Natural Solutions for Breast Health | Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast awareness by Dr. Marisol ND. Queen of the Thrones®

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I was inspired to write a quick article about some natural solutions for breast health. I think we’ve all been affected by breast cancer in some way, shape or form. We see celebrities who have struggled with it like Olivia Newton John, Christina Applegate, Sheryl Crow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Melissa Etheridge. My own mother had it, and a friend of mine too, who beat it twice (I will share more about them in this article).

It’s becoming an epidemic and so important that we are educated, aware and know how to prevent it as well as recognize the signs.

 My Breast Journey

I used to look at my breasts in the mirror, pulling one up and comparing it to the other.  I would wish so hard to have perky, stand-up-here breasts instead of pendulous, way down-there-puppies with sparkling, multicolored stretch marks. 

Dr. Marisol ND. Queen of the Thrones® natural solutions for breast health

Weight changes and overnutrition in my youth never gave me the opportunity to have perky, perfect breasts.  Instead, I went from flat to fat and then stretched out to swinging and saggy.  

Breasts define our femininity in many ways, we feel sexy because of them and un-sexy in spite of them.

I recall getting intimate with my husband and being so ashamed to get naked in front of him.  I apologetically told him I needed to be honest with him and tell him that my tits sagged, instead of being heralds of fertility and proud of them with pomp and circumstance.  I felt deflated because of them just like they were deflated. 

Turns out he didn’t care. He actually knew, and had been staring down my top for a while and loved what he was seeing – without me knowing!  Sly dog. 

Why Are Breasts Such a Big Deal? 

Breast are bold, they stick out from our bodies.  They are the first thing that enters the room, the first thing in many cases that get noticed. 

Men obsess about them, maybe because they have mother and latching issues, or maybe because they just adore the difference between male and female bodies.

Whether you think your breasts are too large or too small, they are a source of shame for many.  It’s time to take this inappropriate thought pattern and shove it where the sun don’t shine.  It’s our time to be proud of all of our shapes and sizes and stretch marks.  Be proud of the pleasure they bring us, from foreplay to feeding our babies.

Breast Judgments 

My first encounter with the dangers of judgments made on breasts wasn’t my own, but actually my mother’s.  When she was a dashing young lady, she had gone to the doctor’s office to have her yearly check-up and breast exam. 

Upon taking off her shirt to be examined, the doctor gasped at how large her breasts were (super inappropriate FYI, in this day and age but this was back in the 60s).  My mother, being incredibly shy about her sexuality, was immediately embarrassed, turned red as a lobster and searched to get dressed immediately.  

So shocked was she by this judgment that she never had another breast exam again, until it was too late. 

Judgments can damage our psyche, we don’t know how our words will fall on the ears receiving them.  Judgments serve no purpose either, except pain.  After all, no one asks the doctor to comment on how large they are, but rather how healthy they are. 

My Mother’s Breast Cancer 

Forty years later, my mother waited until blood came out of her nipple and a mass so large it was hard to avoid, came cauli-flowering out of her breast.  With two doctors as daughters, we couldn’t believe that she had let the shame of an event that happened so long ago, impact her life now. 

The diagnosis – stage 4 breast cancer.  Devastating, with little to no time to act. 

Because of this experience, I got over my breast bullsh*t and got into owning one of the most beautiful, female, flourishing features of my health. 

Importance of Breast Exams 

For this reason alone, every single woman in my naturopathic practice gets a yearly breast exam, done by our skilled naturopath assessment hands. 

Mammacare method for breast self examination

But some of us don’t have access to a doctor who is experienced or willing to do a breast exam, especially since now the recommendation is to avoid breast exams. 

In countries where breast cancer is diagnosed at advanced stages, it is valuable to have patients understand breast self-examination as well as to be examined1.

So this is extremely valuable.  My mother was fortunate, even though she was at the extreme case, she survived with a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy as well as naturopathic medicine.  Her cancer was so far advanced that it was an impossibility to only do the natural route. 

Self-Examination Is Invaluable 

The comment I get in clinic time and time again is that most women don’t know what normal feels like.  They feel that their breasts are lumpy and bumpy (a sign of estrogen dominance, or low iodine). 

But let me tell you, the first time I did a breast exam I thought exactly the same thing!  How was I going to identify anything going wrong if I can’t notice anything different? 

Do you know what changed it?  Practice, my friends, practice the mother of all skills. 

So I just love, love, love what my friend and colleague Dr. Véronique Desaulniers, two-time breast cancer survivor and preacher to the people, has done to make this easy. 

She has created “My Breast Friend”, a breast self-examination tool.  It’s basically a model of the breast so you can be your own best doctor. 

And what if you find lots of lumps and bumps?  Make your way to your doctor and get checked out.  It never hurts to be extra cautious. 

Prevention of Breast Cancer 

There are many things you can do at home now to help reduce cystic and lumpy breasts. Most of these strategies deal with reducing the amount of estrogen in your body. 

Learn about cancer prevention with Dr. Marisol ND. Queen of the Thrones®

  1. Eat more broccoli family foods (cruciferous veggies)2 
  2. Reduce your alcohol intake3 
  3. Reduce your theophylline intake, in coffee, tea and chocolate 
  4. Wear a Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Brow and Lash Kit™ to bed – they naturally increase melatonin which is a powerful anti-cancer hormone in the body4
  5. Of course, do your Castor Oil Pack™ daily, because it helps with cleansing and detox5, microbiome balance8, inflammation9, and stress reduction10 11, which all impact your hormonal balance.

So get to know your boobies!  I know I’ve got saggy tits, and sometimes they really do look like sacks!  But I love them because they are me 100% and I get to know them regularly so I can keep them a part of me for the long haul.  They are my twins after all, and I can’t get another pair just like these (no judgment if you’ve had yours changed, just love!).

Do you know the difference between then and now?  Now I love my breasts, I treat them better every single day because I have learned that they are an important part of who I am.  They share my story. 

So get My Breast Friend today, to help you get to know your lovely lady lumps on your chest.

I also want to share a quick recipe with castor oil for boob and lymphatic health. Castor oil has a long history of use for breast cancer.  In fact, Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine was advocating it as a treatment in 460 BCE, as was another medicine man of the time, Galen in 200 BCE12.

Castor Oil for Breast Health and Lymphatic Health

  1. Mix Queen of the Thrones® Organic Castor Oil from a GLASS bottle with baking soda until it becomes a paste
  2. Add 2-3 drops of organic rosemary essential oil 
  3. Rub into your armpits and over your breasts
  4. Leave on for an hour or more then rinse off

Don’t forget to share this with your friends & family members on social media, through email and to like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about joining the movement so that we can all have an improvement!

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones® nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones® will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.


References:

1 rev Med. 2011 Sep;53(3):118-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 May 8. The role of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination. Miller AB1, Baines CJ.

2 Kendra J. Royston, B.S.1 and Trygve O. Tollefsbol, D.O. Ph.D. The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Feb 1. Published in final edited form as: Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015 Feb 1; 1(1): 46–51. Published online 2015 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9

3 Terryl J. Hartman,1 Julia S. Sisti,2,3 Susan E. Hankinson,2,3,4 Xia Xu,5 A. Heather Eliassen,2,3 and Regina Ziegler6 Alcohol Consumption and Urinary Estrogens and Estrogen Metabolites in Premenopausal Women. Horm Cancer. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Feb 1. Published in final edited form as: Horm Cancer. 2016 Feb; 7(1): 65–74. Published online 2016 Jan 4. doi: 10.1007/s12672-015-0249-7

4 Giuseppe Di Bella,1,* Fabrizio Mascia,1 Luciano Gualano,2 and Luigi Di Bella Melatonin Anticancer Effects: Review Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Feb; 14(2): 2410–2430. Published online 2013 Jan 24. doi: 10.3390/ijms14022410

5 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

6 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

7 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

9 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

10 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

11 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

12 Lukong KE1. Understanding breast cancer – The long and winding road. BBA Clin. 2017 Jan 27;7:64-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2017.01.001. eCollection 2017 Jun.

How to Sleep Better NATURALLY | No Supplements

Sleep Better naturally with Queen of the Thrones® set of practices and products

“I’ll sleep when I die”. This is a quote from an Instagram influencer that I follow Kenzie Brenna, on how she thought about her sleep (don’t worry, she’s now getting help!).  Do you think this way too?  Are your nights a living hell or a nightmare on Elm Street, instead of levitating with angels on a white, fluffy cloud? 

I used to feel this way.  I know exactly what it feels like when you lay there, trying to get into that deep restorative sleep that you know you so deserve… Or rather NEED to get into.  Because your body feels it and well, everyone keeps telling you, “You look so TIRED.”  Gee, thanks!  You actually are tired, exhausted, drained, deflated and slightly anxious about the daily rat race that you have been running.  Not to mention the intense cravings.  Oh boy! 

Your chest starts pounding, as the fluffy, white-as-snow sheep you are counting begin to trample in a stampede across your chest instead of jumping over the fence.  You toss and turn, get caught up in your sheets.  Tangled up just like the Disney princess’s hair.  UGH you get up, and think, “maybe if I pee”…  

You go to the bathroom, sit there (you just peed not too long ago) and a teeny, tiny trickle sprinkles into the toilet bowl, not enough to even wipe, you should just air dry.  Now you make your way back to the hell hole that has become your bed.  The dark hole that you fall into and can’t get out of.  You are tortured by the thought of trying to get to sleep.  Because it just seems like Mission Impossible.  If only Tom Cruise were there to help you get out of it.  Pre-Scientology.

Why do some people sleep so deep almost as though dead, and others fidget like corn being popped?

Sleep is one of the most important health practices that we must journey to learn how our own individual body best achieves it.  Yes, you read that right.  Sleep is very individual, it isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. 

Individualized Sleep Patterns 

I remember when I was a kid growing up in a Spanish family, we always took naps.  My parents would put my sister and I down for nap.  My sister’s head would hit the pillow and before my mother and father could even give her a kiss, she was fast asleep, in Lala land.  I would wait my turn, chit-chat with my mother and father, get their kisses and think up excuses to keep them in the room talking with me because I didn’t like what came next. 

Wide awake I would stare at the ceiling, look over at my sister… she always looked so calm in her dreams.  We were sisters, from the same seed, yet so different.  I started planning ahead, leaving Marvel and Archie comics and Choose Your Own Adventure books under my bed, with a flashlight. 

So many factors can affect the natural flow of our bodies, and because we are all individuals, sleep is individual to each of us. 

Your Natural Rhythms 

We each have naturally engrained rhythms.  Ever hear someone say, “I’m such a night owl”?  There are very clear sleep types.  Dr. Micheal Breus, A.K.A. the Sleep Doctor, discusses in his book, The Power of When, four very clear-cut chronotypes: lions, dolphins, wolves and bears. 

 Biological response modifiers affect our sleep cycle

 Your probably familiar with the popular social references of being a ‘night owl’ or ‘morning glory’.  What’s your story?  Think of it like this.  Some people naturally go to bed early and wake up before the sun rises with the sounds of the birds chirping.  Others stay up late, longer into the twilight… perhaps our genetic line descended from the vampires of Transylvania?

Natural Rhythms of Nature 

Mother Nature also consistently shows us her rhythms.  You are all too familiar with the day and night cycle, that has in part been dictating your sleep cycle since you were born, and is very important to respect.  Light and darkness affect our melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.  When these are off, distressed and disordered sleep predominates. 

The day and night cycle is something called a biological response modifier. 

But guess what, it’s not the only one… there are many of them.  These biological response modifiers affect our sleep cycle.  So there could be things that you are taking, eating, drinking, or watching that are affecting why you’re so disappointed in your nightly practice that feels  more like an insane asylum instead of a sanctuary. 

Common Biological Response Modifiers

Also known as zeitgebers!  Love that name!  It’s German – one of the amazing languages I can speak, albeit not as good as before but I’ve still got it!  Das ist zehr gut! 

Zeitgebers entrain our bodies to do certain actions.  They have a biological effect to change how we react.  They are incredibly powerful, you may not even realize it.  Some, like the caffeine in coffee, you typically do notice.  But many sheepishly slide into your lifestyle, affecting how your body regulates hormones, happiness and your health without you even knowing.

So many things that we do on a regular basis are zeitgebers and a major way to ‘fix’ your health practice, and in turn, sleep soundly.  The key is to watch when and how you are exposed to these in order to better reset the balance in your body. 

It’s not that you have to avoid them completely, it’s just that you want to make sure to do them at the appropriate times of the day.  These messengers for your body to do certain things work based on the autonomic nervous system. 

They will either stimulate your nervous system into the stressed “sympathetic” state via cortisol and adrenaline, or will ease you into the rest and digest state, the peaceful “parasympathetic” state.  

Common zeitgebers (love writing and saying this out loud!) are:

All it takes is understanding and you have the magic mix.  Are you ready to become the maestro of magnificent sleep time? 

Manifest your sleep sanctuary, maestro!

So here is what to do:

  1. Learn the zeitgebers – sleep sirens, wake up wired! 
  2. Use them at the right time of the day, and stop when you need to.
  3. Practice health everyday and feel better – sleep hygiene and health practices. 

Back to Basics For Your Sleep Biology 

So what to do with all of these zeitgebers?  Sleep hygiene is imperative, but it’s not the only thing.  We must also look at what goes on during the day to really set ourselves up for success.  Some of the ‘sympathetic’ zeitgebers are great, like cardio and certain herbs, but should be avoided after 4pm and switched to ‘parasympathetic’ zeitgebers so the body knows it’s time to wind down.  We’ll talk more on this later in this article.

Create Your Sleep Sanctuary

Here are some tips for creating an environment in your bedroom that will help to ease you into Dreamland, where you can fly like Peter Pan, relax on a yacht in a sea full of tulips, or sing karaoke with a kangaroo.  There’s no limit to the possibilities your beautiful brain might concoct when it’s getting the sleep it needs!

1. Dark room

Darkness is a super important zeitgeber for sleep.  Darkness mimics nighttime, it’s very simple really.  Scientific studies done on rats and human subjects have shown that darkness promotes deeper, more rejuvenating and restful sleep.  Sleeping in an environment exposed to light may actually have negative effects on breathing and heart rate.

2. Only sex & sleep in the bedroom

Keep your bedroom as a sacred space for rest, sleep and love making. No Netflix and chill here – save that for your living room!

3. Turn off your wifi

Electromagnetic pollution such as wifi, cell phone towers and signals have been shown to disrupt our day night rhythms.  Many wifi routers have a timer setting that you can program to automatically turn off at a certain time in the evening and turn on again in the morning.  Put your phone on airplane mode and charge it in a separate room. 

4. Same routine every night 

Queen of the Thrones® eye mask for a restful night.

Regulation of the sleep cycle is benefitted by creating a “bedtime” routine within the ideal environment that you have created for your super sleep.  You want to create a pattern over time and with repetition and practice, your body will recognize the signals to shut things down and begin to drift off into sweet sleep.  This can be your beauty care and bathroom routine like washing your face and taking off your makeup (castor oil works amazing for this!), putting on your Queen of The Thrones® Castor Oil Pack™, reading a book.  Make it feel great for YOU. 

5. Cool your room

A cooler temperature in your bedroom mimics the natural cooler temperature of the evening as the sun goes down.  A room that is too hot will leave you restless and unable to fall into a deep sleep.  Keep it cool as a cucumber baby!

Successful Sleep Starts In The Daytime

Now when it comes to learning to balance your bedroom routine, this doesn’t happen only at bedtime.  It’s a whole day and night routine that builds up to the sleeping beauty sonata that you are looking for every night. 

Here are some quick tips for easy daytime sleep prep.

1. Zip up the zeitgebers so you can zen out! 

Stop any major biological response modifiers by 4 pm at the latest.  Some of my patients have even needed to cut them out at noon, because the effects are felt by their bodies longer than others.

Special note on how our body processes these zeitgebers:  It is very individual.  Some of us are very slow to detoxify, which is basically the process of clearing out molecules.  Some can have caffeine after 4 pm, and others must cut it off before 12pm or they won’t sleep.  The key is body connection, always be listening and conscious of how different stimulus affects you.  

2. Balance your hormones for sleepQueen of the Thrones® eye mask for a restful sleep.

Wear an eye mask to bed – This is a simple way to stimulate production of melatonin from the pituitary gland.  Some people think it’s the blocking of light that orchestrates this, but the other part of it has to do with compression around the eyes, which actually triggers the release via the nervous system.  The key is to use an eye mask with very soft, tactile and nurturing material, like the one included in the Beauty Sleep Brow and Lash Kit™.

Blue light blocking glasses – If you have excessive exposure to artificial light (such as computer or cell phone screens), blue light blocking glasses such as these are a great tool to wear after sundown to protect the brain and begin the pump of melatonin. 

3. Stress reduction with stimulation of oxytocin 

Castor Oil Packs – At night, or anytime of the day you feel overstimulated, throw on your Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack™, trust me.  The biggest reason I love Castor Oil Packs so much is their effect on practicing the peaceful, parasympathetic state.  When worn before bed they are an incredible preparation for a deep and recharging sleep. 

Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack™ for better sleep

The packs stimulate oxytocin, the love and connection molecule.  It is the most powerful and mighty hormone that actually reduces the stressed state.  That’s right.  Your Castor Oil Pack feels like a hug, just like the hug machine created by Temple Grandin.  This is the smaller version that you can access in the comfort of your own home. 

If you consistently feel very stressed during the day, have you had your hormones tested?  They can be tested via the Dutch Hormone Test. When daytime cortisol is very high, it can be helpful to start your Castor Oil Pack™ practice earlier in the day.  I’ve had patients do it in the morning, that’s actually where I started because my daytime cortisol was so high.

Typically you want to do your pack before bed to wind down, and those sheep you’re always counting will carry you away on a fluffy white cloud into Never-Neverland.

Unwire your wifi – With exposure to wifi, we begin to see changes in plant’s biology.  In a study done on rats, hormonal issues with the adrenal glands were observed as well as stress mediators in the brain, the producer of melatonin, oxytocin and all other sleep aids.  Best to turn your wifi off at night and leave your cellphone/computer in another room.

 Queen of the Thrones® Eau de Throne™ with organic essential oils4. Build your Progesterone and GABA to maintain sleep

Grateful Practice – Grateful practices are an incredible way to calm your nervous system and augment your natural progesterone and GABA.  When you are grateful, it’s impossible to be in a negative mood.  The more you practice gratefulness during the day, the better you will feel and sleep.  Use the Queen of the Thrones® Grateful Dung™ Bracelet as a daily reminder.

Aromatherapy – I love using Queen of the Thrones® Eau de Throne™ for the organic essential oils of lavender, clove, rosemary and lemon.  These essential oils, when sprayed after you poo, have a calming effect on your nervous system and gut.  They balance you out and help you feel good.  You can also spray it in your room or on your pillow at night, or use in an essential oils diffuser.

All of the awesome health tools discussed in this article are included in the Queen of the Thrones® Queen Kit™ for your own unique self-care ritual.

Life Is a Stage, Set It

Not sure if you’re noticing here, but we are using, smell, touch, thought, sound and all of the senses to engage the relaxed state.  The more senses that you can engage during the day and night, the better your sleep will be. 

Life is a stage and the more you ensure to set the stage properly, the result is you will be able to serenade yourself into the sleep of a lifetime.

These are all non-supplemental practices that engage your behaviour, mindset and senses to serendipitously fall into a deep sleep.

Surrender to the fact that you have to be in charge and design your destiny when it comes to your sleep.  If not you will fall to your fate, and sleep should not be fated.  It is undeniable and the most important part of your day.  Respect it and do your duty to be the best you can be.  Time to drift off into your deep recharge!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and to like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about how to join the movement so that we can all have an improvement!

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones® nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones® will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.


References:
Dirk Jan Stenvers,a,1 Rick van Dorp,1 Ewout Foppen,1 Jorge Mendoza,2 Anne-Loes Opperhuizen,3 Eric Fliers,1 Peter H. Bisschop,1 Johanna H. Meijer,4 Andries Kalsbeek,1,3 and Tom Deboer4 Dim light at night disturbs the daily sleep-wake cycle in the rat. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 35662. Published online 2016 Oct 20. doi: 10.1038/srep35662 PMID: 27762290

 Chul-Hyun Cho,1,2 Ho-Kyoung Yoon,1,2 Seung-Gul Kang,3 Leen Kim,1,2 Eun-Il Lee,4 and Heon-Jeong Lee1,2,5 Impact of Exposure to Dim Light at Night on Sleep in Female and Comparison with Male Subjects. Psychiatry Investig. 2018 May; 15(5): 520–530. Published online 2018 Mar 19. doi: 10.30773/pi.2018.03.17 PMID: 29551048

Yamauchi M1, Jacono FJFujita YKumamoto MYoshikawa MCampanaro CKLoparo KAStrohl KPKimura H. Effects of environment light during sleep on autonomic functions of heart rate and breathing. Sleep Breath. 2014 Dec;18(4):829-35. doi: 10.1007/s11325-014-0951-7. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

 Bogdan Lewczuk, Grzegorz Redlarski, Arkadiusz Żak, Natalia Ziółkowska, Barbara Przybylska-Gornowicz, Marek Krawczuk Influence of Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields on the Circadian System: Current Stage of Knowledge Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 169459. Published online 2014 Jul 22. doi: 10.1155/2014/169459

 Jodie Harris, PhD,1,2 Leon Lack, PhD,1,2 Kristyn Kemp, PhD,3 Helen Wright, PhD,1 and Richard Bootzin, PhD4 A Randomized Controlled Trial of Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR): A Brief Conditioning Treatment for Chronic Insomnia. Sleep. 2012 Jan 1; 35(1): 49–60.Published online 2012 Jan 1. doi:  10.5665/sleep.1584 PMCID: PMC3242687

 Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno1 and Koh Mizuno2 Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm J Physiol Anthropol. 2012; 31(1): 14.Published online 2012 May 31. doi:  10.1186/1880-6805-31-14 PMCID: PMC3427038

Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

 Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

 Halgamuge MN. Review: Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants.Electromagn Biol Med. 2017; 36(2):213-235. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Shahabi S, Hassanzadeh Taji I, Hoseinnezhaddarzi M, Mousavi F, Shirchi S, Nazari A, Zarei H, Pourabdolhossein F. Exposure to cell phone radiofrequency changes corticotrophin hormone levels and histology of the brain and adrenal glands in male Wistar rat. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2018 Dec; 21(12):1269-1274.

How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS

How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing With Your IBS - Blog Header

Food is foundational to our lives. What do we do when our food is causing us problems? With my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I was always trying to follow my diet and figure out what was triggering my symptoms. The thing was, I wasn’t like others and that was one of the bottlenecks that was keeping me stuck. Also the fact that I had to stay on a specific diet, which as you know is very difficult when you’re in pain and just want to eat your comfort food. From clinical practice and personal experience this is what I found to be the best way to modify your food choices when you are living with IBS.

Food as a Fixation when you have IBS 

I know I know, I too was super obsessed with my diet. I definitely googled it a variety of times, ‘what should I eat, what should I do?’

When you wake up in the morning with a flat stomach, put something in your mouth and BOOM!, you are 4 months pregnant, this does not make for a happy life. It’s proven that the quality of life for people dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is truly in the gutter1.

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Friend

Food should be our friend. It is supposed to nourish us, help us live well, and give us life. We get protein, fats and carbohydrates from our foods. These give us the building blocks to create the communication messengers of our bodies, like hormones, neurotransmitters, digestive enzymes and immune messengers. These are all created from the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest. Food is a messenger and it commands and tells our body what to do. 

How Communication Works in the Gut

The gut is so genius, that it can function completely on its own if it needed to. It has its own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system that responds to stimulus, like the food you are eating and pressure from volume of the food. It understands the messages because it has endocrine receptors2, yes that’s right, endocrine is another word for HORMONES. These receptors take in the stimulus from what you are eating to help you go about your day in a healthy way.

The only problem is that in irritable bowel syndrome, there is likely an issue with these receptors not working so well and this causes issues.

Why Food Irritates your Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

If you’ve been dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, you are one of the 14-20% of the world’s population that may blame it on the following foods:

  • Spicy Foods
  • Caffeine
  • Milk and Dairy Products
  • Wheat and Gluten Products
  • Meats (but not all meats)
  • Cabbage and Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Onion Family Vegetables
  • Peas and Beans
  • Fried Foods
  • Smoked Food

This is just to name a few. But there has been some kind of correlation to food3.

Learn about Food Allergies with Dr. Marisol ND Queen of the Thrones®

Why should Food be One of the First Things you Address in IBS? 

Believe it or not, food is a strong messenger. It commands what our body should and shouldn’t do. It also provides antioxidants, nutrients and everything that we need to have our system working well and being protected. When you’re dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, part of how you’re feeling, (the fatigue, the stress) is because your body isn’t being nourished properly. You are feeling the backlash of that.

Food – Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome Foe

As much as food is the ultimate giver of life, it is also the ultimate stressor. If there are foods that you don’t do well with, then instead of giving you life they take it away. They are like a poison. If you haven’t been able to figure out what your aggravators and irritants are, I hope that in this blog you’ll get a good idea of your next steps.

Why your IBS Food Triggers Might be Different than what they Say in the Studies 

Your food foe is unique to you. In tummy trials, there is a significant different between scientific validity for foods that cause problems and the patient’s lived experience4. Which means that patients seem to experience food triggers differently than what it says in the studies. I know that for me this was absolutely the truth.

Gluten and Wheat Products Weren’t my Problems? What???!!

Gluten and wheat weren’t my triggers. Ironically, a food that was being highly recommended at the time for cleansing and healthy diets was rice. However, for me being of Spanish origin and genetic background, the over consumption of rice in my family throughout my life had created a sensitivity in my body. I had been over exposed to this “health” food and because of this it was a ‘food foe’ and not a ‘food friend’.

Wheat, on the other hand, the villain of all diets, was well tolerated and I could eat it without experiencing symptoms.

Find out what are the most common Food Sensitivities with Dr. Marisol ND Queen of the Thrones®

So How Do you Know what your Food Triggers Are? 

There are a few ways to figure this out. They include diet diaries, elimination diets or testing of food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

It’s incredible that 70% of irritable bowel syndrome patients correlate their symptoms to foods5. Ironically, the most common foods that people avoid, which may be the case for you, are the likely villains of wheat, dairy, citrus fruit, caffeine and alcohol. But removing these often show little to no improvement or change6.

Do Diet Diaries Work?

Food elimination diets and diet diaries are actually the gold standard to help figure out what foods may be bothering your system. The biggest problem is that they are super hard to follow through on. I have seen this time and time again in clinical practice and in all honesty in myself as well. I attempt to do it, because it makes sense to do it, but you lose track, you get confused, and you’re unsure what caused what and then it’s just frustrating and a total disaster. Been there, done that, saw too many patients do it too. Plus it’s supported by the literature that it is an ineffective way to do things.

Why? Because you are not a scientist, and you can’t do a scientifically rigorous experiment to actually get it right. Plus there are too many uncertainties in life and this is what the research discloses7. Touché, I’m a naturopathic doctor and neither can I. I’m human, just like you. So why guess? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve counselled patients to invest in knowing.

This is why for me, when it came to food, I opted to get food sensitivity and allergy testing done. Intolerances you know because it is pretty immediate. Let’s find out the difference and why it’s important to know.

The Difference Between Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities and Food Intolerances

I commonly notice that my patients and I (until I learned better, which took time) really don’t have a solid understanding of the differences between food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

What does this have to do with IBS? Well, everything. You see, because food is affecting us in a certain way, the reaction could be immediate, within 72 hours. Or maybe the reaction is so far removed from your gut you don’t even know that you have a problem with it. So we need to figure out the mechanism of action to help improve what is happening.

Food Allergies and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

These typically react immediately. I always explain it as being just like a peanut allergy. These are common in children these days, they can get exposure by touch, air and through food, depending on how sensitive you are to them. Then BOOM, throat closes, hives appear, swelling all around the face, eyes and throat.

This is an outright medical emergency, requiring immediate epinephrine and a trip to the hospital. To a lesser degree, these allergies could manifest within 24 hours with mild to moderate swelling and are less worrisome. Food allergy is commonly tested by the skin scratch test and are an IgE mediated reaction8.

Food Sensitivities and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

This is my jam, I love food sensitivity testing! I was sick and struggling with food for a long time and this testing was my saving grace. I had visited countless naturopaths and doctors and no one had tested me. I spent thousands, not hundreds, of dollars on supplements and treatments and none were working because I wasn’t doing my due diligence. I was eliminating what everyone else was sensitive to.

However, sensitivities are extremely personal. They have to do with exposure over time as well as cultural and genetic factors. It’s very hard to deduce them until you see them on paper.

Healthy Foods can be Sensitivities

As I mentioned above, rice was my villain, yet it was what I was consuming daily. It’s funny when things are brought to light and they make a lot of sense. I’m Spanish, so rice is a staple in  the cultural dishes, such as paella. Needless to say I’m confident that my entire life I likely ate rice with most of my meals, including refried at breakfast. Oy! So when I finally asked a naturopathic doctor that I was shadowing to test me, it all made perfect sense. I was doing these cleansing diets, all laden with rice and feeling like my world was ending. I thought I was never ever going to beat IBS or get better, only worse.

So to prevent this, in my practice find it beneficial for all of my patients to get this testing, especially those with IBS. It not only serves to demonstrate overexposure and your immune system’s overreaction to foods (as it tests IgG) but if those foods are eliminated as compared to not, symptoms in IBS may improve9.

Queen of the Thrones® Dr. Marisol ND. explains the causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS

Sensitivities are REALLY hard to pinpoint. Very difficult because they are sneaky. They don’t always create symptoms in your gut, they can show up on your skin as eczema or rashes, in your mind as depression or anxiety, or manifest as fatigue or hormone and metabolic derangement. They can create low grade chronic inflammation and directly affect your gut and be accompanied by loose stools, constipation, nausea and even vomiting.

The biggest issue is that the reaction can manifest up to 72 hours after eating a food, which you can imagine makes it quite difficult to deduce which food could be your personal villain.

Is Food Sensitivity Testing Valid? 

Many critics of food sensitivity testing argue its validity10. They say that yes, you can measure your body’s reaction to these sensitivities, but they discuss that an IgG response for food sensitivities is a naturally occuring phenomena and over time creates tolerance and desensitization11 12.

The way I look at it is this, you can be tolerant to something, but that sure doesn’t mean that you are happy with it or that it isn’t doing you any harm. So if you’re tolerant with your husband who is cheating on you, or coworker that is constantly putting you down, or your mother in law that criticizes your every move, is this not causing some level of stress in your system? I do believe so.

Food Sensitivity Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

With irritable bowel syndrome being so complicated and multifactorial, it’s important to reduce and remove as many things as possible so that you can find out what is causing your system stress. Otherwise you’re just gangbusters and in the wild west of craziness.

Your ability to manage stress is like a fine glass of wine, you can fill it up only so much. If you keep on adding wine (or adding stress), guess what? It is going to overflow into a whole bunch of other systems and your gut is the one that feels it the most, as we clearly know the link between stress and irritable bowel syndrome13.

I believe that the validity of critics or those that take food sensitivities as the end all be all of your treatment may be what is causing this uncomfortable reputation for food sensitivities. But I urge you to look at the whole picture, and food sensitivities are part of YOUR picture and your reaction to food. Also, there are some labs that perform tests to help you discover certain food sensitivities.

Do you Have to Retest your Food Sensitivities? 

Oh and by the way, everyone thinks that you test this once in your life and never again. This is not the case at all. As with all testing, it’s not perfect. It’s not a one time thing either. You will need to retest, usually in about 1-2 years. If you have been avoiding those foods that marked from medium to high immune reactivity, my experience and others14 has been that it will help a great deal.

**Please note that this is not a replacement test for IgE or food allergy testing. If you suspect that you or your child may have severe, life threatening allergies, please always make sure to consult your doctor for all your health care needs**.

Food Intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

As compared to food allergies and food sensitivities, food intolerances tend to be a breeze to deal with. As both food allergies and sensitivities are mediated by your immune system and based more specifically on a reaction to protein in your foods, food intolerances are an inability to absorb carbohydrates. As an example, lactose intolerance is when your body is missing the ability to digest the carbohydrate lactose, found in milk15. You are more than likely familiar with dairy intolerance.

Fructose intolerance is also common. The popular Fodmaps diet, which up to now has shown evidence of improvement in short term for irritable bowel syndrome16, is based on an intolerance or avoidance of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that aggravate digestive symptoms.

The issue with intolerance is if it can’t be broken down and absorbed, then it stays in the intestine and becomes fermented by bacteria and yeasts as a source of food. What should be feeding you, feeds the dysbiosis in your intestine. This is a major aggravating factor for pain and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome.

Where to Go From Here? What Would be the Best Strategy to Take?

The number one strategy that is the most important is to try reducing as much stress as possible that is occurring in your gut and in your life.

1. Skip Breakfast! Intermittent Fasting

Yes, that’s right! Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact for those with irritable bowel syndrome, since they already have a high level of cortisol in the a.m., higher than healthy subjects, it could be very beneficial to fast. This is a practice known as intermittent fasting that I have used both in my clinical practice and personally.

Firstly, skipping breakfast avoids many common supposed irritants of the digestive tract because most breakfasts are a combination of dairy/wheat/egg.

With intermittent fasting you eat less times per day, and only eat within an 8 hour period. Eating less frequently equals less reactivity when you do eat. So this is one way to reduce the irritation on the gut mucosal membrane.

2. Drink Green Tea Instead of Coffee 

During the morning fasting period, it’s ideal if you ditch your coffee. Coffee promotes the stress response, which is a no-no for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Switch it for green tea! Green tea heals the gut lining, improves the microbiome and stimulates you like a coffee, but relaxes you at the same time, negating the cortisol spike that may occur. Highest quality Organic Loose Leaf Estate Green Tea is now available on the Queen of the Thrones® Canadian shop and Pique Tea also carries a delicious organic green tea!

3. Castor oil Packs For Stress Reduction, Absorption, Reduced Inflammation and Better Bowel Movements 

This practices not only calms the nervous system so that you can see improvement17 18, but also helps with reduction of inflammation19 in the intestine. Castor Oil Packs help with improving your microbiome20 and regulation of your bowels21, so if anything is irritating them, it helps them to come out. More importantly, it helps to improve how you digest and absorb. In terms of food, this helps to reduce the irritability of the foods you may be eating that can affect you negatively. Get your Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack and 500 ml Castor Oil™ and start to improve your gut health.

4. Fix your Sleep Patterns

Your natural rhythm is extremely important to your healing and to the health of your gut. The first step is to get your body to produce its own factors for sleep. It’s so easy to do! Wear an eye mask to bed that supports an increase in melatonin22 in the body and better hormonal, immune and nervous system balance. Castor Oil Packs help to also promote great sleep so get into a pattern of putting your pack and eye mask on before bed! Get your Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Brow & Lash Kit™ now for a better sleep.

Queen of the Thrones® Beauty Sleep Brow & Lash Kit™ help to promote better sleep

4. Start Investigating Diets Beneficial for IBS 

Fodmaps, my Dysbiotic Diet (otherwise known as the Fermentation-Free Diet and Bloat Be Gone Diet) are all excellent ways to address your food dilemma. I would personally investigate what you feel would be best for you. Each of these work significantly better if you know what you are allergic, sensitive and intolerant to because then you can pick that which is suited best to you. Later on you can get into other more specific diets, after you have your food sensitivities tested.

5. Before You Eat, Be Grateful

Be grateful, like saying grace. Use the Queen of the Thrones® Grateful Dung™ Bracelet as a way to learn how to relax before you eat. Just relaxing your system and having a calm body before you accept food will significantly improve your digestion and the amount of stress that food causes to your body.

Queen of the Thrones® Grateful Dung™ Bracelet to find relaxation

6. Find Out what your Poo Says About you

Download the first step to understanding the weaknesses in your body, the 50 Shades of Poo. Getting to know how to analyze our stools for signs of nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues and hormonal imbalances is one of the easiest ways to figure out what’s going on inside our bodies.

Keep on following me and reading my blogs. Follow the links above to get more in tune with what is occuring in your body. I promise to continue helping you on your journey to regain your life, free from an irritable bowel, indigestion and problems going to the bathroom!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and to like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about starting a movement together so that we can all have an improvement!

References:

1 Han CJ1, Yang GS2. Fatigue in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pooled Frequency and Severity of Fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

2 Tarek Mazzawi1,2 and Magdy El-Salhy1,2,3 Effect of diet and individual dietary guidance on gastrointestinal endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2017 Oct; 40(4): 943–952.PMID: 28849091

3  El-Salhy M1, Gilja OH2, Gundersen D3, Hatlebakk JG2, Hausken T2. Interaction between ingested nutrients and gut endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (review). Int J Mol Med. 2014 Aug;34(2):363-71. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.1811. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

4 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

5 Farré R, Tack J. Food and symptom generation in functional gastrointestinal disorders: physiological aspects.Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 May; 108(5):698-706.

6  Moayyedi P, Ford AC, Quigley EM, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Chey WD, Talley NJ, Brandt LJ The American College of Gastroenterology irritable bowel syndrome monograph: translating systematic review data to clinical practice.Gastroenterology. 2010 Feb; 138(2):789-91; author reply 791-2

7 Karkar R1, Schroeder J1, Epstein DA1, Pina LR1,2, Scofield J1, Fogarty J1, Kientz JA2, Munson SA2, Vilardaga R3, Zia J4. TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6850-6863. doi: 10.1145/3025453.3025480.

8 Susan Waserman,1 Philippe Bégin,2 and Wade Watson3 IgE-mediated food allergy. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018; 14(Suppl 2): 55. PMID: 30263035

9 Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T.A., Shaath, N., Whorwell, P.J. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004;53:1459–1464

10 Kelso, John M. Unproven Diagnostic Tests for Adverse Reactions to Foods. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice , Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 362 – 365

11 Gocki, J., Bartuzi, Z. Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016;33:253–256

12 Marinkovich, V. Specific IgG antibodies as markers of adverse reactions to foods. Monogr Allergy. 1996;32:221–225

13 Nagisa Sugaya, Shuhei Izawa, Keisuke Saito, Kentaro Shirotsuki, Shinobu Nomura, and Hironori Shimada Effect of prolonged stress on the adrenal hormones of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Biopsychosoc Med. 2015; 9: 4.PMID: 25632298

14 Mullin GE1, Swift KM, Lipski L, Turnbull LK, Rampertab SD. Testing for food reactions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Apr;25(2):192-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533610362696.

15 Kleine-Tebbe J1, Waßmann-Otto A2, Mönnikes H3. Food Allergy and Intolerance : Distinction, Definitions and Delimitation]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2016 Jun;59(6):705-22. doi: 10.1007/s00103-016-2356-1.

16 Schumann D1, Klose P2, Lauche R3, Dobos G2, Langhorst J2, Cramer H3. Low fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyol diet in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2018 Jan;45:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.07.004. Epub 2017 Jul 13.

17  Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

18  Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

19 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

20 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

21 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

22 Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

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