Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Category

WI Public Hearing Tomorrow: Consumer Access to Complementary and Alternative Health Practitioners Bill – Submit Testimony Now

Great News Wisconsin!

Public Hearing Tomorrow for Consumer Access to Complementary
and Alternative Health Practitioners bill!

Take Action and Submit Testimony Now!

A public hearing has just been scheduled for March 3rd at 10 am for the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners Exemption bill (SB 98/AB 86) in the Senate Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee!  Please click here to write to your own legislators asking them to support the bill.  Then, please prepare and submit testimony in support of the bill too (details below).

When passed, Wisconsin will join eleven other states in protecting the thousands of wonderful complementary and alternative practitioners who are providing great services to health seekers in Wisconsin.  To refresh your memory:This bill was introduced last session (2019 AB 546/SB 492). It passed the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly floor and the Senate Committee on Health before stalling in the Senate due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this legislation was moved aside and was not addressed before the end of the legislative session.

What the Bill Does:
SB 98/AB 86 is a bill to protect your access to services provided by practitioners of complementary and alternative health in Wisconsin such as herbalists, traditional naturopaths, nutritional consultants, homeopaths, Reiki practitioners and many more.  This exemption bill will make it possible for practitioners to provide their services without fear of being charged with practice of medicine without a license as long as they avoid a list of prohibited acts in the bill such as the use of prescription drugs, or puncture of the skin, and as long as they give out proper disclosures.

What you can do:

1. Take Action here to send a message of support for SB 98/AB 86 to your personal legislators.  Please take the time to write a personal note on your letter as this will have a greater impact with the legislator or send the letter we have provided. Start building a relationship with your personal Senate and Assembly Representatives.

2. Call your legislators to leave a message reiterating your support of SB 98/AB 86.  Identify who your legislators are here by entering you address in the box under “Who are my legislators?” and click “Find your Legislator”.  Use their contact info to leave a message with each office letting them know why you support SB 98/AB 86.

Note: if your legislator is a sponsor of the bill, say Thank You!  Current sponsor and cosponsors of the bill include 14 Representatives (Dittrich, Horlacher, Kitchens, Murphy, Mursau, Schraa, Skowronski, Wichgers, Zimmerman, Callahan, Edming, Sortwell, Moses and Rozar) and 3 Senators (Felzkowski, Kooyenga and Bernier).
The message for your personal legislators: “As a constituent of [Senator/Assemblymember] [Insert Legislator’s Last Name] I want [him/her] to know that I support SB 98/AB 86, a bill Protecting Consumer Access to Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners.  SB 98 has been scheduled for a hearing on March 3 in the Senate Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee.  Please tell the [Senator/Assemblymember] that I want [him/her] to please vote yes on the bill when it is heard on the floor of the [Senate/Assembly].

[Insert your own brief reason why you support access to complementary and alternative health care (i.e., I depend on complementary and alternative health care for myself and my family and I want Wisconsin law to protect my rights as a consumer to a free and educated choice in health care providers.)] Thank you.”

3. Prepare Your Testimony for the Committee. It’s so important for legislators to hear from the public on a bill.  Your story could be just what a legislator needs to hear in order to vote in favor of the bill.  Written testimony should be given to the Committee in person but we can collect your written testimony and deliver it the day of the hearing.  Please send it to rosanne.lindsay@gmail.com and Nathan.Halbach@huschblackwell.com and we’ll deliver it to the committee for you. 

Note: Due to COVID restrictions and the size of the hearing room, the committee is requesting written testimony over in-person testimony.  They are not allowing virtual testimony at this time.  Therefore, your written testimony is that much more important.  A few sentences about why you support SB 98/AB 86 is all that’s needed.  Please draft and submit it asap.

4. Spread the word about SB 98/AB 86.  Please forward this email to your friends and family so they can Take Action to support SB 98/AB 86 too.

THANK YOU for your commitment to Health Freedom!  If you have questions, contact us at info@nationalhealthfreedomaction.org

The Immortal Life of Your Microbiome

https://vitalplan.com/blog/the-immortal-life-of-your-microbiome?

The Immortal Life of Your Microbiome

By Dr. Bill Rawls Posted 08-28-2020

In the past several years, focusing on the microbiome as a ticket to lasting wellness has certainly become popular. There’s a lot of information out there, and some of it is good. But most of it is not entirely accurate, and following the wrong “facts” can have a significant impact on how you feel today and in the many years ahead.

Because of my personal experiences with restoring my own haywire microbiome to a healthy balance, and 15 years of following the science, I’m in a very different place with my understanding of these microscopic communities than are most physicians. And I’d like to share my knowledge in hopes that it helps you as much as it has me.

That knowledge has come a long way in the last 30 years ago, when I was in medical school. Back then, there was little and incomplete science about the microbiome, defined as the collection of microbes that inhabit the human body.

Microbes were believed to be isolated to the gut and the skin, and they were part of some basic tasks of the organs involved — consuming the leftover nutrients that the body didn’t readily use, for instance — but that was it. The presence of any microbes in the blood or deeper tissues was an indication of infection. Case closed.

Now that our thinking on microbiomes has evolved, we know that these systems of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi are more extensive in the human body than we could ever have imagined, and bacteria in particular are involved in an incredible amount of functions. I’ve also come to realize that the human microbiome plays a surprisingly important yet largely unrecognized role in how quickly and how well we age.

If you want to learn about just how pervasive and essential bacteria are in the function of human beings, we don’t just need to go back a few decades…we need to go all the way back.

The Immortal Life of Bacteria

A thought exercise, even if it is a little grim: What happens to your body when you die?For starters, without the lungs taking in air and oxygenating the blood, and without the heart bringing oxygen-rich blood to the body, your cells die.

But within all of the tissue decomposing after death are live bacteria — and lots of it. Bacteria don’t need oxygen to reproduce, like cells do. Instead, bacteria are hardwired to do one thing: Make more bacteria. So as long as there is an energy source (in this case, your deceased cells function as their fuel), the bacteria keep going. That’s how a body decomposes.

Even when you’re alive and healthy, you’re carrying around with you a ton of bacteria — ok, maybe more like 0.2 kg. There’s controversy within the scientific community around exactly how much bacteria the body contains. The common ratio that has been used is 10:1, meaning there are 10 times as much bacteria in a human than there are cells. But researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and the University of Toronto in Canada revised that in 2016, estimating that there are an equal number of bacteria in the body as there are cells.

Microbiome - Microbiot - Microscopic Biodiversity - Abstract Illustration

Whatever the total count is, just know that whatever you’re doing — eating, sleeping, canoeing — a few trillion bacteria are along for the ride. And they reproduce on the regular: As soon as those two cells are mature, they must also divide in order to survive. Most bacteria divide every 2 to 12 hours. Some are especially fast movers: E. coli, for example, can divide every 20 minutes, which means after 7 hours, one bacterium can become 2.1 million, according to the Microbiology Society.

This pattern of unrestricted growth is true of any bacteria: As long as a food source and no other restrictions are present, they will continue to grow unimpeded. Because of their structural simplicity, microbes have incredibly low mutation rates, which means the new microbes they generate tend to be just as functional as the old ones. In this respect, bacterial cells don’t “age” — it’s akin to being immortal.

The tradeoff for that immortality is that bacteria have little capacity to evolve. Indeed, modern-day bacteria aren’t much different than the primitive bacteria that first populated Earth 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. But since then, as life progressed on Earth, bacteria flourished too, and they took up residence in all of the plants, animals, mushrooms — and us. It’s within that environment that modern humans emerged.

Microbes + Human Cells: Frenemies for Life

In stark contrast to bacteria’s M.O., which is basically “every man for himself,” human cells are team players. They work in close synchrony with their teammates for the good of all the other cells in the body.

There are about 200 different cell types, each with their own job. Muscle cells contract muscles. Brain cells transmit chemical and electrical signals. Thyroid cells secrete thyroid hormones. Cells in the digestive system make enzymes to digest food. You get the picture.

Based on its job description, a cell must work within the confines of an organ or tissue system, which can only accommodate a set number of cells — simply put, it’s restricted by real estate. The cell can divide, but only to replace worn out or damaged cells. If the growth of cells becomes unrestricted (as is the case with bacteria), the tissue or organ would quickly be overrun and destroyed. Another word for it is cancer.

virus cells in a green background, 3d illustration

With each division, human cells progressively lose the capacity to regenerate. They’re 10 to 100 times bigger than bacterial cells, and much more complex. And any damage to internal parts or glitches in genetic programming do carry over to the new human cells. In other words, unlike their microbial neighbors, human cells do age — sometimes faster than they should.

Despite their differences, our cells and the microbes we host have developed some ways to get along. Namely, in exchange for the nutrients and resources our cells provide, microbes give back in a few key ways.

For one, microbes help to digest food in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the process provide certain key vitamins such as B12 and K that our bodies can’t synthesize on their own. Microbes are also in constant competition with each other over the same resources, and their nonstop rivalry helps prevent the overgrowth of more threatening microbes and dangerous infections.

But that’s about as far as the friendship goes. Remember, after all, that microbes are opportunists. They’re there for the free food and shelter. And unlike human cells, microbes aren’t exactly bound by physical barriers like the walls of an organ or artery.

So, it stands to reason that microbes could travel just about anywhere in the body in their pursuit of the resources they desire, potentially wreaking havoc along the way. Turns out, the science is showing exactly that.

Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, 3D illustration

For instance, some microbes are able to live inside cells, remain dormant there for extended periods of time, and hitch a ride to other areas of the body to contribute to disease. Examples of these intracellular microbes — or as I call them, stealth microbes — include Borrelia burgdorferi (responsible for Lyme disease), Epstein-Barr virus (which can cause infectious mononucleosis), mycoplasma (which contributes to fibromyalgia), and chlamydia.

Two landmark studies, one from the U.K. and the other from Canada, showed that the brains of people who died with the degenerative diseases Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis unexpectedly had bacteria in their brains. These findings suggest that the blood-brain barrier that is supposed to keep the brain free of pathogens is more porous than previously thought.

A 2020 review of research in the journal Current Opinion in Rheumatology furthered the theory that there is a relationship between bacterial metabolites — basically how a microbe feeds itself — and joint degeneration, pointing to a link between an imbalance in the gut microbiome and osteoarthritis. While more research is needed, it’s a pressing question because there’s no cure for the disease and doctors can only treat symptoms, a temporary and unsatisfying solution at best.

Meanwhile, there’s a race to determine whether and which gut microbiota impact depression, while other researchers are wondering whether certain flourishing oral bacteria can predict heart disease. Still others are looking into whether babies born via C-section are more likely to develop obesity and diabetes later in life because they weren’t exposed to the mother’s vaginal microbiome. And some 20% of cancers have been directly linked with microbes.

If microbes sharing space with our cells is starting to sound like a recipe for disease and accelerated aging, you’re right on track. But that’s not to say you can’t grow older without aging-related symptoms and illness — you absolutely can. You just have to know what it takes to keep your microbiome on a tight leash. (Hint: It’s definitely not antibiotics, or even popping regular rounds of probiotics.)

Your Immune System: The Ultimate Peacekeeper

Over the millennia, the human body has developed a few ways to control its population of bacteria and other microbes, lest they take over. For the gastrointestinal tract, you can probably guess one of the ways the body keeps microbial counts in check: A quarter of the content of stool is made up of solids (the rest is water), and between about 25% and 54% of those solids is comprised of microbes, writes Vincent Ho, M.D., a senior lecturer and clinical academic gastroenterologist at Western Sydney University in Australia.[v]

Other parts of the human body have ways to control the bacteria population, too. For instance, the mouth contains bacteria that, when swallowed, gets absorbed by the GI tract and then flushed away. And skin sloughs off naturally all day, plus it gets exfoliated off in the shower or while in bed, taking bacteria with it.

But ultimately, the real hero is your immune system: Without it, the microbes that inhabit your body would quite literally consume you from the inside out.

The human immune system is extraordinarily sophisticated. It evolved from repetitive exposure to many thousands of microbes over millions of years, with each encounter recorded in your genes for future reference. The better your immune system “knows” a microbe, the better able it is to keep the natural aggressiveness of the microbe tamped down.

T-Cells of the immune System attacking growing Cancer cells

Your immune system knows the microbes defined as your normal flora better than any others. These are the ones in your microbiome that don’t cause disease, and your relationship with your normal flora is the most ancient thing about you. By containing their natural aggression and retaining a mutually beneficial relationship, your immune system can stay fighting strong should any real troublemakers come along.

Your job, then, if you want to stay healthy and resilient, is twofold: Take care of your immune system, and do everything else you can to keep your microbiome in balance. I learned how to do this the hard way — but I promise it doesn’t have to be hard for you.

How My Microbiome Changed My Life — For Worse, Then for Better

My interest in bacteria and other microbes isn’t primarily academic. I can credit the bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi with my focus. Learning about Borrelia was a long and painful firsthand process.

Several years ago, I was living a very different — and admittedly more conventional — life. I was in my 30s, a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, which I loved. But my life was totally imbalanced. Let’s just say I didn’t practice what I preached. I was under tremendous stress and suffered from sleep deprivation, though for a while I was young enough that I could muscle through it all.

man standing at the beach in front of amazing sea view at sunset

By my mid-40s, that started falling apart. I was energy deprived, achy, suffered from indigestion, and couldn’t focus. By age 47, I was truly sick. I woke up each morning with body aches, brain fog, and intestinal dysfunction. My knees and hips hurt so badly that I wasn’t able to walk around — assuming I had the energy to do so, which I did not. All of this forced me to leave my medical practice.

You’d think that doctors are able to access the best care in the world. And for the most part, that’s true. However, a battery of exams and tests couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with me.

In order to ameliorate some of my symptoms, I began taking more and more prescriptions. Whether they were working was anyone’s guess. I was still feeling awful, but I reasoned that what was going on inside me was perhaps so devastating that all these pills were keeping the worst of it at bay. And that even if I still felt poorly, if I stopped taking the prescriptions, my health would implode entirely.

man taking prescribed antibiotics pills

Understandably, I wasn’t satisfied with living like that, so I delved into the research, and eventually landed on the aforementioned bacterium Borrelia, which scientists have concluded causes Lyme disease. This microbe has been identified in ticks trapped in amber for the last 15 to 20 million years, but it may be older than that. Blacklegged ticks remain the carriers today, and can infect mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles.

Not everyone who’s bitten by a tick that carries Borrelia becomes sick. But my predilection toward running on empty had depleted my immune system. I was a sitting duck, and if it wasn’t Borrelia that took me down, it would’ve been some other microbe.

Once I realized how much I was contributing to my own illness, healing came much easier. I started by pinpointing everything I was doing to wear down my immune defenses, and was able to identify five key factors — which I’ve come to call my Essential Elements of Wellness — that needed immediate attention:

Poor diet: Did I mention that all my long hours of delivering babies had me living out of the hospital vending machine and constantly eating processed and fast foods on the run? All of those refined carbohydrateswere like Thanksgiving dinner for my microbes, plus they disrupt hormone levels and suppress immune system functions.

Chronic stress: I know I’m not alone here when I say that constant low-grade tension and stress had become the norm. Unfortunately, when the body exists in a constant state of alert, all of its systems, and especially immune function, become overly taxed.

Sedentary lifestyle: I truly love to exercise, but most days I felt too crappy to move much at all, so regular activity was put on hiatus. Prolonged inactivity is stressful to the body: It’s associated with decreased blood flow, retention of toxins, immune dysfunction, decreased endorphins, and low energy.

Toxic environment: The modern world is saturated with hidden toxins — plastics, pesticides, food additives, etc. — that act like free radicals and cause systemic inflammation, further compromising immune function. Without actively trying to avoid them, I was undoubtedly surrounded by them.

Microbes: Borrelia might have been at the top of my hit list, but by now I knew it wasn’t just one microbe I had to worry about. With my immune system down, the floodgates were open, and that strong prevalence of normal flora I needed to support my immune defenses was getting overrun by potential pathogens.

I started changing my lifestyle, bit by bit, as much as my energy levels would allow. I switched to a mostly plant-based diet, began practicing qigong to get moving and dial down my stress levels, and systematically weeded toxins out of my life. And I started to feel better — much better. But I wasn’t 100% there, and I knew I needed something more to tip my microbiome fully back into a place of balance.

Antibiotics were out — I’d already been there, done that, and not only did they not work (antibiotics can’t reach Borrelia when they’re hiding out inside cells), but they also wrecked my gut microbiome and caused endless GI issues. That’s when I discovered herbal therapy.

Herbal pills with healthy healing plant. Capsule pill with herbs.

As a physician, studying herbs and other natural remedies were simply not part of my medical school curriculum. So, to be honest, I didn’t put much faith in them at first. But I’d exhausted all of the conventional medical options, and my extensive research was revealing that herbs are loaded with phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals) that have innate antimicrobial abilities. Which makes sense, considering plants have their own microbiome, and they have to fend off problematic microbes, too.

What’s more, phytochemicals in herbs help regulate and bolster the immune system in a number of ways, including by increasing production of cytokines (key immune system proteins), stimulating NK (natural killer) cells and other key white blood cells of the immune system, and reducing damaging inflammation. Plus, herbs are safe — their potential for toxicity is extremely low — and I felt it would be safe to take them long term.

So, that’s what I did. Finally, after nearly a decade of struggling, I saw significant change within a few months, and in the following years, I got my health back completely. I still consistently take my herbs, and I’ve noticed that other symptoms I had just chalked up to getting older — achy joints, low energy, mood changes, lack of mental clarity — have also retreated.

Do I credit the herbs entirely with how I feel today? Of course not. I saw firsthand how all the hard work I put into changing my diet and lifestyle made a tangible difference. But I also experienced how the herbs helped restore my immune system’s ability to manage my microbes and push me to the next level of wellness, and I’ve come to deeply appreciate their natural defenses.

My Natural Solutions for Microbiome Balance + Immune Health

1. Take Daily Herbs with Immune-Bolstering Powers.

All herbs carry some antimicrobial, though some are admittedly stronger than others. Unless you’re actively dealing with a health crisis, you don’t need those on a daily basis. (If you are, I’d point you toward berberine, Japanese knotweed, and garlic.)

Instead, for everyday maintenance of the immune system so it can do its job of managing your microbes, I like adaptogens, which are best known for their restorative and normalizing properties, and for improving resilience to everyday stress. Definitions vary slightly, but I believe adaptogens share these three characteristics:

  • All adaptogens help modulate and/or enhance the immune system.
  • All adaptogens have antistress qualities that help provide stabilizing effects on the neuroendocrine system, especially the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis) and Sympathoadrenal System (SAS), which plays a crucial role in our response to external stimuli.
  • All adaptogens inhibit dysfunction in mitochondria (the power plants of cells) induced by the stress hormone cortisol.

My favorite adaptogens and adaptogenic companions — which have some, but not all of the same characteristics, plus they complement and enhance adaptogen’s powers — for ongoing, daily use include:

Rhodiola: One of the first herbs defined as an adaptogen and studied by modern scientists, rhodiola calms overactive portions of the immune system associated with destructive inflammation. Plus, it boosts depressed portions of the immune system to increase efficiency in managing the body’s microbes.

Reishi mushrooms: This mushroom’s main claim to fame is its ability to help regulate the immune system, improving how it works. Reishiessentially directs the immune system to reduce harmful inflammation while increasing action against threatening microbes and cells. The mushroom’s power is probably due in part to its beta-glucan, a polysaccharide found in fungi cell walls that’s well known for its immune-enhancing ability.

Shilajit: This isn’t technically an herb, but more like primordial ooze — a byproduct of plant materials that have been compressed into the earth in the Himalayas and seeps out of the rocks. Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid, which research suggests helps modulate the immune system, has antioxidant properties, and may improve gastrointestinal function.

Turmeric: This adaptogen companion has potent anti-inflammatory powers. The compounds in turmeric also act as antioxidants, and it has microbiome-balancing potential.

Gotu Kola: A calming, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant adaptogen companion that’s part of the parsley family, gotu kola has traditionally been used in India in ayurvedic medicine as a general tonic for increasing longevity. It’s an immune modulator, helping the immune system manage stress.

2. Eat a Mostly Plant-Based, Whole-Foods Diet.

When I talk to patients about caring for their microbiome, one of the first questions they ask is whether they should take a probiotic supplement. For the most part, no. Unless a person has gone through an illness that required them to take antibiotics or caused acute diarrhea, there’s limited evidence that probiotics are particularly helpful.

What is absolutely helpful and crucial to microbiome health is eating a good diet. In my expert opinion, that means a diet that is at least 50% vegetables. Always choose fresh foods over processed ones. And only eat the number of calories that you need to maintain yourself.

Rainbow colored vegetables. Healthy food concept. Top view

And anything you can do to increase the diversity of fresh foods that you eat will help, too. Because when you eat fresh produce, you get a fair number of microbes.

Along with that, stay away from toxins in food as much as you can. That can mean not charring your food on the grill, and eating organic produce if they show up on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list which identifies the fruits and vegetables most subjected to pesticides—including strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, and apples.

3. Minimize Your Exposure to Environmental Toxins.

Because of our dependence on petroleum and petroleum-based products (i.e. plastics) and coal, we are constantly battling a barrage of toxins that are poisonous to our immune systems. When we breathe in toxic air from a car’s exhaust pipe, a cigarette, or cooking over an open flame (which is the norm in much of the world), it puts a strain on the lungs to turn over cells, swapping out the damaged and ineffective ones for fresh cells.

It puts a huge strain on the immune system, too. If a body’s resources are being spent on fixing something, it creates a situation where other little problems that crop up can become big problems.

close-up hands holding air filter to be changed.

On average, people spend around half their days at home, so invest in a home air cleaner that will help remove toxins, and replace or upgrade filters in your heating and air conditioning systems to ensure they’re not pumping in dirty air. For those whose occupation exposes them to airborne toxins, such working at construction sites, wear an N-95 mask whenever possible.

4. Stress Less and Sleep More.

You can eat organic kale til the proverbial cows come home, but if you’re subjecting yourself to that toxic mix of chronic stress and regular sleep deprivation that so many of us are, expect your body’s systems to go out of whack. Here’s why.

When we’re stressed, we send signals to our body that disrupt cellular communications, and if your cells aren’t communicating, they can’t do their job properly. That means that not all of the cells in the body are working at full capacity.

Helper cells, for instance, whose job it is to clean up “garbage” in the body so that it gets excreted through urine, fall down on the job. As a result, cellular debris gets backed up, which can overwhelm your immune system, allow microbes to flourish, and here we go again.

The fix is straightforward, but not simple. Prioritize sleep, meaning getting at least 7 or 8 hours of quality shuteye. And adopt stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or whatever it is that works for you to turn down the heat on your slow boil.

5. Make Time for Regular Movement.

When we exercise, our blood really gets pumping, bringing oxygen to cells and carrying off carbon dioxide in a process that is called the gas exchange. That helps a person feel more energized and allows all of the systems in the body — immune, gastrointestinal, cardiac, pulmonary, neurological — to work at a higher capacity.

Full length shot of a woman doing exercise at home

There are other ways physical activity boosts immunity, too. It triggers the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines from muscles and helps modulate metabolic signals related to immune function. Exercise helps flush toxins, viruses, and other garbage from the body. Plus, preliminary research has linked cardiovascular fitness with better diversity and balance in the gut microbiome.

___

If you were to come to my house and open my medicine cabinet today, it would look vastly different than it did when I was in my late-40s. All of the orange bottles of prescription pills have been replaced by herbal supplements and tinctures. My refrigerator looks vastly different, too. It’s loaded with vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. That makes up the majority of my diet.

Even with all of these changes, I know I may still harbor the Borrelia microbe — but I don’t worry about it. I have plenty of energy throughout the day. My brain is fog-free. My joints don’t hurt, and I can do whatever I want to do both physically and mentally.

Best of all, my body is no longer at war with the microbes it contains. They’re supposed to be there, after all. I’ve just brokered a peace treaty with my microbiome by developing a natural protocol that keeps us all in a state of healthy balance, and that allows my cells to continue to be the team players that will help me live a longer, healthier life. I hope you’ll feel inspired to do the same.

Amazing Microbe Facts
  • Bacteria are Earth’s earliest life forms. Fossil evidence suggests bacteria have been around for about 3.5 to 4 billion years.
  • Most bacteria divide every 2 to 12 hours. E. coli can divide every 20 minutes, which means after 7 hours, one bacterium can become 2.1 million.
  • Bacterial cells are 10 to 100 times smaller than human cells.
  • Microbes help us digest food, and in the process provide certain key vitamins such as B12 and K that our bodies can’t synthesize on their own.
  • Between 25% and 54% of the solids in human stool are microbes.
  • You would have to magnify the period at the end of this sentence to 1,000 times its actual size in order to make visible a nearby Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium (which causes hospital-acquired pneumonia).
  • Mitochondria, the “power­plants” of your cells, are the descendants of bacteria that were engulfed by larger microorganisms billions of years ago.

References
1. Ron Sender, et al. “Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body.” PLoS Biology. 2016 Aug; 14(8): e1002533. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533
2. Lacey J. Favazzo, et al. “The gut microbiome-joint connection: implications in osteoarthritis.” Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2020 Jan; 32(1): 92–101. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000681
3. “C-Section Birth Associated With Adulthood Obesity, Diabetes.” American Journal of Managed Care.
4. “5 Things To Know About Probiotics.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
5. S. Steve Zhou, et al. “Assessment of a respiratory face mask for capturing air pollutants and pathogens including human influenza and rhinoviruses.” Journal of Thoracic Disease. 2018 Mar; 10(3): 2059–2069. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2018.03.103
6. Stephen J. Carter, et al. “Gut microbiota diversity is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness in post‐primary treatment breast cancer survivors.” Experimental Physiology. 14 February 2019. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087404
7. Vedham V, Verma M, Mahabir S. Early-life exposures to infectious agents and later cancer development. Cancer Med. 2015;4(12):1908-1922. doi: 10.1002/cam4.538
8. “What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease.” National Academies Press.

______________________

**Comment**

For a great video on this:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/01/03/the-invisible-universe-of-the-human-microbiome-msm/

A very practical article that points out what honest practitioners of health will tell you: you have far greater control over your health than you are being told.  You are not a helpless victim that has no power over microbes that come your way. The trick has always been and will always be balancing these microbes.  You will never get rid of them all – nor should you.  There is a complicated dance going on in our bodies at all times.  

I was told by a virologist that for every bacteria in the world, there is a virus that hosts upon it.  Ponder that.

VCO as an Adjunct Supplement for COVID-19

https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/programs-and-projects/news-and-announcement/800-virgin-coconut-oil-vco-study-results-on-covid-19-suspect-and-probable-cases-released-by-dost-fnri

VCO-Study

Results of the study on virgin coconut oil (VCO) as dietary supplement among COVID-19 probable and suspect cases showed that 5 of the 29 patients who were served meals with VCO manifested diminishing signs and symptoms as early as the second day, while only one patient served with the same meals but without VCO showed similar improvement.

This is according to the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) in a virtual presser dubbed as “Seeing Beyond COVID-19: The VCO Study – Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil among Suspect and Probable Cases” on December 3, 2020.

The VCO Group of patients who were served meals with VCO showed no COVID-19 related symptoms at Day 18, while symptoms persisted in some patients of the Control Group of patients who were served the same meals without VCO until Day 23, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña further stated in the presser.

Secretary dela Peña added that VCO could be used as an adjunct supplement to probable and suspect COVID-19 cases to help prevent symptoms from becoming severe.

However, more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of VCO as adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients with other co-morbidities, Secretary dela Peña clarified.

In a follow-up interview, Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, VCO study leader, Scientist II and Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-FNRI, said that the study involved 57 suspect or probable COVID-19 cases randomly assigned to the Intervention or VCO Group and the Control Group at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital and Santa Rosa Community Isolation Units in Laguna.

Dr. Agdeppa added that aside from monitoring the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 among the study volunteers, the research team also noted that the mean C-Reactive Protein of CRP levels in the VCO Group normalized to 5 milligrams per liter or less as early as Day 14.

The C-Reactive Protein or CRP is a quantitative marker used to monitor inflammation or infection, and that a CRP equal or less than 5 milligrams per liter signifies recovery from inflammation or infection, Dr. Agdeppa explained.

Dr. Agdeppa further stated that while reduction to normal CRP levels in the Control Group was also evident from Day 1 to 14, it remained at the borderline of 5 milligrams per liter from Day 14 until end of intervention.

The VCO used in the study were strictly analyzed by the Laboratory Services Division of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to ensure product quality and compliance to Philippine National Standard (PNS).

The PCA requests VCO producers to have their VCO samples analyzed by PCA prior to promotion and marketing, PCA Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. said in the presser.

Administrator Madrigal also states that PCA is planning to develop the protocol in establishing the seal of quality for VCO.

Funding and monitoring of the VCO study was provided by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (or PCHRD), through the overall supervision and motoring of the DOST.

The Ateneo de Manila University Faculty of Chemistry, through Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit, provided research inputs and protocols based on previous VCO studies among HIV patients, like the correct VCO dosages to be given and the analysis to be used.

Dr. Dayrit, also an Academician of the DOST-National Academy of Science and Technology and President of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, supported the results of the DOST-FNRI VCO study, saying that several studies have proven the promising anti-viral properties of VCO and more studies are warranted to explore its full potential.

The public is hereby advised to carefully read the label of VCO products to check for PCA or FDA approval and make sure that ingredients, nutrient analysis, manufacturing and expiration dates are clearly declared.

Some media partners attending the presser commented that this development on VCO as promising dietary supplement may cause the skyrocketing of the price of VCO products.

The study team agrees with this inevitable consequence, but stated that the health benefits backed by scientific proof far outweigh the impending price increase, adding that DTI will monitor this.

This VCO study does not only have promising contribution to the prevention and management of symptoms among COVID-19 suspect and probable cases, but could also provide a boost to the coconut industry and the millions of coconut farmers who depend on the “tree of life” to uplift their quality of life.

For more information on the VCO study and other food and nutrition concerns, contact: Dr. Milflor S. Gonzales, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Director, Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/Fax Nos: 8-837-2934 or 8-837-3164; Direct Line: 8-839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: dostfnri47@dost.fnri.gov.ph; DOST-FNRI website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. Like our Facebook Page at facebook.com/DOST.FNRI or follow our Twitter account at twitter.com/DOST_FNRI.

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For more COVID treatments:

All of these treatments are being debunked and ignored by the CDC.  Please see this to find out why.  

COVID-19 has a 99.991% recovery rate by doing nothing – but you’d never know it from mainstream media.

To read about the numerous deaths/adverse reactions due to this COVID injection, which isn’t a vaccine and doesn’t prevent infection: (list is being updated daily): https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/12/21/warning-3150-injuries-in-1st-week-of-covid-vaccines-among-american-healthcare-workers-pregnant-women-included/

Overcoming Chronic Lyme & Post-COVID Syndrome

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/show-1245-overcoming-chronic-lyme-and-post-covid-syndrome  Podcast Here

Show 1245: Overcoming Chronic Lyme and Post-COVID Syndrome

Dr. Bill Rawls describes how the herbal therapies that helped him overcome chronic Lyme could help people with post-COVID syndrome.
 
Dr. Bill Rawls discusses post-COVID syndrome

The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging through the world for more than a year. More than 455,000 people have died in the US, but the vast majority of people who become infected survive. Unfortunately, for a significant proportion, symptoms associated with COVID-19 may last for weeks or months. Physicians have dubbed this post-COVID syndrome, or PCS. Patients are more likely to call it Long COVID and refer to themselves as Long Haulers.

What You Can Do for Post-COVID Syndrome:

Long COVID may affect people of any age, not just older individuals. One study found that half of the college students in the sample who had had COVID-19 were still struggling with symptoms like fatigue and trouble exercising, shortness of breath, chest pain, reduced sense of smell, runny nose and loss of appetite more than a month later (MedRxiv, Nov. 29, 2020). Although health care providers have learned a great deal about caring for people with the acute disease, they still don’t have established protocols to help those with long-lasting problems.

For several decades, before the pandemic began, doctors debated how to help patients with lasting symptoms from infections such as Lyme disease. At first, many experts denied that patients’ problems were due to the infection. Instead, they insisted that chronic Lyme didn’t exist.

However, people experiencing those symptoms themselves sought ways to manage them holistically. Some of the approaches they have used may be helpful for individuals who are now suffering with post-COVID syndrome.

Lessons from Lyme Disease:

Our guest, Dr. Bill Rawls, was frustrated that mainstream medicine had so little to offer him while he fought chronic Lyme disease. He went to the medical literature and devised treatments based on scientific studies of herbal medicines. These helped him and he has since helped others challenged by chronic immune dysfunction, whether triggered by infection or not. Now he is offering guidance to people with Long COVID.

Herbs Against Chronic Lyme Disease and Post-COVID Syndrome:

The herbs Dr. Rawls used for his own treatment included Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw, Chinese skullcap, and Andrographis paniculata, along with mushrooms such as Reishi and Cordyceps. Presumably many of these help regulate the immune system’s response. Some experts suspect that a chronic hyperactivation of the immune system might contribute to the symptoms of Long COVID. Dr. Rawls offers his recommendations for what people may want to do as they recover from COVID-19 to reduce their chances of post-COVID syndrome.

This Week’s Guest:

Dr. Bill Rawls is a licensed physician with over 30 years of experience and a leading expert in Lyme disease, holistic health, and herbal medicine. In the middle of his successful medical career, Dr. Rawls’ life was interrupted by Lyme disease. In his journey to overcome it, he explored nearly every treatment possible – from conventional medicine to a range of alternative therapies. In the more than 10 years since his recovery, Dr. Rawls has helped thousands of patients to recover from chronic illness and maintain wellness.

He is the author of the best-selling book Unlocking Lyme. He is the Medical Director of RawlsMD.com and Vital Plan, an online holistic health company and Certified B Corporation® that he co-founded with his daughter Braden.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available Monday, February 8, 2021, after broadcast on February 6. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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**Comment**

I have the same skepticism of “post COVID syndrome” as I do “post Lyme disease syndrome.”  Too often our public ‘authorities’ cause the very problems they then attempt to cover-up, by doing a bait and switch and giving it a jazzy name so we forget their role.  Disease is often complicated and tying a pretty bow on it by giving it a cool sounding label doesn’t make it any simpler.  

The PTLDS moniker continues to hurt patients by keeping them from life-saving antimicrobials.  The studies done and used to “prove” chronic infection doesn’t exist all have design flaws.  We know for a fact that treatment failures are seen in nearly every single antibiotic study ever done.  

There are potentially many reasons for “post COVID syndrome” and other adverse reactions/deaths, including vaccination.  Please see:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/08/17/correlation-coefficient-covid-deaths-qivc-flu-shots/

More is coming out about “pathogenic priming,” antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), vaccine hypersensitivity (VAH), and multi-inflammatory syndrome (MIS) in the many  adverse reactions and deaths occurring after the COVID shot.  Many are also becoming infected after the shot but we are continually told it can’t be due to the injection.  Back in October it was stated these injections could increase HIV risk:  https://nypost.com/2020/10/20/some-covid-19-vaccines-could-increase-hiv-risk-researchers/

Please watch Dr. Weiler explain the history of coronavirus vaccines that made animals sicker and killed many, as well as the unsafe epitopes:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/12/04/medical-freedom-press-conference-must-see-video/

The following quote is quite telling:

Is it possible that some instances of ‘long COVID’ could be a form of ADE? This is a possibility we have been considering. Typically people who get long COVID don’t test as positive from nasopharyngeal swab tests. But in deep seated systemic infections the mucosa may not show evidence of viral multiplication, whereas the infection may become systemic in certain tissues and be enhanced. This possibility cannot easily be dismissed.

Could the problem increase with new variants of SARS-CoV-2? Yes, as explained above.   Rob Verkerk Ph.D.
 

Case Report: Delayed Onset Babesia

https://danielcameronmd.com/case-report-delayed-onset-babesia/

CASE REPORT: DELAYED ONSET BABESIA

delayed-onset-babesia

Hello, and welcome to another Inside Lyme Podcast. I am your host Dr. Daniel Cameron. In this podcast, I will be discussing an unusual case of delayed onset Babesia.

Podcast:  https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS83NzIx

The case, involving a 19-year-old Hispanic man, was published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics.1

Ten weeks after travelling to New York, the patient was diagnosed with the tick-borne illness Babesia. Initially, he presented with a 4-day history of fever, generalized weakness, and flu-like symptoms.

His fever was 104.8 F. His hemoglobin dropped from 9.3g/dL to 6.7g/dL within 5 hours. He was diagnosed with hemolysis and transfused with 2 units of packed red blood cells. A peripheral blood smear revealed a Maltese cross typically seen in Babesia.

Babesia is more likely to be symptomatic in individuals with a history of a splenectomy. This young man had a history of a splenectomy for hereditary spherocytosis when he was 3 years old.

Early in the disease, Babesia is more likely to be diagnosed with a thick blood smear under the microscope. But later in the course of the disease, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antibody test can confirm the infection.

Babesia is more likely to be contracted in the Northeastern region of the United States. This young man had returned from a trip to New York. The disease is less likely to be contracted in Florida where the young man presented to an emergency room.

The patient was prescribed Quinine, but it was stopped due to headache, tinnitus, and blurred vision. Instead, he was successfully treated with Atovaquone, clindamycin, and azithromycin.

Two newborns with delayed onset Babesia 

During their third trimester, two mothers were treated for Lyme disease with amoxicillin. Both babies were born and discharged home. But several weeks later, the babies became ill with Babesia.²

The following questions are addressed in this Inside Lyme Podcast.

  1. What is Babesia and where are you more likely to contract the disease?
  2. How is Babesia diagnosed and treated?
  3. Can Babesia be transmitted through blood transfusions?
  4. What are the most common symptoms of Babesia?
  5. Is treatment different from Lyme disease?
  6. How frequently does Babesia co-occur with Lyme disease?
  7. Do patients with Babesia and Lyme disease present differently?
  8. Could Babesia explain why some Lyme disease patients relapse after initially improving with treatment?
  9. What is a Maltese cross?
  10. What is the importance of a splenectomy?
  11. Why is delayed onset Babesia important?

Editor’s note:  Delayed onset Babesia in two newborns is discussed in another Inside Lyme podcast.

    Thanks for listening to another Inside Lyme Podcast. You can read more about these cases in my show notes and on my website @DanielCameronMD.com. As always, it is your likes, comments, reviews, and shares that help spread the word about Lyme disease. Until next time on Inside Lyme.

Please remember that the advice given is general and not intended as specific advice as to any particular patient. If you require specific advice, then please seek that advice from an experienced professional.

Inside Lyme Podcast Series

This Inside Lyme case series will be discussed on my Facebook and made available on podcast and YouTube.  As always, it is your likes, comments, and shares that help spread the word about this series and our work. If you can, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts.

References:
  1. Patel JK, Tirumalasetty K, Zeidan B, Jr., Desai P, Frunzi J. A Case Report of Babesiosis Seen Outside of its Endemic Area and Incubation Period. Cureus. Dec 5 2020;12(12):e11926. doi:10.7759/cureus.11926
  2. Saetre K, Godhwani N, Maria M, et al. Congenital Babesiosis After Maternal Infection With Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. Feb 19 2018;7(1):e1-e5. doi:10.1093/jpids/pix074

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/16/babesia-treatment/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/07/31/cipro-derivatives-show-promise-against-babesia-in-vitro/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/07/21/babesia-in-dogs-implications-for-people/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2021/01/08/rising-geriatric-babesia-cases-may-require-longer-treatment/