Quick Guide To Functional Neurology

Funct. Neur.

Quick Guide to Functional Neurology

Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system.  Lately, Functional Neurology is gaining momentum and acceptance as an authoritative treatment option for nervous system disorders and to improve brain performance.  Functional neurology is multi-disciplinary and includes chiropractic, optometry, audiology, psychology, conventional medicine, physical and occupational therapies.  It may also include diet and nutrition recommendations if there are metabolic deficiencies.

So, what is the difference between traditional neurology and functional neurology?  The answer lies in the difference in treatment approaches.  Conventional neurologists’ primary treatment protocols are pharmaceutical (drugs) and surgery.  Functional neurologists believe that nervous system function changes with environmental stimulation.  This concept is known as “neuroplasticity” and is the core of a functional neurologist’s clinical methodology.

Improving body functionality by finding the cause of dysfunction is the embodiment of what chiropractic physicians are trained to do.   Thus, chiropractic physicians are a perfect choice when looking for someone to lead your functional neurology treatment team. Chiropractic neurologists undergo doctoral and post-graduate training and a rigorous certification process. This intensive training ensures a very high level of clinical efficacy.

So, I’ve found physician to lead my treatment team, what happens next? Just like a world-class chef uses many tools and ingredients to create the perfect meal, the functional neurologist uses a variety of tools to stimulate the nervous system (sound, smell, vision, movement, balance, etc.).  The doctor chooses among these modalities based on a variety of cutting-edge clinical assessment tools.  When combined with specific diet and nutritional recommendations, when metabolic deficiencies are found, the results are powerful.

If you have any neurological condition, memory loss, a cognitive decline, loss of the ability to focus or concentrate, or simply want to improve your brain performance to elevate yourself to the next level in your chosen profession, functional neurology is a wonderful tool to help you meet or exceed your goals and improve your quality of life.

Dr. Keith S. Ungar
March 9, 2015

For more information, visit us at www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio

Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road,Suite 100, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330)644-5488
Independence: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd.,Suite 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216)236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
Dr. Ungar is board-eligible in chiropractic neurology

Every Day, Health-Minded People Skip the Health Insurance Obstacle Course to Reach Their Goal.

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Why People Are Choosing to Self-Pay for Their Healthcare.

More and more often, people are choosing to pay cash for their health care instead of just depending on insurance.  There was a stigma attached to self-pay patients, but no more.  Why is paying cash for healthcare becoming a common place choice? Should you be thinking about self-pay yourself?
Recently, I experienced a rushing noise in my left ear.  My left ear bothers me often but this noise was something different.  I went to my ear doctor who recommended I have a MRI and an MRA to rule out any blockages in my arteries, an aneurism, brain issue, among other potential problems (serious and simple).  Needless to say, with such serious conditions being possible, I was nervous.  The doctor advised me that he wanted to schedule the tests right away and that his office would call me once the insurance company approved payment and the procedure was scheduled.  A week later, I called the doctor’s office and heard that the insurance company needed to actually speak to the doctor because the paperwork he submitted was not enough.  Another few days later, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they would pay for only 1 of the 2 procedures because both were not “medically necessary.”  Interestingly, although they had a medical opinion that both were not needed, they did not have an opinion on which one was needed.  My doctor ordered the MRA and scheduled it.  When I called the hospital to pre-register, they advised me that my cost for the procedure was $985.00!  The procedure cost $1,050.  In other words, I waited almost 2 weeks to get a test for a possible life-threatening condition for $65 in benefits!   So, I shopped around for a better price and found it.  Happily, I am fine.  I am still working on getting the MRI scheduled, the cost of which will be completely out-of-pocket.  I refuse to put my health at risk based on an insurance company’s opinion instead of my doctor’s.  In this article, I would like to discuss why some patients are choosing to pay cash for some of their healthcare treatment and why many of the best doctors are becoming cash-only practices.
Who Is Diagnosing and Treating You?  Are you Getting the Best that Healthcare Has to Offer?
Your medical records are signed by your doctor but in many cases, your care is not really being decided by them.  Doctors are handcuffed to recommended treatment protocols dictated by the insurance company.  Doctors may want to treat you in a different way but they know what the insurance company will pay and what they will not.  They also know that if they order what the insurance company deems not “medically necessary,” the insurance company is not happy with them, potentially causing harm to the financial well-being of their practice.   In an article from 2014 in the New York Times,, Lee Spangler, Vice President of medical economics with the medical association in Texas noted that, “[a] physician has very little ability to negotiate all policies and procedures that come with insurance contracts.” [1]
Recently, the Toledo Blade interviewed over 100 doctors in dozens of states about their experience with insurers.  The investigation “found some people with health insurance were harmed because insurers interfered. Whether prescriptions, medical tests, or surgery, dozens of doctors told The Blade that insurers overruled their decisions and patients suffered.”[2]  The investigation brought to light an insurance company ranking system known as “tiering.”   Insurance companies rank doctors based on their clinical treatment decisions.  “[T]he groupings are of dire concern to many doctors who contend insurers’ rankings deceptively cause patients to question their physicians’ performance and create wrong incentives for physicians to cut down on prescribing expensive drugs and tests.”[3]
Interestingly, it is often the newer and more advanced treatment protocols for which insurers refuse to pay.  If you’re going to provide coverage for a procedure, shouldn’t the insurer be required to cover the most up to date version?   “We want to live in a society that encourages advancements in medical technology and care. We don’t want anything in the system that’s going to hamstring improvements, or deny patients from receiving the optimal amount of care.”[4]
Because of the control being asserted by insurers, many doctors “find freedom by shunning insurers”  and managing their practices “without accepting insurance plans, removing the constraints and hassles that come with having insurers preapprove tests, procedures, and medication.”[5]  When they don’t have to worry about insurance company rules, doctors are then free to treat their patients with the latest and greatest medical science has to offer giving them job satisfaction and patients a piece of mind knowing that their chosen doctor dictated their healthcare. [Click To Tweet]
There will be some bumps along the road as insurance companies pay for less (especially cutting-edge testing and treatment protocols) and more and more doctors choose to treat their patients as they see fit, and not as insurance companies dictate.  This may lead patients to wonder, as it did me, is health insurance really worth it?   As noted by Sean Parnell, a health policy economist, consultant, author and blogger who has written the ultimate guide to being a self-pay patient in an interview with Mary Pat, a physician advocate, “[o]ne of the things that I expect to happen, and in fact have heard some stories about already, is that people will become upset once they realize they are paying hundreds of dollars each month for insurance but the first time they go to the emergency room or a specialist to treat an illness or injury, they still have to pay for most or all of their health care. This will probably lead to a lot of people reconsidering whether they should even have insurance, if it isn’t going to pay for any of their healthcare.”[6]
In our office, we see people who have suffered with health issues for years.  Their doctors (or their insurance companies) could not get to the bottom of it.  They come to us because they want an educated doctor with passion to get to the bottom of his or her patient’s health issues, no matter what it takes.  Our doctors make treatment recommendations based on their education and experience, the latest in medical science and the patient’s needs and goals, even if their insurance company might not to pay for some of it.  [Click to Tweet] In the end, this is what they want.  Look where the insurance-company controlled medical treatment they have had has gotten them so far!  They want something different and it is.  Yes, they still have medical insurance and it provides some coverage, but they have decided that they do not want their health to depend on someone’s decision who did not even know them and who made decisions about their health care based on mathematical formulas.  They refuse to short-change themselves with mediocre health care.   With payment plans available in most doctors’ offices, they don’t have to.  Neither do you!Untitled design (3)
Have you ever felt like you did not get the best medical treatment because of your insurance coverage?
Caroline Boardman
August 26, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule a complimentary consultation, click here.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/us/doctors-shun-insurance-offering-care-for-cash.html?_r=0
[2] http://www.toledoblade.com/NotWhatTheDoctorOrdered
[3] Id.
[4] http://www.mikelavere.com/healthcare-2/insurance-companies-dictating-quality-care/
[5] Id at fn 2.
[6] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140618020321-15345987-trending-a-place-for-the-self-pay-patient

Can You Really Eat Healthy On a Camping Trip?


Camping with Food Restrictions? It Can Be Done!

When we think of camping out what comes to mind? Most likely you think of tents, campfires, beer, marshmallows, and hotdogs. However, when you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle camping food can seem impossible. I assure you it is not as long as you prepare yourself ahead of time!
I go camping once a year at a family and friends event. Last year the event peaked at 350 campers! Every year they either offer a potluck for food (bring a dish to share) or a food truck. Neither of these options works for me since I am gluten and soy free.  I have learned to adapt and overcome these boundaries. Hopefully some of my techniques will prove helpful.
You can still drink and eat fun food even when you have dietary restrictions!
Grab a cold one!
We are so lucky that there are a wide variety of gluten-free beers available!  Most hard ciders are also gluten-free.  So don’t feel like you are left out while your friends and family open a nice cold beer on a hot day. Instead, crack open your Angry Orchard, Omission or Glutenator and cheers them!
Here are some of the most popular Gluten-Free beers:
  • Brunehaut Organic Amber Ale
  • Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer
  • Joseph James Fox Tail Ale
  • Glutenator
  • Green’s Enterprise Dry Hopped Lager
  • Omission Lager
  • New Planet Pale Ale  New Planet
Truth about those cute little Marshmallows
Marshmallows are made of whipped sugar that is coated with corn starch. Some marshmallows contain eggs. Most people reading these blogs are trying to avoid either all or majority of these ingredients. Here are some great alternative marshmallow recipes I found.
Homemade Marshmallow Recipe {GAPS, Paleo, SCD}
http://www.mommypotamus.com/homemade-marshmallow-recipe-gaps-paleo-scd/ [Click to Tweet]
Healthy Homemade Marshmallows – Gluten/Corn/Dairy/Egg Free, GAPS Friendly


Vegan Marshmallows!!
 Avoiding Nitrates
Nitrates and nitrites are food preservatives added to processed meats and are linked to gastrointestinal cancer and heart disease. Nitrates also affect the way your body uses sugar, making you more likely to develop diabetes.1  These processed meats are also high in sodium and saturated fat, which can disrupt a heart-healthy diet. The best alternative is to buy fresh un-processed meat. There are plenty of butchers that offer a wide choice of fresh meat. A great alternative to hot dogs could be turkey and chicken sausage! Look for grass-fed beef, or bison burgers. Another easy snack to cook over the campfire is shish kabobs. Line up a skewer with fresh chicken, veggies, and/or fruit, cover with a dressing of your choice, and enjoy! [Click to Tweet]


I hope this helps you see that you can still enjoy camping out. Remember there is always an “I can have” for every “can’t have” that you think of!
Do you have a recipe for a healthy camping treat?
Missty Klinger
August 24, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.
Camping graphic courtesy of http://www.onmilwaukee.com/visitors/articles/camping.html

Kabob graphic courtesy of http://www.figuredaily.com/blog/

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/sodium-nitrate/faq-20057848

Walk Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You!


#16 Tips to Put More Steps in Your Day

“The principle is competing against yourself.  It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were yesterday.” – Steve Young

There is no denying the benefits of walking.  Walking is the best possible exercise.  It is a gentle, low impact form of exercise that is suitable for all ages, at any fitness level.  Studies show that even a short 10 minute walk can immediately boost brain chemistry to increase happiness. [Click to Tweet]  Walking boosts endorphins, easing stress, tension and anger.  Walking will help to support a lower body weight, increase metabolism, and strengthen the quadriceps, hip flexors, hamstrings, arms and shoulders.   All it takes is one small step in the right direction!

Paying attention to how much you move is crucial for self-improvement.   Needing some encouragement and motivation to step it up, I recently jumped on the bandwagon and bought a pedometer.  After researching the best pedometer for my lifestyle, I chose the Fitbit Flex.  The Fitbit allows me to measure my distance traveled, track my overall steps in a day, how many calories burned and eaten, my water intake and even my sleeping patterns.    My Fitbit has helped me to stay motivated and has aided in improving my overall health by tracking my activity while encouraging me to move a little more.

 I began using it for a week, going about my normal routine.  Then I looked for opportunities to make small lifestyle adjustments to help me meet my goals.  Below are a few of the ways I have incorporated more activity into my day.

  1. Start using a pedometer and set a goal of minimum steps per day and week.
  2. Make it a nightly routine to go for an after dinner stroll. It’s healthy and will help you digest your dinner.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, both up and down. Walk up and down the escalator.
  4. Park further away from your office building or the store so that you have to walk farther to the door. [Click to Tweet]
  5. Instead of using the intercom or sending an email, walk to deliver your message.
  6. March in place while brushing your teeth.
  7. During TV commercials breaks, get up and walk around the house. Go get yourself a refreshing glass of water.
  8. Return the shopping cart to the front entrance of the store when done grocery shopping.
  9. Ban drive-thrus all together! Park the car, get out and go in to place your order.
  10. Use the restroom, water fountain and copy machine that is the farthest away from your work area.
  11. Get rid of the remote and actually get up to change the channel.
  12. Eat lunch at your desk and use your lunch break as an opportunity to walk.
  13. When you make a phone call, pace and walk around rather than sitting.
  14. Sign up for a charity walk.
  15. Go on a weekend hike. Ohio is full of beautiful parks and walking trails.
  16. Find a walking partner to engage in conversation or put together a motivational music play list or listen to an audio book. You can get them free from the library.

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice.  Take responsibility for you own health and wellness.  It’s time to step it up…do something for which your future self will thank you!

How do you incorporate more steps into your day?

Joy Vale
August 19, 2015


Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

“Why Sustainable Development Has Failed.” 2nd Green Revolution RSS. N.p., 19 July 2009. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
“Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking Every Day.” Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking Every Day. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2015.

I’m Not a Celebrity – Do I really Need to Detox My Body?

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Moving Thought Forward About Detoxification

Detoxification programs!  Do I have to drink some weird concoction or skip food altogether? Will I be living in the bathroom or sleeping my day away? Celebrities are always telling us that they keep healthy because of this detox or that detox.  But, do they really work?  Are they necessary for the “regular” person?
I have no doubt in my mind that detoxification methods absolutely work for the human body!!  WebMD states “…our bodies naturally detox every day.”[1]   As a Chiropractor, my clinical experience allows me to see first-hand the positive health impacts that come from detoxification on patients’ blood work and symptomatology. Positive long-lasting effects often stem from the detoxification process.  So, the question is not whether a detox will work but instead – what kind of detoxifying should I be doing?
Most people associate a detox with a colon cleanse where they essentially would be on stand-by for the latrine.    We must understand that there are many ways that the body detoxifies.   Exposing yourself to a variety of detoxification methods is important to living your days out on this earth with greater vigor and excitement for your daily tasks.  There is no doubt that we poison our bodies each day with a variety of toxins.  We experience toxicity in mental, chemical, and physical forms.  I personally believe you should focus on purging those negative build-ups as a regular part of maintaining your health.  After all, you change the oil on your car every 3-5K miles; do you ever clean the filters in your body? [Click to Tweet] It is worth considering new options for lifestyle management.
Dr. Oz mentions the major detoxifying organs on his popular TV show.  He says, “The kidneys are like the micromanagers of detoxification.”[2]   Other detoxifying organs are the lungs, skin, and colon.   Once you understand what actually detoxifies the body, it becomes more clear that one must consider the types of detoxification practices that are available.  If you are unsure whether a detoxification protocol is right for you, I recommend contacting a qualified functional medicine or holistic primary care physician for safe guidance.
What are some popular and effective methods to practice detoxification?  The website GAIAM offers 10 options for detoxification.[3]
  1. Eat plenty of fiber
  2. Cleanse the Liver
  3. Take vitamin C
  4. Drink more water
  5. Breathe deeply
  6. Transform stress
  7. Practice hydrotherapy
  8. Sweat
  9. Dry-brush your skin
  10. Exercise
There are also many good quality detoxification systems available from a doctor’s office that help detoxify the organs and balance your body’s chemistry.
In reality, your body is detoxifying right now!  But, the rate of detoxification varies by person, where they live, what they eat, etc.  Why not enhance the body’s natural detoxification process?  The refreshing idea is that after reading this blog, you now hold a greater innate potential to purify the mind, body, and spirit.
Everyday holds the potential for something greater than the day before.  Embracing the idea that we have capabilities to enhance our natural detoxification forces encourages us to continue to move forward and embrace optimal ideals and actions.   So next time you think of detoxifying, don’t wait. Embrace the innate potential you hold within! [Click to Tweet]
Tell us how you detoxify your body?
Dr. Andrew Kender
August 16, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.webmd.com/diet/detox-diets-cleansing-body?page=2
[2] http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/organs-detox-your-body
[3] http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-detoxify-your-body


What’s Getting Into These Kids?

Untitled design (47) How To Find and Avoid Food Dyes In Your Kid’s Breakfast Cereal And Other Food!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?  Cereal is a parents’ quickest and easiest choice for breakfast when they are running late or on the go.  It is also a child’s number one choice to go along with Saturday morning cartoons.
As a child, I remember my mother telling me no on my favorite cereals because there was a lot of sugar.   Parents today worry about more than just sugar:  what is really in the foods we are giving our kids?
There have been plenty of studies that have shown food dyes can tarnish the way children act. Have you ever gotten a letter sent home or a phone call that Billy or Suzie has had a temper tantrum or has hit another child in the classroom? The first thing you think is, “well, he was fine in the car,” or you wonder “did he sneak a piece of candy?”
According to the Purdue researchers, the amount of artificial food dye certified for use by the Food and Drug Administration has increased five-fold, per capita, between 1950 and 2012. The researchers estimate that a child could easily consume 100 mg of dyes in a day and that some children could consume more than 200 mg per day.  Studies that tested much smaller amounts could easily have downplayed or missed entirely the effect of dyes on behavior.[1]
Cereal boxes target a child’s eye with the flashy colors or their most favorite cartoon character.  Some cereals even have sparkly chocolate covered marshmallows so kids are drinking the dye colored milk too!
In 2008, CSPI petitioned the FDA to ban Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and five other artificial food dyes, and in 2011, as an interim measure, urged the FDA to require front-of-package disclosures on packages of dyed foods. The British government and the European Union require warning labels on most dyed foods, which has almost eliminated the use of food dyes in Europe.[2]
So what should parents do?
First, read labels!  Avoid products that list Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5, Yellow No. 6, Citrus Red No.2, Green No. 3, Blue No 1 and Blue No. 2. [Click to Tweet]
Next, “head to the produce section and the spice aisle. Pick up organic vegetables, fruits, and spices that can be used to color frosting and foods naturally. [Click to Tweet] – plus they offer the health benefits of cancer-fighting antioxidants.”[3]


Of course we want our children happy, but even more important – we want them healthy!  Nutritious cereals companies are aiming for adults, rather than kids.  Since we are the consumer and the parents, we must make better decisions for ourselves and our children and make better choices about the foods they eat, including breakfast cereal!
Nikita Williams
August 12, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://cspinet.org/new/201405071.html
[2] Id.
[3] https://blog.honest.com/5-ways-to-avoid-risky-artificial-food-dyes/#

Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

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9 Signs that You Might Have A Leaky Gut!

Leaky gut has become a popular subject in health today.   What is it and how do you “plug” the leak?
I first heard of the syndrome back in the early 1980’s from my father, who was a phenomenal doctor of Chiropractic that did a lot of research, seminars, and reading.  Unfortunately, like most young college students, I did not pay much attention.  Now, I address leaky gut issues with patients daily.
The mainstream medical definition of “leaky gut” is very vague.   Typically, they conclude that if you do not have Crohn’s disease or IBS, then there is no problem. This view-point holds that if you do not have a food allergy that contributes to one of these medical problems, you do not have a problem at all.  It is true that conditions associated with a food allergy which can cause extreme pain and can cause you to go to the ER room due to your respiratory system shutting down, but it is also true that a food sensitivity can cause bloating, chronic inflammation, diarrhea, joint pain, disturbed sleep patterns and more.
So what is “leaky gut?” In your small intestines, there are tight intercellular junctions that prevent absorption of bacteria, food antigens, and other mid-size and large molecular structures. “During times of chronic inflammation or chronic stress, which increases cortisol production, the intestinal membrane may lose its tight junctions and allow the passage of antigens that are not small in molecular weight.”[1]  “This abnormal absorption will cause an inflammatory response to occur, which in turn will trigger an exaggerated immune response.”[2]  What this means is that if these larger particles can pass through junctions that are not tight, then your immune system releases antibodies that attack these particles and can trigger an autoimmune reaction causing these antibodies to attack specific areas of your body. Examples of this would be antibodies that can attack your thyroid (Hashimoto’s), antibodies that attack your joints (rheumatoid arthritis), antibodies that attach the sheaths that cover your nerves (multiple sclerosis), and so on.
So what are the indicators of a possible leaky gut issue?
  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  2. Seasonal allergies or asthma. [Click to Tweet]
  3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
  5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
  7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
  8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
  9. Food allergies or food intolerances.”[3]
To heal leak guy, you need to balance the body’s chemistry.  In our clinic, we run a variety of tests to determine what has broken down in a person’s chemistry. We might n blood work to find out which inflammatory markers are high. We might run adrenal gland testing to measure the level of a patient’s cortisol production throughout the day. High cortisol level will weaken the tight junctions that lead to leaky gut. We also run stool and saliva samples that will let us know yeast levels, whether parasites are present, the level of the inflammatory markers in the gut, other infections in the gut, and hormonal levels, all of which could weaken these tight junctions if they are outside of the functional[4] range.  Of course, we also do food sensitivity testing.
So what do we do to fix these problems? We put people on individualize treatment programs depending on each person’s test findings. You can’t treat everyone the same. We will put patients on an individualized diet, implement various therapeutic protocols, and use different minerals, herbs, and vitamins.  The treatment of leaky gut MUST be customized.  No one vitamin or treatment protocol will work for everyone. [Click to Tweet]   The answer is to find a doctor who will spend the time to get to the bottom of your health issue, not just put you on a vitamin, medication, or tell you it’s all in your head.
I hope this helps answer some questions you may have to leaky gut. I wish you the best in your quest for better health and feeling better.
Dr. David Starkey D.C.
August 9, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. Dr. Kharrazian, D.D., D.H.Sc., M.S., M.Neuro.Sci.,F.A.C.F.N., F.A.B.V.R., F.A.A.C.P., D.A.C.N.B.., D.A.B.C.N., D.I.B.A.K., C.N.S.
[2] Id.
[3] www.mindbodygreen.cm/0-10908
[4] For more information on the difference between standard lab ranges and functional ranges, click here to read the Quick Guide to Functional Medicine.

4 Ways to Kick Up Your Healthy Diet a Notch!


Spice Up Your Food and Treat Your Pallet!

Healthy eating with lots of flavor?  Does it exist?  When we choose to lead a healthier lifestyle, the change can sometimes be a little overwhelming at first. Sometimes we stick with meals that are safe but do not include a lot of variety. Just because we are being healthy doesn’t mean we can enjoy a variety of different foods. This blog will help you spice up you food; your pallet will thank you!
At our clinic, our clients must restrict the types of food they eat based on their test results or go through various types of detox programs.  I have experienced both myself so I completely understand how hard it is! You can’t find a single salad dressing that doesn’t have soybean oil. That baked chicken is plain. I want to eat something with a kick! I found brown rice pasta but I can’t have tomatoes or dairy, now what?! Do not fear; there are lots of options out there for you, and I am here to help you find them!
Let’s pair your healthy food alternatives with a healthy sauce or condiment to dress them up a bit!
Salad Dressings
Since I am soy-sensitive, I know how hard it is to find soy-free dressings. There are a few brands I trust and are easy to find. I will list them below. However, I always recommend making your own dressing. It is probably the easiest thing to make and will urge you to keep up your healthy habits. Balsamic vinaigrette is one of my go-to’s.  Just mix balsamic vinegar, oil (olive, grape, avocado, etc.), water, and salt & pepper. I not only put this on my salad but I marinate my veggies and chicken in it as well! I also like to use apple cider vinegar, oil, and lemons as another salad dressing.

salad dressingsalad dressing label

I also get this one from Aldi’s:
salad dressing 2INGREDIENTS: cider vinegar, canola and/or corn oil, sugar, whole garlic cloves, salt, spices, algin (a natural gum).
Spice it up with Curry!
Curry is your friend! If you haven’t given curry a chance yet you should, especially if you are looking for a kick! I personally mix my own curry powder. My curry powder has cumin, turmeric, ginger, and garlic. I put the least amount of cumin in because of my taste preference (that is what gives it that pungent smell and kick). I use my curry powder to spice up my tilapia, chicken stir-fries, rice/quinoa, and veggies. If you want to turn the powder into a sauce just mix it into coconut milk. [Click to Tweet]
Coconut milk and oil are great alternatives to dairy when you are cooking. I buy the coconut milk in a can and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking with it.  When you do this the cream will float to the top and the water will settle on the bottom. After you carefully open the can you can then scoop the delicious cream off the top and use it in your dish. I like to use the water from the bottom in a refreshing drink. That cream is great to use on pasta when you are craving an alternative for a dairy cream sauce. One of our lunch favorites is spaghetti squash with coconut milk, onions, and spinach. One of my favorites is a rice vermicelli, with water chestnuts, straw-mushrooms, and bamboo with a creamy coconut and ginger or curry sauce. Also remember that coconut oil is the best butter substitute. Put it all over your veggies, it’s good for you!  [Click to Tweet]

coconut oil

Boring chicken/turkey sausage?  Mustard!
I know ketchup is usually the go-to for hot dogs, but sausage pairs really well with mustard. And guess what?! Most of the mustards out there are gluten, soy, and dairy free! [Click to Tweet]  I became a mustard fan after I found out I was gluten and soy sensitive. It is one of the easiest things I can shop for at the grocery store. The first one pictured below is made right here in Cleveland! There are so many different types of mustard; you are bound to find one that makes you happy. One of my favorites is Dijon-horseradish mustard. Give mustard a shot!

Stadium mustard frontStadium mustard back  Gulden's frontGulden's back



Emeril's frontEmeril's back

Salt & Pepper
Don’t forget you can use salt and pepper in moderation. We recommend sea salt, especially pink Himalayan sea salt. If you have trouble finding this type of salt we almost always have it in stock at our clinics for your convenience.
Remember, leading a healthy lifestyle is a life-time goal so get creative and embrace your new way of living! Please refrain from getting stuck in the mindset of “what I can’t eat” and get into the mindset of, “I can’t wait to discover and try new options that make me happy and healthy!”
I love food way too much to settle for a boring piece of boiled chicken. Yes it is the healthiest way to eat it, but if I am not happy eating it I simply will not. Do you feel this way? What new sauce or recipe have you discovered that makes you happy and healthy? Please share in the comment section so we can help each other out.
Missty Klinger
August 5, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To Make an Appointment, Click Here.

Spice graphic: http://greek.food.com/recipe/gyros-spice-mix-with-a-kick-58843?photo=247449


Are Your Symptoms Due to a Hormone Imbalance?

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5 Signs That You Could Be Hormonally Imbalanced

We all have heard jokes about someone having a hormone imbalance or have heard someone say that their hormones are “raging.”  But hormonal imbalances are not a joking matter.  Hormone imbalances are often overlooked or sometimes mismanaged, which can lead to unnecessary distress in our bodies.  [Click to Tweet]  I have been a Chiropractor for five years and, in my functional medicine practice, I have directly seen the implications of hormonal imbalances and how these imbalances can affect people’s lives.
So that you can understand the term “hormonal imbalance,” let’s start with a basic definition.  “A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή, “impetus”) is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behavior. Hormones have diverse chemical structures including eicosanoids, steroids, amino acid derivatives, peptides, and proteins. The glands that secrete hormones comprise the endocrine signaling system.”[1] Most people associate hormones with the male and female hormones estrogen and testosterone.  In reality, a hormonal imbalance is much more complex.
In my opinion, hormone levels and interaction with the rest of the body’s chemistry and systems is often glossed over and not evaluated to the depth that can actually create a positive physiological effect in resolving a true hormone imbalance.  Conventional practitioners that evaluate hormones often only look at such a small percentage of total hormones that they miss some connections.  In my early days of practice, if some one would have come to me and asked how to manage sleep I may have simply suggested natural sleep support supplements, like Melatonin or 5-HTP.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t still recommend such supplements in challenging cases, but I now consider the role hormones play in the sleep cycle.  Whether falling asleep or staying asleep is the issue, I begin to question many other hormonal connections associated with sleep, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone ratios.  I also must consider cortisol and other eicosanoids, which could play a role.  The list goes on and on.  Sleep disturbance is just one example of hormonal imbalance worth mentioning.  From my clinical experience, below are five of the most tell-tale signs that you may have a hormonal imbalance:
  1. Sleep Disturbance
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Lack of Stamina/Energy
  4. Decreased Libido
  5. Intolerance to hot and cold conditions
The days of going to the doctor for an Ambien prescription to sleep better are slowly fading.  The collective thought process is shifting and we all want answers to the question – why do I have associated symptoms that take away from optimized living potential?  [Click to Tweet]  If you feel you are suffering in any way in your life from negative symptoms, take the next step and speak to a qualified functional medicine practitioner who is competent in total body health.
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
August 2, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormone