can find out where your exposures might be coming from. Another good test to run is a Hair Elements test from Doctor’s Data to determine possible heavy metal exposure. To help you better understand the report, I suggest Dr. Andrew Cutler’s book – Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities.
Another source of inflammatory triggers is food and the best test I have ever found in determining which foods can cause inflammation is the LEAP MRT. Developed by Signet Diagnostics, it can pinpoint the foods that cause the body to release pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines that drive the inflammation process. It was the one test that helped my daughter control her seizure activity as well as behavioral issues. It has a great track record in relieving irritable bowel syndrome as well as migraines, both driven by inflammatory triggers.
If you want to become heart healthy, you need to find out whether your body is inflammed and if so, what is causing it. Once you do that, you reduce your risk of developing not just heart disease, but a number of other health conditions.
This past Friday, I talked about the issues with Lipitor® and the lack of the association between high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Now let’s talk about real problems that comes up by taking this drug.
Say the side-effect rate is 3-5% (which is the pharmaceutical industry line) which means that given one-percent of people get a benefit, five-percent get side-effects that can be rather serious. Guess what? That estimate is way under what practitioners in the field are seeing. Reports indicate that in the real world the side-effect rate is closer to 15%.
Obviously, this would mean that we need to move away from pharmaceutical intervention to lower cholesterol to alternative, “natural” ones right? Wrong. Turns out cholesterol levels in people with heart disease are not really much higher than people without heart disease. Also, low cholesterol (under 160mg/dl) may increase the risk of a number of health disorders like stroke, cancer, depression, and suicide. Lowering cholesterol is not the issue, in spite of what the nutraceutical industry would like you to believe. They are being no different in their claims than the pharmaceutical industry.
The real culprit in heart disease is inflammation. Lower inflammation and not only do you lower the real risk for heart disease , you lower the risks for a myriad of other diseases from diabetes to arthritis, from cancer to migraines, seizures and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few.
In tomorrow’s blog, I will discuss tools that will help you determine your level of inflammation along with things you can do to alleviate it.