Board Certified Family Medicine & Integrative Holistic Medicine

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My Mysterious Diagnosis

September 19, 2016

On Friday, August 19, 2016, I developed an insidious left flank pain. My mind thought the worst: it must be a malignant solid tumor compressing my internal organs. With such a grave predicament, my time is limited. I kept this information quiet since we were going on an epic journey. The next week, my family and I vacationed in Yosemite National Park. My mysterious pain that had a potential ominous diagnosis would not impact a once in a lifetime trip to one of America's Great National Parks. At 40 years old and at the peak of my life, how could I succumb to such an early death by this insidious, stealthy, slow killer. My wife and kids were oblivious. I would enjoy my one week in Yosemite to the fullest and keep my new diagnosis private. To ignore what seemed like obvious facts and enjoy the present moment was my mission.

The following week in California was amazing. I gave a lecture at Unity of Oroville, signed many books on Superior Health (that I embodied, yet was ironically dying slowly), spent an entire week with black bears, cougars, hiking, dipping in the icy cold Merced river, telling scary stories by the campfire, playing dominos past midnight, and much more!

Amidst this great fun, the thought of death keep rearing its ugly head.  Eerily, my kids went into a small bookstore and were “dying” to buy a book. I got chills as they desperately wanted to buy an intriguing book, Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite”.  Could this be yet another ominous sign?

“I should schedule a full body MRI scan once I get home,” I thought to myself.

Mysteriously, I was pain-free for most of my vacation. Perhaps I had a spontaneous remission. During this amazing one-week trip, I had great fun and little pain. But alas, upon return to Eugene, the pain returned with a vengeance. First it came in subtle waves, then it became stronger, and stronger, until the gnarly pain became unbearable.

I still did not tell my family of this mysterious diagnosis that my mind had conjured. Yet, it is haunting what occurred next.  My youngest child told me a few days ago, “Dad, I had a nightmare last night.”  I said, “Oh yeah? What was it, buddy?” He stared at the floor, “I had a dream you had cancer...”

“Why did he have this dream?” I secretly asked myself. In medical circles, it is known that “tumor is the rumor, tissue is the issue, and cancer is the answer.” My son does not have x rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, or biopsy reports... and neither did I. Could it be synchronicity on how he came to this conclusion? His nightmare and my self-diagnosis had closed the deal.  The severe pain in my left rib cage, which was affecting my breathing and sleep, must be a catastrophic terminal illness. My mental chatter was incessant... what’s next on my bucketlist?

Just yesterday, I did a workout on the bark: 800m x 6. My times were slow. To say they sucked is an understatement. With each breath, I had excruciating pain in my ribs.

“Pain is my friend,” I told my running partner, keeping my self-diagnosis a secret. I am not malnourished, not underweight, and not cachectic yet... so I should be much faster, I thought to myself.

As luck would have it, a very adroit third-year medical student was rotating in my private practice who has incredible osteopathic manipulative medicine skills.  He examined me and I grimaced from blinding pain. Was this manipulation causing a potential tumor to spread further into my bloodstream? After feeling my rib, he determined that I had a rib out of place and some spastic intercostal muscles. As he told me my diagnosis, I said, “What about my solid tumor with metastasis to the bone?”  He said, “Yeah, Doc, you are in perfect health, are a runner, follow a great diet, you don't have cancer.” Had my restless mind contrived a cruel self-diagnosis? Had I misdiagnosed myself and went down the slippery slope and darkness of hypochondriasis?

I took a step back and analyzed the facts.  The rib pain had started while taking massive cuts on the driving range before my Yosemite trip. Then for three weeks, I did not torque my torso, and the pain disappeared.  Then over the past four days, I have shot 54 holes of golf, all of which triggered my severe pain! My new diagnosis is a torn intercostal muscle in my left rib cage. Although this diagnosis is still tentative, it seems much more plausible. I have cancelled the full body MRI scan I had scheduled.


Diagnosis and Treatment Of Low Testosterone

September 10, 2016

Summary on Diagnosis and Natural Treatment of Low Testosterone in Men

What is Low Testosterone?

It is estimated that millions of American men have hypogonadism, which is defined as low serum testosterone with clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency. (1)  There is a relative decline in testosterone with increasing chronological age, and there are other health and lifestyle factors that contribute to a decline in this vital hormone. (2,3) The lowering of testosterone is a complex and multifacto...

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Work Stress, Your Dream Job, and Dr OG's Story

September 2, 2016

In modern society, work-related stress places a tremendous burden on an individual's mental, emotional, and physical health. This work-related exhaustion causes premature aging. We have known for years that on Monday mornings, there is a greater incidence of heart attacks than on any other day of the week. Why? The dread of returning to work after a relaxing weekend, to a stressful job, causes an increased release of cortisol and adrenaline. This upsurge of stress hormones causes higher blood...

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Olympic Stir Fry, Dr. OG's Rap!

July 2, 2016

It is all smiles

during the Olympic Trials.

Minds are open,

one bad omen,

hearts are broken,

dreams are stolen.

After many miles of training,

precious time is waning.

The best athletes are here,

no more complaining.

Historic Hayward field offers the thrills and the chills. Ironic, how some athletes barely make enough to pay the bills,

while others make millions.

I’ve digressed.

Can you guess?

What is the secret to their running success?  

More importantly, what is the secret to avoid sudden death?...

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Superfood For Preventing Sudden Death

June 24, 2016

To watch my 1 min skit on kale copy this link to your browser:

For pennies a day you can keep the doctor away. Regular consumption of this high protein superfood can also prevent our number one killer: heart disease. This epidemic kills one out of three men and women in America. The first symptom can also be the last: Sudden Death. If Americans centered their meals around a plant-based diet, with a large serving of kale, heart disease could be preve...

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Too Much Animal Protein is Toxic!

June 24, 2016

To watch my 2 min skit on Bone Broth Protein copy the link below to your browser:

The wildly popular low-carb diets, such as paleo, that aim to lower carbohydrates and increase animal protein, are toxic to the human body! Anyone on a Paleo type diet is increasing their risk of death from all causes.  We know that diets high in animal protein are linked to weight gain and premature death.  Older women are especially at risk of premature death from heart disease ...

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Detox From Dangerous Supplements and B6 Toxicity.

May 16, 2016

“Doctors give drugs of which they know little, into bodies, of which they know less, for diseases of which they know nothing at all.” - by Voltaire

Are you experiencing problems with your liver or kidneys? Are you experiencing headaches or nerve problems? Unexplained high blood pressure or kidney stones? Memory problems? Unexplained nausea or dermatitis? These are just a few symptoms that “natural” supplements can cause. A myriad of health concerns exist with over-the-counter supplemen...

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Are You Overdosing On Vitamin B6?!

May 4, 2016

This is an urgent update for anyone taking vitamin supplements.  If you are experiencing chronic fatigue, nerve pain, dermatitis, headaches, memory problems, nausea, gait abnormalities or liver problems you are at risk for vitamin B6 toxicity!  I have diagnosed a dozen cases of vitamin B6 toxicity by testing for serum vitamin B6 levels.   If you are experiencing a deterioration in your health and you are taking megadoses of vitamin B6 follow up with your doctor immediately.

We have known for...

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The Remedy for Cataclysmic Stressors

March 1, 2016

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle: you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein

There are three universal stressors that affect all human beings. As discussed in my previous blog, the three Universal stressors are cataclysmic, objective, and subjective stress. We will examine a specific remedy to treat cataclysmic stressors.  Arguably, the man who has faced the most significant stressors in the world was Dr. Viktor Frankl. He endured the h...

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Three Universal Stressors

January 26, 2016

The human brain is hard-wired for pleasure, pain, and bliss. (As discussed in my video Recently, through functional MRI scans of the brain, scientists have discovered the default mode network of the human brain is mind wandering. Mind wandering promotes subjective mental stress and unhappiness. During waking hours, as high as 80% of the time, the human brain is thinking about the past and future. This rumination leads to mental stress and dissat...

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About Me

Orestes Gutierrez, D.O. Board Certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Author and All American Masters Runner.

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