Low-dose immunotherapy is an expanded application of LDA (low-dose allergy therapy), treatment made available to practitioners in the US by W. A. Shrader, MD, for the resolution of allergies and select autoimmune disorders. An earlier version of that technique, EPD (enzyme-potentiated desensitization), has been used in the field of integrative medicine since it was developed in the 1960s by Leonard McEwen, MD, an allergist in the UK. These techniques have been applied very successfully in the treatment of more than 60 indications, primarily allergy, asthma, and chemical sensitivities; autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis; and other select immune-mediated conditions.
Your child is diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease and conventional treatments aren't proving to be effective. Doctors prescribe powerful medications that don't seem to work. Not only is your child not responding as hoped, he's withering from the side effects. What do you do? Journalist Susannah Meadows found herself having to answer this question when her son, Shepherd, was diagnosed at age 3 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, joint inflammation that can last a lifetime.
When the drugs didn't work, Meadows was persuaded to look at his condition through a different prism and to consider the possibility that medications might not be the only answer. Meadows began speaking to parents who had sleuthed out alternative theories and tried things like radically changing their kids' diets and giving them Chinese herbal medicines. Like many parents of sick children, Meadows grew increasingly willing to venture outside of the standard treatments.
Her experiences spurred her to seek other stories of people with illnesses ranging from multiple sclerosis to epilepsy to ADHD who pursued unproven methods of treating their diseases. Their stories, as well as an account of her son's case, are compiled in The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges and Refused to Give Up, published Tuesday by Random House.
Could Your Gut Microbes Be Affecting How You Feel?
I’d just gotten used to the idea that I’m a walking mountain of microbes. The sizzling field of research into the microbiome — our full complement of bugs — is casting new light on our role as homes to the trillions of bacteria that inhabit each of us. At least most of them are friendly, I figured.
But now comes the next microbial shift in my self-image, courtesy of the new book “The Mind-Gut Connection.” My trillions of gut microbes, it seems, are in constant communication with my brain, and there’s mounting evidence that they may affect how I feel — not just physically but emotionally.
Does this mean — gulp — that maybe our bugs are driving the bus? I spoke with the book’s author, Dr. Emeran Mayer, professor of medicine and psychiatry at UCLA, executive director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and expert in brain-gut microbiome interactions. Edited excerpts:
So we’re not only packed with trillions of gut microbes but they’re in constant cross-talk with our brains — that’s the picture?
First of all, you have to realize that these are invisible creatures. So even though there are 100 trillion of them living in our gut, you wouldn’t be able to see them with the naked eye. It’s not like something tangible sitting inside of you, like another organ.
These minuscule creatures live in different parts of your gut, most of them sitting at the mucus layer that is just on top of your gut surface. That allows them to be just microns away from receptors and sensors with which your gut records the chatter that goes on between them and measures what goes on inside.
Have you been suffering from excessive diarrhea and abdominal pain on a regular basis? You might have Crohn’s disease. However, there’s good news. You can treat this condition naturally with a Crohn’s disease diet, along with making other lifestyle changes.
What is Crohn’s disease, exactly? This inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. It’s estimated that 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD). (1)
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a wide range of diseases and multiple forms of cancer including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Relatively recent work has demonstrated vitamin D to be critical in immune function and therefore important in inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Because vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is increasingly prevalent around the world, with an estimated 30%-50% of children and adults at risk for vitamin D deficiency worldwide, it could have a significant impact on IBD. Epidemiologic studies suggest that low serum vitamin D levels are a risk factor for IBD and colon cancer, and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased colitis disease activity and/or alleviated symptoms. Patients diagnosed with IBD have a higher incidence of colorectal cancer than the general population, which supports the notion that inflammation plays a key role in cancer development and underscores the importance of understanding how vitamin D influences inflammation and its cancer-promoting effects. In addition to human epidemiological data, studies utilizing mouse models of colitis have shown that vitamin D is beneficial in preventing or ameliorating inflammation and clinical disease. The precise role of vitamin D on colitis is unknown; however, vitamin D regulates immune cell trafficking and differentiation, gut barrier function and antimicrobial peptide synthesis, all of which may be protective from IBD and colon cancer. Here we focus on effects of vitamin D on inflammation and inflammation-associated colon cancer and discuss the potential use of vitamin D for protection and treatment of IBD and colon cancer.
You probably think nothing of going to the gym to exercise the muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders and back. But what about the 57 muscles in your face and neck?
These muscles need attention too, and regular facial exercisers say toning and tightening the muscles in your face can lead to fewer lines and wrinkles, improved skin tone, less tension, a firmer jaw line and even fewer headaches and less eyestrain.
Facial exercises have become quite trendy in recent years. At one Manhattan pop-up boutique called Face Love Fitness, for instance, it's said that massage and purposeful movement to your facial muscles, done two to three times a week, helps with detoxification and increases oxygen and blood circulation to your skin. As reported by CNN:
Angela Crowley, MD, is up-front about it. Accurately diagnosing an autoimmune disease can be tricky.
“People on average see six doctors over a period of 4 years before they get a diagnosis.”
This is because, in general, autoimmune diseases tend to arrive unpredictably, disguised as other conditions, offering only confusing clues as to what they are.