Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can your gut bacteria environment actually affect your brain?

The answer is a resounding yes! There are trillions of bacteria in your gut that collectively contain at least 100 times as many genes as you do. Say what? That’s right; there is more non-human DNA inside and on the surface of your body than human DNA. In the gut, this bacterial DNA controls immune function, regulates digestion/intestinal function, protects against infections, produces neurotransmitters (like GABA, Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Acetylcholine) and even produces vitamins and nutrients that can’t be efficiently absorbed in any other way.
When our gut environment is not optimally balanced, bad gut bacteria can run rampant and is well known to promote health challenges such as allergies, asthma, eczema, neurotransmitter imbalance and inflammation throughout the entire body. 

For years Functional Medicine Practitioners and other natural health care professionals have been warning patients about gut flora imbalance affecting their whole body health. Until recently, the link between a poor gut environment and problems like anxiety and depression has been largely ignored by main stream medicine. Thankfully this is rapidly changing and doctors of all backgrounds are discovering the importance of a balanced gut environment.

As a matter of fact, in the April 2014 issue of Psychology Today, a clinically respected magazine in its field, you will find an article titled “The Psychobiotic Revolution”.  This describes the complex role your gut environment plays in neurotransmitter production and balance. For instance, the article describes how the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifido bacterium longum have been found to reduce cortisol levels. It also states,

“Many physiological and psychological processes associated with depression can be traced to a deficiency in the neurotransmitter GABA… Researchers have identified gut microbes that actively secrete GABA. Chief among them are strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. A number of microbes are capable of producing other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Taking Bifido bacterium infantis alters levels of serotonin – just like Prozac.”
While the article says that “Therapeutic Psychobiotics are a long way from reaching the market” there is no reason for you to wait for FDA approval. Specific probiotic therapies are guided by state of the art functional testing and are available right now, without a prescription! Be Well at the Healing Zone offers specific testing such as Organic Acids and Stool Culture Testing to gain an understanding of your neurotransmitter and gut environment status. This allows us to customize a treatment protocol including specific dietary changes, increased fiber intake, specific probiotic supplementation, enzyme therapy and the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining while directly treating the bad bugs in the gut.

Generally speaking, here are 6 things you can do to begin re-balancing your gut flora:

1.) Eat a fiber rich, whole foods diet. Remember that 7 to 9 servings of vegetables and low glycemic fruit are necessary to ensure that your good gut bacteria have the food they need to thrive.

2.) Eliminate sugar and processed foods intake.

3.) Treat meat consumption like a side-dish rather than letting it make up the majority of your meal. When you choose meats, choose organic free range poultry and grass-fed beef. Choose animals that were fed a natural diet; it’s more important than you can imagine.

4.) Avoid the use of acid blockers, anti-inflammatories and only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary. All of these are detrimental to your good gut flora allowing the bad bugs to gain an advantage.

5.) Take probiotics daily; it’s important!

6.) Consider specific testing mentioned above; find out what YOUR body needs.

If you are struggling with a chronic illness, even if you are not experiencing digestive symptoms, you should consider looking at what is living in your gut. It is part of the answer for a huge array of seemingly unrelated health problems and it’s nice to see that it’s starting to get some mainstream attention.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Christian Edwards, D.C.
Be Well at the Healing Zone

Local Mental Health Counselor Erin Tobiasz, MS, states, “I have seen significant differences in the depression and anxiety levels of people who adhere to the customized treatment protocol designed by Drs. Wendy and Christian; treating the whole body and the mind through Functional Medicine is a wonderful compliment to therapy and an enhancement to overall health and wellness.”
To contact local therapist
Erin Tobiasz, MS, LMHC
(386) 269-4624

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Real Food Solution! Artisan Bistro Direct

 Since I’ve started practicing at Be Well, I have been super busy (also why I haven't posted in a while). Since I do most of the cooking at the house, it has totally screwed up our food schedule… We cook at home almost every night but sometimes we can’t get out of the office until 7:00pm or later. This has made it very stressful to eat the way we eat…  
At a Functional Medicine Seminar last month my wife listened to the founder of this company, Artisan Bistro Direct, talk about the very real problem of patients not being able to follow nutritional recommendations due to the time it takes to prepare food on a daily basis… Anyway, here’s how this works. This company offers frozen meals delivered directly to your door. There are many gluten free, dairy free and soy free options and the company uses NO Preservatives and half the sodium of a typical frozen dinner. We’re talking about Free Range Chicken, Wild Caught Salmon, Grass Fed Beef and Organic Vegetables; they are only $8.00 per meal, normal portion sizes and they are really good! This is not a Multi-level marketing company, it’s a service designed to help physicians better care for patients. Check it out, if you order you will have to have a practitioner’s code; use Be Well’s code 773978 or you can contact the company and they will assign you a practitioner.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Watch Another Great Movie for FREE ! "Food Matters"

Watch Another Great Movie For Free!! 


Food Matters Free Worldwide Online Screening! Food Matters has grown into a worldwide best-selling documentary and we want to share it with you for FREE for 10 days starting 11/15/12! If you loved Hungry For Change you're going to love this film so make sure to register your spot here:

"When one provides a human being with the natural ingredients it needs as a self-regulating, self-healing organism and removes the interferences to these innate abilities the result is health and healing within the genetic limits of that human being." ~Dr. James Chestnut

We can choose to take steps every day toward optimal health; or not. It’s our choice.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Please watch Doctored for FREE!

Story at-a-glance
The film Doctored reveals the hidden truth behind the chiropractic profession’s struggle against ignorance, and the systematic and deliberate campaign by the American Medical Association (A...
MA) to destroy complementary medicine

In 1984, the US Supreme Court found the AMA guilty of an illegal conspiracy to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession, and ordered the AMA to cease its illegal boycott of chiropractors

Conventional medicine, backed and ruled by the pharmaceutical industry, is corrupt to the core and frequently does more harm than good, while simultaneously protecting their business and hiding its ineffectiveness by suppressing legitimate, safe, and effective alternative or complementary practices.


This movie shows just how much Chiropractors and Functional Medicine Practitioners have to offer our Sick Healthcare System.
Last weekend I finished my 5th national board exam and it is the very last one I will ever have to take; I am unbelievably stoked about that! (Assuming I passed…. They won’t have the results posted until the day after Christmas…) Anyway, this movie is exactly what I needed to see right now and it makes me very happy to be a Chiropractor and very happy to be a part of Be Well and the Functional Medicine Movement. Doctored is free to watch at the link below until the 17th of Nov. 2012 Please watch it and if you like it, please share it with someone.
Read more and Watch Entire Doctored Movie for FREE for a limited time via Dr. Mercola:
For more about the Amazing Benefits of Chiropractic Click Here.

Related Video

Watch Ben Goldacre at TED: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe

“What we think of as our health is more like an interaction between our bodies, our genomes, our choices and our environment”. ~John Wilbanks
Watch John Wilbanks at TED: Let’s pool our medical data


Friday, November 2, 2012

Post-Halloween Candy Dilemmas by Dr. Wendy Edwards

A candy story about our son Gabe; reposted from the Be Well Lifestyle Blog

If your house is like any other typical American home, you woke up post-Halloween to piles of candy from last night’s trick-or-treating extravaganza. Your children are thrilled to have scored so much sweet loot, but you are probably feeling rather concerned about it all. You may find yourself wondering, “How can I hide it or limit it and how long will this much candy last?”

I wanted to share a tip that we implement in our home that may help ease some of the post-Halloween candy dilemmas…

First, when it comes to candy, there’s the okay, the bad and the down-right unacceptable. What I mean, is that some of the candy in those pumpkin buckets are far worse than others. At our house, we’ve trained our son (Gabe – age 6) to actually separate his candy into piles. He has an “I want to keep, because I really like it pile,” a “not as bad for you pile,” and a “must throw away because it makes my body sick pile.” Yes, at six years old, he initiates this all by himself. He actually began this routine a few years ago, believe it or not. Most children are not going to make these types of decisions, unless they have been trained this way from the beginning. However, the more you can teach your little ones about what’s good and healthy for them and what’s bad for them, the greater chance you and they have of developing this type of behavior and decision making.

For example, Gabe knows that eating foods like broccoli and carrots are good for him, just like he understands that his body loves it when he drinks lots of water and takes his Juice Plus+, Probiotics and Omega 3. We have taught him that those things will help him grow stronger, build muscle, help him be smarter and that his body LOVES them! On the flip-side, we’ve taught him that foods with too much sugar, artificial colorings, high fructose corn syrup and other health-destroying foods make his body sad, sick and he will have to work harder when it comes to school and learning and other things. Gabe really gets this concept and embraces it. He may not always love eating the healthy foods and it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t beg for ice cream, chocolate and want to eat some of his Halloween candy, but he understands at least that there are consequences (to health and his body) that he must pay to do so.

So here’s the deal, educate yourself first on which candy is just downright unacceptable to eat. Some of the worst offenders are candy corn, Dots, Now and Laters and Laffy Taffy. View the complete list of “Halloween Candy You Should Avoid” at Once you’re educated on what is absolutely toxic to your little ones, you can begin to educate your children. Explain to them why it’s bad for them and the consequences for eating toxic substances and chemicals. From there, encourage them to create their own piles. Sure they are going to LOVE some of the worst candies, so give a little and let them have a piece of their favorites. Once they’ve made their piles, encourage them to throw away the bad. This technique is a win-win for both parents and children. It not only teaches children about healthier habits, but is also really empowering for them.

We need to pool medical data ASAP - Great Video

"What we think of as our health is more like an interaction between our bodies, our genomes, our choices and our environment”. ~John Wilbanks
Taking a Functional Medicine Approach to your health involves looking at this interaction as it applies to you specifically and taking appropriate action steps. This is a Great Talk; bringing more evidence to support the fact that WE have the most control over our health future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It is Key that You Understand Methylation

New research below looking at how early life experience has a direct influence on the body's methylation process. DNA methylation is a crucial part of normal development and cellular differentiation. DNA methylation stablizes gene expression patterns in cells so that cells can "remember where they have been".

We can't change things that have happened to us but we can change the way our body deals with it. Proper Methylation is responsible for Neurotransmitter Balance, Efficient Detoxification and Efficient Cellular Energy Production; it is responsible for how your body experiences health and deals with inflammation. This is the reason I’m so dedicated to raising awareness about how diet and lifestyle have a direct affect on the methylation process. Most people approach Trich through trying to manage their thought patterns. Changing thought patterns to be more supportive of YOU will absolutely improve the way your body methylates but your thought patterns are the hardest thing to change. Medication affects the way you produce neurotransmitters but it does not support neurotransmitter balance and most will further complicate the body’s ability to methylate properly.

NAC, SAMe, Inositol… etc, all of these natural approaches influence the body’s methylation process and this is why they help in many cases. Regardless of how you decide to treat Trich, without complimenting treatment options with diet and lifestyle changes you will most likely not make significant improvements. This is why I’m so passionate about lifestyle change. Most of us feel like it would be impossible to change the way we think but we can start to improve the methylation process without changing thought patterns and when we take steps to improve methylation through lifestyle it makes changing thought patterns so much easier. I wish there was a magic bullet, I wish you could simply take the “blue pill” and not have to change anything but it is simply not the truth. Research methylation or DNA metylation and epigenetics; if you are asking the right questions, you will come to some startling conclusions.

(Medical Xpress)—Early life experience results in a broad change in the way our DNA is "epigenetically" chemically marked in the brain by a coat of small chemicals called methyl groups, according to researchers at McGill University. A group of researchers led by Prof. Moshe Szyf, a professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the Faculty of Medicine, and research scientists at the Douglas Institute have discovered a remarkable similarity in the way the DNA in human brains and the DNA in animal brains respond to early life adversity. The finding suggests an evolutionary conserved mechanism of response to early life adversity affecting a large number of genes in the genome. Read more at:

Methylation Made Easy Part 1

Methylation Made Easy Part 2
Methylation Made Easy Part 3
Methylation Made Easy Part 4

I'm reposting this audio because it's important. If you see a Doctor, ask them to do some new research and if they are not willing to do so then find a new Doctor. Find a Doctor that practices Functional Medicine!

Julia Ross, MA explains why neurotransmitter balance is so important and how Balance can be achieved through Lifestyle Change and Amino Acid Supplementation.

Challenges of Patient Resistance and Compliance - Combining Nutrition with Psychology. Featuring: Marla Friedman, PhD Click link: