Deep Biochemical Repair to Find Vibrant Health
Advanced Recovery: How A Professional Alliance Member Used Deep Biochemical Repair To Find Vibrant Health
Joe Eisele’s addiction to drugs and alcohol began in Los Angeles at age 14 with codeine cough syrup. He was, at the time, drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, eating a lot of sugar, and searching for something to numb his social anxiety. He didn’t have to go far. Codeine, he discovered, made his life better. He also found a bottle of Darvon in the bathroom medicine chest and liquor in the family’s liquor cabinet. High school became a love affair with drugs and alcohol.
Drugs took away his shyness. So what if he partied too much and his grades fell. So what if his relationship with his parents tanked. All his newfound friends were taking drugs out of their parents’ medicine chests and liquor cabinets and going through the same consequences.
After high school, Joe’s drug use only worsened. From age 20 to 27 was really when his drug and alcohol use caused the most severe consequences. He was in and out of Santa Monica’s jail for common drunkenness and in and out of four different mental institutions, out of control. Yet no one picked up on his drinking and drugging. The doctors, themselves, kept giving him drugs: Eskatrol to help him focus, chloral hydrate to help him sleep, and Valium to tranquilize his anxiety. He wasn’t asked about the enormous levels of caffeine and sugar he was consuming day and night. Yet, even when he stopped abusing drugs, he still felt horrible. So, he didn’t stop. And he was losing jobs a lot.
When his fourth mental hospital wouldn’t allow him back in after a bad run, his Mother finally said, in tears, “No you can’t come home. I will buy you a ticket to your relative in Colorado.” There, he went through two treatment programs but only lasted six months after graduating before relapsing. Again, when he was sober, he was miserable, sleeping an hour a night and suffering such severe anxiety he avoided spending time with people. At 34, on a binge, ready to commit suicide and crying out to God for help, he found himself at a 12 Step meeting in Loveland, Colorado, where he shared the thought he was going to die. Joe recalls, “A little old lady next to me said, ‘You have got to get a sponsor. You need help!’” Somehow her heartfelt suggestion became the turning point that began his sobriety.
To Joe’s disappointment, however, sobriety did nothing for his anxiety and depression. “I was miserable. I was also eating at McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, eating tons of sugar and a six pack of Coca-Cola a day, and relapsing on and off for three or four more years.
I noticed that my sponsor went through treatment and had no depression. He wasn’t anxious. He could sleep. He didn’t have what I was dealing with. It made me suspect there was more to my symptoms than just withdrawal. In a health food store I picked up a book by Broda Barnes, MD about thyroid deficiency and every symptom fit me perfectly.
I went to a psychiatrist I knew and he said, ‘Yes, you could have a thyroid problem.’ He sent me to a hormone specialist in Denver who did labs, and from reading them she said I didn’t have a thyroid problem. I felt devastated. I picked up the Barnes book again and read it more carefully. It said to find out if the problem is from the thyroid or the adrenals, in the morning put a thermometer under your arm. If your body temperature is lower than normal you have low thyroid. I was low. In fact, all my life I was cold!
I found a doctor listed in the Barnes book who treated patients according to Barnes’ method. That doctor correctly diagnosed my thyroid deficiency.”
What the first doctor hadn’t recognized was although Joe’s thyroid hormone T4 was a normal level in the blood on the lab test, this form of thyroid must convert to a form called T3 to be active, and Joe’s T3 was significantly deficient.
Terry Grossman, MD in Denver pursued even more lab tests and discovered Joe had high levels of mercury, lead, and arsenic, all heavy metals that influenced his ability to think clearly and wisely. He also had low zinc, a mineral that was essential to not only convert T4 into the biologically active T3 thyroid hormone, but also to convert food protein into the neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA, and serotonin that would help eliminate his social anxiety and depression. “Dr. Grossman put me on mixed amino acids to rebuild my neurotransmitters and on testosterone and DHEA and pregnenolone to deal with adrenal function,” Joe explains. “I also used individual GABA and tryptophan more than any of the other aminos. I still take them when I cannot sleep.”
Next, Joe worked with holistic physician Jacqueline Fields, MD, in Ft. Collins, Colorado, who suggested he go on essential fatty acids from fish oil and yet other vitamins and minerals. He started studying nutrition for himself at this time. “You have got to become educated and find the consequences of putting something in your body,” cautions Joe. “Dr. Fields recommended I get off the junk food, sugar, and caffeine. I started shopping at healthier markets and eating healthier foods. For example, I got a Vitamix blender and for breakfast put in coconut milk, eggs, powdered greens, flax oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, a multivitamin, and about 2,000 grams vitamin C, but no fruit. At first, I put in bell peppers and squash but found out I shouldn’t eat those raw. Everything else I would blend up and drink down along with vitamin D. I waited a year to get off cigarettes but got off them, too.
If I am now on the go I put in a metal lunchbox an already cooked Applegate chicken and turkey sausage, avocados, cauliflower, and carrots. I am on a diet now where I am eating either breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, but not all three. That is what I’m doing now, but not at the beginning.
I will eat a hamburger here and there but stay away from the sugar. I haven’t had a Coca-Cola or other pop in 36 years. I reacted so violently to sugar, if I eat it today it wipes me out.”
Further testing revealed Joe had several genetic abnormalities common in addicts that decrease their body’s ability to use specific B vitamins, the nutrient that targets the nervous system and brain. One was an abnormality of the MTHFR gene, which reduces the body’s ability to use the B vitamin folate. People with this condition need to NOT take this vitamin in the form called folic acid but rather a special form called methylated folate as well as the methylated form of vitamin B-12. An excellent discussion for the public of the symptoms and treatment of this and other genetic mutations that affect mental and physical health, including depression, can be found online here: https://www.mommypotamus.com/mthfr-mutation/
Once Joe got control of his nutrient deficiencies, he was able to keep a job and worked in the field of recovery. Eventually, he joined with a medical doctor and opened a recovery center of his own, called InnerBalance Health Center. The program includes a holistic spectrum of approaches based on laboratory testing, diet analysis, education, supplementation, and multiple other treatment modalities including three healthy organic meals a day. The core need, the foundation, is biochemical recovery.
“When you have difficulty in school like I did,” he says, “it can be because your neurotransmitters aren’t functioning, but it isn’t just one thing. There can be a myriad of causes for depression and anxiety. One is hypoglycemia. We have used a four-hour glucose tolerance test at InnerBalance Health Center over the past 19 years, and every one of our alcoholics we’ve tested has had hypoglycemia except two. Programs say, ‘We let them eat sugar because it’s a comfort food.’ They don’t understand the biochemistry of addiction! They think if you have an addiction and you get a support system, that’s all it takes.”
In addition to everything else, Joe was diagnosed with pyroluria, another genetic condition common in addicts, which is a problem in hemoglobin synthesis. Hemoglobin is what holds iron in the bloodstream. The consequence of having this genetic glitch is severe social anxiety and depression from childhood independent of conditions of one’s life. Other symptoms include poor dream recall, all-girl families or look-alike sisters, and late puberty. Other symptoms and a clear description of the condition can be found in this excerpt from The Antianxiety Food Solution by Alliance supporter and nutrition expert Trudy Scott, CN: https://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/pyroluria-questionnaire-from-the-antianxiety-food-solution/
When asked what intervention might have made the most difference to him as a teenager, to allow him to avoid the years of poor academic performance, addiction, and mental health problems, he quickly answered, “diet and genetic testing.” For Joe, getting the right diagnoses helped provide him the right nutrients as food and supplements, and the consequences? Feeling healthy, happy, and calm, even in groups of people, starting a treatment program he’s proud of, and creating a legacy of brain repair so others don’t have to suffer as he did.
Joe Eisele, CAC III, NCAC
InnerBalance Health Center