Hypothyroidism, Part 1: An Overview, Causes and Symptoms

This is the first in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Before we discuss hypothyroidism, it’s important to understand what the thyroid is and what it does. The thyroid is a large endocrine gland that looks like a butterfly and rests on the vocal chords, just below the Adam’s apple.

Hypothyroidism photo of Thyroid Gland

The thyroid produces two main hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Simply put, these hormones control how your body uses energy.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What is Wellness?

picture of Family running on the beachMany words used in healthcare are either misunderstood or misrepresented. “Wellness” is at or near the top of that list.

I’ve always believed that the term “wellness” should not be used to describe a single health-related service or discipline. It’s more than just going to your doctor, or just seeing a chiropractor, or just working out, or just eating healthier.

In an article in Dynamic Chiropractic magazine, Dr. David Seaman, whose thoughts closely parallel mine, defined true wellness as a state of optimal physical and mental function that is pursued by active lifestyle choices.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What Happened to Truth, Justice and the American Way?

Child-pretending-to-be-a-super heroAs a kid in the 1970s, my favorite TV show was Superman. Every day, I would watch reruns of the old black and white show from the 1950s, and every year, I would dress up as Superman for Halloween.

The thing I remember most about this show is what Superman was always fighting for – truth, justice and the American way!

Truth has really come under the microscope recently with all of the political scandals going on in our country. I’m not a political guy, but I pay attention to what’s happening. It does make you wonder about what the truth really is.

When it comes to our health, the truth is no longer up for debate, but our country and our leaders don’t seem to want to accept it.

As Dr. Mark Hyman wrote years ago, the American healthcare system is based on the outdated notion that disease should be treated, not prevented. Our system doesn’t keep us healthy. It keeps us sick.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Poor Health: Bad Luck or Bad Choices?

Power SwitchMost people chalk up heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and almost every other serious illness and disease to genetics. We were born that way and there’s nothing we can do about it.

While the genes passed from parents to children do impact health, recent research points more and more to the fact that there is much less of a genetic component to our health, and much more of an environmental component.

In other words, our health – good or bad – has less to do with luck and more to do with the choices we make. This is epigenetics.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Physical Impact of Stress

stress-therapy-and-management--40927192 (1)Many of us think stress is purely psychological. It’s all in our head, so we just have to work it out of our system. After all, it’s not like a broken leg or something.

No big deal, right? Wrong.

Stress is a really big deal, and not just psychologically. As part of the foundation of the Pyramid of Health, stress is one of the eight basic elements we must take into account in order to achieve optimal health.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Metabolic Syndrome: What It Is and What You Can Do About It

bigstock-Diabetes-Just-Ahead-Green-Road-29966219According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of Americans over the age of 20 have Metabolic Syndrome. That’s a huge number, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent. But what is it?

Metabolic Syndrome is a group of medical disorders that, when taken together, increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. In 1988, researchers coined the term “Syndrome X” to describe this grouping of symptoms that are centered on insulin resistance, which often leads to type 2 diabetes. Syndrome X is now also referred to as Metabolic Syndrome.

This condition is characterized by three or more of the following factors:

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding the Pyramid of Health and Why It’s So Important

If you have any familiarity whatsoever with Proodian Healthcare, you’ve probably heard me or someone from my staff talk about the Pyramid of Health. At the very least, you’ve heard us say something that indirectly refers to the Pyramid of Health and didn’t even realize it.

There’s a reason for this. The Pyramid of Health, pictured above, is at the core of everything we do. It motivates and inspires our thought processes and decision making. The Pyramid is what’s going through my head during every radio show, every blog, every speaking engagement and every appointment with a patient.

It’s the driving force behind all three components of Proodian Healthcare:

  1. Teach Me: Health literacy is the key to longevity. MyWellnessAtWork.com
  2. Treat Me: An integrated approach to health and wellness. NaturalHealthCareCenter.com
  3. Supply Me: An online store for pharmaceutical-grade supplements. PutBackWhatYouLack.com

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Importance of Controlling Our Response to Stress

Picture this scenario: I’m giving a presentation to 150 people in an auditorium that has one door on the right side and one door on the left side. As I’m fielding a question from the audience, a mountain lion walks through the door on the right.

Would you expect me to announce that the presentation is ending prematurely, thank everyone for coming, casually stroll to the door on the left, and shake each person’s hand as they leave? Of course not.

You should probably expect to see me sprinting face first through the wall on the left, door or no door, probably breaking every bone in my face, and running down the street to escape an obviously dangerous situation.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Bigger Issue Behind Bloomberg’s Failed Jumbo Soda Ban

Last week, a New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that New York City’s ban on the sale of jumbo-sized sugary soft drinks should not be enacted. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the ban, said his administration would appeal the decision.

One comment during a press conference after the ruling struck me. Mayor Bloomberg said, “I’ve got to defend my children, and yours, and do what’s right to save lives. Obesity kills. There’s no question it kills.”

I’m not here to moderate a discussion about whether or not this proposed law was the right thing to do. From my perspective, at least people are now talking about the life-threatening affects that soda and other drinks have on human beings.

Let me be very direct and clear about the bigger issue.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Fibromyalgia: Attacking the Cause Instead of Masking the Symptoms

If you or someone you know is suffering from fibromyalgia, you know how debilitating this disorder can be. Fibromyalgia is a form of generalized muscular pain and fatigue that affects approximately 3.7 million Americans. Literally translated, the name “fibromyalgia” means pain in the muscles and fibrous connective tissues (ligaments and tendons). Symptoms of fibromyalgia range from chronic muscle pain, to bowel irregularities, to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Fibromyalgia is a very difficult condition to treat. The traditional approach to treatment usually involves prescription medication designed to slow down the firing of overactive nerves. This can indeed help to improve the patient’s quality of life by masking a number of symptoms of fibromyalgia.

However, this approach never truly addresses the reason why a person’s pain nerves fire as the result of simple movements that shouldn’t cause pain.

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Time To Take Back Your Health

Overwhelmed Woman Looking at List of Weight Lost Choices

If you’ve ever heard me speak about nutrition, you know how I feel about diets. You die on a diet. It’s that simple.

As we make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy and get in shape, too many of us rely on diets that involve some type of deprivation, which is inevitably followed by some type of binging. It’s just not a healthy or sustainable way to live.

Instead of relying on others and unhealthy gimmicks, we need to make it our personal responsibility to take our health back – physically, nutritionally and psychologically – in order to avoid disease, chronic illness and stress. We need to take better care of ourselves.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is the state of our health care system, which is overly burdened and fundamentally broken at its core. Not that there aren’t wonderful doctors out there who are saving lives and doing great work, but there’s not enough of a focus on preventative care.

It’s a question of sick care vs. health care.

Sick care is designed to treat a disease or illness after we already have it. Health care – the new model – is designed to prevent illness before it happens.

Right now, we essentially operate under a sick care model focused on disease management. For example, if you’re diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, you’re told to eat more frequent, smaller meals. Instead, we should be receiving good advice all along that helps to prevent us from getting the disease. This is the new model of health care, which is focused on prevention.

In this model, we need to be careful about whose advice we’re taking. Are we taking advice from a health care provider or a sick care provider? Unfortunately, many sick care providers aren’t specifically trained in preventative medicine.

For example, I saw a prominent doctor on national television who said statin drugs – cholesterol-lowering medication – are a great form of preventative medicine. I sat back in my chair and said to myself, “Now millions of people think they should take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol.”

I take issue with this. I’m not anti-statin drugs, but as someone in clinical practice, I can tell you that if you want to lower your cholesterol, it can be done naturally without medication in most cases.

Sick care certainly has its place, whether it means conducting yearly physicals or treating the “God forbids,” like a heart attack or a broken leg. We need highly trained neurosurgeons and other doctors whose very job is to save lives.

Instead of thinking in a single dimensional way to correct a problem, a health care provider thinks in a multi-dimensional way, considering the whole person when offering advice on how to prevent a problem. A health care provider’s job is to save lives by helping us lead a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid illness and disease whenever possible.

Adelle Davis, one of my favorite nutritionists, once said that we do one of two things every day. We either build health or produce disease in ourselves.

Instead of latching on to the latest weight loss gimmick, let’s think about preventing disease, not waiting for a bad diagnosis and figuring out the best way to treat it. Look for nutritionally dense food, like broccoli and kale, an amazing super food with cancer-fighting properties that’s great for the gastrointestinal system.

Avoid the obvious, like fast food and soda, but also foods that have hardly any nutritional value, like white bread, sugar and starch. Filling up on non-nutritionally dense foods is what makes us obese.

When we follow the advice of health care providers and educate ourselves, we become empowered to make smart decisions. As we kick off 2013, let’s skip the resolutions. Let’s make a long-term commitment to taking back our health using this new preventative health care model.

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Dealing with Stress in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Last week, a woman named Cathy who lived in Monmouth Beach came into our office, wrapped her arms around me and cried. She lost her house and her car. She even lost her job because her employer was devastated by the storm.

Hurricane Sandy brought something to New Jersey that very few of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. Unfortunately, this is the kind of tragedy and trauma we can’t prevent. Some things are just out of our control.

What we can control is our response to stress – how we get through each day, our thought processes, our nutritional activities, and our physical activities.

Cathy told me that when she went to her house to clean out whatever was left, she seemed to have an unusual abundance of energy. She was lifting heavy things over her head and didn’t stop working all day. She had no idea where this physical strength and energy came from.

I explained to Cathy that this is the body’s fight-or-flight reflex. The fight-or-flight reflex is the body’s reaction to stress. Hormones like adrenaline are secreted and released into our bloodstream and directed to our muscles and limbs. This gives us strength and energy, particularly in times of stress.

Maybe you’re going through a lot of highs and lows right now. Whether you’ve been personally impacted by Hurricane Sandy, or you’re trying to help others deal with loss, there’s a good chance that you’re filled with a lot of energy throughout the day as you try to get as much accomplished as possible. Then you completely crash at night. That’s part of the fight-or-flight reflex.

The way our brains are wired into our bodies can cause a lot of discomfort and even disease, so we need to be very conscious of that noodle between our ears. We need to be aware of how we’re processing information, especially in times of stress.

Stress disrupts our state of homeostasis, or our state of balance and stability. Sometimes stress is temporary, like if you’re late for an important appointment because you were stuck in traffic, or if you get into an argument with your spouse.

Dealing with stress during times of crisis, like in the aftermath of a life-altering hurricane, is something that many of us are dealing with day after day, and week after week. If we allow this disruption to our state of homeostasis to consume us, it can cause serious disorders, particularly in our immune system.

What we need to do is find that place of comfort among family, friends and community. Turn to foods that will nourish us, like fruits, vegetables, and sources of protein. Drink a lot of water and consume healthy oils, like olive oil and flaxseed oil. Avoid vegetable oils and foods that are high in fat and sugar. Bad nutrition just adds more of a stressful burden to our bodies. Although it may be difficult, it is also important to keep up with your regular routine as much as possible. Your chiropractic visits are more important than ever in times of mental and physical stress. Exercise outside of the manual labor of cleaning and rebuilding will help you de-compress, especially with a calming practice like yoga. And, of course, nothing beats a relaxing massage to help revive and refresh your spirit.

We all need to find a balance of physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual comfort because they’re all interrelated. This will enable us to process stress productively and make clear, sound decisions. If you find yourself struggling to find balance, look for support from people who can help you.

Remember, some events in life are uncontrollable, but we have the power to process stress and regain our balance and clarity. We can get through this, and we will.

Dr. James Prood­ian is an accom­plished chi­ro­prac­tic physi­cian, health edu­ca­tor and busi­ness vision­ary. He is a dynamic edu­ca­tor com­mit­ted to the prin­ci­ples of func­tional med­i­cine. As a keynote speaker, he has inspired thou­sands to con­sider prac­ti­cal ways to achieve bet­ter health and well­ness through Lifestyle Med­i­cine and Health Literacy.

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Health of Our Nation

I was listening to the news on the radio yesterday and a team of doctors were discussing the cost of “Obamacare” and if Americans can only get healthier the cost of healthcare would go down….I thought what an eye opening earth shattering statement that many of us have been saying for 2-3 decades now. Its amazes me that it takes a polarizing law like this that had to go to the Supreme Court before our medical professionals started to talk about the cost of chronic illness. One statement made on the program was that doctors have done a bad job preventing Type II Diabetes and Obesity, two very costly and highly preventable chronic illnesses. The point here is that prevention is not part of the medical model…..sick care and health care are two very different things. I thank God for our medical providers who save lives every day and that is sick care but the time has come to better define “health” care and the fact that on this same radio program it was very clear that the immediate treatment they suggested for the Type II Diabetes and Obesity epidemics was Gastric Bypass Surgery…..$20-25k a pop and this was the medical solution….period. We must be careful with this logic seeing how we have gone through the decades of surgical procedures that were supposed to “cure” situations from tonsillectomies to hysterectomies and now gastric bypass. The right intention may be in their heart but the simple Lifestyle Modifications through Functional Medicine is right here right now. Spread the word and let’s take back the health of our nation which we have carelessly ignored.

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.