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Inflammation All Over

I suffer from inflammation all over my body. I have inflammation problem in my sinuses, intestines, bladder and muscles. I have seen several specialists and all I hear is “inflammation”. I’m sent away with another pill. I don’t want to take pills, I want to find out what is causing this inflammation and try to fix it. I feel like there’s something I’m taking in that’s causing it. How do I figure out what’s causing this?

If you have pain anywhere, there is inflammation at that site.  The inflammation may or may not have caused it, but it is certainly a part of any ongoing pain.

The cause has to be identified and removed or improved.

Conventional medicine uses anti-inflammatories, which often hurt the stomach and even interfere with joint repair.  Safer anti-inflammatories include MSM and a number of herbals:

  • Boswellia,
  • curcumin,
  • quercetin (all of which are found in a product on my website called Primivia Relief, as is MSM).

The potential causes of generalized inflammation may be one or many–viruses (mycoplasma, c. pneumonia), toxic metals, food or other allergies, hormone dysregulation (as you probably know, I look at the numbers of thyroid hormone levels differently than conventional medicine).  There are intravenous treatments that are able to suppress the oxidative stress (free radicals causing inflammation).  If the simple things don’t work, you will need to see an integrative medicine (alternative, complementary) practitioner who understands these issues.  I have a number of tricks up my sleeve that can help with this one.

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Natural Remedies for Allergies

My adult son suffers from environmental allergies causing fatigue, sneezing, runny itchy nose, and itchy watery eyes. He has been taking the generic of Zyrtec for several years which has helped considerably. He is now completing his application to the Army Air program to become a pilot and has discovered that Zyrtec is a medication that will keep him from qualifying. What natural remedies can we try to keep his allergies under control?

I have found that many of my patients can come off their anti-histaminics with a product called D-Hist.  It has quercetin and stinging nettle in it that help with the triggers that cause the symptoms of allergy.  His best treatment is to find a practitioner that does NAET so he can be desensitized to the environmental allergies.

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Autoimmune Diseases: Are Supplements of No Help?

Auto immune diseases: I have had graves, and now pemphigus vulgaris. I am on steroids and others. What are your nutrition recommendations for someone who is trying to build up their boidies defenses and stay healthy? thank you so much, my doctor says diet and supplements are of no help and I feel so strongly that he is just ill informed on this subject!

There are two aspects in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. One you have mentioned:

  • building or supporting the immune system so it does not react to the cells in the skin, which causes the blisters in pemphigoid vulgaris. The diet and supplements assist in this process, and yes, there still are plenty of conventional physicians who do not believe that diet or nutrients have anything to do with health. Of course, they are not trained in health, but only in sick care.
  • The other aspect of assessment is to look at possible triggers–why has the body decided to attack itself. There are organisms and metal allergies that can be looked at by the laboratory that can be fixed if they are known. Mercury is a toxic metal that interferes with the immune system, so people with a mouth full of mercury (often called silver or amalgam) fillings have more immune problems.
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Dr. Gardner,

I have irritable bowel syndrome and a constant problem with constipation. The things I do to try to solve the constipation problem seem to make the irritable bowel syndrome act up more, and the things I do to keep the irritable bowel syndrome under control seem to make the constipation problem worse. Could you please address these issues? Thank you very much.

‘Irritable bowel’ is the cause of the constipation, so you’ll want to start with treating the irritable bowel. What are possible causes? Here are a few:

  • history of eating processed food that eventually broke down the intestinal tract
  • antibiotic use
  • food may not be being digested
  • low acid content in the stomach
  • food allergies
  • organisms that interfere with the intestinal tract
  • emotional stress, worry, trauma, etc.

Here are some initial options for addressing your IBS.  Obviously all processed food and sugar need to be eliminated from the diet. If there has been antibiotic use, low amounts of good gut bacteria (probiotics) may be the problem.

Probiotics need to be supplied–at least 5 to 20 billion per day. These should be taken by anyone with irritable bowel, whether they have been on antibiotics or not.

Food may not be being digested, causing irritability to the gut. A trial of pancreatic enzymes for a few weeks may be helpful. I say a few weeks because if poor digestion has been a problem, it has to be fixed first before the gut can heal and feel better.

Low acid content in the stomach also interferes with protein digestion–betaine HCl could be tried to help with this problem.

Food allergies could also be contributing to irritable bowel. NAET is the basic treatment, so you need to find a local practitioner that can test you for food allergies and treat them. Malnutrition contributes to the inability of the gut to heal itself, so nutritional IVs are occasionally necessary.

There are also organisms that may or may not be easy to identify that interfere with the intestinal tract. Laboratory tests may prove helpful. During times of constipation, you may want to try high doses of vitamin C (5 to 50 grams) or magnesium (1,000 to 2,000 mg) one day, then titrate to maintain the proper consistency of stool.

You’ll want to address any possible emotional, stress, or traumatic triggers that bring on IBS incidents, and identify any precipitating events that you experienced prior to onset of symptoms.

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Carbs and Gluten Sensitivities

I want to eat healthy and everybody says eat oats and wheat but when i eat a lot of these products I find that I am more tired and feel down

Whole wheat and oats are very healthy, although they are high in carbohydrates. However, many people are sensitive to the gluten in wheat, and if very sensitive, to the amount in the oats also.

There is an antibody test that can tell you if you are sensitive to gluten, which, unfortunately, is very common. I think the common occurence of the sensitivity is related to the amount of processing that is taking place with these products, with how big “food” companies are adding strange ingredients and highly processing the basic ingredients.  I also have questions about the farming procedures that have created 5 times more gluten in today’s wheat than existed 100 years ago.  Something has obviously changed, and it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is triggering the increase in wheat and gluten sensitivities.

If you are gluten sensitive, you will feel tired and sick upon exposure to gluten. Oftimes, NAET can desensitize you to this protein and you can eat it without having symptoms.  Once your gluten sensitivities are cleared, you can eat the foods (just don’t use the processed versions), enjoy them, and get the health benefits from them.

One more thought:  you can still enjoy the benefitis of wheat by growing and eating wheat grass.  Wheat grass is highly nutritious, full of beneficial enzymes, and a wonderful addition to a green drink.

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Celiac Sprue and Other Sensitivities

My question. Can Celiac disease or Sprue be corrected with alternative methods or natural supplements?

Gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease, means that your body is setting up antibodies against the protein gluten. This is found predominantly in wheat, but also in rye, barley,and oats.

Often there are other sensitivities to foods or chemicals, and as they are resolved with desensitization (NAET), the gluten sensitivity symptoms may be reduced. Sometimes, NAET can lessen the body’s reaction to gluten. Of course, eating healthy and taking supplements so the body is healthy will always be the mainstay of any program. Avoidance is most often the solution for celiac disease.

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Healthy Living on a Budget (or in a Tough Economy)

I am a 55 yr old woman with multiple health issues, chiefly diabetes and allergies (food and other.) I am currently being treated (read drugged) by the VA clinic in my state. I would love to explore alternative options, but my low pay level makes it difficult to go to alternative practitioners and to buy the organic foods that I know are better for me. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

You can treat yourself effectively by following the diet guidelines in my articles on diabetes. Just go to the website under archives or search and type in diabetes.

You will have to coordinate with your physician, because your insulin needs will reduce and you do not want to go hypoglycemic and then resort of sugar to bring sugar levels up.

Food allergies can be avoided, or you can schedule foods that you suspect as allergens on a 4-day rotation diet. Your doctor may order IgG food sensitivity testing to help identify the offending foods. Ultimately, you could go on a chicken and rice and water diet for 2 weeks, then introduce foods one at a time to identify the offending foods.  Then avoid them for one month, rotate them into your diet and see if you can tolerate them.

If you can grow your own garden, you will have the best organic foods anywhere.  There’s no need to spend excessive amounts of money to obtain healthy food.

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Chronic Itching

My legs, especially around ankles and back of calves, arms, neck and chest have been itching relentlessly for the past couple of weeks. I have explored changes in detergent and soap, none. No rash and it feels like my legs are burning when I shower and the water hits them! I don’t seem to be dry, but I am using an oatmeal non perfumed lotion. Helps for a minute, then it is back! Help!!!!

Most of the time, itchy skin is associated with a rash, usually dry or scaly or weeping. This is usually an allergic reaction or an irritant, which it sounds like you have already tried to evaluate.  You may want to try high doses of both fish oils and omega-6 oils (borage, evening primrose, sesame seed), as they help with rashes and itchy skin. In the absence of a rash, one must consider a ‘neuropathy,’ usually interpreted as pain or numbness or tingling, but perhaps also as an itch.  Strong doses of B vitamins and essential fatty acids are important to help all nerve or neurologic problems.

A couple of other helpful solutions to consider: one is Redmond Clay, which we can obtain for you through this site.  Please let me know if you are interested and we can order some for you (and anyone else who would like some who reads about it in this post).  The clay can be mixed with water and spread over an itching area, and it seems to soothe the itching.

Another important factor to consider is your emotional or stress state.  Is someone or something irritating you?  Our emotional state often manifests in our physical state.

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Springtime Allergies

I was wondering what you suggest for springtime allergies? Mine last from about now to mid-June. I’m 48 and have had them since high school. Every spring I’m plagued with them, the worst being the terrible, itchy eyes that nothing relieves. Rx’s or over the counter meds do give me some relief but always cause drowsiness. Thanks for any help!

Spring-time allergies are usually related to the trees. They typically start in February and go through May. The tree allergy season then overlaps with the grasses that come out in April and goes until about August. The weeds come out in July-August and don’t go away until the first good frost in the fall.

Quercetin and stinging nettle stabilize the mast cell membrane, which is one of the cells that releases histamine, which causes the hay fever allergies-swelling, itchiness, clear drainage, coughing. In my office we have good success with SENPRO, an allergy desensitization technique. You can read about it on the internet under NAET, which is one of many parts of the technique. This will likely reduce or eliminate the spring-time allergies in the future.

Allergies can also come about as a result of emotional stresses or triggers, so carefully evaluate the experiences you have had and your reactions to them.  Interestingly, sometimes coming to peace about an issue will resolve the allergic responses.