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What is the best Soil based Probiotic - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

What is the best Soil based Probiotic?

Soil-based probiotics are bacteria that are found predominantly in the soil. I began using soil-based probiotics in my practice about two years ago, specifically, Prescript-Assist. I was pleased with Prescript Assist because it was very effective and few people would react to it. About three months ago the makers of Prescript Assist made a change to the formula that was not agreeable to many people (including me). Consequently, I needed to find an alternative that is the best soil based probiotic. To help me in this endeavour I took a look at the current scientific literature.

In this article, I will highlight what I uncovered in my search for the best soil-based probiotic.

What are the main categories of probiotics?

Soil-based probiotics are one of 4 major types of probiotics including:

  1. Lactobacillus-Bifidobacterium predominant formulas
  2. Saccharomyces boulardii.
  3. Soil-based probiotics
  4. E. coli probiotics

What does the scientific literature say about Soil-Based strains?

When we look at the studies soil-based probiotics, the most well-studied strain is Bacillus coagulans. The next most studied include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, Bacillus licheniformis, and Enterococcus faecium.

The majority of the high-level studies (clinical trials) on soil-based probiotics were looking at the effect of one strain of bacteria. In other words, if you follow the findings, you should only use one species at a time. However, when we look at the body of literature on all types of probiotics, we see that a multi-strain form of probiotic seems to be better than a single strain form.

What are the main soil-based probiotic products?

So far we have talked about a little about the four most studied strains of soil-based probiotics. We have uncovered that a multi-strain may be better than a single strain soil-based probiotic. Now, let us briefly look at six primary soil-based probiotic products.

  1. Soil Based Probiotic from Functional Medicine Formulations is a two-strain product containing Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis.
  2. BioSpora from Klaire Labs is also a two-strain formulation containing Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis.
  3. MegaSpore from Microbiome Labs is a four-strain probiotic that contains Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, and Bacillus licheniformis.
  4. Thrive Probiotic is a three strain product containing Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii.
  5. Proflora 4R from Biocidin, which contains Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii plus marshmallow, quercetin, and Aloe Vera.
  6. Probiotic-3 from AOR, which contains Enterococcus faecium, Clostridium butyricum and B. subtilis.

These are the six leading soil-based probiotics. Is one of these better than the others?

When you go to each of the manufacturer’s websites, you will read lots of claims, but I think they are all somewhat comparable. These are all excellent probiotics.

Are they better than other brands that you may find that are half the cost? Very likely. One of the things you do see with some probiotics is an inconsistency with the label claims and what the products contain.

This is very important with the soil-based probiotics since some so-called soil-based probiotics (none of the above) contain soil-based organisms and not soil-based bacteria. Some soil-based organisms can be pathogenic and may harm you so using a product from a company that has good quality assurance is essential.

How do these products rate against the latest research?

As mentioned above, the best scientific data is for Bacillus coagulans, which we find in five out of the five products. There are eight high-level studies (clinical trials) using single a strain Bacillus coagulans showing benefit in humans.

There is one study looking at Bacillus subtilis, which we find in four out five products, which show a benefit in humans. And there are also six other clinical trials looking at Bacillus subtilis with different strains, showing benefit.

Bacillus clausii, which we find in three out of the six formulations, has three studies showing benefit.

Bacillus licheniformis, which we find in one out of six, has two studies showing benefit.

Enterococcus faecium has five, which we find in one out of the six, has two studies showing benefit.

Most of these the studies are using two strains, and for this reason, I would recommend using a two-strain formulation as a starting point.

What does the research say about soil-based products?

Currently, there is one clinical trial looking at MegaSporeBiotic, showed a reduction in intestinal permeability or leaky gut, which is an excellent first step.

What are the benefits of Soil-based Probiotics?

Based on study findings, soil-based probiotics have been shown to impart numerous benefits to humans, including:

  • Improvements in diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and stool consistency.
  • Increases in secretory IgA, the protective mucous membrane in the gut.
  • Decreased leaky gut.
  • Decreased respiratory tract infections.
  • A healthier microbiota.
  • Decreased inflammation.
  • Improvements in IBS severity.
  • Decreased post-exertional muscle soreness.
  • Secretion of antimicrobial peptides, meaning probiotics have an antimicrobial effect.
  • Decrease adverse events from antibiotics.
  • There is also mention that there is a slight benefit of improved constipation.

Does this mean that soil-based probiotics are the best form of probiotic?

Based on the list above, soil-based probiotics appear to impart a lot of significant benefits.

However, these benefits are not unique to soil-based probiotics.

So, just because I am highlighting the benefits of soil-based probiotics here, do not let that fool you into thinking that this is the best form of probiotic.

I think they are a viable option and worth including in a probiotic protocol.

What have we learnt?

Soil-based probiotics are one of three to five major categories of probiotics.

When we look at the studies soil-based probiotics, the most well-studied strain is Bacillus coagulans. The next most studied include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, Bacillus licheniformis, and Enterococcus faecium.

There are six leading soil-based probiotics supplements, all of which appear to be sound scientifically based products.

Is there a best soil based probiotic? I would say no. But, if you have not taken a soil-based probiotic before I would recommend starting with a two-strain formula.

Are soil-based probiotics the best form of probiotic? I would say no again since all four categories of probiotics can impart the same benefits.

If you would like to learn more about how to choose the right probiotic for you then I recommend that you check out my FREE Probiotics ebook.

Click here to download the ebook.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Sulfur Intolerance - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - Dominick Hussey

Sulfur Intolerance – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Sulfur intolerance is an old concept that is seeing a new lease of life. Some people are aware of sulfur because they are allergic to sulfur based medications. We associate sulfur with volcanoes. Others who live in the country around Ottawa, as I do, will know sulfur because they use well water.

In this article, I will describe what triggered me to learn more about sulfur, how sulfur is essential to the body, what are the symptoms of sulfur intolerance and how to treat it.

Close Encounter of the Sulfur Intolerance Kind

Meet Anne. Anne is a client of mine that I had been treating for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Whenever she was taking the antimicrobial herbs, I prescribed her symptoms would go away. But as soon as she stopped the supplements her gas and bloating would return.

Anne’s case was a puzzle, so I decided to go back to basics and look at whether the food she was eating was causing her symptoms.

I asked her to do a food-symptom diary. She was following a low Fodmap diet which generally would help people with SIBO.

She came back after two weeks with her completed diary, but there did not appear to be any noticeable correlation between her symptoms and diet.

I told her to return after three weeks.

On the next visit, she reported that she had begun experiencing joint pain.  I asked her if anything had changed in her life and she said that her family had moved into a new house in the country.

The new house had a well. Anne always had drunk lots of water, so we got her to have her water tested. On receiving the water report, it showed it was very high in sulfur

Armed with this new information, I began looking at what foods are naturally high in sulfur. I told Anne to stop eating those foods and drinking the well water.

The effect was immediate. After two days, her gas, bloating and joint pain disappeared.

What is Sulphur?

Sulphur is a multivalent non-metal, abundant, tasteless and odourless. In its native form sulphur is a yellow crystalline solid.

In nature, it occurs as the pure element or as sulfide and sulfate minerals. Although sulphur is infamous for its smell, frequently compared to rotten eggs, that odour is characteristic of hydrogen sulphide.

How does the body use Sulphur?

Sulfur in the form of sulphate is the third most abundant mineral in the body, about half being is found in the muscles, skin and bones.

Sulphate makes up essential amino acids used to create protein in cells, tissues, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.

Our bodies require a constant supply of Sulfate.

Sometimes the metabolism of sulfur to sulfate is hindered. Poor metabolism can be problematic and can lead to sulfur intolerance.

What are the symptoms of Sulphur Intolerance?

Sulphur intolerance can produce a wide variety of symptoms because sulphur plays a role in so many systems in the body. That said there are some more common symptoms including:

  • Feeling exhausted and toxic
  • Brain Fog
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Eye inflammation
  • Skin issues like urticaria and eczema
  • Gas and bloating
  • Ammonia smell in nose
  • Joint pain

What is the cause of Sulfur Intolerance?

Sulfur intolerance is the result of an excess of sulfur in the body. This excess is partly due to a reduction in the bodies capacity to metabolise sulfur into sulphate.

A reason for this reduced sulfur metabolism is exposure to glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient found in the herbicide, Roundup.

Farmers spray Roundup on genetically modified crops such as canola, corn, sugar beets and soy.

When ingested into the body glyphosate binds to Molybdenum. Molybdenum is one of the cofactors used by the body to convert sulfur into sulphate.

What are the primary sources of sulfur?

So glyphosate slows the conversion of sulfur to sulphate. This slowing will lead to a build-up of sulfur in the body. There are five chief sources of sulfur exposure

1. Diet

Diet is an obvious factor that may be aggravating sulfur intolerance. If you are eating a high sulfur diet such as a paleo style diet or GAPs diet that is going to be problematic.

Food that is high in sulfur include:

  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Nuts
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Meat

The highlighted foods are most common.

2. Water Source

Anyone who is on well water needs to get their water tested. If you see red rings around your faucets and in your toilets, then you may have a high sulfur content in your water.

3. Medications and supplements

Common detoxification supplements such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, MSM and N-Acetylcysteine will increase sulfur levels in the body.

Certain medications, like sulfur medications, may be problematic. You may have been prescribed sulfasalazine and felt very ill. If someone has a sulfur allergy, that might be another indicator that they may have a sulfur intolerance issues going on.

4. Hydrogen Sulfide Bacteria

Hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria can be found in water systems. Again, testing is essential here.

5. Environment toxins

Sulfur is one of the byproducts of fossil fuel. Breathing in exhaust fuels is a potential source of sulfur.

What are the best treatment approaches for a sulfur intolerance?

The Low Sulfur Diet

If you google any diet on the internet, there are often many different versions available. That said they are all very similar and it does not matter if you follow a particular diet.

You can find my personal favourite low sulfur diet on Dr Jockers.

You can use this source as a base and then begin experimenting. Rarely are all sulphur foods bad for everybody. If you feel much better on a low sulfur diet, then you try reintroducing one food at a time to see which ones bring back your symptoms.

If sulfur intolerance is your issue, then you should notice a reduction in your symptoms after 3 to 5 days of following the diet.

Supplements

Supplements are a necessary part of treating a sulfur intolerance. The supplements help mitigate symptoms and help reduce high sulfur food intolerance.

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulphate. Epsom salts can be very beneficial particularly for helping to reduce the toxic feeling. Take 4 cups of Epsom salts per bath.

Trace Minerals

Trace minerals that also have sulfate in them have been found to be clinically useful. Trace Minerals Research has a product called ConcenTrace that includes magnesium and calcium and also contains lithium orotate.

Calcium D-Glucarate

Calcium D-Glucarate has been found to be clinically useful for people with ammonia issues.

Molybdenum

As previously stated, molybdenum is a significant cofactor in the conversion sulphur into sulfate. Glyphosate exposure can cause a molybdenum deficiency. So avoiding glyphosate by eating organic foods and supplementing with molybdenum has been found to be clinically beneficial.

I recommend Biotics Mo-Zyme Forte, which is a food-based tablet based on sprouted lentils. Chew one tablet two times per day.

Hydroxocobalamin (B12)

There have been some impressive results in using hydroxocobalamin as well.

Bismuth

For those with digestive symptoms, I recommend Bismuth in the form of Bio HPF.

 

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Medical Marijuana - How it works and what it can help - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

Medical Marijuana – How it works and what it can help

Medical marijuana has been a prescription drug since 2001 in Canada. With the upcoming legislation of recreational marijuana, there is a sudden peak in interest in the medicine. Only the other day my neighbour was asking me about her daughter using medical marijuana for her menstrual cramps. I had to tell her that I knew very little about it. I am always interested in learning about new alternative treatments so 8made the decision to find out what all the fuss was about.

In his article you are going to learn about:

  • The differences between marijuana, CBD and THC
  • The early history of medical marijuana
  • How medical Marijana works
  • What conditions may benefit from medical marijuana

Marijuana vs THC vs CBD

The term “marijuana” refers to any of the subspecies of the whole Cannabis sativa plant.

Within that, cannabidiol, or CBD, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are the chemical compounds that we find in marijuana that are of particular medical interest.

THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that’s responsible for much of the high and the changes in perception that people feel when they consume cannabis products.

CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and does not produce the high.

The early history of medical marijuana

Early on, it was discovered by cancer patients that marijuana could help with the side effects of chemotherapy.

At that point, patients had to use it illegally, but it proved to be very useful.

People on chemo would have severe loss of appetite, nausea, and just feel rotten most of the time, but cannabis would enable them to feel much better.

Over time as our understanding began to expand, researchers started to look at physiological mechanisms behind how marijuana works.

How marijuana works

We know that the human brain contains endocannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoids can induce either an inhibitory or excitatory response by acting on these receptors.

These receptors bind not only to the chemicals found in marijuana but also in endogenous compounds, which are compounds that we produce in our own body.

There is a specific type of endocannabinoid receptor called CB1 which stimulates appetite and eating behaviours.

CB1 is the reason that we can use medical marijuana to increase appetites in patients undergoing chemotherapy, as we talked about, and also patients with AIDS and other conditions that reduce appetite.

Marijana has also been studied as an appetite stimulant in age-induced anorexia, low appetite in the elderly, which can become a pretty significant problem, and specifically those for Alzheimer’s because that disease can lead to lower appetite or forgetting to eat.

There actually is some research suggesting that cannabinoids may be able to slow the disease process of Alzheimer’s by preventing the inflammatory effects induced by beta-amyloid deposition, which is a hallmark of that condition.

Perhaps most interestingly regarding the therapeutic application, endocannabinoid receptors have been shown to reduce pain from a wide variety of causes.

For example, we know that the analgesic effects of acetaminophen can be prevented by blocking specific cannabinoid receptors. This fact suggests that one of the pain-relieving mechanisms of acetaminophen involves cannabinoid receptors, and, of course, also indicates that cannabinoid receptors play a role in pain.

Cannabis extracts containing both THC alone and a combination of THC and CBD have been shown to be effective at reducing pain from many chronic conditions as well as neuropathic pain.

For example, people with MS who use cannabis report a reduction in symptoms including muscle spasticity, pain in the extremities, bowel dysfunction and balance issues.

This effect could be due to not only cannabis’s role in controlling pain but also its impact on motor function, motor control, and gastrointestinal motility.

Conditions that may benefit from medical marijuana

Some conditions have already been identified in the medical literature regarding a potential benefit from medical marijuana.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a growing problem, and there are not many good options for people with PTSD in the conventional medicine. In the United States, New Mexico was the first state to allow the use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD. The one study that they did reveals a 75 percent reduction in symptoms among patients with PTSD. You do not see that with any conventional treatment.

Cancer

Cancer is another exciting application for medical marijuana. I have already mentioned that we use medical marijuana for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemo.

There is new research however that has suggests that cannabis may be able to treat the cancer cells.

Cannabinoids induce cell death, inhibit cell growth, and slow metastasis in tumour cells without harming the surrounding non-cancerous cells.

In one mouse study, pure THC and CBD were shown to prime glioma cells, which are cells found in a particular type of brain cancer for radiation therapy, making them more sensitive to it and the radiation and more effectively treated by it.

There’s not enough published research yet on cannabis and cancer. I would love to see more as conventional treatments are lacking at this point.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is another condition that has been shown to benefit from cannabis.

Studies have found that it can provide relief from multiple symptoms of MS including spasticity, pain, and motor function and control.

In humans with MS, both whole-plant cannabis-based medicine and extracts combining THC and CBD have been shown to reduce the number of spastic episodes and pain.

Epilepsy

Marijuana has been used for millennia in the treatment of epilepsy. Marijuana is mentioned in ancient texts, but it is only recently investigated for safety and efficacy in humans.

In particular, that research is focused on cannabis use for childhood epilepsy that’s shown resistance to current treatments.

Conventional treatments for epilepsy in kids can cause terrible side effects, which in some ways can be worse than the disease itself.

In a recent study, CBD was found to decrease seizure frequency in participants with childhood-onset treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Those are the conditions that have been best studied so far, but there are many, many other therapeutic applications because when you understand how marijuana works.

Marijana can be:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic
  • anti-anxiolytic
  • anti-anxiety
  • help with depression
  • a miracle for sleep in some cases for patients who have intractable insomnia

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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How emotions impact our health - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

How emotions impact our health?

The longer I work with my clients, the more I feel that lifestyle, behaviour, emotions and past traumatic experiences play a crucial role in our health. Many times in my practice emotions have proven to play an even more critical role than more commonly recognised factors like diet, exercise, and sleep.

Diet, exercise and sleep, of course, play a significant role in health and will usually receive initial attention because they are more visible and in some ways easier to change.

Emotions can require in-depth investigation, and they are not the kind of changes that we can quickly make overnight.

In this article, you are going to learn how emotions and health are an ancient concept, how emotions cause disease, how we store feelings in the body, and the myths surrounding the mind-body connection.

An ancient theory backed by modern research

The idea that emotions play a role in health and disease is old. In traditional Chinese medicine, for example,  each of the organ systems is associated with a particular feeling.

  • The kidneys link with fear
  • The liver links with anger
  • The lungs link with anxiety
  • The spleen links with pensiveness or over thinking

The thinking is that too much of any of these emotions damages the respective organ system. For example, somebody with unresolved anxiety may develop asthma.

Regardless of your views on the traditional Chinese viewpoint, modern science has also uncovered a link between emotions and disease. We primarily express this concept in the scientific literature regarding stress.

We know there is a link between stress and different conditions including cancer, heart disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

How do emotions contribute to disease?

This question is fascinating, and to answer it; we need to define what is an emotion.

If you look in a dictionary, we define emotion as a natural instinct of the mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

This definition of emotion is very technical..

We can also associate emotions with sensations in our body.

For example, if I see a spider, I feel fear, and then I experience a whole load of body sensations that are related to that fear—my heartbeat increases and muscle tension.

The fundamental point here is that my emotions are producing physiological changes.

If emotion is old, it will have long-term physiological effects on the body, and it’s not difficult to understand how that could contribute to disease.

Can we store emotions and can they cause illness in later life?

This concept falls outside of our current understanding of the body, but that doesn’t mean we can rule it out.

Based on what we have talked about so far, it is at least plausible that strong emotions could produce a lasting response in the body, and there is some support for this in the scientific literature.

For example, we know that traumatic events that happen during pregnancy or in early childhood can permanently downregulate your adrenal glands and affect the production of hormones like cortisol for the rest of that child’s life.

The language that modern science uses to explain what happens does not involve using terms like storing emotion or trauma in the body, but you could certainly look at it that way.

I am guessing that some may use the term stored emotions because when people work to resolve traumas, they often re-experience the associated sensations or feelings.

I think there may very well be other cases where somebody experiences a severe trauma early on, and that trauma affects the body in different ways that modern science doesn’t currently understand.

For example, maybe one person develops cancer or another an autoimmune disease.

Does this mean that all early life trauma will cause disease?

Now, I should say at this point; I’m a little bit wary of any explanation that tries to oversimplify things.

In the examples that I just used where people had an emotionally traumatic event that then manifested as a disease or a condition later in life.

For every person that did have something like that, there could be people that had a traumatic event and didn’t manifest a disease later in life.

Humans are very, very complicated beings.

Multiple factors affect our susceptibility to disease, including genetics, epigenetic expression, environmental factors like diet, physical activity, sleep, stress, and of course, emotions.

Whether we develop a disease is in my experience due to a combination of factors.

The mind-body connection

We base our current medical model on the philosophical underpinning of Cartesian dualism.

Cartesian dualism is a mechanistic view that the body is a sum of its parts.

However, modern science through quantum physics has taught us that the parts that we perceived to be separate are in fact part of an interconnected whole.

The chief point here is that a medical model that is based not on Cartesian dualism but on a more current understanding of quantum physics would likely see no separation between thoughts, emotions, and the physical body because they are all made of the same stuff.

We have this phrase that you see all the time, the “mind-body connection.”

To a certain extent, I appreciate why this term has become fashionable as it increases awareness of an important concept.

However, even to use the term “mind-body connection” is misleading because it creates the idea that there’s a separate mind and a separate body that are then connected.

Conclusion

Even though we may not understand the mechanisms behind how emotion could contribute to disease. There is already quite a lot of research that supports that connection.

As our understanding of both the nature of reality and human nature evolves, I think medicine is going to look very different in a hundred years than it does today.

Personally and professionally I have no doubts that emotions have an impact on our health.

As a health practitioner, I have seen significant transformations in patients when working with emotions using many different modalities especially energy based medicine including energy healing and Bodytalk.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Tick Bites - Avoidance, Removal and Testing - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

Tick Bites: Avoidance, Removal and Testing

Lyme disease is the number one vector-borne disease in Canada. In our country, there are nearly 1,000 reported new cases each year. In 2015, over 91% of cases were recorded from 3 provinces: Ontario, Nova Scotia and Québec. In the past three years, I have diagnosed three people with Lyme Disease. The cause of Lyme is the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and the most common vector for this bacteria are tick bites.

Ticks carry many different bacteria, parasites, and viruses which can cause severe acute and chronic illness in humans.

Awareness of the problem is the first step towards controlling the epidemic. It is of critical importance that you understand how to prevent and manage tick bites. If you can avoid the tick bite, or at least be proactive in responding when a bite occurs, you can drastically reduce chances of contracting Lyme Disease.

In this article, you are going to learn some simple ways to decrease the risk of tick bites and how to do tick checks, as well as the proper way to remove a tick. I will also discuss how to identify different types of ticks, which can help a doctor understand the risk of transmission of various bugs, as well as how and where to send a tick for testing to identify infections that it may have been carrying.

With this information, you can potentially save yourself and your family from a serious chronic infection with potentially severe multisystem health issues and even death.

Awareness of the problem is key

Peak tick season is during the spring and summer months in Ontario, especially after rain. The rain is a time of increased tick questing and feeding activity.

My wife and I love nature, and we try to remain active in the outdoors.

To avoid ticks, there are some simple things that you can do.

  • When going hiking, walk in the centre of the path and avoid grasses, even tall ones. When in search of a blood meal, ticks like to climb up to the outer tips of the grass, turn themselves around, and wave their legs around, waiting to catch a ride. This behaviour is called questing.
  • Ticks also gather in fallen leaves and under logs, where you may go sit to enjoy a break on a hike.

Repellants

There are a number of different options for repellants.

  1. Lemon eucalyptus oil is a potentially safe and effective natural repellent.
  2. Permethrin, which is made from chrysanthemums, is also a good option. Treating clothing, shoes, and sleeping bags with this can be helpful. Treatments can last many wash cycles so that it can be effective over a period of time.
  3. DEET is also effective for more extreme exposure situations but is more toxic, so it should be used with caution.

Checking for Ticks

When returning from being outdoors in tick-endemic areas, which can also include city parks and lawns at home, consider the following:

  • Change your clothes and put the used clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes, shower and tick check.
  • Do tick checks thoroughly on your children and partner including behind ears, under fingernails, under toenails, belly button, groin area, hairline, and armpits.
  • Check your children before bed if they have been playing outside.
  • Nymph ticks are poppy-seed sized, and one frequently cannot tell that it is a tick without a magnifying glass. An iPhone can be used a magnifier.
  • Be mindful of your pets, as they can bring ticks into the house.

How to remove a tick

Once you have identified that a tick bite has occurred, it is imperative to understand the proper tick removal technique.

Having the right tweezers on hand is critical, and I recommend purchasing the TickEase tweezers. These tweezers are made explicitly for tick removal.

Below are 3 steps for roving a tick:

  1. Insert the tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
  2. Pinch off the mouth part of the tick and gently lift perpendicular to where the tick is attached.
  3. Provide some traction and just wait for the tick to release.

This procedure can take a few minutes if the tick is well attached.

Don’t squeeze the body of the tick. Don’t twist it, burn it, put any oil on it. These actions can increase the risk of infection, as the tick might regurgitate its stomach contents into the bite area.

There is a nice information sheet on tick removal on the Bay Area Lyme Foundation website.

Once removed, place the tick in a Ziploc bag with a moist paper towel and save the tick for identification and pathogen testing.

Identifying Ticks

If possible, try to identify the tick at home using a resource like the Rhode Island TickEncounter.

The type of tick can help a doctor:

  • Know which pathogens are possibly present.
  • Help make decisions on whether or not to treat while waiting for the results of the tick testing. Information on the type of tick can also be helpful if the tick was lost and not able to be tested.

Sometimes tick identification will be very easy based on the features present. Sometimes, however, it will be tough and require an expert to identify the tick.

After removing the tick, I recommend sending the tick for pathogen testing. Testing is particularly important because early treatment can make a big difference in outcomes in preventing chronic infection.

Testing Ticks

In Ontario, Public Health Ontario performs tick testing.

After a tick bite

After a tick bite, watch for any unusual symptoms. The Bay Area Lyme Foundation has an excellent handout on signs of Lyme Disease on their website.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss when and how to treat after a tick bite. However, if you are concerned, you need to consult with a Lyme literate practitioner. You can find Lyme practitioners through the ILADS website.

Conclusion

Lyme disease and the associated co-infections are a growing problem in Ontario. Ticks and tick bites are the most common vector for these infections, and awareness of how to prevent and manage a tick bite is of critical importance in helping avert severe acute and chronic illness in your patients. In this article, we discussed ways to keep yourself protected when out in nature and how to perform thorough tick checks. Also, we examined the management of tick bites, including specific instructions for proper removal of the tick, how to identify it, what kind of tick was involved and testing the tick for pathogens.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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The Potato Hack - A Simple Weight Loss Diet - Dominick Hussey

The Potato Hack – A Simple Weight Loss Diet

I have been treating patients for over a two decades. One of the most challenging conditions to treat is weight loss. Of course, this depends on from where the patient is starting. If they are eating lots of junk food, not exercising, and not sleeping well, weight loss can be pretty straightforward. But if they are already doing all the right things but still not losing weight, it can be tough. In this article, I am going to talk about one of my secret weapons when it comes to losing weight; the potato hack simple weight loss diet.

The Potato Hack Simple Weight Loss Diet

The potato diet has been around since the 1800s as a weight loss approach.

For example, this is a quote from a book called The Potato Diet written in 1849.

“Few are aware of the great value of the potato as an article of diet. It may astonish some of our readers when we assert that potatoes alone are sufficient to sustain the human body in a state of firm and vigorous health. Lean men grow fat, and fat men become lean, lean as they ought to be and so all grow better in health.”

Even though this diet has been around since the 1800s, it was only recently resurrected and popularised by people like Tim Steele in his book The Potato Hack.

Why is the potato hack diet so effective for weight loss?

There are a few reasons why the potato hack diet effective for weight loss.

  1. Several studies show low-calorie, low-fat, high-carb diets can be useful for treating diabetes.
  2. You can modify the potato hack weight loss diet so that the person is only eating potatoes that have been cooked and cooled. This process converts much of the starch in the potatoes to resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of fibre, which is not digested by humans. Our friendly bacteria consume fibre, so it has a positive impact on blood sugar.
  3. The potato hack diet spontaneously decreases calorie intake, which is one of the reasons it leads to such significant weight loss. Weight loss is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of reducing blood sugar when a patient is overweight.
  4. The potato hack diet reduces inflammation and improves the gut microbiota. Both of those can indirectly or directly improve blood sugar.

How does the potato hack diet work?

The food reward concept

Many of you are familiar with the idea of food reward, which is where the more rewarding foods are, the more likely we are to eat them. The food reward concept is a hardwired evolutionary mechanism that helped us survive in a natural environment of food scarcity.

One of the things that contribute to the reward value of food is variety.

The more different flavours, taste, and macronutrients there are in a particular meal, the more likely we are to eat it and to eat more of it.

The easiest way to think about this is to imagine two plates next to each other.  One plate has potatoes that have been steamed or baked with no salt or oil. The other dish has potato chips.

I am reasonably sure that most of us will not overeat the plain steamed or boiled potatoes. We will eat as much as we need to satisfy our appetite but no more.

Whereas, we are more likely to overeat the potato chips even if we are not hungry.

This example demonstrates the concept of food reward and one of the reasons that the Potato Hack diet works so well.

The diet reduces the reward value and leads to a calorie reduction.

Resistant Starch

Another reason why the potato hack diet works is that potatoes that have been cooked and cooled are high in resistant starch, as I mentioned before.

Resistant starch feeds our gut bacteria, and this has a profound impact on slowing down our metabolism.

As a side note, you can use the potato diet as an excellent way to reset your gut. For people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, doing a Potato Hack diet for three to five days can help them get back on track.

Basic rules for following the potato hack simple weight loss diet

The following guidelines are from Tim Steele’s book, The Potato Hack, which I highly recommend if you’re interested in this as a strategy.

  1. Eat nothing but white potatoes for three to five days.
  2. While doing the potato hack simple weight loss diet, you should test your blood sugar with a glucometer after the first few potato meals. If there is a spike in blood sugar, switch from cooked to cooked and cooled potatoes.
  3. The diet only works with white potatoes and not sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes do not form resistant starch in the way that white potatoes do.
  4. Eat two to five pounds of potatoes each day. You should eat enough to satisfy your hunger. You do not need to count calories or potatoes while you’re doing this diet.
  5. No other foods are allowed on the potatoes. So no butter, no sour cream, no cheese, and no bacon bits.
  6. You allowed a little salt, but it is discouraged.
  7. Drink when thirsty. Coffee, tea, and water only.
  8. Light exercise such as walking, yoga, gentle cycling, and swimming only.

A variation of the potato hack diet is called “Potatoes By Day.” During the Potatoes by day diet, you follow the potato diet from dawn to dusk, and then you eat a typical dinner.

Contraindications to doing the diet

If you are considering trying the potato hack diet then it is essential to think about the following contraindications:

  1. Do not try the diet if you are very sensitive to nightshade vegetables.
  2. Do not try the diet if you experience blood sugar spikes even with cooked and cooled potatoes.
  3. Do not try the diet if you can not tolerate a lot of starch or resistant starch. For example, people with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth do not do well eating a lot of starch or resistant starch.

Further guidelines and considerations

  1. The potato diet is suitable when other diet strategies have failed. In my experience, a paleo style wholefoods diet is beneficial for weight loss, and it is more sustainable over the long term.
  2. If you do the Potato Hack Simple Weight Loss Diet for any significant length of time, taking a high-quality multivitamin is a good idea.
  3. You should personalise the diet to your lifestyle to make it more sustainable. In some cases, doing a Potato Hack diet for one or two days a week or just doing the Potatoes By Day strategy will be a better fit. This approach will be advisable if you have a family and busy life.
  4. You will usually lose a half a pound to a pound of weight loss per full day of the potato hack. Based on this information you can roughly calculate how many days you need to be doing the diet.

Conclusion

The Potato Hack Simple Weight Loss Diet is an affordable, and handy advanced tool for weight loss. The diet can work when everything else has failed, and because cooked and cooled potatoes have lots of resistant starch, it’s often safe even for people with blood sugar issues.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Mold Toxicity Symptoms, Diagnosis and Natural Treatment - Dominick Hussey

Mold Toxicity Symptoms, Diagnosis and Natural Treatment

The awareness of mold toxicity and it’s effect on human health has increased dramatically over the past few years. Estimates predict that indoor air pollutants, including mold, may be contributing to more than 50% of people’s illnesses.

You will find the most common types of mold indoors, which include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum sometimes referred to as “toxic black mold”, grows on household surfaces such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint.

Read on to learn more about the typical symptoms of mold toxicity, diagnosis and testing and a simple but an effective natural treatment approach.

3 Most Common Symptoms of Mold Toxicity

Mold toxicity can cause a multitude of different symptoms. Three however common symptoms are almost always present.

  1. Fatigue – by far the number one symptom.
  2. Cognition issues including memory, word finding and calculation difficulties.
  3. Breathing issues including chronic sinus congestion, shortness of breath, breathing difficulty with exercise, sinus nasal drainage, and wheezing. The wheezing looks like asthma, but it doesn’t respond to the typical treatment of inhalers.

Other symptoms of mold toxicity may include:

  • Musculoskeletal symptoms including muscle weakness, achiness, joint pain, and morning stiffness.
  • Urinary symptoms including urinary incontinence, increased thirst, and electrolyte abnormalities leading to muscle cramps.
  • Neurological symptoms including numbness, tingling, and unusual skin sensation where one side of the face becomes numb or even paralysed.
  • Digestive problems including loose stools.
  • Vision issues including red eyes and blurry vision. Sometimes, patients will have night sweats.
  • General symptoms might include sudden appetite swings, body temperature changes, and weight gain, especially in women.

Mold toxicity can produce some unusual symptoms including:

  • Ice pick pain – A sharp, stabbing pain that can be anywhere in the body, but it’s frequently in the head. A headache that feels like being stuck with an ice pick.
  • Static shocks
  • People with mold toxicity often complain about the watches they wear stop working for no apparent reason.

How To Diagnose Mold Toxicity

Like any disease, you can diagnose mold toxicity from a combination of presenting symptoms, good case history and testing.

If you suspect you may have mold toxicity, then some fundamental questions may give you clues that mold might be a problem.

  • Do you live in a moldy house?
  • Do you live in a building that has had water intrusion, damp basement, or musty smells?”
  • Do you get condensation on the windows?
  • Does your house have a flat roof?
  • Did you develop this illness after a move to a new location or got a new job?
  • Do you feel better when you’re on vacation?
  • Do you smell a musty odour anywhere in your house or place of work?

Testing For Mold Toxicity

When investigating mold toxicity, there are two types of testing you should consider, environmental and lab testing.

For environmental testing of your home or workplace, you can do a formal test with a mold inspector. Alternatively, you can do a DIY home test called an EMRI. You can order the EMRI test on Mycometrics.com. This test looks for the DNA of mold in the house dust.

Lab testing

When testing for mold toxicity, it is not necessary to spend many thousands of dollars on lab testing. Rather the cost of testing should be below $1000. Below are a couple of the lab markers, that you should consider when looking for mold toxicity.

  1. HLA-DR typing, gene testing that will tell you if you are within 24% of the population that is genetically susceptible to mold toxicity.
  2. TGF-beta, a marker of an overactive immune system.

A combination of the above testing is available through a direct patient lab called Life Extension.

A 3 Step Natural Treatment Plan For Mold Toxicity

1. Get out of exposure

If you have come to the firm conclusion that you have mold toxicity, then you should remove yourself from the mold exposure environment. If you try any treatment and you are still in a moldy environment, the therapy will not help.

By removing yourself from the environment, there is a good chance you will begin to feel better. If you do not feel better this does not mean that mold is not the problem. A small percentage people with mold issues still feel unwell after removing themselves from the source of the exposure. These people have a condition known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). People with CIRS often have the genes that make them highly susceptible to mold exposure. Research has shown that 24% of the population have some risk to mold exposure while 4% have a very high risk.

2. Identify and remove the mold from your environment

Once you have removed yourself from the environment, the next step is to identify and remove the mold from your home or workplace. If you can remove the mold, this may be all you need to do to feel better. Again any improvement will be closely associated with your genetics. The worse your genes, the less chance you will feel better from just removing the mold.

3. Remove the mold from the body

The next step is to begin the process of removing the mold from your body. One of the main ways you can detox your body from the mold is through the use of bile sequestrants.

How acid sequestrants work

When the body is exposed to toxins, it detoxifies them through the liver and then secretes them into the bile where they go out via the stool. In some people with mold toxicity bile is reabsorbed back into the body. Bile acid sequestrants are compounds that bind to bile acids, stopping reabsorption and allowing them to pass out of the body in the stool.

There are two types of bile acid sequestrants, prescription and natural compounds.

Prescription Bile Sequestrants

The bile prescription sequestrants that have been studied the most are Cholestyramine powder and Welchol.

The recommended dosage for Cholestyramine powder is 4 grams, four times a day, an hour before a meal or supplements or two hours after.

Welchol is taken once or twice a day. Welchol is not as efficient and is more expensive then Cholestyramine powder.

For best results when I recommend combining the prescription binders with clay, charcoal, chlorella, and glucomannan.

Natural Bile Sequestrants and binders

Warning: People with severe intractable diarrhea cannot tolerate bile sequestrants.

Tracking treatment progress

An easy way to monitor the effectiveness of treatment is to use a visual contrast study (VAS) that can be done in the office or online. A VAS detects retinal changes to capillary hypoxia. If the test is abnormal, it is likely that there has been a toxic exposure.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Biofilms - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Dominick Hussey

Biofilms – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Biofilms are protective coatings that bacteria and fungus form to protect themselves from antibiotics and herbal treatment. Biofilms may be at the root of infections that won’t go away like Candida, fungus, H. pylori and SIBO.

Read on to learn more about biofilms, why they turn bad, how to tell if they are affecting you, common infections associated with biofilms, testing and how to treat biofilms.

What are Biofilms?

Biofilms exist pretty much anywhere there are microbes and moisture. Therefore, you can find them at the bottom of the ocean. You encounter them in the mucous membranes of any animal which includes their digestive tract, lungs or even in blood vessels.

Not all biofilms are bad. In the digestive tract of humans, the friendly bacteria use biofilms to protect themselves. So some play a part in us staying healthy. So we do not want to get rid of all biofilms.

When Biofilms go from Good to Bad to Ugly

You can illustrate the different biofilms by visualising a spectrum in front of you. Going from left to right, on the left you have good biofilms and on the right the bad biofilms.

The majority of biofilms begin as good or healthy. A useful way to imagine biofilms is to use an analogy of a fence. Good biofilms are like a garden fence that keeps the healthy bacteria in and any other unwanted intruders out.

As biofilms begin to become worse, then the fence becomes higher, and it starts to hold on to unfriendly bacteria.

At this stage, biofilms are known as early phase or phase type 1 biofilms. These are unhealthy but relatively easy to eradicate.

As you become sick and rundown and you lose your good bacteria, or they get rundown, the fence becomes more like a cage. Researchers liken this to a hive community, where you can have bad bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoans, as well as friendly bacteria.

How to Tell if Biofilms are affecting you?

According to Dr, there are some broad indicators that may suggest biofilms are playing a role in your health.

  1. If you have a lab diagnosed pathogen such as H Pylori that has been unresponsive to a standard treatment protocol. That is usually a sign that there’s biofilm protecting a pathogen.
  2. If you have been chronically sick for than a year or two.

Infections Commonly Associated With Biofilms

Certain infections are most prone to formation of biofilm including:

  1. H. pylori, probably the most well known.
  2. Pseudomonas family, which can cause persistent lung infections and death from pneumonia.
  3. Gram-negative type bacteria like the E. coli
  4. Lyme and coinfections
  5. Parasitic infections such as Blastocystis hominis
  6. Methane Producers such as archea found in SIBO
  7. Candida

How to Test for Biofilms

There is currently no easy way to test for biofilms. You can look for them through biopsy, but this is not practical or cost effective.

Diagnosis is mainly based on empirical evidence from signs and symptoms.

Treatment of Biofilms

Dietary Treatment

In most traditional diets, there are anti-biofilm things that are either part of the food or part of the additives to the food such as:

  • Turmeric
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

Natural Treatments

There are a number of different natural compounds or biofilm disruptors that have been found to be effective for treating biofilms.

Weak Natural Biofilm Disruptors
  • Oils including Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary
  • Herbs including Curcumin and Olive leaf
Moderate to Strong Natural Biofilm Disruptors
  • Black cumin
  • Thiols like n-acetylcysteine and alpha-lipoic acid is also a thiol which can have that effect.
  • DMSA or DMPS
  • Bismuth
Strong Natural Biofilm Disruptors

Any natural biofilm disruptor stronger than those above are new molecules that have been developed from individual natural compounds. Examples of popular strong natural biofilm disruptor include:

Prescription Treatments

There is currently no scientifically validated prescription drugs to that treat biofilms.

How To Know If Treatment Is Working

When using biofilm disruptors it reasonable for you to experience some acute die off symptoms. This is a good sign that the treatment is working. Biofilm disruptors open up biofilms and make your immune system aware of the pathogens inside. When this happens, you get a very aggressive immune response which can not only be uncomfortable but scary.

Although every case is different, symptoms usually resolve between one and six weeks

Die-off versus Intolerance symptoms

Intolerance symptoms occur when you react to something in the supplement or drug. People tend to react to more sulphur containing compounds such as NAC, ALA or DMPS.

Typical intolerance reactions include flushing of the skin, itching, rashes and headaches.

Die off symptoms tend to be stronger and more global than from intolerances. Die off symptoms may include multiple painful joints or whole body muscle pains.

Ways to counter Die-off symptoms

Die off symptoms can be very unpleasant. There are however some useful strategies to help manage these symptoms.

  1. Over-the-counter antihistamine medications
  2. High amounts of adrenal support supplementation
  3. Sauna can be very helpful
  4. Drinking lots of water

If you want to learn more about biofilms, I recommend the following article, Biofilms: What Have We Learned from the Research?written by Dr Paul Anderson.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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MCAS - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment - Dominick Hussey

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a type of mast cell activation disorder (MCAD).

MCAD is the term for describing the whole spectrum of diseases of the mast cell.

There are two main types of primary mast cell diseases including:

  1. Mastocytosis – A rare mast cell activation disorder caused by the presence of too many mast cells and mast cell precursors. People affected by mastocytosis are susceptible to itching, hives, and anaphylactic shock, caused by the release of histamine from mast cells.
  2. Allergic-type phenomena –  Like allergies, urticaria, angioedema, and anaphylaxis.

There is a third type of MCAS where we observe inappropriate activation of the mast cells, where we cannot describe it as either Mastocytosis or an allergic-type phenomenon. We label this type of MCAD under the MCAS banner.

Read on to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, causes, testing and treatment of MCAS.

What are the typical symptoms and systems affected by MCAS?

MCAS may affect virtually any system in the body. So by definition, MCAS may cause a multitude of different symptoms.

Neurological System

Neurologically, you may see symptoms of fatigue and cognitive dysfunction that a lot of people describe as “brain fog.”

There may be a motor and sensory neurologic issues.

And if the central nervous system is affected, there could be psychiatric issues including anxiety and depression.

Cardiovascular system

MCAS may affect the cardiovascular system with all sorts of autonomic related issues including:

  • Variability in pulse and blood pressure
  • Palpitations or Tachycardia or increased heart rate

Musculoskeletal system

MCAS may cause a lot of muscle pain, which is diffusely migratory. There may also be bone issues including osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Gastrointestinal (GI) System

MCAS can cause all sorts of issues in the GI tract including acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.

The Skin

We find mast cells predominantly at environmental interfaces on the outside of the body where they’re best positioned to serve out their principal role and defence. As such we see many skin issues with MCAS including rashes as well as nail and hair problems.

When you think about the biology of this, where do mast cells reside in the body? Well, there are present in every vascularized tissue, but they dominantly site themselves at the environmental interfaces and also perivascular sites. So that’s

Respiratory System

The lungs are another example of an environmental interface found in the body. As such, patients with MCAS can describe intermittent problems with shortness of breath, and sometimes wheezing.

Genitourinary (GU) System

The GU tract is another environmental interface. So MCAS patients may experience irritation and pain in the urinary tract.

Immune System

MCAS can reduce the function of the Immune system so leading to a wide range of possible consequences, including:

  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Increased difficulty with healing from infections and wounds
  • Increased risk for malignancies
  • Increased risk for autoimmune disease

We could go on to the other systems in the body, but I think you get the point that it’s just a bewilderingly vast array of potential symptoms.

Diagnosis of MCAS

The sheer number of different symptoms and the fact that each person can have different symptom picture makes diagnosing MCAS extremely difficult.

According to MCAS expert Dr Lawrence Afrin, most patients who are ultimately found to have MCAS have been searching for help with their symptoms for a very long time, typically for decades.

Cause of MCAS

At present, there are no scientifically validated cause for MCAS only possible theories.

One theory originates from researchers at the University of Bonn Germany. They suggest that MCAS patients may have mutations in the controlling elements of the mast cells. This opinion has not yet been verified so we more research to understand the cause better.

Testing for MCAS

Currently, there is no single reliable laboratory test available for the diagnosis of MCAS. There are some tests available that collectively give a good indication of MCAS.

  • Serum Tryptase – Measuring tryptase levels in the serum can be very helpful in diagnosing mastocytosis. We usually see tryptase levels elevated at least double the upper limit of normal and quite often much higher than that in mastocytosis. However, in MCAS, tryptase is usually normal. Or if it is elevated, it’s just very slightly raised. So it is undoubtedly a good idea to check a serum tryptase when looking for MCAS.
  • Serum Chromogranin A – Chromogranin A (CgA) is a protein released from neuroendocrine cells. These are cells that secrete hormones in response to signals from the nervous system. When measuring serum CgA, you must rule out that the patient does not have heart or renal failure, has not taken proton Pump Inhibitors in the last three days and does not have neuroendocrine cancer. If you have ruled out all the above, then an elevated CgA level is a good indication of MCAS.
  • Plasma and Urine Prostaglandin D2 – Prostaglandin D2 is a significant prostaglandin produced by mast cells.
  • Plasma heparin – Heparin is a compound occurring in the liver and other tissues that inhibits blood coagulation. According to Dr Lawrence, Afrin plasma heparin is a helpful, sensitive and specific test for MCAS.
  • 2,3-Dinor-11beta-prostaglandin F2 alpha – 2,3-Dinor-11beta-prostaglandin F2 alpha is a metabolite of prostaglandin D2.
  • Urine Histamine
  • Urine N-methylhistamine
  • Urine Leukotriene E4

Treatment of MCAS

Because of the complicated nature of MCAS, I recommend a simple step by step approach to treatment.

Step one: Identify and avoid the triggers

Before looking for the underlying cause of MCAS, it is vital to reduce any symptoms. The first part of this is to identify and withdraw any triggers. Typical triggers include high histamine foods so following a low histamine elimination diet is useful. A low Fodmap diet may also be worth trying as it has been shown to lower histamine levels in the body. For my clients, I tend to start with the low Fodmap diet. If symptoms do not reduce to a manageable level, then we try a low fodmap low histamine diet.

Step two: Identify an optimal antihistamine regimen

The second part of controlling symptoms is to find an optimal antihistamine regimen. There are two types of antihistamines you can try, medications and supplements.

Medications

If symptoms are severe, it may be necessary to use antihistamine medications. There are two types of antihistamine medications, H1 and H2 blockers.

H1 Blockers

H1 antagonists, also called H1 blockers, are a class of medications that block the action of histamine at the H1 receptor, helping to relieve allergic reactions. There are two types of H1 blockers, sedating and non-sedating. Since fatigue is such a common symptom in MCAS, it is better to use a non-sedating kind of H1 blocker. Examples of non-sedating H1 blockers include Allegra and Claritin.

H2 Blockers

H2 antagonists, sometimes referred to as H2RA and also called H2 blockers, are a class of medications that block the action of histamine at the histamine H2 receptors of the parietal cells in the stomach. They are typically used to reduce the production of acid in the stomach. Examples of H2 Blockers include Pepcid and Zantac.

When treating MCAS, you will often need a combination of an H1 and H2 blocker. There is no easy way to find the right combination except through a patient step by step trial and error approach. At this point, I would highly recommend you try this under the supervision of your doctor or trusted healthcare practitioner.

Natural Antihistamines

Natural antihistamines that have been shown to reduce histamine levels in the body include:

Step Three: Identifying and treating the cause

As I mentioned above, there is no known cause fore MCAS only theories.

In my clinical practice, I see a strong association between the presence of SIBO and excess histamine. This observation may explain why a low fodmap diet can be a useful tool for reducing a high histamine body load and reducing symptoms.

Regarding cause, I see some parallels with MCAS and true Fibromyalgia. Research has shown a possible link between fibromyalgia and childhood trauma. There has also been some research looking at an association between histamine and stress.

Based on the above observations I suggest a two-step approach for looking at the underlying cause of MCAS.

Step One – Looking for Infections

Assuming that we have already removed any food triggers from the diet then the next step would be to look for any gut infections in particular SIBO. You can do this by using a Lactulose Breath Test.

Step Two – Identifying and Resolving any Past Emotional Traumas

There are some treatment modalities that I recommend and may help with past emotional trauma, some are scientifically validated and some not.

Acupuncture

BodyTalk

Energy Healing

Meditation

Mindfulness Training

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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