heart health stress

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.














Matters of the Heart


The human heart is magnificent in many ways. It is no wonder that the heart has always been associated with human emotion.

Panic and fear often manifests as a wildly beating heart. Grief and sadness feels like a burden on the chest. Joy feels like the heart is soaring. Excitement causes the heart to beat faster. Seeing a loved one can feel like the heart is fluttering or experiencing a leap. We sometimes feel that we store special knowledge in our hearts.

Physically, your heart works very hard. It pumps approximately 2000 gallons (7571 liters) of blood every day.  That’s about 1 Million barrels of blood during the average lifetime. To achieve this, the heart beats more than 100,000 times a day.

The heart is really an electrical pump and can continue to beat when separated from the body, if there is a supply of oxygen. The thump-thump sound of the heartbeat is caused by the four valves of the four chambers closing.

The heart has the job of pumping blood to all 75 trillion cells of the body. Only the corneas of the eyes do not receive blood. A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s, typically. (Is that any surprise?)

Blood travels in a matter of seconds; six seconds to the lungs and back, eight seconds to the brain and back, and sixteen seconds to the toes and back. http://www.mercola.com/infographics/human-heart-facts.htm

Studies show there is a correlation between education and lowered risk of heart disease. Happiness and emotional vitality also correlate to lowered risk.

The Blue Whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds. The invention of the stethoscope was invented in 1816 by Rene Laennec, a young French doctor who was embarrassed to put his ear to the chest of a female patient to listen to her heart.  http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/21-amazing-facts-about-your-heart-infographic/

Because the heart is a muscle, as well as an electrical instrument, it needs to be nurtured with certain nutrients. There are specific B vitamins that are not commonly available in standard B complex that nourish the muscle of the heart. The electrical conductivity is also supported by whole food B vitamins, as well as nerve- supporting nutrients.

So, when I treat heart issues, I look for very different things than your cardiologist, because I am looking for healthy function, rather than disease. Hearts respond beautifully to the correct nutrients, even after the heart has been damaged or functions poorly.

Sometimes sleep difficulties are a sign that the heart needs nutrition, particularly if you feel your heart beating when you lie down at night.

Of course, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a heart attack, because quick intervention saves lives. What it does mean is that you can have the health of your heart evaluated early to prevent heart disease from developing. The heart function is also dependent on the strength of the adrenals, so healthy adrenals are vital. This explains why stress is a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition to wholefood B vitamins, the heart loves magnesium and the herb Hawthorn. Important factors also include balanced blood sugar and normal weight, with waist smaller than hips, to keep the heart strong and healthy.

My heart leaps for joy when I can help someone have a healthy heart. You probably know in your heart if your lifestyle is the best for the health of your heart. Yes, broken-down hearts can be mended, but why let it get to that point? If you have any symptoms that concern you, or hinder your life, come in for a heart check and let natural medicine help your heart last a lifetime. Cross my heart.



Frustrated with Feeling Stressed, Nervous, or Restless?

If this applies to you, there may be something you can do, without taking medication that will only mask the symptoms.

The body was designed for quick responses to stress. Something threatening appears, and the body goes into hyper-drive to avoid the danger. When the danger passes, the body should return to a set point of relaxation.

But when you have constant stressors, from deadlines, traffic, interrupted sleep, toxins, sugar and junk food and the emotional ups and downs of relationships, some people are living in a tornado of constant stress. The body never has a chance to relax and reset.

The body cannot differentiate between physical stress (tigers and traffic) or emotional stress (break-ups and arguments). Stress is stress is stress and the response, particularly from the adrenal glands, is the same. Cortisol is produced and excess cortisol will cause that hyped-up feeling of nervousness and anxiety. It will also interfere with sleep, make you crave sugar and carbs.

Too much cortisol in your system over time ruins your figure and causes weight gain around the middle. It may also cause muscle-wasting when it continues on over-drive.

The liver also does not function well. A congested liver, over-burdened with toxins, will not work correctly, and that can make you feel worried and anxious.

When humans ate organ meats like liver, brains and hearts of animals, they got plenty of B vitamins that are vital for adrenal function. Barley and brown rice grains have B’s, but they are high carb and will cause weight gain if you are not active enough to burn off the starch that turns into sugar when grains are digested.

One solution is to add Nutritional Yeast to your diet. It has a pleasant nutty taste, and can be added to shakes, soups or mixed in sauces. Nutritional yeast is gluten-free, full of B vitamins including B12, contains iron and is a complete protein. Brewer's yeast is another type of nutritional yeast with B vitamins. It is a by-product of beer production, and not gluten-free.

You can buy Nutritional Yeast at a Health Food Store or online.

Using Nutritional Yeast will take some time to work.  If you feel that the stress and anxiety is really making life difficult, there is more you can do. For a faster recovery to ease your stress add in Standard Process Cataplex B and Cataplex G. Together these provide a whole spectrum of natural B’s that you will not find in any other supplement on the planet. Commercial B complex only has 5-6 B’s, but Nature makes a couple of dozen B vitamins. All of them work together to give your body what it needs to perform vital functions and a lack of even one of the B’s can inhibit body function. Over time this can develop into a broken system.

We often make the mistake of expecting our body to “run on empty”. We neglect the nutrients that are needed and then wonder why we feel terrible, or get sick. If you want your body to stop being a source of distraction, pain and frustration, first give it the food source nutrients that make it work properly. If you aren’t providing all the vital minerals, vitamins and proteins, you cannot be surprised when things begin to break down. There is a Cause and Effect factor here, just as there is with maintaining your car or your house.

So, many of your uncomfortable sensations may be helped by getting your body better and providing what the body needs to heal and repair.

Helping you sort this out is what we do. From exercises to relieve muscle tension to detoxification programs to assessments to determine what you need to get your body parts working correctly, Natural medicine is the answer to your frustrations about how your body is treating you. Call us and find out how to get your body to chill so you can get on with your life.



Anne Dunev, PhD, C.N. has over twenty years experience helping people feel better by finding the root cause of what is not working well in the body. Addressing that with the correct natural and nutritional medicine is her strength. By restoring the function of specific parts of the body, thousands of people are living happier, healthier lives. Her office is located in Burbank, CA. Reach us at 818-562-1400.



Lower Blood Pressure Naturally


The standard advice for elevated blood pressure has been to reduce salt intake. However, salt is a vital mineral and the human body cannot function without salt.

Even if you reduce salt to a minimum, the salt content of the blood remains the same as someone who over-salts their food. The body maintains a consistent level of salt in the blood.

New research indicates that the benefits of cutting out salt are debatable, and may even increase your risk of heart disease. ?ttp://www.medicaldaily.com/sugar-hurts-heart-health-more-salt-mostly-heart-disease-and-blood-pressure-313780

Of course, no one is suggesting that you should eat processed or fast foods, which do contain levels of sodium that are off the charts. But salting your whole, natural foods to taste, with sea salt or Himalayan salt,  both of which contain other trace minerals, appears to be beneficial. And if your adrenals are weak, salt is even more vital. http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue_and_blood_pressure.asp

How can you safely lower your blood pressure? By reducing sugar. Eating 25% of your calories from sugar can triple your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Sugar causes inflammation which is more damaging to your arteries than salt.

Fruit sugar is not the culprit, although I suggest limiting your fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day to see if your body responds better. Fruit juice should be completely avoided. High fructose corn syrup and agave should never be used. Agave is just anther form of high fructose corn syrup, made from cactus.

Honey in moderation should not pose too much risk, and real maple syrup may be enjoyed. If you also have Diabetes, even these sweeteners should be used only in the smallest amounts.

Bread and other simple carbs like rice, oats, and corn also break down into sugar in the blood, so regard these as foods to avoid.

If you are on blood pressure medication, and you increase your healthy fats, and limit sugar and grains, you will have to monitor yourself carefully because your need for medication may diminish or cease altogether.  Work with your prescribing physician to adjust your medication accordingly.

One diet plan that you can try is the Ketogenic plan. It is Paleo to the extreme and will challenge all we have been taught about healthy eating. Ketogenic eating causes your body and brain to operate off ketones instead of glucose and it is how many people like Inuits (Eskimos) have eaten traditionally. The Inuits had no history of heart disease, cancer, obesity or Diabetes. So they were on to something! To calculate your ratio of carbs to fat to protein and calories you should consume, you can use the Ketogenic calculator. http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/  Check it out-you may be surprised what it says.

One factor in blood pressure appears to be the flexibility of our veins and arteries. Naturally aging and poor diet can make arteries stiff and brittle. Blueberries consumed daily appear to reduce inflammation, measured in blood work as C-reactive protein, and to reduce blood pressure over an eight-week period. Frozen blueberries may be used, so you may want to include blueberries as your daily serving or fruit.  http://www.medicaldaily.com/blueberries-may-help-control-blood-pressure-321276

My theory on aging is that it is all about keeping the body supple and hydrated, with water, good oils and minerals. How you eat has everything to do with how your feel and how well your body functions. We don’t treat our cars as badly as we do our bodies. A new car only becomes a vintage collectible when someone gives it the proper maintenance all its life!