Itis for Inflammation – Bromelain

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.

What is Ozone Therapy? Q & A

In Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy (2011), Dr. Frank Shallenberger tells of his introduction to ozone therapy via the work of his predecessor, Dr. Charles Farr. In the 1980s, Dr. Farr began treating patients with Auto Immune Disease Syndrome (AIDS)—caused by the accumulation of molecules called oxidants—by injecting hydrogen peroxide, a powerful oxidant, directly into their veins. Dr. Farr’s success at alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and muscle weakness suggested that “the reason people get sick and diseased as they get older might have something to do with how they utilize and process oxygen” (Shallenberger, 2011).

The following Q & A is intended provide an introduction to ozone, and the various ozone therapies our clinic provides:

Q: What is ozone?

A: Consisting of three oxygen (O2) atoms that share a common electron, ozone (O3) is a naturally occurring molecule—called an oxidant—in the earth’s atmosphere.

Q: What is ozone therapy?

A: Working in a manner similar to vaccines that promote the production of viral antibodies, ozone therapy stimulates the formation of oxidants in the blood, essentially training the body to utilize them efficiently.

Q: How is ozone administered?

A: There are three administration techniques for ozone therapy. The first, called an Ozone Sauna, involves the patient entering a hyperbaric chamber into which heated ozone is pumped. The heat causes the patient to perspire, while the ozone promotes the formation of oxidants in the blood that the body must then dispose of. When someone says they are “sweating it out,” this is the technique to which they are referring.

The second option, called minor-Auto-Hemo-therapy (mAH), involves the blood being drawn out of the body, mixed with ozone, and then injected directly into the treatment site, while the third option administers blood-ozone intravenously, and is referred to as Major-Auto-Hemo-therapy (MAH).

Q: What conditions can ozone therapy treat?

A: Here at Restorative Health Clinic, we offer ozone therapy for patients with Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and the chronic infections typically related to such illnesses. Essentially, any condition that impairs the body’s natural immunity can be treated with ozone, as it stimulates auto-immune defense mechanisms, necessary for tissue and cellular repair.

Q: How do I know if ozone therapy is right for me?

A: Consult your physician regarding the potential benefits and appropriate administration method for your particular condition. Dr. Vosloo and Dr. Hatlestad look forward to providing their guidance to anyone looking to improve their health and vitality.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 503.747.2021.

Neurotransmitter health and balance: Dopamine for contentment

Dopamine is the hormone of contentment and feeling centered. Feelings of discontent, hopelessness, decreased stress tolerance and volatile temper is a sure indication that your dopamine system may not be functioning as well as it should to ground you.

Adventure seeking, habitual overuse of anything – chocolate, sugar, alcohol or other substances – may also be related to low dopamine.

Dopaminergic neurons in the spinal cord are important in pain modulation and have been found dysfunctional in conditions like fibromyalgia with much body pain.

Movement disorders like Parkinsons disease are strongly linked to low dopamine levels in the central nervous system.


Symptoms of low dopamine or decreased dopamine activity include:

  • Decreased motivation for tasks
  • Trouble starting and finishing tasks
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Losing temper over small things
  • Can’t handle stress
  • Anger and agression while under stress
  • Tendency to isolate yourself
  • Lack of concern for people you are close to

The body makes dopamine from the amino acid L-Tyrosine, then turns it into L-Dopa, which is the direct precursor to dopamine.

Iron is essential for effective formation of dopamine in the brain, iron is needed to convert tyrosine into DOPA, in addition, you need Vit B6, folic acid and oxygen.

If you are iron deficient or anemic, you may want to optimize your iron levels in addition to supporting dopamine pathways with precursors.

Testing in addition to thorough symptomatic analysis may help you diagnose dopamine deficiency, which can be treated through a systems based approach, correction of nutritional deficiencies and other factors influencing dopamine system dysfunction.


Werner Vosloo ND, MHom

Adrenal & Cortisol Status in Fibromyalgia: H-P-A Dysregulation

Fibromyalgia patients have stronger, measurable stress responses as measured by increased stress signals secreted by the pituitary to recruit more stress hormone production from the adrenals, ie the brain signals the stress system to activate.

In contrast, the adrenal glands demonstrate less ability to perform under stress and less ability to bounce back when stimulated.

The studies below substantiate what Fibromyalgia patients already know and live and what we often see in clinical practice – Fibromyalgia patients experience events much more intensely [ catastrophic ideation], and stress is very likely to induce anxiety, hypoglycemia and increase physical symptom burden like pain.

From a physiologic and body systems interrelationship perspective in functional medicine, there is so much more we do for Fibromyalgia patients than pain control, anti depressants, sedatives and sleep medicine. When you help compensate for neuro-endocrine dysregulation, sleep, mood, pain and sense of well being is much improved, a whole layer of medications become redundant, and you can pay more attention to the items that bring tangible lasting change and quality of life.




The low-dose dexamethasone suppression test in fibromyalgia.

This study observed increased sensitivity to glucocorticoid feedback, manifested at the adrenal level, in FMS. The interesting part of this study is that ACTH was normal after dexamethasone suppression testing, indicating normal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis function, and that there was in internal negative feedback inhibition at the adrenal level or adrenal suppression as compared to healthy controls. Fibromyalgia patients adrenals have less bounce-back, is the final observation here.

 Enhanced reactivity of interleukin-6 levels and reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity in patients with fibromyalgia.

In this pain pressure threshold [stress] test on fibromyalgia patients, cortisol levels increased three fold, WITHOUT an in crease in ACTH. This is highly irregular and abnormal, indicating that the hypothalamic control is absent and that there is an endogenous organ level control over adrenal secretion of cortisol.

Function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with fibromyalgia.

This study explains very clearly, at the hormonal level, why Fibromyalgia patients have increased sensitivity to stress, lower stress tolerance, anxiety with stress, and need to eat a low carbohydrate diet that resembles the Paleo diet.

Studying the adrenal control system in Fibromyalgia patients, the effects of Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and insulin induced hypoglycemia in patients with Fibromyalgia caused dysregulation of the HPA axis in patients with Fibromyalgia.

Hypocortisolemia, hyperreactivity of pituitary ACTH release to CRH, and glucocorticoid feedback resistance.  There is a reduced containment of the stress-response system by corticosteroid hormones is associated with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.


Werner Vosloo ND, MHom





Adrenal & Cortisol Status in Fibromyalgia: Cortisol Receptor Resistance

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.


Evidence for an association between an enhanced reactivity of interleukin-6 levels and reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity in patients with fibromyalgia.

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].

Glucocorticoid sensitivity in fibromyalgia patients: decreased expression of corticosteroid receptors.

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.

Changes in salivary cortisol and corticosteroid receptor-alpha mRNA expression following a 3-week multidisciplinary treatment program in patients with fibromyalgia. 

“…..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




Thyroid dysfunction in Fibromyalgia 2 Central Regulatory Dysfunction – unreliable TSH

2. Hypothalamic Regulatory Dysfunction or control center dysfunction is a very prevalent factor in thyroid dysfunction seen in fibromyalgia syndrome.

Control center inadequacy in regulating normal release of TSH and basal lowered fT3 levels are a strong cumbersome problem in fibromyalgia. Typically all lab parameters are low normal, with normal levels of TSH and lower levels of fT4 and fT3.

Fibromyalgia patients respond really well to microdoses of T3 therapy clinically. We accompany T3 therapy with cortisol levels to ensure a satisfactory response.

Action item: Get your TSH, fT4, fT3 levels tested to ensure adequate T3 levels to stimulate metabolism and energy production.



Thyroid function in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Patients with fibromyalgia has significantly lower secretion of thyrotropin and thyroid hormones in response to TRH test.

Serum thyroid stimulating hormone in assessment of severity of tissue hypothyroidism.

TSH is a poor measure for estimating the clinical and metabolic severity of primary overt thyroid failure. This is in sharp contrast to the high diagnostic accuracy of TSH measurement for early diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

There is no correlation between the different parameters of target tissues and serum TSH.

Neuroendocrine and hormonal perturbations and relations to the serotonergic system in fibromyalgia patients.

The degree to which TSH can be stimulated is decreased in fibromyalgia patients.

Lowered basal values of  free triiodothyronine (fT3) was found in fibromyalgia patients.


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