Chances are, since you are reading this blog post, you have probably heard of probiotics and know that they are beneficial. But you may not realize just how essential they are. The word probiotic literally means "for life." In our intestines live these good bacteria which prevent the bad bacteria, also in our intestines, from making us sick. They’re needed for the formation of normal stools, the digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, tissue development, immunity, and protecting the intestines from pathogens like E. coli. Ideally, 85% of the bacteria in our intestines should be good bacteria, with the remaining 15% consisting of bad bacteria. However, most people have these percentages reversed. When we take antibiotics we destroy all of the bacteria in our intestines, good and bad. Unless we actively restore the good bacteria to 85% we will continue to get sick. Drinking chlorinated or fluoridated water, taking birth control pills, and eating food that contains antibiotics (most meat and dairy) also destroys good bacteria. Symptoms associated with dysbacteriosis (improper balance of good and bad bacteria) can include vaginal yeast infections, athlete's foot, thrush, ring worm, eczema, fatigue, migraines, muscle pains, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pains, decreased immunity, UTIs, menstrual irregularities, bladder inflammation, and so many more.
Many people associate probiotics with yogurt. The American Dairy Association and yogurt companies work hard to promote yogurt as a magical healing food, and many Americans are fooled. A few years ago the yogurt company Dannon was sued for its claims that their products have been scientifically proven to aid in digestion and improve immunity. It is true that yogurt contains some probiotics, but we don't know how much or which strains live in these yogurt products. Just as a doctor prescribes specific antibiotics for certain ailments, each strain of probiotics also has a unique function. This is why it's important to take a multi-strain probiotic supplement. Additionally, the negatives of consuming the added sweeteners and chemical ingredients in most brands of yogurt outweigh the benefits of eating yogurt for its probiotic content.
I take 200 billion CFUs of Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Complete Powder, which is a high dosage. My naturopath suggested this dosage due to the antibiotics I took as a teen to “cure” my acne, and the aggravation my intestinal lining has endured due to gluten intolerance. This probiotic contains twelve strains. For children age two and older, Klaire Labs makes children's chewable tablets, which contain 25 billion CFUs. This costs about $35 for 60 tablets. If you really can't afford this (and I recommend making sacrifices to be able to afford it), a cheaper alternative is Rainbow Light's Probiolicious Gummies, which cost about $13 for 50 gummies. These gummies only contain 1 billion CFUs. Therefore, Rainbow Light might be helpful for daily maintenance but if your child has taken antibiotics or has digestion or health issues I suggest either Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Complete Powder or Klaire Labs Children's Chewables. For infants under age two Klaire Labs offers an Infant Formula Powder.
If you still feel confused as to what exactly you should take I recommend that you see a naturopathic doctor. On the right side of this page there is a link to find a naturopath in your area. But in the meantime, while you're waiting to see your naturopathic doctor, taking any probiotic would be better than no probiotic at all. Good luck!
I sometimes hear people say that they don't regret anything. Maybe I don’t really understand what they mean, but I regret things. And what I regret most is having a cancerous tumor removed.
When I was 13 I noticed a lump on my neck. Turns out it was an enlarged thyroid, also called a tumor, goiter, or nodule. The thyroid gland in the neck is responsible for so many things, but basically for regulating body functions and metabolism. Even though I had a thyroid tumor, my thyroid was actually functioning perfectly. I was neither hyper-thyroid, nor hypo-thyroid. And the tumor didn't bother me. Over the years my doctors performed biopsies on it (which I now know is potentially dangerous because it can spread cancer cells to nearby areas) to see whether it was cancerous or benign. Until a few years ago it was benign. When it became "suspicious" my doctor told me I needed to have it removed because if it was cancer it could spread. But she said that it probably wasn't cancer and they would likely just remove the half of the thyroid with the tumor and the other half would compensate. I was assured that even if it was cancerous, and they had to remove the entire thyroid, I would simply need to take a harmless thyroid hormone replacement pill from then on. But it probably wasn't cancer.
I am so mad at myself that I didn't adequately research before jumping into the surgery. I am really beating myself up today. I research everything. How could I have simply taken this doctor’s advice?! I never do that! I panicked, I guess. My doctors, family, and friends, were all telling me to have it removed and I panicked. I was a mom to two babies and I didn't want to die of cancer.
On the way to the hospital on my surgery day I even asked my husband, "Why am I doing this? I'm perfectly fine. My thyroid is functioning. Why am I going to mess with it?" But it was too late. I was almost there. When I came out of a very long surgery (seven hours) I woke up to the nurse telling me, "The surgery is over. They removed the entire thyroid." Once all the nurses and doctors left I just cried. I knew what that meant. I would have to rely on a pill every single day for the rest of my life. It’s not like blood pressure medicine where you just get healthy and can come off of it. This medicine is something I would have to take forever, no matter what. I would also have to do at least one round of radioactive iodine, which is where you swallow a radiation pill to kill the remaining thyroid tissue. I knew that radiation was bad. And I was supposed to ingest it?!
The first four weeks after having my thyroid removed I felt the worst that I've felt in my whole life. My doctor had accidentally put me on a teeny-tiny baby dosage of thyroid hormone replacement which means I was extremely hypo-thyroid. After six weeks without thyroid hormone your organs begin to shut down. I just wanted to sleep all the time, but I couldn't because I had little kids. I cried a lot because I wanted to sleep so badly. Finally I saw another endocrinologist who did blood work and told me that my TSH (thyroid hormone level) was 140. A normal level is about 3. Once I finally got on some thyroid hormone I started feeling better within a couple of weeks.
I decided not to take the radioactive iodine. I got a lot of "you could die" talks from well-meaning doctors, friends, and family. The docs told me that the radiation would only go to my thyroid cells and that it would be out of my system quickly. I wouldn't be able to go near my kids for a week though because I would be emitting radiation. I thought, Okay, so it's not fine to be around my kids but it's okay for me to put radiation directly into my body?! I started doing a lot of research and I learned that the radiation does in fact harm other parts of my body (duh). The radiation actually affects every single part of my body, but especially the salivary glands, sweat glands, kidneys, colon, and breasts, because it is excreted through these organs. There are many studies which show that people who take radioactive iodine later develop a secondary cancer, usually salivary, kidney or breast. The medical community denies this though. They say the evidence isn’t convincing. I say it’s common sense. So that's when I decided I would see a naturopathic doctor. And boy am I glad I did! She told me about natural approaches to fighting cancer, she sympathized with me, and told me that she wished she could put my thyroid back. It was nice to have a doctor who understood.
What makes me so mad is that my cancer really wasn’t that serious in the first place. It was very unlikely for my specific cancer to spread. And there are many types of cancer that are like that. But the medical community recommends chemo and radiation at the drop of a hat because it makes their survival statistics look good. If they can “diagnose” cancers early, and convince someone that they need to do chemo or radiation, then that’s one more person to add to their list of people who survived cancer because of medical procedures like chemo and radiation. In actuality, many of these cancers wouldn't have spread in the first place. I'm not saying that individual doctors know this and are intentionally trying to harm their patients, but those high up in certain medical associations certainly do.
So let me take a minute to tell you just a few things I do to manage my cancer.
This is the key to killing cancer cells. To make your body strong enough to fight cancer, or any other disease, you have to nourish it properly. That means, only eat God-made organic foods (vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat, beans). No chemicals, preservatives, or processed foods. Just stick to nature. And limit sugar (grains & fruit too). Without sugar, cancer cells will die. This is hard for me to do because I really love fruit. And I also love my gluten-free bread and cereal. But if you really want to kill those cancer cells and keep them away you’ve gotta get the sugar out of your diet. You’re probably thinking, But I thought carbohydrates were good. They are. Vegetables are carbs. Eat vegetables. And a little bit of fruit is probably fine. Also, for individuals with thyroid cancer it is necessary to eliminate gluten from the diet. In susceptible individuals the gluten protein creates an autoimmune response, attacking the thyroid cells. I almost cry as I type this because before I had my thyroid taken out I went gluten-free and my thyroid nodule decreased by half of it's size. Because it didn't completely disappear, and because so many people were pressuring me, I had my thyroid removed. I'm sure that if I had been very strict about eliminating all sources of gluten I could have been thyroid cancer free without the surgery.
Modified Citrus Pectin
I take it in powder form and it's gross so I put it in a smoothie. What it actually does is a complicated process but it basically prevents cancer cells from penetrating into nearby healthy tissue. It is very important to take it for a few months before and after biopsies and two years after surgeries to prevent cancer cells from spreading into the bloodstream. I wish I had known this before I had my biopsies and surgery.
A high-quality multi-vitamin
This is something else that will help maintain a strong immune system, and help fight disease. My naturopath recommends ProThera’s MultiThera1 Capsule Formula Plus Vitamin K. I see any of the typical grocery store multivitamins as a waste of money. They contain all kinds of additives and cheap, synthetic forms of vitamins.
That’s all I will post for now. Stay tuned to learn more ways to prevent cancer and keep it from growing, as well as natural cancer therapies for more advanced cancer.