One of my personal pet peeve's which I think applies to most of us centers around so-called experts and dietary advice or "scientific evidence." There is no one-size-fits-all diet due to normal human development and biological individuality. This simply means that as we age and change our diet will need to change. Just because a diet is good for someone else does not mean it's good for you and even a diet that was once good for you will likely not always be good for you. This should be common sense and is definitely my clinical experience but due to so many strong opinions, and the marketing nature of our society, confusion abounds. I, like many naturopathic doctors, like to occasionally run a food allergy and sensitivity blood test to see which foods are causing a strong reaction in the immune system. We also like to occasionally do an elimination diet consisting of a fast or very restrictive diet for up to six weeks in order to determine problematic foods. Benefits will often include less inflammation, better digestion, improved skin and brain function and sometimes a complete resolution of an illness. I believe that it is a myth and misleading to think there is one ideal diet food for you. I like to use the example of Bill Clinton and his famous vegan diet. Bill did a year of a vegan diet when he was overweight, red-faced and puffy with obvious inflammation and dietary over indulgences. After a year of a strict healthy vegan diet he completely resolved his issues. However, a thin female teenage vegan would often do poorly to continue this approach. And may do better on a Paleo type diet for a while.So it depends on who you are and what's happening in your life.
This is a nice article by Dr Wentz about Betaine HCl and Hashimoto's but it also helps explain much more. See below and enjoy and share. In Heath, Dr Brad
I''ve been getting a lot of questions regarding Betaine HCl with Pepsin lately. This supplement can reduce fatigue, pain and even weight, as well as improve mood in people with Hashimoto's. But there are a few precautions to take with this supplement. Read my full article below:
My Thyroid Fatigue Breakthrough
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll likely have heard of Betaine with Pepsin. Betaine with Pepsin was one of the most helpful supplements I came across during my health journey. I often tell the story about how this supplement changed my life. Excessive fatigue was my most challenging symptom.
I was chronically exhausted, and needed to sleep for 11 to 12 hours to feel human. Things didn’t get much better, despite starting thyroid medications in 2010, and even going gluten-free/dairy-free in 2011 (though the former reduced my cold intolerance, need for sleep by about one hour and anxiety, while the latter helped to eliminate my acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain and reduced my thyroid antibodies). You can read my full Hashimoto's story here.
I didn’t think the fatigue would ever leave. Quite honestly, I accepted it as part of who I was. But then, I started taking Betaine with Pepsin on Friday, February 10, 2012, one capsule with each meal containing protein. I was surprised to wake up the following morning at 8 am without an alarm. I had been dragging myself out of bed after 10 most mornings when I did not have to work. Strangely, I continued to feel energetic all day. I even stayed awake when my usually much more energetic husband took a nap. Things became easier, and all of a sudden, I felt that I had a surplus of time. I felt more at ease going to bed and even had time to meditate, something that I had been wanting to do for years!
As the week went on, I felt myself having more and more energy, and actually became more outgoing and talkative. Additionally, the mental fog was completely lifted, and I could come up with all sorts of clever words quickly! My co-workers commented on my good mood at work. My husband noticed that my sense of humor and memory even improved. I felt like my old, pre-Hashimoto’s self again, the self that I had not seen for almost ten years. I continued to increase the dose of Betaine with Pepsin, until one day, I woke up at 5:17 a.m. and decided to start writing the book: Hashimoto's Root Cause.
I had always loved writing, and dreamed about writing a book that would help others. I even took a writing workshop in 2007-the instructor suggested that working people have the best chance of writing a book by waking up two hours prior to their usual rising time, and write. With a full-time job and my sleep demands, I thought becoming an author would be impossible, and I gave up that dream. But now, here I was ... doing the impossible, waking up a few hours before work and writing! Certainly, I thought, if I could wake up energized after only six hours of sleep after feeling chronically exhausted for ten years I could easily overcome Hashimoto’s and then write a book about it to help everyone else figure it out!
This was a huge breakthrough. I figured out that I had been suffering from low stomach acid!
Low Stomach acid and Hashimoto’s…
Studies have found that people with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism often have hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) or achlorhydria (lack of stomach acid).
When we have low stomach acid, this puts us at greater risk for many undesirable health consequences
There aren’t too many tell-tale signs of low stomach acid, other than perhaps feeling full and tired after meals as well as experiencing acid reflux like symptoms. Nonetheless, low stomach acid is very common in Hashimoto’s. Signs and symptoms that would leave me to believe that a person with Hashimoto’s had low stomach acid include: acid reflux symptom (this “condition” that is conventionally treated with acid suppressants can actually be caused by low stomach acid), low B12, ferritin, or iron levels, fatigue despite thyroid medications and constipation/diarrhea.
What is Betaine HCl and Pepsin?
Betaine HCl and Pepsin are naturally occurring components of gastric-juice that make nutrients and amino acids from our protein containing foods more bioavailable by breaking down protein bonds. They are especially important for proper absorption of protein, calcium, B12 and iron.
Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that is isolated from beets, and the acidic HCl version of it promotes gastric lumen acidity. Betaine HCl used to be available as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, marketed as a “stomach acidifier and digestive aid”, but it was removed from OTC use in 1993 due to “insufficient evidence of it working”, and banished to being a “dietary supplement” by the FDA (dietary supplement companies cannot make claims of the effectiveness of their products, while drug companies can make specific claims). However, studies done in 2014, did indeed find that Betaine HCl can re-acidify gastric pH.
In other forms, trimethylglycine is also used to reduce fat tissue and increase lean muscle mass in pigs (though there are no studies to support it can do the same for humans), can be helpful for breaking down homocysteine, especially in those with the MTHFR gene mutation, and can be a helpful adjunct in depression, though increasing endogenous amount of SAMe, a naturally occurring substance with mood boosting and pain relieving properties, that is also available as a supplement in the US and drug in other countries.
Pepsin is a naturally occurring digestive enzyme that breaks apart proteins into smaller pieces so they can be properly absorbed by the small intestine. In supplements, pepsin is usually derived from porcine sources.
How Betaine with Pepsin Can Help with Hashimoto’s
In my May 2015 survey of 2232 people with Hashimoto’s, out of 627 people who took Betaine HCl and Pepsin , 59% of people said that it made them feel better, 33% said that it made them feel worse, while 7% saw no difference in symptoms. Based on the improvement rates, this leads me to believe that 50-70% of people with Hashimoto’s are likely deficient in stomach acid. Those that felt worse, were likely not deficient- taking the supplement can make a person with adequate stomach amounts feel worse for a short time (burning in the throat and stomach upset may occur). Those that did not see improvement may not have been dosed adequately, as Betaine with Pepsin dosage needs to be individualized.
The biggest improvements seen after taking this supplement were improved energy levels (58% of those who found it helpful reported this), reduced pain (40% reported this, to my surprise), and improved mood (35%). One fourth of people felt that this supplement also helped them with losing weight.
Betaine HCl and Pepsin, which supports stomach acid production, can make a tremendous difference in a person’s symptoms because once we begin to digest our proteins correctly, a few great things can happen:
But some people should NOT take Betaine with Pepsin…
For example, people who have a history of peptic ulcers or gastritis or take NSAIDs, steroids, or other medications that can cause an ulcer, should not take Betaine with Pepsin.
Signs and symptoms of an ulcer- dull pain in stomach, weight loss, nausea/vomiting/acid-reflux, bloating/burping, *pain improves when you eat, drink or take antacids
Signs and symptoms of gastritis-gnawing/burning in your upper abdomen, nausea/vomiting, fullness after eating. *symptoms can improve or get worse after eating
Using this supplement in excess can lead to stomach irritation, and I always recommend a slow dose titration to determine your optimal dose.
A person using proton pump inhibitor medications would not likely want to take Betaine with Pepsin, as these medications and the Betaine with Pepsin have opposing effects.
Additionally, while having hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s in itself can cause low stomach acid, as can ageing and in some cases this can be a genetic issue, there are other root causes of low stomach acid that need to be considered.
Addressing these root causes should always be done in conjunction with Betaine HCl with Pepsinsupplementation:
Betaine HCl and Pepsin should be taken after a protein-rich meal, starting with one capsule per meal, at the end of the meal.
The dose should be increased by one more capsule at each meal until symptoms of too much acid are felt (burping, burning, warming in the stomach region, etc.).
At that point, you will know that your dose is one capsule less than what resulted in symptoms.
Drinking a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water can reduce these temporary symptoms.
Meal No. 1: Took one capsule, didn’t feel symptoms
Meal No. 2: Took one capsule, didn’t feel symptoms
Meal No. 3: Took three capsules, didn’t feel symptoms
Meal No. 4: Took four capsules, felt symptoms
Target dose is: three capsules
Recommended Supplement Brand
I use the Pure Encapsulations brand of Betaine with Pepsin. The betaine is derived from beets, while the pepsin is porcine derived. It contains Vitamin C, which is derived from non-GMO corn dextrose. The dextrose, a corn sugar, is consumed in the creation of the Vitamin C, and does not contain corn proteins, which are the reactive component of corn for most people with Hashimoto’s who are corn sensitive. The supplement itself is hypoallergenic.
Alternate Ways to Support Stomach Acid
Others have found that apple cider vinegar (one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in one glass of cold water) and/or lemon juice (squeeze the juice of one lemon into a cup of hot water) can support digestion in some cases of low stomach acid.
*Please note, this article is for informational purposes only, and I am not able to advise on whether this supplement or any other supplement would be appropriate for you and your specific health needs without a comprehensive health assessment. Please discuss the use of supplements with your personal doctor or pharmacist.
Hope this message helps you on your thyroid journey!
Your Thyroid Pharmacist,
Dr. Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP
P.S. Have you seen improvements in your health through the root cause approach? Do you want to help others do the same? If so, I hope that you'll join me in my mission to help people with Hashimoto's recover their health!
Should You Take a Multivitamin? (PART 1)
Up to two-thirds of adults use supplements on a regular basis  despite the fact that many authorities say they should not:
“. . . vitamins are correlated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer… stop taking vitamins.” 
Dr. David Agus does a good job summing up the conventional stance on supplements in a recent Forbes interview. Here is a related quote from another article expressing the same sentiment:
“the only thing that taking vitamin supplements could do for you was to produce expensive pee. . .If you eat a well-rounded diet, you don’t need vitamin supplementation.”
Do vitamins create little more than expensive urine?
In this first installment, I’ll discuss some of the latest studies that were done to see if supplements improve health. In the next installment, I’ll discuss considerations that will help you make an informed decision based on your personal needs.
Over the last few years, the largest studies on multivitamins/multiminerals evaluated how they affected risks for heart disease, cancer and cataracts.
One study gathered data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II, conducted between 1988 and 1994. The survey polled 8,678 adults that were over 40-years-old. At this point, 45% of the participants had used supplements in the last 30 days. The supplements used the most included multivitamin/multiminerals and multivitamins.
In this study, a group of women took multivitamins for over three years. They had a 35% reduction in heart disease which lasted as many as 18 years.
These findings held true, even after factoring out variables that could predict heart disease risk, such as:
Next to heart disease, the largest threat we face is cancer. One of the largest studies ever done to find the causes of breast cancer was the Women’s Health Initiative Study (WHI). It tracked 161,608 women, ages 50-79, for five years.
The study tracked use of multivitamins, as well as single-ingredient vitamins, including calcium, zinc and vitamin D. Tragically 7,728 women developed breast cancer during the study, and 518 died from it. When comparing deaths of those who took multivitamins as opposed to those who did not, the evidence showed those taking multivitamins were 30% less likely to die. In concrete terms, this means had all women been taking multivitamins, 155 more would have survived breast cancer.
We’ve seen similar results in men with prostate cancer. A large study of 14,641 male physicians were tracked for 14 years to see how the use of multivitamins influenced their risk of prostate cancer. This study included a placebo group who took pills that looked like multivitamins but contained no active nutrients. The men taking real multivitamins were 8% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those taking a placebo.
The same group of men was also monitored for their risk of developing cataracts. The multivitamins protected 127 from having their vision jeopardized by cataracts.
Given these studies, it is clear that vitamins can reduce deaths from cancer and heart disease and reduce the incidence of cataracts.
I find this evidence compelling enough to invest in my health. Having said that, there are several considerations you should make regarding your age, gender and health that can guide your decisions to ensure the best benefits. These will be the focus of the next article.
Mike Stobbe, “Vitamins: How Many Americans Use Them?” The Huffington Post, June 13, 2012, accessed July 23, 2015,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/13/vitamin-use_n_848777.html
2 Robert Lenzner, “Dr. David Agus Wants All His Billionaire Patients To Live To Be 100,” Forbes Investing Digest, January 12, 2014, accessed July 23, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2014/01/12/dr-david-agus-wants-all-his-billionaire-patients-to-live-to-be-100/
3 Orac, December 19, 2013, “Supplements: Flushing your money down the toilet in expensive urine,” Science Blogs, accessed July 23, 2015, http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/12/19/supplements-flushing-your-money-down-the-toilet-in-expensive-urine/
4 Regan L Bailey, Tala H Fakhouri, Yikyung Park, Johanna T Dwyer, Paul R Thomas, Jaime J Gahche, Paige E Miller, Kevin W Dodd, Christopher T Sempos and David M Murray, “Multivitamin-Mineral Use Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among Women in the United States,” The Journal of Nutrition, accessed July 23, 2015, doi: 10.3945/jn.114.20474
5 Roni Caryn Rabin, May 5, 2014 (3:54 p.m.), “A New Women’s Issue: Statins,” Well Blog, accessed July 23, 2015,http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/05/a-new-womens-issue-statins/
6 Prof Paul M Ridker, MD, Aruna Pradhan, MD, Jean G MacFadyen, BA, Prof Peter Libby, MD, Prof Robert J Glynn, ScD, “Cardiovascular benefits and diabetes risks of statin therapy in primary prevention: an analysis from the JUPITER trial,” The Lancet Journal, 380 (9841): 565-71, accessed July 23, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61190-8.
7 S, Wassertheil-Smoler, A.P. McGinn, N. Budrys, R. Chlebowski, G. Y Ho, K.C. Johnson, D.S. Lan, W. Li, M. L. Neuhouser, J. Saquib, J. M. Shikany, Y. Song and C. Thomson, “Multivitamin and mineral use and breast cancer mortality in older women with invasive breast cancer in the women’s health initiative,” U S National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, accessed July 23, 2015, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3902175/
This is a question anyone with a new diagnosis of thyroid disease will naturally ask. I hear it several times each week in my practice. I think it is important to understand for several reasons.One is just intellectual curiosity. When things go wrong, we want to know why in order to have some sense of understanding and control. Without it, we are left unsure of what else might go wrong unexpectedly.Another is prevention. If this happened to you, what can you learn that might help prevent your loved ones from experiencing it?
One of the most useful reasons for understanding why you have thyroid disease is this: By knowing how it happened, the steps that will help you feel better become more apparent.Thyroid disease is primarily an immune disease. In this article, I’ll explain why your immune system attacks your thyroid. In the next, I’ll explain the most common ways this plays out, namely Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.To understand how your thyroid can go wrong, let me first explain a few key concepts related to it, your immunity and your genes.
Nutrients - Your thyroid needs iodine in order to function. At first glance, that does not seem too unusual. Many parts of your body need nutrients to work right. In some ways, however, this relationship is different. As best we can tell, you’re thyroid is the only part of your body that needs iodine. This is unusual. Every other nutrient we know of is used for many body processes with a large variety of reactions.Another unusual thing about iodine and your thyroid is that it needs a pump. All of the other nutrients our body uses are found in adequate amounts in our bloodstream (assuming we are not deficient). Your bloodstream cannot carry enough iodine for a thyroid, so your thyroid has a pump that pulls iodine inside of it at concentrations up to 100 times what is found in the blood. This pump can be part of the problem leading to thyroid disease because it can pull toxins inside your thyroid, along with the iodine. Ironically, the best-documented toxins to trigger thyroid disease not only include iodine itself, but also perchlorate, lead, mercury and over 200 other environmental chemicals.
Immunity - The other player involved in this response is your immune system. Overall, your immune system acts like a home security guard. Its job is to keep dangerous bacteria, viruses and fungi from getting inside your body and hurting you. Imagine a home security guard attacking your mail carrier. When the guard attacks something from outside of you that is not dangerous, we call this an allergy. Imagine the security guard attacking your pet by mistake. Your pet is harmless, and it’s supposed to be inside your home. When your immune system attacks something that is supposed to be inside of you, we call this an autoimmune reaction. In most cases, you are better off when your immune system attacks something unnecessary rather than when it ignores something dangerous. Allergies may be a nuisance, but they are better than letting bacteria create septic shock. If your home security guard was overworked and had a high stress load, he may be more apt to attack the wrong things. It is also true that your immune system is more likely to make mistakes when it has more stress, like ongoing infections, allergies or problems in the intestinal tract.
Other Hormones - Your thyroid gland is an interconnected part of your endocrine system. Each gland in the system has a distinct rule, yet they also interact with one another. The glands that have the most ties with your thyroid include the ovaries and the adrenals. This is one of the reasons women get more thyroid disease than men. When the adrenal glands change their output of stress hormones, this can both stress the immune system and make your cells not absorb thyroid hormones properly. The ovaries produce estrogen, which causes your liver to make proteins that weaken the thyroid hormones. Because of this, anytime there is a big change in the ovaries, it can cause the thyroid strain. These times include pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.Genes
The last part of this equation is your genetic make-up. The data is very strong that disease runs in families. This happens because toxins are part of the chain of events that trigger thyroid disease, and there are genes that determine how effectively you can detoxify your body. We are all exposed to countless chemicals each day. Some have estimated there are over three million new chemicals in our environment since the 1900s. You can think of your genetic ability to detoxify as how stain-resistant a fabric is. With some fabrics, you can spill pasta sauce or berries and know they will rinse right off. With others, it will be stained forever by the same foods. Even though we are all exposed to toxins, some of us are apt to have more of those toxins stay inside of us than others.Now that you understand the players, here’s how it all can produce the perfect storm that leads to thyroid disease:
Step one: You have some degree of genetic susceptibility to thyroid disease. Choose your parents wisely.
Step two: Your body is exposed to chemicals that can be concentrated within your thyroid. These build up inside the thyroid and create chronic inflammation.
Step three: Fluctuations in hormones from your ovaries or adrenals may cause strain on your thyroid.
Step four: Some stressor to your immune system, like an infection, an airborne allergy or a food reaction, causes it to become too aggressive.
Step five: Your immune system now starts to attack your thyroid.Understanding these steps is helpful to reduce your risk of thyroid disease. For those who have thyroid disease, understanding these steps should help you understand the steps that should be taken to regain your health.
(c) 2015- Integrative Health Care, PC Dr. Alan Christianson is an Arizona-based Naturopathic Physician who helps people overcome adrenal and thyroid disorders and achieve lasting fat loss. He authored the New York Times' bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease. Dr. Christianson is the founding physician behind Integrative Health.
Sometimes a casual conversation can be predictive. That's what happened to me last week. I was having dinner with a prominent New York psychiatrist. We were talking about the recent tragedy involving that apparent suicide of a pilot who deliberately crashed his plane carrying 150 passengers. The question was why would anybody kill themselves that way? Why not just kill yourself? Why take down so many people with you? My colleague gave a sobering answer."Frank," he said, "I'll bet you anything that he was on psychiatric medication. Almost every time anyone does anything crazy violent like that, it's the result of these medications." He went on to say that in certain people, psychiatric medications affect their brain in such a way that they sometimes have difficulty telling the difference between what is real and what isn't. "They seem to see reality like a kind of video game," he said. "This pilot probably did not fully realize that what he was doing was really real." This experienced doctor's statement really got to me. And so, as soon as I could, I started searching for clues on what really happened. I didn't have to go far.
What if I told you there's an ancient folk remedy for the deadly MRSA superbug? You might think I'm crazy. But a team of researchers recently discovered this cure — and it works!Anglo-Saxon expert Dr. Christina Lee works at the School of English at Nottingham University in Great Britain. But how is it that this history professor ends up doing medical research? Well, it turns out that there is a leather bound Old English 10th century manuscript in the British Library called "Bald's Leechbook." The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks. It contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves, and other treatments. One day, when perusing through the old book, Dr. Lee came upon a thousand-year-old medieval remedy for eye infections.
The recipe calls for garlic, onion, leek, wine, and oxgall. Now you are probably okay with the first ingredients, but what in the world is oxgall? Stand by. It's the bile from a cow's stomach. How you get that I am not sure. I am sure you have to have a pretty cooperative cow. But however you get it, oxgall is an essential part of the remedy. The manuscript also describes a very specific method of making the remedy. It includes a brass vessel to brew it in, a strainer to purify it, and the instruction to let the mixture set for nine days before use. So what did Dr. Lee do with this concoction?
Well, the first thing she did was to make it. But she didn't stop there. She worked with some microbiologists to see if it could kill the deadly superbug MRSA (multi-drug resistant staph aureus). As you probably know, MRSA is resistant to most antibiotics, and is the cause of many deaths and amputations. Here's what they did.
Learn More NowThey infected a group of mice with MRSA and then treated the infected wounds with the remedy. The remedy worked unbelievably well. Amazingly, only about one bacterial cell in a thousand survived in the wounds! Here's what Dr. Freya Harrison, who led the work in the laboratory, had to say about the results. "We thought that Bald's eye salve might show a small amount of antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on bacteria in the lab. But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was." Co-scientist Dr. Steve Diggle added: "When we found that it [the remedy] could actually disrupt and kill cells in MRSA biofilms, I was genuinely amazed." The scientists presented their findings at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology in Birmingham. Now this is a pretty interesting story, but you don't have to find a complicit cow to kill MRSA.
There is another very old remedy that works even better on MRSA. Many doctors all around the world have been using it for decades. I have personally saved the legs of two patients who were scheduled for amputations for MRSA infections using this remedy. The remedy was first discovered in 1785 by Dutch physicist Martinus Van Marum. It's called ozone. Ozone can cure MRSA infections and other difficult infections both alone and in combination with antibiotics. It can be used either as a direct application of the ozone gas, or by using ozonated water or oils.
So if you or a loved one has been told that you have a MRSA infection that won't respond to antibiotics, you don't need to go out and find a cow willing to share his oxgall. Just find a doctor trained in the use of ozone for these infections. You can find one at the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website: www.aaot.us.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
"Anglo-Saxon cow bile and garlic potion kills MRSA." By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor 1:12PM BST 30 Mar 2015http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Bialoszewski D, Pietruczuk-Padzik A, Kalicinska A, et al. Activity of ozonated water and ozone against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Med Sci Monit. 2011 Nov;17(11):BR339-344.
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Thank to Drs Alan Christianson and Lauren Beardsley for this nice summary article! -
"Do you find yourself feeling more run down, achy, congested or moody? Are you having more headaches, stiffness, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating or food cravings?
Whether or not you are experiencing a few of these common symptoms associated with toxic burden, detoxifying is a critical tool to help you maintain your health and be your most vibrant you. Similar to taking your car in for a deep cleaning, your body needs to be given a clean slate every so often.
There are various ways to detox: a short-term fast, juicing, consuming strictly raw foods or merely focusing on functional foods. Regardless of how we decide to approach a detox, a crucial piece is ensuring our elimination pathways are functioning at an optimal level. We must ask ourselves:
Ensuring you are having regular bowel movements is a good place to begin. Supporting good bowel health can be achieved by healthy hydration, along with good amounts of whole foods and fiber in your diet. Avoid stimulating laxatives (senna, aloe or bisacodyl), and seek out more bulk-forming laxatives, like agar, psyllium, kelp and plant gum in a more natural, supportive approach. Magnesium in the forms of magnesium citrate, malate or glycinate can also help encourage regularity.
Hydrating an adequate amount throughout the day is crucial in supporting your body in eliminating toxins. The main rule of thumb is consuming at least half your bodyweight in fluid ounces; however, if you are active and sweating, that demand can triple.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and along with protecting us from outside pathogens, our skin eliminates toxins through sweat. There are great activities that encourage sweating, such as exercise, steam rooms, saunas and detox baths. Be sure to shower after sweating to prevent reabsorption of toxicants.
We often forget that exhalation is a form of release. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide to maintain internal balance. We also use our breath to release emotional, toxic build-up. When our breath becomes choppy and shallow, we hold onto emotional toxins and retain more tension. By creating awareness of our breath and maintaining smooth, deep, rhythmic breaths in and out, we are more capable of letting go.
The detox organ, the liver, must be up to the challenge for a successful detoxification experience. It is here that the vast majority of substances are broken down to then be eliminated by the body. Avoid liver-offending substances, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, sugar and other medications. Supplement your diet with liver-supportive substances and foods, such as milk thistle, artichoke, turmeric, omega-3s, garlic, avocado, lemon, beets and green tea, to name a few.
Your lymphatic system is designed to gather toxic substances from the tissue and return them to circulation to then be eliminated. Exercise is a great way to increase circulation and encourage lymphatic movement. Lymphatic massage is also a passive technique to optimize this elimination pathway. One can also use these DIY home remedies to encourage lymphatic drainage:
A mental, emotional and spiritual detox can also accompany a physical one. Often, the two can have a complimentary effect. Cleaning out your mind translates into a cleaner life and vice versa. Try tidying up the house or completing a task you have been putting off for a while. Engaging in a favorite hobby and limiting television will help to rid of old habits and encourage more creativity. Lastly, ensure you are finding relaxation daily to allow your nervous system to shift into “rest and digest,” a necessary state for detox and elimination.
(c) 2015- Integrative Health Care, PC
Dr. Lauren Beardsley is a licensed Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping individuals replenish, restore and renew balance. She received her Medical degree from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (SCNM). Prior to medical school, she worked with the University of Arizona in Cardiovascular Research and Diabetic health as well as with Scottsdale Healthcare completing research in Family/Community medicine. She received post graduate training in athletic performance optimization, pain management using physical manipulation and injection therapy, women’s health and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. In 2012, she was named one of Phoenix Magazines’s “Top Docs.” Dr. Beardsley brings her passion for health and wellness to Integrative Health and specializes in stress rehabilitation, hormonal optimization and pain management. She is dedicated to providing patients with answers to their questions and joining them in determining the best path toward restoration of health.Dr. Beardsley can be reached at www.MyIntegrativeHealth.com and 480-657-0003
Here is an interesting write-up of a recent study on AGE's or damage from browning or blackening foods.
From the prestigious Journal of Nutrition and Dr Frank Shallenberger. - enjoy and cut back your sugars!
Don't throw out your grill just yet — new study might save the BBQ
You may have heard that grilling is bad for you. That's because when you heat food on your grill to high temperatures, the characteristic "browning" makes AGEs. That is the "advanced glycation end products." AGEs are molecules that are formed when a sugar molecule reacts with a protein. When that happens, the protein becomes damaged. This can be a big problem when the protein is in the kidney or in the blood vessels. It can lead to heart disease, blindness, atherosclerosis, and kidney disease. So the fewer AGEs you have in your body, the better.But here's the thing. You can also get AGEs in your food. Many assumed that because AGEs in your body are bad for you, eating them can be bad too. But no one had ever proved this assumption.
In fact, many have said no, the AGEs in food don't count because they don't actually destroy body proteins. But others have warned that it may not be that simple. And now a new study has proven that the AGEs you eat are not a problem.
How to Get Better Circulation
so you can have a stronger heart, more energy, a better memory, and even better skin toneNew discovery boosts circulation from head to toe, even to tiny capillaries where blood is hard to reach. Proven in studies.
Learn More NowThe study looked at the effect of a diet high in AGEs in 24 healthy men and women between the ages of 50-69. Before the study started, the researchers measured various factors that can be influenced by AGEs when they are made in the body. The tests included peripheral arterial tonometry. This is a test that determines something called endothelial function. The endothelial cells are those that are primarily responsible for circulation. Poor endothelial function is what causes most of the problems attributed to AGEs.
They also measured all the important markers of AGEs (soluble receptor for AGEs and endogenous secretory receptor for AGEs) as well as markers of inflammation (interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, vascular adhesion molecule-1, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptors I and II). The point in listing all these tests is just to let you know that they missed virtually nothing in this study.
Once the tests were in the bag, the researchers gave half of the participants a diet high in AGEs, and the other half a diet low in AGEs. Then after six weeks, they rechecked all the tests again. What happened? Absolutely nothing. There was no difference at all in any of the tests. The effect of eating all those high AGEs foods was negligible. The results of this study should close the door on all the debate.
Browning your food isn't dangerous. But it does make it taste great. So eating BBQ, grilled meats, brown rice, and sautéed vegetables isn't a problem. This is good news for food lovers. But it's also a sobering reminder for sugar eaters. The more sugar you eat, the higher your blood sugar will be, the more AGEs your body will make, and the faster your body will age.
One inexpensive and easy-to-do test that can indicate how much AGEs are forming in your body is the A1c blood test. A1c measures the amount of glycation that has taken place on the hemoglobin protein. It is a pretty good indicator of how much glycation is probably taking place in your body right now. Normal levels are between 4.6 to 5.8%. But lower is better. So enjoy your grilled meats and veggies, but skip any additional sugar.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
REF: Semba RD, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ, et al. Dietary intake of advanced glycation end products did not affect endothelial function and inflammation in healthy adults in a randomized controlled trial. J Nutr. 2014 Jul;144(7):1037-42.
Rebooting your System with Periodic Juice Feasting! By Dr. Brad West
Periodic juice dieting or fasting is one of the quickest ways to increase the elimination of wastes and enhance the reparative process of the body. Although fasts are generally safe, consulting a doctor or expert for a physical exam and evaluation before undertaking a fast is wise. If you are on any medications or have any chronic illnesses, slight alterations may be necessary. Joining a group is ideal for support and success.
The ideal time to begin a fast is when hunger disappears or at the first sign of illness, fever or sluggish feelings. A short fast can be implemented at any time. Choose a weekend or period of time when you can prepare yourself with time, supplies and a good plan. Decreasing your stress and activities while making sure to maintain or even increase your exercise is essential to burn fat and retain muscle mass. The more you can rest during the fast, while also balancing with up to two hours of lower-intensity exercise, the better your results will be. Walking up and down hills in a peaceful place, doing yoga, moderate weight lifting and aerobic activity are ideal. Your energy will often increase, actually, during this time and can be directed towards detoxification, weight-loss and healing, instead of other bodily functions such as immune, digestive and stress responses.
A positive mental outlook towards fasting is essential. So, it helps to know that the benefits include decreased weight, clearer skin, increased elimination, tissue repair, decreased pain, inflammation and allergies, increased concentration, and rejuvenation. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the satisfaction that you can play a major role in optimizing your health.
Only filtered, organic juices, teas and pure water should be taken by mouth while fasting and filtered or spring water is best. Vegetable juices such as carrot, beat and celery are very nutritious and alkalizing, which help offset our acidic diet and lives. Using juice would actually be considered an elimination diet since nutrients are ingested. The quantity of juice and water should be dictated by thirst and symptoms, but you need to drink at least half your bodies weight in ounces (i.e. a 150lb person drinks a minimum of 75 ounces). Losing vitamins or minerals is not usually of concern in a short fast. Humans have adapted biochemical mechanisms to exist for long periods without food.
Staying warm and cleansing the skin with saunas and lukewarm water is encouraged, but extremes in temperature can be innervating, so avoid. Try to also avoid deodorants, soaps, sprays, detergents and synthetic chemicals.
Sunlight is essential for healthy cells. Try to obtain at least 10-20 minutes per day. Rest is the most important aspect of the fast, try to take a nap or two during the day. You will probably require less sleep at night, since your daily digestion and activity has decreased, however, more sleep may be required as well.
Enemas or colonics are not always necessary during a Tahara juice fast but this will depend on your individual health. If you are worried about constipation, extra emphasis on pre-fast meals of fresh fruit and vegetables will assist with elimination, and a gentle laxative can be used the night before beginning the liquid diet. Colonics and coffee enemas can also be utilized periodically to increase cleansing and detoxification of the liver and skin, particularly, and fasting is an ideal time to do this.
Body temperature usually drops during a fast, along with decreased blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. This is further evidence of the inherent wisdom of the body to conserve energy. Try to stay warm. You may want to use a hot water bottle to stay warm at night and dress up during the day as well as while exercising to promote warmth and sweating.
Most discomfort during fasting is usually brief as the body works quickly to restore homeostasis (balance). In the beginning, you may experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, a coated tongue, bad odor, mild palpitations or mucous discharge. These symptoms are generally all normal. You may experience any or none of these. If your symptoms are INTOLERABLE and PERSIST, notify your doctor or break your fast with an orange or watermelon and resume fasting when symptoms disappear.
While fasting, it is imperative to avoid coffee, caffeine tea, juice pulp, soda, cigarettes or anything else by mouth. Avoid the smell and sight of food if possible. If you have to prepare food for other family members, satisfy your senses with the aroma. Try to keep your mind off food by reading a book (especially a book on fasting) listening to music, writing a letter, or watching a movie. Do not spend too long at any one activity. Remember: balancing rest, exercise and honoring nature is the key to a successful fast.
“Any fool can fast, but it takes a wiseman to break it”, is an old saying, bringing attention to the extreme importance of doing it right. Foods need to be simple and whole that are easy to digest. Eat food slowly and thoroughly, limit the quantity, and enjoy! Overeating can undo the benefits derived from a fast, so be VERY careful and review the types of foods to start with first and avoid sodium for the first week or two, at least. Food allergies and intolerances are much easier to identify now, so have a plan to do this.
It is important to realize that fasting is only one part of a total health optimizing program and that fresh air, rest, exercise, sunshine, pure water, emotional poise and wholesome food are equally important to build and maintain health.