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.

All in Your Head? Fibromyalgia as a Neurological Disorder

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.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fibromyalgia-maligned-misunderstood-and-finally-treatable/

https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Fibromyalgia/

http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/tc/comparing-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-osteoarthritis-topic-overview

http://thefibrodoctor.com/traditional-medicine-offers-little-for-fibromyalgia/

Grapes For Your Heart: It’s all about the glutathione.

Grapes For Your Heart: It’s all about the glutathione.

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Grapes are already renowned for their abundance of health enhancing polyphenals, vitamins & minerals. They are an antioxidant superfood, known to support the cardiovascular system and provide important nutrients for all tissues of the body. A recent study released by the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has taken our understanding of grapes & heart failure prevention further: it’s all about the glutathione.

In patients with heart disease caused by chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), the glutathione enhancing effects of grapes help to reduce heart failure.

Glutathione is the most important antioxidant to your heart, and the most abundant. According to the study, glutathione deficiency is statistically linked to a greater occurrence of heart failure in both human & animals. The ability for grapes to reduce heart failure in patients with hypertension is now believed to be due to the increase in glutathione production. Grapes “turn on antioxidant defense pathways” that lead to higher blood levels of this vital antioxidant.

 

Grapes Aren’t the Only Way to Enhance Glutathione
Three amino acids are necessary for your body to produce glutathione: L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid & L-glycine. While glutamic acid and glycine are abundant in the body, cysteine is harder to find and is key in supporting glutathione production. Selenium, too, is necessary for activation of the antioxidant. Such nutrients can be supplemented or found naturally in food:

Example Sources of L-cysteine:
NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine)
Dairy products
Poultry & eggs
Onions & garlic

Example Sources of selenium:
Brazil nuts
Shellfish
Liver
Sunflower seeds

Glutathione supplementation is also available in the form of IV’s, subcutaneous injections and oral forms.


Glutathione Protects More Than Just Your Heart
Glutathione is in nearly every cell of your body. It plays an invaluable role in immune function, reduction of the oxidative effects related to everyday metabolic processes, cleansing the blood through neutralization of toxins for disposal in bile, heavy metal detoxification, DNA repair and more.

To best support your body’s glutathione protection and overall health, enjoy a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits (don’t forget your grapes!), nuts, seeds & lean meat. Speak with your healthcare provider to assess your need for further glutathione support.

 

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

 

Sources:
University of Michigan Health System (2013, May 2). Mechanism for how grapes reduce heart failure associated with hypertension identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/05/130502120259.htm

Planning a Pregnancy? Prepare with Folate Rich Foods!

Planning a Pregnancy? Prepare with Folate Rich Foods!

Don’t just supplement your folic acid, increase it in your diet as well!
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Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that is absolutely essential to the early development of your baby.  Deficiency greatly increases the risk for congenital abnormalities, such as neural tube defects (abnormalities of the nervous system), a cleft palate, and more. Don’t forget that you need it, too! Many activities of normal life, such as enjoying an alcoholic beverage or taking an aspirin, can decrease your folic acid stores. Without this busy little vitamin, your cells would be unable to synthesize and maintain your DNA.

To properly plan for pregnancy (especially the first month), I recommend women take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for 3 months prior to removing birth control. This is in addition to a high quality prenatal multivitamin that already offers at least 400-600 micrograms of folic acid, therefore giving you a total of at least 800 micrograms a day. Combined with the dietary suggestions below, this will replenish your folic acid stores and promote health in your unborn child.

Foods High in Folic Acid

Beef Liver
Please buy organic. Beef liver is also an exceptional source for iron, which can help to prevent anemia and fatigue during pregnancy. Speak with your doctor about how much liver is safe for you, as it also contains high levels of vitamin A and should be eaten in moderation for its rich nutrients.
Spinach
Like liver, spinach is also a great source for iron, as well as vitamins A and C.
Black-eyed peas
Rich in fiber and calcium, too!
Asparagus
A low calorie, vitamin and mineral rich source of fiber.
Avocado
These fruits pack a nutritious punch, thanks to their abundant good fats and fiber, you will feel full and satisfied.
Citrus Fruits
Aim for eating the whole fruit, not just the juice.
Brussel Sprouts  & Broccoli
Both of these green giants provide up to a quarter of the recommended daily intake for an average, healthy adult.
Nuts & Seeds
Sunflower seeds, flax and almonds are all high in folic acid, good fats, and fiber!

 

 

For additional information on folic acid, please visit the National Institutes of Health at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

Eating to Erase Eczema

Eating to Erase Eczema

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A friend recently asked me what she could do to treat her eczema. After finding minimal help with prescription corticosteroid creams and antihistamines, she was hoping for an affordable, lasting treatment approach that she could manage at home.

Is there a home treatment worth trying? “Yes,” I told her. “You can find relief by eating to erase eczema.”

Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, is by no means a simple condition with one simple solution. The rash is an outward sign of inward dysfunction in the immune system, involving over-reactive inflammatory cells, often accompanied by a history of hay fever and asthma. Causes of inflammation and specific triggers vary from person to person, but most of us can get considerable relief by avoiding the most common dietary allergens and inflammatory foods. This gives the immune system a chance to calm down, and allows the rash an opportunity to heal.

By following a few strict, but straightforward dietary recommendations, my friend saw her eczema begin to resolve after 2 days. Another friend, this one suffering from Phompholyx (a form of eczema on the hands and feet) watched the itchy, painful bumps disappear after 1 week.

Below are the recommendations that worked for them.

For at least 2 weeks, remove the following top allergens:
1. Zero dairy (this includes foods with added whey or casein).
2. Zero grains (this includes corn, gluten free products such as rice, and items thickened with flour).
For at least 2 weeks, remove foods that promote inflammation:
3. Zero cane sugar (use stevia, or honey or palm sugar in moderation).
4. Limit red meat & eat only grass-fed, free-range animal products (animals fed grains and corn produce higher levels of inflammatory proteins that you then ingest).
Additional Recommendations:
5  Eat healthy fats in abundance (olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, nuts & seeds).
6. Avoid already-known food allergens (such as eggs, soy, so on).

In my experience, most people report symptom relief, better energy and an increased sense of well-being after following steps 1-6. These patients often choose to stay on a grain-free, dairy-free diet. For those that hope to regularly enjoy a tasty rice pilaf or a thick wedge of gouda cheese, I recommend trying the following steps:

After at least 2 weeks, once the rash has significantly improved:
1. Add back 1 food per week (for example, cheese week 1, rice week 2, so on)
2. If the eczema begins to return, the most recently re-introduced food is likely a trigger for you. Avoid it.
3. Continue to minimize sugar–it will exaggerate any inflammatory response, regardless of the trigger.

Why does this work?
Picture your over-reactive immune system as a well built fire. The kindling is made up of various allergens (foods, dust, mold, pollen, etc.), and the lighter fluid is sugar and other inflammatory foods. With enough allergens, the fire will keep burning. Add some sugar, and you’ve got a bonfire.

If you can remove enough of the kindling, the fire will start to die down. A little lighter fluid may string it along, but the size and heat of the fire will begin to fade. This is exactly what you do by removing dairy and grains, and limiting sugar.

An estimated 80% of your immune system lives in your gut, meaning that your inflammatory cells and overall state of inflammation are especially sensitive to the foods you eat. For most people with food sensitivities, milk and gluten proteins are at the top of the list; I’ve found that many of these individuals are reactive to the proteins in other grains, too. Removing dairy and grains may not eliminate all of your allergen exposure, but it may be enough to put out the fire.

 

For additional information on eczema, allergies, and naturopathic treatment options,  please contact us at (503) 747-2021. Diagnostic testing and effective therapies are available, including allergy panels, immune system support, and gastrointestinal medicine.

Yours in health,
Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

References:
Allam, JP, Novak, N. “The pathophysiology of atopic eczema. .” Clin Exp Dermatol. 31.1 (2006): 89-93. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Furness, J, Kunze, W. “Nutrient Tasting and Signaling Mechanisms in the Gut, II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine & immune responses.” Am J Physiol. 277.5 (1999): G922-G928. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/277/5/G922.full>.
In Defense of Coffee

In Defense of Coffee

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A beloved beverage throughout the USA and the world at large, coffee is often blamed for various health woes. While coffee is not appropriate for everyone, and there is such a thing as “too much” for even the most tolerant of sippers, research has shown a vast array of health benefits.

The abundant phytochemicals found in coffee beans are responsible for the various benefits, including potential prevention of diseases such as Diabetes mellitus type II, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Of course, we cannot overlook the well-loved stimulant effect of coffee that reliably provides us with increased stamina during exercise, and temporarily improves our cognitive function. Moreover, coffee simply makes mornings tastier.

Following is a brief overview discussing a few of the benefits to coffee consumption. These are presented in defense of coffee and as a thank you to its many active phytochemicals, including caffeine, caffeic acid, hydroxyhydroquine, chlorogenic acid, cafestol and kahweol.

 

Coffee consumption has been linked with a lower risk for Diabetes Type II.
The leading theory is that active compounds from the roasted coffee bean, including caffeine and caffeic acid, help to decrease the low-level inflammation associated with diabetes mellitus through anti-oxidant action. Coffee may not directly alter how your body metabolizes blood sugar throughout the day, but it does decrease your risk by lowering inflammation!

Coffee may increase total cholesterol, but it improves the LDL to HDL ratio.
A 2010 study found that regular coffee consumption increased total cholesterol, but much of this rise in blood lipids was due to an increase in the “good” cholesterol, HDL. The LDL (“bad” cholesterol) to HDL ratio actually improved. This suggests that coffee intake may offer cardiovascular protection in those with low to normal total cholesterol, and low HDL. Cafestol and kahweol, the coffee compounds believed to cause these effects, are highest in unfiltered coffee.

Six cups a days may prevent colorectal cancer.
A study published 2012 suggested that 4 daily cups of coffee can decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer by 15%, while 6 daily cups may decrease your risk by as much as 40%. The study looked at nearly 500,000 middle-aged Americans, comparing their reported coffee intake to cancer outcomes over a 10 year period. Sadly, 3 cups or less per day did not significantly decrease risks of colorectal cancer.

Coffee can lift your mood, thanks to caffeine and possibly chlorogenic acid.
Caffeine is already established as a reliable, short term enhancer for cognitive function and mood. Recent findings suggest that chlorogenic acid, a component found in both regular and decaf coffee, may be involved in the mood-lifting effects of coffee. Caffeine or no caffeine, coffee may brighten your day.

 

Stamina, mood enhancement, and cholesterol aside, there are individuals who should limit or avoid coffee. This includes:
1. Individuals with hypertension, especially uncontrolled hypertension
2. Women who are pregnant, suffering from infertility, or symptoms of menopause
3. Individuals with high cholesterol
4. Children and adolescents
5. Individuals with known coffee allergy or food sensitivity

For those limiting their intake, most studies suggest health-altering side effects (both negative and positive) are not experienced with 3 or fewer cups of caffeinated coffee per day.

Dr. Kaley Bourgeois

 

 

References:
1. Butts, MS, et al. “Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 51.4 (2011): 363-73. Print.
2. Cropley, V. “Does coffee enriched with chlorogenic acids improve mood and cognition after acute administration in healthy elderly? A pilot study.” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 219.3 (2012): 737-49. Print.
3. Higdon, JF, et al. “Coffee and health: a review of recent human research.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 46.2 (2006): 101-23. Print.
4. Johnson-Kozlow, M, et al. “Coffee consumption and cognitive function among older adults.” Am J Epidemiol. 156.9 (2002): 842-50. Print.
5. Kempf, K, et al. “Effects of coffee consumption on subclinical inflammation and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a clinical trial.” Am J Clin Nutr. 91.4 (2009): 950-7. Print.
6. Sinha R, et al. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intakes and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online June 13 2012