SET-DB™ “Side Effects”
If you’re short on time, here’s the Crib Notes version: there are no side effects from a SET-DB™ clearing.
There may be soreness resulting from the New-Stim stimulation, but that’s not a “side effect” of the SET-DB™ procedure. It’s a potential, but extremely unlikely, outcome of a small physical force being applied to a sensitive area. Infants aren't fond of it and some elderly might end up with a dull headache for a few hours.
I’ve had a number of practitioners contact me over the years to say one of their patients or clients had an “adverse reaction” to a SET-DB™ clearing. After a little digging, it’s never shown to be true. Just because someone has symptoms after a SET-DB™ session doesn’t mean the two are related to it. It's a case of association not being related to causation.
I never had one negative reaction to a SET-DB™ session and I did thousands of them.
Let’s get into it. (Some of this is a repeat of what I’ve written before in posts and in the manuals. Also, this is essentially an exercise in theory, not fact. I’m stating my opinion based on my experience and research.)
I got started in sensitivity elimination treatment when a patient asked me to learn NAET. I investigated NAET before I went to a seminar by calling several NAET practitioners to learn what they liked and didn’t like about the protocol.
I recall speaking with one practitioner whose practice was largely NAET. He liked that it worked, usually, but disliked that so many treatments had to be repeated. Some had to be repeated soon, some months or years later, and some several times. I never liked this as I think it reflects poorly on the protocol.
I was worried the 25-hour avoidance period would interfere with the lives of busy people, which most people these days are. He said that it did but there was nothing you could do about it. He also told me people occasionally fainted in his reception area while holding the treatment vial, some even falling out of their chair. I didn’t care too much for the sound of this, either.
I also looked into Ellen Cutler’s BioSET and attended several of her seminars. She was a big NAET practitioner until she wanted to add enzyme therapy to the protocol. Nambudripad has you sign an agreement that says if you don’t practice NAET as she teaches it, you can’t say you do NAET. So Cutler had to make changes to the treatment stimulation so that it wasn’t the same as NAET. It is essentially the same thing, though, and so doesn’t need its own discussion.
I also looked into Dr. Lawrence Newsome’s Bio-Kinetics protocol. Dr. Newsome taught that all manner of allergies could be eliminated in one treatment session. When I did the treatment as he instructed, it didn’t work. When I used his treatment stimulation to clear individual or groups of like items, it worked.
I started with a 24-hour avoidance period but eventually it became clear 24 hours was excessive. I knew this because I had patients who left my office and ate something I had just cleared them for minutes later and yet their clearings held.
It seems obvious to me there are major differences in how NAET and SET-DB™ clear sensitivities. And as the adage goes, the devil is often found hiding in the details.
What would cause people to faint after an NAET clearing and why would a clearing need to be repeated (meaning it failed)? To understand this we need to look into the way the protocol works, or put another way, what happens after an NAET clearing.
According to Dr. Nambudripad in her first book, her procedure frees a blockage in one of 12 acupuncture meridians caused by an allergy (her words). She further writes (I’m paraphrasing) that it takes 24 hours for the blockage to completely clear because “the energy” of the clearing has to pass through all 12 meridians. Each meridian is active for 2 hours every 24-hour period, thus her 25-hour avoidance period (I guess an extra hour to be sure?)
The treatment itself is done by using an Activator Adjusting Instrument (or its equivalent) on specific points adjacent to the spine. Cutler’s treatment is done the same way, or is sometimes done via acupressure. If you’re familiar with anatomy you know peripheral afferent nerves pass through relay stations as they enter and go up the spinal cord to the brainstem (and eventually to the thalamus).
Let’s assume this statement is true: NAET can change how a person’s body reacts to a substance by removing a blockage to the substance in a meridian or meridians and the “news” of the cleared blockage travels through all 12 meridians over a 24-hour period.
In contrast, Dr. Newsome’s stimulation (used in SET-DB™) goes directly into the brainstem, then to the thalamus. The thalamus receives information from all senses, except smell, and routes it to the appropriate area of the cortex. Some call it the master “switching station.” The clearing stimulation therefore does not rely on movement through acupuncture meridians.
SET-DB™ effects a clearing when it disassociates a substance or substances with a negative association in the central nervous system of the individual receiving the clearing. To put it more simply, if one’s brain has come to think avocados are bad for them, a SET-DB™ clearing will remove that negative association, meaning it will no longer think avocados are bad. The effect of the clearing is immediate in most individuals*. No one faints after a SET-DB™ clearing and SET-DB™ clearings rarely have to be repeated**.
One (NAET) relies on energy moving through 12 meridians over a 24-hour period, causes stress to some patients (fainting), and some clearings have to be repeated. The other (SET-DB™) relies on an impulse that goes directly into the brainstem, then to the thalamus, does not stress patients, and almost no clearings need to be repeated.
It’s my opinion the manner in now SET-DB™ clears sensitivities is “cleaner” and more powerful than the manner in which NAET clears sensitivities. If it wasn’t it would suffer the same shortcomings as NAET: undue patient stress after a clearing and the need for multiple clearing sessions in some cases.
By “cleaner” I mean the stimulation that leads to a clearing does not have to pass through multiple nerve relays, with the attending possibility that the impulse may be altered/weakened, and does not rely on the movement of chi through meridians.
This reminds me of when I was taught how to do auriculotherapy, which is like ear acupuncture except with micro current stimulation instead of needling. We were told the practitioner can do no harm to a patient with auriculotherapy. It’s the same with SET-DB™: you can’t harm a patient.
I hope my explanation has been clear and convincing enough that everyone can move forward with confidence and help more people enjoy better health. If not, please email me your questions and I’ll try my best to answer them.
*Recall the patients who ate substances I’d just cleared them for within minutes of the clearing, yet the clearing still held.
**Recall me writing in the SET-DB™ Practitioners Manual that I had 2 patients who had to have many items cleared 2 or more times. One had severe chemical sensitivities when she started treatment at my office and the other had multiple sclerosis. None of the other 100s of patients had to have things cleared more than once, except for the rare patient whom I saw many years after they completed their treatment program.
I was on a ZYTO webinar August 7, 2019, and it is now available on their YouTube page.
You might recall that ZYTO asked me to prepare an online course they would offer on an education site they planned to create. For some reason it was canceled; too bad no one told me and I continued preparing my course on allergies. I finished three modules, complete with slides and audio. The fourth was written but slides hadn't yet been done. My plan is to offer the online course myself, hopefully by the end of October.
The presentation I did on the webinar was a significant condensation of the first three modules. It ran a little long and might have been a little to technical for some viewers who don't have a professional degree. Or perhaps not. You can't underestimate the interest of a ZYTO practitioner.
Here is the webinar:
There may be occasions when you’ll want to revisit a past session to either retreat the patient/client for that category or to treat for items you didn’t treat before but wish you had. This might occur when you realized you didn’t set the Range low enough.
For example: you realized you accepted the software’s range suggestion then later realized it was 55 instead of 10, and you want to follow my advise to never have a Range less than 10. You might want to correct this mistake.
You do NOT want to run the BioSurvey again so this is how you do it:
You should rarely have to resort to this procedure, but now you know how to do it (if you didn’t already know).
Vitamin D is not technically a true vitamin. By definition, a vitamin is something you can’t make yourself and so has to be acquired from food or supplements. It got lumped in with vitamins early on before it wasn’t well understood.
There are five forms of Vitamin D. The one we’re concerned with, the one important to health, is cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol is a secosteroid, a steroid molecule with one ring open. (I’m sure you remembered this from biochem.)
Cholecalciferol is synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol when the skin is subject to ultraviolet B (UVB) light. How much cholecalciferol is made depends on several things: the intensity of the UVB as determined by the latitude, season, cloud cover, and altitude, and the age and amount of pigmentation of the skin. Equilibrium can be reached in the skin within a few minutes of exposure. After that, cholecalciferol degrades as fast as it’s made, making it impossible to get vitamin D overdose from UV exposure.
It’s generally accepted that 5–30 minutes of exposure of the face, arms, and legs twice a week provides enough vitamin D for most people. I’m at 4,700 feet elevation. I can burn in the spring at 15-20 minutes if I’m not careful as we regularly have a UV index of 10. The higher the altitude, the less atmosphere to filter out UVB rays. Cholecalciferol can also be produced from UV lamps in tanning beds, though at much lower levels as most tanning beds produce only 4–10% UVB. Blood levels have been found higher in people who tan frequently.
Cholecalciferol is inactive. It travels from the skin to the liver, where it’s converted to calcifediol, also known as 25-(OH)D, by the enzyme 25-hydroxylase. Conversion to 25-(OH)D is loosely regulated, if at all. Calcifediol is what’s measured in the blood to determine a patient’s vitamin D status and is the sum of what was produced in the skin as well as any ingested D2 or D3. After a typical daily intake of vitamin D3, it takes about seven days to convert it to calcifediol.
Although we measure 25-(OH)D in the blood, it’s not the active form of the vitamin. It travels to the kidney where it’s converted into calcitriol (1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3), the bioactive form, by an enzyme called 1-alpha-hydroxylase and under the influence of parathyroid hormone. Unlike calcifediol, this conversion is tightly regulated. When these metabolites travel through the blood they’re bound to vitamin D-binding protein.
Calcitriol is very important for maintaining calcium levels and promotes bone health and development. It increases the absorption of calcium from the intestines, promotes reabsorption of lost calcium back into bones, and increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (influences the brain and peripheral nervous system), nitric oxide (an important vasodilator), and glutathione (the body’s main antioxidant). Lastly, calcitriol promotes the formation and differentiation of new cells. Pretty important substance, wouldn’t you say?
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with multiple sclerosis, asthma, flu, tuberculosis, and certain cancers. And, as we’ll discuss, certain autoimmune conditions.
For vitamin D to act, it needs to bind to a set of receptors called, not surprisingly, vitamin D receptors (VDRs), principally located in the nuclei. VDRs can be found in most organs, including the brain, heart, skin, gonads, prostate, and breast. And, here’s one tie-in to the thyroid: VDRs are a subset of thyroid hormone receptors.
In general, vitamin D deficiencies are caused by decreased exposure of the skin to sunlight. Far fewer people work outdoors now than before and the use of a sunscreen with an SPF of only 8 can block 95% of vitamin D production. The following conditions are considered risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:
I found several studies that establish a relationship between low vitamin D levels and autoimmune disease (both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease). Vitamin D deficiency was 3–5 times as common in patients with an autoimmune thyroid disease than in controls.
The results of the studies indicate:
Vitamin D needs to be present in adequate amounts for T3, the active thyroid hormone, to get into and energize the cell. They both work in the cell nucleus. Put another way, thyroid hormones won’t work well when vitamin D levels aren’t optimal.
However, vitamin D’s involvement in autoimmune thyroid disorders goes deeper still.
Autoimmune diseases are thought to be caused by genetic polymorphism: small changes at the genetic level that affect the structure and function of important cells and proteins, including VDRs.
In fact, several studies have shown that VDR polymorphism is common in those with autoimmune thyroid disease. This means the biological activity of vitamin D is reduced, even when it properly binds to receptors. If VDRs in the thyroid gland are polymorphic, even normal levels of vitamin D can’t produce the same effects as it can on normal VDRs.
Therefore, people with polymorphic VDRs need higher than normal serum levels of vitamin D to avoid deficiency. We’ll visit this topic again when discussing vitamin D therapy.
Assessment of and Ideal Vitamin D Levels
The test to order is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. Most labs will have a normal range of 30–100. Many, if not most, MDs won’t consider vitamin D therapy if levels are with the normal range, even just inside the normal range. 1,25()H)D is not tested because it’s regulated by other hormones, such as parathyroid hormone. 1,25(OH)D levels can be normal in a vitamin D-deficient individual.
Research is clear that 35 ng/ml is the minimum level for optimum function, for healthy people. But people with an autoimmune thyroid condition aren’t healthy.
They often have stress, excess weight, GI problems, high inflammation, VDR polymorphisms, and other factors that inhibit production, absorption, and utilization of vitamin D. So, the minimal 25-hydroxy vitamin D level for those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may be significantly higher. But how high?
Too much vitamin D is toxic. Get too much of it and it can increase odds of heart disease and, oddly, lower bone density.
There appears to be a close relationship of vitamin D to vitamins A and K2. Higher D levels increase the demand for demand for K2 and A so increasing D intake, especially the higher amount commonly recommended, in the presence of inadequate A and K2 intake is probably unwise.
Vitamin D Therapy
How much and what kind of vitamins D, A, and K2 turned out to be a more complicated topic than expected, so I’ll cover this in a future post. We'll also discuss the SET-DB™ approach to improving vitamin D (and A and K2) levels.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol
This post is an overview of possible approaches for SET-DB™ practitioners who have the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol and care for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also called autoimmune thyroiditis, is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism and is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. Studies have shown that 90% of hypothyroid patients test positive for thyroid antibodies, meaning their immune systems are primed to attack their own thyroid glands.
It’s a complex condition that can involve varied biological functions such as genetics, diet, digestion, the immune system, and thyroid function. Correcting one’s faulty genes is unlikely, but the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol can address digestion, the immune system, and thyroid function. Getting a patient to improve their diet, permanently, is tough, so tough I never attempted it with my fibromyalgia patients. I think a strong case can be made for diet revision with thyroid patients.
The immune system is tasked with the critical job of keeping track of “self,” our own cells, and “non-self,” foreign substances. It does this primarily by “reading” the surface proteins of cells and substances it comes in contact with. (I also believe the nervous is intimately involved in immunity—how else could SET-DB™ eliminate a sensitivity?) If the immune cell recognizes the surface protein as self it will move on. If it doesn’t, or if it has seen the foreign cell before and knows it doesn’t belong, it releases chemical messengers that initiate an immune response.
Autoimmunity is a case of mistaken identity. Antibodies are made to “self” tissues for a variety of reasons. One that we’ll discuss here is, surface proteins of a “non-self” substance looks enough like surface proteins of some “self” tissue that the immune system attacks the tissue. Besides Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, examples are multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the culprit is gliadin, the protein portion of gluten. Gliadin “looks” like thyroid tissue to the immune systems of people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. When gliadin gets into the body, through a porous or leaky gut, the immune system does its job and tags it for destruction (makes antibodies). Those antibodies will eventually find their way to the thyroid gland where they find cells with surface proteins that look suspiciously like gliadin, and attack.
Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to six months. That means if one wants to know if gluten is causing hypothyroid symptoms, they’ll have to stay off it for at least six months.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis symptoms
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are typically those of hypothyroidism, such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, brain fog, and depression (to name a fraction of possible hypothyroid symptoms). While there are several reasons for hypothyroid symptoms, in this case they’re due to low thyroid hormone production secondary to destruction of hormone-producing cells by the immune system. Fewer cells making thyroid hormone. Because Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is progressive, eventually hypothyroid symptoms appear.
But this isn’t all. Hyperthyroid symptoms—nervousness, rapid heart rate, sweating, tremors, palpitations— may occur concurrently with hypothyroid symptoms. When the cells that store thyroid hormone get destroyed by the immune system, large amounts of stored hormones are released into the blood stream. Thus one with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be hyper one day and hypo a couple of days later. Quite a wild ride. Eventually the hyperthyroid symptoms will disappear, after enough thyroid cells have been destroyed, and only hypothyroid symptoms, which are getting worse, remain.
Standard medical care for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Doctors may not tell patients their lab tests were positive for thyroid antibodies because it doesn’t change their treatment plan. In fact, most doctors don’t order antibody tests for this same reason. The standard of care is to “monitor” the patient until enough thyroid cells are destroyed to cause hypothyroidism, then prescribe thyroid hormone, typically a synthetic T4. Once they start on thyroid medication, they typically have to take it for the rest of their life.
A few lucky patients do well on T4, but many don’t and end up taking other medications prescribed for things such as depression, high cholesterol, and blood sugar management, all possibly related to hypothyroidism.
SET-DB™ approach to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients are treated the same as hypothyroid patients without Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, with the possible exception that the practitioner might want to pay closer attention to autoimmune categories.
Here are some important aspects of the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol:
Leaky Gut: A leaky gut allows undigested or incompletely digested foods to get into parts of the body they don’t belong, which can lead to more food sensitivities. Seacure is given to help heal the gut wall and eliminating sensitivities helps reduce gut inflammation. Also, an OSST can help detoxify the intestinal tract and possibly reduce or eliminate infectants like parasites and Candida.
Gluten/Gliadin: It’s my opinion that gluten-containing foods should be avoided by everyone, it’s nice that once treated with SET-DB™, one doesn’t have to worry about getting some gluten in a meal now and then. This BioSurvey doesn’t just look at gluten and gliadin. It goes deeper by looking at enzymes and fractions of gluten and gliadin. It’s a must-do treatment.
Hormones: If a patient is sensitive to a hormone it can be difficult for them to make adequate amounts of it and whatever influence the hormone should have, the reason the body makes it, it may not wield. Special attention is given to TSH, T3, T4, thyroglobulin, TRH, and rT3, but any hormone a patient is found sensitive to is put in the vial before the treatment. It is a must-do treatment.
Glands: I like to think of autoimmune treatments by using a team sports analogy. If individual team members are quarreling amongst themselves, or are otherwise unhappy with others on the team, it’s difficult for the team to have success. If an SET-DB™ autoimmune treatment could be performed on the team the effect would be near-instant harmony that could tip the scale toward success on the field. Glands important to consider here are the thyroid, anterior pituitary, hypothalamus, and adrenals. This is also a must-do treatment.
Thyroid Supplement Organ System Stress Test (OSST(: Supplementing with critical thyroid nutrients can help patients fell better sooner. This OSST just looks for one supplement. You can use the BioSurvey as-is and it will choose one of the two default supplements, or you can test for any supplements you like.
Thyroid Comprehensive BioSurvey: This BioSurvey contains items important to thyroid function not found in ZYTO’s library. It is a must-do treatment.
Other must-do treatments include grains, wheat digestion, dairy, and endocrine disrupters. The practitioner chooses five additional SETs based on the Thyroid Eval Scan or their professional judgement.
If the patient needs treatment beyond the basic protocol, the practitioner runs the Thyroid Category Scan: Advanced and formulates a new treatment plan.
If your license allows you to prescribe, you can monitor their medication yourself. If it doesn’t, you might need to communicate with the patient’s prescribing physician. Do not advise your patients in areas outside of your license; i.e., tell them to take less or more of a medication or discontinue a medication.
Your thyroid patients will likely need a change of medication as they progress through the treatment program. It’s not difficult to know when. If they’re getting too much thyroid hormone(s) they’ll start experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism. If they’re not getting enough, their hypothyroid symptoms worsen.
Hypothyroidism and iron deficiency have more in common than you might know or think. This brief post will examine their relationship and how SET-DB™ can help.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where:
Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism—fatigue, cold intolerance, hair loss—are also possible symptoms of iron deficiency. Iron-deficient individuals may also experience irregular heart beat, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome.
Did you know the thyroid is closely connected to the gut? When there is adequate T3 supply to stomach cells they produce hydrochloric acid, which, among other things, helps break down protein. Most of the iron we eat (at least the most bioavailable iron) is found in animal protein. If we don’t digest the protein, we can’t get at the iron in it.
So, low T3 is tied to low stomach acid and low iron.
And, iron is an an important mineral to test for sensitivity, and treat if necessary with SET-DB™. It’s a must-do treatment in the SET-DB™ Thyroid Protocol and is found in the Minerals Category/BioSurvey.
How is low thyroid hormone availability connected to hair loss?
The answer may be ferritin. From Wikipedia:
“Ferritin is a universal intracellular protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion. The protein is produced by almost all living organisms, including algae, bacteria, higher plants, and animals. In humans, it acts as a buffer against iron deficiency and iron overload. Ferritin is found in most tissues as a cytosolic (dissolved in the cell’s cytoplasm) protein, but small amounts are secreted into the serum where it functions as an iron carrier. Plasma ferritin is also an indirect marker of the total amount of iron stored in the body, hence serum ferritin is used as a diagnostic test for iron-deficiency anemia.”
Emphasis is mine.
Here is a direct connection between ferritin and hair loss, as found on Dr. Philip Kingsley’s site:
“Correct ferritin levels maximize your hair’s ‘anagen’ or ‘growing’ phase and encourage your hairs to grow to their full length. When you aren’t getting enough iron through your diet, your body takes ferritin stored in non-essential tissue, like your hair bulb, and gives it to essential tissue, such as your heart. Because your hair bulb is where all your hair cells are produced, this leeching of ferritin can cause your hair to shed before it reaches its maximum length.
The average reference ranges for ferritin are 14-170 micrograms per litre, but our research shows that ferritin should be at least 80 ug/L (micrograms per litre) in women for hair follicles to function at their best.”
After some research on the subject, like most lab values, optimal ferritin levels for individuals can vary. One thing I did learn is ferritin can be high for reasons other than excess iron. Systemic inflammation can raise ferritin levels due to its role as an acute phase reactant that up-regulates in response to inflammation or oxidative stress.
So, if one wants to be really careful, they wouldn’t have their ferritin checked when they’re sick, or get a hs-CRP test that measures overall inflammatory status. If hs-CRP is elevated, the ferritin level may say nothing about iron status.
Furthermore, on this subject, Mark Sisson writes:
“Come to think of it, if elevated ferritin can be a marker of inflammation and oxidative stress, the inflammation could be responsible for some of the negative health effects linked to high ferritin. Or, if having too much iron in the body can increase oxidative damage, it may be that high iron levels are increasing inflammation which in turn increases ferritin even further. Biology gets messy. Lots of feedback loops.”
Biology can indeed get messy and science is still learning much about the role iron plays in the human body.
Here is Sisson's follow-up post on Iron.
As for SET-DB™ and ferritin, I couldn’t find ferritin in ZYTO’s library so I added it to the Thyroid Protocol library. It’s not yet in a BioSurvey so you’ll have to test it separately. Sorry Select owners. Eventually I’ll have it in a BioSurvey, when I figure out what else to put it with.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone start on an iron supplement or purposely increase their consumption of iron-containing foods until they’ve had their iron and ferritin tested. A complete anemia panel should include serum iron, transferrin, TIBC, and the saturation percentage.
As a side note, part of the ongoing attack on meat eating is the claim that the iron in meat promotes colon cancer. Sisson unpacks that in the post I referenced earlier, but here’s the gist of it:
The relationship between heme iron (the kind found in meat) and colon cancer is conditional on iron oxidating fatty acids in the colon. Not just any fatty acids, though. The kind found in seed oils, polyunsaturated fatty acids. In fact, studies seeking to prove that heme iron promotes colon cancer can’t get the cancer to “take” unless the lab animals are fed high-PUFA oils, like safflower oil. Feed them olive or coconut oil with the heme iron and the study can’t proceed because no cancer occurs.
Another good reason not to eat industrial seed oils, aside from their effect on the thyroid.
While researching this topic, and the thyroid in general, I took the time to read through the comments section of the posts. You should, too. It’s a real eye-opener. Skip the snark and pay attention to the ones from people who have been suffering with health problems despite improving their diet, seeing their MD (in most cases), and taking the supplements and/or medications they were told to take. Many have negative reactions to the pills and many just don’t get better.
Based on my experience, this is likely due to sensitivities to the nutrients they need to enjoy improved health, but also to all the nutrient groups as well as foods. This is where SET-DB™ can help. Clearing a sensitivity to iron or ferritin could well allow someone to better handle those substances, which could be a big part in them enjoying better thyroid health, and better health in general.
In last week’s post we discussed using either the Asthma or Allergy Report when someone makes an appointment to see you for asthma. To add to that, any existing patient with asthma should be given the report to read. We also discussed what to do on the consultation/first visit and what a treatment program for asthma might look like. This post will cover some of the intricacies of helping asthmatics with SET-DB™.
Things to look out for
Soy. Asthma symptoms are common to soy sensitivity and soy products are literally everywhere. (I had an old Mercedes that had vegetable waxes covering important wiring in the engine compartment that unfortunately was cracking. I bet it was soy.) Soy sensitivity should be handled in the Grain BioSurvey but be mindful of it when adjusting the Range.
Caffeine sensitivity is a common asthma trigger. Watch for a history of unusual reactions to foods like coffee, energy drinks, and even chocolate. They may be getting a dose of it with an OTC NSAID, too. You, of course, would need to check for sensitivity to the foods themselves. Treating for caffeine sensitivity can be helpful to anyone thinking of giving it up as a way to avoid those awful withdrawal headaches.
Salt. Sodium sensitivity will be cleared in the Mineral BioSurvey, but don’t forget about salt sensitivity; it’s a common instigator of asthma symptoms. It’s in the Food Additives BioSurvey.
Salicylates are chemicals both found naturally in food as well as added to food, usually as preservatives. They can trigger hyperactivity, nasal congestion, and asthma attacks. Run an internet search on salicylate sensitivity or intolerance and see how many websites there are dedicated to it. It will boggle your mind. This is taken care of by running the Salicylates BioSurvey.
Here’s another reason to run the Food Additives BioSurvey: asthma symptoms are often triggered by foods other than salt. MSG, sulfates, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and sodium nitrite come to mind. In my opinion, MSG should be avoided altogether.
Check a patient’s drinking water, especially if they drink tap water (few people I know drink untreated water directly from the tap). Also check it with patients suffering from eczema or hives.
Epidermals. This group can be important for any asthmatic, even those who don’t have pets. Cat dander can linger for years in buildings that aren’t cleaned well between tenants (it can cling to the walls!). Plus, they may have materials found in this group in their home or workplace and not even know. The allergens become airborne and inhaled right into the lungs.
Mold and Fungus. It’s rare to see an asthma sufferer who wasn’t sensitive to mold and fungus, but especially candida. Recall the case I’ve related several times of the daughter of a doctor with whom I shared space that had a chronic problem with candida. One SET was all it took to clear the problem. Treating Mold and Fungus could easily yield great results for one of your asthmatic patients.
This and that
Sensitivity load phenomenon. I think close to 85–90% of the population has sensitivities, likely many inherited. Most of the time they can handle them without experiencing symptoms; the immune system, nervous system, etc., can take care of business in the background. But everyone has a threshold that if they pass, they’ll have symptoms. They can motor past the threshold when under stress: emotional, physical, mental, chemical, etc. Usually it’s a combination of different stressors but many times it’s one severe stressor, such as a death in the family or a serious illness. Just understanding this can help a patient through a tough time.
I bet you didn’t know that 5–15% of asthma cases are caused by exposure to on-the-job irritants. Not to say tell your patient to quit their job, but rather be aware of groups like Fumes and Chemicals when treating an asthmatic. For instance, a study done in England showed that people who cooked with gas were 2½ times more likely to suffer asthma attacks. If it’s due to sensitivity, you can fix that. People’s cars and homes can be filled with volatile organic compounds that may need to be treated.
As you’ll read in the systemic enzyme paragraph below, circulating immune complexes can deposit in lung tissue and initiate lung symptoms like wheezing and excessive mucus production. All the more reason for patients to go through an entire treatment program.
One last category: hormones. You’d be surprised to learn that asthma symptoms can be triggered by hormone sensitivities.
Useful supplements for asthma
Digestive enzymes. While I think everyone should take a good plant-based digestive enzyme, people with asthma should definitely take one. Why? One of the largest, if not the largest, way antigens enter the body is through a leaky gut. A digested food is far less likely to cause a sensitivity than one only partially digested (or not digested at all).
There are many good digestive enzymes on the market. I used Pure Encapsultions Digestive Enzyme Ultra. Swansons Vitamins sells a budget-friendly formulation called n-zymes that uses enzymes made by National Enzyme Co.
RespiraTone from Professional Formulas. (I think you have to have an account to see the product.) You know how some products just work? Almost every time? This is one of those. It worked so well we also had it in stock. It can be helpful for patients who have just started a treatment program. It’s composed of nine herbs with a history of usefulness for lung conditions.
Systemic enzymes. Like digestive enzymes, I think every adult should take a systemic enzyme. Specific for asthma, systemic enzymes help to reduce circulating immune complexes, which, when there are too many or when they get too big, can initiate sensitivity reactions in lung tissue.
Most professional supplement companies offer a systemic enzyme and we tried a lot of them. We settled on Serraflazyme serrapeptase from Cardiovascular Research. I have a bottle sitting on my nightstand, to remind me to take it when I go to bed and get up. Unlike products like Wobezyme, where you might be taking 15 tablets a day, the dosage for most people is one tiny tablet twice a day, on an empty stomach.
Couple these three things with a customized homeopathic remedy from an OSST and you’ve got potent options to assist asthmatics while they go through a sensitivity elimination treatment program.
If you weren’t before, I hope you’re now confident there is plenty you can offer someone suffering from asthma. You may even offer them complete relief.
Last week’s post discussed four potential triggers for asthma: food sensitivities, environmental antigens and toxins, digestive problems, and stress. The post began by explaining that it’s better for patients to go through a complete treatment program but that not all could or would, for financial or other reasons. This post will lay out a suggested approach to helping asthma sufferers with SET-DB™.
Asthma and/or Allergy Report
When anyone calls to make an appointment for sensitivity work, they should be told you require them to read one of your reports prior to the appointment. If all you have is the Allergy Report, that will be the one they’ll need to read.
If they have asthma, they should read the Asthma Report because it’s more specific to their condition and does a better job of explaining how you can help them with their particular health challenge. If you don’t have the Asthma Report edited and ready to use, take a few hours this week and get it done. Then get the Kids and Allergies Report done, if you haven’t already. They’re all extremely useful for helping get people into your office for sensitivity elimination treatment (SET) and will save you a ton of time on their initial visit.
And have them printed as I explain in the Practitioner Manual. Don’t be cheap and staple letter-sized sheets of paper together. The reports will look, well, cheap, and reflect poorly on you. Plus people are more likely to read a report printed as I teach because they look more legitimate.
The Asthma Report is also a great way to educate existing non-SET patients about the treatment without coming across as “salesy.” You simply hand them the report and ask them to read it. No sales talk, no pressure. Let the report do all the work. If they’re interested they’ll ask about it next time they come in or call to set up an appointment. If they’re not interested they will appreciate not being pressured and will return for the services you’ve already provided them with.
I considered (almost) all first visits to be consultations, for which I didn’t charge. They became first visits when the individual agree to receive treatment (and to pay for it that day). Another option is to charge a nominal fee, like $25. Your choice.
Three BioSurveys should be run, then printed and discussed with the patient:
The Consultation Symptom Questionnaire can be very helpful as an asthmatic will likely have symptoms related to food sensitivities. Actually, most asthmatics will have other conditions related to food sensitivities. It’s rare for someone to present with only one condition.
The OSST may or may not show high stress in the lungs even though you or the patient may feel it should. Trust the findings, not your preconceived thoughts. “Today your greatest stress is in your pancreas.” Then you explain how running the full OSST would produce a homeopathic remedy (or whatever you’re using, if you’ve substituted something else for the drainage formulas) that help remove the stress from all or most of their stressed areas. Then you would say something like:
“But as you read in my report, asthma is largely related to food and environmental sensitivities (or allergies, if you’re using that term). Let’s talk about those results.”
You’d then go over the Category Scan, then Common Food Scan as discussed in the Practitioner Manual, adapting the language for asthma as well as any other symptoms or conditions they present with.
Suggested treatment program for asthma
Note: Because of the new BioSurveys added recently, the Foods and Nutrients treatment program now has 25 categories. Recall you can download a PDF for each BioSurvey here.
A complete treatment program would include Inhalants and Foods and Nutrients, a total of 34 treatments. You might need to substitute or add Bacteria and Viruses. I would do the treatments in the following order:
Next week I’ll cover some of the more problematic categories, which can help fashion a treatment program for patients who can’t/won’t go through the entire treatment program.
Asthma is a huge health problem worldwide. Here in the U.S. about 8% of the population has asthma—around 25 million people—including many children. And it’s a problem on the rise.
SET-DB™ practitioners are concerned with addressing the root causes of many of their patients and clients health concerns, not just giving them something for symptom relief. With asthma, I believe the root cause is immune dysfunction of the hyperactivity or hyperreactivity type, as opposed to autoimmunity or weakened immunity.
You’ve seen me write many times that a sensitivity to anything can cause a symptom anywhere in the body. Which is why I recommend having patients go through treatment programs instead of asking you to try and guess what food or environmental substances are causing or contributing to their symptoms.
Not everyone will agree to go through a complete treatment program and some practitioners, for reasons I can’t understand, chose not to offer them, so in the next three posts I will outline a recommended treatment approach for people suffering from asthma.
I’d like to suggest four potential asthma triggers.
1. Food Sensitivities
Diet is, of course, one of the biggest triggers for asthma, as well as many other conditions. The most common food sensitivities are (no big surprise) gluten and diary. Unfortunately for most patients, they have no idea that gluten or dairy can trigger their symptoms because their primary physicians simply don’t know they could be part of the problem. Probably 99% of asthma sufferers are only treated with palliative medications. (I’m not implying they aren’t needed, only that little or nothing is done to look for causation. “You have asthma. Take these medications.”)
Let’s say a patient reads something that suggests gluten can cause asthma symptoms in some people and asks their doctor about it. Even if the doctor listens to them and orders tests, all they’d look for would be alphagliadin in the stool and possibly an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase. (Many doctors will not diagnose celiac disease unless these two tests are positive.) These markers are commonly elevated in people with gluten intolerance, but certainly not always. However, there are other proteins, and metabolites of proteins, in gluten foods they could and usually do react to.
What happens then is most people are sent away from with the assurance they do not have a problem with gluten, when in fact they do. They keep eating it and it keeps causing asthma (and other) symptoms.
This is what makes the Gluten/Gliadin, Grains, and Wheat Digestion BioSurveys so important. Together they contain 107 items, many components of gluten foods, patients need to be checked and treated for if necessary.
And then there’s dairy, which people with asthma are often sensitive to (especially children). Medical testing for dairy sensitivity isn’t very good, if it’s done at all. Physicians knowledgable about gluten or dairy sensitivity might tell their patients to eliminate them from their diet for ninety days to see if their symptoms improve. If the symptoms do improve, and they reintroduce dairy or gluten back into their diet and feel worse, they know they can’t eat it anymore.
If you’ve been on an elimination diet, or have supervised some, you know they are fraught with pitfalls. One, they’re difficult for most people to adhere to—the failure rate is high—because so many people are used to eating out now. The vast majority of people in the U.S. eat at a fast food restaurant at least once a day. Gluten and dairy abound in restaurant food. Two, most people don’t know that gluten- and dairy-containing ingredients are hidden in many foods. So even if they’re eating at home, they’re likely using supermarket products that contain gluten or dairy. The end result is, they feel the elimination diet didn’t help them much and so think gluten and dairy are okay to keep consuming.
It’s so much better to be treated for gluten and dairy sensitivities with SET-DB™.
Also, did you know that about half of celiac sufferers are also sensitive to dairy? They continue to suffer even after eliminating gluten from their diet.
As I said earlier, any food can trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. One mechanism is through a leaky gut (also called intestinal permeability). Incompletely digested foods, or foods complexed with immune cells, find their way into areas of the body they shouldn’t be in. Some enter the portal vein, then the liver. If they make it past the liver they’ll go right to the lungs, which act as a secondary filter. The lungs may suffer circulating immune complex-triggered inflammation.
Lastly, let’s talk about histamine, an important mediator of the immune system (also called a signaling molecule). Symptoms common to hayfever sufferers are largely caused by too much histamine being released into the lining of their upper respiratory tract and eyes, as well as into the bloodstream.
Histamine is responsible for two main effects in an inflammatory response: dilating blood vessels and making them more permeable to allow more fluid to pass from the bloodstream into the tissues. This allows for immune reinforcements to arrive, but also results in localized swelling, edema, and redness.
Eliminating sensitivities, especially airborne irritants, reduces histamine release and helps relieve asthma symptoms. But did you know histamine is also found in food? This is another way foods can trigger asthma symptoms. Treatment for histamine sensitivity is addressed in two BioSurveys we’ll discuss in a later post.
2. Environmental Antigens and Toxins
Most, but certainly not all, asthma sufferers are sensitive to things like trees, weeds, grass, dust, mold, and the other categories found in the Hayfever Treatment Package. These substances can have a bigger impact on asthma symptoms because they are inhaled directly into the respiratory system.
This area also includes toxins, some we get exposed to without our permission and some we can only blame ourselves for as we purposefully bring them into our home or work environment. Examples can be found in common household cleaners and personal care products, mold or dust mites we’ve neglected to eliminate or prevent from populating, products purchased to eradicate insects or unwanted plants, or any of thousands of other products made for the home or work.
We’re exposed to incredibly large amounts of toxins in our environment these days and we are unaware of most of that exposure. Companies produce more than 6.5 trillion pounds of over 9,000 different chemicals today. A staggering amount.
These toxins can play a significant role in chronic disease conditions, including asthma. Obviously we should we our best to avoid them when we can. Exposure in our homes and businesses that we own is largely under our control. We can use non- or less-toxic products, purchase air and water filters, and use personal care products free of harsh ingredients. But when we go outside or visit places not under our control, we are exposed to large amounts of environmental irritants and toxins. This exposure has a much greater negative effect on asthma sufferers.
SET-DB™ can eliminate sensitivities to these substances and thus can help reduce symptoms, significantly in some cases. But, a toxin is still a toxin and should be avoided when possible.
3. Digestive Problems
We briefly discussed leaky gut earlier. The gut doesn’t become leaky for no reason so it’s important to consider its causes. Here are some possible causes:
We’ll discuss this further in a future post.
This is a broad topic, no doubt. The connection between stress and immune dysfunction has been known for thousands of years. Stress impacts the immune system in many ways and is widely deemed to be a notable trigger for autoimmune disease. And fibromyalgia. I think most of my fibromyalgia patients could trace the beginning of the condition back to an especially stressful time in their life. Death of a loved one, severe illness, an accident or injury, etc.
Who hasn’t noticed that they’re more prone to come down with something when they’re stressed? Students are more susceptible to illness when finals are approaching. It’s obvious stress impacts the immune system.
Disrupted or inadequate amounts of sleep can stress the immune system. About one-third of people now get fewer than six hours of sleep a night. In the 1960s that number was about two percent. Sleep depravation can lead to cortisol dysfunction: too little or too much produced or at the wrong times. Inflammation goes up and immune regulation gets disrupted.
So these are four major triggers of asthma: food sensitivities, environmental antigens and toxins, digestive problems, and stress. In the next post we’ll further discuss a SET-DB™-oriented approach to asthma.
After another surge of late nights, I've released several new BioSurveys, strengthened other BioSurveys, restructured the order the BioSurveys appear in, and reformatted the Treatment Record Forms. Oh, and I'll have the rest of the category lists up by the end of the day.
Dr. Teryl Boothe and selected guests.