How do we do that? Well we can use natural substances, for example iodine. You know some people have iodine deficiency because they avoid table salt. Table salt is the main source of iodine in the American diet, and they’re avoiding table salt because of blood pressure issues, and that makes sense. But if you have iodine deficiency your thyroid can’t make those hormones effectively. As well you need the mineral selenium. And selenium has been depleted from the soil in America to a large extent, so if you’re not taking multi-vitamins for example, you could be deficient in selenium and you can’t make those thyroid hormones effectively.
The other thing I see with a lot of patients: you’re doctor tests your thyroid and they do what’s called a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). That’s the hormone which comes from your brain, actually your pituitary gland, to produce more thyroid hormones, and it’s a very generalized marker. It’s like me telling you, “Go to the grocery store and get some vegetables”. I mean it doesn’t tell you what kind; there are many to choose from. They may also measure what is called your T4 levels – one of the main thyroid hormone levels in your body. But here’s the interesting part: the main function of T4 in the human body is to be converted into the more active Free T3. A lot of people have low T3 levels. Why? Well it could be due to genetics, it could be due to insulin resistance, if you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic, if you have more trouble converting that T4 into the more active T3. Stress. High levels of the stress-hormone cortisol interfere with that process. If you’re deficient in certain nutrients, like the selenium I talked about, you could have low free T3 levels.
That’s why I even see patients who are on thyroid medicine – you know the conventional thyroid medicines – which by the way are T4, and they just still have symptoms. They’re gaining weight, they’re cold, they have low energy, they have poor mood, and it’s because their T3 levels are low. And so what we do with these people is get them on the nutrients so their T3 levels get up, or we get them on a natural thyroid prescription which gives them that active T3 along with the T4. Doesn’t that make more rational sense? That helps a lot of people.
The other one you should be aware of is prolonged elevation of the stress-hormone cortisol. Remember when your cortisol levels are high from stress, or at least the way you perceive stress, that’s going to block the effects of your thyroid, cause water retention, cause insulin resistance; where your blood sugar levels go up and you start gaining weight around the midsection and hips. If your cortisol is high you can actually reduce it with some natural therapies, for example the herb ashwaganda from India. That’s been shown to lower cortisol levels – as has your holy basil.
As well weight gain can be caused by excess estrogen. Estrogen actually causes fat cells to multiply especially when women take it without natural progesterone, which keeps its growth effects in check. So a lot of doctors what they do is prescribe estrogen by itself, women get water retention and they get more fat. Now men, it’s a problem for you too. Remember as men get older testosterone goes down and this enzyme in your body increases in activity and converts your testosterone into estrogen. Now throw in those xeno-estrogens from the environment that I talked about before, and you could have an estrogen problem. So you could be getting weight gain from insulin resistance, or from the high estrogen, or from the high cortisol. Low testosterone; in both men and women that can cause weight gain. Because what does it do? Well it stimulates lean muscle mass. But, let’s say a person is truly deficient in testosterone, what’s going to happen? You can’t maintain lean muscle mass. That yearly check-up, get your hormones checked. Right? Why make it more of a struggle to manage your weight more than it has to be because of these Limiting Factors? They can be checked, they can be addressed.
Now here’s another one for weight gain that a lot of doctors don’t address, and that is the side effects of prescription drugs. There are a lot common drugs that can cause weight gain: anti-depressants, we talked about, birth control pills, synthetic hormones like Prednisone, diabetes drugs can do it, insulin can do it, and blood pressure medications.
And of course Americans crave food, so here’s a helpful option I use with patients. I use it daily with patients in my practice, and you can use it too. I use natural appetite suppressants. Let me tell you about one I really like a lot, and I’ve used it for a number of years with my patients. It’s an Indian vegetable called Caralluma Fimbriata. You know it’s used by the local people there; it has been for centuries during times of famine. You know in one recent study people who took this plant extract lost as much as nine pounds in one month without sticking to a diet or exercise. Now obviously I always advocate doing the proper diet, doing the exercise, but these plant therapies when used correctly at the right dose can have pronounced effects on your metabolism. Also what I like to use with patients to control their weight is soluble fiber; slows down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream so your blood sugar doesn’t spike, and then your body doesn’t store it as fat. And it makes you feel full. So obviously if you’re eating less your blood sugar stays down; you’re going to get less fat around the midsection.
And remember there’s one other big problem when you accumulate fat around the mid-section and hips, especially around the waist here. Fat cells around the abdomen produce inflammatory chemicals, ok? So remember that’s why when you’re overweight it does pre-dispose you to so many different diseases, even various cancers because you’re creating inflammation in your cells, and that’s not a good thing. And as we talked about at the beginning of the show, we’ve got to get that inflammation under control. Another very simple technique, so simple you’ve probably never even thought of it, but studies show drinking more water throughout the day – people eat less. It actually acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
Now let me talk about another common problem, and that’s poor memory. Chronic inflammation affects your brain and pre-disposes you to memory problems, and even dementia. See one of the key reasons for memory loss is a deficiency of brain-specific nutrients, but it can be helped. You start with those omega-3 fatty acids. Get those good fats into the brain; get those cells working better in the brain. Also we need more anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants protect the brain from damage. Some of my favorites are berries. You know berries have very potent antioxidants. Now in regards to the brain, the most well studied are blueberries and pomegranate juice. Ok? So if you’re worried about dementia, if you’re worried about Alzheimer’s disease, you want to protect your brain, get these foods in on a regular basis. You know every day, every other day. Even small servings can be very powerful. And spices. Spices can be very powerful for the brain – in a good way! The most well studied at this point, the most exciting, is tumeric. You see it in a lot of Indian foods. You can sprinkle it on your foods, you can take it as a supplement; it has a natural anti-inflammatory effect, get some protection. Eat cold water fish! You know a seven year study of 815 people ages 64-94 years of age, has found that people who only ate fish one to three times a month had a 40% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than those who never ate fish. Now if that isn’t good enough, those who consumed fish one time per week had a 60% lower risk! Is there any drug that can do that? Not that I know of. You see these are empowering, easy changes that put you in charge of your health. Through food you can actually eat your way to good health!
Now another huge factor in brain function decline I mentioned a little bit before was high levels of cortisol. Let me tell you more about that. If your stress hormone cortisol is high and it is for a lot of people, I know it is, there is a lot of stress in today’s world, cortisol actually kills brain cells. When it’s high for long periods of time, it actually kills brain cells. And it’s a known risk factor in medicine for Alzheimer’s disease. But beyond that it can just cause poor memory in general. When cortisol is high for long periods of time it’s catabolic, which means it causes tissues in the body to break down. So you can eat well, you can exercise, but if you don’t control your stress you can still have some major problems, right? So again I like ashwaganda – it can significantly lower cortisol levels within 30 days.
And again, remember, especially with the seniors, B12. B12 deficiency is very common. One out of 5 seniors has B12 deficiency. Low B12 – lower brain function. You know they have shown in studies with B12 deficiency your brain can shrink in size, up to 30%! They’ve done MRI studies. Your brain actually can shrink by almost a third. It’s such an easy thing to treat. And there’s some other very good memory-enhancing supplements. Here’s one I’m sure people don’t know about, and that is jelly fish extract. Does that sound strange, or what? See jelly fish extract contains a very unique ingredient: Aequorin. And what this Aequorin does is it helps to normalize the way calcium goes in and out of the brain cells. As people age they tend to accumulate more calcium in their brain cells, which disrupts memory and this substance helps to normalize the calcium flow in and out. You know, very effective; and there’s very good studies done on it too. There are many options we have in natural medicine for brain specific nutrients, ok, that can really help you.
Now let’s move onto a big topic – energy. Seems like everyone needs more energy these days. Fatigue at the core level is your cells not producing energy effectively. That’s all it is! And your body has the ability to produce that energy – we just have to tap into that and give it the nutrition it needs, or remove the obstacles to cure. Let me read this letter I got from a patient. It reads:
“I had severe fatigue, headaches, insomnia, aches and pains for four years until I met Dr. Stengler. His nutritional and hormone balancing program have revived me. I have good energy, stamina, a better outlook on life, and even better relationships as a result of his care. At 77 years of age I am enjoying my golden years with vitality”.
See you can have that too. You need to supercharge your health and energy levels. Again remember, how do we do that? Well eat that pH balanced diet we talked about. Remember the plate? About half vegetables and fruit, a quarter protein, a quarter complex carbohydrates. That works well. Improve your glucose and insulin balance, because if your blood sugar level is high that means you can’t get the sugar in your cells to burn for energy, right? Lose those extra pounds! I mean it takes energy to walk around with extra weight. Plus remember: it creates those inflammatory chemicals throughout your body.
A lot of people need to get adequate sleep. Most studies find the average person need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. One of the reasons I help so many people with fatigue is I treat also their adrenal fatigue. Let me talk to you about that. Your adrenal glands are glands on top of your kidneys, and they produce stress hormones. They produce stress hormones. Help you deal with stress, help control blood sugar levels, help your metabolic rate, just all sorts of things; help to normalize your immune system. But people because of chronic stress, these hormones can become depleted. Again hormones like DHEA or cortisol. Now one thing which helps your adrenal glands will help your energy levels, are B vitamins. But more specifically vitamin B5, known as pantothenic acid. Your stress glands need it to produce your stress hormones. Also vitamin B12; you need that as well to produce your stress hormones.
Also I get very good results, amazing effects, with specific herbal supplements. Rhodiola. Rhodiola has been shown in studies to improve resistance to mental and physical stress. It helps your adrenal glands to work more effectively so you can handle stress and produce better energy, and it’s non-toxic. It’s great! Also we talked about ashwaganda. It’s a great energy booster and it’s a non-stimulant. If you have energy problems or you want to prevent energy problems, use the supplement coenzyme Q10. You know coQ10 helps you produce energy in all your cells including your heart cells. So people who have fatigue problem often benefit from coQ10, and it’s just very safe. Another very interesting supplement is d-ribose. Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar in your body, actually in your cells, and small amounts in certain foods so it’s completely natural. But it helps your cells produce that ATP, that energy right in your cells, so you can supplement it and most people feel, within about five days, a nice boost in their energy. Not a stimulant type boost, just a natural increase in your energy levels.
Remember it’s important: you have to take charge of your health today. You know we have all experienced those over-hyped health claims. I get those emails too; these miraculous products and treatments, right? And a lot of them are just whacky. But the things I’m talking to you about today; they’re studied, and they work with real people. Life is short, and you want to have a high quality of life. Every day in my practice I see people turning their health around with the same tools I’m talking about here. I’m not holding anything back. It’s the same things I use with my patients. So please use them; it can change your life!