October 9, 2015

The Reality of Lyme Disease Infectiousness

Building a Strong Immune System 

by Dr. Scott Saunders

“You’re number 80,” the middle-aged woman said mournfully as she walked in.

“You’re exaggerating.” I stated matter-of-factly.

“No,” she replied, “I’m counting!”

doctor healed lyme disease v2For the previous seven years Jane had been to 79 doctors for an illness that nobody could figure out.  She was having chest pain and difficulty breathing, but nobody could find anything wrong with her heart or lungs.  Nothing turned up on blood tests, x-rays, and other investigations.  She continued to get worse over time, including fatigue, weakness, and joint pains. We finally determined that she was suffering from a very elusive infection – Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease Discovery

The story of how Lyme disease was discovered is fascinating.  Lyme disease was unknown until 1973 when a group of people became ill with a mysterious disease in Lyme, Connecticut.  Due to the persistence of mothers of several sick children, an investigation was conducted. The disease was named “Lyme disease.” At the time, it was considered a tick-borne disease. However, the exact cause was unknown until 1981 when the spirochete organism was found in ticks in Colorado.  Dr. Willy Burgdorf was studying another illness caused by ticks when the bacteria for Lyme, called spirochetes, were found.

Spirochetes are not like other types of bacteria or viruses.  They have unique characteristics that allow them to infect any cell or tissue in the body.  They can also evade the immune system, both by hiding inside cells and by producing a protective coating.  For this reason, they can cause any type of problem and disguise as many illnesses. This is why syphilis, another spirochete-like Borrelia, was called “The Great Imitator.”  It could imitate any disease because it can infect any tissue. Its symptoms are like those of many other diseases, from rashes to schizophrenia.  One researcher on syphilis noted:

Spirochetes“In two-thirds of untreated people, spirochetes and host will live amicably together until the patient dies of other causes, in about a third, however, the organism will continue to act upon the host to cause a variety of mischief.”[1]

These exact words could be used to describe Lyme disease today. The “variety of mischief” means it could infect any organ or tissue, causing any sort of problem. Indeed, Lyme disease could be “The Great Imitator” of the 21st Century!

A Stealthy Disease

Even though Lyme disease was only recognized 40 years ago, new discoveries found the Lyme bacteria in a fossilized tick from the Dominican Republic, indicating that it existed before humans walked the Earth.[2] The oldest known human to have Lyme disease was a mummified body found in a glacier in the Italian Alps that may be as old as 5300 years![3]

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme disease bullseye rashThe symptoms of Lyme disease are as variable as the people who have it.  It is a slippery condition to diagnose because nothing defines it, except a known tick bite. Subsequently, the tick bite produces a rash known as erythema chronicum migrans (EM) days to weeks later.

These rashes typically look like a “target,” but are actually highly variable. The CDC states that up to a third of people with Lyme disease never get, or see, a rash. In some cases rashes may spread beyond the original bite, and persist for years.

Other common symptoms include:

(3 to 30 days after tick bite)

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Later Signs and Symptoms

later signs and symptoms of lyme disease(Weeks to years after tick bite)

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Severe fatigue
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
  • Facial or Bell’s palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme myocarditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Problems with short-term memory[4]

Lyme Disease Testing

Jane had visited so many doctors who weren’t able to find a diagnosis because there is no accurate way to know if she had Lyme disease. The tests for Lyme look for antibodies, but the organism doesn’t always produce antibodies. Many people have little or no immune response to the presence of the spirochete. If you test positive, there is a good chance you have it. However, if you test negative, that doesn’t rule it out. Twenty years ago doctors were told that in order to have Lyme disease four criteria had to be met:

  1. The patient had to be in the Northeastern United States
  2. The tick had to be attached for more than 36 hours
  3. There had to be an EM rash
  4. There had to be a positive blood test

It turns out that as more research is done, some people with Lyme disease may have only two, one, or even none of these. Unfortunately, most doctors still only know these four criteria, and fail to recognize many cases of Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease is Increasing in Numbers

In January 2014 Lymedisease.org reported,

“Last summer the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Lyme disease is much more common than previously thought, with over 300,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. That makes Lyme disease almost twice as common as breast cancer and six times more common than HIV/AIDS.”[5]

We’re not sure that there are that many black-legged tick bites every year! In spite of this, the CDC continues to assert that the disease can only be acquired by ticks. Clearly, these numbers are much greater than can be explained by only tick bites.

Lyme Disease Transmission

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What It Is Like to Live With Anxiety

How to Remain Calm in Life

By Dr. Saunders, M.D.

Sheri can hardly function in life because of a gripping fear of everything.  She lives in an apartment above the businesses in the center of town, but hasn’t left her apartment in over five years.  Everything is brought to her.  She shops online and on the Home Shopping Network.

A trip to her house is a trip indeed!  Boxes she has purchased remain unopened, stacked four feet high around the whole apartment.  There is a trail only six inches wide leading from the front door to the bed and from the bed to the bathroom and kitchen.  She tried to leave her apartment a year ago. But only made it to the front steps before she got a panic attack and had to run back inside.

When anxiety becomes a problemPanic is a type of severe anxiety from a sudden release of adrenal (stress) hormones.  Short or long-term stress produces large amounts of these hormones, causing severe anxiety. When this surge of stress hormones hit the body, people feel like they are going to die.

In a typical hospital emergency department, patients with severe anxiety often display symptoms of: chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and a fear of imminent death.  They get blood tests, EKGs, X-rays, and even cardiac catheters to determine if they are having a heart attack.  The symptoms of anxiety often mimic a heart attack.  But more than 80% of the time there is no sign of heart trouble. Many people are told, “It’s just a panic attack.”

Living with Anxiety

While panic attacks are the extreme, and happen to some people, anxiety is very common. In fact everyone feels anxiety at some point, like fear or trepidation.

  • Needles often provoke anxiety, such as before a vaccination or blood draw.
  • Others feel anxiety before a test, interview, or court case.
  • Most get anxious at the thought of public speaking. They get a dry mouth, sweaty palms, cold hands and feet, and palpitations of the heart.
  • Even professional speakers, businessmen, or giving speeches or presentations experience anxiety.

The worst effect of an anxiety attack is on the brain. It causes disorganized thinking and poor memory, making it harder to present material.  One speaker noted after many years of public speaking that the “butterflies” in his stomach didn’t go away; they just flew in formation.[1]

Anxiety with a threat of loss is normal. Situations that cause anxiety are common to all people.

The purpose of anxiety is to warn us of danger. A message of fear sends a signal to the adrenal glands that there is an emergency. We then release hormones from the adrenal glands such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (cortisone) to help us get out of danger.

These stress hormones:

  • Increase our blood sugar and heart rate for quick energy.
  • Suppress our immune system and other “unnecessary” functions to protect our body.
  • Create a multitude of effects on the brain, including a sense of fear, danger, imminent death or foreboding, as well as loss of memory.

Their overall effect is an increase in circulation and energy to certain body systems and a downshift of less important ones into maintenance mode. In this way, the fight or flight response prepares the body for extreme action.

When there is danger our body doesn’t need to function at capacity. We just need to get out of danger!

However, even when there is no danger present, the adrenal glands release the stress hormones causing all the same symptoms.  This emergency response causes physical symptoms that many people misinterpret as a heart attack or other serious physical conditions. Misinterpreting these symptoms can cause anxiety and the fear response to continue.

Sheri would feel panic just from walking outside her door.  She had no control over the release of hormones or how she felt; it just happened.  She tried taking medications of all kinds, and received counseling, but nothing seemed to help at all.  She was stuck.

The ways we categorize anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is constant worry or fear.
  • Panic Disorder refers to those who get sudden panic attacks, feel out of control, or sense impending doom.
  • Social Phobia feels like continually being embarrassed in public.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is when fearful thoughts take control of one’s actions. People then “have to” do things to relieve the anxiety.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) refers to those who have had major trauma that brings on chronic anxiety.

Anxiety becomes a problem when:

  • You feel anxious most/all of the time for more than 6 months
  • Your level of anxiety is excessive and intense
  • Your anxiety is uncontrollable and disrupts your job, relationships, sleep and social life
  • Your behavior changes due to your level of anxiety – this could be anything from drinking lots of tea, finding it hard to breathe, not being able to leave the house, or performing repetitive rituals, such as counting to 10 before you do something

Generally, anxiety is not considered abnormal unless it affects the normal functioning of the person, such as their ability to work, play, interact with others, or sleep, and has been present more than six months. And, of course, there are levels of anxiety – mild to severe.

Symptoms of anxiety may include one or more of the following:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Shortness of breath, or unable to fill the lungs completely
  • Jumpiness and feeling on edge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swallowing problems, like a lump in the throat
  • Stomach problems and difficulty digesting food
  • Headaches of all types
  • Sleep problems of all types
  • Palpitations of the heart
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Cold sweats
  • Frequent urination
  • Bad moods
  • Eating, drinking or smoking more than usual

Mainstream Medical Treatment for Anxiety

Since the beginning of time people have used alcohol to relieve anxiety.  Doctors call it “the drug of choice” for all types of anxiety and panic because people who have anxiety drink it. And those who have more anxiety, drink more.

  • For some, it works so well they become “addicted” to alcohol. If they stop drinking, then they feel lots of anxiety.
  • Others only use alcohol for occasional anxiety, or in the evening to relax after a stressful day at work.
  • Some try to use it to sleep, but it disturbs sleep.

While it’s effective for anxiety, the side effects of alcohol can be devastating, as most of us know.

Standard medical treatment to relieve anxiety includes medications that stimulate the receptors in the brain that induce calm.

Most anxiety drugs, such as the benzodiazepines, work on the GABA receptors.  Stimulating these receptors in the brain suppresses anxiety. Because GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it slows down the brain function in certain areas. It works immediately, but for only a few hours. However, tolerance to its effects is easily developed. These medications, like Valium and similar drugs, work in much the same way as alcohol to numb anxiety.

Valium was a godsend for many.  In the 1960s they called it “mother’s little helper.” Valium allowed moms to be calm and relaxed with the children – without alcohol!  Doctors originally believed it was not addictive, and only caused some drowsiness. However, this is not the case.  Over time, people become tolerant to the level of stimulation provided by the drug and needed more.

When benzodiazepine treatment is stopped abruptly, patients may develop withdrawal symptoms.  Some benzodiazepines, like Valium, can even cause seizures from withdrawal.

Now, the benzodiazepines have become standard fare for all types of anxiety. I had a patient who found that a benzodiazepine worked so well she carried one pill around for over a year, “just in case” she got a panic attack. It helped her to relax, knowing that relief was available if she absolutely had to use it. She never did, and now doesn’t need it at all.

Other medical treatments that might help include antidepressants for anxiety. Most of these work on the serotonin receptors, which have a relaxing effect.  This makes sense on a chemical level. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that has an effect on multiple brain functions, including anxiety.

Others work on dopamine or norepinephrine receptors as well, such as the “major tranquilizers” or antipsychotic drugs.  The use of these for anxiety is becoming much more common.  Some people with anxiety prefer opiates like morphine, codeine, and the like.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety. People have different reasons for being anxious and display different anxiety symptoms, and therefore need different types of medications to relieve anxiety.

The primary problem with most of the medications used for anxiety is the same as with alcohol – they suppress all feeling and create numbness.  Using drugs to resolve feelings is always a gamble. This is especially true when people have anxiety because they report they “don’t feel anything.”   Some, of course, prefer to live this way. But many would like to try another way.

Determine the Cause of Anxiety

Medications may relieve anxiety symptoms for a short time. But they don’t take care of the problem, or address the cause of anxiety. The key to successfully treating anxiety is to find the cause(s) and remove them. There are many causes of anxiety:

  • many faces of anxietyExcessive stress, or change
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Hypothalamic tumors
  • Hormone imbalances (such as low progesterone)
  • Ectopic adrenal production
  • Medication side-effects
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides
  • Nutrient deficiencies like B-vitamins, minerals, or amino acids
  • Thought disorders
  • Loss of foundation, or shock such as a sudden illness, loss of a loved-one, or accident

Once you find the cause of the problem, you can begin to change it at the roots, not just for temporary relief of anxiety symptoms. In looking at the list, it becomes apparent that this is no simple task. Some may require the help of a professional.

To end anxiety, follow the general recommendations and try each of the specific supplement and herb recommendations one at a time. 

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How to Reverse Multiple Sclerosis

Natural Protocols to Beat MS

by Dr. Scott Saunders

We often use the word “disease” to denote a “syndrome” or collection of symptoms. To define a disease requires that we know the cause of the symptoms. Thus, correctly stated, multiple sclerosis is not a disease, but rather a syndrome. The causes are not one, but many, making it difficult to find a single cause for all the symptoms that we call Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Because MS affects the nervous system it can have effects anywhere in the body on any function of the body. Some people have terrible pain, others get numbness. Some have weakness of certain muscles, while others have brain dysfunction and memory impairment. Commonly, people with classical MS get visual disturbances such as blindness or double vision.

Reverse MS and eliminate symptoms naturally 2Four disease courses have been identified in multiple sclerosis:

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
  • Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)
  • Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)
  • Progressive-relapsing MS

Each of these disease courses might be mild, moderate or severe.[1]

Neurological problems that resolve in a matter of days to months, but then recur in other areas characterize relapsing-remitting. Thus, for example, a person with RRMS may have weakness in the left leg for months which then resolves, and later get double vision, only later to get pain in the other leg. These MS patients usually go on to develop a progressive form.

Progressive MS is exactly as it sounds. The disabilities don’t resolve, but rather continue as new ones are added. This usually leads to paralysis, pain, and even mental dysfunction.

Multiple Sclerosis Causes

There seem to be multiple factors involved in the cause of the symptoms of MS. These may include:

  • Genetic – Generally, close family members have a higher risk of MS that may not be due to environmental factors. For instance, an identical twin of someone with MS has a 1 in 4 chance of developing MS. However, fraternal twins have about a 1 in 40 risk, the same as other family members. The general population has about a 1 in 1000 risk.
  • Autoimmune – The debate over MS as an autoimmune disease rages. There is definitely inflammation in the brain, but specific antibodies are hard to consistently find.
  • Nutrient deficiencies – The fact that MS attacks happen more in the winter may indicate a vitamin D deficiency, but no causal relationship has been shown. Vitamin D is also an important immune system activator and may prevent viral illnesses.
  • Infectious diseases – Viral antigens have been found in the spinal fluid of people with MS, but not consistently enough to assure a causal relationship.

Mainstream Medical Treatments for MS

There are several MS drugs on the market that are approved by the FDA for treatment of MS.

Disease-modifying drugs that have been shown to reduce exacerbations and slow the progression of MS include:

  • Avonex (interferon beta-1a)
  • Rebif (interferon beta-1a)
  • Betaseron and Extavia (interferon beta-1b)
  • Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)
  • Novantrone (mitoxantrone)
  • Tysabri (natalizumab)
  • Aubagio (teriflunomide)
  • Gilenya (fingolimod)
  • Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)
  • Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
  • Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate or DMF)
  • Ampyra (dalfampridine)[2]

These MS drugs clearly state that although they may decrease the number of relapses, they don’t cure the disease. Some people have good results from using them, but eventually progress with more MS complications anyway. Plus, many of the drugs have side-effects that are more harmful than the disease. I recommend people use drugs for symptomatic relief, if needed, while they are working on reversing the illness.

Alternative Medical Treatments for MS

I’m not going to discuss each alternative MS treatment here, because my purpose is to reverse the disease, and not to put a Band-Aid on it. The use of these protocols should be in consultation with a doctor who can prescribe it.

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Do Adult Vaccines Protect From Illness?

Sixteen Adult Vaccines Risk vs. Benefits

by Dr. Scott Saunders

There is nothing on Earth more controversial than vaccines. Ever since that historic day in May 1796 when Edward Jenner gave a young girl the first vaccine, the cowpox virus that prevented her from getting smallpox, entire populations have been polarized over the use of vaccines. Few have not taken sides. Some say vaccines are the cause of illnesses of all types: autism, neuropathy, asthma, and so forth. While others say they do no harm at all and only help prevent disease. The debate is even more heated when the government forces people to get vaccines they don’t want.

The use of vaccines to prevent illness got a slow start. Louis Pasteur was born about the time Edward Jenner died. It wasn’t until 1885 that Pasteur vaccinated a 9 year old boy bitten by a rabid dog with the first rabies vaccination. Since that time, many new vaccines have been developed to protect people from multiple illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends 49 doses of 14 different vaccines before the age of six. This does not include other vaccinations that are available for travel to other countries.

At this time, the medical evidence should tilt the balance of the debate towards the government allowing parents and individuals to make their own decisions and those for their children.

The fact is there are risks to vaccinations. It’s important to be informed of these in order to make a decision. The big question on everybody’s lips is: “Which vaccines should I get, and when?”

It’s hard to know whom to trust when manufacturers use government to force vaccines on the entire population. Today, it seems that the public health establishment is obsessed with developing vaccines against every conceivable microorganism, and these government programs are bent to include everyone, every child, and every infant in the immunization loop.

Herd Immunity

In California, and now all over the United States, representatives of those who sell vaccines are talking about a concept called “herd immunity.” This is the theory that if a certain percentage of the population has vaccinations, then they won’t spread the illness, and the whole society is protected.

Literature from those who market vaccines to the public often state that if most of a population are immune to a disease, then it protects those who aren’t vaccinated. This causes peer-pressure to get vaccinated. As a result, schools, friends, and neighbors may not allow unvaccinated children around, believing that they could pass diseases. This theory, however, has been disproved. Russell Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon, explains the situation.[1]

“When I was in medical school, we were taught that all of the childhood vaccines lasted a lifetime. This thinking existed for over 70 years. It was not until relatively recently that it was discovered that most of these vaccines lost their effectiveness 2 to 10 years after being given. What this means is that at least half the population, that is the baby boomers, have had no vaccine-induced immunity against any of these diseases for which they had been vaccinated very early in life. In essence, at least 50% or more of the population was unprotected for decades.

If we listen to present-day wisdom, we are all at risk of resurgent massive epidemics should the vaccination rate fall below 95%. Yet, we have all lived for at least 30 to 40 years with 50% or less of the population having vaccine protection. That is, herd immunity has not existed in this country for many decades and no resurgent epidemics have occurred. Vaccine-induced herd immunity is a lie used to frighten doctors, public-health officials, other medical personnel, and the public into accepting vaccinations.”

Herd immunity is a myth that won’t go away because it is the only way to justify forced vaccination for an entire population.

Natural Vaccination

The creation of a vaccine may also induce the need for it. The chickenpox vaccine nicely illustrates the difference between natural immunity and vaccine immunity.

When I was a child, my friend Tony down the street got the chickenpox and my mom brought us over to play with him. We didn’t usually play at Tony’s house. I thought it was funny that other children of the neighborhood came over as well. It was like a party! That was the only time I went inside his house. Within a few days, I also had red spots, and itching. I remember crying because my mom told me not to scratch. Obviously, I wasn’t very obedient because I still have a scar on my face.

Immunity wanes over time, whether you get the chickenpox or you get the vaccine. However, when children get chickenpox, the adults around them get “vaccinated” by exposure, giving them a natural booster. These periodic “re-vaccinations” throughout life from children and grandchildren keep up the immunity of most of the population. So, a single childhood illness provides “lifetime immunity.”

Now, however, children are vaccinated against chickenpox. Thus, the adults around them don’t have any natural booster for their own immunity. As a result, the rate of shingles, a secondary type of chickenpox, has skyrocketed in recent years.

The vaccine manufacturer has conveniently created the need for a shingles vaccine, which is the exact same thing as the chickenpox vaccine, only 100 times stronger.

Achieving Herd Immunity

Early Illness Decline NOT with vaccinesThe ability for a vaccine to provide protection against an illness depends on how it stimulates the immune system to react. We look at antibody levels, but now know that most viral illnesses are intracellular – they infect inside the cells. So, viruses are controlled through the innate, or cellular immune system, including macrophages and NK (natural killer) cells. This is why antibodies may not be protective. Thus, a vaccine that stimulates the body to produce antibodies against a virus may not actually be effective at preventing disease.

Besides this, there are really several reasons for outbreaks of diseases in populations that have been “fully vaccinated” against them.

  • Many don’t respond to the vaccine
  • Antibodies decline rapidly in some
  • “Booster” vaccinations don’t always cause more antibodies

All these factors combined, approximately 50% of people are protected following a vaccine, depending on the illness. This explains why nobody has ever achieved the 95% threshold that is theoretically needed to achieve “herd immunity” that prevents outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccine Effectiveness

There has always been a question of the effect vaccines have had on the rates of disease. We are told that vaccines have been the cause of a drop in rates of infections in the world population. Actually, there is probably a modest effect at best, as illustrated by the following graph, which gives us the big picture of multiple infectious diseases.

Vaccine Effectivenss

We can see that these common illnesses were declining throughout the early part of the 20th century, whether they had a vaccine or not. This is attributable to multiple factors including:

Thus, an effective vaccine in 1900 meant a lot more to a population than it does since 1950.

Adult Vaccine Risks vs. Benefits

Now, with all of this information, are you ready to make decisions on which vaccines to get, and when? Probably not. Does this mean that vaccines are not useful? Not at all!

In my office we have a travel clinic where we carry most vaccines, even ones that other doctors never see such as Japanese Encephalitis and Yellow Fever. Because of this, I need to know which vaccines are appropriate for each person and pass this information to inform my patients on which they desire.

Here I will provide you the significant risk of complications – and benefits if present – of each adult vaccine. You should have a choice in what substances are injected into your body – at any age. And, to be perfectly clear, it should be the government’s job to protect that choice – not take it away! Don’t let a physician push any immunization on you to comply with the CDC’s recommendation for adult vaccination before you know the risks! Here is what to expect.

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The Incredible Brain – And How to Keep Yours Working

Your Brain Repair Program

by Dr. Scott Saunders

The brain is arguably your most important organ. Primarily because it controls everything else. Compared to all the other tissues of the body, it uses the most energy and circulation by far. What’s more, a hard shell protects the brain, which sits in water for added shock-absorption.

It is important to protect your brain in other ways, as well. The “blood-brain barrier” prevents unwanted material, like viruses and bacteria in the blood, from crossing over into the brain tissue. The brain even requires a very specific protein to transport glucose to itself from the blood. Clearly it is important to protect your brain!

brain repair program However, in spite of all this protection, so many of us have brain dysfunctions, such as:

  • Loss of memory
  • Dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Strokes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Gradual brain shrinkage

In fact, half of all Americans who reach the age of 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. [1] How can all this happen if the brain is so well-protected?

Even though the array of factors that can cause brain dysfunction is vast, I want to provide you with the most potent brain-protecting information.

The most important issues for the brain are:

  • Nutrition
  • Energy production
  • Free-radicals
  • Toxins
  • Exercise

Nutrition for the Brain

The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and sugar for energy. In fact, every essential nutrient is used to fuel the brain. Amino acids that come from the protein you eat are the building blocks of your brain’s network. They help make your neurotransmitters.

If your brain is lacking amino acids, then the deficiency reflects in emotional and behavioral dysfunction. Click to Tweet.

If your brain becomes malnourished from low oxygen, lack of nutrients, or toxins, then it atrophies and you lose brainpower. Some of the brain cells may die, but they can also go into an unconscious state, called “senescence.”

The brain functions that are lost first are the non-essential ones, such as memory. The essential functions of muscle control, and sensory input are the last to be affected. Thus, a loss of memory may be an early sign of a lack of energy to the brain. Just as our brain influences our health, so our health influences our brain.

What Causes the Brain to Atrophy

1. Lack of oxygen

  1. Smoking
  2. Lack of exercise
  3. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  4. Vascular disease
  5. Strokes

2. Lack of nutrients

  1. Proteins due to diet or poor digestion
  2. Good fats
  3. B-vitamins (especially folate and B12)
  4. Anti-oxidants
  5. Magnesium, zinc, and trace minerals

3. Toxins

  • Alcohol
  • Aspartame (and other sweeteners)
  • MSG
  • Caffeine
  • Stimulants
  • Sugar
  • Heavy metals:
    – Mercury
    – Lead
    – Arsenic
    – Aluminum
  • Drugs/medications
    – Sleeping pills
    – Allergy medications
    – Cholesterol medication
    – Pain medications
    – Depression medications

 4. Inflammation

The above factors (such as cigarette smoking, medications, obesity, disrupted sleep patterns and poor dietary habits) compromise the integrity of your brain. These irritants stimulate inflammation.

The brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage. Energy is generated from food, and regulates growth and change of cells. Too much energy for the brain causes oxidation, damage, or “rust.”

For example, when you have a nice car, you wash and wax it regularly so the paint doesn’t oxidize. Oxidation occurs when energy from the sun and oxygen combine and break down the molecular structure of the paint.

There is no way for the car paint to protect itself. So we keep the car in the garage, put a cover on it, or wax it regularly. The wax absorbs the energy, oxidizes, and comes off – then we replace it. You may not like to wax your car, but it’s better than replacing the paint!

Likewise energy is generated from food, and regulates growth and change of brain cells. Too much energy causes oxidative damage by “oxygen free-radicals.” These are high-energy molecules that damage everything they touch – like the sun. They are especially dangerous to DNA because the damage may cause entire loss of the cell. Losing brain cells is not good for memory! Research has shown that simply eating too many calories can increase the amount of damaging molecules like free radicals that can build up in the brain.[2] When these dangerous little free radical particles become too numerous for the brain to remove, they can lead to problems in cognitive function, death of neurons, premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

All aging is caused by damage to DNA in different cell types of the body. But the brain is especially sensitive to damage because brain cells don’t divide or regenerate. That decay is evident in brain tissue with selective loss of brain cells in areas associated with mobility, learning and memory. This is why those functions deteriorate most rapidly with aging.

We can prevent the “aging” of the brain the same way we can prevent the “aging” of the paint on our car. We just need to know how to do this so hundreds of thousands of Americans like you aren’t robbed of joy and satisfaction in life each year.

We need energy to survive, but energy causes damage! Click to Tweet

The brain’s appetite for energy is great. Thus, we need enough, but not too much energy. How do we walk this fine line?

While there is still a lot to learn about our brain’s metabolism, I have worked out a few ways to help keep your thinking organ in shape, now and as you age.

The Principles of Preventing Cellular Brain Damage

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How to Naturally Protect Your Kidneys

Innovative Strategies for Kidney Health

Ray was 56 years old and facing dialysis. A recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes had him in a downward spiral of blood sugar issues, pain in his feet, and now kidney failure! Leading up to this, Ray’s prediabetes and nearly “normal” blood sugar allowed his kidney damage to go unrecognized.

Even when diabetes is not full blown, high sugar levels in prediabetes can cause problems throughout the body.

One of the main organs damaged by high blood sugar is the kidney. Over time, the high levels of sugar in the blood damage the millions of tiny filtering units within each kidney. This eventually leads to kidney failure.

The heart, and nerve cells are also sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar because they don’t store any form of energy. Diabetes cannot turn the sugars you eat into useful energy. The consistently high levels of sugar cause a constant supply of oxygen free-radicals that result in gradual damage to the nerves and blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly.

Most of the time, those who experience kidney failure already have signs of it before they are even diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, the most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes).

Since Ray already had signs of renal failure, we immediately started him on intravenous alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoid acid is a super nutrient and turns “used” antioxidants into “available” antioxidants for your body to use for making energy.

At the same time, we recommended dietary changes such as eating fewer carbohydrates, and drinking water instead of soda. He also needed to give up beer and ice cream.

How Your Kidneys Work

Saunders Kidney diagramProtecting your kidneys is so important. Our kidneys are the constant filter of the body. Healthy kidneys maintain all the things our cells need to function in the blood, while letting go of waste and toxins. The design is amazing!

  • Blood runs through a filter (5)
  • Filtered water goes down the tube (4)
  • Blood, protein stay in vessels (3)
  • Water and nutrients leak out into the kidney tissue (2)
  • Nutrients that the body wants are re-absorbed into blood vessels (1)
  • Waste is sent to the bladder (6)

First, there are millions of filters called the glomeruli. These tiny filters let fluid out of the blood, but keep cells and proteins. The glomeruli function very much like a coffee filter. Whatever is dissolved in the water of your blood goes through the filter, but particles stay in the blood. Then, the fluid goes through tubes where sodium, potassium, amino acids, water, and so forth, are re-absorbed into the blood. Your kidneys will release them to return to the body when the need arises.

All that is left is a little water and filtered wastes, which then move down to the bladder and are released into the toilet (or wherever☺) as urine.

Essentially, each of your glomeruli acts like a sieve that helps keep normal proteins and cells in your bloodstream and allows wastes, excess fluid and other substances to pass. In this way, your kidneys regulate your body’s level of these substances.

The remarkable nature of this system is that it allows the body to keep all the nutrients it needs, while allowing any sort of waste or toxin to be washed out of the body. The kidneys don’t have to know what is bad, only what is good – waste is whatever is not wanted.

It is essential that we consider the health of our kidneys. According to CDC data, since 1999, the age-adjusted death rate for kidney disease has increased by 11.5 percent, compared to downward trends for heart attacks and strokes.[1] Of course, most of these are due to the increasing rate of diabetes, but there are many with renal failure who don’t have diabetes.

Another Cause of Kidney Failure

Sometimes the filters (glomeruli) don’t work for other reasons. Josie came in with swelling of the legs and feet. She had been to several doctors and was told she had Nephrotic Syndrome: damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in your kidneys that filter waste and excess water from your blood.

This damage allows protein normally kept in the blood to leak into the urine in large amounts, which reduces the amount of protein in your blood. Since the protein in the blood helps keep fluid in the bloodstream, some of this fluid leaks out of the bloodstream into your tissues, causing swelling.

Imagine using coffee filters that had little pinholes in them so you keep finding sediment in your coffee. The “pinholes” in the glomeruli of the kidneys are generally caused by what we think are “immune complexes” or autoimmune disease. Antibodies against either the kidneys or other cells can “poke holes” in the filters, causing them to leak.

The problem with kidney failure is that there are no symptoms until about 80% of normal kidney function is lost. This means that, unfortunately, many people never realize they have a kidney problem until a symptom such as back pain or blood in the urine appears. By then, it’s usually too late to restore normal function.

Thus, the key to avoiding kidney disease is PREVENTION!

We had to work with Josie to calm down her immune system and stop the leaks. Then, we restored kidney function just enough so she no longer has swelling. She still loses a little protein in the urine, but the liver can make enough to keep up with it.

The glomeruli are the most important part of the kidney to protect. Like Ray and Josie, most kidney problems are from the waste filters. Protection of your kidneys is not hard, and doesn’t take a great deal of time. You don’t have to think about it, just follow good health practices.

How to Naturally Protect your Kidneys

Low salt diet leads to early deathTwo of the most important functions of your kidneys are:

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The Art of Using Essential Oils


Have you ever had the experience of smelling something that causes you to relive an old experience? You actually feel the old feeling as if you were living it again — not just a memory. Maybe your heart races, or you feel hot all over.

When I was in college, I took a date to a Chinese restaurant. I ordered my favorite Chinese chicken salad, and subsequently spent most of the night kneeling in front of the toilet. For years, every time I smelled sesame oil my stomach would turn and I couldn’t eat. Interestingly, I could tolerate all the other ingredients: chicken, lettuce, green onions, and so forth. It was just the distinctive smell of sesame oil that caused nausea.

benefits of essential oilsOur sense of smell can have powerful effects on the body through our feelings and memory. The link occurs because you process smell in the hippocampus and amygdala, parts of the limbic system, or the “emotional brain” — the same area where memories are processed. This is the same part of the autonomic nervous system that controls blood pressure, heart, hormones, breathing, stomach, organs and so forth. Because of this, essential oils have the potential to have far-reaching effects on the body.

Essential Oil Basics

Essential oils have been called “the life blood of a plant.” Oils are called “essential oils” when they are pure extracts of the plant. They are named “essential” because they bear the very essence of the flower, petals, peels, berries, leaves, bark, wood or roots from which they are derived. All substances can be broken down into an array of molecules and atoms, and essential oils are no different. Each essential oil can be broken down into a collection of different natural chemical constituents. These oils consist of a multitude of different substances:

  • Aldehydes
  • Fats (lipids)
  • Terpenes
  • Ketones
  • Alcohols
  • Phenols
  • Esters

Essential oils are used by plants in somewhat the same way they are by humans. Essential oils:

  • Fight infection
  • Contain hormone-like compounds
  • Initiate cellular regeneration
  • Work as chemical defense against fungal, viral, and animal foes

Each plant’s oils have a unique makeup as a result of the plant’s own physiology, natural environment, and its potential microbial invaders. Despite their plant origins, essential oils have a similar structure to some compounds found in blood and tissues. This allows them to be compatible with our own physiology and easily absorbed into the human body. Essential oils pass through cell membranes, then further on into the bloodstream due to their “lipophilic” nature (a structure in alignment with the lipid components of our cell walls).

When using essential oils to treat illness, it’s important to take the individual person into account. One may negatively respond to an oil that will help another. Thus, there is an art to their use. The way we heal from illness is correlated to our internal function, much more than to the chemistry.

For example, of a hundred people exposed to the flu virus, only about 30% actually get an illness. If your balanced immune system is functioning, you may not get sick in the first place. If you do, you will be able to overcome and fight the infection. Antibiotics are really for people with a suppressed or non-functional immune system. Essential oils can be an adjunct to helping your body function properly to prevent and treat illness.

Essential oils can protect us from microbes in many different ways. From keeping the space around us naturally microbe-free, to readying our immune system for defense, to actually destroying the microbes once they’ve entered our bodies.

The two primary effects happen through olfactory reactions, or sense of smell, and the chemical reactions from applying oils to the skin.

Besides the effects caused from the odor, as the oils are absorbed, each substance further affects the body through action on hormones, receptors, the immune system, and energy production. These are generally absorbed readily through the skin, but some are volatile, meaning they evaporate, so they are taken orally.

Essential oils absorbed through the skin go directly into the lymph system before they reach the blood, producing more immune system effects. Click to Tweet.

This also allows more regional application since the lymph system is more local. This is why topical essential oil application is done for more localized effects.

When oils are ingested through the intestines they go straight to the liver, which can affect detoxification mechanisms as well as energy production. From there, they have access to cells and blood, and then to the rest of the body.

Safety of Essential Oils

While quality oils are non-toxic and safe, they are highly concentrated. Because they can have powerful effects on the body, you only need very small amounts. This is not one of those, “If some is good, then more is better,” treatments. When ingesting them internally it is often better to put them into capsules.

Someone told a friend of ours to use a couple of drops of pure oil of oregano for her 4-year-old son’s sore throat. He had been in bed for 2 days and was quite ill. She didn’t know how to administer pure oil of oregano. So she told her son to open his mouth and she shook a few drops of pure oil out of the bottle onto his tongue. The child immediately turned red and went screaming down the hall, running around the house throwing up, gaging and crying.

The mom didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about. After all, it was just an oil from a spice she used frequently in her cooking, so she put a drop or two on her own tongue. She said her tongue instantly felt like it was on fire. She turned red, her eyes watered up and ran through the house screaming and gaging, and finally to the kitchen for a glass of water! She apologized to her son profusely! However, 15 minutes later her son was well, laughing and playing. He was fully and permanently recovered from his illness!

How Essential Oils are Used

Using essential oils is an art that takes some time to master. Oils are not like drugs, which primarily enhance or retard the body’s natural functions. Where there is dysfunction and the body is not able to compensate, the oils will not change it.

For example, a person with diabetes may be told that lavender and cinnamon oils help to regulate sugar. But if there is no change in diet and exercise oils will make little difference. Oils are best used as part of a program, especially in the case of chronic illness.

That said, it is important to understand how our medical system uses drugs:

  • To block or stimulate receptors in the body
  • To kill bacteria or viruses
  • To effect chemical reactions

But, essential oils work differently. Their aromas are a sensory experience, on top of the physiologic effects, which make them much more effective than just relieving symptoms. Click to Tweet.

Let’s look at some common ailments, and some simple regimens that can be useful for specific problems. These examples will provide some of the spectrum of the uses of essential oils.

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What Your Skin Reveals

Skin is so revealing!

Our skin is the largest organ of the body, performing multiple tasks. Skin:

  • Protects us from our environment
  • Regulates our body temperature
  • Warns of etanger
  • Prevents infection
  • Senses the world around us
  • Reveals what is going on inside our bodies

treat rosacea with betaine hcl pepsin and trypsinWhen I was in medical school we had a dermatology class by a professor in his 80s, Dr. Newcomer. He was hilarious. He would never touch the skin of the patients. Instead, he would have them show him what their rash or skin lesion looked like. He would often say, “Yuck-a-roo! You’ve got a rash there!” He would then turn to us and give us the diagnosis of what kind of rash. Whether it was eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis, or urticaria, he told us the symptoms of each skin condition.

But these skin rash names and symptoms did not denote the cause. Thus, we were only taught how to treat the symptoms of skin problems. Over the years, I have found that the skin reveals what is going on inside the body. Using the old system of diagnosing symptoms wasn’t helpful to find the cause, nor to relieve the condition.

One man, John Kortum, who is not a doctor or practitioner, has written a book in which he describes how he can diagnose internal illness simply by looking at the face. He can tell by the texture of the skin in certain locations on the face if a person has thyroid, adrenal, cancer, or other problems.

There may be no end to using the skin for diagnosis, but it’s not easy. The specific skin lesions may reveal that something is wrong, but do not tell us what specifically. We still need to dig to find the underlying cause of the illness.

The skin tells us there is a problem, but doesn’t say what is causing it because it is only one symptom. All symptoms do is tell us that there is a problem. If you have pain, then something is wrong. The pain may tell you where, but not what the problem is. Likewise a rash, or other skin lesion, may indicate that there is a problem, but not what or where the problem is.

Flush Food Sensitivities and Relieve Rosacea

I find food sensitivities to be a common cause of skin problems. One skin ailment I frequently see is rosacea, an inflammation in the skin of the face that causes:

  • Pimples
  • Enlargement of blood vessels
  • And sometimes a bulbous tip of the nose

Dermatologists recommend antibiotics or anti-inflammatories in pills, creams, or gels to try to relieve the symptoms. However, I find that going to the source is much more helpful to prevent permanent skin damage.

Rosacea seems to stem from poorly digested proteins in the digestive tract. Click to Tweet.

The cause may be a lack of

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What’s Causing Your Acne?

How To Have Soft And Smooth Skin

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

As it turns out, acne is caused by a number of hidden triggers. Toxins, food and hormones can change your face from soft and smooth to breakouts.

  1. Acne is caused by toxic overload of the liver with certain toxins.  These organic toxins include mostly dioxin, BPA, and pesticides. As a result, the liver may not be able to adequately purify all toxic substances that enter the body, so these excess toxins either end up stored in our fatty tissue or eliminated through one of the bodies seven elimination channels – one of these being the skin.
  2. Foods also trigger acne. The primary foods that cause inflammation are omega 6 oils and sugars.
  3. how to have soft and smooth skin 2Some artificial sweeteners also exacerbate acne.
  4. Steroid hormones such as cortisol (stress) tell your body to produce more pore-clogging oil.
  5. Puberty triggers significant chemical activity that can play with one’s hormonal balance, causing the appearance of acne and other skin blemishes. Hormonal activity doesn’t just cause acne for teens (males with too much testosterone); women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances that frequently cause acne.
  6. Acne is really not due to washing, or lack thereof. It’s not the outside, but rather the inside. As Jesus said, “Cleanse first that which is within… that the outside… may be clean.”[1] Thus, drugs, scrubs, gels, pastes, exfoliants, soaps, etc., may improve the symptoms, but do not address the problem.
  7. Acne is not an infection, but rather an inflammation of the glands of the skin. Killing the bacteria on the skin can relieve the inflammation for a short time, but, doesn’t address the problem.

The key to healthy skin isn’t just dealing with the symptoms — like lathering on potions and lotions, popping and pricking pimples, or taking antibiotics or strong liver damaging medication. The way to totally relieve the problem of acne and have clear, clean, smooth, beautiful skin is to get rid of inflammation. This may be different in different people, but here are some ideas that really work to douse the fires of inflammation.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Naturally

1. Detox program.

The purpose of detox is to give the liver what it needs to get the normal toxins out of your body.

In order to this, you need the right high-nutrient and low-toxin foods. Be careful of protein powders or smoothies, as they often contain sweeteners that can make the problems worse. In my office we carry a Standard Process Whole Food Detox Kit that works very well. You can also get Nourish Greens or other powders that add nutrition without toxicity.

The best detox, if you don’t want to use powders or pills, is to eat ONLY organic, raw vegetables, and organic, grass-fed beef, chicken, or wild fish for four weeks. Some of the vegetables may be cooked, like spinach. It’s best to eat an up to 9 cups per day. It is a must to include brassica vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Avoid the starchy foods like potatoes.

2. Cleanse program.

A cleanse program takes the toxins out of the body. Using up the glycogen in the liver and muscles so you use up fat for energy does this. It always requires a limited diet, or fasting. Some cleanse with only water, but there are MANY different cleanses (juice fast, Master Cleanse, broth cleanse, etc.).   This can be done one week at a time over many months, and then once or twice per year.

I prefer the broth cleanse because it adds easily absorbable nutrients and minerals without any sugars, allowing the body to get rid of inflammation. To follow this protocol, drink only broth, about 2 quarts per day, for one to four weeks, depending on the need.

The key to an effective cleanse is to have an empty stomach, which allows more anabolic metabolism, lowering the catabolic hormones and inflammation. You will lose about a pound per day, so don’t overdo it.

3. Sweat

It is essential to sweat regularly to remove toxins and keep the lymph system in circulation. Some sit in a hot box and sweat, but it’s best to heat the body from the inside with exercise.

4. Ongoing diet

The food you eat should change to avoid toxins such as bad fats and sugars.

  • Good fats come from grass-fed meats, avocado, coconut, olive oil, and so forth.
  • Make your own dressings for salads.
  • Have lots of greens every day.
  • Avoid grains such as pasta, breads, cereals and the like.
  • Avoid sugar in any form. Avoid the taste of sweet because they are all toxic. Berries are fine if you need something sweet. You may also have an occasional orange or other organic fruit.

5. Stress reduction

While you cannot avoid stress because it comes from change and change is inevitable, you can mitigate its effects by following a few principles.

  • Exercise regularly. Work out enough to tire so you make endorphins.
  • Have a hobby in which you lose yourself.
  • Have goals, and work to achieve them.
  • Avoid stimulants such as drugs, caffeine, and sugar.
  • Get enough sleep: go to bed early, and get up early.
  • Make connections with others: close friends, family, spouse. Love is the best stress reliever.

By following these principles, not only will you get rid of acne and have clear, smooth skin, but you will improve your life in so many ways! It will prevent and get rid of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes – the three biggest killers in America!


If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

scott-saundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com



[1] Matthew 23:26

Solution Guide to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Robin had to move several times in the past two years because she is so sensitive. Her first house in Santa Barbara had a lot of new work done. There was an addition put on with new carpeting, which she found was leaching formaldehyde. So, she had to leave.

Robin then moved to a “clean” condominium with wood floors and all-natural furniture. But, the gardeners were spraying weed-killer and fertilizer – so she had to move again.

This time, she moved to another home where she could control her environment. Unfortunately, the next-door neighbor was covering her garden with bug spray, which drifted over the fence. This made Robin feel fatigued and ill.

debilitating MCS reactionFinally, Robin moved out of town. But thanks to industrialization, chemical toxicity is everywhere. If only avoidance were as simple as it sounds. For Robin, it is almost impossible to navigate the world without being immersed in tens of thousands of potentially troublesome human-made chemicals to which she reacts.

Chemical companies no longer deny that chemicals accumulate in our bodies, simply by virtue of being alive. While the too-low concentrations of those chemicals supposedly exist to cause any harm, MCS would suggest otherwise. The brutal sensitivity to the cumulative effects of these interacting chemicals causes extreme suffering. These can begin to have many adverse symptoms that slow or prevent normal functions of the body. People with MCS can be sensitive to anything, and it can change over time, trapping them in a modern, chemical world.

Medical Doctors and MCS

Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize MCS as a real disease, having failed to agree on a case definition for the disease. This makes getting a diagnosis a battle. Many doctors consider it an emotional or psychological problem.

Studies have failed to recognize any consistency in symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment. A person with MCS may have reactions to a chemical at one time, and not another. Furthermore, different people respond differently to each type of chemical stimulus. Moreover, both the severity of the reaction and the types of sensitivities change over time.[1]

The problem with the way we do research is that by using groups of people we assume they are similar, when, in this case, none of them are. The factors responsible for MCS are numerous, including the function of multiple enzymes and detox pathways, as well as the burden of various toxins already in the body. All of this changes continuously, making quantification of sensitivity very difficult.

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is just what the name implies. People are sensitive to many things in their environment, food, or even their own waste. This is brought on by a broad array of everyday chemicals. Exposure levels far below those that seem to affect the rest of the population provoke the symptoms.

The experience of each person is constantly changing, due to the environment. These are better and worse over time, due to a wide range of toxins. MCS has been equated to other problems including:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Gulf war syndrome (GWS)

Symptoms of MCS may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Food intolerances
  • Difficulty breathing

These and other symptoms may come on during exposure to certain substances, and they go away when avoiding problem chemicals and exposure.[2]

Causes of MCS

Of course, a multi-factorial illness will not have a single cause. There are many factors which lead to this problem, most of which may include:

  • Drugs
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Poor digestion of food
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Inadequate absorption of nutrients
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Stress
  • Genetic detoxification weaknesses
  • Dysbiosis (bad bacteria in the intestines)
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Emotional factors
  • Celiac disease
  • Viral infections
  • Previous chemical exposures
  • Heavy metals
  • Food allergies

MCS Diagnosis

While we can test for the problems above, none of the tests are diagnostic for MCS. People may test positive for Leaky Gut Syndrome, for example, but do not have MCS. Diagnosing MCS is purely clinical. It’s the patient who comes in with the diagnosis, having noticed that they are sensitive to many different things.

  • Some of these sensitivities may be perfectly natural, such as an actual deficiency in amino acids due to incomplete breakdown of proteins in the digestive system.
  • Others may be sensitive to toxic substances such as alcohol, dyes, or pesticides.
  • Still others are sensitive to smells. The actual molecule that stimulates the olfactory (smell) system isn’t big enough to create an immune reaction. However, even natural perfumes may create a debilitating reaction.

Since these sensitivities are not usually created by the immune system, they are not true allergies. This is why allergy testing is not useful. Moreover, the actual sensitivity may change over time. For all these reasons, we rely on the patient to notice environmental triggers of their symptoms.

The Shoe Factory

Karen had MCS for a couple of years as a result of her job in a shoe factory. After working there several months, she began to notice that when she went to work she got tired and achy. She would get fatigued. She began to have headaches and dizziness. Her eyes hurt, and she would get shortness of breath with only walking.

Since she was in her 30s and usually active, she wondered why this only happened at work. After a period of time, she found that when she just walked into the building she would immediately start feeling her symptoms. She thought she must be crazy, and maybe she was just stressed at work, but she liked her job, and was generally happy there.

After months of getting worse, she finally was unable to go to work, and decided to take a leave of absence so she went out on disability. It took about six months of treatment for her to feel normal again, but when she tried to go back, she got the same symptoms. She had to quit her job, and find another that allowed her to be away from the glues and offgassing of the shoe factory.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Treatment

So, this begs the question about getting relief from MCS. Do people really have to move multiple times, avoid contact with others, leave their work, severely limit their diet, or live in a bubble all their lives? No.

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