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The Potential Impact of Cholecystectomy on Drug and Xenobiotic Metabolism, and Liver Detoxification

The Potential Impact of Cholecystectomy on Drug and Xenobiotic Metabolism, and Liver Detoxification

Cholecystectomy is a common surgical procedure in which the gallbladder is removed, usually because of bile duct stones or gallstones. (1)

Bile acids are made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, but when the gallbladder has been removed, there is no place for them to be stored. (2)

Bile acids are required particularly for the promotion of lipid absorption, but they also play a significant role in activating enzymes responsible for phase I, phase II, and phase III metabolism in the liver. (3)

Hence, if someone has had a cholecystectomy, then their primary detoxification pathways will be compromised by the fact that they are bile acid deficient.

It goes without saying that a person who has had cholecystectomy is thereby more likely to have toxins build up in their system, tissues, and blood, which means that supporting the detoxification pathways in patients who are missing their gallbladder is essential. (4)

Also, supplementing with bile salts may be necessary, but it is essential to consult your naturopathic doctor instead of self-diagnosing and self-treating.

Resources:

  1. Njeze GE. GallstonesNiger J Surg. 2013;19(2):49-55. doi:10.4103/1117-6806.119236
  2. Secretion of Bile and the Role of Bile Acids In Digestion. (n.d.). http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/liver/bile.html.
  3. Hoekstra R, Nibourg GA, van der Hoeven TV, Plomer G, Seppen J, Ackermans MT, Camus S, Kulik W, van Gulik TM, Elferink RP, Chamuleau RA. Phase 1 and phase 2 drug metabolism and bile acid production of HepaRG cells in a bioartificial liver in absence of dimethyl sulfoxide. Drug Metab Dispos. 2013 Mar;41(3):562-7. doi: 10.1124/dmd.112.049098. Epub 2012 Dec 13. PMID: 23238784.
  4. Grant DM. Detoxification pathways in the liver. J Inherit Metab Dis. 1991;14(4):421-30. doi: 10.1007/BF01797915. PMID: 1749210.
Iron Deficiency Anemia and Detoxification

Iron Deficiency Anemia and Detoxification

Iron deficiency anemia is a common condition, prevalent in around 10% of non-Hispanic white women and nearly 20 percent of black and Mexican-American women. (1)

Iron is stored by a protein called ferritin, which is made by the liver, and so if ferritin is low, then there is not sufficient storage capacity in the body. (2)

Checking ferritin is the best way to check for iron deficiency, for this reason.

A little known fact is that the cytochrome P450 enzymes also made in the liver require heme-iron structurally in order to function. (3)

These enzymes play a critical role in the metabolism and clearance of drugs, in something called Phase 1 detoxification.

Hence, having low iron can mean that our detoxification pathways will not function at their highest level, as the p450 enzymes may not have the iron they require to be built in sufficient quantity.

Also, because ferritin and the cytochrome p450 enzymes are both made by the liver, supporting a healthy liver will aid in their production.

Resources:

  1. Killip S, Bennett JM, Chambers MD. Iron deficiency anemia. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Mar 1;75(5):671-8. Erratum in: Am Fam Physician. 2008 Oct 15;78(8):914. PMID: 17375513
  2. Anderson ER, Shah YM. Iron homeostasis in the liver. Compr Physiol. 2013;3(1):315-330. doi:10.1002/cphy.c120016
  3. Correia MA, Sinclair PR, De Matteis F. Cytochrome P450 regulation: the interplay between its heme and apoprotein moieties in synthesis, assembly, repair, and disposalDrug Metab Rev. 2011;43(1):1-26. doi:10.3109/03602532.2010.515222
How to Apply The Fourth Law of Healing, The Law of Compensation

How to Apply The Fourth Law of Healing, The Law of Compensation

The body responds to every event or agent with first, an observable, ephemeral effect, and second, a reaction which is persistent and runs directly contrary to the primary effect.

“Cold things warm, warm things cool, wet things dry, and parched things get wet.”

—Heraclitus (1)

“Every agent affecting the human organism produces two effects: a first, apparent, temporary effect, and a second, lasting effect. The secondary, lasting effect is always contrary to the primary, transient effect.”

—Henri Lindlahr, MD, ND (2)

The fourth law of healing is the Law of Compensation (otherwise known as the Law of Dual Effect). The Law of Compensation was first articulated by Henri Lindlahr, MD, ND, one of the pioneers of naturopathy in the United States, in his seminal work, Nature Cure, first published in 1913. (3) The Law of Compensation states that every action in the body, elicited by an agent such as a drug, first produces a primary effect which is apparent and temporary. However, an opposite, secondary reaction, or a “dual effect,” then ensues which is persistent in its duration and its action runs counter to the primary effect.

The Law of Compensation can be observed in the application of cold to the body. For example, let’s say you suffer a high ankle sprain and your doctor has you follow. the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The general recommendation is to leave the ice pack on your ankle ten to twenty minutes, but let’s say that because. you’re watching Netflix, you forget and leave it on for thirty minutes. Well, the initial application of cold produces vasoconstriction, meaning the blood vessels in the superficial layers of your ankle constrict as blood is driven into the interior and inflammation is calmed. This is the primary, transitory effect: inflammation is lowered, pain is reduced.

But a secondary effect will occur which is the opposite, that is, runs contrary to the initial effect, and is persistent in nature.  Your ankle becomes swollen again, as your blood vessels respond with vasodilatory effect, blood is brought to the surface, and inflammation—an essential part of the healing process—rears its fiery head. Almost completely ignored by conventional medicine, this is the secondary, persistent reaction. (Of course, if you leave the ice on even longer, you could cause nerve damage and occlude blood flow altogether.)

Because the body is complex (and rich in confounding factors), as particularly evidenced in the nutritional sciences, (4) it would be difficult to produce a randomized control trial (RCT), which proved (or disproved) the Law of Compensation. However, because the body is intelligent and ordered, it has mechanisms in place which will compensate for any event, so as to maintain balance and prevent death and damage from occurring in the organism.

Organisms continually adapt to their environment so as to maintain homeostasis. This notion that our internal biological systems are tightly regulated was first described by the French physiologist Claude Bernard, MD, in 1865. (5)  Then the concept of I was coined in 1926 by Harvard physiologist Walter Cannon, MD, and popularized in his book, The Wisdom of the Body. (6)  When the body is in health, homeostasis persists, but when the body becomes diseased, a “compensatory homeostasis” can become the norm. (7)

When sailing in a sailboat, if you desire to sail into the wind so as to maintain a certain course, you must turn your bow toward the wind. You will experience a sudden change in the blowing of the wind from one side to the other of your vessel. This action, called tacking, maintains homeostasis of the sailboat, and often one will have to jibe, in the opposite direction, in a series of zigzags to remain on course. Your health is like a sailboat continually tacking and jibing its sails to the changing wind currents of the environment while maintaining a course of optimal health.

The majority of conventional medicine is focused on the primary, transient effect, while the secondary effects are mostly ignored. In no area is this more apparent than in pharmacology. The Law of Compensation can be partially understood in its action by reading what side effects can be caused by a certain medication. A side effects list is like a symptom picture of potential compensation in the body for that particular pharmacological agent. Primary effects are the action which the drug has in the body, and secondary effects are the body’s compensatory response to the primary action. Have you ever wondered why you have to keep taking a drug in order for it to work? It’s because the body responds to cancel out the drug’s therapeutic effects, firstly by lowering its concentrations in the blood (depending on its half-life), and so the drug must be continued to maintain its suppressive action.

For example, if a patient takes Adderall for their ADHD, it will act as an amphetamine-inducing stimulant and raise their heart rate. Then, the body will attempt to lower the heart rate and downregulate metabolism so as to normalize function. With regular use, the body even begins to anticipate the drug’s action and lowers the heart rate before administration. Over time, a person may need to have their Adderall dosage adjusted in order to maintain its same effects. (8)

Take another example: Let’s say you have a fever of 102 and you take two 500 mg tablets of Tylenol (acetaminophen) to suppress it. At first, the agent has anantipyretic action in the body which inhibits the synthesis of inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins. This production, which is mediated by a group of enzymes called cyclooxygenase (COX), is inhibited and so the fever is suppressed.  This is the primary action of Tylenol. Then, once the medication begins to wear off after a few hours, the body often responds with a fever again, but this time it persists and may be even higher than 102. This is the secondary reaction. You then follow the recommendation on your bottle of Tylenol and take 1,000 mg every six hours, with the daily recommended. upper limit dosage being 4,000 mg.

It is commonly thought that the return of the fever, after Tylenol has worn off, is due to the persistence of the infection, but a case can be made that the Law of Compensation is actually in effect. The fever is the body’s response to the infection, and the dual effect is the return of the fever once the medication has worn off. In other words, the body compensates to the action of the Tylenol by instigating the return of the fever to maintain physiological function. Because the fever is a necessary part of the body’s healing capacity, it returns, perhaps even stronger, and is more persistent.

Even though it is recommended that Tylenol be taken for no more than ten days straight (or a proton pump inhibitor, like Prilosec, for no more than two weeks), in many cases, people become chronic users of these medications well beyond their recommended safety usage. Eventually, the cumulative side effects of having taken these drugs may be diagnosed as a new disease or condition. Some classic side effects include the drowsiness associated with Benadryl, (9) the muscle cramps associated with statins, (10) or the fatigue associated with proton pump. inhibitors like Prilosec. (11)  If the use of these medications is chronic, these side effects can eventually exacerbate the risk of the onset of a new disease.  For example, a 2015 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) review found that chronic anticholinergic use (such as Benadryl) had a 54 percent increased association with dementia. (12) Also, the chronic use (meaning greater than a year) of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) is associated with an increased risk of fracture, likely due to hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia. (13)

Knowing this, let’s go back to the example of the atopic triad, where the child with eczema who takes steroids for a period of time ends up with seasonal allergies that progress to asthma. Now, the child is diagnosed with two new. diseases (seasonal allergies and asthma), which according to an understanding of the laws of nature, signify a disease progression due to the secondary effects of chronic steroid use to suppress eczema.  More pharmacology, with new side effects, usually including more steroids, is conventionally prescribed for the onset of these new diseases.

The Law of Compensation is why most modern pharmacology will work for a little while, or seem to, but then it will require a higher dosage or the overlay of new polypharmacy to maintain or amplify its effects or counter its side effects. This is the Law of Compensation in full effect.  Understanding that it is an underpinning of homeostasis helps to guide the naturopathic doctor in restoring normal structure and function in the human organism, as well in preventing the development of chronic disease.

Another example of the Law of Compensation is the sexual arousal that can occur for couples when watching a scary or suspenseful movie, as evidenced by the biphasic nature of the nervous system. When watching a scary or suspenseful movie, the sympathetic nervous system is activated (“fight or flight”) by certain intense scenes, and hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine, and cortisol increase. Then, as things calm down, the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) begins to take over, but it is much more persistent. The parasympathetic nervous system calms down the couple, and they both hold each other close and become “turned on” while oxytocin courses through their veins. Hollywood understands and applies the Law of Compensation well in these genres when it comes to the biphasic nature of the nervous system.

The field of hydrotherapy, revered and applied for centuries by all cultures over millennia, was developed and refined by Father Sebastian Kneipp, a forefather of naturopathic medicine, in Germany in the 1800s. (14) He understood that the secondary effects of the application of cold and hot water, in a methodical way, could produce lasting health in the human organism by preventing and reversing the development of chronic disease. (15)

Another example of a modality which applies the Law of Compensation is the field of homeopathy, originally based on the idea that ‘like cures like,’ founded by Samuel Hahnemann, MD, also in Germany in the 1800s. By using minute doses of potentized substances, to the point which they are actually often no longer present on a molecular level (in other words, they are below Avogadro’s constant from a chemical perspective), the primary, transient effect is tamped down. (16) Meanwhile, the secondary, lasting effect, in theory, is produced by enhancing the natural, vital healing mechanisms in the body. This enhancement is called potentization, (17) but its mechanism is poorly understood. (18)

How Can We Apply the Law of Compensation to Benefit Our Health?

Well, we can generally benefit from the knowledge that every agent, most notably drugs, but also including food, air, and water, produces primary and secondary effects which can affect our deeper, more important organs and biological systems.

However, this is not something to try to manipulate at home. Rather, it is a law of healing ever-present in the human body, one that can be addressed by engaging the help of a trained, licensed naturopathic doctor or a skilled integrative health or functional medicine doctor.

Applying the Law of Compensation: Explore the Law of Compensation by engaging in the following activities:

1. Exercise a minimum of four times per week, for at least thirty minutes at a time, engaging in a combination of workout programs suitable to you, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, dance, qigong, and/or cardiovascular exercises. In fact, by strengthening your musculoskeletal organ system, you can improve the outcome of most disease processes. (19). Exercise is perhaps the number one way you can regularly experience the Law of Compensation in your day. You engage in strenuous labor, such as weight lifting or high-intensity yoga, for a period of time, which pumps hormones such as cortisol, growth hormone, and testosterone in your blood and induces muscular contraction and sweating. This is the primary effect. Then, you derive the persistent benefits of relaxation and enhanced mental clarity the rest of your day, which is the secondary effect.

2. Become aware of the subtle or sometimes not-so subtle secondary effects of modern pharmacology, which can produce nutrient deficiencies, raise toxicity in the blood and tissues, as well as lead to a lowered vital force. Become aware of substances whose secondary effects may lower your immune system, compromise metabolism, and produce side effects which may lead to the diagnosis of a new chronic disease.

3. Seek out therapies and modalities which gently enhance your vital force and treat you as a whole person, rather than suppress your symptoms with drugs and therapies which potentially could drive the disease or condition deeper into your body, thereby worsening your condition.

4. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because _________.

 

Resources:

  1. Heraclitus, H. B. Fragments: The Collected Wisdom of Heraclitus. New York: Penguin Books, 2003.
  2. Lindlahr, H. Nature Cure: Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2006.
  3. Lindlahr, H. Nature Cure: Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2006.
  4. Boudreau, C., and H. B. Evich. “How Washington Keeps America Sick and Fat.” Politico. November 4, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/agenda/2019/11/04/why-we-dont-know-what-to-eat-060299.
  5. Bernard, C. An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine. New York: Dover, 2018.
  6. Cannon, W. B. The Wisdom of the Body. New York: Norton, 1967.
  7. Fan, X. J., H. Yu, and J. Ren. “Homeostasis and Compensatory Homeostasis: Bridging Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.” Current Cardiology Reviews 7, no. 1 (2011): 43–46. doi:10.2174/157340311795677671.
  8. Lecklitner, I. “What a Lifetime of Adderall Does to Your Brain.” MEL Magazine. 2018. https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/what-a-lifetime-of-adderall-does-to-your-brain.
  9. Zhang, D., et al. “Next-Day Residual Sedative Effect After Nighttime Administration of an Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Sleep Aid, Diphenhydramine, Measured by Positron Emission Tomography.” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 30, no. 6 (2010): 694–701. doi:10.1097/jcp.0b013e3181fa8526.
  10. Parker, B. A., and P. D. Thompson. “Effect of Statins on Skeletal Muscle.” Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews 40, no. 4 (2012): 188–94. doi:10.1097/jes.0b013e31826c169e.
  11. Novotny, M., B. Klimova, and M. Valis. “PPI Long Term Use: Risk of Neurological Adverse Events?” Frontiers in Neurology 9 (2019): 1142. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.01142.
  12. Gray, S. L., et al. “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia”. JAMA Internal Medicine 175, no. 3 (2015): 401. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7663.
  13. Florentin, M. “Proton Pump Inhibitor-Induced Hypomagnesemia: A New Challenge.” World Journal of Nephrology 1, no. 6 (2012): 151. doi:10.5527/wjn.v1.i6.151.
  14. Kirchfeld, F., and W. Boyle. Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine. Portland: NCNM Press, 2005.
  15. Kneipp, S. My Water-Cure: As Tested Through More than Thirty Years and Described for the Healing of Diseases and the Preservation of Health. Memphis: General Books, 2010.
  16. Lindlahr, H. Nature Cure: Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2006.
  17. Fiddian-Green, R. G. “‘Succussion’ and ‘Potentization’ of Homeopathic Products.” The British Medical Journal (2019). https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/succussion-and-potentization-homeopathic-products.
  18. Khuda-Bukhsh, A. R. “Towards Understanding Molecular Mechanisms of Action of Homeopathic Drugs: An Overview.” Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 253 (2003): 339–45. doi:10.1023/A:1026048907739.
  19. Moore, T. “Muscle as Medicine: A Most Naturopathic Anti-Aging Medicine.” Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. May 1, 2017. https://ndnr.com/anti-aging/muscle-as-medicine-a-most-naturopathic-anti-aging-medicine/.
How to Apply The Third Law of Healing, The Law of Cure

How to Apply The Third Law of Healing, The Law of Cure

The direction of healing proceeds in the body in four universal ways:

From above downward, from within outward, from most important to least important organs, and in reverse order of symptom occurrence.

“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.”

—Samuel Hahnemann, MD (1)

The third law of healing is the Law of Cure. Cure simply means the restoration of normal structure and function in the organism, a return to health. There can be no cure if there is no disease or dis-ease, just as there can be no normal without the reality of possible abnormality.

The body is exceedingly intelligent, operating in predictable ways that can tell the skilled practitioner in which direction healing is proceeding. There are four universal ways in which healing progresses in the body. Constantine Hering, MD, lived in the 1800s and first summarized these four directions, known as Hering’s Law of Cure. (2)

The Law of Cure

The direction of healing proceeds in the body in four universal ways: (3)

  1. From above downward
  2. From within outward
  3. From more important to less important organs
  4. In reverse order of symptom occurrence

Caution: By the way, these directions should not be used to diagnose disease or healing in yourself. They are subtle signs, not hard-and-fast rules, and require years of medical training and practice to observe. Also, these potentially observable signs and symptoms of healing can be subtle and must be taken into account only when treating the totality of the person. You should work with an integrative medicine practitioner, such as a naturopathic doctor trained by an accredited naturopathic medical school, and even better, one who is also affiliated with the Naturopathic Medicine Institute (NMI).

The First Direction of Healing: From Above Downward

The first direction described in the Law of Cure is that healing or cure will move in the body from above to below, or from the top down. This means that a presenting symptom or a condition may move vertically down in the body, in the direction of the head to the toes. A simple example would be a chronic rash on the chest that moves down, for example, to the groin area, and eventually to the legs. When it resolves, it will do so in its original area(s) first, as it moves inferiorly. Another example of a potential sign or symptom of the first direction of healing would be arthritic pain moving down from the neck to the fingers.

The First Direction of Healing: From Above Downward

The first direction described in the Law of Cure is that healing or cure will move in the body from above to below, or from the top down. This means that a presenting symptom or a condition may move vertically down in the body, in the direction of the head to the toes. A simple example would be a chronic rash on the chest that moves down, for example, to the groin area, and eventually to the legs. When it resolves, it will do so in its original area(s) first, as it moves inferiorly. Another example of a potential sign or symptom of the first direction of healing would be arthritic pain moving down from the neck to the fingers.

The Second Direction of Healing: From Within Outward

The second direction, which can be more complex, is that healing or cure moves from within outward. In other words, the signs and symptoms of healing can move from a deeper layer of the body to an area more superficial. This could be seen in an infection resolving in a deeper layer of the skin first, while maintaining its appearance on the surface of the skin. The dermis heals before the epidermis. A more complex example would be a respiratory condition like asthma improving or resolving, while external symptoms, such as a rash on the arms, appear to worsen.

The Third Direction of Healing: From More Important to Less Important Organs

The third direction is the progression of healing or cure from a more important organ to a less important one. The body protects its most important organs with more resources than the less important ones, in much the same way that a military expedition is organized to protect its higher officers more than its armed forces on the periphery. The organs are ordered in the body, from most important to least important. The brain and the heart are the most important, and organs such as the lungs and the urinary tract are of less importance. You can barely exist, at least consciously, for a minute without your brain or your heart fully functioning appropriately, but you can exist much longer with a barely functioning digestive tract.

The third direction of the Law of Cure explains why conditions like lower respiratory tract and urinary tract infections are much more likely to occur than brain infections or heart infections. An example of the third direction of the Law of Cure would be a chronic respiratory infection improving, but then a patient presenting with an eczematous rash, signaling that the process is moving from the lungs to the skin.  A direction of healing is proceeding. In this example, the skin is seen to be of less immediate importance than the lungs.

Of course, the reverse can also be true, signaling a worsening of the overall condition of the organism: disease can progress from the skin, for example, to the lungs, such as in what is often seen in the atopic triad. The atopic triad is a three-fold presentation of disease, where a child with eczema subsequently develops seasonal allergies and asthma after using steroids for a period of time, showing a progression rather than a remission of disease. (4)

These signs and symptoms are mere guideposts used by the skilled health practitioner to inform their treatment of the individual, to know if a person is on the path of cure. The Law of Cure is not a hard-and-fast rule that can be readily understood by the layperson and used to diagnose and treat a disease. The Law of Cure embodies a principle which informs clinical case prognosis and provides information about how to understand whether disease or cure are imminent. Always talk with your doctor about your condition and allow them to be your healthcare collaborator and guide. In other words, don’t try this at home.

The Fourth Direction of Healing: In Reverse Order of Symptom Occurrence

The fourth direction of healing is the reversal of symptoms occurring in the order in which they first appeared in the body. An analogy to the progression or remission of disease would be taking a walk into a park and having to exit the park the same way in which you entered in order to return to your car in the parking lot. If you are to return to health, you often have to circle back whence you came; this can often show up as the reoccurrence of symptoms experienced long ago, as healing and cure proceed in the body.

Let’s move back to our example of the atopic triad, which is the three-fold presentation of eczema, allergies, and asthma in a child.Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, in a child often progresses to a condition where chronic hay fever or seasonal allergies then ensue, leading to eventual onset of chronic asthma, a process known as the atopic march. (5) In fact, up to 80% of children with eczema also have asthma or allergies. (6) An example of the direction of healing occurring in the child would be the asthma resolving or improving but then the reappearance of chronic eczema on the child’s skin, even though the child has not had this condition, with that particular presentation, for a few years. The lungs are more important than the skin for immediate survival, so this example also combines more than one of the four directions of healing.

Another example comes directly from one of my patient’s reports. She spent several weeks detoxifying for hours daily in an infrared sauna, when an old severe sunburn that she had experienced many years ago, reappeared on her torso, with exactly the same presentation as from the past. Over the course of several days, the burn from the past resolved and her skin and scarring cleared for the first time in years.

Again, these are crude, anecdotal examples to attempt an explanation of the Law of Cure, purely for illustration, but you must always work with your doctor, as each individual is unique and this potentially observable language of the progression of cure in the human body should not be used to diagnose and treat oneself or one’s family members, but should be applied and observed with the help of a naturopathic doctor or skilled integrative medicine practitioner. The directions of the Law of Cure can serve as guideposts along our healing journey as we resolve chronic disease in our bodies.

How Can We Apply the Law of Cure to Benefit Our Health?

Well, first of all, we must work with a trained practitioner; but we can also generally benefit from the knowledge that conditions affecting our more important organs, such as our brain or our heart, are usually more likely to be more serious than conditions affecting, for example, our urinary tract or our lungs.

We can seek out the help of naturopathic doctors to work with and enhance our body’s healing mechanisms, rather than suppress our symptoms with polypharmacy and potentially drive the disease deeper into our bodies.

Applying the Law of Cure:

Explore the Law of Cure by engaging in the following activities:

1. Write a letter to yourself about what your life would be like if you were free of chronic pain or chronic disease. How would things be different? Describe what it would be like using all five of your senses.

2. Pay deep attention to your symptoms and to the way they change over time. Journal about your health, if you want to.

3. Pay particular attention to the condition of your skin and realize that the skin is like a mirror of our internal health. Work with a naturopathic doctor to develop “clear skin from within,” as skin expert Trevor Holly Cates, ND, would call it. (7)

4. Take an inventory of the various diseases, illnesses, and injuries that you have experienced over your life.

5. Seek out a naturopathic doctor or another skilled, medically trained integrative healthcare practitioner, such as a functional medicine doctor, to help. guide you on your healing journey.

6. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because __________.

 

Resources:

  1. Hahnemann, S., and C. Hering. Organon of Homoeopathic Medicine. Charleston: BiblioLife, 2010.
  2. Hahnemann, S., et al. The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoepathic Cure. New Delhi: Jain, 1896.
  3. Saine, A. “Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?” Canadian Academy of Homeopathy. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.homeopathy.ca/articles_det12.shtml.
  4. Zheng, T. “The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma.” Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology 5, no. 2 (2014): 202. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.1000202.
  5. Hill, D. A., and J. M. Spergel. “The Atopic March: Critical Evidence and Clinical Relevance.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 120, no. 2 (2018): 131–37. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2017.10.037.
  6. Eichenfield, L. F., et al. “Atopic Dermatitis and Asthma: Parallels in the Evolution of Treatment.” Pediatrics 111, no. 3 (2003): 608–16. doi:10.1542/peds.111.3.608.
  7. Cates, T. Clean Skin from Within: The Spa Doctors 2-Week Program to Glowing, Naturally Youthful Skin. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds, 2017.
How to Apply The Second Law of Healing, The Law of Disease

How to Apply The Second Law of Healing, The Law of Disease

When nature’s laws are violated, three conditions in the body lawfully ensue which promote the development of chronic disease: toxicity, deficiency, and a lack of vitality.

 

“The primary cause of disease…is violation of Nature’s Laws [whose] effect[s] are identical with disease, because they tend to lower, hinder or inhibit normal function…and because they engender and promote destruction of living tissues.”

—Henri Lindlahr, MD, ND (1)

“What would it benefit a physician if [s]he discovered the origin of the diseases but could not cure or alleviate them?”

—Paracelsus (2)

The second law of healing is the Law of Disease. Your body is actively engaged in a dynamic exchange with the environment at all times, and when the environment is compromised, disease or dis-ease will occur.This shows up in three main ways: toxicity, deficiency, and a diminished vitality.

Imagine that your health rests upon a three-legged stool. If any one of the legs was to break, then you would topple over and hit the ground. In this analogy, hitting the ground is equivalent with being diagnosed with a chronic disease. Another name for this three-legged stool is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

The Triangle of Optimal Health

By turning our three-legged stool inside out upon itself, we have the Triangle of Chronic Disease. Your health is an expression of the status of these three pillars as: a lack of toxicity, adequate nutrient status, and a strong vitality. When one of them tips over, imbalance ensues and most likely a disease will be diagnosed by a physician.

The Triangle of Chronic Disease

Nontoxicity

The first leg of our three-legged stool is nontoxicity, but a nontoxic lifestyle is becoming more and more challenging to achieve in our world. 100 years ago, the word toxemia was used generically to mean “toxicity in the blood,” as expounded upon by physician John Henry Tilden, MD, in his book Toxemia Explained in 1926. (3) According to the theory of toxemia, when the blood is impure, the tissues and organs are also awash in impurities. With increasing toxicity, oxygen and nutrients are inadequately delivered via the blood, as binding sites for enzymes, hormones, nutrients, and cofactors are disrupted, and oxidative damage runs rampant. (4)  Studies show that white blood cells and platelets decrease with exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), organochlorine pesticides (OCP), and solvents; red blood cells become stippled with arsenic and lead poisoning; liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increase with cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure. (5)

On a day-to-day basis, our bodies are exposed to thousands of manmade chemicals. We have specific organs of elimination, such as the liver and kidneys, which are dedicated 24/7 to cleaning our blood and efficiently removing toxins from our bodies. In fact, pharmaceuticals are profiled based on their degree of potential liver and kidney toxicity, i.e., hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, respectively. (6) It is especially important that we support our organs of elimination, as they have to work overdrive simply by virtue of our being alive on the planet in today’s age of toxicity, first described by journalist Rachel Carson in her classic 1962 book, Silent Spring.(7)

Toxins can also sequester in the gut in a thin, polysaccharide-rich matrix to which bacteria and other microbes adhere, called a biofilm, and where some studies indicate that diseases such as Lyme can undergo changes and evade the immune system. (8, 9) These toxins can eventually make their way to the blood. (10)

Nutrient Repletion

The second leg of our three-legged stool is nutrient repletion, which also can be challenging for our bodies to adequately achieve today. Minerals, in fact, are the cofactors of life, and the main source of these nutrients is our food supply, as expounded upon by Joel Wallach, DVM, ND, in Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. (11)   However, studies show declining fruit and vegetable nutrient composition over decades globally. (12)  One can compare USDA food tables from many decades ago to today’s to note this trend, although comparison can sometimes be apples to oranges, no pun intended. (13, 14, 15)  For example, one study concluded that we have to eat eight oranges today to get the same amount of vitamin A that one orange would have provided our grandparents. (16) The decline in nutrient densities in our agricultural soils and in our food supply correlates with a decline in our blood and tissue saturation, as well. (17)

Our topsoil no longer contains the nutrients it once contained, after decades of serial depletion. (18) The EPA requires that nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus be returned to topsoil in agricultural fertilizer, but other nutrients, such as trace minerals like iron, copper, iodine, zinc, selenium, and chromium, are not considered necessary, though nutritional biochemistry dictates that optimal health relies upon having them in trace amounts in our bodies. (19)

Additionally, studies indicate how modern pharmacology depletes key nutrients in the body. For example, statins can deplete CoQ10, causing mitochondrial dysfunction; (20) metformin can deplete B12, causing anemia and neuropathy; (21) and oral contraceptive pills (OCP) are known to deplete folate, B vitamins, and vitamins C and E along with magnesium, selenium, and zinc, (22) which can lead to a myriad of side effects described by women’s health expert Jolene Brighten, ND, in her book Beyond the Pill. (23) Other drugs can simply cause malabsorption, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which inhibit gastric acid secretion and significantly increase the risk of B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium deficiencies. (24) Therefore, our nutrient status setback is like a stick with its two ends: a nutrient-impoverished food supply and nutrient-depleting drugs.

Selenium is required for a functioning thyroid to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, (25) the body’s main metabolic director. And chromium is required for insulin to push glucose into our cells so that we have stable blood sugars and energy. (26) Without sufficient selenium and chromium repletion in our food supply, it is no wonder that we are living with epidemics of chronic disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (27) and type 2 diabetes mellitus. (28) Though correlation does not equal causation, one need only comb through dozens of studies on PubMed to extrapolate that nutrient deficiencies are root causes of chronic disease. (29) For example, animal studies conducted in poultry nutrition have identified exactly how much chromium is required for a hen to lay healthy eggs (30) and that chromium deficiency induces diabetes. (31) Also, methylation defects called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (32) in our genes and (subsequent) nutrient deficiencies (33) can drive mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

A Strong Vital Force

The third and final leg to our stool of health is directly connected to the Law of Vitality. The opposite of a strong vital force can be described as a diminished vitality, or a compromised vital force. One of the pioneers of naturopathic medicine, Henry Lindlahr, MD, ND, stated that the effect of a lowered vitality is a root cause of chronic disease. (34) When the homeostatic mechanisms of the body, which are programmed to restore normal structure and function in our organism, do not have enough energy, then after a period of time chronic disease ensues, no matter how hard the body tries to heal itself.   Naturopathic doctors and other integrative health practitioners, such as functional medicine doctors, each have their own ways of measuring and assessing vitality: by a combination of reviewing case history, performing a physical examination, running routine and specialty labs, and observing the way the patient responds to certain modalities.

When the vital force is drastically diminished, it sets one up for the onset of chronic disease, such as Lyme disease. (35, 36) In the twenty-four hours after the antibiotic treatment of some active infections—such as syphilis or Lyme—some patients experience fever, chills, myalgia, and skin rashes called Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction (JHR). (37) First described in the early 1900s, this reaction is now popularly known as herxing, and its pathogenesis is mostly thought to be due to the release of toxins in the blood while microbes, such as spirochetes, are dying. (38) This can be akin to the septic shock induced by bacterial infection. (39) The pathogenesis of the Herxheimer reaction is poorly understood, but it illustrates that when the body is releasing toxins, the strength of the vital force will be intimately linked to the degree to which the person’s immune system responds.

Naturopathic doctors refer to some acute reactions or infections as a healing crisis, which means that the body is primed to move through an imbalance by an acute response evolutionarily designed to restore balance, and that the body has sufficient resources and a strong enough vital force. Mark Hyman, MD, an avid proponent of functional medicine, has referred to it as a detox crisis. (40) Jared Zeff, ND, who was voted Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 1989 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, (41) states, “There is no cure for the common cold; the cold is the cure.” (42) 

In other words, the onset of an upper respiratory infection, for example, with all of its classic symptoms of cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, and mild fever, is usually just a healing crisis—that is, the body throwing off an imbalance, reducing toxicity, and pushing through to a restoration of normal. It is a kind of spring cleaning of the body, if you will.

How Can We Apply the Law of Disease to Benefit Our Health?

The point of view that chronic disease is a result of toxemia, deficiency, and lack of vitality—informed by an ever-growing body of scientific research—runs counter to the conventional notion that chronic disease is some kind of genetic accident which must be suppressed, and which is generally considered irreversible. A paradigm of disease states that once we are pinned with a chronic disease, we must live with and manage it the remainder of our lives. The unconventional new paradigm of health shows that there are laws of nature governing the development of chronic disease, and that chronic disease is reversible if we harness the healing power of nature.

The Law of Disease, when understood, can help us not only to ward off the development of chronic disease but also to improve its expression and even resolve it. We need to keep the three legs of our seat of health sturdy and upright. Turning the Law of Disease inside-out upon itself, then, it can be said that robust and optimal health—free of chronic disease—expresses itself as a biological ecosystem free of toxicity, replete in adequate nutrients, and strong in its vitality. This is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

When you learn to engage in diet and lifestyle activities which promote detoxification, nutrition, and life enhancing vitality, then you can set yourself up for a life free of chronic disease.

Applying the Law of Disease:

Explore the Law of Disease by engaging in the following activities:

1. Engage in activities which are detoxifying, such as saunas, various forms of hydrotherapy, or regularly being outdoors in nature.

2. Here is a classic home hydrotherapy treatment, called the Warming Socks Treatment or the Magic Socks Treatment, which can help speed recovery from a cold or flu, as well as improve congestion in the head and chest.

The Magic Socks Treatment

You will need one pair of cotton socks (60%+ cotton) and one pair of wool socks (60%+ wool). At bedtime, feet should be soaked in hot water for one minute. After wetting cotton socks in cold tap water, wring out completely until no longer dripping. Place wet socks on feet, and pull dry wool socks over cotton socks. Repeat this procedure for three nights, or until ailments, such as fever and congestion, have cleared or improved significantly. Caution: Those with chronic health conditions or immunocompromise should consult their doctor before starting this treatment.

3. Eat clean, local, organic, nontoxic, nutrient-dense, whole foods whenever possible, such as by shopping at your local farmer’s market. Eat a diet suitable to your constitution and your beliefs, whether it be according to blood type (43) or the Carroll Food Intolerance Method®, a modified paleo or keto, vegan, vegetarian, Weston A. Price style, (44) or some other diet.

4. Drink filtered water by using an advanced filtration system, if possible, in order to remove impurities such as PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins sometimes present in public water supplies.

5. Engage in a spiritual or communal practice which provides you with a deeper sense of meaning, such as by going to church or finding a meditation group.

6. Reduce stress by regularly engaging in activities which calm down your nervous system and induce a parasympathetic state, such as floating in a sensory deprivation float tank or practicing yoga.

7. Work with a health practitioner, such as a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor, who can help you to identify your nutrient deficiencies, unique to your predisposition and biology, so that you can address them with supplementation and foods rich in these nutrients.

8. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because _________.

Resources:

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  13. Davis, D. R., M. D. Epp, and H. D. Riordan. “Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23, no. 6 (2004): 669–82. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719409.
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  15. Are Depleted Soils Causing a Reduction in the Mineral Content of Food Crops?” Depleted Soils. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://soils.wisc.edu/facstaff/barak/poster_gallery/minneapolis2000a/.
  16. Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?Scientific American. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-aND-NUTRITION-LOSS/.
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  18. Tan, Z. X., R. Lal, and K. D. Wiebe. “Global Soil Nutrient Depletion and Yield Reduction.” Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 26, no. 1 (2005): 123–46. doi:10.1300/j064v26n01_10.
  19. Agriculture Nutrient Management and Fertilizer. EPA. 2019. https://www.epa.gov/agriculture/agriculture-nutrient-management-and-fertilizer.
  20. Deichmann, R., C. Lavie, and S. Andrews. “Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction.” Ochsner Journal 10, no. 1 (2010): 16–21.
  21. Aroda, V. R., et al. “Long-Term Metformin Use and Vitamin B12 Deficiency in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 101, no. 4 (2016): 1754–61. doi:10.1210/jc.2015-3754.
  22. Palmery, M., et al. “Oral Contraceptives and Changes in Nutritional Requirements.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 19, no. 13 (2013): 1804–13.
  23. Brighten, J. Beyond the Pill. New York: HarperOne, 2019.
  24. Heidelbaugh, J. J. “Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency: Evidence and Clinical Implications.” Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety 4, no. 3 (2013): 125–33. doi:10.1177/2042098613482484.
  25. Ventura, M., M. Melo, and F. Carrilho. “Selenium and Thyroid Disease: From Pathophysiology to Treatment.” International Journal of Endocrinology (2017): 1–9. doi:10.1155/2017/1297658.
  26. Linus Pauling Institute. “Chromium.” Oregon State University. 2019. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/chromium.
  27. Zaletel, K., and S. Gaberscek. “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: From Genes to the Disease.” Current Genomics 12, no. 8 (2011): 576–88. doi:10.2174/138920211798120763.
  28. Morstein, M. Master Your Diabetes: A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017.
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  30. Khan, R. U., et al. “Modes of Action and Beneficial Applications of Chromium in Poultry Nutrition, Production and Health: A Review.” International Journal of Pharmacology 10, no. 7 (2014): 357–67. doi:10.3923/ijp.2014.357.367.
  31. Havel, P. “A Scientific Review: The Role of Chromium in Insulin Resistance.” Diabetes Educator 3 (2004): 1–14.
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  39. Nau, R., and H. Eiffert. “Modulation of Release of Proinflammatory Bacterial Compounds by Antibacterials: Potential Impact on Course of Inflammation and Outcome in Sepsis and Meningitis.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews 15, no. 1 (2002): 95–110. doi:10.1128/cmr.15.1.95-110.2002.
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Three Reasons to Read My Book, “The Serpent & The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing”

Three Reasons to Read My Book, “The Serpent & The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing”

In my book, “The Serpent and The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing,” I present a paradigm of health with a practical, evidence-based approach to naturopathic medicine.

Globally, hundreds of millions—over 157 million in the United States alone—struggle with a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

But through the seven laws of healing, my book offers a definitive starting point for anyone looking to understand how to prevent and resolve chronic disease.

You, too, can embrace a new paradigm of health with this practical, evidence-based approach to alternative medicine.

Here are three reasons to read my book, “The Serpent and The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing“:

1. Taking a Balanced Approach to Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is more divided than ever before between the bright, shiny objects of the latest anti-aging tech trends and reverence for the traditional roots of ancient medical wisdom.

While trend is not destiny, tradition can also fall out of vogue and become scientifically outdated.

Both sides argue for evidence-based medicine but the question, “Whose evidence?”

Some health and wellness fads fall on a spectrum from one extreme to another, yet one truth remains constant: people are seeking vitality.

I discuss what it means to take a practical, balanced approach that integrates science and technology with traditional wisdom.

2.  How to Use the Seven Laws of Healing to Optimize your Health

Our body is our messenger, even if we don’t always like what it has to say.

In order to find true health, it’s essential to support this messenger and become fluent and conversant in its language.

We must learn how to rely on and trust the laws of healing operating within the human body, which have been not only been steadfast through time, but now have a strong evidential basis in the sciences.

I articulate the seven laws of healing and what it means to trust these laws operating within the human body along with practical means in which to apply them to optimize health and prevent chronic disease.

3. How to Live a Disease-Free Life

The Law of Disease states that disease is an imbalance caused by three things: toxicity, deficiency, and lack of energy.

A life free of chronic disease starts with the knowledge of how disease is engendered in the human organism.

Turning the concept of The Law of Disease inside-out, we have what I call The Triangle of Optimal Health, which says that optimal health is maintained by three things: a non-toxic lifestyle, adequate nutrition, and a robust vitality.

I discuss how to use this knowledge to lead a non-toxic lifestyle, maintain an adequate nutrient status, have plenty of energy, live a life free of chronic disease.