We are pleased to introduce the addition of a new product, itis-for inflammation. Comprised of bromelain, boswelia serrata, cats claw, devils claw, feverfew tanacetum, tumeric (curcumin), and tart cherry fruit, itis is formulated to relieve the inflammation specific to Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Over the next few weeks, we will take a closer look at each of these ingredients in turn, beginning with bromelain.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that inhibits the migration of white blood cells to sites of injury or infection, and removes the chemical receptor necessary for inflammation to occur. In a study of 77 individuals with knee pain, daily doses of 200-400mg effectively reduced pain and increased reported perceptions of well-being. In addition, Bromelain acts as an immunomodulator against tumor cells, via the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines–chemical signalers–such as tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-alpha) and interleukin II.
In the next post, we will examine boswellia serrata’s ability to reduce painful swelling and increase the range of motion in patients with inflammatory conditions.
In addition to lower cortisol levels in the morning and throughout the day [in patients who really need higher levels to support them through their daily stress and pain], Fibromyalgia patients demonstrate decreased cortisol receptor sensitivity. This adds insult to the injury.
To achieve the same cortisol-mediated stress, blood sugar and energy metabolism support, fibromyalgia patients need higher levels of circulating cortisol than average patients. Lower cortisol levels plus compromised cortisol receptor sensitivity accounts for much of the symptom load exhibited by fibromyalgia patients, esp as relates to day-night rhythm problems, increased perceptions of stress and decreased stress tolerance with anxiety during stressful situations.
Yet again, this situation need not be an obstacle to better health. Moderately increasing cortisol levels through micro-dosing with appropriate hormone therapy makes the world of difference with anxiety, sleep and day-to-day function.
Reduced and disturbed glucocorticoid sensitivity was observed in fibromyalgia patients. The very interesting observation in this study, in addition to the disturbed cortisol receptor function, that fibromyalgia patient’s ACTH did not increase during pain pressure point threshold testing: cortisol did increase 3 times [from the pain of the test] and IL-6 increased 4 times [an inflammatory hormone that is problematic in FMS].
Fibromyalgia patients exhibited changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) affinity and disturbances associated with loss of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis resiliency. There is a lower expression of corticosteroid receptors in FM patients when compared to healthy controls.
“…..Increased resiliency and sensitivity of the stress system is probably related to stimulation of Glucocorticoid Receptor-alpha synthesis by the components of the treatment.” The conclusion of this study is that due to changes in cortisol receptor sensitivity, Fibromyalgia patients improved in many respects, including pain threshold and resilience of the stress system.
Werner Vosloo ND, MHom
Fibromyalgia is characterized by a lack of energy, drive & motivation and a general lack of “get-up-and-go”. Mornings are pretty bad, you feel more tired than when you went to bed.
Cortisol levels in the mornings and also throughout the rest of the day are much lower than you need to get through the day’s stress, fatigue and pain.
Adrenal dysfunction is strongly responsible for this lack of restorative sleep or not feeling rested in the morning.
Cortisol is a key adrenal hormone that is essential to maintain healthy:
- Blood glucose levels
- Converting fat, protein and carbohydrate to maintain blood sugar
- Immune balance and healthy immune responses
- Endogenous anti-inflammatory [more allergies and inflammation when cortisol low]
- Blood Pressure
- Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
- Central nervous system activation and motivation
- Healthy and happy optimistic mood
- Stress tolerance
- Sleep and day-night cycles
Just like thyroid hormone, it is very safe and easy to correct low cortisol levels.
Evaluation consists of symptomatic evaluation and laboratory investigation of cortisol levels at 4 different times of the day, or total cortisol production for a whole day.
Studies to read:
Fibromyalgia patients have lower cortisol levels than woman with shoulder and neck pain. Fibromyalgia patients have more symptom burden: pain levels, sleeping problems, perceived stress, and psychological problems related to their condition.
Fibromyalgia patients had significantly lower cortisol levels during the day, most pronounced in the morning . As expected, Fibromyalgia patients reported more pain, stress, sleeping problems, anxiety, and depression.
This confirms dysfunction in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in Fibromyalgia patients, with generally lower cortisol values, most pronounced upon awakening.
An analysis of various subgroups of Fibromyalgia patients indicated that the more symptomatic patients with more severe pain and disability had the lowest levels of cortisol.
Childhood abuse and family dysfunction is reported in 64% of fibromyalgia cases.
When present in the history, there was a greater tendency to a flattened day-night cortisol curve with lower cortisol production.
Werner Vosloo ND MHom