Archive for the ‘cancer prevention’ Category

When Asked, Do Your Research!

???????????????????????????????It is a gorgeous late summer day in Minnesota, one of a handful we get each year, but last night was a harbinger of colder days to come. I awoke to frost and, of course, the end to the fragile vegetables that grow in my garden.

I had plenty of warning of this impending rime of ice, so yesterday, with some reluctance I picked every tomato, ripe or not. Every pepper was plucked and the yellow summer squash was gently removed from the vines that would soon be dead. With a lot of reluctance I left my garden a mere shadow of its summer self.

I am always sad to see the seasons change and my once burgeoning garden die but, just like we humans must change, the seasons must morph from summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring and back to summer again. It’s the cycle of life.


Iodine or not?

Speaking of change helps me segue to my next topic. I had an interesting experience this week that has caused me to change my mind. I was asked to be a moderator on a thyroid group, to try to help people who have this perplexing disease. That is what Krisinsight is all about, so at first I jumped at the chance to help even more people but then turned it down.

Why you ask have I turned down this opportunity? It seems I turned it down because I am not up-to-date with the latest thinking on iodine. I had said I would help out but then decided I should make sure I agreed with the recommendations the group makes. In asking some questions I discovered that they recommend iodine supplementation. I am not a supporter of iodine supplementation and that did it for me, I turned them down.

You see, 4 years ago my mentor was a “no iodine if you have Hashimoto’s” kind of gal. Her thinking, which is still correct, was based on the fact that iodine supplementation can cause flare-ups of Hashimoto’s and believe me flare-ups are not pleasant. She used to tell all of us that our thyroid medication filled all of our iodine needs and any further iodine would just make us sick.

I have adhered to this philosophy pretty stringently and it has worked for me. However, I have done many things that have improved my health including taking T3-only and healing my adrenals with Paul Robinson’s Circadian method of taking T3. I got my electrolytes normalized by taking slow release potassium and Celtic sea salt. I regularly take selenium and two years ago I went completely gluten-free which was one of the best things I ever did.

It is really hard to pinpoint that one thing that has made the difference but the hard truth is I may be healthy enough now to start supplementing iodine.

My Iodine history

I have a good reason for being wary of iodine despite the fact that it helps our bodies fight disease. I did take iodine about four years ago and I took 50 mg of Iodoral upon recommendation of another thyroid site dealing with iodine and Dr. David Brownstein. The idea is you detox bad things and the iodine feeds your thyroid and you get healthy with no other intervention. (Keep in mind that is a very simplistic and succinct statement it is far more complicated.)

At the time I took iodine my TSH went up to 13 which has never been the case not even when I was first diagnosed with thyroid problems umpteen years ago. That scared me and I lowered my dose but did not stop taking it. Once I started following advice on the RT3 Yahoo group I gave up additional iodine completely.

On changing one’s mind

Fast forward to my thinking as of today, my mentor’s advice is still sound when dealing with really sick and fragile people but there has been good patient feedback, according to Janie Bowthorpe, with healthy people taking small doses of iodine (as little as 3 mg of iodine and up to 12.5 mg of iodine).

My mentor was also correct we do get iodine in our thyroid medication but the amount of iodine in thyroid medications like Cynomel/Cytomel and NDT is measured in mcg and is inadequate to provide enough for your body as “the body is made up of about 1500 mg of iodine in all our tissues”. With the constant bombardment of fluoride and bromide (we need iodine to push the fluoride and bromide out of our thyroid receptors) it is reasonable to think that we need more iodine (measured in mg) than our thyroid medication (measured in mcg) is providing.


In conclusion, it seems reasonable to me to start supplementing with iodine but in very small doses. I am going to start with capsules by Pure Encapsulations (If you would like to order from iHerb you can use my coupon code YAN884 and get a discount on your first order) that only provide mcg of additional iodine. I already supplement 200 mcg  of selenium which is a must (start with selenium and then add iodine if you want to try it). I am going to add additional B1 and B2 because iodine works synergistically with those co-factors and also Vitamin K (which is also needed to utilize Vitamin D).

My thinking, and no one else’s, is if a small dose has no ill-effect on me I will raise my dose and eventually take 6.25 mg but no more. High dose supplementation as recommended by Dr. Brownstein and others just did not work well for me and I do not care to repeat my experience.

I have always really respected Dr. Joe Mercola and his ability to rethink his advice. Over the years he has changed his recommendation on the amount of water one needs to drink, how much protein your body requires and even the type of exercise that is the most efficient. I think we really need to be willing to change. If patient’s are being helped with some iodine supplementation and not experiencing an autoimmune flare-up, my time has come.



P.S. My recent Vitamin D test result was lower than February’s result yet again. In March my result was 74 ng/ml August’s results were 61 ng/ml. Every summer it is the same, my result is lower than the winter result when I am using my Mercola Sunsplash D-lites. This has now been true for 5 years.



8 Steps To Healthier Breasts

Wearing the Black

At my house I have declared November Breast Cancer Prevention month. I will wear black for two reasons. One I like the color and it makes me feel good. Two, I will wear black in memory of those who have died of breast cancer and/or been affected by breast cancer. I would say in memory of those who “took the Komen cure” and died but that just adds more controversy to an already debatable subject.

I will wear black in honor of  those brave people who have fought the good fight, followed their doctor’s advice and died, not of breast cancer mind you, but bone and brain cancers. People like my sister-in-law, Janet Ewald Carver, who died at age 40 in the 1980’s  leaving behind a grieving husband and three young children.

Can you tell I have had it with the Komen foundation and all their pink sponsors? Well in case you didn’t catch that drift, I am. All these good people, dressed in a Pepto-Bismol pink outfits walking their very sincere and well meaning hearts out, but for what? To raise money for an organization that is known to spend most of the money on anything but research. In the name of “curing” breast cancer the American Cancer Society and organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have teamed up and successfully convinced the public that it is all for the victims of this horrific disease.

Recently my spousal unit  found himself trapped on a Delta flight from Albuquerque, NM. I say trapped because there was an overzealous flight attendant who said she was going to keep going up and down the aisles soliciting for donations until she had raised $300 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Apparently she was doing this on every one of her flights and had met her goal every time. Are you kidding me?

I am repelled by the very idea that some person, be they man or woman, could hold a plane load of innocent folks hostage and it brings out the rebel in me. I am done with the Pink, so here is my idea for those who fear breast cancer and want to help. First take charge of our own health and then spread the word, and the word is prevention. Cure implies that you have to get it first and then “they” will supply you with the cure. In the name of prevention you really must wear anything but pink, wear black, purple, orange just not Pepto-Bismol Pink (she says knowing she just bought a pink top, oh well, I’m not wearing it this month).

I contend that the proliferation of cells in the breast may be happening all the time and most of them can be healed in their early stages and the chemo and radiation that “treat” breast cancers  prevented all together. With an healthy immune system we can prevent further proliferation of cells.

To that end,  I have developed an 8 step program. The way and means to prevention are not only plentiful but so simple that no one will have to walk or hold plane loads of people hostage to raise money. There will be no reason to raise millions of dollars just  to pay for high powered executives who ride around in limousines, live in New York City in penthouse apartments with views of Central Park and frequent various soirees and celebrations in the name of raising monies for “the cure”.

My autumn trail

Step One, Smile

First find something to smile about every single day, maybe something that actually makes you laugh. Walking around my property makes me happy and while I don’ t laugh I smile a lot. My dogs make me smile (they also make me frown but for the moment I am smiling). My grandson makes me smile so much my face hurts. My spousal unit make me smile. You get the idea.

Step Two, Take Off That Bra

Second, go braless whenever you can. Allowing the girls to bounce and move helps the lymph move and stagnant lymph is a recipe for disease. Honestly, I know you can’t let them hang to your waist but let them bounce and move, don’t capture them in cloth, bind them with metal and basically stop all the natural “all systems go” kind of thing that they were designed to do. Another good lymph mover activity is to brush your skin as taught by Teresa Tapp. Last but not least, what could be more fun than jumping on a rebounder? Do it every day to move the lymph and just for the joy of it.

Step Three: Strong Immune System

Keep your immune system fighting fit. This means getting restorative sleep every night. Sleep in a dark room free of televisions, cell phones, etc. Avoid poisons in your food like milk and other dairy products from hormone fed cows. Take probiotics and/or include fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi in your diet every day. A healthy gut equals a strong immune system.

Step Four: Take Vital Supplements

Supplements. Yup that’s right take supplements which flies in the face of the totally irresponsibly reported news story that was splashed across the telly screen one recent evening. It was based on a bad research project where 40,000 women were sent a questionnaire but there was no background information required, so we don’t know how ill these women were when they filled out the form much less their lifestyle.

Supplements can help you fight cancerous growth of cells in your breast tissue. Ann Louise Gittleman recommended that women take 300 mg of Ubiquinol (the fast absorbing form of CoQ10 for women over 40) per day. At my recent appointment Dr. Bruley recommended that I take Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract by Life Extension (DIM is much the same).  It has all the benefits of cruciferous veggies without harming our thyroid health as goitrogens can do. Omega 3 fish oil and/or krill oil is showing remarkable benefit for women and one of them is as part of a program to prevent breast cancer. 2000 mg a day is best for inflammation and inflammation is one reason why cancer cells get a foothold.

Last but not least  take Vitamin D3, 2000-5000 mg per day and get your levels tested. You need to make sure your Vitamin D levels are at least 60 ngs/ml (higher if you have an autoimmune disease). Personally, I use the Sunsplash Renew sold at It is more expensive than taking a supplement but very effective.

Step Five: Exercise

Take your bra off and walk, run, use your rebounder. Teresa Tapp has some great exercises using your arms that clean the lymph in your neck and underarms. Check her Lady Bug workout, it is specifically designed for menopause and those going through hormone changes but it is great exercise for anyone.

Step Six: Control Your Weight

There is no concrete proof that obesity causes cancer but obesity puts your body at risk for all sorts of illnesses and no one would say it is healthy. If you are overweight try to lose the extra pounds.

Step Seven: Don’t Eat or Wear Chemicals

Check your cosmetics, if they have chemicals in them you can hardly pronounce throw them out. Your skin is your largest organ and clogging it with chemicals is a recipe for illness and cancer. Stop using anti-perspirants that stop natural perspiration. We perspire for a good reason and disrupting natural ways for the body to get rid of waste is like asking for problems. The odor of perspiration is from bacteria that forms under your arms. You can counteract some of it by using a light dusting of aluminum-free baking soda, or taking chlorophyll tablets or interestingly making sure your magnesium levels are optimum.

Step Eight: Balance Your Hormones

Last and most controversial is the balancing of hormones. Hormones include thyroid hormones as well as sex hormones and as all my readers know if your thyroid is not working properly your body is not working properly and that makes it vulnerable to dis-ease.

Taking bio-identical hormones is probably one of the most controversial subjects around and I find most people don’t want to talk about it. The more I read the more I believe females and males alike should balance their sex hormones and breast cancer prevention is only one of many good reasons to take BHRT. The more you know the better the choices you can make. In the past I have recommended books by Suzanne Somers and Breakthrough is a great source of up to date information on bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT). Having read all that Suzanne has to say I am currently reading a book by Dr. Jonathon Wright Stay Young and Sexy, so there are a number of well written books to help you educate yourself.

In Conclusion

There you have it my 8 Step Program to Breast Health. You will agree with a step or two, disagree with a few more but what I know is there will be almost as much success following these 8 steps to Breast Health as anything the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation can come up with to cure the proliferation of wildly growing cells in places you never wanted them.

See you next week for an update on this week’s ultrasound,


How to Successfully Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

It is that time again. What time? Time for me to blog about health issues. My health issues to be precise. Many of my readers  share my endocrine issues and have many of my same goals, optimally running endocrine and immune systems. How do you keep your immune system fighting fit? One way is to keep your Vitamin D levels in a healthy range and I think I can say with confidence that I know how you can best keep your D levels optimal.

I have felt for some time that if I could maintain my Vitamin D levels around 50 ngs/ml I was okay, not great, but okay because generally the range for optimum D levels (if you aren’t fighting health issues) are 35-65 ngs/ml. However, imagine my surprise when this week Ann Louise Gittleman, self proclaimed first lady of nutrition, posted the following message on Facebook: “Top Vitamin D experts are advising their female patients that blood levels of Vitamin D should be at least 40 ngs/mL for bone health and 80 for cognition and breast cancer prevention….”

Joe Mercola had the same thing to say and John Cannell even had more reasons to keep your D levels around 80, like controlling estrogen, and combating MS. Then Mike Adams published this article on Sunday August 28th discussing Vitamin D and its relationship to diabetes. I don’t know about you but I would love to have enough Vitamin D in my body to fight breast cancer, help build bone, avoid diabetes and retain my cognitive abilities.

On the same day I read Ms. Gittleman’s quotation I received my latest blood test results from Grassroots Health. If you have read my blog for any length of time you will recall that two years ago I joined a Vitamin D test group. At the time John Cannell had initiated the study and for $40 every 6 months for five years I have my blood tested for Vitamin D levels. That means, in case, you don’t feel like doing the math, twice a year I test my Vitamin D levels.

My D levels this past 6 months, which include the valuable summer sun months of May through September, were 56 ngs/ml. One year ago at this same time my D levels were 54 ngs/ml. In the past three months I purposefully have also been supplementing Vitamin D3, approximately 5000 iu’s three times a week. For that reason I was disappointed with the 56 ngs/ml. I was certain that the supplemental D in addition to exposing my naked skin (defined as bare skin with no SPF of any kind on it) three times a week for 20 minutes would have my levels closer to 70 ngs/ml.

In March of 2011, after 6 months of winter, my levels were 70 ngs/ml. A year before that, in March 2010, my blood test had a remarkable result of 92 ngs/ml. That is, my friends, simply amazing. Why? Those results showed up in my blood test after not taking any supplemental Vitamin D and exclusively using my Sunsplash Renew.

The first year I thought it was a fluke but now two years running my levels have been higher after 6 months of winter exposure to the Sunsplash Renew than after 4 months of summer sun exposure plus supplemental Vitamin D. There is no other explanation. I do not find myself on an island paradise during the winter nor spending hours in equatorial sunshine all I do is use my Sunsplash Renew three times a week 10 minutes at a time.

I have said it before and will say it again, if you aren’t checking your Vitamin D levels you should. Most Americans are sadly deficient. If your blood test reveals that your levels aren’t between 65 ngs/ml (basically healthy with no health challenges) to 80 ngs/ml (autoimmune diseases, diabetics, heart problems, cancer) you need to increase your intake of Vitamin D and/or spend 10 minutes three times a week in front of D producing lights.

If you choose the latter method, be sure you don’t bathe the skin for 24 hours after exposure to the D lights and avoid soap, on belly skin in particular, for 36 hours post exposure. This allows for the Vitamin D to be produced (via cholesterol in the skin where it is converted to D3) and then soak in and be utilized by the body. If you choose Vitamin D3 supplements you may need to take at least 5000 iu’s per day in the winter months but always, always test, never assume.

Aside from increasing my Vitamin D levels and making my immune system fighting fit I have been working on my blog for next week as I have updated information regarding my T3 only thyroid treatment. I know, I know does the fun never end? But I hope to see you here, same time, same place next Monday.

Take care, take your Vitamin D3,


Poison or Prophylactic?

After having a face off with my boss on the subject of fluoride in toothpaste I decided to sound off and my very own blog is the perfect place, my podium if you will. Today it becomes for this entry my anti-fluoride podium.

So here is the recreated scene as seen through my eyes. A youngish female patient (probably 12) was in my room for her 6 month check up and having taken x-rays and cleaned her teeth things looked pretty healthy IMO. The doctor sauntered in (as she always saunters) and did her perfunctory 1 minute exam and gave the all clear, her teeth were perfect.

What the doctor didn’t know was the patient had confided in me that she didn’t like toothpaste, so brushed her teeth without toothpaste, something both my husband and I do, so I saw nothing wrong with her practice. I proceeded to tell her that as long as she brushed her teeth 2 minutes twice a day toothpaste was an unnecessary component in her daily care. That is absolutely true, you do not need toothpaste it is the removal of bacteria that really cleans your teeth not some slimy, minty paste.

“Mom” doesn’t like it that said patient doesn’t use toothpaste (frankly I say pick better things to argue about or you will face a mountain of resistance down the road) and after the doctor left my room having given the thumbs up “Mom” caught “Doctor” in the hallway and reported that said patient was not using toothpaste. OMG! Crime of the century, or so you would think.

In a very sincere and condescending voice “Doctor” proceeded to tell the young female patient that she must use toothpaste and to me she repeated the statistics “she will get 30% of her fluoride in her toothpaste, so she must use toothpaste at least once a day”. Blech!! I ask you how much of this fluoride will this young patient swallow and in the end how necessary is all this fluoride to a person’s dental health?

It is a known fact that most people are being overexposed to fluoride and even the Journal of Public Health Dentistry was quoted on the Fluoride Alert site as saying “Virtually all authors have noted that some children could ingest more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended as a total daily fluoride ingestion.” People are getting fluoride in their municipal drinking water, through vegetables that have been watered with chemically treated water, in toothpaste, even in their tea, you name it and it probably has fluoride in it. Worry not people if it is fluoride you want fluoride you got just try to avoid it and see how difficult it is.

There are adverse affects from fluoride ingestion that have been associated with the amount of fluoride you get just by living in  fluoridated area. These risks include brain damage with the results showing in reduced IQs. Increased risks of thyroid disease (hypothyroidism especially in those with low iodine). Diminished bone density with increased risk of fracture at levels of fluoride as low as 1.5ppm which is only slightly higher than the concentration added to water for fluoridation(0.7-1.2 ppm). Increased risks for bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in young males has been determined to be “biologically plausible” and half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis. Also people with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity due to impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. Why, oh why, do we need even more fluoride in our bodies?

To take the other side of the argument for one moment. If you believe in fluoride’s benefit, if you believe that it builds strong teeth and bones then one could argue against water fluoridation and in favor of fluoride in toothpaste and enforced use of toothpaste with fluoride. I say this because they have proven that ingestion of fluoride really doesn’t do anything for teeth it is the topical application that has proven the most effective, ergo if you must have fluoride then only have it in your body as a topical application most of which you can duly spit out.

Bear in mind as you apply a ribbon of minty wonder to your toothbrush that most fluoride comes from chemical waste, specifically industrial waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry. “The chemicals-fluorisilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and sodium fluoride-used to fluoridate drinking water are industrial waste products from the phosphate fertilizer industry.” Admittedly, I do not know the origins of the fluoride in toothpaste I do know that the fluoride we use in fluoride treatments in the dental office is of the sodium fluoride variety. I need to do more study on the fluoride in toothpaste.

My question remains is fluoride the secret to no decay? I don’t think so. Sorry I don’t buy it and Dr. Weston A. Price proved it in the 40’s by looking at peoples who ate their indigenous diets only. They not only didn’t have decay they didn’t need orthodontists because their jaws grew to a normal size that allowed for every single one of their teeth with no mal-alignment. As soon as these people or their descendants moved in to other parts of the world and developed unhealthy diets that were not indigenous their offspring developed crowded jaws and decay.

So what causes decay? Carbohydrates, acids and sugars cause decay by feeding the bacteria that linger on tooth surfaces, your tongue, cheeks, etc. This bacteria literally poops acid onto the tooth surface. If you don’t remove the bacteria it can defecate on your teeth 24/7 and that is a lot of acid. If you add to that mix soda with its phosphoric acid and citric acid you have a virtual wasteland in your mouth, a wasteland of death and decay.

My young female patient was doing the right thing. Her brushing was impeccable, her teeth were free of plaque and calculus (which serves as a shelf to hold plaque) and she had no decay. Better than all of that she told me she doesn’t like sugary drinks and consumes water more than anything else and consumes little to no candy (here Mom has picked the right battle). I ask you why, oh why, did this young adolescent need to be forced to place poison on her teeth every day and take the chance of swallowing it in her morning or evening rush? Is the dentist simply covering herself and minimizing the risk of litigious activity down the road? I doubt it, she sincerely believes that fluoride is the savior, just like she still thinks it is okay to put amalgams in people’s mouths and to not have good air circulation in an old dental office.

Here is to coming out of the dark ages,


Balancing Act

Imagine my glee last night when I really wanted to post something about the wonderful taste of coconut milk kefir but I knew I still had three more blogs to write about your digestive health, so I went to check my agenda and realized that this week’s blog was about the importance of a healthy gut flora. I almost got out of bed and started right away as there is little that is better to increase the good bacteria in your digestive tract than coconut milk kefir. Alas sleepiness overcame my compunction to create. Here I am at almost noon on Monday finally gearing up to share what I know about this balancing act called healthy gut flora.

What is gut flora all about? I am going to give you a very simplistic view but it you would like to read more on the subject I think Jemima Stockton’s information is presented in a thoroughly entertaining format.  A healthy gut flora is composed of bacteria with great names like lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, E. Coli and Enteroccoccus and these bacteria help to protects us from disease. Even as we come through the birth canal we ingest fluids from our mother’s body full of these bacteria, so they are literally with us from the beginning hanging around in our digestive tract. “Our normal flora produces essential nutrients and generates by-products that reduce the risks of developing certain cancers, digestive disorders, and heart disease. It serves our bodies from the cradle to the grave.”

What disrupts this normal flora? Antibiotics, aging and a diet full of processed foods and sodas can have a profound effect on your gut flora allowing bacterial warriors like Clostridium Difficile to wage war and cause diarrhea for instance. If normal gut flora is disrupted and/or altered it has a deleterious effect on your body’s ability to win battles with heart disease, cancers and allergies to name but a few.

Let’s consider a particular scenario for learning purposes. This morning when you got up your stomach felt queasy and within minutes you found your self on the “throne” gushing out noxious fluids. The best action at that point is to try and balance your out of kilter gut. While not pleasant, if the bad guys have taken up residence you really must allow them to occupy the space and then move out. It can be very cleansing to empty your bowels but then it is time to repopulate the gut with the good guys. Often probiotics in heavy doses taken at first sign of diarrhea will have an immediate effect and the healing can begin. But how do you get the probiotics and which ones are the best?

Now it gets fun for me because one of the best ways to increase your probiotic intake is to make your own kefir (pronounced Keh- fear). Kefir made with raw milk or my new favorite coconut milk is so rich in all the good bacteria and so easy and cheap to make that any other choice seems foolish. Dr. Mercola says kefir is the best way to take your probiotics and it is so simple and the results so good you will be amazed.


kefir grains


You start with “grains” of kefir which can be easily ordered from eBay or Cultures for Health. I often have extra grains to share with friends and co-workers and I love getting them started on the road to health.

They are odd little mushroom like organisms as you can see by the photo to the right but they are amazing when added to milk. The amount you see will ferment an entire quart of raw milk or two cans of coconut milk (yes you can ferment rice and nut milk but you will need to recharge the grains in milk or they will die). You place them in a quart jar add your “milk” of choice, mix it with a wooden spoon (it is better to not expose the grains to metals) cover lightly and put away in your microwave ( I use my microwave to store things not to cook things) or pantry where it will be out of direct light overnight or 24 hours. The longer they ferment the more tart the taste and also the warmer it is the faster the process.

The coconut milk kefir after 24 hours looks a lot like a whipped cream and it tastes wonderful. (You need to know that coconut kefir will bubble and ferment rather voraciously, so put it in a much larger jar to allow for growth). Admittedly if you don’t like coconut you may not like the taste but I have no such problem and I love the creamy texture and the mildly tart taste. Last night I put a dollop on my Avocado-Chocolate mousse and it was a tongue tingling addition.

Are there other ways to balance the gut flora? Yes, fermenting vegetables like cucumber, cabbage, turnips, eggplant, etc. is a simple and good way to get gut flora normalized as is kombucha (especially kombucha with ginger) and yogurt made with live cultures. Dr. Joe Mercola suggests eating one to two crushed garlic cloves every day as it will support the good guys and kill off the bad ones and of course, he is a raw milk  advocate and it, and its by-products, contain lots of probiotics (despite the media palaver). Also cleaning up your diet is a great help. Just restricting your intake of sugar and white foods, like white flour and white rice is a step in the right direction on the tightrope to good health.

Gosh  I think it is time for a break and some coconut kefir served atop my sprouted buckwheat groats sounds a treat.

Here’s to a healthy gut,



The finished coconut kefir