Managing Parkinson’s Disease: Success in Amino Acid-based Therapy

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Health Science magazine, the member magazine of the National Health Association.

Csilla Veress, N.D., L.Ac is a Naturopathic doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California. She received her Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and her Doctorate in aturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. While in medical school, Dr. Veress completed a two-year internship in cancer research at Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center. She has completed additional training in Classical Homeopathy at the New England School of Homeopathy and advanced comprehensive neurotransmitter training at/from Institute of Neurotransmitter Science. Dr. Veress is passionate about preventative care, and emphasizes nutrition-based medicine. She implements natural hygiene and a Naturopathic medical approach, supporting patients to heal their bodies through lifestyle, food, and water fasting.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and debilitating neurological disorder that affects one million Americans and more than four million people worldwide. It is not known exactly what causes Parkinson’s disease (PD) and it is without a cure. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, PD affects more men than women (by 50%), and is found more often in older people (60 years old on average, although “early onset” can occur before age 50). Total risk is 2 to 5% unless a family member has a known gene for the disease.

Knowing exactly how many cases of PD exist is difficult (the estimate is about 50,000 a year in the U.S.) since in the early stages many people think that their symptoms reflect normal aging, so they don’t consult their doctors. Other health conditions may also present symptoms similar to PD (there is no definitive test to find out if someone has the disease).

Tremors in the arms or legs are considered the hallmark of Parkinson’s, though the disease inevitably progresses. As motor control diminishes, simple tasks like writing and walking are typically the first to go. Patients eventually become wheelchair-bound and suffer from dementia. But perhaps most disturbing is that Parkinson’s disease responds poorly to conventional therapy.

Click here to read the entire article as a PDF.

Unlocking Chronic Pain: The Mystery of the Trigger Point

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Health Science magazine, the member magazine of the National Health Association.

Gracie Yuen D.C. started seeking answers to her own health questions in the 1990s, including chronic respiratory infections, allergies, fatigue, and a genetic anemia. She read Fit for Life and started reading Health Science magazine cover to cover. Her own health turned around as she changed her diet, fasted, and rested. She then decided to obtain a B.S. degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and went on to complete a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from National University of Health Sciences in 2010.  She has been working at TrueNorth Health Center for five years. She credits Divine Providence with leading her on this remarkable journey and bringing her where she is today.

Chronic pain is a nemesis that afflicts many people. Consider these scenarios:

  • Ted, 72, has struggled with lower back pain for years. It prevents him from getting a good night's sleep, and when he walks or stands for just 10 minutes, he gets an excruciating pain down his right leg that makes standing difficult. X-rays showed that he had some lumbar stenosis, so he had back surgery that helped a little at first, but now his pain is worse.
  • Karla, 40, has been working in a lab hunched over a microscope, but now has so much neck and arm pain with numbness and tingling going down to her hands that she has had to go on disability. Along with taking pain medication, she struggles with depression and is now on an anti-depressant.
  • Don, 65, has been having more and more difficulty climbing stairs, and getting up and down from a chair due to chronic knee pain. His legs just feel weak. He was told that he has moderate osteoarthritis in his knees and that he needs to lose weight. Just doing his daily tasks is a chore.
  • Melinda, 32, was rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident five years ago, and has had terrible headaches, neck pain, and stiffness ever since. She also has poor concentration and difficulty finding her words. She has moved to part-time in her job as a legal secretary. Seeing a chiropractor helped her some at first, but she still struggles, especially with headaches.

What do these four individuals have in common? They all have a mysterious pain that remains long after having been to numerous conventional and alternative doctors and practitioners. They have tried everything they can think of, only to be left with their pain medications, which help some, but don’t get to the cause.

What they don't know is that there exists a very common but little known cause of pain that often lurks in the tissues and goes unnoticed during imaging or when lab tests are done. It has been studied and elucidated at great length by astute medical doctors of the past and present, but is largely neglected by the medical community of late.

This pain lurking in the tissues is not a serious condition, but it can completely hijack a life for long periods of time. Amazingly, it has a fairly straightforward remedy. When treated properly, the relief can be absolutely stunning. 

Let's explore chronic pain and, specifically, the cause of this little known mysterious and enigmatic pain, and what can be done about it.

Click here to read the entire article as a PDF, complete with detailed charts.

Dr. Goldhamer to Speak at Raw Health Expo

Dr. Goldhamer will be presenting at the Sonoma County Raw Health Expo on "Escaping the Pleasure Trap." The presentation will address the hidden force that undermines health and happiness. A major problem in conventional AND vegan diets are the inclusion of chemicals, including oil, sugar and salt that can compromise health. He explains how to avoid the dangers of a vegan diet and how to escape the dietary pleasure trap.

When: Sunday, July 24th at 1pm.
Where: Sebastopol Community Center in Sebastopol, CA

More information available here.


Meat Linked to Diabetes Risk

Type 2 Diabetes Associated with Increased Intake of Animal Foods.

The effects of diet and lifestyle on health are notoriously difficult to ascertain. In order to begin to tease out patterns, researchers measure many variables in order to account for confounding variables (ie, factors that also correlate to the thing being studied).

To further make research more difficult, huge numbers of people must be tracked in order to get enough data to make meaningful analyses.  The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study has followed 51,529 middle-aged (age 40–75 y at baseline) male health professionals. That’s more people than live in my hometown! Using data from the Health Professionals study, the researchers from Harvard University found a strong, positive association between a low carbohydrate diet high in animal protein and fat and incidence of type 2 diabetes.1

The study used data from 40,475 participants who were free of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the time they entered the study. Every four years, the biannual questionnaire mailed to the participants included a section that assessed dietary habits. Based on the responses in the questionnaires over 20 years, the participant’s diets were scored on their carbohydrate, fat and protein content.  The study also measured differences in protein and fat sources - whether they were of vegetable or animal origin.

After accounting for variables such as smoking status, family history, and body mass index that might also be associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes, the scientists found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes with a low carbohydrate diet high in animal protein and fat. However, a low carbohydrate diet high in vegetable protein and fat was not associated with onset of type 2 diabetes.

1Am J Clin Nutr 2011 93: 4 844-850

Vegan Diets Linked to Reduced Cataract Risk

This week, I was planning to write about recent research that found a strong, positive correlation between a diet including animal proteins and type 2 diabetes.  The study "Low-carbohydrate diet scores and risk of type 2 diabetes in men" was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. As I was reading through the articles, though, I found a number of articles in the current volume of the journal that support (albeit indirectly) a whole-food, plant-based diet. Here''s a few of the articles I found:

  • A high-fat diet impairs cardiac high-energy phosphate metabolism and cognitive function in healthy human subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition Vol: 93 Issue: 4 ISSN: 0002-9165 Date: 04/2011 Pages: 844 - 850.
    • This was a small study (n=16) of young males that compared a high fat diet (75 +/- 1% of calories) to a standard diet (23 +/- 1%). The researchers measured cardiac functions and cognitive functions. They found that the high fat diet decreased a major biomarker for cardiac function. They also found reduced cognitive abilities from the high fat diet. The real question to me is how did anyone manage to consume a diet with 75% of calories from fat...I can see why they had to use young males in the study.
  • High-protein, reduced-carbohydrate weight-loss diets promote metabolite profiles likely to be detrimental to colonic health: The American journal of clinical nutrition Vol: 93 Issue: 5 ISSN: 0002-9165 Date: 05/2011 Pages: 1062 - 1072
    • This study followed 17 obese men and put them on both a high protein, moderate carbohydrate diet and a high protein, low carbohydrate for 4 weeks at a time. The researchers concluded: "After 4 wk, weight-loss diets that were high in protein but reduced in total carbohydrates and fiber resulted in a significant decrease in fecal cancer-protective metabolites and increased concentrations of hazardous metabolites."
  • Diet, vegetarianism, and cataract risk: The American journal of clinical nutrition Vol: 93 Issue: 5 ISSN: 0002-9165 Date: 05/2011 Pages: 1128 - 1135
    • I found this study one of the more interesting because they had a large sample size (n=27,670). The results they published: "There was a strong relation between cataract risk and diet group, with a progressive decrease in risk of cataract in high meat eaters to low meat eaters, fish eaters (participants who ate fish but not meat), vegetarians, and vegans."

The last study in the list is just part of the growing body of large-scale evidence supporting the hypothesis that a whole-food, plant-based diet will lead to better health outcomes that a diet rich with animal foods and processed products. Hopefully I''ll get around to a more in-depth analysis of the type 2 diabetes study next week.

Understanding Diabetes

At TrueNorth Health Center we see many cases of type I and type II diabetes. Both types respond well to our diet and lifestyle recommendations, and type II diabetics often see reduction in symptoms by undergoing a medically-supervised water fast. While we recommend that everyone is medically supervised during a water fast, this is especially important for diabetics, as their blood sugar levels must be closely monitored.

If you have diabetes, as with any disease, it is important to understand what is happening in your body. The following videos give a brief introduction to the physiology of diabetes:

If you have diabetes and would like to find out if our services can help
you, give us at call 707-586-5555 for a free consultation.

Vegetarian Diet May Reduce Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors associated with stroke, diabetes, coronary heart disease. One of the primary indicators of metabolic syndrome is extra weight around the waist. The indications of metabolic syndrome are any three of the following: blood presssure greater than 130/85 mmHG, fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL, large waist circumference (40+ in for men, 35+ in for women), HDL cholesterol under 40 mg/dL for men or 50 mg/dL for women, or triglyercides greater than 150 mg/dL. A diagnosis of MetS indicates that you are at much greater risk of stroke, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Researchers at Loma Linda University found that a vegetarian diet was associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.  The study, published in March issue of DiabetesCare, analyzed 773 subjects in the Adventist Health Study 2. Subjects self reported their dietary habits via a food questionnaire (vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or non-vegetarian).  This data was used to determine association between diet and risk factors (HDL, triglyercides, glucose, blood pressure, and waist circumference).

When compared to the non-vegetarians, vegetarians had lower means of the risk factors, except for HDL, and they had lower risk of Metabolic Syndrome.

Study Suggests Routine Fasting May Affect Heart Health

Research by doctors and scientists at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT revealed metabolic changes during fasting that could be linked to better health. The most recent study confirmed their finding from an earlier study that was published in the October 2008 Journal of Cardiology. The original study found a correlation between the fasting behavior of members of the Latter Day Saints church and reduced risk of Coronary Artery Disease.  The study says,

"[The fact that LDS do not smoke and exercise regularly] allows for the possibility that fasting may simply be the best surrogate for a cluster of low-risk behaviors, including unmeasured factors. However, fasting behavior was reported by some with religious preferences other than LDS, and in these subjects, an association of large effect size was found (77% lower risk of CAD). This suggested that the observed benefit arose from fasting and not from a cluster of religion-associated behaviors. In addition, it was unlikely that the other behaviors (at least the measured ones) accounted for the fasting benefit because they were all eliminated when statistical modeling included them with fasting."

The most recent study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal (at least that I have found), but several news sources picked up the press release from the Intermountain Medical Center. According to the press release:

"Unlike the earlier research by the team, this new research recorded reactions in the body's biological mechanisms during the fasting period. The participants' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, the 'bad' cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the 'good' cholesterol) both increased (by 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively) raising their total cholesterol and catching the researchers by surprise. ... This recent study also confirmed earlier findings about the effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH), a metabolic protein. HGH works to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men."

The results of these studies is no surprise. At TrueNorth we've fasted thousands of people over the past many years, and heart disease is one condition that consistently responds to a fasting protocol. For more information about the research on fasting that we've done, click here.


Case Study: Treatment of Appendicitis Without Drugs or Surgery

At TrueNorth Health, we see a variety of unique patient cases. Recently, our medical team treated a case of subacute appendicitis with medically supervised water only fasting followed by diet and lifestyle modifications. This patient recovered from the appendicitis, and the results are presented in the attached case study. A Case of Nonpharmacologic Conservative Management of Suspected Uncomplicated Subacute Appendicitis in an A...