Are You Breathing The Right Way? Tools To Oxygenate Your Brain and Body

How often do you think about your breathing? If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well I’ve only done it my entire life, I know how to breathe”, my question to you is, are you sure? I’m not saying there’s a “right” way to breath, but the breathing exercise I will teach you allows you to get a deeper, fuller breath.

First, put your hand on your stomach and push in just a little bit. This is where you should expand as you inhale. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let the air fill your lungs, pushing your hand up. Your entire body, from your point of pressure to your chest, should expand if you are doing the exercise properly.  Then exhale through your mouth for twice as long as you inhaled. You should exhale all the air from your lungs, and your hand should lower as you exhale. Once you feel you have cleared the air, repeat. If you find yourself struggling to expand at the stomach properly, try it laying or sitting down.

Well, I hope you choose to start this or another breathing exercise into your daily routine. Remember, our minds and body’s need oxygen to survive, so be sure you’re getting enough of it. Even a couple good, deep breaths can help you get the oxygen you need.

Here are more examples of breathing exercises. I enjoyed learning about #4:

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: A yogi’s best friend, this breath brings calm, balance, and unite the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or when it’s time to focus or energize. Just don’t try this one before bed: Nadi Shodhana “clears the channels” and make people feel more awake. “It’s almost like a cup of coffee,” Pacheco says.

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Some scientific information on breathing and your brain:

“Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. Over time, our lung capacity and lung function typically decrease slowly as we age after our mid-20s. Some conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can significantly speed up these reductions in lung capacity and functioning. This leads to difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.”   Fortunately, there are exercises that can help support and increase lung capacity, making it easier to keep your lungs healthy and get your body the oxygen.

And last you can use breathing exercises to help you fall asleep.

5 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep –

I hope this information has helped you to Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.

Dallas Cain
March 7, 2018

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 and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Do You Have This Genetic Defect? Up to 50% of People Do!

MTHFR - DNA #mthfr #genetic defect (2)

 What is MTHFR and What is So Important About Methylation?
6 Facts About This Genetic Defect You Need to Know.

I have it.  I have a genetic defect.  To be exact, it’s a MTHFR genetic mutation.  No, MTHFR is not a swear word but I will admit that I was a bit dramatic when I found out I had it.  Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental illnesses run in my family!  I’ve done my internet research.  I’m doomed now, I thought.  I’m lucky though. I happen to work with one of the very few MTHFR-certified doctors in Ohio.  This is what I’ve learned.

First, here is a little bit of background.   The official name of the gene is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.[1]  “MTHFR is the gene’s official symbol.”[2]  The MTHFR genetic mutation was first discovered as a result of the human genome project. The gene produces the MTHFR enzyme and people who have this mutation have a reduced ability to process folic acid/folate (which are not the same by the way) into something their body can use.  There are more than fifty known MTHFR variants; the two primary ones are C677T and A1298c.

The three symptom areas affected by the mutation are:

  1. Central Nervous System disorders due to improper production of neurotransmitters causing things like depression, aggression, postpartum depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.[3]
  2. Cardiovascular problems due to high homocysteine levels causing heart attack, stroke blood clots, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, miscarriages and congenital birth defects.[4]
  3. Environmental poisoning due to low levels of glutathione (the body’s natural detoxifier) causing, among other things, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver and kidney dysfunction, hypertension, tachycardia, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, immune problems, hair loss, and rashes. [5]

Now, here is what I have learned:

1.  First, even if you have the MTHFR defect, it may not be expressing itself and may never express itself. In other words, you could have absolutely no problems due this defect ever!  A gene expresses itself when it produces a protein.  In the case of a genetic defect the protein being produced is causing harm.  Your doctor, after a thorough case history, exam and testing, can tell you whether any symptoms are due to the gene’s expression and what to do if the gene is expressing itself or if it is not.

2.  Your doctor can order a blood test to find if you have these genetic variants. Or, you can do a full genetic profile at 23andme does a great job, but if you have the defect, you must find a doctor with the proper training to help you find out what exactly it means to you.  Again, it might not be expressing itself at all.

3.  If you have the mutation, there is a problem with your methylation pathway. Methylation affects more than 224[6] different processes in our bodies.   When we interrupt the methylation process, it disrupts essential bodily functions.  Some of these processes are cellular repair, detoxification and neurotransmitter production and healthy immune system function. So, if the gene is expressing itself, it is critical to have the issues with your methylation pathway addressed by a properly trained doctor.

4.  Treatment protocols are complex and depend on which MTHFR gene is mutated, what pathways, and the affected areas.  Protocols also depend on how many and what combination of mutations you have.  More on this in a future blog post.

5.  Treatment will include supplementation and dietary and lifestyle changes. Depending on the gene affected, combination and quantity of defects, your treatment recommendation may include the following instructions[7]:

* Avoid folic acid or any vitamins that contain it. It can block the methylation pathway. If you pregnant, this will need, address this with your doctor.
* Avoid antacids as they block absorption of vitamin B12 and other nutrients.
* Measure homocysteine levels properly. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to test for and treat MTHFR.  Be wary. Look for a doctor with proper training.
* Inform your family members so that they can test for the MTHFR mutation.
* Eliminate gluten (especially wheat)
* Eliminate or cut dairy from your diet (use goat or a nut milk)
* Sauna or sweat somehow 1-3 times per week.
* Limit processed foods
* Eat food the colors of the rainbow.
* Filter chlorine from your drinking water and drink 2 liters per day.
* Eat small frequent meals with some form of protein limited to .7 grams per kilogram of body weight.
* Address all current and future dental corrections with a biological dentist.
* Do not eat, drink or store anything in plastic.
* Eat grass-fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic free meats and eggs.
*Supplementation may include one or more of the following: methylfolate, methylcobalamin, betaine in the form of TMG, NAC, glutathione, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, riboflavin, curcumin, mixed tocopherals (vitamin E), silymarin (milk thistle), EPA/DHA, phosphatidylcholine, nattokinase, vitamin C, vitamin D3, comprehensive multivitamin/multimineral, probiotics. Do not take any of these vitamins without consulting a doctor.

6.  Finally, other than the few sources here that I’ve listed, avoid doing your own research on the internet. It will just confuse you and turn you into a crazy person.  I know. I did it.  Find a doctor you trust.  Make sure you understand what he is telling you and follow his/her instructions.

So, ready for some good news?  My MTHFR gene is not expressing itself!  I admit that I had to hear it a few times from my doctor before I accepted the fact that I’m as healthy as I was before I found out I had it.  I admit that I went down the “rabbit hole” when I first heard the news trying to pin every little health symptom I had on my “defect.”  I admit that I almost made myself sick trying to figure out if I was sick.  I hope this article will help you avoid all of that.  Get tested, find a trained doctor you can trust and don’t make yourself crazy on the internet!

If you’ve been diagnosed with a MTHFR mutation, are you happy with your treatment?  Are you feeling awesome and in a good place emotionally?

Caroline Boardman
February 28, 2018

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, Chiropractic Physician

To Make An Appointment, Click Here.

[2] Id.
[3], see, also,
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Dr. Ben Lynch,  This website will give you accurate information.
[7] See id.

3 Ways to Change Your Brain!

Brain Health – The How

With all the information and blogs out there on how to change your brain, you are probably confused on how to apply this to your life. It is for this reason I propose a simple way to categorize things. If you would like to make a change to your brain it is important to realize that each one of these categories can change your brain for the better or for the worse. Each group also has their advantages and limitations when it comes to making a positive change in your brain.

1.  Chemicals – medications/drugs, nutrition, and supplements.

Pros: other than educating yourself and/or finding the right physician; let’s be honest you don’t have to do any other work than taking it. Medications and drugs are powerful and some people need something to stabilize them. Nutrition can take a bit of work however with the rise of easy to do recipes, health stores and healthy restaurants there are so many options to choose from to help you build healthy brain tissue. Supplements can usually be described as building blocks or ways to stimulate a certain metabolic process.

Cons: It is important to realize that any chemical you use to target your brain, affects every area that has that chemical. If there is a problem or imbalance on the left side of your brain, you cannot specifically target it because of those chemicals on both sides of your brain. Chemicals are global! Let’s get specific now on the chemicals; we all know that medications come with side effects, lots of side effects.  Studies show that adverse drug effects are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. As for nutrition, we know that there is no one nutrition plan that works for everyone and let’s face it – people are taking too many supplements some that don’t work and some that were just junk in the first place. It is worth it to find an experienced healthcare provider that uses only the top grade products.

2. Thoughts – counseling, psychology, self-help, and education.

Pros: each one of us has our own opinions and unique experiences! We all need to socialize, feel important and learn to process our emotions. Everyone is going to come up with challenges and hard times where we need help and it will always be a good thing to have skilled people or resources to turn to.

Cons: there is a lot of the brain that we can’t talk to! If the brain has a problem processing information or is overactive clear thoughts are difficult to have. Sadly it is often common that when people are no longer able to make progress with thoughts alone or have a certain diagnosis, people can become their diagnosis and become enabled.

3.  Stimulation

Stimulation is probably the least understood of three ways to change your brain. There are a lot of new and reinvented techniques to stimulate the brain and develop better neuroplasticy that are going to help you function and perform better.  Ways to stimulate your brain involve anything that fires or excites a receptor that then fires a nerve that will send that signal to the brain. Examples are exercise, aromatherapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, touch, music, sunlight, art etc.

Pros: you are using the body to build the brain and can receive enjoyment from that activity or modality of treatment. There are several things you can do on your own to build a better brain and several techniques out there that help people. With the modern advances in neuroscience, a trained clinician can even target specific areas of a person’s brain and exercise a specific weak area.

Cons: you can over stimulate your self. Think of too much computer/screen time, too much noise, stiffness and soreness and injuries from doing too much. Stimulation takes time and requires some work. As well every person has different tolerances and vitality so there is a lot of confusion out there. The modern advances of neuroplasticity are slowly being adapted by traditional medicine and many alternative therapists and physical therapists are not well-educated in the brain and nervous system, which is why we promote seeing a board-certified chiropractic neurologist.

If you want to know what part of your brain needs the most attention and the best approach for you, come see us!

Dr. David R.A. Hardy, DC, DACNB, FABBIR
January 24, 2018

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 and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

7 Fool-Proof Ways To Be Happy in 2018 and Beyond!

Good fortune: prosperity : a state of well-being and contentment: joy: a pleasurable or satisfying experience – Webster’s Dictionary (happiness defined)

Happiness is an often-used word. Research has shown that long-term happiness, feeling content with life, stems from feeling and being in-charge of as much of our life as possible. It’s not about having a constant smile on your face nor does it stem from money or health, but a self-belief you are on the right road.

Behavioral scientists have spent a lot of time studying what makes us happy, and what doesn’t. We know happiness can affect health and longevity, and happiness scales are used to measure social progress and the success of public policies.  But being happy isn’t something that just happens to most people.  Most of us work at it.  And we all have the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life.  Happiness comes from within.  Here are 8 ways to get there:

1.  Conquer Negative Thoughts 

One of the best things to do to become happy is to conquer negative thoughts.  We all can be a little negative.  We focus on bad experiences more than good ones.  It’s an evolutionary adaptation – over-learning from dangerous or hurtful situations we met in our lives helps us to avoid them in the future and react quickly to a crisis.

This just means that you must work a little harder to conquer negative thoughts.  How do we do this?

Don’t try to stop negative thoughts!  Telling yourself not to think about something only makes you think about it more.  Acknowledge the negative thoughts and dispel them.  Tell yourself, I am worried about money or I am obsessed with something at work.  Then treat yourself like a friend.  Think of what your friend would tell you if you were talking to them about your negativity and apply that to yourself.  (Take your own advice.)

Challenge your negative thoughts. When you are saying to yourself, “I am a failure.”  Stop and acknowledge that you may have failed at this one thing, but point out to yourself all the good things.  I have gone far in my career.  I have a great relationship.  I have great kids.  I am a kind person, etc.

Avoid negative people! We all know at least one person that can never say anything positive. They are unhappy and unwilling to even try to change that.  Avoid them!  Negativity is contagious, just as positivity is.  When you surround yourself with positive people you can’t help to start to think positively.  When you have a negative thought, recognize it, challenge that feeling and take a big step toward a happier life.

Optimism is part genetic, partly learned.  Even if you were born into a family of “gloomy Guses,” you can still find your inner ray of sunshine.  Optimism doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of a situation.  An optimist acknowledges the situation and looks for what good can come out of it.

2.  Breathe! 

Science is beginning to give evidence that the benefits of the ancient practice of controlled breathing are real.  Studies have found, such as, that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality.  Buddha advocated breath-meditation to reach enlightenment.  Try it!

3.  Get up and move!   

When people get up and move, even a little, they are happier than when they are still. It doesn’t have to be rigorous activity.  Even just gentle walking can help get you into a better mood.  We all know that more activity goes together with better health and greater happiness.

4.  Spend time outdoors! 

Numerous studies support the notion that spending time in nature is good for you.  We know that walking on a quiet, tree-lined path can result in meaningful improvements to mental health, and even physical changes to the brain.  Nature walkers have “quieter” brains:  scans show less blood flow to the part of the brain associated with rumination.  Some research shows that even looking at pictures of nature can improve your mood.

5.  Find the sun! 

I know that isn’t the easiest thing to do in this part of the country, especially in winter.  But sunlight can make a difference.  Seasonal affective disorder is real.  Epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population ranges from 1.4 percent (in Florida) to 9.7 (in New Hampshire).   Natural light exposure – by spending time outside or living in a space with natural light – is good for your mood.  Even for people who do not have true seasonal affective disorder, sunlight makes us feel better.  So, get outside, or at least open your drapes and let the light in.

6.  The 1-minute rule! 

One of my favorite bits of happiness advice comes from Ms. Rubin, author of “Happiness at Home” and many other useful guides and articles on happiness and good habits.  She proffers a one-minute rule that is incredibly useful. Here it is:

Do any task that can be finished in one minute.  This simple advice helps you decide what to tackle in a messy room.  Do the one-minute tasks first.  Here is her list:

Hang up a coat.  Read a letter and toss it.  Fill in a form.  Answer an email. Jot down a citation. Pick up phone messages.  File a paper.  Put a dish in the dishwasher. Put away the magazines.

If you do nothing else, add the one-minute rule into your life.  It will give you a short boost of happiness after you carry out so much in a short time – and as a bonus, you will end up with a cleaner room, which will also make you happy.

7.  Choose to be happy!

Remember happiness is a choice.  You must choose happiness every day.  When you wake up in the morning, before you even get out of bed, tell yourself that today you will be happy.

Don’t worry, be happy!

Barbara Schrader
January 17, 2018

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 and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Pave Your Way To Good Health – Don’t Just Fill Potholes!

When it comes to your health, most doctors are just trying to fill the potholes instead of trying to pave a road for optimal health.  SO here you are driving down this bumpy road getting thrown all over the place waiting for the next office visit to get another part changed. So, what do I mean by this analogy? I mean that doctors are reactive and narrow sighted in their thinking, even many alternative doctors. They hear a symptom, problem or concern and automatically try to come up with a single solution for that one issue instead of zooming out and looking at how the entire system is working. In the allopathic world if there is a problem they say take this medication and if that doesn’t work, we can just increase the dosage. In many alternative clinics, they suggest taking a particular vitamin or trying a new therapy. The thing is this is that this is just a limited view of a thousand-piece puzzle. The human body is interconnected with different organ systems that are constantly communicating with one another. There could be several parts of a neurological pathway, a metabolic pathway or neuro-metabolic pathway that break down and just trying to fix one problem in a vast interconnected web of problems is sheer madness.

SO, how do you begin to pave the road to health instead of just filling holes?


1)        Learn the pathways

Yes, there is a reason a Google search won’t make you an expert in physiology and fix your problems with a single click.  There is a huge need to find a doctor who has taken the time to understand a functional approach when it comes to your individual chemistry and neurology.

2)        Listen to the patient

A doctor needs to listen to a patient because more times than not a patient knows their bodies better than anyone else. Find a doctor that is going to take the time to listen. This can’t be done in less than 20 minutes. Sorry if your insurance company doesn’t understand that.

3)        Complete a proper exam

Healthcare has forgotten that to find out what is going on with a person you actually have to look at them. The system got used to cutting corners to get people out the door quicker. Not just that, most scans are only designed to find pathology and do not assess function! Meaning “my scan or test came back negative but I still have all these things wrong with me.” That’s because it’s a problem with how your body is functioning, not a pathology like a tumor.

4)        Run the complete set of labs and tests needed

If you don’t run the tests you are shooting in the dark. Giving someone a medication or vitamin for a symptom is often just guessing. Furthermore, some of the gold standards for testing don’t actually measure the entire system. Please watch our thyroid video for more of an explanation. Test, don’t guess!

5)        Adapt and change plans

As a person’s neurology and chemistry change, so should their personal plan. If retesting a blood test shows the chemistry has shifted, they may not need to continue with their originally recommended supplements. As a person’s neurology changes the exercises or therapies should change so a person doesn’t plateau and continues to move down the road towards their health goals.

Are you concerned that your road needs repaving?  If so, come see us for a free consultation.  Just click the link below.

Dr. David Hardy, DC, FABBIR, DACNB
December 27, 2017

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 and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

7 One Tank Road Trips To Bring Joy To Your Holiday Season!

 “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” –Marianne Williamson

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, I want to inspire you to make the most of your moments this season and find real Joy in the ones you love!  A Joyful heart is a good medicine!

1.   The Christmas Cave at White Gravel Mines: 4007 White Gravel McDaniel Road, Minford, Ohio 45653.  

This new Christmas attraction is first on my list! The cave features thousands of lights and biblical scenes depicting the birth of Christ on a mile long passageway throughout the mines.  This is a self-guided tour lasting about 1 hour.  There are benches along the way if you need to stop and rest.

2.  A Christmas Story House Museum: 3159 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44109

If you are a fan of the movie, this is a must-see in Cleveland!  The 19th century Victorian is restored and renovated to appear as it did in the 1983 film A Christmas Story.

3.  Ugly Sweater Holiday Train Ride: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Rockside Station

It’s an ugly holiday sweater party!  This is an adult only, 2-hour train ride through the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley.  Invite your family and friends for holiday spirits and a competition of ugliest sweaters.



4.  Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

Now through January 1, 2018, the Cincinnati Zoo is transformed into a “Wild Wonderland” Enjoy the splendor of 3 million LED lights,   Swan Lake Lightshow and maybe even indulge in the S’mores stand.




5.  Ice Skate at Cleveland’s Public Square, Cincinnati’s Fountain Square.

Whether it’s your first time or it’s like riding a bike to you, Ice Skating is sure to put a smile on your face.  Make it a family night or make it a date night!  or

6.  The Epic Snow Tubing Hill at Mad River Mountain: 1000 Snow Valley Road, Zanesfield, Ohio 43360

Featuring 10 lanes at 1000’ long this ride is sure to bring back joyful memories of being a kid! They also offer private tubing sessions where you, your family and friends could enjoy the slopes with your own private party.


7.  Cleveland Metroparks Chalet Toboggan Chutes: 16200 Valley Parkway, Strongsville, Ohio 44136

Add this to your bucket list and experience the icy thrill of tobogganing!

Whatever you choose to do,  find joy in the journey!  I Hope This Season Brings You much joy!

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year from All of Us at Functional Endocrinology of Ohio

Joy Vale
Patient Care Coordinator

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 and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.




Health Problems Are Really an Energy Problem!

Everything in the Human Body Runs Off ENERGY

Or at least that’s the first thing to evaluate and fix before moving onto other health problems. The first thing in the body that gets burned into energy is sugar and carbs, followed by fats and then if we have to, proteins. After stating this I often hear people say: “Well I’m not diabetic so this can’t be my problem.” WRONG, you don’t have to be a full-blown diabetic to have energy problems.  Pre-diabetes, hypoglycemia, and issues with fat metabolism could all be issues.  Or, you are lacking the proper cofactors for energy metabolism or have a poor diet causing dysglycemia.  There could be several energy issues going on other than diabetes. Diabetes is just a diagnosis of a process that has been out of control for a while. Of course, it’s one of the biggest energy problems and if you have it you probably already are having other health problems and complications. In which case you need to watch our diabetes video. Regardless, if there is an energy problem, in the body it can lead to other problems and here are a few examples.

Hormone Problems

Guess what?  Insulin, your major blood sugar regulator, is a hormone! Hormones are chemical messengers the body produces in the body that make physiological changes. Hormones are the slower messenger system in the body and your nervous system is the fast messenger system in the body. Your endocrine system is the network of glands that produce your hormones and there is a feedback loop that goes back up to the brain to regulate your endocrine system. Whereas healthcare has separated this into each gland with specialist doctors, the endocrine system is actually a connected system of all the hormone-producing glands, your nervous system, and your immune system as well. This vast interconnected system is your neuroendocrine-immune system.  The operation of the neuroendocrine system requires a lot of energy.   Insulin causes other hormones to work and be produced. Do you think your body is going to think about reproduction if it doesn’t have the energy available to do that? You need energy before your body can send the message to do something.

Brain Problems

The brain, nicknamed the greedy master, uses roughly about 25 percent of all the energy we take in. So it is in constant need of energy. Not just that, it is reliant on the body to supply it with glucose for energy because neurons cannot store its own source of energy. Therefore any dip or spike in your blood glucose levels is toxic to the brain. To top it off any surges or crashes in your insulin affect the pathways for your serotonin and dopamine production. Perhaps you have noticed this after a lunch rich in sugars while attempting to be productive at work during the afternoon.

 Sleep Problems

Even when you are sleeping, your body needs a supply of energy.  Cortisol controls your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.   Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone (Gluco meaning glucose/sugar and corticoid meaning produced by the adrenal glands). Your cortisol levels should be low at night and high in the morning. The reason for this is because at night you need stable blood sugars because you will not need as much energy while you sleep. However, when you wake up, your blood sugars are lower because you are not eating while you sleep and you need a burst of energy to get up, so your cortisol levels elevate.  Therefore, a dysregulated energy system is a dysregulated sleep system!

Get your energy levels in check and get your health in check.

Dr. David R.A. Hardy, D.C.,
November 29, 2017

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 Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.


If Your Brain Was a Restaurant

The Primitive Reptilian Brain – The Back of the Restaurant

In every restaurant, the entire operation is completely and undeniably reliant on the back of the restaurant. This area is your prep area, your dishwasher, your equipment and your supply storage, fridge and freezer. No one ever walks into a restaurant and says I bet I’m having a great dining experience because everything is running smoothly in the back.

However, if this area of the restaurant was in chaos there is no way the rest of the place could function smoothly or efficiently. Well, unfortunately, this is how society and healthcare have looked at the brain. It has completely ignored the primitive brain. The primitive brain is the area of the brain that controls all your vital function (heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, etc.) It is the area that times and coördinates thoughts and movements, the areas that tell you where you are in your environment, the areas that keep you from falling, and the areas that keep you alert.  This area and the vast number of functions is the place where we are constantly seeing health problems. Let’s be completely honest; if these areas don’t function well, the rest of the brain gets frustrated! It would be analogous to an angry chef like we’ve all seen on the TV shows. They would be yelling and screaming; hey get me clean pans; slice those mushrooms and those d*** radishes. Primitive functions need to happen in order for advanced functions to happen.

The Limbic brain – The Front of the Restaurant

The front of the restaurant is the experience!  “Oh, she was such a nice person.   Oh, she brought everything out on time!”   This is like the limbic part of our brain.  And, just like the front of the restaurant gets grief from the back of the restaurant, our emotional/limbic lobes are constantly being bombarded from our primitive brain. For example, how do you feel if you are dizzy or disoriented? How do you feel when your heart is pounding through your chest? How do you feel when you can’t get a deep breath? How do you feel when a million things are being thrown at you? Over-stimulate you? Do you ever feel so defeated from this that you want to act like the waitress that tells the dishwasher to take a hike as she storms off out the back door and behind the dumpster for a big deep drag of her cigarette with shaking hands? Wow! I’m so sorry; I don’t know why I’m so emotional. 😊

The Cortex – The Chef   

The part of the restaurant that gets all the headlines and the area of the brain that gets all the attention is the cortex. However, the purpose of the chef area of the brain (the cortex) is to herd cats; even more so than being creative or intelligent. It is trying to tell the emotional areas to chill out; it is directing and attempting to make sense out of all the nonsense being thrown at it from other parts of the brain. If these other areas aren’t doing their basic job, it screams at them and tries to organize this complete chaos. Eventually, though, there is only so much screaming ones’ head can do! Then it will begin to slow down and shut down for moments at a time, Then, these moments happen more often, until the cortex completely fails and/or the restaurant closes.  “Oh, why can’t I think clearly anymore and nothing makes sense with all this noise!”

So, now you know – the best restaurants need a great back of the house, a front of the house, and a chef to keep it all in order.  Your brain needs the same thing – a healthy primitive brain, limbic brain and cortex for the body to work at its best.  So many of us ignore the signs of a brain function imbalance and/or do not have any idea what to do about it.  That is where a functional neurologist can help.  Click here to learn more about functional neurology.

Dr. David R.A. Hardy, DC, DACNB, FABBIR
October 31, 2017

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 Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

How Much Sleep Do You REALLY Need?

How Many ZZZZZs Do You Need To Be Healthy?

Ahhhh, nothing better than a good night of sleep. I am one of those people who knows I need a least 8 hours. I’ve been that way since I was a child. My parents have always said I never needed a bedtime because I would just go to bed when I was tired.

But do you really need 8 hours like they say? I went out and did some research to find out….

Here’s what I found out: [1]

Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:

  • decrease risk for health conditions
  • manage your hunger levels
  • maintain your immune system
  • retain memory

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Italy analyzed data from 16 separate studies conducted over 25 years, covering more than 1.3 million people and more than 100,000 deaths. They published their findings in the journal Sleep. Those who generally slept for less than six hours a night were 12 percent more likely to experience a premature death. People who slept more than eight to nine hours per night had an even higher risk, at 30 percent.

Researchers also found that people who reduced their sleep time from seven hours to five hours or less had 1.7 times the risk of death from all causes.

People who are sleep-deprived:

  • have a harder time receiving information due to the brain’s overworked neurons
  • may interpret events differently
  • tend to have impaired judgment
  • lose their ability to access previous information

It’s important to get seven to eight hours of sleep so that you can experience all the sleep stages. No one stage is responsible for memory and learning. Two stages (rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep) contribute to:

  • creative thinking
  • procedural memory
  • long-term memories
  • memory processing

I know it’s hard to make sleep one of your top priorities. We all have such busy lives and we let our phones and TV’s keep us up, which then makes it tougher for us to fall asleep.

We need to keep sleep our top priority [2]:

“Sleep helps heal and repair our heart and blood vessels, and thus sleep deficiency can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to obesity. During our sleep, the body helps maintain and balance our hormones. If we don’t get enough sleep hormones like ghrelin (signals hunger) and leptin (signals satiety) become imbalanced. Ghrelin increases and leptin decreases. In addition, sleep also affects how our bodies react to insulin, the hormone that controls our blood glucose (sugar). Lack of sleep is linked to high blood sugar. Our sensitivity to insulin greatly decreases with inadequate sleep. In addition, sleep aids healthy growth and development. Human growth hormone is excreted during sleep, and research suggests that it’s during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells, and circulate human growth hormone for strong muscles and bones.”


  1. Download filters for your phone and/or laptop (check out lux) to reduce blue light and power electronics down 1 hour before bed
  2. Try a meditation app (check out Calm, Headspace, or the Mindfulness App)
  3. Use Low Blue Lights glasses, lighting, and filters in your home
  4. Stick to a sleep schedule – try to sleep and wake at consistent times
  5. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before sleep
  6. Include physical activity in your daily routine (limit within 2 hours of bedtime)
  7. Increase bright light exposure during the day – natural sunlight during the day helps keep our circadian rhythm healthy
  8. Decrease the temperature of your bedroom slightly
  9. Relax and clear your mind in the evening – try reading, journaling, stretching, or prayer

Personally, I’ve started to listen to an audiobook or podcast. Something easy and relaxing will whisk me off to sleep quickly. I’m usually asleep within 15 minutes of when I lay my head down on my pillow.

Nancy Boardman
October 4, 2017

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 Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.



20 Ideas For The Best Fall Ever!

20 Ideas For The Best Fall Ever by Real Wellness Doc

Fall Family Fun

Everyone knows that I am a summer lover.  I love the sunshine and the heat.  I love beaches and swimming and wearing flip-flops.  But, autumn is in the air.  The leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler.  Snow will be here before we know it.

When the weather gets colder, we find ourselves in the house much more.  We sit and watch TV.  We snuggle on the couch.  We don’t go outside and exercise.  We get a little lazy and a little depressed.  But I have decided that I am not going to let that happen this Fall.  I am going to enjoy the change of seasons.  So, I came up with some fun activities I am going to do.  Here are some of my ideas:

Continue reading 20 Ideas For The Best Fall Ever!