Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

I wanted to explain my thought processes on issues regarding Jessica’s thyroid and endocrine system. Last year in mid to late December we stopped all of Jessica’s supplements for 1 month at the suggestion of pediatrician at the end of this time I noticed some dark circles under Jessica’s eyes. I thought it was related to nutritional deficiencies. We retested her stool and urine as we do every six months or so to track nutritional deficiencies and monitor markers in her stool that had showed a serious candida overgrowth that we have been attempting to get under control ever since and are measuring progress toward digestive balance.

Our D.O. doctor in L.A. suggested testing her thyroid and iron levels because I had reported that Jessica had been having trouble sleeping as told to me by her babysitter and talked of and used the words, “I’m exhausted” in the store while shopping and asked to be put back in the shopping cart so she could rest her head. The teacher at school had also told me that she was saying that she was dizzy.

Because I have had a history of hypothyroid and my lab results had been normal TSH and my OBGYN saw an imbalance between my T3 and reverse T3, and after taking and stabilizing my medication along with other nutritional and health interventions, I was able to get pregnant with my daughter which was much desired. My paternal grandmother was on thyroid medication also, I am not sure of all the details of that except she was on medication for diabetes and a heart condition, I am not sure how all that related to thyroid issues for her. My mother has also recently been told that she should be on thyroid medication and her situation is also a hypothyroid situation with not very far out of range TSH.
There is much debate about TSH being too high or even in what might be considered normal range to an allopathic doctor and almost complete lack of pediatric randomized controlled data on this subject, listen to a quote from Subclinical Hypothyroidism in children: Normal Variation or a sign of a failing thyroid, “There is an almost complete lack of pediatric randomized controlled trial data on this subject so one is obligated to refer to adult studies. The debate over treatment of adult SCH (sub clinical hypothyroidism) has persisted for years, and review articles have been published. In 2001, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology aired both sides of the debate, with one article taking the position “Subclinical hypothyroidism is mild thyroid failure and should be treated” and the other article stating “The treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism is seldom necessary.”

Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac., is one of the most respected clinicians and educators in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health and has trained over 1,300 health professionals around the world in his unique approach. Co-director of the California Center for Functional Medicine, says, “The lab ranges for TSH, T4, and other thyroid markers are based on a bell curve of values collected from people who go to labs for testing. Unfortunately, most people who go to labs to have bloodwork done are struggling with health issues. This means that the ‘normal’ ranges for TSH and T4 are based not on values shown to promote optimal health, but rather on a range of values collected from a sick population. For this reason, it is crucial that we use functional ranges rather than standard ranges when assessing the thyroid status of our patients.”
Chris talks about five thyroid patterns that according to him, “tend to respond poorly to conventional thyroid hormone replacement.” He says its important to identify and address the underlying causes specific to each pattern. Reading this medical professional’s website is what made me realize that maybe we should look a little deeper as to why Jess may have had not only the little dark circles under her eyes but why she was having trouble with fatigue and dizziness. Dr. West did test her ferritin and iron which she said, “were a little low.” And she also said we would look into things further if they did not improve with the thyroid medication.

Before he lists the five patterns he says, “Thyroid physiology is complex and regulated by input from multiple endocrine glands, the immune system, the gut, and many cell signaling molecules. Malfunctions in any one of these components can cause hypothyroid symptoms. However, these malfunctions are not revealed by a standard thyroid panel. Patients with hypothyroid symptoms but ‘normal’ TSH and T4 according to the standard thyroid panel may be told that nothing is wrong with their thyroid glands and sent on their way. Some are handed prescriptions for thyroid hormone replacement. This one-size-fits-all approach to managing hypothyroidism ignores the multitude of factors that influence thyroid function and may even worsen symptoms in some patients. At best, it does our patients a disservice, and at worst it could be considered sheer negligence.”
As you know because a lactoferrin marker showed up on Jessica’s stool test more than once I always have that in the back of my mind as a possibility as to why she continues to have other seemingly unrelated symptoms. We did her first stool test when she was 19 months old. At the time she had a dysbiotic overgrowth of Candida parapsilosis in her digestive tract. Another test about 10 months later showed that Candida had resolved, but microscopic yeast had crept from None to Few. Jessica still has Candida in her stool as of Feb 2020, but it is in the “normal Flora” range while microscopic yeast is Rare. So Jessica has made significant progress, albeit by way of great effort.

These are the five patterns.

1. Hypothyroidism caused by pituitary dysfunction…he says this is caused by high cortisol. Cortisol in turn is elevated in response to active infection by a. blood sugar dysregulation, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, or chronic stress. This set of people would present with hypothyroid symptoms TSH below the functional range (1.8 – 3.0) but within the standard range (0.5 – 5.0) and T4 that is low in the functional range and possibly the standard range as well. The key to correcting this pattern is to resolve the underlying causes of pituitary dysfunction by treating infection, balancing blood sugar, improving insulin sensitivity, and helping patients find ways to reduce their stress levels.

2. Under conversion of T4 to T3 – this has many potential causes, including inflammation, elevated cortisol, nutrient deficiencies, and intestinal dysbiosis. Patients with this pattern have hypothyroid symptoms, normal TSH and low T3. Twenty percent of thyroid hormone activation is initiated in the gastrointestinal tract which produce deiodinase enzymes that convert T4 to T3. Disruption of the normal gut microbiotia may reduce levels of beneficial bacteria that perform this crucial conversion, resulting in a decreased amount of T3 and symptoms of hypothyroidism…chronic inflammation involves the production of inflammatory cytokines, which damage cell membranes and impair thyroid conversion. Chronic fatigue syndrome and Crohn’s disease patients are two examples of patient subsets who may present with ‘low T3’ syndrome due to chronic inflammation. High cortisol, which can become elevated due to chronic inflammation and stress, also suppressed the conversion of T4 to T3. Nutrient status is essential in the pathogenesis of thyroid disorders. Nutrients such as iron and selenium serve as cofactors for enzymes involved in the conversion of T4 to T3. Deficiencies of iron and selenium may reduce T4 to T3 conversion and promote hypothyroidism.

3. Hypothyroidism caused by elevated TBG or thyroid binding globulin which is the protein that transports thyroid hormone through the blood. High levels of TBG reduce levels of free thyroid hormone, causing hypothyroid symptoms. This pattern follows normal TSH and T4, low T3, high T3 uptake and high TBG. Elevated estrogen can raise TBG and cause hypothyroidism.

4. Hypothyroidism caused by decreased TBG – low levels of TBG cause free thyroid hormone levels to rise because there are fewer proteins available to bind thyroid hormones. The high circulating levels of T4 and T3 induce cellular resistance to thyroid hormone, much like how cells develop insulin resistance upon continuous exposure to high levels of insulin. This means that even though there is plenty of thyroid hormone, cells can’t use it. Low TBG can be caused by high testosterone level. This can occur in women with PCOS and insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity and blood sugar balance need to be restored to treat this pattern of thyroid dysfunction.

5. Thyroid resistance – in this pattern the thyroid and pituitary glands are functioning normally, but thyroid hormones are unstable to get into cells where they are needed. TSH, T3, and T4 are all normal in this pattern. We don’t have a method for testing the function of thyroid hormone receptors on cells a tool that would be helpful, however, testing for HPA axis dysfunction using methods like the DUTCH test may be useful because chronic stress and high cortisol are two key contributors to this pattern.

Tests for the five thyroid patterns

• Comprehensive panel of thyroid markers including TSH, T3, T4, free T3, free T4,
• DUTCH test for assessing HPA axis function: this test can help you determine whether chronic stress and high cortisol are causing pituitary dysfunction, under conversion
of T4 to T3, or thyroid hormone resistance.
• Estrogen and testosterone
• Fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c assess blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance
• Ferritin and serum selenium to identify deficiencies
• Assess gut health – stool testing, hydrogen breath test for SIBO, urine organic acid profile to identify potential gut infections and dysbiosis.

Even though Jessica’s growth does not seem to be affected right now proper amounts of thyroid are important to it as well as brain development, “Severe acquired hypothyroidism can result in slow growth and short stature…thyroid hormone is important for brain development in young children, the effect of SCH and its treatment on cognitive development would be of interest.” Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Children: Normal Variation of Sign of Failing Thyroid Gland?

Some physicians want to treat right away and some want to monitor from the same article as above, “In the absence of any evidence that treatment of SCH in children is beneficial, some clinicians take the view that since severe untreated OH can cause developmental delay in newborns and slowing of growth in older children, one should err on the side of caution. This view is summarized in a 2007 commentary, proposing that thyroid antibodies and ultrasound can be performed in all children with SCH and that ‘because the potential harm of early treatment appears to be so minor and limited, it seems prudent to err on the side of provisional diagnosis and early treatment rather than wait until sufficient information is available to determine the issue of whether to treat or not.’” There are also, “no consensus on management” of subclinical hypothyroidism in children which is defined as normal total or free T4 and mildly elevated TSH which this study says is between 5-10 but functional medicine uses a lower number. The numbers used by Dr. Isabella Wentz is called The Thyroid Pharmacist and author of The Root Cause outlines how she healed herself of Hashimotos thyroiditis and talks extensively about thyroid issues on her website The range she talks about for optimal TSH is 0.5 – 2. The standard range is .4 – 5.5.

It was through functional medicine that I was able to get my health back in a functional way and have a baby at age forty-four. A definition of functional medicine from is “Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.” In the blog where I got that above quote Dr. Wentz talked about how she had just recently attended an event called Advanced Gastrointestinal Conference and listed out a glimpse of the information which caught my eye about IBS, which can be a precursor to autoimmune disease, “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a precursor to autoimmunity and chronic disease.” Jessica has been diagnosed with that.

Candida alone can be a cause of hypothyroidism as well as multiple other seemingly unrelated things like allergies, chemical sensitivities, eczema, food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain that travels, and autoimmune disease like Crohn’s. see pg. 9 of Conquer Candida and restore your immune system by Jack Tips, N.D. PhD.

Candida, which has been evident in Jessica’s stool labs, can wreak great havoc on the body. Jack Tips also says, “Candidiasis is a major cause of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hypoglycemic symptoms occur because the candida interferes with the enzymes responsible for sugar metabolism. Also, the additional burden that Candidiasis puts on the liver and the adrenal glands means that candida interferes with the whole blood sugar maintenance process. Pg. 119.

I also want to include this remark about respiratory system symptoms because Jessica seems to get a lot of them as did her paternal grandmother, “Since yeast is in every breath of air, respiratory involvement with Candidiasis is quite common. Symptoms such as asthma, sore throat, canker sores, chronic cough, thrush, sinus infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. are all linked to Candidiasis.” Pg. 36

I have also struggled with those types of things off and on my whole adult life getting acutely bad when I turned thirty-seven years old and I was extremely ill from candida and went through a lot to overcome it and it has a tendency to flare in relation to what I eat and drink as well as when I am under stress.

The first article is entitled Emergency management of adrenal insufficiency in children: advocating for treatment options in outpatient and field settings says, “Adrenal insufficiency (AI) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children with 1 in 200 episodes of adrenal crisis resulting in death.” That was an alarming statement so I read further and saw that an acquired cause of adrenal insufficiency could be caused by several things including barbiturates. This caught my eye because since Jess was 15 months old or so I was taking a medication called Fiorcet (which contains butalbital) for migraine headaches which I have suffered from for years. I had called the Infant Risk Hotline around the time I started taking it and they said the number of headaches I was having and using it for was or would be fairly safe. Because of seeing this article and the very next time I took the medication I stopped breastfeeding because of this which was Christmas eve. I also thought it would be ok since Jess and I both take glutathione which helps detox chemicals and everything in the body. It is especially helpful with Tylenol which is also something I found that I could do to eliminate my need for Fiorcet but I think all of that may have been too much for Jess.

There is quite a long list of reasons for adrenal insufficiency in that study I talked about above and my mediation use would not be the only thing that could contribute to AI. The list that I think could apply to Jess is drug affect (which I talked about above), infection; viral, fungal, inflammatory disorders pg. 3). I was also treated with fluconazole while breastfeeding on more than one occasion because of a yeast breast infection, the article says about fluconazole, “Fluconazole was noted in one of these studies to possibly prolong the duration of AI while another study identified stress and infection to be risk factors.” Pg. 3

This study lists clinical symptoms of AI and say, “fatigue, weakness, tachychardia, hypotension, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diaphoresis and seizures. If unrecognized and not treated quickly, AI can progress to coma and death.” Pg. 4

Under the treatment section they talk about what could be causing physiological stress because we know that stress could cause adrenal issues. They say, “While the debate about what constitutes physiological stress is unresolved, several situations are generally accepted as significant stress including: fever > 38oC (100.4oF), intercurrent illness with emesis, prolonged or voluminous diarrhea, infectious disease requiring antibiotics, acute trauma requiring medical intervention (e.g. Fracture) and anesthesia and associated surgical procedures. Guidelines on cortisol requirement in times of physiological stress have been based on the general acceptance that conditions of maximal stress increase the serum levels by 2-3 times.” Pg. 4

I thought the above information could be helpful if she truly did have any type of adrenal issue(s). I hope this sheds light on my initial decision to move forward and treat her thyroid with our D.O. doctor in L.A. and why I stopped breastfeeding in Dec 2019 (was planning to nurse her till mid Apr 2020). We stopped the thyroid medication per our pediatrician’s recommendation and decided to figure out the root cause.

Jess’ thyroid panel numbers have improved since weaning. We ran thyroid panels on Jessica in Nov 2019 (still breastfeeding) and in Feb 2020 (weaned). Thyroxine (T4) Free, Direct, S increased from 1.36 to 1.41 ng/dL. Triiodothyronine (T3), Free remained constant at 3.5 pg/mL. And TSH decreased from 2.610 to 2.030 IU/ml. So, one may conclude that it now requires less stimulation of the thyroid to get slightly better output than before. Clinically, since weaning, Jessica does not complain of tiredness or dizziness, and she no longer has bags under her eyes. This is also a clear indication that my medications, passed via breast milk, did not help Jessica even though the Infant Risk Hotline had said they were OK.

Eosinophilic esophagitis – blood disorder abstract.

I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis ten years ago in 2009. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy at the same time. according to the procedure report there was no physical sign like white spots or red inflammation seen on the scope just seen from the esophagus biopsy.

I had not had any symptoms that I was aware of associated with this problem ever so I didn’t give that diagnosis a second thought. What I didn’t think about then was that for many years as a late teen and young adult I had regular bouts of strep throat and then in my late teens and till my early thirties I always drank a lot of coffee and it had started to feel acidy in my throat and I took regular antacid like Tagamet. I my throat would feel a little funny and would squeeze a bit when I ate bananas that were a little unripe.

I didn’t make any of these connections until recently after I got a simple virus that went into my lungs and then my throat didn’t seem to heal at all and then I started having throat pain and reactions to almost every healthy food I was eating like blueberries, strawberries, hamburger, bean chips, coconut milk. My throat felt like it was on fire and swelling. When I looked in my throat, I could see little white spots at the back of my throat. I honestly didn’t think this was going to go away.

A few months back I wrote a blog about multiple autoimmune syndrome and explained eosinophilic esophagitis. EE or EOE is an allergic inflammatory disease and typically chronic disorder that affects from one to four of every 10,000 people in the United States. It is a recently recognized disease with increasing diagnoses, resulting in part from growing awareness of the condition.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology also says that this inflammatory condition likely involves both genetic and environmental causes. It seems that since I was exposed to high levels of mold in 2017 that I’ve had different symptoms where my esophagus spasms like with the mold but also with foods like rice and then after a viral infection.

I went to see a nurse practitioner at my gastroenterologist office and she said I had to try some type of proton pump inhibitor or antacid before she would prescribe any steroid because that is the protocol. She also seemed a little insistent that I get another endoscopy which I don’t want right now as I am still nursing my daughter and don’t plan to stop for several more months which poses a big problem for me with an endoscopy and all the drugs involved in having one which I didn’t want go pass in the breastmilk.

What I ended up doing was removing most foods from diet and I was only eating veggies, chicken, pork, and onions which seemed to be a small problem too but it wasn’t as bad as the fruit so I continued to eat them. The American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology says, “Dietary elimination therapy has been shown to be an effective, drug-free prescription for the treatment of EOE…dietary therapy requires in-depth nutrition assessment and management. Elimination diets are not without risk and may impact nutritional status, eating pleasure, and overall quality of live.” Boy do I feel like that is an understatement. I was so depressed on July 4th this year, 2019. I couldn’t eat anything. My throat swelled from a plain hamburger I ate.

My restricted diet helped but I was concerned about the inflammation I knew was going on and those white dots at the back of my throat. I had heard that CBD oil could help with many different health issues so I decided to try that. I took about 2 pills a day for about 4 days and then I took 6 pills on the 5th day and then overnight I was able to eat everything again without any seeming problem and it seems to have stayed that way now. I am simple blown away by the CBD miracle I experienced with this. I thought for sure I would need a steroid which I would only use after August anyway which was my absolute commitment month to continue breastfeeding until. According to research from the National Institute of Health entitled Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress says that, “CBD has been shown to modulate the function of the immune system.”

Praise the Lord! I am so happy and grateful for this substance and that feel so much better. I cannot tell you how simply awful that EOE is. Do you have an amazing story of healing from CBD oil, please share with us all to spread the hope!

Cellular respiration is a set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.

Last year my daughter had a urine organic acid test done. That test shows many different markers for yeast, bacteria, vitamins, ketones, and mitochondria. Out of all the markers every single one was out of range except one. That means my daughter’s mitochondria situation was pretty grim. She was pretty sick at the time.
The mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of every cell of the body. They convert food and oxygen into energy called ATP. Mitochondria help detox poisons like pesticides, toxins in food, pollution in the air etc. metabolism creates a leftover substance called ash or smoke and soot which is also called oxidative stress this can injure the mitochondria. Other things that can cause oxidative stress are medications, heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. Oxidation in nature is like when iron rusts in the presence of oxygen and moisture. Another example is when you cut an apple and it starts to turn brown that is oxidation. If you put lemon juice and antioxidant on it, it will keep it a lighter color longer.

There are a few organs that use more energy than other parts of the body. The brain uses 22-25% of total energy made in the body per day. the liver uses 21%, muscles 22%, the heart 95 and the rest of the body 16% which include the bowel, nerves, and immune function. The cells in those organs and body parts have a higher amount of mitochondria.
The mitochondria when working their best help reduce fatigue, pain, and brain thinking problems. You actually inherit your mitochondria from your mother genetically.

Jess and I for a brief time when I was making flaxseed protein bites were eating carnitine which is an amino acid that helps get nutrients from fats into the cells. Those nutrients from fats like MCT oil from coconut oil can be used as energy for the brain and body to use instead of glucose which is the form of energy that is most used.
Other nutrients the body needs to utilize fatty acids for the production of energy are carnitine, riboflavin, niacin, and COQ10. Deficiencies of folate and other B vitamins will impair mitochondria. A few other important nutrients for the mitochondria are vitamin C, glutathione, and alpha lipoic acid all of which are important for detox and lowering oxidative stress or free radicals in the body.

So Jessica had possible high oxidative stress from heavy metals, medications that I was taking and she was getting through the breast milk, other chemicals and possibly chemicals from plastics. She was also low in B2 and B12. I had been taking what I thought was a safe amount of fiorcet for migraine headaches. I had called the infant risk hotline where they have trained knowledgeable nurses to ask questions of at to make sure the amount of medication I was taking was safe for babies and the amount I was taking they said was safe but it did cause a glutathione deficiency and likely other deficiencies too.

The bottom line with mitochondria I think is best said from Dr. Terry Wahl’s in her book The Wahl’s Protocol, “When your mitochondria aren’t powering your body correctly, everything begins to malfunction in a negative spiraling chain reaction that eventually relates to cell aging, organ dysfunction, and chronic disease. Science increasingly shows that mitochondrial strain is at the root of most of the chronic diseases afflicting modern society.” Pg. 34

A few things I recently learned about helping to boost mitochondria function are a) a mild ketogenic diet which lowers carbs, eliminates grains basically, and intends to use fats for energy instead of glucose b) calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, intellectual stimulation, and meditation. (Mito food plan comprehensive guide)
In addition the basic diet and supplements above there are a few foods especially good for the mitochondria. I thought it was really interesting learning about these foods in my functional medicine health coaching program because I was eating most of these foods on a regular basis and even in the way they were recommended. I truly do feel the best when I am eating this way. I’ll list out these foods and just a bit about what they contain and why they are so important:

1. Almonds – have mono unsaturated fat, vitamin E, glutathione. They also contain calcium and magnesium. It is recommended to only eat about a scant handful so as not to overeat these which is so easy to do at least for me.

2. Avocado – these have fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E and glutathione.

3. Blueberries – studies from Tufts university show that proanthocyanidins in blueberries are responsible for learning and memory but they can change cell signaling patterns and oxidative patterns in neurons. I ate a lot of these instinctively when I had to have multiple X-rays when I was pregnant, this fruit is such a powerhouse.

4. Broccoli – and the broccoli family like cabbage, cauliflower, and kale contain nutrients that help the body make glutathione the master antioxidant.

5. Coconut oil – the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil seem to used by the brain very readily as an energy source. It doesn’t require the same mechanism of digestion which lowers energy expenditure in processing through the body. Coconut oil is also antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral.

6. Green tea – contains catechins are protective of the mitochondria.

7. Olive oil – polyphenols which cloudy or unfiltered olive oil may have.

8. Pomegranate – protective polyphenols.

9. Salmon – rich in omega 3’s.

10. Sea weed – high in minerals the mitochondria require to function

11. Spinach – all greens, the darker color is better because it is richer in chlorophyll, carotenoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds.

histamine action. Mechanism of action of histamine and target organs. immune responses

I am not entirely sure why a low histamine diet was recommended for my daughter Jess. The doctor said it was because of a certain marker on her DNA test. She is more sensitive to histamine. That makes sense since she has had many allergic type skin reactions and many other allergic reactions from other things like foods.
I just wanted to talk a little bit about histamines what may cause it and what you can do. Histamines are associated with allergies to pets, ragweed, or anaphylaxis shock. When histamines are generated faster than can be degraded a intolerance gets created. one common sign of histamine intolerance is nasal congestion and sneezing which Jess certainly has at times. I do eat quite a few foods that are high in histamines like vinegar, kombucha, pickles, and olives. I used to eat more tuna and hot dogs too. I also used to eat quite a bit of nut butters and tomato so we were getting a good portion of histamines.

The thing is that according to the leaky gut guys __ leaky gut, candida overgrowth, SIBO, IBS, genes, and vitamin C deficiency I think speak more to anything that might be going on with Jess. She had a pretty bad gastrointestinal candida overgrowth and vitamin C deficiency.

The only thing I am doing right now for any histamine problem for Jess is higher dose probiotic, and vitamin C daily. Quercetin and DAO enzymes could be helpful if you have a histamine problem. There is quite a bit more information at to check out if this may be a problem for you.

Glutathione was one of the nutrients deficient on Jessica’s lab test one year ago and in the last three months. It’s been deficient on many of my lab tests in the past and even most recently in the last three months. I have been taking glutathione off and on for many years especially when I take Tylenol, drink coffee, or eat too much of a substance my body doesn’t usually do well with.

Glutathione is a very important nutrient. It has been called the mother antioxidant, as well as other positive names in regards to it’s ability to keep you young. I recently ran across an article online that said that a glutathione deficiency could cause chronic infections which is what my daughter has had for almost a year and half.

A book I have recently investigated says about glutathione and its abilities and why it’s called the master antioxidant says that glutathione has three main functions as an antioxidant, a detoxifier, and immune system enhancer. GSH Glutathione, your body’s most powerful protector, pg. 14-15. The fact that glutathione helps the immune system was new to me about a year ago when I was researching it again. Dr. Jimmy Gutman author of the above book says that glutathione is a the heart of all immune functions and is a food for the immune system. Pg. 44, 42. He says, “Fighting off infection consumes GSH in two ways, …to stabilize free radicals and …to grow immune cells.” Pg. 43

When I was preparing to become pregnant, I was concerned about my high intake of vitamin C. I believed the hype about the study that says if you take high amounts of vitamin C during pregnancy your baby could be born with rebound scurvy. Dr. Mars author of Medical Nutrition from Mars talks about that study and how it was based on an extremely small number of participants which was two babies. The study involved two women who had each taken 400mg of supplemental vitamin C during pregnancy. the vitamin C was stopped after the births. Their babies were on formula and it was presumed that the formula had adequate vitamin C but there was no analysis of the vitamin C content in the formula. See the study here

Dr. Bradford one of the functional medicine doctors I went to, to figure out my supplement regimen said, “Vitamin C recycles glutathione.” I realized right away that that may have been the reason my body seemingly needed more vitamin C was for the glutathione. Listen to what Dr. Gutman says, You should never stop using established supplements like vitamin C and E. these substances act synergistically with GSH – they enhance each other’s effectiveness. We call GSH the master antioxidant because it replenishes the action of many other antioxidants.” Pg. 17

A study entitled A clinical trial of glutathione supplementation in autism spectrum disorders says that glutathione is used in the body as an antioxidant, regenerates other antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E and is necessary for optimal detoxification, “Glutathione is a small protein made from three amino acids: glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione is important because it serves several functions in the body. Glutathione is an antioxidant, necessary for the neutralizing of reactive oxygen species (or free radicals), as well as the regeneration of other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Glutathione is necessary for optimal detoxification or the removal of toxic substances from the body. In addition, glutathione is important for immune function.”

Jess and I take a liposomal form of glutathione because oral forms are not generally assimilated as well. I happen to take melatonin sometimes for sleep and interestingly melatonin has been shown to raise glutathione levels in the brain, liver, muscle, and blood. pg. 51 Dr. Gutman GSH.

Glutamine is an amino acid which is abundant in the human body. It is needed for the metabolism and maintenance of muscle as well as a primary fuel for the intestinal tract. Glutamine can boost the immune system, detox the body and support liver metabolism. It supplies the body with glutamate the second most important component of GSH after cysteine. Pg. 52 If taken orally or IV it raises glutathione levels. Jess and I have also taken this as a supplement for gut healing and I didn’t know it did this much for glutathione. Chicken, fish, pork, and beef are high in glutamine. If you are completely healthy you likely don’t need to supplement with glutamine then it could cause side effects. Pg. 53

Tell us about your experience with glutathione. I find it a fascinating substance.

When we first went to a special doctor in L.A. who I was referred to we had a few lab tests done and one showed a high oxalate level. I really wasn’t sure why that could be. I started thinking about it in relation to the possibility of taking too much vitamin C.

I went back and read the lab test results themselves which say in part, “…may also be due to high vitamin C intake. However, kidney stone formation from oxalic acid was not correlated with vitamin C intake in a very large study.” The lab also recognizes that many fruits and veggies have oxalic acid but oxalates are, “…are also byproducts of molds such as Aspergillus and Penicillin and probably Candida.” They also say that oxalic acid can come from other environmental pollutants.

This was revealing to me because I realized that Jessica’s oxalates may not be due to high vitamin C intake (which we have since lowered for some specific reasons I’ll talk about later when I talk about glutathione.) at the time we had that test done there were two things going on. The first thing is that we had only left our home which had high levels of mold four months prior. Jessica also had high levels of yeast/fungal markers on her lab. I had not yet fully changed my diet to what we eat now which is very paleo and even mildly keto sometimes.

After addressing the yeast and doing some mild detoxing with glutathione and a few other supplements like chlorella which I took and Jess got through the breastmilk, (because yes, we are still breastfeeding even though she is just about three years old now) Jessica’s oxalate level went down significantly and is within proper range on the lab test now. I still eat and so does Jess many foods which are high in oxalates like blueberries, strawberries, spinach, other leafy greens cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, cocoa/dark chocolate, almonds. There are many others and you can find some good information at There is an excellent chart which shows many foods high in oxalates and how much compared to each as well as other helpful information about oxalates. I have also always found really great information at I call the two engineers who blog at SCD lifestyle the leaky gut guys. One other resource you may find helpful because it talks about many myths about oxalates is This nutritionist talks in great detail about oxalates and chronic diseases associated with high oxalates. One of them is mitochondria damage and dysfunction which Jessica clearly had on her lab test when her oxalates were high.

While can’t say for sure I do believe it was likely Candida and/or aspergillus mold toxins left in her body that caused her high oxalates. We also stopped eating almonds all together the last several months which are quite high in oxalates. I also had stopped cocoa powder for a little while too. So our diet was a little lower in oxalates when Jess was retested but the biggest takeaway for me was that yeast/mold/candida could cause oxalates.
What has been your experience with oxalates? Please share with us.

I had inflammation in my gums or periodontal disease prior to pregnancy and prior to pursuing IVF. I did a few things to correct this.

The first thing I did was to get all four quadrants of my gums deep cleaned. I did each section separately with a numbing agent. I have read that it is important to only do one quadrant at a time as doing more can make the body toxic from the numbing medication, I suspect is the reason. I also got my teeth cleaned every three months for at least two years, not only prior to pregnancy but during pregnancy.

I took generous amounts of vitamin C which helps to keep the gums healthy. I also took COQ10 which I read in a book I can’t remember the title to that it can literally regrow gum tissue, which I believe did happen for me.

To keep my mouth clean I used neem oil and neem bark. You put a small quarter size amount of neem bark in your palm and then put neem oil on top and mix together. Rub that on your gums and then swish in your mouth for 20 minutes and don’t drink or rinse for another 20 minutes. I did this on a semi-regular basis before pregnancy. those products help to lower bacteria in the mount without killing the good bacteria.

At times I used hydrogen peroxide only in the back of my throat. The times I used it in my whole mouth it killed good bacteria and then my tongue got irritated at which time I purchased chewable probiotics to bring balance back into my mouth.

Jess had some immune system blood work done recently and one of the elevated markers was IgG4. IgG is, “Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is a type of antibody. Representing approximately 75% of serum antibodies in humans, IgG is the most common type of antibody found in blood circulation.[1] IgG molecules are created and released by plasma B cells. Antibodies are major components of humoral immunity. IgG is the main type of antibody found in blood and extracellular fluid, allowing it to control infection of body tissues. By binding many kinds of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi, IgG protects the body from infection.
It does this through several mechanisms:

IgG-mediated binding of pathogens causes their immobilization and binding together via agglutination; IgG coating of pathogen surfaces (known as opsonization) allows their recognition and ingestion by phagocytic immune cells leading to the elimination of the pathogen itself;

IgG activates all the classical pathway of the complement system, a cascade of immune protein production that results in pathogen elimination;
IgG also binds and neutralizes toxins;

IgG also plays an important role in antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and intracellular antibody-mediated proteolysis, in which it binds to TRIM21 (the receptor with greatest affinity to IgG in humans) in order to direct marked virions to the proteasome in the cytosol;[2]

IgG is also associated with type II and type III hypersensitivity reactions.
in the first six months of life, the newborn has the same antibodies as the mother and the child can defend itself against all the pathogens that the mother encountered in her life (even if only through vaccination) until these antibodies are degraded. This repertoire of immunoglobulins is crucial for the newborns who are very sensitive to infections above all for the respiratory and digestive systems.

IgG are also involved in the regulation of allergic reactions.

Dr. Andrew Weil in his web article entitled, “Best Test for food intolerance” quotes a doctor he respects and says, “Dr. Horwitz notes that when food sensitivities – not true allergies – are a problem, traditional allergy tests such as the IgE RAST blood tests or skin prick tests often yield negative results. He says that in his practice, he has not seen uniformly good results with IgG anti-food blood tests, applied kinesiology (muscle strength testing), or “live blood” microscopic analysis, all of which have been advocated by some practitioners as ways of determining food intolerances. Results “go all the way from questionable to downright useless,” he says.

Instead, he prefers to ask patients to keep a record for a few weeks of everything they eat and any symptoms that develop in response to specific foods. This can help narrow the list of foods that may be causing problems. The next step is a defined food elimination diet.
I have opted for blood tests in addition to doing and elimination diet. I started the elimination diet and then caved and ate a healthy food that we don’t usually eat of almond and coconut flour cookies. Jess got a low grade temperature so I stopped that food. I just started the elimination diet again today. And we get the blood test results back in about two weeks. So we have yet to see what foods Jess is reacting to and causing her IgG4 to still be elevated.
As of now Jess has reacted to the following foods that I am aware of

1. Gluten/bread
2. Dairy
3. Sugar
4. Eggs
5. Beef

I am still wondering if she might be eating too much flaxseed or maybe something else that is still causing inflammation in her gut.

Jess recently had a gastrointestinal flu type sickness. She was vomiting pretty bad and we eat a pretty paleo no grain diet. Jess was losing weight and I wanted her to just eat something. So this is what we did. Instead of saltines we at rice crackers and rice cakes for the purpose of not eating gluten. My mother in law recommended jello which we would usually eat and we did not eat but you can make by putting beef gelatin in grape juice. We used an electrolyte drink by Seeking Health that has potassium and sodium but more potassium than sodium which is so necessary when your vomiting a lot. We also more me than Jessica drank Zevia ginger ale. That is sugar free made with stevia. So the swaps are:

• Rice crackers and rice instead of saltines
• Beef gelatin in grape juice instead of Jello
• Seeking Health electrolyte instead of Pedialyte that is made with sugar
• Zevia sugar free ginger ale instead of ginger ale with sugar

I hope these suggestions help if you don’t eat sugar or gluten and your sick and want to get well and help with a quezzy stomach

A literature research and review

Vitamin C, Gastritis, and Gastric Disease: a historical review and update

The discovery of Helicobacter pylori as the cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers ushered in the modern era of research into gastritis and into acid-peptic diseases and rekindled interest in the role of ascorbic acid in the pathophysiology and treatment of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Here, we review historic and modern studies on ascorbic acid and gastric diseases with an emphasis on H. pylori gastritis and its sequelae. The relationship of ascorbic acid and gastritis and peptic ulcer and its complications was extensively studied during the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Much of this extensive literature has been effectively “lost”. Ascorbic acid deficiency was associated with all forms of gastritis (e.g., autoimmune, chemical, and infectious) due in varying degrees to insufficient intake, increased metabolic requirements, and destruction within the GI tract. Importantly, gastritis-associated abnormalities in gastric ascorbic acid metabolism are reversed by H. pylori eradication and potentially worsened by proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy. Diets rich in naturally occuring ascorbic acid are associated with protection of the gastric corpus from atrophy and a reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer possibly through the ability of ascorbic acid to reduce oxidative damage to the gastric mucosa by scavenging carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds and free radicals and attenuating the H. pylori-induced inflammatory cascade. Ascorbic acid supplementation was possibly associated with a decreased incidence of bleeding from peptic ulcer disease. Pharmacologic doses of ascorbic acid also may improve the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication therapy. Occasionally, looking back can help plot the way forward.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, peptic ulcer, gastritis, pernicious anemia, gastric cancer, dehydroascorbic acid, ntestinal metaplasia, gastrointestinal bleeding, absorption

Hemorrhage associated with vitamin C deficiency in surgical patients.
Diffuse hemorrhage in surgical patients with normal coagulation parameters may be caused by vitamin C deficiency and is rapidly reversed by vitamin C replacement.
Patients treated on a surgical service were entered into a clinical registry over a 12-month period if they experienced diffuse hemorrhage in the face of normal coagulation parameters and a plasma ascorbic acid level < 0.6 mg/dL (normal 0.6-2.0 mg/dL). Oral vitamin C replacement was administered after determination of plasma ascorbic acid level. Response to therapy, including subsequent bleeding events, need for blood transfusions, and demographic data including social and dietary history were retrospectively reviewed from hospital and outpatient clinic records. RESULTS: Twelve patients with bleeding diatheses and low plasma ascorbic acid levels were identified. Plasma ascorbic acid levels were 0.1 to 0.5 mg/dL (mean, 0.3 mg/dL). There were 6 men and 6 women; age ranged from 46 to 90 years (mean, 78 years). Coagulation parameters were normal in all patients. Diffuse postoperative bleeding from nonsurgical causes was evident in 10 of 12 patients. Four patients, 2 of whom had operations, presented with chronic recurrent blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract. Each patient received 250 to 1000 mg of vitamin C replacement daily. Within 24 hours of vitamin C administration, there was no further evidence of clinical bleeding nor need for subsequent blood transfusions in any patient. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin C deficiency should be included in the differential diagnosis of nonspecific bleeding in surgical patients. Prolonged hospitalization, severe illness, and poor diet create vitamin C deficiency with significant clinical consequences. Oral vitamin C replacement rapidly reverses the effects of this disorder.

Role of vitamins in gastrointestinal diseases

A tremendous amount of data from research was published over the past decades concerning the roles of different vitamins in various gastrointestinal diseases. For instance, most vitamins showed an inverse relationship with the risk of colorectal carcinoma as well as other malignancies like gastric and esophageal cancer in observational trials, however interventional trials failed to prove a clear beneficial preventive role. On the other hand, more solid evidence was obtained from high quality studies for a role of certain vitamins in specific entities. Examples for this include the therapeutic role of vitamin E in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, the additive role of vitamins B12 and D to the standard therapy of chronic hepatitis C virus, the role of vitamin C in reducing the risk of gallstones, the positive outcome with vitamin B12 in patients with aphthous stomatitis, and the beneficial effect of vitamin D and B1 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Other potential uses are yet to be elaborated, like those on celiac disease, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, cholestasis and other potential fields. Data from several ongoing interventional trials are expected to add to the current knowledge over the coming few years. Given that vitamin supplementation is psychologically accepted by patients as a natural compound with relative safety and low cost, their use should be encouraged in the fields where positive data are available.