Monthly Archives: June 2013

Case Study: Eliminating a 20-Year Cough

I recently promised to share more case studies so you could gain a better grasp of what I do on a daily basis and the types of cases I handle. Please note I have permission to share this information, will never use the person’s real name and may change minor details of the case to protect the client’s identity.

This case study is about “Eleanor,” a woman in her 50’s who came to see me because she wanted to lose weight and was trying to reverse Type 2 Picture of a daisy with a heart centerDiabetes. She was on Metformin, a nasal inhaler, two different allergy medications, asthma medication, high blood pressure medicine, a statin drug, Levothyroxine and Nexium. During her initial consultation, she casually mentioned she had constant post nasal drip with a cough and had to clear her throat constantly. She said this had begun over 20 years ago and nothing had worked to eliminate it. She had grown so used to this she didn’t even consider it a problem. I thought it was a significant issue we needed to address. Eleanor also shared she was exhausted and was often too tired to participate in social activities she was invited to attend.

As I reviewed Eleanor’s medical history and eating habits, I noticed she ate a large amount of carbohydrates and had bread or crackers with every meal and snack. The fact she was eating so much wheat made me suspect she had developed an allergy to it. A further review of her physical symptoms and a check of her allergy point with the EDS unit confirmed this. “EDS” stands for “Electro Dermal Scan” unit. It is a unit I use to check nerve centers associated with body systems and health conditions. Eleanor’s allergy point scored extremely high, meaning there was a large probability she had one or more allergies. Using a piece of bread, I was able to identify that wheat was a likely culprit.

I made the following recommendations:

  • I recommended that Eleanor eliminate wheat for three weeks. I encouraged her to keep a diary during those three weeks to record any changes she experienced physically, mentally or emotionally.
  • I recommended a revised eating plan known to help reverse insulin resistance.
  • I encouraged her to engage in some form of movement ten minutes each day.
  • I recommended three supplements known to help insulin resistance, thyroid function and systemic inflammation

At Eleanor’s next visit, she burst into my office grinning from ear-to-ear. She was visibly more energetic, happier and her skin looked better. When I asked her to share what changes she had seen, she said her cough and need to clear her throat had completely disappeared. After 20 years, she was finally able to sit through a movie without embarrassment, sleep soundly and leave home without tissues. She went on to say her energy levels had improved and she had lost ten pounds. Not bad!

After six months, Eleanor had lost 30 pounds, was off the Metformin, the statin drug, all allergy medications, the inhaler, Nexium, the asthma medication, and her blood pressure medication. In addition, she was on a lower dose of her thyroid medication, Levothyroxine. She had gone from taking nine daily prescription medications to only taking one. She said she no longer turns down social invitations, got a raise at work because her productivity improved dramatically, and she was training to run a mini-marathon. She thanked me profusely, but she gets all the credit. She recognized she needed to make changes and she committed to making them. I am so proud of her!

Currently, I meet with Eleanor via telephone about once a year. She is truly a different woman from the one who first walked into my office. Stories of transformation and progress such as hers are why I do what I do. How can I help you? Please contact me if you would like to schedule a consultation.

Common Uses for Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver has been used for centuries in a wide variety of ways. If you are unfamiliar with Colloidal Silver, please read Colloidal Silver: Valuable Tool or Snake Oil for more information about the myths surrounding Colloidal Silver. This article shares the most common uses for Colloidal Silver. There are many other uses, but the most common ones are described here with information on the safest way to use colloidal silver for each application.

Please note all information shared in this article is shared for educational purposes only. No information in this article is intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Please discuss any changes in your lifestyle or health regimen with your physician. Never take any supplement without discussing it with your physician first.

The most common uses for colloidal silver include:

Water Purification

if you have any doubts about the purity of water, colloidal silver can be used to purify it and remove bacteria. Use at a ration of one tablespoon colloidal silver to one gallon of water. If you are trying to purify water from an outdoor source, filter the water first. Proof of its effectiveness is that NASA used a silver purification system on the space shuttles and many airlines use silver filtration combined with hydrogen peroxide to purify the water on their planes.

Oral Care

Soak your tooth brushes between uses to ensure they are free from bacteria, viruses and fungus. I have a dental partial which I also soak in colloidal silver a few times a week. As an added benefit, add a bit of colloidal silver to your oral irrigator to help control oral bacterial. I make my own toothpaste and mouthwash and always add colloidal silver.

Nasal Irrigation and Sprays

Colloidal silver can be used in a neti pot as a nasal wash. Many people have reported success in reversing colds and sinus infections using colloidal silver, but please do not substitute colloidal silver for an antibiotic if your doctor has identified a severe sinus infection. Colloidal silver can also be used as a nasal spray to help diminish symptoms of allergies.

Household Cleaning

Colloidal silver is known to be antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. For that reason, it makes an effective household cleaner. Keep a spray bottle filled with it and use as a topical disinfectant on counter tops, as an anti-fungal spray in the bathroom, or as a means of preventing bacterial growth on kitchen sponges and dishrags. It is also a very effective cleaner for trash cans and diaper pails. If you make your own household cleaners, adding a few ounces of colloidal silver can boost their effectiveness.

Conjunctivitis

In my household, we have always used colloidal silver at the first sign of an eye infection or conjunctivitis. I place 3-5 drops of 10 ppm colloidal silver in the affected eye every two hours until the issue clears. However, I watch the condition of the eye closely and immediately seek medical attention if the condition does not improve within two to three hours. Please do not substitute colloidal silver for a physician’s care. Any issue affecting the eyes should be immediately addressed by a medical professional.

Skin Care

Colloidal silver is popularly used for mild abrasions, burns, fungal infections and even acne and eczema. One advantage of colloidal silver is that it does not harm skin cells as many topical antiseptics do. (Please never use hydrogen peroxide on a wound or sore. It kills new cell growth and may slow healing.) Many people find that spraying colloidal silver onto minor burns and abrasions speeds healing and helps prevent infection. (The key word there is “minor.” Serious wounds and burns require medical attention.) 

Internally

I purposely left this topic for last. Most of the controversy surrounding colloidal silver revolves around its use internally. Every person has his or her own opinion about whether or not colloidal silver is “safe” to use internally. The bottom line is that hundreds of thousands of people use it internally on a daily basis. These people experience health benefits with no negative consequences from the colloidal silver. If you’re comfortable using colloidal silver internally, then do so in a controlled manner and do plenty of research. If you are not comfortable using it, never let anyone talk you into doing something that isn’t right for you. Each person must decide what is right for him or her. I believe colloidal silver can be very effective and used without danger if:

  • A true colloidal silver is used. Be sure your colloidal silver is a colloid and not a protein synthesis. Most of the products sold over the counter are ionic, not colloidal. Ionic silver solutions are clear; colloidal silver solutions are brown or rust colored, not clear. Ionic solutions are safe to use, but are not as strong as a true colloid.  Beware of any product that foams when shaken and has bubbles that remain for several minutes, as that product is most likely a protein synthesis which may be dangerous.
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  • A realistic, safe dosage is used. Dr. Mercola recommends the following formula to determine the appropriate amount of colloidal silver to take on a daily basis:
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    12 times body weight divided by the colloidal silver strength (ppm) = drops that can be safely ingested on a daily basis
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    If someone weighs 150 pounds and is using a colloidal silver at a strength of 10 ppm, the equation becomes:
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    150 lbs x 12 = 1800 / 10 ppm = 180 drops per day. (One tablespoon is approximately 180 drops.)Having shared that,
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    I can also share that many people take much higher doses during an illness. Please contact a trained professional for guidance on what dosage is correct for your personal needs.
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  • Colloidal silver should never be used by anyone who has an allergy to silver jewelry.
  • Use caution when reading about people who claim colloidal silver miraculously cured them of incurable diseases. I’m not saying their claims are not true, but each person’s situation is very different. Use caution and do extensive research.

I use colloidal silver on a daily basis. Since starting to use it daily, I have experienced fewer bladder infections, lower yeast levels, improved digestion and slightly lower blood glucose levels. My experience was very positive, but each person must monitor his or her health and make changes as needed.

We make our own colloidal silver using this generator: LifeForce Compact X-2 Colloidal Silver Generator. Please note it is imperative to use distilled water and extremely pure silver if making your own colloidal silver. We also use a TDS Meter to measure the potency of our colloidal silver so we know exactly what we’re using.

If you don’t want to make your own colloidal silver, I highly recommend Sovereign Silver colloidal silver. It is sold in most health food stores and is highly reliable.

What do you think? Do you use colloidal silver? If so, what do you use it for and how do you use it?

The Truth About Agave

Agave has become a subject that elicits much passion among the health conscious. Who would have thought a simple little agave2cactus could elicit so much emotion? I’m a firm believer that common sense and moderation are always best. Having said that, here are my thoughts on Agave:

  • Agave syrup is NOT low glycemic. I once sat in a meeting with an agave salesman who claimed agave is so “low glycemic” diabetics can drink gallons of it without having it affect their glucose levels. He didn’t get the sale, and I had to politely yet firmly intervene and explain that agave is a SYRUP that is extremely high glycemic and raises blood sugars rapidly. Some studies found it has a higher glycemic rating than high fructose corn syrup and that agave has more fructose than any other sweetening agent, including HFCS. The bottom line is that it raises glucose levels very rapidly and can elevate them to a very high level. Agave is loaded with sugar. Don’t be fooled. This means it is not a good option for anyone trying to lose weight, control blood sugars or control Candida overgrowth.
  • Agave is not an ancient sweetener. The agave cactus was traditionally used to make tequila. Using it to make agave syrup as a sweetener has only been popular for about 20 years. It is a new product and therefore hasn’t been on the market long enough for its health effects to be studied in detail. In addition to raising blood glucose levels very rapidly, it is also known to raise blood pressure in some people, and has been implicated in heart disease. (The fact it affects blood glucose levels means it probably raises triglycerides and therefore affects heart health.) The fact agave syrup has such a high amount of fructose in it also means it is very difficult for the liver to process. There is mounting evidence agave strains liver function and may lead to liver damage. In my opinion, agave syrup is not a healthy sweetener, but it is also not as “evil” as many accuse it of being.
  • Most agave syrups are not truly natural and are not raw. Although it is possible to make agave syrup from the actual plant syrup at low temperatures, that process is extremely time-consuming and expensive. Most manufacturers prefer to make syrup by exposing the plant fibers to heat and a chemical process that converts the starch in the plant (usually the root) into a syrup. This process is obviously neither natural nor raw and creates a sweetener that is amazingly similar to high fructose corn syrup both in how it is manufactured and in how your body responds to it.
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    The only agave syrup I’ve found that is truly raw (never heated above 120 degrees) and which is processed in a manner that replaces some of the fiber is Xagavehttp://amzn.to/13BW7Tp. I’m more comfortable with it than with any other, but do not believe it’s a good choice for daily use.

So should you use agave, or not? In my opinion, there are better options. I still encourage everyone to use more stevia and fewer sweetening agents in general. If you must use a sweetening agent, I prefer coconut (AKA palm) sugar because it has higher mineral content and is slightly lower glycemic. I think using a high-grade agave syrup occasionally is fine, but do not recommend using it as a daily sweetener.

Top 10 Ways to Live Abundantly with Diabetes

Last week I participated in an online diabetes discussion and was accused of not having diabetes. Since I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since 1967, this accusation surprised me. The reason for the accusation? Among other things, this person said it was “obvious” I don’t have diabetes because I don’t mention it in any of my social media profiles and do not talk about it constantly. As a result of this, I began reviewing profiles of people I know have diabetes. Out of over forty profiles, I was the only one who does not Diabetes Dreams Canceled?mention having diabetes in the first 30 characters of the profile. For people who are diabetes advocates or who work in the diabetes industry, that’s fine. For anyone else, I find it heartbreaking.

Why heartbreaking? Because these people have made diabetes the sole focus of their journey. Instead of viewing diabetes as a challenge that is a secondary part of their life, they view it as the primary matter that defines their existence. I find this heartbreaking! Yes, diabetes is a serious disease; and yes, it requires constant vigilance, but it should never become the factor that defines how a person views him or herself. In fairness, there are many medical conditions which people allow to become their identity instead of being a tiny part of their life. This phenomenon is not limited to diabetes, but seems to be exceptionally common in people with diabetes.

Sadly, this has become very common. Medical professionals often encourage patients to become victims and tell the newly-diagnosed that their disease must become the focus of all their attention. They also often tell patients that diabetes will impair their quality of life and eventually kill them. I consider this the worst form of malpractice. Patients need to be educated about their diagnosis and need to be told about its seriousness, but they should never be convinced they must become invalids who cannot live normal lives. They must be encouraged and trained to control diabetes instead of letting diabetes control them. Diabetes is a fickle condition that doesn’t always obey the rules and rarely does what the textbook says it should. It can be frustrating, but should never become all-consuming. In my case, I have never and will never allow diabetes to prevent me from doing something I wish to. I maintain normal glucose levels by eating a unique diet, exercising and using insulin. (For those who are familiar with diabetes control, my A1Cs run under 6.0. I intend to keep them in the normal level.) I’m not non-compliant and I certainly don’t ignore the fact I have diabetes, but I don’t let it control my life, either. I control it and I’ve learned to deal with unexpected occurrences with humor and acceptance.

It drives me crazy to constantly see diabetes “support” organizations make statements such as, “Having diabetes is hard,” or “Diabetes is a constant stressor.” (Those are direct quotes taken from national diabetes support groups with online channels.) Having diabetes is only hard or stressful if you choose to view it as such. Diabetes is a serious disease, but it should NEVER become such a large focus of someone’s life that they cease to live normally. I talk to many people who tell me they “can’t” do things because of diabetes. My consistent response to that is, “Why the heck not?!” Having diabetes can be challenging, but shouldn’t be limiting. There is absolutely no reason people with diabetes cannot live full, abundant lives. People who control diabetes instead of allowing it to control them feel free to travel, participate in sports, ride motorcycles, stay active, and enjoy every minute of their life. (For more info on having diabetes and riding motorcycles, please see Diabetes and the Art of Motorcycle Riding.)

Here are my top ten ways to live abundantly with diabetes: 

  1. Do what you know you need to. In other words, stay compliant and follow the rules. Ignoring your condition will only lead to problems.
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  2. Learn to laugh about it. Let’s face it, blood sugars are affected by so many different factors they sometimes don’t do what they should. Learn from every unexpected occurrence, but keep a sense of humor about the developments.
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  3. Plan ahead, but be prepared for the unplanned. Always carry a fast-acting source of glucose and your blood sugar meter. If an unusual situation develops, test glucose levels more frequently.
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  4. Get support. By “support,” I don’t mean someone who will let you whine. I mean find people who will listen and provide encouragement, but who are not afraid to hold you accountable if you start holding pity parties. I also give you permission to tell people to stop telling you what to do and to stop asking, “Are you sure you should do/eat that?” Educate those folks, set firm boundaries, and then move on if they continue trying to be the “diabetes police.”
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  5. Let the grieving end. Every person with diabetes goes through a period of grieving. Unfortunately, many folks with diabetes get stuck in the “anger” stage of grieving. As a result, they are constantly angry about everything related to diabetes. Do whatever is needed to release your anger and bitterness so you can start living abundantly and enjoying your life. If needed, seek professional counseling. This is especially true if depression is starting to limit your ability to live a normal life. (And … YES … people with diabetes can live normal lives.)
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  6. Stop talking about it constantly. It isn’t necessary to tell every new acquaintance you have diabetes. Try focusing on other conversation topics. You will probably find your circle of friends widens and you start receiving more social invitations.
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  7. Hold yourself accountable. At the end of every day, take a personal inventory of what your thoughts focused on the most during the day. If diabetes consistently wins the prize, it’s time to start focusing on other things.
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  8. Find a doctor who views you as part of the team and who allows you to control things without constant supervision. Many doctors are horrified if patients change their insulin dose or dietary plan, yet most people with diabetes have to do so to maintain control. Find a doc who recognizes you know more about controlling your glucose levels than s/he does and who welcomes your involvement in making changes.
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  9. Cut yourself some slack. Even those of us who do “everything right” sometimes experience unusual highs or lows in glucose levels. Don’t blame yourself and don’t assume that every unusual occurrence was caused by you. Review what happened prior to the high or low and then think about anything you could have done to change it. Let the unexpected become learning situations. Also recognize that unusual fluctuations may occur which cannot be attached to a specific cause. Accept it, learn from it and move on.
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  10. Stop limiting yourself! Make a list of five things you think you “can’t” do because you have diabetes. Now create a schedule of ways you can gently attempt each of those things. Don’t try to go from zero to sixty overnight. Venture into the new activity in small doses. (Limit the list to legal things, please. In the US, diabetics cannot be astronauts, scuba dive, hold a pilot’s license, be police officers in some states or drive passenger vehicles. Set your sights on legal activities which are similar.) Evaluate things you’ve been told you should “never” do to see if it makes sense to not do it. Were you told you should never get a pedicure? Think about potential risks and then devise a work-around, such as taking your own tools. For the record, I think there are a variety of common activities diabetics are often warned against that make no sense at all. If you want to get a piercing or tattoo, wear open-toed shoes, have a body part waxed, etc., consider the risks and take proper precautions.

How ’bout you? Is diabetes your identity or a tiny part of what defines you? 

Note: I know many people will respond negatively to this post. This is purely my opinion. Please keep your comments balanced and kind. 

Colloidal Silver: Valuable Tool or Snake Oil?

Few products have evoked as much controversy as Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver has been vilified ever since the “Blue Man” appeared on national news shows and blamed Colloidal Silver for his blue skin. (Please note that argyria, or “Blue Man Syndrome,” can only occur in the presence of extreme negligence and ingestion of Colloidal Silver made using impure silver or protein synthesis.) This is the first article in a series of posts about Colloidal Silver.Scientific Beakers

Many myths exist about what Colloidal Silver is, how it works and how it can be used. My goal in this post is to address those topics and bust a few myths.

What is Colloidal Silver?

Colloidal Silver is a blend of microscopic and submicroscopic silver particles suspended in water. Silver is known to be antifungal and antibacterial. It is also known to kill and prevent the growth of algae. When colloidal silver is placed in a petri dish containing bacterial, fungal or viral cells, the cells die very quickly – often more quickly than they die in the presence of prescription antibiotics or antifungals. Silver has been used medicinally for thousands of years and is currently used in topical medical treatments, eye drops, bone prostheses, catheters and cardiac devices. Silver is also a prime ingredient in several prescription oral medications.

What many people do not realize is that silver is an essential electrolyte, or trace mineral, in the body. The cells in our bodies require silver for optimal health. The same is true of gold and other minerals/metals we don’t typically associate with internal use.

How is Colloidal Silver Made?

Colloidal Silver is made by passing an electrical charge through pure silver suspended in distilled water. As the charge passes through the silver, it causes submicroscopic silver particles to separate from the metal and move into the water. The resulting suspension is Colloidal Silver. The word “colloidal” means “suspended.” In other words, the silver particles are suspended in the water, not dissolved in it. The particles are suspended, yet are so small they cannot be filtered out. The particles can easily be seen and measured with a microscope or with a special measurement tool. It is interesting to note the particles of silver are so small they do not register on X-rays. The small size of the particles is part of the reason cells receive and respond to Colloidal Silver so readily.

Reputable Colloidal Silver is made and sold by a variety of companies in the US. I will share more about how to spot a good product and how people make their own in future posts.

What is the History of Colloidal Silver?

As I stated previously, many ancient cultures used silver as a method of purifying and protecting goods. Many civilizations stored water and other liquids in silver containers as a means of controlling bacterial and fungal growth and retarding spoilage. Multiple accounts exist of silver being used as a protective measure against bacteria and germs in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and other regions. Even early settlers in the US used to put silver dollars in their milk jugs to protect the milk from bacterial growth and spoilage. Colloidal Silver was commonly used in hospitals and by doctors until the advent of profitable antibiotics in the 1940s. Silver was commonly and successfully used in bandages, salves and stitches during World War I. In addition to being a strong antimicrobial agent, Colloidal Silver is also known to stimulate skin cells to heal more rapidly, making it perfect for application on wounds.

Silver is still a major component of many prescription wound creams, special dressings used on burns and other serious wounds, and in other prescription products. The primary reason Colloidal Silver ceased to be used in hospitals is because it was more difficult to manufacture than pharmaceutical antibiotics, not because it was less effective. 

What’s the Best Form of Colloidal Silver?

There are three basic types of silver solutions sold today. Each of these types may be labeled “colloidal,” but only one is truly a colloid:

  • Ionic: Ionic silver solutions are clear and are far weaker than a true colloidal silver. Ionic silver solutions contain individual atoms (ions) of silver instead of complete particles of microscopic silver. The clear color is a dead give-away that this form is not a true colloid. You can also test to see if a solution is truly a colloid by adding around half a teaspoon of table salt to 2-4 tablespoons of the colloidal silver in question. If the salt forms a “cloud” as it dissolves, it means the solution is ionic and is not truly colloidal silver. Benefits can be gained from using an ionic solution, but the effects are much weaker.
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  • Protein Synthesized: Protein synthesis silver solutions are typically made by blending a silver powder with water. A protein binder is used because the silver particles are too large to remain in solution without a binder of some sort. Protein silver solutions have the largest silver particles yet lowest surface area of silver particles, which makes this solution the least bioavailable or able to be absorbed. These products are known to be very dangerous and are known to cause Argyria, or Blue Man Syndrome. You can spot protein synthesized silver products because they foam heavily when shaken and the foam remains for quite a while. These products also typically have extremely high strengths, some as high as 20,000 parts per million (ppm). Please do not buy or use any product you suspect of being a protein synthesis.
  • Colloidal: True colloidal silver is produced using an electrolysis process that removes sub-microscopic particles from a pure silver wire and places them in solution. The silver particles are so tiny that nothing is required to keep them in solution. A true colloidal silver will NEVER be clear, but will have a brownish color. This color results because the silver particles in solution prevent light from passing through the solution, thereby causing a darker color. A true colloidal silver will also NEVER cause Argyria (Blue Man Syndrome) because the silver particles are so small they are very easily absorbed and metabolized and do not lodge in cells. Reputable Colloidal Silver solutions indicate how many parts per million (PPM) of silver are in the solution. True Colloidal Silver comes in strengths ranging from 10 PPM to 100 PPM. (Some come in higher strengths, but I rarely find such strengths to be necessary.)

In future articles, I will share information about how colloidal silver is typically used, what the appropriate dosages are, and which prescription medications may react with colloidal silver.

Have you used colloidal silver? What did you think?

References

Dai, T.; Huang, Y. Y.; Sharma, S. K.; Hashmi, J. T.; Kurup, D. B.; Hamblin, M. R. (2010). “Topical antimicrobials for burn wound infections”Recent patents on anti-infective drug discovery 5 (2): 124–151.doi:10.2174/157489110791233522PMC 2935806.PMID 20429870.

Alexander, J. Wesley (2009). “History of the Medical Use of Silver”. Surgical Infections 10 (3): 289–92.doi:10.1089/sur.2008.9941PMID 19566416.

Searle, A.B. (1920). “Chapter VIII: Germicides and Disinfectants”The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease. Gerstein – University of Toronto : Toronto Collection: London Constable & Co.

Purest Colloids Website: http://www.purestcolloids.com/history-silver.php

New Guidelines for the Safe Usage of Colloidal Silver, Dr. Joseph Mercola

Lansdown AB (2006). “Silver in health care: antimicrobial effects and safety in use”. Current Problems in Dermatology. Current Problems in Dermatology 33: 17–34.doi:10.1159/000093928ISBN 3-8055-8121-1.PMID 16766878

Frequency Rising website

Types of Colloidal Silver