Case Study: Aches And Pains In The Morning
Kevin was a 52 year old man who came to my clinic wanting help with high cholesterol. In his most recent blood test result his total cholesterol was 317 mg/dL (8.2 mmol/L). He also had elevated triglycerides, at 292 mg/dL (3.3 mmol/L). High cholesterol has been a long term problem for Kevin. He has tried various restrictive diets and nutritional supplements. Some of them helped to some degree, but not enough to keep Kevin motivated to continue with them.
Kevin had read that prescription cholesterol lowering drugs can have harmful side effects, so he refused to use them despite his doctor’s insistence. He was particularly worried about the association between memory loss and statin drugs. His mother suffers with dementia and he did not want to take a drug that may potentially increase his risk of going down the same path.
Kevin was slightly overweight, and he kept the weight only across his abdomen. One thing I noticed as he got off the chair in the waiting room to enter my office was that he appeared to be in physical pain. It took him a while to get to his feet and his body moved in a stiff and rigid way.
I asked Kevin if he had an injury and he said no, these are just his regular aches and pains. He said he feels very stiff and sore in the mornings and limbers up as the day progresses. Kevin considered this normal for his age and occupation. He worked in a warehouse and spent each day on his feet, picking and packing orders.
It is not normal for a 52 year old man to suffer with these kinds of aches and pains in the morning. This was a sign of excessive inflammation in Kevin’s body and I offered him a solution.
I asked Kevin about what he ate for meals and snacks and there was a lot of wheat and milk in his diet and not enough vegetables. He ate a wheat cereal with cow’s milk for breakfast, or toast with cheese. For lunch he always had two sandwiches, usually with ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato. He typically ate red meat or chicken for dinner with some vegetables. Dinner was his healthiest meal, however, he mostly ate starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas and corn were his staples. Corn actually isn’t even a vegetable, it is a grain.
Kevin’s diet was very carbohydrate heavy. He used some of the carbohydrate for energy in his physically active job, but much of it was converted into fat by his liver. This resulted in the roll of fat on his abdomen and it was also raising his cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Excess carbohydrate in the diet raises blood levels of the hormone insulin, which then triggers the liver to convert those carbs into cholesterol and triglycerides. Therefore reducing his carbohydrate intake and raising his vegetable intake was essential in order to improve Kevin’s blood fats and help him lose weight. I put him on the eating plan in my book I Can’t Lose Weight and I Don’t Know Why.
Kevin had the mistaken belief that in order to lose weight and lower his blood fats, he had to follow a low fat diet. Consequently he often felt hungry and therefore ate more food to compensate. I explained to him that adding healthy fats to his diet would make his meals more palatable and would keep him feeling full and satisfied. That makes a healthy diet so much easier to stick to.
I asked Kevin to remove all gluten and dairy products from his diet, as these are highly inflammatory foods. It’s amazing to see the reduction in pain people experience once they remove those foods from their diet. To further reduce inflammation I gave Kevin a powerful serrapeptase supplement. Serrapeptase is an amazing enzyme, originally derived from silkworms. It has a “Pac Man” like action in the body; it actually helps to clean up excessive inflammation, scar tissue and cellular debris, which can cause pain and stiffness. Kevin would also benefit from serrapeptase because it helps to clean the inside of the arteries. This is important for him, since his cholesterol level has been elevated for many years.
Raw vegetable juices are highly anti-inflammatory too, and I try to encourage all my patients to include them in their diet regularly. Kevin was very busy, and he lived on his own, so he couldn’t promise to drink a raw juice each day.
I gave Kevin a fish oil supplement, as the omega 3 fats in fish help to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and may also help to regress any plaques formed in the arteries. Kevin didn’t eat much seafood, so I asked him to take 2 capsules twice daily with food. I also recommended the plant extract berberine. It helps to lower blood insulin levels if they are elevated. This is appropriate for Kevin, because it means his liver will stop manufacturing so much fat and cholesterol.
A liver tonic was very necessary for Kevin. I gave him LivaTone Plus as it would improve the fat burning abilities of his liver. This would help him lose some weight from his abdomen and it would help to lower his cholesterol and triglycerides. A healthy liver is essential if you want a healthy cholesterol level. This makes perfect sense when you realise that approximately 80 percent of the cholesterol in your body was manufactured in your liver. The cholesterol you consume in food is miniscule in comparison.
Two months later
I saw Kevin for a follow up consultation and was pleased to see he looked so much better. His energy level was much better, his mood had improved and he said he felt a lot more productive. He was able to get a lot more done each day. Kevin was also thrilled to have lost 15 pounds (seven kilos).
Kevin had not had a repeat blood test yet and it was still a bit too early to check on the progress of his cholesterol and triglyceride levels. I asked him about the aches and pains in the morning and he said they had reduced by around 60 percent. I asked Kevin to incorporate some stretches at the end of the day, when he gets home from work. His job is really quite physical; he spends all day lifting boxes and getting on and off forklifts. If he doesn’t stretch his muscles after all that activity, they will become tight and tense and worsen the aches and pains.
I am due to see Kevin again in another month, when I will review his blood test results.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.