January 20, 2017

Candida: The Root to Many Health Problems

by Amanda Box

Candida is enemy #1 for me.  It has been my personal health battle for years.

I was like so many of you, struggling with health issues that no doctor could figure out. I was constantly bloated, constipated, exhausted, my brain was foggy and all I wanted to eat was sugar and carbohydrates. It took me a few years to diagnose myself, even after entering the world of natural health.  I was experiencing all the telltale signs of systemic Candida.

Once getting rid of the Candida, my symptoms disappeared and I felt like a new person. However, if I am not diligent and spend a weekend eating desserts, Candida tries very hard to sneak back up on me.  But you too can find the root of your Candida problem. By getting rid of the plaguing Candida symptoms, you will feel like a new person again.

The Silent Epidemic

One in three Americans have systemic Candida. But most have absolutely no idea what is causing their wearying symptoms. I have a file full of clients that struggle with Candida. Women are the majority of those who deal with Candida, but many men do, as well. I have actually gotten to the point where I am surprised when a client doesn’t have Candida.  Truly, it has become nothing short of an epidemic and, unfortunately, a silent one.

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Candida could also be disguised as picky eating, rashes, warts, dry skin, constipation and even bed wetting.

Do you suffer from any of these symptoms?

Chances are very real that you may struggle with Candida, a chronic yeast infection. Candida is rarely talked about in mainstream medicine. Unless it manifests as a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a rash on the tongue, mouth or throat), you may not know that you have a Candida infection.  But Candida is often a source of other health issues, causing everything from weight gain to migraines.

What is Candida Exactly?

Candida starts out in the body as a simple sugar fermenting yeast.  It is naturally found in the human intestine in small amounts. It aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body. But in some people it can grow out of control. If given the right conditions, it can turn into a fungus that produces something called rhizoids.

Rhizoids are long, root like structures that can penetrate the intestinal walls, allowing particles, bacteria, and yeast (including Candida) to pass through from the gut into the bloodstream. This releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system, causing leaky gut syndrome.

Typically, our friendly bacteria keep Candida in check.  However, antibiotics, birth control pills, sugar, and even stress can throw the whole intestinal flora system out of balance. Candida is most prevalent in the vaginal canal, gastrointestinal tract and your mouth.

How do you know if you have a Candida infection? It’s important to know because now scientists are linking Candida to all kinds of conditions and diseases. This is far more serious than most people think.

The good news? If you test positive, there’s a natural strategy you can use to cure yourself of this scourge.

Identifying whether or not you suffer from Candida is a great first step on the road to overcoming your health issues.

Let’s get started.

Candida quiz How to Know if YOU Have Candida

Candida can be found several ways.  The first is via lab work on your saliva, feces and hair.

In my practice, I offer both saliva and feces kits that test for an overgrowth of Candida.  I also use hair mineral analysis, which tests the ratios of minerals present in the tissues.  An imbalance of certain minerals can be a sign of Candida.

Honestly, I feel like these tests are rarely necessary. With the prevalence of Candida and its easy-to-identify symptoms and causes, it’s not hard to spot a Candida candidate.

There are two very simple and easy ways to check for Candida.

  1. Candida questionnaires
  2. The spit test

Candida Questionnaire

CANDIDA testThere are many questionnaires you can take that will give you an idea whether or not you are a candidate for Candida.  However, these questionnaires are not foolproof.  You could fail the questionnaire and still have Candida. If you need further confirmation, then you’ll want to use lab work.

Dr. William Crook, author of the famed book about CandidaThe Yeast Connection, created one of the shorter, but still very accurate questionnaire tests.

  • Have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics?
  • Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate or urinary infections?
  • Do you feel “sick all over,” yet the cause has not been found?
  • Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, sugar cravings, low body temperature or fatigue?
  • Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes and colognes, and chemical odors?
  • Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel spaced out or in a brain fog?
  • Have you taken prolonged courses of prednisone or other steroids, or have you taken birth control pills for more than three years?
  • Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms?
  • Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain?
  • Does your skin itch, tingle, or burn; or is it unusually dry; or, do rashes bother you?
  • Do you have regular headaches or migraines?

If you answered yes to many of these questions, then you are most likely to be struggling with Candida.

The Spit Test 

Many practitioners recommend the “spit test” to get an idea of whether or not someone has Candida. It only requires a glass of water and saliva.

  1. Fill a clear glass with clean water and place it beside your bed at night.
  2. In the morning, immediately spit in the glass before brushing your teeth or drinking or eating anything.
  3. Note how the saliva looks.
  4. Check back in 2 minutes and again in 3 minutes.

Healthy saliva will float on the top and eventually dissolve into the water without any cloudiness or sinking.  There may be some bubbles and foam.

Candida saliva may have strings that go down the glass, cloudy saliva that sinks or cloudy specks that float.  See the image for a good visual.

The Battle of Overcoming Candida

Although you can’t totally eliminate Candida in your body, you can keep it under control.

I have concluded that once someone struggles with Candida, they must always be careful.  I have a file full of personal testimonies to prove it. Candida is not something that you get rid of and continue eating sweets and carbs.  Candida will be fed by bad habits, eventually multiply and take over.

2 Steps: Starve it and Kill it

The best way to get rid of Candida is to both to starve it and kill it.  Just starving Candida takes too long.  Trying to kill Candida while still feeding it is pointless.  You must do both.

The Candida diet is the best way to starve Candida.  Essentially, it is a diet that cuts out the main foods that feed Candida: carbohydrates and fermented foods.  The Candida diet consists of:

  • No sugar of any sort
  • Limited grains
  • No fermented foods or drinks

My favorite website for the diet is www.thecandidadiet.com.  It also contains great recipes that won’t leave you feeling so deprived.

Following this diet is often the most difficult thing for people in their journey to get their health back  from Candida. The results are amazing and make it worth the challenge. The first 3-5 days are typically the most challenging. Candida is starving and tells your body it NEEDS to be fed. But once those first few days are over, you will begin to feel a new sense of well-being. You have essentially begun to take your body back!

Crucial Supplements in Killing Candida 

Natural antifungals work best at keeping the Candida fungus under control. Thankfully, there are many to choose from.  Here’s a list of my favorite Candida-killing natural antifungals.

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Changing Our Paradigm about Cancer Treatment

How to Naturally Kill Cancer

by Rob Fischer

For at least 3000 years, bloodletting was practiced by the established medical community as a remedy for numerous ailments. In fact, bloodletting was not abandoned until the late 19th century.[1] Many attribute the untimely death of President George Washington to this practice after he developed a fever and respiratory problems.

Interestingly, about a hundred years before the practice of bloodletting ceased, there was much controversy among medical doctors about whether the practice was helpful or harmful to patients. Some physicians viewed the practice as “murderous,” while others sang its praises.[2]

How to kill cancerAlthough the history of cancer treatment through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation spans a much shorter timeframe, we are beginning to experience the same pattern of controversy over these highly invasive and toxic practices.

Scores of medical doctors are starting to question modern cancer treatments—and for good reason. Dr. Ben Johnson, MD, NMD, DO, recently made the startling announcement that the medical community itself estimates that by the year 2020, more than half of all cancers will be medically induced from drugs or radiation treatment. He went on to say, “Our medical establishment itself will soon become the leading cause of cancer in America.”[3]

In 1994, when retired Air Force Colonel Bill Henderson’s wife died after a four-year bout with ovarian cancer, Bill became convinced that her death was actually caused by her numerous operations and chemotherapy treatments rather than by the cancer itself. After her death, Bill set out on a quest to discover what he could about these conventional cancer treatments and whether there were any alternative, more natural treatments that have showed success.[4]

While some may no doubt take offense at his brashness, Bill doesn’t pull any punches when he refers to current accepted cancer treatments as: “cut, burn and poison.”[5] These terms, of course, are a reference to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

In truth, these forms of cancer treatment are so widely accepted today that many find it preposterous to even question them. However, if we stand back and consider what we know, especially about radiation and chemotherapy, these treatments are highly toxic to the body. In fact, “the very drugs used to fight cancer are cancer-causing chemicals!”[6]

Tamoxifen, the most common chemotherapy drug administered to women with breast cancer is classified as a carcinogen by both the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization. According to the American Cancer Society, chemotherapy was discovered originally by the US Army while experimenting with mustard gas.[7]

According to Dr. Ray Strand, MD, “Oxidative stress is the underlying cause of almost all chronic diseases,” including cancer.[8] Both radiation and toxic chemotherapy drugs are known to cause oxidative stress in the body.[9]

Do these toxic chemicals kill cancer cells? Yes, but they also indiscriminately kill healthy cells as well and make a patient vulnerable to life-threatening infections.

If these cancer treatments are so toxic, why does the medical community still prescribe their use? In one word, the answer to that question is MONEY. Cancer treatments constitute a multi-billion dollar industry and doctors are taught to prescribe drugs “to control symptoms, not address causes and actually prevent disease. Less than one percent of healthcare dollars are spent on what might be called preventative medicine.”[10] Given their biased training, they see no other alternatives.[11]

How to Kill Cancer

In spite of the current dominant practice of prescribing drugs for cancer, there are certain principles around cancer treatment that are universally accepted.[12] These principles include:

universally accepted cancer treatmentStrengthen the immune system.

Everyone has cancer cells in their bodies. But with a healthy immune system our bodies fight off the cancer and we aren’t even aware of the battle that’s being fought.

When cancer goes rampant and gains the upper hand, it’s because the immune system has been compromised. Click to Tweet.

Increase the oxygenation of the blood.

Cancer cells are anaerobic requiring sugar instead of oxygen to thrive. Oxygen is the secret weapon against cancer cells. Oxygen kills cancer cells while it renders healthy cells more vibrant.[13]

Detoxify the body.

We take in toxins all the time through what we eat, drink, breathe, and through our skin. Many of these toxins are carcinogens, but all of them compromise the immune system.

How well do radiation and chemotherapy promote these three universal principles? In particular, both radiation and chemotherapy are highly toxic to the human body. They tear down the immune system and blast the body with toxins.

According to their own literature, after five years of chemotherapy, only 2.1 percent of cancer patients will survive.[14] Again, chemotherapy destroys the immune system, destroying the body’s NK (natural killer) cells needed to kill the cancer, and chemo destroys one’s quality of life.

If there’s any doubt about the toxic nature of chemotherapy, why is it that it makes people so sick? Why do women on Tamoxifen lose their hair? These are results of a toxin being introduced to the body. If these substances were good for us they would bolster our immune system rather than destroy it.

How to Fight Cancer and Win

If the above principles are true, then there are some simple, natural ways that you and I can help prevent cancer and beat it if we already have it. So how do we strengthen our immune system, oxygenate our blood, and detoxify our bodies?

1. Follow a healthy eating plan.

“Dr. Strand explains that every chronic disease is the result of bad nutrition on the cellular level.”[15] To the extent possible, eliminate sugar, processed foods, and fast food from your diet. Eat smaller portions and make sure you’re getting plenty of raw, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Eat organically grown foods to avoid pesticides, chemicals and hormones that are often introduced into commercially grown foods.

2. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is vital to a healthy immune system. You don’t have to go “gung-ho” or even join a gym, unless that’s what will help you be consistent. Simply walking briskly 45 minutes a day can help you lose weight, get your blood flowing and boost your immune system.

Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to oxygenate your blood. When you go out for a brisk walk, you’re breathing more deeply, your heart is pumping faster, your capillaries are opening up and oxygen is being transported throughout your body. Exercise also does its part helping detoxify the body through sweat, stimulation of the lymphatic system and elimination. In addition, exercise lowers insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.

3. Detoxify your body.

Fasting is an excellent way to detoxify. A one-, two- or three-day fast from food occasionally can work wonders for removing toxins from your system. Also, check out our articles on Detoxing and the Lymph system for more ideas on how to detoxify your body. Another way to detox is simply by eating right—avoiding sugar and processed foods and eating organic foods.

4. Supplement with vitamins.

Don’t turn to your doctor for help here. Dr. Ray D. Strand, MD, warns, “less than six percent of graduating physicians have received any formal training in nutrition.”[16] Seek out a naturopath or nutritionist for quality supplements recommendations and to find out how you should supplement. But generally, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients are what we need.

5. Reduce stress and unhealthy emotions.

Bill Henderson has spoken with thousands of cancer patients. As a result, he is convinced that well over half of cancer cases can be linked to some significant stress or emotional event in that person’s life.[17]

Stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine are released into the bloodstream during times of emotional stress. These hormones have been shown to “contribute to the development of cancer and reduce the effectiveness of treatments.”[18]
In particular, one of the most stressful things we experience is tension and disharmony in relationships. If you want a healthy body, do all you can to cultivate healthy relationships with those around you.

Alternative Cancer Treatment Clinics

If you already have cancer, you may want to find an alternative cancer treatment facility in addition to following the guidelines above. These facilities offer bona fide medical oversight using more natural approaches to treating cancer. The doctors and other medical professionals at these clinics have changed their paradigm about cancer treatment.

In 2007, a friend of mine was diagnosed with stage four squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. He endured six painful surgeries in which they removed parts of his tongue, neck and other tissue. Then the doctors prescribed radiation and chemotherapy. They warned my friend that the treatments would disfigure him, make him sick, severely diminish his quality of life and ultimately only buy him a few more years—maybe.

He chose not to proceed with radiation and chemotherapy. Instead, he visited the Gerson Institute in California. After spending just a few weeks at their facility and following their protocol he came away cancer-free and has been since. And by the way, their cancer treatment made him feel better, quickly improving his quality of life.

I know another man who was diagnosed with stage four melanoma in the mid 90s. He declined the conventional medical treatments and went to the International Bio Care Hospital & Wellness Center in Tijuana, Mexico. There, under the care of medical doctors who follow the principles cited above, he came away cancer-free.

When cancer strikes you or a loved one, naturally you become desperate for a cure. It’s easy to fall back on what everybody else is doing: surgery, radiation and chemo. I hope this article has challenged your paradigm of cancer therapy. We encourage you to research other more natural, healthy approaches to preventing and curing cancer than “cut, burn and poison.”

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

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

 

Sources:
[1] Gerry Greenstone, MD, “The History of Bloodletting,” BC Medical Journal, January-February 2010, http://bcmj.org/premise/history-bloodletting.
[2] Gerry Greenstone, MD.
[3] Ty Bollinger, “The Truth About Cancer—A Global Quest,” https://go2.thetruthaboutcancer.com/global-quest/episode-1/.
[4] Bill Henderson, “How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day,” Online Publishing & Marketing, LLC, 2012, p. ii.
[5] Bill Henderson, p. 1.
[6] Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, PhD, in “The Truth About Cancer—A Global Quest,” episode 1.
[7] American Cancer Society, “Evolution of Cancer Treatments,” June 12, 2014, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/thehistoryofcancer/the-history-of-cancer-cancer-treatment-chemo.
[8] Jed Stuber, review of the book: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know about Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You by Ray D. Strand, MD. Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter, December 2015, p. 7.
[9] Andrew Weil, MD, “Stumped by Oxidative Stress?” Q &A Library, March 17, 2009, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400537/Stumped-by-Oxidative-Stress.html.
[10] Jed Stuber.
[11] Jed Stuber.
[12] Bill Henderson, p. 3.
[13] Bill Henderson, p. 3.
[14] Ty Bollinger.
[15] Jed Stuber.
[16] Jed Stuber.
[17] Bill Henderson, p. 3.
[18] Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Stress Linked to Cancer,” February 4, 2010, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/04/stress-linked-to-cancer.aspx.

Oils Well That Ends Well

The essential nature of oil

Oil is a topic of nearly universal application. Oil is used in transportation, marinating, lubrication, and elimination, etc., depending on the type and viscosity of the oil! Can you imagine your car, your skin, or even your salad without some form of oil?

I am reminded of a scene from the film, The Wizard of Oz. Exposure to the elements has left the Tin Woodsman unable to move, rusted and frozen in a forest. But Dorothy revives him with a few drops of oil.

rose oil emanates loveNo doubt, those of you living in an arid climate have a trusty oil can nearby to silence the squeaky hinges of your doors and cabinets.

We can surmise that all oil is essential! But in this article, we will focus on the therapeutic, or healing, nature of oils.

The Value of Oil

“There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling place of the wise.” Proverbs 21:20

Since ancient times, the wise have known about the healing and therapeutic value of essential oils. Believe it or not, the Bible contains a wealth of information on our topic. It mentions no less than 33 essential oils and oil-producing plants within its pages.

When you visit the Holy Land (Israel) you can easily understand why oils are so important. Even with all of its beauty, Israel has an arid, desert climate, which causes your skin to lose moisture quickly. That’s why the Israeli diet contains a lot of olive oil. The nomadic shepherds of Israel, to this day, anoint or rub olive oil on the skin of their animals to keep their skin supple and safeguard them from insects, inflammation and infections.

Olive oil has a vast array of health benefits including:

Here is a list of just a few of the principle oils mentioned in the Bible:

Myrrh Frankincense Calamus Cedarwood Cinnamon
Cassia Galbanum Onycha Spikenard Hyssop
Sandalwood Myrtle Cypress Rose Of Sharon Spikenard

Each oil mentioned in the Bible possesses a special application and medicinal quality, as well as a spiritual metaphor. Click to Tweet.

Interestingly, oil is widely understood as a symbol of the Holy Spirit in The Bible. Here are a couple of examples: in Luke 4:8, Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

The Spirit of the Lord and the anointing oil are directly linked here. The oil of anointing appears as a physical representation of Jesus being given the Holy Spirit to perform these functions for God in His love for mankind.

Here is another aspect of this symbolism. In Acts 10: 38, we read,“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

This is another reference to anointing, an act typically done with oil. But here, the anointing is done by the Holy Spirit!

In one of King David’s psalms we see the anointing oil compared with God’s people living in harmony, “For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was pored over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.” Psalm 133:1-2

And when it came to offerings or sacrifices in the Old Testament, they often required oil as an integral part of the offering or sacrifice. “Now when anyone presents a grain offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it.” Leviticus 2:1

I am sharing these passages to emphasize the absolute importance, or essential nature, of oils throughout the Bible, as well as history.

  • The apostle Paul considered the triad of basic needs to be food, clothing, and oil!
  • Hosea described Israel’s basic needs in his day as, 1) bread and water, 2) wool and flax and 3) oil and drink.
  • Oil filled the menorah, giving light to the temple, offerings and sacrifices.
  • A cleansed leper would be anointed with oil before returning to family.
  • Scented or perfumed oils were prized as much as gold and silver.
  • Altars were anointed with oil.
  • Kings were anointed with oil.
  • Oil was sent as a symbol of treaty between warring nations.
  • The list goes on and on!

In fact, before our modern electric conveniences were invented, oil was the primary source of light. Essential oil to ancient man was a necessity!

Now here’s the fun part…What makes each plant (or essential) oil effective to a different part of the body?

It’s inherent frequency!

photosynthesis into energy into essential oilsThat’s right! If you have read my book, Wholetones: The Sound Of Healing you are already tracking with me.

You see, everything is frequency and everything possesses a resonant frequency. Our bodies are electrical. So is everything around us.

The Sun activates photosynthesis in plants, which converts sunlight into electrical, chemical energy available to us through essential oils. Click to Tweet.

When essential oils are extracted from plants, they possess unique chemical components, as well as their own specific frequencies. And each frequency will affect the body in a different way. One may resonate with the lungs, while another may rid the body of infection.

Essential oils have the capacity to change the electrical frequency of the body. The electrical frequency of essential oils ranges between 52 and 320 Hz. Because they are living substances, their frequency is harmonic with the human frequency. When essential oils come into contact with our bodies, the frequency of our bodies becomes raised to a degree so that we become inhospitable hosts to pathogenic organisms.

Rose essential oil vibrates at a rate of 320MHz. The highest measured frequency of any essential oil, rose emanates love, purity, and wholeness, connecting mind, body, and spirit. It is not surprising then that there is no greater human emotion than love: the feeling of love is the highest frequency any person is able to emit. So remember, when you use essential oils, regardless of their vibrational frequencies use them with an open heart filled with love.

In God’s genius, He gave us every seed bearing plant and tree as both sustenance and a veritable medicine chest – for what ails us. Click to Tweet.

This is the essence of nature from its organic origin, and it all depends on the Sun to make it work!

Essential Joy

plants for medicineSo here is a question…What is more essentialoil from plants, or the Sun that makes plants grow?

And here is yet another question…What is more essential…mankind, or God who gave us life? Now, stay with me…

I have used the word “essential” throughout this article without giving you its definition, which I will do now.

Essential: Absolutely necessary, vital, critical, all-important, nonnegotiable, must-have.

In my time on this “big blue marble” there is only one thing I have discovered that by definition is essential for life. This passage will describe it in detail:

“Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your of Kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has set YOU above your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy.” Psalm 45:6-7

The true essential oil, the oil of joy, can only be obtained through a healing relationship with the Son of God, Jesus. There are many things in this life that are beneficial, but only one that is essential. I have received the oil of joy through the love of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that He alone will become the one essential, must-have in your life today.

 

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Michael TyrrellMichael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full-time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well-known musician.

 

 

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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Escaping a Toxic World: Treating and Preventing MCS

Lindsay peeked out of her room and said, “Remember, don’t wear any perfume or put any hairspray in your hair. Anna is chemically sensitive!”

Fifteen years ago I was going to a party with my best friend, Lindsay. The party was at a house specially built-in the countryside for her friend Anna. Anna had what is called multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Just living within city limits triggered symptoms of chronic pain and nausea.

In multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a person develops markedly negative reactions to everyday chemical exposures. These include exposures to:

  • escaping a toxic worldPesticides in buildings, in gardens, on our food, and on pets
  • Chemical cleaners
  • Petrochemical heating systems
  • Paints
  • Perfumes
  • Industrial emissions
  • A myriad of others chemicals

I’ll never forget wondering what it would be like to never be able to spray on my favorite perfume every day. Little did I know, years later I would understand how toxic perfume could be.

About 7 years ago, I noticed headaches while cuddling up to my husband when he was wearing cologne. I got more headaches when I walked through the perfume section of a department store. Soon, the perfume that I had worn for years was giving me a headache. I even noticed a headache after my mom washed one of my shirts in her scented detergent. All the triggers were pointing toward a chemical sensitivity to synthetic perfumes.

But I’ve often thought of Anna now that I have experienced my own chemical sensitivity. Anna is not an anomaly in her suffering. She is one of nearly 74 million people who suffer from some sort of chemical sensitivity.[1]

It’s likely that you, or someone you know belongs to the millions that experience illness with chemicals. Do you know what is even more alarming? The chronic illness you may be dealing with can be a direct result from these chemical sensitivities. The good news is with simple lifestyle modifications, your illness can disappear. Eliminate the root cause and you can reverse the progress of chemical sensitivity.

Chemical Sensitivity Defined

Multiple chemical sensitivity occurs when there is an adverse reaction to chemicals in the air, food and water. Generally, these chemicals are harmless to the bulk of the population. But when a person becomes increasingly sensitive to a wide variety of chemical substances, a chronic medical condition or state of illness can result. MCS goes by other names as well.[2] Some of these include:

  • Toxic Injury (TI)
  • Toxic Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT)
  • Chemical Injury Syndrome (CS)
  • Environmental Illness (EI)
  • Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI)
  • Gulf War Syndrome

It is rare that someone is born with MCS. This intolerance to multiple chemicals is typically triggered by a trauma, or large exposure to a toxic chemical. Many times this occurs during a home or office renovation without proper ventilation. Other times, on-the-job hazards expose people to these life-changing chemicals.

Though the cause cannot always be clearly defined, researchers have found that it is twice as common in women than in men and typically occurs after the age of 30.[3]

MCS is an illness that is caused by heavy industrialism. Our industries continue to dump wastes into the air, water and food. As a result, a certain number of people get sick from exposure to these chemicals. In a recent study in the U.S., 11.2% of the respondents reported sensitivities to common chemicals… and this number continues to grow![4]

The most common sensitivities in those with MCS include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfumes and fragrances
  • Pesticides
  • Air fresheners
  • Scented soaps
  • New carpet or flooring
  • Fresh paint
  • Chlorine
  • Clothing washed in scented detergent or fabric softener
  • Newsprint
  • Computers, printers, and copiers
  • Common household cleaners
  • And much more (nail polish, moth balls, vinyl plastic, hair spray, etc.)

As you can see, this list is common in nearly every home and workplace! This causes those who suffer from MCS to feel as though they cannot escape their illness. Many choose isolation and, sadly, become hermits inside their safe home environment.

It is important for every person with MCS to try to create as safe and chemical free-living space as possible. Housing may be the single most crucial element in survival and possible improvement for someone with MCS. This cleanup requires learning about everyday toxins and safer alternatives to perfume, cigarette smoke, air fresheners, pesticides and cleaning products to create a pure and chemical-free living space.

Ironically, environmentalist fight for a less toxic atmosphere. Yet, inside our very homes are where we are exposed to the most pollution. Sadly, most people are oblivious to the chemicals that are chipping away at their health and eating away inside their property line.

City dwellers are subject to industrial emissions, vehicle exhausts, toxins used by neighbors such as lawn chemicals, and a myriad of other poisons. Rural dwellers are exposed to farm chemicals that include pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, which are extremely toxic.

You may not see the adverse effects of these toxicants until the often paralyzing symptoms of MCS or a chronic illness results.

Chronic Disease and MCS

The underlying characteristic of MCS is an abnormal or increased capacity to detect chemicals in the environment, primarily through smell and taste.

Because of the trauma from chemical exposure, the central nervous system and immune system are damaged. Simply from overexposure, the nervous system and immune system go into overdrive in someone with MCS. As a result, the brain remains on hyper alert and begins to react to the slightest exposure.

The over-sensitive brain leaves the person susceptible to the smallest whiff, touch or taste of a chemical substance. People can suffer delayed neurological damage that may include disturbances in sensory experience, motor function, speech, sleep, and emotional stability. Often, the symptoms continue to worsen over time leaving people with MCS miserable and without hope.

Typical symptoms of MCS include:

  • typical symptoms of MCSMuscle and joint pain
  • Tiredness, lethargy and fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Memory and cognition impairment
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Visual disturbances
  • Skin irritation (rashes, hives, etc)
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, vomiting, nausea)
  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures

Functional Somatic Syndrome

MCS falls into a category of illnesses labeled functional somatic syndrome. Other illnesses in this category include fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. These illnesses often overlap each other and exhibit similar symptoms. It is fairly common that people who have MCS also have either fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. IBS is another illness that often accompanies MCS.

Many people diagnosed with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia note a decrease in their symptoms when reducing exposure to chemicals. If you or someone you know suffers from one of these illnesses, then follow these steps to decrease MCS. The tips provided here to lowering your exposure to chemicals can improve the pain and fatigue associated with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and IBS.

Lyme Disease

Some have speculated that undiagnosed Lyme disease can be a cause of MCS. It is estimated that over 18 million people in the U.S. have Lyme disease. In most cases, it is not diagnosed. It is a misconception that Lyme is only spread by ticks and identified by a bullseye rash. More than half of those with Lyme never had a bullseye rash. Also, the spirochete (bacteria) behind Lyme disease can spread via fleas, mosquitoes, mites, food and sexual contact.

Lyme can hide in our tissues giving a false negative on the Western blot test.[5] However, science is discovering new and more accurate tests for Lyme disease. If you suffer from MCS, I recommend one of these newer and more accurate testing methods. The iSpot Test is a good example and is more accurate identifying whether or not Lyme is truly the culprit of your MCS.[6]

PTSD

Gulf War Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have a connection to MCS, as well. In 1990, 700,000 went to war and 250,000 came home with chronic illness. Even the CDC established a connection between sick Gulf War veterans and chemical sensitivities.[7]

These veterans were exposed to a plethora of toxic chemicals in pesticides, vaccines, anti-nerve gas pills and much more. Unfortunately, these symptoms did not end with the Gulf War. Servicemen continue to be exposed to toxic chemicals while on deployment.

Research has suggested a common etiology between post traumatic stress disorder and multiple chemical sensitivity, as well.[8] PTSD is a debilitating condition that follows a traumatic event. While not everyone with MCS has PTSD, some most certainly do. The ability to cope with trauma therapy and achieve positive outcomes is low, until the mind-body and environmental stress load is reduced. These two illnesses overlap often enough that researchers are suggesting further study into common causes.

Detoxifying your Home Life

how to detox your home lifeIt is imperative that if you have any symptoms of MCS, that you immediately incorporate methods of chemical reduction into your life and home.

Even if you don’t suffer from MCS, lowering your toxic exposure in your environment can still dramatically improve your health. Chemical sensitivities often mimic or induce other illnesses. You could currently be suffering from migraines, dizzy spells or joint pain and have no idea that chemical sensitivity is to blame.

Reducing toxic exposure is beneficial for everyone, from infants to the elderly. Even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is thought to be the result of accidental poisoning due to toxic gases released from baby mattresses.[9]

It is never too early, nor too late to start reducing the chemicals in your home! After all, home is where your health is!

When I first started experiencing headaches from synthetic fragrances, I took dramatic steps in lowering chemical exposure in my home for my own safe and the safety of my family. I began to eliminate excess chemicals in my body care, detergents, and household cleaners long before I ever manifested severe multiple chemical sensitivity symptoms. I’ve found in lowering my exposure to chemicals that I’ve never needed to sacrifice cleaning power, pleasant scents, or even taste!

If you look closely, you will be surprised how toxic your home truly is. MCS inducing chemicals hide out in everything from your household cleaners to the mattress you sleep on! Below are the 5 most important things in your home that need to be replaced in order to detoxify your life and bring about a new sense of health and well-being!

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Get Good Vibrations from Food

What if I told you that your food was vibrating? Would you see it as a positive thing? You’d likely think I was off my rocker!

The reality is you want your food to vibrate. Food has vibrational frequency – a measurement of the electrical energy that is present in all natural living things.

I gotta say… the Beach Boys had it right all along! But in this case, “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations,” comes from my food. You can’t see these vibrations or hear them. But I assure you they are there. In fact vibrations, otherwise referred to as frequencies or energy, are everywhere. They’re in the rocks, the trees, the music you listen to, the colors you see, even in your own body….and the food you eat.

Healthy diets typically focus on antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals contained in foods. The nutrients are very important aspects of what we eat and contribute to the positive vibrations in our food. However, food frequencies or vibrations are not typically mentioned as a component of a healthy diet. Many people believe that frequencies and vibrations are a bunch of New Age crazy talk. The truth is that food containing positive vibrations can be the key to a healthy, disease free, and vibrant life. A healthy diet includes eating foods that help heal our bodies not just with vitamins and minerals, but also with positive vibrations.

Keeping up Good Vibrations

A healthy human body has frequency between 62 and 72 Hz. Maintaining this healthy vibration is very important in that it keeps us free from disease. A slight drop to just 60 Hz leaves our body susceptible to the common cold. Most diseases begin at 58 Hz and cancer grows at 42 Hz.[1]

The choices we make daily affect the frequency of our body. To be honest, it is becoming more and more difficult to avoid frequency-lowering mechanisms. Technology and the stressful lifestyle of our culture are constantly bombarding us with things that assault our body’s God-given vibration. Precise frequencies could destroy specific organisms such as cancer cells and viruses, while others could be used to prevent the development of disease.

The most common culprits that lower body frequency are:

  • Stress
  • EMF radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Negative thoughts
  • Chemicals in the air, food, water, and skincare products
  • Lack of exercise

As certain patterns of vibration are associated with good health, you can increase their frequency and optimize their health by applying some easy methods to your daily life:

Healthy Food Vibrations

What we eat has the most dramatic impact on the vibrational frequency of our body. Food is broken down and its components circulated throughout our system, touching and influencing everything inside of us. What we eat, good or bad, becomes a part of us. In essence, the energy or vibration of the food we eat is transferred to us inside our bodies.

Higher food vibrations aid in fending off disease, clearing thinking, increased energy and a positive mood. Click to Tweet.

Eating healthy food releases positive vibrations in our body, enhancing our body’s frequency and keeping us in a healthy state. Unhealthy food is dead, void of life-giving vibrations and robs us of the life and energy that keeps our body in a healthy state.

It’s pretty easy to identify foods that increase our vibration and keep us healthy. Healthy vibrational foods visually have the vibrancy that they release inside our bodies. They are colorful, full of flavor, and have a unique character that is far from bland and boring.

food frequencies_2The more alive and full of energy a food is, the higher the frequency. This is why raw fruits and veggies have a higher frequency than canned. The difference is actually pretty astounding.

Below is the chart of food frequencies: 

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The Miracle of Music on Your Health

Music is a miracle….

It speaks to us, causes our heart to swell, and jolts us down to our bones.

Like a time machine, it transports us to places and times decades before.

It pulls from us emotions down so deep, we can’t seem to reach them by our own will, inducing feelings of love, loss, hope, and triumph.

Music inadvertently demands our body to move, our feet to tap, our head to shake, and our body to sway.

I remember the first time I saw the clip from the documentary entitled, Alive Inside. Tears streamed down my face as I watched a man named Henry, who could barely speak, transform before my eyes. Henry’s dementia had progressed to the point where he didn’t recognize his own daughter. His words were barely understandable and he sat most days with his body slumped over, looking down at his own legs.

I watched as they loaded an iPod with some of Henry’s favorite old gospel tunes and headphones were placed over his ears. Within seconds, he looked up, his eyes wide and his face aglow. He began to move his body and then sing along to the music. After a few minutes, they took the headphones off his head and began to ask him questions. He was alert and answered their questions quickly and with a clearness that he lacked before. The music awakened him, activating neural pathways in his brain that connected him to his identity and past memories. Music brought Henry to life and it can do the same…and so much more for you.

Sound Waves in Medicine

The foundation of music is composed of sound waves and frequencies. Modern medicine has used these sound waves to see inside patient’s bodies. Chances are, someone you know has undergone an ultrasound exam.

Ultrasound is a science built upon the simple sound wave. They use these frequencies to diagnose abnormalities in the body or evaluate babies in utero. High frequency sounds waves are sent into the body, acting similar to SONAR used by submarines or echolocation used by bats and dolphins.

When these waves hit your organs and tissues they bounce back. The machine calculates the speed of return of the sound and creates an image on the screen. More recent ultrasound machines have upgraded from a 2D image to a 3D image, which is absolutely amazing. Women can actually see their baby’s face while they are still in the womb!

Ultrasounds are also useful for many forms of diagnosis like tumors, heart defects, and kidney stones. In fact, they are the most utilized form of diagnostic imaging available today – after X-ray exams.

But now, science is discovering that sound waves are not only useful for the images they can produce, but for the healing of tissue! The University of Cincinnati recently published results from using sound waves to heal wounds that would otherwise be very difficult to repair.

Diabetic and pressure ulcers can take months to heal, if they heal at all, do to lack of circulation. However, with the use of high frequencies sound waves, capillary networks are stimulated and circulation is enhanced. The research showed an improvement of up to 50% in the growth of blood vessel networks. This is a huge discovery and could save potentially millions of people from unnecessary infections, loss of limbs, and prolonged pain.

Another type of sound wave therapy called MIST uses saline solution and ultrasound waves to heal difficult wounds. MIST therapy has shown significant results over an 8 month study. This method of healing “from the inside out” can potentially save lives… and even save limbs from amputation. It is also saving thousands of dollars per patient in treatments and pain relief measures. This is because sound wave and frequency therapies are not only painless and effective at healing, but cost effective, as well.

Sounds vibrations ability to heal is not a new discovery. In the early 1900s, a handful of doctors began using certain frequencies to heal the body of diseases by killing bacteria and viruses with vibrations. Although their results were positive and many people were healed, they were shut down by threats from large drug corporations after they refused to sell their information.

Dr. Royal Rife, the pioneer of these vibration treatments, believed that every disease had it’s own unique frequency. He discovered that exposing a virus to certain frequencies of radio waves killed it quickly. He claimed that certain sound frequencies could destroy particular diseases. Higher frequencies could destroy diseases of lower frequencies.

Living in a world of frequencies and vibration, we are part of the whole system. Every cell of our body vibrates – everything has its optimal frequency. The human body has a frequency between 62-78. As the frequencies decrease, sickness and disease can result.

To get an idea of the frequencies of the human body, read the chart below.

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Metabolic Syndrome: Dr. Saunders Recovery Protocol

 

Frank is in his late fifties, and was a little overweight. Mostly, he carried his excess weight around his midline, making his waist much bigger than his hips. As a child he had a sweet tooth and ate a lot of candy. For most of his life he ate pre-sweetened cold cereal, mostly two or three times per day. He liked soft-drinks, downing as many as six in one day.

Frank came to the office with a classic case of metabolic syndrome.

  • His body isn’t able to burn fat.
  • He has low testosterone and high estrogen levels.
  • He is pre-diabetic.
  • He has hypertension and elevated triglycerides.
  • He can’t see his belt when it’s on.
  • He came to see me because he has had chest pain and difficulty breathing. Since he has young children, he got worried about a heart attack or stroke so he came looking for help.

Let’s follow Frank through the process of recovery from this problem.

In the 1980s, a new term was coined for an old problem. Those with a collection of symptoms and struggled with metabolism were put in a special group. They suffered from metabolic syndrome. The syndrome affects how people make energy because of high blood sugar, central obesity, hypertension (i.e, high blood pressure), and high triglycerides.

This syndrome is a specific collection of symptoms that occur together. Not everyone with diabetes has hypertension, for example. Nor do most people with hypertension also have the other symptoms like obesity. The definition of metabolic syndrome requires three of the following five symptoms:

It’s important to note that a syndrome is not a disease, but rather just a group of symptoms. It has had other names over time, including:

  • Dysmetabolic syndrome
  • Hypertriglyceridemic waist
  • Insulin resistance syndrome
  • Obesity syndrome
  • Syndrome X

dangers of metabolic syndromeWhat’s more, it is related to other problems including:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Gallstones
  • Strokes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Inflammation
  • Excessive clotting

How Does Metabolic Syndrome Happen?

One of the most amazing facts about our bodies is the ability to adapt. We have whole civilizations living on mostly fat and protein. Other civilizations have almost no protein, yet both groups of people adapt to their nutrition. There are, however, limits to adaptation. Some people cannot adapt to certain dietary habits that others tolerate. This is part of the difference in genetics.

Our genes don’t determine our destiny, but they do play an important role in determining how we respond to our environment.

Two people on the same diet, for example, may have very different results, depending on their genetics. Click to Tweet.

Today’s environmental factors interact with our genetic predisposition to store energy as body fat. The culprits of metabolic syndrome are:

  • Large portion sizes
  • Commercially prepared foods high in salt, simple sugars, and saturated fats.
  • And the multiple factors that promote sedentary lifestyles, including:
    • The wide variety of home entertainment options
    • Work-place automation
    • And reliance on automobiles

In our case above, Frank had gained the weight in his abdomen over many years of eating processed foods. He didn’t have fat on his arms, legs, chest, or neck – only around the waist. He may have had a genetic weakness to release more insulin than usual. But, his over-the-belt belly could also be a result of eating sugar, starch, and processed foods over the years.

The key feature, or the root of the metabolic syndrome, is insulin.

Insulin:

  • Lowers the HDL
  • Raises the triglycerides
  • Raises the blood pressure
  • Causes fat to be deposited in the abdomen
  • Causes type 2 diabetes, with elevated blood sugar[2]

How Do We Treat Metabolic Syndrome?

Medical school teaches doctors to treat each part of the syndrome with a separate set of medications. I have had metabolic syndrome patients on two medications for cholesterol, three for hypertension, and two for diabetes – and they still weren’t healthy. So, they come to see me. Practicing medicine has taught me that most medications are not appropriate for this syndrome. They only mask the symptoms, as the underlying problem gets worse.

Now that we know that insulin is the root cause of all the symptoms, it’s crucial we treat it naturally. The cornerstones of metabolic syndrome treatment include these 3 steps.

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Metabolic Syndrome: A Recipe for Disaster

It’s a recipe that no one chooses; yet so many people have all the right ingredients. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors that, when combined, have the potential for deadly consequences. Plainly put, if you have metabolic syndrome, you are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke!

Below is the list of conditions that can make up metabolic syndrome:

  • Central or abdominal obesity (measuredby waist circumference):
    • Men – 40 inches or above
    • Women – 35 inches or above
  • Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood
  • HDL cholesterol:
    • Men – Less than 40 mg/dL
    • Women – Less than 50 mg/dL
  • Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85
  • Fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100

Having 3 or more of these conditions constitutes metabolic syndrome. Together, they greatly increase your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Even diabetes

However, you can avoid these conditions by following a proper diet. Dramatically reducing your risk for these top three health problems can be as simple as changing what you eat.

Breaking Down the Big Mac

breaking down the big mac ingredientsWith today’s modern diet, it’s no wonder that more than 1 in 3 Americans have metabolic syndrome! Having this deadly combination of risk factors was far less common 30-40 years ago.

Processed and fast foods now dominate the food market. Health has taken a back seat to convenience in this shift in food culture. Buying pre-cooked meals from a drive-thru is far more convenient than going home to cook meals from scratch. These meals may seem inexpensive, but they truly come with a price. And that price can be the loss of your health or even your life!

Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredient list for the fast foods you eat? What about the boxed or canned items you pick up at the grocery store? Most people look at the calories or fat content, but don’t take the time to read any further to find out what the actual ingredients are.

I’ve probably said it hundreds of times by now, but it’s worth repeating. One of the easiest ways to transition to a healthy diet is to follow the rule: “If you can’t pronounce it, then don’t eat it.”

Fast foods and other processed foods are packed full of ingredients that aren’t food at all! The artificial flavorings, preservatives, and artificial colors masked as ingredients are not fit for human consumption.

Each artificial food additive has the potential to cause metabolic syndrome. The toxins in artificial ingredients encourage unnatural processes in the body, which lead to:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • And much more

All together, a packaged food product creates a package for chronic disease. Click to Tweet.

Just to get an idea of the plethora of artificial ingredients contained in fast foods, let’s take a look at the ingredients in a Big Mac.

The Bun

McDonald’s Big Mac Bun Ingredients:

Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Monoglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Sorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin, Sesame Seed.

I’m not sure about you, but I struggle to pronounce at least half of the bun’s ingredients. If this seems to be an unnecessarily long list of ingredients for a couple of pieces of bread, then you’re right! I can hardly refer to many of these ingredients as “food” as they are far from natural or providing your body with any form of nutrition.

Bread should only consist of about 4 or 5 ingredients. Instead, these buns have over 20 ingredients! The added chemicals condition the dough and more importantly preserve the buns so they can sit on the shelves for months at a time. Some of the most dangerous ingredients include:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: Causes metabolic disturbances that can lead to obesity, high triglycerides, diabetes, cancer and more!
  • Soybean Oil/Canola Oil: Increases cholesterol, hormone disturbances, and auto-immune disorders http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18648182
  • Mono and Diglycerides and Ethoxylated Monoglycerides: These are technically trans-fats, although the government doesn’t require that they be labeled as such. Trans-fats raise bad LDL cholesterol, lower the good HDL cholesterol and raise triglycerides.
  • Azodicarbonamide: This ingredient is also found in yoga mats and other rubber and plastic products. It is a delicious (note the sarcasm) bleaching agent and a known carcinogen. It can also cause respiratory issues, immunity decline, and lowered hormone production.

High fructose corn syrup and canola oil sound tempting? Those ingredients are two of the best serial killers in the world! They get away with murder, causing an epidemic of obesity and seeing a nation struggling with heart disease and diabetes. So why do they put it in? Because it’s addictive and makes your body crave more!

The Cheese

McDonald’s Big Mac Cheese Ingredients:

Milk, Cream, Water, Cheese Culture, Sodium Citrate, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Lactic Acid, Acetic Acid, Enzymes, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Natural Flavor (Dairy Source), Color Added, Soy Lecithin (Added for Slice Separation).

Though not near as lengthy as the bun, the cheese still contains preservatives and unnecessary ingredients that don’t belong in the human body. The advantage of this processed cheese is longer shelf life and product uniformity. These features make such products convenient for the consumer, but the presence of artificial ingredients introduces certain health risks, like damage to the kidneys.

The substitutes used for making natural cheese are artificial and may trigger allergic reactions and cause diarrhea. The added color has been shown to promote tumor growth in the adrenal glands and kidneys in animal studies.

The Sauce

McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce Ingredients:

Soybean Oil, Pickle Relish (Diced Pickles, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate [Preservative], Spice Extractives, Polysorbate 80), Distilled Vinegar, Water, Egg Yolks, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Onion Powder, Mustard Seed, Salt, Spices, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Mustard Bran, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Vegetable Protein (Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy and Wheat), Caramel Color, Extractives of Paprika, Soy Lecithin, Turmeric (Color), Calcium Disodium EDTA (Protect Flavor).

If you look closely, you can spot a few “real” ingredients intermixed with the many chemicals that make up the Big Mac Sauce. However, the bulk of the “special sauce” isn’t that special at all! Two of the harmful ingredients contained in the bun, soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup, also make up the base of the sauce. The other artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives can cause autoimmune issues, allergies, and even cancer.

Is the sauce a culinary masterpiece? Not by any stretch of the imagination!

The Meat

McDonald’s Big Mac Meat Ingredients:

100% Pure USDA Inspected Beef; No Fillers, No Extenders.

Prepared with Grill Seasoning (Salt, Black Pepper).

In 2011, McDonald’s vowed to stop using the ammonia treated pink slime in their meat products. Though this is a huge step in the right direction, they still continue to purchase their beef from large corporate beef factories. The condition of these factories is beyond comprehension. Thousands of cattle are shoved into lots, side by side with little room to move and the ground is covered in manure.

These cows are then pumped full of antibiotics to survive the horribly contaminated conditions. This leads to the possibility of being exposed to antibiotic resistant microbes through the meat. Then, they aren’t just given feed; they are given feed alternatives to promote weight gain. Although the beef patty is comprised of 100% beef, there is much more there than meets the eye!

The Pickles

McDonald’s Big Mac Pickle Ingredients:

Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Alum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural Flavors (Plant Source), Polysorbate 80, Extractives of Turmeric (Color).

Sadly, even the Big Mac’s pickles aren’t safe. How can a food this simple and traditionally healthy like pickles end up being so harmful for your health? Just read through this ingredient list and you’ll find much more than just cucumbers, salt, and vinegar!

These ingredients found in a Big Mac are not uncommon in other fast foods. Let’s not forget the fries and the drink! Most people combine their burger with French fries and a soda, adding even more fuel to the fire of poor health. Needless to say, if your diet consists of burgers and super-size sodas, your meals may be cheap, but it is also excessively high in grains, sugars, and factory-farmed meats. This is a recipe for metabolic syndrome, a condition that commonly befalls those who consume the Standard American Diet.

Eating fast food leads to all 5 of the conditions of metabolic syndrome:

  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • And high triglycerides

It may sound extreme, but skipping the drive thru and going home to prepare a meal, or even packing your lunch, can be the difference between life and death! Healthy eating is actually far easier than most people think.

Sweet Deceit

Avoiding fast foods and processed foods is definitely a top priority when it comes to regaining your health. However, there is one additional change that is necessary for eradicating metabolic syndrome. Eliminating this risky food from your diet may seem difficult at first. But, the decision will add years to your life and literally transform your body!

This treacherous food is: SUGAR! Everyone loves the taste of sugar! But trust me, the health consequences aren’t worth its sweet taste!

Sugar causes metabolic syndrome by:

  • Creating hyperglycemia, which leads to insulin resistance and then to diabetes!
  • Causing weight gain, specifically in the high-risk area of the abdomen. This is a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Raising triglycerides, which ultimately leads to heart disease.

Simply put, metabolic syndrome originates by consuming too much sugar and simple carbohydrates! Though white sugar is the most common culprit, “sugar” comes in other forms, as well. For instance, processed and refined grains act just like white sugar in the body! Instead of eating white flour and white sugar include these foods into your diet:

Whole Grains: Quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice are great sources.

Fruits and Vegetables: These contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are important in preventing metabolic syndrome.

Natural Sweeteners: Stevia and xylitol and great substitutes for baking or sweetening drinks.

A great rule of thumb is to always make sure grains are the smallest portion on your plate at mealtime. Instead, fill the majority of your plate with vegetables and lean meat. This will keep your blood sugar balanced, encourage weight loss, and keep your triglycerides down!

Powerful Metabolic Syndrome Risk Reducing Foods

There are 3 specific foods that have the innate capacity to lower your risk of metabolic syndrome. These foods have unique properties that work like natural medicine inside the human body! Incorporating these foods into a nutritious balanced diet can be the breakthrough you need to get your health on track and avoid metabolic syndrome!

Cinnamon

If there were a miracle food for metabolic syndrome, then it would definitely be cinnamon. Cinnamon contains a group of flavonoids called Type A procyanidins, which mimic insulin in the body. These flavonoids function like insulin by aiding in transporting glucose into our cells and by helping to synthesize glycogen. This makes cinnamon a powerful weapon against insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s effects are so powerful, in fact, that if you use insulin or another blood sugar medication, you’ll need to monitor your doses closely in order to avoid having too low of blood sugar. Cinnamon also naturally enhances the effects of insulin medications in the body.

But, that’s not all! Cinnamon is also beneficial for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, two other risk factors for metabolic syndrome. It naturally lowers the bad LDL cholesterol in the body that can lead to atherosclerosis. It also was found in studies to lower systolic blood pressure. Cinnamon can be added to your morning coffee and incorporated into delicious baked goods like the cinnamon roll recipe below![1]

grapefruit benefitsGrapefruit

It seems as though the creator of the old “Grapefruit Diet” was on the right track. Recent studies have shown that grapefruit has the capacity to:

  • Lower blood glucose levels
  • Promote weight loss
  • Lower cholesterol

Grapefruit contains a specific antioxidant called naringenin, which aids the liver in breaking down fats. In turn, the liver can better process LDL cholesterol, reducing the chances of atherosclerosis. Naringenin also promotes fat metabolism instead of fat storage and naturally lowers insulin sensitivity. In studies, those who ate half of a grapefruit before meals experienced significant weight loss compared to the group who did not eat grapefruit! Talk about a fat-burning food! Try eating a half of a grapefruit at least twice a day before meals to benefit from its wonderful qualities.

Coconut Oil

Many people are fearful of fats and oils because they believe they cause weight gain and high cholesterol. The truth is it fat doesn’t cause these issues; it’s sugar. Cutting out sugar and incorporating healthy fats like coconut oil into your diet actually stimulates weight loss!

Coconut oil is rich in healthy medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids promote the increase of healthy HDL cholesterol, which in turn naturally lowers health damaging LDL cholesterol.

Coconut oil also boosts the metabolism and is very effective at reducing abdominal fat that is typical of metabolic syndrome.

In a recent study, both men and women with abdominal obesity saw a significant reduction in waist circumference in just a few weeks by consuming just one ounce of coconut oil a day!

Coconut oil also helps stabilize blood sugar in the body, preventing insulin sensitivity. A study conducted in 2009 at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia by Dr. Nigel Turner and Associate Professor Jiming Ye demonstrated that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against ‘insulin resistance’ in muscle and fat.4 A diet rich in coconut oil, which is high in medium chain fatty acids, also prevents the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content. These findings are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of metabolic syndrome.[2]

It is very easy to incorporate coconut oil into your daily diet. You can sauté your food in it, add it to baked goods instead of butter, or add it to your morning coffee! Just one ounce a day is enough to reap its health promoting benefits!

Recipes for Health

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love a warm cinnamon bun. There’s even an entire food chain, Cinnabon, based around this delicious baked good! However, cinnamon buns are the furthest thing from “good for you.” They are loaded with refined carbohydrates and sugar, which will send your blood sugar sky high and widen your waistline.

Below is a healthy, grain free, low carb cinnamon bun that you can whip up in just a few minutes! These cinnamon buns contain both cinnamon and coconut oil, which are important in preventing metabolic syndrome.

Grain Free Cinnamon Bun in a Mug

grain free cinnamon bun in a mugIngredients:

  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk (unsweetened) or organic milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the icing:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut butter or organic butter
  • 1 tbsp. almond milk (unsweetened) or organic milk
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

Mix all of the cinnamon cake ingredients in a coffee mug, mixing in the baking powder last. Microwave for 2 minutes. Mix all of the icing ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the hot mug cake. Enjoy!

spiced grapefruit ciderI personally enjoy warm, nourishing drinks in the cold winter months. This grapefruit cider is a twist on hot apple cider. It contains both the benefits of grapefruit and cinnamon, making it great for stabilizing blood sugar and aiding in weight loss. This drink is a snap to make and is even a great option for holiday parties!

Spiced Grapefruit Cider

  • 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice (squeezed from 2 grapefruits)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries

In a medium pot, combine juice, honey, cinnamon, allspice, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat; strain and discard solids. Serve warm in a mug.

Having the risk factors for metabolic syndrome may be a recipe for disaster, but now you know the recipe for good health! This recipe involves avoiding the drive thru, cutting out refined carbohydrates and sugar, and incorporating foods like cinnamon, grapefruit, and coconut oil into your daily diet. Making these beneficial changes to your diet can propel you towards health and away from disease. Avoid metabolic syndrome and it’s deadly outcomes by transforming your health and, in turn, transforming your future.

 

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Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

References:
Preuss HG, Richard B, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Whole cinnamon and aqueous extracts ameliorate sucrose-induced blood pressure elevations in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):144-50.
Kochikuzhyil BM, Devi K, Fattepur SR. “Effect of saturated fatty acid-rich dietary vegetable oils on lipid profile, antioxidant enzymes and glucose tolerance in diabetic rats.” Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Jun;42(3):142-5.

Fight Metabolic Syndrome with Fitness

Metabolic syndrome is a fairly recent development in our culture resulting from being overweight and inactive. Metabolic syndrome is no small problem when 47 million Americans find themselves in its clutches.[1] And if you’re over 60, your chances of developing metabolic syndrome are 4 in 10.[2]

The dangerous factors that comprise metabolic syndrome significantly increase your risk for blood clotting, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.[3]

In fact, if you have three or more of these risk factors, you probably have metabolic syndrome right now:[4]

  • what metabolic syndrome will give youA large waistline
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar (indicates prediabetes—an early sign of type 2 diabetes)

Don’t Look for Symptoms!

If you think you’re safe from metabolic syndrome because “you feel fine,” think again! Other than a large waist, there are often no other visible or perceivable symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome.[5]

So let’s cut to the chase. If you have or develop metabolic syndrome, then here’s what you have to look forward to:

  • A life that revolves around doctor visits and lots of expensive medications with nasty side effects.
  • Probable complications involving coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and its associated problems.
  • An ever-decreasing mobility preventing you from being able to play with your grandchildren, socialize with your friends, or travel.
  • A life filled with “can’t-dos” (“I can’t do this.” “I can’t do that.”).

I hope that kind of future troubles you, because you don’t have to live that way. Your life doesn’t have to take that route. But in order to avoid that path of disaster, you need to take a different one now!

Metabolic syndrome is the result of being overweight and inactive.[6] It’s as simple as that. If that’s you right now…if you don’t exercise 3 times a week…if you have a job sitting down all day…if you consume more calories than you burn…you must make significant changes in your lifestyle to halt metabolic syndrome in its tracks.[7]

Inactivity breeds inactivity. Click to Tweet.

The longer a person remains inactive, the heavier they get; the stiffer and sorer their joints; the harder activity becomes; the more embarrassed they become about being seen in public. You can begin putting an end to this vicious cycle now, but you must make changes.

Medical professionals tell us that even a modest weight loss of just 5-10 percent of total body weight will impact insulin resistance and blood pressure.[8] To naturally lose weight, you need a two-pronged approach of a healthy diet and exercise. Let’s focus on exercise in this article.

Getting and Staying Fit

The human body is designed for mobility, strength, agility, and grace. You were created to be active. Perhaps you have an aversion to exercise because of a bad experience or some misconceptions:

  • You over-did it in the past and hurt yourself.
  • You see other sleek, muscular bodies and become disillusioned and depressed about your own body.
  • You’ve tried exercising in the past and didn’t enjoy it.
  • You think you don’t have time for exercise.
  • You can’t afford a gym membership or expensive equipment at home.
  • You’ve given up, “What’s the use?”

Whatever you do, don’t give up. You are worth it!

We could cite countless studies and examples on the benefits of exercise, but here’s one that may really encourage you.

A Duke University study found that moderate exercise at moderate intensity (e.g., walking briskly for 3 miles, 4 days per week, or 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week) can significantly reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome! The key is consistency.[9]

Exercise Tips

  • Check with your physician before beginning an exercise program.
  • Find an exercise that you enjoy (or can learn to enjoy).
  • Start out very slowly and work up gradually if you are unaccustomed to exercise.
  • Warm up before and cool down after exercising.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Set a timer on your watch or phone to track your time.
  • Decide to build exercise into your life to the extent that you miss it when you can’t exercise.

By the way, exercise is beneficial for metabolic syndrome even if you don’t lose weight. Click to Tweet.

Regular physical activity lowers: blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, consistent moderate exercise also increases: flexibility, energy, mobility, and countless other health measures.[10]

If you are overwhelmed by the idea of beginning an exercise regimen or simply don’t know where to start, then use a handy tool like this below to chart your progress.

My Personal Exercise Plan (PEP):

(Example: Walk briskly 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.)
Personal Exercise Plan

 

workout by flickr mariachilyOr, if you are savvy with a smart phone, download a free or low-cost app for tracking distance, time, calories burned, elevation gain, and other helpful and fun measures. (I use Endomondo. Others include: BIDMC Pedometer, MapMyWalk, Walkmeter GPS Pedometer, RunKeeper, and The Moves.)

Decide today to put an exercise plan into action and look forward to a life:

  • Of mobility, fun and adventure
  • Playing with your grandchildren
  • Getting out with your friends
  • Unencumbered with medications and numerous health restrictions

What quality of life do you want? Don’t let metabolic syndrome take you down. You can beat it! The choice is yours. Act now and begin exercising your body your way to amazing and vibrant health!

 

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Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

 

 

Sources:
[1] WebMD, “What Is Metabolic Syndrome?” December 21, 2013, http://www.webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome-what-is-it.
[2] Mayo Clinic, “Metabolic Syndrome—Definition,” April 22, 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20027243.
[3] Medicine Net, “Metabolic Syndrome,” September 19, 2014, http://www.medicinenet.com/metabolic_syndrome/article.htm.
[4] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “What Is Metabolic Syndrome?” nd, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms/.
[5] Mayo Clinic, “Metabolic Syndrome—Definition,” April 22, 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20027243.
[6] Mayo Clinic.
[7] Mayo Clinic, “Metabolic Syndrome—Definition,” April 22, 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20027243.
[8] The University of Chicago Medicine, “Metabolic Syndrome,” nd, http://www.uchospitals.edu/online-library/content=P08342.
[9] Miranda Hitti, “Metabolic Syndrome: How Much Exercise?” WebMD, December 17, 2007, http://www.webmd.com/heart/metabolic-syndrome/news/20071217/metabolic-syndrome-how-much-exercise.
[10] Medicine Net.

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