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Supporting your Thyroid Gland

In Dr. Morgan Camp, Thyroid Health on September 17, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , , , , ,

Supporting Your Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands to support in the quest for achieving optimal health.  It brings vitality and energy to your life and runs every metabolic process in your body.  Symptoms of sub-optimal thyroid health include a huge laundry list of symptoms ranging from constipation, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, and depression to odd complaints like random tendon pain, poor recovery from work-outs, frequent urination at night and a hoarse voice.  And, while hypothyroidism is becoming an epidemic in this country, there are many things you can do to help improve your thyroid health whether you take thyroid meds or not!

  • Keep your Adrenals Healthy: Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and are your bodies control center for responding to stress. The adrenals control your “fight or flight response” and the output of adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones in response to a stressful event. Long term stress whether from work, toxins, relationships issues, and financial difficulties all have the same negative impact your adrenal health.  Because the two systems are intertwined and produce the majority of your sex hormones, your thyroid gland will not work effectively if your adrenal system is functioning poorly.

We offer many different plans and strategies to help you heal your adrenals if you feel chronically fatigued and stressed out.  In the meantime, don’t forget the importance of rest and relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, having fun, and taking time for yourself.  Reducing stress should be on the top of your list for optimizing your health.

  • Improve your Digestive Health:  Your thyroid needs strong nutritional support.  If your gut is frequently inflamed and aching, if you have trouble with gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation or any chronic signs and symptoms that your gut is not functioning properly, you may not be absorbing the nutrients essential for your thyroid gland to thrive.  Functional medicine and digestive health is one of our specialties.  Please don’t wait for your thyroid and other hormonal and structural systems to crash because you are not absorbing food correctly.

We offer comprehensive GI and food allergy testing. Come in and see Dr. Camp or Marya Grosse, FNP if you need a work up for digestive complaints.

  • Avoid fluorine, chlorine and bromine but add iodine!:  Your thyroid hormones are heavily laden with the element iodine.  In fact, it is well documented that the correct form of Iodine is critical to your thyroid production.  (Unfortunately, iodized table salt is NOT the bio-available iodine needed).  Iodine, as well as fluorine, chlorine and bromine are all a particular type of chemical called a halogen.  Halogens are highly reactive and weighted similarly.  Therefore, they compete with each other for cell receptor sites.  What this means is that if a particular cell or enzyme needs iodine (which the thyroid does), chlorine or fluorine may bind to these cells instead.  Therefore, if you drink water with chlorine or fluorine in it, for example, your thyroid hormones may have these rogue halogens attached to them instead of iodine, rendering your thyroid hormone useless for cellular use!    Your active thyroid hormone needs an exact number of iodine to activate your cellular sites. Bromine is commonly found in processed foods with white flour.  If you didn’t have another reason to avoid processed wheat products, you have one now!

Quick fix:  get yourself a quality carbon water filter system that removes both chlorine and fluorine from your home drinking water and avoid processed baked goods that may have bromine in it!  Talk to us about the dosage of iodine in the correct form necessary to support your thyroid and increase your usable, thyroid friendly iodine halogen!

  • Selenium and Zinc:  These are two of the most important nutrients for supporting your thyroid.  The thyroid glands needs large amount of both of these to function correctly.  Selenium is crucial for the conversion of T4 to it’s active T3 form!  Without enough selenium, you may not convert effectively.  Zinc is necessary both in supporting the pituitary in sending signals to the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone, and for proper binding of your thyroid hormone to your cell receptors.

-We recommend a daily minimum of 200 mcg of selenium and 30-50 mg of zinc.

  • Avoid long term, low calorie dieting: Our bodies evolved to be very efficient. Your active thyroid hormone largely increases your metabolic rate, increasing the need for food and calories.  What happens when you reduce calories for a long period of time?  Your body gets very creative, and produces something called reverse T3 which reduces your metabolic rate.  High levels of reverse T3 is not something most of want to avoid.  It is configured with a slightly different number of iodine molecules than your actual active thyroid hormone.  However, it is so similar to your actual thyroid hormone that it will compete for the cell receptors for your T3 hormone and fill those receptors blocking your active hormone from filling the receptors.  This of course leads a reduced metabolic rate, a decrease in energy and vitality, an inability to lose weight, and exhaustion.

Thyroid health is key to feeling energetic and having quality vital energy.  You CAN improve your thyroid status.  Employ all of these strategies to improve your thyroid gland’s health!  If you have further questions and need an appointment, please call our office at (415) 383-9903.

Written by Marya Grosse FNP

Nurse Practitioner at Morgan Camp, MD & Associates

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The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease

In Digestive Health, Dr. Morgan Camp on August 17, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , ,

By Lindsey Felt, Nutritionist

As many of our patients know, we often recommend essential dietary changes to accompany their Optimal Health Program. One of those dietary changes involves taking gluten out of the diet, not because the patient has been diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease, but because it has been determined that they have what is know as a “gluten intolerance” or sensitivity. One of the most common questions we get from our patients is “What is the difference between Celiac’s Disease and a gluten intolerance?”

First of all….What is Gluten???

Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue”) is a protein composite most commonly found in wheat and related grains such as barley and rye. Gluten is the amalgam of a gliadin and a glutelin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains.  It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. It is also used in a wide variety of foods as a thickener and binder, flavor enhancer, and protein supplement.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Individual with Celiac Disease suffer an adverse autoimmune reaction when they consume gluten, meaning that their immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells. Antibodies triggered by the autoimmune reaction to gluten flatten the intestinal villi, the tiny fingers in the small intestines needed to break down and absorb vital nutrients from food.

Initial symptoms of Celiac Disease include cramping, bloating and diarrhea, nausea, hives, congestion but , if left untreated, can eventually lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis and other more serious health problems that can result in early death.

(Non-Celiac) Gluten Intolerance or Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is becoming more common, although is still vague in its diagnosis. People with gluten-sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and may develop gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those in celiac disease. However, for people with gluten intolerance, the overall clinical picture is usually less severe and difficult to identify making it an often overlooked health issue.

According to recent Wall Street Journal Article, “Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center says that research into gluten sensitivity today is roughly where celiac disease was 30 years ago.” The bottom line is that we are still learning what constitutes non-celiac gluten intolerance/sensitivity. According to a recent BMC Medicine study on Celiac and Gluten Intolerance/Gluten Sensitivity: “gluten can set off a distinct reaction in the intestines and the immune system, even in people who don’t have celiac disease”.

Common Symptoms Associated with Gluten Intolerance/Sensitivity

• GI – digestive problems, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel

• General – fatigue, weight loss or gain, hormone imbalances

• Physical and neurological symptoms – headaches, cognitive impairment, brain fog, mood swings, depression

• Bone & joints – osteoporosis, fractures, bone and joint pain

• Skin problems – eczema, psoriasis, rashes, easy bruising

• Reproductive – menstrual irregularities, infertility

Here is a useful table from the Wall Street Journal that differentiates between Gluten Sensitivity, Wheat Allergy, and Celiac Disease.

Where do you go from here?

We have witnessed many of our patients making marked improvements from the following conditions (but not limited to) with the complete removal of gluten from their diet: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ADHD, and Fibromyalgia. Changing your diet so that it best accommodates your needs can have a profound impact on your health.

If you suspect that you have a gluten intolerance, have a health issue that would benefit from a gluten free diet, or a history of Celiac Disease/gluten intolerance in your family but are unsure how to proceed, here are the steps that we recommend:

  1. Meet with Dr. Camp or Marya Grosse, F.N.P. for proper diagnosis and testing through such cutting edge laboratories as EnteroLabs and ALCAT Food Sensitivity Testing.
  2. Meet with our Nutritionist to help you develop a proper food plan to support your HEALTHY gluten free lifestyle.
  3. Make the decision to cut gluten 100% out of your diet for a minimum of 3 months or, depending on the severity of your diagnosis and symptoms, longer.

Please enjoy the following healthy gluten free recipes to see how tasty gluten free living can be!

Mashed Cauliflower (“Fauxtatoes”)

Almond-Crusted Chicken w/ Greens

-Lindsey Felt, Certified Nutrition Consultant

Resources:

Beck, Melinda. (March 15, 2011) “Clues to Gluten Sensitivity.” The Wall Street Journal On-line. Retrieved July 29, 2012, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200393522456636.html

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Almond-Crusted Chicken w/ Greens

In Dr. Morgan Camp, Recipes on August 1, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , ,

½ cup raw unsalted almonds

1 garlic clove

½ tsp sea salt

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 seasoned skinless chicken breasts

1 cup spinach and/or kale

-Roast almonds at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

-Make a coarse paste with the first four ingredients in a food processor.

-Rub onto chicken breasts.

-Roast in 425° until cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.

-Slice and serve on baby spinach or sautéed kale w/ lemon wedges.

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Mashed Cauliflower (“Fauxtatoes”)

In Dr. Morgan Camp, Recipes on August 1, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , ,

1 head large cauliflower, greens removed

2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil

1/2-1 tsp. himalayan sea salt, to taste

*Garlic, black pepper, additional spices (optional)

-Cut cauliflower head into bite size pieces. Steam florets until very soft, or until a fork can pierce the florets easily.

-Place steamed cauliflower into food processor. Add olive oil, salt, and any other additional spices.

-Process cauliflower for 30 seconds, or until thoroughly pureed. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

-Reheat in a casserole dish in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes (optional step but gives a really great texture to the cauliflower).

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What’s new at Morgan Camp, MD & Associates – Mid 2012

In Dr. Morgan Camp, Office Updates on July 26, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: ,

What’s New at Dr. Morgan Camp and Associates

By Marya Grosse NP

Morgan and I recently went to an educational conference featuring speakers who are world renowned experts on anti-aging medicine and bio-identical hormone replacement therapies. Dr. Camp has integrated some exciting new products based on the excellent research presented to us by these experts.  Read more on:

Why Bio-Identical Progesterone Use is Important in the Decades PRIOR to Menopause!
By Marya Grosse, NP

Many of our female patients in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are prescribed natural, bio-identical progesterone for a variety of reasons. It is quite common to see a perplexed look on the patient’s face. Recently a patient asked me: “But, Marya, I’m only 36, my periods are regular…why would I need this?” In fact, the use of bio-identical progesterone is safe, effective, and an important strategy for women long before their periods cease. Read more on:

Give us a call or let us know if you have any questions regarding these or any other health topics.
Best of health to you as summer arrives!

Thank you,

Dr. Morgan Camp and Associates

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Patients with Insulin Resistance or Blood Sugars Higher than Optimal

In Cardiac Health, Dr. Morgan Camp on July 26, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , , ,

Insulin resistance and high blood sugars are becoming a national epidemic, and are common problems for which we screen our patients. Our protocol here is to treat insulin resistance and reduce blood sugars before a patient ends up with diabetes. Patients with these lab profiles are at risk for being overweight and obese, gaining weight around the abdomen, feeling fatigued, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and other problems such as acne.

We now have a new supplement product, Berberine Plus, which has been shown to normalize blood sugars and reduce fasting insulin levels as efficiently as the well-known pharmaceutical product Metformin/Glucophage with fewer side effects and risks. New research shows it reduces LDH cholesterol as well.

If you have a family history of cardiac disease, abdominal weight gain, acne, or diabetes and would like to be screened, or if you already know your blood sugar levels are too high and would like to try Berberine, please call our office to schedule an appointment at (415) 383-9903. You can log into your account and schedule an appointment by clicking Here. While logged into the account you can also reorder any supplements or prescriptions that you need. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call or email us at admin@drcamphealth.com.

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Erectile Dysfunction

In Dr. Morgan Camp, Erectile Disfunction on July 26, 2012 by drmorgancamp Tagged: , ,

Whether a man is on testosterone therapy or not, many of our male patients complain that their erections are not quite what they would like them to be. We now have a new high dose combination amino acid supplement, Propel, that has been proven to improve erections independent of testosterone therapy. Therefore, men who are not on testosterone therapy often get great results from this new product. For men already on testosterone, it is completely safe to add to your regimen.

If you would like to consult with Dr. Camp about adding this supplement to your OHP (optimal health program), please call (415) 383-9903. Or click HERE to log into your account and set an appointment.