On this week’s A Different Perspective, Dr. Flynn shares a Wellness Way success story of achieving fertility and a healthy baby boy. He shares an email he received asking about having a family history of heart disease and reducing your risk. Doc then goes into two tests that give you a better idea of your heart disease risk than LDL cholesterol. He wraps up by talking about the dangers of statin drugs and why they have so many side effects.
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Dr. Flynn begins by sharing some updates from The Wellness Way, including the upcoming new website, our weekly newsletter, and our presence on social media. He then introduces nurse practitioner Nicole Saleske, who shares a little about her own story of overcoming PCOS and how she became passionate about helping women overcome infertility. She is certified by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She then introduces her patient, Emily Kienetz.
Wellness Way Stories: Emily Kienetz
Emily Shares Her Background
Emily shares her background, beginning in January of 2016, when she first met her now husband, Nathan. She knew right away that “he was the one,” and they were married by August that same year. In 2018, they decided it was time to start a family. However, it didn’t take long for them to realize they had some fertility issues.
They started working with an OB-GYN who specialized in fertility. They were starting to feel hopeful as they were working on some things. Emily got put on Clomid (clomiphene) for three months, and they were hopeful that would work. Unfortunately, it didn’t. After three months, the doctor took Emily off the drug. After that, Emily and Nathan were in a low spot. They were looking at doing an IUI (intrauterine insemination) next.
But they needed to take a break. It was emotionally draining for both.
A Friend Recommended The Wellness Way
After a while, they were ready to get started again. A friend had recommended coming to see Nicole Saleske at The Wellness Way Green Bay. Emily met Nicole in February of 2020. Nicole had some ideas of where to start and laid out how The Wellness Way approach would look. It started out with testing and a 30-day detox.
Nothing happened after the 30-day detox, but the stool test was very eye-opening for Emily. Her beta-glucuronidase, which should have been binding toxins and hormones, was not doing that for her. So, they knew they had some work to do for that. Nicole put Emily on several supplements to support her body along the way. They were specifically working on getting her beta-glucuronidase under control, but she also did a no-sugar panel and followed up with another stool test. That’s when they realized Emily had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). So, Nicole put her on a Low FODMAP diet.
That’s when she got pregnant.
Health Goals Accomplished
When Emily first met with Nicole, they had talked about some different health goals Emily had. Besides getting pregnant, Emily had wanted to lose some weight and clear up her acne.
It took a while to get pregnant, but throughout the journey, Emily accomplished her other goals – her skin improved, and she lost weight. These weren’t her main goals, but they kept her going throughout the process as she started to notice that she was feeling better and looking better.
Emily says Nicole will always have a special place in her heart. Nicole was her “beacon of hope,” encouraging her all along the way.
Life With Her Little Guy
Emily says getting to wake up and spend time with her little guy is “the best.” Are there hard days? Absolutely. But Emily is so grateful for every day she gets to spend with him. She wouldn’t want her life to be any other way right now.
Nicole wraps up, saying how Emily was a “star patient” who followed everything Nicole suggested. Look what an incredible success story she has to show for it! Emily is not an exception to the rule. At The Wellness Way, we see success stories like hers every single day. If you resonate with Emily’s story, please reach out!
An Email From a Viewer:
Doc then shares an email he received from an ADP viewer asking about a family history of heart disease:
Good morning, Dr. Flynn,
I just wanted to say I really love your Instagram reels and just started watching your videos on the website. I heard you say you have a family history of heart disease, but you say that does not concern you. I also have a family history of heart disease; what things do you do to reduce the fear when doctors are constantly using that as a leverage point to get you to listen to them?
So, it’s quite common for doctors to suggest diagnostics, lab work, and medications just because of a family history of disease. Breast cancer is a good example of this. Women have had their breasts removed or have started taking medication just based on family history. Family history has a place; Doc believes it’s extremely overblown to the point that people do some form of treatment or testing based on family history.
Now, heart disease does dominate out there. Statistically, it keeps going up every single year. Doc had three out of four grandparents die of heart disease. So, what does he do to reduce his fear of it? Believe it or not, he does a medical test. Your local hospitals do this test on a regular basis: Heart (coronary) Calcium Scoring.
Here’s what the local hospital, Bellin Health, says about it:
Heart (coronary) Calcium Scoring
The best way to provide heart care is to prevent heart disease, or detect it in its earliest states, when so much can be done to help. That’s why Bellin is offering Heart Calcium scoring, a powerful tool that can detect the presence of plaque before you have any symptoms of heart disease. Painless, safe, and noninvasive, it only takes minutes. If you’re a man over 30 or a woman over 40, and consider yourself at risk, call to find out if this screening is right for you.
Doc agrees with this. It picks up on early calcification. Doc then shares his results from this testing, which he did at Bellin Health. His score? A zero. He had absolutely no calcium buildup in his arteries, putting him at “Very Low Risk.”
Get your calcium scoring done –even if you’ve already had a heart attack. See where it’s at and start working to lower it. Doc has had people with scores of 400 and even 1200 get it back down into normal ranges.
Here’s another local hospital promoting this testing: Heart Calcium Scoring | HSHS St Mary’s Hospital – Green Bay
Heart Calcium Scoring
It’s a powerful way to spot the early stages of heart disease while there’s still time to stop it. Heart calcium scoring can detect years of plaque buildup long before you have symptoms of heart disease. It’s safe, painless and takes just 15 minutes. If you’re a man over 30 or a woman over 40, call 920-433-8329 from 8 am – 4 pm to schedule your appointment. Get the answer with one quick, painless test—Heart Calcium Scoring.
WHAT IS HEART CALCIUM SCORING?
It’s a quick, pain-free, non-invasive way to measure the amount of calcium deposits that adhere to arteries. Calcium scoring has been shown to be valuable in identifying people who have coronary artery disease before they develop symptoms of the nation’s No. 1 killer, heart disease.
Why not get one of these simple diagnostic tests – just to see where things are at? Doc gets his done every four to five years.
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Doc introduces his series on cholesterol, which will go on for the next four or five weeks. Is cholesterol good? Is cholesterol bad? There’s research to support both views, but maybe it’s time for A Different Perspective. Doc talks about how one food or macronutrient like fat can have different effects in different bodies. Even healthy fats could be problematic for some people.
“Bad vs. Good Cholesterol” is misleading. If LDL cholesterol is completely bad, then why doesn’t it completely block off the artery every time? Why not all the arteries? Your body makes LDL cholesterol. When did the body start making bad things for the heart?
What is LDL?
Let’s look at the definition of LDL cholesterol:
LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (LDL)
PROTEIN carrier of cholesterol delivered to the cells (plasma membrane), tissues, and glands of your body – adrenals, ovaries, & testes for the synthesis of STEROID HORMONES.
It’s a protein carrier, and the density is based on how much protein is there. When it has higher fat, it’s lower density. When it has lower fat, it’s higher density –that’s where we talk about HDL. But here’s the point: it’s a carrier! When we look at fats, they’re not water-soluble, so they need to be carried. LDL and HDL are produced mainly by your liver.
So, when did your liver start making bad stuff for your heart? (It didn’t).
What’s really going on? Why does LDL appear to be clogging the arteries? There are different particle sizes. There are big LDLs and there are small, dense LDLs. There are VLDLs – very low-density lipoproteins. This means that they are just packed with fat. There are buoyant LDLs and there are dense LDLs. Those small dense LDLs can get into the epithelial lining of the arteries.
To say that LDL accumulation creates the problem isn’t true! If not for LDL, you couldn’t even heal a cut finger. For regeneration to happen, your liver has to put out more LDL to carry fat to that area for healing. When the fat it carries gets dropped off, guess what happens? Now it becomes more of an HDL.
What is HDL?
Let’s look at the definition of HDL cholesterol:
HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (HDL)
PROTEIN carrier that removes cholesterol from blood vessels, bloodstream and delivers it back to the liver, recycles it…
So, if there is some fat there, it’s going to try to pull it back… So, it’s got to be good! Even if you got cholesterol out to the tissues that needed it, since when is that bad? It’s more about the particle size and which ones are there.
If we just look at lipoproteins in general, there is apolipoprotein A, based in HDL, and apolipoprotein B, based in LDL. There are other cholesterol esters and phospholipids but look at triglycerides and unesterified cholesterols. Let’s talk about triglycerides.
There is a major obesity problem today. Our bodies can’t store glucose, so they have to transform them into triglycerides, AKA, fat. One of the reasons why people have “high cholesterol” in general is triglycerides. People don’t realize that the total cholesterol value is a combination of HDL, LDL, and 1/5 of your triglycerides.
So, the concept of looking at cholesterol doesn’t make any sense. If HDL skyrockets, your cholesterol goes up. “But Doc, I have to lower my cholesterol!” Well, you might have the situation of your body trying to send HDL out there to scavenge some fats in the blood.
On the flip side, if you have injured yourself, your LDL is probably elevated to repair damaged tissue. By nature, your liver has to put out more cholesterol. The sad part is that if there are certain LDL particle sizes, it can build up atherosclerosis and raise your risk for heart disease.
So, all the people who say LDL has nothing to do with heart disease are (partly) wrong. But all the people who say LDL has everything to do with heart disease are also (partly) wrong. Come to the middle! The answer is right there. It’s more about particle size and inflammation.
Apo-Lipoprotein B (APO-B)
Apo-Lipoprotein B is a protein that you can measure. ApoB is the main protein component of LDL. While the amount of cholesterol in LDL varies, each LDL contains exactly one APoB protein. So, APoB is a better indicator of circulating LDL than LDL-C numbers. This is a better indicator of your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and is better than LDL-C at predicting coronary heart disease.
A high LDL cholesterol number is not a good predictor of heart disease. You don’t know what the particle size is or what proteins are available on those LDLs that make it a risk factor. In fact, if you have higher general cholesterol levels as you get older, you live longer and have fewer psychiatric problems.
Let’s look at what WebMD says about Apo-Lipoprotein B:
What Is the Apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB) Test?
An ApoB test helps your doctor analyze whether or not you are at risk for heart disease. It measures the amount of apolipoprotein B in your blood. Apolipoprotein B attaches to negative types of cholesterol that cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels, which can lead to damage and heart disease.
What Is Apolipoprotein B?
Apolipoprotein B-100 is a protein that helps carry fat and cholesterol through your body. It is also called apolipoprotein B or apoB, for short.
Your body needs fat and cholesterol to produce hormones and keep your cells healthy. Despite being necessary, fat and cholesterol don’t dissolve well in the blood. In order for your body to deliver these compounds, they are packaged into a compound called a lipoprotein, with an apolipoprotein on the outside.
ApoB carries a variety of lipoproteins, which are known as bad cholesterol:
- Lipoproteins, like chylomicrons
- Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL)
- Low density lipoproteins (LDL)
- Intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL).
Without getting these numbers, you have an incomplete view of what’s going on with your cholesterol and heart disease risk. We can test for these things! Doc then shows some past patients’ lab results showing their cholesterol numbers and ApoB. After working with these patients, lowering inflammation, improving liver function, and more, things dramatically improved. One patient had incredible changes within 4 months. That was without statin medications.
This is really important to know: 50% of those who die of heart disease have normal cholesterol levels.
Product Education: Gymnema
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Universally, almost everyone should have this in their cabinet. Its name means the “destroyer of sugar.” It stimulates the release of insulin, blocks the absorption of glucose, reduces the sweet taste of sugar, and promotes the regeneration of islet cells in the pancreas.
Why is it so important? Because it is:
- Helpful for reducing sugar cravings
- Weight-loss promoting
- Helpful for combatting insulin resistance
How is it anti- high cholesterol? Let’s go back to that LDL particle. If you remember, there are triglycerides in there! HDL doesn’t have a lot of fat, and that’s why it’s high density—because it’s more based on protein. LDL has more fat, so it’s lower density and has less protein. If there are fewer triglycerides, you can drop a lot of your LDL and a ton of your total cholesterol. Remember, your total cholesterol is your LDL, your HDL, and 1/5 of your triglycerides.
Now, can diet and exercise lower your cholesterol? Yes! But if you have tissue damage, you’re going to have higher LDL cholesterol despite your diet and exercise. It’s because your liver is pumping out more in order to promote healing. Even mental stress will cause a woman’s LDL to go up. That’s why it’s important to get a complete lipid panel done. Then you’ll know what’s going on behind the scenes.
But if you reduce your absorption of sugar, you have less of a chance of producing triglycerides. That’s why Gymnema is fantastic. The constituents in it bind to the receptors and don’t allow a bunch of glucose to absorb. It also helps you reduce your cravings for sweets.
Take a look at this study: EFFECT OF-GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE, CITRULLUS COLOCYNTHIS AND ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM ON BLOOD GLUCOSE AND LIPID PROFILE IN DIABETIC HUMAN
Gymnema sylvestre reduced 37% glucose, 5% TGL, 13% cholesterol and 19% low desity lipoproteins (LDL) level in diabetic individuals.
Here’s another one: Effect of Gymnema sylvestre Administration on Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Sensitivity, and Insulin Secretion
G. sylvestre administration decreased BWt, BMI, and VLDL levels in subjects with MetS, without changes in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.
A couple of those patients whose lab work Doc shared earlier may need to take a few tablespoons of Gymnema a day. They also need to STOP SUGAR. This is actual good advice.
The advice that the medical doctor traditionally gives is to take statins and blood thinners… and eventually, you’ll need heart surgery. Why not take preventative measures instead?
Doc’s Thoughts: Last 10%
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Doc concludes with his final thoughts –his “last 10%.” This work can be frustrating – because Doc’s heart is to help everyone. So often, people are misled. They say, “My doctor said…” Well, if heart disease continues to rise every single year, and we keep spending more money on this current system of healthcare, at what point do we stop and say, it’s time for a different perspective?
If you walk into a gym, and your personal trainer is 300 pounds and not at all muscular, are you going to listen to his advice? Heart disease continues to rise, and yet we continue to listen to these doctors that are leading us to more death and disease? Come on.
The medical system has been teaching us to look at HDL as the angel cholesterol, while LDL is the demon. But LDL is produced by your liver. Statin drugs interfere with LDL production. That’s why there are so many side effects from taking statin drugs, including low hormones, reduced healing, dementia, and other things. But people are so convinced that LDL is evil.
Scientists Aren’t Infallible
Let’s do a little history lesson: 10 crazy things scientists used to believe:
- Mercury was once considered safe and used as a disinfectant, laxative, cure for syphilis, and even as a pill for immortality.
In the sixteenth century, mercury was extensively used in medicine. For the next four centuries, mercuric compounds were an essential ingredient in drugs in both Asian and European pharmacopeias. As a result, more people died of mercury poisoning than from the maladies they were actually suffering. Even in the 1990s, mercury was used as a spermicide. It is still used in dental amalgams, cosmetics, saline solutions, and eye drops.
- “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette” – a common ad in the 1940s and 1950s
“My doctor said…” and “Science says…” They demonize LDL, but it’s essential for so many things. Just like scientists have been wrong about mercury and so many other things, they will also be proven wrong about LDL. It’s already happening.
High Cholesterol Isn’t Necessarily Bad
Take a look at this study: High total cholesterol levels in late life associated with a reduced risk of dementia – PubMed (nih.gov).
The #1 organ that uses cholesterol is your brain – your nervous system. So, when doctors reduce your cholesterol to levels insufficient for your brain, you reduce the ability of your brain to work at its best every single day.
Now, elevated cholesterol levels aren’t good for everyone. Even as people get older, it’s not necessarily good for everyone to have high cholesterol levels. But if small dense LDL particles are high, they can damage the brain. But it’s important to do labs because everyone is different. Think for yourself and look for someone who will teach you, not preach to you.
Doc is hoping to be the one to walk along with you in these next few weeks, opening your eyes to the truth about cholesterol and heart disease.
Tune in on Saturday Mornings LIVE
Tune in each Saturday morning at 8:00 am Central for a LIVE episode of A Different Perspective. Make sure to subscribe to this channel on YouTube so that you don’t miss a single video or Livestream. Each week, on A Different Perspective, we bring you the most cutting-edge information on health that you won’t find anywhere else. Tune in for stories of restored hope, changed lives, and a passion for showing the world the power of thinking differently. A Different Perspective is leading a health revolution