Let’s talk a little bit about detoxification. Detoxification is the concept of getting toxic materials out of your body and out of your skin. But it is such a widely used term that means many different things for many different people. Clearly we have a lot of toxic substances from pesticides to food colorings, to various toxins that are in the air from other reasons.
From our de-gassing formaldehyde,formaldehyde-like products, from all of our synthetics in the house, the carpets, the sofas, the paints, the glues. These are one kind of toxins. There are toxins from things that are seeping into your water, if you happen to be in an area where the aquifer is being aggravated by things that have been used industrially or in farming. Such as arsenals for potato and tobacco farming.
So you have to know a little bit about what’s going in in your area to find out even where your toxins are; which is why I don’t think there is one detoxification process that suits all people.
So just getting away from various toxins by eating healthier diet is a very important first step Eating fresh things that haven’t been sprayed and haven’t been colored and messed up in other ways. That’s really important. The next thing is understanding what might be something that you may have been exposed to by the history of where you’ve lived and what you have eaten. And what has preceded you getting sick.
And then finally, there are a lot of toxins coming from the organisms in your digestive system that are getting out inappropriately in the bloodstream in your lymphatic. So that can be determined also to some extent by what you have eaten, whether you have gotten worst after antibiotics or birth control pills, or other medications which indeed also can be another source of toxins. Various medicines that you take on a chronic basis.
So figuring out which things had gone on and then counteracting those things after you’ve eliminated them can make a big difference in what I believe to be true detoxification. So I recommend that you work with somebody that understands what’s going on and who you bring to the table, a good history of what you’ve been exposed to and what is preceding you getting worst. So that your detoxification is really a sensible and proper one.
I’d like to talk a little bit about breastfeeding and eczema and what it has to do with Integrative Dermatology. The whole idea of eczema is to try to reduce the allergies that are coming to the infant that would be coming if you fed all different kinds of foods that come from the table. And the idea being that the infant is adapted to having breast milk as a much gentler much healthier, much less allergy containing food than saying giving cow’s milk or soy milk or something like that.
So what you really want to do is have a less allergenic product to feed the baby with. Now here is the problem, if you have allergies coming out into your breast milk, then that could aggravate the baby. And how would that happen? That could happen if you have a problem known as “leaky gut”, which means there is a defective barrier between your intestines and your bloodstream. So that food substances that aren’t completely broken down get out into the blood and get into the breast milk and cause allergies in the baby.
And this problem, this leaky gut seems to be more and more common. Why is it more common? Because lots of people are eating huge amounts of sugar. The American public eats 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. So that’s a lot, it creeps into all of our different foods, and of course it’s tasty. And the problem is we have a lot of yeasty food, bread, wine, beer and fungal related foods are cheese and mushrooms.
All of those convince the immune system in the gut to allow more yeast to grow, more yeast causes more inflammation, more inflammation causes more leakage across the membrane disruption of the barrier. And all of these substances get in that shouldn’t get in. Now if they were completely broken down to amino acids, that wouldn’t be a problem.
But also we have problems with digestion, so the combination of digestive problems, inflammation from overgrowth of the wrong organisms like yeast And the foods that may also be allergens; potent allergens like milk and gluten, all these things together can lead to leakage across the gut. And by the way gluten itself can cause leakage. So all that combined allows things to leak across and get into the blood stream. And into the milk, and therefore a lot of the babies breastfeeding are getting the allergens you are trying to avoid in the first place.
So it’s really important to fix leaky gut before you get pregnant. Because you don’t want to correct your digestive system when you got a baby growing in there. So we have a big problem in the world today of too many pregnant women with leaky gut leading to too many allergens getting across to the babies even in breast milk, and too many allergies, so that babies are born with eczema in higher and higher numbers.
Let’s talk about vegetable juicing and healing of skin diseases. Now vegetable juicing can be tremendously useful in a short period of time in helping, not only skin diseases, but a lot of other inflammatory disorder, and even cancer. One of the things when you have vegetable juices is that, you have a tremendous amount of certain substances that you get in only small amounts that in the usual diet.
So the first thing is lots of chlorophyll. The second thing is that vegetables have a lot of minerals that are bound in a way that is very useful to the body and they have a lot of enzymes because you are breaking down that food very rapidly and then drinking it immediately afterwards.
So it can be tremendously beneficial in those ways. And all of that releases inside the cells which is a large amount of potassium as opposed to the large amount of sodium that we normally get in our diet when we break the cells a part of our food and then add salt. So you get a high potassium, and you also get a high degree of alkalinity.
So this alkalinizes the blood and you can test that by testing your urine or your saliva, and you’ll find out that if you have been on an alkaline diet, you usually can have much more saliva and urine. And that’s because you are alkalinizing your blood more. This is all more very favorable. The issue with this is that you have two other things to consider. Many of the places that make juices throw in apple and throw in beats, and throw in carrots. And if you use a lot of that, it tastes better and actually makes it palatable, but if you use too much, you are getting too much sugar.
Second thing is there is very little roughage, and some people need more roughage to act as a prebiotic to help grow normal bacteria. And the third thing is of course you are not getting much protein. And the fourth thing is, that you can’t maintain this diet in most normal lifestyles for a long time. So this is good as part of a shift, as part of a cleanse but it’s a hard diet to sustain. And it is a good way to make a change over and to get somebody healthy who has been a mess beforehand. But it has to be put into the context of a bigger program.
Let’s talk a little bit about probiotics. Probiotics are kinds of bacteria that influence a healthier population of bacteria inside your intestines. Now, you know we have roughly 30 to 100 trillion cells in our bodies and inside our intestinal tract. We have also another 30 to 100 trillion cells. Now these numbers may be off by as much as 10 fold but there all in that same ball park.
That means we have an enormous number of different bacteria living in our intestinal tract, and they live with us they are not just followers they are part of us because they keep reproducing they alter various kinds of molecules that we have in our bodies like hormones. They produce various vitamins. They are part of us and they’re what we would say synergistic with our lives. And if we eat the wrong things we start developing the wrong kinds of organisms. And that can cause all kinds of problems from obesity to hormonal dis-regulation to inflammation.
So if we have those kind of conditions we need to bring back a more normal population. And they are two ways to do that one of them is to begin to introduce bacteria that help restore normal population and the second thing is to add various kinds of foods that support a more normal bacterial population. The simple thing is what your grandma said eat lots of vegetables. Because these have different kinds of soluble and insoluble fibers that favor a variety of normal organisms living in your intestinal tract.
I skip a couple of steps here because if somebody is really …you also have to get rid of the improper organisms. Sometimes by identifying them with test, or other times just by using various kinds of things that get rid of yeast, or other things that you have a high suspicion of being present by the rest of your history.
Now, getting rid of the wrong organisms and ten adding a proper bacteria and then adding what those bacteria should be growing on which we call Probiotic can be very helpful. Probiotics are soluble fiber, being things like juice and various kinds of vegetables that make a nice balanced diet. So, when you want to get your gut back to normal you need to eat more normally and you need to use Probiotic and Prebiotic in your food and in addition.
Let’s talk a little bit about warts and integrative dermatology. Now warts can be very annoying because they are just have an appearance that is unusual and of course some people don’t want to touch other people with them. So we know that they are caused by a virus. And that virus can actually be transmitted.
If they’re at the bottom of your feet they can be very hard to get rid of. And the virus can be transmitted by scraping off a little bit, so that material when you are walking around a swimming pool or a cement area. So of course prevention involves both the person with warts wearing sneakers or slippers when they are walking around the bathing area, and people who don’t want to get it wearing slippers in those areas.
One way of treating them is to destroy them: burn them, freeze them. And that may work.
But if you have the virus, it can keep coming back. So the other part of getting rid of warts is enhancing somebody’s immune system so that it gets rid of it.
Various supplements like vitamin A can be helpful but there are a variety of other things that can be useful to boost ones immune system to help get rid of them either without treatment or in conjunction with conventional dermatologic treatments that can be used to destroy the warts.
The benefit of an raw food diet is it avoids an awful lot of things that we have in our prepared foods that are really toxic or allergenic. Food coloring, food additives, and food preservatives and things you wouldn’t put into you food. Certainly it a whole isle full of the things with the shelf life of a year or two. Raw foods are definitely fresh and these are often delicious and healthy. Usually people who do this also eat organic foods to avoid pesticides as well.
A raw food diet can be prepared as juice or a smoothie, which breaks the food down completely and it also can be as salads and that sort of thing. The good things is it’s alkalinize it to the body. So it may well help push toxins through the body.
But I think it’s something that should only be used for a short period of time for skin diseases. From the ayruvedic standpoint, a raw food diet doesn’t make sense for skin diseases. And it’s better to have steamed and cooked vegetables because they are easier to digest, easier to extract from and that could be very helpful.
The other thing is that a raw food diet can irritate the digestive system. Because unfortunately most people in this culture eat a salad fairly quickly and don’t break everything down chewing and mixing their food with enzymes. So if you break everything down to a slurry with forty to fifty chews, that’s very different than wolfing it down with 3 or 4 or 10 bites. And so that can make you convert from being your own blender to being your own just disposal. And the disposals don’t work because large particles of food can irritate the gut on the way down and they don’t get absorbed well. So I recommend that if a raw food diet is used it’s only for a brief period of time like a few days, and then one goes into a more sustainable cooked vegetable diet.
Gluten-Free Diet: 3 Benefits to Your Skin When You Go Against the Grain
Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of a gluten free diet for skin. We know that gluten is tremendous cause of leaky gut in some individuals who are really sensitive to it. Ceiliacs and what not. They can’t even have a little bit without actually opening up that barrier between the cells. Work is been done by Dr. Phisana to show that the gluten releases substances called Zanuler…. And the zanuler open up the junctions between the cells in the barrier of the intestinal tract allowing incompletely broken down food substances and perhaps even bacterial in…toxins into the bloodstream, into the lymphatic causing havoc as the material gets out to your skin and sensitizes your cells to various food stuffs.
So that’s one part of the problem. So what do you eat if you can’t eat gluten. Well one of my favourite things to eat is squash; spaghetti squash, kobucha squash, acorn squash, all these are really helpful for a substitute because they are very different than your grains. Now some people can deal with gluten free grains. That is things like quinoa can be very helpful.
For some people beans are okay, but beans contain a lot of lectins. And some people just can’t handle them and they the gas is only one symptom that they are having difficulty handling those chemically. So variety I think is the spice of life and with food allergy, it certainly is the spice of life. Because if you eat the same thing over and over, you are going to have more likely getting food allergies as I have observed.
So I would like to suggest that you find a variety of other things if you are going to avoid gluten, and you figure out ways to get them into your menu.
Curious about the Paleo Diet? One of the biggest problems causing skin diseases is all the junk that we put into our bodies. We put in things that are fried, things that have chemicals, things that have been heated to high temperatures, and things that have a variety of toxins from preservatives to colorings, to pesticides.
A Paleo Diet is the idea of back to kind of a “cave man” type time, when there were limited amounts of grains available, when people were mostly eating berries and nuts and fresh leaves that were growing and in season. And also they were eating meat when that arrived at the kill, which wasn’t everyday, not in the refrigerator; and fish of course.
So the paleo diet is a conceptual way of going back to more basics. Of course if you look at the information on paleo diets, people have things that cave men would never have eaten like muffins made out of wild grains. I mean I highly doubt if they were having too much of that.
But the idea of a paleo diet is taking away all those things in modern life that could be causing trouble and going back to a basic diet which is very similar to the cave man diet which is very similar to the Mediterranean diet. Only the paleo diet would probably have almost no grains, almost no beans and of course no gluten which is a grain. So this takes away a lot of the products that were causing trouble for people in various ways.
So there is definitely some sense to that but you got to watch how people are putting that together and what they are allowing in it. Obviously the Paleo Diet is not going to work if you are vegan. I don’t think many cave men were able to avoid eating what the kill was eating even that only occurred every month. So for a lot of people, the Paleolithic Diet helps them get away from those things, and getting on to a food plan that is filled with fresh fruits and vegetable and fresh meat and fish could be a big bonus in helping their skin.
During my dermatology training on natural rash treatment, we had a textbook from Dr. Irwin Braverman called Skin Signs of Systemic Diseases.
This book showed a number of serious diseases that also had a skin manifestation that was a tip-off. This was certainly one of the things that dermatologists learn in their training and one of the important reasons to go to a dermatologist when set of symptoms presents on your skin that doesn’t quite make sense to you or to perhaps your family doctor.
In my practice of holistic dermatology over the years, I found another set of underlying problems that can be related to skin issues. For example, some cases of dry skin and seborrhea are indication that patients are lacking essential fatty acids and those essential fatty acids are important for preventing inflammation elsewhere and also for the proper function of the brain and the nervous system.
It’s really important to look deeper where problem doesn’t go away with a simple attempt to cure, a simple claim or whatever because the various things that present under the skin may well be symptoms of something deeper that needs to be remedy.