Stress, Anxiety and The Inflammation Connection

      Can we all agree we have experienced some degree of stress, anxiety, even depression in the last 6 months? Stress and anxiety can present in many ways. Anxiety can even present as excessive fear and can result in functional disturbances in the body. One of these manifestations is INFLAMMATION. It can present as joint pain, fatigue, brain fog or digestive upset. When you are in a continual stressed or anxious state of mind , the response in the body is to become sympathetic dominant. What that means is that you are in a constant fight or flight response and unable to relax because the body thinks it is in some kind of danger. Many people find sleep is profoundly affected as well as mood, eating habits and eventually overall health. The worst thing about losing sleep on a regular basis is that it keeps your body from healing like it should. You then become unproductive and the cycle continues.

       Chronic stress leads to CORTISOL surges. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, produced in the adrenal glands and regulates many bodily functions, including blood sugar metabolism,  your brain’s use of glucose for energy and increasing the availability of substances that repair tissues. When cortisol remains high, however, because of a chronic stress response, here’s what happens:

Androgen (male sex hormones) reduction, increase in cardio-metabolic risk factors (such as heart attack or stroke), joint pain, sleep deprivation, emotional eating, irritability, weight-loss resistance,  and among other things, disruption in gut health which we know leads to over-activity of the immune system, contributing to autoimmune disease, more inflammation and leaky gut. Then the immune system is eventually suppressed. This leaves you open to overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, which can lead to candida overgrowth or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) which causes more leaky gut, more inflammation and you see this vicious cycle evolving.

This cascade contributes to chronic disease and ill health. In order to properly  address any of these effects, it’s important to assess your state of health. Some of the ways we recommend are with a simple saliva test called the Adrenal Salivary Index (ASI) or lab tests for inflammatory markers such as Ferritin, hsCRP and Homocysteine.

Here are some of the best (safe and effective) ways to handle stress:

  1. Exercise – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you love it and do it consistently
  2. Deep Breathing – there are many different techniques available to you online
  3. Yoga or Meditation
  4. Essential oils such as Lavender, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Bergamot, Melissa can be diffused in water or added to a carrier oil and applied to your skin
  5. Reach out to a friend
  6. Keep a Journal
  7. Enjoy your pet
  8. Avoid sugary and fried foods- even though they may seem to comfort you temporarily, they will eventually make you feel sick

If you need help in your quest for health, especially during these difficult times, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us though our website:

Be Well!

Dr. MaryAnn Ley

Joint Pain: Myths and Truths

If you are over 50, chances are you may be suffering from some type of joint pain. In fact, 50 million American adults have inflammatory arthritis, a degenerative joint condition leading to joint stiffness in the morning, pain with exercise,  loss of range of motion,  and inability to perform activities of daily living –  getting dressed , brushing hair, etc. without discomfort.  Or you may find you have a difficult time getting on the floor to play with your kids or grand-kids, to garden or do simple chores.

You may have been told that it’s due to OLD AGE, and that’s how it goes. But why is it that some people enjoy exercising and other activities well into their senior years without PAIN? A very small percent has to do with genetics, but what is really true is that your LIFESTYLE dictates how you age, in that what you do throughout your life does matter. People can live well into their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s enjoying physical activity and strength – sometimes even more than some in their 40’s.

As you age, your body produces less Collagen, Hyaluronic acid and Hydrochloric acid.  How do these affect your joints? Collagen is an abundant animal protein essential to promoting adequate hair, skin, nails, cartilage and bone growth.  Hyaluronic acid is lubricating fluid made by the body and is found in highest concentration in eyes and joints.  Hydrochloric (HCL) acid is made by the parietal cells in the stomach and helps with proper digestion and breakdown of proteins. If you don’t have enough of each of these, your health will deteriorate.

People with inflammatory arthritis have higher rates of abdominal pain, trouble swallowing and nausea.  The connection between digestion and joint pain is inflammation triggered by changes in stomach acid.  How do you  promote healthy gut function so you can reduce joint pain? Diet. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as  GMO- grains, commercial vegetable oils, fried foods, pesticides, excess alcohol, artificial sweeteners, sugary foods.

Other lifestyle changes that can affect your joints and help reduce pain are:

  • STOP smoking
  • maintain a decent WEIGHT as obesity adds undo stress to joints
  • avoid NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) and steroids as these medications reduce compounds called prostaglandins, which protect the lining of the stomach. When the lining of the stomach is exposed to stomach acid, irritation or ulcers can develop. The answer is NOT taking an antacid medication.
  • Move more- this may seem antithetical but in fact, joints need movement to get blood flow to them
  • Watch your POSTURE- avoid the wallet in the back pocket, sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, don’t slouch
  • Take vitamin D3 and calcium -rich foods such as leafy and dark green vegetables and organic, grass-fed whole dairy products
  • Use natural “rubs’ and topical analgesics with Arnica, CBD oil, Camphor, Peppermint essential oil
  • Take Digestive Enzymes
  • Do exercises that engage your lower abs, posterior chain muscles (back)
  • Visit  your chiropractor for evaluation and hip/low back and spine supportive care




Supporting your Immune System – THIS is how you prevent CORONAVIRUS and ANY other Disease

“All Disease Begins in the GUT” – Hippocrates, father or modern Medicine

Social Distancing, Stay Home, Wash Hands, Be Safe, Wear Masks, Wear Gloves, 6 Feet, Lockdown,  is what we’ve been inundated with from the News Media over the past 30 days. Leading to Hysteria and FEAR! 

I am frustrated by what I am NOT hearing from the mainstream media – That your susceptibility to getting this CoViD-19 is all about your IMMUNE HEALTH, or lack thereof. The virus is a strange one, yes, and regardless of where it came from, your defense is your immune system. Listen- viruses, yeasts, parasites, bacteria all live among us. Viruses don’t attack us and kill us – your OVERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEM does. Your body is constantly trying to be in HOMEOSTASIS, or balance. Our immune system is a complex system which includes natural immunity, adaptive immunity, virome, lung and gut microbiome, and some genetics. You are exposed to microbes ALL the time. So what actually happens when you get sick with Coronavirus, or any other disease? Your compromised system goes into overdrive and signals for help from natural defense mechanisms like T helper cells and macrophages and starts a cytokine storm which then renders you compromised. This is a severe inflammatory response.

If you have arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus, etc, you already have a breakdown  of your immune system because it is overloaded. It can’t do it’s job. It is a lifestyle-driven problem. Sure, I believe many folks do the right thing, and still have problems. But this doesn’t happen overnight. The Standard American diet contributes, of course, but so do some other mechanisms we must FIGHT to eliminate from our environment such as dioxins, GMO-foods, Aluminum and Mercury (two of the most toxic elements in nature), excessive Radiofrequencies….

What contributes to a compromised immune system ? Remember – ALL DISEASE STARTS IN THE GUT – according to Alessio Fassano, MD, it’s the “LEAKY” GUT. This is gut permeability or dysbiosis, and involves the gut- brain barrier, lung tissue, oral mucosa, lymphoid tissue in the lining of your gut which is where up to 80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEM lies. Does it make sense to to try to maintain a healthy gut? Absolutely! It’s a bit late if you already have the virus – by the way, 90% of us are healthy enough to fight this off.

What makes you unhealthy and compromises your gut?

Antibiotic use, processed food, medications including antacids, polyunsaturated genetically modified commercial vegetable oils, smoking, artificial sweeteners, SUGARS (including simple carbohydrates), low-fat commercially- processed dairy, environmental toxins, heavy metals from vaccines, pesticide use, GLYPHOSATE on our crops, which destroys our gut microbiome, fluoridation in water, Electromagnetic/Radio frequencies, stress, and more.

Being healthy so your body works for you is about PREVENTION! How do you get health and stay healthy?

Sleep well, reduce STRESS, drink pure water (no, bottled water isn’t better), breathe clean air, eat REAL FOOD, including full fat clean dairy, meat from grass-fed animals, organic produce. Supplement with:

  1. Vitamin D3 with K2 healthy fat. (most people in Northern Hemisphere are deficient). According to Dr Shiva Ayudarai , take 10,000 iu for a few days or weeks and then cut back to 5,000iu/day. Vitamin D is a powerful immune modulator and very protective . It’s a pre-hormone activated by exposure to sun. SO get some SUN – 20 minutes every day, most of your body, without sunscreen. Avoid burning.  Get your levels checked with a simple blood test. I can tell you more- ask your doctor, nutritionist or order online. It works synergistically with Vitamin A.

2. Vitamin A- it is cell-protective and forms a barrier against viruses, especially in lung tissue.  It has a broad range of biological effects by affecting gene expression.  Deficiency leads to insulin resistance, reduced energy production,  faulty lipid metabolism and is considered one of the most common nutritional disorder IN THE WORLD (World Health Organization) . Take 10,000 iu’s a day of palmitate. (Dr, Shiva Ayyadurai). Consume lots of colorful vegetable and fruits (but these are not the best source of vitamin A as your body must convert the carotenes to a bioavailable form) , egg yolks, butter, cream, fish liver oils, liver (once a week will provide the adequate dose).

3.  Zinc -about 40-50 mg/day  helps protect against respiratory tract infections and studies show 30% of adults are deficient in this mineral, leading to increased risk of infections, including pneumonia.

4. Vitamin C- 500-2000 mg/day has shown to be protective against colds and other infections, especially viral infections, acute respiratory infections (SARS), protective against free radical oxidative damage.

5. Medicinal Mushrooms – Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Turkey tail, Maitaki – all enhance immune system, and reduce symptoms associated with asthma and lung infections.

6. Bone Broth – immune booster and detoxifier. Make from grass-fed meat bones.

7. Coconut Oil- Cold pressed and organic is antimocrobial – take 1 Tbs/day

8. Good quality saturated FATS!

9. CBD oil (I use Max and Steven’s)

Please don’t buy into the hype- and avoid FEAR. Have FAITH- in your self, your innate ability to heal, your fellow humans and your GOD!














BACON-can it really be HEALTHY for you?

Don’t we all LOVE BACON? ( unless you’re pregnant- I recall the smell absolutely nauseated me). Anyway, bacon or pig fat, has long been touted as an unhealthy food because of nitrites/nitrates and how high in saturated fat it is. The fat in bacon is actually 40%  saturated- the rest being monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils. By the way,  COCONUT oil, which most of the world agrees is a beneficial healthy food , is 92% saturated fat. This doesn’t make it “bad”.

You may already know the scientific community has pretty much fully agreed in recent years that saturated fat is actually not bad for you at all… and has been a huge part of our ancestral diets since the beginning of time .

What scientists have been discovering in recent years is the damaging effects of highly processed polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils like corn and soy. These are the REAL killers (along with too much sugar and starch, both of which also cause arterial stress if blood sugar levels are too high, too frequently).

What makes a difference in the bacon you choose however, is how the pigs we get fat from are raised. Are they raised in factory farms or free to pasture and consume acorns and non – GMO feed?

According to Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, “Pork fat also contains a novel form of phosphatidylcholine that possesses antioxidant activity superior to Vitamin E. This may be one reason why lard and bacon fat are relatively stable and not prone to rancidity from free radicals. ” 

  This is yet another reason why our grandparents were actually smarter than we give them credit for… they used bacon fat or butter to cook with most times, instead of today’s inflammatory vegetable oils. Yes, inflammatory. More on that in another blog.

What about Nitrates/Nitrites?

Nitrites from processing bacon are not altogether as damaging as we have thought according to Nicholas Pineaut, health researcher:

“The fear of nitrites and nitrates is overblown.  There are a ton of other things you should worry about more when it comes to food, like GMOs, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup.

The problem with nitrites and nitrates is that some of them can transform into NITROSAMINES while cooking. Nitrosamines are potentially carcinogenic, so that’s definitely a legit concern. But that’s exactly why manufacturers use vitamin C (ascorbic acid) when curing their meats.

It turns out that vitamin C or even vitamin E , offers a protective antioxidant effect when consumed with the bacon.“

Eating foods rich in antioxidants WITH your bacon , such as avocado, veggies, eggs, , coffee/tea is a good idea and you probably do that anyway.

I make sure to buy bacon from a local source I trust. YOU can too. Go to to find a farmer near your zip code.



The Great Cholesterol Myth, Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Mike Geary/truthsboutabs

Dr Kareem Sanhouri

Heart Healthy in February

When we think of February, we may think of it being COLD OUTSIDE, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day , or if you live in an ever-changing climate like I do, you may be dreaming of a mini vacation somewhere warm.

February is American Heart Month and the Go Red for Women National campaign to raise awareness that heart disease is not just a male-dominated one, but affects half of all Americans, male and female alike. The most common cause is coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular disease, despite many efforts through the years to reduce the incidences, is still the #1 cause of death in the US. You may wonder why the recommendations to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise and lowering cholesterol are not working?!

Did you know that your HEART is the most important muscle in your body and  beats on average 108,000 times per day? But did you also know that your heart is NOT just a pump  flooding the body with blood? It is also a two-way signaling system to the brain. Affected by stress and EMOTIONS  (,  many doctors have noticed that heart attacks occur with more frequency in the months just after severe emotional trauma—loss of a spouse or close friend, bankruptcy, layoff or disappointment. We know that grief changes many aspects of the body chemistry, making us more vulnerable to all sorts of diseases—not just heart disease but also cancer, allergies, tuberculosis and depression. An unhappy marriage can break a woman’s heart, figuratively and literally.

Apart from the usual list of contributing factors to heart disease,  NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES play a huge role in how your heart functions. How are nutritional deficiencies created? Among others, consuming low-fat, processed foods high in sugars and artificial ingredients along with over- the- counter and prescription medications, stress, and lack of sleep.

The best way to protect your heart health is to:

  • Eat a wide variety of vegetables (preferably organic) on a daily basis, making sure to include nitrate-rich leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, magnesium- and quercetin-rich varieties.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Exercise regularly but you needn’t overdo. A brisk daily walk, 10 minutes on the trampoline, swimming, and sports are all appropriate.
  • Avoid being overweight by eating nutrient-dense foods and keeping sweets to a minimum, but avoid crash dieting.
  • Don’t work too hard. Counteract stress by doing something that you love to do everyday. During periods of unavoidable hardship or loss, increase consumption of foods rich in protective nutrients.
  • As much as possible, avoid exposure to fumes, chemicals, pollutants and pesticides.
  • Avoid all processed foods labeled “lowfat” or that contain polyunsaturated vegetable oils, hydrogenated fats, white flour, refined sugar and additives.
  • Consume high-quality animal products including a variety of seafood and milk, butter, cheese, eggs, meat, fats and organ meats from animals raised on green pasture.
  • Ensure sufficient mineral intake by using whole dairy products; bone broths; and whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been properly prepared to reduce phytic acid and other factors that block mineral absorption.
  • Supplement the diet with foods rich in protective factors including small amounts of cod liver oil (vitamins A and D)
  • Soy, already bad for your health, has also been proven to lead to a higher likelihood of heart disease, so avoid it.
  • Notice that I did not mention CHOLESTEROL because contrary to what you may have heard, it is NOT what causes or contributes to heart disease. Cholesterol is heart protective and needed for maintaining cell membranes and producing sex hormones. When arteries have cholesterol plaque it is also thought to be the RESULT of damage to the vessel walls wherein cholesterol goes to patch up the damaged lining.

LOVE is a positive high frequency emotion which can heal and help us overcome obstacles. Studies of the heart’s rhythms have discovered that when we feel love, or any positive emotion such as compassion, caring, or gratitude, the heart sends messages to the brain and secretes hormones that positively affect our health.

The HEART SOUND RECORDER (endocardiograph) is a tool we use to measure the rate, rhythm, and tone of the heart valves. The old saying “the heart feeds first” means your heart can show nutritional needs before they manifest in other organs. If interested in more information, please contact our office : 410 628-9355

Dr. MaryAnn