Lyme Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacteria that causes the condition known as Lyme Disease. A bite of a tick is usually what transmits B. burgdorferi. Some people with Lyme Disease have gone on to develop a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition, usually hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. As a results, some people want to know whether having this condition can lead to the development of a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition.

Let’s first discuss some of the more common symptoms of Lyme Disease. This can include headaches, fever, muscle pain and stiffness, itching, as well as other symptoms. A bulls-eye rash is commonly found in people with this condition, although this isn’t always the case. So when someone has a bulls-eye rash along with some of these symptoms, then that person most likely has Lyme Disease. However, they can also have this condition in the absence of these symptoms, although when this is the case it is commonly mistaken for something else initially, such as the flu. If the person knew they had a tick bite then of course the medical doctor would be more likely to test the person for Lyme Disease. But frequently people are unaware that they were bitten by a tick.

How Does One Test For The Presence Of Lyme Disease?

The ELISA test is usually one of the first tests to be used. Another test that is commonly used initially is the Western Blot antibody test. It’s important to realize that approximately one third of people who are infected with B. burgdorferi test negative. As a result, other tests need to be considered to help detect the presence of B. burgdorferi.

The Rapid Identification of Bb test is used to determine whether the person is infected with B. burgdorferi. This test can be very valuable because it can help detect the presence of Lyme Dx very quickly, which is important. Lisa Mattman developed another test that can help detect B. burgdorferi in the tissues. So both of these tests look for the organism directly, which can be extremely valuable since the antibodies can’t always be detected in the blood. One problem is that both of these tests aren’t FDA approved, and so it might not be easy to obtain these tests.

Can Lyme Disease Cause Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

There doesn’t seem to be any research studies which show that having Lyme Disease can lead to the development of hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is known that this condition can affect many of the systems of the body, and this includes the endocrine system. But there doesn’t seem to be a conclusive connection between this condition and hypothyroidism. However, there is the possibility that this disease can trigger an autoimmune response, thus leading to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. But of course other factors can also trigger an autoimmune condition.

Lyme Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and Natural Treatment Methods

If someone has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Lyme Disease, the approach won’t be much different than if someone had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis alone. I will of course recommend for the person to eat well, manage their stress, get sufficient sleep, and to take certain supplements and herbs. If they have both Lyme Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then I would recommend a little more immune system support.

When a medical doctor diagnoses someone with Lyme Disease, usually they will administer antibiotics for 30 days or longer. If someone takes the antibiotics then this will affect their gut health and so this needs to be addressed as well. And so if this is the case I very well might put the person on a gut flora balance program initially to restore their gut health.

In summary, there is no conclusive evidence that Lyme Disease directly affects the thyroid gland, and thus can lead to a hypothyroid condition. However, since it can affect the endocrine system this is a possibility. Having this disease can trigger an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Either way, the natural approach to helping people with both conditions is to have them modify dietary and lifestyle factors, and take certain supplement and herbs.

Periodontal Disease and General Health

October 2011 was a strange month. On October 5th, the world learned that Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, died after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. A week later, on October 12th, a Swedish study linked variations in oral bacterial populations with pancreatic cancer. This discovery surprised the author of this article-a Boston dentist. On October 20th, American researchers reported that gum disease may be associated with breast cancer. With all these reports linking gum disease to overall health, we need to look at the facts.

For over ten years now, repeated medical studies have linked periodontal disease with:

1. Cardiovascular diseases – stroke, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, angina

2. Pregnancy – low-weight babies, premature babies

3. Cancer – Prostate, Breast, Kidney, Blood, Oral

4. Auto-immune Conditions – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosus

5. Cognitive – memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s

6. Respiratory disease – pneumonia, chronic obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), acute bronchitis

7. Others – diabetes- Type 1 and Type 2, anemia

Most of the studies conducted have been what epidemiologists call, survey or cross-sectional type, which can’t be used to clearly indicate which condition precedes the other. The studies have repeatedly found an association between gum disease and various other conditions that are known or suspected to involve inflammation. Such associations may indicate, for example, that gum disease puts one at risk for prostate cancer or that prostate cancer puts one at risk for gum disease. Then there is also the chance that both diseases put one at risk for developing the other disease.

To more clearly demonstrate causality, i.e. what the actual causes are, interventional or treatment studies need to be performed. As of now, the best evidence from such studies, indicate an association between the treatment of gum disease and diabetes. Studies have shown that when diabetic patients are treated for their gum disease, their diabetic condition is more easily managed.

Researchers have also examined the impact that periodontal treatment has on patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Their results have indicated that the signs of rheumatoid arthritis are reduced following treatment of the gums. The same researchers are now evaluating the effects of periodontal treatment on prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), which some evidence has suggested to be associated with prostate cancer.

In order to explain how periodontal disease is linked to various other systemic conditions, researchers have focused mainly on inflammation. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with bacteria found in the mouth. Many of the systemic conditions linked to gum disease have also been suspected of having an underlying inflammatory mechanism. For example, inflammation has been shown to lead to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes as well as cardio-vascular conditions.

Research has examined periodontitis, a more moderate and severe periodontal disease, periodontitis, which involves loss of bone and soft gum tissue attachment surrounding the teeth. Studies have generally not evaluated the more common milder inflammation found in those with gingivitis, which if left untreated leads to periodontitis.

Another oral health link deals with biomarkers, disease proteins, in blood serum. Such biomarkers have been known to exist for both systemic and oral diseases. More recently it has been learned that biomarkers for diseases are also found in saliva and that they practically parallel the disease biomarkers found in blood serum. As a result, it is being proposed that saliva be used for the initial screening of patients for an assortment of diseases. As younger patients tend to visit their dental hygienist for routine cleanings more frequently than their physician, it is suggested that dentists provide salivary screening for various diseases. In fact, saliva screening for HIV is already being conducted in some dental offices in the U.S.

As with all fields, we can be certain that as new knowledge is gained, it inevitably leads to greater understanding,progress, and new developments. Until the mid-70’s it was commonly believed that the mind and the body were completely separate entities. Since then, we have learned that the state of mind can impact the health of the body and vice versa. For many years, dental students have been taught that systemic conditions can manifest in changes in the mouth. Only in recent years has research hinted that diseases of the oral cavity can impact the health of the rest of the body. Physicians are now taught in continuing education programs that management of their diabetic patients would be simpler if the patient’s periodontal conditions were also managed.

Clearly, the mouth can no longer be viewed as separate from the rest of the body when it comes to general health and disease. With that being said, there is no doubt that inflammation is a complex biochemical mechanism that benefits us by allowing us to recover from intermittent cuts and scrapes that we all experience. But frequent, extended, or constant inflammation, instead of protecting the body, becomes a burden instead. This chronic inflammation can lead to an assortment of diseases at many sites in the body. While inflammation is closely mediated by the immune system, functioning of the immune system is also largely determined by genetic factors. Since we can do very little to alter our genetic predisposition we need to think of maximizing prevention strategies. This is where regular brushing and flossing of teeth, using a water-pick and seeing a hygienist twice a year will improve not just your oral health but very likely your overall health.

Finding A Natural Endocrine Doctor For Graves Disease

If you have Graves’ Disease and want to use natural treatment methods to restore you back to normal, then you will most likely want to consult with a natural endocrine doctor. However, finding a holistic doctor that specializes in endocrine disorders such as Graves’ Disease is no easy task. You of course can choose to speak with a “general” holistic practitioner. However, being someone who personally dealt with Graves’ Disease and successfully used natural treatment methods, I strongly recommend speaking with a natural endocrine doctor for optimal results.

But how do you find a competent natural endocrine doctor? The best way to find any good doctor is through a referral, as if you know someone who happened to be treated by a natural endocrine doctor and received great results, then this is definitely someone who you will want to contact. Of course most people don’t have such a connection, and so they resort to searching for a doctor on their own.

You Don’t Need To Speak With Someone Locally

While it would be great if you can find a natural endocrine doctor who practices close to where you live or work, the good news is that you usually don’t need to speak with a holistic doctor face-to-face. Assuming you’ve already been diagnosed with Graves’ Disease by an endocrinologist or general medical practitioner, and received a physical examination, then it’s perfectly fine to consult with a doctor remotely over the phone.

In fact, this is what I did when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. Since there wasn’t a local natural endocrine doctor I could speak with in person, I was faced with the choice of either speaking with a local naturopathic physician who probably had some experience with thyroid conditions, or to speak remotely over the phone with a doctor who had a great deal experience dealing with Graves’ Disease. I chose the latter option, as while I would have liked to speak with someone in person, I preferred to consult with someone with a lot of experience, and to this day I have no regrets.

In fact, there are some benefits of speaking with a doctor remotely over the phone. One big advantage is not having to wait in a doctor’s office to see a doctor, as I would speak with them from the convenience of my own home. Plus, I didn’t have to drive to an office, deal with rush hour traffic, etc. So convenience is definitely one of the benefits of speaking with a natural endocrine doctor remotely.

Using The Internet To Find A Natural Endocrine Doctor

You of course can also use the internet to search for a holistic doctor that specializes in treating endocrine disorders naturally. You do need to be careful, as there are some doctors who might claim they specialize in endocrine disorders, when the truth is that they accept many other types of cases, and as a result only deal with a handful of Graves’ Disease patients on a weekly or monthly basis. Let’s not forget that Graves’ Disease is a serious autoimmune thyroid condition, so you really do want to consult with someone who has a good deal of experience.

Getting back to searching on the web, you of course can visit your favorite search engine and type in the words “Natural Endocrine Doctor” or “Natural Thyroid Specialist”, and then call some of the doctors listed to determine which one might be a good fit for you. I actually list some websites you can visit in my free guide entitled “The 6 Steps On How To Treat Graves’ Disease & Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Through Natural Methods”. If you haven’t received your free copy you can get it simply by entering your first name and email address on the right side of my website, which is listed at the end of this article.

Self-Treating Your Condition Can Be Risky

Some people who have Graves’ Disease attempt to self-treat their condition using nutritional supplements and herbal remedies. I’m not a fan of self-treating any thyroid condition naturally, but it’s especially risky to treat Graves’ Disease on your own. I’m a healthcare professional, and while I easily could have done some research and attempted to self-treat my condition, I decided to consult with someone who had more knowledge than I did at the time. And while today I do have the knowledge to help people with Graves’ Disease and other thyroid conditions, I can tell you with certainty that if I had tried to self-treat my condition at the time I was initially diagnosed, I would not have received the same results, and most likely would not have restored my health back to normal.

While nutritional supplements and herbs do play a role in helping people with Graves’ Disease, not everyone with Graves’ Disease needs to take the same type of these supplements and herbs. Plus, different people will of course require different dosages. In addition, there are other factors important to one’s recovery besides taking supplements. So while it might seem easy enough to visit your local health food store and purchase some nutritional supplements and/or herbal remedies, in most cases Graves’ Disease is too complex of a condition to self-treat on your own.

In summary, finding a competent natural endocrine doctor can be a challenge, but if you want to receive optimal results then you really should consider speaking with someone who focuses their practice on endocrine conditions. And remember that if you are having difficulty finding a natural endocrine doctor to download a copy of my free guide, where I provide some resources to make your search easier.

Graves Disease Causes and Cures

Many people who have been diagnosed with Graves Disease wonder how they developed this autoimmune thyroid disorder in the first place. The truth is that there are many different Graves Disease causes that exist, and in this article I’ll discuss some of the more common reasons why people develop Graves’ Disease. When I personally was diagnosed with this condition I too wanted to know what was the cause, so I can definitely relate with what you’re going through.

It was perhaps even tougher for me, as I’m a holistic doctor that not only believes that there is a cause for every condition, but in most cases there also is a cure. And while there isn’t a magic pill or supplement to cure Graves Disease, for many people it is possible to restore one’s health through a natural treatment protocol. I’ll briefly discuss this later in this article.

But first, here are some of the different Graves Disease causes:

Graves Disease Cause #1: inability to handle stress. Although most people know that stress can cause a lot of problems, most don’t truly understand the impact that chronic stress can have on one’s health over a period of many months or years. Our bodies were designed to handle acute stress situations, but not with chronic stress. As a result, a person who deals with chronic stress and does a poor job of managing it will most likely develop adrenal issues, which in turn can affect immunity, and over a period of time can lead to the development of an autoimmune condition.

Obviously it is not possible to completely eliminate the stress from your life. But most of us can do a much better job of handling stress. In fact, for anyone with Graves’ Disease looking to restore their health, stress management is a key component.

Graves Disease Cause #2: Nutritional deficiencies. Having one or more nutritional deficiencies can cause or contribute to Graves Disease. There are many different nutritional deficiencies one can have, but two of the more common ones are iodine and Vitamin D. Many people wrongly assume that people with Graves’ Disease have an excess of iodine, but this usually isn’t the case. For more information on the importance of iodine and why most people are deficient in it, I highly recommend reading the book “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”.

Vitamin D is another important nutrient when it comes to immunity. One of the big reasons many people are deficient in vitamin D is because they avoid the sun, and/or put sunscreen on every time they go outside. For more information about vitamin D, visit the website vitamindcouncil.

These are just two of the common vitamins/nutrients that one can be deficient in. But there are other nutrients that people can be deficient in which have a huge impact on your health. This is yet another reason why you should consider consulting with a holistic doctor, as most endocrinologists and general practitioners won’t consider such deficiencies as being one of the Graves Disease causes.

Graves Disease Cause #3: Environmental Toxins. Just like it’s impossible to completely eliminate the stress from your life, it is also not likely that you will avoid all of the environmental toxins. In the book “The Autoimmune Epidemic”, the author talks about how toxins can affect the immune system and possibly lead to the development of autoimmune conditions. It makes sense when you think about it, as over the last few decades we have been exposed to more and more environmental toxins, and the rate of autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Graves’ Disease have also increased.

Of course more of us have chronic stress and nutritional deficiencies these days as well, so it’s not always easy to pinpoint what exactly has caused your condition to develop. On the other hand, it’s difficult to argue that minimizing our exposure to environmental toxins will only help to keep our immune systems stronger and therefore potentially decrease the chances of developing an autoimmune condition.

Graves Disease Cause #4: Genetics. Although genetics can play a role in the development of an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease, the good news is that it does not play as big of a role as many people think. And while you might not be able to directly control this potential cause of Graves’ Disease (although some research does suggest otherwise), you definitely can control some of the other causes I have discussed thus far. Some research studies show that people with genetic tendencies towards certain conditions may have such conditions triggered by neglecting the lifestyle factors I just discussed. Either way, rather than worry about whether your condition is caused by factors you can’t control, it will only benefit your health to improve other factors that you do have control over.

So these are some of the common Graves Disease Causes. Since most endocrinologists label this condition as being incurable they don’t become too concerned with the cause. However, for a natural endocrine doctor, the cause of this autoimmune thyroid disorder is important when trying to restore the health of someone with Graves’ Disease.

Curing Graves Disease Is No Easy Task

Let me first begin by telling you that curing Graves Disease is not an easy process. This is why it’s wise to consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor, as they will look for the underlying cause of the problem, and then recommend a natural treatment protocol to help restore your health. So for example, if they determine that lifestyle factors are the culprit, such as stress and nutritional deficiencies, then they obviously will help you to better manage the stress in your life, eat better, recommend proper nutritional supplements, address any hormonal imbalances, etc.

If environmental toxins are the problem, which they are in many people, then they will try to remove these toxins from your body, as well as minimize your exposure to these environmental toxins, which admittedly is not always an easy task. While it’s more challenging to help someone with a condition that was caused by genetics, the good news is that is rare for an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease to be caused solely by genetics. Most of the time the person can be helped through natural treatment methods.

Being a natural healthcare professional, I’m of course biased, and therefore recommend that people with Graves’ Disease consult with a natural endocrine doctor. After all, anti-thyroid drugs don’t do anything for the actual cause of the condition, and radioactive iodine should be a last resort due to the damage it does to the thyroid gland. When you think about it, there really isn’t much too lose by speaking with an expert, but there is a lot to gain, and it just might be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Thyroid Antibodies and Graves’ Disease

Many people with Graves’ Disease actually have a negative test for thyroid antibodies. So while a positive test for thyroid antibodies, along with a positive Radioactive Iodine Uptake test will confirm you have this condition, one can’t rely on the thyroid antibodies blood test alone. So while some doctors will recommend a TPO or a different blood test to detect thyroid antibodies when they suspect someone has Graves’ Disease, others won’t recommend any of these blood tests at all.

What is the purpose of receiving a blood test for thyroid antibodies? Well, normally antibodies are formed to protect the body from foreign molecules, also known as antigens. With Graves’ Disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid condition, the antibodies attack its own thyroid gland. So tests for thyroid antibodies such as the TPO can help determine the presence of these antibodies, although as mentioned above, one can’t rely on these tests alone.

As a holistic healthcare professional who was personally diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I can tell you that while I do consider the test for thyroid antibodies to be helpful, there are other more useful tests which will actually determine the cause of this autoimmune thyroid condition. After all, while it’s nice that there are tests to confirm you have Graves’ Disease, there are other tests which can help determine the cause of this condition. Although most endocrinologists and other doctors consider Graves’ Disease to be incurable, many people have had their health restored back to normal by following a natural treatment protocol.

Other Tests Which Can Determine The Cause Of Graves’ Disease

If you are looking to determine the cause of your condition, and avoid taking anti-thyroid drugs and/or receiving radioactive iodine, then in addition to the thyroid antibodies blood test and other thyroid blood tests which can help diagnose your condition, there are a few tests that can help determine the cause of your condition:

Test #1: Adrenal Stress Index (ASI). Such a test is useful to determine the state of the adrenal glands. Although this test measures a few different hormone levels, perhaps the most important values are the cortisol levels. Cortisol has many different functions in the body, and one of the more important functions is to regulate the blood sugar levels. When someone eats poorly over a long period of time or deals frequently with chronic stress, this in turn can weaken the adrenal glands, which will affect immunity. This in turn can lead to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. This was a very valuable test when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, as both my early and late morning cortisol levels were low, which meant I needed additional adrenal support. I use the company Diagnos-Techs for this test, as they have a great reputation and haven’t let me down so far.

Test #2: Hair Mineral Analysis. A hair mineral analysis test can also be useful, although it tells us a different “story” than an ASI. This test will tell you what is happening at the cellular level, detecting deficiencies in minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals which also can affect thyroid health. Most endocrinologists would laugh at you if you told them you wanted to obtain such a test. But done by a quality lab, a hair mineral analysis can provide some valuable information to help determine the cause of your condition. Obviously a deficiency in one or more of these minerals isn’t only related to the cause of your autoimmune thyroid disorder, as these deficiencies can lead to numerous other conditions as well.

Test #3: Hormone Panel. I also use Diagnos-Techs for this test, as this is yet another saliva-based test, and it can help determine if you have a hormonal imbalance which is causing or contributing to your autoimmune thyroid condition. It measures the hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and numerous other hormones which can be imbalanced and be causing or contributing to your condition.

It’s important to point out that it takes many years to develop Graves’ Disease. As a result, not only does it take time to develop a hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, etc., but it takes time for these problems to lead to an autoimmune thyroid condition. And of course sometimes these don’t directly cause Graves’ Disease, but are instead contributing factors to this condition.

Which of these tests should you receive? It depends on numerous factors, and some holistic doctors will recommend that each of their patients receive all three of these tests initially. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, as they all provide valuable information which can help determine the cause of Graves’ Disease. On the other hand, some holistic doctors will recommend only one or two of these tests based on the patient’s symptoms. So for example, if someone is having the symptoms of estrogen dominance, then the doctor will most likely recommend a hormone panel. If they are experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, then chances are an Adrenal Stress Index will be recommended.

Using Tests To Follow Up On One’s Progress

In addition to using tests to help diagnose Graves’ Disease and determine the underlying cause of the condition, these tests can of course also be valuable in determining one’s progress when following a natural treatment protocol. When I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, it was a great feeling to see the thyroid blood tests which were once positive become negative again. It was equally gratifying to see the other tests normalize as well, such as the cortisol levels in the Adrenal Stress Index test.

How frequently should one use these tests as a followup procedure? There is really no exact answer to this, as I personally recommend that my patients receive follow up tests every 3 to 6 months. This pertains not only to the thyroid blood tests (TSH, free T3 & T4, thyroid antibodies, etc.), but also to the three tests I mentioned above. Some doctors will recommend that their patients receive them more frequently. Of course patient finances do play a part in this, as while I don’t see anything wrong with someone wanting to obtain these tests every 6 to 8 weeks, some patients simply can’t afford to do this.

Similarly, while I prefer that patients receive follow up tests every three months until they have normalized, some people can only afford to receive them every six months. And as long as they are improving from a symptomatic perspective, I don’t see a reason to test them too frequently. This of course isn’t to suggest that I only pay attention to the symptoms, as this definitely is not the case. However, a reduction in symptoms is a good sign that the patient is improving, and so if someone keeps on getting progressively better, then there isn’t as much of an urgency to repeat a test when compared to someone who isn’t getting good results.

On the other hand, many patients who are getting significant improvement from a symptomatic standpoint can’t wait to obtain follow up tests in order to see the improvement. I know this was the case with me, as I was excited to see the positive changes on the tests, as in my mind this really confirmed that the natural treatment methods were working. So even though I began experiencing an improvement in symptoms after only a few weeks of treatment, seeing the improvement in the follow up tests was what really got me excited about this.

Who Can’t Be Helped By Natural Treatment Methods?

While I have so far raved about the effectiveness of natural treatment methods, the truth is that not everyone with Graves’ Disease can have their health restored back to normal. However, most people can benefit from following a natural treatment protocol. After all, anti-thyroid drugs do nothing but manage the symptoms. And while this is sometimes necessary, especially when someone has a high pulse rate and/or palpitations, it is no cure for this condition. The same thing applies to radioactive iodine treatment, as while this will usually eliminate the hyperthyroid symptoms, the person will frequently become hypothyroid and will need to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.

Your best bet is to seek the advice of a competent natural endocrine doctor, preferably one who has a great deal of experience dealing with Graves’ Disease cases. Unfortunately there aren’t too many of these doctors out there, but there are some good holistic doctors which can recommend a protocol to help you restore your health back to normal.

In summary, thyroid antibodies can help determine whether someone has Graves’ Disease, but having this test alone isn’t enough to diagnose this condition, as well as to measure the progress of someone. Other tests need to be performed, but just remember that the tests commonly recommended by endocrinologists and other medical doctors don’t determine the actual cause of Graves’ Disease. In order to accomplish this, other tests are needed, and can be extremely valuable for anyone looking to restore their health through a natural treatment protocol.

Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease – The XO Connection, One Treatment?

What do canker sores, bone spurs or chest pain reveal about your susceptibility to Alzheimer’s or heart disease?

Curiously, each condition seems to be connected.

Forty-plus years of research suggest that the relatively minor conditions pulsate the warning that your tissues are dry kindling for fire of Alzheimer’s or heart disease, if not a who’s who list of chronic degenerative conditions, including: arthritis, gout, diabetes, non-healing wounds, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and even cancer.

You’re not alone. The lava of chronic ills bubbles under the crust of apparent good health in just about everyone. The leading cause of death, they’re not to be taken, lightly. Fortunately, something can be done to prevent or reverse them.

Forty years ago, when cardiologist, Kurt A. Oster, M.D., and Fairfield University professor, Donald J. Ross, Ph.D., began their study of atherosclerosis by examining the initial injury to the artery lining, they discovered an enzyme, XO, worming Swiss cheese holes within it, making affected sections a brittle garden hose prone to leaks.

Noting that the composition of arteries is similar to the myelin coating of nerves, to connective tissue under the skin, and to brain tissue, they realized that each tissue is also vulnerable to the action of XO. It led to an understanding of considerable consequence.

Oster and Ross concluded that inflammation introduces xanthine oxidase, (XO), and that the enzyme is involved in a nearly identical, cascade of events at the start of each chronic illness. In other words, nearly the same disease process occurs in diverse tissues and organs yet each condition is assigned a different name according to the nature and to the locale where symptoms become manifest.

The two researchers published the hypothesis that “a multitude of apparently unrelated diseases may be actually only one many-faceted disease.”1,2

In the last two decades, investigators at the cutting edge of inflammation research in dozens of institutes, worldwide, have largely validated the thesis that inflammation is the common denominator of virtually all chronic degenerative diseases. Inflammation has become the focus of intense study.

And the word is getting out. The significance of inflammation at the start of all chronic degenerative diseases has propelled the subject to the cover of Time magazine (Feb. 23, 2004).

-A Look at Ground Zero of Chronic Illnesses-

Oster and Ross advanced the thesis that internal inflammation is characterized by the activation of the bee venom-like enzyme, PLA2, triggered by calcium and stress hormones. The action of PLA2 on the fat component of cell membranes, they pointed out, frees up space for XO to move in and complete the digestion of the fat component. In other words, it’s a two-phase, ignition process, starting with what amounts to the fire insulation within a cell membrane being stripped, followed by the spark of XO igniting the cell.

Digging deeper, after XO torches the fat component of cell membranes, fire alarms are sounded and chaos ensues on the cellular level, with inflammation signals apparently reaching distant parts of the body, where they resonate in different ways. In the brain, inflammation may resonate as a headache.

In any event, tissues don’t burn cleanly. A smoky fire generates free radical byproducts. Cigarette smoke and sunlight also produce free radicals but nowhere near as many as XO.3 A chain reaction of cell death ensues, accelerated by nitrites and sulfites from commonly consumed, preserved foods and drinks. Lesions are created when damage outpaces repair. When lesions outpace healing, oxidative stress to a tissue interferes with function.4 A diagnosis is then made – diabetes, arthritis, Lupus and the like. The name of the disease depends, most often, on where XO nests up.

“Link Between Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s,” is a story aired on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, (January 14, 2004). In it, reporter John McKenzie investigates evidence of an apparent connection between the two.

The broadcast focuses on observations made by a scientist whose job is to determine the cause of death in deceased persons as well as the timing – when death occurred – by staining and analyzing relevant tissues under the microscope. Comparing brain and artery slides, he makes a noteworthy finding. Quoting from the transcript:

“While working in the Kentucky medical examiner’s office, Larry Sparks was checking brain tissues looking for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“He noticed that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s had one thing in common:

‘I took the slides… and put them into two piles, those with heart disease and those without heart disease. And all the plaques and tangles showed up in the pile with heart disease,’ said Sparks.”5

The information represents yet another cog in the thesis that Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other chronic conditions are the same illness in different locations.

-Reassessing Traditional Theory and Taking Charge of Health-

Curiously enough, the ranks of a new generation investigating XO include a good number who have never heard of Oster and Ross yet their latest findings dovetail with those made by the two pioneers.

Independent confirmations are powerful testimony in science.

After decades of advice to lower cholesterol and saturated fat, an epidemic of epidemic chronic degenerative diseases is maiming society like cannon-fire at close range. An out-of-control health situation is raising questions.

“Might it be that the nutritional advice has been wrong, all along? Might it be that it is the cause of the train wreck in health?”

Considering the rather abysmal record of the medical-pharmaceutical industry in reversing chronic illness, ordinary folks are starting to take charge of their health by reading up, by getting second opinions and by making educated choices.

In pioneering days, self-sufficiency was synonymous with survival. Curiously, it’s no less true with respect to health, today.

However, the sheer volume of information plus separating fact from fiction is no ordinary task for persons without a science background. How does one find a nugget of health truth when 1 million search responses weigh down the screen, along with one’s patience?

As an aspiring researcher and author, I happened to stumble upon a gold nugget after taking the first step, about 30 years ago. The information became the title: “Homogenized Milk & Atherosclerosis.” Nearly, 1 million copies were printed.6

True, numbers don’t always correlate to substance but walls of shoeboxes bulging with letters of gratitude suggest that it wasn’t just the cover that readers came to value.

Theory that was so contrarian, back then, is becoming Wikipedia mainstream, today. But it’s not a fad. They come and go. The topic of XO has begun to clog servers as fast as it has been clogging arteries. “You see, it’s not cholesterol.”

Just tapping “xanthine oxidase” (XO) into a search engine gives a decibel appreciation for the laboratory buzz. The info rush is tied to the finding that XO is responsible for more than just heart disease.

“In medical schools across the U.S., cardiologists, rheumatologists, oncologists, allergists and neurologists are all suddenly talking to one another – and they’re discovering that they’re looking at the same thing.”7

While researchers continue to debate whether XO originates from homogenized cow’s milk, in which it’s plentiful, or from the human liver, it’s not excluded that both sources are involved in chronic illness. However, cow’s milk XO is roughly 15 times more potent, apparently, the tipping point factor in overcoming the body’s anti-radical defenses and forming lesions. Cow’s milk XO is hard liquor; human XO is 2.8% beer.8

Virtually, any tissue or organ except the liver is prey to its action – arteries, nerves, joints, skin, and the brain. Even the lens of the eye is vulnerable. Clearly, XO is big.

Much like a callus or a bunion forms over a blister or layers of pearl form around an irritating grain of sand, the body reacts to caustic XO by layering plaque around it.

The symptoms of a chronic degenerative disease can be viewed as complications resulting from cyclical episodes of XO-instigated damage and healing. Cholesterol actually contributes to the healing phase. It’s why its levels sometimes increase. The irritant, XO, remains. Resulting plaque and scars that encase it are gunk that interferes with the hum of a fine-tuned organ. Illnesses ending with “sclerosis,” like multiple sclerosis (MS) or atherosclerosis, are so named because of a thickening or hardening of a body part. The hardening occurs around the irritant – XO.

Again, the name of the disease depends, simply enough, on where XO nests up. For life.

Plaques and tangles cannot be the result of something as inert as cholesterol or fat. To blame cholesterol is like blaming Bambi for devouring a lamb. The only lions in the human system with adequate bite and a large enough appetite for tissues that pathologists see chewed up, regularly, are enzymes. XO is a digestive enzyme. When it ends up outside of the digestive system it starts to digest body parts instead of food.

In the title, Something Called XO, the novel thesis is advanced that canker sores – those little, whitish sores in the mouth – are also XO-instigated lesions but without attendant plaque, scars or organ meltdown.9

Such is the bite into the bad news.

The Nobel laureate good news is that one disease pathway means that each condition – more than 50 of them – is amenable to nearly the same treatment. Oster and Ross suggested the same. A common therapy makes the discovery of XO’s role in many chronic degenerative diseases the “mother lode of health breakthroughs.”

And canker sore flare-ups are markers – warning lights on the dashboard of common sense suggesting that tissues are ripe for inflammation and that body chemistry is in need of urgent correction.

-The Proof of the Pudding is in the ORS Method-

Everyone knows that guarantees don’t exist in health but if one, effective therapy could be found for reversing many diseases, wouldn’t it dramatically improve the odds for millions afflicted with incurable conditions? Many drugs for many diseases are money-makers for industry, something that might be tolerable if the drugs worked, yet they are largely hit-or-miss, mostly miss. A single, viable therapy would certainly make them a thing of the past.

In Oster’s private practice and at St. Vincent’s/Park City Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where Oster served for 25 years as Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Chief, Section of Cardiology, Emeritus, for an additional 14 years, he transformed theory into real-life results in hundreds of patients by blocking the action of XO, allowing incurable conditions to be reversed with remarkable success.

Oster is on record for having successfully treated, without surgery, non-healing leg wounds, complications of atherosclerosis and diabetes.10 Each year, 5.7 million persons in the U.S., alone, are affected by the condition, the majority of them needlessly losing a limb because of physician ignorance about amputation alternatives.

Oster employed the vitamin folic acid not as a nutritional supplement but as a drug, in mega doses, to inhibit the activity of XO allowing healing to outpace tissue damage. Patients were prescribed 80 mg, daily. Despite well-documented results published in esteemed medical journals, along with photos and support materials, the FDA has yet to catch on to Oster’s success story or, perhaps, it did catch on, opting to remain beholden to lobbyists, pampered by industry. The medical-pharmaceutical-food industry complex, after all, is no small octopus.

Drugs that inhibit XO, such as Allopurinol, have very nasty side-effects, making it essential to accomplish the same, naturally.

Working closely with Oster and Ross, over a seven-year period, in addition to the privilege of having edited their work, Homogenized Milk May Cause Your Heart Attack: The XO Factor, provided access to materials and personal insights that led to the formulation of an ideal solution – a natural means to inhibit XO.

It’s called the ORS Method. It can be viewed as the penicillin of chronic illnesses only it’s not a drug.

Its guidelines steer persons seeking to prevent or reverse chronic illness away from foods containing XO, while inhibiting renegade XO already resident in the body. Each degenerative disease has its nuances in terms of how each one should be treated yet the general guidelines comprising the ORS Method are applicable to virtually, every chronic condition. The ORS Method not only eliminates the spark that lights the fire in cells but it also reduces their flammability. The nutritional guidelines do the equivalent of reducing the flammability of firewood by soaking it in water.

Thus, controlling and managing XO boils down to reworking kitchen recipes.

Guidelines in the ORS Method also identify nutritional supplements that activate XO and those that inhibit it. Correct, certain commonly, consumed vitamin and mineral supplements increase XO activity so consuming them can be highly counterproductive.

As just one example, multivitamins containing riboflavin (B2) nourish XO and increase the risk of free radical overload, especially consequential during inflammatory events. Even much-trusted vitamin C can be both an antioxidant and an oxidant under certain conditions, meaning that it can be healthy as well as harmful with respect to chronic illnesses. No less important, vitamin C heightens the immune response, which is undesirable because collateral damage increases. Because of this, physicians prescribe immunosuppressant drugs to lower rather than heighten the immune response during inflammatory episodes.

Without the fine-tuning that the ORS Method provides for controlling XO, attempts to prevent or reverse chronic degenerative diseases by way of diets, supplements or drugs are destined to remain as ineffective as the voodoo of a medical system struggling to redefine itself.

I have been asked why anyone should spend even just $20 on two eBooks when the basic information can be covered in some 4 pages plus one crib sheet listing what to consume and what not to consume.

Chronic degenerative diseases are serious, life-threatening conditions. There is much at stake on both sides of the equation, that is, for patients and for industry. David ended the arrogance and conceit of Goliath with one stone. The life-work of three persons has to be the stone that hits the mark. Only then can its value be appreciated. It’s why nearly 400 pages, backed by some 250 references, are needed.

I’ve now seen enough evidence to guarantee results. And, yes, the punctuation mark maligns, like canker sores or bone spurs, can be easily treated – the same way as the long-winded diseases, like atherosclerosis.

A comma and a period may be small but they tell us much. Without them a sentence is incomplete.

Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease – The XO Connection, One Treatment?

What do canker sores, bone spurs or chest pain reveal about your susceptibility to Alzheimer’s or heart disease?

Curiously, each condition seems to be connected.

Forty-plus years of research suggest that the relatively minor conditions pulsate the warning that your tissues are dry kindling for fire of Alzheimer’s or heart disease, if not a who’s who list of chronic degenerative conditions, including: arthritis, gout, diabetes, non-healing wounds, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and even cancer.

You’re not alone. The lava of chronic ills bubbles under the crust of apparent good health in just about everyone. The leading cause of death, they’re not to be taken, lightly. Fortunately, something can be done to prevent or reverse them.

Forty years ago, when cardiologist, Kurt A. Oster, M.D., and Fairfield University professor, Donald J. Ross, Ph.D., began their study of atherosclerosis by examining the initial injury to the artery lining, they discovered an enzyme, XO, worming Swiss cheese holes within it, making affected sections a brittle garden hose prone to leaks.

Noting that the composition of arteries is similar to the myelin coating of nerves, to connective tissue under the skin, and to brain tissue, they realized that each tissue is also vulnerable to the action of XO. It led to an understanding of considerable consequence.

Oster and Ross concluded that inflammation introduces xanthine oxidase, (XO), and that the enzyme is involved in a nearly identical, cascade of events at the start of each chronic illness. In other words, nearly the same disease process occurs in diverse tissues and organs yet each condition is assigned a different name according to the nature and to the locale where symptoms become manifest.

The two researchers published the hypothesis that “a multitude of apparently unrelated diseases may be actually only one many-faceted disease.”1,2

In the last two decades, investigators at the cutting edge of inflammation research in dozens of institutes, worldwide, have largely validated the thesis that inflammation is the common denominator of virtually all chronic degenerative diseases. Inflammation has become the focus of intense study.

And the word is getting out. The significance of inflammation at the start of all chronic degenerative diseases has propelled the subject to the cover of Time magazine (Feb. 23, 2004).

-A Look at Ground Zero of Chronic Illnesses-

Oster and Ross advanced the thesis that internal inflammation is characterized by the activation of the bee venom-like enzyme, PLA2, triggered by calcium and stress hormones. The action of PLA2 on the fat component of cell membranes, they pointed out, frees up space for XO to move in and complete the digestion of the fat component. In other words, it’s a two-phase, ignition process, starting with what amounts to the fire insulation within a cell membrane being stripped, followed by the spark of XO igniting the cell.

Digging deeper, after XO torches the fat component of cell membranes, fire alarms are sounded and chaos ensues on the cellular level, with inflammation signals apparently reaching distant parts of the body, where they resonate in different ways. In the brain, inflammation may resonate as a headache.

In any event, tissues don’t burn cleanly. A smoky fire generates free radical byproducts. Cigarette smoke and sunlight also produce free radicals but nowhere near as many as XO.3 A chain reaction of cell death ensues, accelerated by nitrites and sulfites from commonly consumed, preserved foods and drinks. Lesions are created when damage outpaces repair. When lesions outpace healing, oxidative stress to a tissue interferes with function.4 A diagnosis is then made – diabetes, arthritis, Lupus and the like. The name of the disease depends, most often, on where XO nests up.

“Link Between Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s,” is a story aired on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, (January 14, 2004). In it, reporter John McKenzie investigates evidence of an apparent connection between the two.

The broadcast focuses on observations made by a scientist whose job is to determine the cause of death in deceased persons as well as the timing – when death occurred – by staining and analyzing relevant tissues under the microscope. Comparing brain and artery slides, he makes a noteworthy finding. Quoting from the transcript:

“While working in the Kentucky medical examiner’s office, Larry Sparks was checking brain tissues looking for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“He noticed that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s had one thing in common:

‘I took the slides… and put them into two piles, those with heart disease and those without heart disease. And all the plaques and tangles showed up in the pile with heart disease,’ said Sparks.”5

The information represents yet another cog in the thesis that Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other chronic conditions are the same illness in different locations.

-Reassessing Traditional Theory and Taking Charge of Health-

Curiously enough, the ranks of a new generation investigating XO include a good number who have never heard of Oster and Ross yet their latest findings dovetail with those made by the two pioneers.

Independent confirmations are powerful testimony in science.

After decades of advice to lower cholesterol and saturated fat, an epidemic of epidemic chronic degenerative diseases is maiming society like cannon-fire at close range. An out-of-control health situation is raising questions.

“Might it be that the nutritional advice has been wrong, all along? Might it be that it is the cause of the train wreck in health?”

Considering the rather abysmal record of the medical-pharmaceutical industry in reversing chronic illness, ordinary folks are starting to take charge of their health by reading up, by getting second opinions and by making educated choices.

In pioneering days, self-sufficiency was synonymous with survival. Curiously, it’s no less true with respect to health, today.

However, the sheer volume of information plus separating fact from fiction is no ordinary task for persons without a science background. How does one find a nugget of health truth when 1 million search responses weigh down the screen, along with one’s patience?

As an aspiring researcher and author, I happened to stumble upon a gold nugget after taking the first step, about 30 years ago. The information became the title: “Homogenized Milk & Atherosclerosis.” Nearly, 1 million copies were printed.6

True, numbers don’t always correlate to substance but walls of shoeboxes bulging with letters of gratitude suggest that it wasn’t just the cover that readers came to value.

Theory that was so contrarian, back then, is becoming Wikipedia mainstream, today. But it’s not a fad. They come and go. The topic of XO has begun to clog servers as fast as it has been clogging arteries. “You see, it’s not cholesterol.”

Just tapping “xanthine oxidase” (XO) into a search engine gives a decibel appreciation for the laboratory buzz. The info rush is tied to the finding that XO is responsible for more than just heart disease.

“In medical schools across the U.S., cardiologists, rheumatologists, oncologists, allergists and neurologists are all suddenly talking to one another – and they’re discovering that they’re looking at the same thing.”7

While researchers continue to debate whether XO originates from homogenized cow’s milk, in which it’s plentiful, or from the human liver, it’s not excluded that both sources are involved in chronic illness. However, cow’s milk XO is roughly 15 times more potent, apparently, the tipping point factor in overcoming the body’s anti-radical defenses and forming lesions. Cow’s milk XO is hard liquor; human XO is 2.8% beer.8

Virtually, any tissue or organ except the liver is prey to its action – arteries, nerves, joints, skin, and the brain. Even the lens of the eye is vulnerable. Clearly, XO is big.

Much like a callus or a bunion forms over a blister or layers of pearl form around an irritating grain of sand, the body reacts to caustic XO by layering plaque around it.

The symptoms of a chronic degenerative disease can be viewed as complications resulting from cyclical episodes of XO-instigated damage and healing. Cholesterol actually contributes to the healing phase. It’s why its levels sometimes increase. The irritant, XO, remains. Resulting plaque and scars that encase it are gunk that interferes with the hum of a fine-tuned organ. Illnesses ending with “sclerosis,” like multiple sclerosis (MS) or atherosclerosis, are so named because of a thickening or hardening of a body part. The hardening occurs around the irritant – XO.

Again, the name of the disease depends, simply enough, on where XO nests up. For life.

Plaques and tangles cannot be the result of something as inert as cholesterol or fat. To blame cholesterol is like blaming Bambi for devouring a lamb. The only lions in the human system with adequate bite and a large enough appetite for tissues that pathologists see chewed up, regularly, are enzymes. XO is a digestive enzyme. When it ends up outside of the digestive system it starts to digest body parts instead of food.

In the title, Something Called XO, the novel thesis is advanced that canker sores – those little, whitish sores in the mouth – are also XO-instigated lesions but without attendant plaque, scars or organ meltdown.9

Such is the bite into the bad news.

The Nobel laureate good news is that one disease pathway means that each condition – more than 50 of them – is amenable to nearly the same treatment. Oster and Ross suggested the same. A common therapy makes the discovery of XO’s role in many chronic degenerative diseases the “mother lode of health breakthroughs.”

And canker sore flare-ups are markers – warning lights on the dashboard of common sense suggesting that tissues are ripe for inflammation and that body chemistry is in need of urgent correction.

-The Proof of the Pudding is in the ORS Method-

Everyone knows that guarantees don’t exist in health but if one, effective therapy could be found for reversing many diseases, wouldn’t it dramatically improve the odds for millions afflicted with incurable conditions? Many drugs for many diseases are money-makers for industry, something that might be tolerable if the drugs worked, yet they are largely hit-or-miss, mostly miss. A single, viable therapy would certainly make them a thing of the past.

In Oster’s private practice and at St. Vincent’s/Park City Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where Oster served for 25 years as Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Chief, Section of Cardiology, Emeritus, for an additional 14 years, he transformed theory into real-life results in hundreds of patients by blocking the action of XO, allowing incurable conditions to be reversed with remarkable success.

Oster is on record for having successfully treated, without surgery, non-healing leg wounds, complications of atherosclerosis and diabetes.10 Each year, 5.7 million persons in the U.S., alone, are affected by the condition, the majority of them needlessly losing a limb because of physician ignorance about amputation alternatives.

Oster employed the vitamin folic acid not as a nutritional supplement but as a drug, in mega doses, to inhibit the activity of XO allowing healing to outpace tissue damage. Patients were prescribed 80 mg, daily. Despite well-documented results published in esteemed medical journals, along with photos and support materials, the FDA has yet to catch on to Oster’s success story or, perhaps, it did catch on, opting to remain beholden to lobbyists, pampered by industry. The medical-pharmaceutical-food industry complex, after all, is no small octopus.

Drugs that inhibit XO, such as Allopurinol, have very nasty side-effects, making it essential to accomplish the same, naturally.

Working closely with Oster and Ross, over a seven-year period, in addition to the privilege of having edited their work, Homogenized Milk May Cause Your Heart Attack: The XO Factor, provided access to materials and personal insights that led to the formulation of an ideal solution – a natural means to inhibit XO.

It’s called the ORS Method. It can be viewed as the penicillin of chronic illnesses only it’s not a drug.

Its guidelines steer persons seeking to prevent or reverse chronic illness away from foods containing XO, while inhibiting renegade XO already resident in the body. Each degenerative disease has its nuances in terms of how each one should be treated yet the general guidelines comprising the ORS Method are applicable to virtually, every chronic condition. The ORS Method not only eliminates the spark that lights the fire in cells but it also reduces their flammability. The nutritional guidelines do the equivalent of reducing the flammability of firewood by soaking it in water.

Thus, controlling and managing XO boils down to reworking kitchen recipes.

Guidelines in the ORS Method also identify nutritional supplements that activate XO and those that inhibit it. Correct, certain commonly, consumed vitamin and mineral supplements increase XO activity so consuming them can be highly counterproductive.

As just one example, multivitamins containing riboflavin (B2) nourish XO and increase the risk of free radical overload, especially consequential during inflammatory events. Even much-trusted vitamin C can be both an antioxidant and an oxidant under certain conditions, meaning that it can be healthy as well as harmful with respect to chronic illnesses. No less important, vitamin C heightens the immune response, which is undesirable because collateral damage increases. Because of this, physicians prescribe immunosuppressant drugs to lower rather than heighten the immune response during inflammatory episodes.

Without the fine-tuning that the ORS Method provides for controlling XO, attempts to prevent or reverse chronic degenerative diseases by way of diets, supplements or drugs are destined to remain as ineffective as the voodoo of a medical system struggling to redefine itself.

I have been asked why anyone should spend even just $20 on two eBooks when the basic information can be covered in some 4 pages plus one crib sheet listing what to consume and what not to consume.

Chronic degenerative diseases are serious, life-threatening conditions. There is much at stake on both sides of the equation, that is, for patients and for industry. David ended the arrogance and conceit of Goliath with one stone. The life-work of three persons has to be the stone that hits the mark. Only then can its value be appreciated. It’s why nearly 400 pages, backed by some 250 references, are needed.

I’ve now seen enough evidence to guarantee results. And, yes, the punctuation mark maligns, like canker sores or bone spurs, can be easily treated – the same way as the long-winded diseases, like atherosclerosis.

A comma and a period may be small but they tell us much. Without them a sentence is incomplete.

Thyroid Antibodies and Graves’ Disease

Many people with Graves’ Disease actually have a negative test for thyroid antibodies. So while a positive test for thyroid antibodies, along with a positive Radioactive Iodine Uptake test will confirm you have this condition, one can’t rely on the thyroid antibodies blood test alone. So while some doctors will recommend a TPO or a different blood test to detect thyroid antibodies when they suspect someone has Graves’ Disease, others won’t recommend any of these blood tests at all.

What is the purpose of receiving a blood test for thyroid antibodies? Well, normally antibodies are formed to protect the body from foreign molecules, also known as antigens. With Graves’ Disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid condition, the antibodies attack its own thyroid gland. So tests for thyroid antibodies such as the TPO can help determine the presence of these antibodies, although as mentioned above, one can’t rely on these tests alone.

As a holistic healthcare professional who was personally diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I can tell you that while I do consider the test for thyroid antibodies to be helpful, there are other more useful tests which will actually determine the cause of this autoimmune thyroid condition. After all, while it’s nice that there are tests to confirm you have Graves’ Disease, there are other tests which can help determine the cause of this condition. Although most endocrinologists and other doctors consider Graves’ Disease to be incurable, many people have had their health restored back to normal by following a natural treatment protocol.

Other Tests Which Can Determine The Cause Of Graves’ Disease

If you are looking to determine the cause of your condition, and avoid taking anti-thyroid drugs and/or receiving radioactive iodine, then in addition to the thyroid antibodies blood test and other thyroid blood tests which can help diagnose your condition, there are a few tests that can help determine the cause of your condition:

Test #1: Adrenal Stress Index (ASI). Such a test is useful to determine the state of the adrenal glands. Although this test measures a few different hormone levels, perhaps the most important values are the cortisol levels. Cortisol has many different functions in the body, and one of the more important functions is to regulate the blood sugar levels. When someone eats poorly over a long period of time or deals frequently with chronic stress, this in turn can weaken the adrenal glands, which will affect immunity. This in turn can lead to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. This was a very valuable test when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, as both my early and late morning cortisol levels were low, which meant I needed additional adrenal support. I use the company Diagnos-Techs for this test, as they have a great reputation and haven’t let me down so far.

Test #2: Hair Mineral Analysis. A hair mineral analysis test can also be useful, although it tells us a different “story” than an ASI. This test will tell you what is happening at the cellular level, detecting deficiencies in minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals which also can affect thyroid health. Most endocrinologists would laugh at you if you told them you wanted to obtain such a test. But done by a quality lab, a hair mineral analysis can provide some valuable information to help determine the cause of your condition. Obviously a deficiency in one or more of these minerals isn’t only related to the cause of your autoimmune thyroid disorder, as these deficiencies can lead to numerous other conditions as well.

Test #3: Hormone Panel. I also use Diagnos-Techs for this test, as this is yet another saliva-based test, and it can help determine if you have a hormonal imbalance which is causing or contributing to your autoimmune thyroid condition. It measures the hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and numerous other hormones which can be imbalanced and be causing or contributing to your condition.

It’s important to point out that it takes many years to develop Graves’ Disease. As a result, not only does it take time to develop a hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, etc., but it takes time for these problems to lead to an autoimmune thyroid condition. And of course sometimes these don’t directly cause Graves’ Disease, but are instead contributing factors to this condition.

Which of these tests should you receive? It depends on numerous factors, and some holistic doctors will recommend that each of their patients receive all three of these tests initially. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, as they all provide valuable information which can help determine the cause of Graves’ Disease. On the other hand, some holistic doctors will recommend only one or two of these tests based on the patient’s symptoms. So for example, if someone is having the symptoms of estrogen dominance, then the doctor will most likely recommend a hormone panel. If they are experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, then chances are an Adrenal Stress Index will be recommended.

Using Tests To Follow Up On One’s Progress

In addition to using tests to help diagnose Graves’ Disease and determine the underlying cause of the condition, these tests can of course also be valuable in determining one’s progress when following a natural treatment protocol. When I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, it was a great feeling to see the thyroid blood tests which were once positive become negative again. It was equally gratifying to see the other tests normalize as well, such as the cortisol levels in the Adrenal Stress Index test.

How frequently should one use these tests as a followup procedure? There is really no exact answer to this, as I personally recommend that my patients receive follow up tests every 3 to 6 months. This pertains not only to the thyroid blood tests (TSH, free T3 & T4, thyroid antibodies, etc.), but also to the three tests I mentioned above. Some doctors will recommend that their patients receive them more frequently. Of course patient finances do play a part in this, as while I don’t see anything wrong with someone wanting to obtain these tests every 6 to 8 weeks, some patients simply can’t afford to do this.

Similarly, while I prefer that patients receive follow up tests every three months until they have normalized, some people can only afford to receive them every six months. And as long as they are improving from a symptomatic perspective, I don’t see a reason to test them too frequently. This of course isn’t to suggest that I only pay attention to the symptoms, as this definitely is not the case. However, a reduction in symptoms is a good sign that the patient is improving, and so if someone keeps on getting progressively better, then there isn’t as much of an urgency to repeat a test when compared to someone who isn’t getting good results.

On the other hand, many patients who are getting significant improvement from a symptomatic standpoint can’t wait to obtain follow up tests in order to see the improvement. I know this was the case with me, as I was excited to see the positive changes on the tests, as in my mind this really confirmed that the natural treatment methods were working. So even though I began experiencing an improvement in symptoms after only a few weeks of treatment, seeing the improvement in the follow up tests was what really got me excited about this.

Who Can’t Be Helped By Natural Treatment Methods?

While I have so far raved about the effectiveness of natural treatment methods, the truth is that not everyone with Graves’ Disease can have their health restored back to normal. However, most people can benefit from following a natural treatment protocol. After all, anti-thyroid drugs do nothing but manage the symptoms. And while this is sometimes necessary, especially when someone has a high pulse rate and/or palpitations, it is no cure for this condition. The same thing applies to radioactive iodine treatment, as while this will usually eliminate the hyperthyroid symptoms, the person will frequently become hypothyroid and will need to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.

Your best bet is to seek the advice of a competent natural endocrine doctor, preferably one who has a great deal of experience dealing with Graves’ Disease cases. Unfortunately there aren’t too many of these doctors out there, but there are some good holistic doctors which can recommend a protocol to help you restore your health back to normal.

In summary, thyroid antibodies can help determine whether someone has Graves’ Disease, but having this test alone isn’t enough to diagnose this condition, as well as to measure the progress of someone. Other tests need to be performed, but just remember that the tests commonly recommended by endocrinologists and other medical doctors don’t determine the actual cause of Graves’ Disease. In order to accomplish this, other tests are needed, and can be extremely valuable for anyone looking to restore their health through a natural treatment protocol.

Graves Disease Causes and Cures

Many people who have been diagnosed with Graves Disease wonder how they developed this autoimmune thyroid disorder in the first place. The truth is that there are many different Graves Disease causes that exist, and in this article I’ll discuss some of the more common reasons why people develop Graves’ Disease. When I personally was diagnosed with this condition I too wanted to know what was the cause, so I can definitely relate with what you’re going through.

It was perhaps even tougher for me, as I’m a holistic doctor that not only believes that there is a cause for every condition, but in most cases there also is a cure. And while there isn’t a magic pill or supplement to cure Graves Disease, for many people it is possible to restore one’s health through a natural treatment protocol. I’ll briefly discuss this later in this article.

But first, here are some of the different Graves Disease causes:

Graves Disease Cause #1: inability to handle stress. Although most people know that stress can cause a lot of problems, most don’t truly understand the impact that chronic stress can have on one’s health over a period of many months or years. Our bodies were designed to handle acute stress situations, but not with chronic stress. As a result, a person who deals with chronic stress and does a poor job of managing it will most likely develop adrenal issues, which in turn can affect immunity, and over a period of time can lead to the development of an autoimmune condition.

Obviously it is not possible to completely eliminate the stress from your life. But most of us can do a much better job of handling stress. In fact, for anyone with Graves’ Disease looking to restore their health, stress management is a key component.

Graves Disease Cause #2: Nutritional deficiencies. Having one or more nutritional deficiencies can cause or contribute to Graves Disease. There are many different nutritional deficiencies one can have, but two of the more common ones are iodine and Vitamin D. Many people wrongly assume that people with Graves’ Disease have an excess of iodine, but this usually isn’t the case. For more information on the importance of iodine and why most people are deficient in it, I highly recommend reading the book “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”.

Vitamin D is another important nutrient when it comes to immunity. One of the big reasons many people are deficient in vitamin D is because they avoid the sun, and/or put sunscreen on every time they go outside. For more information about vitamin D, visit the website vitamindcouncil.

These are just two of the common vitamins/nutrients that one can be deficient in. But there are other nutrients that people can be deficient in which have a huge impact on your health. This is yet another reason why you should consider consulting with a holistic doctor, as most endocrinologists and general practitioners won’t consider such deficiencies as being one of the Graves Disease causes.

Graves Disease Cause #3: Environmental Toxins. Just like it’s impossible to completely eliminate the stress from your life, it is also not likely that you will avoid all of the environmental toxins. In the book “The Autoimmune Epidemic”, the author talks about how toxins can affect the immune system and possibly lead to the development of autoimmune conditions. It makes sense when you think about it, as over the last few decades we have been exposed to more and more environmental toxins, and the rate of autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Graves’ Disease have also increased.

Of course more of us have chronic stress and nutritional deficiencies these days as well, so it’s not always easy to pinpoint what exactly has caused your condition to develop. On the other hand, it’s difficult to argue that minimizing our exposure to environmental toxins will only help to keep our immune systems stronger and therefore potentially decrease the chances of developing an autoimmune condition.

Graves Disease Cause #4: Genetics. Although genetics can play a role in the development of an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease, the good news is that it does not play as big of a role as many people think. And while you might not be able to directly control this potential cause of Graves’ Disease (although some research does suggest otherwise), you definitely can control some of the other causes I have discussed thus far. Some research studies show that people with genetic tendencies towards certain conditions may have such conditions triggered by neglecting the lifestyle factors I just discussed. Either way, rather than worry about whether your condition is caused by factors you can’t control, it will only benefit your health to improve other factors that you do have control over.

So these are some of the common Graves Disease Causes. Since most endocrinologists label this condition as being incurable they don’t become too concerned with the cause. However, for a natural endocrine doctor, the cause of this autoimmune thyroid disorder is important when trying to restore the health of someone with Graves’ Disease.

Curing Graves Disease Is No Easy Task

Let me first begin by telling you that curing Graves Disease is not an easy process. This is why it’s wise to consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor, as they will look for the underlying cause of the problem, and then recommend a natural treatment protocol to help restore your health. So for example, if they determine that lifestyle factors are the culprit, such as stress and nutritional deficiencies, then they obviously will help you to better manage the stress in your life, eat better, recommend proper nutritional supplements, address any hormonal imbalances, etc.

If environmental toxins are the problem, which they are in many people, then they will try to remove these toxins from your body, as well as minimize your exposure to these environmental toxins, which admittedly is not always an easy task. While it’s more challenging to help someone with a condition that was caused by genetics, the good news is that is rare for an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease to be caused solely by genetics. Most of the time the person can be helped through natural treatment methods.

Being a natural healthcare professional, I’m of course biased, and therefore recommend that people with Graves’ Disease consult with a natural endocrine doctor. After all, anti-thyroid drugs don’t do anything for the actual cause of the condition, and radioactive iodine should be a last resort due to the damage it does to the thyroid gland. When you think about it, there really isn’t much too lose by speaking with an expert, but there is a lot to gain, and it just might be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Pregnancy And Fifth Disease – Learn About Its Causes And Find Out What You Can Do

It is the desire of every pregnant woman to give their baby the best possible health. However, there are instances where the health of the baby is getting out the mother’s control. When pregnant women are exposed to certain diseases, it can cause potential harm not just to the mother but to the baby’s health as well.

Fifth Disease and Its Nature

Fifth disease is an illness characterized by red rashes in pre-school age children. Also called as “slapped cheeks disease”, Fifth disease can also be found in adults. The condition is actually caused by the Parvovirus B19 which plays a vital role in inhibiting the production of red blood cells in the body.

Though Fifth disease is a less concern in children and pregnant women, some people are put at a greater risk when exposed to this condition. To some people, a temporary halt in the production of red blood cells in the body does not impose a greater concern. However, for people with chronic anaemia or iron deficiency, it can impose substantial health risks. In some cases, Fifth disease can create damage to unborn children.

Should there be an outbreak of this disease in the workplace, pregnant women can still continue working and mingle with co-workers, provided that they are immune with parvovirus B19. However, if they are not immune, it would be best to stay away from the infected people to secure the health of their baby.

According to research, 1 in every 10 adults has suffered from Fifth disease on their childhood. Anyone can be diagnosed with Fifth disease but children less than 15 years of age are very susceptible to this condition. Researchers concluded that people who have been diagnosed with Fifth disease become immune with the illness, thus they cannot be infected again.

Meanwhile, 1 in every 400 women gets contracted with the virus during their pregnancy. There is no evidence that the transmission of parvovirus to the baby during pregnancy can cause mental disorders such as mental retardation. Though it mostly appears on the early stages of pregnancy, Fifth disease only occurs in less than 5% of pregnant women who had been exposed to this condition.

Until today, there is no available treatment for fifth disease. The condition simply goes away on its own.

Mode of Transmission

Fifth disease is commonly transmitted through nasal secretions and saliva. Anyone can be infected by this condition just by being in near proximity with the infected person who sneezes or coughs. It can also be transmitted through kissing, hand-to-mouth contact and sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils.

On the other hand, parvovirus 19 can be transmitted through the blood. This simply means that pregnant women who have been infected by this condition can transmit the condition to her baby through the placenta.

If you have contracted the virus during pregnancy, there’s a 33% probability that the virus will passed through the placenta. Most of the babies born to mothers diagnosed with Fifth disease are born normal.

Around 11% of pregnant women who have been infected by the virus before the 20th week of their pregnancy will most likely lose their baby. In some cases, the transmission of parvovirus through the placenta results to the baby’s loss. When infected by the virus, there is a little possibility that the pregnancy will lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, inflammation of the heart muscles and severe foetal anaemia which may possibly lead to a condition known as hydrops fetalis.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Fifth Disease?

According to research, the signs and symptoms of this condition vary from one person to another. However, around 20-25% of those diagnosed with this condition do not suffer from any symptom at all. Should there be symptoms, most patients suffer from achiness, fatigue, low-grade fever, headache, sore throat and runny nose on the first weeks.

On the subsequent week, children who had been diagnosed with this disease can notice distinctive red rashes on their face. Rash (sometimes itchy) may also extend through the limbs and torso. Some children may suffer from joint pain (ankles, joints and knees), though this rarely happens.

Fifth disease usually lasts for a week or two but it can recur intermittently for the next couple months, most especially when exposed to extreme cold or heat, sunlight and excessive exercise.

Thought adults don’t get rashes when infected, they are very likely to suffer from flu-like symptoms. Also, swelling of the joints may occur which may create pain. The symptoms for both adults and children usually last for 4-21 days after the infection.

What To Do To Avoid The Infection

Pregnant women should always try to reduce their risk of getting infections like the Fifth disease. To help prevent the occurrence of Fifth disease, the following must be observed:

Avoid mingling with people who had been diagnosed with infectious diseases

As much as possible, don’t share your food, drinking glasses and eating utensils.

Always wash your hands, most especially after touching or wiping the nose of children who have viral diseases.

Throw away used tissues.

What To Do When Infected?

If you are pregnant and you believe that you have been infected by this condition, you should immediately consult your doctor about it. The doctor needs to check your blood if you have been affected by the parvovirus. Once confirmed, you need to undergo an ultrasound on the next 8-12 weeks to check the condition of your placenta, amniotic fluid and presence of excess fluid in your body.

A Doppler sonography may be administered to test your baby for anaemia. If the tests revealed some signs of foetal hydrops or anaemia, your doctor may recommend the procedure percutaneous umbilical blood sampling, a procedure used to determine if your baby has anaemia. Once confirmed, foetal transfusion may be necessary. It is a procedure which involves the transfusion of blood into the baby’s umbilical cord. Though this procedure imposes some risks, it can help in enhancing the survival rate of the foetus that had been severely affected by anaemia.