Caruso Clinic

SOUTH GUELPH, ONTARIO  |  519-827-9237  |  1-866-249-5755

Natural News You & Your Family Can Trust.

Subscribe now and receive 3 free books! 

The Caruso Homeopathy Blog

What Do Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, Diabetes and Depression have in Common?

foto pumpkin.jpg

     Heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes and depression are four of the top ten health concerns that Canadians have. These diseases are on the rise in our female population, especially heart disease, diabetes and depression. All of these diseases have a commonalities. They can all be linked to certain nutritional or lifestyle factors and inflammation. We all have a genetic or hereditary component that may predispose us to certain diseases, but like a ship with sails, one can change the direction of disease's expression negatively or positively with lifestyle and dietary intervention.

     Scientists have known for centuries that genotype is related to genes and considered the hereditary component of disease. Phenotype is related to gene expression based on environmental influences. Phenotype controls whether that gene will be expressed or not. Some drug companies have lead us to believe that there is little we can do but take prescription drugs. As one may be aware of by watching American drug commercials, once you take one drug, you need another one to counter the many side effects they cause. One should weigh the pros and cons of any medication. Be aware that living a prudent and preventative lifestyle may reduce one's need for medication in the first place. Diet and lifestyle is key for good health and can actually reduce one's risk disease whether hereditary or not.    

     Let us take a look at how and why our modern society is creating a good environment for diabetes, depression, heart disease and breast cancer to flourish:

     Activity levels have dropped considerably due to modern conveniences. In years gone by people grew their own vegetables, housework and lawn maintenance were more physically taxing. Recent studies show that only 15% of Canadians get 150 minutes of exercise per week, that is a measly 20 minutes per day. Yet when surveyed 50% of Canadians actually said they were moderately active which is three hours of exercise classes per week. Exercise has been found to benefit depression, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.

     Studies have shown that exercise is actually equivalent to taking anti-depressants in those suffering from depression. Studies found exercise was as effective as a SSRI or the anti-depressant drug  zoloft. Another study in 2005 found just 35 minutes of brisk walking had a significant impact on mood in mild and moderate depression. If you read the side effects caused by anti depressants, it is worthwhile considering joining an aerobics class, running or cycling a few days a week instead. Some of the side effects include dry mouth, nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, insomnia and constipation. Is it normal for a human being with two legs to sit all day? You see caged animals at the zoo become depressed when they are not exercised enough and have environmental stimulation.

     In women with breast cancer studies have shown that the mortality rate dropped a whopping 35% in those who were physically active. According to the Susan Komen foundation, women who exercise are leaner with less body fat, have lower estrogen levels, better immune systems and in turn less hormonal breast cancer incidence.

     Exercise actually lowers blood sugar levels which is a benefit to both breast cancer sufferers (because it can be linked to diabetes) and to diabetics. We all know that cardiovascular disease is helped by doing aerobic activity to strengthen the heart. Add in weight bearing activities a few times a week help to prevent osteoporosis and increase muscle mass as well. As one can see, making a choice to be accountable and active provides us with multiple benefits into old age.

     Obesity rates have risen in Canada. 18% of Canadian women are obese and have a body mass index of greater than 30. Almost half of all Canadians fall into the overweight and obese category. More men than women seem to fall into this category, however, Canadian women weigh more with each decade that passes. Breast cancer, depression, heart disease and diabetes are all linked to being overweight. Putting on weight in the form of fat, especially around the midsection, is linked to certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes. In the clinic we don't use the BMI (body mass index) as a marker for health and weight, because it doesn't take into account the weight of someone's body frame and muscles. We use a body impedance analysis to check one's body fat percentage and their hip to waist ratio. We use this information to address people's unique metabolism and how we can best help them to achieve a healthy body composition.

Audio_GIF.gif

     Stress levels have been linked to all four diseases. High cortisol from stress is linked to an increase in belly fat, poor sleep and carbohydrate cravings. Lower levels of cortisol may signify a condition called adrenal fatigue. Flatter levels of cortisol measured throughout the day seem to have an impact on breast cancer survival rates. The lower the cortisol levels the poorer the survival rates. Alternatively too high a level of the stress hormone, cortisol, is also be linked to heart attacks and stroke. Studies have shown those with the highest levels of cortisol are five times more likely to die of a heart attack. Diabetes too can be influenced by cortisol because cortisol's main function is to thwart the effect of insulin, which means it renders the cells insulin resistant. The body remains in a general insulin-resistant state when cortisol levels are chronically elevated. Over time, the pancreas struggles to keep up with the high demand for insulin, glucose levels in the blood remain high, the cells cannot get the sugar they need, and the cycle continues. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can impact those with depression and anxiety. It is wise to seek help or modify your lifestyle using meditation, yoga, tai chi or exercise to reduce stress levels. If you still have trouble with stress, contact the clinic for a supplement that may address your unique needs. Have a look at our online questionnaire for stress.

     Nutrition is a huge topic and largely individual. In our clinic we screen people for nutritional deficiencies and address them through diet or supplementation. Some common deficiencies found in all four of these diseases are as follows:

     Omega 3 fatty acids are low due to unique biochemical needs or lack of dietary intake. Dietary sources of omega 3s are salmon, arctic char, trout, calamari, flaxseed and mackerel. Often times supplementation is required because people don't eat fish as often due to scarcity, cost and contamination from heavy metals in our water supply. Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid, that every cell in the body requires. They help to form the fat layer that protect each cell and helps them communicate. Those who are on very low fat diets may actually fall prey to infectious diseases and cancer. EPA is a component of fish oil that is both anti-inflammatory and beneficial for the heart. DHA is another component of omega 3s that is good brain food and help those with depression. Those with diabetes may be low in omega 3s because they tend to have more inflammation due to blood sugar fluctuations.

     A high glycemic diet, which is a diet that is high in foods that flip into a sugar quickly in the bloodstream, are linked to all four diseases. Diabetics are recommended to reduce their sugar and carbohydrate intake to keep their blood sugar stable. High glycemic diets tend to increase belly fat, weight and in turn the risk of diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and depression. Depression symptoms may be triggered by blood sugar instability. If a person eats a lot of high glycemic foods such as white bread, rice, flour and sugar, their blood sugar rises higher than if one ate a lower glycemic food like a lean protein (eggs, fish, chicken, turkey) or a healthy fat (nuts, avocado, olive or coconut oil). What comes up must come down. Often high glycemic foods cause the blood sugar to rise and then drop farther than normal. Since our brain requires a steady supply of glucose, we can become irritable, moody, depressed or fatigued when our blood sugar is up and down.(Keep in mind you don't need to eat sugar to keep your glucose stores in your brain high. Your liver makes glycogen from regular food you eat.)

     A high intake of oxidized plant oils, hydrogenated and/or trans fat can be detrimental. One may cook with them or be eating them inadvertently in packaged goods. Trans fats (and alcohol consumption) actually deplete the brain of DHA which is found in omega 3 and helpful for those with depression, ADHD and other neurological conditions. Unhealthy fats are actually pro-inflammatory which can impact those with diabetes and heart disease negatively. Inflammation causes pain as well as damage to blood vessels, nerves, eyes, heart and joints. Trans fats have been linked to cancer, especially colon cancer in women with high estrogen levels. One may assume this research may apply to any hormonal cancer such as ovarian, uterine or breast. For a list of healthy cooking oils, see eating rules.

     Society has got into the convenience of fast packaged foods and all in one shakes. Some shakes are healthy but most of them are no more than astronaut food. Many people do not eat enough sources of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh local produce has the most amount of nutrients because they don't lose nutrients in shipping. They contain many beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants for good health. Studies showed that each serving of fruits and vegetables one ate per day, improved one's chance of not getting heart disease by a whopping four percent. Your Mom called, get eating your veg now!

     A study of older adults with lower intakes of mother nature's bounty had lower levels of antioxidants from their food intake and a higher incidence of depression. Studies found that women with a higher body mass index who ate more green leafy and dark yellow vegetables had a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. Those women who were leaner with a higher vegetable intake had less incidence of diabetes as well. Those women who were overweight did not benefit from starchy vegetable intake at all (such as white potato or corn). Another study found that green leafy veggies alone were best to prevent diabetes. Studies also found that premenopausal breast cancer risk was significantly less in those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables. Another study that looked at a number of sources of data found an inverse relationship between a high intake of cruciferous vegetable consumption, (cruciferous vegetables are cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens and arugula) and breast cancer. So the more of these types of veggies you eat, the less incidence of breast cancer.

     What do all these factors have in common? Low levels of plant foods, unhealthy fats, stress, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been thought to trigger cardiovascular damage, brain inflammation in depression, wild inflammatory cells in breast cancer and uncontrolled sugar causes inflammation in diabetes that may lead to further complications such as heart disease, cancer and neuropathy. Our body works like an orchestra, with each cord we play a different result may ensue. This is why we need to reign in environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle so we and our family can live healthy into our golden years. There are so many unique aspects to health for the individual, thus it is a good idea to be screened to determine your unique barriers to health.

Healthy Turmeric Tea Recipe

Turmeric_tea.jpg

     An interesting drink commonly consumed in India or in Southern Island cultures, called golden milk, has many health benefits. Its main ingredient is turmeric which contains many beneficial phytochemicals that provides health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and has antioxidant properties. When combined with black pepper, turmeric is more readily absorbed and is more potent. Additional advantages to turmeric consumption are:

  • antiseptic, analgesic, antioxidant
  • immune boosting
  • healthy cholesterol
  • anticancer
  • improves digestive health
  • helps with weight management
  • support liver detoxification
  • aids in cardiovascular health, reduces blood pressure and triglycerides
  • helps with a healthier brain and memory
  • helps with nerve conditions and pain

     The following recipe is from www.healthyfoodteam.com. Step 1, make a turmeric paste:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 c filtered water

Preparation:

Place in a small pot and put on medium heat, stir continuously until your mix becomes thick. Allow mix to cool, place in a small jar in fridge.

Step 2, Golden Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 c of almond, coconut or regular milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp or more of turmeric paste
  • Honey as needed

Combine all ingredients in pot, except honey, to warm it up. Warm up your drink and remove from heat and add honey. Drink up.

     Do you feel fatigue, low energy, sadness, irritability especially in the fall and winter? Do you crave the sunshine? You may be among the 15% of all Canadians who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Now is the time to be proactive and help yourself naturally. Some quick tips of what you can do:
1. Exercise daily, for at least a half an hour. It is even better if it is outdoors because sun exposure increases your vitamin D3 stores. Exercise releases endorphins that improve mood.
2. Eat a healthy diet, lots of vegetables, fruits, lean protein (for amino acids and neurotransmitters), healthy fats (fish oil, nuts, avocado, coconut oil are good brain food) and whole grains in moderation (contain added b vitamins and folic acid).
3. Get quiet and listen to your heart. Clear the mind chatter by focusing on what is really important, what you are grateful for and how you can make positive changes in your life.
4. Choose positive activities that fill you up, spend time with positive friends, do an activity you like such as art, dance, meditation, yoga or tai chi.
5. Consider seeking personalized one on one natural health care. It will help remove barriers to good health such as addressing nutrient deficiencies, supporting hormone balance and improving organ function.
Book an appointment in November and receive 25% off the cost of an initial consultation. Book today online, https://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking

Are You Too Sweet For Your Own Good?

Why Diabesity Is On the Rise

     According to statistics, 2.8 million Canadians or 6.8 percent of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes and they estimate that another 10 percent of the population has not yet been diagnosed. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing year after year. Listed here are some signs that you may be suffering with diabetes:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or Gain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent and recurrent infections
  • Slow wound healing
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight deposition around the waist
  • Bed wetting (children)
  • Fatty liver

        To diagnose diabetes go to your family doctor for a fasting blood sugar test. If you have a family tendency towards diabetes and have some of the symptoms of diabetes you may be at risk. Diabetes and insulin resistance may leave one at risk for other diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, neuropathy, stroke, dementia, impotence, psoriasis, thyroid disorders, arthritis and certain types of cancer. Certain conditions may predispose one to diabetes such as fatty liver or an inherited predisposition.

     Also prescription drug use can cause diabetes such as cortisone, statin drugs, nicotinic acid, protease inhibitors, immunosuppressive drugs, anti psychotic medication, thiazide diuretics and beta blockers.

5 Steps to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes 

1. Become educated about nutrition. Prepackaged foods that are low in sugar, fat or labelled diet are usually high carbohydrate, full of chemicals to keep them fresh. Aim to eat foods that are in their whole food form. Eliminate sweets, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Read labels and look at the sugar content in products. 7 grams of sugar is one teaspoon. Choose whole real foods like lean protein (chicken or fish), veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.

2. Go to your family doctor and get tested, do a fasting blood sugar and Ha1c test.

3. Get moving. Exercise actually helps reduce blood sugar and has many other benefits. Aim to exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day. Choose brisk walking or cardiovascular exercises to improve the strength of the heart. 

4. Relax and manage stress. Those who tend to rate their stress and anxiety levels higher than average tend to have more incidence of diabetes. An interesting program called "Killer Stress" found that those with stress did in fact suffer with more diabetes, heart disease and shortened telomeres which influence longevity. If you are stressed try taking the DASS scale to find out whether you need to take further action to support yourself or not.

5. Become aware of what supplements are helpful for diabetes. The good thing about supplements is that they do not carry the many side effects that drugs do. Of course you don't want to stop your prescription drugs without speaking to your doctor, but supplements may help reduce your need for medications or eliminate them all together. Supplements are an integral part of treating diabesity. Certain nutrients that help with diabetes are a molecularly distilled fish oil, a good quality multi vitamin, chromium, alpha lipoic acid and cinnamon for example.

 

     There are many factors related to the individualized needs that people have. Consider being assessed for nutrient deficiencies. One on one personalized care always favours the most positive outcome because two people have different biochemical requirements. For more information on what we do, contact our clinic.

mpj043871800001.jpg

Low Fat: 3 grams of less per serving.

No Sugar: Less than .5 grams of sugar and less than 5 calories per serving.

Low Calorie: Less than 40 calories per serving.

All Natural: this is a buzzword that is not regulated so don't fall for it.

Healthy Choice: Don't fall for these words either. There is no regulation on what a healthy choice is.

Gluten Free: These words are not yet regulated in Canada. Although most people who are celiac would hope that the statement is true on the label.

Certified Organic: means that the product has 95 percent or higher organic content. If a product is made by a company called "Organic Life" it doesn't guarantee it is organic. The product must say certified organic on it. Organic foods are grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It helps protect our water systems from contamination and our bodies have less of a toxic burden. Organic also means that the food is not a clone or genetically modified.

High Fibre: 4 grams of fibre or more per serving.

Low Sodium: Less than 140 mgs per serving.

No Sodium: Less than 5 mgs per serving.

    In my profession we are taught to treat each client as a unique individual. This means that every person that seeks our one on one care, has their health concerns addressed differently based on one's unique needs and symptom picture. Thus two people that eat the exact same diet with the same diagnosis may in fact receive different recommendations based on their unique biochemistry and symptomology. These differences may be due to their digestion and absorption, genetic predisposition for nutritional requirements and their constitution.

     Most people at one time or another have had a bad experience with spoiled food, medication or some type of infection that has upset their digestion. In the clinic many people mention that their digestive health problem started after the following events such as:

·        A trip South to be infected with traveller's diarrhea, otherwise known as giardia

·        Food poisoning

·        Antibiotic induced diarrhea

·        A C. Difficile infection

     With natural health care, one's unique needs are taken into account despite similar causes. Here is an example of an anonymous case to highlight this approach. A woman, aged 72, named "Sal Monella", got food poisoning from eating out four months ago. She had made several trips to her family doctor to discuss her ongoing diarrhea and severe weight loss. She had taken immodium, antibiotics, probiotics and zelnorm based on her physician's recommendations, yet she was still having diarrhea. She had tried different remedies she heard of from a various health food store clerks, magazines, books, Dr. Oz or commercials. However, none of the remedies were tailor suited to her unique needs.  

     She complained of having 8 plus bowel movements per day and she felt like she was starving despite eating all the time. She was a tidy, clean person and hated that she had painless, watery and urgent diarrhea. She reported feeling anxiety, restlessness, poor sleep and chills. She needed to be wrapped up warmly and liked the summer months. She also reported that on occasion she got a burning sensation in her tongue. Red meat sat very heavy in her stomach. She was very anxious about health, watched and read about health issues. She was a tidy, fastidious person with great self control.

     The interesting point about homeopathy is that it addresses one's unique symptoms. By looking at the symptoms it takes into account who the individual expresses their illness. When looking at one's case, homeopaths research the individual's symptoms and try and find a remedy that encompasses most of the client's symptoms that need to be treated. By matching the remedy to these symptoms, it helps to stimulate a cure because the body recognizes the symptoms the remedy carries as abnormal and it swiftly works to right iftself removing both the symptoms from the remedy and the person's disease. Below is a sample of Sal Monella's case researched using a homeopathic program showing her unique symptoms and below that the list of remedies that come up matching these symptoms.

Repertory chart_1.jpg

     Sal was first tested for zinc deficiency and showed positive for being low in zinc. She was also assessed using live cell testing to address any nutritional issues showing up. (This test is useful for discovering hidden nutritional deficiencies, such as essential fatty acids, B12, folic acid and iron. It can help to detect digestive insufficiencies such as poor fat and protein digestion and an imbalance in good flora. It provides useful markers for inflammation, the acid and alkaline balance in the body and oxidative damage to cells. It also provides key information about the types of immune system cells one has and whether these cells are active enough for a healthy immune system.) Sal's live cell testing showed that she had rouleau, fat particles and fungal markers in her blood. (What this means is that she may not digest proteins and fats as well as she should, maybe dehydrated and her bacterial flora in her gut is likely imbalanced.)

sample_case_blood.gif

     With this personalized information,  Sal was recommended to take the following remedies to help address her situation:

1. Probiotics that contained Sacchromyces boulardi, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria to help balance imbalanced flora and replenish good bacteria after taking antibiotics.

2. Digestive enzymes that contain lipase for fat digestion as well as some  HCL, to help with her poor digestion of meat and to help with her tongue symptoms since that can be a symptom of low stomach acid.

3. Ars. Alb. 30CH, for diarrhea and food poisoning as per her symptom picture of being anxious, emaciated, having diarrhea and fastidiousness.

4. Grapefruit seed extract to help kill off any bad fungal or bacterial forms.

5. Zinc bisglycinate, 20mgs daily to help offset her deficiency and to help heal up the lining of her gut from inflammation due to diarrhea.

      When Sol returned to consult after four weeks she was happy that she had reduced her bathroom visits to once a day but her stools were a little loose. Her weight remained the same. We recommended she avoid sugars, such as sweets, cookies, pastries, dried fruits and dairy products since they are high in the milk sugar called lactose. We asked her to be strict in avoiding sugar until her bowel movements return to normal. She continued on her supplement regime.

     After the eight week mark she found her bowel movements were down to only once per day and were well formed. She was happy that she gained 5 pounds over the course of two months. After she was well, she remained on a digestive enzyme to help her absorb nutrients.

     One can see with this particular case, how individualized care can aid in healing. Some clients have a longer or shorter road to good health. It can depend on the illness, their age, their compliance, medications they take and surgeries they have had. The beauty of natural health care is that it can address one's health concerns and goals without the need for a label, disease name or diagnosis. Side effects from these treatments are rare as opposed to the vast number from traditional prescription drugs. That being said, it is important to seek professional care if you are taking any other medications when using natural supplements.

For more information on how we can help you, book a free get acquainted chat today.

Exercise helps to counter the affects of stress. We are made to move and many of us are glued to our desk chairs or our couches. A new study in "Psychoneuroendocrinology" researched the effects of fitness and aging on the HPA axis. They compared three groups, a young unfit group (age 25-30), older unfit (age 64-67) and an older fit (64-68) by exposing them to a battery of stress producing events. Cortisol levels did rise in all three groups, the older unfit group had the most significant increase. Therefore a higher level of aerobic fitness in the older groups may modify neuroendocrine changes we suffer from as we age. Not only that, exercise is a nice stress reliever when one can take time for themselves, enjoy a nature walk or a nice swim. Gentle exercises such as Tai Chi and yoga has been found to increase feelings of relaxation as well.

Meditation and relaxation have been shown effective in reducing stress levels and improving mental clarity in those who practice it daily. Another article in the journal "Psychoneuroendocrinology" found that those who practice meditation have lower than average cortisol levels than those who do not.

A healthy diet is a must for good health. Eating low glycemic foods, such as whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables and choosing lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and fish can help keep us healthy. Limit the use of sugar, alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea. Drink licorice tea because it is nourishing to the adrenal glands. Being obese or overweight can impact our stress hormones too because enlarged fat cells release a hormone cascade that talks to our glands. Not only does high cortisol cause weight gain but being overweight can alter our hormonal expression as well. All the more reason to be proactive and maintain a healthy weight.

Supplements can help with stress. Please check with your doctor of health care practitioner if you suffer from any underlying condition or are taking prescription medications. Many people take hormone and mood altering drugs but it may not be necessary and can be harmful due to their long term side effects. If you are healthy and do not take any other medications you may want to look at the following remedies:

*Vitamin C: 500 to 1000mgs per day, helps maintain a healthy immune system and decrease cortisol.
*Vitamin B Complex: B vitamins such as B5 are supportive of adrenal function, B6 is good for the immune system and hormones and B12 is useful for the nervous system and helps us to make digestive enzymes.
*Fish oil: is an excellent brain food, good for mood, depression and also beneficial for preventing heart disease and reducing pain from inflammation.
*Magnesium glycinate: a good form of magnesium that helps with relaxation for a better sleep and nervous system.
*Phosphatidylserine: is a supplement that is made from healthy fats, that are similar to the fats that line the cells in our brain. It has been shown to blunt cortisol levels in stressful situations and is also good for those with trouble focusing and concentrating.
*Ashwagandha: a herb called indian ginseng has amazing adaptogenic powers by reducing stress levels and according to the Life Extension Foundation has been found to have some anti-cancer activity.
*Rhodiola is a herb that is useful for stress and helps to improve exercise endurance.

 

If you would like a personalized approach to help your deal with stress, contact us for a free get acquainted chat for more information.

Many people suffer from headaches ranging from daily to seasonal, dull to throbbing and nauseous. People can become used to medicating their pain and in turn suffer from side effects such as stomach ulcers, more headaches, nausea, foggy brain, sleepy, fatigue, constipation and the list goes on. There is not one cause for all headaches or migraines, so there is not one treatment for chronic headaches. People are unique and their individuality should be considered. The best approach is to find the cause of the headaches and remove it. Some of the most common reasons that people are more predisposed to suffer are:

  • Stress and emotional upset
  • Lack of sleep, shiftwork
  • Neck and shoulder tension, whiplash injuries, repetitive strain, overuse of joints
  • Low blood sugar, skipping meals
  • Eye strain
  • Grinding the teeth at night and TMJ
  • Overexertion or overheating
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Drinking too much caffeine (tea, coffee, cola)

     Some less common reasons that people suffer with chronic headaches:

  • Food sensitivities such as: wheat, citrus, sugar, msg, soy, nuts, dairy products, food dye, nitrates
  • Hormonal imbalances: such as a drop in estrogen prior to menstruating, low progesterone, high cortisol
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of bile flow, liver congested
  • Chronic sinus infections or congestion
  • Overuse of pain medications and other medications
  • Taking in high histamine foods and/or histamine intolerance (nuts, dried fruits, smoked meat, shellfish, chocolate, red wine)
  • Not drinking enough water. Be aware of this especially when exercising or in hot weather
  • Weather and altitude changes (Flying, change of weather, storms approaching etc)
  • Chemical sensitivities (perfumes, candles, pesticides, hair dyes, laundry detergent or air fresheners)
  • Constipation
  • Yeast, fungus or parasitic infections

     Support yourself by identifying your trigger and applying a fix to it. For example, if you get a headache when you miss a meal, eat regularly and avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar to keep your blood sugar stable. Adding in a healthy fat or protein helps too. If chemicals trigger headaches, avoid them as best you can. Use natural beauty or cleaning products or avoid environments that bother you. Candida overgrowth can also increase one's sensitivity to chemicals.  

     As one can see by the long list of triggers, the causes of headaches are individualized so a unique approach to headaches is useful. Here is a sample case to help highlight a unique approach to chronic headache.

     Mrs. Migraine had headaches almost every day on waking. She had quite a lot of stress at work and put a lot of pressure on herself to do well. She finds her neck and shoulders stiff sitting all day at work. She suffered with digestive problems, such as loose stool which ranged from soft to liquid. She said they do not wipe away well. She had gained quite a lot of weight over the past two years. She had been taking sleeping pills and high blood pressure medication. 

    Mrs. Migraine was tested nutritionally using a symptomology questionnaire for nutrient deficiencies and with live cell testing, a blood test for nutritional markers using a darkfield microscope. Through testing we discovered the following:

  1. She had symptoms of adrenal stress (irritability, fatigue, excessive neck and shoulder tension)
  2. She digested fats and proteins poorly (rouleau)
  3. She had symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, PMS and cortisol imbalance
  4. She showed symptoms of having a markers that her flora where not balanced

     She was recommended to take rhodiola for stress and remove lactic acid from her muscles. To support her digestion, we recommended she take Liv Complex to help her liver and gallbladder produce more bile for fat digestion. Hormones are metabolized by the liver, with her PMS and stress, her liver was working overtime processing hormones. Also when people have mushy stools that do not wipe away, look at the bile flow and fat digestion. Lastly she was recommended to take a probiotic for healthy flora and cut sugar out of her diet.

     After her follow-up in one month, she had not had any headaches. Not all cases respond quickly to treatment, since the goal of natural remedies is to correct imbalances not just to suppress pain like traditional headache drugs do. If one can correct the underlying cause and imbalances, often headaches become a seldom to never occurance. However, this quick case highlighted the clinic's natural individualized approach.

     Many people seek out remedies from their health food store. These remedies often suppress the symptoms of a headache, but don't address the cause. The exception is magnesium, if one is deficient headaches may go away when this deficiency is corrected. Some of the most typical remedies for chronic headaches are:

  1. Magnesium (found in spinach, nuts, black beans, avocado, soya bean)
  2. Butterbur (herb grown in Europe, works as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic and antispasmodic)
  3. Willow bark (herb that works as a natural alternative to aspirin)
  4. Feverfew (flowering herb that is used for migraines)
  5. Passionflower (great relaxing anti-anxiety herb, that also helps with sleep)
  6. Valerian (similar to passionflower, helps with sleep and stress)

     If you suffer from chronic headaches, consider having one on one natural care to help determine what is right for your unique needs. Book a free get acquainted chat today, click here.

     Many people develop issues with urinary leakage. It can be quite severe in some cases and just a mild nuisance in others. The causes of urinary incontinence can be related to a number of conditions such as:

  • pelvic floor weakness, due to shifts in weight or pregnancy
  • prolapsed rectum, bladder or uterus
  • constipation
  • parasites
  • food allergies or excesses, which are typically alcohol, sugar, citrus fruits, chili peppers, chocolate, aspartame
  • medications such as diuretics, sedatives and muscle relaxants
  • supplements like vitamin B6, vitamin C and herbs that are diuretics like dandelion and nettle for example
  • diabetic complication called neurogenic bladder
  • urinary tract infections
  • enlarged prostate

      Some people with pelvic floor weakness do kegel exercises or see a physiotherapist with good results. If there is a prolapse often people will go for surgery or physiotherapy and urinary incontinence diminishes. Homeopathic remedies are very helpful for urinary leakage when the right remedies are found. Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of a leaky bladder may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicines help the person suffering from their unique symptoms not just the name of the disease. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for this condition but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Baryta Carb is suited to elderly men who may suffer from prostate enlargement. They may have dribbling and frequent urination. They pass a lot of urine at night. They may be worse from emotions, cold air and dampness.

Causticum is a useful remedy for stress incontinence. They have involuntary urination on coughing, sneezing, blowing the nose and so on. They may lose their urine during the first part of their sleep. Urine may dribble or pass slowly. In general these types feel better on a rainy day, and from cold drinks. They are worse with clear, cold and dry air.

Conium is a useful remedy for urinary troubles linked to an enlarged prostate gland. These types have difficulty beginning to urinate. Their urine flow may be interrupted, stopping and starting and better when standing. It helps in particular in old men with an enlarged prostate and dribbling urine. These types feel worse from alcohol and being celibate.

Equisetum is a great remedy for urinary frequency in the elderly, especially women. They may wake frequently to urinate. Kidneys may be weak and sensitive from the use of diuretics. They have frequent urination and pain in the right kidney and may have pain at the end of urination.

Kreosotum types must hurry when they have a desire to urinate. There is a sensation of pressing down on the bladder. They have to hurry or they will have an accident. They may have involuntary urination on lying down or coughing. Their urine is offensive, dark and they may have violent itching of the vulvar area when urinating.

Pulsatilla types have urging to urinate. They may have a spasmodic pain after urination. They may lose their urine when coughing, passing gas or at night. They may feel worse when angry and have bedwetting. This remedy is suited to young girls who feel worse in a warm room, eating fatty foods and around menstrual periods. They are better with gentle motion, cool and open air.

Sepia types have problems with urination due to prolapse. They feel the need to cross their legs to prevent a protrusion of the bladder or uterus. The bladder feels weak, and they may lose their urine when they sneeze, cough, laugh or have a startling fright.

Squilla have great urging to urinate. Much watery urine that is involuntary when coughing. They have frequent calls to urinate at night and pass large quantities of urine.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

     In my years of practice, I have treated many people with urinary incontinence. It amazes me that even in some severe cases in time, they get improvements. It is best to seek the help of a qualified homeopath rather than self prescribing. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjunction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.

Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to www.carusohomeopathy.com

            The Medicinal Properties of Cats Claw

 

     The South American herb, called Cat’s claw, otherwise known as Unicaria tomentosa or Una de gato comes from the Peruvian Amazon. It is a tropical creeping vine that grows upwards, to 100 feet. It actually comes from the same family of plant as coffee. This South American herb has been used for over 2000 years, as an anti-inflammatory and/or immune booster.

      Cat’s claw show promise for arthritis due to its sterol and chemical compounds that resemble steroids. In 2001, the journal called, “Inflammation Research” published a double blind study that found that cat’s claw helps with osteoarthritis of the knee, by significantly reducing pain with activity. They found the herb well tolerated and safe. Other scientists published research in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2002, that 60 mgs of Cat’s claw helped rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by reducing the number of painful joints, by 53.2% as compared to the placebo group which was 34.1%.

      This herb has good results in bowel disorders by helping to detox the intestinal tract and replenishing friendly bacteria. It appears that cat’s claw can help treat the fungus candida albicans, parasites, the stomach bacteria h. pylori and improve beneficial flora like acidophilus and bifidobacteria in the gut. It helps to heal the lining of the digestive tract, including stomach ulcers and intestinal tract.

      Some Austrian researchers have confirmed that Cat’s claw supports cancer patients by increasing their immune system. It seems to help boost the immune system so that people can take a full course of chemotherapy with regards to breast cancer, hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It is supportive of chemotherapy and radiation because it helps to remove toxins. One study published in, J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Jan 30;211:285-294, found that Cat’s claw helped delay the growth of squamous cell cancer growths. Another study published in, Genet Mol Res. 2017 Sep 27;16(3), found that cat’s claw when administered alongside a chemotherapeutic drug called cyclophosphamide, it significantly reduced its damage to the cells in the body. It appears that this herb can help with chemotherapy without hindering its affects.

      Cat’s claw is adaptive to the immune system, if there are too little white blood cells, macrophages, it stimulates them and if too many it reduces them. This herb also helps with stimulating the immune system that may be depressed in lyme disease. It helps the body with sinusitis, colds and flu, and as well H pylori. Stomach ulcers. A journal published research, Braz Oral Res. 2016;30(1):e61. doi: 10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2016.vol30.0061., that cat’s claw may also help with tooth infections. Some researchers has said it may show promise in HIV and AIDS as well.

      Not much information is given on Cat’s Claw’s use during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid if you have had or plan to have an organ donation, if you suffer from tuberculosis, hemophilia, autoimmune disease or multiple sclerosis. As well check with your pharmacist for contraindications if you take any prescription drugs.

Natural Remedies for An Enlarged Prostate

     Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. When males hit puberty their prostate doubles in size and continues to enlarge as time goes by. According to the Urology Care Foundation (www.urologycare.org), BPH is common in the aging population and about half of all men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH and 90% of men over age 80 do. If the prostate enlarges considerably, it will put pressure on the urethra, restricting urine flow and causing urine retention in the bladder. As time goes on BPH can weaken the bladder and kidney due to urine retention. BPH does not necessarily lead to cancer and it may be present with a modest PSA reading (prostate specific antigen). The PSA is a measurement of a protein that the prostate produces. The higher the number the more concern there is for cancer however, a high PSA may be related to BPH, a prostate or bladder infection.

     BPH can be related to normal aging, however an early enlargement of the prostate can be linked to a number of things such as mineral deficiencies, hormone imbalances, poor diet, stress and celibacy. In the clinic nutritional deficiencies and dietary factors are a common cause of BPH. Emphasis on a healthy whole food diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and moderate amounts of whole grains, legumes and lean proteins is recommended. Keeping blood sugar stable helps health in general and benefits BPH symptoms. Other lifestyle factors such as a healthy, normal waistline and physical activity are promoted. One mineral in particular, zinc, is very important and used in every cell in the body. It is one of the most common deficiencies in both men and women. Other lifestyle factors that influence BPH negatively are high stress and unhappiness. Often grief, loss of a partner or an unhappy married life can influence health negatively. Another risk factor for BPH is infrequent prostatic fluid emissions. Just like women’s flow or perspiration, it releases toxins. The proverbial, use it or lose it saying applies here. Another negative influence on BPH can be toxic mineral exposure, for example, lead from smoking (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096659/) or other toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, copper and mercury. In BPH cases we often support other organs such as the liver, intestines, lymph, kidneys and bladder. This indirectly supports the prostate by reducing toxins by increasing organ elimination and function, In these cases gentle homeopathic drainage remedies are used depending on the case.

     Mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. Please consult your pharmacist for contraindications. Here are just a few common mother tinctures.

     Urtica Urens mother tincture helps promote urine flow and eases swelling from water retention. It is also useful in allergies, gout and hives.

     Sabal Serrata is a low growing herb in coastal regions. Years ago herbalist Andrew Chevallier named Sabal the “plant catheter”. The herb or plant is much better to use than the berries. It helps with drawing pains due to BPH and urine back up. This herb also helps to detoxify testosterone, which helps BPH.

     Chimaphila Umbellica mother tincture is helpful when there is a sensation of a ball in the perineum, with urine retention. These types may also have diabetic tendencies. They have acute swelling and inflammation of the prostate.

     Pareria Brava is a remedy made from a vine that helps with the sensation of an enlarged bladder with pains. They may feel a constant urging to pass urine and they have to strain which is quite painful. These types may have to get into an odd kneeling position to make flow come.

     Solidago is made from Goldenrod and is used when the prostate affects the kidneys. They may develop pain that runs down the legs. Urination may be difficult and there may be water retention.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of BPH may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. In my clinic I find the best responses are with homeopathic medicines, not with herbs, drugs or vitamins. There are many remedies for symptoms of BPH but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Baryta Carb is a remedy that is useful for BPH in the elderly. These types tend to have a poor memory, dribbling long after urination and diminished sexual capacity.  

Conium is a great remedy for those with an enlarged and hardened prostate. They have a heavy feeling there. These types may develop BPH after a loss of their significant other.

Thuja is a remedy for an enlarged and inflamed prostate. It can happen after a suppressed STD. They may have a forked stream of urine due to dried mucous in the urethra.      

   As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. BPH does take time to heal, it is not a quick fix and professional homeopathic help is recommended. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

The Little Known Mineral Vanadium, Named for the Goddess Freyja, has many Health Properties

    Vanadium the mineral was discovered in 1801, by Andres Manual Del Rio. The element is named after 'Vanadis', the old Norse name for the Scandinavian goddess Freyja. Vanadium is used in metal manufacturing and it was found to be an essential mineral to humans, in 1971, in very small quantities, thus it is a trace mineral.
     It is said that a deficiency in vanadium can be related to an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Vanadium is used in the body for growth and fat metabolism. A deficiency in this mineral can be related to an increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Thus it may prove useful in cases of high cholesterol to use chromium and vanadium as a supplement. Vanadium has an impact on the cells that convert fat into co-enzyme A. Co-enzyme A is a helper molecule that activates certain molecules in cells, such as those in the krebs cycle that produce energy, ATP, within the cell. It helps with fatty acid synthesis, and every cell has a fat membrane that is required for communication with other cells and to prevent breaking down. ATP is an important, energy-rich compound that gives fuel and energy for the synthesis of protein and DNA deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic code needed for cell replication in the body. So it is important in cell growth and repair.
     Vanadium plays a role in the function of the cells of the thyroid and blood sugar. Vanadium is often used in diabetics because it exerts an insulin like effects, that lowers blood sugar. In 200, the journal  called “Metabolism” published a study, involving 16 diabetes patients. After six weeks of treatment with vanadyl sulfate, some patients showed improvements in glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels. However, the small preliminary study did not find that it regulated glucose levels well alone. 
     This trace mineral is used for weight loss. Vanadium may have a positive influence on the blood vessels and liver by blocking cholesterol from being deposited there. This means it may help with fatty liver and atherosclerosis.  Vanadium is useful for healthy bone formation especially in the teeth and the skeleton.  It is also useful for anemia and water retention.
     A  2002 edition of  Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology published that laboratory studies on human cells demonstrate that vanadium may help promote programmed cell death involved in stopping the spread of cancer cells. There is some evidence that vanadium may help suppress the growth of cancerous tumors, according to the report. Another possible benefit of taking vanadium supplements is protecting against colon cancer, but this claim is based only on animal studies, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. According to an article in the journal, Metal Ions in Life Sciences, Feb 5 2018  They write that “some vanadium compounds can combat common markers of cancer, which include metabolic processes that are important to initiating and developing the phenotypes of cancer.” More research is needed on the effects of vanadium in cancer.
     There is not a lot of research on the symptoms of vanadium deficiency however, researchers speculate that they may be high cholesterol, triglycerides, fatty liver, heart disease, faulty blood sugar, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking or a diet low in vanadium may cause a deficiency. Vanadium is a micronutrient found naturally in mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill, grain and grain products. Supplementation of vanadium should be done as a trace mineral and if possible after showing a deficiency, through a hair mineral analysis. If supplementing with vanadium use a trace mineral form, not a high dose, because vanadium is not excreted and can be toxic in high doses.

The Medicinal Properties of Cumin Seeds

 

By Heather Caruso, BSc, Hom, ROHP

     The spice cumin has a peppery citrus type of flavor and is often used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Mexican dishes. Cumin belongs to the Umbelliferae plant family and is native to Egypt. It has a place as both a culinary and medicinal herb. It is mentioned in the bible as a treasure for seasoning and to tithe to local priests which reminds me of my farming patients who have brought me chickens for services rendered. In ancient times, Egyptian pharaohs were mummified with cumin.

     Cumin contains vitamin A, C, E, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and minerals like iron, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is a source of protein and amino acids, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and contains a good amount of fatty acids.

     The health benefits of cumin are many. One great thing cumin does is it is thought to increase the secretion of pancreatic enzymes which help digestion and absorption of nutrients. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814608002483) It is also thought to help with constipation due to its fiber content, reduce gas and bloating. By aiding in constipation it is useful to prevent hemorrhoids. It helps bile flow from the liver (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210012/) and has been shown to help with IBS symptoms in a study of 57 people after two short weeks. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24829694)

     Cumin is thought to have anti cancer properties due to its great number of beneficial compounds such as phenols, flavonoids, terpenes and alkaloids. Some of these compounds reduce oxidative damage to cells protecting one from free radical damage. In one study cumin was shown to prevent lab animals from developing stomach or liver tumors. It has potent free radical scavenging abilities and activates the livers detoxification enzymes.

     Cumin has been thought to help with weight gain and diabetic complications. One study found that a group of 78 participants taking a placebo, cumin or orlistat (a weight loss drug) had the same amount of weight loss in the herb group as they did using orlistat, without side effects. The cumin group had a beneficial affect on insulin production. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25766448) Several studies find that cumin aids in blood sugar control, weight loss and digestion.

     This herb has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. A compound found in cumin called megalomycin acts as an antibiotic. In one animal study cumin also helped break opiod addictive patterns in rats. It is also thought to be of benefit in asthma and lung infections because it clears mucous from the respiratory tract and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

     There are no safety concerns with the use of cumin. To bring out the fragrance and flavor of cumin, roast the seeds in the over, on a tray at 300 degrees or in a skillet for a few minutes on low heat. Then grind or add them whole to dishes. Some people make a cumin tea, by boiling 2 teaspoons of seeds in 2 cups of water and allowing them to steep for 10 minutes. Cumin would be best used for its aromatic flavors in Middle Eastern or Mexican dishes

Natural Remedies for the Symptoms of Osteoporosis

     Osteoporosis is a condition where the density of the bone decreases and the risk of bone fracture increases. Typical locations are the vertebrae and hips. It is considered to be a disease that affects our aging population and occurs more often in women than in men. The causes of osteoporosis may be a poor diet, an acidic body terrain, drug treatments (steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diuretics and antacids), a genetic predisposition, excessive alcohol intake, inactivity and a thin body frame.

     Being a thin body frame is usually a hereditary issue and taking care of one self nutritionally will help provide the best outcome. Daily exercise of daily brisk walking with some resistance or weight training a few times per week will prove helpful to build bone. Medications may be discussed with one’s doctor should they cause of osteoporosis. Ideally a doctor will provide medication alternatives or work alongside a natural health professional to reduce a medication and introduce a non-toxic alternative.

      Medical doctors typically recommend drug treatments for osteoporosis such as Actonel or Fosamax. These types of medications prevent the natural cycle of breaking down bones. Our body builds up and breaks down bone in cycles, similar to our hair growth. Many doctors recommend patients take one popular, inexpensive brand of calcium carbonate. This type of calcium is not well absorbed and may put one at risk for the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. More highly absorbable forms of calcium are calcium hydroxyapatite and then calcium citrate. Calcium should be given in a ratio of two parts calcium to one part magnesium to help with absorption. As well some bone formulas also contain strontium, vitamin K2, vitamin D, manganese and boron to increase bone density.

     As people age, they do not make as many digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Both are required to absorb nutrients and minerals that may help keep bones healthy. Malabsorption puts people at risk for osteoporosis and other nutritional deficiencies such as anemia and low vitamin B12 levels. Supplementation with a digestive enzyme, with or without hydrochloric acid, may be beneficial. It is important to not take hydrochloric acid if someone is not low in it, because it can cause burning and discomfort. Other digestive issues such as food allergies are linked to osteoporosis. Food allergies and sensitivities like celiac disease, gluten and lactose intolerance cause problems with poor absorption and digestion. Celiac disease actually damages the  microvilli in the intestinal wall, where nutrients are typically absorbed.

     Diet plays a huge role in health in general and bone density is no different. Interestingly according to the book, “Nutritional Medicine” by Alan R. Gaby M.D., an interesting study found that rats who were fed a high sugar diet developed osteoporosis. An observational study of men and women found that those who ate the largest amounts of candy had the lowest bone density. Sugar may lead to bone loss because it is devoid of nutrition and it increases urinary calcium excretion. This also is linked to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Those with kidney stones have lower bone density than the general public. Lastly large quantities of sugar increase blood cortisol levels, a hormone known to cause bone loss.    

     Some drinks linked to osteoporosis are colas, tea, coffee and caffeine. Caffeine in general increases the excretion of calcium and magnesium through the urine. Thus calcium supplementation may be protective for bones against a high caffeine intake. A low dietary protein intake increases ones risk of osteoporosis. Lacto Ovo vegetarians have the same risk of osteoporosis as omnivores do[i], however, vegans have a higher risk of low bone density but it is unclear whether it is due to a lack of calcium or other minerals.[ii]

     Another factor that may lead to bone loss is heavy metal toxicity. Some studies have shown that high levels of aluminum and lead are linked to osteoporosis. These toxic minerals are in our environment and some people retain them more than they should. Exposure can also happen in smokers, those working in an industrial environment and those with a compromised liver.

      Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is often misunderstood by the general public and medical community. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed by matching a person’s individual symptoms to a remedy that has those same symptoms when taken in a crude dose. Homeopathy in Latin means “like cures like”. Homeopathic remedies are typically made from plant, animal or mineral matter like red onion, bee venom or carbonate of lime for example. The remedies are prepared in a manner that makes them diluted and a nanoparticle medicine. Thus any potency over a 6CH has no side effects. When the right remedy is matched to a person’s unique symptom picture, it stimulates one’s natural healing mechanism to recognize abnormal symptoms and proceed to heal them. If a homeopathic remedy is not matched well, it will have no action at all. Homeopathy is safe for babies, adults, seniors and even pets.

     The beauty of homeopathy is that the right remedy can stimulate a person to heal deeply. In chronic disease, healing will require different homeopathic remedies as a person goes through various stages of healing. In an acute disease, like a sore throat or ear ache, often times one homeopathic remedy will suit the entire case.

     Herein a few common homeopathic remedies are highlighted to show how homeopathy is suited to a person’s unique symptom picture rather than a disease name:

Calcarea Carb types tend to be heavy set people. They are chilly and like the warmth. They tend to have cold and clammy feet. They are easily out of breath, feel weak and jaded from overwork. They tend to easily strain their muscles and joints. They have osteoporosis and tend to gall and kidney stones.

Calc Phos is suited to a type similar to calcarea carb but these types are usually lean. They love smoked meats like bacon. They tend to have osteoporosis, spinal curvatures and poor union of fractures. These types may also suffer from arthritis and rheumatism where drafts cause pain. Cold aggravates. They feel better in warm weather, hot summer day and worse in cold and damp weather.

Phosphorus is a remedy suited to thin tall people. It can be linked to osteoporosis of the spine, upper jaw and bones in general. They may feel weak in their joints and tend to easy sprains on exertion. They are like a human barometer, sensitive to changes in the atmosphere, thunderstorms and lightning. They are susceptible to external impressions such as lights, sounds, touch, odors and so on. They tend to crave ice, cold drinks and food.

Silicea is a remedy that is suited to people who may tend to easy exhaustion and poor absorption. They tend to have diseases of the bones and cartilage such as decay, necrosis and softening of the bones. They may also suffer from bunion growths. This is a remedy that helps with spinal injuries and parts that are laid on tend to go to sleep. Silicea types are cold people, they feel worse in the winter and worse for drafts. Suffer from curvature of the spine, kyphosis (hunch back) and decay of the vertebrae. The bones in the spine are greatly affected, pain in the vertebrae, coccyx and lumbar region. They may have a stiff neck with headaches.

     Homeopathic remedies can be purchased at your local health food store, the typical potency is a 6X or 30CH. The dosing depends on the case however, most often a remedy for osteoporosis may be administered at least a few times a week, under the tongue and in between meals.

     Osteoporosis is a multi-factorial disease that needs individualized attention. The path to healing is not always a straight line and in chronic disease usually more than one remedy and modality is needed. People can benefit from a variety of approaches such as screening for nutritional deficiencies, addressing drug side effects, improving diet and applying the correct homeopathic remedy.

     Heather Caruso is a best selling author, registered homeopath and orthomolecular health practitioner. She has been in private practice for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. www.carusohomeopathy.com

 

[i] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/37/3/453/4690736?sid=9d6d6d9f-e3b8-4621-bfb9-b038eb6eebee

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16942519

Top 10 Keys to Cultivate Happiness

       I recently had a conversion with a good friend who works in the mental health field. We spoke about personalities and how some people seem cheerful even when life hands them the proverbial lemons. This wise woman said it may be part of a person’s nature and personality to react in a good, negative or balanced way but every person is responsible to cultivate their own happiness. Cultivate, means in gardening to grow or in general to develop or acquire a skill, for happiness.

     This concept of “cultivating happiness” really resonated because most busy people get into a groove of just existing, going through mundane tasks day after day and forgetting the things that bring joy into the routine. Herein are some easy tips starting from simple mind techniques, looking at lifestyle and ending in correcting unique nutritional imbalances. In a great majority of cases, a simple mind shift, healthy habits, like getting enough sleep and eating whole foods are enough. When it is not enough, correcting any unique nutritional needs is paramount to every person’s health and feelings of well being.

      Here are the top 10 ways to cultivate happiness:

  1. Wake each day and find something to be grateful for. Even being grateful for small things is a start. It sets the day up for appreciation. Count these proverbial blessings no matter how small.
  2. Don’t take things too seriously. Make a mistake? Have a flaw pointed out? Use it for a learning experience or accept that we are all human. Earth school is about, learning and growing.
  3. Keep friends who are supportive and have others best interest at heart. Limit experience with negativity and dream stealers. Finding a group of friends whom one admires, finds comfort in and is uplifted by their company is key. It is hard to fly with the eagles whilst scratching with the turkeys.
  4. Have pursuits or hobbies that are fulfilling. Not everyone has a dream job, but everyone can fill themselves with joy and love. View or make art, listen to or compose music, dance, sight see, volunteer to help others, garden, pet cats or dogs, be active in church. Healthy and fulfilling pursuits takes one away the mundane, stimulates the mind and gives one a break. If one is lucky, their hobbies will also increase positive social interactions with other worthwhile people.
  5. Become physically active even in little ways. Human beings are not to be sedentary. Taking a simple brisk walk increases pain relief and feel good hormones called endorphins. It improves lymphatic drainage, heart health and mood. Any activity is worthwhile, biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, aerobics, cleaning, gardening, yoga, tai chi etc. The choice is yours and exercise is cumulative, it doesn’t have to be done all at once, even in 10 minute increments, three times a day over the day counts. Start where you are at.
  6. Aim to get a good night’s sleep. Set a sleep schedule. Sleep in a dark room. Don’t take caffeine after morning and don’t eat too late. Don’t watch upsetting or stimulating news or television right before bed. Exert enough energy during the day, to tire you for evening. These things all influence sleep. If one needs further support try remedies like calcium and/or magnesium, passionflower, valerian, holy basil, skullcap or melatonin for a good nights sleep. Many sleepy time teas contain these herbs.
  7. Accept where one is now. If there are goals, getting a better job, going through relationship changes, recovering from an injury, starting on healthy eating journey, quitting smoking, recovering from alcoholism, or whatever, know that Rome was not built in a day. Celebrate small victories and know that every seed planted makes a difference and one will bloom in time.
  8. Take only whole foods and a balanced diet. When one’s diet focuses mainly on fast, sugary or prepackaged foods, both the body and mind acquire very little nutrition. It gains empty filling calories. It can also cause cravings due to their addictive nature. Fast and prepackaged foods hinder good health, a positive mood and focus. Some types of fats such as trans fats and oxidized fats, create inflammation and may actually block the receptor for healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids which are good for brain, nerves and mood. Alcohol actually depletes the body of happy nutrients, such as magnesium, chromium, b vitamins, folic acid and omega 3 fatty acids. Thus over doing it with booze can definitely make someone’s mood worse. Instead, eat a diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, legumes, fish and little meat. Don’t drink calories, take water and eat three squares. Food contains phytonutrients and biochemical messages that can carry both positive and negative messages for every cell in our body. It is amazing how a person’s mood can be altered by diet. For some it is easier to change their religion than their diet. Take steps daily to improve and simply do your best and forget the rest.
  9. Everyone has a unique biochemistry. At the Caruso Clinic, each person’s unique nutritional needs are met and determined with testing. If certain nutrients are lacking, a regime may be prescribed to best support optimal health. We don’t recommend taking standard vitamins from the drug store, most of them are poorly absorbed and unnecessary. Taking unnecessary vitamins, minerals or herbs is hard on a person’s body and their liver. In fact often people will have high liver enzymes when they take a lot of supplements they don’t need. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, if the liver is unwell, people tend to feel more irritable and angry. However when people support their organs, body and mind, by replacing missing nutrients they will feel right within themselves and happier.
  10. Lastly, if the above steps to cultivate happiness is not enough, there is deep grief, depression or any other imbalance, consider a constitutional remedy. This is a remedy that is suited to one’s unique set of symptoms, emotional, mental or physical. It doesn’t change ones nature of the situation but it can improve one’s well being and make one feel more grounded within themselves.

If you would like more information on how we can help increase a positive mood by improving diet, having an individualized nutritional protocol and/or a constitutional remedy, please contact us for more info. www.carusohomeopathy.com

It seems as though every time we turn around we hear about another thing that causes cancer. We may feel like we need to live in a bubble to prevent ourselves from future suffering. However, we do have more of an impact than we know when it comes to helping ourselves stay healthy. We may have a family history of cancer and think our genes will be our downfall, however we can prevent the expression of these genes if we do the right things with diet. Thus we can change our expression of our genotype (cancer genes) by eating well to prevent their expression (phenotype).

     Our diet plays a role in how our genes are expressed. Certain methods of cooking can increase carcinogens. For example, grilling meats on the barbecue can increase hetrocyclic amines (HCA) a chemical reaction to charring meats on high heat and an open flame. The worst five as reported by the "Cancer Project" to grill are chicken breast, steak, salmon, hamburger and pork. A high meat intake has been linked to colon and breast cancer.

     Studies have shown that alcohol consumption has a cumulative effect on the incidence of breast cancer in women. It has also been linked to stomach, colon, rectum, liver and ovarian cancer. There is a moderate increase in breast cancer in those who drink 3 to 6 alcoholic drinks per week. Women's body's do not metabolize alcohol the same way men's do. Alcohol seems to increase our estrogen levels which may lead to hormone related cancers. Men on the other hand, who have three drinks per week, especially red wine, tend to live longer. (I know ladies totally not fair!)

     Eating a diet high in meat, saturated and trans fats and low in fibre increase the incidences of breast, colon, lung, prostate and rectal cancers. According to research diet plays a role in at least 30 percent of all types cancers. This means that we do have some control in what we eat and improving our health and longevity.

Eating for Cancer Prevention

     What we can gather from the information above avoiding/limiting alcohol, saturated fats, grilled meats and low fibre diets helps in the prevention of cancer. In the July newsletter we highlighted which foods are beneficial for breast cancer prevention, view this newsletter now. Also eating a diet low on the glycemic index helps to prevent obesity, diabetes and also breast, prostate and colon cancer. The glycemic index refers to how quickly something turns into a sugar in the blood. Low glycemic means the food turns into a sugar less quickly than a high glycemic one. This keeps blood sugar stable. Amazingly researchers have found that the diabetic drug, metformin may actually prevent cancer. Keeping blood sugar stable prevents aging of the cells that may cause mutation such as in cancer development or other degenerative diseases. 

     Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the best insurance for health. Choose 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. They are rich in polyphenols and other cancer preventing compounds. Choose a wide variety of colours of the rainbow to ensure your nutritional needs are met because each colour and vegetable or fruit contains various compounds that are beneficial for health. Choose to eat lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, game meats, legumes and soya (unless you have an estrogen positive type of cancer). Eat whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, rye and oats. Choose healthy fats such as olive, safflower or grapeseed oil, unprocessed coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds. Choose dairy products such as low-fat yogurt to get beneficial bacteria that helps your intestinal tract and immune system.

     On another note, research into food stuffs that prevent cancer has been quite fruitful (pardon the pun!).  Below is a list of a few great foods that will improve your health:

  • Brazil nuts contain the most selenium of all nuts. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that has been toted as an anti-cancer mineral.
  • Tomatoes cooked contain lycopene which may help prevent prostate disease.
  • Brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower and brocolli sprouts contain compounds called sulphurophane, lutein, zeaxanthin and indol 3 carbinol that has been found beneficial in colon, rectal, breast, prostate and skin cancers.
  • Flaxseed contains lignans that studies have been found to be beneficial in cases of prostate, breast and colon cancer.
  • Green tea has many benefits. The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, states that green tea's polyphenols that are abundant in green tea, red wine and olive oil, may protect against various types of cancer. Dry green tea leaves contain  40% polyphenols by weight, may reduce the risk of the stomach, lung, colon, rectum, liver and pancreas cancer according to study findings.

     There are many other healthy foods as well as supplements that can improve your health and well-being. Cancer affects so many people in our society, I truly believe it is our focus on pre-packaged foods, our environment as well as the individual's ability to filter toxins to stay healthy. If you have a health concern please contact the clinic for an assessment at 519-827-9237.

This information is not meant to diagnose or treat diseases. Please seek the help of a qualified health practitioner if you have a serious health concern.

     A study of approximately 447,000 people found an association with the lowest carbohydrate intake and an increased mortality (death) rate. The study showed that the lowest carb diets had a 31% mortality rate compared to those with the highest carb diets. Noting that in the NHANES study they found that the highest carb diets were are much more risk for mortality compared to those with a moderate carbohydrate intake (which was considered at approx 50%). Moderate carb intake is more in line with a dietary plan similar to the zone of south beach diet, where as very low carb, is more in line with ketogenic diet. The number of carbs per day in ketogenic diet can vary as well from person to person.

     However, it appears the media is lumping all diets that ask for moderation of our carbohydrate and starch intake as "low carb". This is where people become confused about diet, the media skews studies and the public doesn't have easy access to read the original research. This type of reporting by the media makes one wonder if the way the media reports the news is funded by the folks who make diabetic or cholesterol medication. When one opens the link below, from MedScapeToday, it had a picture of white pasta, white bread and buns, making one wonder if that particular article was attempting to suggest that eating plenty of refined flour products was associated with longevity.

     In short, what we suggest at the clinic we take away from this news is that for the long haul, don't stay extremely low carb for a long time period of time since it is associated with early death. Be mindful that the highest carb diets are also linked to an increased mortality rate and incidence of disease such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Moderate carbohydrate intake is best, between 40 to 55% of one's daily food intake. IT is what they have said for years about moderation, sticking with whole foods, moderate whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy fats such as olive oil, fish, legumes and plenty of healthy non starchy veggies and fruits which are good for health and longevity. Please note each person has individualized needs for certain nutrients and not one diet suits all.  https://www.medpagetoday.com/primarycare/dietnutrition/74608

     Heartburn is defined as stomach acid extending up to the esophagus creating burning and discomfort. It is a very prevalent condition, so much so that antacid medication ranks as one of the highest prescribed drugs right next to cholesterol and hypertension medication. There are a variety of symptoms and causes of acid reflux and heartburn according to medical sites. Each person is different. In the clinic, we see at least a quarter of all of our patients have some type of digestive disorder. It is important to have a proper medical check up by an MD to determine what the cause of the heartburn is and what the proper course of action should be.

     At the clinic, we believe our body provides us with clues when something is wrong. Joint pains, headaches, fatigue and heartburn are clues that something is off. It is our body’s way of notifying us that something is not right and we should not pay attention. One television commercial for a heartburn medication, shows a man living in an apartment. He is receiving deliveries from a pizza shop, Chinese food and chicken wings. He is rejoicing with music that he can now eat all of this food without consequence due his choice of taking a medication. Should this kind of behavior continue the next body clue this person may develop is a heart attack or diabetes. Not everyone develops heartburn from over doing junk food, but many do. The causes of heartburn may vary. Here are some well documented causes:

  1. Consuming certain food triggers, such as caffeine (tea, coffee), chocolate, spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, citrus fruits and tomatoes, sugar, alcohol, onions and peppers.
  2. An imbalanced diet that focuses more on acidic types of foods, like meat, grains and nuts instead of more alkaline forming foods like fruits and vegetables.
  3. Consuming foods that a person is sensitive or allergic to, such as gluten, dairy products, citrus, eggs, soya or shellfish for example.
  4. Eating high histamine foods, such as dried fruits, cured meats, smoked meats, nuts and so on.
  5. Having an overgrowth of bad bacteria or dysbiosis such as parasites, helicobacter pylori, klebsiella and/or candida albicans.
  6. A lack of beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus.
  7. Ongoing stress causes immunoglobulin IgA to decrease. Secretory immunoglobulin IgA helps maintain the lining of our gut and mucous membranes thus when it decreases one can develop more pain and burning quite easily.
  8. Pregnancy can cause heartburn due to carrying a child. The extra mass creates less space for the stomach and it pushes up the stomach contents. Thus pregnant women often develop heartburn and belching as the baby grows.
  9. A large waistline or beer belly creates the same pressure as in pregnancy.
  10. Use of certain medications such as anxiety medication, antibiotics, antidepressants, blood pressure pills, nitroglycerin and pain relievers such as aspirin, cortisone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can cause heartburn. Be sure to check with the doctor should any medication be a trigger for heartburn.
  11. Damage to the esophagus, due to medications or infections.
  12. Low stomach acid or a lack of pancreatic enzymes can actually cause fermentation of food in the stomach and upper intestinal tract, leading to bloating and acidity.

      As one can see, not everyone has the same triggers for heartburn. They also are a variety of individualized symptoms for example:

  1. The feeling of a lump or pressure sensation behind their sternum
  2. Sour risings that come up to the throat
  3. Belching after eating
  4. A dry irritating cough that tends to be worse after meals
  5. Burning in the lower stomach
  6. Nausea and vomiting after eating
  7. Easy gagging
  8. A sensation that food gets lodged in the throat
  9. Bitter taste in the mouth
  10. Sour or burning risings from the stomach contents when bending over

     In the Caruso Clinic, we tailor suit treatments to the individual and assess to determine if there is any underlying cause and then remove that trigger. This requires a bit of investigation through testing. We use a mix of dietary recommendations, nutritional supplements, herbs and homeopathy depending on one’s individual needs.

     Certain supplements and herbs are also quite useful for helping to reduce symptoms of acidity such as licorice, digestive enzymes, diamine oxidase, embelica, aloe soccotrina, robinia, slippery elm, glutamine, mastic gum, zinc carnosine and ginger.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of heartburn may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of heartburn but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Colubrina is suited to sedentary workaholic types who over indulge in food, alcohol or caffeine. They tend to be constipated, irritable and have stomach pains a few hours after eating.

Lycopodium types tend to be full of wind. They are bloated and flatulent. They also may tend to be constipated and aggravated by beans, cauliflower and other flatulent foods. They may need to unbutton their pants due to bloating. They tend to have reflux that sits in their throat.

Natrum Phos is a tissue salt that is a general remedy beneficial for stomach acid symptoms. It helps with side effects from certain medications such as pain killers and other prescription drugs that trigger heartburn.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath, nutritionist and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds. In my years of practice, I have treated many people with digestive problems. Often times improving the diet helps considerably. Should that not work, supporting a person with homeopathy and supplements is key. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjunction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome.

Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to

Reishi Mushroom has a lot of health benefits. It has been known to improve energy levels and reduce stress. It also supports the liver and improves immunity. Researchers have found that reishi actually improves age related oxidative damage. This may be a key to healthy aging.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf204748a

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1382668911001359

For more information on healthy living, book a free get acquainted chat. www.carusohomeopathy.com