Friday, October 23, 2009

Healing and Helping My Body

For the first time in my life, I met with a Naturopathic Physician. It was a very positive experience. What I learned really supported what I had already read while researching nutrition and links between nutritional deficiencies and breast cancer. Still, reading and deciding what is safe and useful to take and in what quantities is nothing I feel comfortable determining for myself. I am very relieved to have someone caring and knowledgeable doing that part for me.

My Naturopath really looked at my individual situation, my pathology report, my recent and pre-treatment bloodwork and made some recommendations. She took into account that some supplements can interfere with radiation while others can contribute to its effectiveness. She noted that I'm anemic and that other things in my blood work are either lower than normal or at the low end of normal. No wonder I'm feeling so tired and drained. So, the photo above shows what I'll be adding to my daily routine to help heal my body and prepare it for radiation therapy. Included here is an iodine testing kit that will be sent away to a testing centre in the United States since testing isn't done in Canada. My Naturopath told me that the World Health Organization has noted that only 25% (or something like that ... don't quote me) of people in the world have adequate amounts of iodine in their systems and that is mostly Asian people who are more likely to eat kelp (seaweed). And what she told me about the link between breast cancer and iodine deficiency supports what I've read in the research literature as well.

She's also recommending thyroid and insulin tests because irregularities there are also linked to breast cancer. Again, this supports what I've found in the literature. I can't remember which of these supplements is for what in most cases but I know one of them is to support thyroid. Radiation can bring on thyroid problems so it's good to start supporting my thyroid now. She also recommended I get my Vitamin D levels tested but, in the meantime, she's recommending 4000 IU per day for me.

She also recommends increasing cruciferous vegetable (cabbage family, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) intake to 1 serving per day instead of 3-5 per week and she strongly recommends a primarily vegetarian diet and to restrict animal products to organic only, particularly because of my already compromised immune system. With my tumour being estrogen fed, she says I don't need any more hormones added to my system via non-organic animal products. Based on my family medical history as well, she recommends trying a non-dairy diet. Since Soy isn't recommended for me, she suggests rice milk (there were others she suggested but I can't remember them) or that I make my own almond milk for use on my cereal. It sounds easy to do and I recently read how to do it.

I forgot to ask her about H1N1.

I meet with her again in the middle of November. Once I'm done radiation, some of these things will change and some things might be added.

I feel very good about what I learned from her and about what she's recommending. It feels like taking some control over my body and my future life whereas so much of what I've experienced lately has left me feeling at the mercy of cancer and the treatments. This feels like such a positive step toward wellness and something that the medical community, beyond treatment itself, hasn't offered even when asked.


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