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What We Do

At Back To Life Natural Health Center, we believe that once the underlying factors causing your chronic health problems are addressed, then you will be able to achieve optimal health. We refer to these factors as the ten modifiable factors of aging.

Blood Sugar

Poor blood sugar management, also known as dysglycemia or insulin resistance, is an epidemic problem in our society today. The American Diabetes Assosciation estimates that There are 41 million people in the United States, ages 40 to 74, who have pre-diabetes.

The biggest contributing factor to dysglycemia is the amount of refined carbohydrates eaten. In 1999 Each American ate an average of 158 pounds of sugar. Below is a description of how insulin resistance progresses to diabetes.


Referring to the diagrams, you should have optimal blood sugar (glucose) and optimal insulin.

As you begin to have dysglycemia your insulin levels rise to keep your glucose levels within optimal. Insulin is a storage hormone, therefore the person usually stores body fat. Blood sugar weight gain is found in the stomach area (apple body shape). The next thing that usually happens is an increase in cholesterol or triglycerides, which is measured by a lipid panel. In time your insulin doesn’t work as well and your glucose level begins to rise.

The progression continues, insulin levels continue to rise trying to keep your glucose levels under control, but glucose levels continue to creep higher. During this time, if you get high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides this is called Syndrome X.

The final stage is that insulin no longer has any effect on the body, glucose levels rise and you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In time your pancreas cannot keep up with the demands for insulin, and production decreases, leading to Type 1 Diabetes as well.

Insulin resistance can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high LDL, low HDL, heart disease, depression, inflammation, pain, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances to name a few.

Impaired Detoxification

According to the Journal of Clinical Chemistry 1996, the seven symptoms of chronic poisoning are fatigue, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, allergy symptoms, confusion, and anxiety. You might wonder what the poison is? It’s toxicity. Every chemical reaction in your body produces toxins in the form of acid. Your detoxifying organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, large intestine and skin) are able to handle this burden. When you add to the equation that every year we release 550,000,000 lbs. of industrial chemicals into public sewage, 1,000,000,000 lbs. of chemicals released into the ground, 188,000,000 lbs. of chemicals into surface waters, 2,400,000,000 lbs. of air emissions, that adds up to 4,138,000,000 lbs. of toxins per year. We ingest this through our food, water, and air. There are over 10,000 chemical additives in our food supply. The average American ingests 14 pounds of additives, 158 pounds of sugar, and 8 pounds of salt per year. This is way more than your organs were designed to handle.

If you have dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of the intestinal tract, you can greatly increase your toxic burden. Dysbiosis is an overgrowth of yeast, bacteria, and parasites. These are all living organisms, and living organisms eat, and when they eat, they go to the bathroom. Their bowel movements are very toxic to you.

We are constantly ingesting heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and many more everyday. This ingestion comes from the food we eat the water we drink and the air we breath.

All these chemicals, metals and toxins can be stored in your body, usually in body fat and in the extracellular space. This can cause cellular fluid shifts that are measurable with the BIA.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can be seen in many common diseases such as chronic pain conditions, arthritis, autoimmune disorders to name a few.

There are three primary causes of inflammation: trauma to the tissues, toxicity causing damage to tissues, and nutrient insufficiencies that create weaker tissues, and therefore cause tissue breakdown. When tissues breakdown many chemicals are released, such as prostaglandin, leukotrienes, substance P, prostocycliens, and histamine. These chemicals trigger nociceptors, which are the nerves that cause pain.

When cell membranes are damaged, the lipids in the cell membrane are released, creating the arachidonic acid cascade or the creation of series 2 prostaglandins. This causes the release of white blood cells to sterilize the area, and macrophages to clean up the debris. The pro-inflammatory effects of prostaglandin 2 can be balanced and neutralized by the anti-inflammatory effects of prostaglandins 1 and 3. The balance of the prostagladins depends on the content of the cell membrane damaged. If the cell membranes are high in arachidonic acid, trans fats and omega 6 fats, the balance will be towards prostaglandin 2 and therefore inflammation. Arachidonic acid is found in red meat dairy and shellfish. Trans fats, which are biological poisons, can be found in fried foods, and omega 6 fats which can be pro or anti inflammatory can be found in vegetable oils. The omega-3 fats are purely anti-inflammatory and are found in cold water fish and seeds. The average American currently ingests 97 percent Omega 6 fats and only three percent omega-3 fats.

The process of chronic inflammation occurs as follows: when a cell membrane becomes damaged, the phospholipids of the cell membrane are released, the macrophages and the white blood cells are called in. The macrophages will eat up the debris, the white blood cells will release hypochlorite to sterilize the area. This chemical will further damage adjacent cell membranes causing the release of more membrane phospholipids causing a feed forward process. This continues until series 1 and 3 prostagladins counteract the series 2 prostaglandins. Therefore it is very important to have cell membranes that have a high content of prostaglandins 1 and 3, which come from Omega 3 fats. This is the reason why 100 million Americans experience pain every day, and 34 million suffer from chronic pain.

Inflammation creates pain and produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a mitochondrial poison. It poisons the mitochondria by blocking the cis-aconitase enzyme & the conversion of citric acid to cis-aconitinic acid and therefore causing fatigue. Pain and fatigue are the number one reasons people seek medical care.

Today’s pain control practices cause 16,500 people to die from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs per year and more than 100,000 are hospitalized at cost of more then $22,000 per hospitalization.

Faulty Methylation

Methlylation is what occurs when your body takes one substance and turns it into another, so it is detoxified and can be excreted from the body.

Methylation is a process that occurs one billion times per second, it takes place in the liver during phase two detoxification. A methyl group is a carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms attached to it. Methylation occurs when SAMe (S-adenosine methionine) donates a methyl group, which is then attached to the molecule that is being detoxified. SAMe then becomes homocysteine. Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid are necessary to reduce homocysteine and keep the methylation process occurring.

Faulty methylation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, neural tube defects, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer, reproductive cancers, kidney infarct, cervical dysplasia, faulty detoxification and impaired DNA repair. When you have poor methylation your body’s levels of homocysteine will elevate. Homocysteine is a amino acid that is toxic to the body. Dr. Kilmer McCulley (author of “The Homocysteine Revolution”), discovered that high levels of homocysteine caused heart disease and stroke in animal studies. He then found that B vitamins decreased the homocysteine levels, and therefore stopped the heart disease process. Our society has the mindframe that cholesterol is the biggest factor to heart disease, but only 40% of people who have heart attacks have any of the standard risk factors. Could the cause be homocysteine?

According to the “Lancet” 1980 poor methylation will cause neural tube defects. It was found that mothers who had children with neural tube defects from a previous birth, who took a multivitamin had a 1:178 incident of repeated neural tube defects, where the control group with no multivitamin had a 5:260 incident of neural tube defects. In 1991 the “Lancet” reported that folic acid was the nutrient that prevented neural tube defects. In the “Journal of the American Medical Association” 1992 it was found that low folic acid levels increased the incidence of cervical dysplasia. It was also discovered that folic acid supplementation could stop the process and even reverse it. The “Journal of Nutrition” year 2000, reported that the lower the levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 the more severe the cervical dysplasia. In 1988, the “New England Journal of Medicine” stated that lower levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 increased the incidence of Alzheimer’s. This is because folic acid and vitamin B12 are needed for phospholipid synthesis in the brain.

Methylation is also used in DNA. Every cell in your body has the DNA for every other cell, but your liver cell doesn’t make a heart cell. This is because methyl groups turn off the DNA we don’t want our bodies to read. If you have poor methylation your body will start to take the methyl groups off of your genes to use for other purposes. Now if that methyl group was removed from a cancer gene, it may begin to express cancer. This is how methylation turns off your oncogenes and your metastatic promoter genes. The “Journal of Nutrition and Cancer” year 2000, stated that cancer cells have lower levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 and therefore lower levels of methylation. “Journal of Carcinogenesis” year 2000, states that methylation is needed to mask DNA as well as repair DNA.

Approximately one trillion molecules of oxygen passes through every single cell in our body in a 24-hour period. This equals approximately 100,000 free radical hits on our cellular DNA. 99 to 99.9 percent is repaired by methylation. Approximately one-third of people have the 677 C to T polymorphism (which can be tested through genomics). This doesn’t allow them to convert folic acid to the activated form of 5 methyl tetrahydrofolate, which is needed to make the enzyme 5 methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase. This is the enzyme that is needed to remove homocysteine. Individuals who have this genetic polymorphism will have an increased risk of the above mentioned diseases.

Chronic Stress

What exactly is stress? Stress can come in many forms, it could be emotional stress, chemicalstress stress (toxicity), electromagnetic stress, physical stress, or anything else that elicits a stress response in the body. It doesn’t matter what kind of stress you have, your body perceives them as all the same. Stress has many effects on the body. It can lower your immune system, increase your cholesterol,blood sugar and blood pressure. It can cause sexual dysfunctions, arthrititis, heart disease, weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, cancer, as well as lower thyroid function and metabolism.

When you’re under stress your body switches into a fight or flight mode. When this takes place there are several physiological responses. You have a decrease of all noncritical processes. Your energy will be mobilized to your muscle. Digestion will be turned off (50 percent of people have digestive complaints), detoxification will be impaired, you have a decrease in cellular repair, and you will be placed in a catabolic (breaking down) state. This catabolic state will weaken all your systems.

Looking at the diagram you can see that there are three different states one can be in. You can be in a sick state. This is when your stress levels are higher then your resistance levels. You can be in an average state of health. This is when your stress levels and resistance levels are about equal. These are the people who feel good until something stressful happens, then they get symptoms. The last is a state of good health. This is when your resistance is much higher than your stress levels. This leaves you two choices; reduce stress, or increase resistance. The easiest one to do is to decrease stress. Unfortunately some of us are unable to do this, therefore we must increase resistance. This means you need to support your hypothalamic — pituitary — adrenal axis.

Impaired Mitochondria Function

Nineteen percent of men report that they are tired and 30 percent of women report that they are tired. The mitochondria is the part of the cell that produces ATP (the bodies chemical form of energy). It produces ATP approximately 1000 times per day. Ninety-five percent of energy production is done by the mitochondria. There is an average of 2500 mitochondria per cell, except the red blood cells, which have none. The energy produced is used for nutrient uptake, cellular repair, and toxin elimination. Death occurs in an organism when it can no longer produce energy. The mitochondria has its own DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is circular like bacterial DNA. It is very susceptible to damage from oxidative stress, because it is not protected by specific proteins and therefore doesn’t repair very efficiently. Mitochondrial DNA is 20 times more susceptible to damage then cellular DNA. The damage caused by oxidation stress will decrease energy production. Oxidation can be measured by the levels of malondilaldehyde in the urine. One of the best ways to increase energy is by exercise. When you exercise the number of mitochondria you have doubles, and they produce three times the amount of enzymes, therefore giving you six times the amount of energy than if you didn’t exercise. If you have dysbiosis, the toxins excreted by the unfriendly organisms will poison the mitochondria and therefore lower energy production. Essential fatty acids in the form of omega-3’s are very important for the mitochondrial membrane. Antioxidants are very important for protecting from oxidation stress.

Immune function

Immune function is very important to sustain life. If your immune system is set too high, you may develop allergies or an autoimmune disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s. If your immune system is set to low you may develop infections or cancer. Approximately two-thirds of your immune system is located in your gut. It is the gut associated lymphoid tissue and the mucosal associated lymphoid tissue. When you have dysbiosis you can severely stress your immune system.

Dr. Sidney Baker say’s that the role of the nervous system is to survey the external environment and then to elicit an appropriate response, he then says the role the immune system is to survey the internal environment and then to elicit an appropriate response. If we consider that the neurotransmitters in the central nervous system also affect every single cell as well as the immune system, and that everything that affects immune system also affects central nervous system, we can conclude that the immune system is a circulating nervous system. This is what is called psychoneuroimmunology. The premise behind psychoneuroimmunology is that every thought that we have produces neurologic and immunologic changes. The conclusion is that negative or stressful thoughts create a sick body, while positive, happy thoughts create a healthy body.

There is research associating specific infections with the onset of specific diseases. The Journal of Rheumatology states, “Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) affects approximately ½ million people in the U.K. and some 96% of them possess HLA-B27, while the frequency of this antigen is about 8%…Clinical studies have showed that AS patients during active phases of the disease, had increased quantities of fecal IgA antibody levels against Klebsiella microbes.”

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are very common in our society, although most people don’t know if they have any. One of the best ways to discover your food sensitivities is to do a food elimination diet. You do this by removing a food from your diet for a minimum of six weeks (120 days is best), then reintroduce the food and see how you feel. Some of the most common food sensitivities are: gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, soy, and chocolate, but it could be any food.

Dr. Kenneth Fine studied various groups of people for gluten sensitivity by measuring immunological markers in the stool, the results are as followed.


Number of Subjects

Percent Positive

Normal Volunteers



Autoimmune Disease



Abdominal Symptoms



Family History of

Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity



Microscopic Colitis



Chronic Fatigue



All Other Symptoms



Celiac Sprue




Food sensitivities have been associated with some diseases. A study on multiple sclerosis, published in Neurology 2001 states, “The authors describe 10 patients with gluten sensitivity and abnormal MRI. All experienced episodic headache, six had unsteadiness, and four had gait ataxia. MRI abnormalities varied from confluent areas of high signal throughout the white matter to foci of high signal scattered in both hemispheres. Symptomatic response to gluten free diet was seen in nine patients.” This study shows that 9 out of ten patients diagnosed with abnormal brain MRI’s diagnosed with M.S. showed dramatic improvement with a 30 day gluten free diet.

Dimentia is has been linked to gluten allergies. Lancet 1999 stated “High levels of circulating antigliaden antibodies (gliaden is a protein sub fraction of gluten) were found in 57% of patients with neurological dysfunction and early stage dementia.

According to the European Journal of Gastroenterology 1998, “celiac disease patients (a gluten allergy) have a ten times increase of auto immune thyroiditis.” If you have autoimmune thryroiditis, but you don’t have celiac disease, it’s a safe assumption that you have a gluten sensitivity and it should be completely eliminated from the diet.

Type 1 diabetes has been associated with a dairy sensitivity. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1992 states, “Studies have suggested that bovine serum albumin is the milk protein responsible for the onset of diabetes… Patients with insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus produce antibodies to cow milk proteins that participate in the development of islet dysfunction… Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that an active response in patients with IDDM (to the bovine protein) is a feature of the autoimmune response.” According to Diabetes, June 2000 “high level consumption of cow’s milk during childhood (

A lack of stomach acid has been associated with food sensitivities. A study of the use of medications to reduce stomach acid has been found to increase food allergies. The FASEB Journal, 2005 stated, “we have demonstrated that anti-ulcer drugs, such as H2-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, promote the development of immediate type food allergy toward digestion-labile proteins in mice…Thus, the relative risk to develop food-specific IgE after anti-acid therapy was 10.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.44-76.48).” Medications will do this but if your body doesn’t produce it’s own stomach acid you will increase your risk of food allergies.


The most important way to balance hormones is to balance everything else. Hormones are very delicate by nature. For example: too little thyroid hormone will result in lower metabolism, fatigue. Too much hormone will result in feeling jittery, insomnia, and in extreme cases cardiac arrest. Too little estrogen will result in osteoporosis, and low libido. Too much estrogen can cause uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast and increased risk of reproductive cancers. Too little testosterone will lead to decrease muscle mass and decrease libido. Too much testosterone will cause aggressiveness, increased prostate problems, and hair loss. Too little growth hormone will cause a decrease in muscle mass and accelerated aging. Too much growth hormone will increase your chances of Type II diabetes by six times, and increase the risk of prostate cancer. Too little insulin is diabetes, which in turn can cause blindness and limb amputation. Increased insulin will cause weight gain, high cholesterol, increased LDL, increased triglycerides, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack.

Cholesterol is the precursor to all our steroid hormones which include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, aldosterone, and DHEA. Eighty to ninety percent of cholesterol is made by the liver. Cholesterol is converted into pregnenolone which is then converted into progesterone which is converted into androstanedione which can be converted into estrogen or DHEA or testosterone. If the person has excess body fat, they will make an enzyme called aromatase which will convert testosterone into estrogen increasing estrogen levels. If a person has insulin resistance their body will produce two enzymes, one called 17, 20 lyase and the other17 alpha hydroxylase. These enzymes convert progesterone into testosterone which will can cause polycystic ovary syndrome, hair growth, loss of head hair, and infertility in women. The testosterone could then be converted into estrogen by the aromatase enzyme made in body fat, once again increasing total estrogen levels. High estrogen levels in men can cause prostate problems. In women high estrogen levels can increase the risk of reproductive cancers as well as uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast, and endometriosis. According to the “Journal of Carcinogenesis” you can have 10 to 50 times the amount of estrogen in breast tissue than in your blood, therefore blood levels of estrogen may not indicate the tissue levels of estrogen. When you’re under stress your body will convert your DHEA into cortisol. This process has been named cortisol steal. When this occurs the body’s levels of DHEA, aldosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone will all decrease. This is how stress can cause hormonal imbalances in people.

There are 11 sites on the estrogen molecule for detoxification, and each has three types of estrogen, therefore the body has 36 different types of estrogen. The three primary detoxification sites are the 2 hydroxylation pathway, the 16 hydroxylation pathway, and the 4 hydroxylation pathway. The 2 hydroxyestrogen’s are good for you promote health and actually fight cancer. The 16 hydroxyestrogen’s are 30 times more mitogenic (causes cell division), and therefore increase the number of cells to potentially turn into cancer. The 4 hydroxyestrogen’s are 30 times more carcinogenic and therefore greatly increase the risk of cancer. In our environment there are thousands of synthetic estrogens, these come in the form of plastics, pesticides and other chemicals. These synthetic estrogens are detoxified through the 16 hydroxylation pathway. Alcohol, smoking and hydrogenated fats are detoxified through the 4 hydroxylation pathway. Indole 3 carbonol which can be found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts all increase the two hydroxylation pathway and therefore promote hormonal balance. Once an estrogen has been detoxified, if it becomes oxidized, it then becomes a quinone, which is also carcinogenic, and this is why we need good antioxidant status.

Isoflavones found in soy, helps modulate hormones. Black cohosh is also an excellent estrogen modulator. Chasteberry is an excellent progesterone modulator. Saw Palmetto is excellent for prostate health, and Primiline is excellent for testosterone support.


Digestion is one of the most critical processes that needs to be working correctly. Without proper digestion you can’t assimilate the nutrients and use them for your metabolic processes. The first part of digestion takes place in the mouth. This is where everyone can help their digestion, it’s called proper chewing. When the food enters the stomach, the stomach releases hydrochloric acid to help break down the food, especially proteins. According to “Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology”, the pH of the stomach should be between 1.0 and 3.5. The older we get the less stomach acid produced (higher pH). If your pH rises above 4.5 this will not stimulate the small intestine to release secretin. Secretin causes the pancreas to release sodium bicarbonate into the small intestine neutralizing the acid food contents (chyme), therefore you end up with slightly acidic chyme in your small intestine that causes heartburn, and can ultimately lead to a duodenal ulcer. A simple test to see if this is causing your heartburn, is to mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a couple ounces of water and drink it after you eat. If this stops the heartburn, then you know you have a low stomach acid level.

A lack of stomach acid has been associated with food sensitivities. A study of the use of medications to reduce stomach acid has been found to increase food allergies. The FASEB Journal, 2005 stated, “we have demonstrated that anti-ulcer drugs, such as H2-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, promote the development of immediate type food allergy toward digestion-labile proteins in mice…Thus, the relative risk to develop food-specific IgE after anti-acid therapy was 10.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.44-76.48).” Medications will do this but if your body doesn’t produce it’s own stomach acid you will increase your risk of food allergies.

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