Christmas Dining Room

Chronic Illness: How to Thrive this Holiday Season

Holidays can bring about a lot stress. It is the time that we visit people outside of our normal inner circles, as well as family and close friends. And although our family and friends are filled with people with good intentions, they may not know exactly how to handle those with chronic illness during the holiday season. For this reason, sharing a guide on how to survive, and thrive, during the holidays is important. Here a few tips to help get through the next few weeks!

Communicate Your Needs
Strategies to deal with chronic illness vary depending on the day, the weather, and the season. Even the surroundings can have an impact on the way our body reacts, requiring a change in plans or even cancelations. These needs and changes will have to be considered by the people we visit. While friends in our outer circle may not necessarily be aware of your specific health situation, communicating your needs ahead of time can set expectations for the visit. This allows those preparing events, food or accommodations to set aside extra time or planning to assure you have a joyful and comfortable experience.

The act of communicating all of those needs can be tiresome, The benefit of close friends and family is to act as ambassadors on your behalf, especially those who understand the difficulties of living with chronic illness. Having a friend or family member that can act as a personal advocate at something like a holiday office party can reduce the potential for misinterpreting chronic illness needs for something else.

Preparing Your Meals Ahead Of Time And Bringing Your Own Food
Probably the easiest way to avoid issues involving food is to prepare your meals ahead of time. Chronic illness does not make this any easier, as pain, fatigue and other symptoms can be exhausting. However, consider supplementing your usual meal-preparation activities with enough food to make an extra meal.

Whether preparing food at home or ordering your meals, it can be helpful to consider ordering an extra meal before that holiday party or family gathering. This way you have a backup plan in case someone forgot to relay the message that you have several food allergies or intolerances. This can alleviate quite a bit of stress knowing that you will have something you can eat and not feel ill from it.

If a party’s host is asking about food preferences upfront, get in contact as early as possible and be clear about what you can and cannot have.

It Is Okay To Leave Early, Or Not Even Go
Self-care is absolutely crucial when dealing with a chronic illness. Parties and celebrations are abundant this time of year. If going to specific gatherings with people who may not be so pleasant for you will cause you more stress, then creating distance between you and these situations may be your best option.

If the risk is staying too long, eating unhealthy food, or encountering toxic people at the gathering, put some distance between those risks and opt for leaving the party earlier or perhaps, not even attending at all. Remember that both your physical & mental health is a priority!

If delaying or avoiding seeing people will give you an opportunity to feel rested and less stressed, then everyone benefits. The first person to enjoy your healthier self will be you. Don’t be afraid to say no, even if it means you have to sacrifice a party for your health.

If You Can’t Visit
Check in with your friends and family members before your arrival. Sometimes it might not be possible to visit them, but a rich conversation through a phone call, letter/card or even a text, can let them know you are thinking about them and are grateful for your relationship with them.

Rest And Enjoy Yourself!
Much about the holidays is focused around being with people you care about, but do not forget to take care of yourself. Remember that balancing sleep and nutrition along with all of life’s other demands at this time of year requires careful planning and listening to your body.

Wishing you a healthy, happy and thriving holiday!


Couple holding hands

When Lyme Takes A Toll On Relationships: How To Find Love & Happiness When You're Chronically Ill

It is no surprise that stress and poor health go hand in hand as one tends to precede the other. Physical, mental and emotional stress can wear on a person’s physical body and feeling terrible everyday can be equally stressful and lead to its own set of problems. When you are living with chronic Lyme disease or other persistent illness, you do your best to put on a happy face, go about your day and try to function in the world. We’ve been trained to pull up our boot straps and “toughen up” and being vulnerable is a sign of weakness. But this is the reality many of us have faced or continue to deal with every day.

What the world often does not see is the pain we experience, the numbness in our limbs, the fogginess in our brain and the tears we hide from our loved ones. Despite our best efforts to feel well, progress can be slow or sometime even worse with certain treatments. We often rely on others to lean on in times of need for various degrees of assistance. But perhaps no one feels this more than our spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend who share our lives together daily.

I have seen many people with Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses over the years have difficulty maintaining a long-term relationship or developing a new one. The stress of caring for someone with Lyme disease can leave them feeling angry, resentful, helpless and sometime hopeless. “Why don't you just get better?”. “You need to get over it”. “You look fine. I don’t see anything wrong with you”. “Why are you always so tired? Can’t you just get more sleep?”, “Just snap out of it!” Any of this sound familiar? The expectations can be shattered when you don’t fit the image of what your loved one thinks you should be capable of and this often leads to disappointment, anger and blame.

So how do you keep your current relationship healthy, despite your health issues or how do you cultivate a new relationship while working on getting well? I wish I could say it’s easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of work from both sides to make it work. But here are my tips to working toward a healthy, happy relationship with your significant other.

1. Be honest. Tell your partner how you are feeling and have ongoing communication about what you can do and take on. I think many of us feel the need to shield our partner from how we feel to protect them or to make us appear stronger than we are. This doesn’t help either person and can lead to an unrealistic expectation of your abilities. Best to have that honest conversation so that they know how you’re doing and feeling and can understand you better.

2. Stand in their shoes. As much as they need to empathize with you, you need to have the same understanding for them. They will never fully understand what you feel daily, so don't expect them to. I can tell you from experience that watching someone you love suffer is miserable and extremely stressful. Your partner suffers in their own way, whether they share those feelings with you or not. This is hard on both of you and acknowledging their suffering can go a long way in developing a deeper understanding of one another.
3. Get outside help. I see this being the problem most often in couples that are more isolated and have a small to nonexistent support network. As much as your partner loves you, they probably didn't anticipate being your ongoing doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, etc. I have seen the most supportive, loving partners reach their breaking point where they can no longer handle being the sole supporter during your recovery. Having a good professional on your team can help take the stress off your partner’s shoulders.

4. Find a local support group. There is strength in numbers and being able to share your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment with others who have similar struggles can be a relief and encouraging. You have a place where you meet regularly to help others and be helped. If you don’t have a local group that meets on an ongoing basis, there are several online groups available as well. I prefer the face to face meetings and the human connection can be more powerful, but I talk with so many people who are isolated that an online group can be a fantastic way to connect with others. Find what works for you and gives you that space to connect with others.

5. Have fun together. When you are feeling unwell, it’s easy to forget that you and your partner probably used to do things together that was fun. Find those things that bring you both joy, whether it is watching a funny movie, enjoying a meal out, riding bicycles, hiking or even playing a board game together. The important thing is you connect with one another emotionally and bring enjoyment into your lives.

Lyme disease creates so many physical and emotional challenges for us and it’s important that our partners walk with us during our road to recovery. I’ve seen marriages and long term relationships fall apart in the face of chronic illness and sometimes we have to let go of relationships that no longer meet our needs or might even be toxic. Underneath the veil of Lyme disease is a loving, caring person who has so much to offer to the right person. Take these steps so you and your partner understand each other well and enjoy a fulfilling life together!


Beach

How to Self Care with a Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can be extremely difficult. You struggle with feelings of anxiety, loss of control of your own body, guilt, pain, anger and exhaustion. Every day will challenge you. As you look around at your friends and family, it might cause you to feel guilty that you may not always be able to join in at gatherings or go out and have fun like you use to do. All of these feelings are not abnormal. In fact, they are very rational, and if you spoke to anyone with a chronic illness, they would agree they probably feel the exact same way.

If you continue to work, you must find time to take care of activities of everyday living, such as taking care of children, spouses, household chores, and work. Then there is you: Your needs. What happens when you are at the bottom of your To Do list? The outlook isn't good. You have probably heard the expression “You can't pour from an empty cup" ? Well, that’s absolutely correct! Living with illness is already an enormous stressor, draining your cup steadily. This adds to your stress tremendously, threatening your health even more. If there is anything I have learned as a holistic practitioner, it’s that self-care should be your priority.

I teach this to my patients, as well. I want to share a few tips that I have learned over the years and hope you find them as helpful as I do.

It's ok to say No

Setting boundaries is necessary when it comes to reducing your stressors and maintaining self-care. Let friends and family know that while you love to do social things such as going out, you're not able to at this time. Saying no does not make you a bad person and it certainly doesn't mean you don't care. Saying no means that you are giving yourself the space you need to heal.

Saying yes just to make others happy can cause resentment on your end.  If they continue to pressure you or try to persuade you into saying yes and it makes you uncomfortable, you may need to put some distance between you and that person for some time. There is no need to feel guilty about this. It will only help your physical and mental health in the long run.

Prioritize yourself

If your list of To-Do’s don't include you at the top, then you need a new list.  Schedule yourself first, whether it’s doctor’s appointments, massages, acupuncture, therapy, exercise or whatever it is that helps reduce stress and anxiety for you. Taking care of you will allow you to heal and thrive. This, in turn, will allow you to now give some of your time and energy to others because you have taken your own time to self-care first.

Eat for health, you deserve to feel good

When you eat poorly, you are depriving your body of good health.  Fast food, processed food and refined sugar wreak havoc on your health, including your gut. It can cause blood sugar fluctuations, digestive issues, inflammation, as well as mood swings. Your gut communicates to your brain, so when your food choices are poor, your mental health suffers, as well.  Focus on fresh vegetables and fruit. Also, eat non-processed organic, pasture raised meats, poultry and wild fish ( if you choose to eat animal protein) and include healthy fats. These nourish the gut and help increase beneficial bacteria while balancing blood sugar and sending healthy signals to the brain.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

It's bad enough that you already feel guilty for being chronically ill. Don't let fear or pride get in the way of asking for help. If there is something you can't accomplish, it's not the end of the world. Just let someone know you need some help with certain things and that you're very appreciative and grateful for their help.

Make laughter a habit

Laughter has been shown to relieve stress and boost the immune system. Laughing makes you feel good and can reduce anxiety. It can also boost immune function. Additionally, it helps to relax your muscles and increase pain tolerance in the body. The physical benefits of laughter are many. While we sometimes have a difficult time drawing laughter from our lives, the benefits are not to be ignored.

Optimism

A positive attitude can make all the difference, especially when you are not feeling well. Have you ever been cut off in traffic while you were in a really good mood?  Chances are, it didn't bother you as much as when you're having a bad day or were in a negative mood. That's because optimism can help frame the way that your body reacts to a negative stressor. If you do not perceive a negative stressor to have a major impact on the state of your mood, then your body will not consciously perceive the stressor as that great of a threat. This means that an optimistic frame of mind can reduce the impact of a stress reaction. And the reduction of stress hormones can reduce inflammation in the body. This is where practicing an optimistic state of mind can lead to health benefits.

Self-care means different things to different people. Everyone's journey is unique so do what makes YOU feel good and never forget to self-care. That means being able to heal so you can be the best version of you, and everyone benefits from that.


Scared Boy

Childhood Trauma & Autoimmune Disease

Many things can determine the possibility that autoimmune disorders develop as we age. Genetics, nutrition, stress, toxic exposure and infections can all weaken and attack the immune system. These are all factors that have been studied for a long time. However, what we are now realizing is the fascinating connection between autoimmune disorders (that show up later in life) and childhood trauma.

These events, called Adverse Childhood Experiences (otherwise known as ACEs), have had a profound impact on the health of adults later in life. Events included physical and emotional abuse, the loss of a parent, and continual lack of support or neglect within a family structure. These are all identified as Adverse Childhood Experiences and can result in a long-term exposure to stress, leading to health issues as an adult.

The research behind this was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente in 1996. Called the “ACE Study” in short, the study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1998. Patients who were identified as experiencing an Adverse Childhood Experience ended up developing higher rates of cancer and mental health issues compared to adults who had not.

Long-term stress can also increase the risk of autoimmune disease in someone who has had an Adverse Childhood Experience. The key is in the gene that is activated after the stressor has occurred. The human body has a series of responses to stressors that vary greatly according to each situation and person. However, one such response is the flood of inflammatory stress hormones that can result from a traumatic experience. This inflammatory response can activate a series of genes that contribute to autoimmune disease.

Dr. Donna Jackson Nakazawa persisted to further examine the possible link between Adverse Childhood Experiences and autoimmune disease based of her own experience. While her personal story is powerful, it may not necessarily be supportive of the majority of people. In her adult life, Dr. Nakazawa was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system. While seeking treatment, she was asked by her own doctor about any past trauma in her life. It turns out that her doctor was one of few doctors seeing a link between trauma and the chronic, systemic inflammation she was suffering from as a symptom of her illness. Her doctor decided that this question was an avenue worth pursuing.

Remembering the loss of her father at age 12 due to a botched surgery, it opened up the discussion of the possibility of childhood trauma that lead to her autoimmune issues. Connecting these two together, she has been an advocate for more research on childhood trauma and adult illness. Since then, hundreds of studies have backed up the Kaiser Permanente-CDC led study, though there is still a lack of awareness regarding this health issue.

Being in a constant state of stress resulting from traumatic experiences can be taxing and lead to many ill health effects. This chronic stress reaction leads to an increase in the inflammatory response, which can result in long-term chronic illness development.

Recognizing that your past childhood experiences can influence your health is an important step in healing. It’s important to consider a holistic protocol for total well being, in order to have a beneficial impact on the past trauma to reduce the body’s “auto pilot” reaction. While treating the body is good, treating the mind and its awareness of stressors can help the body to heal on all levels and increase your quality of life.


Gym Equipment

Staying Active With Lyme Disease

Muscle weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of Lyme disease. Coupled with nerve pain, neurological issues and depression, it becomes difficult to complete simple everyday tasks. Even thinking about adding daily physical activity during this difficult time can be stressful. And as your body reels from the constant strain of fighting off Lyme and co infections, rest becomes more important and, ironically, sometimes more difficult. Reclaiming a restorative lifestyle becomes a monumental task.

While some practitioners will only prepare patients with Lyme disease for the possibility of a loss of mobility, there are protocols and methods of exercise that can help with the treatment of Lyme. The details surrounding a Lyme focused exercise plan can be complex. For instance, vigorous aerobic exercise when fatigued is not recommended because it can exhaust you further and possibly weaken the immune system even more.

I have found that certain exercises and activities have actually helped those suffering from Lyme gain back their mobility, strength and balance. Additionally, as someone who has Lyme, I have also benefited immensely from them. They balance and integrate mindfulness and are essential in thriving and recovery. Examples of personal wellness abound when practicing low impact forms of martial arts and movement. That is to say, Tai chi, Qi gong, and yoga are excellent ways for the body to regain more than just strength. The benefits of exercise improve mental and physical health. This makes creating a beneficial exercise plan crucial for chronic Lyme sufferers.

Tai chi, Qi (or Chi) gong, and yoga can be described as part mindfulness practice, too. They focus on movements and stances that build a foundation for the body, mind, and nervous system. Deliberate movements activate multiple muscle systems and are often accompanied by a coach who can guide the meditative process, if you wish. These can be done at any fitness level and modified to suit your physical limitations, so is ideal for anyone suffering from Lyme disease.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation can contribute to lowering stress levels, which reduces the elevated adrenal response and lowers cortisol in the body. A lower cortisol level contributes to a healthier nervous & immune system, allowing it to restore proper function.

The contracting and movement of muscles, joints, and soft tissue increases blood flow and moves fluid around the body. This allows for more nutrients and oxygen to reach their target organs and cells to help them function better. Physical activity also contributes to the release of “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, which improve immune and brain health.

It is the combination of the meditative qualities of mindfulness and the physical exercise of yoga that produce such a wondrous effect on the body pertaining to combating Lyme. The MS-like symptoms that can sometimes accompany Lyme such as neuropathy, loss of balance, and muscle fatigue & pain, are resisted as the body practices balance and awareness. The body actively sends signals throughout nervous system connections to produce a certain stance, pose, or low-impact movement.

Combining the strengths of mindfulness and the benefits of physical exercise to treat Lyme can be part of a greater strategy to regaining one's life back. Bring movement back into your life. As with all exercise, listen to your body. If some movements seem too difficult, modify them or try something that you are comfortable with. Move at your own level, not everyone else’s.


Walking alone

Lyme's Impact on Neurological Function

Some patients describe it as a type of “brain fog.” It’s a state of mind where things are hard to remember and it takes longer to process what you read and think. It mimics the visibility that comes with the morning fog, where things are hard to see, hard to perceive, hidden behind a mental cloudiness that can result in a chronic change in mental status. While “brain fog” might not be a professionally supported medical diagnosis, it is often a word used to help describe the cognitive problems that come with long-term exposure to Lyme disease. The technical term for it is “Lyme neuroborreliosis” and this happens when Lyme disease creates inflammation in your brain. Lyme neuroborreliosis is a general umbrella term for the cognitive and neurological symptoms that persist when Lyme disease progresses. Neuroborreliosis symptoms are diverse, including trouble recalling specific words, memory issues, and even problems with processing information. It may even involve problems walking, headaches (migraines), balance issues and numbness or tingling in your skin. It is important to understand that chronic Lyme disease can also include psychiatric issues. Problems with mood changes, irritability, increased feelings of depression and sudden personality changes can all occur when Lyme disease invades your brain. Recognition of these psychiatric changes is important because they can all be signs of Lyme disease that get ignored. And because many Lyme disease symptoms mimic other illnesses, it is difficult for medical practitioners to pinpoint what may be causing your symptoms. Lyme impacts and affects each person differently, so there are no set of symptoms every Lyme person experiences. While some people report only the traditional symptom of joint pain, headaches, fever and a bull’s-eye rash, others may feel less obvious symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, wandering joint or muscle pain or short-term memory loss. The wide variety of symptoms are partially explained that there are many ways Lyme disease can affect your body, but also may be due to the presence of coinfections. Coinfections are other microbes that can be transmitted through a tick bite, such as Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia and others. Some of what causes symptoms after a tick bite may be due to Lyme disease in combination with another infection. Evidence suggests up to 30% of people who get Lyme disease also have a coinfection and it is difficult to tell what Lyme disease causes versus what is caused by another organism. Therefore, it is important to get thorough testing to try and help you and your doctor find out what is making you sick. Lyme disease is a complex, multi-system problem that mimics so many other conditions, it often gets missed. Unfortunately, this means millions of people around the world either get misdiagnosed as having something else or gets no diagnosis at all. Either way, it means lack of proper treatment and worsening of their symptoms. Depending on the strength of your immune system, Lyme disease symptoms could show up to 12 hours after the first tick bite or it could take years. There is nothing in our current testing that tells us anything about timing and when you may have been bitten by a Lyme-carrying tick. It’s no secret that the sooner you find out you have Lyme disease, the better. Early treatment means less likelihood of having long-term health problems, including mental and cognitive issues. Consider the possibility of Lyme disease if your symptoms are persistent and every test seems to keep coming back negative. I recommend you work with a provider who uses a lab that does more comprehensive tick-borne testing that your regular local reference lab. I’ve seen plenty of people who have a negative test with their local lab and then we find out they have Lyme disease when they get better testing. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis, which means it’s based on your symptoms plus your risk of tick exposure. The lab test only confirms what we suspect, but a negative test does no rule out the possibility of having Lyme disease. Although Lyme itself can be tricky to detect, your symptoms are not. Feeling better is everyone’s right and knowing how to identify and treat it is just as important and is your first step to feeling well again.


Bread

Gluten & Inflammation

Gluten intolerance, sensitivity, and allergy are all different forms of the body’s inability to process gluten. Numerous studies have addressed the controversy of gluten and Celiac-related medical issues. This includes one of the main symptoms associated with gluten intolerance- inflammation.

Inflammation is a complex process that happens within the body when it is exposed to a substance it sees as harmful, but might actually not be. This includes foods containing gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt. In addition to it being in breads, pastas, cereals, bagels and sauces, it is often used in many different household products, as well as some makeup and skincare products. It shows up in places of which you would never think.

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition (2015), written by Joseph Jamnik et al, it was found that gluten increases the biological signs of inflammatory response in the study population. Accounting for many variables including age and sex, it was found that an association exists between gluten intake and inflammation regardless of the possibility of a diagnosis of Celiac Disease. This means that gluten can cause problems for you regardless of whether you are gluten intolerant or not.

This study shows the importance of a diet that is free from processed or refined grains, especially grains containing gluten. Continuously eating gluten results in a chronic inflammatory response, which can lead to other chronic illnesses, such as depression, coronary heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even some types cancer.

Many of our food ingredients, as well as overexposure to processed grains could possibly be the triggers to the immune system’s inflammatory process. Gluten alone is not the only culprit. We also have to take into account the heavy use of pesticides and chemicals used in our current food supply.

If you're concerned about your inflammatory response with gluten or grains, there is very effective testing that can measure inflammation levels as well as proper testing for food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies. Consulting your environmental or integrative medical practitioner on a strategic diet and lifestyle can be the best way to reduce your risk of illness and get you on the right path to a healthier you.


Magnesium rich foods

Magnesium - Why It's So Important

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that is used by the human body for many functions. Although it seems like a simple nutrient to obtain through food, many individuals are actually deficient. The benefits of a balanced level of magnesium are many but, unfortunately low levels of magnesium can contribute to a plethora of symptoms that can be linked to several health issues.

Even more concerning is the deficit of magnesium in people who have elevated stress levels. High stress, can activate the fight-or-flight thus depleting B vitamins and important minerals, such as magnesium. This in turn can also alter digestive and immune function, further preventing the absorption of magnesium.

Magnesium is responsible for supporting bowel regularity, aiding in the absorption of calcium, supporting the heart muscle and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Without magnesium these functions would be severely impaired.

A few signs you may be deficient in magnesium:

  • Muscle cramps / tight muscles
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • Elevated stress levels
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings/ Depression

The need for magnesium can increase due to extended periods of high stress, malabsorption and autoimmune disorders. Magnesium is also an essential component in many of the brain’s functions.

Magnesium rich foods include:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Seaweed
  • Leafy greens
  • Chocolate (cocoa powder, unsweetened)
  • Flax seeds

In addition,  magnesium deficiency can be treated through supplementation. The body can benefit greatly from this as you can take calculated amounts without having to estimate how much you might be getting from food in order to meet your daily intake.

The benefits of a balanced diet is important. However, measuring the amounts of nutrients you're getting through your diet can be validated through further testing. Consider getting your magnesium levels checked by your healthcare practitioner. Once that has been determined, the type of magnesium that is needed can be chosen, dependent on your specific needs. Exploring this with your medical practitioner may, in fact, make a tremendous difference in your health.


Heart Test

This Little-Known Test Could Save Your Life

Sean E. Heerey ND, MA, CCC/SLP

Lipoprotein(a) and Heart Disease
According to the CDC, Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Close to 610,000 thousand people die of heart disease every year. The most common type of heart disease is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which kills over 370,000 people a year.

Elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking are all known risk factors for heart disease. Almost half of all Americans have at least one of these risk factors. Obesity and diabetes are additional risk factors.

A standard cholesterol panel, e.g., total cholesterol, LDL (“bad” cholesterol), HDL (“good” cholesterol) and triglycerides can give some valuable information, but does not tell the whole story about your true risk of heart disease and stroke. Almost 50 % of heart attack patients have normal LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

There is another lesser known test called Lipoprotein(a), Lp(a), that can potentially save your life. Lp(a) is a blood lipoprotein with a lipid composition similar to LDL cholesterol.

A 2013 article in the Journal of Internal Medicine, stated that based on genetic evidence provided by studies conducted over the last two decades, Lp(a) is currently considered to be the strongest genetic risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).

A 2016 article stated that high Lp(a) values also represent an independent risk factor for stroke (which is more relevant in younger stroke patients), peripheral artery disease (PAD) and hardening of your heart valves.

Additionally, high Lp(a) levels seem to be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events in patients with chronic kidney disease. Statin drugs, which can lower total cholesterol and LDL, do not decrease Lp(a) concentrations significantly.
Fortunately, naturopathic doctors combine advanced laboratory testing and analysis with individualized treatment recommendations to uncover and manage an individual’s risk for heart disease.

Some ways to lower the inflammation caused by Lp(a):

1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids- This is fish oil. Take 2-3 grams per day.

2. Vitamin C and L-lysine in high doses can be helpful. This therapy was recommended by Dr. Linus Pauling.

3. Restrict eating processed foods, grains and sugar in your diet.

These are just a few tips to get you started, but please work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive plan to lower your cardiovascular risk.

Please consult with your health care professional before beginning any supplement regimen or dietary plan. This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.


Natural medicine and homeopathy

Homeopathy for Healing Chronic Issues

Sean E. Heerey ND, MA, CCC/SLP

Homeopathy endeavors to treat the whole person. A naturopathic doctor or practitioner who uses homeopathy is interested in finding the “simillimum”, i.e., the single remedy that brings a person to a new place of healing.

This can be a difficult task especially when people are taking medications which alter how they feel and can change their perceptions of how they feel. Additionally, most pharmaceutical medicines are suppressive or palliative and do not treat the cause of disease.

By masking symptoms, disease may be pushed deeper into the body and problems can show up in another system. A common example seen in practice is a baby with eczema treated with topical corticosteroids that suppresses the skin inflammation, but may manifest as asthma 1-2 years later.

Sometimes, well indicated remedies don’t work because a person is engaging in habits that are not supportive of overall health, e.g., excessive consumption of gluten, dairy, processed foods, toxic relationships, exposure to environmental toxins, or lack of a loving partner in their life.

Homeopathic drainage is a type of naturopathic treatment, which can be used to “drain” various body systems at a cellular level, e.g., at the level of the extra cellular matrix, and help to restore normal physiology. One of the greatest challenges that our body faces is the effective management and removal of toxins, e.g., physical, mental and emotional.

Drainage is the process of detoxifying the body by opening up the detoxifying organs and discharging their toxic accumulations from the cells to recreate, re-establish and restore balance in the body. Drainage is more than just “detoxification”. It is about maintaining a balance in the body, mind and spirit. When the body is not in balance a disease condition develops.

The drainage remedies I use are called UNDA#s. After treating people with UNDA Numbers the process of finding a single homeopathic remedy is facilitated because the body has discharged and gotten rid of material, e.g., toxins, emotions, that are no longer useful. The symptoms on which to prescribe become clearer and a remedy can be given which can bring someone to a new place of healing. This process takes time.

Homeopathy is often compared to the layers of an onion. As you peel away each layer you get closer to the core, i.e., that central disturbance that is affecting someone on a physical, mental and/or emotional level. The combination of using UNDA#s to commence treatment followed by a single remedy can effectively treat conditions that have failed to respond to other appropriate and individualized care plans.

Examples of some cases that have benefitted from treatment with UNDA Numbers:

1. 38-year-old with chronic diarrhea of 2 years duration is improved. Used to have 6-7 bowel movements a day and now has 2 healthy bowel movements daily.

2.  3-year-old male with inflamed tonsils. Pediatrician referred case to ENT for surgery. After 2 months, his tonsils returned to normal size. Mother cancelled appointment with ENT.

 3. 55-year-old female with a chronic cough of several years duration. Several prescription drugs did not help her. She was feeling hopeless. Told by her heath care providers that she would cough for the rest of her life. Cough resolved after short course of treatment with UNDA numbers.

Homeopathic treatment is extremely safe and no one has ever died from a homeopathic remedy. However, thousands of people die each year from medication side effects, toxicity and errors. Homeopathic remedies, either single remedies or UNDA Numbers, are a gentle way to help improve health and wellness by supporting the body’s natural ability to detoxify.

To find a practitioner near you, look for a certified clinical homeopath (CCH), naturopathic doctor or other health care provider who has extensive training in homeopathy.