Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Traditional Treatment (Hormone Replacement) Fails To Help The Majority Of Low Thyroid Symptoms

On this video I give a brief run down of thyroid physiology and explanation why traditional medical management of low thyroid symptoms often fails.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Questions

As a provider of alternative healthcare, when I explain to someone what is causing their symptoms and how we can help them they almost always ask "Why doesn't my doctor know this?" and when we go over the limitations of what their insurance will cover towards their care, they will ask "Why doesn't my insurance cover this?". Until recently, I did not have a good answer for them. I usually would say something like "I don't know, they should".

I recently came across a great article by the National Hypothyroid Association that does a great job of answering these two questions.
"Historically they (doctors) have failed to adapt new concepts and treatment based on new knowledge or new-found understanding demonstrated in the medical literature....have a long history of guidelines and recommendations that are not supported by the medical literature and fail to adjust or abandon recommnendations when new understanding and knowledge contradicts their recommendations. A doctor who simply follows guidelines that rely on simple laboratory test and ignores the clinical aspects of a patient is not procticing evidence based medicine. This method of practice is consistently rebuked as improper and poor medicine has become the standard of care for a large percentage of endocrinologist and physicians who feel medicine can be related to simply reading "normal" or "abnormal" in a laboratory column" .

According to William shankle, M.D., Professor, University of California, Irvine "Most doctors are practicing 10-20 years behind the available medical literature."

With regard to insurance, the article states; "The current insurance reimbursement system in the United States fosters this thinking, as the worst physicians are financially rewarded by insurance companies. While it is true that the best physicians are continually fighting to provide cutting edge treatments and superior care that the insurance company deems not "medically necessary" company restrictions on treatments and diagnostic procedures have made the same poor care afforded those of low socioeconomic status the new standard of care for society at large....... the best physicans will seek out and translate both basic science results and clinical outcomes to decide the safest, most efficacious treatment for their patients. Further, the best physicans will continually assess the current available data to decide which therapies are likely to carry the greatest benefits for patients and involve the lowest risks."

I don't want to totally bash medicine but medicine is for acute care. When it comes to chronic conditions (fibromyalgia, migraines, peripheral neuropathies, diabetes, thyroid problems etc.) you have to look at all the systems of the body. You have to look outside the box.

We have the success we do because of our philosophy - "Fix the person and not their diagnosis" and our never ending comittment to provide cutting edge, evidenced based care to our patients.

If you are suffering from a chronic condition, I invite you to find out whether our comprehensive Neuro-Metabolic approach may be righ for you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Workshop Thursday November 11th 6:15. Seating is limited. Please call (814)238-0232 to reserve your seat

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dizziness, Vertigo and Balance Problems

Dizziness, vertigo and balance problems account for up to 10% of all physician visits. Dizziness is the number one reason for physician visits in people over age 65 and will affect 50% of all adults at one time or another. In 2005, the estimated cost for medical treatment of dizziness and balance disorders exceeded 1 billion dollars. These conditions can range from a mild annoyance to a life altering experience.

Good balance and stability are dependent on input from these three systems:

1) Vestibular System- Canals and Otoliths

2) Visual System

3) Proprioceptive System (especially from the cervical spine) – a complex network of nerves in skin, muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments that send important sensory information to your brain regarding your body’s position in space.

Input from all three systems is processed and calibrated in your cerebellum. Located in the back part of your brain, the cerebellum is responsible for all balance and coordinated movement. Deficits in any one of these three areas, often times can be compensated for, if you have good cerebellar function.

Traditional management of dizziness and balance problems focuses almost entirely on the canals. A patient might be prescribed antivert or meclizine. Some patients are diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and may have a doctor or physical therapist perform something called Epley’s Maneuver (a canal repositioning technique). Unfortunately, if either of these two things doesn’t work, a person is often told they will have to live with it.

If you are still suffering from dizziness, vertigo or other balance problems and it is not a hard lesion (tumor etc), you either have a peripheral problem which hasn’t been addressed or a bad cerebellum. Any balance recovery program should involve cerebellar rehabilitation as a central component. The cerebellum is like a top and as it slows down we start to wobble a little bit more. There are specific activities or therapies we can use to help activate or stimulate the cerebellum to increase its firing rate.

The cerebellum is also one of the most metabolically sensitive tissues in the body. It is very susceptible to changes in fuel supply (oxygen and glucose) and toxins (ex ethanol). Unfortunately, as we age, our body’s ability to utilize oxygen decreases by about 1%/year after the age of 20. By combining supplemental oxygen with exercise and cerebellar rehabilitation we can help our patients get better faster.

A thorough functional evaluation can determine which area(s) of the brain and nervous system are involved in a person’s problem. Once these areas are identified, they can be addressed to through specific neurologically based therapies. By handling any metabolic factors (blood sugar, anemia’s. inflammation, allergies/food sensitivities etc) that are contributing to your problem or preventing you from getting better, we can greatly improve our outcomes

To determine whether you are a candidate fro Dr. Diehl’s Balance Recovery Program, please call our office at (814)238-0232.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peripheral Neuropathy - Find the CAUSE

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) is a condition in which the nerves of the peripheral nervous system (most commonly hands or feet) have been damaged. PN can be caused by structural problems, disease processes that directly affect the nerve or be due to the effect of a systemic illness. It is estimated that as many as 20 million Americans suffer from this condition.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
• Pins and needles feeling
• Numbness in the hands or feet
• Tingling or burning sensations
• Weakness in the arms or legs
• Sharp shooting or burning pains

Traditional medical management involves prescribing drugs like Neurontin, Gabapentin, Klonopin, Topamax or Lyrica to help dampen these symptoms. This may be a little bit helpful for a little while but I haven’t seen anyone who this gave complete or permanent relief. None of these drugs actually address the cause of the peripheral neuropathy. Often times PN is labeled “idiopathic neuropathy” which means “we don’t know what the cause is”. The reason for this is usually it hasn’t been looked for.

In our office we look for and address several causes including:

1)Blood Sugar- Most people are aware that diabetics can develop neuropathies but many aren’t aware that you don’t have to be diabetic to have a problem with blood sugar. You could be insulin resistant or have a condition called Metabolic Syndrome or simply be dysglycemic. Blood sugar issues need to be recognized and addressed.

2)Autoimmune secondary to food sensitivities – An autoimmune condition is a where your immune system attacks your own body. One tissue that can be attacked is myelin, the fatty sheath that surrounds nerves. Foods sensitivities can be a common trigger for this attack. These need to be identified and removed.

3)Statin Drugs- Cholesterol lowering drugs also lower Coq10 levels which is required for ATP(energy) production. ATP is needed by every cell in the body. Statins can suppress ATP levels to the point that nerves cannot maintain their electrochemical gradient. The result is a neuropathy.

4)Toxicity- Chemotherapy is a big cause of neuropathy in our age advancing population. Heavy metals can be another. Toxic exposure can be mitigated.

5)Parietal Lobe Problems The parietal lobe of the brain is an area responsible for receiving proprioceptive information from skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments and joints. If you have a problem with your parietal lobe these messages can become distorted and you will have symptoms like numbness, tingling and burning. These deficits can be addressed through specific therapies.

A useful tool in the treatment of neuropathy is the Rebuilder. This device uses 7.83 dual pulsed electrotherapy to stimulate the nerves and the muscles. It is currently being used by Cancer Treatment Centers of America specifically to address peripheral neuropathy symptoms. While it is effective, unless the underlying causes are managed, the relief will be incomplete or short lived.

By doing the necessary testing and examinations, the causes of peripheral neuropathy can be determined and addressed through diet, supplementation and therapies. To find out if we can help you please call our office to schedule a Case Review and Neuropathy Screening (814)238-0232.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Functional Approach to Childhood Developmental Disorders

A child born today has a 1/150 chance of being labeled with autism. The autistic spectrum covers a number of increasingly common childhood developmental/behavioral disorders including:

• Autism
• Asperger’s

Each of these is classified by specific qualitative behavioral impairments. While they all differ in some ways, the underlying causative factors are very similar. The VAST majority of these children have right frontal lobe deficits. The frontal lobe acts as the executive.

Frontal lobe functions
• Attention
• Focus
• Planning
• Motivation
• Personality
• Appropriate Modulation of emotions
• Appropriate modulation of Reflexes

Boys have larger right frontal lobes so they are more affected by a right sided delay which may explain the increased incidence of these conditions in males. Anything that interferes with prenatal development, the birthing process, or healthy growth and development during the first two years of life can affect how the right brain develops. During the first 16 – 18 months of development, development is largely right brain. At around this time, the emphasis switches to the left side. This is the time when a ‘regression’ may first be noticed. This imbalance between the right and left brain rarely will correct on its own.

Right Brain Left Brain

Big Picture Small Picture
Non-verbal communication Verbal communication
Large Muscle Control Small Muscle Control
EQ (emotion) IQ
Cautious and Safe Curious and Impulsive
Likes newness, novelty Likes routines
Social skills

So in a child with a right brain deficit and/or dominant left hemisphere you would see a child who may be uncoordinated, impulsive, likes routines (and is upset if disrupted), is into the details or obsessed with parts and how things work, has difficulty interpreting facial cues and has poor social skills. Some children will have verbal delay because language is heavily dependent on a foundation of non-verbal communication (understanding ones emotions, facial expression, body language etc).

This hemispheric imbalance can be addressed through specific brain based therapies. It is also important to avoid stimulating the dominant hemisphere and further accentuate the discrepancy. A thorough evaluation and understanding of these disorders is necessary for this approach to be effective.

While these conditions have a strong neurological component, there is also a complex network of GI, immune, hormone and other metabolic factors which must be unraveled. Addressing these factors through diet, lifestyle and specific supplementation can greatly improve the success of any other treatments or therapies.

To request a Case Review and Functional Assessment of your child to determine whether Brain Based Therapy and Functional Nutrition may be right for them, please call our office (814)238-0232

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A four Part Approach to Chronic Health Problems

Chronic pain and other health problems can be debilitating. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Traditionally, medications are used to help manage or dampen the symptoms. Often times these medications are accompanied by unwanted side effects. Also, over time, they may become less effective.

Overcoming chronic health problems requires time and commitment. The approach used in our office is to support and improve function through:

1) Diet A healthy well balanced diet is essential to good health and healing. Making the right food choices is very important and may require guidance and supervision. Just as important as knowing what to eat, is knowing what not to eat. Many people have unknown food sensitivities and they continue to eat things daily that are making their condition worse. Finding and eliminating these hidden food sensitivities is critical to improving their health.

2) Lifestyle
a. Sleep- We recover and heal while we sleep. A person should get at least 7-8 hours/night. Long term deprivation can contribute to many health problems.
b. Stress Reduction- Many chronic health problems are caused by or exacerbated by stress physiology. Today’s fast pace lifestyle leave many of us in a perpetual state of “fight or flight”. You can not heal in this state.
c. Exercise- The benefits of exercise are many and well established. Unfortunately, many people’s conditions prevent them from being able to exercise. Whole Body Vibration (WBV) may be a suitable substitute until a person is physically able to exercise on their own.

3) Specific Supplementation- Most people believe that taking supplements is important for their health but how do you know what to take and how do you know that it is helpful? If you are buying supplements at the grocery store on the advice of your neighbor, there is a very good chance that you are throwing money away. In our office, we use only the highest quality all natural supplements. We base all of our supplement recommendations on lab findings and use follow up labs to monitor their effectiveness. It is important to monitor not only that you’re feeling better but that you’re functioning better and that your physiology has improved.

4) Brain Based Therapy – A healthy brain and nervous system are essential to good health and bodily function. Your brain and nervous system need 2 things to be healthy: Fuel and activation (use it or lose it). Fuel comes in the form of glucose and oxygen. Managing glucose levels is very important. Unfortunately as we age our bodies ability to utilize oxygen decreases. We use supplemental oxygen with our chronic patients to help them heal faster. By combining exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT) we can increase brain function and help a number of chronic health problems.

To discover whether Dr. Diehl may be able to help you with your health problem, please call (814)238-0232 to request a consultation and case review.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Glutathione and Chronic Health Problems

Your Body can’t live without Glutathione…The World’s Most Powerful Antioxidant!

Have you been feeling more tired, run down, coming down with colds or the flu, have a lack of energy, increased aches and pains that weren’t there a couple of years ago, or you’re unable to recuperate as quickly from exercise and physical activity as you once were?

You can now have a naturally occurring substance that acts as a powerful antioxidant, and immune system booster, and a detoxifier? A substance that can help your body repair damage caused by stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma and burns? It’s called Glutathione.
What is Glutathione? Also called GSH, Glutathione is the most powerful, prevalent antioxidant in your body. The most well known antioxidants are vitamins C and E. Glutathione is a tripeptide molecule composed of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine, which exists in almost every cell of your body. Our glutathione level actually indicates our state of health and can predict longevity. Scientific evidence has found that glutathione is needed by our body to enhance the immune system response. There are more than 60,000 published papers on the beneficial effects of glutathione replacement, unfortunately, it is still largely ignored by mainstream medicine. Normal glutathione levels are important for good health because they neutralize free radicals, which can build up in cells and cause damage.

The Bad News… Your body’s cellular supply of glutathione begins to decline 10% to 15% per decade beginning with the age of 20. If you are over age 20, you have a glutathione shortage! Lower levels of glutathione can result in chronic illness such as… lower energy or fatigue, a weakened immune system, cellular damage, accelerated aging, and higher cellular inflammation, which results in increased muscle and joint aches and pains. Free radicals constantly are attacking our cells, which is why antioxidants are so vital to protecting our health. Glutathione has been called the World’s Most Powerful Antioxidant, and is found in every cell in the body, but, most people need some help.

The Good News!… Research shows that increasing your Glutathione levels has the following benefits:

Fight Organ and Muscle Inflammation
Increase Your Energy
Slow Down the Aging Process
Detoxify Your Body
Improve Liver Function
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Strengthen Your Immune System
Improve Mental Function and Clarity
Improve Heart and Lung Function

In this video Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. explains why glutathione is so important and how the body needs it to fight inflammation:

Uncontrolled inflammation is a root cause of most major health issues ranging from heart conditions to joint and muscular conditions. Abundant glutathione levels will off-set the effects of this inflammation at the cellular level. Because glutathione is in every cell, it can regulate inflammation throughout the body.

Adding antioxidants to your diet is a tremendous help, but it is Glutathione… the world’s most powerful natural antioxidant – that is Most Important for Protecting Healthy Cells.

Glutathione cannot be taken orally to create any great increase in blood levels. We have several alternative ways to administer glutathione. To discover how glutathione and brain-based therapy can benefit you, call our office at 814-238-0232.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Autoimmune Disease Support

As many as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease. Many of them are undiagnosed. Auto immune diseases occur when the body’s immune response becomes hypersensitive and begins attacking cells, tissues and organs in the body. There are usually underlying predispositions to these conditions, however, many will not present until triggered by something in the environment. This can be an infection, a food sensitivity, a hormone problem, blood sugar dysregulation, toxins and/or inflammation. The name of the condition and its clinical manifestations are dependent upon which tissue or organ (thyroid, pancreas, brain etc) is being attacked. Some of these diseases include

· Addison’s disease
· Celiacs disease
· Chron’s Disease
· Graves disease
· Hashimoto’s thryoiditis
· Juvenile Diabetes
· Lupus
· Multiple sclerosis
· Psoriatic arthritis
· Rheumatoid Arthritis
· Scleroderma
· Sjogren’s

Although not technically autoimmune, many individuals who suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue have associated autoimmune diseases

For a comprehensive list visit

Traditional treatment of autoimmune disease is mainly through immune-suppression with medications that down regulate the immune response, corticosteroids that also reduce inflammation, or plasmapheresis. Some of these treatments may make the individual more susceptible to certain infections and cancers.

An alternative management strategy is to first remove the trigger(s) –stabilize blood sugar and hormones, decrease inflammation, and remove irritants (bacteria, yeast, parasites, virus, foods, heavy metals etc). Then, the immune system is supported through diet and supplementation. Nutritional supplementation can be general or very specific.

Further testing is needed to be specific. There are two parts to the immune system, TH1 and TH2. Certain botanicals, vitamins and other nutrients can support or stimulate one part or the other.

TH1 is your T-cells. T-cells are the army that attacks and cleans up afterword. (Helper T-cells, Suppressor T-cells, Natural Killer Cells, regulatory T-cells, and macrophages. TH1 response is stimulated by

· Echinacea
· Garlic
· Vitamin C
· Immune stimulants
· Licorice root
· Astralagus
· Betab-glucan mushroom
· Maitake Mushroom
· Lemon Balm

TH2 is your B-cells. B-cells make anti-bodies. They tell T-cells what to kill. Your TH2 response is stimulated by

· Caffeine
· Green tea
· Grape seed extract
· Herbal barks (cramp bark, pine bark, white willow bark)
· Lycopene
· Resveratrol
· Pycnogenol

In autoimmune patients, one side can become hyperactive and dominate over the other. By further testing and analysis of the immune system to determine the mechanics of the persons immune dysfunction, more specific support appropriate to their immune pattern can be provided. It also becomes important to not take anything that is going to be stimulating the already dominant side. Balancing this system goes a along way in reducing a patients symptoms.