Signs of Lupus in women

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known simply as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body.[1] Symptoms vary between people and may be mild to severe. Common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, feeling tired, and a red rash which is most commonly on the face. Often there are periods of illness, called flares, and periods of remission when there are few symptoms.[1]

The cause is not entirely clear.[1] It is believed to involve hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors.[2] Among identical twins, if one is affected there is a 24% chance the other one will be as well.[1] Female sex hormones, sunlight, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and certain infections, are also believed to increase the risk.[2] The mechanism involves an immune response by autoantibodies against a person’s own tissues. These are most commonly anti-nuclear antibodies and they result in inflammation. Diagnosis can be difficult and is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory tests. There are a number of other kinds of lupus erythematosus including discoid lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus, and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus


The global rates of SLE are approximately 20-70 per 100,000 people. In females, the rate is highest between 45-64 year of age. The lowest overall rate exists in Iceland and Japan. The highest rates exist in US and France. However, there is no sufficient evidence to conclude that SLE is less common in some countries compared to others, since there is significant environmental variability in these countries. For example, different countries receive different levels of sunlight, and exposure to UV rays affects dermatological symptoms of SLE. Certain studies hypothesize that a genetic connection exists between race and lupus which affects disease prevalence. If this is true, the racial composition of countries affects disease, and will cause the incidence in a country to change as the racial makeup changes. In order to understand if this is true, countries with largely homogenous and racially stable populations should be studied to better understand incidence.[5] Rates of disease in the developing world are unclear.[6]

The rate of SLE varies between countries, ethnicity, sex, and changes over time.[87] In the United States, one estimate of the rate of SLE is 53 per 100,000;[87] other estimates range from 322,000 to over 1 million.[88] In Northern Europe the rate is about 40 per 100,000 people.[89] SLE occurs more frequently and with greater severity among those of non-European descent.[88] That rate has been found to be as high as 159 per 100,000 among those of Afro-Caribbean descent.[87] Childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus generally presents between the ages of 3 and 15 and is four time more common in girls.[90]

While the onset and persistence of SLE can show disparities between genders, socioeconomic status also plays a major role. Women with SLE and of lower socioeconomic status have been shown to have higher depression scores, higher body mass index, and more restricted access to medical care than women of higher socioeconomic statuses with the illness. People with SLE had more self-reported anxiety and depression scores if they were from a lower socioeconomic status.[91]


There are assertions that race affects the rate of SLE. However, a 2010 review of studies which correlate race and SLE identified several sources of systematic and methodological error, indicating that the connection between race and SLE may be spurious.[92] For example, studies show that social support is a modulating factor which buffers against SLE-related damage and maintains physiological functionality.[92] Studies have not been conducted to determine whether people of different racial backgrounds receive differing levels of social support.[92] If there is a difference, this could act as a confounding variable in studies correlating race and SLE. Another caveat to note when examining studies about SLE is that symptoms are often self-reported. This process introduces additional sources of methodological error. Studies have shown that self-reported data is affected by more than just the patients experience with the disease- social support, the level of helplessness, and abnormal illness-related behaviors also factor into a self-assessment. Additionally, other factors like the degree of social support which a person receives, socioeconomic status, health insurance, and access to care can contribute to an individual’s disease progression.[92][93] It is important to note that racial differences in lupus progression have not been found in studies that control for the socioeconomic status [SES] of participants.[92][94] Studies that control for the SES of its participants have found that non-white people have more abrupt disease onset compared to white people and that their disease progresses more quickly. Non-white patients often report more hematological, serosal, neurological, and renal symptoms. However, the severity of symptoms and mortality are both similar in white and non-white patients. Studies that report different rates of disease progression in late-stage SLE are most likely reflecting differences in socioeconomic status and the corresponding access to care.[92] The people who receive medical care often have accrued less disease-related damage and are less likely to be below the poverty line.[94] Additional studies have found that education, marital status, occupation, and income create a social context which contributes to disease progression.[92]


SLE, like many autoimmune diseases, affects females more frequently than males, at a rate of about 9 to 1.[3][87] The X chromosome carries immunological related genes, which can mutate and contribute to the onset of SLE. The Y chromosome has no identified mutations associated with autoimmune disease.[95]

Hormonal mechanisms could explain the increased incidence of SLE in females. The onset of SLE could be attributed to the elevated hydroxylation of estrogen and the abnormally decreased levels of androgens in females. In addition, differences in GnRH signalling have also shown to contribute to the onset of SLE. While females are more likely to relapse than males, the intensity of these relapses is the same for both sexes.[96]

In addition to hormonal mechanisms, specific genetic influences found on the X chromosome may also contribute to the development of SLE. Studies indicate that the X chromosome can determine the levels of sex hormones. A study has shown an association between Klinefelter syndrome and SLE. XXY males with SLE have an abnormal X-Y translocation resulting in the partial triplication of the PAR1 gene region.

Keeping Your Immune System Healthy

How do you keep the immune system active and healthy? All the books say essentially the same thing— simply by living well. And “living well” involves common sense practices such as eating a healthful diet, getting enough sleep, exercising, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and avoiding stress. A few additional tips for keeping the immune system healthy include:

  • Avoid or prevent exposure to environmental toxins such as mercury, poisons and heavy metals.
  • Avoid taking unnecessary drugs.
  • Understand that diet can influence your immune system, and choose your foods wisely.
  • Have sex. Sexual activity has been found to be good for the immune system because it activates the hormones that are regulated by the act of having sex and helps maintain a healthy hormone balance.


Cancer diet, ketogenic – high fat

keto diet no carbs and supplements brain cancer

How a young man delayed cancer progression with high fat and less carbs diet, ketogenic diet?

He eats and fasts. He credits his health to whole foods of greens and dietary supplements. Fats are from coconut oil, omega 3, eggs, fish oil and other veggie sources.

Sugar is food for cancer cells. He avoid sugar and carbs rich in sugar and derives his carbs from greens.

Muscle soreness home remedy

Sore Muscles #1 – Epsom Salts and Magnesium Oil

Tried and true, a cup or two of Epsom salt dissolved in a warm tub of water works wonders for aching muscles. Use warm, not hot, water.  Warm water will dry out your skin less.  Soak for 15 minutes or until the water has cooled, up to three times per week.  Not recommended for those with health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Magnesium oil is typically applied with a spray pump bottle, which makes it easier to target on a specific area, such as a sore calf or foot.

How do Epsom salts and magnesium oil work to help sore muscles? Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulfate, magnesium oil is made up of magnesium chloride.  Magnesium is natural muscle relaxant, and as salts, these compounds help to pull excess fluids out of the tissues, reducing swelling.

Sore Muscles #2 – Heat or Cold

A warm shower or bath is a natural muscle relaxer, which can be great for tension knotted shoulders or muscles tight from overuse. For bruising or inflammation, an ice pack applied to the affected area for up to 20 minutes can reduce swelling and soreness.

Sore Muscles #3 – Oral Magnesium

Low levels of magnesium in the body can lead to general muscle aches and muscle cramps. You may want to consider a magnesium supplement, but you can start by including foods that are high in magnesium in your diet.  Some of the top food sources for magnesium are molasses (see below), squash and pumpkin seeds (pepitas), spinach, Swiss chard, cocoa powder, black beans, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews.  (See World’s Healthiest Foods and for more info.)

Sore Muscles #4 – Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

15 people on the Earth Clinic Muscle Cramp page give Apple Cider vinegar a thumbs up for treating sore muscles and leg cramps. Most folks mix a tablespoon or two in a glass of water and drink it down, some drink a tablespoon straight like a shot.  Still other rub the vinegar directly on the area of the sore muscle/cramp.  A variation of this is a fellow who drank pickle juice and achieved similar results.  Judith recommends 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, a sprig of fresh mint and 8 to 10 ounces of cold water, well mixed.

Sore Muscles #5 – Blackstrap Molasses

Another Earth Clinic user (Ackbar) says 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in a cup of coffee each day cured his chronic muscle pain. This is likely due to the magnesium content.  Another way to get combine ACV and molasses is the old fashioned drink called Switchel, which was commonly used before the age of brightly colored sports drinks and juices shipped from around the world.  This version of the drink is from Hillbilly Housewife.

Switchel Recipe

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • tap water to make 2 quarts

Mix first four ingredients to blend, then add water and mix until dissolved. Chill or serve over ice, if desired.

Sore Muscles #6 – Coconut Oil

Like apple cider vinegar, coconut oil is recommended for a wide variety of ailments. On the EarthClinic site, Lynn says that she uses 2-3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil per day in cooking and applied on foods like butter.  if you want an easy way to eat more coconut oil, may I recommend some coconut oil fudge, which contains coconut oil and cocoa powder?

 Sore Muscles #7 – Essential Oils

A number of essential oils and essential oils blends may be helpful for relieving muscle pain. For muscle cramps, try lemongrass with peppermint and marjoram.  For muscle spams, top recommended oils are basil, marjoram and Roman Chamomile.  For muscle tension, try marjoram, peppermint, helichrysum, lavender or Roman Chamomile.

To use an essential oil for muscle pain, add one to two drops of the essential oil into one tablespoon of a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, and apply to the affected area.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and drugs by Dr Mercola

Safest Anti-Inflammatories to Use for Pain

Clearly the safest prescription drugs to use for pain are the non-acetylated salicylates such as:

  • Salsalate
  • Sodium salicylate
  • Magnesium salicylate (i.e., Salflex, Disalcid, or Trilisate)

They are the drugs of choice if there is renal insufficiency, as they minimally interfere with anticyclooxygenase and other prostaglandins. Additionally, they will not impair platelet inhibition in those patients who are on an every-other-day aspirin regimen to decrease their risk for stroke or heart disease.

Unlike aspirin, they do not increase the formation of products of lipoxygenase-mediated metabolism of arachidonic acid. For this reason, they may be less likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions. These drugs have been safely used in patients with reversible obstructive airway disease and a history of aspirin sensitivity.

They are also much gentler on your stomach than the other NSAIDs and are the drug of choice if you have problems with peptic ulcer disease. Unfortunately, all these benefits are balanced by the fact that they may not be as effective as the other agents and are less convenient to take. You need to take 1.5-2 grams twice a day, and tinnitus, or ringing in your ear, is a frequent side effect.

You need to be aware of this complication and know that if tinnitus does develop, you need to stop the drugs for a day and restart with a dose that is half a pill per day lower. You can repeat this until you find a dose that relieves your pain and doesn’t cause any ringing in your ears.

If the Safer Anti-Inflammatories Aren’t Helping, Try This Next…

If the non-acetylated salicylates aren’t helping, there are many different NSAIDs to try. Relafen, Daypro, Voltaren, Motrin, Naprosyn. Meclomen, Indocin, Orudis, and Tolectin are among the most toxic or likely to cause complications. You can experiment with them, and see which one works best for you. If cost is a concern, generic ibuprofen can be used at up to 800 mg per dose. Unfortunately, recent studies suggest this drug is more damaging to your kidneys. If you use any of the above drugs, though, it is really important to make sure you take them with your largest meal as this will somewhat moderate their GI toxicity and the likelihood of causing an ulcer.

Please beware that they are much more dangerous than the antibiotics or non-acetylated salicylates. You should have an SMA blood test performed at least once a year if you are on these medications. In addition, you must monitor your serum potassium levels if you are on an ACE inhibitor as these medications can cause high potassium levels. You should also monitor your kidney function. The SMA will show any liver impairment the drugs might be causing.

These medications can also impair prostaglandin metabolism and cause papillary necrosis and chronic interstitial nephritis. Your kidney needs vasodilatory prostaglandins (PGE2 and prostacyclin) to counterbalance the effects of potent vasoconstrictor hormones such as angiotensin II and catecholamines. NSAIDs decrease prostaglandin synthesis by inhibiting cyclooxygenase, leading to unopposed constriction of the renal arterioles supplying your kidney.

Warning: These Drugs Massively Increase Your Risk for Ulcers

The first non-aspirin NSAID, indomethacin, was introduced in 1963. Now more than 30 are available. Relafen is one of the better alternatives as it seems to cause less of an intestinal dysbiosis. You must be especially careful to monitor renal function periodically. It is important to understand and accept the risks associated with these more toxic drugs. Every year, they do enough damage to the GI tract to kill 2,000 to 4,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis alone. That is 10 people EVERY DAY. At any given time, 10 to 20 percent of all those receiving NSAID therapy have gastric ulcers.

If you are taking an NSAID, you are at approximately three times greater risk for developing serious gastrointestinal side effects than those who don’t. Approximately 1.2 percent of patients taking NSAIDs are hospitalized for upper GI problems, per year of exposure. One study of patients taking NSAIDs showed that a life-threatening complication was the first sign of ulcer in more than half of the subjects. Researchers found that the drugs suppress production of prostacyclin, which is needed to dilate blood vessels and inhibit clotting. Earlier studies had found that mice genetically engineered to be unable to use prostacyclin properly were prone to clotting disorders.

Anyone who is at increased risk of cardiovascular disease should steer clear of these medications. Ulcer complications are certainly potentially life-threatening, but heart attacks are a much more common and likely risk, especially in older individuals.

How You Can Tell if You Are at Risk for NSAID Side Effects

Risk factor analysis can help determine if you will face an increased danger of developing these complications. If you have any of the following, you will likely to have a higher risk of side effects from these drugs:

  1. Old age
  2. Peptic ulcer history
  3. Alcohol dependency
  4. Cigarette smoking
  5. Concurrent prednisone or corticosteroid use
  6. Disability
  7. Taking a high dose of the NSAID
  8. Using an NSAID known to be more toxic


The above drug class are called non steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDs). If they are unable to control the pain, then prednisone is nearly universally used. This is a steroid drug that is loaded with side effects. If you are on large doses of prednisone for extended periods of time, you can be virtually assured that you will develop the following problems:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Ulcers
  • Herpes reactivation
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney stones

You can be virtually assured that every time you take a dose of prednisone your bones are becoming weaker. The higher the dose and the longer you are on prednisone, the more likely you are to develop the problems. However, if you are able to keep your dose to 5 mg or below, this is not typically a major issue. Typically this is one of the first medicines you should try to stop as soon as your symptoms permit.

Beware that blood levels of cortisol peak between 3 and 9am. It would, therefore, be safest to administer the prednisone in the morning. This will minimize the suppression on your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. You also need to be concerned about the increased risk of peptic ulcer disease when using this medicine with conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. If you are taking both of these medicines, you have a 15 times greater risk of developing an ulcer!

If you are already on prednisone, it is helpful to get a prescription for 1 mg tablets so you can wean yourself off the prednisone as soon as possible. Usually you can lower your dose by about 1 mg per week. If a relapse of your symptoms occurs, then further reduction of the prednisone is not indicated.

How Do You Know When to Stop the Drugs?

Unlike conventional approaches to RA, my protocol is designed to treat the underlying cause of the problem. So eventually the drugs that you are going to use during the program will be weaned off. The following criteria can help determine when you are in remission and can consider weaning off your medications:

  • A decrease in duration of morning stiffness to no more than 15 minutes
  • No pain at rest
  • Little or no pain or tenderness on motion
  • Absence of joint swelling
  • A normal energy level
  • A decrease in your ESR to no more than 30
  • A normalization of your CBC. Generally your HGB, HCT, & MCV will increase to normal and your “pseudo”-iron deficiency will disappear
  • ANA, RF, & ASO titers returning to normal

If you discontinue your medications before all of the above criteria are met, there is a greater risk that the disease will recur. If you meet the above criteria, you can try to wean off your anti-inflammatory medication and monitor for flare-ups. If no flare-ups occur for six months, then discontinue the clindamycin. If the improvements are maintained for the next six months, you can then discontinue your Minocin and monitor for recurrences. If symptoms should recur, it would be wise to restart the previous antibiotic regimen.

Evaluation to Determine and Follow Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have received evaluations and treatment by one or more board certified rheumatologists, you can be very confident that the appropriate evaluation was done. Although conventional treatments fail miserably in the long run, the conventional diagnostic approach is typically excellent, and you can start the treatment program discussed above. If you have not been evaluated by a specialist then it will be important to be properly evaluated to determine if indeed you have rheumatoid arthritis. Please be sure and carefully review Appendix Two, as you will want to confirm that fibromyalgia is not present.

Beware that arthritic pain can be an early manifestation of 20-30 different clinical problems. These include not only rheumatic disease, but also metabolic, infectious and malignant disorders. Rheumatoid arthritis is a clinical diagnosis for which there is not a single test or group of laboratory tests that can be considered confirmatory.

Criteria for Classification of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Morning Stiffness – Morning stiffness in and around joints lasting at least one hour before maximal improvement is noted.
  • Arthritis of three or more joint areas – At least three joint areas have simultaneously had soft-tissue swelling or fluid (not bony overgrowth) observed by a physician. There are 14 possible joints: right or left PIP, MCP, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, and MTP joints.
  • Arthritis of hand joints – At least one joint area swollen as above in a wrist, MCP, or PIP joint.
  • Symmetric arthritis – Simultaneous involvement of the same joint areas (as in criterion 2) on both sides of your body (bilateral involvement of PIPs, MCPs, or MTPs) is acceptable without absolute symmetry. Lack of symmetry is not sufficient to rule out the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid Nodules – Subcutaneous nodules over bony prominences, or extensor surfaces, or in juxta-articular regions, observed by a physician. Only about 25 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop nodules, and usually as a later manifestation.
  • Serum Rheumatoid Factor – Demonstration of abnormal amounts of serum rheumatoid factor by any method that has been positive in less than 5 percent of normal control subjects. This test is positive only 30-40 percent of the time in the early months of rheumatoid arthritis.

You must also make certain that the first four symptoms listed in the table above are present for six or more weeks. These criteria have a 91-94 percent sensitivity and 89 percent specificity for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

However, these criteria were designed for classification and not for diagnosis. The diagnosis must be made on clinical grounds. It is important to note that many patients with negative serologic tests can have a strong clinical picture for rheumatoid arthritis.

Your Hands Are the KEY to the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a way, the hands are the calling card of rheumatoid arthritis. If you completely lack hand and wrist involvement, even by history, the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is doubtful. Rheumatoid arthritis rarely affects your hips and ankles early in its course.

The metacarpophalangeal joints, proximal interphalangeal and wrist joints are the first joints to become symptomatic. Osteoarthritis typically affects the joints that are closest to your fingertips (DIP joints) while RA typically affects the joints closest to your wrist (PIP), like your knuckles.

Fatigue may be present before your joint symptoms begin, and morning stiffness is a sensitive indicator of rheumatoid arthritis. An increase in fluid in and around your joint probably causes the stiffness. Your joints are warm, but your skin is rarely red. When your joints develop effusions, hold them flexed at 5 to 20 degrees as it is likely going to be too painful to extend them fully.

Fast hearbeat sent me to the emergency room

heart health

I salute the nurses and workers at the emergency room of the Valley Medical Hospital in San Jose California.  My heart rate went to 191 at one time with normal blood pressure. EKG results showed poor functioning of my heart’s left atrium. Heart disease runs in my family. Thanks to eating healthy food (pineapple, apple cider vinegar, raw foods, green tea, others), my blood pressure was normal. But my extra 20 lbs weight and other stressors in the past must have caused inflammation inside my body.

I do not want surgery, so I have to find ways to lower my heart rate. Thanks to pineapple, resveratrol and Vit C in my dieatary supplements at ( enter Connie Dello Buono when ordering or becoming an independent distributor) . Contact for more info.

How to Treat Inflammation at its Source, Naturally

Lifestyle changes will go a long way toward reducing chronic inflammation in your body, so focus on making the following changes:

  1. Focus on eating a healthy diet. This includes avoiding pro-inflammatory foods like trans fats, fried foods, sugar and grains, foods cooked at high temperatures and oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs).
  1. Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil that is chock full of these beneficial omega-3s. My favorite in this area is krill oil.
  1. Optimize your insulin levels. If your fasting insulin level is not lower than three consider limiting or eliminating your intake of grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level.
  1. Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.
  1. Quit smoking. Smoking hardens your arteries and increases inflammation. But research shows you can reverse all the damaging effects to your arteries within 10 years of quitting. However, be sure you get your diet under control first so you don’t fall into the trap of trading cigarettes for unhealthy junk foods.
  1. Make sure your waist size is normal. If you’re a woman with a waist measurement of over 35 inches or a man with a waist of over 40 inches, you probably have high inflammation and should take steps to lose weight.
  1. Have healthy outlets for stress and other negative emotions. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals, so be sure you use tools to help deal with your current stress and resolve past emotional challenges as well. Meditation, prayer and my personal favorite the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT)are all useful stress management techniques to try out.
  1. Optimize your vitamin D levels. Most people are not aware that vitamin D can have a profoundly dramatic impact on your health.

Your best source of vitamin D is through your skin being exposed to the sun or alternatively using a safe tanning bed. In the wintertime, however, you may need to take an oral supplement. Just make sure you’re taking the right form of vitamin D in the appropriate amounts to reap the benefits, and remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly.

Useful Herbs and Supplements to Fight Inflammation

Finally, although they are not a long-term solution, the herbs that follow are useful for treating the symptoms of inflammation and relieving pain while you work at implementing the lifestyle changes above:

  • Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients, referred to as boswellic acids that animal studies have shown significantly reduce inflammation. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with rheumatoid arthritis patients
  • Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.
  • Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice. Powder capsules are also available, but I recommend using the fresh root.
  • Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in certain fruits, vegetables and cocoa that is emerging as a modern-day fountain of youth. It works by preventing your body from creating sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D — two molecules known to trigger inflammation. The science surrounding this compound is so compelling that it has become one of my all-time favorite antioxidants, and I believe one that shows real promise of health benefits.
  • Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. It is reasonable for many to take these as a supplement, particularly if you struggle with dry skin in the winter, as this is a strong indicator that you are deficient in these fats.
  • Turmeric, Tulsi and Rosemary: The transcription protein Nuclear Factor-kappa Beta (NfKB) is a major inducer of inflammation, and these three herbs are capable of modulating NfKB.

Brain detox, eyes,

Brain Detox

Mobilizing Mercury by Boosting Enzymes and Transport Proteins

Now that your glutathione levels are up, you can work on building up the other parts of your glutathione system — specifically, enzymes and transport proteins. Your natural production of these factors can be augmented with superfoods.

Plants contain thousands of natural chemicals (phytochemicals) that help your body to work properly, including production of enzymes and antioxidants. One group of phytochemicals is the polyphenol group, which actually helps activate health-promoting genes.3 Polyphenols are abundant in a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

Sulfur-based phytonutrients are particularly important in supporting your glutathione system, since glutathione is a sulfur-based molecule.  Therefore, you should consume vegetables from the cruciferous family (cabbage, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, radishes, wasabi, etc.), which are rich in sulfur. Fermenting these vegetables is the most nutritious way to consume them.

Garlic is especially powerful, but it’s the oil of the garlic that supports detoxification, not the allicin (which is the compound known for its antimicrobial effect). And you want the smelly kind of garlic — deodorized garlic is useless for detox! Either eat the garlic raw (yes, you have to chew it up), or purchase a garlic oil supplement. Some of the other compounds recommended by Dr. Shade include:

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) extract: An Ayurvedic fruit used extensively in Tibetan medicine, called the “King of Herbs;” it has potent effects on your glutathione system and on expression of other intracellular antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD)

Sodium R-lipoic Acid The most bioavailable and active form of alpha-lipoic acid; also good for increasing insulin sensitivity and treating type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and mitochondrial dysfunction

Lumbrokinase : a enzyme derived from earthworms.

Pine Bark Extract One of the most potent polyphenolic antioxidants; has been found to prolong the activity of vitamin C in your body; good as an adjunct to vitamins C, E and lipoic acid.  Your approach with these agents should be to gradually titrate the dose upward to a high therapeutic level, then back it down. It’s best to “pulse” the treatments because your body can’t sustain upregulation for very long. You will be more productive with shorter bursts at an appropriately stout therapeutic dose. This means taking the treatments for a few days, followed by a few days off. Dr. Shade suggests cycling your treatments on the schedule of five days on, two days off (to start), working up to 10 days on, four days off. He instructs, never go more than 10 days on when upregulating your detoxification system.

Ideally, this should be done with the assistance of a healthcare professional trained in heavy metal detoxification who can help you decide on an optimal dose and schedule. If you begin to feel worse, you may be titrating up too quickly.

Capturing and Eliminating Mercury with Intestinal Binders

You do NOT want to mobilize mercury without making sure it has an escape route out of your body!

Once the mercury is in your intestine, you need something to bind it and pull it away from your intestinal wall, and for this we use something called an intestinal binder. Intestinal binders help carry the mobilized toxins out, which prevents them from building up in your bloodstream where they can end up making you sicker.

Binders prevent you from absorbing or reabsorbing the toxic agent, but they also help prevent intestinal inflammation. If your intestine becomes inflamed, the traffic stops because the transport proteins are shut off. That causes toxins to back up into your liver and kidneys, and blood. Removing mercury from your gut will also help prevent dysbiosis, which is at the root of a mind-blowing array of health problems.

Thiol Resins

There are several types of intestinal binders, but only a couple of them work well for grabbing mercury. Dr. Shade’s favorite binder is thiol resin, because it’s the most specific to heavy metals (mercury, lead and arsenic) and produces high rates of excretion. Thiol resins have a powerful attraction for mercury.


Another good binder for heavy metals is chlorella. Dr. Shade suggests working up to 50 to 70 tablets per day, which is a lot of chlorella. Please work up to that level gradually. Other binders you’ll hear about are clay/zeolites, and pectin. For mercury, these bind very weakly, and you would have to take enormous quantities for many years to see any benefit so I don’t recommend them.

If you haven’t yet had your amalgams removed, you may find rinsing with a binding agent helpful. Chlorella, activated charcoal, or N-acetyl cysteine can be prepared as a mouthwash where it binds to the mercury coating your oral epithelium. Levels of mercury can be very high in this rinse — make sure you don’t swallow it.

Beneficial Bacteria

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride believes that one of the most potent detoxifiers of mercury and heavy metals are beneficial bacteria. Their cell membranes tend to bind very effectively to the metals and they are typically excreted in the stool. One of the best ways to provide your body with this resource is with fermented vegetables.

Serrapeptase is an enzyme produced by serratia bacteria living on silkworms. With this enzyme the worms melt a hole out of the cocoon. Unlike other enzymes in the field of biology, Serrapeptase dissolves ‘dead’ tissue like or e.g. not both silk and apparently also fibrinoid layers in the arteries which chemically could be compared to silk.

A special problem in today’s civilized society is occluding processes in the carotid arteries of the neck. Very often we see patients where surgeons were reluctant to operate or to apply drill or laser technology such occluded carotids. The reason for this is the potential risk that off coming debris will be pushed into the smaller cerebral vessels.

We have, therefore started to apply Serrapeptase in cases of severe narrowings of the carotid arteries. Mostly in patients showing severe symptoms due to the narrowing, including amaurosis fugax (intermittent blindness). The therapeutic results are excellent, certainly lifesaving. It is, however, mandatory that the therapy be conducted for a very long time. Even after month 18, after the onset of the therapy, the patients are improving.

I have also found Serrapeptase to be an extraordinary substance for safety removing fibrous blockages from coronary arteries, particularly the carotid arteries found in the neck, which supply blood brain. Serrapeptase is a natural enzyme produced by serratia bacteria living in silkworms. Once the silkworm has completed its transformation into a moth, it uses this substance to “melt” a hole in its cocoon, so that it can escape.

Other Factors to Consider Adding to Your Regimen

In addition to a healthful diet as discussed earlier, the following supplements and other measures will enhance and support your body’s detoxification ability:

A good whole food multivitamin that includes the full spectrum of B vitamins A good mineral supplement (consider Thorne Citramins II, citrated minerals without copper or iron) Fermented foods and probiotics
Astaxanthin, to protect your cell membranes from free radical damage Cilantro Vitamin C, a powerful detox agent
Plenty of fresh, purewater daily Flax seeds (ground) to keep intestines moving Regular exercise
Infrared sauna Address your emotional issues (I recommendEFT) Address malocclusions and cranial trauma

About food combining

There are several food combining systems out there, some more complex than others; but I have found that a few basic rules can make a considerable difference in a person’s health.

I suggest eating fruit on an empty stomach (such as first thing in the morning), and then eating protein and/or complex carbohydrates 30-45 minutes later to balance the blood sugar.

I stress the need for protein at breakfast and lunch.  It is ideal to make lunch the largest meal of the day and eat lighter at dinner.  I encourage only plant proteins at dinner.

Animal protein is better consumed with low starch leafy green vegetables and should not be combined with carbohydrates.  This allows the food to get easily digested and absorbed into the cells.

If foods are not properly combined, they can sit in the stomach, rotting and fermenting for hours.  For example, the stomach needs to secrete acid when consuming animal protein to break it down.  Carbohydrates, on the other hand, need an alkaline environment for digestion.  Mixing the two food groups causes the resulting acid and alkaline components to create a neutral pH, preventing the food from being digested properly.  Unfortunately, this is the typical American diet for three meals a day.  This is just one of the reasons so many are overweight, but undernourished. Our cells are starving for nutrients, but the food we eat often cannot be digested and absorbed properly.  Fruits should be eaten alone because they break down in the stomach in 20-30 minutes whereas other foods take at least 2-3 hours.  If fruit is not eaten alone, it starts to ferment the food mixture, which then cannot break down properly.

A few simple ways to decrease the body’s acidity and create a more alkaline pH are to add fresh lemon juice to drinking water or to mix 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of raw organic honey and warm water, 1-3 times a day.  Vinegar makes people feel better if they generally suffer from a lack of hydrochloric stomach acid.  However, if they have too much stomach acid, they will get acid reflux from the vinegar and honey; a pinch of baking soda on the tongue can instantly neutralize the effect.

In TCM we work to change the diet and lifestyle first, and then focus on herbs and acupuncture.  In centuries past, diet and lifestyle changes may have been enough to establish optimal health.  In today’s toxic world almost everyone needs herbal detoxification.  The most basic herbal formulae to detox the body include plants that address the liver/gallbladder and others that address blood/lymphs and skin.  These herbs are found in most health food stores.

Cleansing Chemical Toxicity

Liver Cleansing

The most popular liver detox herb is milk thistle seed, which I combine with bupleurum, chrysanthemum, coptis, cornus, cypress, dandelion root,dong quai, fennel seed, ginger, green citrus peel, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), jujube, lobelia, licorice root, moutan root bark, Oregon grape root, peppermint, phellodendron bark, rhemannia, scutellaria, Turkey rhubarb, turmeric, white peony root, wild yam rhizome, and uncariae ramulus.

I recommend at least 2-4 oz. of room temperature kombucha tea a day.  Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from the kombucha “mushroom,” a symbiotic culture of yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms.  The culture is placed into a jar with an organic green tea and raw sugar mixture, along with a starter of kombucha tea from the previous batch.

The kombucha culture uses the sweet tea as food.  During the fermentation process it makes many nutritional compounds such as amino acids, antibiotic substances, glucon acid, glucuronic acid, lactic acid and vitamins. This tea has been found to help detoxify toxic chemical residues from liver tissue and from the body.

For more severe cases I will add in homeopathic remedies for liver/gallbladder detox, such as Hepeel by BHI/HEEL or GUNA Liver.  Both of these preparations feature a combination of various homeopathic remedies to be taken sublingually.

If clients have gallbladder pain, or are known to have gallstones, I start them onLi Dan Pian.  This Chinese formula begins to soften and dissolve stones in the liver and gallbladder.  I use Mayway’s Plum Flower brand which contains scutellaria, aucklandia, lysimachia, lonicera, artemesia capillaris, bupleurum, isatis leaf, and rhubarb.

Skin, Blood, Lymph & Cellular Cleansers

If I have a client with any skin problems, lymph issues, or abnormal cell growth like dysplasia, cysts, or tumors, I will add in remedies to detox the blood, lymphatics and skin.  The most popular herb for this is red clover blossoms, which I combine with black walnut hulls, burdock root, calendula flowers, chaparral, cleavers, chrysanthemum flowers, dandelion root, echinacea, elder flowers, forsythia fruit, gentian root, goldenseal root, gotu kola, honeysuckle flowers, licorice root, lyceum, moutan root bark, myrrh, Oregon grape root, pau d’arco, peppermint, pinellia, sarsaparilla, turmeric, white peony root, and yellow dock root. 

For more severe cases I will add combination homeopathics such as Lymphomyosot by BHI/HEEL or GUNA’s Lympho, Cell and Matrix.  These formulae detox the lymphatic system, cells and the matrix (space between cells) respectively.

Exercising on a trampoline or rebounder also helps in detoxifying the body at the lymphatic, cellular and matrix levels. The up and down movements provide a positive benefit to every cell in the body, helping them to eliminate waste and take in nutrients.

Epsom salt baths can be excellent for detoxing the skin, blood, and lymph.  Epsom salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are easily absorbed by the skin.  Magnesium regulates over 325 enzymes in the body; it increases the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to help mitochondria in the cells produce more energy; it relaxes the nerves and muscles and lowers blood pressure; it regulates electrolytes, improves blood circulation, prevents blood clots and protects the elasticity of the arteries; it reduces inflammation; it lowers the negative effects of too much adrenaline (one of our stress hormones); and it helps to produce serotonin (one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals that help us relax.)

  • Sulfates help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, improve the absorption of nutrients, and reduce muscle pain and migraine headaches.
  • Magnesium sulfate also helps support the efficacy of insulin in the tissues and helps to reduce high blood sugar.

I have my clients use a large container of Epsom salts in a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes.  Adding essential oils to the bath can help with detoxification as well as address other health issues. Lavender oil aids in detoxifying; and it also calms the nerves, increases energy, and lifts the spirits.  Chamomile is great for dry skin.  Juniper, eucalyptus, and rosemary are good for muscle aches.  Eucalyptus also helps with respiratory problems.  I recommend about 40 drops of essential oil per bath, added after the tub is filled with water. Be sure to mix them in well.

Skin brushing can also help detoxify the skin, blood, and lymph.  Skin-brushing is done with a dry vegetable bristle skin brush that you can buy at any health food store.  Start with the lymph areas of the armpits; then brush the chest, head, and neck, and up the arms toward the armpit area.  Next brush the lymph areas of the upper thighs, followed by the abdomen, then the feet and up the legs toward the upper thighs.  The upper body is done before the lower; and brush from the extremities toward the lymph areas and the heart.

“Variations on the art of skin brushing have been known for thousands of years. Loofa sponges were used by the Japanese prior to their hot baths and skin-scrapers were used by the Greeks after physical training. Among Native Americans, the Cherokees used dried corncobs, and sand from river bottoms was the choice of the Comanches. Even animals rub themselves vigorously against rough surfaces.”

Hot and cold hydrotherapy helps detoxify the lymphatic system and is also a great natural remedy for pain relief.  Cold water constricts the lymph and blood vessels, and hot water relaxes and expands them. I recommend taking a shower using 30 seconds of hot water on the lymphs or painful areas of the body, then switch to 15 seconds of cold.  Go back and forth between hot and cold 4-6 times.  Always start the process with hot and end with cold.


Many people have heavy metal residues in their tissues which can cause a host of chronic health issues.  I use hair mineral analysis through Analytical Research Labs (ARL) to check for heavy metal toxicity, as well as to gain valuable information on mineral imbalances which can signal endocrine disorders.

There are several heavy metal cleansers and chelators available that contain a blend of natural supplements. Chelation agents bind with heavy metal deposits found in the body and help to remove them through the stool and urine. The most common chelator is EDTA—a synthetic amino acid approved by the FDA to remove lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium.  However, EDTA can interfere with the absorption of important nutrients and cannot be used alone, as it can cause kidney failure when it binds with mercury.

Usually calcium is added to EDTA formulae to ensure that calcium levels do not become too low. Other common chelators include alpha-lipoic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), bentonite clay, bladderwrack, chlorella, cilantro, garlic, Irish moss (carageenan), kelp, L-arginine, L-lysine, L-methionine, N-acetyl cysteine, sodium argenate, spirulina and zeolite. 

Intestinal Cleansing

Intestinal detoxification is something most everyone can use.  A healthy person should have 2-3 bowel movements a day.  Ideally, one should have a separate bowel movement for each meal eaten.  I encourage all of my clients to do an intestinal detox if they are having any kind of digestive problems.  If they have only one bowel movement or less per day, I suggest clients start this program immediately.  I have tried many brands of herbal intestinal cleansers over the years and have stayed with the American Botanical Pharmacy’s (ABP) Intestinal Formula 1 & 2 by Dr. Richard Schulze.

Most intestinal cleansing programs incorporate two different formulae—one that acts as a laxative and another that performs as a clay mask for the inside of the gastro-intestinal tract.  Many laxative formulae contain only harsh cathartic herbs that can cause the intestinal peristalsis to atrophy and can cause dependency on the formula for bowel movement. One of the great things about the ABP program is that the laxative formula is designed for long term use if necessary.

ABP’s Intestinal Formula contains curacao and cape aloe leaf, senna leaves and pods, cascara sagrada aged bark, barberry root bark, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb and African bird pepper.  This lower bowel tonic cleanses and strengthens the whole gastro-intestinal tract.  It stimulates peristalsis and helps the colon to work better by itself over time.

Nettle leaf tea and cranberries cured her UTI

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Your health and life can be saved by knowing the health benefits of what is in your kitchen cupboards or practical health knowledge and support from the people around you. My 79 yr old mother has been in the  USA for over 13 years. She was born and raised in the  Philippines where she is used to the herbal remedies that surround her environment. She now lives in San Jose California.

Yesterday, she complained of painful urination. As her daughter and knowing what I know now about herbs, health and practical application of healing remedies, I went to Whole Foods to pick up what I learned will help her. Nettle leaf tea, cranberries chews and dried cranberries, and Zyflamend caps of turmeric and ginger. I reminded her to observe proper hygiene. Eight hours later, and the inflammation subsided after drinking warm tea of nettle leaf (2 tea bags) , 4 caps of turmeric+ginger in Zyflamend, chews of cranberries and dried ones too.

Urinary tract infection is one of the top five most common  disorders among the elderly and most prevalent in Emergency Rooms.

Connie Dello Buono