Tom Ballard, ND's blog


The Myth of Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Did you know that most people who suffer from heart disease do not have high cholesterol? And, normal cholesterol doesn’t protect you from heart disease.

High cholesterol is not a disease, it’s a sign. It is one of many risk factors for developing heart disease. Uric acid, triglycerides, C-reactive protein and apolipoprotein levels are a few of the other risk factors. Your percentage of body fat and waist:hip ratio (belly fat) are better predictors of chronic disease than cholesterol.

So, why is so much emphasis placed on cholesterol?

Maybe because it was one of the first risk-factors discovered. Maybe because very profitable drugs have been developed to lower cholesterol.

If you want a true picture of your risk of heart disease, look at all your risk factors. Then start on drug-free, all-natural therapies that address the cause.

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“Why?” Medicine: Is your doctor asking questions?

No, this is not an article on “Why medicine?” I’m asking why “why?” isn’t asked by more doctors.

Example: Your blood pressure is high. Your MD doesn’t ask “why?” but writes a prescription for a drug that lowers blood pressure. Often the drug works. You’re content with the treatment because you know high blood pressure is bad. Every year you see your doc, assured your pressure is doing well on the medication, and the prescription is refilled. Happy ending?

Maybe not.

This same scenario also applies to dozens of other conditions – high cholesterol, high glucose, even a rash on your little toe. Something is wrong and a prescription for a drug that reverses that condition is jotted on a pad. You might call this “anti-medicine” – anti-hypertension, anti-cholesterol, anti-blood sugar, anti-inflammation (for the poor little toe).

The missing “Why?”

The above examples of anti-medicine all have something in common – your doctor never asked “Why?” Never said, “Let’s find out why your blood pressure (cholesterol, glucose, etc) is high and treat the underlying condition.” Continue reading



Bio-Identical Hormones: a dangerous fad

Celebrity endorsement from Suzanne Summers has rocketed bio-identical hormones into popular culture. Estrogen, testosterone and human growth hormone are being prescribed despite the relative lack of scientific research. People who take their spoonful of medical advice from Ms Summers (including some doctors) think that because bio-identical hormones are ‘natural’ they’re safe.

Bio-identical hormones are manufactured, synthetic hormones. Plants do not produce human hormones. Extracts of plants are used to synthesize so-called bio-identical hormones. They are no more natural than table sugar or potato chips. More importantly, there are no long-term safety studies.

I believe in the safety and effectiveness of ‘identical’ hormones – hormones made by your glands. When your glands are supplied with the nutrition they need and toxins that interfere with hormone production are removed, supplemental hormones are not needed.

Don’t be taken in by ‘me too!’ health fads. If you’re concerned about your hormones, make an appointment for proper diagnosis and treatments that restore optimal hormonal balance.

Tom Ballard, RN, ND