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.

Are you eating inflammatory foods? Food for thought!

food-sensitivitySo I dropped my boys off at daycare the other day.  It was an early morning for my toddler and infant so I didn’t have time for them to sit down and eat breakfast at the table so I sent their food in with them to eat at daycare.  I forgot that one of the breakfast snacks I left had peanuts in it.  I left the daycare pretty quick that day and the teacher did not have time to find the error and send me back out the door with the contraband.  When I came back later that evening to pick up my son there was a friendly reminder posted on the door as follows; To All: Please remember this is a peanut free zone.  This was obviously intended for me to see since I made the mistake earlier that morning.  I tucked my tail between my legs and walked out knowing then the mistake I had made.

Recently, a study reported that giving peanut butter to some children early may help prevent a peanut allergy.[1]  Generally, peanuts are one of the top food allergens in the United States according to the Food and Drug Administration [2]. Others topping the list include dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, shellfish, and even other varieties of fish.  With such serious consequences that some of these foods can have for children like anaphylaxis, it is likely that most of you reading this blog have heard of the threat that food holds.  I share this example not for entertainment, but for enlightenment.  It just really goes to show the power of foods and the effects it can have on the body.  Certain foods are lethal for some affected with true allergies.  But what if I was to ask you to define an “inflammatory food,” would you be able to answer?  My education and research about the effects of food on the body began in high school when I had my first lesson in inflammatory foods due to those darn school lunches!  That was the first thing ever to give me heartburn, which was signaling my body to tell me what I ate was inflammatory to my digestive tract.

What is inflammatory for one person may not be inflammatory for another.  This highlights how all of us are very unique and special in our own ways. I have practiced now for 6 years and have “mixed” (joke for my colleagues reading this – you know who you are) in nutritional support for my patients and dietary recommendations to follow.  I have been so excited to watch the success patients have by eliminating these “inflammatory” foods from their diet.    Diet and nutritional supplements played a large part in this success in addition to a physical and mental health plan.  At the end of the day, it is the synergistic effect of all the recommendations made under my chiropractic scope of practice that ultimately allows the life forces to generate greater magnitude.

So what is an inflammatory food??  I would like to clarify what I consider inflammatory foods based on my clinical ability and professional opinion.  For the most part, I follow the lead of the United States FDA.  This is a good place to start because these foods are bold-faced at the end of the ingredient labels on anything packaged. Gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, tomatoes, and peanuts are a good starting point.   This is what I consider the “introductory” inflammatory foods.  I would definitely expand the list if you really wanted to sit down with me and discuss food topics as I could talk hours about a variety of reasons why certain foods are good or bad for you.  But, my intention today is to make you think a little differently about the power of food.  After all, we eat it every day, and we know that it is going to affect how we function.

So what I want you to do next time you are reading that food ingredients on the back of your favorite food product at the grocery store, skim all the way to the end of the list and look for any bold-faced ingredients.  Those ingredients are generally inflammatory.  To find out if these foods might be inflammatory to you, see your functional medicine doctor and get tested!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Andrew J Kender III, DC
January 18, 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, Dr. Andrew Kender, Dr. Robert Nichols, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.



Are You In Muddy Water About How to Drink Water?


12 Tips to Make Sure You Are Drinking Water the Right Way.

We all know that water is critical to good health and we’ve been barraged with the rules and warnings about water consumption.  We are definitely wading in muddy water when it comes to how to drink water.   This article aims to clear a few things up so that you can drink water the right way.

I have used the tips in this article myself.  Recently my co-workers and I decided to do a water challenge. We all agreed to drink a gallon of water each day for 7 days straight. We all knew the benefits of drinking water but the challenge provided both support and accountability. Before I started my water challenge I put together a plan. I calculated the amount I needed in an ordinary day and made a few quick guidelines to keep me on track.  After choosing the perfect 16 ounce (BPA free) water bottle, I calculated how much water an hour I needed to drink. By breaking down my intake, and giving myself achievable goals I was able to successfully reach my goal!   I was more energized, my skin felt great, and my stamina was amazing during my workouts.   Even better was that the challenge helped me create a healthy habit that I still embrace.

The amount of water you consume everyday plays an important role in maintaining good health.  Drinking water regularly in an adequate amount has many health benefits.  To maintain good health, experts have recommending eight to ten glasses of water a day.  However, recommendations have been open for debate.  Some experts say that the amount is different for each person depending on their size and activity level.  Simply put, the larger and more active you are the more fluid you will need. According to Dr. Keith Ungar, of Functional Endocrinology of Ohio, “A good rule of thumb is to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water.“ [Click to Tweet]

Regardless of the differing advice, there are plenty of good reasons to drink more water.  Water makes up about 2/3 of who we are.  Every system in our body depends on it.  Drinking water can improve your immune function, digestive system, mood, memory and complexion.   Drinking more water can also help control your calorie intake, fight fatigue, boost energy, prevent dehydration and headaches.  The health benefits of drinking water are vast and simple to achieve if you put your mind to it.

While there are plenty of benefits to drinking water it is also possible to overdo it.  Assess your body’s needs, your activity level and the climate to decide the right amount for you.  Below are some basic guidelines for drinking water the right way along with some great tips to help you add more water into your daily routine.

How we drink water is just as important as how much we drink.  Drinking water the right way will help your physical body thrive.  Dr. Keith Ungar encourages sipping water as oppose to chugging.  Sipping water throughout the day will give your body the chance to absorb it.  When you chug water, it is likely to run right through you robbing you of the benefits.

The temperature of your drinking water is also important.  Sipping on cold water during your workouts will hydrate the body of lost fluids and help to cool down the core body temperature.  Studies have shown that drinking cold water can actually boost your metabolism and burn up to an extra 70 calories per day.  Sipping on cold water when you have a fever is also a method of cooling down the core body temperature. It is extremely important to sip water during a fever to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Ayurvedic medicine states that drinking warm water in the morning helps to stimulate digestion.  Drinking water either warm or at room temperature can also help with headaches and inflammation because it helps to stimulate blood flow to the tissues.

With this in mind I have added some tips that have helped me to meet my goals.

12 tips to incorporate water into your daily routine

  1. Calculate the proper amount of water for you. Again, a good rule of thumb is to divide your total body weight in half and drink that amount in ounces.
  1. Track your daily water intake by adding an app to your phone. I recommend the free app  Waterlogged. The app offers charts and reminders to keep you going. It is available for IOS and Android phones.  Visit your app store to see what is available to you.
  1. Drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning while your morning java brews.
  1. Designate your own BPA free drinking container for the day. Know the measurement so that you can keep track of your intake.
  1. Drink a glass of water with each meal. Add a slice of lemon to help your body gently detoxify.
  1. Drink a glass of water in between meals to curb your appetite.
  1. Make it a point to get up, take a short walk and get some water throughout the day. Set an alert on your phone to get you moving throughout the work day.
  1. Drink water before, during and after exercising to replenish your fluids.
  1. Challenge your co-workers, family and friends to drink more water throughout their day.
  1. Keep your water bottle in plain view so that you remember to drink.
  1. Trade that soda for a refreshing soda water. A great healthy alternative!
  1. Spice up your water with cinnamon sticks, mint leaves, cucumbers, sliced/frozen fruit, etc. [Click to Tweet]

Water is simply Mother Nature’s perfect beverage!  I urge you to drink more water.  Your mind, body and skin will thank you for it!

Joy Vale
May 20, 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. Andrew Kender, and Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians


“12 Unexpected Reasons To Drink More Water in 2015.” Greatist. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <>

“Water: How Much To Drink, Water Content of Foods, Too Much Water, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

“When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Water.” – SiOWfa13: Science in Our World: Certainty and Controversy. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <>

“The Art of Drinking Water: 10 Ayurvedic Tips for a Happily Hydrated Body. ~ Julie Bernier.” Elephant Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

“Waterlogged – Drink More Water, Track Daily Water Intake, Get Hydration Remiders.” App Store. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2015.

“Which Is Better: Drinking Cold Or Warm Water?” Healthy and Natural World RSS. N.p., 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 14 May 2015.


Do You Know Your Perfect Macronutrient Cocktail? Part 1 – The Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates:  Just a Little Food for Thought

There is an extreme amount of controversy over the subject of macronutrients.  More specifically, the carbohydrate has been a hot topic since the days of the “low carb” weight loss craze.  I hope to challenge your thinking about the food you eat and inspire you to dive deeper into the discussion of the food you put into your body every day.  I have had a passion for food and the way it affects us ever since a young age.  I started wrestling in 6th grade and have thought about the food I eat ever since.  Back in the day, I would only worry about food as it related to my weight because I was trying to make my weight class every weekend to wrestle. Since then, my thought process has evolved. The macronutrient potential of foods is only one small aspect of how our bodies utilize the food we eat, but it is necessary to understand because of the large impact on the way you feel and function.

Macronutrients are classified into three categories: Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates.  Each food contains some degree of macronutrient ratio and this becomes important when an individual is trying to find a diet that is suitable for their lifestyle.  The goal is to find the right combination of macronutrients for you to maximize your potential.

Let’s start with the carbohydrate.  A carbohydrate is a biological molecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen–oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water).  In other words, with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n (where m could be different from n). (1) So what does that mean to you?  The carbohydrate is in almost all foods.  It is a molecule that provides energy for the muscles and brain during exercise.  It also allows your muscles to spare protein for use in vigorous activities.(2)  There are many differing opinions about exactly how many carbohydrates one should eat on a daily basis to optimize health.  The USDA recommends 45-65 percent of your daily caloric intake to come from carbohydrates.(3)   But from where did this “guideline” come?    This reminds me of a picture my wife bought of a box of crayons that says “color outside the lines.”

What is normal for one may not be normal for the next.  I have found through my functional medicine practice that people are individuals and should never be set into “guideline”.  I have found personally with my nutrition that I don’t function best underneath a “guideline” all the time.  Sometimes you have to think outside the box or color outside the lines.  Many have limited their thought to mechanistic reductionist ideologies and this mold must be broken.  Once we decide as a whole to express a greater and higher intelligence in ourselves then maybe our society and world will function better as a whole.  The power that made the body heals the body!

In other words, you must experiment or consult a functional medicine doctor to find out the right combination of the 3 macronutrients, including carbohydrate intake for you!  It will likely be different than for other people.  Sure, you can drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and lose weight.  But, is that what it’s all about – just losing weight?  Or, do you want to feel great as your body functions at its best possible capacity?  Also, is a ridiculously low carbohydrate intake a long-term solution?  Can you eat like that forever?

In upcoming blogs, I will discuss the other macronutrients.  Have any of you found the perfect macronutrient “cocktail?”

Dr. Andrew Kender III DC
May 11, 2016

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. UngarDr. Andrew Kender, and Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

    Picture thanks to:

11 Strategies for Dealing With Adrenal Fatigue

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What the Heck is Adrenal Fatigue & What Can You Do About It?

We all deal with stress in our lives in one form or another.  Our bodies deal with stress in many ways but did you know that the adrenal gland is the workhorse when it comes to dealing with stress??  Dr. Keith Ungar, D.C. states in his book, Your Thyroid Chemistry Doesn’t Lie, “The adrenal glands are the most overlooked and neglected glands in conventional medicine.”[1]  I have seen thousands of patients in my practice and I agree with Dr. Ungar’s statement.  When I first review my patient’s case history, I rarely see that any lab results that would allow me to do a proper adrenal evaluation.   Adrenal testing typically uses markers to rule out some underlying pathology, such as adrenal tumors, or are to check a single cortisol marker to make sure it is not at a dangerous level indicating a possible underlying life-threatening pathology.  As explained below, testing the adrenal glands in this way is not enough.
The adrenal gland is a magnificent organ that produces a variety of important hormones that many are familiar with such as the adrenaline hormone epinephrine.  So what’s the big deal about the adrenals anyway???  Adrenal fatigue is a problem that people often overlook when trying to seek answers about their own personal health.  Dr. James Wilson PhD describes some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue as trouble getting out of bed, feeling run down and stressed, chronic tiredness and the constant need for coffee or energy drinks for the caffeine jolt.[2] I agree that these are often symptoms associated with abnormal adrenal findings.
So you might ask yourself, how do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?  If you don’t feel your best self and feel as if your health is declining then maybe it is worth finding a qualified practitioner who will run a proper adrenal panel and who understands the physiology of the precious gland.  Cortisol is the key hormone to check when considering the functional health of the adrenal gland.  When checking the Cortisol level you must check the levels throughout the day.  This means that you have to check those levels at least 4 times throughout the day – not just once!   This is important because our body’s natural circadian will cause the cortisol hormone levels to fluctuate throughout the day.  Your cortisol levels need to be at certain levels at different parts of the day for you to feel your best.  As it goes, in a healthy adrenal panel, the cortisol levels are high in the morning and lower as the day goes on.  This means that a doctor who checks your level only one time during the day, is not getting the full clinical picture of how the adrenal gland is really performing. [Click to Tweet]
Adrenal fatigue is something that can be supported through lifestyle and nutrition. [Click to Tweet]  If your lab tests come back and objectively show that your cortisol is out of balance then try following these few helpful guidelines to allow the body to heal over time.
  1. Consider finding a functional medicine doctor who will order full functional testing to find out why your adrenal glands are not functioning properly and follow his or her instructions to balance your body’s chemistry.  Perhaps it’s a hormone imbalance or something going on in your digestive system.
  2. Avoid sugar, caffeine, and junk foods
  3. Avoid people who stress you out
  4. Avoid “The Grind”
  5. Avoid skipping meals
  6. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Here are some other things you can do to help heal the adrenal glands:
  1. Pace Yourself
  2. Do things you enjoy
  3. Drink more water
  4. Laugh more
  5. Don’t dwell on the future or the past.  Focus on the now.
As I said before we all deal with stress.  If you find yourself always thinking or telling people, “I’m so stressed,” then first evaluate your life and try to remove any unnecessary stressors over which you have control.  Once you have done that, consider running an adrenal panel to see if you have abnormal adrenal findings and if you do, run other functional testing to find out why. The results speak for themselves and if you do have issues then dig in and do the things you need to do for a better state of health.
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
September 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 and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] Ungar DC, Keith: “Your Tyroid Chemistry Doesn’t Lie” page 79.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes – The Natural Way

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Does This Have to Be Your Permanent Diagnosis

You may have diabetes and/or know someone who does.  You have heard or been told that once you are on the road to Diabetesville, you cannot turn around or take another route.  For many people, this is just wrong.  Type 2 diabetes is reversible in many cases if you are ready to make the changes you need to make.  Losing weight and exercising is a good start, but how? What should you be eating?  What is causing your diabetes?  Can it be fixed?  Are there other systems in your body that are not functioning properly and contributing to your blood sugar problem?  You are probably also wondering if its possible to get off the medication merry-go-round.

At Functional Endocrinology of Ohio, we have a proven track record of turning back the hands of time on diabetes (and other conditions). Our clients reduce their need for diabetic medication (including insulin) as well as other medications and, sometimes, cut the need for medications altogether with the help of their prescribing medical doctor. By finding out the cause of their diabetes, we are able to bring the body chemistry back into alignment, reverse diabetes, and improve the patient’s overall health dramatically.

We all know these scary statistics about diabetics[1]:

* Individuals with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely than the general population to die from heart disease or to experience a stroke.

* More than two-thirds of U.S. adults with diabetes had hypertension or reported using medication for high blood pressure in 2005-2008.

* Nearly 30% of diabetics suffered from diabetic retinopathy in 2005-2008, 4.4% of which were severe enough to threaten vision.

* Diabetes is the leading cause of newly diagnosed adult (20-74 years of age) blindness in the U.S.

* Diabetes caused 44% of all newly diagnosed kidney failures in 2008, with nearly 50,000 diabetics entering treatment for end stage kidney disease.

In 2008, over 200,000 diabetics in the U.S. were on chronic dialysis or living with a kidney transplant as the result of end stage kidney disease.

* Diabetes causes mild loss of sensation in extremities in as many as 70% of diabetic adults. When this loss of sensitivity occurs, amputations of lower extremities may be necessary; more than 60% of all non-traumatic amputations of lower limbs occur in diabetics.

* Approximately 1 in 3 diabetics suffers from severe periodontal disease.

* Uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy can increase the chance of birth defects, large babies, and other complications that can be dangerous to the baby and the mother.

* Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression as people without a diabetes diagnosis.

* In 2007, the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. was diabetes, and its contribution to death is likely dramatically under-reported on death certificates.

* Diabetics have twice the risk of death of any cause compared to people of the same age without diabetes.

It does not have to be this way for you. Based on objective testing, on average, our clients: (1) reduce their insulin levels by 53.18%; (2) reduce their oral diabetic medication levels by 26.44%; (3) reduce other medication levels by 31.7%; (4) reduce their blood sugars by 20.64%; (5) hemoglobin A1C by 18.58%; and (6) lose 15.18 pounds or 7.57% of their body weight. And, the best part is that these results are achieved naturally! Click here to read and watch some  of our patient’s testimonials.

Untitled design (39) How you may ask?  By finding out what is causing the problem!  After a thorough functional neurometabolic case history and exam, we order the testing that is necessary for us to find out what might be the underlying cause of your diabetes.  In addition to an extensive blood test, we could test your hormone levels, thyroid and adrenal gland function, food sensitivities, toxicities and what is going on in the intestinal system and stomach.  We then customize a treatment plan that is exactly what YOU need to bring your body back into balance and causing it to act as God intended.  We work as a team with your medical doctor to help you meet your goals.  For most people, this means addressing blood sugar problems with as little medication as possible.  When the time comes (your body is back into balance through dietary, nutritional and lifestyle changes in our office), you and your medical doctor can address your medication needs.

Give us a call or click the link below to come in for a free consultation to see if we can help you.

Dr. Keith S. Ungar, D.C.
March 2, 2016

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. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here., January 24, 2012

Are You Feeling the Burn?


Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms
Do Not Have to Limit Your Life.

Are you hands or feet numb?  Do they tingle?  Are they painful?  If so, you may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, which often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.  It may also occur in other areas of your body.  People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

Peripheral neuropathy can result from problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. In many cases, peripheral neuropathy symptoms improve with time, especially if the underlying condition, like diabetes, is reversed by balancing the body’s chemistry.

Dr. Keith Ungar, D.C.
March 2, 2016

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. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

3 Questions To Ask Your Prescribing Doctor

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Be Armed With the Knowledge to Make A Good Decision About the Prescribed Medication That You Take.

Interesting Facts About Prescribed Drugs:
  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 2.6 billion
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 75.1%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes:
    • Analgesics
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents
    • Antidepressants [2]

“You will be needing to pick up the following prescriptions from the nearest pharmacy,” says the nurse or doctor.  “Take 6 of each pill and you will be as good as new,” they say.  Even the names of the medicines’ are enough to frighten the toughest person.  These medical directions are becoming more frequent and patients feel obliged to follow these suggestions.  This gives the pharmaceutical industry power like no other. Analgesics are for pain, antihyperlipidemics are for lowering bad cholesterol levels or increasing the good cholesterol levels.

There is a place for prescribed medication.  It can deliver comfort from a variety of symptoms, but medication also carries a bit of health uncertainty.  For example, did you know that the many of the medications are tested on men only?  Women, who take the most prescribed medicine, are at a higher risk for complications.  There are lots of questions you should ask yourself and your doctor about the need for prescribed medication, whether it will actually fix the cause of your health condition and long-term consequences of taking it.  These types of questions are best asked when developing a healthcare plan with your doctor.  Ask these 2 questions every time medication is prescribed for you:

  1.  What is the NNT for This Drug?

    NNT stands for the “Number Needed to Treat.”  Ask your doctor for the number specific to the medication he/she is ordering for you.  The NNT is a piece of data that doctors and pharmaceutical companies don’t like to discuss.  It records the number of people who need to take a certain drug in order for one of them to be helped by it. Consider the example of a statin drug, a class of drug routinely prescribed to lower patients’ cholesterol levels.  The NNT for the most-widely prescribed statin is a jaw dropping 250. That means for every 250 people taking this statin, it helps only one person. [2]

2.  What Are the Side Effects and What Percentage of People are Affected by Them?

Before agreeing to a new prescription, a patient should ask the doctor the percentage of people who suffer from side effects.  To stick with the example of a statin drug, the side effects are pretty serious (severe muscle damage). Each individual patient is 12.5 times more likely to be harmed than he/she is to be aided by the drug.  16% of all hospital admissions are related to adverse reactions to prescription drugs and this is 4th leading cause of death for Americans. The death rate for prescription drugs is 10 times higher than the number of people killed by illegal drugs! [2]

3.  Are You or Your Office Receiving Financial Incentives From the Pharmaceutical Company that Makes This Drug?

“The National Physicians Alliance said that 83 percent of doctors report having accepted food and/or gifts from drug companies. One study showed that the United States has about 100,000 drug representatives, which means about one for every eight doctors—and the average marketing spent on each doctor is more than $12,000. . . . When a drug company pays a doctor to act as a spokesperson for its drugs, that doctor will often feel obligated to that company. It will cause him to make recommendations based on the wishes of the drug company and not his best judgement.” [2]

So, ask your doctor if he/she is receiving money, gifts, speaking fees or other benefits from the company that makes the drug? [Click to Tweet]  This could even include free lunch that pharmaceutical representatives often give for a doctor and his staff.  You may also ask if his or her opinion of the drug is influenced by doctors paid to speak for its manufacturer?

I have family members, friends and people I care about on these same medications and it is frightening. So we should ask ourselves – is this the only option?  What can I do to enhance my health without these chemically made potions? What are the side effects of changing my diet or exercising? What is my medication doing to fix my health problem or is it just temporarily helping with the symptoms?

Nikita Williams
February 24, 2016

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. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.


[2] Jacques, Jeremiah. “Before You Ingest Powerful Chemical Medications Ask These Questions.” n.d.: n. pag. Web.

3 Ways to Get the Most From Your Vitamins and Supplements

Untitled design (32)What Vitamins Should You Absolutely Be Taking?

Almost everyone takes a vitamin or supplement.  In the U.S., we spend nearly 1.5 billion dollars each year on supplements and vitamins. [1]  Nearly half of all Americans take at least 1 vitamin or supplement.  How do you now if it is the right vitamin for you?  How do you know if the level of the active ingredient in the vitamin you buy is enough or too much?  How do you know if the vitamin quality is worth what you are paying for it?  How do you know if the supplement is really helping you?

If you do a Google search for vitamins or supplements, you will see millions of results.  Many articles state that vitamins are a waste of money.  Some articles say that if you do not take a vitamin, you cannot be healthy – scaring you into thinking you need to rush right out to buy a vitamin.  And, of course, there are thousands of vitamin companies that want to sell you the latest and greatest vitamin that will make you live a very long and healthy life, lose weight, improve your energy level, improve your sex life, balance your hormones, etc.  Recently, Dr. Oz was criticized for “peddling” various products on his television show.

In our office we practice functional medicine.  Click here to learn about functional medicine. We balance a patient’s chemistry using, vitamins, supplements, creams, gels, and dietary and lifestyle recommendations.  It is clear then that we believe vitamins and supplements can be a good thing.  However, we do not believe that every person needs to take lots of vitamins for the rest of their life for good health.  In fact, too much is just as bad as none at all.  So, how do you know what vitamins to take?

  1.   Get Tested.

    Dr. Oz was accused of endorsing “quack remedies” on his show.  Dr. Ungar has had lunch with Dr. Oz and appreciates how he has brought alternative and natural health to the mainstream. Generally, the products he discusses on his show are not generally bad. However, what Dr. Oz (and people who “sell” vitamins) do is recommend a particular vitamin or supplement for everyone regardless of that person’s specific case history and body chemistry.  Some of the supplements recommended by these sellers will work for some people.  But are you part of the “some?”  The only way to find out is to see a doctor who will do thorough testing of all of your body’s systems – hormone levels, adrenal function, thyroid function, GI function.   Vitamins, supplements, dietary changes should then be used to bring your body back into balance and full function based on the results of that testing. [Click to Tweet]

  2. Buy Quality Supplements.

    Do you need to spend more to get good quality vitamins?  Yes and no.  The best answer is to buy vitamins that have research to back up their efficacy and that a doctor who knows exactly what you need recommends.   [Click to Tweet]  This is not to say that you should only buy vitamins from a doctor’s office (although this is usually the safest bet). You can buy vitamins on-line or from your local vitamin store but before you do, have the testing done and ask your doctor if these over-the-counter vitamins are right for you and if the amount of active ingredient is enough or too much to help you meet your health goal. You will also need to watch the filler included in drugstore vitamins.  You could be sensitive to that filler, which could negate the vitamin’s benefits.

  3. Get Retested and Make Adjustments.

    After your first testing, you doctor may recommend supplements to bring your body back into balance.  Balancing the body’s chemistry is a process.  You don’t achieve good health simply by taking some vitamins for a few weeks.  In order to see how you are progressing and to decide whether to continue, stop or adjust levels of your supplements, retesting is necessary.   Be wary of any practitioner or vitamin seller who suggests that you should just take a supplement forever without a personalized clinical basis for that recommendation.   Your goal (and your doctor’s goal) is to bring your body back into balance and then only take supplements needed to keep it that way. [Click to Tweet] In many cases, that might be nothing!

Some vitamins and supplements are necessary for some people based on their specific body needs.  Criticism of vitamins and supplements is warranted when this rule is not applied like above.   Applying this rule, the results speak for themselves in black and white (test results) and in the lives are patients live.  We see people meet their health goals in our office every day.  Click here if you would like to hear from a few of them.

Do you take vitamins or supplements?  Do you know if they are helping you?

Caroline Boardman
February 3, 2016

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. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.


Is Your November Getting a Little “Hairy?”

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Movember: It’s All  About Men’s Health!

As fall ramps up and the winter approaches, the smell of pumpkin pie often invades the air, spiced cider can be found at fall fairs, and thick frothy mustaches and beards begin to appear more than ever.  Just as the trees are shedding their full appearance with the leaves falling, men’s faces around the world are just the opposite and becoming thick with facial hair.  The month of November has now been adopted as a men’s health awareness month, and growing a beard or mustache is one way you can show your support.

So just what is Movember?   Seven Nightly News aired a story in 1999, including a group of young men in Adelaide, Australia who coined the term “Movember” and the idea of growing mustaches through the month of November for charity. [Click to Tweet] (1) Leave it to the Australians to come up with such an idea.  The story goes that a few buddies were sitting around at the pub and somehow triggered the idea to have a mustache-growing contest to help raise awareness for men’s health.  It started with just 30 participants the first year and raised $0, and since then has grown as an international phenomenon raising millions of dollar annually to support a variety of men’s health research and charities.  “No Shave November”  or  “Noshember” has been another popular spin-off that holds the underlying cause for greater awareness of men’s health.  There have been many foundations that have sprouted from the original movement, so if you decide to take part and give to the cause, make sure that you research to who you are donating and what the money goes towards.

Men’s health is a blanket statement that embodies more than just prostate health.   The official Movember movement supports four key men’s health topics: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity. (2)  It is absolutely amazing to see the depth of involvement the Movember movement has created on an international scale.  From University support all the way down to individualized awareness, the movement’s goal is simply to create healthier men.

As a healthcare professional and a male, the topic has a special place in my heart.  Although it is not often, nothing makes me more excited than the like-minded patients who come in for consultation on preventive treatment.  Like any good doctor, I take a good case history and then make a best recommendation on a patient specific care plan.  Movember empowers the movement for men to take more initiative in understanding what they can do to promote a healthier lifestyle with less potential complications.  Nothing is a guarantee in healthcare, but it can give one piece of mind when working towards a health goal.

One of the most important tests a male can have done is a Lipoprotein analysis.  This test gives men an idea whether they are at a higher risk for a cardiovascular disease. [Click to Tweet] Heart Disease was the number one cause of death in the CDC’s 2013 mortality statistics in the United States.(3)  The lipoprotein analysis far surpasses the lipid panel which is often run by primary care providers as “routine” blood markers.  According to the research, lipoprotein analysis is much more reliable in predicting whether or not you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.  So next time you healthcare provider wants to check your cholesterol, ask them if they have heard of a lipoprotein analysis.  If they have not, then I would consider finding a doctor, who is more current with their method of helping treat you,

Another panel that is critical for men’s preventative health is a steroid hormone panel.  Our clinic utilizes testing from Diagnostechs Laboratory to check for free fraction hormones.  It is important to check more than just testosterone in men.  The panel our clinic often runs gives a complete breakdown of the hormones that are available at the cellular level to see if your hormonal chemistry is in balance.   If you have any question in you mind that your hormones are out of balance don’t hesitate to contact me for more advice.

So as you are out and about during the fall season and you see a thick and frothy mustache or beard, let it be a reminder to observe men’s health.  If you are still unsure where to get started to be a healthier you, stop in to you local functional medicine doctor and ask them how to take the next step.

In the meantime, show your support.  Put away the razor and let it grow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
November 25, 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 and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.