A Functional Medicine Success Story
Renee Marold, a patient at J. Gruber Health Solutions, is living her best life. At the age of 58, Renee, a dancer, choreographer, competitive bodybuilder and lover of travel she has the boundless energy she needs to keep pace with her 18 and 20-year-old sons. But it hasn’t always been that way.
Before Renee engaged with functional medicine, she struggled with low energy levels, disrupted sleep and high cholesterol. Renee found it difficult to accomplish the things she wanted to, particularly after the birth of her second son and when she began training as a competitive bodybuilder.
After visiting Dr. Gruber for the first time, Renee noticed an almost immediate improvement in her sleep quality. She stopped waking up in the middle of the night. A few months later, she noticed increasing energy levels, which allowed her to start lifting weights and train for bodybuilding competitions. After 9 months of functional medicine, Renee had successfully lowered her cholesterol without statins and had a healthier and glowing skin complexion. Functional medicine helped Renee meet her biggest health goal: to lose fat and gain muscle with more ease. Building athletic muscle supported Renee as she trained, and carried her rhythmically through the movements of her favorite ballet dances.
With newfound energy, and an exercise and lifestyle regime supported by functional medicine, Renee participated in seven bodybuilding competitions sponsored by the National Physique Committee (NPC), the premier amateur physique organization in the world. She placed second in a national competition, an extraordinary accomplishment. But Renee refuses to take all the credit for her hard work and achievement, stating, “There is absolutely no way I could have done it without Dr. Gruber and his functional medicine practice.”
Renee appreciates how much time Dr. Gruber spent with her, discussing her history, goals and lifestyle. She credits the comprehensive and tailored approach of functional medicine to her ongoing success, health and happiness. That, and Dr. Gruber’s accessibility to his patients. “He gets it right,” she says.
Today, Renee reports that she has felt so good for so long, she can hardly remember how impactful her medical symptoms used to be on her quality of life. Which is good, because it gives her time to focus on the things that really matter, like riding bikes, keeping up with her sons, and dancing to her heart’s delight.
“Dr. Gruber is one of the smartest and most thorough doctors I have ever had. He gets it right, and is always available if I have a question or need to talk through something. He is so knowledgeable and communicates scientific information in a clear way. Our appointments are never rushed, and he really focuses on finding the root cause of the issue rather than masking symptoms. Because of him and J. Gruber Health Solutions, I can hardly even remember the last time I didn’t feel good.”
— Renee Marold
The foundation to functional medicine is living a healthy lifestyle. Starting and sticking to a new diet or exercise plan can be tough and motivation tends to fade after a few weeks. Meal prepping and finding the time and energy to exercise aren’t easy; however, there are numerous apps out there than can help you stay on track. Below are some of our favorites that we would recommend as part of a functional medicine approach to health and wellness.
This app is one of our favorites. It helps you easily keep track of your diet by counting calories. For those that are super serious, you can also keep track of nutrients and macros. Tons of foods are already accounted for in the app but if it’s not, you can enter it manually or scan in a barcode. There is also a good selection of easy to make recipes, including low-calorie desserts. You can track your progress by putting in your weight with corresponding pictures so you have a visual of how far you have come. Overall, the app is very user-friendly and is a useful tool in helping you stay on track in adopting a healthy diet!
You don’t have to spend a fortune on personal training. Instead, try this app that will change the way you train. Our favorite thing about the app is that you can tailor your workout to meet your needs. You pick your goal from a list of options (get lean, get toned, get strong, or get focused) and then choose from a long list of exercises based on that goal. You can also specify which level of training you’re at (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) so that each workout is designed just for you!
This app is designed to get non-runners/beginners from couch potatoes to 5K runners in only 9 weeks! The app is very user-friendly and the exercise plan provides motivation with easily attainable goals. The plan consists of increasing intervals of running interspersed with fast walking. Before you know it, you will love to run for exercise!
This free app tracks and analyzes sleeping patterns. The phone’s microphone actually picks up your sleep movements using sound and vibration analysis and analyzes the data to determine which state of sleep you are in. It will pinpoint the optimal time for you to wake up and it will gently stir you awake during your lightest phase of sleep to help you wake up rested and refreshed. The app also keeps track of sleep quality, such as sleep and wake up times and can even track and measure snoring.
There are tons of apps out there to help you with every aspect of health and wellness and its worth taking a look around the App Store to see what you can find. There are even apps specifically designed for those with specific dietary restrictions, such as those with celiac disease or GI issues like IBS. Many of the apps are free and they are a great way to stay on track and take charge of your health.
Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions is a functional medicine practitioner in Denver, Colorado, though he treats patients throughout the United States. As a functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Gruber focuses on helping patients achieve optimal physical well-being through the adoption of a holistic and healthy lifestyle. He works to restore and balance bodily functions by creating an individualized health plan that may include lifestyle changes, supplements, and hormones. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 for your consultation!
The functional medicine approach to high blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in the United States and blood pressure medications are among the most commonly prescribed drug. While sometimes necessary, a prescription may not always be the best option. Blood pressure medications can have side effects that negatively impact your health and it is possible to lower and maintain low blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle.
Why is blood pressure important
Maintaining a good blood pressure is important. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and failure, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral vascular disease, a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Approximately one-third of the population has high blood pressure and another one-third suffer from some form of hypertension, or somewhat elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure tends to increase with age and hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular death in the U.S.
How functional medicine can help
When blood pressure medications first hit the market, only true hypertensive patients were prescribed medicine. Today, conventional doctors will often prescribe drugs to those with only slightly elevated blood pressure despite research showing that treating mild hypertension with drugs does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Side effects of blood pressure medication include diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, erectile dysfunction, feeling tired, weak, or drowsy, and nausea or vomiting.
In functional medicine, we look for why someone has high blood pressure rather than simply what can done to lower it. It’s a patient-centered approach rather than a disease-centered approach. A functional medicine doctor will consider genetics, including thyroid problems and other autoimmune disorders, nutrition, environment, and lifestyle in an attempt to lower blood pressure levels.
Appropriate management of thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders, and hormone levels can help lower and maintain healthy blood pressure levels so that medication is not required. When it comes to lowering blood pressure, the importance of lifestyle can’t be overstated. Lifestyle interventions influence the fundamental biological mechanisms leading to all chronic diseases and studies have shown that lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can drastically decrease the chances of heart disease.
Certain nutritional deficiencies, such a biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, CoQ-10, and potassium can contribute to high blood pressure levels. Unfortunately, most Americans have vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies; however, taking supplements and eating certain foods to restore nutritional deficiencies can lower and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Bananas, avocados, sweet and white potatoes, halibut, and spinach are all good sources of potassium. It is important to note that foods rich in potassium do tend to be high in carbs, so a Paleo diet may be recommended. Sugar should also be avoided. Sugar-sweetened beverages in particular, like soda, contain an excessive amount of hidden sugar and can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and obesity, both of which can contribute to high blood pressure.
Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and yoga can bring blood pressure levels down to safer levels and can help you lose weight.
Contact a Denver Functional Medicine Doctor
If you are suffering from high blood pressure, contact us, J. Gruber Health Solutions, today at 303-746-1964 to see how Dr. Gruber’s patient-centered plan management can benefit you. At J. Gruber Health Solutions, each patient is provided with a health plan specifically tailored to fit their exact needs, including dietary recommendations and applicable supplements, to help lower and control blood pressure levels.
Hormones are messengers between body systems that help regulate physiology and behavior, including digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sleep, stress, growth, movement, reproduction, and mood and play an integral role in overall health. Millions of women suffer from hormonal imbalances that interfere with their health and quality of life. A healthy and well-balanced body manufactures all of the hormones it needs to function. However, when you have a hormone imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone and it can have a serious effect throughout the whole body. Think of hormones like a cake recipe. Too much or too little of any one ingredient affects the final product.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Signs of hormonal imbalance in women include breast tenderness, weight gain in the abdomen, hips, and thighs, decreased libido, irregular cycles, thyroid dysfunction, constipation, muscle weakness, muscle and joint stiffness, increased hunger, thinning hair, and night sweats.
Causes of Hormone Imbalances
Hormone fluctuations occur naturally as we age. However, hormonal imbalances can also be caused by our lifestyle. Hormone balance is tied to the food we eat, the exercise we get, the toxins we absorb, and the stress we carry. Your lifestyle should work with your hormones, not against them.
The wrong food can actually harm your body. An unhealthy diet consisting of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat, soy, and processed foods can lead to inflammation and weight gain that can easily contribute to hormonal imbalances. Certain foods, like gluten and dairy, can actually burden the liver so that the liver is unable to properly detoxify leading to an excess of hormones. Exercise also has a direct impact on hormones, including insulin, estrogen, and testosterone. It also helps increase serotonin and dopamine levels which can help with mood and relieve stress. Stress relief is important because when the body is stressed, more cortisol, a hormone, is released at the expense of other hormones. Risk factors that may contribute to hormonal imbalance include smoking, hormonal birth control, and polycystic ovaries and/or breasts.
How a Functional Medicine Doctor can Help Restore Your Hormones
Unfortunately, a majority of women are living life with some level of hormone imbalance as they have come to accept the symptoms as normal signs of aging. Furthermore, traditional medicine does not offer much in the way of solutions. Conventional treatments for hormone imbalances usually leave people dependent on prescription drugs that mask the symptoms rather than addressing and treating the root cause. A functional medicine doctor will ask why the body is failing to produce and regulate proper hormone levels. Often times, the answer lies in a related system, such as the thyroid, showing just how important functional medicine is becoming in today’s healthcare system.
While there is no single test for doctors to diagnose a hormone imbalance, a functional medicine doctor may conduct both blood and saliva tests to determine different hormone levels, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol. A detailed health history will also be conducted to determine whether there are any conditions that may be contributing to a hormonal imbalance, such as adrenal fatigue, a common cause of hormonal imbalance.
Treatment is dependent on the type of hormonal imbalance, but can include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of a cream or injected pellets, including estrogen and/or testosterone, and thyroid therapy. In addition, a good diet and exercise regimen, as well as certain supplements can help to naturally restore and balance hormones.
CONTACT A DENVER HORMONE DOCTOR
J. Gruber Health Solutions in Denver, Colorado is a functional medicine practice focusing specifically on hormone health. Hormone health is about living better and Dr. Gruber can help you achieve that goal. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to set up your consultation today!
Functional Medicine & Lipid Profile
Lipids are groups of fats and fat-like substances, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, that are important for cell health and help provide energy. A lipid profile is a panel of blood tests that screens for abnormalities in lipids and is an overall assessment of your cardiac health. Monitoring and maintaining healthy levels of lipids is important. If certain levels are too high, plaque can develop on the walls of blood vessels. These plaques can narrow or even block the opening of the blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Causes of Unhealthy Lipid Levels
Causes of unhealthy lipid levels include diet, metabolic function, poor thyroid function, environmental toxins, other causes of inflammation, lack of proper exercise, and genetics. Risk factors for high lipid levels include high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet comprised of unhealthy food. Having unhealthy lipid levels can be dangerous because typically, there aren’t any symptoms until the plaque has already formed and caused a heart attack or stroke.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
Standard cholesterol testing is often misleading and only provides part of the picture. In fact, standard testing can indicate “normal” levels but still leave you at risk for a heart attack as conventional medicine typically only tests total and LDL cholesterol. In addition, in a conventional setting, it’s about symptom suppression. In traditional Western medicine, if your cholesterol is high, you take a drug to lower it.
When it comes to functional medicine, an effort is made to identify underlying factors that are contributing to abnormal lipid profiles. Frequently, these are treatable issues contributing to abnormal lipid levels. Dealing with these issues can often help restore lipid profiles back to the optimal range without the use of prescription medications such as “statin” drugs.
A lipid panel is conducted that will include total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In some patients, a more detailed lipid assessment may be beneficial. You will also be tested for inflammation, thyroid issues, or other hormone imbalances that can affect and/or cause unhealthy lipid levels.
Making lifestyle changes accordingly to either decrease or increase certain levels can help lower your cardiac risk and increase your health. Avoid high-sugar, processed, and refined foods as they tend to be high in saturated and trans fat, both of which can increase your bad cholesterol levels. Regular exercise can also help improve your lipid levels by lowering low-density cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raising high-density cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
CONTACT A DENVER FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DOCTOR
As a functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions helps you attain optimal physical well-being by providing a patient-centered and holistic approach to medicine. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to have a complete lipid profile done to help ensure your health and vitality.
Leaky gut, also known as “intestinal permeability” is a condition in which the small intestine becomes damaged and as a result, undigested food particles and toxic waste products and bacteria leak though the intestines and flood the blood stream. The prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions as more and more people are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload, and bacterial imbalance. In fact, most people who eat the standard American diet consisting of processed foods likely have some degree of gut damage.
Causes of Leaky Gut
As is the case with most underlying chronic diseases, diet and lifestyle play a large role. In most cases, a leaky gut is caused by diet. Certain foods like gluten, soy, and dairy can trigger an immune response, including diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, and joint pain. In some cases, a leaky gut can be caused by medications, including antibiotics, steroids, or over-the-counter pain relievers which can irritate the intestinal lining and lead to inflammation.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Signs of a leaky gut include food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, nutrient malabsorption, inflammatory skin conditions, and mood disorders. With a leaky gut, the damaged cells in your intestines don’t produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion and your body cannot absorb essential nutrients. This can lead to a host of problems that affect the whole body, including hormone imbalance and a weakened immune system. Other conditions associated with a leaky gut include asthma, infertility, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. A leaky gut has also been linked to over 140 autoimmune conditions.
How a Functional Medicine Doctor Can Help with Leaky Gut
Diagnosing a leaky gut can be tough because it can masquerade as other conditions and there is not a specific and reliable test for it. A functional medicine doctor will conduct various tests that are not normally conducted by conventional medicine doctors to determine whether you have a leaky gut.
The key to healing a leaky gut is changing your diet and eliminating the foods that your body treats as toxic. Elimination of gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol may be recommended. Eating healthy fats to help restore healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract can also help rejuvenate the lining of the intestinal wall. Certain supplements, like probiotics, fiber, and glutamine may also be recommended to promote a healthy gut.
Contact a Denver, CO Leaky Gut Doctor
Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions in Denver is a functional medicine doctor with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating patients with a leaky gut. A leaky gut can lead to numerous other medical conditions and if you think you may be suffering from a leaky gut, contact us today at 303-746-1964 to see how we can help.
What is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is known as the energy vitamin and plays a key role in how your body creates energy. It keeps your cells fed, happy, and healthy. If you do not have enough, your cells get hungry and you feel weak and tired. It also helps makes DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain, heart, and immune system. The human body does not produce B12 and it must be obtained though animal proteins or supplements. B12 can be found in large quantities in meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
Common signs of a deficiency include weakness, fatigue, low energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, digestive issues, frequent bruising or bleeding, anemia, and numbness and tingling in the hands or feet. If ignored, a deficiency can affect the entire body and may lead to permanent brain or nerve damage. Lack of B12 is one of the most common reasons that people suffer from fatigue.
Causes of B12 Deficiency
The main causes of a deficiency include inadequate dietary intake and malabsorption issues. Vegetarians and vegans are at a high risk for deficiency since their diet largely consists of plant-based foods rather than animals products that tend to be full of B12. Though most people will get a good amount of B12 in their diet, as people age, they tend to absorb less and the less amount of B12 they ingest. As a result, B12 deficiency is extremely common in people over the age of 40. Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, alcohol use, autoimmune conditions, and long term use of medications, including heartburn pills and oral contraceptives, may also affect levels.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
B12 deficiency is very common and it is estimated that nearly 40% of people suffer from B12 levels that are too low. In fact, it may even be more common than what is reported. Because conventional medicine tends to use a cut-off range that is far too low, the number of people with a deficiency may actually be underestimated. Most people are told their levels are normal when it fact, they are not even close, much less optimal.
A functional medicine doctor will test your blood for B12, homocysteine, and complete blood counts to determine whether you have a deficiency. B12 helps protect the heart by removing a dangerous protein from your blood called homocysteine. If homocysteine levels are too high, it can damage your arteries leading to inflammation and heart disease. Because a functional medicine doctor performs more in-depth and complete tests than a conventional medicine doctor, they are more likely to provide an accurate diagnosis. This is important considering that sometimes B12 deficiencies can actually be overlooked and misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, autism, and some cancers. If you do have a deficiency, luckily, B12 is very easy to replace. Most often, a B12 liquid will be recommended, though in some cases an intramuscular or subcutaneous injection may be necessary. Changes in dietary intake to include foods rich in B12 may also be recommended.
Contact a Denver, CO Vitamin B12 Specialist
As a functional medicine doctor in Denver, Dr. Gruber with J. Gruber Health Solutions has extensive experience in testing for, identifying, and treating patients with a vitamin B12 deficiency. Do not underestimate the importance of B12 in your overall health. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with a b12 deficiency, call or text us today at 303-746-1964 to see how we can help!
What is Adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is the name for a set of symptoms that results from the adrenal glands being worked to exhaustion. In many cases, adrenal fatigue is secondary to some other underlying health issue such as chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
The most common signs of adrenal fatigue include extreme fatigue, body aches, and food cravings for salty and fatty foods. Other symptoms include weight gain, reduced sex drive, brain fog, and needing more and more caffeine throughout the day just to get by. Patients with adrenal fatigue also report lack of enthusiasm, apathy, irritability, and anxiety.
Effects of Adrenal Fatigue
When we encounter stress, we rely on our adrenals to release hormones that help us regulate that stress. When the adrenals are fatigued, they struggle to release the necessary amount of hormones and as a result, cortisol levels are lower than they should be. Maintaining a balanced cortisol level is an important part of our health.
Abnormal cortisol levels wreak havoc with energy levels. Normally, a person’s cortisol is regenerated overnight as the body recuperates through sleep. With good adrenal health, cortisol levels will be highest early in the morning and then decline gradually throughout the day. However, some people with adrenal fatigue may not restore their cortisol levels overnight. This results in very low cortisol levels and chronic fatigue throughout the day. Other people with adrenal fatigue will have spikes of cortisol in the late afternoon and early evening. These people may feel tired all day long, and then get a bounce in energy levels at night leading to insomnia.
Low cortisol levels can also cause weakness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Cortisol also has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps regulate the immune system. High cortisol levels can suppress your immune system and leave you vulnerable to infection.
How a Functional Medicine Doctor Can Help with Adrenal Fatigue
You can feel horrible and function poorly even with a minimal to moderate hormone deficiency that is undetected by routine blood tests. A functional medicine doctor will run a series of saliva and blood tests that will reveal whether you have inadequate levels of adrenal hormones or any other underlying issue that may be causing adrenal fatigue. A functional medicine doctor may prescribe hormone replacement to restore cortisol levels.
Taking certain supplements can also help improve adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue interferes with the ability of your gut to absorb nutrients from food and a functional medicine doctor may recommend supplements such as Vitamin B-12, magnesium, and Coenzyme-10 to help your gut better absorb nutrients from food.
Improving your diet and eating at the right time can also help reverse adrenal fatigue. Blood sugar levels play an important role in the maintenance of energy levels and you can keep your blood sugar steady by eating small, regular meals. Most people tend to skip breakfast, have a sandwich for lunch, and then a large dinner. However, doing so can lead to a spike in your blood sugar and stress on your digestive system that can make you even more exhausted. Focus on eating protein, low glycemic-index (GI) foods, and healthy fats.
Contact a Denver, CO Adrenal Fatigue Doctor
Contact J. Gruber Health Solutions if you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Chances are, the adrenal fatigue is actually a symptom of another underlying issue. As a functional medicine doctor, Dr. Gruber will run a series of tests to get at the root of what is causing the adrenal fatigue and will treat the actual cause with a combination of a healthy lifestyle, supplements, and hormones, if required. Call or text us today at 303-746-1964 to see how we can help!
Functional medicine is the attainment of optimal physical well-being through the adoption of a holistic and healthy lifestyle. The backbone of functional medicine is taking care of yourself – in every way. This includes good dietary practices, regular exercise, and frequent testing to ensure your body is functioning as it should. Many diseases and disorders can be treated, if not reversed, through functional medicine. It is an approach to medicine that makes you the healthiest you can be.
How Functional Medicine differs from Conventional Medicine?
Both conventional and functional medicine are science-based, but the approach to medicine is different from one another. Conventional medicine is what is taught in medical school and what most doctors in the U.S. practice. Conventional medicine focuses on diagnosing a disease and then treating the symptoms of that disease, typically with medication. If that medicine has side effects, doctors may prescribe another medication to treat the side effects from the first medication.
Functional medicine, on the other hand, focuses on identifying the root cause of a disease, particularly chronic diseases like autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and treating the cause through a combination of lifestyle changes, supplements, and hormones.
What Does a Functional Medicine Doctor Do?
Functional medicine rejects the myth that our bodies are meant to break down and that vibrant health is unreachable as we age. When it comes to functional medicine, age isn’t the issue – function is. Functional medicine practitioners perform comprehensive testing to get a total picture of your health. Conventional medical tests usually only focus on disease detection. Functional medicine practitioners obtain detailed health information from the patient and perform comprehensive testing unique to the field of functional medicine to ensure accurate diagnosis. Lipid levels, celiac and gluten sensitivity, inflammation, metabolic levels, kidney and liver function, blood counts, hormonal imbalances, and thyroid functioning are just some of the things that are tested.
A functional medicine practitioner will interpret the lab results and work to restore and balance your bodily functions by creating an individualized health plan that may include lifestyle changes, supplements, and hormones. Functional medicine doctors interpret the data in a much different way than a conventional doctor would and as a result, they can often identify hidden causes of symptoms that have plagued patients for years.
Benefits of Functional Medicine
Functional medicine provides true health. Because functional medicine doctors view the body as a whole, they can often reverse and prevent the imbalances that are causing chronic conditions from occurring in the first place. There has been a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from chronic diseases and functional medicine can actually help prevent them. By restoring and optimizing bodily functions, functional medicine can help increase quality of life in every way.
Contact One of Denver, CO’s Premier Functional Medicine Doctors
Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions is a functional medicine practitioner in Denver, Colorado. He offers a patient-centered approach to functional medicine and offers a wide range of holistic treatments to improve your lifestyle. He goes beyond simply treating a symptom and focuses on the root cause to achieve results with a focus on healing. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to see how Dr. Gruber can help.
Stress. We’ve all felt it. Long workdays, rush hour commutes, raising kids, not enough sleep. Stress does have some advantages, like helping with motivation and producing the flight-or-fight response. Feeling stressed is perfectly normal; however, too much stress can result in both mental and physical symptoms and can be damaging to your health.
Mental Effects of Stress
Too much stress can make it difficult for you to control your emotions. When you are stressed, you may experience anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, an inability to focus, anger, depression, and restlessness or lack of motivation. Not only do these symptoms leave you more vulnerable to actual mental disorders, like anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, they can exacerbate preexisting ones. The metal effects of stress can also produce physical symptoms leading to a vicious cycle since physical symptoms of stress can also lead to mental symptoms.
Physical Effects of Stress
The connection between mind and body is often underestimated. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat and frequent stress means that your body is in a constant heightened state. Chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body and can cause new problems or make existing problems worse. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in the body.
The high demands that stress puts on the body can weaken the immune system and leave you more vulnerable to colds and infections and slow down healing. Stress promotes disease and can cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease.
Stress can wreak havoc with your sex hormones. Stress increases the amount of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), the hormone responsible for distributing testosterone and estrogen around the body. When SHBG levels are increased, testosterone and estrogen decrease affecting your sexual desire or level of enjoyment. Chronic stress can also increase the production of cortisol leading to something called “cortisol steal”where fewer sex hormones are produced.
Stress can impact the function of your gut. Too much stress can damage the lining of the small intestine and create a leaky gut. A leaky gut causes undigested food particles, toxic waste products, and bacteria to leak though the intestines into the blood stream. A leaky gut can lead to food sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune disorders, and thyroid issues.
Stress can also have an impact on your appearance. Nobody wants to look old and too much stress can actually make you look order. Stress has been found to shorten the structures on the end of chromosomes so that new cells can’t grow as quickly and can lead to signs of aging like wrinkles, weak muscles, and poor eyesight.
Stress can make existing problems worse. Chronic stress can inflame underlying conditions because of mental and/or physical changes in the body. Behavior induced by stress, like overeating and smoking and other bad habits that people use to cope, can also contribute.
Stress Management & Treatment
Recognizing the signs, identifying the causes, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help you manage and prevent stress. A functional medicine doctor will be able to determine whether you have any physical symptoms of stress, like increased SHBG or cortisol levels or a leaky gut through a series of blood tests. If you are suffering from physical symptoms of stress, a functional medicine doctor will actually treat the cause rather than just the symptom leading to better overall health and wellness.
Contact a Denver, CO Functional Medicine Doctor
Unfortunately, stress is an inevitable part of life. Contact a functional medicine doctor like Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions to help bring your body back into balance. Call or text us today at 303-746-1964.