Your health is a choice.

For most people, health is a choice.

Current testing for cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin is incomplete.

They do not do a very good job of predicting your risk for heart disease, diabetes or hypertension.

Most doctors are not giving you the information you need to make the best health choices possible.

If you are:

·         A man over 45 or a woman over 55

·         Feeling tired and fatigues

·         Challenged to lose weight

·         Taking a statin (like: Cestor, Lipitor, Zocor a drug to manage glucose & Insulin

If you have:

·         Type II Diabetes or are Insulin Resistant

·         Coronary Heart Disease

·         Inflammation anywhere in your body

·         High cholesterol & triglycerides

·         Low Thyroid function

·         Hypertension

If you are suffering from any of these, you need to take the first step towards wellness now.

Our wellness program starts with a free evaluation and consultation to help you take the steps needed to be healthy. We offer a complete approach to wellness.

·         We use state of the art testing.

·         We deliver a comprehensive metabolic profile

·         We help with creating a sustainable eating lifestyle designed for your specific needs

·         We provide on-going nutritional, clinical and lifestyle support

·         We can get you any needed supplements

Most importantly your health insurance will cover the cost of all the needed testing.

Call today to schedule your free initial consultation and evaluation to start your journey of health and wellness.

Remember, your health insurance will cover the entire cost of the complete metabolic profile.

(It does not matter what your current deductible is)

Other tests included in the metabolic profile include:

·         Thyroid function(more complete then standard medical testing for thyroid health)

·         Adrenal health (including: cortisol & DHEA)

·         All reproductive hormones (including: estrogen, progesterone, prolactin &  testosterone)

·         B12 & folate

·         Liver function

·         Kidney Function

·         Iron metabolism

·         PSA

·         Vitamin D3

In addition to an extremely comprehensive test for cholesterol and triglycerides (VAP test) some of the other tests that are included in our metabolic profile include:

C-Reactive Protein-hs
High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) is a nonspecific inflammatory marker produced by the liver in response to inflammatory adipocytokines and macrophages. It is a strong and independent risk marker for primary and secondary CHD events, sudden death, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Elevation of hsCRP is also associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.


Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) is an enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of oxidized phospholipase on LDL. It is a specific marker for vascular inflammation and is produced in unstable atherosclerotic plaque. Elevated levels indicate a 2 fold increase risk for CVD events and ischemic stroke.

GlycoMark measures I,5 anhydroglucitol (1,5 – AG). It is a nonmetabolized monosaccharide present in small amounts in most foods. I,5 – AG reflects peak glucose levels over 1-2 weeks (short term glucose control). These peaks , not detected by A1C, are associated with the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. 1,5 – AG levels assist in monitoring drug efficacy and treatment alterations including diet and exercise regimens in patients with A1C's at or near goal.

Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with methionine metabolism.
Homocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for primary and secondary CHD events, CHD death, stroke and all cause mortality. Each increase of 5 umol/L in homocysteine level increases the risk of CHD events by approximately 20%, independent of traditional risk factors.

Cystatin C
Cystatin C is an enzyme mainly used as a biomarker of renal function. Unlike creatinine, cystatin C is capable of detecting mild decreases in GFR and affected only minimally by age, muscle mass, gender and race. It is also a prognostic marker of CV events, CHF, CVA, PAD, metabolic syndrome and all cause mortality even in the absence of established renal disease.

Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) is an enzyme catalyst in the degradation of glutathione, the major antioxidant in the body. GGT is a sensitive proatherogenic, prognostic biomarker for oxidative stress and subclinical atherosclerosis, along with being an independent predictor of metabolic syndrome. Elevated levels are associated with hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, fatty liver and an increase in all cause mortality and morbidity.

N-terminal prohormone BNP (NTproBNP) is a hormone secreted mainly from cardiac monocytes in response to cardiac stress. It is a sensitive biomarker that has powerful prognostic value for detection of subclinical, unsuspected cardiac dysfunction. NTproBNP is an independent predictor of cardiac events and all cause mortality.

Uric Acid
Uric acid is the degradation product of purine metabolism. Uric acid elevations are associated with gout, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, CVD, CHF, CVA, dementia, preeclampsia, kidney disease, leukemia and oxidative stress. For every 1 mg/dL increase in serum uric acid, there is a 41% excess risk for mortality. Elevated serum uric acid levels in patients with hypertension are associated with a 3-5 fold increased risk of CAD or CVA.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin made by ultraviolet light activity on exposed skin. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a significant graded increased risk for primary and secondary CAD events, PAD, CVA, diabetes and all cause mortality. The Framingham Offspring Study revealed that there was a 1.8X increased risk of CV events when 25(OH) vitamin D levels were < 10 ng/ml. Myalgias from statin therapy may be associated with low vitamin D levels.

For more information about this test, please visit

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

Discover Your Personal Paleo Key

Discover how hundreds of people lose weight, gain energy, and get healthier with my simple, practical and individualized Paleo Key program.

Your body needs a diet that is tailored to you. Each body is made up of a unique genetic blueprint which contributes to who we are on the inside and out. The Personal Paleo Key can help you discover YOUR dietary blueprint.

There is no “secret formula.” Restrictive diets like The Zone, Atkins and the South Beach Diet may work temporarily, but they are not healthy lifestyles. The Key to success with Paleo is that it works for you, forever.

The 3 Keys to Paleo success are:

4 Reasons Fitness and Health Experts support the Paleo Diet:

  1. it's backed by scientific research
  2. it's based on the newest discoveries about human biology and genetics
  3. it's rooted in a diet that humans safely and healthily ate for thousands of years
  4. it works for all kinds of people from children with food allergies to athletes to working moms

3 Reasons Why the Personal Paleo Key is the best Paleo Diet approach

1. There's a lot of controversy about the “right” way to do the Paleo diet.

            Some say no dairy, others say dairy in moderation.

            Some say eliminate sweeteners, others say sweeteners in moderation.

            Some say count those calories! Others say mind those protein, carb and fat ratios.

            Some say certain grains are OK, others say no grains ever again!

            There is no “right” answer.

2. The diet is not tailored to your needs, goals and life

            “I run marathons- can Paleo still work for me?

            “I want to lose weight- what's the best way to do that for me?”

            “I'm a working Mom- what's the most efficient Paleo approach for me?”

            Each person is different.

3. It's hard to follow Paleo without support and guidance

            “What are the obstacles and how can I overcome them?
            “Where can I learn about the foods I can and cannot eat?”

            “When will I start to feel better?”

            “When will I start to lose weight?”

            “Where and how do I start?”

            Expert guidance will support your individual needs.

PERSONALIZATION is the answer. This is why the Personal Paleo Key works for others, and why it will work for you.

The Personal Paleo Key works for people who

  1. want a change
  2. know the crucial role nutrition plays in making that change
  3. understand change doesn't happen with the blink of an eye and will spend the 2-3 months it takes to do it right

The Personal Paleo Key works for people because they know

  1. their body is unique
  2. their history is unique
  3. their circumstances are unique
  4. their genes are unique

Each individual requires an individualized diet.

Here's my take on the Personal Paleo Key...

After practicing for over 13 years and working with hundreds of patients, I am confident that I can find a Personal Paleo Key that works for you. With expert support and easy-to-use tools to keep you on track, we will find your Key to health and wellness.

Why should you listen to me?

My name is Gary Merel, Digestive Health Specialist. I am a graduate of the New York College of Healthcare Professionals with an M.S. In Oriental Medicine. I have a Certification in Enzyme Nutrition from the Loomis Institute in Madison, Wisconsin and am a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School. I have over 13 years of helping people just like you find their way back to health.

A history of food allergies in my family encouraged me to study holistic medicine. I never wanted anyone to go through what both my mother and father experienced.

At Digestive Health Ann Arbor I now practice Functional Medicine which is

The Personal Paleo Key is an easy-to-follow 3-step program:

Step 1: Refresh

This is the way we feel after a good night's sleep. By removing certain foods we can rejuvenate our bodies to prepare for the healing process to come.

Step 2: Restart

Once your body has a much-needed refresher, you may restart to eat some of the foods from Step 1 to see if your body responds favorably to them.

Step 3: Recalibrate

In the third and final step we tailor your diet to fit you, based on Steps 1 and 2. In this way you will have some basic and reasonable diet guidelines that you can live with, for the rest of your life.

3 Reasons why the Personal Paleo Key Can Save you $1000s of dollars:

  1. It's YOUR Paleo Key, designed to work for you and no one else.

Conventional medicine believes in a one-size-fits all model, but not every key works in every lock.

  1. The Key fits your needs, depending on the circumstances of your life- it can CHANGE to fit YOU.

Very few medical practitioners have the freedom to engage in dynamic functional medicine. Their “new” solutions involve the latest medications that don't work and may lead to secondary health conditions.

  1. You get not only the Key but all the tools needed to tweak as you see fit.

At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we believe that YOU have all the answers you need already. We're just here to help you on your path to find them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the Personal Paleo Key include or require blood tests or lab work?

The Personal Paleo Key will teach you a scientific method-based process for discovering what works and doesn't work for your body. While Digestive Health Ann Arbor offers blood tests and lab work, it is possible to create a customized diet without these services if you are willing to put in the time and energy. Of course, we will be there throughout the process to support you as you need.

I have a specific disease, condition or chronic illness. Can the Personal Paleo Key cure me?

The Personal Paleo Key is not meant to be a substitute for care from a medical professional. However, finding your Key will help you to optimize your nutritional health which will inevitably strengthen your body in many other ways. Many health issues directly correlate to nutrition.

How long until I see results?

You will likely see results immediately. However, it takes at least 90 days to really personalize your diet. To truly give the Personal Paleo Key a go you need to invest at least three months. The 3 phases take time.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

The Dangers of Gluten

If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know it's not good for you. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread--how could that be bad? Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet. What most people don't know is that gluten can cause serious health complications. You may be at risk even if you don't have full blown celiac disease. To protect your health it's important to know the truth about gluten, understand the dangers, and use a simple system that will help determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different diseases. To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause--which is often gluten sensitivity--not just the symptoms.
Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone--but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.
5 Dangers of Gluten
1. People with Gluten Sensitivity have a Higher Risk of Death
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and "latent" celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. This study looked at almost 30,000 patients from 1969 to 2008. The findings were dramatic. There was a 39% increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72% increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35% increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease. This ground-breaking research proves any sensitivity whatsoever to gluten is detrimental to our health.
2. Over 50 Diseases Caused by Eating Gluten
A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 diseases caused by eating gluten. These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). It has also been linked to autism.
3. Hidden Danger: 99% of People with Gluten Sensitivity Do Not Know they Have It
Most ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else. Unfortunately, the problem goes untreated while the risks continue to mount.
4. Secret Epidemic: Celiac Disease Increased by 400% in 50 Years
Another study in Gastroenterology (2009) compared the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today and found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 %. It now affects 1 in 100 people. Gluten sensitivity now affects 1/3 Americans.
5. Economic Burden: Celiac Disease Costs the American Healthcare System
Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA, a health insurance company, and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 %. The problem is that only 1% of those with celiac disease are actually diagnosed. That means 99 % suffer without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.
Why Are we Sensitive to Gluten?
One reason is our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses, and particularly gluten, in our diet. Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 % of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease, which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten.
American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now invades nearly all wheat strains in America.
How to Check for Gluten Sensitivity
By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating gluten from your diet.
To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure:
Get an ALCAT (antigen leukocyte cellular antibody test). A simple and cost-effect food allergy test can quickly determine which offending foods may be causing behavioral, mental and physical issues in your body. The test identifies physiological reactions to over 350 foods, chemicals and other potential inflammation triggers. David Ortiz, baseball star from the Boston Red Sox, recently took the test. Read this interesting ESPN report on how Ortiz's dietary changes have significantly improved his energy level and his game. This food allergy test is available at Digestive Health Ann Arbor.

Stop in at Digestive Health Ann Arbor
“You are what you eat. Or, even more accurately, you are what you absorb,” says Dr. John Wycoff, an osteopath based out of East Lansing who believes hormonal balance, allergies and diet are integral to health. As reactionary medicine and over-usage of prescribed chemicals fail to alleviate our pain and discomfort, more and more physicians embrace holistic approaches to healing. Through a deeper understanding of what our bodies do and do not absorb, and how these physiological responses affect us, we can take charge of our wellness and move towards a brighter, more fulfilling future.

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.
Excerpted from HuffPost Healthy Living,  01/02/10
Author: Mark Hyman, MD

Symptoms of ADHD/ADD: Behavior, Learning, Health

The first step in helping our children is awareness. Once we understand the possible signs and symptoms of ADHD/ADD we can take appropriate measures to protect our families.

Behavioral Issues

  1. Marked hyperactivity (Constant motion, inability to sit still, inappropriate wiggling)
  2. Impulsivity (unpredictable or disruptive behavior, unresponsive to discipline, abusive or destructive, throws or breaks things, little or no recognition of danger to self, inappropriate noises, excessive or loud talking, interrupts often).
  3. Compulsivity (Aggressive, repeats actions, touches things or people excessively, chews on clothes or other objects, scratching, biting or picking at skin, workaholic habits).
  4. Emotional Concerns (low frustration tolerance, demands immediate attention, irritability, overreaction to touch, pain, sound and light, nervous, panics easily, mood swings, low self-esteem, depression, frequent crying, suicidal thoughts).

Learning Issues

  1. Short attention span (impatience, distraction, failure to complete projects, inability to listen to whole story, inability to follow directions).
  2. Neuro-muscular involvement (accident prone, poor muscle coordination, difficulty writing/drawing, dyslexia/reading problems, speech difficulties/delays, difficulty with playground activities/sports, eye muscle disorder such as nystagmus or strabismus, tics, seizures).
  3. Cognitive and perceptual disturbances (difficulty remembering what is heard or seen, difficulty in comprehension and short term memory, disturbance in spatial orientation, difficulties in reasoning with simple math problems or the meaning in words).

Health Issues

  1. Frequent physical complaints (ear infections, asthma, bedwetting, daytime wetting, stomachaches, headaches, migraines, hives, rashes, eczema, leg aches, constipation, diarrhea, congestion, seizures).
  2. Sleep problems (resistance to going to bed, difficulty falling asleep, restless/erratic sleep, nightmares, bad dreams).

*symptoms excerpted from the Feingold Association of the United States