Hair Mineral Analysis testing is a proven and effective way to assess the long term metabolic function of the body.

I regularly use this test in clinic to assess immune function, thyroid and adrenal function and mental health, as well as nutrient deficiencies and toxic metal levels.

In clinic I use hair analysis testing on virtually every client and I have completed thousands of these tests. It is a relatively inexpensive way to receive a lot of information about your health, including metabolic functioning of organs that is not really possible to assess with other tests.

Not only does hair mineral analysis show the levels of your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ minerals over the long term, it allows us to look deeply at how your powerhouses of the body – the endocrine glands – are functioning.

Digestive function, adrenal and thyroid function as well as immune system can be easily and quickly assessed via hair analysis and l couple every HTMA with a specific blood test. This allows us have an indepth look at how the body is functioning & allows us establish the root cause of the problem.

What the hair analysis test report shows

Hair Analysis

Hair Mineral Test Analysis

  • The report shows your levels of essential minerals and compares them to a norm. Minerals included: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Chromium, Selenium, Boron, Cobalt, Molybdenum and Sulphur
  • The report also shows levels of toxic heavy metals: Uranium, Arsenic, Berrylium, Mercury, Cadmium, Lead, Aluminium, Tin, Titanium and others
  • As l am a fully trained practitioner and highly experienced in interpreting Hair analysis test & accompanying blood work I use this information to access the body’s ability to produce energy and how it is functioning, and we work from here to renourish remineralise our way back to balance and health.

Who is hair mineral testing for?

Everyone! In clinic I use it to help address the following conditions:

  • Adrenal fatigue, including unexplained fatigue, aches and pains, sleep issues
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Insomnia
  • Infertility
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Weight gain/loss, appetite issues and blood sugar imbalances
  • Hormonal dysregulation including: oestrogen dominance, unexplained menopausal symptoms, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, etc
  • Mental health issues: Pyrrole disorder, anxiety, depression, bi-polar depression, OCD, ADHD, etc
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Immune disorders including long term infections such as Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), hayfever and allergies, histamine dysregulation
  • Children’s immune disorders: asthma, eczema, allergies, intolerances.
  • Children’s developmental disorders: anxiety, ADHD, violent behaviour, tantrums/temper outbursts, dyslexia, poor school performance
  • Anyone who has occupational or environmental exposure to toxins, eg: mechanics, painters, metal workers, glass workers, farmers, etc

What next?

For more information email or call 086 1623683.

Mammograms are picking up swelling in women’s breasts following the Covid-19 vaccine, raising ‘unnecessary’ fears about cancer, radiologists say

  • Doctors are finding that the vaccine often causes swelling in lymph nodes  
  • These are being detected in ultrasound and mammogram breast cancer screens
  • Experts are now urging doctors to not immediately take a biopsy 
  • Lymph node swelling is not a commonly seen side-effect for other vaccines 

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. 

The lumps are in the body’s lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs — and are occuring on the same side of the chest as the arm in which the jab was administered.   

Mammograms have uncovered the breast lumps following vaccination in several women, raising ‘unnecessary’ fears about breast cancer. 

Based on the findings, doctors are urging women to avoid going for a mammogram for four weeks after they receive their Covid-19 vaccine. 

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. The lumps are in the body's lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. The lumps are in the body’s lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs

Dr Jeanette Dickson, President of The Royal College of Radiologists, told MailOnline: ‘Localised swelling is becoming a well-recognised phenomenon in people receiving coronavirus vaccines and the UK medical profession and radiology teams are aware of it.

‘Virtually everyone mounts an immune response after getting the jab in their arm. 

‘This response is biggest in the lymph nodes in our armpits, which drain fluid away from the arm – the swelling of which is then seen on screening mammograms, which is something these scans are designed to pick up.

‘In cancer care we are also seeing some visible lymph node swelling in the armpits of recently vaccinated patients undergoing CT and PET-CT scans.

‘If patients are having any type of scan they need to make the imaging team aware if and when they had their COVID-19 jab and in which arm. 

‘These lumps can happen after the vaccine and are nothing to worry about. 

‘However, if a lump hasn’t gone a few days after getting the jab then we would urge patients to consult their GP in case the cause is more serious.’

Dr Devon Quasha works as a physician in Boston and found a lump in her left breast during a routine self-screen. 

She subsequently scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound to investigate.

One week before her imaging appointment she got her first Covid-19 vaccine, the Moderna jab. 

Shortly after her inoculation her left arm began to hurt and then several swollen lumps appeared around her left armpit and around the collar bone on her left side.

Dr Quasha was told by her radiologist that although the breast lump was likely harmless, the swollen nodes would, under normal conditions, be concerning. 

Such a discovery would normally warrant further investigation and an immediate biopsy where a small piece of tissue is removed and sent off for analysis. 

But due to the recent vaccination Dr Quasha and her doctor decided to hold off on this and instead booked a follow-up ultrasound in six weeks. 

Stay informed, remember information is key, to help you make the best choices for your health. Consider Breast Thermography to assess your breast health, it is a radiation-free, non compression assessment tool. For more information contact the clinic @ or Ph:086 1623683

Metabolic Typing and Cancer: The Legacy of Nicholas Gonzalez


“Your only job is to love the truth every day.” – Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

In the world of natural health and cancer, nobody compares to the late Nicholas Gonzalez. He was a total visionary who was often called the “guru of integrative medicine.” I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Gonzalez’s widow, Mary Beth (Pryor) Gonzalez. We discussed his work, continuing his legacy through The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation and a new, exciting autobiography about his life. In this article, we’ll dive into the nutritional tool that he was known for best. It is called metabolic typing. We’ll learn what it’s all about and how you may be able to use it on your healing journey.

The Legacy Lives On

Mary Beth Gonzalez
Mary Beth herself has been on The Gonzalez Protocol® for preventative health since her third date with Dr. Gonzalez back in 2000.

It was an absolute delight to touch base with Mary Beth Gonzalez the other day. Be sure to check out this latest Wellness Warrior podcast HERE.  In our discussion, Mary Beth talked about the work she has done over the last five years to preserve the legacy of this incredible physician (who was also her husband of fifteen years).

A lot of Dr. Gonzalez’s research and work with clients culminated in the release of four books during his lifetime. Since his death five years ago, Mary Beth has also published five more. These later titles are packed with evidence-based research and case studies, but they also present the information in a way that is more user friendly for the lay audience.  

Mary Beth is a digital marketing executive with decades of experience in the advertising industry. During their marriage, she was her husband’s “coach” (as she explains it) for this aspect of his career, helping him with his well-known, information-packed presentations and the marketing of his message, services, and products in general. Currently, she runs the Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, whose mission is to preserve the legacy and continue the work of this great natural health pioneer.

Her latest project is a recently published new book, The Maverick. M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Treatment for Cancer (New Spring Press). This title is different than the others because it is about Dr. Gonzalez the person and his life’s journey.

The Maverick M.D.
The Maverick M.D. is an authorized biography of Dr. Gonzalez and is a great beginning read for those interested in the Gonzalez Protocol.

The authorized biography was created with the help of award-winning author and nutritional advocate Mary Swander. Swander is the former Poet Laureate of Iowa and artistic director of Swander Woman Productions.  She is also the Executive Director of AgArts, a non-profit that helps promote healthy food systems through the arts. Swander was also a 20-year patient of Dr. Gonzalez for chronic fatigue.  

“When Mary Swander…approached me about writing his biography…I agreed to have her write it because I knew she could tell his story in a way that would be much easier to digest for the masses,” Mary Beth said during our interview. “It is a really good beginner’s course in the Gonzalez Protocol as well as the story of this brilliant man who gave his life for science.”

Mitochondrial Health and Cancer

So what exactly were the discoveries that made Dr. Gonzalez’s work so successful?

In a nutshell, Dr. Gonzalez promoted the concept that cancer is really a metabolic disease. This means that cancer happens because of imbalance at the mitochondria level.

It is within the mitochondria where metabolism happens at the cellular level since mitochondria are responsible for cellular respiration. When they are healthy, the cells are healthy too and are able to adapt to any kind of stress.

I can say with 100% certainty that whenever you have cancer growth, you are going to have some kind of damage at the level of the mitochondria!

The connection between cellular metabolism and cancer growth is simple yet profound.  It indicates that, just like many other chronic diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune conditions, cancer can be managed and, in many cases, reversed. All it takes is the right diet, lifestyle, and supplement protocol.

Metabolic Typing

This is what the “Gonzalez Protocol” is all about. To date, the Protocol has helped thousands with cancer and other serious illnesses. Some well-known patients include Suzanne Summers and Carol Alt.

Dr. Gonzalez was a strong advocate of “food as fuel.” He felt strongly that by eating the right foods and taking the right supplements, the body can achieve “autonomic balance.”  As Dr. Gonzalez explains in his other book, Nutrition, and the Autonomic Nervous System: The Scientific Foundations of the Gonzalez Protocol (which I highly suggest as well), it is really the two branches of the autonomic nervous system – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic- that run our bodies. What we ingest absolutely affects how these two systems function.

Dr. Gonzalez was also a firm believer in using a method called metabolic typing for finding ways of eating that are best for each person. Of course, we all know of the stuff that everyone needs to stay away from. These include trans fats, simple sugars preservatives, processed foods, and the like. But what about otherwise healthy foods that may cause inflammation and stress in one person yet not another?

“As long as we put the right fuel into our bodies by eating the right food for our metabolic type, the autonomic system will be in balance, both branches and the associated organs and glands will function efficiently, the body will work beautifully, and our health will be ideal,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “However, with the wrong fuel, the autonomic system will go out of balance, it will function less efficiently, the organs and glands will not work well together and disease follows.”

Putting it simply, metabolic typing takes a look at the particular “style” in which your body may produce and process energy. Armed with this information, a natural health professional trained in the protocol can help you create a diet that suits your unique biochemistry and health situation.  Always the goal is healing the disease and achieving optimum health.

Dr. William Kelley and the Birth of Metabolic Typing 

Metabolic typing was not the brainchild of Dr. Gonzalez, although he was the physician most responsible for putting the concept on the map. Metabolic typing was originally created by Dr. William Kelley, an American dentist who believed that each of us has a unique “metabolic code.” Dr. Kelley used the method to help hundreds of cancer patients during the many decades he was in practice.

The intricacies of metabolic typing can be confusing, especially since there have been several other natural health practitioners over the years who have used it as the basis for their own programs besides Dr. Gonzalez. In a nutshell, however, metabolic typing can be summed up with the following points: 

#1 The “style” through which your body both produces and processed energy determines your metabolic type; 

#2 To determine this “style, ” a person is assessed based on two things: the pH of their body (the ideal being mildly alkaline (7.46)) and how fast they burn fuel;

#3 Another major factor that determines a person’s metabolic type is “fundamental homeostatic controls,” or FHCs. These are the handful of biochemical reactions which the body relies on primarily, amongst a list of thousands;

#4 FHCs play out to influence an individual’s health in one of two ways: through the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and through the Oxidative System (OS);

#5 Dr. Kelley originally broke metabolic types down into two categories: carnivores and vegetarians. In subsequent models, there are 9 different metabolic types: Sympathetic Fast, Sympathetic Mixed, Sympathetic Slow, Balanced Fast, Balanced Mixed, Balanced Slow, Parasympathetic Fast, Parasympathetic Mixed, and Parasympathetic Slow. 

Each person, based on their metabolic type, will react to the same foods slightly differently. For example, fast oxidizers (those who burn energy quickly) may do better with increasing healthy fats and proteins. Slow oxidizers can gain vitality by including more healthy, whole foods-based carbohydrates in their diet.

Whether you use metabolic typing or some other ways of determining it, fine-tuning what kind of diet works for you is key in achieving optimal health and healing!

The Gonzalez Protocol 

Dr. Gonzalez studied Dr. Kelley’s concepts thoroughly during the 1980s when he was just starting out in oncology.  By the time he was done with his research, he was convinced that it worked. Throughout his career, Dr. Gonzalez took metabolic typing to the next level with his own patients. He expanded on Dr. Kelley’s work extensively to discover a total of 10 different diet types as well as 99 different diet variations.  

 As Mary Beth explains, the Gonzalez Protocol  “is not just about the different foods to eat, but also the different nutrients and supplements to take. The whole goal is to balance one’s autonomic nervous system so that your body can fight truly any disease.”

Coffee Enema
Here I am at our Healing Diva Retreat in Cancun getting ready for my Coffee Enema!

For those on the Gonzalez Protocol, a key supplement often includes high doses of pancreatic enzymes. During both of my healing journeys, I ingested many pancreatic enzymes every hour on the hour and as my health improved, I cut back to 5 times per day.

While I am not going to go into detail about pancreatic enzymes and Breast Cancer, I encourage you to head to this blog to understand why pancreatic enzymes are so important in creating vibrant health. Utilizing them is absolutely vital for slowing down Breast Cancer metastasis. 

Another important factor within the Gonzalez Protocol is using coffee enemas for detoxification. If you have been reading my blogs for a while, then you know that I am a big fan of this method and have used it for years myself! Be sure to get the basics about coffee enemas HERE.

Is Metabolic Typing For You?

Whether you are on a healing journey with Breast Cancer, want to prevent cancer, or are healing from another disease, learning about your metabolic type can be life-changing. Over the course of his career, Dr. Gonzalez worked with patients who had many kinds of cancer, including Breast Cancer. His protocol also proved helpful for people who suffer from the following:

Viruses and Hepatitis C

Severe Allergies/Environmental Illness


Back and Neck Pain

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

How to Deal with Stress



Heart Disease


Bell’s palsy




To get started with the Gonzalez Protocol, I suggest checking out the latest book from Mary Beth and The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, The Maverick. M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Treatment for Cancer by Mary Swander. If you are looking for a Gonzalez trained doctor, reach out HERE to get more information. 

Dr. Gonzalez was a true pioneer in the field of cancer research, bringing to light a whole new way of looking at the disease as a function of an imbalanced metabolism at the cellular level. His legacy as well as his work lives on!

For more information on the Gonzalez Protocol in general and to find out about their new Metabolic Questionnaire (coming soon), click HERE.

Why You Should Include Breast Thermograpy In Your Breast Health Protocol

What is Thermography?
Thermography is a radiation-free state-of-the-art assessment procedure that captures heat images of the body to aid in the detection of inflammation and various diseases. These screenings can include: breast, thyroid, lymphatic congestion, hormone imbalances, nervous system disorders, abdominal inflammation, vascular system analysis, muscular disorders, soft tissue injuries, fibrocystic breast disease and other pathologies. For example, as a tumor grows it develops a blood supply that emits heat that can be detected on a modern infrared device. Medical thermography can be used as a whole body approach to wellness with the understanding that there is no “normal” asymmetrical heat in the body. Thermal cameras can detect heat on the skin surface that may show underlying pathologies. Thermography is an excellent tool that your doctor can use to assess your health and is safe for anyone male and female at any age.
Malter Institute Thyroid Thermography

Thyroid Disease Thermography

You do not need a referral to be tested, you can contact the Clinic directly to make an appointment.

We are very excited to be able to offer another informative, safe screening tool for our clients.

Thermography Appointment

To Book a Thermography Appointment call 086 1623683 or email info@thermography ireland.

Is Histamine Affecting Your Hormone Balance?

What is Histamine?

Histamine is a key molecule in your body. You need it to survive. Histamine is made by immune cells called mast cells. These immune cells are present in connective tissue and are part of the immune and neuroimmune systems. Histamine is also naturally found in many foods. (We’ll talk more about those foods later.)

Your body needs histamine to:

  • Fight off infections
  • Act as a neurotransmitter
  • Regulate sleep
  • Aid in proper digestion
  • Regulate hormones
  • Aid in reproduction

Too little histamine can cause major problems, too. Your body can’t function properly without enough of the molecule. On the flip side, too much histamine can wreak havoc as well. Since histamine is present throughout your body, high histamine can cause many different types of symptoms. Let’s take a look at those symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of High Histamine

These are common symptoms of high histamine:

  • Itching of eyes, ears, nose, throat, skin
  • Flushing or redness of skin
  • Rashes
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Excess mucus
  • Swelling and redness of eyes
  • Heartburn, reflux, indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep issues – falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Low blood pressure or high blood pressure
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Food sensitivities
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual issues
  • Breathing issues like asthma
  • Symptoms worsened by fermented foods, wine, beer

Some people with high histamine levels may also experience these symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations or irregular heart beat
  • Trouble regulating body temperature
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety or panic-like symptoms
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Swelling of face, mouth or throat

You don’t have to experience all of the symptoms above to have histamine issues. However, if you suffer from three or more of these symptoms, it might be a sign you have a histamine intolerance.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine Intolerance occurs when the body has more histamine than it can get rid of. The body gets rid of histamine with specific enzymes, like Diamine Oxidase (DAO) and Histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT). If you don’t have enough of those enzymes because of nutritional deficiency, histamine can build to high levels.

If you don’t have enough of the histamine degrading enzymes, you will start to experience symptoms.

You may not have enough of those enzymes due to a genetic predisposition or a lack of certain nutrients. Some of the nutrients that are important to breaking down histamine are:

  • B2, B5, B6, B12
  • Folate
  • Bio-available Copper
  • Vitamin C

If you are low in those nutrients, your body might have trouble producing those histamine-busting enzymes.

Here are additional factors that can lead to high histamine levels:

  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Eating too many high-histamine foods
  • Autoimmunity
  • Gut infections (like SIBO or Candida)
  • Chronic infections like Lyme or Epstein Barre
  • Mold toxicity
  • Certain medications
  • Lack of deep sleep
  • Stress

The Histamine and Hormone Connection

Women tend to have more histamine than men because women have more estrogen. Estrogen, progesterone, and histamine are closely linked in the body. Estrogen stimulates mast cells to make more histamine.

This can cause a dangerous cycle when estrogen causes mast cells to release histamine and the rising histamine levels produce more estrogen. In turn, the estrogen triggers the mast cells to make more histamine, creating a snowball effect.

This is also why you may have experienced more histamine issues at certain times in your cycle – likely when your estrogen levels were higher than your progesterone levels.

Estrogen dominance happens when you have more estrogen than progesterone. So if you are estrogen dominant, you are very likely to have histamine issues. It is important to note that estrogen dominance doesn’t just happen with high estrogen. Even if you have low estrogen, you can be estrogen dominant if you have more estrogen than progesterone.

On the other side of the coin, progesterone helps stop mast cells from making histamine. This is a big reason why the estrogen-progesterone balance is so important. If you can support your progesterone, you will likely have lower histamine activity. This translates to lower histamine levels and fewer high histamine symptoms.

Histamine: Menopause, SIBO, and Low Thyroid Levels

There is a big connection between histamine issues and menopause too. Women are more likely to develop histamine intolerance during menopause. This is because both estrogen and progesterone drop during menopause. For many women, progesterone ends up even lower than estrogen. So you can be estrogen dominant while in menopause.

Estrogen causes another problem too. It can actually reduce one of the important histamine-degrading enzymes you learned about earlier, called Diamine Oxidase (DAO). If you don’t have enough DAO, then you can get very high histamine levels. DAO is also very vulnerable to gut infections like SIBO. Gut infections destroy the body’s ability to make DAO. So SIBO and estrogen dominance together can wreak a lot of havoc to your histamine levels.

So, balancing hormones should help, right? In theory, yes. However, synthetic hormones used by many traditional physicians in hormone replacement therapy often make histamine intolerance worse. Research shows synthetic hormone replacement is clearly linked to the onset of allergies and asthma. This is because the synthetic hormones are hard on the mast cells, causing them to make even more histamine. Bioidentical hormones tend to work better for women, fortunately. Be sure to do your homework if you are thinking about taking synthetic hormones.

Low thyroid levels can also contribute to histamine issues. Recent research published in 2019 shows this is likely due to thyroid hormones that help regulate mast cells and reduce histamine production. If you don’t make enough thyroid hormones, you could end up with much higher histamine levels.

At this point, you may be wondering if you have high histamine and histamine intolerance. Below are steps you can take to address these issues.

5 Ways to Naturally Lower Histamine

In order to fix histamine intolerance, you need to figure out what the root cause is. To figure out The Root Cause, you’ll likely need to work with a qualified Therapist. Still, there are a number of steps you can start now to naturally lower your histamine levels.

  • Balance your hormones naturally
  • Reduce high histamine foods (listed below)
  • Emphasize high nutrient foods (listed below)
  • Take wholefood vitamin supplements as needed
  • Relax and meditate daily

High Histamine Foods

There are a lot of high histamine foods lists online. Unfortunately the vast majority of those lists aren’t very accurate. I’ve put together a very good list that is based on research.

Here are some of the highest histamine foods:

  • Processed and packaged foods
  • Leftovers older than 48 hours
  • Alcohols like wine, champagne, beer, whiskey, brandy
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc.
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs
  • Food additives like carrageenan, colorings, sodium benzoate, MSG, guar gum
  • Aged cheese like Swiss, cheddar, Parmesan
  • Coffee
  • Bone broth
  • Fish and seafood
  • Beef
  • Dried fruits
  • Peanuts and cashews
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Citrus

If you are looking at the High Histamine Foods list and you are worried there won’t be anything left to eat – don’t worry. Yes, you’ll need to reduce your intake of those foods, but you can also replace them with plenty of delicious histamine-reducing foods.

Histamine-Reducing Foods

This is a list of just a few of the foods that have been shown to reduce histamine. So try to load up on as many of these as possible.

  • Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, rosemary, parsley, ginger, and oregano
  • Herbal Teas: Peppermint, tulsi, lavender, ginger
  • Asparagus
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage, Green and Red
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Napa cabbage / Chinese cabbage
  • Onions – any kind
  • Scallions (green onions – especially the green parts)
  • Radishes
  • Romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuce
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Mangos

The bottom line is to:

  • Eat very little processed and packaged foods.
  • Reduce the highest histamine foods.
  • Replace those foods with histamine-lowering foods.

If you do that, you’ll be well on your way to eating lower levels of histamine!

A Very Important Tip

Another important tip is to avoid long term use of antihistamine medications if possible. This is because antihistamines don’t actually get rid of histamine. They only block the histamine receptors. This helps symptoms in the short term. But in the long term, antihistamines trick the body into thinking histamine levels are too low. The body responds by pumping out even more histamine. The more antihistamine medications you take, the more your body will produce histamine. This can create an unhealthy cycle.

Instead, you can try supplements that actually lower your histamine levels. These tend to work much better in the long run. There are many options here, but these are 2 good ones you can begin with:

  • Quercetin
  • Vitamin C as Camu Camu

If you take these steps and you are still having the high histamine symptoms, then it is time to work with someone who can help you. Look for a practitioner who can help you identify your unique root causes in histamine intolerance and create a plan of action.

Fibrocystic Breast Disease – Treatment and Prevention

Alexander Mostovoy, H.D., D.H.M.S., B.C.C.T.

As a clinical breast thermographer, I see more and more fibrocystic breast cases than any other abnormality of the breast. Cysts are likely to develop in women ages 30 to 50; however, the youngest patient that I’ve evaluated was a 12-year-old with multiple cysts in her breasts. In fact, I am seeing this condition increasingly in younger and younger women. One has to ask the question, “What would contribute to the rise of this condition so early in life, and what would happen to these girls and women over the years if they continue on this path?”

The symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease (FBD) may range from mildly annoying in some women, to extremely painful in others. The severity of these symptoms may range from month to month in the same woman. Some women feel that their breasts become so painful that they can’t bear to touch them and have trouble sleeping at night due to the pain. This disease itself is not dangerous, but it does complicate breast self-examination since it is difficult to identify a new lump amongst existing ones. Consequently, the probing, squishing, X-raying, and routine biopsies that many women experience due to the fibrocystic structure of their breasts may, in fact, result in more trauma and increase the risk of developing malignancy.

In my opinion, synthetic hormones in our environment, along with growth hormones and estrogens that are fed to livestock, mimic estrogens that encourage the proliferation of this condition in most women. Young girls are beginning to menstruate at the age of 10, whereas the age of menstruation began between the ages of 14 and 16 just one generation ago. Women also continue with their menstrual cycle until the age of 52-54, rather than at age 50 or younger a generation ago. This unprecedented extension of the menstrual cycle has a devastating effect on women, specifically on hormonal areas, such as breasts and ovaries. The fluctuating levels of estrogen account for the cystic nature of inflammation and swelling common with PMS sufferers. Diets high in fat, with meat and dairy products that are loaded with xeno-estrogens play a role in contributing to the formation of painful lumps. Caffeine in coffee, colas, and so called ‘energy drinks’, theophylline in tea, and theobrimine in chocolate have been shown to contribute to this inflammation and should be eliminated from your diet.

Women with a history of constipation or irregular bowel movements are several times more likely to have cysts than those who have at least one bowel movement per day. It is important to point out that those who regularly consume a plant-based diet excrete two to three times more detoxified estrogens than those who eat meat; carnivores thus tend to re-absorb excess estrogen through their intestinal wall. Patients who have cysts and fibroadenoma in their breasts commonly have cysts and nodules in other parts of their anatomy, of course, in the same areas that are hormonally affected along the endocrine tree, including thyroid, ovaries, and uterus.

Many terms are used to describe certain conditions of the breast:

  • Fibroadenomas are tumors that form in the tissues outside the milk ducts. They generally feel smooth and firm, with a somewhat rubber-like texture. Typically, a fibroadenoma is not attached to surrounding tissue, and will move slightly when touched. They are most commonly found in adolescents and women in their early 20s, but can appear at any age.
  • Cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the breast. They probably develop as ducts and become clogged with old cells in the process of normal emptying and filling. Cysts usually feel soft and round, or oval. However, a cyst deep within the breast may feel hard, as it pushes up against firmer breast tissue. A woman with a cyst may experience pain, especially if the cyst increases in size before her menstrual cycle, as many do.
  • Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign (non cancerous) condition characterized by round lumps that move freely within the breast tissue and generally expand and shrink with the onset and end of the menstrual cycle. It is estimated that as many as 40% of all women in North America have fibrocystic breast disease. Fibrocystic tissue usually presents with hypothermia (cooling) on a thermographic image.

A cancerous growth in the breast is often not tender and not freely movable when touched. During thermographic evaluation, high-risk areas often present with an asymmetrically hot area along with considerable warming during functional challenge.

A number of other breast problems that are benign or non-cancerous may be placed under the heading of fibrocystic conditions. These include disorders that may lead to breast inflammation (mastitis), infection, nipple discharge, dilated milk ducts, milk-filled cysts, wart-like growth in the duct, and excess growth of fibrous tissue around the glands. Many women with these kinds of problems have had several invasive procedures over the years, such as needle aspirations and biopsies to investigate these conditions. One must ask if it is possible to prevent or even reverse this problem in the first place?

Fibrocystic disease should be treated with the understanding that it is a multifactorial problem that requires a multi-modal approach to treatment. The following strategies have been found to be very effective in our clinic:

We begin with a detailed case history of the individual to identify potential problem areas, including current health conditions, past diseases, medications that may cause symptoms, and any unresolved physical and psychological issues. Once the case “picture” is complete and there is a clear identification of imbalances, a therapeutic approach is applied to address the issues. Since each individual case history is unique, each case requires a different approach.

Diet Advice

Besides eliminating caffeine, and salt, a high fiber diet including a great variety of plant-based foods free of pesticides and hormones will help in preventing cyclical fluctuations in cyst size and tenderness. A high-fiber diet is extremely beneficial to the elimination of unwanted toxins preventing dangerous xeno-estrogens from being re-absorbed back into the body. Increase consumption of vegetables, especially the cruciferous family (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale). The main ingredient in these vegetables is indole-3-carbinol, which promote 2-hydroxyestrone, (a protective estrogen) and counter the proliferative effect of carcinogenic 16-alphahydroxy estrone (a bad estrogen). You should also keep your intestinal flora healthy with the use of probiotics.

Maintain and enhance your liver’s ability to metabolize estrogens from different sources. This can be done through proper nutrition and requires very specific concentrations of nutrients and occasional liver support and detoxification. This is a continuous and life-long prevention program. The ultimate goal here is to improve your estrogen metabolism.

Lifestyle Advice

Start and maintain an exercise program that addresses three key components of health: duration (aerobics), strength (weight resistance), and flexibility (stretching). A moderate daily exercise routine will promote weight loss and hormonal balance, stabilizing your mood and the overall feeling of wellbeing.

Hormonal Balancing

Over the years, I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Dr. Pettle, MD, Canada’s leading authority on bio-identical hormones. I have observed that the proper assessment of a patient’s hormonal levels – utilizing blood, saliva, and urine testing should be done at the onset of treatment to establish a baseline and to clearly identify the hormonal imbalances that inadvertently contribute to breast abnormalities. It is not surprising to see that most problems in this area are a result of estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. Proper thyroid testing is also essential, since thyroid conditions usually precede breast disease.

Homeopathic Medications

Homeopathic treatments are a safe and extremely effective way of balancing your problems naturally by allowing your system to correct itself with gentle stimulation of your own immune response. Unlike so many conventional medications, homeopathics are never addictive. Once symptoms are relieved and resolved, you can stop taking them.

Here is a list of some of the most common medications that I’ve used over the years:

  • Phytolacca Decandra (Poke Root) – comes to mind as the most prominent glandular remedy and is almost always useful in problems associated with mastitis, tenderness of the breasts before and after menses, and breast tumors with the enlargement of the Axillary glands. When a patient complains about breast pain in the upper, outer quadrant radiating into the Axillary regions, I always think of this great medicine.
  • Conium Maculatum (Poison Hemlock) – is indispensable in conditions that present with very hard nodules, tenderness, swelling around menses, and painful swelling in the Axillary glands with numbness going down the arm.
  • Silicea Terra (Pure Flint) – is useful in treating patients with conditions arising as a consequence of defective nutrition and assimilation. These patients complain of stitching (splinter like) pains, present with an unhealthy tendency to suppuration with fistulas and abscess conditions, keloids, painful scars, soreness from drawn in nipples, and the sensation of a stone pressing in the breast.
  • Scrophularia Nodosa (Knotted Figwort) – is useful in dissipation of nodules in the breast. The characteristic symptoms would be pain in all flexor muscles. Incidentally, this plant is very useful in Hodgkin’s disease.
  • Lac Caninum (Dog’s Milk) – is something I have used to treat patients, who present with symptoms of painful swelling in the breasts before menses that are worse with jarring motion. This woman will hold both breasts firmly when going up or down the stairs. Her nipples may be painful, and the pain usually alternates from side to side.
  • Asterias Rubens (Red Starfish) – is something I use to treat patients who may have symptoms of ulceration in the breast, nodules, and indurations with lacerating pains that are worse at night. These pains may extend all the way from the Axillary glands through the arm to the end of the little finger. Restlessness of the lower extremities at night would very much indicate the use of red starfish.
  • Use of Botanicals and Phytotherapy is the oldest method known in our history to treat disorders. I have always had a lot of respect for Mother Nature’s infinite wisdom by providing us with the tools to help us heal the sick. Botanical hormonal normalizers help the body regularize swings and hormone imbalances, enabling a move towards complete removal of the problem. Although no true specifics are known for fibrocystic breast condition, 

When addressing the problem of fibrocystic conditions, several components must be addressed simultaneously to provide effective treatment, for example:

  • Lymphatics: to promote drainage and vitality of lymph tissue
  • Diuretics: to alleviate water retention
  • Anti Spasmodics: to provide help with dragging pains
  • Nerve Relaxants: to alleviate problems associated with PMS

Essential Oils

My good friend, Dr. Janet Greene MD, in Santa Fe New Mexico, who also happens to be a fellow Board Certified Clinical Thermographer (BCCT), sees many patients with fibrocystic breast disease. In conjunction with other treatments, essential oils are very beneficial to many of her patients. She uses a combination of frankincense, sandalwood, lavender, green myrtle and a touch of grapefruit in a base of jojoba oil. She explains that frankincense and sandalwood are anti-tumorals and help create an environment high in oxygen, thus making it impossible or difficult for bacteria and viruses to survive. Green myrtle supports the thyroid, while lavender is the universally beneficial oil.

Finding a lump in the breast could be a terrifying experience for some women; one should always consult with her healthcare practitioner and have the lump examined. Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition that definitely can be managed, given the proper approach. Patience and perseverance are key, though there are many options available. The first step? Become proactive!

Dr. Alexander Mostovoy is recognized as a leading authority on the application of clinical thermography. Since 1999, he has pioneered the use of Infrared Medical Thermography in his clinic in Toronto, Canada with a special interest in breast thermography and women’s health.
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