Category Archives: Health and Disease
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms & Signs
Pancreatic Cancer typically does not cause symptoms until it has grown, so it is most frequently diagnosed in advanced stages rather than early in the course of the disease. In some cases, jaundice (a yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes) without pain can be an early sign of pancreatic cancer. Other symptoms and signs that can occur with more advanced disease are
itching skin, and
decreased or loss of appetite.
Pale stools, upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back, back pain, abdominal pain, dark urine, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck can be present as well. In some cases, a new onset of diabetes may be a sign of pancreatic cancer, but the vast majority of cases of diabetes are not related to cancer.
Causes of pancreatic cancer
The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is generally unknown.
Rarely, there can be familial or hereditary genetic syndromes that run in families and put individuals at higher risk, such as mutations of the genes BRCA-2 and, to a lesser extent, BRCA-1.
Other causes are actually various modes of medication used for diabetes. Canagliflozin(Invokana), Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and Empagliflozin (Jardiance) are three medications that were released to the public without a correct length of time to study them, and they are showing to have some positive results for inducing pancreatic cancer.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr J Jaranson
Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain
New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.
Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.
That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.
“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.
“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.
When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.
“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”
Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr J Jaranson
Protein Breakfast Bowl
YIELD: 2 SERVINGS CALORIES:437
1 small onion, sliced
6-8 medium mushrooms, sliced
5 oz grass-fed ground beef
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small avocado, diced
10-12 pitted black olives, sliced
- In a heavy skillet over medium high heat, melt a little bit of coconut oil. When oil is hot, add onions, mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables are fragrant and softened.
- Add ground beef and smoked paprika and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink. Set the beef aside on a plate.
- Add eggs to the skillet and scramble them to your liking.
- Return beef to the pan. Add avocado and sliced olives.
- Continue cooking for about 45 seconds to a minute in order to slightly warm up the avocados and olives.
- Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr J Jaranson
The Path to a New You, Starts in the Kitchen.
Add these 21 must-eat foods to your menu.
When you’re choosing recipes to help you and your family, focus on foods that haven’t been heavily processed with artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, or excess sodium. Be especially wary of packaged products promoted as diet foods. They may be lower in calories and fat, but they’re often higher in artificial sweeteners and sodium, ingredients manufacturers add to make the product taste better and encourage you to eat more.
For the foods below, we’ve included the factors that make them smart choices as well as a healthy recipe that incorporates that ingredient. You’ll find foods that satisfy your appetite with lean protein and monounsaturated fats. We’ve also included plenty of high fiber foods on our list as well. Do you want low-calorie ingredients? You’ll find lots of those superfoods too.
- Almonds | Fiber, Monounsaturated Fat
- Apple Cider Vinegar | Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
- Avocado | Monounsaturated Fat
- Beets | Diuretic, Low Calorie
- Brussels Sprouts| Fiber, Low Calorie
- Cauliflower | Fiber, Low Calorie
- Chia Seeds | Fiber, Protein
- Chicken | Low Calorie, Protein
- Egg | Protein
- Greek Yogurt | Protein
- Green Tea | Catechins
- Kale | Fiber, Low Calorie
- Mangoes | Fiber
- Oatmeal | Fiber
- Quinoa | Fiber, Protein
- Raspberries | Fiber, Raspberry Ketones
- Salmon | Protein
- Squash | Fiber, Low Calorie
- Turkey | Protein
- Walnuts | Monounsaturated Fat
- Zucchini | Diuretic, Low Calorie
Please adjust this for your needs and for the medications you are taking, and the medical conditions you may have. Example: If you have a dairy restriction, no yogurt.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Health and Wellness Associates
Director of Personalized Health Care and Preventative Medicine
Low-Carb Fruits With the Most and Least Sugar
If you follow a low-carb diet or are living with diabetes, you may have a complicated relationship with fruit. You may have heard you don’t need to worry about how much sugar is in fruit because it is considered natural sugar. But that will depend whether you are following a diet that counts carbs or one that relies on the glycemic index or glycemic load. Knowing which fruits are naturally lower in sugar can help you make better choices to fit your diet.
The Natural Sugar in Fruit
The FDA recommends adults eat two cups of fruit or fruit juice or a half-cup of dried fruit per day. How much fruit you eat may differ if you are following a specific low-carb diet plan or if you are limiting carbohydrates in your diet due to diabetes.
Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) due to the amount of fiber they contain and because their sugar is mostly fructose. However, dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, and sweetened cranberries), melons, and pineapples have a medium GI value.
Fruits contain many nutrients, and if you want to satisfy a sugar craving, fruit is the best choice. The good news is that the fruits lowest in sugar have some of the highest nutritional values, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients. On the other hand, some people digest and process sugar better than others. If you are someone who responds well to a low-carb diet, it pays to be careful.
Quick View of the Sugars in Fruits
For a quick way to think about which fruits are lowest in sugar, use these rules of thumb. Fruits are listed here from lowest to highest sugar content:
Berries: These generally are the fruits lowest in sugar, and also among the highest in antioxidants and other nutrients. Lemon and lime are also in the lowest category.
Summer Fruits: Melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots are next in sugar-order.
Winter Fruits: Apples, pears, and sweet citrus fruit such as oranges are moderate in sugars. (lemons and limes are low in sugar).
Tropical Fruits: Pineapple, pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, and fresh figs are high in sugar (guava and papaya are lower than the others).
Dried Fruit: Dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, and most other dried fruits are extremely high in sugar. Dried cranberries and blueberries would be lower, except that a lot of sugar is usually added to combat the tartness.
Here is a deeper dive into the fruits ranked from lowest to highest in sugar.
Fruits Low in Sugar (Low-Carb Fruits)
Lime (1.1 grams of sugar per fruit) and lemon (1.5 grams of sugar per fruit) are rarely eaten as-is; they are mostly converted to juice and then sweetened. But you can add a slice to your water or squeeze them on food to add their nutrients and tartness.
Rhubarb: 1.3 grams of sugar per cup. You are unlikely to find unsweetened rhubarb, so check the label before you assume what you are eating is low in sugar. But if you prepare it yourself, you can adjust the amount of added sugar or artificial sweetener.
Apricots: 3.2 grams of sugar per small apricot. They are available fresh in spring and early summer. You can enjoy them whole, skin and all. Be sure to watch your portions of dried apricots, however, as (of course) they shrink when dried.
Cranberries: 4 grams of sugar per cup. While very low in sugar naturally, they are usually sweetened when used or dried, so be wary. If you use them in recipes yourself, you can adjust the amount of sugar added.
Guavas: 4.9 grams of sugar per fruit. You can slice and eat guavas, including the rind. Some people enjoy dipping them in salty sauces. They are the low-sugar exception to the tropical fruits.
Raspberries: 5 grams of sugar per cup. Nature’s gift for those who want a low-sugar fruit, you can enjoy raspberries in every way, eaten by themselves or as a topping or ingredient. You can get them fresh in summer or find them frozen year-round.
Kiwifruit: 6 grams of sugar per kiwi. They have a mild flavor but add lovely color to a fruit salad. Also, you can eat the skin.
Fruits Containing Low to Medium Levels of Sugar
Blackberries and strawberries: 7 grams of sugar per cup. With a little more sugar than raspberries, these are excellent choices for a snack, in a fruit salad, or as an ingredient in a smoothie, sauce, or dessert.
Figs: 8 grams of sugar per medium fig. Note that this figure is for fresh figs. It may be harder to estimate for dried figs of different varieties, which can have 5 to 12 grams of sugar per fig.
Grapefruit: 8 grams of sugar per grapefruit half. You can enjoy fresh grapefruit in a fruit salad or by itself, adjusting the amount of sugar or sweetener you want to add.
Cantaloupes: 8 grams of sugar per large wedge. These are a great fruit to enjoy by themselves or in a fruit salad. They are the lowest in sugar of the melons.
Tangerines: 9 grams of sugar per medium tangerine. They have less sugar than oranges and are easy to section for fruit salads. They are also easy to pack along for lunches and snacks, with built-in portion control.
Nectarines: 11.3 grams of sugar in one small nectarine. These are delicious fruits to enjoy when ripe.
Papaya: 12 grams of sugar in one small papaya. They are lower in sugar than the other tropical fruits.
Oranges: 12 grams of sugar in a medium orange. These are great to pack along for lunches and snacks.
Honeydew: 13 grams of sugar per wedge or 14 grams per cup of honeydew balls. They make a nice addition to a fruit salad or to eat by themselves.
Cherries: 13 grams of sugar per cup. Ripe fresh cherries are a delight in the summer, but watch your portions if you are limiting sugar.
Peaches: 13 grams of sugar per medium peach. You can enjoy them by themselves or in a variety of ways in desserts, smoothies, and sauces.
Blueberries: 15 grams of sugar per cup. They are higher in sugar than other berries but packed with nutrients.
Grapes: 15 grams of sugar per cup. While they are a nice snack, you’ll need to limit portions if you are watching your sugar intake.
Fruits Containing High to Very High Levels of Sugar
Pineapple: 16 grams of sugar per slice. It’s delightful, but as a tropical fruit, it is higher in sugar.
Pears: 17 grams of sugar per medium pear. This winter fruit is high in sugar.
Bananas: 17 grams of sugar per large banana. They add a lot of sweetness to any dish.
Watermelon: 18 grams of sugar per wedge. While this melon is refreshing, it has more sugar than the others.
Apples: 19 grams of sugar in a small apple. They are easy to take along for meals and snacks, but higher in sugar than tangerines or oranges.
Pomegranates: 39 grams of sugar per pomegranate. The whole fruit has a lot of sugar, but if you limit the portion to 1 ounce, there are only 5 grams effective (net) carbs.
Mangos: 46 grams of sugar per fruit. These tantalizing tropical fruits have a lot of sugar.
Prunes (66 grams of sugar per cup), raisins (86 grams of sugar per cup) and dates (93 grams of sugar per cup) are dried fruits that are very high in sugar.
Fruit and Low-Carb Diets
Some of the popular low-carb diet plans differ, based on whether they consider glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at the amount of carbohydrate (Atkins, Protein Power).
Strict low-carb diet: At less than 20 grams of carbohydrate per day, you will likely be skipping fruit or substituting it rarely for other items in your diet. Concentrate on getting your nutrients from vegetables. Diets such as Atkins and South Beach don’t allow fruit in the first phase.
Moderate low-carb diet: Those that allow 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day have room for about one fruit serving per day.
Liberal low-carb diet: If your diet allows 50 to100 grams of carbs per day, you may be able to follow the FDA guidelines, as long as you limit other sources of carbs.
Not all low-carb diets limit fruit, however. Diets like the Paleo diet, Whole30, and even Weight Watchers (although it’s not necessarily a low-carb diet) do not place a limit on fruit.
In general, if you are following a low-carb diet, you should try and eat fruits that are low in sugar, 7 grams or less per serving. When consulting the list below, which ranks fruit based on sugar content, keep in mind that some values are per cup while others are per whole fruit.
Fruit Choices When You Have Diabetes
Your fruit choices when you have diabetes depend on the diet method you are using. If you are counting carbohydrates, the are about 15 grams of carbohydrate in 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit or 2 tablespoons of dried fruit (such as raisins). But the serving size for fresh berries and melons are 3/4 to 1 cup so that you can enjoy more of them.
If you are using the plate method, you can add a small piece of whole fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit salad to your plate. If you are using the glycemic index to guide your choices, most fruits have a low glycemic index and are encouraged. However, melons, pineapples, and dried fruits have medium values on the GI index.
A Quick Word
You can make the best choices for fruit based on the diet you are following. If you have diabetes, you may want to consult with us to help you design an eating plan that incorporates fruit appropriately. When you are limiting sugar, fruit is a better choice for a sweet craving than reaching for a sugary snack, as long as you keep portions in mind.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine
Integrative-medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, talks about why Americans are taking too many drugs.
When Andrew Weil, MD, was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, doctors wrote prescriptions in Latin. To fill that prescription, “you had to hand it to a pharmacist who stood behind a high counter intended to prevent you from seeing what he did,” Weil writes in his new book, Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better — and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own.” The upshot? Patients had no idea what medications they were taking.
Although times have changed and the Internet has made health information widely available, Weil notes, people still do not ask enough questions about the medicine they’re prescribed. That’s just one reason, he says, why prescription drug use in the United States has increased tenfold in the past 50 years, and over-the-counter drug use has skyrocketed as well.
Drugs are certainly life-saving in critical and acute illnesses, Weil notes, but when it comes to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and GERD, lifestyle changes such as dietary change, exercise, and stress relief are critical. “Taking a drug just because a doctor says so is not necessarily a good idea,” he counsels. “Always try to understand why you need it.”
To get a better sense of when to take drugs — and when to look for alternatives — we spoke to Dr. Weil. Here’s what he had to say:
Dr. Weil, you’ve spent the majority of your career in integrative medicine, using lifestyle-based approaches such as nutrition, movement, and mind-body medicine to tackle the chronic-disease epidemic. Why do you think prescription drug use in the United States has increased so dramatically in the past 50 years?
Andrew Weil | Drug makers have had a profound influence on both physicians and the general public. The information that doctors rely on when prescribing typically comes from industry rather than objective sources. For example, pharmaceutical companies commonly fund research. In these studies, drugs are typically pitted against a placebo, almost never against diet and lifestyle changes that may work as well or better. The results drive clinical practice.
Advertisements paid for by Big Pharma are the major revenue source for medical journals, a situation that compromises editorial objectivity. The current medical school curriculum and the influence of Big Pharma condition doctors from their first days of training and throughout years of practice to have more faith in the power of prescription drugs than in the healing power of nature.
Regarding the public, direct-to-consumer marketing by drug companies has increased demand for their products. Due in part to this type of advertising, people have a strong desire to be medicated, believing it to be the only or the best way to effectively treat disease. Direct-to-consumer marketing by Big Pharma should be banned.
Lastly, many people prefer the “quick fix” of popping a pill. Nondrug therapies, such as lifestyle modification, require motivation and active participation on the part of patients and may take time to produce desired results. And the pill, as opposed to safe and effective nondrug approaches, is usually covered by insurance.
AS | When it comes to chronic disease, why do so many doctors prescribe drugs as a first-line treatment instead of using lifestyle modifications?
AW | Current medical training is heavy on high-tech treatment options, including drug therapy, and neglects the power of prevention, the impact of positive diet and lifestyle changes, and evidence for the safe and effective use of natural remedies and complementary therapies. With little or no background in these areas, healthcare providers are left to rely almost solely on medication. The circumstances outlined in question No. 1 further complicate matters.
My colleagues and I at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine are working to improve medical education so that future healthcare providers enter practice with an understanding of how to support and optimize a patient’s innate healing capacity. Of course, drug therapy is an important method for maintaining health and treating disease — but it’s not the only method.
AS | What are the consequences of overmedication?
AW | Safety is the biggest concern – polypharmacy (being on multiple medications) increases the odds for adverse reactions, drug interactions, and the unintended worsening of health problems.
Another worry is cost — the markup on pharmaceutical drugs is greater than on any other commodity in the marketplace. Big Pharma justifies this by citing the high cost of research, but that represents a small fraction of what they spend on advertising and promotion.
There are also environmental concerns — we get exposed to drugs that are excreted from the body or thrown out because they accumulate in our water supplies, in the soil, and in the foods we eat.
Overmedication also contributes to the pervasive notion that drugs are the only answer, but drug therapy is often best at hiding symptoms. Drugs alone do not address the root cause of disease.
AS| You have a very evocative statement in your book: “No difference exists between a drug and a poison except dose.” What do you mean by that?
AW | All drugs become toxic as the dose is increased. Doctors generally believe that the best medications are those that are powerful and work quickly. Unfortunately, concentration of pharmaceutical power inevitably concentrates toxicity. These potent agents are necessary in cases of severe illness, where benefit outweighs risk, but they are now used for almost every disease condition, even mild ones.
Strong reliance on these isolated, purified chemical compounds produces a high incidence of adverse reactions, ranging from mild discomfort to multisystem failure and death, even when the drug has been prescribed appropriately. Herbal remedies are far safer because the active components are present in a complex natural balance and in low concentrations.
AS | You write in your book that you want people to become wise consumers when it comes to medicine — to know when pharmaceutical products are really needed. So when are they needed?
AW | Use of pharmaceuticals should be limited to those situations where they are clearly indicated — critical care, terminal care, and the management of severe disease. I would like to see them play a smaller role in the treatment of common conditions where the risks are not justified. For chronic disease management, drug therapy should be offered in the context of comprehensive care that also includes lifestyle modification and nondrug therapies. Both doctors and patients need to become knowledgeable about less expensive and less dangerous interventions that are safe and effective.
AS | Are there any heartening trends afoot? What will it take, in your opinion, for more doctors to adopt a lifestyle-first strategy to tackle the chronic disease epidemic?
AW | We are faced with the growing realization that over-reliance on prescription-drug therapy has come at a terrible price — worsening antibiotic resistance and an unprecedented opioid addiction and an epidemic of serious adverse drug reactions are some of the most disturbing developments. Doctors are responding by prescribing fewer antibiotics for viral illnesses such as colds and the flu (antibiotics do not work against viruses), and by recognizing that narcotic medications are only indicated for short-term pain management following acute injury or surgery — they are not effective for the relief of chronic pain. In contrast, positive lifestyle changes such as an anti-inflammatory diet and healthy stress-management practices, as well as complementary therapies including acupuncture and mind-body techniques, are safe and effective ways of managing chronic pain.
Crisis offers opportunity. In these challenging times, my hope is that as a country we see the wisdom of integrative medicine and the lifestyle habits it encourages as part of the solution to our healthcare crisis.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr Anne Sullivan
Frequent Nut Consumption Can Help to Prevent Diabetes and Improve Blood Glucose Control
This year, the WHO, ( World Health Organization) is focusing on diabetes in order to increase awareness about its rise and staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries. The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) wants to raise awareness about the importance of nuts in the treatment and prevention of this disease.
Cyril Kendall, PhD at the department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, explains that this increase of prevalence is linked to our changing lifestyle. “We are becoming less active and our diet is becoming overly processed. This unhealthy diet not only increases blood glucose levels but it also leads to an increase in body weight which further increases the risk of developing diabetes”. Kendall, who has been studying the relation of nut consumption and diabetes, says that “based on the current scientific evidence, nuts may play an important role in improving the risk factors for this disease. Population studies have shown that frequent nut consumption is inversely associated to diabetes development and clinical studies indicate that nuts can help to improve blood glucose control in diabetes”.
In fact, nut consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin levels, according to the latest studies about the relationship between nut intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The PREDIMED study concluded that the results of two Mediterranean Diet groups which added extra virgin olive oil and nuts reduced the risk to suffer diabetes by 52%. In addition, researchers at the Human Nutrition Unit, from Rovira i Virgili University, have proven that the intake of two ounces (57 g) of pistachios per day has a significant effect: it decreases fasting glucose, and favors insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Also, researchers at the Shih-Chien University and the Chang Gung University of Science and Tech (Taiwan), have shown that 60 g/day almond consumption improved glycemic control in patients with T2D.
Currently, about 400 million people (more than 5% of the world’s population) have T2D. It is estimated that by 2035 there will be almost 600 million people living with T2D and almost 900 million people with pre-diabetes, a silent state associated with a high risk of several deadly conditions including T2D, heart disease, hypertension, strokes and early death.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr Anne Sullivan
Get up for Pulled Muscles and Sprains
If you’ve really injured yourself (with shin splints, a pulled muscle, or a sprain, for example), you need downtime to heal; otherwise it’s important to keep moving.
“Activating a sore muscle is better than resting it,” says Stephen P. Sayers, PhD, an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Missouri Columbia. ”
Getting the blood flowing to those muscles will reduce inflammation and help them heal.
Choose a less strenuous exercise to do for a few days; then gradually work your way back up to a harder routine.”
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. J. Jaranson
When it comes to the first and last meals of the day, it can be extremely difficult to find something that is both healthy and delicious. This challenge becomes increasingly difficult if you are attempting to eat a vegan diet. The answer to the breakfast and dessert dilemma is this delightful healthy twist on traditional rice pudding.
Traditional rice pudding is high in fat and heavily processed foods. By replacing regular milk with coconut milk, white rice with brown and removing the egg, the dish becomes an altogether healthier prospect.
This is a healthy, animal-friendly and tasty recipe for early mornings and late nights. So get out the slow cooker and start cooking!
The replacement of regular dairy milk with coconut milk not only makes this recipe a great choice for vegans, but it also provides a significant boost to your health. Coconut milk has a high copper content. Elevated levels of copper in the body have been shown to boost your immune system to fight off illness and infections.
Additionally, coconut milk has been proven to contain high levels of niacin (also known as Vitamin B-3). One of the significant benefits of increasing the level of niacin in your body is that it helps with a healthy increase of sex hormones and stress relieving hormones. Niacin is crucial to your reproductive and mental health.
Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours 35 minutes (slow cooker)
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 can light coconut milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Put the coconut milk, brown rice, syrup, vanilla and water into the slow cooker and cook for three and a half hours on low heat.
Stir in the cinnamon and raisins.
Sarah’s RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis ) Treatment
When I first saw Sarah, we discussed her diet, and I suggested there might be a genetic influence involved as she’s Scottish-Irish. Many of her family members also had autoimmune problems, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her genetic background suggested she may have an intolerance of wheat and gluten.
“You said I should eliminate that out of my diet as well as processed foods and sugar. You also did a metabolic typing. I did a very thorough questionnaire about how I metabolize food, about my energy levels, and about the stress in my life.
Along with my blood type, I was given a very special protocol of which foods would help me heal… I did a lot of vegetable juicing, which really helped me. I juiced probably 48 ounces a day of green juice.
I also ate a lot of organic grass-fed beef, ostrich, bison, free-range chicken and raw dairy. You even recommended raw eggs and raw egg yolks. Because I was in Wisconsin, I found an organic farm close to me. I got most of my meat, raw milk and my eggs from there. I bought all my fresh vegetables from local farmers markets. I got to know area farmers and learn about their farming practices.
I would buy a variety of vegetables and meats from them because I knew how they grew their food and raised their animals. I even used to meet the ostrich farmer in a parking lot across from the co-op where she used to sell her meats and buy it direct at a lower price. I also incorporated a lot of probiotics in my diet, and increased my vitamin D levels. Instead of suppressing my immune system with drugs to control my disease, I was using food to redesign my immune system and make it as strong as possible.
Apart from diet, the other important issue you advised me to address was the level of stress in my life. At that time, I was a teacher, new and passionate about the field. I worked very long hours, beyond what was healthy. Additionally, I dedicated several hours per week to triathlon training, and had some emotional stress in my life is well.
You, emphasized how stress and emotions impact immunity and now that I am studying Eastern medicine I have learned it is one of the primary causes of disease. I still question whether it was the amount of work and stress in my life which triggered the onset of my disease.
I cut back on the amount I was working and doing, and made more time for rest and enjoyment. You, also taught me Emotional Freedom Technique, a method of tapping along traditional energetic acupuncture meridians to help relieve emotional issues. I began incorporating EFT into my daily life, which was a simple and time-effective method to help me better deal with everyday stress and anxiety.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a really important component. It stimulates 200 to 300 anti-microbial peptides that are even more powerful than antibiotics, which help improve and regulate your immune system and fight infections. Sarah, as many others with RA, noticed her symptoms were at their worst during the winter, and would often dissipate during the summer. This is what you call a giant clue that vitamin D is at work…
Invariably, unless you’re aggressively addressing your vitamin D level with sun exposure or supplementation, your blood levels of vitamin D will drop to dangerously low levels sometime in January, February, or March, when sun exposure is at its lowest. Optimizing your vitamin D is extremely important.
Essentially, if you’re using a supplement, you need to take whatever dosage is required to reach and maintain a therapeutic level, which can only be done by a healthcare worker that understands this.
Nourishing your gut microbiome is another important component. In addition to eating more fermented foods, it’s equally important to cut out sugar from your diet as it will feed pathogenic microbes and decimate your immune system, leaving you susceptible to autoimmune diseases of all kinds.
“I learned how to ferment my own vegetables and dairy products. I made my own kombucha, yogurt, cultured butters, milk kefir and coconut kefir. It took almost two years to get my system in balance, but right away, I noticed a difference.
In about two weeks my cravings for wheat, breads, and sugar diminished… My healthcare worker also told me that I had leaky gut and digestive proteins in my bloodstream.
I talked to my healthcare team, and after three months after being very strict with the diet. I felt better; I’d lost about 10 pounds. I had so much more energy and felt lighter. But when they did my analysis and showed me was — that I had completely changed — that’s when I really believed that food was medicine…
I was able to resume my regular activities… I was able to return to racing. That year, after following your protocol for about a year, I actually won an entire triathlon… So I went from being told I’d never run again to winning a race. Slowly, slowly the symptoms diminished. After two years of being very strict [with my diet], my symptoms went to complete remission, and they’ve stayed that way. It’s been over 10 years.
I still work out. Right now, I train Brazilian capoeira, which incorporates martial arts, dance, and acrobatics. I’m still able to do gymnastics. I can still do back flips at age 43. I still run occasionally. I still swim and bike. I do yoga and cross-country skiing when I’m in the north. So, I’m very active and very healthy. In fact, I feel that by you helping me, it really extended my life. I feel much younger than my age.”
I just want to wish Sarah the best, and her testimony we hope is helpful for others.
Sarah did go through more steps than she had wrote about, but
There IS Hope for RA Patients!
Health and Wellness Associates