Diagnosed with a Chronic Disease or Serious Illness
Now What Do You Do? – Part 4
In this fourth post of my six-part series on chronic disease and serious illness, I will hone in on some more specific steps you can take to move toward health and recovery. Sometimes when you don’t feel well and don’t know why you are ill, when you finally receive a diagnosis, it can be a relief. It also, however, can feel daunting.
It can feel as though you are stuck in a never-ending circular labyrinth that drains your energy and spirit. You want to reach the center where you find answers, then leave and return to your life with the keys to your health. Most who have chronic disease or a serious illness often remain stuck in their labyrinths searching for the best answers.
However, if you begin taking action steps, whatever they are, you are bound to feel better emotionally. At the very least, you will gain more clarity. At the very best, you may blaze your own trail to recovery. You might want to also check out a book called YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz to help you best navigate forward.
Please check out the important suggestions in my previous three blog posts to begin your healing journey. Here are some additional and more specific suggestions to help you feel better:
Suggestion 1: Do Appropriate Comprehensive and Advanced Testing
Make sure your medical doctor or holistic practitioner is prescribing the right tests for you and leaving no “testing stone” unturned to find out in a comprehensive way what is going on within your body. Doing the appropriate testing can be one of the most important steps you take in your healing process. Your practitioner can’t treat you correctly or find solutions if he or she does not know what the real problems are.
In a previous post, I shared about the importance of selecting a very reputable integrative doctor, naturopathic doctor, classical homeopath or other credentialed and trusted holistic practitioner. Those practitioners who have studied functional medicine are ones who will treat you holistically, that is, take into consideration all that you are experiencing, get to the root source of what is causing your imbalances, and come up with an action plan for healing and recovery. One of the most important aspects of working with this kind of doctor or practitioner is for them to have a wide and extensive knowledge of companies and labs that perform important tests to determine what might be impacting your health and what is needed to help you regain your health balance.
There are tests that check whether you have any heavy metals in your system while others determine how you are absorbing nutrients and supplements. Some tests can determine whether you have high titers for any viruses like the Epstein Barre virus or whether you have an active infection. Testing for mold toxicity may also be on the list of tests for you to take. In some of the advanced testing, stool or saliva samples or both may be required in addition to any blood work. Another important test is to see whether you have any specific allergic reactions to foods, plants and animals among other possible allergens like dust mites.
If you don’t actually know what’s wrong, then you can’t properly treat whatever is making you feel sick. I went to a number of doctors over the years and only recently found out that I have mold toxicity after I began seeing a new doctor following my former doctor’s move to a different state.
If you think you are having thyroid issues, for example, there is a test called the “full panel” thyroid test. Most traditional endocrinologists miss problems with the thyroid because they don’t know about the full proper testing or about testing for reverse T3 numbers. Chris Kresser of The Kresser Institute explains what traditional doctors usually miss in their testing of the thyroid:
“In medicine, accurate diagnosis is essential for selecting the most effective course of treatment for a patient. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is commonplace in the management of hypothyroidism. Countless patients with hypothyroid symptoms are dismissed because their lab values don’t fit within the narrow diagnostic criteria established by standard thyroid panels; others are given prescriptions for thyroid hormone replacement, a blanket approach that fails to address the underlying causes of hypothyroidism. Many of these patients suffer from patterns of thyroid dysfunction that don’t show up on standard lab tests and that are unfamiliar to conventional doctors.”
What follows is a list of some advanced laboratories that do extensive testing. These labs often work with functional medicine doctors and integrative doctors. You can also check with any of these labs to see which doctors or other health practitioners in your area work with them. Here is the list of companies that do advanced laboratory testing:
Suggestion 2: Work with Your Doctor to Create the Right Detox Program for You
To get to the root of why you are not feeling well, your doctor or holistic practitioner should know what the best tests are that can reveal some very important data. Often when someone is chronically ill or their immune system is compromised, there is something within the body making it sick and causing the immune system to malfunction. It might be some kind of virus, mold toxicity, Lyme disease, heavy metals toxicity, lead poisoning, or some other kind of pathogen infecting the body.
This is why I suggest you look into doing some kind of detox program, working together with your holistic medical practitioner to come up with the best solutions for your particular case. There is a company called Beyond Balance that has a number of products that help the body detox.
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny recommends a product called Zeolite. You can learn more about it and its benefits of detoxification here.
You can also detox weekly on your own using a detox foot bath solution. Christine Adamo, a board certified Oriental medical physician in California, wrote an article about it. She used it and had some good results. You can check out what she wrote here. My husband and I used to do a weekly detox foot bath at our wellness gym before the COVID-19 crisis.
Charcoal is often an ingredient used in pills to help someone detoxify their body. It is also sometimes used when someone is experiencing a bout of food poisoning. The charcoal binds the negative elements causing issues and flushes them out of your system.
Infrared saunas are another way to help the body detox. I will include that in a separate item as it benefits the body in many other ways as well.
There are also a number of companies that offer shakes that have detoxing blends. Detoxification is an industry unto itself. You can do your research to see what products make the most sense to you. And, of course, you should rely on the recommendations of a trusted holistic doctor or practitioner. You need to be careful about your choices for detoxification as too much too soon or the wrong product can put your body or different organs into distress.
After a class I took, I mistakenly thought it would be no big deal to drink some hot water and lemon juice upon waking. I thought it would be gentle and natural. By the third morning, my liver revolted. I was in a lot of pain for several months and now know I have to be very gentle with my body when detoxing.
A change of diet will probably be warranted once you receive a diagnosis. It is true that food is medicine. What you eat and the quality of it does make a big difference in the overall quality of your health, especially over a long period of time.
You can discuss with your doctor what diet will work best for you, whether it’s a Keto diet, a Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, a low carb diet or one based on your blood type, among so many others. Sugar, of course, has been found by so many researchers to increase inflammation. My cardiologist recently told me that the diet he recommends to his patients is what he calls a “modified Keto diet.” His modification is to avoid red meat and only eat organic lean meats and fish.
Diets are never easy and giving up foods you love when you feel stressed about illness sometimes makes it more difficult. At the very basic level, and for an overall healthier lifestyle, you should try to eat organic whenever possible. Dairy is said to cause congestion, so it is probably best to avoid or limit dairy in your diet.
Eating a healthier diet of fresh organic fruits and vegetables is often recommended to help boost immunity and improve health. Photo by Nadine Primeau from www.unsplash.com.
Additionally gluten, soy and corn all head the list of foods to avoid if you want to eat healthier. You should also stay away from any products that have been genetically modified (GMOs). Doctors most often recommend a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables unless a practitioner prescribes a no carbohydrate diet. In that case, all fruits and all starchy vegetables are out. Intermittent fasting has recently come into vogue.
Smoothies containing very healthy ingredients are a great way to eat healthier.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman has written many books on diet and health. You can check out his books on Amazon.com here. Among some are Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free and Eat for Life: The Breakthrough Nutrient-Rich Program for Longevity, Disease Reversal, and Sustained Weight Loss.
Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz have written several books together on diet and health. They have each also authored books individually and with other co-authors as well, most on health and diet.
Anthony William, the Medical Medium, who receives channeled information from Spirit, has also written many books to help those who are chronically ill recover from serious illness. One of them is called Life-Changing Foods.
Suggestion 4: Join an Online Support Group or Several of Them
By joining an online support group, you can learn a lot. You will be able to learn what people are saying and experiencing regarding your diagnosed illness. Often those who have had more experience with any particular disease can offer some great advice and might know of some leading-edge doctors or procedures to help. If you find nothing of particular value and just some people complaining, you can always opt out. I joined an online group when my dog was sick with something called Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (GOLPP) and learned a great deal from those whose pets were ill with this condition.
Suggestion 5: Research Online Tele-Summits
Do some research to see whether there are any online tele-summits with interesting and distinguished speakers who can offer important information about the illness you are diagnosed with. You can also check out whether there are any online classes or medical conferences that might be of interest to you. I have purchased tele-summits on a number of different medical topics. The first was on thyroid disease. I found out through that tele-summit what the correct testing is to see if your thyroid is functioning properly. I also found a functional medicine doctor to work with who is affiliated with one of the highly regarded doctors featured on the program.
There is often a wealth of speakers and wisdom on tele-summits. You get the chance to learn so much and to pick and choose what’s right and what’s best for you. You might also discover that there is a doctor or health professional who can help you through an in-person or online consult.
Dr. Amy Myers has hosted tele-summits on autoimmune disease. Click here to check out a recent tele-summit she hosted. Ty Bollinger and his wife Charlene do a video series every year called “The Truth About Cancer.” You can learn more about this series and Ty and Charlene Bollinger’s work at https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/. You can watch three of his tele-summits on this subject from 2014 – 2016 on IMDb TV. Donna Gates hosts tele-summits on gut health. One of her tele-summits, The Healthy Gut, is featured on Prime Video.
Suggestion 6: Do Your Own Research to Find Articles
Use different browsers to do your own research to find articles about your disease and condition or your symptoms. Usually traditional medical websites will come up like WebMD or the Mayo Clinic. I recommend digging deeper or putting “alternative treatments to” and then the name of your condition to read what advice holistic practitioners can offer. You can also use the web browser duckduckgo to not only have privacy, but to get to sites offering alternative information that might be censored on the other browsers.
For example, if I were researching what treatments there are for cancer, I would go to www.cancertutor.com. I would also check Dr. Mercola’s website and Dr. Josh Axe’s website for articles they might have. Dr. Kent Holtorf, Dr. Amy Myers, Dr. Will Cole, Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Daniel Amen are among some of the sites I would check out, among many others. I would also look for blog sites of those who have wrestled with whatever you are going through and had positive stories to share about their own healing journeys. You could also look for books on the subject of your illness, particularly authors who are either doctors or who have suffered from whatever problems you are facing.
Suggestion 7: Infrared Saunas
The health benefits of infrared saunas are varied and numerous. Before the COVID-19 crisis, I used a far infrared sauna chair at my wellness gym. In addition to the relaxation benefits, it helped with any back pain I was having and also helped me sweat and detox. Recently my husband and I did some research and decided to purchase a full-spectrum infrared sauna that will be delivered in the spring of 2021. The one we have selected, the three-seat Sanctuary model, is made by Clearlight infrared saunas, a company now owned by Jacuzzi®.
This is the three-seat Clearlight full-spectrum infrared sauna in cedar wood. Photo from www.infraredsauna.com
On the Clearlight website, they explain what “full spectrum” infrared rays are:
“Full spectrum refers to the entire infrared spectrum: near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared. With the addition of near and mid infrared, you will get the maximum benefit from your Jacuzzi® sauna.
“Near Infrared is the shortest wavelength, and will be absorbed just below the surface of the skin creating a sweat that promotes healing and revitalization.
“Mid infrared is a longer wavelength that can penetrate deeper into the body’s soft tissue increasing circulation, releasing oxygen to reach injured areas.
“Far infrared is the longest wavelength which penetrates the fat cells causing vasodilation, where the fat cells vibrate to expel toxins, resulting in the greatest levels of detoxification and stimulate your metabolism to aid in weight-loss.
“The sun is the primary source of radiant energy, but not all of this energy is beneficial. Although life needs energy from the sun, too much sunlight damages the skin. Infrared heat provides all the healthy benefits of natural sunlight without any of the dangerous effects of solar radiation.”
They have a page on their website describing health benefits from weight loss and detox to reduction in pain and better sleep. They also have another page that includes a number of articles, including medical studies, on the benefits of using infrared saunas.
You can also add Red Light Therapy and near infrared LED Light Therapy within your sauna to provide additional health benefits. Or you can use it as a stand-alone product.
Here is what Clearlight explains about its Red Light Therapy Tower on its site:
“Jacuzzi® Light Therapy combines powerful red light (650nm) and near infrared (850nm) wavelengths to offer you the best therapy available today. Jacuzzi® Light Therapy provides the most proven and effective therapeutic wavelengths to the entire body reducing oxidative stress and stimulating the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). This process, known as Photobiomodulation, has been extensively researched for many years and adds measurable energy to the mitochondria of your cells.
“Light therapy has been tested across hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical trials with positive results. The benefits of Red Light Therapy include:
Clearlight’s Red Light Therapy Tower helps reduce chronic and acute pain among many other benefits. Photo from www.infraredsauna.com.
Clearlight currently has a product called “Halotherapy.” The name is from the Greek word, Halo, meaning “salt.” Also known as “Salt Therapy,” Halotherapy is a holistic treatment that reproduces the natural micro climate of a salt cave by dispersing a high concentration of microsalt particles into the air. In 2021, they will be coming out with their own salt product that can be added to their saunas to help improve respiratory health.
Clearlight representatives note that what sets their infrared saunas apart from all others is this important difference:
“As a premier wellness company, your health and safety are our number one focus. Our True Wave™ far infrared and full spectrum infrared heaters are the most effective and safest infrared heaters available. Clearlight Infrared Sauna® models are the only ONLY infrared saunas that cancel out both EMF and ELF. Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are energy waves with frequencies below 300 hertz or cycles per second. Extremely low frequency (ELF) are the electric fields with frequencies from 3 to 30 hertz.
“All Clearlight Infrared Sauna® models offer the lowest and safest EMF and ELF levels of any infrared sauna on the market, bar-none. The EMF levels in your Clearlight Premier™ and Clearlight Sanctuary™ saunas will be mostly below 1mg when tested directly on the heater itself. Where you are sitting in the sauna, the EMF levels are virtually 0mg. The ELF levels in your Clearlight Infrared Sauna™ are 3 – 5 times below the threshold of concern. All of our competitors are over 20 times above the threshold of concern.”
In full disclosure, because of the research I did and because Clearlight boasts having the lowest EMF and ELF waves on the market, I have become an affiliate of this company. You can use this link to connect with a Clearlight representative. I would appreciate it if you let them know that you are calling because of my recommendation and this post you are reading. If someone purchases a Clearlight sauna because of my recommendation, it means I am entitled to a commission.
My particular contact there is Sheila Collins. I have found her to be very helpful and knowledgeable. If you call her directly, I would appreciate it if you could let her know that you are calling because of what you read in my blog post or what you have learned about the company and product from me. She told me that if you call her after reading my recommendation for the Clearlight sauna and Red Light Therapy Tower, she will discount your purchase and provide the best deal possible for you. She is very helpful and I recommend her highly. Here is her information:
Infrared Sauna Specialist
(ph) 800.798.1779 x865
(intl) +1.510.601.1775 x865
Suggestion 8: Check Out Bemer® Products
Do research to see if any of the Bemer® products can help you feel better. I have heard they are very beneficial for the health of both people and animals. Here is the link for Bemer® in the United States: https://united-states.bemergroup.com/en-US. Here are some of the benefits that Bemer® shares on its website for those who regularly use the Bemer® mats:
Nutrient & Oxygen Delivery
Local Blood Flow
Endurance and Energy
Vitality & Well-Being
Stress Reduction & Relaxation
Suggestion 9: Check Out PEMF Mats and the Biomat®
Other PEMF mats might also be helpful in restoring better health through their electromagnetic healing properties. You should do your own research and see which one appeals best to you and your condition. On his website, Dr. Mehmet Oz writes about the differences between PEMF mats and the Biomat®. You can check it out here. To learn more about the BioMat® specifically and what it can do, go to biomat.com.
Suggestion 10: Check Out the Avazzia Device
Check out the Avazzia device that helps with pain and many other medical conditions. A friend of mine who is also a healer and does a lot of online research came across this product that she purchased. Here is the website where you can find out more information: https://www.avazzia.com/. And here is the FAQ page: https://www.avazzia.com/support/frequently-asked-questions/. This device might be very helpful for anyone who has blockages due to scar tissue because its micro-currents help break up scar tissue externally. There is an additional device that works in conjunction with different models that also helps clear internal scarring throughout the body.
Suggestion 11: Check Out the NAD + IV Protocol
NAD + IV Protocol – This protocol has great potential for helping people with a variety of chronic illnesses. While a primary use is to help those who are addicted, it offers many other benefits. It helps bring the brain back to optimal function and that helps the rest of the body heal in different ways. To learn more about NAD IV therapy, go to https://kenstarrmd.com/nad-brain-restoration-therapy/.
Here is some of the information that Dr. Ken Starr shares on his website about this “Brain Restoration Therapy”:
What does NAD do?
NAD+ is needed for metabolic functions to take place in all the cells in your body, including your brain. Scientists have shown that NAD+ significantly decreases as we age, so it’s beneficial to replenish NAD+ levels so your body can function at optimal levels. NAD+ is involved in these roles throughout the body:
Energy production (ATP): NAD+ helps your cells convert food into energy by acting as an electron transporter during cell metabolism.
DNA repair: A constant supply of NAD+ is needed for the activation of PARPs, which detect and repair damaged DNA.
Gene expression: Your body has a class of proteins called sirtuins that help regulate certain metabolic pathways and genetic expressions. Sirtuins are NAD-dependent and the more sirtuin activity, the better for health and longevity. Increased sirtuin activity can help increase metabolism, decrease inflammation, extend cell life, and prevent neurodegeneration.
Cell signaling: NAD+ is also released from the intercellular space to the extracellular space for communication. Research is revealing that NAD and ATP may alert the immune response when the cell is under stress or when there is inflammation.
Neurotransmitter: Although more research still needs to be conducted, in some instances, NAD+ meets the pre- and postsynaptic criteria for a neurotransmitter. NAD+ is released from smooth muscle, neurosecretory cells, and brain synaptosomes for cell-to-cell communication.
Enzyme activity: NAD+ and NADH are used in processes such as metabolizing alcohol and converting lactate to pyruvate in the body.
What is NAD Therapy?
NAD+ Therapy involves a high dose intravenous infusion of NAD+ that goes straight into the bloodstream. IV therapy allows NAD+ to bypass the digestive system for better absorption. NAD+ works rapidly to repair cells throughout the body and neurons in the brain. When your NAD+ levels are increased, your cells produce more energy, your good genes are “turned on,” DNA is repaired, and many other functions are optimized. Since NAD+ is such a powerful and prolific molecule in the body, high dose IV therapy can be helpful for many different conditions including:
Research of NAD+ also shows promise for therapy of sleep disorders and behavioral disorders such as autism.
At the end of treatment with NAD+ therapy, clients have generally reported the following benefits:
Increased mental clarity
Increased focus and concentration
Improved eyesight and hearing
Enhanced sense of purpose
Reduced cravings of substances
Minimal to no withdrawal symptoms during treatment
In my next blog post in this series on chronic disease and serious illness, I will continue offering some more specific suggestions to help you feel better as you navigate the road forward on your journey to recovery and health. I would recommend that you spend some time reviewing all the information I shared in previous posts.
To review just a bit, having the right mindset is so important. Your thoughts create your reality. Also so important is for you to select the right holistic or integrative practitioner.
Once you have the right practitioner to guide you, you should be confident that your doctor will know all the right tests that should be ordered to see what imbalances are happening within your body and what needs to be done to begin correcting them.
As I shared previously, I highly recommend finding a practitioner who will get to the root of your illness or disease and treat you and your body in a holistic way. Functional medicine doctors are trained to do that and many integrative doctors are also functional medicine doctors. If, for instance, you are having a number of troubling symptoms and your traditional doctor just tries to suppress the symptoms, you can get only temporary relief. Chances are that whatever you are taking to suppress the symptoms will also have side effects and might affect your body in some adverse ways.
If you are suffering symptoms from mold toxicity, you need to know that so you can treat it. Or if you have Lyme disease or some type of virus, it is so important to see what lies at the root of your symptoms. You have a much better chance of healing and succeeding in your recovery with a doctor who is interested in getting to the root of the problem and who understands the interconnection of your symptoms and sees you and your body and mind in a holistic way.
I highly recommend finding a practitioner who will get to the root of your illness or disease and treat you, all your symptoms and your body in a holistic way. Photo by Omar Ram from www.unsplash.com.
Then you should make some assessments about your lifestyle and work on shifting in ways that will support your health and well-being. You might have to think about ways you can change your diet, how you can exercise more or in different ways, how you can get more sleep and drink more purified water.
Creating deeper friendships and cultivating a stronger social community might help boost your spirits. You should always be looking for ways to uplift your own spirit, whether by having more fun, laughing more or getting out in nature more. All healing is always self-healing. You have so much power to shift in very new directions.
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