Dr. Sharon Norling http://drsharonnorling.com The Mind Body Spirit Center Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:50:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Mind Body Spirit Center News http://drsharonnorling.com/mind-body-spirit-center-news/ http://drsharonnorling.com/mind-body-spirit-center-news/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:42:53 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=2303 Mind Body Spirit Center News ]]> http://drsharonnorling.com/mind-body-spirit-center-news/feed/ 0 Congratulations! Now you are on the way to your Best Health http://drsharonnorling.com/congratulations-now-you-are-on-the-way-to-your-best-health/ http://drsharonnorling.com/congratulations-now-you-are-on-the-way-to-your-best-health/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 19:50:33 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=2112 Continue reading ]]> We are happy to see you here and can’t wait to embrace you in our warm and helpful community where you can find real solutions for your symptoms that might have been holding your life back for years.

In Mind Body Spirit Center Our Mission is to:

• Provide easy to use, non invasive tools to help you to identify the root causes of your symptoms.
• Offer healthy solutions to eliminate the underlying origins of your illnesses.
• Help you to rejuvenate your health without having to undergo heavy pharmaceutical treatments.
• Provide ongoing analysis and commentary on the most recent research in the field of health.
• Welcome you to the community where we can hold your hand on the journey to the healthy, even more beautiful you.

please fill out the form to get your report

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Addictions: A New Look http://drsharonnorling.com/addictions-a-new-look/ http://drsharonnorling.com/addictions-a-new-look/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 20:08:51 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=2090 Continue reading ]]> Addictions: A New Look

We have all been touched by drug and alcohol addictions either personally or professionally. Maybe it is someone you know, a loved one, or … you. Addiction is an equal-opportunity affliction, affecting people without regard to their economic circumstance, education, race, geography, IQ or any other factor. Probably a confluence of factors, a potent but unknowable combination of nature and nurture , may or may not lead to addiction. Addiction and alcoholism are only symptoms of a deeper underlying cause.

Data from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) 2007:

• 51.1 percent of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current alcohol drinkers (126.8 million people).
• 23.3 percent, an estimated 57.8 million, aged 12 or older participated in binge drinking (having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in a 30-day period).
• 20 million people ages 12 and over used illicit drugs.
• Among those aged 50 to 54, the rate of illicit drug use increased from 2002 to 2007.

Prescription medications are increasingly being abused or used for nonmedical purposes. This practice cannot only be addictive, but in some cases lethal. Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include painkillers, sedatives and stimulants. Among the most disturbing aspects of this emerging trend is its prevalence among teenagers and young adults. Almost one in 10 high school seniors report nonmedical use of Vicodin. Many people mistakenly believe that these medications are safe, even when used illicitly, because they are prescribed by physicians. They are not.

A recent study in Florida published in 2008 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. In Florida in 2007, cocaine was responsible for 843 deaths, heroin for 121, methamphetamines for 25 and marijuana for zero, for a total of 989 deaths. In contrast, 2,328 people were killed by opioid painkillers, including Vicodin and Oxycontin and 743 were killed by drugs containing benzodiazepine, including the depressants Valium and Xanax. In 2005, 5.5 percent of high school seniors were using Oxycontin.

Throughout much of the past century, scientists studying drug abuse labored in the shadows of powerful myths and misconceptions about the nature of addiction. When science began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower. Those views shaped society’s responses to drug abuse, treating it as a moral failing rather than a health problem, which led to an emphasis on punitive rather than preventive and therapeutic actions. Today, thanks to science, our views and our responses to drug abuse have changed dramatically. Groundbreaking discoveries about the brain have revolutionized our understanding of drug addiction, enabling us to respond effectively to the problem.

Researchers and scientists continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together of this complex disease. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. Is it really a “disease”? Can it be cured? Is relapse inevitable? The one thing becoming clearer is that it not only has psychological, social, environmental and genetic components, but also biochemical imbalances.

The biochemical imbalances may precipitate self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the NIDA, has said, “I’ve studied alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and more recently, obesity. There’s a pattern in compulsion. I’ve never come across a single person that was addicted that wanted to be addicted. Something has happened in their brains that has led them to that process.” It is fundamental to the recovery process that the underlying cause(s) of the addiction is identified and treated. As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease or a biochemical imbalance that affects both brain and behavior. We have identified many of the biological and environmental factors and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. Scientists use this knowledge to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches that can reduce the toll drug abuse takes on individuals, families and communities. Every year, abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol contributes to the death of more than 100,000 Americans. The consequences of drug and alcohol abuse are vast and varied and affect people of all ages. The consequences are medical, social, economic and criminal.

No single factor determines whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs. When drug abuse takes over, a person’s ability to exert self control can become seriously impaired. Brain-imaging studies from drug-addicted individuals show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control.

Scientists estimate that genetic factors account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction, including the effects of environment on gene expression and function. Just because an individual has a family history of substance abuse does not mean that the gene needs to be expressed (activated). However, the vulnerability increases with the environmental, social and biochemical or neurotransmitter imbalances. Alcohol and drugs are just a quick and easy way to change ordinary, everyday reality from unbearable to bearable.

All drugs of abuse target the brain’s reward system by increasing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviors, produces the euphoric effects sought by people who abuse drugs and teaches them to repeat the behavior. When some drugs of abuse are taken, they can release two to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do. The effect of such a powerful reward strongly motivates people to take drugs again and again. Over time the drug use depletes the brain of dopamine and the ability to produce it naturally. Thus experiencing any pleasure is reduced. This is why the abuser eventually feels flat, lifeless and depressed, and is unable to enjoy things that previously brought them pleasure. Now, they need to take drugs just to bring their dopamine function back up to normal. Meth users can deplete as much as 90 percent of their brain’s dopamine.

As physicians, family and a community, we ensure that the diabetic gets insulin so they don’t relapse with high blood sugar due to insulin deficiency. How does one expect to avoid drug relapses unless these neurotransmitters and the nutrients that support them are replaced and balanced?

Other neurotransmitters also become deficient. Low levels of serotonin cause cravings, lack of motivation, pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Low levels of glutamate cause low brain function and fatigue. Deficiencies or elevations of many specific neurotransmitters have a significant impact on mental, emotional and behavioral function. Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse disrupts the way critical brain structures interact to control behavior – behavior specifically related to drug abuse.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to test neurotransmitters when individuals are stressed, anxious, depressed, lack motivation, experience cravings, have difficulty sleeping or are experiencing fatigue or pain. All these conditions can make a person more vulnerable to seek medications, drugs or alcohol to relieve these symptoms. Everyone wants to feel better.

Addiction is not a life sentence. Brain images published in the Journal Neuroscience in 2001 show the brain’s remarkable ability to recover after prolonged substance abstinence. The key to recovery is not a simple program that fits all. Treating all addicts with the same therapies and treatments is overrated and many times unsuccessful. Successful recovery is greater in programs that are comprehensive and customized to the individual. Some people respond better to individual counseling rather than group therapy sessions. Good nutrition is imperative. Many people who have abused drugs or alcohol are deficient in nutrients. What builds and balances neurotransmitters? Amino acids and nutrients. Exercise, hypnotherapy, meditation, energy healing and education are valuable in setting the individual on a path to optimal health. Acupuncture is also well documented as an effective therapy for substance abuse.

Addiction is a family problem and family therapy is critical. Family members suffer along with the addict in words that are difficult to describe. Many times the neurotransmitters of family members also have become imbalanced.

Today there is hope for the addict and alcoholic:

• Seek the best program and support for the addict and the family.
• Test neurotransmitters to identify which of the neurotransmitters are out of balance and to what degree.
• Balance neurotransmitters through effective specific natural supplements.
• Consider IV therapies to add nutrients to the body, support brain function and detoxify the body through natural nutrients and supplements. IVs have 100 percent absorption with higher doses and are faster acting.
• Ensure good nutrition.
• Treatment must address the whole person.
• Never give up hope for recovery — it can and does happen every day.

Written by: Dr. Sharon Norling, MBA

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Breakfast, Diabetes and Weight Gain. Is there a link? http://drsharonnorling.com/breakfast-diabetes-and-weight-gain-is-there-a-link/ http://drsharonnorling.com/breakfast-diabetes-and-weight-gain-is-there-a-link/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:52:15 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1985 Continue reading ]]> You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and new science reveals that it can actually be lifesaving, particularly for men.

Men who regularly skip breakfast are at 27 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack or fatal coronary disease, compared to those who eat a morning meal daily, according to a new study of male health professionals published in Circulation. The researchers tracked 26,902 initially healthy men, ages 45 to 82, over a 16-year period.

“Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time,” said Leah E. Cahill, Ph.D., study lead author and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in a statement.

Female Breakfast Skippers Also at Risk

A new, very large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women who skipped breakfast even once a week were 20 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate a meal every morning.

The study looked at data from more than 45,000 women who were initially free of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, and assessed their eating patterns over a six-year period. Those who chose to forego breakfast but ate frequently (four or more times a day) had a greater risk of developing diabetes, while a lower body mass index (BMI) seemed to mitigate some of the danger associated with irregular breakfast consumption. Translation: skipping breakfast isn’t a smart idea for anyone, but seems to be even more harmful for those who are overweight.

Link to Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Another recent large scale study, which also used data from the over 29,000 participants in the male health professionals study, reveals a similar effect on men. Researchers noted that men who skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. Other researchers have come to similar conclusions, hypothesizing that breakfast may play a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels throughout the day.

In fact, a new but much smaller study showed that eating breakfast reduces overall diabetes risk for overweight women. Insulin levels were higher after missing breakfast, and researchers believe that missing that meal may lead to insulin resistance, the root cause of type 2 diabetes.

Skipping Breakfast Also Linked to Mood, Memory, and Metabolic Syndrome

The risk of diabetes isn’t the only thing that’s changed based on whether or not someone eats breakfast. Forgoing the most important meal of the day can have negative effects on your mood, memory and energy levels, at least until you get a bite to eat during lunchtime. And the bad habit of skipping breakfast is also linked to weight gain, particularly around the midsection, as well as high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

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Vitamin C Supplements Linked to Kidney Stones http://drsharonnorling.com/vitamin-c-supplements-linked-to-kidney-stones/ http://drsharonnorling.com/vitamin-c-supplements-linked-to-kidney-stones/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:57:59 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1982 Continue reading ]]> Men who take vitamin C supplements may have an increased risk for developing kidney stones, according to a new study.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. It also helps the body absorb iron. Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, such as oranges.
Many uses for vitamin C have been proposed, but few have been found to be beneficial in scientific studies. In particular, research on asthma, cancer and diabetes remains inconclusive, and no benefits have been found for the prevention of cataracts or heart disease. The use of vitamin C in the prevention or treatment of the common cold and respiratory infections remains controversial, and research is ongoing.
In a new study, researchers reviewed data on 48,850 men from the Cohort of Swedish Men to assess the potential link between vitamin C supplementation and kidney stone risk. Data on vitamin C supplement use was collected through questionnaires. Data on men who had a history of kidney stones and reported using supplements other than vitamin C were excluded from the analysis. Kidney stone cases were collected through registry data.
Throughout the 11 year follow-up period, 436 men developed their first case of kidney stones. The researchers found that vitamin C supplement use was significantly linked to twice the risk of developing kidney stones when compared to men who did not take supplements. However, the authors noted that a link between multivitamin use and kidney stones was lacking

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High Iron Intake Linked to Reduced PMS Risk http://drsharonnorling.com/high-iron-intake-linked-to-reduced-pms-risk/ http://drsharonnorling.com/high-iron-intake-linked-to-reduced-pms-risk/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:39:34 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1979 Continue reading ]]> A recent study suggests that high iron intake may reduce the risk for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMS is a group of symptoms that start one to two weeks before the period. Four out of 10 menstruating women experience PMS. There have been as many as 150 symptoms associated with PMS. Most women have at least some symptoms of PMS, and the symptoms go away after their periods start. The most common symptoms are: irritability, anxiety, depression, headache, bloating, fatigue or excessive tiredness, feelings of hostility and anger, and food cravings, especially for chocolate or sweet and salty foods.
Iron is an essential mineral and an important component of proteins involved in oxygen transport and metabolism. Iron is also essential in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Approximately 15 percent of the body’s iron is stored for future needs and mobilized when dietary intake is inadequate. The body usually maintains normal iron status by controlling the amount of iron absorbed from food. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Sources of heme iron include meat, fish and poultry. Sources of nonheme iron, which is not absorbed as well as heme iron, include beans, lentils, flours, cereals and grain products.
In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. At the beginning of the study, none of the participants reported having PMS symptoms. After 10 years, the researchers identified 1,057 women with PMS and 1,968 without. Data on iron intake and other minerals was collected through questionnaires throughout the study.
The researchers found, after adjusting the data for other factors including calcium intake, that women with the highest nonheme iron intake had a 36 percent reduced risk of developing PMS when compared to those with the lowest intake. Conversely, high potassium intake was linked to an increased risk for PMS. Significant links with magnesium, manganese and sodium consumption were lacking.
In addition to iron, there is some evidence that taking vitamin B6 may improve symptoms of PMS such as mastalgia (breast pain or tenderness) and PMS-related depression or anxiety in some patients. Additionally, initial research suggests that ginkgo may relieve PMS-associated symptoms, including emotional upset.

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10 Tips to Cure Bad Breath http://drsharonnorling.com/10-tips-to-cure-bad-breath/ http://drsharonnorling.com/10-tips-to-cure-bad-breath/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:31:58 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1973 Continue reading ]]> 10 Tips to Cure Bad Breath

Whether it’s a fleeting case of morning breath or a lingering bout with halitosis, everyone has bad breath sometimes.
Unfortunately, for as easy as it is to get bad breath, getting rid of it can be a lot more complicated. For some, employing a toothbrush, floss and mouthwash more frequently to remove plaque, the nearly invisible film of bacteria that contributes to bad breath, will do the trick. For others, a professional cleaning to remove stuck-on tartar, which is hardened plaque, will be necessary. Others still will discover that cavities and gum disease are at the root of their bad breath problems.
Occasionally, bad breath is due to something in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, or to a systemic infection. Some health problems, such as sinus infections or diabetes, can also cause bad breath. And sometimes it just comes down to what you ate for dinner.

Here are a few tips to help you to feel and smell fresh:

10: Brush and Floss

9: Clean Your Tongue

8: Wet Your Whistle – stay well hydrated. You need plenty of saliva because it helps clean your mouth; it’s naturally antibacterial, and it washes away food particles.

7: Don’t Rely on Mints – Although mouth odor is often associated with gum disease or tooth decay, it can occasionally signal health problems such as respiratory or sinus infections, bronchitis, diabetes or malfunctions of the liver or kidney. Mints will not help you in solving health issues.

6: Know the Culinary Culprits – High-protein and low-carb diets, while a possible boon to your waist size, aren’t great for your breath. Eating fewer than 100 grams of carbohydrates a day triggers a condition known as ketosis, a metabolic state that causes your body to burn fat instead of sugar. Ketosis is notorious for causing bad breath.

5: Rinse After Eating and Drinking

4: Use Nature’s Cures – Chlorophyll is the green pigment that allows plants to photosynthesize energy from light. It can also help neutralize internal body odors, thereby reducing the smells that emanate from the body — including bad breath. Also, parsley may not be your idea of dessert, but chewing a little after a meal could do wonders for your breath.

3: Eat to Smell Sweet – here are certain foods that smell good — and that make your breath smell good, too. Take fruits high in vitamin C, for example. Melons, berries and citrus fruits such as oranges are packed with vitamin C, something that doesn’t sit well with the bacteria in your mouth. Instead of continuing to reproduce, the bacteria will begin to die. And the more C-laden fruits you eat, the more oral germs you’ll kill. Also, raw apple slices may be a great way to end a meal and get your breath back on track.

2: Skip the Cigarettes

1: Visit Your Dentist

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Health is Wealth http://drsharonnorling.com/health-is-wealth/ http://drsharonnorling.com/health-is-wealth/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 18:38:47 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1964 Continue reading ]]> Are you an executive for a large corporation or a small business owner who is working hard to be successful while keeping an eye on the budget?

The financial fitness of any business is dependent on the health of the employees, managers, executives and owners. The three biggest challenges in the workplace today are absenteeism, decreased productivity and decreased presenteeism.
Presenteeism is the increasing phenomena in the U.S. workplace where workers are on the job physically, but suffering from chronic disease, pain or other physical or psychological issues. It’s not enough in this hyper-competitive 21st century suffering global economy to get workers just to show up—they need to be healthy, pain-free and happily engaged.

The Statistics are Telling

Employees showing up for work on a multitude of pain or mood-altering drugs significantly impacts business success. All these scenarios greatly reduce the employees’ optimal level of productivity and increase the health care costs of the company.
A Gallop study showed that employees with thriving overall well-being have 41 percent lower health care costs than those with moderate levels of well-being, and 62 percent lower costs than those with low levels of well-being.

Additionally people with thriving well-being have a 35 percent lower turnover than those with a low level of well-being. Robison, Jennifer “The Business Case for Well Being.” Gallup Business Journal, June, 2010.

Other research shows that 15 percent of the workforce is actively disengaged. These unhappy, unhealthy people go to work making each other unhappy. The actively disengaged group of workers cost companies $350 billion a year!

Another part of the American work force, 57 percent, is disengaged and showing up for work to just get through the day, without achieving nearly their potential for the success of the company.

Consequently, only 28 percent of the workers are actively engaged. This is a tremendous loss of human potential and a major obstacle to a company’s optimal performance and bottom line. Robison, Jennifer “Despite the Downturn, Employees Remain Engaged.” Gallup Business Journal, January, 2010.

What Integrative Medicine Can Do

As a physician with a MBA I was senior management and medical director at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics responsible for 42 clinics, 325 employees and a multimillion dollar budget. The health care costs were enormous and the health of the employees while providing world class health care was a challenge.

Having been ill in the past, suffering from complications and misdiagnoses, I personally know the impact of symptoms and disease on costs and lost revenue. Today I am fortunate to be very healthy and have an integrative medicine center with healthy employees. It is by its nature an environment that promotes health and wellness and is supported by education.

Integrative medicine is rapidly finding a place in corporate America. Its benefits and values are well-matched to the employer. Today 80 percent of health care cost is for chronic illnesses. The CDC reports that chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis are among the most common, costly and preventable of all health care problems in the U.S. This is where integrative medicine excels!

More than 50 U.S. academic medical centers now feature some form of an integrative medicine program. Integrative medicine is personalized care—assessing and treating the mind, body and spirit using natural approaches whenever possible. The key is finding the root cause of disease or illness.

Two dozen quality studies indicate the cost-effectiveness of delivering integrative health care. This research was well-described in a piece in the Huffington Post by John Weeks, editor-publisher of The Integrator Blog. The Corporate Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is located at the University of Arizona and includes members such as Corning, Ford, IBM, Kimberly Clark, NASA, Nestle and Knight Ridder.

In numerous randomized controlled trials for the past 10 years, Dean Ornish, MD, has found that people with severe coronary heart disease were able to halt disease progression or reverse it without drugs or surgery by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. These findings were published in The Journal of American Medical Association, Lancet and other major medical journals.
According to the American Heart Association, in 2006 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed at an average cost of $48,399 per procedure, or more than $60 billion total; and 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 per surgery—more than $44 billion total. It is no wonder our health care costs continue to sky rocket.

Prevention is Key

What can we do rather than the costly invasive surgical procedures and drugs? The INTERHEART cardiology study published in Lancet followed 30,000 men and women on six continents and found that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90 percent of all heart disease!

It is easier and less expensive to prevent the onset of disease than it is to treat it once the disease has developed. Nearly 60 percent of all after-tax profit is spent on corporate health benefits. Eighty percent of these costs are spent on 10 percent of the employees. Healthy employees save their employers money.

• Duke Prospective Health reports a $2,200 per employee per year savings from an integrative approach.
• Penny George Institute reports their inpatient integrative care initiative is saving $2,000 per patient per hospital stay at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of the Allina system. Of note, I initiated and developed this program as Senior Management and Director of Integrative Medicine at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 2002.
• Parker Hannifin, a large global company, offers integrative medicine to their 60,000 employees. I am privileged to be a credentialed physician for the self-insured program to help them decrease their health care costs and improve their employee’s health.

Today more 100 million Americans receive their health care benefits through self-insured companies.

Emerging Trend

Self-insured employers are adding integrative health care services as an extension to their wellness and prevention program.
Savings

Direct medical cost-savings can occur via integrative health care delivery.

Efficacy

The three-legged stool—nutrition, exercise and stress reduction are known to support typical outcomes like pain reduction, weight loss, sleep and quality of life, resulting in decreased absenteeism, improved productivity and decreased presenteeism.
Whether you are an employee or an executive working for a Fortune 500 company or a small business, investing in your health is the best investment you can make. Integrative medicine is wealth—it is the key for healthy, productive, happy workers. Your financial fitness depends on it.

Written By: DR. Sharon Norling, MBA

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Erectile Dysfunction and Other Penis Problems—What They Can Mean http://drsharonnorling.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-other-penis-problems-what-they-can-mean/ http://drsharonnorling.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-other-penis-problems-what-they-can-mean/#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:29:37 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1928 Continue reading ]]> Penis is an anatomical term—and, of course, much more—the penis is a barometer of a man’s health.

man-no-sex-drive

While the life-expectancy gap between men and women has decreased, it’s no secret men need to pay more attention to their bodies. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to achieve or maintain an erection more than 20 percent of the time, can be viewed as a reason for men to pay more attention. When there is trouble down there, there may be trouble elsewhere.
ED becomes more common as men age but male sexual dysfunction is not a natural part of aging.

What Causes a Slow Penis?
It may mean your blood vessels are clogged from atherosclerosis. It may mean you have nerve damage from diabetes.

Problems with erections may stem from medications, chronic illnesses, hormonal imbalance, mood disorders, poor blood flow to the penis, drinking too much alcohol or being too tired.

If you have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection you may want to take a look inside your medicine cabinet. Medications account for 25 percent of ED.
Medications can create ED, but the medications reflect that you are not in good health and as a result your penis is affected.

Medications (the Anti’s):
• Antihypertensive drugs.
• Antidepressants.
• Anti-anxiety medication
• Anti-inflammatory drugs.
• Muscle relaxants.

Low-testosterone
Bob came into my office the same as many other men—his wife made him. Bob was just not himself. Previously the couple had enjoyed a frequent, fulfilling sex life. But during the last year Bob seemed less interested, more tired, and had difficulty having an erection. He had been prescribed Viagra but it was not as effective as both of them wanted.

Bob was in good health but he had never had his testosterone checked. When I ordered the lab, the results were 250 ng/dl—below the normal range.

After evaluating for other causes that might be contributing to Bob’s symptoms, it was clear his symptoms were due to low-testosterone (Low T). Bob was placed on bio-identical testosterone and the following month he cheerfully reported he was feeling like an 18-year-old and he and his wife were going on their second honeymoon!

Could It Be You?
Are you tired? Have you lost your edge—your sense of vitality—your mojo? Does sex feel like work, or maybe it doesn’t work out anymore? Is your mood blah? Have you put on weight even though you don’t seem to be eating any more than you ever did?
Maybe it’s your age. Or maybe—just maybe you have a medical condition called Low T.
According to Dr. Abraham Morgantaler, associate clinical professor of Harvard Medical School, Low T is incredibly common. His book, Testosterone for Life, is filled with information and shows low-testosterone is related to the increase in prostate cancer.

I recently heard Morgantaler speak and I recommend his book. Testosterone declines as men age, beginning around age 35. Men with Low T have decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction and difficulty achieving orgasm.

Associated Symptoms

Men experience fatigue, lack of motivation, mood changes and depression, and may lack motivation. Women tell me, “My husband is so crabby. He never used to be like that.”

Physically, men experience a loss in strength and less muscle tone. This is coupled with increased weight and an accumulation of abdominal fat.

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Invest in Your Bones http://drsharonnorling.com/invest-in-your-bones/ http://drsharonnorling.com/invest-in-your-bones/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 20:42:38 +0000 admin http://drsharonnorling.com/?p=1898 Continue reading ]]> “… All postmenopausal women can benefit from non-pharmacologic interventions to reduce the risk of fracture, including a balanced diet with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, measures to prevent falls or to minimize their impact, smoking cessation and moderation of alcohol intake.” – M.F. Delaney, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

exercise-bone-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bones.  They are so important, and so often over looked… Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in humans. It is characterized by decreased bone mass, which results in thinner, weaker bones that can often lead to a risk of fracture. Approximately 44 million American men and women, ages 50 and older, have osteoporosis (severe bone loss) or osteopenia (mild bone loss) with women being affected about twice as often as men. However, this statistic may be a result of a lack of diagnosis in men. In fact, it is estimated that 78 percent of osteoporosis in America is undiagnosed. Osteoporosis is associated with 1.5 million fractures a year; of this total, about 300,000 are hip fractures, the most serious complication of osteoporosis. In the year following a hip fracture, 20 percent of the affected patients will die, 25 percent will be confined to long-term care facilities and 50 percent will experience long-term loss of mobility. The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented and reversed.

 

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis (Partial List):

Age

  • 50 years or older (although it has been known to afflict people in their teens as well)

Genetics

  • Family history
  • Thin body frame
  • White or Asian descent
  • Female

Hormonal

  • Premature or surgical menopause
  • Menopause without hormone replacement therapy
  • Prolonged amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods)
  • Exercise-induced amenorrhea

Lifestyle and Nutrition

  • Decreased sun exposure and/or excessive use of sun screen
  • High animal protein intake
  • High alcohol intake
  • High soft drink consumption
  • Low intake of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Medical Diseases

  • Anorexia
  • Type I Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Major depression and stress

Medications

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Chemotherapy
  • Warfarin (blood thinner)
  • Lithium
  • Steroids
  • Antacids containing aluminum

Anyone with significant risk factors should be evaluated for osteoporosis. This assessment requires a physical exam including height measurements and diagnostic tests. The gold standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) is dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). A urine test measuring bone markers can also be used to diagnose the severity of bone loss.

 

What Are Natural Approaches to Preventing and Rebuilding Bone Mass?

Nutrition, Vitamins and Minerals: About 15 different nutrients have been found to play a significant role in maintaining bone health. Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) have shown that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis. This may be due to a lower intake of animal protein because a high protein diet or a diet high in phosphates is associated with increased excretion of calcium. Another recent study in June of 2006, also featured in AJCN, showed that a high fruit and vegetable intake may positively effect bone mineral status in both younger (adolescent) and older age groups.

Green Vegetables: Kale, parsley, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts offer significant protection against osteoporosis. These foods are rich in a broad range of vitamins and minerals that are important for maintaining healthy bones including vitamin K, calcium and boron. Green tea is also a rich source of Vitamin K, which is associated with a lower risk of hip fracture, but not with an increase in bone density.

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Folate: Getting enough folate (a B-complex vitamin) is a lot easier than it used to be because so many grain products including bread, cereal, rice and pasta are now fortified with folic acid, a synthetic form of folate. Naturally occurring folate can be found in foods such as spinach, citrus fruits and romaine lettuce. Another option is to take a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid, which will also help keep your bones strong.

Fish Oil: The University of California San Diego (UCSD) conducted research showing a high ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 that was associated with lower BMD at the hip in both sexes. Other research suggests Omega 3 has a positive effect in bone health. Omega 3 increases the absorption of calcium and reduces calcium excretion while increasing calcium deposition in bone. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in most cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. It is also found in walnuts.

Calcium: Though calcium is a component of the mineral crystals that make up bone, bone health concerns much more than just proper calcium intake. In fact, though milk has often been cited as an excellent source of calcium, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study of 77,761 women found that nurses who drank two or more glasses of milk daily actually suffered 1.5 times as many hip fractures than those who drank just one glass per day. Furthermore, people in countries with the highest consumption of dairy, (i.e., Scandinavians and northern Europeans) have the highest rate of osteoporosis. This may be due to the fact that milk is an animal based protein that can increase the excretion of calcium. However, supplementation of calcium has been shown to reduce bone loss when taken with Vitamin D because calcium citrate is better absorbed.

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol): In recent years, much attention has been focused on the need for increased levels of calcium. It is now generally accepted that much greater attention should be focused on vitamin D. It stimulates calcium absorption, slows bone loss, increases bone formation and reduces the risk of fractures due to falls. Because vitamin D is produced when ultraviolet rays from the sun come into contact with skin, people who stay out of the sun, who wear excessive sunscreen or who live in the northern latitudes are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. In addition, aging decreases a person’s ability to synthesize vitamin D in the skin.

Results from five research trials on vitamin D found that supplementation with 700 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day decreased the number of hip fractures by 26 percent, while 400 IU per day was ineffective. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine established a “safe upper limit” of 2,000 IU per day in 1997, but more recent research suggests that up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day is safe for the average person. If you are concerned that you may be deficient in Vitamin D, ask your physician to order the lab test 25(OH) D also known as 25 hydroxy-vitamin D.

Magnesium: This mineral is important for bone mineralization. In a clinical trial in postmenopausal women, magnesium supplementation increased bone mineral density by up to eight percent in some participants.

Copper: Laboratory research has found that copper promotes bone mineralization and decreases bone loss. There is also more of a risk for osteoporosis if your diet is deficient in copper.

Strontium: Strontium has recently come into vogue as a “natural” dietary supplement for bone health. While research is currently being carried out in Europe and the United States regarding strontium, it is limited to pharmaceutical/drug studies on the specific compound strontium ranelate. However, the use of strontium is not without possible side effects. In an observational study in Turkey, high soil strontium concentrations were associated with rickets in children. While it is worth mentioning at this time, significant research is still lacking on the safety and efficacy of strontium.

Exercise: Weight-bearing exercise four times a week plus strength training/weight training twice a week is recommended.  Persons suffering with this disease should see a physical therapist trained in therapeutic programs designed for individuals with osteoporosis. It is a matter of “move it or lose it.”

If you have a concern about your bone health or have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, see your physician for additional recommendations and pharmaceutical options.

 

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