Dr. Laura: Can Fasting Heal Auto Immune Disease?

Fasting is known to initiate cellular clean-up, reduce inflammation, heal leaky gut and reset the immune system. What better formula could we ask for when it comes to autoimmune disease?

Can Fasting Really Help AutoImmune Suffering?

After a recent talk at Goodness Me! I did on the safety of fasting, I was left with more questions on how fasting could help those suffering with autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s, celiac, diabetes type I, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In the interim I have played with intermittent fasting over the past couple of months and my body says “thank you!” My digestion has not been this good for years and the persistent scalp psoriasis has all but disappeared. Even when I eat tomatoes, a common trigger for me. It seems anacdotal, however fellow colleagues in the the functional medicine industry like Mark Hyman, Amy Myers, and Courtney Sperlazza all agree.

What Kind of Fasting?

There are many kinds of fasting. We fast when we exclude a single food or types of foods from our diet. So the 30-day reset with no grains, sugar or dairy is a type of fast. This is a good start. The Ketogenic diet is a type of fast too. A Keto diet for a while may be helpful because it switches the body from a carb burning engine to a fat burning engine. But here I am talking about intermittent and more extended fasts to give complete
digestive rest
. When the body is not busy digesting and sorting out where to use or store the blood sugar, it can focus on cellular clean up and repair. Of course when you do eat, nutrient dense foods are a must because you are eating less overall and will need to pack the nutrients you need into less meals. If you are sensitive to foods, like tomatoes, dairy, wheat and sugar for me, that doesn’t mean I go back to eating them all the time. If at all. My excuse was I was in beautiful Italy and learning to make a succulent Bolognese sauce.

Can Anyone Fast?

No. Fasting isn’t for everyone. Not for children or pregnant mothers, those who are malnourished or those with anorexia or bulimia – that’s just playing with fire. Fasting also has to be monitored if you are on medications or have certain medical conditions. Medical complications include gout, cardiac arrhythmia, and postural hypotension.

How Long to Fast?

There is nothing written in stone about the perfect length of fast. And if you ever feel nauseous, dizzy or unwell you should eat. This isn’t about starvation. It’s about digestive rest. It’s about resetting insulin sensitivity and the immune system. Also, we know where the food is and have access to it if we need it. So it’s not starvation.

What Foods are Allowed?

As I mentioned above there are no real rules and there are many different  types and lengths of fasts. If you are on the thinner side and can’t stand to loose some weight, then you better consider bone broth fasts, where there are some nutrients and fat going in. If you have a little loving around that waist line, you likely can feed off that for a while and have coffee, tea and of course LOTS OF WATER.

For more information on whether fasting is right for you, and how to do it, book an appointment with Dr. Laura M. Brown ND. 519.826.7973.

 

Dr. Laura: Organ System Screening

Organ System Screening

Detection of internal events by electrical changes in the skin is a well accepted tool in medicine.   Most are aware and have used one or more of the following medical measurement devices:

Electrocardiogram (EKG) – electrical conduction of the heart

Electroencephalogram (EEG) – electrical conduction in the brain

Oximeters- pulse-rate monitors- electrical conduction at the finger tips/ nail bed

Digitized blood pressure devices- electrical conduction at the arteries

 

Electrodermal Screening

There are also numerous points on the skin that correspond to other organs.  Acupuncture uses this theory regularly as small openings in the fascia expose a wealth of nerve fibres that can be stimulated to correct imbalances in the corresponding organ. This system of medicine has been used to bring balance in health for thousands of years.

Dr. Reinhold Voll helped advanced this theory in the 1950’s when he applied a small electric current to acupuncture points and received a similar response to acupuncture. Dr. Voll mapped numerous sites on the skin to their corresponding organs  and called the process electro dermal detection, or electrodermal screening (EDS); electromagnetic waves transferred from the site of origin of the frequency, to the detection site on the skin.

Electrodermal detection is simply a biophysical method of measuring skin resistance and electromagnetic conductance. 

In his practice and research, Dr. Voll noted that when the current passed through the body without interference, the indicator stayed balanced. While most people balance at fifty units, some may balance higher or lower, based on individuality. Generally when measuring the skin conductance at a site related to a particular organ, an indicator rising above seventy suggests inflammation, and an indicator below 40 suggests organ degeneration. A measurement that comes through but cannot be held and continues to drop indicates disruption in the cellular health of the corresponding organ. A indicator drop suggests a withdrawal of electrons. There are over 500 points where organ health can be measured on the skin. Even using the top 40 main detection sites can give a strong over all organ system screening.

Identify causes, restore balance

Introducing different electrical signals to a point can also reveal a change in conductance, which can be helpful to detect both the substance responsible for the indicator drop, and the substance that may help restore balance.

Identifying the disruptor and the balancing signals has become easier to attain through digitized codes of thousands of signals. Coded signals include pharmaceuticals, herbals, homeopathics, sarcodes and nosodes, metals, toxins, nutrients, foods, metabolic substances and many others.

Food Sensitivity Testing

One form of food sensitivity testing is to use electrodermal screening. A wave form of the food is passed through the acupuncture meridian to see if there is resistance in the body. A number of foods can be introduced and corresponding measurements and indicator drops noted. A food that measures in excess of seventy, or declines past forty should likely be avoided for one to three months, then reintroduced one at a time. Foods that fall between sixty-six and seventy should likely be reduced for a period of time to help bring balance back into the body. Foods measuring between forty-eight and sixty-five can, in general, be eaten regularly without causing strain on the body.

Electrodermal screening is a clinically useful tool in a guided elimination diet.

Knowing your food sensitivities can help reduce:

  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • heartburn
  • bloating
  • gas
  • pain
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • anxiety
  • brain fog
  • skin rashes like eczema, psoriasis, hives

References:

Speckhart, V. 2004.  An Electrodermal Analysis of Biological Conductance. Biological Conductance Inc. Virginia Beach, VA

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND 

Gluten: More danger than we thought

Gluten is more than a digestive disrupter

A review of research from the past 50 years revels a link of gluten to chronic disease. It is now accepted that gluten sensitivity can affect body wide functions.

Intake of gluten may impact body function and lead to chronic diseases.

Gluten may:

  • impair nutrient absorption
    • lead to a cascade of neurological, bone, brain, and thyroid problems
  • increase inflammation in the brain
    • contribute to brain fog, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • impair blood glucose control
    • aggravate mood, appetite, diabetes
  • stop your feeling of being full
    • lead to eating more than you need, weight gain
  • stimulate an immune attack on
    • fibrous sheath on the muscle
    • myelin sheath of the nerves
    • & much, much more

Not even a tummy ache

Most patients who present with neurological or other organ manifestations of gluten sensitivity have no gastrointestinal symptoms.

Gluten could affect you or someone you love.

Empower your health with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Complimentary education talk at Goodness Me!

Wednesday January 18th 6:30-8pm.

5 things you might not know about levels of toxins in your body.

 You will know if toxins are overflowing in your body if you experience things like frequent headaches, joint aches, bloating, digestive discomfort, diarrhea or constipation, multiple chemical of food sensitivities, rashes, irritability, fatigue, repeated injury, brain fog, or troubles concentrating.

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5 things you might not know

about levels of toxins in your body.

 

  1. Your body is constantly in a detox mode.  Your skin, lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver, and ability to self regulate emotions all contribute to detoxification.
  2. A baby born today has over 50-200 recognized toxins in their blood stream? Reports from Scientific American and University of Toronto.
  3. Drinking Alcohol adds to your toxic load. So could the pesticides on your food, the cosmetics you might use, renovations in home or office, cooking and freezing food in plastics, your daily commute, and the emotional stressors in your life.
  4. You can measure your levels of toxins with hair, urine and blood analysis.
  5. A naturopathic doctor can help you prioritize your actions and boost your body’s ability to naturally detoxify.

Download your Toxic Questionnaire here.

from the heart and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

 

Dr. Laura speaks on Thalassotherapy

Thalassotherapy is a modality of therapeutic and

prophylactic application of sea water, mud, algae, sand and climate in general.

Dr. Laura and her son (in the picture below) did some first hand psoriatic research at the Blue Lagoon spa in Iceland 🙂

greeter_photo_1465230477_4ba86641c85952e34d3dbfc7ec4e8554

No other skin disease responds to thalassotherapy as dramatically as psoriasis vulgaris.

 

How?

™Example #1 The Blue Lagoon

 

  • The Cyanobacterium aponinum algae can survive in the sulphur rich, hot spring water and  is a dominating member of the Blue Lagoon’s microbial ecosystem. This algae stimulates the immune system to produce vast amounts of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10. IL-10 reduces chronic inflammatory response, down regulates TH1 and activates Th2.
  • ™Mineral waters reduce pruritic (itchiness) nature of psoriasis
  • ™Water increases permeability of the stratum corneum (outer layer of the skin) to lower molecular agents (minerals in the water)
  • ™When compared to arsenical, bromic, iodic, radioactive, carbonic and silica-flourinated waters, sulphur waters have shown to be most effective in psoriasis, especially in combination with UVB.
  • ™Sulphur waters are antibacterial, antifungal, keratolytic and immune modulating (T-cell activity, inhibits IL-2 IFN-gamma)
  • Bathing in geothermal seawater combined with NB-UVB therapy in psoriasis induces faster clinical and histological improvement, produces longer remission time and permits lower NB-UVB doses than UVB therapy alone.
  • Typically a treatment at the Blue Lagoon Psoriatic Clinic is a bi-annual 3 week relaxing stay with combined bathing and UVB therapy and nutritional intervention.

Example#2  The Dead Sea

 

  • The Dead Sea has a Unique spectrum of UV light: UV radiation level at the Dead Sea is lower because the UV rays pass through additional 400 m of atmosphere before reaching the Earth’s surface. UVB: UVA ratio lower
  • Concentration of salts (33% vs. 3% in ocean) reduces cell proliferation in Psoriasis
  • ™Nature of salts: magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, bromine, and calcium sulfate
  • The Black Sea water has pH 8.33– 8.40 and is rich on mineral and organic substances and colloids such as chlorides, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and carbonates.
  • The so called “ salt mantle” has keratolytic action and increases the skin hydration.
  • The salt concentration is 17.3– 18.2 g/l.33
  • In a study conducted in 1770 psoriatic patients who underwent a 28-day thalassotherapy, 30% of the patients achieved remission of the disease, and 61% of the patients were recorded with marked or moderate improvement.
  • In another study, 69% of the patients achieved remission or marked improvement during a 20-day course of thalassotherapy combined with 5– 15-minute baths in the sea water per hour.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

References:
Gudmundsdottir A, Omarsdottir S, Brynjolfsdottir A, Paulsen B, Olafsdottir E, Freysdottir. Exopolysaccharides from Cyanobacterium aponinum from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland increase IL-10 secretion by human dendritic cells and their ability to reduce the IL-17+RORγt+/IL-10+FoxP3+ ratio in CD4+ T cells. Immunol Lett. 2015 Feb;163(2):157-62. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2014.11.008. Epub 2014 Dec 9.
Eysteinsdóttir J, Ólafsson J, Agnarsson B, Lúðvíksson B, Sigurgeirsson B. Psoriasis treatment: faster and long-standing results after bathing in geothermal seawater. A randomized trial of three UVB phototherapy regimens. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2014 Feb;30(1):25-34. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12090. Epub 2013 Dec 10.
Grether-Beck S1, Mühlberg K, Brenden H, Felsner I, Brynjólfsdóttir A, Einarsson S, Krutmann J. Bioactive molecules from the Blue Lagoon: in vitro and in vivo assessment of silica mud and microalgae extracts for their effects on skin barrier function and prevention of skin ageing. Exp Dermatol. 2008 Sep;17(9):771-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2007.00693.x. Epub 2008 Feb 28.

 

Psoriasis and other Autoimmune Conditions

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disorder typically identified by reddened dry skin that becomes progressively flaky and scaly as well as painful and itchy. Usually the plaques are found on extensor surfaces such as elbows, knees and scalp.

psoriasis medscape

The immune system is involved in this inflammatory condition. Quite often once one autoimmune disease is had, others will evolve as well. Autoimmune means that the body’s defense system is attacking the body it lives in. It is hypervigilant. There is likely some genetic susceptibility in the individual, followed by an incident where the immune system launched a defense against a foreign molecule that had some resemblance to the molecules of the body. Now, when the immune system sees that near match it sends out its troupes and ends up destroying the tissues of its own body.

Autoimmune diseases can affect the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. Among others, it is the underlying mechanism of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Celiac, Crohn’s, Sjogren’s, Type I Diabetes and Psoriasis.

On Wednesday, July 27 at 6:30 in the Goodness Me! classroom at the corner of Gordon and Wellington St. in Guelph, join Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND to learn some of the underlying mechanisms of autoimmune diseases and the natural approaches for treatment. In this session, Dr. Laura M. Brown ND, will share her experience with research in Iceland’s geothermal psoriasis treatment centre and will address natural treatments options for those suffering with autoimmune diseases.

Register here.

picture from Medscape.com

Food Sensitivity Testing

What are the Signs of Food Sensitivities?

People with long-term complaints who have tried many treatments and dietary interventions, with limited or no success may find it beneficial to investigate their individual food intolerance.

Do you experience any of the following?

WEIGHT: difficulties losing or gaining weight.

SKIN: eczema, skin rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis.

JOINTS: pain, inflammation, difficulties moving.

BRAIN: difficulty concentrating, fatigue.

Gastro Intestinal: “IBS”, pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, damage to the mucosal lining, perforation & “leaky gut”. This can make it difficult for nutrients and vitamins to absorb into the body and the person over time can become deficient in things like iron, zinc, and B12.

How it works

Here’s how it works. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND will see you for a brief 15min appointment to setup your profile, and collect your medical history prior to your food sensitivity testing. If you prefer, a regular 1 hour upfront full Naturopathic intake, is highly recommended.  In a separate (or following) 45min appointment, The Electro Dermal Screening (EDS) KORU testing will be done. No needles are involved. The testing is based on physics, rather than blood chemistry. Sometime in the following week, you will meet again for about 30 min with Dr. Laura M. Brown to receive your personalized guidance and food sensitivity report. This testing is open to any age. Unfortunately we cannot test people who have pacemakers. Call the clinic at (519) 826-7973 to arrange your KORU package and appointments. You are welcome to see Dr. Laura beyond the KORU package for further guidance on diet, lifestyle, B12 injections, acupuncture, medications and supplements however you are under no obligation to do so.

If you prefer blood chemistry analysis, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can line you up with this as well. In this case, please setup a regular initial assessment with Dr. Laura and she will provide you with the lab requisition that best suits your needs.

Are Food Sensitivities Real?

Food sensitivities are real. Often sensitivities go undiagnosed because the reaction is gradual and will happen 24hours- 3 days of consuming the food irritant; this makes it more difficult to pinpoint which food is the trigger. The body’s immune system can respond to food like an enemy. This stimulates inflammation, pain, bowel changes, headaches, and sometimes skin reactions. Being sensitive to a food may mean the person needs to avoid it completely, or be able to have a small amount occasionally. Sometimes after months of abstinence, a food may be reintroduced without an issue.

Who is at risk?

  • Often affiliated with autoimmune disease (SLE/lupus, thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), toxic exposure to heavy metals, molds & family history.
  • Aggravated by alcohol, extended periods of stress, strenuous exercise and NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen)

What foods typically cause IgG reactions?

  • Dairy, Wheat, Egg, Corn, Sugar & Soy
  • Some with Rheumatoid Arthritis find the nightshade family harmful: (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant)

How do I learn if I have an allergy or sensitivity?

IgG testing can be accessed through Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.  Options for food sensitivity testing include electrodermal screening or blood spot or full blood draw.

 

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown ND.