Currently Viewing Posts Tagged The FreeDiet

How to Shrink Thyroid Nodules lll

After 34 years of practicing at the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, I’ve seen over a hundred thousand patient visits. More and more I am noticing patients coming in with thyroid and gut issues, and, in particular, thyroid nodules. With this increase, I’ve set out to discover not only what causes these, but how I can help my patients treat and shrink them naturally.

Finding the Root Causes

I recently helped a patient shrink her thyroid nodule by 73% in the first three months of treatment. At only 36 years old, she had multiple nodules, one was over four centimeters or two inches, the size of a plum. Naturally, she was very bothered by it. Not only was it uncomfortable, but it also made it difficult to swallow.  

Doctors did ultrasounds and biopsies, finding them to be benign, but said that the only solution was surgery, which she did not want. After finding my practice, she flew down for evaluation and testing.

What Causes Thyroid Nodules? 

What we found after testing were the root causes of her thyroid nodules: 

Deficiencies

In her case, she had an iodine deficiency, which is one of the more common causes of this condition. And, while you may hear or read the information that says iodine is bad for the thyroid, it can be quite helpful with things like nodules and goiter if someone is deficient. 

This patient also tested low in other nutrients like vitamins B12, B6, and several minerals. A Vitamin D deficiency can also be a common cause of nodules.

Toxins

We also tested for toxins, specifically heavy metals, mercury, arsenic, and lead. Commonly, I see mercury, arsenic, and fluoride, and in her case, she had high levels of fluoride. 

Fluoride can interfere with iodine absorption and can make thyroid conditions and nodules worse. Because of this, I often recommend that my patients use a more natural, fluoride-free toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss.

Hormones

On top of that, we looked at hormones as estrogen dominance is common with this condition. This patient had high levels of estrogen versus progesterone, as well as high levels of testosterone. This can be associated with PCOS, which is another condition, but one that is commonly related to thyroid issues. It’s necessary to balance these by addressing diet and supplementation.

Infections

Next, we looked at pathogens or infections by running blood and stool tests. Oftentimes, we’ll see bacterial overgrowth, viruses, parasites, and yeast, which are very common and cause inflammation in the body. 

Nodules and goiter are caused by inflammation affecting the thyroid. Therefore, even if you remove this gland, you’re never really addressing the underlying issue.

Infections that are found must be solved individually. For this specific patient, she had a bacterial imbalance, or dysbiosis, in her gut, so we had to work to create a proper balance.

Food Reactions

After infections, we looked at food reactions. A big one for goiter and nodules is gluten sensitivity, which was also the case here. She was sensitive to gluten, along with other foods, and, like many others, she had a leaky gut. Therefore, we worked to remove the offending foods from her diet. 

Changing the Diet

The diet that I use and recommend to my patients is called The FreeDiet®. It is free of gluten, grain, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades, and processed foods. I call it the FreeDIet® because the diet is free of the foods commonly responsible for inflammation. 

My new book, The FreeDiet®, addresses this and explains the plan in a lot more detail. There is even a chapter about thyroid nodules.

The Results

As mentioned, after three months of addressing these issues, my patient was able to shrink her 4.3 cm thyroid nodule by 73%. Additionally, her fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and digestive issues were resolved. 

After years of failed attempts to lose weight, she lost 23 pounds and her hormones, including adrenal and thyroid hormones, were balanced. Furthermore, her inflammatory markers, which should be less than 1.0, went from 57 down to less than 1.0 in four weeks.

Finding the Root Cause

So, the important thing when dealing with thyroid nodules is to address all five of these different areas to find out what the root causes are. The FreeDiet® is a great place to start as it works to remove the most common foods responsible for inflammation and therefore gut and thyroid issues. 

As far as supplements, I recommend what I call the Functional Five™. These include a multivitamin, fish oil, Vitamin D, magnesium, and a probiotic. Beyond that, depending on testing and deficiencies, I recommend iodine, selenium, B12, zinc, and iron.

Seeking More Information?

For more information on shrinking thyroid nodules and goiter, feel free to check out my book, The FreeDiet® at thefreedietbook.com.

Another option is to download and follow The FreeDiet® Phase 1 food chart and get started on the foundational supplements. If you have specific questions, please reach out. I look forward to working with you!

Healing Leaky Gut and Autoimmune/Thyroid Conditions

gluten free diets

Today I’m going to talk to you about leaky gut, what it is, and give you some tips on how to clear it up.

I’ve been practicing over thirty years now and have seen over one hundred thousand patient visits. We saw a typical patient recently, a young woman in her twenties, complaining of headaches, brain fog, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, gas, bloating, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, insomnia, chronic sinus issues, and the list goes on and on. She was feeling really miserable, going from doctor to doctor, not really getting answers other than another prescription for this and another prescription for that.

We started with an initial evaluation and lab testing to find some underlying root causes, and a whole lot of things came up, one of which was leaky gut.

What is Leaky Gut?

Within the inner membrane of your small intestine are what they call tight junctions, with small pores in between them that allow for the absorption of nutrients such as amino acids and essential fats into your bloodstream for nourishment. These pores are about the size of a hole made in a piece of paper by an acupuncture needle, and that’s normal permeability. Leaky gut is increased permeability, where those pores are increased to the size of a hole made by a nail.

How Does Leaky Gut Harm My Body?

Instead of just nutrients getting into the bloodstream, whole proteins, toxins, bacteria, and yeast can leak out of that protective barrier into the bloodstream and trigger a whole host of things, like food sensitivities and allergies. Leaky gut can also trigger autoimmune conditions, because these whole proteins, toxins, etc., which aren’t supposed to be in circulation, are then identified as foreign invaders, and your body starts to attack them. Over time, it can start attacking certain parts of your body, like your thyroid (Hashimoto’s Disease, goiter, nodules, hypothyroidism, Graves disease), your joints (Rheumatoid arthritis), your nervous system (MS), and your intestine (celiac disease).

Is There Research to Support Leaky Gut?

When I was going over the findings with this patient, she said that she thought she might have leaky gut, but her father is in the medical field and doesn’t really buy into all this natural stuff. She asked if there was anything she could tell him or show him to prove leaky gut exists.

So I searched leaky gut on PubMed, where they publish peer-reviewed medical studies, and some interesting things came right up. For instance, I found an article from 2017 from the journal, Frontiers in Immunology, titled “Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases,” describing this whole condition I just went over. I found another article from 2011 talking about Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer, and more articles beyond those. So there’s plenty of research out there that points to leaky gut, even though it’s not really recognized by modern medicine as of yet.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The three underlying, basic causes of leaky gut are physical, chemical, and mental stressors, and you can break chemical stressors down into four interrelated categories:

  1. Deficiencies: Deficiencies in zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D can lead to deterioration in the intestinal wall.
  2. Toxins: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin have been shown to cause leaky gut. Antibiotics, too, can be a major contributor.
  3. Infections/Parasites: This is where yeast, bacterial overgrowth, and parasites come into play. Antibiotics can wipe out the healthy bacteria in your gut and allow unhealthy bacteria, or pathogenic bacteria, to take over and damage the intestinal walls. It’s the same thing with yeast overgrowth.
  4. Food Sensitivities: Gluten is a very common, well-researched cause of leaky gut and can damage the intestinal lining. Other food sensitivities are can be involved with this condition as well.

How Can I treat Leaky Gut?

As far as treatment goes, you have two options. You can go the route of traditional medicine, which treats symptoms with particular medications, or you can choose health and functional medicine, which is our approach.

The FreeDiet™

The diet that works best for leaky gut is what I call The FreeDiet™ (download a complimentary copy here), which is free of not only gluten, but also grains, corn, sugar, yeast, soy, legumes, eggs, dairy, and GMOs. These are the foods most commonly responsible for inflammation and digestive issues, and we remove all of them in Phase 1 of the FreeDiet™.

The FreeDiet™ allows your gut a chance to heal by calming down inflammation and removing those foods that promote inflammatory reactions.

Natural Medicine Formulas®

Which specific nutritional supplements we use depends on testing for each individual patient, but the most common supplements we recommend for the healing of leaky gut are zinc, fish oil, L-glutamine, vitamin D, bioflavonoids, curcumin, and ginger.

  • ProbioExtreme 350: Probiotics are vitally important to healing leaky gut. We start with a very powerful probiotic, ProbioExtreme 350 for short-term use, and then we graduate into a lower level one after that.
  • Paleo Protein: We use the collagen-based protein, Paleo Protein, because collagen can help with leaky gut. Bone broth is another excellent source of natural collagen.
  • Gut Immune Repair and GI-Mend : Two other product we use to treat leaky gut as it contains ingredients to help support the intestinal lining.

Stick With the Treatment

We had two patients not too long ago who had similar symptoms of massive digestive complaints, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, dizziness, skin issues—again, whole body issues—and they both tested positive for autoimmune conditions. The patient that followed our recommendations with the FreeDiet™ and supplements was able, after three months, to lower her ANA antibodies from 1:640 to less than 1:40, which is normal.

The other patient only somewhat followed our recommendations, but cheated some and went on and off the diet. She was feeling better, and she lost a bunch of weight, but was still going back and forth with a number of cheat days per week. When I reached out to her after two and a half months, her antibody levels hadn’t moved at all. Even though she was feeling better, her immune system was still being fired up.

If you have these chronic health issues and you want to get them cleared up, you really need to find the underlying root causes and stick with the plan. I believe that most all conditions, once you get to the underlying cause, can be addressed and cleared up, because your body has an incredible ability to heal itself.

Don’t forget to grab your complimentary copy of Phase 1 of the Free Diet™, and subscribe to my channel for early notifications of new videos.

Thanks for joining me again, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

Natural Treatment for Autoimmune Conditions

how to lower high ferritin levels

Hi, my name is Dr. Thomas Rofrano from The Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Today I’m going to talk to you about healing autoimmunity, and specifically a case we recently had where I was able to help a patient completely resolve her elevated autoimmune antibodies in three months. I’m going to talk to you about the exact framework and protocol we used for her case, and exactly what you need to do to help yourself in the same area.

I’ve been practicing for over thirty years, and I’ve seen over 100,000 patient visits for nutrition, chiropractic, and functional medicine. One of the more common things people come in with these days is autoimmune conditions.

My Personal Experience With Autoimmunity

As a matter of fact, over ten years ago, I was busy in the practice, things were going really well, but I was feeling pretty miserable physically. I did a lot of testing, and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid condition. I also had elevated Rheumatoid arthritis antibodies on top of that. I went to doctors and they told me that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where antibodies attack the thyroid, and with Rheumatoid, the antibodies attack your joints, and it continues to get worse.

I asked if there was anything I could do about it, and they said yes, you can take medication that can control it, however your condition will continue to deteriorate, and that’s it. I asked them what causes it, and they said they don’t know what causes it, and there’s no cure.

For me, that was just one option, and for a lot of people, that’s okay to go down that route where they just take medication and go on with their lives. But for me it just wasn’t enough. I really had to figure out what was causing it. If it wasn’t there at one point, and now it was, there had to be some cause that was bringing it on.

After doing a whole lot of research and a whole lot of testing on myself, I figured out some things that were triggering it, and over time—it took me a little over two years—I was able to completely heal the condition and normalize my antibodies. They’ve been at normal levels for over ten years now.

Transferring My Success to My Patients

Since then, I’ve been able to continually refine the process and help many other patients with all kinds of autoimmune conditions.

We recently had a patient come in, a fifty-six-year-old woman, who was feeling awful. She had numerous symptoms, including: constant headaches; vertigo (since she was a teenager, sometimes so debilitating she couldn’t get out of bed); depression; brain fog; poor memory; fatigue; insomnia; difficulty losing weight; hair loss; dry, itchy skin; pain in every joint in her body; constipation; gas; bloating; abdominal pain; indigestion—and the list goes on. She had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was already on medication, but was still feeling miserable.

A Natural Approach

The first thing we do is a complete evaluation to figure out what tests need to be ordered to get to the underlying root causes.

Autoimmune conditions basically come down to three causes:

  1. Physical stress
  2. Mental stress
  3. Chemical stress

When we look at the chemical stress aspect, we break it down into:

Deficiencies

She had low levels of magnesium, B12, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, iron, and selenium. All of these deficiencies affect your immune system, and remember that autoimmunity is where your immune system starts attacking different parts of your bodies.

In the case of Hashimoto’s, it’s your thyroid, and in this patient’s case, she had severely elevated ANA, or antinuclear antibodies, indicating scleroderma or connective tissue disorder, where the antibodies attack connective tissues such as skin, joints, muscle, tendons, and ligaments.

Deficiencies are a very important aspect of autoimmune conditions. Once we tested and identified deficiencies for our patient, we started working on correcting them.

Toxins

The other important aspect are toxins. We ran tests and found she was highly reactive to mercury, vinyl chloride, and other toxins. Following our protocol, we worked on cleansing or detoxifying her from those.

Pathogens and Infections

Next, we conducted comprehensive stool testing to test for any pathogens and infections that might have been causing her symptoms. She had elevated levels of yeast and bacterial growth, which can then lead to leaky gut.

When you have these types of infections going on, they ramp up your immune system. Your immune system’s antibodies are trying to fight these things off. Then it begins to attack different parts of your body, depending what kind of autoimmune condition you may have.

Then we work on identifying and elimination what is causing the bacteria and yeast, in this case, to clear it up and calm down the immune system.

Food Sensitivities

Finally, we look at food sensitivities. This patient was positive for gluten sensitivity—actually celiac disease—which is the most common sensitivity among all the autoimmune cases I see. Almost every single one is either gluten sensitive or celiac. It’s a common cause of the immune system’s seeing and attacking the gluten as a foreign invader, and then in turn attacking other various parts of your body in molecular mimicry. This response leads to all sorts of symptoms.

Along with gluten, the patient tested positive for a number of other food sensitivities. I prescribed the FreeDiet® as treatment, which is the diet I came up with over the years, initially for myself, when I had Hashimoto’s and Rheumatoid antibodies and had tested positive for gluten as well.

Back then, I found that going gluten free didn’t really help, because I was eating a lot of gluten-free products, like gluten-free breads and bagels and cookies and pasta. If you have yeast issues and bacterial overgrowth, which I did at the time, this is not the diet you want to be on, because yeast and bacteria thrive in that, and you want to starve the little critters.

The FreeDiet®, which you can grab a complimentary copy of right here, is not only free of gluten, but also grains, sugar, yeast, corn, dairy, soy, legumes, eggs, and GMO’s—all the most common inflammatory foods. The Free Diet allows your gut to heal, calms things down, and allows your immune system to then balance out.

A Healthy Patient

After going on the FreeDiet®, taking the Natural Medicine Formulas we prescribed to address her adrenal dysfunction and balance her thyroid, and regular manual therapy treatments, the patient’s antibodies began to drop considerably in just two months. After three months, they were completely normal. They’d gone from some of the highest levels I’d ever seen to normal in three months.

Not only that, but all of her symptoms cleared up. No more daily headaches, no more vertigo, she was sleeping well, she lost over twenty pounds, and she had great energy. Clearing out the underlying root causes allowed her body to heal.

In these cases, people can choose the medicine route—the drugs, the procedures and surgeries—or they can choose health. They can choose to do some discovery, find out what is causing their issues, and get them cleared up. My belief is that most every single health condition has a solution. If you discover what the root causes are, you can be provided with long term, permanent solutions.

Thanks so much for joining me today, and don’t forget to pick up your complimentary copy of the FreeDiet® .

Feel free to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get early notification of new videos. See you next time!

Why Gluten-Free Diets Don’t Work

gluten free diets

I’ve seen more than 100,000 patient visits and many of our patients come in with chronic complaints of digestive issues, IBS, IBD, headaches, migraines, aches and pains, fatigue, anxiety, depression, skin issues, brain fog; just a host of chronic complaints. I mean, we’re talking complaints beyond those, but those are the basic ones — the foundation, really — and they’ve had them for years. They went to this doctor, that doctor, they tried gluten-free diets and nothing worked long term.

Testing and Going Gluten-Free

We do a lot of testing and almost everyone, the majority of our patients, is gluten sensitive. So why would I say gluten-free diets don’t work? Well, one reason is when you’re sensitive to gluten, when you have these chronic issues, you’re not only sensitive to gluten but I found it’s also grains, yeast, sugar, soy; a number of different foods that you’re sensitive to. So just eliminating the gluten out of your diet might make you feel good for a little while, but is not going to do the trick.

My Symptoms

Roughly 10 years ago now, when I personally had a lot of these same health issues like IBS, aches and pains, fatigue, brain fog, skin issues, and just overall felt miserable. I had thyroid Hashimoto’s, and my rheumatoid antibodies were elevated so I had aches and pains all over. I was just feeling really miserable and I found out I was gluten sensitive, which runs in my family, so I went on a gluten-free diet. For breakfast, I would have gluten-free toast that contained millet, yeast, and other ingredients. For lunch, I would go to the Chinese restaurant next to my office at the time for rice with plenty of vegetables. For dinner, I would have gluten-free pasta or more rice or millet. I mean, I was feeling miserable.

Feeling Worse

I might have felt a little bit better mentally because I was doing this, but I just continued to feel worse and worse. I stopped to evaluate what was going on. It turns out there were many other foods I was sensitive to as well. And when you are sensitive to gluten, I’ve found the best diet is free of all the common allergens, which I call the FreeDiet™. Those foods are the most commonly responsible for digestive and other chronic health issues in hundreds and thousands of people.

Process of Elimination

The common food allergens include gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades and corn. When I started eliminating those all the grains, sugar, yeast, I was eating lunch and dinner full of proteins and  vegetables. (You know, more meat, chicken, fish, lots of vegetables, essential fats and eliminating those common allergenic foods.) Then I started to feel better: Digestive issues started clearing up, brain fog lifted, my skin started clearing up and the antibodies went down to normal. And that’s when I really started healing.

A Different Way to Eat

Since then, I have had so many patients on The FreeDiet™ and found it really effective for people to follow. The other thing that’s interesting is when people go on a gluten-free diet is they start buying all these gluten-free products. Some patients come in and with symptoms like IBS and say they’re gluten-free. I ask what they eat for breakfast, and it turns out its gluten-free bagels or gluten-free toast. Then for lunch, they eat rice and gluten-free pasta and the same thing for dinner. They might have some protein with that but they’re eating starches, carbs, and grains for meals. And then there are snacks like gluten-free cookies, gluten-free cake, and gluten-free brownies. Like seriously, it’s the grains, the sugar, and the starches that are driving all that inflammation.

I had a patient who had chronic migraines her whole life and was in her early 50’s by this point. She had a lot of symptoms associated with gluten. She had depression and anxiety, chronic pain, digestive issues, and migraines — debilitating migraines. We got to a point between the Free Diet, supplements, and treatment where she was completely better.

Relapse to Migraines?

Then one day she called for an appointment and came in with a severe migraine though she hadn’t had one in quite a long time.

“What do you eat? Do you have anything gluten?” I asked.

She said she had not.

“Well, any new foods or snacks or anything?” I asked.

“I have been eating these gluten-free rice crisps,” she said.

And after I got the name of these snacks, I looked them up online. Sure enough, it says gluten-free. You know, it’s another example of great marketing, saying no high fructose corn syrup, low cholesterol per serving, made with corn and a whole grain brown rice. But I looked at the ingredients. The gluten-free snacks contained brown rice flour, corn, whey, salt, corn, sugar, cheese, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Aha, there’s MSG in these ‘healthy gluten-free products’ and you’re wondering why you have a migraine?

Gluten-Free Products – The Deception

Just because it says a gluten-free product does not mean it’s healthy or it’s not going to mess you up. Be aware of that. So there are gluten-free products per se that have a lot of these other things in them. If you’re going to eat gluten-free, then just choose foods that are naturally gluten-free; like vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, you know, avocados, and fruits. Those are all naturally free of gluten, but these packaged products, you can often land you in trouble.

Another Reason They Don’t Work

And then lastly, there’s another reason why gluten-free diets don’t work. A huge factor is that when you have a chronic digestive or other health issues or pathogens, infections, most are phases. These issues have yeast, parasites, or bacterial overgrowth. So we do lab testing, we do a lot of stool test kits that we send patients home with to check for all these digestive markers, pathogens and infections. Almost everyone comes back with parasites, yeast overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, or all three. So when you have these growing in your system, just avoiding gluten isn’t going to get you better.

Get the Facts

You really need to find out what’s in there first, and then we can provide solutions to clear it up. There are different things we can do to help resolver bacterial overgrowth or parasites. The bottom line: It comes down to honing in on what exactly is the root cause of your symptoms and then providing long-term permanent solutions so that you can get better.

Thanks for joining me this week. If you know anyone that would benefit from this, feel free to share it. If you’d like to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get notification of new videos, go ahead and do that. And if you want a copy of The FreeDiet™, you can just click here.

Are Food Allergies Making You Fat and Tired?

food allergies

Hi, everyone. My name is Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and today, I’m talking to you about food allergies, food sensitivities, and how do you know if you have them. So these can cause all sorts of health problems.

Health Issues and Food Allergies

Everything from- starting from the head down, headaches, brain fog, lack of focus and concentration, fatigue, throat- sore throats, canker sores, sinus congestion, ear infections, digestive issues, constipation, diarrhea, IBS. Food sensitivities and allergies can also cause skin reactions, itchiness, eczema, psoriasis, acne. I mean, there are just- at almost any health issue you can think of, food sensitivities or food allergies can be involved.

Even in the heart- heart palpitations, fast heartbeat, lung congestion, asthma- I think one of the most common causes for asthma is food allergies- bronchitis, and muscle- overall body aches and pains, inflammation- rheumatoid arthritis is linked to food reactions and sensitivities, food allergies. In overall, fatigue, sluggishness, even hyperactivity related to food sensitivities. And weight gain is a huge issue with food sensitivities- inability to lose weight.

Patient with Food Allergies and The FreeDiet™

I had a patient recently. She was 35 years old, and she came in for a host of health issues but one was that she was unable to lose weight and she even- she went on a number of different diets- even the ketogenic diet which, as you know, is really popular right now. So she did that for an entire month and lost- she said, lost like two or three pounds at the most in a month’s time. And once we figured it out, we put her on the FreeDiet™ which I’ll talk to you about in a little while and also provide you a free copy of phase one of the FreeDiet™. But anyway, she went on that and in the first two weeks, dropped ten pounds. But weight gain and losing weight, it’s not all about the calories per se, but food sensitivities are a huge part of inability to lose weight.

True Food Allergies

And we’ll talk about the basic types of food allergy. So one is a true food allergy- acute immediate reaction and this is something like for instance, if a child eats peanuts they’re allergic to, they can get- I don’t- you know, swelling, difficulty breathing, anaphylactic shock or you know, even cause death. That’s a true food allergy and there are different levels of it, from mild to severe.

Skin reaction types and breathing issues are the most common but also vomiting- vomiting and diarrhea- the digestive issues as well. But those are true food allergies and how do you know if you have them? Most people know because they have an immediate reaction that’s very easy to see. And also, there are skin testing- skin test for that, testing a number of different foods or environmental allergies. And secondly, blood test, you can do a panel of- a number of different foods to see if you have a true allergy.

Food Sensitivities

Much more common than that is food sensitivities. Those are very common and probably, almost every patient that comes into the natural medicine clinic- and I’ve been practicing over thirty years now- and I would say almost every person that comes in with health issues has food sensitivities. And these are delayed reactions. You don’t necessarily notice something right away. It could take an hour or two, even the next day or two- two or three days later. Gluten is a common one where if someone eats gluten, they’re not necessarily gonna have very quick reaction, necessarily. But you know, within an hour or two or in the next day or day after, it’s a sense of food sensitivity, not necessarily a true allergy.

Finding Out if You Have Food Sensitivities

So how do you know if you have sensitivities? So this is two ways- for this also, there are food sensitivity tests you can do and there are a number of different labs that do food sensitivity test. I’ve used quite- I use quite a few different ones over the years and I found one recently that I like the best because it has a multitude of different factors, not just, say IgG or like IgG, IgA, IgM and two other separate distinct pathways. So that’s you know, very comprehensive blood test where you can check 150, 200 or more foods and even chemicals and preservatives, things like that- molds.

An Elimination Diet

So that’s one way to find out and another way is to do an elimination diet which- the elimination diet but like- typically, what that means is you eliminate one or more foods and see how you do and then you bring it back in and see if your symptoms clear up but that is very difficult. I’ve done it- again, followed with different ones over the years but I came up with a better option which I call the free diet because it’s free of not only gluten- gluten but also the most common- actually, the most common allergens and sensitivities- gluten, grains, yeast, soy, corn, legume, eggs, sugar, GMOs. So ten different main categories of foods and again, we’ll provide a link there for a complete copy of phase one. So typically, what happens, you follow the free diet for- phase one is four weeks. It takes about three weeks for your antibody levels for these particular foods to go down.

Clearing Up Health Issues

So phase one is typically four weeks and usually within that time, a lot of these health issues will start to clear up and then when we get into phase two, we start adding foods back one at a time to see if there is- to see what kind of reaction is and then we can gauge the certain way we add and back, you know, once- so many days, you know, one new food so you can really pinpoint what it is. So that’s a great way- an alternative to say, lab testing where you can identify what you’re sensitive to.

Gluten-Free Experience

And we just saw an example that- I have a patient who’s 25 who ate- she actually had some- she was giving some gluten free cookies. She has a real strong sensitivity to gluten. You know, it caused a lot of health issues for her and she was doing great. And so she had these what she thought were gluten free gingerbread cookies for the holidays and then turns- come to find out, they weren’t though. So what happened is after she started eating, easily within an hour, she started getting headaches, nausea, and indigestion.

She’s just wondering what was going on. So she then looked at the package, at the ingredients and she’s like, oh my gosh, the first ingredient was wheat. So she just didn’t realize it. Not only that, this lasted for the next day and that leaded into other- like more long-term digestive issues for a couple weeks. Because like I said, your antibody levels can- it takes a few weeks for them to go down, when you eat a food that you’re sensitive to. So that’d be an example of a delayed sensitivity.

Another Patient’s Experience

Another example- well, speaking of the holidays, so you know, we just got through with Christmas. And so I had patients come in, just tell me different things. So one patient, she’s a 29 year old woman, and she gained five pounds over the holidays not from eating a ton of food but just eating foods that she was sent to. She had already gone through phase one of the free diet, lost a bunch of weight but with her was mainly sugar and gluten- those are the two big ones. And she gained five pounds within you know, over the holidays and another patient who actually- 49 years old- and she lost three pounds over the holidays because she’s stuck with- she was in phase one so and she’s stuck with it because she’s doing so well that she didn’t want to screw it up.

And actually, she’s actually into it for three months now and she has lost 28 pounds over three months. So she didn’t want to get off track which- so it is possible to yes, even during the holidays, to stick with something if you’re motivated enough and really encouraged about how great you’re feeling compared to how you used to feel.

An Extreme Case

I did have one extreme case where a patient was very sensitive to gluten, yeast, and sugar and she had a slice of a cookie cake and by the next morning, she said she was seven pounds heavier- after one slice. Now, it’s not the calories. It’s not the amount of food but when you eat a food you’re sensitive to, it can cause inflammation, watery tension, bloating, and you can really just get all swollen just literally overnight.

So on the plus side, you can also get phenomenal results if you identify what foods you’re sensitive to and then eliminate those. When you’re testing the FreeDiet™, you can really clear up a lot of health issues whether it’s energy. You know, literally having fatigue, or skin problems, or brain fog, anxiety, you know, lack of focus, you know, again, digestive aches and pains- just a whole- a whole lot of issues that we mentioned earlier can be cleared up when you eliminate foods you’re sensitive to. So if you have any questions or comments or have an experience you want to tell us about, you know, feel free to comment below. And if you want a copy of phase one of the FreeDiet™, just click on the link. And thanks for joining me today and look forward to seeing you next week. Take care.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.

Healing Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease [Video]

Today, I’m going to talk to you about healing Hashimoto’s.  For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid condition where your body produces antibodies against your own thyroid tissue. The thyroid starts to get destroyed over time causing typically low thyroid function. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

Many Are Unaware

Most people aren’t even aware that they have it.  Over 20 million Americans have hypothyroidism, most of which are caused by Hashimoto’s. Many are even unaware that they have that. Most people that have it are women, although some men do have it.

Usually, I’ll tell the story of certain patients I’ve treated with it. But today I’m going to talk about my own experience because I had Hashimoto’s over ten years ago. I was able to clear it up so I’m going tell you about how I was able to do that.

The Symptoms

The usual symptoms that you’ll have with this are fatigue, brain fog, difficulty getting up in the morning, aches and pains, numbness and tingling, carpal tunnel, anxiety, hair loss. These are all very common symptoms, even headaches, plantar fasciitis which is heel pain. And infertility and miscarriages are very common for low thyroid function.  Chronic infections, constipation, and many more symptoms beyond that. As you can see, it can really make you feel terrible.

Why It Goes Undiagnosed

The reason why it mainly goes undiagnosed is typically when you go to a doctor and get lab work, they will check just a few different things like a chem screen CBC, lipids, and TSH. And TSH is not enough to evaluate the thyroid. That’s a pituitary hormone that indirectly measures your thyroid function, but misses most cases.

When patients come in, I’ll order typically six different thyroid values along with everything else and often a TSH will be normal but when I look at the free T3 and free T4, they’re often below optimal ranges and the thyroid antibodies are often elevated, and that’s what indicates Hashimoto’s.

You May Never Find Out Unless…

So, if you’re just getting a TSH and maybe a T4 test and you’re not checking the others and your antibodies, you may never find out. You can go on feeling tired, have hair loss, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and feeling miserable.

What’s even worse than that is if you do go to your doctor and they find it, they’ll usually prescribe synthetic thyroid medication which in my experience, many people don’t do well with. It synthetic T4, and it doesn’t address T3 which many people are low in.

If they do know that you have Hashimoto’s, if they have your antibodies tested usually by an endocrinologist, they’ll say, and this is what happened to me, when I went in back in  2005. When I went in after I tested myself and found out that I had  Hashimoto’s, the endocrinologist told me, “Well, there’s no known cause and no known cure. It continues to get worse, your thyroid will continue to deteriorate over time and your antibodies may go up, they may go down, there’s no sense in even measuring them because it’s not going to get better and you will just continually need more and more Synthroid as you get older because the thyroid will continue to deteriorate. You’ll usually get more nodules and bigger nodules and that’s there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Investigation and Research

That didn’t settle well with me, and I couldn’t accept that. So, I started investigating and researching what causes Hashimoto’s, what causes autoimmune in general because at that time I also tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. Usually, when you have one autoimmune, you have another one and one or two or more beyond that.

I thought, there’s something going on, so what can it be? I feel every health condition has a cause, every problem has a solution, so I started researching this. What I found out is it came down to the cause of most autoimmune and chronic health conditions–physical, chemical, and mental stress. So I am going to talk about the chemical stress component. So, breaking that down, I first look at deficiencies.

Nutritional Deficiencies

So, if you have nutrient deficiencies, that can cause your body and immune system to breakdown.  In my case, I was low in vitamin D which is incredible because at that time I lived at the beach and was out on the beach, multiple times a week. And I was extremely low in vitamin D. So, that was a shock. When you’re low in D, that can affect your immune system and it’s been linked with autoimmune conditions. I was also low in magnesium which can cause aches and pains and contribute to numbness and tingling and a lot of other symptoms. Vitamin B12 was another one, I was deficient in and that can contribute to fatigue,  brain, nerve and blood issues.

The Physical Impact of Deficiencies

So in my case at that time, I was having carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral neuropathy. It got so bad that I wasn’t able to even work on patients for a number of years. I had to hire another chiropractor to come in and did the manual therapy while I did the evaluations and nutrition and functional medicine. So, I figured out the low B12, magnesium and vitamin D, just to name a few. I was someone who ate what I thought was a  healthy diet and was taking supplements but certainly not enough and not the right ones.

Functional & Free

That’s why testing is step one in our treatment program which I call Functional & Free which is a seven-step treatment program to get to the root cause of your condition and provide long-term permanent solutions. Step one is getting an evaluation to find out what’s going on so that’s what I was doing. Another form of chemical stress besides deficiencies is toxins.

Toxins

When I tested heavy metals, I was high in arsenic and mercury which are nerve toxins. Again, the numbness, tingling, carpal tunnel, ulnar neuropathy. As far as arsenic,  I was eating a healthy diet which included a lot of rice. I went to the Chinese restaurant, the next door at my office, and I would load up on it. I would get mixed vegetables with rice. I would skip the chicken and would get me extra rice instead.

I thought that was healthy. So, I was eating lots of rice multiple times a week. I was also drinking this detox shake which was rice protein. The healthy hypoallergenic detox shake was at the time made from rice protein. It turns out, it just loaded with arsenic, go figure.

Pathogens / Infections

The third form of chemical stress is pathogens, meaning infections like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast. After doing a comprehensive stool testing, I had yeast overgrowth. I had a lot of antibiotic use when I was a kid. My father was a medical doctor so I was often on antibiotics for all kinds of things.

I had parasite also. Infectious disease specialists say that it doesn’t happen in the United States. Well, I had one. I think I picked it up in Rio de Janeiro, when I was in chiropractic college in early to mid-twenties. A friend and I went down there for spring break to Rio. I guess we thought we were going to pick up women but instead I picked up a parasite!

That wasn’t expected, and all these years I was living with chronic digestive issues, feeling terrible. So when you have yeast and you have parasites, it ramps up your immune system and you’re constantly, your immune system is trying to fight this off. And meanwhile, it can start attacking your own cells, in my case, the thyroid, and joints.

Food Sensitivities

The fourth cause of chemical stress is food sensitivities. So, getting food sensitivity testing is one option, that’s what I did. You know, in my case, I was sensitive to many different foods but gluten was a big one, dairy, yeast, legumes, among other foods. So, that can cause inflammation, leaky gut and in turn, be a trigger for autoimmunity. The immune system is fighting off these foreign invaders, these food reactions.

Mental Stress

On mental stress, I had adrenal fatigue issues that I found after testing so I was treating that.  At the same time, I was taking digestive enzymes, natural remedies to clear up the parasites, the yeast, and replacing all these nutrients. Over time, I started to get better and my thyroid antibody, started to go down and down and down, and by the spring of 2009, they were completely down to normal. So, it took many months of investigating and finding all this out but I recovered and it’s been about ten years that my thyroid and rheumatoid arthritis antibodies have been in normal range.

Using Research and Experience to Help Others

Since then I’ve used this information I learned on research and figured out to help many other patients.  One of the more common things patients come in with over the last many years is thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s. So and when I see that, I just go through the Functional & Free protocol. Do the evaluations to get the underlying root cause. So, besides clearing up all these sources of chemical stress like the sensitivities, the toxins, clearing those out, addressing adrenal fatigue, and, parasites, yeast overgrowth.

Benefits of The FreeDiet®

The type of diet, I ultimately figured out works best. So, I was gluten-free for a while and I found out that it did not work so I started avoiding other foods, the most common food allergens. This list I came up with that really worked well for me and ultimately helped get me better was a diet free of not only gluten but gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes. Those are the most common food allergens.

I call it The FreeDiet®. And that’s the diet that really helped me. Within this diet is also a candida diet for yeast overgrowth which most everyone that has Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition, almost every person I’ve seen is dealing with yeast overgrowth issues. Ramping up that immune system and wreaking havoc on your whole body. So if you and if you want a copy of phase one of The FreeDiet®, I’d be happy to share that with you.

Replacing the Deficiency

And the other thing is replacing deficiencies. So after testing to find out specifically what’s going on like when I was deficient in all those things. The most common recommendations of the foundational nutritional supplements typically recommend for Hashimoto’s and hyperthyroid conditions are our Natural Medicine Formulas.  ActiveMulti, a fish oil supplement, magnesium, probiotics, vitamin D with K2, These are the basic foundational supplements, and there are specific ones beyond that based on testing.

Often selenium is low. Iodine, which is very controversial because so many people out there saying iodine is the devil if you have Hashimoto’s. However, when I tested myself, I was low in it and many other patients I test are low. When we give iodine and that can really help. If you’re low and you replenish that, it helps tremendously. If you don’t need iodine and you take it, it can make thyroid issues worse. So, that’s one thing really needs to be tested before you go and take it.

Lifestyle Matters

So, The FreeDiet® and supplements, are two of the biggest things that help and there’s a lot of different lifestyle issues. Addressing stress and things like that, and if you’re suffering from aches and pains, and physical issues, of course, the manual therapy, the physical aspects of treatment and functional training exercises, are all part of the whole treatment plan.

It’s important to know that if you have an autoimmune condition, Hashimoto’s or any chronic health condition you can get better if you first discover the underlying root causes. Once that is figured out, coming up with a plan to help provide permanent, long-term solutions. You find the cause then you can find solutions to getting better.

So, yes, you can get better. With everything I learned, I was able to do it with Hashimoto’s and a lot of other health issues that I had and fortunately, I’ve been blessed to be able to help so many other patients as well.

Click The FreeDiet® If you would like a copy of the FreeDiet® phase 1 food chart.

How to Shrink Thyroid Nodules II [Video]

shrink thyroid nodules

Hi everyone, my name is Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and today I’m going to be talking to you about how to shrink thyroid nodules in two weeks. And this is a follow up to an earlier video I did a couple of months ago on a patient, a very important patient, a VIP, who I saw, who happened to be my wife.

She woke up one morning with this huge nodule in her neck, she could see it in the mirror and it wasn’t there the day before. So, she was really understandably upset about this. You can refer to this video, it’s definitely a great story. If you go to our YouTube channel in early December 2017 you’ll see it so, we talked about it at length. And I wanted to do a follow-up video because we’ve gotten so many questions, so many emails, so many comments on our YouTube. So, we just don’t have the time to answer them all individually, so I thought I would do this video to answer some of the common questions and then clarify some things.

Thyroid Conditions

Over the last 30 years – more than 30 years now I’ve been practicing, and I’ve seen over 100,000 patients. One of the most common things patients come in with is thyroid conditions. Mostly, hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s and thyroid nodules are very common. So, there’s a specific protocol that we use, I built a 7-step protocol called Functional & Free™ where we determine the underlying root cause of someone’s health condition and then provide long-term permanent solutions. And part of this, one part of this is process is a proprietary diet I call The FreeDiet™.

Health Conditions and The FreeDiet

The FreeDiet™ is a diet that is free of the most common allergens, things that are most responsible for inflammation, pain, digestive and other chronic health conditions. So, we went over that in the earlier video and I’ll recap that today and then clarify some things that a lot of people had questions about. You have to understand there are some basic underlying causes for things like thyroid nodules and really almost all chronic health conditions. So it comes down to physical, chemical and mental stress.

As far as the chemical stress component, which we’re going to focus on today, that would be things like nutritional deficiencies, or toxins or pathogens; bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast. And I have to tell you almost all of my female patients that come in, and some male patients, have a chronic yeast overgrowth and this can really wreak havoc on your immune system and your entire body.

Phase I of The FreeDiet™

So, basically as far as some of the common questions people had, so first to give you a recap of Phase I of The FreeDiet™, which we’ll put a link here that you can go on and download a complimentary copy of that. So Phase I is the most important part because that’s where you’re eliminating those foods most commonly responsible for inflammation and a lot of these… inflammation is the underlying cause of say, thyroid nodules and lots of other health issues. If you’re in Phase I, the diet is free of not just gluten, but it’s free of gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades , and processed foods. Basically 10 classes of foods it’s free of, and people will say well what can I eat? Just to summarize it and one of the common questions is, where do I start?

Where do you start is it’s very simple, lunch and dinner are very easy, it’s just protein with plenty of vegetables, salad, plenty of healthy fats; olive oil, and avocados. And breakfast is even easier, we usually recommend a smoothie for breakfast because the Phase I is free of gluten, grains, eggs is one of them. So you’re not really able to eat these breakfast foods, and a smoothie is a great option. We have a specific recipe. And if you refer to another video I have on our YouTube channel it’s my three-minute super smoothie recipe. It’s not the smoothie that’s high-end protein, essential fats, fiber and fruits & vegetables that are a great way to really start your day. Very nourishing, very cleansing.

Phase II and Phase III

So that’s basically Phase I, you know a two-minute summary and the sheet outlines the hundreds of different things you’re allowed and foods to avoid. And then a common question is what about Phase II & III? And how long do you stay in Phase I is another. I received an email from someone in Phase I and she already noticed 50% reduction in her thyroid nodule. So what about Phase II & III? If you’re getting great results and you’re seeing improvement, I would say that you want to stay in Phase I until that time where you’re at a point where a lot of chronic health issues are cleared up. And then with Donna, what we did was an ultrasound initially and her nodule was over 2 cms. And then she noticed within two weeks that it wasn’t visible at all anymore. This is two-weeks of being on The FreeDiet™. And then at 7 weeks, she was still in Phase I, we referred her out for another ultrasound and learned that it shrunk by over 50%. So it went from 2.1cm to 1cm, and that was in 7 weeks. And the other nodules she had all shrunk dramatically as well.

Staying in Phase I

So, basically you want to, if it’s working really well for you, you want to stay in Phase I. And it’s important to know you should deal with a doctor, you should follow-up, you should have lab works, ultrasounds. If you’re local and you want my help with it, feel free to reach out. We even have patients in other parts of the country, or even out of the United States that we do phone and Skype consultations with. But anyway, you definitely need to be under a doctor’s care for this and preferably someone who isn’t medicine minded. There’s functional medicine, nutrition, so they can kind of help you in these areas.

Adding Foods Back

Getting to Phase II, that’s when you start adding foods back one at a time every few days to see if you have any reactions. And we start with the foods that are least problematic. I’ll give you an example like there are different categories of proteins, vegetables. And what you’ll see in The FreeDiet™ is the different categories. So, for instance just to give you an example in Phase II, we bring back eggs, and you see if there’s a reaction. Some people might have no reaction whatsoever and others, it’s typically it’s their sinuses, digestive issues, brain fog, fatigue, sometimes itchy skin.

That’s all listed in Phase II as well, so those are common reactions that you would get. And then there’s a number of other foods we add back one at a time in the second Phase. And this way you can figure out, see what foods might be causing inflammation and your health issues and which aren’t. That takes typically about a month to get through every three days.

Adding More Challenging and Problematic Foods

So at the end of that period, you have a whole lot of other foods you can eat. And then with Phase III, we go to the more challenging things, the more problematic foods. Like, if you’re so inclined you can bring back in grains, say like rice, for instance, quinoa and other types of grains. And the last one – the most problematic – the last you’d bring back would be things like gluten, glutenous strains.

But most people, almost everyone that we deal with, most of our patients can’t handle gluten at all. We do a lot of testing and they’re sensitive to gluten still. I don’t really recommend that for almost everybody. I really just don’t recommend that at all, unless someone is the exception and it’s certainly possible.

Supplements

But anyway, that’s the basic rundown and we will be getting a complete resource on how to go through this very easily, Phase I, II & III, we’re getting our resources together. We’re getting a book going and we’ll have a group coaching program going to help you along the way. But to some other questions, people ask about supplements as well.

So that really depends on testing as well, the basic guidelines and the basic foundation is we have our Natural Medicine Formulas line of supplements that are free of all the common allergens and are pharmaceutical grade. So, the basic foundation is multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, and probiotics. Then we have extra ones depending on your needs. Some might have adrenal issues. A lot of women are low on iron, B12, and need adrenal support. These are all extra things beyond the basics, and then iodine is a big part of the question, do you take it or not?

What About Iodine?

So, iodine is one of those things that can be really problematic. Taking iodine if you have knowledge of thyroid issues, can be really helpful. So how do you know? Well, there’s a specific iodine urine test, it’s a 24-hour urine test that can be done with a challenge. We usually do it before and after an iodine low. Now that’s what I find is the most accurate way to determine and with Dawn for instance, she was very low on iodine and supplemented her with rather high doses of iodine.

And in her case she needed it, and as you can see after 7 weeks her nodules shrunk by over 50% so obviously, it certainly wasn’t hurting like everywhere. You know, all these places you read online and it’s like ‘iodine is the devil if you have thyroid issues.’ Well, it’s not necessarily the case. Don’t just go on a ride and buy iodine because you’re assuming you need it. You should really be specific, that’s why I suggest that you be under a doctor’s care for this.

Fluctuation

So, one woman was asking, she’s hyperthyroid and has nodules and she’s taking this medication and now she’s becoming low thyroid and her doctors aren’t really doing anything about it. An answer to that, you really want to, again, be under the guidance of your doctors. The ones you work with should be really open and receptive to your needs. And really, seek out someone who’s more, there’s more focused on functional medicine that can really help you, guide you in that way.

What About Rice?

One last thing, a woman from the Philippines was asking ‘Rice is our mainstay but it’s not on The FreeDiet™. What are we going to do, is there a substitution? Well, and rice, the reason we avoid that, well grains can be pro-inflammatory, rice, in particular, is very high in arsenic. Most all rice that they found very high in arsenic, so that’s very toxic. That’s why you need to avoid that. One option is cauliflower rice, it’s widely available in the U.S, I’m not sure about other countries but, it tastes like rice and it’s made from cauliflower.

So that covered some of the questions and if you have any others just feel free to comment below. And typically on Fridays, we have Facebook live, you can like us there, I just want to get noticed when we’re on the Facebook live, and we’ll get to ask questions. Also, if you like this video, click like or a thumbs up below. Share it with someone you know who you think may benefit from it. Feel free to download The FreeDiet™ and we definitely look forward to seeing you next time, thanks very much for joining me today.

Thank you for reading our blog! How can we help you? Contact us today.

My Story and Intro to the FreeDiet™

FreeDiet™

I often hear people say to me, “well that’s easy for you because you are just so healthy, disciplined, and in shape.”  What most don’t realize is that I absolutely know what it’s like to feel miserable daily, unhealthy, and sick. Here’s my story and how I started the FreeDiet™.

I was sick a lot when I was a child. You would think otherwise since my father was a medical doctor and my mother was a nurse. Of course, we had plenty of medication available for us, six kids. That’s right; my mom had 6 children within 8 years, so it was pretty crazy around our house.

I remember having a constant stuffy nose and sore throats. After multiple rounds of antibiotics and allergy medication, I had to have my adenoids surgically removed at age 7. And that was just the beginning.

I had rosacea, and the other kids in school would make fun of my red, blotchy face. I had bumps on the back of my arms, also known as chicken skin. I had frequent canker sores, nosebleeds, OCD, dandruff, athlete’s foot, acne, warts on my hands, feet, and even my face.

I went to so many different doctors, who all knew my father. I used to go to the podiatrist at age 13 on a weekly basis to have this huge plantar wart scraped, cut, and gouged out of my heel. In between visits, I would put this stinging acid on the wart, which was the size of a quarter.

This went on for months, and the wart still didn’t clear up.  Usually each time in his office, I would wait well over an hour before he would even see me. Then I would have to limp home for 3 miles after I was done getting tortured.

I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Every day before school, I would be on the toilet for what seemed like an eternity; having four or five bowel movements before 8 o’clock. I would then have to run that mile all the way to school just to make it on time. There were many days I would arrive late to class.

As a teenager, I was very small, and I was the shortest boy in eighth grade. I remember at age 13, entering high school at 4’11” and 98 pounds. And I didn’t start growing facial hair until my senior year.

I was too short to make the high school basketball team, my number one love, and too small to even try out for football.  So, I joined the track team. I soon suffered from many sports-related injuries. At various times, I had neck pain, mid and lower back pain, sprained ankles, sprained wrists, chest/sternum/rib pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.

I would often be in the trainer’s room. The only treatments were whirlpools and tape; that thick, white, sticky tape.  I had most every body part taped at one time or another, which did not help at all.

My mom thought she was feeding us a healthy diet, but we had our regular daily dose of Ring Dings, Devil Dogs, Suzy Q’s, Hostess Cup Cakes, Chips Ahoy cookies, Oreo’s, and so on. Drinking water was not very popular so I drank juice, Kool-Aid, juice drinks, and 1-2 quarts of milk daily.

Being Italian, we had plenty of pasta, bread, and cheese.  And in following the popular convenience foods and health guidelines of the day, we used margarine instead of butter; soy, corn, and safflower oil instead of olive oil; and Egg Beaters instead of fresh eggs.

I also fondly remember the squirt cheese from a can, powdered milk, Carnation instant breakfast, Pop-Tarts, TV dinners, and chicken pot pies.  Campbell’s and Lipton’s soup replaced any sign of fresh, homemade soup.

At 16, my father sent me to an orthopedist for my low back pain. After my mom and I waited over two hours with a sea of other patients, the doctor went over my x-rays. I remember crying as I saw that my spine was curved and that one of my legs was shorter than the other.

With each injury, I had to take more time off from track practice which kept me from reaching my lofty aspirations; like competing in the Olympics and setting 3 world records.

Just before my senior year, my coach was told by a university coach and two college standouts that I had the most potential of anyone on the team. As a result, I was proudly given my own personal gym locker at the start of the season.  Well, due to all my injuries that followed, I was soon having to share my locker with an underclassman; yes, jockstrap and all. That was a sad day.

Later in my senior year, my dad sent me to another orthopedist for my knee injury. He was young, personable, and specialized in sports medicine. Now that’s what I was searching for.  He said I had runner’s knee, and that he would be back in a minute. He returned to the exam room with a cortisone-filled syringe and needle that seemed 6 inches long.

After seeing the look of fright on my face, he must have had a change in heart. He said, “on second thought, maybe we’ll hold off on the shot for now.”  I was so relieved. So he gave me a prescription for some custom orthotics (arch supports) and anti-inflammatory medications.

The medication didn’t help at all, so I went to be fitted for the orthotics. They ended up being this rock-hard cork material a half-inch thick. And the left one was even thicker due to my shorter leg.

The orthotics were so painful in my shoes. I just couldn’t bear it. I brought them to college to give it another go, but they seemed impossible to run or even walk with.  Let’s just say they became very expensive doorstops in my dorm room.

Around this time, my father, who practiced internal medicine, ran a blood test due to all my joint pain.  It came back that I had elevated uric acid. He said I had gout, which is an inflammatory arthritis caused by excess uric acid crystals that deposit in the joints.  He then gave me a prescription for a medication called Allopurinol. I was shocked. How could I have gout when all my injuries were from sports? Well, my father had gout so that could have a lot to do with it, I thought.

There was no internet in those days, but fortunately, there was a package insert which I read thoroughly.  Not willing to risk kidney disease or liver damage and a host of other side effects, I threw the bottle away. After doing more research in the library, I changed my diet and my uric acid levels soon went to normal.  I was encouraged that I was able to heal my condition without medication.

That did not stop all the injuries though. In my freshman year at Rutgers University, I joined the track team and again was having pain in both my knees.  So at the coach’s recommendation, I went to the team’s athletic trainer who had treated a lot of knee injuries.  He put an ointment on my knees, wrapped them in ace bandages with that infamous thick white tape, and sent me on my way.

Halfway into the 3-mile run back to my dorm, my knees began heating up. They kept getting hotter and hotter until it felt like there were flames shooting from my knees. I abruptly stopped and tore off the bandages in the middle of the sidewalk, searching for a bucket of ice to put out the “fire”.

I thought, doesn’t anyone know what they’re doing?  How hard is it to find someone to help me with a simple knee injury or any of my other prior injuries for that matter?

Over the following days, my knees continued to worsen and got so bad it prevented me from running at all. That’s the first time in years that I was not able to run for an extended period of time.  I was forced to drop off the team as my future for being able to compete at all seemed bleak.  I was in constant pain and became very depressed, as I had a lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics.

Something positive that evolved from all of this suffering was that I became deeply interested in what was causing all of these symptoms and injuries I kept having.   Even as far back as 12 years old, I was reading everything I could find on nutrition and health after I went with my mom to this new thing called a health food store.

In high school, I also became deeply fascinated with sports injuries and how to prevent and treat them.  I would read everything I could find on the subject and test things out on myself. What if I could help other kids prevent all the suffering and misery I was going through?

So I decided to study exercise physiology and nutrition in college. I wanted to go into sports medicine. I didn’t want to be a medical doctor though after seeing what my father went through.

He said going through medical school and residency was very dehumanizing. That’s where he began his overeating, smoking cigarettes, and drinking tons of coffee.  He entered medical school as a fit and healthy competitive swimmer.  He came out being overweight, a chain-smoker, and having to live on coffee to get through the endless days and nights.

As a kid, I would see him making rounds at the hospital at night, on weekends, and getting calls in the middle of the night.  Over the years, he became morbidly obese, an alcoholic, and was taking over a dozen different medications on a daily basis just to get by. It was very painful seeing this great man being gradually destroyed by his own profession.

In later years I realized he was an MD, a Doctor of Medicine not a doctor of health. That’s what I would be, a Doctor of Health; a doctor that specializes in getting others (and myself) healthy.

In my freshman year, I decided that I could get into sports medicine by being an exercise physiologist.  But, after spending two years working and doing research in the physiology lab, I decided I was best suited for helping people directly by being a physician.

During this time, I had researched a number of methods to help my knees get better and was able to start running again. I was very encouraged that I was able to help myself when none of the medical specialists could.

Then at the start of my senior year in college, I injured my neck lifting weights. I went to many doctors and all I got was anti-inflammatory meds and muscle relaxers. As a result, I was tired all the time, falling asleep in class, and had difficulty concentrating.  My neck pain wasn’t going away and I was miserable.

When I went home at Thanksgiving, my mother, who was since divorced, brought me to her chiropractor.  A chiropractor, I thought?  What was that?  I didn’t know anything about them other than the negative comments from one of my college professors.

Well, I thought I’d give it a try since I was in so much pain, and he helped my mother.  After two treatments, I was dramatically improved. For the first time in two months, I could actually turn my head. This was amazing, I thought.

I told Dr. Brian (first name) that I was very interested in sports medicine and nutrition and wanted to help others in those areas.  So I told him I was going to apply to medical schools.

He said to me, “if you want to treat patients with drugs and surgery then go to medical school.  But if you want to help others get better with natural methods and without drugs and surgery, then you should go to chiropractic school. Now, you won’t have the prestige of being a medical doctor but you will be able to help a lot of patients.”

I didn’t know what to do at this point so after graduating college, I got a job at Rutgers medical school doing research in the department of physiology.  There, I got to meet a lot of the medical students and see what they were going through. And I spoke with many of the professors.  After much soul searching, I decided to apply to Chiropractic College instead, which I started the following fall.

When I was in chiropractic school, my physical problems continued as I was in two car accidents.  I had neck pain with numbness and tingling into my arm and low back pain that would go into my left leg. Even with a lot of treatment, my pain persisted.

So I continued studying nutrition extensively, trying out different things, and taking numerous seminars on the latest treatment techniques.  I finally came up with a combination that worked and started feeling better.

When I began my professional practice at age 26, I remember having daily stomach pain, gas, bloating, and loose stools. My abdomen would hurt each and every day.

Whole-grain bread was popular at the time and I remember buying a bread maker.  I would bake my own bread and the ingredients called for adding a packet of yeast and 1 teaspoon of gluten in every recipe, on top of the gluten that was already in the wheat flour.  Little did I know that I was slowly killing myself.

I kept studying, going to nutrition and functional medicine seminars, and using these methods on myself and my patients.  I did numerous tests on myself and found out I had parasites and yeast overgrowth.

I tried dozens of remedies to clear it up and even went to a medical doctor who gave me a prescription for two different drugs. Still no better and each test showed the parasites were still there.

Besides the daily abdominal pain, gas, and bloating, I was tired all the time, had chronic back pain, brain fog, athlete’s foot, itchy ears, white spots all over my back and shoulders, chicken skin on my arms, and also came down with prostatitis.

I ran food allergy and sensitivity testing on myself and found out I had multiple food sensitivities, including wheat, oats, legumes, yeast, and milk. I went on an elimination diet and began feeling better. After trying dozens of products, I finally came across a natural parasite remedy that worked.

After years of suffering, my stomach pain cleared up and my energy improved. I continued to use the things I learned for my patients and was helping a lot of people get better.

Besides continuing my education with nutrition and functional medicine, I started learning about this new soft tissue technique called Active Release.  I was using this extensively in my practice and got amazing results. Pretty soon I was attracting athletes from all over the state and even other countries.

One day there was a carload of college baseball players that drove over 4 hours to see me.  I treated each one of them for their various injuries, and then they drove 4 hours back to college the same day.  They were so thrilled with the results of their performance.

I remember a high school baseball player came to see me with a nerve condition called ulnar neuropathy in his throwing arm.  After all the specialists he had seen, medications, and therapy, his only recourse was surgery to move the nerve to the other side of his elbow.   They said this was his only option as it was confirmed by nerve testing, and he would have permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting if the surgery was not done soon.

He was devastated as this was the start of his senior year and he would have to miss the entire season.  He and his parents had been looking forward to a great season with college scholarship offers at the end.

After I treated him for 4 weeks his condition cleared up and he was able to start his season on time.  He was so happy and went on to play four years of college ball.

I was on top of the world being able to help so many people with their injuries and health conditions, especially young athletes.  After all that I went through, it was so rewarding to be able to provide health solutions to so many where traditional medical care had failed.

Maybe I never made it to the Olympics or set world records due to all my injuries. But I realized a greater reward was being able to help others achieve their dreams.

Then one Friday afternoon in 2005 when I was working at my computer, I started getting numbness and tingling in my right hand. What was going on? This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

I got treatment after treatment and it still persisted. Then I went to a neurologist where I got EMG and nerve conduction studies. The test consisted of sending an electric current through various points on my neck and arms.  It was excruciating, and I felt like I was being tortured. The technician apparently used too much current.

The neurologist said the test confirmed I had mild carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand. However, after the test that had all that electric current surging through my nerves, I was left with daily numbness and tingling in both my arms and legs.

This is crazy I thought. How can this happen?  I thought it would go away after a few days but it persisted.

I continued to get treatment including chiropractic care, muscle work, and physical therapy but was not getting better.  MRI’s revealed herniated discs in my neck and low back.  I was in constant pain and became depressed.

The numbness and tingling in my hands and feet were unrelenting. The muscles in my hands were atrophying and became very weak. It was even difficult holding my six-month-old daughter.   I was unable to exercise much at all and lost 10 pounds of muscle.

I went to one doctor after another without any improvement.   The neurologist recommended medications and surgery. Both of which I turned down.   After 2 years I had to stop treating patients.  I was devastated.

I could not let this stop me, however. I hired a chiropractor to treat my patients, but I was able to still do the evaluations and consult with patients. It allowed me to spend more time doing nutritional assessments and functional medicine.

I also poured into the research as to why this was happening to me.  I read everything I could on peripheral neuropathy and nerve disorders.   I did a lot more testing on myself and found some interesting things.

First I was very deficient in vitamin D.  I was shocked!  I lived in Florida, the Sunshine State.  I went to the beach on average of once a week.   How was this possible?

I ran other lab tests which revealed I had hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these are considered an autoimmune disease.

I also found out I had:
-Low levels of B12
-Magnesium deficiency
-Blastocystis hominis, which is a parasite
-Candida/yeast overgrowth
-High levels of Mercury
-High levels of Arsenic
-Adrenal fatigue
-Low levels of digestive enzymes
-Multiple food sensitivities, including wheat, legumes, dairy, yeast, and gluten.

I discovered that each of the above could contribute to the symptoms I was having.  Put them all together and no wonder I was feeling miserable.

I came up with a game plan.  Since I found out that gluten sensitivity in and of itself can cause peripheral neuropathy, I would start there.

I had been eating mostly gluten-free but not 100 percent.  I also still ate plenty of grains, mostly rice, millet, and corn. And the gluten-free products I was eating were loaded with these, not to mention yeast.

When I went completely gluten-free, things improved somewhat but not long-lasting. Then I cut out all grains, yeast, sugar, dairy, eggs, corn, legumes and continued to improve. This is what I now call the FreeDiet™, for one reason because it is free of the most common food allergens.

I had tried various combinations of many different nutritional supplements before, but I finally came up with a combination that worked along with the diet. Over the following weeks and months, I was feeling better and better. My thyroid and rheumatoid antibodies went down to normal and have stayed that way for over 5 years.

The following things cleared up:
-Neck and back pain gone
-Carpal tunnel syndrome better
-Peripheral neuropathy in my arms and legs resolved
-Focus and concentration improved, the “brain fog” lifted
-Hashimoto’s thyroiditis resolved, my antibodies went down to normal
-Rheumatoid antibodies decreased to normal
-I gained 10 pounds of muscle as I was able to resume my workouts
-Chicken skin on my arms that I had since childhood cleared up
-Athlete’s foot gone
-Prostatitis cleared up
-Abdominal pain was better
-Bloating, gas, and diarrhea cleared up
-Fatigue was gone, was no longer depressed, and I had way more energy.

The best part was that I finally started responding to the treatments I was receiving and the numbness and tingling went away.  Finally, after five years of not being able to perform any manual therapy, I was thrilled when I was able to physically treat patients again.

I wanted to use the information I had learned to raise my practice to a whole new level.  Instead of treating the droves of athletes, I started seeing more and more patients with complex health issues including disease.

Patients would come in with 20, 30, or 40 different symptoms, and they would be absolutely miserable. But I was able to help them get better. I applied the knowledge that I had learned from helping so many prior patients with the tools I had used to help myself get better against all odds.

I started seeing certain patterns over and over again which were very similar to the issues that I had.   The individualized treatment programs I would recommend also started to have similar patterns, and I have evolved it over the years to get the best results.

As I became free of all my symptoms and have helped so many others, the program name I came up with was the FreeDiet™.  Because with it, you can become free of pain, fatigue, fogginess, and fat.  You can free yourself of misery and feel young again.

I realized that gluten-free diets don’t work.  What does work is an initial diet free of the most common allergens including gluten, grains, corn, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, and GMO’s.  Of course, that is too long of a title so what sounded great was the FreeDiet™.

A diet Free of toxic foods so you can become Free of your pain and misery.

I realized over the past 30+ years, I have spent a total of more than $1 million for college, graduate school, continuing education courses, trying out over 1000 different supplements to see which works best, doing thousands of hours of research, and ordering hundreds of lab tests on myself.

I have applied this knowledge in seeing more than 100,000 patient visits over the last three decades and interpreted thousands of lab tests; tweaking and improving my treatment protocols as I went along to help the most number of people.

I am also constantly applying these health principles to my own life as I too would like to stay looking and feeling young, and enjoy vibrant health. I see myself as a good role model for others, to give them hope, to show them yes it can be done, you can get better.

I have included much of this information in the FreeDiet™ book and program for you. You can take advantage of all the knowledge I’ve used to help myself and thousands of patients and you can apply it to your life.  If you do, I believe you will start to be Free of your pain and chronic health conditions and live a healthy, free and vibrant life.

Yeast Overgrowth & Sensitivity – Candida Solutions

Can you believe this is typical of the type of patient we see in our clinic?  A 38-year-old woman came in complaining of fatigue, abdominal pain,  bloating, gas, belching, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, eczema on most of body,  irritability, mood swings, PMS, headaches, dizziness, itchy eyes, dry skin and hair, easy bruising, chest pain, hyperactivity, sinus congestion, rashes, itching, food allergies, hair loss, frequent urination, recurring yeast infections, sugar, bread and alcohol cravings, insomnia and brain fog.

After seeing many doctors over 10-15 years, she had urged her allergist to test her for Celiac disease and sure enough, it was positive. She temporarily felt a little better on a gluten-free diet, but she still had all those symptoms.

What is going on here?  I thought gluten-free was supposed to cure everything!

Well it turns out that you can have sensitivities or allergies to many different foods and one of the most common is yeast.

Most every new patient that comes in with a multitude of chronic symptoms not only tests positive for a gluten or wheat sensitivity but also has a food sensitivity to Brewer’s and/or Baker’s yeast.

Related to this is a condition called yeast overgrowth or Candida in the body.  It is normal to have a certain level of yeast in our bodies and Candida Albicans is the most common type of yeast or fungus.

But when it gets out of balance and yeast overgrowth occurs, that’s when it can cause problems.

Yeast overgrowth is usually caused by medications such as antibiotics, prednisone, birth-control pills or antacids.

Just some of the symptoms of yeast overgrowth or sensitivity include:

  • abdominal pain, gas and bloating
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • IBS, Crohn’s and Colitis
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • sinus congestion
  • chronic cough
  • acne
  • numbness and tingling
  • brain fog- poor memory and concentration
  • fungal infection on nails
  • white film or spots on throat or tongue
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • anxiety and/or depression
  • muscle or joint aches
  • eczema, psoriasis  and skin rashes
  • itchy eyes, ears or skin
  • difficulty losing weight
  • food sensitivities
  • sensitivities to perfumes, fragrances and chemicals
  • allergies
  • autoimmune conditions
  • sugar, alcohol or bread cravings
  • vaginal yeast infections
  • PMS
  • frequent urinary tract infections

How do you determine if you have yeast overgrowth or sensitivity?
The first and most important thing we do is a thorough history and evaluation. There are also different lab tests that can be performed to identify if yeast is part of the problem.

And usually this is just one important piece of the puzzle.  There are other factors involved also.

So what’s the solution?  Although it is much more detailed than this, here is a summary:

1.  Diet:
a.  Avoid sugar, grains and starches. That includes bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, cake; and yes, even gluten-free ones.
b.  Avoid yeast containing foods such as beer and wine, vinegar, soy sauce, aged cheeses.
c.  Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables
d.  Eat a moderate amount of proteins such as wild fish, beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb.
d.  Consume an abundance of healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and clarified butter.

2.  Nutritional supplements with herbs that have antifungal properties can be very effective. One of the products I have found most effective is called Yeast Defeat.  Sometimes antifungal medications are needed.

3. Take Probiotics for digestive and immune support.  I’ve used many different brands over the years with thousands of patients.  I finally found one that has provided the best results, which is called ProbioSupreme.

By the way, about the patient above who was feeling terrible? After placing her on what I call The FreeDiet™ and some nutritional supplements to enhance healing, she did get better.

Yes, all of her symptoms cleared up and she was feeling good for the first time in many years!  If you want to see her video, click here.

So remember, gluten-free can be part of the solution, but it is not the answer to everything. There can be many other factors involved, and yeast overgrowth/sensitivity is just one of them

If you want to Transform Your Health and Feel Good Again, feel free to contact us at info@nmcwellness.com  or call 561-627-5800.  We would love to help.

Yours for Optimal Health,

Dr. Tom Rofrano

PS. Look for more on The FreeDiet™ in future blogposts.

  • Schedule An
    Appointment

    We can help you look and feel the best you have in years!

    Natural Medicine Clinic

    Chiropractor Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    2401 PGA Boulevard Ste 132
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
    561-627-5800

    Serving the Florida communities of:

    Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach,
    Jupiter, Tequesta, Singer Island
    and West Palm Beach.

    Copyright 2021 Natural Medicine Clinic

    Content on this website is based upon the opinions of Thomas Rofrano, D.C. and is not considered medical advice. It is designed to be a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Rofrano and his community. Dr. Rofrano encourages you to make your health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Dr. Rofrano is a chiropractic physician and offers physical and nutritional support and guidance to those seeking alternative or complementary care to traditional medicine. His care is not meant to replace that from your primary doctor and specialists but rather to help you on your path to achieving life-long vibrant health.

    Regarding any supplements mentioned: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.