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Naturopathic Support for Cancer

Naturopathic Support for Cancer

Q: I have recently been diagnosed with cancer. How can Naturopathic Medicine help me?

 

A: Over 80% of people with cancer are choosing to use naturopathic medicine alongside their conventional treatments. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) provide evidence-informed guidance on safe and effective use of natural and supportive therapies, when combined with standard treatments. Naturopathic physicians use a variety of therapies, which include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, intravenous treatments and lifestyle counseling. Combining conventional medicine and naturopathic medicine can support the pursuit of best possible outcomes for patients.

With this approach, quality of life can be improved and the patient is supported for optimal health and well-being: physically, mentally and emotionally. NDs use natural and supportive therapies to try to reduce side effects, support conventional care, and prevent recurrence. These therapies may require a variety of approaches, namely intravenous treatments and supplements. Based on the type of cancer or the side effects of the chemotherapy or radiation treatment, there are a wide range of Naturopathic supplements and individualized intravenous treatments to improve the quality of life for a patient. Please reach out to us and book in your appointment – we will be happy to assist you find the right treatment plan.

Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram, BSc, ND has been supporting patients with various forms of cancer since 2004. He is booking telemedine and in-person consults Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Benefits of B vitamins

The Benefits of B vitamins

A vitamin is an essential nutrient. The human body cannot create its own vitamins, and if a specific vitamin is missing, predictable symptoms will occur. For example, if you don’t eat enough vitamin C symptoms of scurvy may appear. B vitamins are commonly prescribed in Naturopathic practice as they are an important part of good health and managing stress.

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble compounds which support energy production in cells. Most vitamins were discovered in the first half of the 20th century. Have you ever wondered why there is no vitamin B4? As we learn more about vitamins, science has revealed that some compounds which had been labeled as vitamins were in fact non-essential. The body could produce it’s own, or the compound was not needed for proper functioning. It’s kind of like when Pluto lost its planet status!

Why do we care about the demoted B vitamins? Orthomolecular medicine uses targeted doses of nutritional compounds to produce a therapeutic effect in the body. Although you won’t be deficient in vitamin B4, it may still help treat symptoms.


Formerly known as: Vitamin B4
Current name: Choline 

Choline’s biggest role in the body is being used to make acetylcholine which plays an important role in muscle contraction, hormone regulation and sleep. Choline is also involved in brain development, the formation of various lipids and works as a methyl donor. Genetic variations in methylation may play a role in depression.

Choline is being researched for it’s a potential role in treating fatty liver disease, high homoysteine, blepharospasm, hyperthyroidism and bipolar disorder.

 

Formerly known as: Vitamin B8
Current name: Inositol

Inositol exists in two forms, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. Inositol is used to make phospholipids which are a key component of cell membranes. They are also used in the phosphatidylinositol cycle which is linked to the noradrenergic, serotonergic and cholinergic receptors. These receptors are important for alertness, mood regulation and muscle function. Inositol can also support uptake of glucose into the cells, leading to decreased sugar in the bloodstream.

Inositol may have the potential to prevent depression, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a favorite compound recommended by Cathryn Coe, ND to improve sleep, lower BP and cholesterol, and support balanced testosterone levels. *Note that inositol in any form is contraindicated in bipolar disorder as it may exacerbate symptoms.

 

Formerly known as: Vitamin B10
Current name: PABA

Research suggests PABA can increase the effect of estrogen and glucocorticoids in the body. As glucocorticoids have a strong anti-inflammatory effect on the body, it may have a therapeutic role in autoimmune conditions such as scleroderma, dermatomyositis, Dupuytren’s contracture, Peyronie’s disease. PABA is also used to make folic acid.

Most commonly, B vitamins are recommended in a B complex for patients experiencing stress, fatigue, low mood and difficulty losing weight. Feeling better overall helps us reach our health goals and can improve our sense of well being. Remember to take your B’s earlier in the day, with breakfast or lunch, and always with food.

 

References:

Carpenter K, Baigent M. vitamin | Definition, Types, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/vitamin. Published 2019. Accessed December 7, 2019.

Pizzorno J. Textbook Of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders; 2013.

Pintaudi B, Di Vieste G, Bonomo M. The Effectiveness of Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes. Int J Endocrinol. 2016;2016:1-5. doi:10.1155/2016/9132052

Frank K, Patel K Examine.com. https://examine.com/. Published 2019. 

B  vitamins. En.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_vitamins. Published 2019. Accessed December 7, 2019.

 

Concussions

Concussions

How can Naturopathic Medicine support concussions?

A concussion is a potentially debilitating condition that can be caused buy a variety of
injuries. While many are mild, some can have lasting effects. Many patients can heal
from a concussion with appropriate rest, but some need more support to fully heal.

 

Common symptoms following a concussion include:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disruption
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to smell and light

 

How can Naturopathic Medicine provide support?

 

1. Providing conditions for healing

Acupuncture

  • Acupuncture may support nerve growth and repair, increase circulation,
    oxygenation of tissues, decrease inflammation, and improve cell signaling. It may
    also improve sleep quality and decrease anxiety.

Diet

  • Research has suggested to EAT MORE oily fish, turmeric, coconut oil, turmeric,
    and eggs may support recovery from a concussion.
  • Sugar and monosodium glutamate may worsen post-concussive symptoms so
    EAT LESS.

Nutraceuticals that may support neurological healing

  • DHA/EPA:
    DHA promotes neurological repair and proper signaling between cells and
    between cells and their environment. Meanwhile, EPA supports mood regulation
    and decreases inflammation in the brain, allowing for healing.
  • Phosphatidylserine:
    Higher levels of this nutrient correlate to higher levels of many neurotransmitters. It supports messaging to the neuron, which promotes growth and regeneration of brain cells. This also supports our ability to handle stress, partially by decreasing cortisol production.
  • Vitamin B12:
    This vitamin is important for the remyelination of neural axons, which supports communication between brain cells. This nutrient may also help decrease glutamate toxicity. Glutamate can leak out of cells following injury, causing symptoms such as headaches.

 

2. Hormonal dysregulation

About half of people who experience a major head injury will experience a hormonal
imbalance. Why? The pituitary gland in the brain regulates most of the main hormones.
It’s anatomy leaves it vulnerable to damage during trauma.

What can be done?

Hormonal testing
Naturopathic doctors have access to a wide variety of hormonal testing to fit the
patient’s needs. This could include testing specific markers in the blood, comprehensive
urine or saliva panels.

Herbal support
Depending on the imbalance which needs correction, herbal support is effective for
many patients.

Bio-identical hormones
Hormones such as progesterone may be prescribed as needed. Progesterone acts as a
neurosteroid. It calms the nervous system, which can support sleep. It can also
decrease inflammation allowing the brain to heal.

 

3. Providing symptomatic relief

Intravenous therapies

Receiving nutrients intravenously allows for 100% absorption and higher doses to be
delivered directly to the tissues. This has the potential to speed up recovery time.

  • Glutathione
    After the neurons are injured, reactive oxygen species (ROS) build up in the tissues. The prolonged presence of ROS slows recovery. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that supports the removal of ROS. It is also a key planner in the immune system of the brain. Most supplemental forms are destroyed bystomach acid, so this nutrient is frequently recommended as an IV.

If you think that we have suffered a concussion, Naturopathic Physicians cannot diagnose a concussion  through brain imaging. Please contact your family physician or go to your nearest hospital. If you are recovering from a diagnosed or suspected concussion, our Naturopathic Physicians are happy to provide support through consultation and recommendation of a treatment plan. For more information, contact us at 604-929-5772.


References:

CERNAK I, SAVIC V, KOTUR J, PROKIC V, VELJOVIC M, GRBOVIC D.
Characterization of Plasma Magnesium Concentration and Oxidative Stress Following
Graded Traumatic Brain Injury in Humans. J Neurotrauma. 2000;17(1):53-68.
doi:10.1089/neu.2000.17.53
Engle D. The Concussion Repair Manual. Las Vegas, Nevada: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs
Press
Fromm L, Heath D, Vink R, Nimmo A. Magnesium Attenuates Post-Traumatic
Depression/Anxiety Following Diffuse Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats. J Am Coll Nutr.
2004;23(5):529S-533S. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719396
Packard R, Ham L. Pathogenesis of Posttraumatic Headache and Migraine: A Common
Headache Pathway?. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 1997;37(3):142-
152. doi:10.1046/j.1526-4610.1997.3703142.x
Post-concussion syndrome – Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-concussion-syndrome/symptoms-
causes/syc-20353352. Published 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019.
Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The Effect of
Melatonin, Magnesium, and Zinc on Primary Insomnia in Long-Term Care Facility
Residents in Italy: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc.
2011;59(1):82-90. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03232.x
Yilmaz C, Karali K, Fodelianaki G et al. Neurosteroids as regulators of
neuroinflammation. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2019:100788.
doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.100788