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 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.
Once thought to be muscular in nature, Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a neurological disorder that involves the brain’s communication with the body’s pain receptors, via the spinal cord. Essentially, it is like the volume in the part of the brain that perceives pain is “turned up,” causing even mild stimulus, such as light touch, to register as painful. Fibromyalgia affects primarily women, ages 40-60, though some men, young adults, and teenage children may be affected as well. Characteristic symptoms include widespread pain and extreme sensitivity to touch, in addition to fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns, impaired memory and the ability to focus.
While the pain of osteoarthritis is due to the breakdown of cartilage around the joints and supporting muscle tissues, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease characterized by stiffness and inflammation of muscles and joints. By contrast, the pain of Fibromyalgia comes and goes, often moves throughout the body, and is unrelated to inflammation or the wear and tear of age. It is for this reason that FMS patients gain little relief from traditional drug therapies.
In a study conducted by the Mayo Foundation for Education and Research, 39 FMS patients were interviewed with regard to their symptoms and corresponding 6-12 prescription medications. Ten years later, 29 of these patients were interviewed again. While 55% reported severe pain and stiffness, 48% reported disturbed sleep, and 59% reported persistent, extreme fatigue, an overwhelming 79% were still taking the same or similar medications as they were 10 years ago.
In addition to being ineffective, prescription medications may also deplete the body of essential nutrients—the ramifications of which may take years to manifest—as well as the sleep hormone melatonin, which further contributes to disrupted sleep patterns. In fact, the majority of prescribed medications come with side-effects that mimic the symptoms they are meant to relieve—fatigue, pain, brain fog—yet patients continue to take them because the alternative if giving up.
Or so they think. Here at Restorative Health Clinic, we are happy to offer another alternative: recovery! By approaching the condition from a holistic perspective that accounts for all aspects of the patient’s lifestyle—to include nutrition, supplementation, exercise, sleep, and work patterns—our naturopathic physicians lend the necessary support for patients to manage their symptoms and embark on the long journey back to health. Read next week for further information on specific therapies available to our patients, to include supplemental, injection, and intravenous therapies.
It is interesting to note that the classical tender points of fibromyalgia are over tendon and ligament insertions. These insertion points have the lowest pain threshold of any somatic structure, meaning, even a small stimulus can be interpreted as a large amount of pain. Weak or lax ligaments are potential nociceptors (nerve stimulus receptors) in fibromyalgia, and that this is potentially correctable with prolotherapy.
Treatment of Consecutive Severe Fibromyalgia Patients with Prolotherapy,
- Dean Reeves, MD
Abstract: The potential of tendon and ligament triggers as primary nociceptors in fibromyalgia led to treatment of primary fibromyalgia patients with tendon and ligament strengthening injections. The injection of ligaments and tendons with proliferant (Prolotherapy) offers the advantage of creating increased strength of the connective tissue in the region of injection as well as affecting the pain cycle. Reduction in pain levels and increased functional abilities were seen in excess of 75% of patients with severe fibromyalgia in this study.
Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine Vol 16 1994 No 3
For full research article go to:
Neurotransmitters and brain hormones play an important role in how we feel, behave and determine our emotional and intellectual lives.
Much of these hormones, like serotonin and dopamine are found in the digestive tract, making digestive tract health essential for healthy central nervous system function.
In addition to maintaining gastro-intestinal health, you can support specific areas of your brain and neurotransmitter health.
This is a helpful exercise in understanding the basics of brain hormones, how they shape our life and how to identify dysfunctions and deficiencies.
Both symptomatic and laboratory testing can help determine if you would benefit from a focused systems based analysis and also focused neurotransmitter specific protocols.
Acetylcholine is the hormone of the mind and cognition and is especially important for the conversion of short term memory to long term memory.
Acetylcholine levels are measurably changed in conditions like Alzheimers disease where visual and verbal memory is impaired. One of the signs of low acetylcholine impairment is that you may not recall exactly what you had for breakfast or lunch the day before yesterday, but you can remember details about your drivers license examination many decades ago.
“Senior moments” = impaired acetylcholine.
Symptoms of low or impaired acetylcholine activity:
Loss of visual memory Loss of memory for things you heard / verbal memory
Decreased understanding of concepts, meanings
Difficulty calculating numbers
Less able to recognize faces and objects
Slower intellectual or mental responsivity
Difficult spacial orientation and with sense of direction
Getting lost and confused with directions
Foods high in building blocks for acetylcholine are eggs, animal flesh foods and healthy fats especially plant fats like lecithin.
Werner Vosloo ND, MHom
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.
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.
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.
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