Alternative Medicine
Health Map 3: Metabolic Chaos

For the last two months, this column has been outlining a Three-Step Health Map. Here is a brief review, which systematically describes why people get sick and how to reverse the process.

1. Primary Causes. This was the focus of the first article. These include: infections, toxins, trauma, emotional stress, problems with digestion and absorption, genetics, and more. We looked at more than 30 Primary Causes.

2. How the Body Responds to Primary Causes (our focus last month).

3. Metabolic Chaos. Chronic illness is a domino effect, a progressive cascade of events, starting with Primary Causes to which the body responds in three different ways. The cascade continues until total body chemistry is thrown way out of balance. By dry weight, amino acids make up more than 50% of our body. Metabolic Chaos mainly consists of head-to-toe problems with amino acid chemistry.

Illness is not caused by one thing. It starts with 7 or more Primary Causes to which the body responds with 1) Inflammation, 2) the Stress Response, and 3) Mind-Body Adaptation. Inflammation causes 80+ chronic diseases. The body's 2 nd response to Primary Causes, the Stress Response, ultimately leads to adrenal exhaustion. Between adrenal exhaustion and inflammation, we can account for most symptoms and illnesses.

Reversing Illness

In terms of treatment based on the Health Map, let's summarize:

1. Diagnose and treat all Primary Causes

2. Treat inflammation and adrenal exhaustion.

3. Diagnose and treat metabolic imbalances.

If you missed out on the articles on Earthing and the Barefoot Connection, let me briefly reiterate. These products, via our homes grounding system, bring the earth's natural, healing bioelectrical fields indoors. We can sleep on conductive sheets and other products that allow you to sleep for hours a day on sheets that carry the earth's natural bioelectrical rhythms and flow of free electrons to (and into) your body. Earthing normalizes cortisol and adrenal function . . . and turns down (or off) inflammation. Psycho-Spiritual issues make up a major component of Level II (how the body responds to primary causes). While Earthing dramatically helps in turning off inflammation and the stress response, the psychological aspects of healing are huge, often ignored, but always available for improvement.

Steps I and II provide a big piece of the “Map for Recovering from Illness.” But recovery does not stop there. Primary Causes and the body's response to them (inflammation and the stress response) lead to Level III problems, namely “Metabolic Chaos” or major problems in total body biochemistry. The collapse of health is like thousands of standing dominos that collapse. Metabolic Chaos is when “all the dominos have fallen down” and are in complete disarray. Even if you fix or remove a Primary Cause (remove mercury; treat and kill Candida), Metabolic Chaos does not simply go away. Those dominos are down for the count and must be systematically treated.

By one estimate, there are 70 trillion cells in the human body, and each cell undergoes about 10,000 chemical reactions per second. I'm not sure who counted each cell and each reaction, but you get the idea. Each second, our body experiences about 700 quadrillion-biochemical reactions. Total body chemistry is a swirl of 700 quadrillion reactions per second, or what I call “Metabolic Soup.” That soup is mainly water. Our body's are about two-thirds water. If you subtract water from total body mass, more than half of what we are is amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, hormones, neurotransmitters and all body tissues. There are 20 main amino acids. Our genetic makeup, our genes, our DNA, has one main function. Genes make protein by assembling amino acids. Vitamins and minerals are cofactors that allow amino acid chemistry to take place. Metabolic Chaos, therefore, is mainly a disorder of amino acid chemistry.

Symptoms of Metabolic Chaos (Level III)

Here are some symptoms that develop at Level III, with specific problems with amino acid chemistry:

1. Tyrosine makes the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, thyroid hormones, and melanin (which makes skin color). If you are deficient in tyrosine, you'll be deficient in norepinephrine, which will give you depression, anxiety, poor concentration, poor memory, and brain fog.

2. Arginine is the most important amino acid to support your blood vessels. It also helps make growth hormone. Low arginine leads to cardiovascular illness and some hormonal problems.

3. Tryptophan is turned into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Low tryptophan will lead to low serotonin, which will make you depressed and sleepless.

4. If you are deficient in Lysine, you will be prone to viral infection.

5. If you are deficient in Alanine, Glycine, and Serine, you will have trouble with blood sugar.

6. If you are deficient in Leucine, Iso-Leucine, and Valine, you will have muscle problems, muscle weakness and fatigue.

7. If you're deficient in Aspartic Acid, you'll have trouble absorbing minerals.

8. If you are deficient in Glutamine, you may have digestive problems, a weakened immune system, weak muscles, and anxiety. Glutamine is converted into the calming neurotransmitter, GABA, in the brain, so a deficiency in Glutamine results in anxiety.

This is a very short list, but it gives you the idea that Level III problems bring their own share of symptoms. Level II problems cause inflammation and adrenal stress. Level III problems, Metabolic Chaos, has its own vast set of health challenges, in addition to symptoms and diseases caused by inflammation.

The Body Electric

Total body chemistry is intimately connected with our body's bioelectrical fields. Everywhere we place a measuring device, we can measure electrical activity, including: EEG's (electroencephalograms, reflecting brain activity) EKG's (electrocardiograms, reflecting heart function, EMG's (electromyography, measuring muscle activity). Virtually every part of the body has its own bioelectrical field. The bioelectrical fields are completely intertwined with total body chemistry. Biochemistry relies on healthy bioelectrical fields in order to function at an optimal level.

The importance of bioelectrical fields became apparent to me only two years ago. Doctors are taught that EKG's, EEG's and other measurements of bioelectrical fields tell us about the health or sickness of that particular body part. I do not think that God/Goddess created our bioelectrical fields just so doctors could one day measure them and tell us if something is wrong. Biochemistry takes place within bioelectrical fields. Our biochemistry would not exist without bioelectrical fields and a body filled with free electrons. Similarly, our bioelectrical fields would not exist without the quadrillions of biochemical reactions taking place every second.

How to Heal

The cascade of abnormal functions that you've read about does not stop with Metabolic Chaos. Primary Causes, the Response to Primary Causes, and Metabolic Chaos eventually proceed to cripple the Kreb's Cycle, the reaction that produces ATP, the molecule of energy. Eighty percent of the oxygen we breathe is used up in this one reaction, the Kreb's Cycle. When ATP chemistry collapses, more and more symptoms arise, and the state of one's health grows ever worse.

The good news is that we can repair: 1) Primary Causes, 2) the response to Primary Causes, namely Inflammation and the Stress Response, and 3) Metabolic Chaos and other problems that lead to the collapse of the Kreb's Cycle. You have anywhere from 10 to 30 years to repair Levels I, II, and III. If you don't, you are likely to develop tissue damage, such as heart attacks, liver cirrhosis, and cancer.

Now, let's use the Health Map to understand a chronic health problem like chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, seeing how an understanding of these 3 steps helps your doctor understand the complexity of “all” of your symptoms.

Let's look at some common Primary Causes. These should be diagnosed and treated:

1. Systemic Candida. A comprehensive approach that includes strong medication can eradicate Candida.

2. Mercury toxicity. Have your mercury amalgams removed and replaced with porcelain composites. At some point explore chelation therapy to get the metals out of your body tissues. Removing mercury from your mouth does not remove it from your body.

3. Gingivitis. Chronic gum disease will flood your bloodstream with the bacteria growing in your mouth. Get regular dental care. Consider colloidal silver to kill off the bacteria in your blood stream.

4. Protein deficiency. Start by adding 25 grams or more to your diet per day. Protein powders add the grams back in quickly.

5. Computer EMF. Switch to a flat screen or purchase a device that removes computer EMF's.

6. Chemical toxicity. Start eating organic food and stay away from most canned foods. Clean your house. Get rid of toxins wherever you can. Look out for mold in your home or work . . . and eradicate it. Understand that it is next to impossible to live without toxicity, while living in a toxic world, but we have to do our best.

7. Stress. Treat mental/emotional issues with the respect and attention they deserve. For starters, you can cut stress by learning to meditate, practicing deep abdominal breathing, and getting regular exercise. Yoga and massage also help. Don't ignore stress. Stress causes mental and physical problems.

If you don't deal with the Primary Causes, you can never turn off the Body's Response to Primary Causes, and you can't cure Metabolic Chaos.

Inflammation and Stress Response

Earthing technologies turn off inflammation and dramatically heal adrenal function (and the stress response). Spend as much time as you can in barefoot contact with the earth, whether walking on the beach or grass, or on an Earthing sheet.

Identify what stresses you out in life and what drains your energy. Hit the delete key on people, places, and activities that stress you, drain you, and do not nurture you.

Practice techniques to tone down the Stress Response. Rest as much as you really need . . . if your lifestyle and work allow for that. I teach my patients techniques, such as one-minute imagery rituals, that allow them to decompress throughout their workday without interfering in the slightest with the work they have to get done.

Diagnosing Metabolic Chaos

A holistic doctor can run a variety of nutritional/metabolic tests to uncover Level III problems. Amino Acid Analysis is the single most important nutritional lab test. You can then replace deficient amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that lab work shows that you are missing. You may need:

The amino acid Tyrosine for depressed mood. If you only treat Level I (for example: intestinal malabsorption of nutrients), you'll still be depressed. And if you only treat Level II's inflammatory response, you'll still be depressed. If you're deficient in Tyrosine, it needs to be supplemented. The same goes for all problems related to Metabolic Chaos.

The amino acid Glutamine for digestive problems.

Vitamin B12 and folic acid to support brain chemistry and energy.

Fish oil and flaxseed oil to give you enough omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Again, lab work can tell you if you have problems with fatty acids.

Lab testing can uncover a large number of deficiencies. In treating chronic illness, based on comprehensive nutritional lab work, there are so many problems that it takes me 90 minutes to explain and interpret the data, and make treatment recommendations. I will not make any treatment recommendations without lab work that tells me, scientifically, what needs to be treated.

That's the Map. I find it enormously helpful to have a map that explains why people get sick and how they can recover the fastest and to the greatest degree.

In a health store, just about everything on the shelves has helped or cured someone of something. But, maybe it didn't work for you. Why not? Because that one “miracle cure” was just one piece in this 3-tiered Map. Sometimes we get lucky. We take a supplement and it turns out to be a critical key for our biochemistry. However, if we don't look at all 3 levels, we will not have a complete picture, and we'll be working without any solid guidelines. Hit-and-miss treatment is enormously frustrating for people. Many people who consult with me have seen 10 to 30 healthcare practitioners, spent enormous amounts of money, and don't feel better.

People reading The Light Connection are among the first to gain an understanding of the Health Map. I have taken this Map to several nutritional experts and cutting edge health pioneers for their opinions and suggestions. They have helped with some fine tuning and agreed with the basic concept.

One final illustration: Let's say you got stuck by a long splinter, and it's been in your arm for a month. The splinter is a Primary Cause (Level I). The splinter will cause inflammation over time (Level II). You can treat the inflammation, but if you don't remove the splinter, you will never turn off the inflammatory process, which will spread up your arm, and spill into your bloodstream. This is a clear illustration of Levels I and II in the Health Map, and it is obvious what must be done. Remove the splinter and treat the inflammation.

Chronic illness is like having lots of splinters, but they are inside your body, causing inflammation and Metabolic Chaos. You have to remove all the splinters, treat total body inflammation, and correct problems with total body biochemistry.

You can find a graphic of the Health Map online at Print it out. It will help you understand this article. And if you need to see a doctor or other healthcare practitioner, take the Health Map with you.

David Gersten, M.D. practices Nutritional Medicine and Integrative Psychiatry out of his Encinitas office and can be reached at 760-633-3063. Please feel free to access 1,000 on-line pages about holistic health, amino acids, and nutritional therapy at, and information on earthing at


Dear Louise

Dear Louise,

I'm having some health issues I would like to understand better. I'm being told I need whole mouth rehabilitation due to enamel loss and wearing down of my teeth. Since this diagnosis I've become aware of the thinning of my hair on the top of my hair. I'm a 57-year-old woman who up to now has been in good health, but presently am feeling the aging process take hold!

K.S., South Carolina

Dear KS,

It's easy to take good health for granted when we're young. A we grow older, we owe it to ourselves to learn about nutrition and how our choices of food will either contribute to continued good health or hasten our aging process. You're the only one in charge of your body. One of the most important discoveries on my own pathway to continued good health is a book called The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. At 81 years young I now feel younger than I did a few years ago! If you're serious about maintaining strong teeth, bones and abundant hair (and more!), I would look into this book and check out the website at:

I've come to learn that good health is a combination of thoughts and food. If we choose our thoughts and food with care, we'll be healthy, happy and comfortable for the rest of our lives. Affirm: I am in charge of my body. I love myself enough to learn about my health. I practice daily habits of optimum health. All is well in my world.


Dear Louise,

I am from the UK and I have recently purchased your book “You Can Heal your Body” and have a number of affirmations –eight in total I picked out to start using. I am wondering do I need to just find one affirmation? I have Crohn's disease and would like to ease my body!

B.J. (Female), London

Dear B.J.,

Some people with conditions in the colon feel they are not good enough. Their attitude is that they can't trust anyone to do anything for them, and that they may not be enough to do the job either. As I mentioned above, nutrition plays a big part in anyone's healing. Over time our systems get clogged with junk and can use a good cleansing. What we put in our bodies in the way of food and beverages has a lot to do with the ability our body's cells have to regenerate themselves. I suggest going to a good nutritionist for a supervised body cleansing and to find the best diet and nutritional plan for your body. Doing this is an act of love for yourself. I highly recommend a wonderful book titled “Healthy Healing” by Linda G. Rector Page, N.D., Ph.D. It is a great source for alternative healing techniques that I have been using personally for many years. You can probably find it in your local health food store or at If you like the affirmations you've chosen, keep working with them! Meanwhile here are some others you might want to try also: I have high regard and respect for myself. I support and love myself unconditionally. I am safe to express all that I am!


Dear Louise,

I was recently one of the lucky few to be in the audience in California when you premiered your new movie, You Can Heal your Life. Not only was the movie inspiring, but so were you! How do you keep so fit and fully or energy? I am half your age and am amazed by your obviously love for life!

D.S., San Diego

Louise L. Hay is a metaphysical teacher and the bestselling author of numerous books, including You Can Heal Your Life , Empowering Women, and I Can Do It! . Subscribe to the Louise Hay Newsletter! Call for a Free Issue: (800) 654-5126. Questions for Louise? Write to: Dear Louise Column, c/o Hay House, Inc., P.O. Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100 (letters may be edited for length and clarity). Visit Louise and Hay House at: or