Anxiety and Thyroid Health

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So what is anxiety? It's actually a protective mechanism. Like pain, it keeps you safe when danger is near. Anxiety motivates you to accomplish goals. Some people have a hard time turning off the feeling of anxiety. Others the severity shoots up so high and fast that they experience panic attacks.

So what can you do? Well, I wish I could tell you that there was a single pill that could solve all your troubles. Anxiety is a complicated, chronic problem. This means it ultimately has many causes both involving the mind and body.

At my last community talk, I reviewed the anxiety - hormone connection. 

The thyroid hormones are where I like to look first. If your thyroid is out of balance, you could experience a range of symptoms like anxiety, heart palpitations, foggy memory, low mood, sensitivities to temperature changes, and even constipation.

Blood tests are routinely run to evaluate your thyroid health. So often many people are told their thyroid function is fine, even though they are experiencing symptoms of low thyroid. This is because TSH is most often the only marker of thyroid health run. This is actually not your active thyroid hormone! I commonly see this marker normal with other markers out of balance. I prefer to get the whole picture so at a minimum I always run at least 2 markers to assess thyroid health. A complete thyroid panel runs at least 6 + markers. 


Comprehensive Thyroid Panel
Thyroid stimulating hormone - TSH
Storage thyroid hormone - free T4
Active thyroid hormone - free T3
Thyroid peroxidase antibody
Thyroglobulin antibody
Reverse T3

At the very least, the active thyroid markers should be checked. 

Another thing I want you to know is that "normal" is not "optimal". So many people with thyroid symptoms have blood markers that are "normal". We call this a functional thyroid problem and we have many tools to "optimize" the thyroid.

I like to always use food first.  Brazil nuts is one functional food packed with selenium. This nutrient is important for thyroid hormone production.

It can be overwhelming thinking of all the steps needed for recovery. This often prevents us from taking the first step.

If you are feeling trapped from anxiety, I want you to know recovering from anxiety naturally is possible!

Dr. Nathan Jeffery, ND, BSc.

Reducing stress before burnout

Are you just getting back into your work or school routine and feeling like the stresses are already adding up? You may want to be proactive and stop stress now.

When we experience stress, our bodies secrete hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These are very important and help us adapt to life's stresses. The problem is that we often remain in a state of high stress for weeks to months which can interfere with many of the bodies natural processes.

Stress can result in or contribute to:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Increased susceptibility to colds and infections
  5. Memory and concentration problems
  6. Blood sugar regulation problems
  7. Sleep problems
  8. Weight gain
  9. At its extreme -Burnout

What people also don't think to much about is that stress can result from mental and physical sources. Stress is also cumulative and the body can not define good vs. bad stress. Therefore a positive event like wedding or a job promotion will also add to your overall stress load. 

Here is the good news. Stress is highly treatable if addressed early. Depending on one's specific situation, I use combination of high quality herbs, nutrient support, hydrotherapy and mental coping strategies to help support your physiology during demanding periods.

Of course there are many things you can do now to reduce stress such as regular exercise, getting outdoors, laughing and mindfulness meditation.

We are all susceptible to stress and burnout, but being proactive will help keep you vital and strong through life's ups and downs.

Dr. Nathan Jeffery ND, BSc.

Ozone Therapy

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Ozone therapy is the use of medical grade ozone, a highly reactive form of pure oxygen, to create a curative response in the body. The body has the potential to renew and regenerate itself. When it becomes sick it is because this potential has been blocked. The reactive properties of ozone stimulate the body to remove many of these impediments thus allowing the body to do what it does best – heal itself.

From a biomedical perspective, the therapeutic benefits of ozone may be broadly understood as: oxygenation, sterilization/detoxification and regeneration.

From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, oxygenation relates to the treatment of Blood Stasis. Sterilization relates to the treatment of Toxic Heat. And thirdly, regeneration relates to the treatment of Deficiency of Qi.

How is medical ozone therapy delivered?

Ozone is generated, in office, using an ozone generator which turns pure oxygen into ozone of a particular concentration.

Injection therapies are an acupuncture system that incorporates neuroscience and European medical science into its clinical applications for pain management, orthopedic conditions, and internal medicine. Ozone applied by injection into joints and muscles is called Prolozone.

Inhaled Ozone: Inhaled ozone is bubbled through olive oil prior to inhalation via nasal tubing that inserts into the nostrils. The gas released after passing through the bubbler no longer contains ozone gas, but contains a high percentage of ozonides. Ozonides react with the lung and nasal/sinus membranes and have a strong sterilization effect on fungal and bacterial infection in the sinuses and lungs. The ozonides are also absorbed into the blood stream for a systemic effect. The effects of inhaled ozone on dental pain are outstanding and indicates that sinus issues and infection have a major role in dental pain.

Ear Ozone Application: Ear ozone is applied by means of an ear ozone stethoscope. The ozone is run through a bubbler system filled with water prior to being introduced to the ear canal. The ear application is very effective for dental issues, ear infections, sinus infections, swollen tonsils and throat infections. Also, tinnitus, meniere’s, brain ‘fog’, brain cancer are treated with ear ozone applications.

Dr. Sterling Desmond Dr. TCM, Reg. Acupuncturist, is accepting patients for ozone and prolozone therapy

Hidden Food Sensitivities

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You may also be wondering what is a food sensitivity or intolerance? This is a term used to group any abnormal reaction to foods. This may include:

  • IgG sensitivities: Slow acting immune reactions leading to gut problems, mental fog and much more. This is in contrast to the true allergy which can be an emergency situation.

  • Lack of enzymes to break down a food as seen in a lactose intolerance. This can be due to genetics or problems with the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

  • Histamine Intolerance: Build up of histamine or other byproduct found in food. This can produce skin rashes, flushing anxiety, and vertigo symptoms.

  • Abnormal reactions to food additives like pesticides, sulfites, amines and nitrates.

  • Abnormal reactions due to underlying Candida or bacterial overgrowth. Some bacteria will feed off food producing gas or acid reflux.

The above are called hidden food sensitivities because they are often hard to uncover. They can also be a complicating factor in many chronic health conditions.

In adults I often see these contributing to leaky gut and inflammation. In kids, I often see skin rashes like eczema and behavior/mood improvements. I have also seen weight loss and even improvement in blood sugar control. 

Certain dietary practices can lead to food sensitivities as well.  You may have heard me talk about the ketogenic diet. It can be a fantastic diet when planned well. After a few months, however, we find that many develop a food sensitivity to coconut oil or other popular foods on the ketogenic diet. This can lead to a feeling a little laggy after a few months on the diet. So if you plateau on keto this is an avenue to look further into!

As you can see food sensitivities include a vast collection of challenges. Addressing your food sensitivities can have far-reaching benefits to both our gut and overall wellness.

New blood test could help prevent heart attacks | Fox Business Video

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Heart disease is a silent illness and often the first symptom is a heart attack. You can use lifestyle and family history as a predictor of a future cardiac event. To make this even more confusing half of those that experience a heart attack will have normal cholesterol. We need better ways to evaluate for heart disease and future risk. The PULS cardiac test looks at biomarkers in your blood at are present early in the development of heart disease. When elevated you can determine the degree of risk and establish a nutritionally based program to reduce the numbers. Over time you can monitor these markers giving you unbiased feedback on your treatment. Follow the link to a fox news video that explains the PLUS cardiac test that we use at our clinic. 

Low Carb and Keto For Weight Managment

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What I have realized this that everyone's experience with going keto / low carb is different. Some of the main changes I see are a reduction in blood sugar, sustainable weight loss, improved energy and mental clarity. I would also love to hear your story with the keto diet as I likely can learn from your successes!

At my last talk, we got a lot of great feedback and questions! I thought it would be good to go over some highlights and common questions about keto for weight managment. 

  • The ketogenic diet is a physiological diet achieved by decreasing simple carbohydrates and increasing healthy fats. 
  • When carbs are reduced to a certain level your metabolism begins to transition to using fat as its primary fuel source. 
  • Fats are used to make ketones in the liver. Ketones are used to make energy, lots of energy!
  • Your body runs a bit differently on ketones and at first actually has to learn how to use them! This can take a few days to months. Everyone is different depending on age, genetics and health. During this time it's important to take it easy. Some people call this the keto flu. We do not fully understand what causes it though. Some say it's because of detoxification while others say its the changes in water distribution and kidney function. 
  • Get around the keto flu by drinking lots of water with electrolytes (unless you cannot for medical reasons). Also eating lots of fresh vegetables will help because they are full of natural and highly bioavailable vitamins and minerals. 
  • In regards to weight loss, we see lots of variation. Most often I see a more of a faster loss of about 5 to 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks. Then less dramatic but sustainable losses over the following months. I have also seen many dramatic changes.
  • Having a good support system seems to be key. 
  • For weight loss, I do not like to focus on calories. This is because not all calories are created equal. For example, a calorie of carbs does not equal a calorie of healthy fat. I prefer focusing on educating a patient on what good keto food looks like. That said sometime we may need to review your macronutrient and calories if things are not going as expected. Eating too little can be a problem for some too. This highlights the importance of individualism in health. Interestingly most people report feeling less hungry on the keto diet so they tend to eat fewer calories. 
  • Low dietary fiber is a very common problem in our society. It can be easy to not get enough fiber on the keto diet. Fiber is found in vegetables. It helps to slow sugar absorption in the body. It helps make you feel full and go longer between meals. It feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut which will support weight management and cravings! So make sure you are eating your veggies along with your fats.
  • To increase your fiber intake eat vegetables with all your main meals. Salads are great!
  • Many people report to that they do not like eating fats due to the oily texture. To get around this cover all you vegetables liberally in fats. Avacado oil, olive oil and MCTs are good choices. Add fresh herbs for flavor. Whip to make a creamy dressing or dips. 
  • A well-rounded keto meal is approximately 60 to 70% of your plate vegetables covered mostly in healthy fats like olive oil. A palm-size seving protein like beef, chicken, pork, or salmon. 
  • One other interesting thing that often occurs is that many feel a reduction in body size but their weight does not seem to reflect this. This may be due to changes in the other body tissues like bone or muscle. This may be because of an increase in human growth hormone. I will talk more about this in the future!

I look forward to hearing about your health journey with the keto diet.

In Health,

Dr. Jeffery, ND