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Dr. Berkson's Best Health Radio Podcast

Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson shares decades of experience as a hormone and nutrition specialist to help you live a healthier, happier life. Disclaimer: The entire contents of these podcasts are based upon the opinions of Dr. DL Berkson, unless otherwise noted. Individual discussions are based upon the opinions of the respective individuals, based on their research, experience and communities. The information on this podcast or any related websites are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice from practitioners that know your personal medical situation. All material is educational and is intended only as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Berkson and her community. Dr. Berkson encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, you must consult with your health care professional before using protocols or products based on any of this content.
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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 27, 2017

There are many good things about medicine, and many things not so good. If you need an emergency room, or a life-saving surgery, or a new hip or your cataracts removed, wow, medicine is miraculous. But if you have a chronic illness like migraines, heart disease, autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue, cognitive decline and the list goes on and on, medicine mostly offers you meds and more meds and more meds. And it convinces you of a reality of ‘learned helplessness’— that you have a disease that will never go away and your answer is to be velcroed to a conveyor belt of meds.

Now, sometimes meds are life saving. But for many chronic illness, they are often mainly addressing the symptoms of the constellation of issues you are suffering. Rarely are they aimed at getting you completely well. And off meds. And healthier than ever.

You and your practitioner accept that you have a chronic disease, be it type-2 diabetes or severe asthma. You walk around with many meds in your purse; your medicine cabinet and you buy into the concept that you have this inevitable illness and that’s your fate.

But a new medicine is starting to emerge. It’s been happening behind the scenes for about 4 decades now. More and more doctors are leaving the” fold” as they learn that by spending time to do a life review of a patient’s story (very in-depth history that looks at your whole life) they can often unveil hidden causes of your illness.  When these issues, or root causes, are addressed and fixed, if the patient makes the necessary positive changes, opportunities emerge of getting rid of these illnesses once and for all.

I recently had Dr. William Davis on the show. Dr. Davis (best selling author of “Undoctored; how health care has failed you and how to be smarter than your doctor) shared his story.  He had been a regular cardiologist and surgeon dispensing meds and performing procedures and making lots of money for his hospitals. But his patients were not getting healthier. They were maintained.

Once he learned the amazing role of diet, nutrients and improved life style choices, he found he could turn around serious heart disease very rapidly, even in patients on the verge of needing a heart transplant. Dr. Davis got the patients (who would take and act on his advice) to remove most carbs, clean up their diet adding in healthy fats and lots of veggies, along with supplying specific restorative nutrients. His patients ultimately did not need statins or procedures. Instead of being maintained on a long list of meds, and staying ‘ill’, they get healthier than ever, off all meds, and reversed their aging and their nasty heart conditions.

But the hospitals weren’t making the same amount of money from this new way of addressing healing. Medicine is a big business and it is built to run on lots of procedures. There’s a huge conflict here.

Getting at root cause takes time. Often the provider taking that time charges cash, but you have an opportunity to finally get well.  Root cause often means you have to make a lot of proactive changes in your life style choices. Not all patients want to put that energy and change into their life, to get that wellness out. We all get to choose.

Dr. David Brownstein was on my show. He was a non-believer and thought functional medicine was a hoax. His father had been ill for years suffering with heart pain (angina) and on many meds and never really being a well man. As he aged he got worse and looked and felt like his time was soon up. Due to meeting a functional doctor who gave Dr. Brownstein one of Dr. Wright’s health books (my first mentor), David put his father on hormone replacement. Bioidentical hormones are actually therapy for treating as well as preventing many diseases, such as cardiovascular issues like David’s dad has been suffering. Dr. Wright discussed the existence of subclinical hypothyroidism (blood labs look normal but symptoms shout out loud that the thyroid is ill).  In med school, most docs aren’t trained to look more at the patient than at the laboratory. David got his dad on testosterone (one root cause of his heart illness was his excessively low heart protective testosterone). He was also put on thyroid replacement, which also protects the heart as well as blood fat levels. David cleaned up his Dad’s diet, getting gluten and dairy out and more veggies in.

David’s father had been ill for decades. But once the underlying causes were sleuthed out and fixed, David’s father got off all his meds, got rid of his angina, and started to feel younger even though he was older. Most of the time, addressing the right root causes (often there are more than one), gets the patient well… rapidly.

Our health care system has created a guilty combo, where the docs hand out meds and the patient doesn’t have to make life improvements. They have more and more pills line their bedside table, but they don’t achieve getting really vibrant and well.

Today’s pharmaceutical based system has Vulcan mind-melded “learned helplessness” into us, rather than going for the cure. The real cure. Getting fully well.

Off as many meds as possible. And achieving truly unstoppable amazing wellness.

This means we look at what you were doing before you got ill, what meds and nutrients you are on, what you are eating, what are your exposures (infections, Lyme, mold, etc.), food reactivity’s, nutrient and/or hormone insufficiencies, gut wellness or not (the gut is the mothership of much of our health) and even exercise, time spent sitting versus time spent pushing yourself in a healthy way, and certainly what we put into our mouths at every fork in the road.

How you live holds a lot of answers for what got you ill and how to get you really well.

Berkson shares her own story of root cause. She reminds us that nature is generous. Your body is designed to heal. But you and your smart plus heart functional team have to figure out your weakest links, what you may be doing in your life, or exposed to in your life, or deficient in your diets or thoughts, that is not letting your body heal you. The point is not to be maintained as a more fragile progressively sicker person, but to get you well.

But it does take elbow grease. On the doc’s part. And on yours.

Berkson inspires you with the words written over the door of her gym, Pure Austin, that she instructs her cells to embrace, remember and live: “Never, never, never give up!”

Jul 20, 2017

We think if we have hormonal problems, we sensibly need to see an endocrinologist or gynecologist. But it turns out, today, that not many people, even doctors, get hormones right. Dr. Monaco explains this stunning reality in medicine, in-depth.

Very few doctors have been trained in how to assess for hormonal imbalances, how to treat, how long to treat, and to appreciate the emerging broad swath of hormonal protective actions that occur all throughout the human body. Too many doctors practice extremely antiquated medicine, especially in terms of the world of hormone therapies.

Hormones are not just about sexy or reproductive actions. They are not just about issues in middle or later age.

Just a few examples: 

  • Testosterone protects against premature death in males.
  • It also protects against prostate disease.
  • It protects against heart disease in women.
  • In both genders hormones are major brain protectors.
  • Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, even oxytocin, all, in both genders, help ward off depression, anxiety and even dementia.
  • DHEA makes your skin look shinier and younger.
  • Melatonin fights cancer, not just insomnia.
  • Estrogen receptor beta signals protect against breast and prostate cancer.
  • In contrast, receptor beta signals in excess, promote heart disease.
  • Thus, hormones must be in optimal ‘goldilocks’ ranges.
  • Laboratory norms based on populations of regular people are often not the best way to assess the best hormone levels for you and me.
  • Many women are told after a hysterectomy, to only take estrogen, never progesterone, as they don’t have a uterus. Wrong! Old ignorant thinking. Still practiced. Who loses out? You!

Many women’s ovaries after any abdominal surgery don’t work as well, yet these women rarely have their hormones tracked, or replacement considered.

Dementia is on the rise. Bioidentical hormone replacement should also then, be on the rise. Why? Hormones protect our brain. They even tamp down susceptibility genes, like APOE4 for Alzheimer’s, meaning they really protect the brain. The Department of Neurology at UCLA is reversing mild to moderate cases of dementia (in 3 to 6 months!) and what is one of their major tools? Hormone replacement!

Do we hear about this much? No. Why? Because the scientists are UCLA are reversing dementia without big drugs.  They are using nutrients, herbs, diet and hormones. That won’t work. Because medicine has become a lot about drugs. A profession that hands out drugs. And casts suspicion upon drugless therapies.

If there are more inexpensive but helpful, effective answers, like nutrients and hormones, those often aren’t recommended. In fact, a doctor may lose his or her position in a team practice if they recommend these tools to their patients. Even if they know they work, are less expensive and have less dangers. Why? Medicine is drugs. The doctors write the scripts. But you are part of the issue, too. If you keep going to the trough and keep getting more drugs, you too are contributing to this enlarging, dangerous and unprecedented problem.

To age without hormone assessment and individual replacement, is to miss out on this personalized medicine that is amazingly protective on so many levels. Women don’t realize that many women on bioidentical hormone therapies have less risk of breast cancer, not more.

Hormones are as close to anti-aging miracles as you can get. Many of the symptoms of aging, like aches, pains, poorer memory, wimpier muscles, getting fatter, getting old lady and man voice, losing lung power, and more, are greatly due to hormonal waning. And can be reversed, rather rapidly, by hormonal replacement.

Alas, too many doctors don’t realize this perspective or wide range of actions of hormones. They do not see hormones as “preventative” or “treatment” tools. But just because they don’t read or know about the vast literature that substantiates this viewpoint, does not mean they’re right. Or that you should lose out.

Dr. Monaco shares how he went from a baby delivering, New Jersey raised, tough guy, softhearted gynecologist, to a bioidentical hormone and integrative physician.

Dr. M is in a team practice with a world famous integrative cardiologist, Dr. Mark C. Houston in Nashville, Tenn.  Dr. Monaco lectures worldwide on how hormones protect against heart disease, a major killer for both sexes, as we grow older.

Dr. M trains doctors in how hormones protect us against many ills often regarded as inevitable, but which often are results of email freeze from hormonal signals. And these issues are often rapidly fixed, if treated by a smart foreword-thinking doctor like Jack!

Jul 13, 2017

William Davis MD. Best-Selling Author of Wheat Belly and Undoctored: Why HealthCare Has Failed You And How To Be Smarter Than Your Doctor.  Dr. Davis was one of the first physicians to point out the many potential nasty health effects of wheat and carbs on our waistlines and our hearts.

Dr. William R. Davis is a Milwaukee-based American cardiologistknown for his health crusading stance against "modern day wheat”which he labels as "perfect, chronic poison” and also calls it Frankenwheat” – a toxic and addictive substance that makes people want to eat more, binge on junk food, and eventually ruins their cardiovascular systems and lives.

Williams says that once he discovered the power of food, he could take seriously ill heart patients and turn them around within a very short period of time, based solely on a combination of improved diet and nutraceuticals. Medical money to be made, William reminds us, is in procedures and meds. In contrast, to morph “ill” to “fully recovered” is about what we put into our mouths.

On The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. William was one of the first medical doctors to tell the American public that the wheat of today is nothing like the wheat of 1960’s or the 1950’s. Wheat has changed. It’s not the wheat our moms or grandmothers ate.

New wheat crops have implications for human health that had never been anticipated.

None of us should be eating grains. Forget the folklore that oatmeal is good for your cholesterol. The less grains, the stronger your heart. When we go off grains we hurt less, we achieve thinner waists, get energy back no matter our age, and we heal our heart tissue and basic heart cell, the all important cardiomyocyte.

Williams used to make a lot of money for the hospitals he worked for with stents and procedures and meds, all of which kept patients velcored to accept “learned helplessness”, and never really got them well. So much medicine for chronic care, keeps people ill.

Dr. Williams says that most doctors enter medicine to make the pot of money at the end of the rainbow. The status quo of medicine does not recognize diet because it doesn’t cost anything to try it. Williams feels it is not until the doctors that practice this antiquated way, die out, and make room for younger doctors that are trained and weaned on getting folks well by using food to largely do so, that we will see the change in chronic care medicine that has to take place.

Dr. William’s is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health. His other books are:  Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox, and others! 

Check out his blogs and other cool stuff: www.wheatbellyblog.com  Get his books on Amazon.

Jul 6, 2017

Dr. Nathan is one of the top American medical experts on mold toxin infections and eradicating them. Dr. Nathan has been in practice over 40 years and into taking a look at the link between serious chronic disease and hidden cases of mold (that often go undiagnosed for a long time) for 22 years. Dr. Nathan says many cases of Lyme or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that are not responsive to care, is due to an overriding ongoing mold infection that has not be identified or treated effectively.

Dr. Nathan says that when he addresses mold and effectively heals it within months (in most cases), often the other diseases a patient endured, starts to respond to care.

Twenty-five percent of humans have genetic glitches (which you can test at most labs with an HLADR panel) that do not allow them to clear mold toxins out of their body once exposed.  Mold easily proliferates in their body as they can’t get rid of it. They could have had an exposure years ago that is still with them, still growing inside them, yet they are not aware that this is happening. Most of their doctors don’t know this is happening either.

Dr. Nathan has been healing so many chronic sufferers once he addresses the mold issues, that now he is focuses on education. Dr. Nathan consults all over the world. He encourages the patient to be on the phone along with their practitioner. Since so few doctors understand the nuances of mold toxin medicine, it is his hope to train the doc while he is helping the patient. For no extra charge. All he charges is an hourly fee.

Symptoms of mold toxicity vary widely from patient to patient. They can be so divergent, the patient treks from doctor to doctor, addressing each symptom with a different specialist, and none of the doctors connect-the-dots to possible mold toxin infections.

Mold fungi can release toxic compounds that can enter any organ system. They enter various tissues in the body and release inflammatory cytokines. These can produce different symptoms depending on the tissues affected. Significant cognitive dysfunction is one of the most common cardinal symptoms.

Inflammation can occur in the limbic area of the brain creating intense emotions. The person can feel that they are walking around in a dream. There can be shifting symptoms. There can be severe asthma that is not easily controlled, recurrent sinus infections, and all kinds of gut issues from abdominal pain to bloat and crashing fatigue after meals. It is not uncommon to have unusual numbness and tingling in odd places that sometimes feel like vibrations in muscles, joints ad even in the pelvis and bladder.

 

The best testing, Dr. Nathan feels, is urine mycotoxins from Real Time Labs.

Dr. Nathan feels that this has been a very useful tool in his practice even though others have regarded it as non-specific, he disagrees.

Treatment has 4 parts:

  1. Find where or when you got exposed and get out of there.
  2. Use binders to help remove the toxins out of the body.
  3. Use anti-fungals specific to the exact species you harbor.
  4. Treat all orifices adequately.

You must analyze your home, work and even your car to find the source and get away from it. You might need to move out of your home till it is remediated by a certified company (not the same one that is doing the testing to avoid conflict of interest), and even need to buy new cloth furniture. Most clothes can be remediated.

Papers can be a problem.

Air sampling does not work.  Don’t get landlords to test if you have mold in an apartment as they use air sampling because it doesn’t work and then they are not held responsible.

Spores have weight and fall to the carpet. They are not in the air to be able to be adequately tested there. You need to get 5 grams of carpet dust and get PCR testing of 36 different species by an expert that is trained and licensed in doing this.

Dr. Nathan reminds us, though, that if you can’t clear mold toxins out of your body, your present mold issues may not be from your current environments and then testing your home, car or office is not appropriate. Drat.

You need binders to grab the mold and pull it out of your body. There are various binders and  like charcoal, bentonite,  cholestyramine and others. Once you know which mold species you have, specific binders work best for specific species. Few doctors know this but Dr. Nathan will share this with your doctor if you have a joint visit.

You must know which molds you have so you can be on the right anti-fungals to treat them. You must treat every single place that mold can be settled in and growing. So the anti-fungal medication that is appropriate for the species you are growing, which can be several, needs to be sprayed inside your nostrils, gargled, taken orally and sometimes even in other nooks and crannies. You have to de-weed your body thoroughly.

Most doctors, even if they treat mold, don’t find the exact species and then do not address all the places of possible contamination and proliferation.  Dr. Nathan says the more consistent the nasal and oral treatment, the better and faster the improvement.

You also need biofilm hackers. Dr. Nathan has a compounding pharmacy combine EDTA and xylitol into a nasal spray. Molds often create a glue-like matrix around themselves to protect themselves. So you can use various nutratceuticals or meds to hack through the goo and allow the anti-fungals to reach the fungi and kill the mold.

Dr. Nathan had his own radio show/podcast with Voice America called "The Cutting Edge of Health and Wellness Today" which are archived and easily accessed through his website, www.neilnathanmd.com  under Radio Shows.

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