Friday, March 23, 2012

Heel Detox

A few months ago I did a light detox with the Heel Detox-Kit, and I figured I'd take a little time to write about my experience. What I liked most about this is that it's a very gentle detox and it's really easy to use. In my research, I only came across one story that indicated sensitivity to the product. To use this detox, you just put 30 drops of each bottle in your water bottle in the morning and sip it throughout the day. Easy as that! Here is a little more about each of the formulas that comes with the kit:
  • Lymphomyosot - this formula helps to support the lymphatic system.  This formula may also be given in isolation to treat colds, flu, bronchitis, and eczema.
  • Berberis-Homaccord - supports bladder, gallbladder, and kidney function.
  • Nux-Vomica-Hommacord - helps deal with functional disorders in the gastro-intestinal and hepatic region.
The kit lasts for 30 days and it is recommended that you do the detox 1-2 times a year.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Low Stomach Acid

After much research in regard to my upper GI issues, I landed upon some interesting information suggesting that some of my problems could be related to low stomach acid.  While I don't know if this is the case, I'm definitely open to trying anything that could possibly help.  According to the self-tests listed in Dr. Elizabeth Lipski's book, Digestive Wellness, my issue could be low stomach acid OR high stomach acid.  In her book, she does indicate that the symptoms of both are almost indistinguishable.  She goes on to mention that low stomach acid is a much bigger problem than is acknowledged and that we can actually be worsening our condition by taking proton pump inhibitors (like prilosec, nexium, etc.) because these drugs further reduce the acid in your gut. 

One way to test for this problem is by supplementing with hydrocholoric acid (HCL) with pepsin to see how you respond.  If you respond with heartburn and lots of discomfort, than this is likely not the problem for you.  If it makes you feel better, then there is a good possibility that low stomach acid could be your culprit.  If you do feel discomfort after the trial supplementation, you can take a bit of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the acidity.  Please consult your healthcare provider before trying this and remember that what I am sharing here is based on my personal experience and is not meant to be or replace medical advice.

Another way to boost your stomach acid is with the use of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.  (Tip: sip these through a straw to protect the enamel on your teeth.)  Ideally, you would mix any where from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar (ACV) with some warm water and drink it before a meal.  I have read you can drink it right before a meal, up to 30 minutes before a meal, between meals, or after a meal- so I plan to do whatever seems to work best with my body.  Today, I took 1 teaspoon mixed with water about 10 minutes before breakfast.  I did not have any negative reactions or discomfort.  Hopefully after doing this regularly, some of my upper GI issues will disappear!  I will post back with an update within the next month.  Below are some resources if you're interested in learning more about low stomach acid, HCL, or ACV.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Some Low FODMAP Recipe Ideas - Part I

Baked Chicken with pineapple, cranberries, mint leaves, and almond slices:
I do not have exact amounts for the recipe listed above, but here is a basic overview: Marinate 2 chicken breasts in garlic infused olive oil and the juice of one orange for a few hours.  Preheat oven to 350.  Add chicken to baking dish coated with garlic infused olive oil.  Add mint leaves, almonds, sliced cranberries, and pineapple on top of the chicken.  Add preferred seasonings that are low FODMAP legal.  Cover with foil and bake about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until done.  Tip: if the cranberries are too tart for your taste, mix them with a little bit of maple syrup or stevia prior to adding to the chicken.

Frozen sliced bananas topped with organic dark chocolate and chopped almond pieces:
 This recipe is one of my favorites and VERY simple.  A few hours before dinner, slice up a banana and place the slices so the form a circle on your plate.  Heat up a few squares of organic, dark chocolate (this should be pure chocolate with no sugar or milk added) and drizzle over the top of the bananas.  Add some sliced almonds atop of the chocolate.  Put in the freezer for 2-4 hours.  Remove 5 minutes prior to consuming.  Enjoy, this one is delicious!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


As my I approach the deadline for my annual TB test, I am trying to find answers to my questions about the chemicals used in the formula.  One of the questions I was trying to find an answer to is: "If mercury is so bad for us via fish consumption, then why is it okay in vaccines?".  Honestly, I did not find a comforting answer to that question.  What I learned is that there are a few different forms of mercury.  The kind in our vaccines is called ethylmercury, and the kind we ingest through eating fish is methylmercury.  Most studies to date have focused on methylmercury.  The results of these studies have revealed many toxic effects on developing fetus' and young children.

When reviewing the chemical summary on organic mercury provided in the TEACH database (which is a database of information about chemicals, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency)  I discovered that there is very little research on ethylmercury, while there is quite a bit of research on methylmercury.  For methylmercury, the U.S. EPA Reference Dose (RD) for chronic oral exposure is .00001 mg/kg-day and the ATSDR Minimal Risk Level (MRL) is .00003 mg/kg-day.  These exposure limits were last updated in 2001 and 1999, respectively.  To my shock, there were no toxicity references even available for ethylmercury.  I am assuming that is due to the lack of research that is readily available.  The summary of methylmercury studies reported the following findings:
  • methylmercury has been shown to cross the placenta and has been measured in breast milk
  • frequent eating of fish has been linked to mercury levels being 40 times the national average
  • studies reported mild-to-moderate impairments detected in visual and behavioral tests of children that were associated with mercury or methylmercury blood concentrations
  • high-dose, prenatal exposure to methylmercury has been linked to increased incidence of still births and miscarriages, several developmental disabilities, and other adverse neurological effects in children of exposed mothers
  • children and adults exposed to methylmercury have developed a disorder called acrodynia, manifested by symptoms of: leg cramps, irritability, peeling of skin and hands, nose, and feet; fever, sweating, excessive salivation, sleeplessness, photobia, and/or weakness
  • impaired growth of children was significantly associated with maternal exposure to methylmercury during pregnancy
(The source for the above findings is:

Another interesting thing is that the CDC states on their website that Thimersol (ethylmercury) is eliminated from the body easily and that data from studies shows no convincing evidence of harm.  When I went to examine their references, they are all AT LEAST 10 years old, with some references dating back to 1980!!!  Not to mention, there are only 7 references listed.  First of all, there are few studies that examine ethylmercury alone, which might be a reason for the lack of data suggesting harm.  Like I mentioned before, there is so little data that even the EPA doesn't have enough evidence or research to make a recommended toxicity reference.  Secondly, in a newer article published in 2005 they did report that ethlymercury cleared more rapidly than methylmercury... BUT the proportion of inorganic mercury in the brain was twice as high in the ethylmercury (the type of mercury in Thimerosol) group.  It was further noted that inorganic mercury remains in the brain much longer than organic mercury, and has a half-life of MORE THAN A YEAR!  It goes on to state that "it's not currently known whether inorganic mercury presents any risk to the developing brain".  So, it looks to me that while there might not be any compelling evidence to show us that Thimerosol is harmful, there most certainly isn't any evidence showing us that it's effects are safe. 


Monday, February 6, 2012


Who can the low FODMAP diet help?  Reportedly, the low FODMAP diet can help those suffering from IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.  Most recently I heard that it *may* be helpful for those with gastroparesis or funtional dyspepsia.

What does FODMAP mean?  FODMAP is an acronym that stands for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.  These are names for a collection of molecules found in foods that cause digestion issues for some people.

What foods have FODMAPS?  
  • Fructose: Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids.
  • Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Asparagus, Beetroot, Chicory, Dandelion leaves, Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Raddicio lettuce, Spring Onion (white part), Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.
  • Lactose: Milk, icecream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, margarine, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone).
  • Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas.
  • Polyols: Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Longon, Lychee, Nectarines, Pears , Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, Sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and Isomalt (953).
Why do these foods cause problems?  Since some people have trouble digesting the above mentioned foods, and the molecules travel past the small intestine to the large intestine.  Upon their arrival, they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally.  The bacteria digest/ferment the FODMAPS, which in turn causes unpleasant IBS-like symptoms.

Source for foodlist and information above:

Low FODMAP Resources:
Next week I will feature a list of FODMAP friendly recipes, in addition to my own recipes.  I am only a few weeks into this diet, but I've found that a bit of creativity has kept in manageable so far.  I should also probably mention that I do NOT have IBS, but rather an undiagnosed functional GI disorder than I am in the process of figuring out.  It surfaced after a case of food poisoning, so there is some speculation as to what is causing the persistent symptoms (ie. a parasite, a newly developed food intolerance, post infectious gastroparesis, functional dyspepsia, etc.).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gastroparesis Series - Part IV: Nutrition Helpers

During a flare (or if you have a consistent case of severe GP) your body may become depleted of essential nutrients.  Adequate nutrition is a fundamental component of healing, and I've found some of these products to help me meet my needs:
  • Coconut Milk - this is the base for my smoothies.  My nutritionist recommended the coconut milk because it has a bit of fat in it (about 5g) and she said that would help "carry me longer".  If you can't tolerate fat, rice milk and almond milk are healthy alternatives.
  • Organic Rice Protein Powder - this is a necessary addition to my morning smoothie.  I am generally too nauseated to eat solids in the morning, so this helps add protein to my morning meal which helps give me the fuel I need to start my day.
  • Fish Oil or Flax Oil - while this might sound strange, these oils do contain small amounts of fat (about 2-5 g) and can help get some "healthy fat" in you without having to eat a large portion that'll make you feel overly full.  There are certain kinds out there (ex. lemon flavored by Metagenics) that reduce the yucky "fish burp" side effect.  The flax oil by Barleans comes in a delicious strawberry banana flavor and can be easily added into a smoothie.
  • Nano Greens - I have yet to be able to eat and/or digest green vegetables, so I've found this product to be a life saver in getting nutrition from veggies without actually having to eat them.
  • Coconut Water - this is a great thing to have on hand if you can't keep much down or if you're dehydrated.  It contains 5 essential electrolytes, making it an excellent source for hydration purposes.  Additionally, it contains more potassium than a banana and is 100% natural- not to mention it tastes very refreshing!
  • Sublingual Vitamin B Complex and D - these vitamins are essential for proper immune and neurological function.  They're extra easy to keep down since they're sublingual.
You might be wondering why I didn't add Boost or any of the more commonly known nutritional shakes out there to my list.... The primary reason for this is that I have an inflammatory condition that demands that I follow a dairy-free, sugar-free, low gluten, all-natural diet.  While it is a very diet to follow, I believe it has allowed my body to improve it's healing abilities.  Many of the commercially available drinks are very necessary for some people so I am not suggesting you shouldn't use them, but I avoid them because they have ingredients that are not consistent with my diet (ex. sugar, dairy, artificial colors and flavors, etc.).  

I'm sure I'll make more discoveries as time goes on and add more to this list- check back for updates!

*Just a reminder - I am NOT a doctor and this is not intended to be medical advice.  This information is based solely on my own personal experience and the information I have come across while dealing with my GP. *

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gastroparesis Series - Part III: Resources

Sadly, there are not many helpful books out there for the GP community.  Of the few that exist, these are the only two that had consistent good reviews.
Websites for more information, resources, Q & A, and videos.

Online Support Groups and Communities:
Share your story and get feedback from others.

Diet Log for Tracking Possible Food Intolerance:
This can be a helpful step in figuring out "trigger foods" or subtle intolerances.  It could also be helpful to fill out this form if you are planning to see a dietician or nutritionist in the near future.