Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where gluten consumption triggers an inflammatory response and damage to the intestines. It is caused by a complex interaction between genetic predisposition, intestinal microbiome, environment, and immune system.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Symptoms can vary widely but can include gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and mouth sores, but can also lead to weight loss or failure to thrive, fatigue, dermatitis herpetiformis (a skin condition), neurological symptoms, hormone disruption such as irregular periods, infertility, and early menopause, and nutrient deficiencies leading to osteopenia/osteoporosis (bone loss).
Diagnosis is usually done by blood test but is confirmed by intestinal biopsy. The primary treatment is a gluten-free diet and occasionally corticosteroids. Because nutrient deficiencies are a concern it may be appropriate to do labs to evaluate levels of iron, folate, vitamin B12, carotene, albumin, prothrombin time, and calcium levels.
Many times people with celiac disease continue to experience symptoms (gastrointestinal or otherwise) despite the elimination of gluten from the diet. Here are 6 of the most common reasons that I see people with celiac disease continue to have symptoms: Continue reading “6 Reasons Why You Can Still Have Symptoms in Celiac Disease after Gluten Elimination”
“It all started in menopause. The weight started to come on gradually, primarily in my arms and legs, and I couldn’t seem to get it to go away. I tried everything. I eat a super clean diet and I work out religiously. The weight barely budges. I feel like something is wrong with me. I just don’t understand it!”
I hear this and similar stories from patients pretty regularly, with slightly different renditions. Sometimes it starts in puberty. Sometimes body pain is the chief concern. Although it isn’t always lipedema, I have to ask myself – could it be?
According to the National Institutes of Health, 68.8% of the United States is overweight and 35.7% are considered to be obese and the numbers are rising. Obesity is not just one condition, however. It has different causes. Lipedema, Dercum’s disease, Madelung’s, and Familial Multiple Lipomatosis are 4 specific examples, but lipedema in particular appears to be far more common.
Lipedema is an under-recognized condition that may affect as many as 11% of women according to lipedema expert, Dr. Etelka Földi. One of its striking features is that the fat, primarily in the lower extremities, does not go away despite very good diet and exercise habits. Continue reading “Struggling with weight loss? Lipedema may be the reason why.”
If you have a parent or other family member with a health condition like high cholesterol or cancer you’ve probably considered you may have a genetic predisposition for those conditions. Though this may be true, it doesn’t mean you can’t influence your risk. It’s no secret that diet and exercise can have positive influences on your health and risk for disease, but now we know it is even affecting how your DNA is expressed.
A little DNA refresher…
You inherit your DNA from each of your parents. Your DNA carries the instructions that determine your growth and development, and produces proteins that are necessary for everyday functioning. Genes are basic units of DNA that interact with each other and the environment.
Epigenetics & Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny
Your DNA isn’t necessarily your fate when it comes to health and disease. The way our DNA is expressed depends on certain modifications that determine if the gene is turned on or off. These are called epigenetic modifications which occur “on top of” the DNA, not to the DNA itself. Diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors can influence genetic expression through epigenetic changes. Continue reading “10 Things You Can do to Help Control Healthy DNA Expression”
This article was originally published at Whole Health Associates’ website
By Aylah Clark, ND
The exercise supplement industry is thriving as the popularity of weight lifting in particular has increased. I love that weight-lifting is becoming more popular, especially among women, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. This doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise supplements completely however because some do have a lot of evidence behind them.
Although getting nutrients from food is ideal, sometimes supplementation around exercise can actually be very helpful in optimizing the right nutrients at the right time. If you are supplementing are they working for you? Are you taking the right ones? Are you taking enough or even at the right time?
Foundationally, the right diet with appropriate proportions of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs) in the form of healthful foods, adequate sleep and recovery, and good exercise techniques are essential. As we get those ducks in a row, we can also move toward optimizing specific nutrients and their timing which I focus on here. Continue reading “Getting the Most out of Weight Lifting: An Introduction to Protein, BCAAs, and Nutrient Timing for Optimizing Athletic Performance”
Probiotics have become enormously popular, expected to reach $42 billion dollars in global sales this year.  This is due largely to our rapidly expanding knowledge of our microbiome and the impacts of gut bacteria on aspects of our health ranging from body composition, mood, genetic expression, immune response, and beyond. There is even a growing field of neurogastroenterology studying the bidirectional communication of the brain-gut axis.
Many of the benefits people report from probiotic use have evidence showing they may indeed be beneficial including relief from antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children  and other causes of diarrhea such as C. difficile infection,  improved bowel movement and consistency, reduced inflammation associated with the intestinal tract, decreased symptoms of allergy and eczema, and aiding immune function to name a few.  Sometimes, however, probiotic supplementation fails to meet expectations. Why is that? Continue reading “8 Reasons Your Probiotic Isn’t Working”
This article was originally published on Whole Health’s website.
Men’s health can mean a lot of things but this discussion will primarily center around 5 key nutrients that support cardiovascular health, sexual health, and muscle mass– topics we find are important to many of our male patients.
When we talk about men’s health, it’s worth mentioning vascular health for a few reasons. One reason is to support cardiovascular function for a healthy heart, but also to address and prevent erectile dysfunction which can be caused by sub-optimal health of blood vessels. The cells lining blood vessels are called endothelial cells. Endothelial cell dysfunction is a primary contributor to atherosclerosis (plaque forming in blood vessels). Endothelial dysfunction increases with age but can be exacerbated by high blood sugar, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
Effects from nitric oxide will come into play below so here’s a little background. Nitric oxide is released from the endothelial cells lining your blood vessels and results in vasodilation. In men who have erectile dysfunction associated with arterial origins, increasing nitric oxide and therefore dilating blood vessels can result in improved erectile function. These effects on blood vessels can result in other cardiovascular benefits and potentially play a role in exercise performance.
Now let’s get on with it! Continue reading “5 Nutrients for Men’s Health You Don’t Want To Miss”
This article was originally published on Whole Health Wellness Center’s website.
We hope you enjoy these 5 recipes for frozen pops containing quercetin and nettle! This was a collaboration between Dr. Aylah Clark and Dr. Sally Machin.
This article was written to inform. The article and its contents are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease.
It’s that time of the year again when the antihistamine medications come out and tissues are always in arms reach for allergy-sufferers. Here in Connecticut the trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and there’s a thin yellow coating over the entire Farmington Valley. It seemed like a good time for us to come up with some recipes for popsicles that contain quercetin and nettles, both of which have been shown to support a more balanced immune response. If you want to get into the research behind these two ingredients, scroll past the recipes for more information. For kids who aren’t allergy-sufferers, quercetin and nettles can be taken out of the recipes and the pops can be used as a delicious, fun-to-make, and healthier alternative to frozen treats with a lot of added sugar and artificial flavors. Continue reading “Quercetin & Nettle Pops to Support Allergy-Prone Kids (5 recipes)”
This recipe is a staple in our house, often with slight variations here and there depending on whether we have fresh rosemary or other herbs we want to try. When I pick out my salmon I always go with wild-caught because it is a great source of omega-3s which are important for cardiovascular health, brain function, and controlling inflammation. You can learn more about why you should opt for wild-caught salmon here.
- Filet of wild-caught salmon
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (I like a lot of garlic, so use your judgement based on your preferences)
- 1 small onion or shallot, thin-sliced
- a sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil.
- Slice onion/shallot and chop the garlic cloves. Chop 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary.
- Place the salmon filet on the pan and top with garlic, onions, 1/2 tsp rosemary, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Any onions or garlic that are directly on the pan and not on top of the fish will end up getting pretty charred and unusable.
- Cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until it is done to your liking.
- When it looks finished you should be able to scoop the salmon up with a spatula leaving the skin on the pan.
- Garnish with lemon and remaining rosemary.
Recommended sides: sauteed asparagus, a green salad with pecans and a balsamic vinaigrette, or steamed broccoli.
-Aylah Clark, ND
This post was originally published on Whole Health Wellness Center’s website.
Historically, it has been accepted in the medical community that increased consumption of red meat increases all-cause mortality including cardiovascular disease and cancer (especially colon cancer).  However most of the studies that indicate such results often do not differentiate between processed and unprocessed meat or other factors that influence the nutritional quality of the meat such as a grass-based diet. Here I explore these factors and others like the impact of red meat on gut health, the planet, and take home tips for a healthy balance. Continue reading “Red Meat: Friend or Foe?”
This post was originally published on Whole Health Wellness Center’s website.
Have picky eaters that won’t eat vegetables? Or struggle to get all the servings of veggies in you should for you or your family? Here are 3 recipes I go to frequently that are both veggie-packed and delicious. Try the Garden Chili, Double Dose Veggie Pasta, or Tantalizing Turkey Loaf if you’re looking for a new dinner idea! Continue reading “Hide Heaps of Veggies in These 3 Delicious Dinners”