Archive for the ‘diet and nutrition’ Category


Free Immune-Boosting Recipe Book


Chelation Therapy Talk – Dr. Waters

Aging – Let’s Slow it Down

The talk will review factors leading up to accelerated aging:
  1. A high, refined carbohydrate diet
  2. Calcium intake and imbalance
  3. A progressive overload of iron as we age
  4. Magnesium deficiency
  5. An historically unprecedented burden of toxic metals in our environment and bodies. These include lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, antimony, tin, nickel, aluminum and others.
What can we do about it? One answer is Chelation Therapy using Magnesium Disodium EDTA.

We must lower the burden of toxic metals that have accumulated in the body over a lifetime. Remove the excess iron that likewise has contributed to free radical damage. Also, most importantly, remove calcium deposits from the soft tissues of the body.

For a nutritional talk Dr. Waters gave our support group:

For notes on other topics of his talks:



Matcha Tea Decreases Anxiety by Activating Dopamine & Seratonin Receptors


Matcha Tea Decreases Anxiety by Activating Dopamine and Seratonin Receptors

See link to learn how Japanese researchers from Kumamoto University have shown that anxious behavior in mice is reduced after consuming Matcha powder or Matcha extract.

For more:


Can Lyme Disease Cause A Loss Of Appetite?

Can Lyme Disease Cause A Loss Of Appetite?

For many years, Lyme disease was largely misunderstood and difficult to diagnose, as its symptoms are vague and similar to general feelings of malaise. However, the bacterial disease was conclusively identified in 1975 in Connecticut, United States, and was named after the town it was first diagnosed in. Recently, medical professionals have been able to better identify the disease using a variety of tests, and can diagnose patients more accurately.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a parasitic infection caused from ticks carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. This bacteria is a type of spirochete, or corkscrew-shaped bacteria, and there are four closely related types in the Borrelia family – Borrelia burgdorferi is the most common throughout the United States; Borrelia mayonii is found in the upper Midwestern United States; and Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are both found in Europe and Asia. In the United States, the ticks that tend to carry the bacteria the most are the deer ticks, whereas in Europe, the primary carriers are sheep or castor bean ticks. The good news is that not all ticks carry this bacteria; however, with tick populations on the rise and the increase in global travel and exploration, humans are becoming more and more exposed to ticks.

BCA-clinic - tick
Lyme disease is a parasitic infection caused by tick bites.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in acute form?

The difficult part about diagnosing this condition is that its symptoms of Lyme disease are very similar to flu symptoms and can be difficult to pinpoint. Symptoms of Lyme disease also do not present themselves until 7–10 days after a tick bite, making the connection tricky to identify. Acute symptoms of Lyme disease can include a circular ‘bull’s eye’ rash that may appear anywhere from a few days or up to a month following a tick bite. Other symptoms of Lyme disease in this acute stage include headache, fatigue, chills, loss of appetite, fever, and achiness of joints and muscles. When identified at this stage, Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics; most people only experience these symptoms and never become seriously ill.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in chronic form?

It is estimated that 30–50% of people will progress through to the next stage of the illness that can begin two weeks to three months after the infection starts, and they are then subjected to the chronic symptoms of Lyme disease. These can include arthritic pain, memory loss, trouble with vision, and other neurological symptoms that closely parallel multiple sclerosis.

Only a very small percentage of people will progress to the third and final stage of Lyme disease, which can present itself two years after the initial tick bite. This chronic form of Lyme disease causes crippling arthritis and several neurological symptoms similar to those in patients with multiple sclerosis. It can also include facial paralysis, difficulty walking, meningitis, increased memory loss and difficulty concentrating. (Source)

Can Lyme disease cause a loss of appetite?

In a word, yes. One of the symptoms of Lyme disease in its acute form is a loss of appetite, similar to what patients would experience if they had the flu. So exactly how does Lyme disease affect appetite?

Lyme disease can affect the sense of taste, making previously enjoyed foods taste odd. It causes patients to have to limit what they are eating, as only certain tastes and textures are tolerated. At first glance, this aversion to food can come across as an eating disorder, if Lyme disease hasn’t already been diagnosed. In children, it can seem as though they are simply being ‘picky eaters’ or going through a phase of not enjoying certain foods, when in fact it is a sign of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease can affect a patient’s appetite and sense of taste.

How to test for Lyme disease

To determine whether or not flu-like symptoms are a result of Lyme disease, especially if the patient notices the bull’s eye rash or has been recently bitten by a tick, doctors will perform a variety of tests using blood samples. It can be challenging to get confirmation of the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria; however, this is not always easy or possible. The part of our immune system that creates the antibodies required to fight an infection is called the humoral immune system. Doctors can check this part of the immune system to determine whether or not the bacteria is present, based on whether the body is creating antibodies to fight it. They can also test at the cellular level to analyse the activity of the antibodies. Humoral immune system tests include the ELISA, CLIA, and immunoblots, while the cellular immune system tests are done through the ELISpot test. (Source)

How to treat loss of appetite due to Lyme disease

The best way to treat any of the acute symptoms of Lyme disease is to get on a regime of antibiotics as soon as possible. If you suspect that you have been bitten by a tick, or you notice the bull’s eye rash, seek medical help immediately to begin testing for the disease. By treating the disease at its root, many people find relief of the acute symptoms, including the loss of appetite. While you are experiencing the loss of appetite due to Lyme disease, try experimenting with various foods to try to find options that are nutritious and appealing to your altered palate. Continue consuming fluids as much as you can, and include fluids such as smoothies that can add nutritional value while not requiring you to eat a lot.



Before I hit upon lack of appetite, I’d like to clear up a few points:

  • Lyme IS STILL largely misunderstood and difficult to diagnose. Poor testing rules the day and “authorities” continue to think this is a singular illness caused by a singular pathogen and for most of us, that’s not true:
  • There’s probably many more strains implicated and an open mind is necessary. Due to the fact testing tests for ONE strain, it becomes clear that besides this extremely limiting factor, the fact the body often doesn’t mount an adequate immune response for antibodies to be picked up on a test is also a problem. Tests routinely miss infected patients. This is a clinical diagnosis.
  • Then there’s the issue that there are potentially many other ways to become infected besides the bite of a tick:, and there’s many animal studies indicating the serious need for more research to determine the various means of transmission:
  • Symptoms of Lyme/MSIDS are highly variable and require education and study. The Horowitz questionnaire should be used by all physicians as it has been validated:  The actual questionnaire is in the first link in the comment section.
  • Please remember that patients can jump around in the 3 “stages of Lyme” and in no particular order. Again, a little girl developed facial palsy, and couldn’t walk or talk within a 4-6 hour window after being bitten by a tick, demonstrating people can quickly jump to stage 3 without ever showing stages 1 & 2:
  • The statement that only a small percentage go on to stage 3 is complete hearsay. We really have no idea how many people are in this category, but microbiologist Holly Ahern wrote an article demonstrating that it can be potentially 60 percent of those infected: One thing I can clearly state is that ALL the people I work with are chronic cases.
  • Regarding the issue of appetite, personally I will say that I often felt I ate to take pills. I rarely enjoyed food during treatment due to being extremely sensitive to smell, sight, and sound. Food often takes patients “over the top” and becomes somewhat repulsive. I suppose this could look like anorexia but it’s due to being extremely sensitive – not an abnormal body image. Personally, I can state that both my husband and I eat probably half of what we used to. It just doesn’t sound or taste as good any more. I’ve nearly lost my entire sense of smell – another strange side effect of this illness.
  • In this informative article, anorexia is listed as a symptom for Lyme disease: In this article, Dr. Bransfield, a well-known psychiatrist also states this:
  • Loss of appetite in Lyme/MSIDS is another topic that deserves more research. It would be interesting to know the potential reasons behind it and if it improves after treatment. I will also state I’ve noticed many patients struggle with abdominal pain at some point in treatment as well as digestion issues. Whether this is due directly to the pathogens or the effect of treatment is another puzzle that needs to be teased out. In my treatment, there was only one antibiotic that made me extremely nauseous. I told my doctor about it and he put me on ondansetron (8mg), a drug commonly used for nausea caused by chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. It’s expensive but I found if I took one in the morning before any antibiotics, I had no nausea.
  • If you struggle with digestion issues, I encourage you to read this article written by Dr. Sherr on palsy of the gut with Lyme disease:  Excerpt: Parallelism between Lyme borreliosis-caused paresis of facial muscles supplied by Cranial Nerve VII and Lyme-caused gastrointestinal paralyses suggested a pseudonym to the author–Bell’s palsy of the Gut—despite the fact that these syndromes are related to different types of neural fibers and only occasionally occur together. Since similar injury to all sites may be etiologically related, however, otherwise unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms should be considered as possibly related to Lyme borreliosis and/or its co-infections until proven otherwise…..Borreliosis-caused, gastrointestinal tract paralysis and related abnormalities can occur anywhere along the entire length of the tract (9,10)—involving, for example, functionality of taste buds (11,12), muscular strength of the tongue, gag reflex, ability to swallow, gastroparesis, peristaltic retardation (or excitation) related to small bowel competency, dysbiosis, total arrest of peristalsis (“ileus”), pseudo-obstruction (sometimes associated with Bell’s palsy) (13), colon dysfunctions, encopresis, proctalgia fugax and the final act of defecation. “In 5%–23% of patients with early Lyme borreliosis, there can be gastrointestinal symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, hepatitis, hepatomegaly and splenomegaly.
  • When you become educated on how Lyme can cause paralysis pretty much anywhere in the body, all of a sudden it become quite logical that a patient would struggle with all aspects of eating – from their smell all the way through elimination. And that’s just Lyme – we know coinfections are also sometimes to blame or work synergistically with Lyme:  in the same article by Dr. Sherr she states:  Bartonellosis can cause major central nervous system damage, similar in some aspects to the aforementioned Lyme neuroborreliosis. Lyme and bartonellosis symptoms may include encephalitis signified by headaches, major memory loss, rages, seizures, and coma, as well as inflammation of the heart, abdominal pain, bone lesions, and loss of vision. Until recent years, Bartonella, at onset of infection an endothelial and subsequent red blood cells infector, was considered to cause a relatively benign and common disease otherwise known as cat scratch disease (26–28). Now that ticks have become significant transmitters of Bartonella infections into humans, this vectoring appears to amplify victims’ general Lyme symptoms (26), and quite likely amplifies GI tract lining symptoms as well.
  • I agree with the author of the article that in order to treat the lack of appetite, treating the infection(s) at the root is the best approach; however, also remember that food is life and eat a healthy, whole-food diet with many vitamins and nutrients – especially when your food intake is low. Try to figure out ways to make food appealing again as well as become savvy in ways of choosing healthier, yet appealing options.





Fibromyalgia Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid

Fibromyalgia Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid

Fibromyalgia Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid
Fibromyalgia is a complex pain disorder characterized by muscle pain, joint stiffness, and fatigue. It affects over ten million Americans, (4% of the population), primarily women. Although there is no known treatment that works for everyone, following a healthy diet by eliminating processed foods, caffeine, aspartame (artificial sweetener), food additives and nightshades may reduce the symptoms.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very real condition that affects millions of Americans and its symptoms include chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, joint pain, problems with cognitive functioning, migraines, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), anxiety, depression, and environmental sensitivity – learn more about fibromyalgia symptoms here.

Unfortunately, FM is a condition rather than a specific illness and presents itself as an array of complex symptoms; believed to be caused by biological, psychological, and environmental factors and there is no specific universal treatment for the condition.

Sufferers of FM may be able to find some relief by following a healthy diet, which includes eliminating some foods while adding or increasing others. Kent Holtorf, M.D., Medical Director of the Holtorf Medical Group says,

“We’re at the point now where we know diet plays a role in this disease – it’s just the same diet for everybody. And not everybody is helped in the same way.”

However, there are a number of secondary health conditions such as gluten intolerance, gout (a form of arthritis), and restless leg syndrome that coexist with fibromyalgia causing an overlapping of symptoms or exacerbating the FM symptoms. Treating secondary conditions through dietary control may also bring some relief to the pain and fatigue brought on by fibromyalgia.

Foods to Avoid When You Have Fibromyalgia

Due to the nature of fibromyalgia that it is non-specific condition, these dietary guidelines may not be right for all FM sufferers but appear to make a difference for a significant number of those suffering.

1. Aspartame (NutraSweet)

Aspartame is classified as an excitotoxin, which stimulates NMDA pain receptors, which are already overly active with fibromyalgia.

2. Food additives including MSG (monosodium glutamine) and nitrates

MSG is an additive or flavor enhancer and nitrates are preservatives. Both are found in many processed foods and are also classified as an excitotoxin. Nitrates and MSG can often difficult to tolerate in people without fibromyalgia and are extremely difficult to tolerate in those who do.

3. Sugar, fructose, and simple carbohydrates

There is not clear evidence that cutting out simple carbohydrates will have an impact on fibromyalgia but it will reduce symptoms of chronic yeast infection, which may be a secondary condition contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia.

High fructose corn syrup, which is found in carbonated beverages, is prone to cause a metabolic reaction resulting in much more sugar pouring into the blood at a quicker rate. The quick rise is followed by a fast fall with can exacerbate the fatigue element of fibromyalgia.

4. Caffeine – including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate

Caffeine does create a boost in energy; however, it is followed by a longer and deeper sedative effect. People with fibromyalgia already suffer from fatigue therefore amplifying the downside.

5. Yeast and gluten

Yeast and gluten are frequently found together, particularly in baked goods. Cutting both out can have equal benefit. Cutting yeast out of a diet may yield yeast fungus overgrowth, which may cause or exacerbate joint and muscle pain. Cutting gluten can improve digestive problems, stomach ailments, and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.

6. Dairy

Dairy has been known to aggravate symptoms in some fibromyalgia sufferers but not all. If avoiding diary does not seem to relieve symptoms, then drinking skim milk provides calcium to build bones and protein to build muscle.

7. Nightshade Plants

Common nightshade plants include tomatoes, chili, bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. However, there are over 2,000 other varieties of “nightshades.” Edible nightshades can trigger flares on various types of arthritis and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. If by eliminating nightshades there is no noticeable relief from symptoms of FM, then bring them back into your diet because these are some of the most nutritious vegetables.

Important Dietary Changes for Fibromyalgia Patients

Nutritionist, Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says, “When you body is healthier overall, you may be better able to cope with any disease, and better able to respond to even small changes you make.” A vegetarian diet consisting mostly of raw whole foods has shown to reduce symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. It also produces improvement of mitochondria dysfunction, which according to Holtorf, “This is the area of the cell where energy is made. Consequently, it’s necessary to have high levels of nutrients to get the mitochondria to work and for energy to by produced.”

Included in a healthy diet should be a high-quality vitamin supplement as well as supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids – we recommend HoltraCeuticals’ Ultra Omega – and eating “good fat” foods such as foods rich in fish oil, flax seed, walnuts, some fortified cereals and eggs. All of which have been show to have an impact on inflammation.

At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address the underlying cause of fibromyalgia. Additionally, our Health and Nutrition Coach can work with you and your Holtorf physician to create a diet specifically for you! If you are experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, but aren’t getting the treatment you need, call us at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!


1. Kent Holtorf, MD. “A Confounding Condition.”
2. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia; Now Treatable Diseases.”
3. Kent Holtorf, MD. “Fibromyalgia: The Diet Connection.”


For more:


What To Do When You Hit a Plateau In Treatment

By Kerry Heckman

My numbers won’t budge. Every month I go in for a blood test and every month I get an email from my doctor stating that my inflammatory markers are the same. The numbers are not so high to cause a panic, but they’re not low enough to signal any real improvement either. I’ve tried everything from meditation to medication, but nothing seems to work. Each month I pray the numbers will drop and I’m devastated when month after month they stay the same.

I’ve put in all the work; there’s been no stinting. I’ve been in treatment for three years. I’ve changed my lifestyle, my diet, and most difficult of all, my mindset. But I keep coming up short. There’s no doubt I’m better. My bedridden days are mostly in the past, and the pain that keeps me up at night (painsomnia, I call it) happens once or twice week instead of every day. Another marker of my improvement is after treatment my herxheimer reactions are greatly diminished. These are positive trends, but still I am not where I want to be. I want clinical proof that my recovery is real. I want to know unequivocally that I’m heading toward remission. I’ve  been at this dreaded plateau for months waiting to break free. I anxiously await the day when my inflammatory markers take a dramatic drop.

Your plateau may be different than mine. Maybe you, too, made big improvements in the beginning and now it’s tapering off, or maybe you’re stuck waiting for any minuscule improvement at all. Either way the lack of progress may be the hardest thing to bear.

All this was weighing heavily on me. Then one day I started thinking about actual plateaus in nature. Consider for a moment you are climbing up a mountain and reach a plateau. You’ve done the grueling work of going up the mountain and now you are walking on level ground. You are still moving forward, that hasn’t changed, but you’re not increasing your elevation. Maybe that’s what plateaus are in treatment—a leveling off that doesn’t feel like progress, because you aren’t climbing anymore. But you have achieved an incremental improvement in your recovery.

This bit of visualization changed the way I thought about my lack of headway, though  there were still some questions I needed to ask myself— questions you may need to  ask yourself as well:

Q: Have I really plateaued or is my progress just going slowly?

A: With Lyme disease the improvement can be slow . . . very slow. As they say, any progress is good progress. If you feel comfortable with your treatment protocol, you may need to practice patience and remember you are getting better. However, sometimes the progress is too slow and even if there is incremental improvement you may want talk to your doctor about exploring ways to speed up your treatment plan.

Q: Have you hit a plateau before? What helped jumpstart my healing?

A: If this has happened before, what was it that made the difference? Maybe it’s a new supplement or an increased dose of medication. Maybe your thyroid or adrenals are out of balance and need attention. Try to remember back to what helped you before and try it again. It may help to keep a journal about what you think is and isn’t working for you.

Q: Do I need to change my treatment or ride it out?

A: As I said, with Lyme getting better takes time. Ask yourself if you think your current treatment plan is sufficient to to get you better. This is a good place to use your intuition. If you feel skeptical every time you meet with your doctor that might be your body telling you something.

Q: If I plan to stay the course when will I know it’s time to adjust?

A: Give yourself a timeline—six months, nine months—for when you want to reevaluate. Verbalize your timeline to your doctor, so she or he knows what you’re thinking. Ask if there is a test that can be run at that time to compare where you were before to where you are now.

Q: Am I testing too often?

A: If you’re like me and your numbers aren’t budging, maybe it’s time to put more space between tests. This depends naturally on what is medically advisable. But I I did realize that the constant testing was causing me frequent disappointments, which weren’t good for my healing. I have since decided to go from once a month to once every other month for my bloodwork and focus on other things in the meantime.

Q: Is there something else I could do to move forward?

A: A plateau is the perfect time to reevaluate your habits. Perhaps it’s time to add more nutrients to your diet or increase detox. Have you always wanted to try a complementary therapy? Now may be the time. Or are there other options?

Q: Is this a good time for a healing pause?

A: Have no doubts, recovery from Lyme treatment is a full-time job. It seems like there’s always something else you can try, but is that the best thing for your body? This could be an indication that it’s time to take a break from all the intensity and let your body rest at the top of the mountain.

Take some time and ask yourself these questions. Get quiet and let your intuition speak. There are few doctors, medications, or therapies that can give us as much insight as our own common sense. Remember the image of the mountain and keep walking forward on the level ground of the plateau—the uphill slope may be only a few steps ahead.

kerry heckman

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Kerry J. Heckman is a licensed therapist and author of the healing and wellness blog Words Heal. She was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2016.





Great article to begin meaningful dialogue.

  1.  Not sure what tests she keeps having done but I’ve heard mixed opinions about the CD-57 test which some docs swear by and others like my own say it’s a general, very basic indicator of immunity and unless you have the number before you were sick and then taken at regular intervals throughout treatment, it’s just a number.
  2. Inflammation is a definite bad-boy.  One thing I discovered to eventually help me was MSM; however, I didn’t notice the help taking it while in treatment, only after treatment did it seem to really crush pain and inflammation:  This article also shows it’s good for the gut:
  3. Another thing that helped this inflammation/pain for me was systemic enzymes:  There are many brands out there.  You might have to try a few to find one that works. I’ve tried different variations of Wobenzym as well as a brand my doctor sells. (I’m not affiliated with any companies)
  4. LDN was also a game changer: I use a compounded form with only olive oil as an additive.
  5. For many, Lyme/MSIDS causes imbalances and deficiencies in the body. Finding out what those are and supplementing can make all the difference.  For instance, most patients struggle with thyroid dysfunction (as well as other hormones) and magnesium deficiency (magnesium can help depression and 1,000 other things): (In the comment section I give the kind my LLMD sells in his office and it’s been particularly successful. Again – no monies are exchanging hands) Most of us Northerners are deficient in vitamin D.
  6. I’ll never forget the ranger in the documentary, “Under Our Skin,” state that he never could have imagined that his greatest improvement would come AFTER three years of treatment.  This has been my experience and my husband’s as well.  I must add that after 4.5 years of treatment for us, and two relapses requiring 2-3 month stints of treatment, we got better EACH TIME we treated. This very well could be the “cycling” approached discussed by Dr. Burrascano here:  In brief:  he found that cycling 3-4 times typically worked for most patients. Ironically, the 3rd cycle yielded the worst herx.  Pam Weintraub wrote about this in, “Cure Unknown:  Inside the Lyme Disease Epidemic,” way back in the 90’s, yet few doctors do this. Cycling just means that after you are symptom-free for 2-3 months you quit ALL treatment.  If and when symptoms return, you hit hard with antibiotics until symptoms leave again. You do this 3-4 times.  Burrascano states his symptoms never returned and many of his patients had the same experience.
  7. Sometimes diet has made all the difference for some patients – like cutting out gluten or dairy or both. For some, herbs or treatments for inflammation made all the difference or help with sleep.  I’ve also known patients who got better only after they treated for worms/parasites:
  8. When I hit a plateau after years of treatment yet still had symptoms, I called another LLMD I knew and asked if he’d be willing to do a phone consultation with me, not as a treating physician, but as a second ear to hear what I’ve done to give me ideas for any omissions he saw. That phone call was worth every penny as he carefully listened to what I’d done and gave me ideas for things to try.  Very helpful. I then took that knowledge to my LLMD and he was smart enough to implement them at my request based on another experienced practitioner’s wisdom.
  9. Lastly, I’ve found surrounding myself with experienced patients and doctors to be extremely helpful. You learn a lot by sharing your experiences and always come away with something you haven’t tried before.  Don’t let this information bog you down. Only try 1 thing at a time so you can track any changes. Support Group is a great place to do this.  Always run things by your practitioner as there might be drug interactions or things you need to consider or can’t try at all based on your specific issues/drug interactions.
I’ve learned the most from patients who are on the same journey. Don’t isolate yourself.

FREE Showing of ‘Secret Ingredients’ May 15-22  Go here to see Trailer and sign up


The extraordinary FREE worldwide showing of Secret Ingredients — a powerful film by Jeffrey Smith and Amy Hart — shares remarkable stories of people who regain their health after discovering the “secret ingredients” in their food and making a bold commitment to avoid them.

Join Us!