Dr. Edward Bach on the fear of disease:
In this age the fear of disease has developed until it has become a great power for harm, because it opens the door to those things we dread and makes it easier for their admission. Such fear is really self-interest, for when we are earnestly absorbed in the welfare of others there is no time to be apprehensive of personal maladies. Fear at the present time is playing a great part in intensifying disease, and modem science has increased the reign of terror by spreading abroad to the general public its discoveries, which as yet are but half-truths.
The knowledge of bacteria and the various germs associated with disease has played havoc in the minds of tens of thousands of people, and by the dread aroused in them has in itself rendered them more susceptible of attack. While lower forms of life, such as bacteria, may play a part in or be associated with physical disease, they constitute by no means the whole truth of the problem, as can be demonstrated scientifically or by everyday occurrences. There is a factor which science is unable to explain on physical grounds, and that is why some people become affected by disease while others escape, although both classes may be open to the same possibility of infection. Materialism forgets that there is a factor above the physical plane which in the ordinary course of life protects or renders susceptible any particular individual with regard to disease, of whatever nature it may be.
Fear, by its depressing effect on our mentality, thus causing disharmony in our physical and magnetic bodies, paves the way for invasion, and if bacteria and such physical means were the sure and only cause of disease, then indeed there might be but little encouragement not to be afraid. But when we realise that in the worst epidemics only a proportion of those exposed to infection are attacked and that, as we have already seen, the real cause of disease lies in our own personality and is within our control, then have we reason to go about without dread and fearless, knowing that the remedy lies with ourselves. We can put all fear of physical means alone as a cause of disease out of our minds, knowing that such anxiety merely renders us susceptible, and that if we are endeavouring to bring harmony into our personality we need anticipate illness no more than we dread being struck by lightning or hit by a fragment of a falling meteor. Heal Thyself, 1931
From Matthew Wood's The Book of Herbal Wisdom: The Lakota have a saying, "Now is a good time to die." If we stand on our principles, our life will have meaning and power. That is medicine...In a sense, the word medicine has exactly opposite connotations...For the doctors it means saving the body at any cost, including the loss of spirit, character and self-regulation. For the Indian people, it means connecting with something that comes from the Great Mystery, causes a change that the person by him- or herself could not manage and leaves the healed person with a little piece of acquired "spirit power."
Matthew Wood writes: "Instead of thinking of diseases as precise germ entities or molecular lesions observable in isolated tissue samples, we need to understand disease in terms of patterns of imbalance. This is not new knowledge. Plato described it perfectly twenty five centuries ago in a passage in the Timaeus (Longrigg, Greek Medicine, 1998, 160):
'Diseases, except where they are very dangerous, should not be irritated by drugs. For every disease has a structure that resembles in a certain manner the nature of living creatures. For the composition of these living creatures has prescribed periods of life for the species as a whole. . . . It is the same with the constitution of diseases; whenever anyone destroys this by drugs, contrary to the allotted period of time, many serious diseases are wont to arise from those that are few and slight. Consequently, so far as leisure permits, one should control all such diseases by regimen, instead of irritating a troublesome evil by administering drugs."
TABLE OF CONTENTS (scroll down to find topics or press on link)
My Bias: Medicine as it is currently practiced focuses on the physical body and ignores the spiritual and mental/emotional bodies,
makes the patient a passive participant rather than an active one,
is not preventative, deals with the symptoms not the causes,
uses drugs that have side effects and are very costly to the patient.
These discussions on ailments encourage rethinking illness and becoming an active participant in your health. Salud!
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
Thyroid Function/Body Temperature
"The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety." Eric Sevareid, American news commentator (1912-1992)
Further exploration can be found in:
Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease by Gary Greenberg
Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters
When you find yourself experiencing anxiety, become aware of the feeling and let it go......
Notice and Ease™—A Tool for Emotional Renewal
From Institute of Hearth-Math
The interconnectivity we experience through cell phones, television and the internet keeps us apprised of stressful events almost as they occur – in our families, at work and school and in the world. This "instant messaging" can tax our emotional systems. Ongoing emotional reactivity to stress can lead to uneasiness and anxiety.
We can’t transform draining emotions until we learn to admit what we are feeling and how our bodies are responding. By admitting a feeling, whatever it is – worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, hurt, resistance, numbness or even a vague disturbance we can’t put our finger on – we slow down the emotional energy running through our system. Being honest about naming what we are feeling helps regulate our emotional energy and gives us more power. We can then redirect emotional energy to work for us instead leaving us feeling drained throughout the day.
Use Notice and Ease as soon as you start to feel anxious, tense, worried or sad. It’s important to notice – become emotionally aware and acknowledge what you feel – and ease – befriend the reaction by holding it in your heart, then letting the feeling ease out of your system. If you try fighting your feelings or pushing them away, they will only gain energy. Befriending your feelings with the Notice and Ease tool takes the intensity or steam out and helps you clear the passing energy. Keep using this tool for one minute or longer, until you feel something lighten up, even if you don’t get an immediate complete release.
Notice and Ease is the basic tool for identifying and neutralizing unwanted emotions. You can learn to release a lot of disturbed feelings and stop their energy drain by doing the following simple steps:
I hope you find Notice and Ease a useful tool. Please feel free to share this message with a friend.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
With urgency, there is an abnormal sensation of the bladder being full and the need to urinate, even though very little urine is voided. Sometimes the sensation of urgency also occurs immediately post voiding. This is due to abnormal stimulation from the brain and can be trigged by driving up the driveway, putting the key in the door, running water, etc.
The goal is to increase the time between voids to reach the normal 3-4 hours. To retrain your bladder, follow these steps.
1. Stop and breathe and contract the pelvic floor muscle several times without relaxing fully in between. This will relax the bladder. Don’t rush to the toilet because this stimulates the bladder to contract and empty.
2. Wait until the urge subsides, and then walk at a normal pace to the bathroom, continuing to squeeze the pelvic floor while you walk.
1. Voiding should occur every 3-4 hours during the day.
2. Urine flow should last for at least 8 seconds for women and 12-15 seconds for men, from beginning to end (count one one thousand, two one thousand).
3. It is not normal even though it is common to get up at night to urinate. Utilize urge suppression techniques to stop yourself from getting up to void. If you wake up during the night, do not go to the bathroom just because you are awake.
4. Do not urinate the moment you get home. Do something between getting home and going to the bathroom. Stops the “key in the door” syndrome.
5. Do not urinate in the shower as this sets up an abnormal connection between the brain and the sound of running water and urination.
6. No “JUST IN CASES.” Do not urinate “just in case” when you are not feeling the need to urinate, except before bed, prior to a long trip or post intercourse.
7. Sit on the toilet. Squatting activates the pelvic floor muscles and inhibits the bladder, which makes it difficult to initiate urine flow and complete voiding.
8. Don’t strain when voids as this puts excessive pressure on the pelvic floor and causes a large volume to be passed through the urethra and overstretching it.
9. Avoid constipation which puts a lot of strain on the pelvic floor muscles when there is a need to bear down to have a bowel movement.
10. Avoid bladder irritants, in particular coffee, tea, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonation.
11. Drink water! At least ¾ of daily fluid intake (1/2 your body weight in fluid oz) should be water.
12. Don’t limit fluid intake. This will only cause the urine to be more concentrated which can lead to irritation of the internal bladder muscle.
13. Abdominal strengthening is an important part of the bladder fitness program.
14. When sneezing, coughing or lifting, contract your pelvic floor muscles. You can also press your hands on your thighs as you sneeze or cough to take the pressure off the pelvic floor.
If bladder symptoms are related to dietary factors, strict adherence to a diet which eliminates the above products should bring significant relief within 10 days. Once you are feeling better, you can begin to add these things back into your diet, one at a time, maintaining a significant water intake.
Alcohol, Caffeine (coffee/tea), Carbonation, Chocolate, Citrus fruits and juices, Honey, Medicines, Milk and milk products, Soft Drinks, Spiced foods, Sweets & Artificial sweeteners, Tomato & tomato based foods
Pelvic Floor Health
The pelvic “floor” holds all the pelvic organs and maintains continence of bowel and bladder and plays an important role in sexual function. Both men and women benefit from maintaining good strength and tone of the pelvic floor muscle.
Identifying the Pelvic Floor Muscle
If you don’t understand or recognize where the pelvic floor is, sit on the toilet and empty a small amount of urine, then try to stop the flow of urine for 1-2 seconds. Relax and let the bladder fully empty. This is only a test to help you identify the pelvic floor muscle and determine its strength. Do not do as a daily exercise as it can disrupt the bladder emptying mechanism which relies on an intricate system of parasympathetic and sympathetic tone.
Or you could insert one or two fingers into the vagina or rectum, contract the pelvic floor muscle as though you are holding back a bowel movement or stopping gas and you should be able to feel the pelvic floor move with the muscle contractions.
Exercises for Pelvic Floor Muscle
Pelvic floor muscles can be weak or tense. The pelvic floor muscles need to be able to perform a strong contraction and completely relax after a contraction in order to be healthy and efficient. Some people have difficulty relaxing the pelvic floor and hold it in a chronically tense state which weakens the muscle by tiring it and constricting blood flow. It is important during Kegel exercises that you FULLY relax after each contraction.
Contraction and Release of Pelvic Floor
Lie on your back or side; progress to sitting or standing
1. Completely relax the body, and focus on your breath, allowing a deep, relaxing breath in, allowing it to move all the way to your sacrum, and fill all the way up to your shoulder blades. Followed by a deep relaxing breath out. Do not force the breath. When you are completely relaxed, begin the exercise.
2. As you breath in, and your diaphragm gently nudges your organs down to your sacrum and pelvic floor, visualize your pelvic floor gently opening as it is nudged by the pelvic organs. As you breath out, gently contract the pelvic floor and gently press into the pelvic floor muscles so that they can gently lift the pelvic organs, drawing in your naval so that it touches the spine.
3. Begin to pause your inhale and hold for a count of 5, then exhale and allow the pelivc floor to gently press upward.
4. Repeat 10 times for 3 sessions per day.
Advanced Pelvic Floor Strengthening
Get the book and DVD The Secret of the Ring Muscles: Healing Yourself Through Sphincter Exercise by Paula Garbourg. Also, Saving the Whole Woman by Christine Kent is an excellent resource.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
Recent studies are saying that the most indicative indicator of pulse measurements is done by reading the “pulse pressure": the difference between the systolic (higher) pressure and the dyastolic (lower) pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is 163 over 90, then you would find the difference between the two: 73. The higher the number, the greater your risk. So a person with 170/70 has a higher risk than someone with 170/110.
A pulse pressure of 40 mm Hg or below is considered normal. Pulse pressure increases as we get older due to the arteries becoming less elastic, and as it climbs higher, it indicates a greater stiffness and inelasticity of the aorta and other arteries.
The greatest preventive technique is EXERCISE to increase the diameter of healthy blood vessels and to open up collateral vessels to supply the need for increased oxygen. Leisurely walking doesn’t do the trick: you must exercise at a higher intensity.
Weight lifting (or some other form or resistance exercise, such as rubber bands, push-ups or pull-ups) force the blood into the working muscles, expanding the existing blood vessels and can create new blood channels as new muscle tissue is formed.
Isometric hand exercise can significantly lower systolic blood pressure in older individuals. Apply continuous pressure for one minute and then relax for a minute, then apply the pressure again continuously for one minute. Repeat 4 times, three days a week, for ten weeks. You can use a spring-type hand grip strengthener from a sports department. A study showed that this activity activated the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) which decreases heart rate and blood pressure. It also may improve endothelial function to release more nitric oxide in the endothelial cells that line the arteries, helping to relax and dilate the blood vessels.
Beet Juice! Researchers at Queen Mary University, in London, have found that drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure by as much as 20 points. Beet juice can have a strong detoxifying effect on the liver. It’s wise to start out with only a couple of ounces of beet juice mixed with about 8 ounces of carrot juice and gradually work up to larger amounts. (The skin can be bitter, so peel the beets.) Beet juice, as well as spinach, cabbage and carrot juice contains high levels of nitrites, and is a great source of potassium). Berries also boost nitric oxide levels and blood pressure has been shown to drop as much as 7 points after 8 weeks of eating ½ cup twice daily. It also triggered favorable changes in platelet activity and significant increases in HDL cholesterol levels as well.
They believe that it is the result of the nitrates that are commonly found in vegetables, which account for 70% of the nitrates in the typical human diet. (Water accounts for another 21 percent and preservatives (not so good) in meat and/or meat products make up the rest). Nitrates are quickly converted by bacteria in the mouth, stomach and small intestines into nitrites which are then absorbed into the bloodstream as nitric oxide. Increased levels of nitric oxide help relax blood vessels and decrease platelet aggregations (blood clotting), which in turn improve blood flow and lead to lower blood pressure. (Dark chocolate increases blood levels of nitric oxide as well).
Celery! It is the Oriental custom to use celery to lower hypertension. Celery juice helps to neutralize excess acid in the body and contains compounds that reduce the production of certain prostaglandins that contribute to inflammation. Celery contains the chemical 3-n-butyl phtalide which smoothes the muscles lining blood vessels, increases vessel diameter and allows for easier blood flow at lower pressures. The recommended Oriental dosages to lower mild cases of high blood pressure, eat about 4 oz (1 cup chopped up) of celery daily, continued for a week or two to obtain desired results.
The strings in celery have an added benefit of gently stimulating the bowels and removing excess waste material. Sodium in celery helps relieve stiffness in the joints, and will often stop creaking knee joints.
Watermelon! Watermelons contain a substance called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, although not as organ specific..
Citrulline is found in the flesh and rind of watermelon and reacts with the body’s enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, which benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems. About 60% more citrulline is found in the rind than in the flesh. It is highest in the yellow-fleshed types.
Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.
L-arginine, an amino acid, improves blood flow during exercise. The body naturally responds to increased pressure in arteries by stimulating the conversion of the amino acid L-arginine into nitric oxide which causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow and lowering pulse pressure. This amino acid can help men with erectile dysfunction. (Begin with 1 gram prior to exercising, and increase gradually by 1 gram each week until you are taking 4 grams each day.
Niacin, which may cause harmless “flushing” sensations which subside after continued use, increases circulation (hence the flushing). Start with 50-100 mg, but if circulation problems are severe, work up to 1000 mg (a gram) a day.
Lecithin can help lower the melting point of cholesterol in your arteries and start the process of breaking down arterial plaques that interfere with blood vessel expansion. Two tablespoons of lecithin granules daily.
Nattokinase (a soy-based enzyme from Japan) can help dissolve fibrin deposits in the arteries.
Avoid salt. More often than not, a craving for salt and salty foods is an indication of an underlying adrenal gland problem. Eat celery and onions to give yourself good sodium. Quick fixes would include V8 juice or a bouillon cube to help receive some energy and health to your adrenals. The original V8 Vegetable Juice is made mainly from tomatoes and the juices from seven additional vegetables, specifically: beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, parsley, watercress, and spinach but I haven’t read the label in a while. “Natural flavors” added to drinks could mean msg. You could make your own drink: fresh is better!
Stay away from flavored water and read the labels of everything you consume. If any additives, don’t eat. Remember fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds are always the best!
Medications: Many cold medicines contain decongestants that can raise your blood pressure. They also can contain dextrose, glucose, fructose and dextrin (all names for sugar) and can raise your blood sugar levels. Sudafed and Traminis syrups contain 3 1/2 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon.
MORE TO COME BUT IN THE MEANTIME READ:
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
There was a recent email regarding the latest cancer update from John Hopkins. Although John Hopkins says it did not send out nor does it endorse the content. The content, though, is a compliation of alternative view points of cancer, which might be helpful (or not) for you to regard.
1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard
tests until they have multiplied to a few billion.
2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's life time. (I would think more.)
3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.
4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.
6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.
9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.
11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.
CANCER CELLS FEED ON:
a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's amino's or sea salt.
b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk cancer cells are being starved.
c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.
d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts)and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).
e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.
12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.
13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.
15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor . Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
17. Dioxin chemicals may cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies and are found in plastics.
a) Do not put plastic containers in the microwave. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. It is thought that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, use glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food.
b) Do not freeze water bottles. This releases dioxins from the plastic.
c) No plastic wrap in microwave. The high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.
1. Did you know that “it has never been proven that high cholesterol contributes to heart disease? Therefore, drugs that lower cholesterol have no benefit for the heart.” So says Dr. Bruce West, cardiologist from Monterey, CA. Having treated 30,000 patients, he has concluded that the fortunate ones are the ones who have not been given cholesterol lowering drugs.
2. Did you know that your brain is half cholesterol? And that cholesterol lowering drugs prevent your brain from this supply of cholesterol that is necessary for the brain to function properly? Could this explain why Alzheimer's and Dementia have become so widespread in our country? And the medical community is now pushing to lower the accepted level of cholesterol below the already low standards that the drug company researchers had previously set.
3. Did you know that when you eat sugar, your body produces insulin to help you use or store the sugar, but if there is more insulin in the blood vessels than is needed to digest the sugar, the insulin irritates the blood vessel lining causing deterioration? When that happens, the body sends LDL cholesterol to mend the spot. After that has happened repeatedly, the amount of buildup in the blood vessel (called plaque) causes the vessel to become narrow and make the circulation through the vessel difficult and may even cause a blockage, or “heart attack”. The cholesterol is not the culprit. Instead, cholesterol is acting as a bandage to repair an injury. The secret to preventing or removing the plaque is not decreasing the amount of cholesterol in the body, but rather, changing the diet so that the surplus insulin will not be circulating in the blood.
4. Did you know that 75% of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced within the body and that only 25% comes from the food we eat? Doesn’t it seem reasonable that the Creator must have had a purpose in planning for us to have that much?
5. Did you know that the cholesterol in your skin is transformed into Vitamin D by the sun for healthy bones (unless you wear sunscreen which prevents that from happening)?
6.Did you know that cholesterol is such an important substance that it is contained in practically every cell in the human body? The Honolulu Heart Program study, published in the August 2001 issue of The Lancet, states that “the long term persistence of low cholesterol actually increases the risk of death”. Normal cholesterol levels should run between 150 and 250, but the pharmaceutical companies are telling us they should be between 80 and 130. Dr. West, in his September 2005 Health Alert magazine says that that level is “dangerously low. Cholesterol is needed to produce stress hormones and when levels drop below 100, people with cancer or other serious diseases succumb to the disease. If your cholesterol is below 130 and you are on a statin drug, ask your doctor to stop the prescription now.”
7. Did you know that cholesterol levels are either normal or below normal in half of all heart disease patients? In recent studies of people over 75, those with the highest cholesterol were the healthiest? ( Dr. Bruce West- Health Alert)
Dr. David Williams (writer of the Alternatives magazine) says, “The cholesterol theory of heart disease has been dead for 20 years. It was shot full of holes when scientists showed that the majority of people who suffer heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels. This makes cholesterol-lowering drugs irrelevant and useless. He goes on to say, “I’ve been waving a red flag about cholesterol-lowering drugs since August, 1991, when I first discovered they are not only ineffective, but potentially deadly. (They can rob the heart of an important nutrient, CoQ10, that powers its beating.)
“Meanwhile, 13 million people in this country remain on cholesterol drugs, and millions more are being urged to start taking them. It will be a long time before an official about-face comes. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of people will go to their deaths following this old-school advice in the false belief they’re being protected.”
Posted by Muryal Braun
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Muryal Braun has been a Nutritional Researcher for 40 years. She has given lectures and published articles in this field and has applied good health principles in her own life to maintain a very active and healthy lifestyle. . Her website at http://www.vitamins-4-health-online.com is dedicated to helping others.
Cholesterol is the body's repair substance. Scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol. When your arteries develop irritations or tears, cholesterol is there to do its job of patching up the damage.
Along with saturated fats, cholesterol in the cell membrane gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane so that the cell walls actually become flabby. When this happens, cholesterol from the blood is "driven" into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet, even though the body's overall cholesterol levels actually go up.
Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer; and to the sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. Cholesterol is also a precursor to vitamin D and to the bile salts. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet.
Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant. This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.
Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body's natural "feel-good" chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicide.
Mother's milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. This is why low-cholesterol vegetarian diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.
Men who have cholesterol levels over 350 mg/dl are at slightly greater risk for heart disease. For women, there is no greater risk for heart disease, even at levels as high as 1000 mg/dl. In fact, mortality is higher for women with low cholesterol than for women with high cholesterol.
Cholesterol readings are highly inaccurate. They vary with the time of day, time of the patient's last meal, levels of stress and the type of test used. Tests for HDL and LDL are especially subject to inaccuracies.
MORE COMING SOON - BUT IN THE MEANTIME, READ THESE ARTICLES!
What is diabetes? Diabetes mellitus, from the ancient Greek, means “to pass through urine”. It is a syndrome of disordered metabolism resulting in abnormally high levels of blood sugar due to diminished production of insulin (Type I) or to resistance to the effects of insulin (Type II). Symptoms include excessive urine production, resulting compensatory thirst and increase fluid intake, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, lethargy and changes in energy metabolism.
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone that works synergistically with a hormone called glucagon to keep blood glucose concentrations normal. Both of these hormones are released from the endocrine tissue of the pancreas in the area known as the islets of Langerhans. As blood glucose concentration is elevated, insulin is secreted by the pancreas to enable the transport of glucose into 2/3rds of the body’s cells. Not all tissues require insulin for efficient uptake of glucose: the liver, kidney and brain cells uptake glucose by diffusion.
When the glucose level is low, glucagon is secreted, causing the liver to convert stored glycogen back into glucose to release it into the bloodstream.
What happens when the blood sugar remains high? Glucose begins to stick to the cell membranes and is converted to a sugar alcohol called sorbitol. Production of excess sorbitol destroys nerves and other tissue. Diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy are caused by excess sorbitol in the cells of the nerves and eyes. (Sorbitol is also used as a sweetener in diabetic candies, cough syrups and coatings on tablets. Be cautious of intake. One obvious effect of excessive intake is diarrhea.)
High fructose corn syrup is used as a sweetener in thousands of foods and can lead to diabetes. Diet drinks are just as bad, if not worse. In a study done at the University of Texas Health Science Center, it was found that the greater the sweetener use the higher the rate of diabetes.
What else does insulin do? It causes storage of an emergency source of glucose (glycogen) in the liver and muscle, and stops the use of fat as an energy source. Insulin forces fat cells to make and store fats, decreases the breakdown of proteins, lowers potassium levels in the blood, and forces arterial wall muscles to relax and increase blood flow, especially in the micro arteries.
What causes insulin to be released? When carbohydrates from food and drink enter the bloodstream it triggers a release of insulin. High glycemic carbohydrates such as corn flakes, white/red potatoes, watermelon, some white rices (jasmine), croissant, white bread, candy, cereal, etc. break down rapidly and release glucose into the blood stream quickly, causing spikes in insulin. Low gylcemic carbohydrates include most fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas, grainy breads, legumes and pulses release glucose more slowly and steadily. Medium glycemic carbohydrates are found in whole wheat products, brown rice, basmati rice and table sugar, and adding vinegar to foods will lower the glycemic index.
What happens to the excess insulin? A large portion of the glucose absorbed by the small intestine is taken up by the liver to convert it into glycogen. When the supply of glucose is abundant, insulin forces storage of glucose in liver and muscle cells as glycogen. When the liver becomes saturated with glycogen, any additional glucose is shunted into synthesizing fatty acids.
What happens when insulin is low or absent? Many tissues can also use fat or protein as an energy source. When insulin falls, cells begin to switch to using alternative fuels like fatty acids and proteins for energy. But other tissues, such as red blood cells and the brain, can only use glucose. Neurons require a constant supply of glucose, which in the short term, is provided from glycogen reserves stored in the liver. When insulin production ceases, glycogen synthesis in the liver is halted and enzymes began to break it down to supply the neurons with glucose.
What are the effects of caffeine on blood sugar? Caffeine triggers the release of adrenalin from the adrenal glands, which makes the cells less responsive to the effects of insulin, resulting in increased blood sugar levels. Researchers at Duke University found that when caffeine was consumed, glucose (blood sugar) levels immediately went up 8%. Following meals, the caffeine increased blood sugar levels even higher: 9% after breakfast, 15% after lunch and 26% after dinner.
Caffeine is found in coffee, most sodas, and every “energy” drink, gum, or candy.
Is caffeine bad for everyone? Most coffee drinkers tend to exercise less and smoke more. When these two factors are removed, it is found that women who drink coffee can lower their death rate from heart disease when compared to their women who drink coffee, smoke and don’t exercise.
The benefits appear to be not from the caffeine but from coffee’s high antioxidant content that helps protect against inflammation to blood vessels resulting in heart disease and DNA damage.
The release of adrenalin through caffeine consumption sends a false fight or flight alarm to the body, putting it in a constant state of alertness. Other false alarms include dehydration, low oxygen levels due to poor circulation, low iron or Vitamin E, improper breathing), low body temperature (underactive thyroid), alcohol consumption, fatigue (poor sleeping habits, bright lights at night) and stimulant use (tobacco, drugs).
What can you do to help your body to heal? Modify your diet to include fresh vegetables and fruits, eat lower glycemic foods, get plenty of rest and exercise. Moderate (not high-intensity) exercise inhibits the release of adrenaline.A study has found that walking at an easy 3 miles an hour (roughly 20 minutes per mile) for 30 minutes, five times a week, can significantly reduce your abdominal fat and waist circumference.
A high-fat "ketogenic" diet may reverse kidney damage caused by diabetes as reported in PLoS One publication, an online journal. Lowering blood sugar through diet can prevent kidney failure by reseting the pathological process.
Herbs: Rainforest Remedies is a suggested herb for Type 2 diabetes. It consists of Billy Webb (Sweetia panamensis), an herb that is an adaptogen (increases the body's resistance to stress, anxiety, trauma and fatigue). It is also indicated when appetite is low and chronic fatigue syndrome. In rare cases, individuals with diabetes feel upset for a period of 24 hours but experience has shown that those with this side effect reap the greatest benefit from the remedy and should be encouraged to continue. It is contraindicated for pregnant women and for those in a weakened state. If breastfeeding, discontinue if a rash, diarrhea or vomiting occur in the infant. Moderate (not high-intensity) exercise inhibits the release of adrenaline. A study has found that walking at an easy 3 miles an hour (roughly 20 minutes per mile) for 30 minutes, five times a week, can significantly reduce your waist circumference.
Medications: Many cold medicines contain dextrose, glucose, fructose and dextrin (all names for sugar) and can raise your blood sugar levels. Sudafed and Traminis syrups contain 3 1/2 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon. READ THE LABELS, ALWAYS.
Digestion begins in the mouth! The sights and smells of food stimulate the digestive juices to begin to break down the carbohydrates found in our food. Our teeth are important to chew and mash the food into smaller pieces so the enzymes in our saliva and our stomach can digest the food more completely.
It is important to take the time to prepare, smell, and enjoy visually the presentation of your food. It is also important to take time before eating to pause and breathe deeply. Use this time to say a little prayer of gratitude for the nourishment you are about to receive, using your breath to tune in to the parasympathetic system which shunts your blood to your digestive system and away from your muscles – this allows you to digest rather than run!
Being constantly stressed (keyed in the sympathetic nervous system), eating “on the run”, eating poorly made and poorly combined foods are some of the reasons for chronic indigestion. Another reason may be the result of low stomach acid or hypochlorhydria. The acidity of our saliva needs to be more alkaline to digest the carbohydrates (and not destroy our teeth!) but the normal acidity of the stomach is a pH* of 1! This is needed to digest proteins.
When the stomach is unable to produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) to break down and digest the proteins in our foods easily, this can lead to chronic nutrient deficiencies and bacterial and fungal overgrowths due to malabsorption.
Stomach acid helps us:
How does a stomach lose its acidity?
What happens if the stomach is not acidic enough?
What are symptoms of hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)?
What to do?
*It is important that you start off by taking one capsule at the very start of a meal. If taken without food, stomach burning may occur. If buring or heaviness occurs or increases this may indicate that you may have too much stomach acid or that your stomach lining may be damaged. Don't take any more of this supplement, and try mastica or increase the alkalinity of your foods to normalize excess acid production and heal the stomach lining.
If no noticeable stomach discomfort, try taking two capsules at the start of the next meal, monitoring for burning and or heaviness during and after eating. If taking two capsules produces some discomfort, but one capsule does not, restrict yourself to one capsule at the start of each meal. If the two capsule dose produced no discomfort, try three capsules at the start of your next meal.
If all goes well when taking three capsules at the start of each meal, stay with that dosage, most individuals will not require increasing the dosage to four capsules. Regular use of supplemental hydrochloric acid will in most cases "re-train" the stomach to produce higher concentrations of acid on its own. This process may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the individual. The most significant indication that acid production is improving is that Betaine HCL supplementation can no longer be comfortably tolerated.
In the long term:
Change to a low glycemic diet, chew well, and eat smaller meals more frequently, following good food combinations. It is a good idea to take a few minutes before eating and breathe to encourage the parasympathetic system to engage for digestion. You can add these foods that contain betaine to your diet: quinoa (630 mg per 100g), spinach (577 mg per 100g), lambsquarters (332 mg per 100g), and beets (256 mg per 100g). You can make sure you get these foods in your diet
Note: Childhood asthma has been associated with hypochlorhydria. When foods are poorly digested and become antigenic and attacked by the immune system, the foods become allergens and can switch on an asthmatic response. A study done in the 1930s showed that 80% of children with asthma also have hypochlorhydria. As the child's stomach matures and acid eventually is produced, then the asthma disappears. What often occurs with hypochlorhydric children is that they malabsorb their food and therefore tend to be underweight. Clinically it is unusual to see overweight kids with asthma - almost invariably they are thin children who wheeze.
Elimination is essential! It is healthy to have at least one bowel movement a day and a time that works to your advantage is when the large intestine meridian is active: between 5AM and 7AM. People who don't eliminate daily can experience fatigue, gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, skin conditions, allergies, anxiety, depression headaches, female reproductive disorders, insomnia and less mental energy.
Your stools should be medium to dark brown, full and round, sometimes float, and be somewhat long in length. They shouldn't be hard, thin, greasy or oily with bubbles nor should they small bad. (If your stools smell bad, take L. acidophilus, bifidus and other microorganisms in the morning and in the evening before bed (2-3 caps or 1 tsp in water). You can also mix 1/3 tsp each of powdered ginger, fennel, and turmeric with raw honey and eat with a spoon, followed by warm water or tea.)
All of these signs would indicate an excessively long intestinal transit time. Stools should be easily passed and you should have a feeling of relief, feel "complete" and empty after passing, and a little energetic.
With excessive transit time and constipation occurring over extended lengths of time, stools become hard, dry and more difficult to eliminate, which creates stress in the lower intestinal tract and pelvic floor and an opportunity for rectal disease and hemorrhoids. When toxicity builds up, digestive enzymes are damaged and proper nutrition for the cells in the intestinal lining is prevented, resulting in maldigestion, impaired assimilation and nutrient deficiencies.
Research also shows that at least one hormone (estrogen) may be reabsorbed when not eliminated in a timely manner, elevating the risk for estrogen-dependent diseases. Excessive transit time and prolonged exposure to waste products can also create changes in gas pressure that reflux food backward, irritating throat, gums, tongue, teeth and cause bad breath. Prolonged and severe constipation (eliminating every several days) can create liver problems, varicose veins, arthritis, lower back pain and burden your immune system.
Things you can do:
EXERCISE: this will give tone to your intestinal muscular wall and promote the manufacture of glutamine, an amino acid that feeds the intestinal-lining cells.
EAT MORE REAL FOODS WITH FIBER: “Real foods” like dark-green vegetables, raw nuts, sprouts, seeds and fruit. Stay away from processed and refined foods that are drying: breads, pasta: basically anything that has more than one ingredient!
HYDRATE: Eating real foods will help hydrate, but also drink plenty of liquids – 5-8 glasses per day of filtered water and herbal tea. Fruit juices high in sugars, sugared drinks and caffeine all dehydrate.
LUBRICATION: Oils such as olive, coconut and flax seed oils.
EAT MORE FERMENTED OR CULTURED PRODUCTS: Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, etc.
DEEP, RELAXED BREATHING alone or while doing child’s pose. Twists are also helpful.
Food ideas for constipation:
Flaxseeds:(keep refrigerated) Grind in coffee grinder when needed and sprinkle on cereals and salads. Has a nutty taste.
Use in salad dressing: soak whole flax seeds in water about 30 minutes (will become thick) and mix with olive oil and vinegar to make salad dressing.
Garlic: contains allicin which stimulates the muscular action of the walls of the intestinal track.
Black mission figs or prunes soaked overnight and eaten the next morning.
Digestive Enzymes: sip apple cider vinegar drink (1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 tsp honey + 1 cup warm water) throughout meal.
Aloe Vera juice (1/3 cup mixed with water or juice before bed and on rising.
Whole food Vitamin B complex; Vitamin C
To compare stools by transit time in the bowel: http://www.gapsdiet.com/Stools.html
Liver and Gallbladder Anatomy
The majority of gallstones starts their "life" as a microscopic crystal of cholesterol. The name originates from the Greek chole (bile) and stereos (solid). Very few gallstones ever get a chance to grow larger then 2mm. Most are expelled while small as sand.
The pain/problem usually results from obstruction of the common bile duct, not the gallbladder.
Acute pancreatitis develops in 5% of all patients with gall stones and is more common in patients with multiple small stones, a wide cystic duct, and a common channel between the common bile duct and pancreatic duct. Small stones passing down the common bile duct and through the papilla may temporarily obstruct the pancreatic duct or allow reflux of duodenal fluid or bile into the pancreatic duct resulting in acute pancreatitis.
Gallbladder & Liver Remedy
Zap all the ingredients in a blender, pour and drink.
Drink every day one glass of this for several weeks, if you are suffering from: Gallbladder attacks, allergies, indigestion, abdominal pain, arm pain, back pain, constipation, bursitis, or any chronic health problem.
Avoid or replace ingredients you may be unable to tolerate, like garlic. Lemon can be replaced with orange, grapefruit or lime.
A small circular band of muscle (cardiac sphincter) separates the bottom of the esophagus and the stomach. The muscle relaxes to let food pass into the stomach but tightens afterward to keep the acids and digesting food from moving back up into the esophagus. Sometimes this cardiac sphincter can be stuck closed or opens when it is supposed to be closed. Taking a few moments to breathe into the belly before eating lets the body know it is time to relax and digest. The diaphragm, a critical muscle that allows us to breath by contracting and expanding, is a powerful player in the ability of the cardiac sphincter to open and close. Use visualization and gratitude as you breathe before eating and at any time you are feeling stressed.
In addition, limit the amount of fluids consumed with meals and just before and after meals. Drinking fluids with meals dilutes digestive juices. Also, drinks should be at room temperature. COLD CONTRACTS and the stomach needs to be warm to churn its food. Cold beverages also numb the stomach’s acid producing glands which produce the acid needed to digest.
Sometimes part of the stomach actually pushes up through the diaphragm through the hole where the esophagus normally passes through. This is called a hiatal hernia. Chew all food carefully and slowly to lessen the amount of churning effort your stomach has to do. Avoid caffeine before and after meals because caffeine speeds up stomach churning, which can push the stomach upward. Wear loose clothing while eating and avoid eating until full.
Simple food combining (avoid mixing starch with animal protein in the same meal) can help the stomach process food faster and keep it from fermenting or putrefying in the stomach.
An exercise to help ease the stomach downward out of the hole into the thoracic cavity and back down into the abdominal cavity begins with drinking a glass of room temperature or slightly warm water in the morning before ingesting anything else. While standing, bring your arms straight out from your sides and bend your elbows so your hands are touching your chest. Stand on your toes as high as possible and drop down 10 times in a row. Raise your arms up and pant short quick breaths for about 15 seconds. The warm water relaxes your stomach and at the same time acts like a weight in the stomach, spreading your arms stretches the diaphragm and opens up the hole, and dropping the heels lowers the stomach out of the hole. The panting tightens up the diaphragm muscle to close the hole. This exercise will strengthen the area and make the hiatal hernia less likely to come back.
DO YOUR SELF CARE MASSAGE!
Heartburn drugs work on the symptoms rather than the causes of burning by reducing the acidity of the gastric juices in your stomach but this acid is necessary for proper digestion. You may feel relief from the burning in your esophagus, but your food is not getting digested as it should and then this poorly digested food taxes your pancreas and duodenum and can pass through the intestinal walls. The body recognizes it as foreign material and sets up an allergic immune response. Antacid tablets neutralize acids, proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec, and others) block enzyme action that release acids from the stomach lining, and H2 histamine blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, etc.) block histamine receptors that signal release of acids. As we know, the body is very economical and uses many enzymes in a variety of places in the body. So if something is working on a target, it will be working on other targets as well.
Our bodies go to a great deal of trouble to make stomach acid, and they do so for good reason. Acid kills bacteria, viruses and molds before they can enter the body. Acid also converts the minerals in food into chemical forms we can absorb. In addition, acid is essential for digesting food so nutrients can be absorbed. It should come as little surprise that interfering with the process of making acid creates problems.
Acid-blocker drugs are divided into two general drug groups. One group is the histamine-receptor antagonists and includes the drugs ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid AC). The other and more potent group of drugs is called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and includes omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and rabeprazole (Aciphex). Nexium is also a proton-pump inhibitor. The important distinction when talking about these drugs is the drug type, not the individual brand name.
Antibiotics and Acid Suppression: A Bad Combination: removes both protective barries at once.
Acid blocking drugs increase a person's chance of getting pneumonia. Without acid in the stomach, bacteria from the intestine may be moving upstream to reach the throat and then the lungs to cause infection. It is logical to assume these drugs also increase the risk of other milder types of lung infection.
Increased Fractures: Without adequate stomach acid, a person does not absorb enough calcium to keep their bones strong. The most common side effect of medications such as Fosamax, used to treat osteoporosis, is reflux. Patients may be prescribed Nexium so they can tolerate their Fosamax. In the end, the contribution Nexium makes to increasing fracture rates may outweigh any reduction provided by the Fosamax.
The old explanation we learned that the body needs acid in the stomach to absorb calcium may not be accurate. Some researchers suggest that the acid blockers weaken the bone through another mechanism. These drugs may prevent the osteoclasts from generating the acid they need to dissolve old bone. This would slow or stop burn turnover. This may be what makes the bones weaker and thus more prone to fracture.
Vitamin B12 - you need acid in your stomach to absorb vitamin B12 in your intestine. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are especially common in older people.
Cancer: Blocking stomach acid production also may affect cancer rates – for the worse.
Probably the best review of treating GERD from a naturopathic perspective is the chapter Eric Yarnell, ND, has written in his textbook, Naturopathic Gastroenterology. The many treatments to consider can be boiled down to three basic approaches: First, use demulcent herbs to soothe and heal esophageal irritation. Second, avoid foods and drugs that trigger symptoms. Third, try lowering stomach pH by using supplemental acid, or digestive herbs will tighten the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. Dr. Yarnell, herbalist though he is, suggests a number of homeopathic remedies to consider using to prevent symptoms. Someday, he will make a fine homeopath.
Dr. Yarnell's current thoughts on treating GERD:
Watch this video for a visual of GERD: http://gerd.emedtv.com/gerd-video/what-happens-when-you-have-gerd-video.html
Below is an article from the Weston A Price Foundation: www.westonaprice.org
Acid Reflux - A Red Flag, Written by Kathryne Pirtle, Friday, June 25 2010
A Precursor to Chronic Illness
All disease begins in the gut. Hippocrates
The drug companies have accumulated enormous wealth from the sales of medications for acid reflux and related digestive complaints. Endless numbers of radio, television and magazine ads tell us how these preparations can magically “heal” these digestive discomforts. You may have even noticed advertisements for these medications at the top of your email page. When prescription drugs for acid reflux went over-the-counter, drug companies raked in four hundred million dollars in sales per year!
In the United States, sixty million people have acid reflux, or one in five people. Last year, hospitals recorded four hundred seventy thousand hospitalizations and almost two million emergency room visits from acid reflux. Acid reflux and related digestive disorders now constitute an epidemic, and no age group has been spared. In fact, 50 percent of infants suffer from acid reflux in the first months of life, and during the last few yeears, there has been a 56 percent increase in sales of medicine for acid reflux and digestive disorders in infants and children from birth to four years old! A statistic like this should sound the alarm to find the root cause of this health disaster.
Do not be fooled into thinking that because acid reflux is so common, it is a simple problem with an easy solution, or that when the symptoms are gone, a cure has been achieved. The medications for acid reflux have a poor track record. In 33 percent of the people taking them, they don’t work at all. Sixty percent of those taking these medications continue to have problems three times a week, and 75 percent are doubling up on over-the-counter drugs.
What people do not realize is that acid reflux is a sign of poor digestion and impending malnourishment. Today, as most treatments—even natural remedies for acid reflux—focus on symptomatic relief, we fail to realize that this approach is like placing a “band aid over a boil,” and that poor digestion may be a precursor of severe degenerative conditions. According to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” An underlying principle in Chinese medicine is that good digestion is the key to good health. As a corollary, Dr. Weston A. Price noted that the principle cause of disease is malnourishment.
How would our society function if our overriding decisions were based on the American Indian spiritual principle—that we must choose our actions according to how they will affect the next seven generations? Then acid reflux and every other health issue we suffer would serve as a high alert for major change—like the canary test, used to check the safety of coal mines. If the canary didn’t survive, people were not allowed to go into the mine. Accordingly, we would understand that massive epidemics in human health are warning signals telling us that we need to change our approach.
Unfortunately our standard medical and natural treatments for acid reflux do not address the root of the problem—a depleted food supply, wrong food choices and heavy metal toxicity, none of which supports good digestion and the nutritional requirements for optimal human health.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux: More Than You May Realize
Although sixty million Americans suffer from acid reflux, many people are unaware that they even have it. In addition to the typical symptom of acid regurgitation, causing a burning in the esophagus and an unpleasant taste in the mouth, other symptoms include hoarseness, belching, chronic throat clearing and sore throat, persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, nausea, asthma and wheezing and persistent hiccups in adults. In infants and children, symptoms manifest as frequent ear infections, excessive crying, nausea with or without vomiting, excessive coughing, respiratory problems, refusing food, excessive belching and burping.
Problems with Standard Treatments
Acid reflux is a condition in which hydrochloric acid from the stomach recurrently escapes up to the esophagus through the cardiac sphincter—a ring-shaped muscle that opens to allow food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. It is often accompanied by the presence of a hiatal hernia, whereby the cardiac sphincter has been weakened and the top of the stomach protrudes up through the sphincter opening. Left untreated, the acid can erode the esophageal lining and cause a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, in which the tissue lining the esophagus is replaced by tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. This condition is considered to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.
In the standard treatment of acid reflux, most doctors prescribe medicine to lower acid levels in the stomach, suggest eating small carefully selected meals and recommend sleeping in a propped–up bed.
Acid reflux medications are designed for short-term use, but many people stay on them for years. For people suffering from gastritis, a condition where the stomach lining is inflamed, acid-lowering medications may be appropriate as a part of the initial healing regimen, but for all people, long-term use may cause serious health ramifications.
Stomach acid is extremely important to good digestion. Under normal circumstances, stomach acid not only helps break down protein into usable components, it also destroys food-borne viruses, pathogenic bacteria and parasites. But with low acid, one of the body’s first lines of defense against harmful microorganisms becomes compromised.
By contrast, a good stomach acid is associated with high levels of beneficial flora in the intestinal tract. Good bacteria can thrive when parasites, yeasts and pathogens are kept out by hydrochloric acid.
In a healthy stomach environment, the stomach acid is very acidic—between a pH of .8 and 2.5. A 1982 study found that patients in intensive critical care units whose gastric pH rose above 4 experienced “rapid gastric colonization of organisms” and an increase in pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the oral cavity. So if the stomach is not sufficiently acid, your immune system will have to work much harder.
But there’s more to this story, because from the stomach, this partially broken down food, full of yeast and other opportunistic organisms, now moves into the small intestine—the next stop on the digestive journey.
Without adequate stomach acid, when you eat foods that feed yeast and cause fermentation— sugar, starches, grains, processed foods, fruit juices and even too many fresh fruits—the yeast foams rapidly in the stomach, as when adding sugar to yeast in bread making.
Fermentation produces gases that force an upward pressure against the cardiac sphincter. Candida also will attach itself literally to the muscles of the cardiac sphincter and paralyze them. Under these conditions the cardiac sphincter will allow stomach acid into the esophagus. Thus, as a result of years of the constant pressure of this gas-forming yeast fermentation in the stomach, a hiatal hernia can develop.
In addition, if this partially broken down fermented food, full of yeast and other opportunistic microorganisms, now moves into the small intestine, digestion is further compromised.
Therefore, treating acid reflux with acidblocking, antacid medications only masks and exacerbates the problems that lead to these issues.
DIGESTION GONE WRONG
Now the cascade of events leads to something more serious. Under normal circumstances, the stomach acid would have broken proteins into peptides before allowing them to enter the small intestine. But when insufficiently digested protein enters the small intestines, due to inadequate stomach acid, the pancreas in turn does not get the signal to release adequate pancreatic juices. In addition, if the small intestine lacks a healthy flora, production of enzymes called peptidases is also reduced. Normally, these enzymes are manufactured by the enterocytes on the microvilli—the small nutrient-absorbing hair-like projections lining the small intestine. Their function is to further break down proteins and carbohydrates into usable nutrients.
As yeast and other unhealthy flora coming from the stomach take over the small intestine, dysbiosis will develop. This causes the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract to become damaged, leading to “leaky gut syndrome.” Gut permeability allows poorly digested proteins and carbohydrates to “leak” through the intestinal tract.
To further complicate matters, the undigested casomorphine proteins from the casein in dairy foods and gluteomorphine proteins from gluten-containing foods—both of which resemble the chemical structure of opiates like heroin and morphine—will be absorbed into the bloodstream unchanged. Once in the bloodstream, they can interfere with brain and immune system function.
DRUNK ON CARBOHYDRATES
Undigested carbohydrates, poor digestion and candida overgrowth also result in the production of the chemicals ethanol and acetaldehyde, which have profound negative effects on brain chemistry. When candida produces ethanol in the small intestine, a person will seem drunk after a meal of carbohydrates, even though he has consumed no alcohol. In fact, eventually a person will actually crave the foods that produce alcohol in the small intestine. This is one reason why multitudes of children and adults have an insatiable appetite for high-carbohydrate junk food and why a multi-billion dollar processedfood industry continues to thrive.
We all know that alcohol is extremely toxic, especially to a developing fetus or a child. The following are some of the wide-ranging effects of a prolonged presence of alcohol from an overgrowth of candida in the body:
• Damage and inflammation to the gut lining and resulting malabsorption
Thus, poor digestion can set up conditions in which it is difficult to think and enjoy life. As our diet causes mood problems and interferes with mental clarity, we become chemically dependent on the very foods that are making us sick.
Allergies “Out of the Blue ”?
Today allergies are commonplace—everybody has them, including children. For some people they are a minor annoyance, but for others, they can cause great suffering, even leading to anaphylactic shock and death. With a leaky gut, allergies can easily develop because a leaky gut allows undigested proteins into the blood stream. To your immune system, these proteins represent foreign objects. So every time you eat an offending food—even a food that is considered nutritious—an immune system response will occur.
In an allergic reaction, your body produces antibodies that attack the foreign intruder. These antibodies are meant to protect you from harm, but if your body becomes overzealous and is required to attack a food protein that you eat all the time, you will suffer constant inflammation. You may develop chronic pain—and this pain may travel—as the inflammatory chemicals circulate throughout your body. On Monday, your elbow is sore. On Tuesday, your back may kill you. On Wednesday, you have a horrible headache. On Thursday, you have all of the above.
You can visit the massage therapist, the chiropractor, or take anti-inflammatory medicine to mask your pain until the “cows come home,” but until you find the real answer to your digestive problems, you will forever be in pain. Natural remedies may not have as many side effects as pharmaceuticals, but they also fail to treat the root causes of acid reflux, allergies and chronic pain that are the outgrowth of poor digestion.
The High-Fiber Dictate : Part of the Problem
The USDA and the FDA have insisted on the food pyramid model in their dietary guidelines, not for good health but for profit. This diet stresses high-fiber foods, and everywhere—on the news, in magazines, in books, on talk shows—we hear about the “benefits” of whole grains and high-fiber vegetables. So-called experts present the benefits of fiber as an article of faith, with no questions asked—whole grains, raw vegetables and fruits—you need them at every meal, and fiber supplements for good measure.
No questions asked? The reality is that people trying to follow the government dictates— with “healthy” raw salads every day, raw vegetables for snacks, all-bran cereals and whole grain breads with added fiber—often develop a wide array of digestive problems like flatulence, hernias, hemorrhoidal disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Insoluble fiber is exceedingly difficult to digest without a healthy gut flora. Historically, people consumed far less fiber in favor of more nutrient dense, easy-to-digest foods such as high quality dairy from grass-fed animals—raw milk, cream, cheese and butter—high quality meats and fish, bone broth soups and cooked vegetables with butter. Your grandmothers and greatgrandmothers did not serve salads and fresh fruit every day—it simply wasn’t available. Before refrigeration and motorized transportation, salads were a luxury, consumed only occasionally. Fresh fruit was only eaten in season—and often served stewed rather than raw.
In the stomach, your food cannot pass into the small intestine unless it is small enough to pass through the small valve called the pyloric valve. If you already have compromised digestion and low stomach acid, eating lots of hardto- digest fiber, whether from whole grains or fresh fruits and vegetables, will churn around and around fermenting, waiting to become small enough to enter the small intestine. During this time, gases are produced that will press against your cardiac sphincter and over time, may lead to a hiatal hernia.
One other point: high-fiber foods tend to be low-nutrient foods. So eating a high-fiber diet is, in effect, eating a low-nutrient, hard-to-digest diet. When this dietary pattern is followed year after year, malnourishment is sure to follow. A raw salad, for instance, does not have the same nutrient density as raw milk—a glass of raw milk contains the nutrients of about fifty pounds of fresh grass. Since we are not cows with four stomachs especially made for breaking down cellulose, let’s let cows do most of the high-fiber eating.
Too Much Water
If you are drinking lots of water throughout the day, your stomach acid will become diluted, leading to acid reflux and all the other problems herein described. In addition, too much water may cause mineral depletion and imbalances, which can further contribute to digestive disorders, as well as kidney disease, degenerative bone disease, muscular disorders and even cardiac arrest from electrical dysfunction.
Paradoxically, over-consumption of water may also cause constipation. When too much water is added to a high-fiber diet, the fibrous foods swell and ferment in the intestinal tract, leading to gas, bloating and other uncomfortable digestive symptoms. This expanded mass may be too large to pass easily.
Traditional peoples did not drink large quantities of water. Instead, they stayed hydrated with raw milk, fermented beverages and bone broth soups, which have incredible nutrient qualities and do not upset the body’s homeostasis. They also consumed plenty of traditional fats like butter, cream, lard and coconut oil. Fats render much more water during metabolism than proteins or carbohydrates. So as people succumb to drinking large quantities of water, not only will they lower the acid levels in the stomach, their digestion and nutrient absorption will be compromised. Over time this also contributes to malnourishment.
NOT ENOUGH SALT
In addition to a lowfat, high-fiber diet, government officials and health professionals tell us to avoid salt. Of course, salty junk foods should be avoided—but not because they contain a lot of salt. In spite of claims that salt raises blood pressure, there has never been clear evidence that reducing salt intake helps prevent hypertension. Decades of research have produced conflicting, ambiguous results. And salt is important for many functions in the body, including cell metabolism.
When it comes to good digestion, salt is critical to the production of hydrochloric acid—the chloride portion of sodium chloride serves as chloride for hydrochloric acid. We have very few other sources of chloride in our diets—celery and coconut are some of the best, but certainly not adequate to satisfy human needs. Without salt, we cannot produce enough hydrochloric acid for protein breakdown and good digestion overall.
The Path to Permanent Healing
Treatment of acid reflux must move well beyond the realm of symptom relief if true healing is to occur. Focusing on nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods over time will do the triple duty of relieving symptoms, improving digestion and correcting malnourishment. We must also remove possible blocks to healing such as mercury overload.
To heal, it is important to focus on nutrient-dense foods and eliminate all grains, starches, sugars and any foods that feed the candida cycle. Replacing these foods with a diet of nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods will satisfy your hunger as your body will finally obtain foods that fulfill nutrient requirements.
PROBIOTICS AND ENZYMES
Although hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplementation is often prescribed as a remedy for low levels of stomach acid, HCl taken as a supplement may irritate the stomach lining and cause gastritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Ultimately, proper HCl production is necessary for good digestion, but a safer approach to improving stomach acid production is to eliminate candida from the body, consume adequate salt, and eat cultured foods and beverages.
Cultured foods and beverages will support the development of a healthy intestinal flora, and help break the candida cycle; these lactofermented foods will also supply enzymes to support digestion. Often, however, those suffering from acid reflux and related digestive problems find that they need additional help, especially at first. There are many fine probiotic and enzyme supplements that you can take to get you started in your healing journey.
Hiatal Hernia Recommendations
Many people who have acid reflux are also dealing with a hiatal hernia. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine whether you have this kind of hernia so that you may further understand your acid reflux. A knowledgeable chiropractic physician who does energetic testing can often test for this problem and help provide relief by doing an adjustment to the hernia. To do this, an experienced practitioner will push the hernia down so that the top of the stomach is no longer protruding through the esophageal sphincter. This adjustment may be necessary on a regular basis until the esophageal sphincter strengthens and heals.
Special Advice for Infants Suffering from Acid Reflux
Infants who suffer from acid reflux are in terrible discomfort. They often have colic and do not sleep well. The first step is to work with a holistic practitioner who is familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation principles. If the mother is nursing, she will need to work on healing her gut with a diet rich in nutrient-dense, probiotic foods to pass their benefits on to the baby. Following the aforementioned program for healing will be a good first step. If the baby is still not thriving, it may be possible to look at the several options for homemade formula that the Weston A. Price Foundation offers, as these are rich in probiotics and may help to heal the acid reflux. Mom should address any problems with mercury toxicity before conception or after weaning—not during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Healing from acid reflux requires an in-depth understanding of all the facets of digestive health. Permanent healing requires a long-term commitment to dietary change, along with alleviation of heavy-metal toxicity. But to be healthy—radiantly healthy—makes the whole journey worthwhile. The diet is rich and satisfying, and does not require privation; and safe removal of amalgams is more feasible than ever before. The benefits accrue not only to yourself but also to your family and to future offspring.
Modern man stands on a precipice. Continued physical degeneration is inevitable if we continue to eat industrial foods; but we have more knowledge and resources today than at any time in recent history to help us adopt a diet that ensures good health, generation after generation.
ACID REFLUX AND ASTHMA
Interestingly, 41.1 percent of non-smokers who have a chronic cough and 60 percent of those who have asthma also have acid reflux.5 Asthma in children and adults is increasing at exponential rates. In 1995, almost fourteen million people were diagnosed with asthma while today that number has jumped to over thirty-four million!6 How does acid reflux lead to asthma? First, acid reflux may cause people to breathe tiny drops of hydrochloric acid into their lungs, which can irritate the delicate pulmonary lining and cause spasms in the airways, triggering an asthma attack. Second, frequent episodes of acid reflux may cause digestive acid to damage the esophageal lining and expose some of the nerves that are connected to the lungs. Irritation of the nerve endings may initiate a constriction of airways, thereby causing an asthma attack. Additionally, the acid can cause inflammation of the throat and larynx.
Surprisingly, asthma medications that dilate the bronchial tubes can trigger acid reflux symptoms, as they may cause the cardiac sphincter to relax, allowing acid to escape up through the esophagus. Regrettably, the conventional treatments for asthma merely address the symptom of narrowed breathing passages. While this is a necessary step, such treatment does not address the underlying causes.
Seven million people suffer from ear infections every year. Acid reflux may cause persistent ear infections as refluxed liquid enters the upper throat and inflames the adenoids causing them to swell. The swollen adenoids can block the passages from the sinuses and eustachian tubes, and fluid can build in the sinuses and middle ear.
PROGRAM FOR RECOVERY FROM ACID REFLUX
STEP ONE: The first step to recovery is eating foods that are easy to digest, end the candida cycle, heal the digestive tract, and offer superior nutrition. Start with bone broth soups exclusively for the first week. Make soups with homemade broth containing a variety of vegetables and a little chopped meat or liver.
STEP TWO: The second step to recovery is inoculating the gut with foods that will build a healthy intestinal flora. This is the time to add full-fat cow or goat milk kefir or yogurt—kefir has beneficial yeasts that literally “eat” candida, and contains other probiotic bacteria that will colonize in your intestinal tract. Ideally, you should make your own kefir or yogurt out of whole raw milk, but if you cannot find raw milk, you can purchase a high-quality, organic plain whole milk yogurt such as Traderspoint, Brown Cow, Seven Stars or Stoneyfield. If dairy is not tolerated, try other fermented foods and beverages such as homemade sauerkraut or pickles, coconut kefir, beet kvass, lacto-fermented sodas and kombucha.
STEP THREE: The third step to recovery is to consume a diet consisting solely of nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods that continue to heal the intestinal tract and support a healthy flora. Your diet should include:
• High quality fats—for nutrient absorption and healing the gut lining—including raw butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and lard, goose fat, duck fat and tallow from pastured animals. Take cod liver oil for vitamins A and D.
Mercury Toxicity from Amalgam Fillings —A Part of the Candida Overgrowth Puzzle
Mercury has a long history of use as a poison. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Greeks used it as a murder weapon by pouring it into the victim’s ear, thereby paralyzing the brain and causing almost instant death. Yet only recently has information about the catastrophic health problems caused by mercury in amalgam dental fillings entered the public consciousness. What most people do not realize is that the mercury in amalgams is mixed with other metals— copper, silver, tin and zinc—which actually increase the toxicity of mercury through galvanization—an electrical current produced from two or more dissimilar metals. Galvanization increases the rate of mercury corrosion ten to twenty fold!13
Mercury is extremely toxic, even in very small amounts, and has been linked to many neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Heavy metals like mercury migrate to the fatty tissues of the brain and the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells. Mercury alters the cell membrane structure of developing brain neurons, leading to rapid degeneration. You can see this happening in the link to the following study: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =XU8nSn5Ezd8&feature=related.
Mercury is a “cytotoxin.” It is poisonous to all living cells because it binds with sulfhydryl molecules. These molecules are found in most proteins, the building blocks for all tissues. As a result, mercury can interfere with virtually any process or organ in the body.
Dental office staff receive instructions about the vigilant handling of amalgam material; it is classified by OSHA as “hazardous.” In 1992, the World Health Organization declared that mercury is so poisonous, no amount of mercury absorption is safe! Yet, dentists have no qualms about putting mercury in people’s mouths, where it produces constant mercury vapor for up to fifty years!
Alfred Zamm, MD, FACP provides an excellent description of mercury’s poisonous mechanism: “Mercury poisoning is impaired oxidation. It’s like having an invisible cord around your neck that’s strangling you, but you can’t feel the cord is there. [The strangulation] is biochemical, but the principle is the same: mercury reduces the amount of oxygen you get. The body keeps adjusting, but with every adjustment it gets sicker and sicker.”14
Impaired oxidation leads to a host of health problems: autoimmunity, inability to deal with infections, bizarre illnesses that don’t make sense otherwise. These environmental illnesses are due to a lack of energy packages required for the detoxification process. Therefore mercury toxicity deprives the body of oxygen, and any process in the body requiring oxygen will be less efficient in the presence of mercury.
Mercury toxicity deprives the body of oxygen, the body in turn initiates candida overgrowth as a protective
mechanism. Therefore, even with a superb nutrient-dense, anti-candida dietary protocol, if a person has a mouth full of mercury amalgams, they may not recover from acid reflux!
According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, “Mercury suffocates the intracellular respiratory mechanism and can cause cell death. So, the immune system makes a deal: it cultivates fungi [candida] and bacteria that can bind large amounts of toxic metals. The gain: the cells can breathe. The cost: the system has to provide nutrition for the microorganisms and has to deal with their metabolic products.”15
According to The Mercury in Your Mouth—The Truth about “Silver” Dental Fillings, published by the Quick Silver Association, indigestion and weak stomach acid are associated with mercury toxicity.16 The gastrointestinal tract will absorb the highest levels of mercury because the fillings are constantly in contact with saliva. When the immune system is compromised by mercury, fungus multiplies rapidly.
To find a biological dentist who can safely remove amalgam fillings, consult with the following organizations:
The International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (www.iabdm.org) The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (www.iaomt.org) The Holistic Dental Association (www.holisticdental.org) Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (www.amalgam.org)
My Story —A Common Saga
My story represents a textbook case of deteriorating digestive health, one that is shared by millions of people today. Ironically, for much of my life, I strictly followed the modern dictates of healthy eating—a lowfat, high-fiber diet, with lots of high quality whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, some lean meat, eggs and lowfat dairy, a little sugar and vegetable oils. Yet with this “perfect” diet, I developed chronic pain beginning in my early twenties, acid reflux in my early forties and shortly thereafter, a life-threatening digestive disorder that nearly ended my musical career.
I am the clarinetist and executive director of the Orion Ensemble, which has toured around the world and made several recordings. In 1999, at age forty-two, I began to experience acid reflux symptoms—a very distracting problem for a woodwind player. I felt a constant pressure in my throat with the sensation of wanting to burp. Of course, when I did burp, the horrible taste of acid would enter into my esophagus and throat. This was very frightening, and I quickly sought answers to this problem. My first solution was to stop eating wheat, which did help temporarily. I then discovered the blood-type diet and began religiously following the protocol for Type O. I ate more meat, salads, vegetables and fruit, and my only grains were two rye crackers a day and rice cookies. I did feel better, but my digestive disorder continued to develop.
In the fall of 2001, I became chronically ill for two years, suffering from a severe inflammatory condition in my spine, which caused debilitating pain in my arms, shoulders, hands and fingers, making it difficult to play my instrument and do normal activities like shopping, light lifting and housework. This condition was diagnosed as a symptom of celiac disease—an intolerance to gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye and barley). But surprisingly, the only gluten-containing food that I was eating at that time was two rye crackers a day! Still, with celiac disease, it only takes a microgram of gluten to cause an inflammatory reaction.
With that knowledge, I went the whole nine yards by following a strict grain-free, gluten-free and sugar-free diet of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit and olive oil. My pain remarkably disappeared, but I became absolutely terrified when five months later, I developed chronic diarrhea—a signal of malabsorption—and my embouchure (the facial muscles I use to produce my sound) began to shake uncontrollably. “Where is a bathroom?” and “I have to go now!” were my constant concerns as I literally dashed to a bathroom at least fifteen times a day. With malabsorption, I could be eating the most nutritious foods in the world and they would just go right through my body!
Not only did I think I would lose my ability to play my instrument, I began to think I would not survive. I felt my life leaving me, yet, how could I possibly eat a healthier diet—what was I supposed to eat? My healthy gluten-free, lowfat, high-fiber diet was literally killing me! Luckily, I discovered the work of Dr. Weston Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation. Through following the WAPF nutritional principles, I permanently reversed my digestive illness, including acid reflux, and after twenty-five years of chronic pain, I have been pain-free since 2003. I now have excellent stamina. Through adding ample traditional fats, vitamin A and D from fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, bone-broth soups, cultured traditional foods like raw milk kefir, beet kvass and sauerkraut, plus a wealth of nutrient-dense foods—liver, pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught salmon seafood, foods I had been missing my entire life—I have healed and built a high level of health.
Looking back, I realize that I was actually born with compromised digestion, for at birth I had severe colic. My mother told me that I hardly slept for the first six months of my life—that I would scream in agony from the gas pressure in my belly and intestinal tract. As my mother nursed me, she worked with the doctors to try to find out which items in her diet were bothering me. She began to eliminate various foods, taking them out one by one until she was only eating wheat—the doctors in the 1950s could not imagine wheat causing any problems, for how could someone have a reaction to bread of all things! With my mother’s all-wheat diet, my stools turned green, and I remained in agony. So my exhausted mother stopped nursing me and eventually, I “outgrew” the colic. Colic is a sign of poor gut flora.
By studying the work of Dr. Price, I recognized other symptoms of malnourishment . By age sixteen, I had a mouthful of cavities. I also remember often feeling my bones and muscles ache, which meant that there were not enough nutrients to support my growing body. My dear mother, who was concerned for the health of her children, heard the fiber story over and over, and actually put bran in our bran cereal—because “You gotta have that fiber to be healthy!” As an adolescent and young adult, I felt the effects of food addictions and mood swings. I had a clear affinity to eating anything that had wheat in it. Needless to say, throughout my youth, all this fiber contributed to ongoing flatulence. We all giggle at people who are “passing gas,” but when you experience this problem all the time, it means that something is very wrong with your digestion.
Thus, when I developed acid reflux at age forty-two, it was merely a sign of long-term poor digestion and serious malnourishment. The signs were there all along, but like most people, I believed in the modern health dictates and religiously followed them, even though I had inflammation and digestive problems. The thought that I was not eating a healthy diet had never occurred to me until I became extremely ill.
THE MERCURY IN MY MOUTH
As part of my journey, I had all of my mercury amalgams removed about twenty years ago by a leading biological dentist. Had I not had those amalgams replaced with composite fillings, I am certain that I would not have recovered from my life-threatening illness. Let me tell you why!
Although I had all my amalgams removed, up until early this year, I had one crown on the bottom right side of my mouth over my first molar. This crown was porcelain with metal at the bottom, and it enclosed a mercury amalgam-filled tooth. When you mix metals, you get what is called “dental galvanism,” in which two or more dissimilar metals cause the flow of an electric current. Dental galvanism causes an amplification of heavy metal toxicity in the body. In fact, to protect the vital organs, the body will try to displace the toxic metals through neural pathways to less important parts of the body, like the breasts and the reproductive organs, thereby protecting the brain, liver, kidneys and heart.
This is what was happening to me with only one toxic piece of dental work in my mouth. Last summer I noticed a lump in my right breast, which I was able to massage away through the self-breast massage technique. I also was experiencing sinus drainage behind my right eye and eyebrow area this last summer and thought it was an allergy—only on the right side?—Not making sense is it! My right eyelid has had a recurring twitch for years. My right tonsil often was sore. My right ear was sometimes sore. I had shingles on the right side of my face years ago—excruciatingly painful. Was this my body’s way of detoxifing this one piece of bad dentistry in the right side of my mouth? Since the removal of my last amalgam, my sinus problem, muscle twitching and ear pain are all completely gone. The breast lump has not returned either. So if you think that your mercury amalgams are not causing you harm, or your mixed metal crown with a mercury amalgam underneath is just fine, or your root canals are not causing any symptoms in your body that you know of—-think again!
Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems, Bill Gotleib, William Gotleib Publishing, 2000.
Doctor’s Guide to Gastrointestinal Health: Preventing and Treating Acid Reflux, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulitis, Celiac Disease, Colon ... Pancreatitis, Cirrhosis, Hernias and More, Paul Miskovitz, MD and Marian Betancourt, John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, Prevention Magazine Editors, Bantam Books, 1991.
Fiber Menace: The Truth About the Leading Role of Fiber in Diet Failure, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and Colon Cancer, Konstantin Monastyrsky, Ageless Press, 2005.
Gut Solutions-Natural Solutions to Your Digestive Problems, Brenda Watson, MD and Leonard Smith, Renew Your Life Press, 2004.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, MMEDSCI(Neurology). MMEDSCI(Nutrition) Medinform Publishing, 2004.
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way: Preventing and Healing Heartburn, Constipation, Gas, Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel and Gallbladder Diseases, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and More, D. Lindsey Berkson, John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
Heartburn and Reflux for Dummies, Carol Ann Rinzler and Ken DeVault, MD, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2004.
It’s All in Your Head, The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness, Dr. Hal A. Huggins, Avery, 1993.
MedicineNet - Health and Medical Information Produced by Doctors.
The Mercury in Your Mouth, The Truth About Silver Dental Fillings, Quicksilver Associates, 1998.
No More Digestive Problems, Cynthia Yoshida, MD, Bantam Books, 2004.
Radical Medicine, Dr. Louisa Williams, International Medical Arts Publishing, 2007-08
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2010.
Here follows an excellent article written by Dr. Neil Salka DC and found on the website www.metropolitanwellness.com
In order to have normal muscle contractility — the ability of muscle cells to contract correctly in our bodies — we must insure that we have enough calcium and magnesium in our daily diet. Calcium and magnesium are the two most important minerals in our bodies. Calcium is the most abundant mineral because it is used for bones, teeth, muscles, and cellular regulation. What most people are not aware of is that both of these minerals are involved in the process of contracting and relaxing muscles. Take the heart for instance, which is a powerful muscle that uses a dual action of contracting and relaxing in order to pump blood to every part of the body. This is the “lub-dub” you hear when you listen to your heart beat. The “lub” is the contraction of the heart muscle, which needs calcium. The “dub” is the relaxation of the heart and needs magnesium.
The contraction phase of the heart or any muscle, including the muscular lining of blood vessels, is regulated by the calcium that is made available from our diet. After digestion and assimilation of our food, calcium is eventually transported throughout our body via the bloodstream. The calcium will then be used for building healthy bones and teeth, normal muscular function, and proper nerve transmission. Every muscle in the body, including the heart, also has nerves attached to the muscle so the muscle can receive the nerve signal to tell it whether to contract or relax. This normal nerve communication is severely altered if there is not enough calcium in our diet. Sufficient daily amounts of calcium is usually lacking in our diet, so when there are not enough calcium ions in the bloodstream for the muscle spindle cells to contract normally, muscle spasms become a common occurrence.
After a muscle contracts, it next goes into a relaxation phase. This is where the crucial role of magnesium comes into play. When the heart relaxes it receives freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs, ready to be pumped out of the heart with the next contraction. All muscle relaxation, including the muscle lining (intima) of the blood vessels, also requires magnesium. When the muscular lining in the blood vessels does not have sufficient magnesium, which should be provided by good nutritional habits, instead of relaxing (vasodilating) the blood vessel remains in a contracted state (vasoconstricts). Because of magnesium deficiency, vasoconstriction may also lead to headache and high blood pressure. When the larger muscles of the body, especially in the legs, do not have enough magnesium, they fail to relax properly, and the common conditions of “charley horses,” tightness, soreness, and cramping occur. Probably one of the most undiagnosed conditions in America today is a magnesium mineral deficiency.
One of the easiest ways to relax tired, achey muscles is to take a hot Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate crystals, a natural form of magnesium that dissolves in water and can help cramped muscles relax when the affected body part, or the whole body, is soaked in an Epsom salt solution.
Epsom salts may be purchased at the supermarket. They are usually sold where rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, and hydrogen peroxide are on the shelves. Buy a few ½ gallon containers of Epsom salts. It may be sold in pint or quart size too, but purchase the ½ gallon size. A ½ gallon container is inexpensive.
When you get home, empty all the contents of the ½ gallon container into a hot bath and swish the water around for a minute or so to completely dissolve all the Epsom salt crystals. The container may have instructions to use only 1-2 cups for a bath, but you are instructed here to safely use the whole container. Take a nice, relaxing Epsom salt bath whenever you need to get rid of stress, tension and, of course, tired, achey, sore muscles.
If you are injured, you can safely take an Epsom salt bath twice a day. Try to not be disturbed while taking your relaxing bath: take the phone off the hook and turn off your cellular phone, put on your favorite calming music, and enjoy for 30 minutes! If you bathe before bedtime, you will sleep better and have less likelihood of muscle soreness in the morning.
In addition to an Epsom salt bath, taking a high quality calcium-magnesium supplement, along with eating a healthy diet, helps to relieve muscle spasm. The government RDA, or recommended daily allowance, is 1000 mg. each day of calcium for all adults except for pregnant or lactating women, who need 1600 mg. Since adults come in all shapes and sizes, it is safe to say that a 6’6” athlete may need more than the RDA. If a pregnant woman can safely take 1600 mg. of calcium, then a large active man can also safely take that much if necessary. Other adults could take 1600 mg. if required by lifestyle, activity level, and individual nutritional needs.
Although magnesium can be purchased separately, since it works in the body in tandem with calcium, most manufacturers of nutritional supplements formulate their products as a combination of both calcium and magnesium. Some leading nutritional experts such as Gary Null recommend a 1:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium or equal amounts of both. There are other leaders in the nutritional field who feel that 2:1, or twice as much calcium to magnesium, is the correct amount. Either one will be beneficial as long as it meets your needs and is of a type that will be assimilated and utilized by the body. What is recognized as the better quality supplements are the ones that are chelated. Examples of this are calcium/magnesium citrate, orotate, taurate, aspartate, glycinate, and microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (professional quality and especially useful for bones as in osteopenia/osteoporosis). If a person has a tendency towards loose stools, the recommendation is magnesium glycinate and not the other chelated forms. Unfortunately, there are inferior supplements that are also being sold which are cheaply made and do not work well because they are poorly absorbed. Examples are dolomite, oxide, lactate, Tums, bone meal, or oyster shell. Additionally, the current advertising campaign, a blatantly biased promotion by the American Dairy Council with celebrities wearing milk mustaches, is misleading: milk is not well absorbed by the body and many people are also outright allergic to milk and dairy products.
If you are currently taking a calcium or magnesium food supplement and it is in a tablet form, put it into a mortar and pestle and pulverize into a powder, or put the tablet into a cup and use a metal spoon to powderize it, or place in a sandwich baggie and crush it with a spoon or rubber mallet. When the minerals are in powder form, there is more surface area available to help the body absorb and assimilate the supplement. In other words, you “get more bang for your buck.” I have seen on barium X-ray studies untouched, undigested supplements pass through the whole GI tract. This is because during the manufacturing process, minerals are compressed into tablet form with heat and lots of pressure. The calcium tablet in essence has become a little pebble when it is tableted, and since it is such a hard mineral (it does make up teeth and bone), it does not easily dissolve in the stomach or intestines. You give yourself a greater chance of absorbing the calcium/magnesium supplement by getting it as a powder in capsules (or in a liquid form especially for those who may have trouble swallowing).
It is best to take your calcium and magnesium supplements at bedtime. They are considered calmative nutrients and will greatly aid in helping the body rest so you can get a good night’s sleep. This is why the old folk medicine remedy of drinking a warm glass of milk before bedtime makes some common sense (unless of course you were allergic to milk!). Calcium and magnesium will help in keeping our bodies (and muscles) relaxed during the daytime too.
If you have any questions after reading this handout, please feel free to ask me, your health professional, for additional information.
Copyright: Dr. Neil Salka DC, revised 9-7-03
Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Physiology: Two sources of blood supply of the liver:
Liver cells (hepatocytes) perform over 500 functions that are essential to our health. These include filtering out toxins from what we ingest, removing excessive hormones from the blood, storing vitamins, converting glucose and fatty acids into energy, recycling iron, manufacturing bile for fat absorption, etc. During active digestion bile goes directly from the liver into the duodenum, but bile production (500-1000 milliliters per day) is constant so when the digestive system doesn’t need it, bile is stored in the gall bladder.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is closely related to belly fat. Consuming too many calories in general, and trans-fat and polyunsaturated fat calories in particular, burdens the liver’s ability to metabolize fats normally. The portal vein is surrounded by the adipose tissue in the belly and the free fatty acids generated by this tissue are delivered directly to the liver through the portal vein where they are used, along with cholesterol, to replace normal liver cells. When there is an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace the saturated fatty acids our bodies normally use in the cell membrane, and the cell walls become flabby. This interferes with the many functions of the liver.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver is also closely related to diabetes 2, being overweight, and insulin resistance. When cells become less sensitive to insulin, it changes the way the liver metabolizes nutrients.
Signs and symptoms tend to be minimal, subtle, and progress slowly. The excess build up of fat in the liver stimulates free-radical activity which causes chronic low-grade inflammation that accumulates scar tissue in the liver. The scar tissue disrupts the ability of the hepatocytes to function and can result in cirrhosis.
Early symptoms of NAFLD include fatigue, unintended weight loss, vague pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, and signs that indicate insulin resistance: abdominal obesity, hypertension, elevated blood glucose, and elevated cholesterols. (Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant and protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer. This may be an explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age.)
Diagnostic criteria include signs of insulin resistance (see above) along with long-term elevated liver enzymes and/or ultrasounds that show a fatty liver.
The liver damage from this type of cirrhosis tends to lead to spider veins in the skin, blotching red patches on the palm, a loss of body hair, and feminizing characteristics for me and masculinizing characteristics for women.
Weight loss can reverse even advanced NAFLD and exercise improves liver enzymes in people with this condition. Alcohol, drugs that damage the liver such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen) and cholesterol-lowering statins should be discontinued while the liver is healing. Nutritional support could include milk thistle extract and antioxidants such as selenium.
Information distilled from Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing, December 2009, Vol. 19, No.2
Massage and Bodywork, Pathology Perspectives, March/April 2010
Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Heart Disease Issue
Researchers have found a strong connection between obesity and the levels of certain types of bacteria in the gut. Obese humans have been found to have a lower percentage of Bacteroidetes and more Firmicutes. In studies, when lean mice had larger ratios of Firmicutes transplanted, they got "twice as fat" and took in more calories from the same amount of food than mice with the more normal bacteria ratio. In a study of a dozen dieting people, 3 percent of the gut bacteria in the obese participants was Bacteroidetes before dieting. After dieting, the now normal-sized people had much higher levels of Bacteroidetes - close to 15%.
People are born germ-free but within days they have a gut blooming with microbes. Most encounters we have with microbes are very beneficial. Much of who we are and what we can do and can’t do as human beings is directly related to microbial inhabitants. Gut bacteria can affect body weight. It is important to eat fresh and less processed so food can pass quickly through the intestines and not sit and ferment. The Firmicutes are there to feed on the fermented food, or in some cases, can be there to protect us from the toxins. Remove that and the Firmicutes will no longer need to be so prolific.
Bones are dynamic living tissues that require regular stimulation from weightbearing excercise and the often ignored relaxation from the stresses our muscles put on bones. The breaking down and building up of bones (osteoclast/osteoblast cycle) is a naturally occurring process in the body: bone breaks down to release minerals from bone fluid to blood as needed and allows for the rebuilding of new bone to store minerals for future use. The general health and structure of these tissues is dependent on both diet and lifestyle. In order to build, maintain and rebuild healthy tissues, one must receive proper nutrition , exercise, and relaxation.
FACTORS: One of the reasons bones begin to increase breaking down is to maintain the acid/alkaline balance in the body. The body processes need an alkaline pH in which to work, but our diet and lifestyle encourages an acid pH with its ingestion of coffee, salt, meat, stress, lack of exercise and sunshine. All of these elements interfere with calcium absorption and create acid in the body. Greens, deep breathing, relaxation, and laughter all create alkalinity in the body. When the body has too much acid, it breaks down the bones to get calcium to act as a buffer to reduce the acid. (for more, see http://biomedx.com/microscopes/rrintro/rr1.html).
When muscles remained contracted due to acidity in the body, calcium is drawn from the bones in order to relax them. Exercise can help the muscles learn to contract and relax. An important resource is Gilles Marin's bone breathing exercises that can be ordered from the Chi Nei Tsang Institute at www.chineitsang.com. More information about the cd can be found at http://www.chineitsang.com/cnti/Bone_Dreaming.html
"Top of the list in lifestyle changes is to testablish a regular weight-bearing exercise program...Dietary goals should include eliminating foods that increase excretion of calcium from the body, such as caffeine in the form of coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Balance high animal protein intake with more vegetable proteins from legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Increase fruits and vegetables, organic when possible to at least nine servings daily to provide vitamin K (which activates osteocalcin, a protein that anchors calcium into the collagen matrix) along with magnesium, zinc, potassium, and fibers which aid in absorption and assimilation of minerals from the diet. Leafy greens and broccoli in particular provide a high amount of vitamin K and another important bone nutrient, folic acid, so they should be included daily in the diet. Using lemon in water will improve digestive pH and increase mineral absorption when taken with meals. (From Osteopenia: A Reversible Risk Facto for Osteoporosis by Mary Bove, ND AHG)
PHYSIOLOGY: Calcium is necessary for our hearts to beat, to regulate our pH and for muscle contraction. It is needed for nerve sheath, vein and artery walls, bone, teeth, etc. 99% is stored in our bones and teeth and the other 1% is present in solution as calcium ions and is found throughout the body in the fluid between cells, in the blood and in muscle. Calcium ions play a major role in the communication between nerve cells and muscle cells during movement.
DRUGS: Osteoporosis drugs are bisphosphonates that interfere with this cycle by stopping the osteoclast part of the cycle (the breaking down of bones that inhibit the resorption of bone). Although they inhibit the break down of old bone, they do nothing to build new bone. So, even though your bones become denser, that density is made up of old, weak, brittle bone tissue. Nature intended the break down of bone in order to rebuild the bone in the body. If this cycle is interrupted, then new bone can’t be rebuilt.
Like all drugs, they have side effects. These include stomach upset and inflammation and erosions of the esphopagus. Studies have also linked osteoporosis drugs to osteonecrosis of the jaw, an incurable condition where the bone in the jaw actually dies. The osteoclast/osteoblast cycle moves a lot faster in the jaw than it does in the other bones of the body. Since bisphosphonate drugs have been used a little over 10 years, perhaps we will start seeing cases of bone death in the legs, arms, and hips as well.
Bone-building drugs have also been linked to heart trouble. In 2007, 2 research reports published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested a possible link between the bone-building drugs Reclast and Fosamax and irregular heart rhythms in women. For Fosamax, there appeared to be a 50% more risk of the serious irregular heart thythm in women who took the daily pill than among those who didn't take it. For Relcast, it was more than 50%.
Experts who back the use of bisphosphonate drugs have ties to drug companies. Ethel Siris, the president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University, accepts consultancy and speaker fees from several drug-makers, including Merck, the maker of osteoporosis drug Fosamax, but says she “tries to handle (the conflict of interest) properly”. Joseph Lane, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and chief of its Metabolic Bone Disease Service accepts speaker fees from several drug-makers, including some with osteoporosis drugs. Both of these experts believe that the use of these drugs are more effective in preventing age-related bone loss than weight bearing and strength exercise, coupled with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D (Vitamin D, which you can get for free from the sun) which increases the amount of calcium absorption from the small intestine, with the net result to increase levels of calcium in the blood). Even though Lane says that the benefit of exercise in a middle-aged adult lies not in bone density but in bone quality - its “micro-architecture” and strength – which doesn’t show up on a DXA scan, he believes that exercise should be an additive, not an alternative.
SUPPLEMENTS: Are calcium supplements necessary and/or helpful? Louis Kervan, a biochemist who wrote a book called Biological Transmutations, circa 1935, cited his findings through experimentation that elements transmutated in living organisms! He found that workers in the Sahara oilfield excreted an average of 320 mg more calcium than they ingested without bone decalcification occurring. He also performed experiments with chickens, feeding them a calcium poor diet in an effort to find out if they were able to produce shells. At the time, biochemists hypothesized that chickens must be feeding on the reserve of their skeletons. But Kervan found that chickens deprived of calcium laid soft-shell eggs until they began ingesting oats rich in potassium, at which time they laid calcareous hard-shelled eggs. His idea was that calcium was transmutated in the body by other minerals, such as manganese and organic silica that transmutate into an absorbable form of calcium. He believed that osteoporosis developed because the body does not assimilate calcium directly from foods and supplements.
Horsetail Grass, Nettle Leaves, and Oatstraw Herb are herbs that have been known to supply the body with calcium. InBiological Transmutations it is explained that it is the silica in horsetail grass converts to calcium, and the other minerals work in close conjunction with silica. This combination is helpful for cramps, “Charlie horses,” successful pregnancies, growing children and maintaining adults alike, healthy bones, teeth, hair, skin and nails, healthy eyes and for all calcium needs in the body.
What about the calcium supplements?
Calcium functions in the body when it has the ability to take an electrical charge and when it is in balance with magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium reduces the alkalinity of calcium to allow absorption into the cells and phosphorus holds excess calcium in solution so it doesn’t precipitate out of the body fluids into the kidneys to form kidney stones, tartar on teeth, arthritis in joints, spurs on bones and cataracts on eyes.
Signs of calcium deficiency include dental caries, deteriorating bones, easily getting infections and colds. Phosphorus deficiency shows up as osteoarthritis, kidney stones or tartar on the teeth. Excess phosphorous leads to erosion of the teeth and bone.
When taking supplements, calcium needs to be in 5:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium and a 10:4 ratio of calcium to phosophorus.
As a supplement, calcium is available in different forms:
To get calcium into the blood and tissues, there are certain requirements that need to be met:
Bacterial infections are one known cause of stomach ulcers. The Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) bacteria is thought to be the strain that causes ulcers but it is also known that many people harbor this bacteria in their stomachs but do not develop ulcers. It is my intuition that the bacteria become troublesome due to an upset in the ecology of the stomach.
The stomach has a very acidic pH of 1-3 (compare this to blood which has a more alkaline pH of 7.4). This pH is needed to digest the food, especially proteins, which enter the stomach after having been chewed. The H. pylori bacteria secrete enzymes that neutralize this stomach acid, and may play a role in the ecology of the stomach. But the enzymes also weaken the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum. When the lining of the stomach and duodenum is weakened, this creates an opportunity for the corrosive stomach acid to damage the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum, allowing the acid and the bacteria access to the sensitive mucous lining of the stomach, which irritates the lining and causes a sore or an ulcer.
It has been found that cabbage juice stimulates the production of mucin, a compound secreted by the stomach lining to protect itself from the strong digestive acids. In one trial consiting of 100 people diagnosed with peptic ulcers who drank 4 glasses a day of fresh cabbage juice daily, within a week 81 of them no longer had an ulcer. Another trial with 55 people, 52 had relief from all symptoms of their ulcer within 5 days, and on average were completely healed in less than 12 days.
Some ulcers are caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), like aspirin and ibuprofen. Cancerous tumors in the stomach or pancreas can also cause ulcers. Stress and eating spicy food can make ulcers worse.
The medical approach is to kill the bacteria with antibiotics and to take an antacid. However, alternative views suggest that stomach ulcers may arise from a lack of acid – the hydrochloric acid that is an integral part of the digestive process in the stomach – and pepsin, an enzyme in the stomach that digests proteins. Without this acid and enzyme, food rots and creates gas and an organic acid which starts to erode the stomach lining. It is not the hydrochloric acid that is causing the problem but the organic acid arising from rotting food that causes the problem.
When protein rots it is called putrefaction, when carbohydrates rots it is called fermentation and when fats rot it is call rancification. If the stomach has enough acid, food won’t rot and putrefy or ferment.
The usual remedy that is prescribed is an antacid which may give temporary relief by neutralizing the putrification acid but makes the situation worse because it also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid needed for digestion, eventually making the situation worse than before.
Abdominal discomfort is the most common symptom of an ulcer. This discomfort usually
Other symptoms include weight loss, poor appetite, bloating, burping, nausea, and vomiting.
A burning sensation in the stomach doesn’t always mean you have an ulcer. This could be the acid of putrefaction or fermentation which gives heartburn or acid indigestion.
If you can't stomach the cabbage juice, a Standard Process product called GASTREX (a complex of chlorophyll, clay, silica, okra and a duodenal extract) will help detoxify and heal the stomach lining.
If you have mucous in the stool and an ulcer, take OKRA-PEPSIN E3. The pepsin, a protein digesting enzyme, works on the connective tissue of meats in the stomach as well as the mucous which builds up in the small intestine from undigested meats. Decongesting the intestines will increase the quantity of nutrients which can be assimilated through the intestinal villi.
If you need to raise your stomach acid so you can digest your proteins more easily, take ZYPAN. It contains HCL and pepsin for protein digestion, as well as pancreatin and pancreas extracts to aid in the digestion of protein fat, and carbohydrates. Pepsin is most active at pH of 2 or 3 and is completely inactive at a pH above 5 (an antacid can easily raise stomach pH to 6 or higher). If taking Zypan causes irritation, the stomach lining needs to be healed first, so take either Gastrex or Okra-Pepsin E3 before switching to ZYPAN.
THYROID FUNCTION/BODY TEMPERATURE
From http://www.ryandrum.com/thyroid1.html The largest of the endocrine glands, the one-half to one ounce thyroid gland is almost twice as large in women on average, than in men. Its overt function seems to be to manufacture, store, and release under strict controls, thyroid hormones, mostly thyroxin, T4, and T3, tri-iodothyronine, in about a 4:1 ratio. In very low iodine intake situations, that T4:T3 ratio is reversed to 1:4. This rather comfortable view of the mechanistic thyroid is incomplete: to quote Robbins (Pathology, 1967) further, "from the physiologic standpoint, the thyroid gland is one of the most sensitive organs in the body. It responds to many stimuli and IS IN A CONSTANT STATE OF ADAPTATION.... During puberty, pregnancy, and PHYSIOLOGIC STRESS FROM ANY SOURCE, THE THYROID GLAND INCREASES IN SIZE AND BECOMES MORE ACTIVE FUNCTIONALLY. Changes in size and activity may be observed during a normal menstrual cycle. This extreme functional changeability is manifest as transient hyperplasia of thyroidal epithelium (follicular cells) changing (to tall, columnar). When stress abates, involution obtains and normal follicular cell shape (roughly spherical) and function resume". Instead of just a passive hormone factory, the thyroid gland overtly changes size, shape and function to reflect the changing reality of its particular person. Patients and workshop participants regularly provide real anecdotal evidence (I usually give more credence to a person's evaluation of their own experience than I do to the numbers coming out of dead machines; remembering that all information is technically anecdotal, all machines are innately unreliable, data are usually massaged, and scientists are no less biased and prone to lying than the general population) about the apparent frequent overmedication with thyroid hormone replacement medications: namely, that they stopped taking their thyroid medications when they started to feel worse after several months or years, and they not only felt better, but their symptoms never returned. The joyful cynic can reasonably claim that the thyroid replacement hormone medication(s) worked. Sometimes yes and sometimes no, is my evaluation of the situation. I believe that brief thyroid hormone replacement therapy may be life-saving and or life-modulating; but, I also think that the increasing reliance on TSH tests and the aggressive attempts to normalize the thyroid gland and its functions of a particular patient may mask the greater need which is to understand what is the gain to the patient from a change in thyroid function. The other point often just dismissed now, is the full frontal location of the thyroid gland, with no bony protection on the anterior side unless head drop occurs. When I see the same patients over several years, modest changes in their respective thyroid size and sometimes shape are often evident, and resolve with no overt intervention. Unresolvable or otherwise overwhelming life situation stress often seems to be if not an initiating factor, at least an accompanying reality for benign thyroid enlargement. I am not yet clear from physiologic studies if nonpathological increased thyroid size is always accompanied by an increase in thyroid hormone production or release, or not. One interesting point is that impact trauma can apparently squeeze a burst of thyroid hormone out of the gland with a concomitant transient hyperthyroidism episode; this means a physical hit, or a compression squeeze from poorly placed shoulder belts in automobiles where the vehicle has been hit or has hit something and a whiplash event occurs. So, mechanical stress can also affect the thyroid gland. Many endocrine changes occur in anorexia nervosa, including low levels of T4 and T3.
I further believe that the situational low thyroid presentations (hypothyroidism) which seem to be initiated by a known life trauma, particularly loss of a loved one or similar grief-inducing events, are completely normal thyroid responses and very desirable components of the grief response and should not be treated unless acute (life-threatening), or persisting for more than one year. I believe that it is a failing of the cultural terrain that we do not honor and savor the natural grief response, with the personal consequence that many of us suffer from chronic secondary grief over the loss of therapeutic grieving and that this secondary grief is a major factor in the current plague of hypothyroidism."
Physiologically, about 95 percent of the active thyroid hormone is thyroxine, and most of the remaining 5 percent is triiodothyronine. Both of these require iodine for their synthesis. If there is an iodine deficiency, the thyroid cannot make sufficient hormone. This stimulates the anterior pituitary to secrete thyroid-stimulating hormone, which causes the thyroid gland to increase in size in a vain attempt to produce more hormones. But it cannot produce more hormones because it does not have the necessary raw material, iodine. This type of thyroid enlargement is called simple goiter or iodine deficiency goiter. Regarding alternative treatments, Ryan Drum has written extensively about the thyroid, the epidemic of low thyroid in the US and how to treat it. www.ryandrum.com
The immune system has the ability to raise body temperature to fight infection. But when your thyroid is underactive, or your potassium levels are low, your body has more difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature and creating a fever. Higher body temperatures increase metabolism and circulation, which helps your body's defenses to fight infections.
If your body temperature is suppressed due to an underactive thyroid, you can improve your thyroid by taking a liquid formulation of iodine known as Iosol (do not use antiseptic preparation of iodine found in the drugstore: they are poisonous when used internally). Start with 4 drops in water every day and reduce to 2 drops daily after 2 weeks. Fluoridated treated water can depress thyroid function, and affect those with iodine deficiency with levels as low as 0.7 mg a day,
If your body temperature is low due to low potassium levels, you can raise it by drinking more fruit and vegetable juices (preferably freshly made) and by cutting back on sodium intake.
Heavy metal toxicity can also lower body temperature. There are herbs, such as cilantro, Essiac tea, etc that can help draw heavy metals out of the body.
Taking up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper daily can also raise body temperature, as well as heal the mucous lining of your entire digestive tract, from your mouth to your anus.
Checking Your Thyroid Function: (Dr. Broda Barnes method)
Women in their menstrual years get the most accurate reading on the 2nd or 3rd day after menses starts.
1. Put an oral thermometer by your bedside. If you use a mercury one, shake it down to 96 degrees before going to sleep.
2. Try to awaken at approximately the same time every day, and before getting out of bed, place the thermometer in your armpit and leave it there for 10 minutes before getting out of bed.
3. Record the temperature. Repeat daily for 3-5 days and take an average of the temperatures. If it is between 98.2 and 97.2 it is considered normal. A temperature below this range indicates a sluggish thyroid or hypothyroid condition. Above this range, your thyroid is overactive or you have an infection.
What to know more? Check out this website: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
I read at one time that the average body temperature in the 1990's has dropped to 98.2-97.9 from the 1950's, when the average body temperature was 98.6.