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Healing Solutions Health & Nutrition

25 Aug '15

Auto Immune Diseases Are On The Rise: Holistic Approaches For The Auto Immune Epidemic

Posted by Karen Dame

 

Autoimmune (AI) disorders are among the most difficult diseases of our modern age, and their rates are skyrocketing. Beyond the life-sapping symptoms, there’s the element of betrayal. Instead of defending the body, the immune system goes rogue, attacking joints, organs, tissues, even the brain, causing inflammation and destruction.

In the U.S., as many as 23 million people, mostly women, suffer from more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases. These conditions often share vague symptoms, at least in the beginning: fatigue, mild fever, difficulty concentrating, allergies and unexplained pains. Misdiagnoses are extremely common and all too often the disease is blamed on psychological factors.

For many, a clear diagnosis comes at the end of a long road of struggle and self-doubt.  And once diagnosed, treatment options are limited.

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for autoimmune disorders. Most AI therapies are designed to control symptoms rather than address causes – because we still don’t conclusively know what those underlying causes are. Conventional treatments suppress flare ups and include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune suppressors and other medications – all of which can have significant side effects.

The good news in that there are a handful of holistic approaches that can help manage these conditions and reduce disease severity, help control a rogue immune system and ease some of the discomfort.

What’s happening to the body

On the simplest level, autoimmune diseases can be viewed as the result of a communication breakdown. For some reason, immune cells lose the ability to differentiate between healthy tissue and disease-causing invaders. In type 1 diabetes, for example, immune cells destroy pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin and keep blood sugar under control.

All autoimmune conditions share this theme of self-destruction: Addison’s disease, lupus, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis; the list goes on. They’re all a result of attack on specific tissues by an out-of-control immune system.

Theories abound

Until recently, many scientists felt that autoimmune disorders were caused entirely by genetics. However, continuing research is showing that it’s much more complex. The saying, “genetics may be the gun, but it’s the environment that pulls the trigger” has gained a lot of traction in this field.

There’s increasing evidence that chronic exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins can increase a person’s risk of developing one of these disorders. For example, lupus clusters have been observed in farmworkers heavily exposed to specific pesticides, and in other areas of increased toxin exposure.

In general, there’s a growing belief among scientists and doctors that our accumulated exposure to toxins is sending the immune system into overdrive, particularly in sensitive individuals.

The potential role of bacteria

Researchers have suspected that bacteria and other pathogens may also play a role in AI diseases. In some cases, an infection may start off with a normal immune response, but escalate into an overreaction that becomes chronic.

Other research is showing that bacteria found in the gut, our individual microbiome, may play a significant role in AI diseases. We know that the species of gut bacteria varies greatly between individuals and even cultures (pun intended). One study conducted by Harvard, Sloan-Kettering and NYU showed an association between the bacterium Prevotella copri and rheumatoid arthritis. They found P. copri in 75 percent of stool samples from patients who had just been diagnosed with RA, but only in 21 percent of samples from healthy people. This is a fascinating area of research which one day may open the door to innovative forms of treatment.

Why women?

Women are three times more likely to develop an autoimmune condition, and women of childbearing age seem to be at particular risk. Once again, we don’t understand the mechanisms involved, but hormonal influences are suspected to play a role. Toxins are known to bind to estrogen receptors, so there may be hormonal dysregulation fueling the reaction.

Stress may also be a factor, triggering cascades of pro-inflammatory hormones. Women who are juggling career, family, etc. are particularly at risk for the type of chronic stress that keeps the body in overdrive mode, which in turn may contribute to autoimmune conditions.

On a mind-body level, modern society pushes women to be more critical of themselves and to sacrifice their own needs. When viewed from a holistic perspective, this type of “self-sabotage” is similar to what’s happening on a cellular level in AI diseases. Being mindful of this burn-out risk and taking time to practice loving self-care can benefit people struggling with autoimmune conditions — both men and women.

Managing an autoimmune condition

With limited conventional treatment options — none of which address root causes — a holistic approach is an important part of effective AI management. This includes diet, exercise, stress reduction, trigger avoidance and targeted supplementation.

An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle form the basic foundation for health — in AI disease, this approach is a must. Emphasize organic produce and meats, lean protein, lots vegetables, some brightly colored fruits, healthy fats, raw nuts and seeds and unprocessed foods. I particularly recommend cruciferous vegetables which, when metabolized, produce a compound called DIM that helps maintain hormone balance in addition, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, chard, kale and cabbage are excellent detoxifiers. A recent study found that a drink made from broccoli sprouts helped remove the highly prevalent toxin, benzene. (*For individuals with Hypothyroid and Hashimotos Disease, cruciferous produce should be cooked or lightly steamed.)

Sugar is inflammatory, so be sure to limit intake as much as possible. The same is true of alcohol, caffeine and gluten, as well as processed foods full of inflammatory chemicals.

Addressing food sensitivities/allergies is also a must, as certain foods can be powerful inflammatory triggers that damage the protective gut lining where much of our immune activity takes place. An elimination diet is a good first step, but this is an area best explored with a qualified healthcare provider.

It’s also a good idea to support our microbiota by incorporating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchee. These are rich in nutrients, enzymes and healthy bacteria to help balance the immune system.

Sleep is another critical component to address. Research continues to show the profound impact of restful sleep on all areas of health. Melatonin, the master sleep hormone produced in response to darkness, triggers a cascade of signals that influence neurological, hormonal, immune, cellular function and more. It makes sense that when we are in tune with our natural circadian sleep/wake cycles, that our other systems are better able to maintain proper balance.

Meditation and meditative practices like yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong have shown benefit for sleep disturbances, and have a favorable impact on the immune system. Since these practices lower inflammatory stress hormones, they can be a very effective part of a daily routine for managing an autoimmune condition.

In addition, I always urge my patients to identify and avoid personal inflammatory triggers that cause their symptoms to flare up. These can be highly individual: dust, molds, animals, certain foods, or a specific household product.

Medicinal mushrooms

You may have heard that medicinal mushrooms are immune boosters, which is true. But that’s only part of the story. They actually seem to train the immune system to respond appropriately.

If all mushrooms did was gear up the immune system, it wouldn’t make sense to use them to combat an autoimmune response. So it’s important to understand that mushrooms are more immune modulators than immune boosters. They can be useful both to accentuate an underactive immune response, and to tamp down an overactive one. In other words, medicinal mushrooms have the innate ability to help the body find immune balance. In addition, mushrooms can be quite helpful in any detoxification regimen, as their porous structures tend to absorb toxins. I recommend reishi, coriolus, cordyceps, polyporus, agaricus and others.

Tibetan herbal formula

Botanicals and herbs that regulate inflammatory responses in the body are also important in the management of AI diseases, along with antioxidants to mop up free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. I especially recommend a Tibetan herbal formula to regulate healthy immune responses and balance inflammatory signaling. Nutrition and homeopathy can help in this area as well.

Modified citrus pectin

Emerging research is identifying one of the most important botanicals for addressing numerous chronic, inflammatory conditions:  Modified Citrus Pectin made from the pith (white inner portion) of citrus peels. MCP is a form of pectin that has been broken down into smaller particles to enable it to pass from the digestive system into the circulation and exert system-wide benefits.

For those suffering from autoimmune conditions, MCP is an excellent detoxifier, gently removing heavy metals, dioxins and a variety of other toxic compounds. MCP also serves another important function by inactivating a protein called galectin-3, which is often elevated in people with chronic inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune disease. By blocking harmful galectin-3 signals, MCP reduces inflammatory stimulation. Elevated galectin-3 has also been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, organ fibrosis and damage (a hallmark of autoimmune diseases) and other pro-inflammatory conditions.

In addition to these targeted supplements, other herbs and spices can also help control inflammation and promote healthy immune responses. Ginger, rosemary, garlic and turmeric are some top recommendations. These can be incorporated into meals, or taken in supplement form for more concentrated effects.

The AI toolkit

Many people have made significant improvements in their autoimmune conditions by taking the reins and committing to anti-inflammatory dietary changes, targeted supplements, and nourishing lifestyle practices. Each healthy modification adds to a more balanced life, bringing more energy and stamina and an immune system that works for us, rather than against.

 

Article By:  Dr. Isaac Eliaz

25 Aug '15

Celtic Sea Salt And The Thyroid Gland

Posted by Karen Dame

Though it is just a small gland that sits just below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid has a huge responsibility for maintaining many important bodily functions. Through its secretion of hormones, the thyroid affects the metabolism, cholesterol levels, heart rate, eyesight, skin, and memory. But… in order to manufacture a healthy amount of hormones, the gland needs to be in good working order. Celtic sea salt, a course gray salt found along the coast of Brittany, France, is an unrefined salt that contains over 80 minerals, trace minerals, and other essential elements. Due to its high mineral content, it can work effectively with the thyroid, providing healthful nutrients to the body.

Abundance of Minerals

Dr. David Brownstein in his online article, “Shattering the Myths about One of Nature’s Necessary Nutrients,” speaks about Celtic sea salt’s high mineral and trace mineral content, as opposed to table salt’s mere two elements: sodium and chloride.  He states that the use of unrefined salt provides a great benefit for optimum health.  Celtic sea salt is able to eliminate excess acidity in cells, particularly the brain, while also balancing sugar levels and generating energy in the body as it works in conjunction with the thyroid gland. Celtic sea salt is also a great addition to the diet for its iodine content, which helps thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism.

Magnesium Salts

The presence of magnesium bromide and magnesium chloride boosts the metabolic processes by fortifying the thyroid.  According to All Natural Information, magnesium salts also help to drain excess sodium from the body, helping to address edema, high blood pressure, and other problems associated with high levels of sodium.

Additive Free

Because Celtic sea salt is free of additives and chemicals, it provides the body with the maximum benefit inherent in naturally occurring salt, according to Thyroid Guide. Celtic sea salt is sold without being processed, meaning that there is no application of heat, which normally removes minerals. Commercial table salt on the other hand, is the result of high-heat drying in order to keep salt granules from clumping together, with iodine often added after processing. Because the magnesium is removed from commercial table salt, the mineral is not available to perform its function as a nerve and brain cell stimulator, nor for metabolizing fats and sugars. Celtic sea salt, however, contains naturally occurring magnesium along with only 82% sodium chloride, as opposed to the 98% found in commercial salt.

 

25 Aug '15

Iodine Deficiency And Its Profound Effects On Your Health

Posted by Karen Dame

 

Iodine Deficiency And Its Profound Effects On Your Health

 

 

Iodine deficiency can have a profound effect on your health.  It is a worldwide problem that according to experts, is rampent.  Cutting edge doctors who understand this say that when their patients are tested, over 95% are shown to have  low iodine levels.  The reasons for this widespread deficiency are due to inadequate intake of iodine and exposure to toxic halides like fluoride, bromine and chlorine all of which displace iodine.  If you're thinking that you get enough iodine in your food or table salt, you're wrong.  Researchers who were concerned about iodine deficiency tested close to 100 samples of table salt.  Less than half contained sufficient amounts of iodine required for optimal health.  

 

Iodine plays a vital role in our overall health, as a matter of fact, it is needed for every organ and cell in the body.  "Without adequate iodine levels, life itself is not possible,"  according to Dr. David Brownstein.  Iodine is needed for thyroid hormone production, as well as for all other hormones in the body.  It is required for proper immune function and is a natural antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral and anticancer.  Women who suffer with fibrocystic ovaries and breasts find relief when supplementing iodine.  The conditions iodine treats are, but are not limited to, ADD, Atherosclerosis, Breast Diseases, Fatigue, Fibroids, Hemmorrhoids, Headaches and Migraines, Hypertension, Infections, Liver Diseases, Ovarian Disease, Goiters, Prostate Disorders, Thyroid Disorders, Auto-Immune Disease , Fibromyalgia and more.  Both hypo and hyperthyroidism contribute to heart disease and stroke.  It creates disturbances in lipid profiles, elevating LDL's and total cholesterol levels, which raises the risk for atherosclerosis.  Hypothyroidism also weakens the heart muscle and can cause cardiac arrhythmias.  Restoring thyroid function helps to reverse these risks.   Rich levels of iodine can be found in the stomach lining.  Researchers found that in parts of the world where there is iodine deficiency, there are also higher rates of stomach and gastric cancer.  Iodine can also be found in the salivary glands, cerebrospinal fluid and the brain, gastric mucosa, the ciliary body of the eye and of course, the thyroid and breast tissue.  It is essential for proper growth and cognitive function.

 

Iodine deficiency is a problem that should not be ignored.  It's worth your health to get checked and supplement, if necessary.  The 24-Hour Iodine Loading Test is the gold standard of testing for iodine sufficiency.    The idea is to determine sufficiency by ingesting a 50 mg. tablet of iodine/iodide and collect urine over 24 hours after ingestion.  This simple test that can be done in the privacy of your own home.  If the body is saturated with iodine, most of the 50 mgs. would be excreted.  If there is a deficiency, more iodine will be absorbed by the body.  A level below 90% excretion would incidate a deficient state.  

 

TO PURCHASE THE IODINE PROTOCOL SUPPLEMENTS, VISIT THE HEALING SOLUTIONS ONLINE STORE.
25 Aug '15

"NEW" Healing Solutions Tooth Power For Your Healthiest Smile

Posted by Karen Dame

 

SMILE!!!! 

NEW" Healing Solutions Tooth Powder For Your Healthiest Smile!!!

 And, it's The BEST All Natural Tooth Powder You'll Find!

 

All NATURAL INGREDIENTS ARE FORMULATED TO

IMPROVE AND PROMOTE ORAL HEALTH THROUGH:

 

*Binding toxins and heavy metals in your mouth and eliminating

   them.

*Remineralizing and nourishing teeth and gums.

*Contains powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral

   and anti-inflammatory properties.

*Reduce pain.

*Kills candida in the mouth.

*Two Oral probiotic strains  help maintain healthy gums and teeth

   while protecting the mouth against harmful bacteria. These

   strains also protect against bacterial attack and improve the

   performance of natural killer cells.

*Peppermint and Spearment flavors are strong disinfectants which

  reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation to carry off

  toxins.

*Xylitol is not just a natural sweetener, it kills bacteria and is a

  known cavity preventative.

**Naturally Whitens Teeth When Specified.

 

 

      CHOICE OF :

 

                      NATURAL PEPPERMINT WITH WHITENING 

                  NATURAL SPEARMENT WITH WHITENING

 

            **One 4 oz. Jar Will Last Several Months**

 

Ingredients:  Bentonite Clay, Diatomasceous Earth, Calcium/Magnesium Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Clove, Natural Flavors, Xylitol, Stevia and TWO Oral Probiotics work synergistically to provide the cleanest, freshest smile and promote the best oral health.

TO PURCHASE TOOTH POWDER, VISIT THE HEALING SOLUTIONS ONLINE STORE 

25 Aug '15

Candida Overgrowth, Identify It AND Treat It

Posted by Karen Dame

 

Candida is a type of yeast known as a fungus.  It is present in our body in a small amount and its purpose is to assist in digestion and the absorption of nutrients.  However, it can get out of control and when it does, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your health.  Candida overgrowth will break down the intestinal wall and move into the  bloodstream.  During this process, it releases toxic byproducts causing leaky gut syndrome.   If your gut is healthy, it's full of good bacteria which keeps the candida levels at bay.  The use of antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria and can cause candida to take over.  Other things that cause candida to proliferate, is a diet high in refined carbohydrates, alcohol and sugar, which feeds yeast.  Stress and oral contraceptives also contribute to candida overgrowth. Fermented foods, while they are full of good probiotic bacteria they are also food for yeast and can cause candida to grow out of control.  

The most common signs of candida are, but are not limited to, severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears, vaginal and urinary tract infections, anxiety, depression and irritability or mood swings, eczema, psoriasis, hives and rashes, poor memory, lack of concentration and focus, ADD/ADHD and foggy brain, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Scleroderma, MS, Lupus, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fibromyalgia, CFS, fatigue, athlete's foot, skin and nail fungus, ringworm and notably an insatiable craving for sugar and refined carbohydrates.  

Getting proper testing is important.  Most labs  will test, IgG, IgA and IgM candida anti-bodies.  A high level of these indicates you have a candida overgrowth present.  However, this test is not the most reliable because results can be negative, while stool testing will indicate a positive result, if yeast is present.  The most reliable test for candida is through stool, using a Comprehensive Digestive & Stool Analysis.  With this test, your stool is analyzed directly for yeast levels in your colon or lower intestines. Some labs can actually determine the species of yeast.  

Treating candida takes focus and discipline, but it can be done quite effectively.  First and foremost, it will require a change in your diet.  Eliminate all forms of sugar and eat a low carbohydrate diet.  That means getting rid of all grains, beans, fruits, bread, pasta, alcohol and potatoes all of which feed yeast. In addition, eliminate all fermented foods which fuel candida.  The process of getting candida under control can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on how bad it is and how disciplined you can be.  If you are looking for a pharmaceutical approach, your doctor can prescribe an anti-fungal like, Nyastatin or Diflucan; however, these drugs are very hard on the liver.  A better option is to follow the anti-candida diet as outlined above with the use of caprylic acid. This supplement is excellent for killing yeast because it pokes holes into the walls of the yeast cell without harming the good bacteria.   Once you have successfully eradicated candida overgrowth, it is vitally important to restore the healthy bacteria that keep candida under control. The way to do this is by taking a good probiotic containing a mix of strains between 25-100 billion units of probiotic bacteria to repopulate the gut.  I have found Innate Response to have one of the best probiotics available.  Add to that a specific bacteria of good yeast that ingests the bad yeast known as, Saccharomyces Boulardii,  Eliminating inflammatory foods that harm the GI tract and replacing them with healing foods that aid digestion and nutrient absorption will go a long way toward keeping candida in check and improve your health overall.    

All supplements and testing can be found in the Healing Solutions online store, or by clicking the links below.  

TO ORDER PROBIOTIC FLORA 2-24, SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII OR CAPRYLIC ACID, VISIT THE HEALING SOLUTIONS ONLINE STORE.

IF YOU DON'T SEE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR, SEND ME AN EMAIL:  KAREN@KARENDAME.COM