According to Health for Life ND, “The right preventive care at every stage of life helps all Americans stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, keep diseases they already have from becoming worse or debilitating, lead productive lives, and reduce costs. Preventing disease before it starts is critical to helping people live longer, healthier lives and keeping health care costs down. Preventive services can also help those with early stages of disease keep from getting sicker.”
Naturopathic medicine provides a focus on health rather than disease, you proactively approach optimal health rather than reacting to health problems. Naturopathic medicine is an ideal tool in chronic disease prevention, pain reduction and treatment, control disease progression, and enhance overall health. Naturopathic medicine in its organic treatment of the whole person/whole body, enables patients to practice preventative care at its core.
According to Green Mountain Natural Health, “Many serious health problems don’t have symptoms, which is why an annual preventive exam, also called a checkup, is so important. High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, for example, are major risk factors for the number one cause of death in the United States—cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attack and stroke). These conditions are silent, meaning that they generally don’t produce any symptoms until the disease is advanced. Screening for these and other conditions, however, are quick and easy at a preventive visit. Detecting these conditions early allows for effective treatment before advanced disease can develop.”
Therefore, it is imperative to get yearly preventative exams. In addition to a physical exam, here are some of the most common things done during a preventive exam:
- Blood sugar screening
- Diabetes screening (via instant, in-office testing)
- Cholesterol screening (via instant, in-office testing)
- Osteoporosis screening
- Cervical cancer screening: PAP test and pelvic exam
- Breast cancer screening: clinical breast exam and mammogram
- Prostate cancer screening
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Testicular cancer screening
- Skin and other cancer screening
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening
- Routine depression screening
- Assessment of weight, diet, exercise, vision, and hearing
- Immunization history review and catch-up administration
- Counseling on tobacco cessation, alcohol/drug use, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, diet, and exercise
- Review of health history
Green Mountain Health also encourages online risk calculators to determine the likelihood of getting certain diseases. “In addition to screening for the actual presence of disease, a variety of online risk calculators are now available to determine your current and future risk of getting diseases, including heart attack, diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. While they don’t tell you whether you have the disease, knowing your risk can help you to determine how important it is to make dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Your risk results can also help identify the importance of further testing to determine whether you actually have the disease.”
Naturopathic Medicine promotes practicing whole-body care and advocates for simple healthy living that can prevent many diseases. In practicing this lifestyle and getting preventative exams, naturopathic medicine can provide optimal health for patients.
10 Steps to Optimal Health
- Be physically active (at least 45-60 minutes, 6 days per week)
- Don’t eat sugar or white flour
- Eat a rainbow each day (at least 8-10 servings of fruits or vegetables in a variety of colors)
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid your food allergens
- Consume omega 3 oils daily (fish, fish oil, flax oil)
- Take vitamin D daily (2000-4000 IU)
- Avoid excessive alcohol
- Watch your stress
- Engage (with other people) when social distancing is not in effect
Reach out to naturopathic practitioner, Dr. Michael Robinson, at The Ayre Clinic for Contemporary Medicine to practice preventative care.
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a division of the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune diseases affect over 23 million Americans with some statistics estimating more than 50 million per the NDNR. There are at least 80 different auto-immune related diseases recognized with many not even identified yet. The widespread implications of such an enormous all-encompassing condition on millions of Americans is almost incomprehensible. Approaching treatment of those who have an auto-immune disease is especially important for naturopathic medicine practitioners who may offer an alternative in a sea of conventional less effective treatment options.
To better understand naturopathic medicine as a treatment option, it is essential to explore the immune system as well as common triggers and risk factors for autoimmunity. “To begin with, everyone has, in a sense, 2 immune systems: the innate immune system and the adaptive, or specialized, immune system (sometimes called the acquired immune system). Also, autoimmune issues can present themselves as either a systemic condition, like multiple sclerosis, or as fairly localized problems, like psoriasis,” states the NDNR.
The adaptive, or acquired, immune system defends the body based on experience. Some of the main players in the immune system are the white blood cells or lymphocytes that are composed of B-cells and T-cells. Antigens are the threats to the immune system and the white blood cells must match appropriately with the antigen to destroy it.
Within the T-cell family are helper T-cells, cytotoxic T-cells, and suppressor T-cells:
- Helper T-cells stimulate B-cells and other T-cells into action, and they bolster the body’s immune response.
- Cytotoxic T-cells attach to invading bacteria, viruses, or toxins.
- Suppressor T-cells constitute a natural “brake” on the actions of the immune defenses, ensuring that they don’t take their jobs too far by attacking healthy cells.
Additional components of the adaptive immune system include the thymus and the spleen.
Risk Factors and Triggers
According to the NDNR, “The potential risk factors and triggers for autoimmune diseases are plentiful. However, one of the most significant causes of increased production of autoantibodies (ie, T-cell actions against the body’s own structures) is exposure to environmental toxins.” NIEHS researchers report that autoantibodies can develop for years before actually attacking tissues. Below are the triggers and correlations reported:
- Solvent exposure – e.g., proximity to paint thinners, cleaning supplies, and nail polish – contributes to the development of systemic sclerosis
- Smoking contributes to the development of two types of rheumatoid arthritis
- Having children – especially more than one – contributes to ANA prevalence
- Workers exposed to fine particles of crystalline silica – found in quartz, granite, and many other minerals – are prone to developing several autoimmune diseases. Anyone in mining, construction, or other building work is clearly at risk.
- Gluten consumption contributes to the development of celiac disease in genetically susceptible individuals.
Additional challenges posed for practitioners is identifying the signs and symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder. Some of the most common issues include:
- Joint pain or muscle pain, accompanied by weakness or tremors
- Unintentional weight loss or weight gain
- Intolerance to heat or cold
- Rapid heartbeat
- Recurrent rashes or hives or sun sensitivity
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Abdominal pain, bloody stools, or diarrhea
- White patches or ulcers in and around the mouth
- Dry eyes, mouth, or skin
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
- Multiple miscarriages or blood clots
A naturopathic practitioner confronts the often-daunting complex puzzle of diagnosing autoimmune conditions with the many symptoms listed above. The most common autoimmune diseases are the thyroid related Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease, Addison’s disease, celiac disease, SLE, type 1 diabetes, and RA. Frequently these diseases or conditions are treated by conventional practitioners with prescription medications that present a slew of adverse side effects.
As described in the previous article regarding cancer treatment and naturopathic medicine, many of the recommended treatment plans for cancer apply to autoimmune diseases. It all begins with the whole patient whole body approach of naturopathic medicine. Treatments include:
- Restorative Sleep
- Actively reduce stress
- Avoid all possible exposure to environmental toxins, such as chemicals, mercury, and other heavy metals.
- Avoid taking unnecessary drugs
- Dietary restrictions – do not overindulge in refined grains and sugars, vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, cured meats, and/or deep-fried foods
- Utilize supplemental nutrients – curcumin, vitamin D, essential fatty acids, and probiotics
- Detoxification – hydrate, dry brushing of the skin, and Epsom salt baths.
Autoimmune diseases are difficult to treat but patients can experience considerable relief after following such therapeutic naturopathic treatments. Many patients have been through conventional treatments and medications with few positive results. But a naturopathic holistic approach incorporating mindful and body-wise interventions, may finally enable patients to feel free of symptoms and more vibrant than they have for years. Please reach out to Dr. Michael Robinson at the Ayre Clinic for Contemporary Medicine for autoimmune disease treatment options.
Naturopathic medicine at the Ayre Clinic offers personalized care by analyzing each aspect of diet and lifestyle in a patient. A tailored plan consisting of nutrition, herbal, and lifestyle recommendations is created to assist in supporting the body’s immune response to give a patient the best shot of fighting back against the disease.
Naturopathic doctor and clinical nutritionist, Dr. Michael
Robinson of Nourish Healthcare and The Ayre Clinic, along with Dr. Thomas
Hesselink, take a multifaceted approach to supporting cancer patients during
and after their conventional treatment. This consists of:
1. Designing a nutrition plan aimed at supporting the body’s
metabolism aimed at slowing cancer growth and supporting the body’s optimal
2. Utilizing botanical medicine reducing the side effects of chemo and radiation, allowing your standard care to go more smoothly. Botanical medicines are full of beneficial and powerful phytonutrients that can be effective at each stage of your cancer journey.
3. Designing plans to both prepare you for the draining effects of chemo and radiation as well as building your body back up after each treatment, enabling you to go into your next session ready to fight.
4. Reviewing your current supplement regimen to ensure your current protocol is safe, as well as designing an evidence based nutritional and herbal protocol supporting your immune system and normal metabolic pathways.
Dr. Robinson’s services are adjunctive care for those undergoing traditional drug, surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments. It is required that cancer patients are under the care of a medical doctor concurrently while utilizing naturopathic cancer services. Therefore, patients may see Dr. Hesselink at the Ayre Clinic for medical treatment.
Cancer-Related Pain and Naturopathic Medicine
According to the NDNR, authors Dicken Weatherby, ND and Donald R. Yance, CN, MH, RH, “Pain occurs in one-quarter to one-half of patients with newly diagnosed malignancies, in one-third of those undergoing treatment and in more than three-quarters with advanced disease. Overall, 75% of cancer patients who experience pain have pain severe enough to require treatment with opioids. Analgesic regimens used are often inadequate, causing patients to experience unnecessary pain, as well as debilitating side effects such as constipation, lack of appetite, fatigue, depression and psychological distress.” Many oncologists prescribe morphine, which although is an effective pain relief option, is an opioid that has adverse side effects. These side effects may include drug dependency, respiratory depression, decreased mental alertness, and constipation. Botanical compounds offer another option without the serious mental and physical side effects. “Cancer patients with chronic pain need botanical support to build up their life force in order to have the energy to relieve pain and get well.”
Naturopathic Botanicals and Cancer Treatment
While there are many herbs and nutrients contraindicated in cancer, naturopathic medicine offers a wealth of knowledge of the effects of many nutrients and phytochemicals in supporting the body during conventional cancer care. Traditional oncologists have not received substantial training in herbal medicine and nutritional biochemistry. Dr. Robinson has spent six years of graduate school specifically studying food as medicine. He will work with your oncologist or Dr. Hesselink to create a team approach and provide any research necessary to support recommendations.
Using certain botanical compounds may have a profound effect on relieving pain and associated side effects, improving the quality of life, and even improving overall health. It is imperative that healthcare providers be adept at the evaluation and treatment of cancer pain, especially with the availability of excellent botanical-based analgesic therapies.
These botanical compounds and vitamins may include:
Panax ginseng extract
May exert protective effects against morphine-induced depression as well as the possibility of potentiating the drug’s pain-relieving effect. Therefore, P. ginseng extract supplementation may effectively reduce the dosage of morphine, concurrently reducing the adverse side effects.
Essential in the treatment of bone metastasis and bone pain. “Vitamin D prevents generalized and localized bone loss and works well with bisphosphonates.”
Another supplement that is imperative in maintaining bone health. “There is a consistent line of evidence in human epidemiologic and intervention studies that clearly demonstrates that vitamin K can improve bone health.”
Natural Neuropathic Pain Relief Options
- Intravenous magnesium
- Specific B-vitamins such as B12, B1 and B6
- Specific amino acid compounds, including glutamine (preferably as magnesium glutamine chelate) and acetyl-l-carnitine
- Lipoic acid
- High doses of the fatty acid compounds GLA and EPA/DHA
- Adaptogens, including Panax and Epimedium
Integrative Cancer Care: Where Naturopathic Medicine and Oncology Meet
According to the AANMC “Integrative care combines these traditional treatments with evidence-based supportive therapies to help manage side effects, resulting in a better treatment outcome due to the collaboration of the medical and naturopathic clinicians. Besides helping with symptom alleviation during treatment, integrative care can be used to help educate patients at the time of diagnosis and assist with recovery after the medical treatments are completed as a means of bringing the patient back to full health.”
Cancer patients are provided with a collaborative approach to their treatment plan at the Ayre Clinic. Integrative care is at its core the very philosophy of naturopathic medicine, which is treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. As Sharon Gurm, ND, FABNO states, “I realized I wanted to practice medicine differently—in a way that embraced whole-person healing, not just treating the disease.”
The Ayre Clinic is a full-service integrative oncology clinic that includes medical cancer care using Insulin Potentiation Therapy to enhance our chemotherapy regimens, as well as services such as IV vitamin C. We also have providers that specialize in nutrition, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, lymphatic therapy, psychotherapy, and more. Check out the promos for some of these treatments for Whole Health and The Ayre Clinic in our bimonthly newsletter. The Ayre Clinic for Contemporary Medicine offers cancer patients integrative care incorporating naturopathic medicine for a whole-body care system that truly supports treatment providing the patient with the potential for the best possible outcome.
This poignant memoir of Rodney Stamp’s emotional cancer journey details the often uncommon choice to forego traditional medicine’s solution to cancer and venture down an uncharted path when one has been issued the death sentence of “only 90 days to live.”
When Stamp was initially diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he was emphatically told by his oncologist that chemo was his only option and if he did not go that route, he would likely die within months. “One thing’s for sure. If you don’t take the treatment, you will die. Chemo and radiation aren’t pleasant treatments, but the alternative is death. If you take treatment, you can expect to live another five to ten years. However, if you don’t start treatment, with your symptoms, I’d say you have less than ninety days to live, but that’s only a guess.” There’s an equation for life expectancy? ” Even after he heard this from a medical professional, Stamp considered chemo a sort of surrender as it offered no cure and a sub par quality of life. He states that he certainly kept an open mind but after researching and reading the informational pamphlets from his oncologist, it only solidified his belief that chemo was not the path for him.
Stamp clarifies that he really liked his oncologist but he was shackled to a predetermined set of procedures. ” They can cut it out, burn it out, or poison it with high-priced pharmaceutical drugs. They are safely within the rigid confines of the AMA. To deviate is professional suicide. ” Stamp forges forward without his oncologist’s support but with his wife Paige and their two daughters on board to pursue a different path. So begins Stamp’s cancer journey as he and Paige delve into the world of alternative treatments. Rodney and Paige soon discover that the drug companies have a foothold in cancer treatment, decades in the making. Unfortunately, their part is not one of altruism, “The drug companies openly, actively, and without shame sponsor ads in textbooks and in numerous other ways have infiltrated medical schools. And chemotherapy is a huge moneymaker for them.” Stamp realizes that the ideology of chemotherapy and radiation has little basis in sense – well – only sense for big pharma. “The thing I can’t wrap my wits around is why chemo would ever be the first line of therapy. It just didn’t make much sense to me to poison a system that is obviously full of poison already. It obliterates the immune system, making it hard for anything else to work. There’s no fallback.” But after exploring the reasons why chemo drugs were so popular, he learned that it all came back to being a big money maker for the drug companies.
Stamp discovered, as many alternative treatment seekers do, that the solution was relatively simple. So much of what he needed to do was dependent on his diet and lifestyle. Make those hard changes fastidiously, and he had a chance to live and possibly be cured. This discovery was made after a close friend brought him a copy of One Answer to Cancer by Dr. William D. Kelley and this would be a quintessential life changer for Stamp. “How many hard-working entrepreneurs gave any thought to the basics such as healthful food, clean, uncontaminated water, and adequate sleep? It just wasn’t the norm. The plan centered on a good diet. Fresh, raw foods, the addition of organ meats, like kidney, liver, and other ones I would have never considered ingesting. I was struck by a comment he made—that we eat too much dead food. And he warned that smoking, drinking, and any use of drugs were out of the question. “Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem for me. ”
Stamp’s light bulb went off after reading that ” the American Medical Association had little interest in curing disease. It was more profitable to let people get sick on the current food supply and bad habits that generate billions of dollars in revenue helping them. ” The idea, although sickening, is the unfortunate truth and armed with this knowledge Stamp knew modern traditional medicine offered him little hope. Although, Dr. Kelley’s recommendations seemed somewhat strange, both he and Paige pledged themselves to this rigorous program including the twice daily coffee enemas! Fascinating but true, ” The coffee enema may have been first used in modern Western nations as a pain reliever. As the story goes, during World War I, nurses kept coffee pots on the stove all day long. Battle surgeons and others drank it to stay awake while working horrendously long hours. Enema bags hung around, as some patients needed help moving their bowels. Pain medications were in short supply. Doctors were forced to save the pain drugs for surgical procedures, with little or none for follow-up after surgery. When surgical patients woke up from operations without the benefit of further morphine injections, they would scream in pain and agony from the surgery. They were also constipated from the anesthesia drugs.” Rodney and Paige both prescribed to the enemas knowing that in this day and age there was plenty of garbage they could both stand to get rid of and flush out their systems.
The next step was diet. “We bought a juicer and set up a schedule to visit the organic health-food store three times a week. From that moment on, we were determined to eat only organic produce. ” Additionally, Paige insisted they use only stainless-steel pans as aluminum leaches into the food, and Teflon’s just evil. “The big chemical companies are well aware of the links to cancer, but they still manufacture the stuff. It’s crazy.” There was little good to be gained from processed foods and sugar. The strict regimen was imposed on all members of the Stamp household in support of Rodney’s quest to survive.
Stamp also conferred with an alternative treatment doctor who had other insights to share, including enzymes and an infrared sauna.
Before the enzymes arrived…I did a liver-gallbladder flush and continued with my coffee enemas every morning and evening. Pamela also recommended that we build a near-infrared sauna, as a way to detoxify faster, and recommended me to an M.D. who specialized in near-infrared sauna treatment. You can’t see near-infrared, because the wavelengths are longer than visible light. This sauna used incandescent heat lamps, which we could pick up at a normal hardware store. Rather than using high heat to sweat out the toxins, infrared heats from the inside, through the skin. I liked the idea of a cooler sauna.
Check out the Ayre Clinic for Contemporary Medicine’s promo on infrared sauna sessions!
Stamp states, “My protocol was pretty routine. I’d get up at six in the morning most days and check my urine to make sure it wasn’t too acidic. If it was, I mixed a powder that balances pH levels in a glass of water and drank it. Then I’d have a cup of tea, switching between Chinese Green Tea, Essiac, and Pau de’ Arco each week. Next came the 12 enzymes, six probiotics, and then the Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, and Chromium drops. I had various other supplements to down before I took the Metal Free drops and hopped in the sauna for thirty minutes.” Not only were enzymes important, but rest and good rest at that, at least eight hours in a cool, dark, quiet room.
Following this protocol, when Stamp visits his oncologist for testing annually, “My LDH count, a protein that indicates cancer when elevated, was decreasing drastically. For me, the best visible sign that I was getting better was watching the tumors shrink each month. I could see them expanding with the enzymes and then contracting on the off-cycle. With each cycle, they were getting smaller and smaller. We moved in at just about the one-year anniversary of that fateful doctor’s appointment, when Dr. A. told me I had cancer and would have only a few months to live, if I was lucky. ” Stamp was defying his oncologist’s predication with audacity! He continued to see his oncologist until the two year mark and began to share his success with others. Stamp set goals and attained them, but only because he adhered so closely to this rather “charlatan” routine, as his oncologist referred to it. He succeeded in not just surviving, but truly living and certainly past his initial 90 day death sentence.
We recommend reading Stamp’s tale and learning more about Rodney’s journey. His commitment and strength are an inspiration for all on their own cancer journey or supporting a loved one on their journey.
“May you understand that everyone in your shoes has at one point felt alone, scared, and powerless. But you may learn that you are not alone; you can face your fears and regain your power. That is what these hacks are – ways to put you back in the driver’s seat.” Goodman’s guide opens in the introduction with this encouraging message to readers. Goodman explores her cancer journey as it relates to her personal diagnosis in her 30s to her husband’s diagnosis more than a decade later. Goodman addresses common cancer myths and follows with her 10 cancer hacks. The book closes with guides, lists, and a 7 day cleanse description. Those battling cancer themselves or those supporting someone with a cancer diagnosis will find her enlightened introspection and knowledge an encouraging voice in a sea of doubt.
” I said no to chemotherapy and freezing my eggs. I said no to long, intensive radiation and agreed to doing a shorter regimen of localized radiation. I started therapy, yoga, and meditating. I started eating alkaline foods and juicing like crazy.” Goodman took a more alternative route and gained incredible knowledge in the process. Her husband’s battle with cancer 12 years later was met with more traditional therapy, intensive chemotherapy and radiation. His battle ended a year and half later with his passing. Goodman, even after such tribulation, states, “The greatest lesson I have ever learned is that you have to have faith in yourself, faith in your life, and faith that everything does work out.”
Goodman took what she had learned during both her own cancer battle and that of her husband’s to create 10 cancer hacks and address cancer myths. “When confusion strikes, fear sets in, and fear can lead us to cling to information, just for the simple fact that it is information.” From this confusion evolves the many myths regarding cancer that many still believe today.
Myth #1 What you put in your body doesn’t cause cancer. Here Goodman addresses an appropriate diet plan that is all about eating clean the 80/20 way. She hits on the many chemicals in our food and the destruction that is sugar. Myth #2 Cancer is a death sentence. Goodman counters that the cancer diagnosis is not what it once was and is both preventable and survivable. Myth #3 cancer is contagious. Simply stated, stop fearing you can get cancer from someone. Myth #4 One mistake can cause cancer. “Instead of heckling yourself for smoking so many cigarettes, ask yourself what you can do in your whole life to make yourself healthier.” Myth #5 Stress doesn’t cause cancer. “Our current culture is stressed and it is causing cancer to host a party in our bodies.”
Her 10 cancer hacks as follows:
- The standard American diet – “During the past few decades, we have seen a huge shift in the quality and production of what we are ingesting.” Here Goodman again addresses more closely the proper diet and what one can eat, to eat clean. Essentially, our bodies and minds cannot operate effectively and efficiently on “crap.” She delves deep into the fundamental rules for eating clean.
- An imbalanced gut – “Taking care of your gut is the most important thing you can do for your body. Your gut health directly affects your digestive system as well as your internal and external systems.” She offers way to keep that gut healthy. Pay attention to your gut!
- Water – we need to focus on what is in our water and how it is negatively affecting our health. Again, Goodman provides this guidance on how to ingest what is best.
- Parasites – yes, it is a frightening thought but many people are completely unaware of those pesky little guys that may be lurking in your body. Goodman shares some simple tricks to eliminating the likelihood of getting a parasite, but also what can be done if you have one.
- Dirty mouth – “You need to care for your body and its needs and that means the whole body and its needs.” Maintain excellent oral hygiene and say no to silver fillings. Poor oral health can be directly linked to disease.
- Toxic buildup – it is important to be continually detoxing to limit chemicals that can make a home in your organs and tissues.”
- Denial and the suppression of emotions – “Positive health comes from optimal physical and emotional and mental health.” Emotions can be directly linked to cancer so practice mindfulness and self awareness.
- Disconnection from self – “Our world is full of constant distractions. In this chaos it is easy to lose focus. We are disconnected from ourselves, which tends to be the root cause of many problems.”
- Lack of solid sleep – get enough sleep at night, go to bed at 10 pm and take a nap too!
- Build your cancer fighting environment – from finding the right doctor to finding emotional support, Goodman encourages you to build that network of support.
Each hack is a chapter full of guidance, lists, encouragement, little caveats on what you can do to be the healthiest, cancer-free you. Listen to your intuition and recognize that although a cancer diagnosis is scary, it does not mean a death sentence. You are in control of your health and your treatment.
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