Author Archives: darleneehlers



Are You Affected by Stress?

By: Dr Darlene Ehlers, DC DABCI

Stress is everywhere. Good and bad. People are very busy and often do not have enough time to exercise, eat well, or obtain enough sleep. When a person does try to sleep, often they lay awake or sleep awhile, awaken and cannot go back to sleep. Stress can affect our digestive process also. We can eat and feel like the food doesn’t digest or just sits in our stomach, have diarrhea or constipation.

What does stress do to us and how, if we can, control our bodies when it happens?

Our body reacts to stress with a nervous system called the Sympathetic Nervous System. It originates in our spinal cord and functions to activate “fight or flight” response that keeps us from harm. When that happens, blood goes to our muscles and lungs so we can run or fight! It releases a neurotransmitters called norepinephrine or adrenaline. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is working, the Parasympathetic Nervous System doesn’t work for us as it should.  Parasympathetic Nervous System’s main function is to have the body “rest and digest” or in other words: Relax

So the acute stress response can show in various ways such as: headaches, increase in blood pressure, increase in blood sugar called glucose, anxiety, insomnia, anger, excessive hunger, addictions to sugar and caffeine for energy, tight muscles, fatigue, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, multitude of digestive complaints, weight gain, high blood fats, and even secondary depression. More dangerously, stress response that keeps happening over and over again seriously weakens our immune response. Health conditions and sickness can then develop because the body is spending too much energy dealing with stress, robbing energy from our defense, our immune system.

The two nervous systems get depleted. Testing that is common to denote a person’s stress response is to test Cortisol, one of several steroid hormones that is produced by the adrenal gland and Insulin, produced by the pancreas. Also balancing body chemistry by blood work testing to find specific mineral needs such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium which all help the body handle stress. Testing is needed to determine what nutritional and lifestyle advice is correct for each person. Everyone is different and our bodies handle stress differently.

Lifestyle changes to make that can buffer or help a person recover from stress and stressful events would be: Regular sleep habits and obtaining enough sleep; avoid or limit caffeine as that acts like adrenaline; limit to no sugar as that leads to blood sugar problems, dysinsulinism; plan regular recreation or hobby times; consume nutritious meals and snacks; take twenty minute walks four to five times a week; weight loss done properly; and finally, laughter and joy!

Can we control the physiology of the stress response or even control our stress? Sometimes we cannot but what we can do is REPAIR our bodies from stress in the past and then PREPARE them to handle stress more effectively.


Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA)

What is a BIA?

20131206fr-bioelectrical-impedance-analysisBioelectrical Impedance Analysis or Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA) is a method of assessing your “body composition” — the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass. It is an integral part of a health and nutrition assessment.

Why Is Body Composition Important to My Health?

Research has shown that body composition is directly related to health. A normal balance of body fat is associated with good health and longevity. Excess fat in relation to lean body mass, known as altered body composition, can greatly increase your risks to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. BIA fosters early detection of an improper balance in your body composition, which allows for earlier intervention and prevention. BIA provides a measurement of fluid and body mass that can be a critical assessment tool for your current
state of health.

BIA also measures your progress as you improve your health. Improving your BIA measurement, or maintaining a healthy BIA measurement, can help keep your body functioning properly for healthy aging. Your BIA results can help guide us in creating a personalized dietary plan, including nutritional supplements when appropriate, and exercise to help you maintain optimal health and wellbeing for a lifetime.

How Does a BIA Work?

BIA is much more sophisticated than your bathroom scale, but just as simple — and almost as quick. BIA is performed in our office with the help of a sophisticated, computerized analysis.

This analyzer “calculates” and estimates your tissue and fluid compartments — using an imperceptible electrical current passed through pads placed on your hand and foot as you lie comfortably clothed on an exam table. In just minutes, we’ll have detailed measurements to help create an effective, personalized program for you.

Follow-up Tests

We can conduct a series of follow-up BIA tests to monitor your health
and measure your progress.

Guidelines for Assessment

For the most accurate results, the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. Do not eat for 4 hours prior to testing.
  2. Do not exercise for 12 hours prior to testing.
  3. Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing.
  4. Drink at least 1 quart of water one hour before your test.
  5. Do not drink caffeine the day of your test.
  6. Do not wear pantyhose.
  7. Do not put lotion on your hands and feet.

Weight Gain, Metabolism and the Myths That Go With It


Metabolism and Weight Gain

Here’s a common comment I hear from patients:  “Hey Dr Ehlers, I am gaining weight. I think it’s because my metabolism is low or slowing down!”

Or, maybe not! People talk about their metabolism a lot. They think that when they gain weight it is because their metabolism is low. That can be true but I often discover that people who gain weight have a metabolism which is too high. When metabolism is too high, it can make people nervous, tired, and hungrier. This is measured by Basal Metabolic Rate. That is measured by BioImpedance testing performed here at the clinic.

Impact of Exercise and Diet

Here’s another common comment I hear from patients: “Dr Ehlers, I have been skipping meals and exercising, but the scale is not moving! I thought if I just cut out calories and walked, I would lose weight.”

Often people skip meals, thinking they will lose weight. The reverse is true. The body will think it is starving and hold onto water and fat. Timely eating allows body’s engine to burn the fuel at a regular pace, not get starved then overfed. Most folks who skip meals or go more than six hours without eating healthy food, will overeat the next meal. The excess calories then get stored as fat, no matter what they deprived themselves of all day. If we do this practice of starve/over eat, our body will crave sugar to get the energy up fast and high. As high as energy gets, it will also drop as low…and quickly.

What to do?

Here are some first steps:

  • Have a BioImpedance test
  • See how many calories a day you need to eat
  • Have Dr. Ehlers prepare a sheet of what foods to eat, how much of them, when to eat them.

Welcome to the experience of energy, strength and your true healthy weight!

Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists

A DABCI degree (Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists) requires doctors to attend and complete post doctorate courses, pass a national certification examination and requires continuing education in advanced coursework each year.

The DABCI program is recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and certified by the American board of Chiropractic Internists (ABCI). The DABCI program is also recognized and approved by the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties (ABCS).

The Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders

The Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders is an educational Board that endorses and coordinates a post doctorate degree; Diplomate in Diagnosis and Internal Disorders (DABCI). Doctors are trained in the most advanced forms of modern medical diagnosis and natural medicine. Doctors diagnostic training far exceeds the current standards of health care practice utilizing many current and specialized diagnostics such as: blood chemistries, cholesterol panels, urinalyses, thyroid panels, questionnaires, doppler exams, body composition, heavy metal testing, adrenal profiles, hormonal evaluations, delayed food allergy testing, airborne allergy testing, stool tests, bone evaluation for osteopenia/osteoporosis, and much more. Treatments may include; dietary modification, physician grade supplements, natural foods, natural hormone replacement, etc. Most conditions if diagnosed properly can be resolved naturally and our doctors are the most qualified to provide this service.

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