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April Newsletter: IBS, Intermittent Fasting, and More...

In this issue:

1. Why Your IBS Isn't Getting Better and What You Can Do About It

2. Is Intermittent Fasting legit?

3. Which Supplements to take if you're high blood pressure medications

4. Kick it up: Exercise tips from a 60 year old 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do

Why Your IBS isn’t Getting Better…

and What You Can do About it!

There’s no such thing as IBS….

It’s true.

That’s why over 35 million Americans with IBS still suffer with symptoms even after they are diagnosed, and that’s why there are no treatments to cure it.

IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder…meaning that no clear cause can be found for the abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in patients. It’s pretty hard to treat a medical condition when a cause can’t be found, right?

But, the solution is really quite simple….you must work with your doctor to look for hidden causes which lab work and other types of testing might miss!

The only way IBS can be properly treated is if doctors think outside of the conventional medical box from which they’ve become accustomed to practicing in. Every symptom has a cause….

Here’s just some of what we already know from the science that’s currently available. Has your doctor discussed any of these fact with you??

  1. Women are twice as likely to suffer from IBS when compared to men. This is partially because female sex hormones (i.e. estrogen) can can affect the function and contraction of the gut. In fact, variations in ovarian hormone levels during the menstrual cycle have been shown to modulate IBS symptomatology in women.

  2. Several studies have shown an association between IBS and preceding gastrointestinal infections of bacterial, viral or other origin.

  3. Increased intestinal permeability (commonly known as ‘leaky gut’) is an early event in IBS that leads to low-grade immune cell infiltration of the gut lining.

  4. Women with endometriosis are 3.5 times more likely to have an IBS diagnosis.

  5. There is significant evidence that alterations in the bacterial populations in the gut play a major role in the presence and severity of IBS.

  6. IBS is almost always associated with increased anxiety, other chronic pain syndromes, and psychiatric conditions. This is because of the widespread dysregulation of the nervous system and immune systems.

  7. Nearly 90% patients with IBS report symptoms to be triggered by meals or specific foods.

  8. IBS is a stress sensitive disease, and patients with an abnormally functioning stress response have a higher incidence of IBS.

  9. Mast cell activation syndrome, a condition where mast cells in the gut abnormally release histamine, has also been implicated as a cause of IBS.

There are numerous other diseases, toxicities, and hormonal imbalances with which IBS has been associated..way too many to include in this newsletter. At least now you understand why IBS isn't really a's a symptom of one or more other problems.

So…How Do You Treat IBS?

The simple answer is….by treating the underlying cause(s)….

Using the conditions discussed above, here are some recommendations which are supported by the scientific evidence:


  1. Identify and correct hormone imbalances in women.

  2. Implement stress reduction/modification techniques (i.e. cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, prayer).

  3. Consider adding natural 'anti-stress' supplements such as Berberine or AdrenaFem.

  4. Talk with your doctor about which probiotic may be right for you. Here are some excellent pharmaceutical-grade options.

  5. Identify potential food triggers and completely remove them from your diet. Sometimes the only positive test will be your symptoms.

  6. If you suspect a problem with mast cell activation or excessive histamine production, your doctor can suggest the proper type of anti-histamine or other type of anti-inflammatory agent which can neutralize the other harmful chemicals released by mast cells. Some great natural nast cell stabilizers are Quercetin and Zinc.

  7. Repair your leaky gut. There are several natural remedies which can be used to accomplish this, such as glutamine. However, you’ll also need to eliminate things from your diet that cause leaky gut, including alcohol and foods to which you have known sensitivities.

  8. Aggressively treat underlying endometriosis.

As is the case for all other medical conditions, always make sure to work with a competent medical provider who understands and can implement both conventional and non-conventional approaches to treating disease.

IBS CAN be cured!


Is Intermittent Fasting the Best Diet Plan?

If you’re looking for another way to lose weight, you’ve probably heard about the newest health trend which promises not only weight loss but better overall health…Intermittent Fasting.

You’ve probably been bombarded with information about this, so it’s reasonable for you to wonder if intermittent fasting is just another trend to be ignored or if there’s some truth behind the claims. Let's dig deeper and find out.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary plan that consists of alternating cycles of fasting and eating. All of us do some variation of IF already because we don’t eat when we’re asleep. Although there are different variations of IF, the basic idea is to restrict when a person eats thereby restricting the overall amount of food they will eat.

The most popular IF plan is known as the ‘16/8’ method whereby a 16-hour fast alternates with an 8-hour eating period, typically from noon until 8:00 pm. This basic plan doesn’t restrict what or how much a person can eat, just when a person can eat.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Metabolism?

Everything about your body follows a natural rhythm known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm must be maintained for you to stay healthy. Your metabolism, your weight, your heart and brain function, your hormones…basically everything relies on a normal circadian rhythm.

There are a lot of things that can mess with your circadian rhythm. One major way is to not sleep enough or sleep at the wrong time (i.e. people who do shift work). Another way is to eat at the wrong time, and this is where IF has it's biggest positive effect. IF from noon until 8 pm forces you to eat during a physiologically acceptable time frame thereby minimizing damage to the circadian rhythm. This results in the proper timing and release of key metabolic hormones, including insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin.

Does Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

In short…yes....

Numerous studies have shown IF produces weight loss of up to 15% of baseline body weight and a reduction in waist size by 3 to 8 cm (if done for at least four weeks). Even more importantly, IF results in the loss of fat, not muscle, and feeling hungry usually isn’t a problem. However, to achieve these results, you must fast for at least 16-hour intervals. That’s why the ‘16/8’ plan is the best plan to follow.

If you want to lose even more weight, add exercise. Research has shown combining exercise with IF doubles the amount of weight lost. To reap the rewards of this plan, you must keep it up. If you don’t you’ll gain all your weight back, usually within six months.

One key point: Fasting for longer than 18 to 24 hours can result in muscle loss and a reduction in metabolism which will actually cause weight gain!

What Are Other Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Not only does IF promote weight loss, it has other beneficial health effects unrelated to weight loss. They include:

The science clearly shows that IF works not only for weight loss but also for the prevention and treatment of numerous adult diseases. If you are considering giving IF a try, you'll want to make sure you speak with your doctor first, especially if you take prescription drugs or are a diabetic.


Supplement Your Losses

What Supplements to Take if You're on Blood Pressure Medication

Nearly half of adult Americans have high blood pressure, and most of them take at least one blood pressure medication to control their blood pressure.

There are several different classes of blood pressure medications, and all of them have been associated with the depletion of certain nutrients with long term use. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed blood pressure medications:

  1. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors (Captopril, Enalapril, Lisinopril) deplete sodium and zinc.

  2. Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB's): (Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Cozaar, Hyzaar) deplete magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

  3. Beta Blockers (Acebutolol, Atenolol, Carvediolol, Metoprolol) deplete B vitamins, CoQ10, and melatonin.

  4. Calcium Channel Blockers (Amlodipine, Verapamil, Felodipine) deplete B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

  5. Diuretics (Lasix, Hydrochlorothiazide, Bumex, Maxide) deplete B vitamins, calcium, CoQ10, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin C, and zinc.

If you take one or more blood pressure medications, talk to your doctor about which nutrients you should be supplementing and how much. This will differ from patient to patient.


Kick it Up: Exercise tips from a 60 Year Old

5th Degree Black Belt

I would like to share some inspiration for those of you who are members of my generation.

I have been an athlete all my life, and at the age of 42, I started Tae Kwon Do. I loved it, and it became an integral part of my journey to healthier living. But despite adding Tae Kwon Do to my already healthy lifestyle, I found that my body wasn’t the same, especially after menopause.

So, for the past ten years, I have been on the quest optimize my health, weight and mental well-being by reading, doing research, and trying functional medicine protocols. Since I was doing it on my own, I would get some things right, but key things were still missing. But, I’ve kept on fighting, kept on searching, and kept on looking for a competent healthcare provider with whom to partner to help me on my quest.

When I turned 59 last year, I was referred to Dr. Lena Edwards by a wonderful nutritionist I was seeing. When Dr. Edwards and I first spoke, I knew I had found someone with great knowledge, a good attitude, perspective, and the tenacity I needed to accomplish my quest. After all my trials and errors, I was relieved to have finally found this new doctor who I could trust enough to partner with so we would uncover and correct the root causes of my health issues.

In just a few months of working with Dr. Edwards, my mental state and overall health and internal balance have improved. It’s so important to achieve balance between body, mind, and spirit because negativity in one or more of these creates imbalance in the others. Spirituality is an important piece of my overall well-being, and I feed mine through the power of the Biblical word. I’ve also taken direct steps to de-stress my mind, reevaluate toxic relationships, and create new opportunities to expand my knowledge and creativity. I’ve learned to love myself, and I remind myself daily about all the positive attributes I possess which allow me to contribute to those around me.

You can do anything if you visualize it and set a goal.

Here are some things I've learned and implemented in my life:

  1. If you have young children, parent them well. Parenting is hard but the most rewarding when you give love and structure, and when you are not afraid to say “no”. Give them the attention they desire in a positive and nurturing way.

  2. If your children have grown and gone, allow them to continue to grow and learn from their mistakes. You did your job. Love them, respect them, and allow them to make their own decisions and learn from with consequences. I know how hard it is to let go, but it’s essential for their growth, self- confidence, self-esteem and wisdom.

  3. Evaluate your family relationships and do your best to balance them.

  4. Stay active. This is so key, not only for your physical health but also because exercise improves your ability to deal with stress.

I am still religious about exercising and engaging in martial arts.

Here are some of the exercises I do to stay in shape:

1. I go for a walk/jog and perform my Tae Kwon Do kicks along the way.

I do squats at the stop signs and do bicep curls and kickbacks while fast pace walking. If you try this, you can alternate this work out with a period of slow waking during which time you raise your legs above your waist in an alternating fashion. I recommend doing a set of 10 on each side.

After I've completed the above step, I stop and bend one knee and lift the other leg 10 times to the rear as high as I can to work my glut muscles. I do this for several intervals along the way. If you plan to try this, I suggest beginning with at least 1 ½ miles and increasing over time.

2. After my walk, I do abdominal crunches, usually several sets of 10.

I sit down and stretch my legs in front of my, about 3 feet apart. I then bend forward as far as I can and rotate my waist so I can alternate touching my right and left toes. I do at least three sets ten of these on each side.

Once I’ve finished, I stretch out my arms and neck, put my legs together, and grab my toes…I love to feel that nice stretch.

3. Once I’ve finished my work out, I have at least 16 ounces glass of water or good quality protein shake.

4. Then, I take a nice shower with a great smelling body wash and relax. I take some quiet time to lift my spirits and self reflect.

During this time of social distancing, we should practice improving our mind, body, and spirit connection to get healthier. Hopefully, these new habits and thoughtfulness will persist long after our current threat has passed. Blessings!

Contributed by Jennifer Baur Bonaparte

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