Supplement of the Month: Botanicalm PM & Cerenity

This month we are introducing two supplements by Orthomolecular Products that we carry at TWIHW.

Botanicalm PM*is formulated to induce the relaxation needed to support better sleep for those experiencing temporary sleeplessness.  The formula includes valerian root, a well-known herb used to help with sleep-related issues and to produce a state of relaxation.  Passionflower and jujube have been used historically to produce a state of relaxation and have been used in those with overstimulation and scattered thoughts.  L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, supports resilience to stress by increasing alpha brain wave activity.  Hops strobile extract works in synergy with these ingredients to naturally reduce stress and induce sleep.

Cerenity* is designed to address daily stress by increasing production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.  Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that regulate mood, memory, sleep cycle and daily stress.  High levels of stress, dietary deficiencies, genetic factors, medications and toxins all play a role in neurotransmitter depletion and imbalance.  The nutrients in Cerenity support healthy neurotransmitter levels for balancing the stress response.  L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has been shown to quickly improve stress perception and resilience.  PharmaGABA, a patented and naturally sourced form of GABA, has been shown to promote relaxation in the central nervous system. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid intermediate that is directly converted into the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin.  Taurine is an amino acid that activates GABA receptors. Inositol is crucial for the release of neurotransmitters from within nerve cells.  The essential micronutrients included in Cerenity aid in the synthesis of serotonin and GABA.  The support of these neurotransmitters helps promote a relaxed mental state, positive outlook and restful sleep cycle.

 

*These statements have been provided from OrthoMolecular Products practitioner catalog. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

By | 2018-03-25T11:51:36+00:00 March 16th, 2018|General|0 Comments

CBD Oil

cbd

CBD oil

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a hemp-derived phytocannabinoid found in agricultural hemp.  It is being recognized for many promising, safe and beneficial effects on human and animal health in nearly every biological process and gaining recognition as a natural and safe way to address many health issues.

Despite common misconception, hemp and marijuana come from two different varieties of Cannabis sativa.  Though the industrial hemp plant does contain low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)¹, the psychedelic substance in marijuana, the levels are so significantly less that they would not cause any reaction in humans. Agricultural hemp is one of the most commercially important plants and is used to make textiles, soaps, oils, food products, paper and sustainable fuel. It is in this plant that Cannabidiol (CBD) is in high concentration and the oil can be properly extracted to be used for health benefits. It is a legal substance in Texas with no negative effects. (be sure to check the laws in your state and note that this article is about hemp derived CBD and NOT marijuana derived CBD)

CBD Oil has been shown to have significant health benefits through promoting homeostasis, or balance, in the body. Benefits include:

  • Reduction of inflammation and pain
  • Reduction or prevention of nausea and vomiting
  • Calming of the GI tract
  • Reduces neural excitability, improving peripheral neuropathic pain
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Decreases seizure activity
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti -Oxidant
  • Promotes elimination of DNA-damaged cells

Our CBD oil is made by CV Sciences. Their extraction process is solvent-free using non-chemical CO2. Their state-of-the-art, EU-certified, ISO certified laboratory uses a 7 step, full traceability from seed to shelf, with internal tests for pesticides, contaminants, heavy metals, and solvents as well as third party testing to ensure the highest quality hemp-derived CBD oil product.

How Does CBD Oil Work in Your Body, and How Can it Benefit You?

CBD is a type of cannabinoid, and our brains are already wired up to respond to them. There are special receptor sites to which cannabinoids bind in places like the brain, other organs and the immune system. When cannabinoids bind to these receptor sites, they have influence over some part of the function or activity of what this site controls.

Research has shown that the way CBD interacts with these receptor sites can have beneficial influences. In addition, it seems that adding CBD to your everyday diet can have a positive impact on general health and well-being. There are many reasons to make CBD oil part of your diet, from its richness in omega-3 to its role as a natural source of amino acids.

¹THC, the compound found in marijuana and still illegal in many places, causes psychotropic and psychotoxic effects, specifically the euphoric high for which marijuana is known.  Marijuana is specifically bred to have high levels of THC in the plant (and much less CBD) and there are negative implications and recognized correlations to its use with psychological disorders.

 

By | 2017-08-05T09:31:34+00:00 August 5th, 2017|Articles, General|0 Comments

Unusual Signs and Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function

By Mila McManus MD

thyroidMany of you out there know some of the common symptoms of low thyroid function, such as fatigue, weight gain, constipation, headaches, hair loss, depression, and cold intolerance.  I’ve also explained to many of you how the thyroid functions in the body.  Think of this gland as your engine.  If your engine is too ‘revved up’ (i.e., hyperthyroid), bodily functions will be overactive, such as overactive nerves causing jitters, shakiness, anxiety, fast heart rate, palpitations, and high blood pressure. Bowels may be overactive causing excessive bowel movements or loose stools.  Temperature gets higher, metabolism gets faster, and so on.  If your engine slows down (i.e., hypothyroid), bodily functions slow down.  Energy gets lower, brain function gets slower, mood is lower, bowels are slower, pain threshold is lower, temperature is lower, metabolism is slower, and so on.  It’s also important to note that some symptoms can occur on either end of the spectrum.  For instance, you can be tired if thyroid function is low or high.  You can lose weight or gain weight on both ends of the spectrum.  You can be shedding hair when thyroid is under-active or overactive.  And also noteworthy: 1) symptoms can vary, such as you may have normal bowel function, but have other symptoms of low thyroid, and 2) having normal thyroid labs does NOT mean that your thyroid is functioning adequately. (You can read about that here.)  Moreover, there are many factors that affect how well your thyroid functions at the cellular level, including diet, gut health, stress, toxins, vitamin deficiencies, and imbalance of other hormones in the body.

Having said all of that, today I wanted to share some less well known signs and symptoms that may indicate a thyroid problem:

  • High cholesterol
  • Anxiety
  • Dry patches on elbows
  • Slow speech
  • Fluid retention
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Insomnia
  • Severe menstrual cramps
  • Downturned mouth
  • Acne
  • Twitching of the eyelid
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Dizziness
  • Mild elevation of liver enzymes
  • Gallstones
  • Recurrent bladder infections

If you think you may have low or suboptimal thyroid function, you can test yourself here with our online symptom checker.

References:
Dr. Pamela Smith lecture at A4M conference 2015

 

 

 

 

 

By | 2016-10-04T08:03:19+00:00 October 4th, 2016|Articles, General|0 Comments

Methylene-Tetra-Hydro-huh?

By Dyvette Warren, PA-C

Edited by Mila McManus MD

MTHFR

Beginning in the womb, and throughout your life, your personal health and happiness, mental capabilities, and propensity for disease are heavily influenced by genetic as well as non-genetic factors, including DNA mutations, nutrition, exposure to microorganisms and toxins, stress, and other environmental conditions.

If you suffer with, or have a history of, migraines, depression, insomnia, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, chemical sensitivities, arthritis, pain, IBS(irritable bowel syndrome), heart disease, stroke, DVT(deep venous thrombosis, ie: blood clot), pulmonary embolism(blood clot in the lungs), side effects with hormones (e.g., birth control pills), miscarriages, autism, birth defects, failure to thrive, anemia, epilepsy, psychosis, ADD/ADHD, seizures, or take prescription medication, particularly those for cancer and autoimmune disorders, we highly recommend that you get tested for an MTHFR gene mutation. This is a piece of the healthcare puzzle that can be treated.

What does the MTHFR gene do?

MTHFR gene provides instruction for making an enzyme called methyl tetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme helps amino acids form proteins and influences detoxification efficiency and production of neurotransmitters. A mutated MTHFR gene produces defective enzymes that may perform only 20% – 70% as well as the non-mutated version, depending on the type of mutation.

You ability to effectively break down toxins and eliminate heavy metals, including copper, will be limited. High copper levels deplete zinc levels which can be related to ADHD, depression, headaches, acne, frequent colds, worsening thyroid function, sensitive skin, easy bruising, adrenal stress and more. High copper levels also make it difficult to raise iron levels. Supplementing with Vitamin C and Zinc can help to detoxify and reduce copper levels. Consult with your functional medicine specialist before starting supplements.

A high homocysteine level may develop with an MTHFR mutation, thereby increasing your risk for heart disease, blood clots, stroke, elevated blood pressure, dementia, psychosis, and seizures. A thorough history, along with MTHFR testing, is recommended if you have a high homocysteine level or a history of any of the above listed diseases.

With MTHFR mutation, homocysteine has a difficult time converting to glutathione, the body’s main detoxifier and antioxidant. This contributes to a buildup of toxins and heavy metals in the body.

Also with MTHFR mutation, your body will have reduced capability of converting the inactive forms of folate (folic acid) and B12(cobalamin) into active forms called methyl-folate and methyl-cobalamin.

The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry states that, “Schizophrenia-like syndromes, Bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia have all been associated with one or more of the mutations of the MTHFR gene”.

It is likely that MTHFR DNA variation may affect the response to many different medications that affect brain function. Long term use of methotrexate, for example, is associated with elevated homocysteine levels and methotrexate toxicity in patients with MTHFR mutation. We recommend knowing your MTHFR status prior to starting any type of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy neurotoxicity is highly associated with MTHFR mutation. Proper supplementation and future treatment options will need to be discussed with your functional medicine specialist and oncologist once your MTHFR status is known.

Treatment

Although you can’t change this defective gene, you can help it do its job more effectively.

Repairing your digestive system, including optimizing your gut flora (ie blend of microbes in your gut), should be the first step in improving your health.

Methyl-cobalamin and methyl-folate are additional treatment which will be used by your body for detoxing. You may need to start with a low dose to avoid detox effects such as fatigue, muscle pain, headache, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, achiness, etc. Always consult with a functional medicine specialist prior to starting therapy. Click here to read about Active B-Complex by Prothera.

Avoid toxins, including those absorbed through the skin. Look at household cleaning supplies and wear gloves when using chemicals for cleaning. Check your lotions, soaps and deodorants. Use aluminum free deodorants, and use soaps and lotions with the fewest ingredients. We are now offering Pure & Simple Bar soap at our TWIHW facility and it’s just that! You can also visit http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ which is a database where you can discover what toxic chemicals are in your cosmetics, lotions, and sunscreen products.

Eat healthfully and organic when possible, avoid processed food, don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake. These measures will help to decrease toxins in the body and will leave the methylation cycle free for other important functions.

There are more than 40 different MTHFR mutations that can be passed down from your mother and/or father. Only two of these are known to be particularly problematic: C677T and A1298C. You might also hear the words homozygous and heterozygous when discussing MTHFR mutations. Homozygous means that you inherited a mutation from your mother AND your father and, therefore, have both copies of the defective gene. Heterozygous means that you inherited the mutation from either your mother or your father and, therefore, have only one copy of the defective gene. If you already know that you have an MTHFR gene mutation, consider having your children’s status tested.

MTHFR testing is offered several ways at our facility (prices are subject to change):

  • Saliva test kit that you do yourself at home and mail into the lab. This test is $125 and tests for C677T and the A1298C mutations as well as for another mutation called COMT which is also associated with mood disorders and dementia.
  • Add-on test at Spectracell Laboratories when ordering a nutrient analysis. The add-on price is $40 and tests for C677T and A1298C.
  • MTHFR can also be ordered through Quest lab who will attempt to bill your insurance; however, we’ve found that many insurance companies will not cover the test and this would result in Quest billing you, the patient, ~$400.

 

References:
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/
http://mthfr.net/mthfr-research/2012/01/27/
BMS Neurology, Effect of MTHFR
US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health
Genetics Home Reference, Your Guide to Understanding Genetic Conditions
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
American Heart Association
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Holisticprimarycare.net
New England Journal of Medicine
Journal of Human Genetics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By | 2017-03-01T17:36:12+00:00 November 4th, 2015|Articles, General|0 Comments

Magnesium-The Antidote to Stress

magnesium for stressThink of magnesium as the relaxation mineral.

Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.

This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.

Much of modern life conspires to help us lose what little magnesium we do get in our diet. Magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in colas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other drugs, and some intestinal parasites. In fact, in one study in Kosovo, people under chronic war stress lost large amounts of magnesium in their urine.

Food high in magnesium: Kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic

  • The RDA (the minimum amount needed) is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg.
  • Some may need much more depending on their condition.
  • Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
  • The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate, taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.
  • One potential side effect is diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate or a topical form.
  • Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a good way to absorb and get much needed magnesium.

People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor’s supervision.

The above is taken from: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/20/magnesium-the-most-powerful-relaxation-mineral-available/#close

By | 2015-04-23T12:40:49+00:00 April 23rd, 2015|Articles, General|0 Comments

Causes of Anxiety You May Not Know About

anxietyBy Mila McManus MD

Are you anxious and don’t know why? Is your anxiety disproportionately high relative to the situation? Have you developed social anxiety? Let’s face it. We ALL have stressors in our lives, whether it’s related to work, family, finances, health, or the weather. We don’t all, however, react to our environments the same way.   When you see a ‘conventional’ doctor about your anxiety symptoms, you’re likely to be prescribed a drug such as Lexapro, Klonopin, Xanax, or the like. These medications may provide relief, but they certainly bring with them many potential side effects, and the risk of physical dependence. Moreover, they aren’t addressing the underlying cause(s) of your anxiety. Did you know:

  • A common, but frequently overlooked cause of anxiety is progesterone deficiency (aka estrogen dominance). Click here to test yourself for estrogen dominance and other hormonal imbalances.
  • Another common, but frequently overlooked cause of anxiety is adrenal fatigue. Click here to test yourself for adrenal fatigue symptoms and other hormonal imbalances.
  • Magnesium is an important mineral for the body and is a common deficiency. It may be that a person isn’t eating magnesium-rich foods, or that a person isn’t absorbing magnesium adequately due to an unhealthy gut (click here to test yourself for unhealthy gut), or that magnesium is being depleted due to a side effect of a medication, such as an anti-acid or a diuretic (“water pill”).
  • Low testosterone levels can cause anxiety. Click here to test yourself for low testosterone symptoms.
  • Deficiency in B vitamins contributes to anxiety. B vitamins are necessary to help clear the body of adrenalin, a neurotransmitter released in times of stress.
  • Neurotransmitter (brain chemical) imbalance or depletion contributes to anxiety. Amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters. If you aren’t eating the diet sufficient to provide dietary amino acids, you won’t be able to produce adequate neurotransmitters. In addition, certain medications, particularly anti-acids, block absorption of amino acids.
  • If your GI tract isn’t healthy, it will affect your serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter. While serotonin is a brain chemical, the vast majority is made in the gut. Unhealthy gut equals unhealthy production of serotonin.
  • Anxiety is NOT a Xanax deficiency.

As you can see, anxiety can be caused by numerous hormonal imbalances/deficiencies, vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies, and gut issues, among other factors. Call us today at 281-298-6742 and let us help resolve your anxiety.

By | 2015-04-14T15:36:58+00:00 April 13th, 2015|Articles, General|0 Comments

Supplement of the Month: Help with Depression and Anxiety

happyThere are a number of supplements that can be very helpful in supporting our mental health and function. Combined with improving the diet, getting regular exercise, balancing hormones, controlling chronic pain, getting adequate sleep, balancing gut flora (microorganisms), and other non-pharmaceutical approaches to treating depression and anxiety, here is a list of several supplements we frequently use at The Woodlands Institute:

 L-Theanine is an amino acid compound found in green tea and is noted for its ability to relax and calm, while improving focus without causing drowsiness.

 5-HTP is extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia plant, a shrub principally found in West African countries, and is an amino acid derivative that’s an immediate precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) produced both in the intestinal tract and the brain and is important for promoting calmness and sleep in addition to alleviating depression. It can also be helpful in reducing carbohydrate cravings and supporting healthy eating patterns. 5-HTP should not be taken with antidepressants without medical supervision.

 L-Tyrosine is also an amino acid found in the human body that is a precursor for both thyroid hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. These neurotransmitters are needed to support stress response mechanisms, mood, and our ability to concentrate.

Other important supplements we commonly recommend to support mental/brain health include fish oil or krill oil, vitamin D, magnesium, and B-complex.

Discuss with your healthcare provider which supplement(s) may benefit you. We highly recommend medical supervision for use with all of these supplements.

*The product information provided is for educational purposes and is not intended as either diagnosis or treatment of any disease, nor does it replace professional medical advice.  (The FDA makes us say that)
*Warning: Please consult a health care professional before using these products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By | 2015-01-03T08:31:45+00:00 January 2nd, 2015|Articles, General|0 Comments

Causes of Anxiety You May Not Know About

by Mila McManus MD

Are you anxious and don’t know why? Is your anxiety disproportionately high relative to the situation? Have you developed social anxiety? Let’s face it. We ALL have stressors in our lives, whether it’s related to work, family, finances, health, or the weather. We don’t all, however, react to our environments the same way. When you see a ‘traditional’ doctor about your anxiety symptoms, you’re likely to be prescribed a drug such as Lexapro, Klonopin, Xanax, or the like. These medications may provide relief, but they certainly bring with them many potential side effects, and the risk of physical dependence. Moreover, they aren’t addressing the underlying cause of your anxiety. Did you know:

  • A common, but frequently overlooked cause of anxiety is progesterone deficiency (aka estrogen dominance). Click HERE to test yourself for estrogen dominance and other hormonal imbalances.
  • Another common, but frequently overlooked cause of anxiety is adrenal fatigue. Click HERE to test yourself for adrenal fatigue symptoms and other hormonal imbalances.
  • Magnesium is an important mineral for the body and is a common deficiency. It may be that a person isn’t eating magnesium-rich foods, or that a person isn’t absorbing magnesium adequately due to an unhealthy gut (click HERE to test yourself for unhealthy gut), or that magnesium is being depleted due to a side effect of a medication, such as an anti-acid or a diuretic (“water pill”).
  • Low testosterone levels can cause anxiety.
  • Deficiency in B vitamins contributes to anxiety. B vitamins are necessary to help clear the body of adrenalin, a neurotransmitter released in times of stress.
  • Neurotransmitter (brain chemical) imbalance or depletion contributes to anxiety. Amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters. If you aren’t eating the diet sufficient to provide dietary amino acids, you won’t be able to produce adequate neurotransmitters. In addition, certain medications, particularly anti-acids, block absorption of amino acids.
  • If your GI tract isn’t healthy, it will affect your serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter. While serotonin is a brain chemical, the vast majority is made in the gut. Unhealthy gut equals unhealthy production of serotonin.
  • Anxiety is NOT a Xanax deficiency.

In summary, anxiety can be caused by numerous hormonal imbalances/deficiencies, vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies, and gut issues. Our business is detecting and correcting the underlying causes of symptoms and disease. Call 281-298-6742 today or click here and let us help resolve your anxiety.

 

 

 

By | 2018-05-21T14:10:05+00:00 June 11th, 2014|Articles, General|0 Comments