Category Archives: Overview

Dr. Mark Hyman MD on Autoimmune Disease

Healthy Food Healthy YouDr. Mark Hyman, MD, is a 7 time New York Times Best Selling author and a pioneer in the world of Functional Medicine.  He has treated thousands of patients with autoimmune issues, cancer, cardiovascular issues and diabetes using the power of Functional Medicine.  In most cases, his patients are completely drug free and/or in remission using the principles outlined below.

We can HEAL from these diseases without medications and using functional medicine to treat the root causes and contributing factors.

Here are some of the contributing factors to autoimmune disease: 

  • Food Sensitivities (Gluten, Grains, Legumes, Dairy, Sugar, Processed Foods, GMO foods, Alcohol, Caffeine, Other possible allergens – Corn, Eggs, etc)
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity (Lead, Mercury) – Tuna/Swordfish biggest offenders
  • Stress
  • Parasites/Yeast/Microbes/Other infections in Colon
  • Other Toxins (Mold, Plastics, Pesticides, Chemicals, Allergens)
  • Genetics
  • Childhood (C-Section, Breast Fed?, Illnesses, Vaccinations)
  • Drugs/Medications (Antibiotics, Steroids, Antacids, NSAIDs, Anti-inflammatory, Pain Killers, etc)
  • Tick Borne Diseases/Viral Infections

Functional Medicine treats the “cause”.  Why do we have inflammation in our bodies?  We have inflammation in our bodies because of all of the contributing factors listed above.

How can we heal and repair our gut/body from all of these contributing factors/root causes? 

  • Remove all possible Trigger Foods/Elimination Diet (Remove Gluten, Grains, Dairy, Sugar, Processed foods, Other allergens)
  • Remove exposure to Toxins (Heavy Metals – Tuna/Swordfish, Pesticides, Chemicals, etc)
  • Treat parasites/yeast/ticks
  • Reduce/Limit medications (with doctor advice) – especially ALL over the counter medications.
  • Reduce Stress
  •  Add supplements/nutrients as required – Healthy organic meats/vegetables, Omega 3 fatty acids/Fish Oil, Zinc, B complex, Probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Curcumin/Tumeric, Quercetin, Glutamine, Vitamin A.
  • Exercise
  • Get plenty of sleep

Dr. Hyman believes the way Western Medicine treats autoimmune disease is criminal!

The cost to human life and suffering is enormous and there are better treatments than medications to treat these diseases.

He tells a story of a patient with Ulcerative Colitis who was on TNF blockers that cost $30,000 per year.  He helped her to change her diet and add nutrients and now she is completely off of all of her meds.

He has had multiple patients with Ulcerative Colitis who were told by their doctors that they needed to get their colons removed.   Using the power of functional medicine, his patients were able to gain weight, fix their gut and get their health and life back.  And the patients kept their colons!  😀

For more information, read Dr. Hyman’s Best Selling Book 10 Day Detox which is an excellent book for healing from any illness/disease (not just for blood sugar issues or weight loss).  Also, please visit Dr Hyman’s excellent website for more information on Functional Medicine and other testimonials.  http://drhyman.com/

Essentially all diseases (including autoimmune, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer) are caused by inflammation and have the same basic triggers and solutions for healing!

Choose Health!  Choose Healing!  We are EMPOWERED to HEAL!!  It’s YOUR choice!  Do you want to be healthy?  Do you really want IT!  Take action!  Looking forward to hearing about your success!  🙂 I’m not saying “It’s easy” but it sure isn’t easy being SICK either!  Cheers to GREAT health!

Join me on this path to health and vitality!  Can’t wait to see you on the healthy side!!!

 

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Why Bone Broth is essential for healing our gut!!

Bone BrothBone broth is an essential component to healing from Crohn’s and Colitis.

Below are some links to more information on the healing powers of bone broth.   While you are healing, you need to drink/eat a lot of homemade bone broth (from high quality grass fed bones).  I drink bone broth twice daily with 1-2 pastured egg yolks and grass fed ghee or coconut oil.

Bone Broth – One of Your Most Healing Diet Staples – Dr. Mercola

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth – Paleo Mom

Top 5 Reasons why Bone Broth is the Bomb – Underground Wellness

How to Make Bone Broth – Wellness Mama

Basic Bone Broth Tutorial

Broth is Beautiful – Sally Fallon – Weston A Price Foundation

* Please note – When vinegar is included in a bone broth recipe (used to extract minerals from the bones), make sure it’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

If you cannot make your own bone broth or you are traveling, you can purchase high quality gelatin powder.  Make sure you buy it from a grass fed quality source.  I recommend Great Lakes Gelatin.  For more information, see the link below.

Which Gelatin Powder should I purchase?

 

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Recommended Diets

Healthy 9I highly recommend each of these diets and using the information from each diet to heal your specific condition/issues. Each diet must be customized based on your food allergies/sensitivities and specific healing protocols needed based on health history, etc

GAPS Diet – Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (by Dr Natasha McBride MD – heals all digestive disorders) – Excellent information on healing our gut – As an added bonus, you will heal mental disease as well.  Your gut has a huge impact on mental health too!  🙂

SCD Diet – Specific Carbohydrate Diet (developed in the 50s to help heal digestive disorders) – Many people have shared healing stories online after starting the SCD diet.  Some people switch to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol diet if SCD does not provide complete recovery.  Many options to heal.  You will have to find your path to healing but the tools ARE available.

Paleo Diet – Paleolithic Diet or Ancestral Diet – many books based on eating what our ancestors ate to heal digestive and other disorders, increase energy, increase fertility and so much more

Paleo Diet Autoimmune Protocol – Sometimes referred to in blogs at Paleo AIP.   Many people with Crohns and Colitis have had tremendous success with this version of Paleo including me.  🙂

Body Ecology Diet – Diet written to heal candida and all digestive disorders  – heavy focus on fermented foods which are SO important to everyone’s health

Weston A Price Foundation – Diet based on studying the healthiest populations in the world in the 1920s. Excellent information.

Just commit to ONE month with one of these healing protocols.  You will be glad you did!!!!

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor.  Please consult with your doctor before making any diet and lifestyle changes or changing any medications.  I highly recommend working with functional medicine doctors that incorporate diet and lifestyle changes into their healing protocol.

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What do I need to eliminate from my diet?

Choose HealthIf you are struggling with the disease and you are serious about healing, you need to eliminate the following:

ALL Grains!!  Including wheat, barley, millet, amaranth, rice, oats, quinoa, etc.  After fully healing your gut, you may be able to introduce properly prepared and soaked oats or rice.  Grains feed the “bad” bacteria in your gut.  We need to starve the bad bacteria and feed our gut with good bacteria from fermented foods (not powders).

ALL Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners (SCD allows honey and Body Ecology allows organic stevia but I gave up ALL sugars completely) – Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut, feeds cancer, etc.

ALL Vegetable Oils (including Canola, Soy, Safflower, Corn, etc)  These are all HIGHLY inflammatory and high in Omega 6.  Instead cook with coconut oil, grass fed ghee, grass fed butter or grass fed animal fats.

Alcohol, Soda, Coffee, Caffeine, etc.  These drinks are extremely irritating to our guts and will prevent us from healing.

Dairy (I only eat homemade fermented raw full fat goat dairy – kefir or yogurt, raw dairy and grass fed butter/ghee)  I removed dairy from my diet for a year initially.  Paleo does not allow dairy.  Some diets allow only fermented dairy.  You will need to customize for your food sensitivities.  Some people cannot and should not eat dairy.  Pasteurized dairy should never be allowed unless it’s fermented.  Pasteurized dairy lacks enzymes and nutrients and damages our digestive system feeds the bad bacteria.

ALL Processed foods especially anything with artificial flavors/colors, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy, vegetable oils, etc

ALL Soy and Corn – Both are highly processed foods – especially in the US  – They are not easily digestible or nutritious for our gut and even organic product has been compromised in the food system.

ALL Legumes – Beans have anti-nutrients and galactins/lectins/phytates, etc. and are difficult for us to digest.  After fully healing your gut, you may be able to introduce properly prepared/soaked beans in moderation.

Limit fruit intake (I removed fruit completely for a few months in order to starve out the “bad” bacteria but I will likely add some low glycemic fruits back into my diet – Use your body as a guide)

For Autoimmune Disease (including Crohns and Colitis), the following should also be removed temporarily and added back in slowly and see if you have a reaction.

Nuts and Seeds – If you are going to eat nuts or seeds, you must first soak them to reduce the anti-nutrients.  I soak the nuts that I eat.  (Many people are allergic or have allergies – I gave up for a while but now I eat them moderately.  I don’t eat any nut butters or nut flours yet but some people do well on nut butters and nut flours)

Nightshade Vegetables (These vegetables are linked to inflammation – often an issue with arthritis patients but also can be linked to inflammation in general)  I don’t eat nightshades at this time but might add in later.  To be safe, you should remove while you are initially healing your gut.

Eggs – Many people have allergies to eggs – especially egg whites – If you eat them, you must buy pasture raised organic eggs – I buy the pasture raised organic eggs at Whole Foods.  The eggs are much healthier if the chickens are in the sunshine for most of the day.  I have also purchased at farmers market and Walmart.  You want to make sure the chickens are outdoors to maximize nutrients.  Cage free eggs can be from chickens in a warehouse that never see sunlight.  High omega 3 content in pasture raised organic eggs which means low inflammatory and more healing to our gut.

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What can I eat?

Healthy OptionsHere is an handy Paleo shopping list!

Here is the SCD Shopping List!

Here are the Weston A Price dietary guidelines!

Overall highlights of each diet/lifestyle discussed in this blog:

  • Drink bone broth daily – Multiple times per day in the beginning while you are healing your gut lining.  I add grass fed ghee or grass fed butter or extra virgin organic coconut oil to my broth in addition to 1-2 pastured egg yolks
  • Pastured Organic Eggs (if tolerated)
  • Take Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil daily – Omega 3s are extremely beneficial for us
  • Cook only with Coconut Oil and Animal Fats (Grass fed butter, Grass Fed ghee, grass fed animal fats or duck fat, etc)  Grain fed animal fats are highly inflammatory and will prevent healing.
  • Use Olive Oil for salads, etc (rancid at high heat)
  • Limited fruits – fruit/sugar will feed the “bad” bacteria
  • Coconut Butter (Delicious)
  • Eat lots of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, milk kefir (if tolerated), homemade yogurt (if tolerated), water kefir, kvass, etc)  Start slowly with fermented foods because you may have “die off”.  We need to populate our gut with GOOD bacteria and this is essential to healing!!!  We need to make sure we don’t feed the “bad” bacteria by eating sugars, grains, processed foods, etc.
  • Eat grass fed meats – lamb, beef, bison (including organ meats if tolerated – highly nutritious) and wild seafood – Grain fed meats and farm raised fish (often corn fed) are highly inflammatory and will prevent us from healing
  • Eat lots of organic vegetables – I mostly eat cooked vegetables
  • Nuts and Soaked seeds if tolerated (after gut has healed)

MANY blogs/websites offer meal plans for Paleo/GAPs/SCD diet.  Some will have a small fee to purchase.

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Diet DOES Matter!!

Healthy 7How can a doctor say that “Diet doesn’t matter”?  Why did I believe them?  The “standard” medical community tells us that the 3 -9 daily pills matter but the 3-5 POUNDS of food we eat everyday doesn’t matter??  I feel like such a fool!  Our food goes THROUGH our intestines EVERY day and that is where we have our disease.  OF COURSE, Food Matters!!!  Diet DOES Matter!!  That 3-5 pounds of food that we put in our bodies everyday SHOULD be our medicine.  Food is Medicine and we need to ensure that everything that goes into our mouth is nutrient rich and will HEAL us and not hurt us!  If we can HEAL our gut, we can HEAL or life!!!  As Dr Natasha McBride says, we need to Heal and Seal our Gut Lining!!  This is true for EVERYONE suffering from any chronic disease but especially important for those of us with Crohns and Colitis.  We CAN heal and seal our gut with FOOD.  We can use food as medicine!!  We can change our lives and get off of our medications!!  We have the power!!   We are empowered to change the course of our disease!!

Unfortunately, these diets are not a “quick fix” and for some people it may take a year to fully recover and slowly ease off of your medications (with the help of your doctor) but you WILL get better.  For some people, you may be healed in 6 months.   We are all unique and depending on the severity of the disease and your specific food sensitivities, your timeline will be different.   In addition, I highly recommend incorporating lifestyle changes including reducing stress, relaxation/meditation and plenty of sleep.

You must take these diet changes seriously!  You have to WANT to get well and follow these diets/protocols 100% in order to heal our sensitive gut lining.  While you are still inflamed, you cannot “cheat” or you will jeopardize your healing.  After you have fully healed your gut lining for 6+ months, you could “test” foods outside the diet for occasional treats but you will have to watch your reactions to these foods.  Since you will feel so GREAT after being on these diets, you won’t want to “cheat”.  You will be busy enjoying life and freedom and health!  You will feel empowered because you now have the tools to be healthy and stay healthy and enjoy life to the fullest!!!!

Enjoy this journey to healing and health!!!!

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“There Is No Cure”

Choose HealthWhat is a cure?  Here are some definitions I found….

  • relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition.
  • a substance or treatment that cures a disease or condition
  • restoration to health
  • a solution to a problem

Variations of diets discussed in this blog have induced remission for Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis patients for YEARS without any medications.  How exciting!  For others, the diets discussed have improved the quality of life for Crohns and Colitis patients significantly and now they are taking minimal drugs and living FULL lives! Could this be the cure we are looking for?

It’s not “easy” to follow these diets but it’s not easy dealing with all the side effects of the drugs we are taking and surgeries we must endure (sometimes multiple surgeries).  It’s not easy going to the bathroom 15 times a day.  It’s not easy finding blood in our stool.  It’s not easy getting diagnosed with other diseases caused by our drugs and disease.  It’s not easy knowing that we have to be on medication for the rest of our lives.  It’s not easy believing that we have no control and are at the mercy of the medical community to do research and develop New Drugs or More Drugs or Stronger Drugs!!!

We ARE empowered!  We have the ability to heal ourselves!!!  We can make the choice each and every day to be WELL and heal ourselves without medication!

In addition, variations of these diets can heal many diseases including autoimmune disease, many neurological conditions (anxiety, depression, autism, Alzheimer’s), heart disease, diabetes and more!!  We have the ability to heal ourselves!

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The Oiling of America – Sally Fallon

I was fortunate to be able to see Sally Fallon speak in San Diego recently.  She is a brilliant woman trying to share the message of health, whole foods and healing with the world.  She is the President and Founder of the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF).  The WAPF is a great resource to help explain why we don’t need to worry about our cholesterol numbers but we need to focus on everything we put in our mouth and make sure it’s full of nutrition.  Emphasis on grass fed meats, wild caught fish, organ meats, raw milk (if tolerated), grass fed butter (if tolerated – buy Kerry Gold), vegetables, fish oils, fermented foods and more.  You can download the slide presentations for free here.

I also recommend Dr Weston A Price’s book  Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

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I don’t eat meat for religious reasons!

I have studied numerous diets and healing protocols and animal products* are extremely healing for our guts – especially bone broth/gelatin.  Animal products are extremely nutritious and healing!

I cannot provide too much advice in this area but Dr Terry Wahls healed from progressive Multiple Sclerosis with a Paleo Type diet and she has a meat free option in her book.  The Wahls Protocol    I highly recommend this option for vegetarians and I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to heal from any autoimmune disease including Crohns and Colitis.

*I do want to highlight that all meats should be 100% grass fed, wild caught fish or organic poultry.  This is important.  Grain fed meats are HIGH inflammatory and unhealthy for anyone with a chronic disease.

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What about cholesterol?

Cholesterol is our friend.

Click here to read why…..

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