The Angelina Jolie factor & Ovarian Cancer: Risks, Genetics, epigenetics and nutrigenomics

We have all heard about the famous and beautiful actress Angelina Jolietmb_173x173_angelina-jolie-parenting-21may14-01 having taken the preventative steps of having her breasts, and now her ovaries surgically removed due to the presence of her cancer causing genetic roulette make up. She made this decision after careful consultation with her medical advisors, and after watching her mother die of the same genetic cancer.  She is such an admirable and gifted human being with otherwise an amazing genetic makeup.  It takes us aback with this news to appreciate that she really is, indeed, human.
Many of you readers may have formed an opinion about this. Some have voiced disappointment in the media hype with their pontificating on conspiracy theories. That is “she was manipulated by big pharma” or having surgery to improve the coffers of the Medical establishment etc. this quite frankly does not make sense. There is very little pharmacy associated with surgical healing compared to cancer chemotherapy. It’s actually a much more straightforward procedure. Even a complete ovariohysterectomy is only a few days in hospital.  I am sure that a woman of such high regarded stature would have had excellent medical advice and care. It is very likely that she will also partake of nutritional medicine, including herbs and  antioxidant therapies replete in omega 3 rich meals.  Integrative medical care in the United States is much more advanced than here in Australia, although we do have the Olivia Newton John Hospital opening in Victoria.  http://www.austin.org.au/cancer/
Others are saying that she was not given adequate informed holistic advice, otherwise why would she have surgery, especially if her organs were not shown to be cancerous. I think this too is unlikely.  Angelina and her family are well connected and intelligent people.
It’s more likely that the general public is less informed.
Having just returned from a visit with the senior professor in oncological gynecology, Professor Obermair http://www.obermair.info/inform…/gynaecological-cancer/… I think I can speak from the medically established  point of view given the latest research which puts some women (with the bad BRAC1&2)  somewhere between 30-80% certain to have ovarian cancer at some stage in their future if they carry a percentage, in total summation of genetic markers called SNP’s, that  produce the overall risk factor.
Ovarian cancer is insidious, and by the time it is diagnosed it is usually too late to save those precious mothers, wives and daughters. . It’s a difficult diagnosis to make, the signs and symptoms are not specific-and the cancer markers CA125 and HE4 are not 100% sensitive or specific. Therefore– speaking from the specialists:  it is simply an unacceptable risk if you have the strong SNP BRAC 1 and BRAC 2. End of discussion. Take it out, end of future risk.

As a veterinary surgeon who has performed thousands of ovariohysterectomies  and indeed some lifesaving surgeries, (pyometron, leiomyoma, adenocarcinoma) I can see their point.

I think it is most likely that Angelina had the best advice – she seems level headed and a smart cookie- and am confident it wasn’t about cosmetics. The public are probably not generally knowledgeable about the serum markers and DNA tests, as this is relatively new technology.  Given that her mother died a horrible death from this and that we are not privy to her exact BRCA figures, we are the uninformed. 

Because she is a public figure we can question her choice, but its likely that she did not have much choice from a statistic and genetic understanding. No doubt she will continue on with herbal, and nutritional supplementation, as did Olivia Newton John and all others. If Angelina had even a small cystic change on her ovaries, she would have been advised that there is no way to tell if this benign change could not become cancerous, and by the time it is “watched for change” it is often too late and peritoneal metastatases have spread. That is the dilemma in this diagnostic plan. You can read some more about it here:http://www.obermair.info/…/gynaecolo…/ovarian-cancer/…

Gynaecological Cancer Uterine Cancer In Australia, uterine cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer with more than 2000 women newly diagnosed every year. Typically it is a disease of postmenopausal women. Fibroids can become cancerous.  Ovarian cysts can become cancerous.

 I think the real point is that there is a lot more to understand about the intricacies now known regarding BRCA genes.

The SNP pedia explains the genetics in some detail, and it turns out that “23 and me ” saliva test is actually not as accurate as one would hope. There are over 2 thousand genetic markers when considering the 2 BRCA types. For the cancer markers 1+2 SNPedia currently contains 1456 BRCA1 SNPs and 1497 BRCA2 SNPs. Some of the variations in these genes are linked to Breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and other variations are benign. (See also BRCA1 and BRCA2 for individual gene discussions and links).
Microarray platforms used by DTC genomics testing companies such as FamilyTree DNA and 23andMe usually test a subset of substantially less than 100 BRCA1 or BRCA2 SNPs, typically, the most common ones. This results in both false positives (which includes being found positive for a variation that’s benign) as well as false negatives (the person tested carries a bad mutation, but it won’t be found since it’s one of the many SNPs that aren’t actually tested.
Having just researched and gone over the “23 and me” genomics (you can read about testing yourself here: https://www.23andme.com/)   I think it is not as simple as black and white, “it is what it is” does not explain the complex interaction of multiple genes…that is people on the outside (not being privy to geneticists, medical teams and the individuals circumstances) and without that genetic map knowledge might lump everyone into yay or nay piles. Diet and preventative measures are helpful FOR SOME, but they have a poorer probability of cancer reversal for others. Its not as simple as “you have BRAC1 gene so you must chop off your breasts”. There are thousands of genes with several of them interacting to set off or disallow the telomerase/cancer restriction to occur. Its actually more like a calculus problem, with many arithmetic variations and its very complex. One can have a multiplying variation of cancer causing genes which factor into the equation. As we age and our telomeres contract (its inevitable really, none of us get out of this life alive in the end!) our natural killer cells and immune system struggles. If you have a few SNPs that code for cancer they may increase your risk with age to an unacceptable level.( http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs1042838)  This predisposition may rear its ugly head at any time- its like a time bomb.. Surgical removal of the offending, out of control tissue is a realistic option and is likely life saving for some. Not everyone will need to do this procedure, but for those with the 80% risk factors its definitely something to consider. If the multiplying factors weigh in at say 10% the option is less straightforward and perhaps not something someone would want to do, as the surgeries are not without trauma and side effects. Its great to be optimistic and open minded, but not so open that your brains fall out. Nutritional  medicine and herbs have a place and Gerson diets, Budwig principle, http://www.budwigcenter.com/the-budwig-diet/#.VRT1nmeJhdg,  and essential oils can help and I encourage you all to review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHKaVd_twIE
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The risk factors based on genetic testing may also be misleading.http://www.survive-and-thrive-cancer.com/angelinajoliemastectomy.aspx#.VTcdF5WlBFR It may well be that the risk of breast cancer being passed down through the generations is seldom due to true genetic inheritance but rather due to an ‘inheritance’ of similar non-constructive dietary habits, lifestyle ways and emotional patterns.
I advocate careful choices–>health, nutrigenomics, herbal medicine and Surgery if it is indicated. It does very little to support the patient to say that “they must have eaten too many toxins or didn’t take enough tumeric, or didn’t pray enough or eat enough salad” if they, in fact drew the short straw in the gene pool. As more of us become thoroughly educated about the genetic risk factors, we may be seeing a whole new method of cancer treatment- genetic manipulation and deletion of some of our nasty genes. There is already the possibility of adding the mitochondria from a third person into an embryo making a “three person zygote”. Hmmm, now that is an interesting concept. We likely will not achieve immortality, nor would we want that- where will everyone fit on the planet? 😉

So the point is the oncological checks for ovarian cancer are so far poor diagnostic and prognostic indicators , ultrasound does not diagnose (It can’t differentiate a benign cyst from malignancy) , the cancer markers are somewhat inaccurate (benign uterine fibroids also elevate CA125), and the genetic potential is the only marker that is relatively accurate in identifying risks. The diagnosis of ovarian cancer is best made by excising the suspect ovary- the complete ovary within a bag carefully, with no Fine Needle aspirate- it seeds the cells into the peritoneum. The surgery is tricky, but curative.   If you have been given a big bundle of bad genes its probably better out than in, but if you have only a minor “bad hand” you might want to think about it – rest and digest, but pay closer attention to monitoring. (Ultrasound and serum testing CA125 and HE4). Eat healthy take in daily antioxidants and antitumour diets.  Avoid processed meat (ham, salami) and eat a largely plant based, preferably organic diet.  Avoid simple sugars. Joanna Budwig diet of flax seed oil and cottage or quark cheese with your salads is likely beneficial.  See our facebook site for more!    https://www.facebook.com/Naturopathvet?fref=nf

Get your antioxidants in early in the day, and take large quantities!

Get your antioxidants early in the day, and take large quantities! Juice it up, but avoid simple sugars and choose green vegetables with each meal.  Ripe fruit provides enzymes for your body to digest. Have 1gm/kg body weight protein.

 

Vaccinations: To Prick or not to prick?

Just had a discussion about vaccinations: There is a lot of information out there about pros and cons of vaccines. Unfortunately much of the information is biased one way or the other. Here are some comments worth considering.  This is an article about puppies and dogs mostly, but some reference to 2 legged individuals is mentioned.

The timing: of the vaccinations are important.  To be protective the puppy/baby/kitten needs to have a vaccine given AFTER the maternal antibody levels have waned, otherwise mum’s antibodies nullify the antigen injection.  “Annual boosters” are NOT necessary and contribute to dis-ease. The dog’s immunity post vaccination lasts for many years, if not life- which is similar to MMR- you only really need one vaccine for life. The Mother’s antibodies (in the bitch and in humans!) come through the colostrum milk and provide immunity to the baby/puppy as long as there is breast feeding continuing, and while the babie’s gut is immature. The gut seals itself and the mother’s antibodies reduce by the 16th week of age. Vaccines are necessary then to give the bub its own immune push, and we recommend ONLY the NECESSARY core vaccines- DH&P (this is dogs! not humans- stick with me…I am a Naturopath and a Vet!).

REACTIONS: We do see vaccination reactions in puppies as well, unfortunately.  Holistic vets have recognised this for over 30 years, and have been integral in pushing the Veterinary group to recognise this!

 The type of vaccinations are also important considerations, (oral, intranasal, injection etc)the injectable bordatella causes major BAD reactions- anaphylaxis and death. Don’t do that one! the intranasal vaccine works and does not have the same negative reactions. DH&P reactions occur, usually after the second or 12-14 week shot. Its not common, but it is commonly missed! The reactions include GME (Ganulomatous Meningo Encephalitides), arthritides, skin reactions, autoimmune diseases- such as hypothyroidism, and possibly “Autism” or “hasn’t been right since” The problem arises more commonly in the very small white fluffy breeds. It’s likely a dose dependent problem and maybe related to the open blood brain barrier when the animal is teething. Vaccines should NOT be given to sick or ill animals.  Here is an article about vaccination reactions in dogs:

 What this means for humans is open to conjecture, but certainly one should vaccinate for ONLY the diseases present and with “good” vaccines which are modified live, that do not have mercury, formalin, artificial dyes (sets up food and insect allergy) and should NOT be given to sick or ill children- if you have Pyroluria or MTHFR genetics you should take supplements/give them to the kid prior. Thuja homeopathic may be useful, and giving 1/2 doses to small breeds and supplementing with vitamin E, vitamin B and spirulina provides methylation detox help. The accumulated evidence indicates that vaccination protocols should no longer be considered as a “one size fits all” program. Giving too much vaccinal antigen to a small breed puppy also can increase the risk of adverse reactions.http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/…/dodds

What are vaccines and what are their purpose?
Vaccines are biological preparations used to stimulate immunity to a disease. They commonly contain a piece of infectious agent (bacteria or virus) that has been changed to make them less dangerous but more stimulating to the immune system. They do this usually by being killed or “live attenuated”. Most these days are live attenuated or modified live. The vaccine also contains “adjuvants”: additives that boost the immune response. These adjuvants are things like aluminium. They also contain preservatives to stop them becoming contaminated.  The commonly used vaccines in dogs contain several organisms together: eg the C3 vaccine contains three viruses; the C5 contains 5 infectious agents (the core 3 viruses and 2 agents of kennel cough).  Vaccines are delivered into the body in different ways. Most commonly they are injected under the skin. In the case of kennel cough vaccines, they can be delivered “locally” into the nose.

Why are vaccinations important?
Vaccinations are important to protect against infectious disease, especially those that can kill. In dogs these are the core vaccines, against distemper, infectious hepatitis and parvo virus. Vaccination programs have successfully reduced the number cases of deadly, infectious viruses and in so doing have made dogs healthier. Distemper, which was common when I was a child, is now almost non-existent. Likewise parvo virus, which swept the world in an epidemic in the 70’s and was rampant in the 80’s, is much less commonly seen. This is largely due to vaccination.

Vaccines also protect against common, but not fatal illnesses like kennel cough. Like a flu vaccine, it is possible to catch the illness, but symptoms are usually less severe. These are called “non-core vaccines”.

How effective are vaccines?

 Vaccines are general speaking very effective at producing immunity if used appropriately. They do however vary in their effectiveness to produce immunity in an individual animal. The effectiveness depends on several factors, including:

1.       The strain of the infectious agent used in the vaccine (some strains produce a strong immune response, such as the newer parvo vaccines).
2.       Completing a proper vaccination schedule (multiple doses are typically needed, at correctly spaced intervals)
3.       The individual genetic predisposition of each dog (some may be overly sensitive to the vaccines and more prone to side effects, whilst other individuals do not develop sufficient immunity despite being properly vaccinated).

Are there any problems or side effects with vaccines?

YES!! It is important that you know this. Vaccines are not benign, harmless substances. They work by affecting the immune system and can have long term, far reaching effects on it. There are three main categories of side effects or problems.  There is much more information here: u. There is much more on Dr Jean Dodds sites. http://www.britfeld.com/vaccination-adverse.htm

The first one is the least dramatic and most common: local pain or swelling at the injection site. This usually passes within a day or two. Just be careful handling your dog or puppy in that area.

The second one is quite uncommon and is an acute, sudden anaphylactic (allergic) reaction to the vaccine. The dog may become ill in the hours following vaccination: common signs are aches and pains, fevers and chills, reluctance to move. Rarely your dog or puppy may show other signs of neurological, gastro-intestinal, or respiratory disturbance. Mostly these are mild but occasionally strong and severe reactions are recorded. Veterinary assistance should be sought. DO NOT VACCINATE your dog again if your pet has ever experienced a vaccination reaction, as it is likely to be worse next time.

The third category is a delayed immunological response, up to 45 days afterwards. The signs commonly include milder symptoms like fever, stiffness, sore tummy, sore joints, increased susceptibility to infections, itchy skin and ears. Rarely, stronger signs are seen, including neurological and brain disorders, blood and bleeding disorders, liver and kidney failure and bone marrow suppression. We highly recommend titre testing in lieu of revaccinating atopic or itchy dogs, as we have seen them become increasingly pruritic each year following vaccination. After all, vaccinations are there to prime the immune system and make them more hyperactive.

Why are there such side effects from vaccines?

 We are still trying to understand all that goes on when we vaccinate, and afterwards. It is thought that a number of factors are involved including

1.       Using more effective (stronger) modified live (attenuated) vaccines.
2.       Possible preservatives, adjuvants and contaminants.
3.       “over-vaccinating”: giving a booster every year. Latest research shows that most dogs only need a booster as an adult every 3-5 years minimum.
4.       Mixing too many agents together in one vaccine: this provides too great a challenge at once.
5.       Vaccinating animals when they are stressed or unwell.
6.       Giving the agents by injection, rather than locally into the area affected.

What can we do then to maximize the benefits of vaccinations and reduce the harm and side effects?

1.       Only vaccinate your dog or puppy when they are healthy and not stressed.
2.       Do not give heartworm injections or other treatments at the same time. Wait two weeks at least.
3.       Have your dog receive the minimum number of puppy vaccines and adult boosters.
4.       Replace the annual booster vaccination visit with a full wellness exam, including blood tests.
5.       Ask your vet to use only “core vaccines” by injection : distemper, hepatitis and parvo virus (C3)
6.       Kennel cough vaccine, if needed, is best administered in the nose.
7.       If multiple injections are needed (eg to cover for leptospirosis as well) then wait at least two weeks between them. Use the minimum number of  agents at any one time.
8.       Do not vaccinate your dog against giardia or corona virus. These diseases are rare and the vaccines provide questionable immunity.
9.       Do not vaccinate puppies younger than 8 weeks.
10.    Seek veterinary advice regarding vaccination for geriatric animals and those with chronic health issues.

What vaccination protocol is recommended then?

 Puppies: I recommend two vaccines only, and do not give any before 8 weeks of age. Final vaccines can be given at 11 or 12 weeks, if your vet is using one of the newer products, such as nobivac. This means your puppy can be fully protected and out and about with all important socializing from 13 weeks.

Teenagers: Give a first booster 12 months after the final puppy vaccination. It is not necessary to vaccinate again sooner than this.

Adults: Do a blood test every year (titre test) to check if immunity is low and if a booster vaccination is required. Titre tests are available for the core vaccines but not for kennel cough. If boosters are needed for kennel cough for boarding, agility, showing etc, then the intranasal vaccine is recommended.

If your dog does not need a kennel cough booster for one of these reasons, then I suggest you pass on this and keep to a healthy diet and lifestyle and immune boosting supplements instead.

Train yourself to go to see your vet for an annual wellness exam for your dog: NOT a booster vaccination. The wellness exam should include blood work for titre test, and any other tests you and your vet deem necessary or important.

In Conclusion:
Vaccines are important tools in keeping your dog healthy. However, they need to used carefully to cause no harm. Please discuss vaccination for your pet with your vet. If in doubt, a second opinion never hurts. There is also lots of information available regarding vaccines and vaccination protocols. W Jean Dodds of California, USA is a world authority and research leader in this field. I highly recommend her work to you.

Detox your Pet!

Detox your pet!
We all want our health span to equal our life span, and we certainly want our pets  to live a happy, healthy and long life. Unfortunately we cannot make this an “eternal” or forever life – but we can try to help them bypass the poor quality events–arthritis, dermatoses, otitis externae (ear infections) and cancer caused by poor diets,  and toxins.
We know that readers of this magazine already know that the world is full of pollutants! Poisonous chemicals cumulate over time in our pet’s, and our own bodies usually stored in fat tissue which might become a nidus for tumour growth. Taking the “Rubbish out” is a life long/daily/weekly event – leading to a longer life (ask my husband!)
Harmful waste products are either flushed out –down the urine pathway filtered out  via our kidneys, or through our entero-hepatic cycle and out the other “hole”.  Some are sweated out via skin/ears which may be  represented as dermatitis and otitis
The simple answer to detox is to feed fresh, organic balanced foods that are species appropriate, and to provide ample sources of pure clean water. www.catinfo.org gives great information about feeding cats, and our clinic www.animalwellness.com.au can help with soecific diets.  Adding a good quality Spirulina or chlorella and Zeolite can help to bind out toxins that have accumulated in one’s body. If there is heavy metals- such as Lead -eg. in Mt Isa or Broken HIll mining towns, Zeolite given as small amounts weekly can help remove some of the toxicity. Each patient is an individual,  and the amount and type of detox will vary accordingly. Some animals- such as man, primates and guinea pigs require exceptional levels of vitamin C to prevent scurvy during the clearing process, and small amounts of vitamin B and Selenium are also necessary. A complete blood count and serum analysis prior to embarking on a diet change or “detox”  helpful to customize a particular organ system recovery.  For example, renal problems are helped to detoxify with the herb Rehmannia, and liver toxins are cleared with s-AME, milk thistle, dandelion root and vitamin B’s. All require thorough rehydration therapy.
  Where are these pollutants? Our pets, and us, drink them  in our water (fluoride, oestrogens “the birth control pills”, agricultural chemicals), and eat them in our food- insecticides, herbicides (GMO produce are glyphosate friendly-meaning you will get a big dose of BT toxins and Round up ready gut problems if you ingest corn, maize, wheat!  We also absorb them from our skin- which is a carrier NOT a barrier.  Avoid putting unnecessary toxins onto your, or your pet’s skin: Did you know that your skin is a carrier, NOT a barrier- as was previously thought. That means whatever you put On your skin is carried INTO your body and absorbed until it is eliminated. This has implications for nanoparticles in sunscreen (linked to cancer)  and phthalates and parabens in soaps, shampoos and cosmetics.
Bodies also produce endogenous toxins- that is stress and its dependent hormones- adrenaline, cortisol etc cause some wear and tear on internal tissues and produce some waste that also needs to be cleared out. Think your dog is chilled out and not stressed? Think again. Most little white fluffies (maltese, poodles, shitzu) just love and miss their owners so much that they can burn out their adrenals the same as their humans. Talk to an animal behaviourist to improve their attitude, and work on “Calm and mindful” pet therapy.

Check your food labels: Natural does not necessarily mean “Natural” as in “gift from Nature”.

It is commonly a marketing tool- it  means “can taste like a natural food” or smells like a “Nature derived smell” when in fact it can be entirely synthetic and made from plastics and coal tar- a by product of the petrochemical industry. Its a lot cheaper and therefore more profitable for the company  to , and make Liver, or chicken flavor and Red erythrosine dyes onto plastic “food” chews that so many dogs go Whacko from. (you know the TV commercial!)

Its the same for us- Vanilla, an orchid seed pod is very expensive to grow and then bottle.  That’s why most of your chocolate  (which of course you do NOT feed to your pets) and cookies use ethyl vanillin- its cheap, but WHAT is THAT doing to your body and organ systems- especially if your body has no way of breaking it down? Where is it stored (think fat, liver etc! ) and how is it removed from your body? Much of  it must pass through into urine and  faeces- because it is found in our seawater, which means both the liver and the kidneys had a “go” at filtering it.  What does it do the the environmental food chain then?

Some contaminants in our food chain bioaccumulate. This means that if it is in the soil or seawater (via sewerage)  the smaller organisms eat it, incorporate this into their bodies, and as the larger organisms consume them in turn, there is a greater toxic dose per gram ingested. As Man and his pet charges are  “Apex” predators we all end up with the stuff back in our bodies at a higher dose.  This is true for everything that is NOT food that is ingested and cannot get removed with the waste.  Food gets broken down by your digestive system or by your liver to its primary components: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen plus some sulphur micro and macro minerals calcium, magnesium etc. Every cell gets washed in the serum that carries these molecules and each cell tries to figure out if it is food or foul—If you can’t  build cells or run enzymes with the molecules there, then the chemicals are either stored  in fat or liver–or put away in between muscle layers if it cannot be flushed out.  Its vitally important that you feed your  pet’s and your body daily with the building  blocks for your cells to regenerate and that you avoid putting bad stuff into the system.

Don’t be fooled! If a substance has “not yet been found” to cause cancer it might just mean that the correlation has not been documented in enough places- and that possibly too many doctors /research scientists are on the receiving end of a pay back! (Conspiracy theorist?  nah, its just business as usual! If  your research funding pays your mortgage who/what ya gunna call??) . You can  check pubmed entrez – the scientific research  site– for information about the anthropogenic (ie synthetic man made substances) found in the atmosphere that DO NOT BREAK DOWN in the ocean’s waters.  Type in any number of “food” preservatives and see what comes up.

As a rule of thumb: think

1) fluid therapy ensure food is hydrating (this *not * dry food)

2) avoid all “food” colourings (that are NOT food)  and most preservatives (vitamin E, C are ok)

3) Fresh is best.  The organic produce and pulp from your juicer is an awesome addition

4) add some green chlorophyll (spirulina, chlorella, kelp powder) – small amount for cat, larger for dogs.

5) seek help from an Integrative, Holistic Veterinarian.

ANIMAL WELLNESS ph 61 7 31221997
Veterinary Integrative Care Clinic AND Advanced Veterinary Dentistry
Greenslopes Shopping Mall
Shop 6B/700 Logan Road,
Greenslopes Qld 4120
www.animalwellness.com.au
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/animalwellness

https://naturopathvet.wordpress.com/

Dr Elaine Cebuliak BVSc MACVSc dentistry, Dip Ed, Dip Rem Massage, Cert Chinese Herbs, Cert IVAS Qual Acupuncture, CMAVA, Adv Dip Naturopathy, Adv Dip Herbal Med, Adv Dip Nutrition       ph 61-422413404
http://www.pethealth.com.au/Page/animal-massage-brisbane

“Natural” is a marketing Tool: Beware of Synthetic Cosmetics and fake- Frankenfoods!

BANG ON 2015!

Congratulations everyone! By reading this, and being *here* – this means you have made it to 2015!

Not a small feat in today’s world of cancer, sickness and ill health. I personally have lost a few loved ones last year, as have many of my friends.  I commiserate with the mind numbing grief that you might experience.   January is a time of introspection, a kindness to ourselves to start over again, to move forward. 

Let’s try to turn this year into one of ACTION instead of Re-action. Being Wellness is about being proactive. Find the weak spots and Tweak ’em. For more hints and tips hop over to our dual facebook sites- the human side of Being Wellness is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beingwellness/1508587542703500

and the Veterinary Pet site is here: https://www.facebook.com/animalwellness

As a Naturopath and Veterinary Surgeon and Physician I am known for my enquiring mind- WHY? is a common question to come from me.  The next question to follow is “What can we do to fix it?” followed by “How can we prevent this from happening?”  I am sure it drives my staff and family nuts sometimes- and certainly it may not be good for my adrenals, however THAT is the stuff I am made of, and I guess I must be OK with that because it somehow seems to work for me most of the time. You have to ask what the pay off is for me personally, and for others that are somehow “driven” to fight the good fight and to see what we can achieve. Guess I was just born that way.

Today I want to talk to you about MINDFULNESS ingestion: what you eat and what you put on your  body. Did you know that your skin is a carrier, NOT a barrier- as was previously thought. That means whatever you put On your skin is carried INTO your body and absorbed until it is eliminated. This has implications for nanoparticles in sunscreen (linked to cancer)  and phthalates and parabens in soaps, shampoos and cosmetics.

Natural does not necessarily mean “Natural” as in “gift from Nature”. It may NOT be a carbon life form derived product. It may, in fact be chemical mimicry that could be dangerous to your bodies’ chemistry.

 It is most likely a marketing tool- it really means “can taste like a natural food” or smells like a “Nature derived smell” when in fact it can be entirely synthetic and made from plastics and coal tar- a by product of the petrochemical industry. Its a lot cheaper and therefore more profitable for the company  to make a Rose scent in a test tube than to grow the roses, transport them to a distillery, and make a pomade, bottle it etc. Its the same for Vanilla, an orchid seed pod- very expensive to grow and then bottle.  That’s why most of your chocolate and cookies use ethyl vanillin- its cheap, but WHAT is THAT doing to your body and organ systems- especially if your body has no way of breaking it down? Where is it stored (think fat, liver etc! ) and how is it removed from your body? Much of  it must pass through into urine and  faeces- because it is found in our seawater, which means both the liver and the kidneys had a “go” at filtering it.  What does it do the the environmental food chain then?

Some contaminants in our food chain bioaccumulate. This means that if it is in the soil or seawater (via sewerage)  the smaller organisms eat it, incorporate this into their bodies, and as the larger organisms consume them in turn, there is a greater toxic dose per gram ingested. As Man is an “Apex” predator we end up with the stuff back in our bodies at a higher dose than the little guys.  This is true for everything that is NOT food.  Food gets broken down by your digestive system or by your liver to its primary components: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen plus some sulphur micro and macro minerals calcium, magnesium etc. Every cell gets washed in the serum that carries these molecules and each cell tries to figure out if it is food or foul—If you can’t  build cells or run enzymes with the molecules there, then the chemicals are either stored or put away or flushed out.  Its vitally important that you feed your body daily with the building  blocks for your cells to regenerate and that you avoid putting bad stuff into the system.

Don’t be fooled! If a substance has “not yet been found” to cause cancer it might just mean that the correlation has not been documented in enough places- and that possibly too many doctors /research scientists are on the receiving end of a pay back! (Conspiracy theorist?  nah, its just business as usual! If  your research funding pays your mortgage who/what ya gunna call??) . You can  check pubmed entrez – the scientific research  site– for information about the anthropogenic (ie synthetic man made substances) found in the atmosphere that DO NOT BREAK DOWN in the ocean’s waters. 

  However pubmed is not a complete site as articles written in Chinese or non recognised journals are not listed. 

For example  heavy metals and organochlorines were found in wild caught fish in New Zealand.  (e.g., organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), PCBs and selected heavy metals) were analysed in  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21402398 A cumulative lifetime cancer risk assessment showed potential health risk for consumption of some species, even at low consumption rates and provided the basis for establishing recommended dietary consumption limits for harvest sites within the study region.

 If they do not break down in the salt water, which is similar to the human body – what are we doing in our own bodies with this substance? the branding of “Natural” is a lie, synthetic GRAS (generally recognised as safe) does not necessarily= safe. Think DDT and various Monsanto poisons- glyphosate advertising (weedicide) was that it is so safe you can drink it. We have a rate of cancer that is approaching 100%, as in” everyone will have some form of cancer in their lifetime”. We should not be ingesting or putting on our skin non food. Synthetic stuff is NON FOOD. simple.

Doterra: Gift of the Earth or of the Laboratory? Certified Synthetic The Birch Report Overview: Doterra’s Birch Oil has been scientifically analyzed by a world leader of environmental laboratory services. It was discovered in this analysis that the Methysalicylate was an artificial additive.
instituteoflightandsound
 I went to a talk on chemical additives last year – it was a good night overall with some great discussion and wonderful food by a Brisbane group Lost Boys. The topic raised the issue of FRAGRANCES and what “certified organic” means. Miranda Kerr’s mum presented ,and is staunchly on the side of positive choices for confirmed certified organic produce and beauty and fragrance care. She is positive that the Pthalates had caused her to have splenic tumours and to be unwell. I asked the question about ethyl vanillin as I am aware that this is in many chocolates (eg. on the packet of biscuits in Ikea) and in doTERRA essential oils. I have studied aromatherapy, use many brands of essential oils, and have been concerned over misrepresentation of the word “Natural” flavouring- which ethyl vanillin is labeled as. It is NOT Natural in that it is a synthetic petrochemically derived substance, and therefore it is misleading to have this in our food or in topical essential oils especially when most people will read the word “Natural” and assume it is from nature (which I guess petrochemicals are…but that is beside the point!) I want to eat organic plants and food, not artificial dyes or possible poisons. I’m not even sure that it breaks down in our bodies, as it certainly hangs around in the environment a long time- often a sign of ongoing toxicity. ***** see below–vanillin= ethylvanillin–is found as a marine water pollutant. (hence it stays in the environment a long time) see the reference below. Unfortunately this ingredient is in every confectionary, cookie, cake etc but we shouldn’t be eating it most likely! Lindt has bourbon vanilla beans!! yay. win.

Anyway I thought it was essential that people understood the difference in the wording so that when they read a packet of food -or essential oil, and see the word “Natural” they will now know that it is NOT necessarily natural at all. Vanillin is not natural. Its synthetic.
Apparently someone in the audience took offence at this as I mentioned both Ikea cookies and DoTerra have ethyl vanillin in them, and she pretty much threatened me with libel after the talk– and wanted to argue with me about this, saying that there was no evidence that doTerra had ethyl vanillin in their oils and she was of the opinion that I was a Young living spy (inferring that I was making this up). Of course this has nothing to do with any affiliation- I would use doTerra if they didn’t do the adulteration with synthetics, but I told her I am 100% correct and have done my research. Synthetic incipients smell good but have no place on my body or in others trying to detox.  I’ve actually gotten pretty good at sussing out synthetic essential oil smells, AND they give me a headache!  I have some inherited mitochondrial defects, so I suppose I am a canary in the mineshaft of fragrances.
Well I am sorry that she was offended, but I have researched this quite thoroughly and I am referring to independent labs that verify this. She asked me to show her the data- so here is some data- I asked her to prove me wrong- and to take this up with her doTerra manufacturers, not merely her “upline” who have a vested interest in cover up.

Here is the impartial external lab testing on seve
http://www.learningabouteos.com/…/3rd-party-test-results-f…/

Comments and conclusions from our Chemist, as cut and pasted right from the report:

% of trans-Thuyanol and Neomenthol too low,
% of Limonene and 1,8-cineole too high :
BATCH NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE NORM OF MENTHA PIPERATA US ESSENTIAL OIL: NF T 75-210 : 2008

You can view the report for yourself by clicking here: doTERRA Peppermint Analysis.

Although our Chemist only commented on the constituents that were out of range, you can see from the report that “ethyl vanillin” is listed as the last constituent in the analysis. When I asked Mr. Dantin about the constituent, he told me ethyl vanillin is a “synthetic compound.” The sample only contains 0.07% ethyl vanillin, which is technically a trace amount. However, according to Mr. Dantin, “ethyl vanillin is a huge odor, more than vanillin!”

To confirm our Chemist’s comment that ethyl vanillin is a “huge odor,” I overnighted doTERRA’s Peppermint to our Essential Oil Expert and asked his advice.

Our Essential Oil Expert comment after an organoleptic assessment (sniff test!): This essential oil smells very pleasant, but it lacks the “clean” odor of a quality peppermint oil. It is over-sweet and reminiscent of a peppermint and dark chocolate candy. This would be consistent with a low concentration of added ethyl vanillin, a powerful odorant that smells of vanilla/chocolate.

Essential Oil Expert comments: Two samples (DoTerra and Heritage) were clearly from the same source. Both samples also contained 0.07% ethyl vanillin, which is a synthetic compound. The fact that many samples were run on the same equipment, but ethyl vanillin only showed up in two oils (which were virtually identical in every other respect as well) suggests that this was not an aberration or contamination that happened during analysis. *******Mar Pollut Bull. 2011 Nov;62(11):2404-11. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.08.029. Epub 2011 Sep 13.
Differential presence of anthropogenic compounds dissolved in the marine waters of Puget Sound, WA and Barkley Sound, BC.
Keil R1, Salemme K, Forrest B, Neibauer J, Logsdon M.
Author information
Abstract
Organic compounds were evaluated in March 2010 at 22 stations in Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island Canada and at 66 locations in Puget Sound. Of 37 compounds, 15 were xenobiotics, 8 were determined to have an anthropogenic imprint over natural sources, and 13 were presumed to be of natural or mixed origin. The three most frequently detected compounds were salicyclic acid, vanillin and thymol. The three most abundant compounds were diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), ethyl vanillin and benzaldehyde (∼600 n g L(-1) on average). Concentrations of xenobiotics were 10-100 times higher in Puget Sound relative to Barkley Sound. Three compound couplets are used to illustrate the influence of human activity on marine waters; vanillin and ethyl vanillin, salicylic acid and acetylsalicylic acid,

3rd Party Test Results for Peppermint Essential Oil | Learning About EOs – Using Essential Oils…

Learning About EOs – Using Essential Oils Safely

learningabouteos.com

Learning About EOs – Using Essential Oils Safely
learningabouteos.com
Here is some further information about Vanilla oil  from Mercola.com:contains approximately 150 aromas, many of which are present in very small amounts. Vanillyl ethyl ether, acetic acid, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, and caproic acid are among the chemicals present in it. 7

Benefits of Vanilla Oil

vanilla oil benefitsIn ancient Africa, healers used vanilla for stomach problems. The European doctors of the 16th and 17th centuries used it as an antidote for poisoning and stomach complaints, and as an aphrodisiac.

Vanilla oil has been documented to have antispasmodic, balsamic, calming, emmenagogue,8 antioxidant, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac properties,9 which enables it to assist in the following:

  • Fight some types  of cancers
  • Regulate menstruation
  • Relieve nausea
  • Ease stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Heal wounds
  • Enhance your libido10
  • Induce sleep and encourage dreaming11

Vanilla oil can also work as a fever reducer due to its eugenol and vanillin content, the same compounds that lessen inflammation and strengthen the body’s immune system. 12

How to Make Vanilla Oil

It’s important to establish that finding 100 percent pure vanilla oil today is highly unlikely, as it is extremely expensive. Most of the cheap vanilla oils available commercially are either heavily processed or contain loads of synthetic materials, and are unfortunately passed off as the real deal by unscrupulous manufacturers. Unlike other essential oils, vanilla oil cannot be obtained through steam distillation because of its very delicatestructure.

There are 3 types of vanilla oil extracts:

  • Vanilla carbon dioxide (CO₂) – The vanilla pods are put inside a stainless steel chamber that has been injected with CO₂ gas. The air inside the chamber is then pressurized. Under these conditions, CO₂ liquefies and becomes a supercritical fluid that pulls the oil from the pods. In the end, the CO₂ turns back into gas again, leaving the vanilla essential oil.
  • Vanilla absolute – Preferred in perfumery products, absolute vanilla is obtained by selective solvent extraction, using initially non-polar solvent such as benzene, followed by a polar solvent such as ethanol. 13
  • Vanilla oleoresin – This is a semi-solid concentrate produced by solvent extraction from macerated beans. Vanilla oleoresin is actually just a commercial term, as the liquid extract is not really an oleoresin but a resinoid obtained from the vanilla pods. 14

Each type is claimed to be better and purer than the other. But remember, the more processed it is, the less pure and the lower-quality your vanilla oil will be. More often than not, the natural aroma and essence of vanilla oil is lost during these processes. To avoid the risk of being duped into purchasing chemical-laced vanilla oil, I recommend making your own vanilla tincture and infusion at home. Try using these recipes:

DIY Vanilla Tincture

Simply soak whole vanilla pods in a jar of 151-proof rum. After 2 weeks, transfer the mixture in a separate container. Sift the solid particles away using a strainer, and you’ve gota high quality vanilla tincture. .15

DIY Vanilla Oil Infusion

Here are 2 ways to do vanilla oil infusion:

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of your homemade vanilla tincture with 8 ounces of an essential oil of your choice, or
  2. Get whole vanilla pods or beans. Chop them into pieces and remove their seeds.  Add them directly to your carrier oil. Although it’s ready to use after a week, letting it sit longer will make your vanilla oil infusion stronger and more effective. It’s okay not to filter out the vanilla pods from the oil if you want, but make sure that it’s completely immersed and it’s kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

For carrier oils, I recommend jojoba, almond, and apricot essential oil, for they don’t have a strong odor that may overpower vanilla oil’s sweet-smell. 16 I also advise using only organic vanilla pods to get optimum

Holistic = Homeopathy (only)??

Greetings Sentient ones!

I had an interesting weekend attending a surgery conference. On the whole it was most enjoyable, but it did raise my awareness that there is still an ignorance about what the term holistic entails. Holistic practitioners embrace a “heal the wholeness” of the individual.

There are many therapeutic models that are employed by the Naturopath, some would say this type of para-professional medical team member uses functional pathology, analysis of physical features and dietary/lifestyle/developmental history in a thorough way.

Often I am approached by clients and requested to “get to the bottom” of why they are experiencing different signs and symptoms. This means that I require a whole history and also review of their previous test results. (There is no point in spending extra dollars retesting eg. intestinal biopsies, recent blood work etc if they have recently been done!).

What I find fascinating is that some GP doctors or even specialists completely discredit the word “Holistic” as they simply have no idea about the meaning of the word. These doctors are simply confused about the terminology.
Although I have clients that tell me incredible stories about their, or their relatives healing at the hands of a Homeopathic practitioner, (ie this is a Homeopath- using a diluted water based therapy orally) many doctors assume that the word Holistic equals Homoeopathy=water=nothing in it (equates to quackery in their mind). They then further confuse the word Holistic with Naturopath and rudely disregard an entire profession of Natural healers!

I do wonder why these otherwise intelligent people (Doctors, Specialists) have no understanding of the functional pathology and mind-body medicine that Naturopaths practice. It seems that there is a separation of body parts in the minds of the standard western medical paradigm. That is the process by which emotions, and the hormones released by certain thinking processes (anxiety, worry, anger) leading to a cortisol stress response and physical body breakdown, is simply not recognised. Naturopaths like to delve down and get to the bottom of WHY this is happening, correcting the gut biome and changing diet, attitudes, and lifestyle while doing so.

It is for this reason that multiple supplements and lifestyle/nutritional changes are recommended. This may take several visits to the Naturopath while the client undergoes paradigm changes and baby steps forward. Its not too different to “going on a diet” and “getting more exercise” which is REALLY what the medical profession should be recommending anyway- instead of drug therapies!

In my Animal work I find that many of my veterinary patients reflect lifestyle concerns of the owner- that is the stresses of the home are also impinging on the health of their pet. Diet is also implicated as a factor, or cause of some of the dis-ease.

A Holistic practitioner recognises this, and although some Naturopaths also use Homoeopathy, most of us do all the above, and include diet recommendations, some form of body work, exercise, Herbal therapies and macro and micronutrient changes.

So please, inform your doctors and let them know that Naturopaths CAN and DO work with the medical profession as allied health care professionals. We ARE covered by most health care funds.

Go and drink some water now! 😉

That Trying Testing Technical Trap for Thyroid disease!

Hello folks,

There seems to be an epidemic of Hypothyroidism caused by the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

This is basically where the body turns on itself and starts “eating” its own thyroid.

Very often people have not had adequate testing to diagnose this, as thyroid autoantibodies need to be identified.

Here is a list for you to print off and take to your doctor if you are having any of the following signs:

Unexplained weight gain, lethargy, itchy dry skin, tiredness, puffiness, constipation and other GI signs, cold hands and feet, sluggish in the morning, slow heart rate, faint, feeling weak.

SUGGESTED TESTINGS FROM HASHIMOTO’S AUSTRALIA

Thyroid Testing

Full Thyroid Testing of:
TSH, FT4 & FT3, TPOAb & TgAb (antibodies)**
RT3 (Reverse T3) This is NOT covered by Medicare. It will be a private cost to yourself. Costs range from $50 – $80 upwards dependant on the lab you use.

Recommended labs for RT3 testing in:
WA = Clinipath
SA=
NT=
VIC=
NSW=
QLD=
ACT= Capitol
TAS=

**Please see page 3, it has important Medicare advice for you AND your doctor to enable Medicare to cover the costs of some or all of these tests (excluding RT3)

Blood Testing

FBC (Full blood count)
U & E (Urea & Electrolytes – includes Potassium & Sodium)
Full Fasting Cholesterol
Fasting Glucose
Full Iron Panel (includes: Iron, Transferrin, Saturations & Ferritin)
Full Liver Panel
Full Kidney Panel
AM & PM Cortisol (Saliva testing is more accurate but is NOT covered by Medicare, check for costs involved))
Urinary Iodine testing (NOT covered by Medicare, around $50+, check for costs)
H. Pylori (if required)

Magnesium
Calcium
Selenium
Folate/Folic Acid
Zinc
Copper

Vitamin Testing

Vitamin D
Vitamin B1, B6 & B12
Vitamin A, C** & E (not as important but “may” be worthwhile)

**Vitamin C – check with your own state’s lab of preference. In WA through St John’s Pathology, you are required to attend their Head Lab in Subiaco due to the extra requirements of the testing procedure.

Hormonal Testing

E1, E2, E3 & Progesterone (Saliva testing is more accurate, but is NOT covered by Medicare, please check for costs involved)

Autoimmune/Inflammatory Markers Testing (if required due to family history)

ANA
ENA
ESR
CRP
Complements C3 & C4

Allergy/Coeliac Testing

IgE (Rast) – includes Animal, Food, House Dust/Mite, Grass & Mould panels (if required)
IgA & IgG Coeliac screen (Negative result “may” not mean you are not Gluten Intolerant/Sensitive)
DQ2/DQ8 Gene Test for Coeliac (if required)

A good website for a “symptom checker” of gluten intolerance can be found at
www.glutenfreesociety.org

Additional Information

If you are on any antidepressants, please check with your doctor if you should be monitored with any extra blood testings involving that. Some meds have leaflets which state requirements of monitoring via blood tests but it’s not always the case your doctor does any monitoring.

REMEMBER

ALWAYS ask for copies of all your blood tests. Ask your doctor to specifically write “copy to patient” on any and all lab requests. Your doctor’s “normal” result for yourself “may” not always the case. If you need copies of prior tests and your doctor is reluctant to provide them, please contact your lab for instructions on how to obtain your copies. It may mean signing an authority and once ID is provided you can get your copies sent to your home address.

*** Important Medicare Advice

The item number for thyroid function test, comprising of TSH, free T4 and free T3 is 66719.
The TSH test is covered by Medicare, but the free T4 and the free T3 will only be paid by
Medicare if at least one of the following conditions is satisfied (see MBS schedule below).

However if one of the following conditions is NOT satisfied, you can request for private billing.
The laboratory should test the free T4 and/or the free T3 if the tests have been requested on
the referral form by the doctor and it is clear you will be paying for the tests.

If the doctor writes down TFT then the laboratory may only test the TSH and the free T4.

If the doctor writes down TSH, free T4 and free T3 separately on the form then there will be
no confusion and the proper tests will be done.

For more information on item numbers you can check online at www.mbsonline.gov.au under
MBS.
“Thyroid function tests (comprising the service described in item 66716 and 1 or more
of the following tests – free thyroxine, free T3, for a patient, if at least 1 of the following
conditions is satisfied:
(a) The patient has an abnormal level of TSH;
(b)The tests are performed:
(i) for the purpose of monitoring thyroid disease in the patient; or
(ii) to investigate the sick euthyroid syndrome if the patients is an admitted patient; or
(iii) to investigate dementia or psychiatric illness of the patient; or
(iv) to investigate amenorrhoea or infertility of the patient;
(c) the medical practitioner who requested the tests suspects the patient has pituitary
dysfunction;
(d) the patient is on drugs that interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism or function
(item is subject to rule 9)”

This schedule from the MBS was up to date in January 2012

Medicare information provided by www.thyroidwa.com


 


 

Tinnitus: Those bells are ringing!

Tinnitus: Those bells are ringing! 

Tinnitus is a condition in which there is “ringing” in the ears. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. Some people hear a hissing or buzzing, rather than ringing.   

Many causes – almost everything that can go wrong with our ears can produce tinnitus as a symptom! Perhaps as simple as wax against the eardrum, or as serious as a tumour on the hearing nerve. Otosclerosis (fixation of the tiny stirrup bone in the middle ear) can produce tinnitus; so can Meniere’s disease. . Noise destroys!  EXPOSURE TO EXCESSIVE NOISE, e.g. chain saws, machinery, rock concerts, IPODs/music earphones.   Damage to the middle or inner ear can create an annoying buzzing or ringing sound that can become worse with age and is related to a progressive arthritis or otosclerosis (bones of the ear)  Treatment therefore depends on limiting factors that will cause further damage and considering the sorts of treatment you might consider for generalised arthritis, plus increasing blood flow and circulation to the specific affected areas.

Hearing aids Good quality and properly fitted- can reduce and even eliminate most tinnitus associated with hearing losses. Hearing aids take away the strain of listening and distract from the tinnitus by bringing you more environmental sounds from the outside world.

Therapeutic Noise Generator– if the tinnitus or ringing is constant and annoying this device which looks like a hearing aid and recommended for people with no hearing loss. It produces a blend of external sounds which stimulate most fibres of the hearing nerve helping to deviate attention away from the tinnitus, and may help people adjust to living and studying/reading etc.

Nervous system diet:

Go High antioxidant,low carb, High fat (saturated, monounsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fish and flax oils) protein + EFA oil, multicoloured fresh foods- as many vegetables as you can get into your system. Vitamins A,D, E are fat soluble and need a protein/fat source such as cold water fatty fish 3-5 times a week to help your gut absorb these essential nutrients. B vitamins,meat nuts and seeds.Try green smoothies for breakfast, with Spirulina, chlorella and parsley, plus add trace minerals to your smoothie, particularly chromium and vanadium to balance your insulin levels and prevent a proinflammatory state. Supplement with omega 3 oils 3 capsules 3x/day.

Treatment:

Once the condition occurs it is managed by attempting to correct the source-  treat and manage infections such as viral causes with Vitamin C, L-lysine, herbal supplements (Echinacea, Elderberry, turmeric, ginger, Golden Seal)  and manage stress with Herbs (Withania, ginseng, Rehmannia) yoga, relaxation/meditation, massages, osteopathy, acupressure and acupuncture.

5% of tinnitus is caused by a jaw joint (TMJ) problem as jaw muscles and a muscle in the middle ear are closely connected. When jaw muscles spasm the ear muscles react by pulling the eardrum too tight, and this situation can result in tinnitus. A remedial massage therapist using essential oils of helichrysum, lavender and copaiba may help reduce these taught trigger points. 

In many people the middle ear is at fault, but virtually any part of the hearing system (includes ear and brain) may be the culprit.  If the inner ear, or cochlear, is involved it may progress to hearing loss, a decreased ability to hear, which is divided into two main categories: Conductive, which is hearing loss due to something interfering with the sound passing to the inner ear; and sensorineural –caused by nerve or organ damage within the ear (viral, bacterial, trauma). Loud noise, aging, infection, ear wax, tumors and other conditions can cause hearing loss. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Effective in alleviating distress and producing adaptation to tinnitus. CBT is threefold: changing the way a person perceives tinnitus; teaching ways to focus attention away from tinnitus and achieving control over stress. Offered by clinical psychologists.

Eat to Nourish your Nerves! Try to eat a salad a day and a piece of fish such as sardines, salmon or an egg plus flax oil dressing and a couple of handfuls of nuts -walnuts and cashews have adequate vitamin B6 and some oils to replenish your nervous system.

What Can Make Tinnitus Worse and how can I help prevent and Treat?
1. Loud noise! – Exposure to sudden or long-term noise can damage your hearing with resultant deafness and tinnitus. High-risk groups include industrial workers, farmers, transport workers – and don’t forget that noisy lawn mower! Reduce the noise source or protect your ears with earplugs, or ear muffs. Leisure noise can also be a hazard, e.g. rock concerts, boom boxes in cars and misuse of a digital iphone/ipods – never play it loudly.

2. Stress and Fatigue – They make tinnitus worse! Keeping busy – trying to focus your energies OUTWARD AND AWAY from the tinnitus – is an excellent idea, but stress and fatigue only undermine your healing. Minimise them by rethinking your lifestyle. Relaxation therapy can help greatly if  practised daily.

Hypnotherapy from a qualified practitioner may help. Also good – sports, hobbies, yoga, t’ai chi, reflexology or massage.

3. Medications – It is essential to tell your family doctor about your tinnitus; some common medications cause tinnitus as a side effect or make your existing tinnitus worse. Take special care with medications for arthritis, rheumatic diseases, some antibiotics, and anti-depressants. Also aspirin – ask your doctor about alternatives.

4. Try easing off caffeine (tea, coffee, coca-cola, chocolate), and alcohol as they can temporarily worsen tinnitus for some people. Avoid quinine – as in “tonic” water .Avoid  Nicotine and marijuana too. Smoking narrows your blood vessels which supply vital oxygen to your ears and their sensory cells. PLEASE – quit smoking!

5. Take supplements: Gingko biloba, Gotu kola essential anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) Quercetin, Vitamin A,D,C,E, B’s Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium and a diet high in antioxidants (berries, green leafy veges) will help reduce stress and repair your body. Check with your Doctor for doses if on warfarin.

6. Eat a well balanced diet, get adequate exercise 20min/day-  maintain a healthy weight; being obese results in an proinflammatory state.  Exercise helps to lubricate your body and allows the nutrients to get through to your cells. Reducing atherosclerosis and plaque build up with good nutrition and exercise will keep the circulation to your nervous system active and healthy.

7. Keep your Ears/head and neck warm! If your circulation to your ears is reduced with your body’s attempt to stay warm, the tinnitus can get more pronounced.

 

 

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Chai tea for Ear health: in a large pot 5 cups of water and 5 tbsp of Dandelion tea/coffee and brew with 2 tbs each of coconut milk, coconut oil,  3 cm of Rehmannia glutinosa root (from chinese supermarket) pinch of turmeric, cardamom pods, anise, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, plus 2 drops of stevia or honey to taste, blend in 1 tsp of flax oil prior to serving .

 

 

 

8. Get regular soothing, gentle neck and shoulder massages this will keep the blood circulating efficiently through your auditory nervous system, oxygenate and cleanse and prevent toxin build up.