. . . on two of his books: Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Mental Health and The Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones
by Karen Larré, Mary Anne Weaver and Carla Garcia
Dr. Bob is an experienced healthcare provider with over forty years’ experience helping individuals from all over the world without ever prescribing a single medication. His educational background includes a degree in Human Biology, as well as specialties in Spinal Engineering and Natural Orthopedic Treatments. He was valedictorian of his chiropractic class at National University of Health Sciences and holds an NHD (Natural Health Doctor) degree.
He is the founder of The Drugless Doctors, a chiropractic and nutrition-based practice, with locations in Cleveland, Ohio and Naples, Florida. His extensive research and clinical observations have been the foundation for his eleven Dr. Bob’s Guidebooks, including his Guide to Prevent Surgery, Men’s Health the Basics, Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 Days, the Trans Fat Survival Guide, Guide to Detoxification, Guide to Optimal Health, 1 Minute a Day to a Healthier You, Guide to Sex and Marriage and Dr. Bob’s Guide to a Healthy Marriage, which he co-wrote with his wife, Debbie, and his YouVersion devotionals (https://druglessdoctor.com/?s=Youversion), which have been viewed from people all over the world.
Dr. Casen DeMaria is a chiropractor and registered massage therapist. Since joining The Drugless Doctors, Dr. Casen actively pursues new ways to reach and educate the community about the benefits of chiropractic, drugless care, and breast thermography. This includes successful partnerships with local businesses and women’s organizations. The insights she continues to learn have been subjects of her peer-reviewed journals: CLICK HERE to download a copy.
Truly Alive: What is a digital detox?
Dr. Robert DeMaria: I have chosen to minimize all exposure to any the news and apps, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I keep away from influential social media.
Dr. Casen Demario: In our practice, we find many women (while on social media) get anxious about issues of body image and self-confidence based on certain content and images. And the benefits of staying away from these are many. Our patients who are participating in “digital detoxification” are feeling calmer, have lower stress levels and so much more.
Dr. Bob: There is, however, a fear of missing out, being excluded from a group of your friends on social media. Video games like Fortnight, are engineered to manipulate the mind and senses into addictive behavior. Use of a virtual reality headset makes it difficult for your body to know the difference between actual and perceived experiences. For example, watching an advertisement with a rollercoaster, your stomach takes a dip when the rollercoaster takes a dip. Is that real or perceived? Much of the social unrest happening this summer is the result of choices we have been led to make based on perception.
The detox process is no different than an alcoholic or sugarholic. I’ve had patients with major health problems make the wise choice to stop watching the news. I don’t watch the news. I stay informed with apps I trust, and I read different opinions. I don’t get upset with people’s opinions. I make up my own mind.
TA: Why is healthy fat consumption important for mental health?
Dr. Bob: I learned back in the 1970’s and ‘80s how food and fat function. Trans-fat or partially hydrogenated oil was widely used and accepted at that time. Those oils intercept and torpedo good oil and brain fat called DHA, Docosahexaenoic Acid. Your brain is made up of fat. DHA can be altered when you consume trans-fat. Today, people consume an abundance of Omega 6 fat, a major cause of inflammation. One of the worst things that ever happened to our society was the low-fat, no-fat diet. Margarine, a trans-fat, was promoted as a health resource. We now know that margarine (and all trans-fats), cause heart disease and significant emotional distress, including post- partum depression. A simple solution is consumption of good oils. We promote a plant-based oil made of flax and black current and a marine oil, sourced from sardines and anchovies. (For plant eaters we assign flax and black currant seed alone). For others we suggest the marine oil.
We have this down to a science. With a finger prick or vena puncture, we can evaluate the exact levels of oil in a person’s body. We can forecast a person’s future mental health: disaster or victories.
We can send a kit most anywhere in the world, to determine the level of oil in your body. I cover this in Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Mental Health. A female patient had M.S. and two miscarriages. Rather than the typical one or two grams of oil daily, she needed ten grams. Her 14-year history of M.S. was gone in less than 6 months.
A vena-puncture cost is about $165, and the kit is about $220. Consider this; 18% to 30% of people are on anti-depressants. When you determine and correct your oil level, you eliminate the need for anti-psychotic medication and the likelihood of committing suicide. Comparatively speaking, that’s a small price.
TA: Please explain why elevated cholesterol levels are a defense mechanism?
Dr. CD: Cholesterol is one of the building blocks of your body. Often, people have low cholesterol because they are not consuming any or very little good fat, or they have high cholesterol and triglycerides due to stress, and high sugar consumption. A simple tool is to write down everything you eat. In our practice, we use diet journals. Evaluate what fuel you consume. Potato chips, power bars, meal replacements, all contain bad oils like canola, safflower, soy, etc., These oils increase inflammation and can negatively impact cholesterol level and brain health.
TA: How does food impact organ and glandular function, which then affects us mentally?
Dr. Bob: I have been trained in traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, the liver is associated with anger and mental health. The liver is the primary organ for digesting oil. The liver cannot properly metabolize bad plant-based oils. Science has developed a digital radiograph system, an analog X-ray where we can see into the body. Using this device, we are witnessing an epidemic of enlarged fatty livers and the resultant negative impact on physical and emotional health. Chronic lower back pain can stem from impaired liver function.
The only fruit that we promote is a slice of apple every day, or maybe a small portion of a pear or plum. Through the use of diet journals and conversation, we find most people who have fatty livers have a passion for fruit, fruit smoothies and wine.
TA: What is an overworked pancreas and how does it contribute to pain?
Dr. Bob: In the 1980’s, I worked with a lot of people who had bone and joint pain. In a span of about 10 years, these individuals started having more functional challenges. The most difficult thing to treat is mid-back pain. Training as a chiropractor allowed me to correlate left neck and mid back pain to impaired pancreas function. A misalignment in the neck and mid-back can be caused by over stimulating the pancreas with high sugar consumption. Those same vertebrae connect to the heart. We always have a surge of office visits for left neck and mid-back pain on Mondays following Holidays like Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.
TA: Would you please describe the simple test for adrenal health and its importance?
Dr. CD: With initial appointments, we measure blood pressure twice: sitting and standing. Blood pressure should increase when you stand up from a sitting position. A drop in blood pressure of 10 or 20 points while standing indicates the adrenal glands are compromised. Other indicators of adrenal fatigue are light sensitivity for the eyes or temporary dizziness when standing up.
We widely promote various minerals in our practice, particularly Celtic Sea Salt by Saelina Naturally. We all need minerals and good salt, especially in summer when we are exercising and burning through these minerals that your adrenal glands need. Muscle cramps and menstrual cramps indicate mineral deficiency.
TA: What is serotonin and why is it important to mental health?
Dr. Bob: Serotonin is a precursor to neurotransmitters which are essential for a happy, comfortable life. However, stress can deplete this crucial hormone and the serotonin re-uptake inhibitors that help calm the body down. High stress prevents optimal function of these brain-saving hormones. The purpose of a collective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor is to keep this feel-good hormone present in your body.
TA: Briefly explain the connection between organs and specific emotions.
Dr. Bob: When my son Anthony, (the husband of Dr. Casen), was leaving to go to college many years ago, my wife started to have a chronic lung problem. Because I’m a doctor, I’m supposed to figure everything out. But I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I requested an assessment from our massage therapist. The massage therapist asked some questions. My wife was sad because Anthony was leaving home to go to school. Sadness is the emotion associated with lungs. Once identified, we were able to work with that.
The spleen is an integral part of the immune and lymphatic system. Anxiety and worry are associated with the spleen. Anxious, worrying people tend to be sick due to impairment of their immune system. The gall bladder is associated with bitterness.
TA: Can anxiety lead to depression?
Dr. Bob: No. Anxiety and depression are different entities. But they often overlap. We find those who are anxious will talk fast, have heart palpitations and are rarely satisfied. Even when we spend an hour with them, they can still get angry insisting that they didn’t get enough of our time. Typically, they have a deficiency in vitamin B1 – thiamine. Their blood pressure also tends to drop when they stand up. Mosquitoes like them. They cry easily. Someone came into my office and was crying. I asked her, “When you take a walk, do mosquitoes like you?” “Yes! They love me! They think I’m a candy bar!” Well, the candy bars these people eat are taking the B-vitamins out of their bodies.
When a person is depressed, their head is down. It’s the fear of impending doom. They have a deficiency in long chained-fat oil. Here is a big solution for much of this: the amino acid tyrosine is used to make the adrenal hormones epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. Back in the 1970’s, I had patients with a condition called Vitiligo – lack of skin pigment. These same individuals were under enormous stress. It took me 35-38 years to finally figure this out. I learned that tyrosine and iodine make a thyroid hormone. Depression and low thyroid are often concurrent. Tyrosine is a natural antidepressant and makes skin pigment. White patches on the skin, eye sensitivity to light, easily crying, all indicate insufficient levels of tyrosine due to diet and stress. Hair loss is also a stress indicator. Each body will express stress differently.
TA: What is the enteric nervous system and is it related to feeling emotions in the gut?
Dr. Bob: The parasympathetic or enteric nervous system is the nervous system of the gut. The sympathetic nervous system associated with the adrenal glands speeds you up. The parasympathetic nervous system associated with the gut slows you down. That sinking feeling or pit in your gut in response to something someone says it is a parasympathetic function.
Dr. CD: Upwards of 80% of our nervous system is in our gut and immune system. It is common for people with anxiety or depression to also have stomach problems, diarrhea, or constipation. We have recently seen many young women going away to college experiencing digestive challenges. Many are in their 20’s and early 30’s and on anti-depressants. Gut health has everything to do with brain health.
TA: Is there is a nutritional cause for memory loss? Can you speak to that?
Dr. Bob: The hippocampus part of the brain is associated with short term memory. An enzyme called alkaline phosphatase is typically deficient in those who have a zinc deficiency. Zinc is depleted when you eat sugar or soy. We don’t promote soy. Other zinc deficiency indicators are large pores on the face, white spots on nails, a greater tendency for scars and for men an enlarged prostate. Zinc is antagonized by copper. Excessive copper results in keloids or scarring. Zinc, Magnesium and B6 are co-factors in making a long-chain fat in your brain that we spoke about earlier – DHA.
We have a major vitamin B12 deficiency in our society due in part to consuming what we call acid stoppers like Tagamet and Zantac for acid indigestion. A well-meaning health provider is likely to prescribe one of these drugs. Now you’re not absorbing anything and will have a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are 60, taking these digestive drugs for 20 years, you will have memory function impairment. Additionally, we have an obesity epidemic. People are having bariatric surgery. That also disrupts B12 production in the gut. I recently saw a young man who had bariatric surgery. He was anemic due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency. Frightening!
TA: What are the best things we can do for our mental health right now?
Dr. CD: Get Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Mental Health. People in our practice have read this book in 4 hours. They get excited because they are looking for information from a trusted source and can easily figure out where they want to start making changes in their lifestyle.
Dr. Bob: People used to be told to “Eat your Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains.” We say, don’t eat fruits and back off on grains. Well-meaning health care providers have been chasing the wrong pill for a long time.
TA: I really enjoyed your “21 Habits to Help Your Mental Health” section of the book. What is your favorite habit?
Dr. Bob: My favorite habit is I don’t eat processed food. I make all my own food from scratch.
Dr. CD: My favorite habit is exercise. It’s so important for our mental health and brain. I also link it back to the digital detox. It’s good for us to get outside and move, whether it’s riding a bike, walking, or going to an exercise class (when/where available). That helps your body and mind.
TA: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know related to The Drugless Guide to Mental Health?
Dr. Bob: You control your future. By following the protocols outlined in this book, you can make wise choices, evaluate progress, banish depression and anxiety, and live with mental clarity. This book gives hope.
TA: What is the most common cause of hormone imbalance and how does it affect women?
Dr. CD: Stress and birth control drugs increase estrogen levels and can overload the liver. Women can have tender breasts, heavy menstrual cycles, varicose veins or spider veins. In performing a breast thermography, we sometimes find a fibrocystic pattern on the breast tissue, or lymph congestion in their body. These repetitive burdens over time may lead to a miscarriage, difficulty getting pregnant or cysts on the breasts. These are all symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Thermography is a huge tool for us in evaluating a woman’s function over time.
TA: How is the lymphatic system involved in hormone balance?
Dr. Bob: Breasts empty into lymph glands in the armpit. The lymph system is all over the body. It is the body’s sewer system that filters through the liver. Bouncing stimulates the lymph system. We encourage bouncing on a ball, or on a mini-trampoline, and you should drink more water. The lymphatic system works hand in hand with breast health and liver health. We encourage our members to do castor oil packs. Put castor oil on wool flannel, place at and below your breasts, then put a heating pad on it for about 45 minutes. This promotes optimal liver function. This is discussed in Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones.
TA: Can you speak about “hot flashes”?
Dr. Bob: Iodine has everything to do with thyroid and ovarian health. Female patients wearing Fitbits noticed hot flashes occurring at 3:30 am along with blood sugar drops at the same time. We see a correlation between the two. Support optimal health by decreasing sugar, eating more protein and consume the right oil. We perform testing, health assessments, and blood chemistry analysis. This is not a cookie-cutter approach. Everyone is different. We had a tall, thin, small breasted woman tested. Her thyroid was good. Her sister was a little shorter, larger and had larger breasts. She was iodine deficient in her breasts and ovaries. Larger breasted women need more iodine than smaller breasted women. We can determine iodine levels with a urine iodine loading test for a serum iodine.