Apart from being a popular flavor and ingredient in food all over the world, almonds are one of the healthiest nuts that can provide immense benefits to your health. This Almond Butter Bread Recipe from Naturally Savvy uses creamy almond butter as the main ingredient for this delicious, no-grain bread. Whether you eat it alone or pair it with other foods such as fruits, vegetables or high-quality protein, you can be sure that your meal will be both healthy and delicious.
1 cup natural almond butter with no additives (including the oil that gathers at the top)
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the almond butter and eggs together until blended smoothly. Then whisk in the salt and baking soda.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes.
4. The bread is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
This No-Grain Almond Butter Bread Is Fuss-Free and Healthy
Almond butter is rising in popularity not just as a wonderful spread for snacks, but as a delicious ingredient for pastries and breads, just like in this recipe. But the taste isn’t just one of almond butter’s good qualities — if the butter you use is made from organic almonds and deprived of trans fat-loaded oils, you may be able to reap some of the health benefits from these nuts.
Almonds can greatly boost your heart health, as a study published in the journal Circulation pointed out. People with abnormally high lipid levels in the blood, such as cholesterol, significantly lowered their risk for coronary heart disease when they snacked on whole almonds.
Beneficial healthy fats and an amino acid called l-arginine are also present in almonds, and these help enhance your vascular health. Don’t skimp on the almond skins either, because they are loaded with antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids.
If you’re purchasing ready-made almond butter, make sure that you buy it from a trusted, organic source that uses raw almonds instead of pasteurized almonds. Go easy when snacking on whole almonds or almond butter as well — they’re high in protein, as one almond has 1 gram of protein.
Using high-quality pasture-raised organic eggs for this recipe is important. Eggs provide structure and stability for your batter, add moisture to cakes and other baked items and even act as a glue or glaze.
Unlike eggs that come from conventional animal feeding operations (CAFOs), pasture-raised, organic eggs will not only lead to a healthier finished product, but contribute nutrients to your food as well. Research has shown that organic pasture-raised eggs are higher in vitamin A (2/3 times more), omega-3 fatty acids (two times more), vitamin E (three times more) and beta-carotene (seven times more).
About the Blog
Founded by two holistic nutritionists and a trusted expert on healthy living, Naturally Savvy’s main focus is to make sure its readers eat organic and whole foods, while learning how to integrate nutrition into their daily lives. The website shares the latest news on heathy living, lessons about the harmful ingredients lurking in various food items available today and other tips to make you and your family live a happy and healthy life.
Cancer kills an estimated 1,600 Americans each day. In China, 8,100 people a day succumb to the disease. It’s so common, it’s a rare individual who does not know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer — which is why the topic of this interview is so important.
Dr. Nasha Winters is a naturopathic physician who specializes in cancer treatment. While she has treated cancer patients in the past, she’s developed a more efficient model where she now focuses on training clinicians and consulting with those treating patients.
I’ve been very impressed with her work. She has embraced the ketogenic diet and integrates it as a strategic tool in the therapeutic planning. She also uses many other, less well-known strategies. If you’re affected by cancer and believe her skills may be helpful, you can have your clinician consult with her to fine-tune your treatment.
I believe if you catch the cancer early enough, most are likely curable. But you need to catch it early, and you need to have the proper know-how. It’s also important to avoid strategies that are going to set you back.
“My life’s goal is to eventually be able to … make a tiny little dent in that statistic,” Winters says. “Where we can be effective is with the folks who … are in a position where they’re still well enough and motivated enough to explore beyond their standard of care options, because that’s often not enough, frankly, in today’s time.
And then also, I think the biggest impact that we can have … is we can help people look under the hood long before it’s a problem. Because really, the only true cure is prevention. We’ve got sort of layers of this.
We’ve got the folks who don’t yet have cancer or don’t yet know they have it. We have the folks who are already diagnosed or in a relatively good state of health, whether it’s a Stage 1 to a Stage 4. Then we have some of the folks who are really damaged from years of unsuccessful treatments that have left their bodies broken and maybe not as responsive to this approach.”
The facts speak for themselves
Almost without exception, people will say they thought they were healthy up until they received their cancer diagnosis. However, that’s simply impossible. Cancer, like many other diseases, does not manifest until you’re about 80% of the way down the proverbial hole.
The first symptom is not the cancer diagnosis itself. Most cancers take years to progress to the point of being diagnosable. Cancer is a res ipsa loquitur factor, meaning “the facts speak for themselves.” In other words, you, in some way, shape or form, were not leading a healthy lifestyle — or you simply failed to counteract the inevitable toxic exposures we’re all subject to in today’s modern world. As noted by Winter:
“No matter how much you try, we are being exposed to many things that we don’t see, that we are not aware of, that are definitely damaging our container in a way that our cells are having a harder and more difficult time … to respond and repair the way they should.
That’s one of the strategies I’m helping physicians understand. Because our medical system is not geared towards prevention … We’re very much waiting for a house to be engulfed in flames before we decide to spit a little bit of water on it, right? My strategy has always been ‘Test, assess, address and then adjust accordingly and repeat as often as needed.’”
Test, assess and address — The complete blood count test
Winters recommends, and in fact requires, five specific tests before she will conduct an initial consultation with a patient. They’re markers of how advanced the cancer is and how well you’re doing as you’re progressing through treatment.
The first is a blood chemistry panel. This is a simple and inexpensive blood test showing complete blood count (CBC) with differential. That includes things like your white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelets.
Most importantly, it shows your neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), which is prognostic for overall survival. One of the reasons why immunotherapies are seeing such a low response rate — only about 20%, according to Winters — is because of this neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio.
As explained by Winters, when your neutrophils are too elevated and your lymphocytes too low, you do not have a normally functioning immune system. As a result, treatment with some of these new, innovative immune therapies used in oncology may “tilt the teeter-totter of your immune system into a dangerous place of overreactivity,” she says, adding “For a $12, paid-out-of-your-pocket, walk-in lab test, you get a really good sense of where your immune system lies.”
Overall, you want a 2-to-1 ratio or better of the neutrophil cells to the lymphocytes. If you go much higher than that, that bigger divide between neutrophils and lymphocytes becomes problematic. Conversely, if you have a “switched NLR,” where the lymphocytes are more elevated than the neutrophils, that’s often a symptom of blood dyscrasias and blood cancers “that are not uncommon after standard of care therapy,” Winters says.
Additionally, you want your white blood cell count to be between 5 and 7. Anything lower than that, which is common in conventional therapy, makes the situation more challenging. Platelets elevated above 250 is also prognostic. The sweet spot for platelets is between 175 and 250. Below 175, immune function and blood clotting are compromised; the same is true for levels above 250.
“Oftentimes elevated platelets can be a good example of a cancerous process. In fact, that’s one of the alarms that we’ll see in early-stage cancers,” Winters says. Elevated platelets are also related to viral patterns, and may be indicative of a co-infection causing immune dysregulation.
“The other piece we often forget about is things like the hemoglobin. If the hemoglobin is low and you happen to be someone who’s monitoring your ketones or your blood counts, your hemoglobin A1C, you’re going to get some erroneous numbers because you have to have enough hemoglobin to actually get a true result.
They are simple little tricks that we can use with a basic CBC just to see how somebody’s immune system is during treatment, after treatment and prior to treatment. It’s worth running on your own and paying cash for it just to look under the hood.”
Sadly, most oncologists have never even heard about the NLR ratio or the fact that platelets are a prognostic factor for progression of disease or even early warning signs of cancer, Winters says. In the world of conventional oncology, the CBC is primarily used to make sure the white blood cell count and neutrophils are high enough for you to be able to receive another dose of chemo or targeted therapy.
The comprehensive metabolic panel and lactase dehydrogenase
The second test Winters routinely recommends is a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), sometimes known as the chem panel, which is another inexpensive test. This test will provide you with information about your electrolytes, organ functions and cardiovascular function, as well as kidney and liver function.
“This is also a super important clue to see what’s going on,” she says. “For instance, if your creatinine is moving above 1, we know that your kidneys are struggling. They’re not filtering properly. Or if your liver enzymes are starting to move above 20 or 25, we know there are some issues around how your liver is processing things along the way.
If alkaline phosphatase is raising, that can often show us first signs of bone loss or bone metastasis. These are some really powerful ways to assess people’s response to the medications, because those enzymes will often go up when they’re being beaten up by some drugs. But it’s also a really good way to get a sense that there are other organs involved in the overall cancer process.”
In the past, the chem-20 and chem-24 tests included two important tests that must now be ordered separately. One of them is the lactase dehydrogenase (LDH) test, “which is probably the most underutilized and most important test across all chronic illness patterns,” Winters says. It is a marker of metabolic function. If LDH is elevated, your mitochondria are functioning poorly.
“You can even break down that overall LDH into its five constituents of these five isoenzymes and really know precisely where the hiccups are happening in that metabolic process, whether it’s at the level of the bone, the lung, the kidney, the liver, the red blood cell. Pretty fascinating, and again, very inexpensive,” she says.
“This is also the main way to monitor things like lymphoma, most leukemias, multiple myeloma and even melanoma. It is considered sort of the cancer marker for those. Yet it’s a very misused and even misunderstood and forgotten lab test. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked doctors to run an LDH for the patient and I’ll get back a low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It would happen 2 out of 10 times.”
What LDH can tell you about your mitochondrial function
So, what exactly is the connection between LDH and mitochondrial function? Winters explains:
“This is where we’re looking at how we are processing lactase dehydrogenase — the process of how we’re fermenting or processing our energy through our Krebs cycle … to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It’s intimately in relationship to the dehydrogenases, whether it’s pyruvate or lactate dehydrogenase.
This starts to give you some clues that all is not well in the mitochondrial building when that level starts to rise. Interestingly enough, one thing I neglected to mention as we started talking about the labs is that labs, of course today, are based on the average of the population in the region in which they’re being run. For instance, if you live in Alabama and you’re running a glucose level, they’re still saying you’re fine in 120 fasting glucose.
If you’re in Colorado, they’re saying that 90 is fine. It even varies from region to region. But overall, you don’t want to be average today with regards to your lab values. When I’m talking about my functional ranges or ideal ranges — for instance, the lactase dehydrogenase through, say, LabCorp — it should be ideally under 175.
I believe the cutoff is around 263. If you run it through Quest, that’s a different metric that they run and should not be under 450. It has a higher cutoff at around 600 or 650. You want to be well under the top end on lactase dehydrogenase for optimal ranges.
When you’re too low, that’s often a major indicator of extreme malnutrition, often muscle breakdown, muscle wasting, sarcopenia, cachexia, which is also a very dangerous place to be in the pendulum of an oncology or chronic illness process.”
The Erythrocyte sedimentation rate test
The second test that used to come standard with the chem panel, but no longer is included, is your sedimentation rates, also known as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). “This is a really powerful simple test that just looks at how fast your cells are falling out of solution, falling out of the plasma,” Winters says.
Ideally, you’ll want an ESR rate below 10. Above 10, it suggests it’s more difficult for your cells to exit the thick, fibrinolytic, sticky webbing or scaffolding associated with chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and increased risk of metastasis.
“You don’t typically die from primary cancers unless they’re strategically placed in some valuable real estate in the body,” she says. “However, we do have a higher incidence of death from metastasis. When I look at that [ESR] number, it tells me how smoothly things are flowing through the system of the body.”
The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test
The fifth test Winters routinely recommends is the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) test. While this test is typically used as an indicator of cardiovascular health, it’s also a widely underutilized prognostic factor for cancer. Elevated CRP, no matter what kind of disease or condition you have, suggests a poor prognosis and lower survival rate.
CRP differs from ESR in that it is a general marker of inflammation. It doesn’t show you the location of the inflammation. Ideally, you want a CRP below 1. If the lab uses a cutoff of 0.3, you’ll want a value below 0.1. Be sure to get a quantitative hsCRP — i.e., one that specifies your level and not just tells you whether you’re in, under or above range — as this will allow you to monitor your progress more closely.
Common cancer pattern
“Here’s where the interesting pieces come together,” Winters says. While all of those five tests, individually, have good studies backing their role in monitoring the cancer process and other inflammatory processes, what Winters has learned, through 25 years of looking at them, is that when CRP, LDH and ESR are within functional ranges, she knows the patient has a good handle on their disease. When all three are off, the prognosis weakens. Again, the functional or ideal ranges would be:
ESR below 10
CRP below 1 (or 0.1 depending on the measurement used)
LDH below 175 (or 450 depending on the measurement used)
“No matter what the scan, no matter what the tumor markers tell me, I know that patient’s terrain and mitochondrial metabolic health is still robust enough that no matter what the tumor burden, we can still move this vehicle down the road,” she says.
“If I see for instance a thrown-off ESR [alone], I know they’re likely having some type of autoimmune response. We see this a lot in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjogren’s [and] Hashimoto’s flares …
Or if we have, let’s say, a CRP that’s really out of range but the other two are perfect, that could be that you just had dental work or had a really intense workout or stubbed their toe or stepped on their child’s Lego.
The LDH might be that they had a bender, drinking with their friends for the weekend, or have been taking some steroids and their bones are breaking down very quickly, or just went and did a humongous hike and broke down some muscle very, very quickly.
But collectively? That’s the key. When all three are in the functional range, the body is still in control. When [all three] start to rise, that’s when we know we’re on a slippery slope … That basically means the cancer stem cells are lining up to take action. That’s what we don’t have very good success with in Western medical treatment strategies.”
Biopsies will likely become a thing of the past
Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D., a leading expert on cancer as a metabolic disease, is of the strong opinion that biopsies should be avoided, as they may trigger metastasis, i.e., spread, of the cancer. The reason for this is because it isn’t so much cancer stem cells spreading the disease as it is hybridized, morphed macrophages that fuse with cancer cells.
Because it’s a macrophage, it spreads through your blood and could seed into other tissues. You can learn more about this in my most recent interview with Seyfried. Winters notes that concerns over biopsies spreading cancer have been in circulation for decades.
“We’ve seen many times that depending on the timing, let’s say, of your cycle when you have a mastectomy or the type of anesthesia used at a time of a biopsy, or the state of the overall health, or even the size of the core biopsy chamber, that we definitely have that potential to seed,” she says.
Despite such risks, clinicians still had to do the biopsy, no matter what, to help guide the treatment. That is now changing, she says. Blood biopsies are improving, allowing a diagnosis to be made without puncturing tissue. From the research and work summits she’s attended on circulating tumor cells and circulating stem cells, Winters is convinced it won’t be long before biopsies will no longer be used.
Tools for optimizing surgical success
While radiation and chemotherapy are rarely an ideal option, surgery may be indicated in some cases, and your success rate can be optimized by implementing nutritional ketosis. Fasting for a few days before surgery can help define and demarcate the margins of the tumor. Cancer cells will also be less aggressive as they’ll be relatively debilitated.
An important point to be made here is that undergoing conventional treatment — radiation, chemo and/or surgery — first, before adopting a holistic approach, is going to massively set you back and will more or less eliminate any real chance of success. In other words, you need to be brave enough to address the terrain of your body first, before doing any of these invasive and highly toxic interventions. According to Winters:
“If it’s a particular tumor that came on fast in a part of the body that’s blocking something like a vessel, or obstructing the colon or whatnot — those become medical emergencies [requiring immediate treatment].
However, the vast majority of cancer diagnoses are nonemergencies. The real emergency is the diagnosis itself, and the way you react or respond to that emergency will often dictate your success at overcoming or maintaining this process. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to say this on a much larger platform because it’s very important …
I always encourage people, ‘Take a breath. Dive deep into your terrain. Really understand what’s making it tick right now before you choose any intervention. And then you will likely not have to see me again because you won’t likely be in that 70% recurrence rate … [J]ust take a moment and reframe and get clear on what is specifically right for you …
That being said, if I know someone is getting ready to prepare for a surgery or a biopsy — because I treat them the same, whether it’s just a tiny little punched lesion … to look at if this is a melanoma, or something that’s opening up the body cavity … — we like to spend at least a couple of weeks prepping the body.
We like to start things like modified citrus pectin. We start to get them into a fasted state or a metabolic flexible state for the weeks leading up, and a fasted state going into the surgery itself. If we are lucky enough to have their single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we can really help them decide on the best strategy for pain management.
We do our best to have them avoid opiates at all cost because it’s really related to slowing down wound healing, increasing cancer cell proliferation and destroying the microbiome, as well as all the issues that it has around addiction and at really not helping the pain in the way it needs to be helped …
We also do post-surgical intervention to help them heal up from that wound as quickly as possible. Maybe a bit more protein is needed at that time, maybe a little bit less sodium …
If they’re a woman who is still menstruating, we will try and schedule their surgery where the estrogen levels in their menstrual cycle are at their lowest. That’s an interesting strategy we’ve used for better outcomes … Testing is a very powerful tool, as are some homeopathic remedies … like phosphorus to help with drug reaction and bleeding issues … ”
High glucose and insulin resistance worsen your prognosis
As noted by Winters, when you look at the statistics across all tumor types, all stages and demographics, chemotherapy has about a 3% success rate across the board. Radiation has about a 12% success rate and surgery, about a 50% success rate, with “success rate” referring to debulking or making the tumor smaller — not eliminating evidence of the disease.
She also points out evidence showing that when your glucose and insulin are elevated, radiation becomes ineffective, as cancer cells are desensitized to radiation when they’re being bathed in sugar.
“I think about all the patients who are metabolically unstable, metabolically inflexible, prediabetic … [Treatment at this time] basically means you just created a lot more damaged environment, a lot more possibility for mutating cells and a lot more possibility for recurrence and progression, simply because someone didn’t take the time to just do a simple finger stick or blood draw just to see what your glucose levels were,” she says.
Another factor that makes radiation ineffective is elevated vasoendothelial growth factor. Again, a simple blood test can help you assess how likely it is that treatment with radiation will be successful. Winters recommends patients undergoing radiation to spend a few weeks or months preparing their body for radiation, focusing on lowering insulin growth factor (IGF), hemoglobin A1C and glucose.
She may also add in certain radio sensitizing agents, such as melatonin or astragalus, to improve therapy response. Radiation combined with hyperthermia done on the same day has also been shown to dramatically improve results. With regard to chemotherapy, Winters is a strong advocate against the conventional maximum tolerated dose approach.
“When you do it at that level, you not only create a cytotoxic direct cell kill, but you actually simultaneously enhance an immune response. The way we do chemo today obliterates the immune system. And the only way you can really overcome cancer and stay in … remission … is with a functioning immune system.”
Instead, she recommends using chemo at metronomic or fractionated levels, giving it at about a tenth of what would normally be given, which can be done with great effect provided the patient is sufficiently prepared through nutritional ketosis and other aids.
“We don’t guess,” Winters says. “We actually put together a very precise, bullseye approach to each and every individual. We continue every three months while they’re in the cancering process.
Until their trifecta is perfect, we continue to assess and we continue to tweak the treatment because those cells, once they’ve been exposed to a new treatment over a short period of time, typically three to six months, they will have morphed and mutated into an entirely new animal. We have to be a few steps ahead of that process each and every time …
We can’t hit every single pathway with chemotherapy, or it will kill the patient outright. But there are things like the ketogenic diet, which impacts all 10 of the hallmarks of cancer simultaneously, thereby enhancing the effect of whatever therapy you overlay on it.
None of these therapies should ever be considered individually, nor is there ever going to be such a thing as a single magic bullet for cancer. That is where we get seduced by the pharmaceutical industry and even the nutraceutical and alternative medical industry, to think there’s one cause and one cure for this process. It is just that. It is a process and it’s just as unique in each of us as our fingerprints.”
Nutritional ketosis in cancer treatment
Like me, Winters views nutritional ketosis (a ketogenic diet) as one of several tools to achieve metabolic flexibility. Others include intermittent fasting, exogenous ketone supplementation, certain pharmaceutical interventions or caloric-restrictive patterns of eating.
“We were all naturally meant to be these hybrid engines,” she says. “When we talk low-carb eating, that was actually normal carb eating until about 1850, when we started to process sugar, flour and salt and started to put it in everything. We were all, in essence, low-carbers. It wasn’t a fad. This was just the way it was …
Ultimately, what happens when we [are] in a metabolically flexible state or have ketones in our system at certain times, especially around our time of chemo, radiation, surgery, targeted therapies and hormone-blocking therapies, we enhance those therapies.
It’s like somehow those ketones are like a Trojan horse that carry that toxic therapy right to its target. It gives some support to the healthier cells around it. I see it as a therapeutic tool. I never see it as a standalone by itself.
That, I think, is an important piece to put out there and to realize there are multiple ways to enhance outcomes. But that’s one of the most significant ways to hit multiple targets at once and really lower a lot of the side effects …”
Now, when a cancer patient experiences cachexia (loss of weight and muscle mass), testing becomes crucial. As noted by Winters, “being skinny will not kill you, but being cachectic can,” and you cannot tell whether someone is cachectic or not simply by looking at them.
“We do that when we start to see the weight come off on a scale and folks go in for their chemotherapy. Doctors freak out. Their team starts to tell them, ‘No matter what, don’t lose more weight. Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat.’ Yet, cachexia is an inflammatory, cytokine-driven process. It’s very much driven by sugar. It’s inflammation and metabolic imbalance.
The worst thing you can ever give a patient with cachexia is Boost, Ensure or total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Actually, on many cancer wards, TPN is basically known as the beginning of the end. When you look at the first ingredients of all of those … it’s highly synthetic, highly toxic, four different types of sugars … gluten and all types of things that kick up that inflammatory process even more.”
To assess whether a patient is in cachexia, Winters uses a metabolic panel that shows protein, creatinine, calcium and albumin. Specifically, if protein is below 7 and albumin below 4, then the patient is slipping into sarcopenia and metabolic wasting, which is part of the process of cachexia.
Importantly, if you are in cachexia, sudden refeeding with sugar after not having eaten anything for some time can literally kill you. This is known as “refeeding syndrome.” It’s a very dangerous medical condition that can rapidly shut down your organs. Cachexia itself is also very concerning, and actually kills about 40% of cancer patients, according to Winters.
“We see this a lot in cancer wings around the world. My patients, interestingly enough, patients who have come out of cachexia the best were those who we were able to safely fast or safely kick into ketosis, whether it was exogenous ketones, or start to slowly increase their fat intake to what was tolerated, because the nature of cachexia is an absolute loss of hunger,” Winters says.
“Thanks to things today, such as medical marijuana, we can often restart their endocannabinoid system and re-up their ability to have hunger and kick in that part of the brain that has been shut down with a state of cachexia and actually stabilize them and then reverse it. This is a condition that is not reversible by Western standards …
I try to keep patients between 0.8 and 1 grams of protein per kilogram in cancer patients normally. But when cachexia hits, we start to go up by a couple of tens of a point every few days. We might go 1.2 grams, 1.5, 1.8 or 2 max. I don’t go above 2 [grams].”
This extensive and detailed interview contains far more information than I can provide here, so if this is a topic of interest to you, I strongly recommend listening to it in its entirety. In closing, Winters says:
“You know, a few years ago, I would not have even had an opportunity to sit down with a general family practitioner and have this conversation. And yet, today, every week I’m speaking with conventional oncologists all over the world that are being, frankly, kind of pushed, coerced or forced by their patients to have a consultation with me on their behalf.
At first, they’re a bit resistant, until they realize that I’m simply trying to enhance their outcomes. That I’m not trying to do an either/or. I’m trying to help them understand that the tools in their toolbox can be used differently and can be used a bit more effectively and even more safely.
It’s taken things like some of these tumor cell assays and blood cell assays, like Biocept, Guardant360 or FoundationOne, to help them start to have a common language to understand that there are more targets to address than simple standard of care chemotherapy radiation or surgery …
[It] has really changed the conversation. We’re all more in-dialogue versus an either/or process … I think that it’s becoming a pretty cool, accessible, appreciated strategy among my colleagues.
It’s a lot of fun to see lightbulbs go off and to see them put together all the pieces of their life and education, coming together at once to realize they actually do know this stuff. They just have never quite forayed it or put it together in this way that can really change how their patients are being managed …
No. 2, the limiting factor. For instance, I have a doctor I speak with a lot from University of California San Francisco [who is] very up in the field of this. The problem is, ironically, if he recommended metronomic, which is the lower fractionated dosing of chemotherapy, to his patients, it would not be covered by insurance.
How insane is that? That is considered off-label drug use … It is not considered standard of care; therefore, it is not covered by insurance.
Unfortunately, where we are in this moment, which I am on a mission to change, is that you will likely have to track down people out of network, out of pocket, to get the proper treatment, to actually test, assess and address your cancer to your biochemically unique self to have a good outcome. That sucks, but that’s just the way it is right now.”
If you would like to engage her services, or more specifically, have your clinician consult with her, visit website, drnasha.com. At the bottom of the homepage, you’ll find a patient resource section with free tools. Go ahead and download the free guide describing the five steps to take when diagnosed with cancer. It gives a lot of the information shared in this interview.
Your clinician will need to go to the doctor section to sign up for a consultation. “It breaks down exactly what’s required — those five labs we discussed,” she says. “Any other relevant data, testing, imaging, anything, I would get it all.” As the patient, you would also be asked to create a chronology of significant events of your life that led to your diagnosis.
Should your doctor refuse to consider a consultation to learn about some of the options, Winters may be able to help you find a local physician that is receptive to collaboration. Even if you don’t do anything with your consultations, it certainly would not hurt to do that first. It’s relatively inexpensive, and will give you a firm base of understanding of where you are and what’s going on in your body.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common types of infection that many people complain of, accounting for 25% of all bacterial infections.1 If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve experienced it before — at least 40% to 60% of females have had a UTI in their life.2 In some cases, this condition can recur, known as a recurring or chronic urinary tract infection.3
UTIs can cause a great deal of discomfort unless you get proper treatment. Still, there are many who are not familiar with this illness and its common symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about urinary tract infections.
What is a urinary tract infection?
When any part of your urinary system becomes infected, it is known as a urinary tract infection. One study defines it as “the microbial invasion of any tissues of the urinary tract.”4 The infection may occur in your ureter or kidneys, but most commonly manifests in the lower urinary tract, or the bladder and the urethra.5 Depending on which part of your urinary tract is infected, a UTI can be given different names, such as:6
Cystitis — If the infection occurs in the bladder
Urethritis — If it occurs in the urethra
Pyelonephritis — This is when a kidney is infected
UTIs are some of the most common health complaints that cause patients to seek health care. In 2007 alone, symptoms of this illness were responsible for an estimated 10.5 million doctor visits, and 2 to 3 million visits to the emergency room.7 Infants, young women and the elderly are those who are at high risk of this infection. Women in particular are 30 times more likely to develop it compared to males.8
Urinary tract infection causes
Uropathogenic gram-negative bacteria are what cause urinary tract infections to occur. These bacteria are typically found in another part of your body, such as your anus9 or the perineum.10 When they find their way into your urinary tract where they can proliferate in number, they can become resistant to your body’s host defenses, leading to colonization and infection.11
The most common bacterium that causes UTI is Escherichia coli or E. coli, which causes 90% of UTIs in “anatomically normal, unobstructed urinary tracts.”12 It is typically found in your intestines and in the gut of some animals.13
In fact, a recent study found that 80% of poultry from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) contain E. coli, and a particular strain, E. coli ST131, showed up in the meat samples and in human UTI samples.14 E. coli may can also cause other diseases like food poisoning and pneumonia.15
The second most common cause of UTIs is Klebsiella pneumoniae. It thrives in various body parts as part of your normal flora, such as your mouth, skin and intestines.16 Other pathogens that may cause urinary tract infections include:17
Urinary tract infection symptoms to watch out for
UTI symptoms can depend on a person’s age, gender, the part of the urinary tract where the infection occurs, and whether or not a catheter is used.18 WebMD notes some of the common symptoms of a urinary infection:19
Feeling an intense need to urinate, even if you produce only a small amount of pee
A burning feeling every time you pee
Urine that’s cloudy, dark, bloody or has a strange smell
Pain or pressure on your back or lower abdomen
Feeling shaky or fatigued
Fever or chills — this is an indication that the infection has affected your kidneys
In some cases, signs of a urinary tract infection do not manifest. Older adults who are 70 years old or older, for instance, often have asymptomatic UTIs. According to an article in Harvard Health, “[T]he symptoms of a UTI are actually caused by the immune system’s fight against the infection, and the immune systems of older people may not fight as fiercely.”20
This can be dangerous, however, because if the UTI is untreated, it can spread to the kidneys and enter the bloodstream, which can be life-threatening.21
Are urinary tract infections contagious?
Since it’s triggered by pathogens, you may wonder if you can pass on a UTI to another person, especially through intercourse. The good news is that a UTI can’t be spread to others if the organisms that caused it are bacteria that typically colonize the person, such as E. coli. They also can’t be passed on through intercourse.22 However, sexually active women23 and people who engage in anal intercourse24 have an increased risk of getting UTIs.
You also cannot get a UTI by using the same toilet seat that a person with this infection used, as the urethra doesn’t touch the seat at all. It is, however, possible to pick up infectious organisms like E. coli from a toilet seat and have it transfer to your buttocks or a scratch or wound on your thigh, which then can spread to your genitals. This is highly unlikely, though.25
Why are women most affected by urinary tract infections?
Women have a higher risk of getting urinary tract infections than men, with an 8-to-1 ratio. An average of 50% to 60% of women will suffer from a UTI at least once in their life and, by age 24, 1 in 3 will have a UTI that will require antibiotic treatment.26 But why does this happen?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, women are more prone to UTIs due to their anatomy — mainly having a short urethra, which allows the bacteria a much easier access to the urinary tract. The urethra is also closer to their rectum, where pathogenic bacteria like E. coli reside.27 Other potential risk factors that may lead to urinary tract infections in women include:28
Being sexually active
Use of diaphragms and spermicidal agents
Low estrogen levels due to menopause — this can lead to changes in the urinary tract, potentially increasing your vulnerability to UTIs
Another significant risk factor is pregnancy. Urinary tract infections in pregnancy usually occur because of the hormonal and mechanical changes in a woman’s body. For example, having a large belly may make it difficult to perform hygienic actions, such as cleaning the genitals properly.29 A pregnant belly may also press on the bladder, making it difficult to expel all the urine. Leftover urine in the bladder may cause this infection.30
UTIs are among the most common bacterial infections during pregnancy,31 but they should never be taken lightly, and must be addressed immediately. According to a study published in the American Family Physician journal:32
“The maternal and neonatal complications of a UTI during pregnancy can be devastating. Thirty percent of patients with untreated asymptomatic bacteriuria develop symptomatic cystitis and up to 50% develop pyelonephritis. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is also associated with intrauterine growth retardation and low-birth-weight infants.
[T]he presence of UTI was associated with premature labor (labor onset before 37 weeks of gestation), hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia), anemia (hematocrit level less than 30%) and amnionitis.”
Urinary tract infections in men: Who’s at risk?
Male urinary tract infections are more infrequent, thanks to the structure of men’s urethras. Since their urethra is longer, bacteria have to travel a long distance before reaching the urinary tract.33 But despite having a lower risk, men may still experience UTIs, although only certain age groups are prone to having it.
In young men, UTIs occur rarely, although this is not the case among infants — in the first few months of life, male babies actually have a higher risk of UTIs than girls, with a 1.5-to-1 ratio. Elderly men are also prone to UTIs; 10% of senior males aged 65 years old and above may experience this condition.34
According to Harvard Health, UTIs can develop in the urethra, prostate, bladder and kidney.35 Many of the symptoms of male urinary tract infections are similar to what women experience, and include pain while peeing, cloudy, strong-smelling urine and releasing only small amounts of pee. If you’re a male, take note of the following risk factors to avoid developing this condition:36
Having an abnormally narrow urethra or other urinary tract abnormalities that keep the bladder from completely emptying
Not being able to control urination voluntarily
Failing to completely empty the bladder
Not drinking enough liquids
Having a past diagnosis of a UTI
Performing anal intercourse
Having a immunosuppressing illness
Undergoing a procedure that uses instruments on the urinary tract, such as a cystoscopy.
Urinary tract infections can also occur in children
As mentioned, UTIs can occur at any age — even during childhood. According to a study in JAMA, 1% of boys and 3% of girls will experience this problem by the time they turn 11 years old. Girls have a threefold higher risk of developing it than boys.37
The best way to tell if your child is dealing with a UTI is to have them undergo a urine test. Urinary tract infections in babies and toddlers aged 2 or younger can be difficult to pinpoint because there often are no telltale symptoms or they can’t tell you what’s wrong. Indicators also may be vague, which include:38
Are antibiotics still ideal for urinary tract infection treatment?
Antibiotics like ceftriaxone, fosfomycin, nitrofurantoin and cephalexin39 are usually prescribed for urinary tract infections, but they can have side effects that you may want to discuss with your doctor before taking them. Some of the side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and rashes, as well as abdominal pain and photosensitivity.40 Additionally the bacteria treated by these antibiotics are increasingly becoming antibiotic resistant. For example, E. coli in particular is of great concern.41
One study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine reviewed the urinary cultures of patients with UTI and found that 6% of the infections were brought on by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.42 A press release from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) notes:
“The bacteria analyzed in this study were mostly E coli, that were resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. Historically, such resistant bacteria were found in hospital-based infections. But, the authors note that they have been infecting more people outside of the hospital, particularly those with urinary tract infections.
More than 2-in-5 (44%) of the infections analyzed were community-based (contracted outside of the hospital), the highest proportion reported in the United States to date.
The authors urge some immediate changes to clinical practice such as wider use of urine culture tests and a more reliable follow-up system for patients who turn out to have a resistant bug.”
Because of the potential risks linked to antibiotics, you and your doctor may choose to opt for alternative techniques to ease your UTI. One 2018 study delves into this, suggesting there may be a way to prevent the bacteria from adhering to the bladder cells, and offering hope for treatment without the use of antibiotics.
According to the researchers, E. coli creates a chemically modified type of cellulose, phosphoethanolamine, which has a mortar-like function that allows the bacteria to attach to the bladder cells. By inhibiting this cellulose instead of directly targeting the bacteria, there may be ways to treat urinary tract infections without antibiotics.43
5 home remedies for urinary tract infections
There are certain herbs and plants that may help work against urinary tract infections. A study published in the International Journal of Drug Development and Research noted that these may work against urinary tract infections by “combating the bacteria, decreasing irritation and healing urinary tract tissues.” Some of the herbal urinary tract infection remedies the researchers highlighted include:44
• Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) — It was previously thought that cranberry’s ability to help prevent and ease UTI came from its acidity, but the real active ingredients are its proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are potent antioxidants. You can take cranberry pills or drink cranberry juice, but make sure you’re ingesting sugar-free varieties, and in moderate amounts. The authors note:
“The PACs in cranberry have a special structure (called A-type linkages) that makes it more difficult for certain types of bacteria to latch on to our urinary tract linings … By making it more difficult to cling onto the urinary tract linings, cranberry’s PACs help prevent the expansion of bacterial populations that can result in outright infection.”
One study found that when elderly adults in long-term care facilities were given cranberry capsules twice daily, the incidence of UTI decreased by 26% compared to those who only received a placebo.45
• Golden seal (Ranunculaceae) — Known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, golden seal contains berberine, a plant alkaloid that’s been used in medicine for hundreds of years. Its direct antibacterial effect may work against a number of bacteria, including E. coli,46 both sensitive and resistant. Golden seal can be bought in tincture or powdered form; root extracts are also available, or you can drink it as tea.
• Buchu (Agathosma Betulina) — This South African plant contains mucilage, flavonoids (mainly diosmin) and resins, and is said to have a flavor that’s similar to black currant. It’s known to be a diuretic and antiseptic that works for the urinary tract, and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help address urinary issues.47
• Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi) — The leaves of uva ursi, also called bear berry, contain arbutin, a derivative of hydroquinone. When absorbed the stomach, it’s transformed into a substance that has antimicrobial, astringent and disinfectant properties.48 Other active ingredients include isoquercitrin and ursolic acid. As a remedy for urinary tract infections, it can be taken as a leaf extract.49
Aside from plants and herbs, using essential oils is an ideal option for treating urinary tract infections. Many herbal oils have antibacterial effects that can help combat the infection and lead you toward recovery. According to MedicalNewsToday, some recommended oils for UTIs include:50
You can use these oils by mixing a few drops in a bath and then soaking in it. You can also add them to a sitz bath.51 Remember to use only high-quality essential oils and to dilute them in a safe carrier oil before use. Make sure to do a skin patch test prior to using any essential oil.
There are also talks on how drinking apple cider vinegar may help ease urinary tract infections to help make urine more acidic in hopes of “killing” the bacteria.52
And while there isn’t any scientific evidence showing ACV can cure a UTI, a 2018 study suggests that ACV may help eliminate E. coli and other types of pathogenic bacteria that lead to UTIS.53 The study authors encourage “further work on dietary ACV supplementation investigating its antimicrobial role and the constituents that could be responsible for this activity.” So, while there’s still no conclusive data, the potential of ACV to ease this type of health problem should not be easily dismissed.
How to prevent a urinary tract infection
The most basic urinary tract infection prevention strategy is to make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking sufficient amounts of pure water every day helps your urinary tract organs to efficiently eliminate waste from your system, while ensuring you maintain vital nutrients and electrolyte levels.54
By getting enough water in your system, you also dilute your urine, helping expel it from your body much faster. This inhibits the bacteria from reaching your urinary organs and causing an infection. Read this article, “How Much Water Should I Drink?” to know the other benefits of staying hydrated. Here are other tips on how to prevent a urinary tract infection, according to WebMD:55
Relieve yourself frequently — By expelling urine frequently, you’re able to flush out bacteria from your bladder and urinary tract.
Wipe from front to back — E. coli and other UTI-causing bacteria are often found in the anus. If you wipe from back to front, there’s a chance of spreading these bacteria to your urethra and inside your urinary system.
Do not use feminine products that can lead to irritation — Avoid deodorant sprays, douches and scented powders.
Wash yourself before and after sex — This will help eliminate bacteria and keep it away from the urethra. You should also pee after intercourse, to expel any bacteria that may have entered your urinary tract.
Reconsider your birth control method — Spermicides, spermicide-lubricated condoms and diaphragms may cause bacterial growth, leading to UTI.
Take showers instead of soaking in baths — When cleaning your genitals, you should use a bidet instead of just wiping with toilet paper.
Opt for breathable cotton underwear — avoid wearing tight pants and undies that can trap bacteria near your urethra.
Urinary tract infection diet
What you eat matters, especially if you’re dealing with a UTI. Your diet can make or break your body’s defenses against any infection. Some foods that may help boost your immunity and help fight UTIs include:
Yogurt — The good bacteria in yogurt may help enhance your immunity.56Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kefir and fermented soy products like natto and tempeh are also wonderful sources of probiotics.
Fresh fruits and vegetables like peppers and broccoli — The capsaicin in peppers may help support immune function,57 while broccoli contains sulforaphane, which works as an immune stimulant.58 Spinach and other leafy greens like kale are also great choices.
Oysters — They contain good amounts of zinc, which may help improve your immune function.59 Other zinc-rich foods include kefir, chickpeas, almonds, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds.
Garlic and onions — Dubbed as “Mother Nature’s antibiotics,” they can help ward off any bacteria and support your immune function.60,61
Beta-carotene-containing foods like pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes — One study found that getting beta-carotene from your diet can “enhance cell-mediated immune responses within a relatively short period of time.”62
There are also foods you should avoid, such as like processed products, which are often loaded with added sugars, preservatives and colorings. You should also choose organic, free-range chicken as opposed to those in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
One study suggests that the E. coli bacteria that cause most UTI cases may be found in conventionally raised chicken, meaning the meat can “serve as a vehicle for human exposure and infection.”63 To read more about this topic, check out “Most Urinary Tract Infections Are Caused by Raw Chicken.”
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UTIs
Q: How do you get a urinary tract infection?
A: A UTI occurs when uropathogenic gram-negative bacteria like E. coli enter your bladder, urethra or any part of your urinary system, where they can proliferate and turn resistant to your body’s defenses.
Q: What does a urinary tract infection feel like?
A: A person with a UTI may feel pain or burning during urination. There may also be pain in their lower abdomen.
Q: Can a urinary tract infection go away on its own?
A: Yes. According to Medical News Today, some UTIs can resolve on their own or with primary care.64
Q: How do I get rid of a UTI without antibiotics?
A: You can consider home remedies like cranberry, golden seal, buchu and uva ursi. Essential oils like clove, lavender and eucalyptus may also help ease UTIs.
Q: How do doctors check if you have a urinary tract infection?
A: A urine test is the best way to determine if you have a UTI. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, have your doctor conduct this diagnostic test.
Q: Will urinating after sexual intercourse help prevent a urinary tract infection?
A: It’s possible — peeing after having sex will help expel any bacteria that may have entered your urinary tract.
A man who admitted to raping an 11-year-old girl was let off with NO JAIL time while another man received 25 years for selling a plant.
Tuscon, AZ — If ever you feel that the state has your interests in mind when they provide their mandatory “protection” through this system of law enforcement, consider the following scenario which completely negates that idea. When a system lets a child rapist go free while locking someone in a cage for selling a plant — that system does not have your interests in mind.
Earlier this month, 29-year-old Carlos Correa of Hereford, Ariz. was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being busted during a traffic stop in 2015 carrying marijuana. Correa pleaded guilty to a federal drug conspiracy charge stemming from a marijuana smuggling ring.
There are so many forms of abuse, and the verbally abusive relationship is one of the most damaging situations. Words truly hurt.
Sometimes, I sit around and think about negative words from the past, but I try not to dwell too long there. It can be even more damaging to present situations, good or bad. I was in a verbally abusive relationship, among other things, and it almost killed me.
Here’s the thing, there were times that I tried to convince myself that I was the problem, and this is the largest contributor to my degrading health. Instead of being strong and getting away from a bad situation, I crumbled. I don’t want this to happen to anyone.
Recognize the toxicity
It’s sometimes hard to see the abuse from the inside. But if we take a step back and examine the big picture, we will see these negative and hurtful words as extremely abusive. If you’re in this situation, I know you need a little help.
So, let me explain a few verbally abusive type relationships that you may not recognize. I just want to give you a heads up, so you can avoid much of the damage that I endured.
1. Manipulative relationships
One of the first signs of a verbally abusive and toxic relationship is manipulation. This type of abuse can come in either actions or words, depending on the particular issue in the relationship. For instance, threats to leave a person, if they do not do as they are told, is definitely a manipulative move.
Control is a form of manipulation and control can easily be conveyed through words, even seemingly calm soothing words. In this case, it’s not only about how the thing is said but the placement of words in the statement.
Love, devotion, and commitment can be used just as negatively as harmful words and can be spoken calmly as well. But the placement of these words lets you know the true intention of the speaker.
2. Gaslighting relationships
I hate this one. Oh, I hate it with a passion. This was used on me so many times that I am grateful I still have a bit of self-worth left. Please pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you because it can change your life. Gaslighting is real, and some people are really good at it too.
Gaslighting is a form of convincing someone that they are crazy. For instance, if you catch your partner doing something wrong, they will turn the blame over to you. They can say a multitude of things that will make you feel like you’ve done something wrong yourself.
But there’s more to it. They can convince you that your memory of certain situations is wrong, especially if you’ve happened to mention a disturbing memory about them. They will say you are too sensitive, that everything you’ve seen or heard is all in your head.
Basically, it’s about them getting out of trouble at the expense of your sanity.
3. Humiliation in relationships
Sometimes partners will purposely embarrass or humiliate their matein public. I’m not sure why they do this, other than to put themselves in a good light and their partner in a bad one. I guess it’s about defaming a reputation in hopes of getting their own way.
Now, fun teasing is okay, because many couples do this, but insults and degrading comments are never okay. Honestly, intelligent people, who see this being done to you, will probably realize the motivation behind what’s being done, which is a good thing.
Let’s hope many people are learning more about toxic relationship dynamics.
4. When you’re always to blame
By the way, I also hate this one too. I’ve been in a relationship before where it was almost impossible for my partner to take the blame for anything, and apologies were rare. You are in a verbally abusive partnership when your partner will not take the blame, it’s that simple.
When you fight, it will be because you upset him or when something is forgotten, it will be because you never reminded her. You get the picture. To them, it will always be your fault.
5. The overly jealous relationship
Being a little jealous is okay, but being obsessive about it is not. It can be turned into a verbally abusive and hurtful relationship. If your partner starts hounding you about flirting with others or cheating when you’re late coming home, then they have become obsessive, and this is toxic indeed.
Because even though jealousy may not initially be verbal, it will soon turn into questioning, prying, and even public humiliation. It tends to escalate rather quickly.
6. The undermining relationship
A verbally toxic and abusive relationship can also include undermining. What undermining does is it makes the victim of abuse question their own interests and other choices. An abusive partner will criticize their mate’s clothing, music, and even food choices until the victim starts to question their own choices themselves.
This is also a form of control and may be hard to recognize at first. This is usually due to the fact that the abuser wraps their criticism in caring statements. They say they want to support their partner and they know they can do better.
Have you heard this before? You just have to learn how to tell the difference between real support and manipulation.
What can we do?
If you’re in a relationship that has any of these characteristics, it’s time to do inventory. Pay attention to the way your partner acts in certain situations or during arguments. Many times, they will have a hard time with healthy communication and will say the communication is being argumentative.
Usually, the abusive partner will get angry instead of trying to talk things through, not always, but most of the time.
So, with this being said, I hope you can find a way to stop verbal abuse if you endure this. A verbally abusive relationship can damage both your physical and mental health if not approached in the right way and resolved.
Sometimes, unfortunately, leaving the toxic relationship is the only solution. This will be up to you.
Chicago’s Mary Robinette Kowal is an award-winning historical fantasy and science fiction author, a 25-year professional puppeteer who has worked with Sesame Street, LazyTown, and her own company, a narrator, and a proud owner of two adorable cats. She’s also had her fair share of health scares.
While living temporarily in Iceland, Kowal approached her medical care provider with a concern about a new lump she found in her breast.
She expected to deal with a lengthy ordeal that would shuffle her from one doctor’s office to the next while she managed a growing anxiety about her health.
She expected to fork over a small fortune to find out (hopefully in time) whether her concerns about a cancerous tumor were warranted.
(Keith Brannon) The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) has selected Tulane child psychiatry professor Dr. Stacy Drury to receive the 2018 Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement.
A recent forecast of the size of the “Dead Zone” in the northern Gulf of Mexico for late July 2019 is that it will cover 8,717-square-miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas.
The unusually high Mississippi River discharge in May controls the size of this zone, which will likely be the second largest zone since systematic measurements began in 1985.
The water mass with oxygen concentrations less than 2 parts per million forms in bottom waters each year primarily as a result of nitrogen and phosphorus loading from the Mississippi River watershed, which fertilizes the Gulf of Mexico’s surface waters to create excessive amounts of algal biomass. The decomposition of this plant material in the bottom layer leads to oxygen loss.
The low oxygen conditions in the gulf’s most productive waters stresses organisms and may even cause their death, threatening living resources, including fish, shrimp and crabs caught there.
Low oxygen conditions started to appear 50 years ago when agricultural practices intensified in the Midwest. No reductions in the nitrate loading from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico have occurred in the last few decades.
The predicted hypoxic area is about the size of the land area of New Hampshire and about 4.5 times the size of the Hypoxia Action Plan goal.
This estimate assumes that there are no significant tropical storms in the two weeks before the monitoring cruise or during the cruise. The estimate is made each year by LSU scientists Eugene Turner and Nancy Rabalais.