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Shingles is an illness that can produce fever, headaches, rashes, joint pain, muscle pain, neck pain, nerve pain, and other highly unpleasant symptoms. Typically, a shingles diagnosis is never made if no rash is present. In reality, however, the shingles virus is responsible for millions of people’s mystery symptoms, from unexplained rashes to neurological symptoms to migraines, and more.
The prevailing view of shingles is that a red rash or pustules always accompany it. However, this is merely the classic presentation of one type of the virus that causes shingles. There are actually 31 varieties of shingles viruses (15 of which are the most common), and they all cause different symptoms. Seven of the shingles strains do cause rashes, just not always in expected areas, while the other eight strains cause no rashes. So if you’re experiencing most of the symptoms of shingles but have no signs of it on your skin, it’s possible you have a non-rash shingles virus.
Shingles with rashes
There are seven strains of shingles that cause rashes. They’re primarily distinguished by the different types and locations of rashes they create. These include:
• classic shingles (rashes appearing anywhere from the chest to the feet)
• upper body (rashes appearing from the chest up but not on the arms)
• both arms
• one arm
• head (rash on the top and sides of the head)
• both legs
• vaginal shingles (appears outside but near the vagina, or inside the crotch area)
A misconception about shingles is that the virus resides directly under the rash, wherever it happens to be, but it actually lies much deeper, awaiting an opportunity to inflame your nervous system. In these strains, the virus releases a neurotoxin that travels to your peripheral nerves and skin. It is this neurotoxin that causes the rash and pustules for which shingles is so famous.
Shingles Without Rashes
There are eight strains of shingles that typically do not cause rashes. These include:
• Neuralgic shingles – attacks the lower extremities, with nerve pain in the legs or feet. Often misdiagnosed as diabetic neuropathy.
• Maddening itch shingles – involves a moving itch that can’t be scratched because the virus is irritating nerves too far beneath the skin.
• Vaginal shingles – goes into the inner vaginal walls and inflames the nerves there.
• Colitis shingles – causes severe inflammation in the inner lining of the colon.
• Arm and leg burning shingles – creates a hot, burning pain in your arms and legs.
• Mouth, TMJ, and Bell’s Palsy shingles – affects the gums and/or jaw area. It’s also responsible for Bell’s palsy (viral inflammation of facial nerves) and TMJ (a result of trigeminal nerve inflammation and pain).
• Frozen shoulder shingles - aggravates the nerves in the shoulder, causing it to freeze up for anywhere from a month to a year. Often misdiagnosed as infectious bursitis.
• Body on fire shingles - makes every part of your body feel like it’s on fire.
As with the rash-producing strains, the non-rashing strains also produce a neurotoxin. In this case, the neurotoxin travels inward to larger nerves. There is typically more internal pain and nerve injury than with the rash-causing strains. If you are diagnosed with shingles (despite the absence of a rash), your doctor may prescribe immunosuppressant medications to reduce the severity of the attack. Unfortunately, this can make the problem worse in the long run. You don’t want to suppress your immune system; you want to support it so it can fight the virus.
Rash or no rash, shingles can be excruciating. Fortunately, there are simple yet powerful remedies for beating this insidious virus and its many strains. How long this takes depends on how long the virus has been in your system, whether you’re in a healthy or a toxic environment, and the strength of your immune system. Practice basic self-care and support your immune system by eating well, exercising, and getting sufficient sleep.
Certain foods can greatly aid the body in healing from shingles with and without rashes. The ideal foods to concentrate on are:
• wild blueberries
• red-skinned apples
• sweet potatoes
• lettuce (leafy and deep green or red varieties)
• green beans
These foods help because they contain powerful phytochemicals that can attack the different strains of the virus. This supports recovery from neurotoxin flare-ups, boosts the immune system, heals nerves, soothes inflamed skin, and helps detoxify the body.
The pain of shingles can make you feel like your life is going up in flames, but by generously incorporating these foods into your diet, you can douse the fire, and get back to living the vibrant life you are meant to have.
To learn more about how to address Shingles, check out Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.
This item posted: 12-Feb-2016 - Disclaimer
If you're like most people, when you hear the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” you think of war veterans and survivors of a traumatic event. When your life is in imminent danger, your fear triggers a fight-or-flight response that floods your body with adrenaline, so that you can respond to the threat. Once the threat has passed you may experience emotional aftershocks. This is the classic form of PTSD recognized by therapists and psychiatrists.
However, there’s an epidemic of hidden PTSD in our culture. In its true definition, PTSD involves lingering negative feelings that can result from any adverse experience—getting fired, the end of a relationship, chronic illness, or even just a time when you feel like you failed at something—and that limit a person in any way. These feelings can include fear, doubt, panic, avoidance, anger, hypervigilance, irritability, sadness, shame, vulnerability, distrust, and more.
There are no limitations to what can cause PTSD, yet even in today’s modern times of self-help, therapy, and emotional understanding, health professionals mostly reserve the term PTSD for life-or-death experiences. This ignores the numerous incidents that alter (for the worse) the way someone experiences life. Regardless of its cause or scope, PTSD negatively influences the choices we make and changes the fabric of who we are.
What is happening
On a physiological level, PTSD causes a chemical imbalance in the brain that occurs when someone experiences trauma. Glucose is a protective biochemical that provides a veil of protection for sensitive brain and neurological tissue. If there isn’t enough glucose stored in the brain to feed the central nervous system and to protect the brain from the corrosive effects of adrenaline and cortisol released during stress, emotional upheaval can create lasting effects. If someone’s glucose storage is low, she or he could get PTSD just from a flat tire, while someone with sufficient glucose storage could witness an armed robbery and tell the story to a friend over dinner that same day, unruffled.
Our culture also has a history of burying emotions with food (especially sugar), alcohol, drugs, and adrenaline-fueled activities. The problem with these approaches is that what goes up must come down. A sugar high from cupcakes means a crash later. And while an adrenaline high from running over fiery coals may feel healing and empowering in the moment, the surge won’t last.
Solutions for dealing with PTSD
One of the most powerful ways to heal PTSD is to create new experiences to serve as positive reference points in your life. These experiences don’t have to be big, or risky (nor should they be). It’s all about how you perceive each new adventure, however tame.
Keep a list of every new experience, taking notes on how you felt. For example, when you took a walk, did you see any birds? What was the weather like? What effect did it have on your state of mind? It’s all part of being in the moment. When you create new, constructive touch points for yourself—and pay attention to their positive effects—you train your brain to develop a healing response that is always available to you.
Try putting together a puzzle, painting, sketching, or drawing. These are powerful exercises that orient us in the present moment and help us pay attention to beautiful details in the world around us that otherwise go unnoticed.
Call up a friend you haven’t seen in years and ask her or him to lunch.
Adopt a pet—every day will be new and filled with love.
Start a new hobby. Choose a skill area you wouldn’t have expected yourself to venture
into, or one you always wanted to explore.
Learn a new language.
Take a vacation.
Start your own garden.
Journal about it all. It will help you become aware of the goodness life brings your way when you’re not even looking for it, and helps clear out negative experiences from your consciousness.
You can also literally nourish yourself with healing foods, including wild blueberries, melons, beets, bananas, persimmons, papayas, sweet potatoes, figs, oranges, mangoes, tangerines, apples, raw honey, and dates. These foods can create a glucose “storage bin” that helps prevent life disruptions from turning into PTSD.
You don’t have to live in a tortured state of mind anymore. By providing your body and soul with proper nutritional, emotional, and soul-healing support, you can reclaim your vitality and go back to fully living your life.
To learn more about PTSD, check out Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.
This item posted: 10-Feb-2016 - Disclaimer
Despite their prevalence, disorders of the thyroid remain relatively misunderstood. The thyroid gland acts as an energy thermostat for the body, so when your thyroid is operating smoothly, so do you. When your thyroid stops functioning optimally, multiple areas of your health can come crashing down. Common symptoms of under-functioning thyroid include fatigue, weight gain, mental fogginess, depression, hair loss, insomnia, and muscle weakness.
Conventional medicine’s explanation of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is that the immune system becomes confused and starts attacking the thyroid. However, over 95 percent of thyroid disorders stem from infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (the virus that causes mononucleosis, aka the “kissing disease”). Thus, it is EBV that confuses your system and wages war on your thyroid, reducing its ability to produce its critical hormones.
If you suspect you have a thyroid issue, have your doctor conduct thyroid hormone blood tests, including TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies. Even if your tests are in the normal range, bear in mind that your thyroid may still not be functioning optimally.
Conventional treatment involves supplying the body with extra thyroid hormones in hopes that the body will use them to replace the hormones the thyroid isn’t producing. While this may provide symptom relief for some, this approach does not address the cause of the symptoms. This is where the saying “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” really applies. Your thyroid has the ability to rejuvenate and heal itself when provided with what it needs! Certain fruits and vegetables can help your body rid itself of EBV and heal from its effects. Foods that target thyroid health include:
• Atlantic Dulse
• Wild Blueberries
• Hemp Seeds
• Coconut Oil
• Brazil Nuts
In addition to helping destroy EBV, these foods supply your thyroid with critical nutrients, help repair thyroid tissue, reduce nodule growth, flush toxic heavy metals and viral waste, and boost production of thyroid hormones. By providing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive, you can reclaim the health you deserve!
To learn more about hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, check out Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.
This item posted: 25-Dec-2015 - Disclaimer
The world is moving faster than ever before. Some of it is amazing: the miracle of robotic surgery, the blessing of instant communication with a loved one who's halfway around the world. And then there are the downsides: pollution, pathogens, distraction, overwhelm. At the same time you're listening to a news report on rising sea levels, you're fielding text messages about a computer virus at your child's school—and then a phone call comes in about a dear friend's frightening diagnosis.
I call our current era the Quickening. With everything speeding up, expectations are at their highest for humankind—and women especially bear the brunt. It can feel impossible to stay on top of it all, to protect yourself and your family. It can feel like a struggle to survive every day. And yet we don't just want to survive, do we? We want to thrive.
In order to adapt and thrive in our changing times, it's imperative to remember that no matter what else is trying to grab our attention, health is key. Think of today's cars. They're really advanced, right? Equipped with GPS, Wi-Fi, solar panels, remote starters, and cameras that show you your blind spots, these automobiles are like spaceships! They're incredible. We hear that soon, they'll even be driving themselves.
Yet every car has a major vulnerability: rubber tires filled with air. No matter how decked out the body of a car is, if it runs over a bed of nails, the tires will deflate, and it will be stuck by the side of the road. While the design of pneumatic tires has improved since their invention in the 19th century, there has yet to be a total turnaround in the conception of how cars get from Point A to Point B.
That's where we are as a society, too. While certain areas of life have seen exponential growth, we're still vulnerable at our foundation. Potential dangers are everywhere: Toxins fall from the sky and fill the air we breathe. Radiation surrounds us from past nuclear disasters. Superbugs multiply, out of control. Adrenaline surges from the stress of it all. Disease is on the rise. Our personal and global achievements—just like those features on the latest cars—are only as fruitful as what they're built on: our health.
If we end up sick in bed because life in the 21st century pushes our bodies past their limits, then what good are the advancements? Whether you're low on energy, struggling with illness, or perfectly well, you must take active measures to safeguard your health.
Here's one secret: eat wild foods. These humble edibles are packed with adaptogens—that is, they're crucial to helping our bodies adapt to what life throws at us. Wild foods not only retain the vitamin and mineral levels that nature intended, they also carry critical survival information in their cells. When we ingest them, the wisdom that's allowed them to thrive out in the elements becomes a part of us.
You don't have to spend all of your time foraging in pristine locations to eat wild. And you don't have to be distracted by the trends advertising the latest exotic, expensive superfood. Wild foods (or foods so close to their wild form that they provide the same benefits) are actually waiting for you at your local market, and they can transform your health. Here are three of the best wild and near-wild foods you can add to your routine to protect yourself:
- Wild blueberries: These little gems are the top health tonic you can find. Turn to wild blueberries for immune system support, tissue repair, anti-aging, digestive cleansing, ADHD management, extraction of heavy metals from your system...the list goes on. You also want these in your toolkit for prevention of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's. Perfect in smoothies, wild blueberries are frequently found in the frozen section of your local grocery store. (Don't confuse them with their cultivated cousins, which are larger, slightly lighter in color, and still healthy, just not anywhere near as life-changing.)
- Nettle leaf: Amazing for detoxification, headache relief, and support of the endocrine and central nervous systems, nettle is one of the best herbs for healing and prevention, period. Turn to nettle for alleviation of chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and emotional distress. Its anti-inflammatory properties are astounding, and its vital micronutrients make it an essential part of your regimen. Nettle leaf is readily available as a tea herb, or as capsules.
- Dandelion greens: The tenacity that makes dandelions a rampant weed is about to make it your new best friend. Rich in protein, dandelion greens are wonderful for cardiovascular support, cleansing the blood, fighting off bugs, and remineralization. They're also a fantastic anti-radiation remedy. Add dandelion greens to stir fries and salads. You can harvest them locally if you're sure they're from a lawn or garden that hasn't been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Otherwise, find fresh dandelion greens in your grocery store's produce section, or buy it dried and brew dandelion tea.
Other items you can throw into the mix include thyme, oregano, rose hips, Atlantic dulse, and all (edible) varieties of wild berries. You won't hear lots of buzz out there about the miraculous health benefits of these foods—yet. Rest assured, though: if you make them a regular part of your life, incorporating at least one (preferably more) into your daily rotation, you will be taking the most powerful step you can to defend your health.
Learn more about the healing powers of wild foods in Life-Changing Foods.
This item posted: 21-Oct-2015 - Disclaimer
You were born with the divine right to reach out to the angels whenever you need them. They hear you, they see you, and for your entire life, they’ve witnessed your joys and hardships. They want you to contact them. They want to help you more. The secret is, you have to know which angels to access, and you have to know how to access them.
When I set out to write my new book, Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, I was determined from the very beginning to include a chapter on angels. I knew it was an unconventional choice. Medical Medium is a health book. It’s a reference full of solid answers and protocols for healing specific illnesses. It’s also a guide to preventing disease, living longer, maximizing energy, and detoxifying from everyday exposure to the poisons of our modern world. In its pages, I’m very clear that there are real, physical reasons that people get and stay sick—and real, physical ways to get better.
And yet the spiritual side of life is still so important to our health. Spiritual strength is what helps us endure the trials of illness and the sometimes long road to healing. A sense of purpose is what makes us care about making the right decisions to live long, healthy lives. So in the final section of my book, I included a full chapter on soul-healing techniques and meditations, and a full chapter on angels.
The angels I write about in Medical Medium are a group I call the essential angels. These are ancient, named angels who are rarely called upon, so they're readily available to come to your aid. The essential angels want to help you heal, protect you from harm, and lead you to the right choices. They want to connect you with financial support, the right partner, your true home. They want to help you experience the miracles of this world amid the chaos. The angels are here for you.
I know there will be skeptics. In my over 25 years of helping people reclaim their health, I’ve seen the range of reactions. I’ve spoken with many people who believe that logic and science cancel out any chance that angels exist, and I’ve spoken with many whose logic leads them to believe in angels, given that so many records throughout the millennia point to their existence. The most common reaction people have to the mention of angels, though, is that they want to believe and yet feel that any efforts they’ve made to contact the angels have failed. They feel abandoned and unheard, left to call the shots on their own. If this describes you, I understand your distress. And I want you to know that there’s a way to finally make contact.
The first step is to have faith. This is part of giving the angels your true consent to intervene in your life. Visualize faith as a golden rope—a lifeline—trailing down from the sky. Now grab onto it and pull. Picture that rope leading all the way up into the heavens, sounding a bell loud and clear to announce your belief, intention, and permission. Ring it as many times as you need to, whenever you start to feel doubt or fear creep into your mind. Walk around all day holding onto the rope if you need to, tugging on it wherever you go. Feel faith seep into your being, body and soul. Imagine what your life could be like with help from divine hands.
The essential angels will hear the sacred peals of that bell. They’ll watch as you make room in your life for them. And as soon as you discover the secrets of how to truly reach them, they’ll be at your side to attend to your needs.
Learn more about the Essential Angles in the New York Times Bestselling book Medical Medium.
This item posted: 31-Jul-2015 - Disclaimer
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