Testosterone and Heart Disease

low_testosterone_heart_disease_baucom_instituteFor years, we’ve known that low testosterone for men has created many issues but now there is evidence that it is linked to heart disease. Here are a few of the findings (JAMA, Aging Male, Geriatrics, European Heart Journal,Circulation, JACC, JCEM, Endocrinology):

Low Testosterone and Heart Disease

  • Men with coronary heart disease had significantly lower total testosterone.
  • A study showed a correlation between lower testosterone levels and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Another study showed that men with coronary heart disease had significantly lower levels than the control group.
  • Low testosterone levels have been shown to be associated with atherosclerosis in men.

High Estrogens and Heart DiseaseHEART-DISEASE-low testosterone-baucom-institute

  • A study showed that elevated circulating estradiol is a predictor of progression of carotid artery issues.
  • High estradiol levels in men were associated with acute myocardial infarctions.
  • Elevated levels of estrogen in men are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Testosterone Replacement and Heart Disease

  • A study showed that with an increase of testosterone there was a 14% drop in risk of death.
  • A study revealed that testosterone replacement was associated with a decrease in HDL-C and lipoprotein a.
  • Introduction of testosterone increases coronary artery blood flow in men with coronary heart disease.
  • Testosterone replacement has shown to decrease inflammation and lower total cholesterol.

Do you know a male in his 40′s or older with a history of heart disease in his family? Share these studies and encourage him to seek medical attention, particularly a doctor educated on the connection of hormones and disease prevention.

If you are a medical professional, what are your findings on the connection of low testosterone and heart disease?

What Does Gluten Do?

Rose Family Fall 2013 074Maddy’s story begins like so many others – born into a middle class family in the midwest, she has had the privileges of most teenagers her age and is now a freshman Criminal Justice major at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Maddy has found that eating is a rather difficult thing, especially at college, even though they have a gluten-free menu, because of all the temptations on the regular menu. She has a gluten intolerance, on the extreme end. It makes it hard to take care of herself away from home, yet she’s working hard to do it, realizing that eating gluten is just not worth the pain.

Maddy says, “First off, you can tell as you are eating it you start to feel full but you aren’t sure if you are bloated or if you are actually getting full. After you’ve eaten, about only 30 minutes later, you start to get indigestion. You get really bad issues that come with extreme gastrointestinal stress, extreme nausea, heavy fatigue, you become moody and irritable and it can even result in vomiting. You also have energy depletion and headaches that include throbbing, making it hard to focus. Speaking of focus, your attention span is decreased, making it hard to work, study, pay attention in class, and go through daily activities that would normally not be an issue for you. You also feel heavy, muggy, miserable, and all around sickly. I also get hot and cold flashes sometimes – that’s when I know it’s really severe. It wasn’t until I talked to Dr. Baucom about my symptoms that I realized why I was having trouble every time I ate. She had me read various articles on gluten, making me realize I was on the extreme end of this issue.”

What is gluten? It is a protein that has been engineered as a component of wheat that provides the elastic qualities for baked goods. But the protein is also difficult to digest. And even a healthy intestine does not completely break gluten down. For those with celiac disease, the undigested gluten essentially causes the body’s immune system to lash out at itself, leading to malabsorption, bloating and diarrhea — the classic gastrointestinal symptoms — but also, at times, joint pain, skin rashes, etc.

Joseph A. Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says of gluten-intolerance, “It truly has become more common.” Comparing blood samples from the 1950s to the 1990s, Murray found that young people today are nearly five times as likely to have celiac disease, for reasons he and others researchers cannot explain. And it’s on the rise not only in the U.S. but also in other places where the disease was once considered rare, like Mexico and India. “We don’t know where it’s going to end,” Murray says.

Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. He’s done some extensive study on the effects of gluten. He says that a review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughoutgluten-warning-baucom-institute the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

How can you know if you are gluten-intolerant? Try going off food that causes the symptoms – breads, pastas, sauces made with flour, chips, french fries, chocolate, anything with wheat or barley in it, etc. Even body and hair care products can have gluten and can be absorbed through the skin. See how you feel. If you have less symptoms like intestinal distress, bloating, etc. you know that gluten was at least a culprit. Most importantly seek a medical professional educated in restorative medicine or naturopathic education. Unfortunately, most MD’s are not aware nor educated on the effects of gluten, although society’s awareness is pushing the medical community to become more aware.

How do you relate to Maddy’s story? What symptoms cause you to think you may be gluten intolerant?

To Age or Not To Age

Do we actually have a choice whether we age or not? Can we restore our bodies to health or is all the talk about longevity and restorative medicine just a bunch of hype?

Most people are interested in knowing how to lengthen their life span and create a healthier, happier life at the same time. But the average person deals mostly in putting out fires when symptoms occur, going to the doctor and getting some medicine to deal with the ailment, having surgery, etc.

restorative_medicine_baucom_instituteWhat if we got in front of the ol’ “8 ball”, so to speak, and became not only a “preventative health” society but a restorative one? Think of the disease prevention and quality of life we would create for ourselves!

There are now doctors becoming more interested in this type of medicine. In fact, more organizations of doctors that believe in not only holistic medicine but in restorative medicine are becoming more prevalent. There are also organizations in which MD’s, ND’s, NMD’s, and DO’s are sitting in the same conferences and are collaborating on the idea of restorative medicine.

Disease is rampant and there doesn’t seem be any better answer in dealing with these diseases other than drug therapies, surgery and living out one’s life. Not any kind of quality of life at all.

No wonder doctors are turning to other answers.

According to AARM (Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine), “. . . the principle is to actually restore fundamental balance and not simply suppress, palliate, or otherwise superficially treat symptoms. Many endocrine disorders and chronic diseases have a limited possibility to be overcome by conventional approaches.  Restorative Medicine offers new scientific data that leads us not to conform or succumb but rather spearheading the rebirth of restorative health.”

“Chronic diseases have now eclipsed infectious diseases, and the old paradigm of focusing on cures is not working,” according to Harvard Medical student, Sandeep Kishore. He says instead of focusing on medications to treat disease, we should focus on causes and not just treat symptoms.

Dr. Michael Friedman, President of AARM, says “the goal [of restorative medicine] is to repair tissue degeneration, optimize cellular and metabolic function, and build organ health. In many cases, medications can be discontinued altogether over time as health and vitality are truly restored.”

What do you think about approaching health from a more restorative perspective?