How I Was Healed of Hashimoto's and Other Ways Plant-Based Nutrition Can Prevent Disease
One of my favorite health quotes is by Thomas Edison. He said, "The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." Most people contact me when they are in pain or just don't feel right. Very rarely does a person contact me that feels great and wants to be healthier. Prevention is the key!!
[DrCorinneWeaver.com] Prescription opioids are medications that are typically prescribed by dentists, family doctors and hospitals as a response to acute pain. The medication is only supposed to be used for a short period of time, but studies have found those who are prescribed opioids can take them from 2 weeks to 10 years or more. Opioids are chemically similar to endorphins, which is a substance our body makes naturally to relieve pain. Opioids can be made naturally from plants, be a blend of natural and synthetic compounds, or be completely synthetic. (Photo Credit: Dr. Corinne Weaver)
How do Opioids Affect the Brain?
Opioids attach themselves to receptors in the brain. The chemical structure of opioids mimics our natural neurotransmitter. With the two being very similar, the body is unfortunately fooled into locking the opioid into a receptor site which activates the nerve cells. Once the opioid is attached into place, the body starts to experience what is known as the "Opioid effect." This is where the body starts to slow down breathing rates, reduces or blocks pain and creates an overall calming effect. (1)
Opioids also target our body's reward system. Opioids open the flood gates and overwhelm the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter located in parts of the brain that help with emotion, cogitation, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. This constant overstimulation of our rewarding system leads to an increase of misuse and addiction to opioid medication. (1) An article posted on CBS news in June 2017 stated the alarming fact that opioid overdoses are the leading cause of deaths in Americans under the age of 50. (2)
Are There Side Effects of Taking Opioids?
Of course!! Some of the most common side effects of taking opioids include: constipation, itch, low blood pressure, excessive constriction of the pupil of the eye (miosis), nausea, sedation, urinary retention and suppressed respiration.
So, what are some natural non-drug solutions for pain relief?
Reduce Sugar in Your Daily Diet
Sugar consumption has a direct correlation to inflammation. A rise in blood sugar causes a cascade of events which includes the release of inflammatory chemicals. There are multiple inflammatory chemicals released, including histamines, prostaglandins and interleukins. (Photo Credit: PXHERE)
These inflammatory chemicals cause an internal response that requires the immune system to step in and respond to the cleanup process. Elevated levels of inflammation dramatically accelerate degeneration in the body and can lead to a host of cell damaging diseases that greatly reduces longevity. (3) I know it can be hard sometimes to stay away from sugar, but just start slowly and reduce your intake daily. Doing a detox can help with your cravings. I recommend this detox.
Take High Quality Animal- Based Omega 3 Fats
Omega- 3 fats block the chain of events that cause inflammation and regulate the migration of inflammatory cells and chemicals to the sites of inflammation. These fatty acids also improve brain function, promote normal growth of blood vessels, and help repair nerves. Consumption of Omega 3 fats are found in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, walnuts, butternuts, salmon, halibut, tuna, and avocados. By taking the natural route, one is unlikely to experience the side effects of gastro-intestinal or cardiovascular systems mentioned before that are common when taking anti-inflammatory drugs.
Supplement with Bromelain
Plant digestive enzymes, specifically the enzyme in pineapple, which is bromelain. It is a great digestive aid, it supports immune function, and it reduces inflammation. Bromelain is very helpful for people who have chronic sinus issues; it has a long history of use as a remedy for sinusitis. Although mostly used as a digestive aid, it has been linked to analgesic properties which have been documented to have influence on pain mediators such as bradykinin. (4) Bromelain accounts for many therapeutic benefits like the treatment of angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, surgical trauma, and thrombophlebitis, debridement of wounds, and enhanced absorption of drugs, particularly antibiotics. It also relieves osteoarthritis, diarrhea, and various cardiovascular disorders. (5)
Because plant digestive enzymes help break down food so that you can better absorb the nutrients, it's best to take the enzymes before you eat. Veggies provide these essential digestive enzymes, so you will be less likely to react to them. There are also great green (fruit and veggie) drinks that you can consume daily to get all the enzymes you need. It is clear from numerous studies that children and adults who consume a variety of fruits and veggies have a lower risk of allergies and associated asthma.
Supplement with Curcumin
The anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin has been shown to help with Osteoarthritis. Curcumin inhibits multiple pro-inflammatory molecules such as cytokines and prostaglandins. The effects of curcumin have been documented in many clinical trials demonstrating its ability to prevent or reduce cellular death and oxidative stress. (6) Clinical trial dosages between 200mg-3,000mg for curcumin have shown benefits depending on the case. It is important to talk to a physician about appropriate dosage per case. It is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory herbs in the world. I have this in my shake every morning. It's deeply yellowish-orange and stains everything it touches, so don't get it on your clothes, towels, or light-colored kitchen utensils.
Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important vitamin in the body that helps the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for overall bone and muscle health. (7) Levels less than 32 ng/mL have been shown to reduce intestinal calcium absorption, reduced bone density, reduced immune system, increased insulin resistance and risk of many types of cancer. Sources of vitamin D include sun exposure, food intake and dietary supplement of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is very crucial for immune health. Vitamin D comes from the sun, so we need to go outside to take in all the sunshine. Usually just 10 minutes a day in the midday sun is all you need. Some other ways to get vitamin D are cod liver oil and certain fish. (Photo Credit: Flickr)
Vitamin D can also reduce your risk of getting autoimmune disease. When I found out I had antibodies in my thyroid and that my vitamin D levels were low, I immediately started taking more vitamin D. That blood test I did three years ago was a wake-up call for me! I encourage everyone reading this to get a full check up and let a functional medicine doctor like myself analyze it.
As for me, I no longer have symptoms of Hashimoto's (fatigue, overweight, constipated, sensitivity to cold, skin dryness, puffy eyes), which is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid, and I lost 60 pounds over the course of two years. Go outside now if you can, open your mouth to some warm sunshine, and let that little light of yours SHINE!!
A study was conducted by Dr. Zollinger et al, in a double blind random study with participants with reflex sympathetic dystrophy post wrist fractures. Vitamin C was given pre-surgery and demonstrated no reports of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The participants were given a daily dosage of 500mg 2 days prior to surgery and continued with vitamin C 7-week post-surgery.
Vitamin C is considered an anti-oxidant and is needed to manufacture collagen and work with the immune system. Collagen is needed to support the connective tissue, tendons and cartilage. It is also needed to prevent poor wound healing and supports healthy gums. (8) Vitamin C helps repair and regenerate tissues. My family takes a good amount every day to support healthy immune function. Vitamin C is very safe to take and can be very effective in helping lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold. Camu Camu is one of the highest known sources of vitamin C on the planet and has anti-inflammatory properties. My uncle John, Amazon John Easterling, would also bring this powerful fruit from the Amazon jungle. It has 60 times more vitamin C that an orange. It improves respiratory health, energizes the body, and strengthens the immune system.
What to Do Now?
I know it can be overwhelming at first to decide what supplements and herbs are best for you. That is why, we use a complement of diagnostic testing to put together a natural health plan to address your individual needs.
I hope my column speaks to you and you can wake up each morning with a purpose. What I do every day is a calling, and I give God the glory for allowing His gifts to work through me. I do believe in miracles, because I get to see them every day! If you would like to contact me with your health concerns email me directly at Dr@drcorinneweaver.com. For more information you can go to www.DrCorinneWeaver.com.
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was recently named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.
"The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment." How Do Opioids Work in the Brain?, The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, Dec. 2008, www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=6.
Reynolds, Dean. "Overdoses Now Leading Cause of Death of Americans under 50." CBS News, CBS Interactive, 6 June 2017, www.cbsnews.com/news/overdoses-are-leading-cause-of-death-americans-under-50/.
Ballentine, Robert. CHRONIC PAIN, www.holistichealthservices.com/research/chronic_pain.html.
Cohen A, Goldman J. Bromelain therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Pennsylvania Medical Journal. 1964;67:27–30. [PubMed]
Rajendra Pavan, Sapna Jain, Shraddha, and Ajay Kumar, "Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review," Biotechnology Research International, vol. 2012, Article ID 976203, 6 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/976203
"How Curcumin Relieves Pain And Aches." Turmeric for Health!, 3 Aug. 2017, www.turmericforhealth.com/curcumin-benefits-and-dosage/curcumin-for-pain.
Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96: 1911–1930.
Krause's Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy 12th Ed. 12th ed. England: W B SAUNDERS (FL/MO)-ELSEVIER Science HE, 2008. Print.