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New Study on Adrenal Dysfunction in Journal of Chronic Fatigue SyndromeA review just published in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a major journal for the specialty treatment of CFS and FM Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM).
INTRODUCTIONFibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, which has been described in the literature for over 200 years. Since the majority of fibromyalgia patients complain of chronic fatigue and with the possibility that reduced ATP levels are present at points of tenderness, supplementation of D-ribose may offer a clinical benefit in lessening or relieving symptoms to improve ones quality of life. OBJECTIVESThe goal of this study is to determine the potential benefit of D-ribose versus placebo in patients afflicted with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Problem with the definition is that it is a research definition and excludes many people with the syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex diseases that involve multi-system disturbances and abnormalities.
These conditions do not lend themselves to be successfully treated with the eight to fifteen minute visits that address only a portion of the wide spectrum of underlying dysfunctions. Component One:Stabilize the Patient This is a component in which pain and sleep disturbances are addressed. Component Two:Mitochondrial Enhancement This component is actually integrated throughout the treatment program and tapered as the patient returns to normal functioning. Component Three:Balance the Hormones There are a number of hormonal deficiencies with these conditions that must be addressed to assure successful treatment.
Thus, many organisms must be evaluated and treated along with an assessment and treatment of the immune system.
Component Five:Address Unique Etiologies There are a number of problems that must be addressed in select patients.
Component Six:Maintenance Here is where the patient is weaned to just a few core medications and supplements to remain symptom free and maintain their health. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are illnesses that often coexists and affect millions of Americans. Current research suggests that many triggers can initiate a cascade of events, causing the hypothalamic, pituitary, immune and coagulation dysfunction.
Effective treatment, with 70 to 90 percent of individuals achieving significant clinical benefits, can be achieved by simultaneously treating the above problems that an individual is found to have. When an individual is found to have one of the viruses discussed above, these can be treated with resulting improvement in symptoms.
Although a concept that is sometimes uncomfortable and foreign to traditional medical styles of thinking, the need for multiple interventions is required for effective treatment of an illness that affects a critical control center (such as the hypothalamus), which impacts the multiple systems noted above. The fact is there's little scientific evidence to support any single eating plan as a way to deal with fibromyalgia. Kent Holtorf, MD, is the medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group Center for Endocrine, Neurological and Infection Related Illness in Torrance, California. Rheumatology experts like Alex Shikhman, MD, believe the diversity of dietary approaches may have less to do with the impact on fibromyalgia, and more to do with treating a secondary, possibly undiagnosed illness.
There are a number of co-existing health conditions that have a tendency to occur in people with fibromyalgia. While there may not be a single set of dietary guidelines that are right for all fibromyalgia patients, there are certain foods, or food groups, that appear to make a difference for a significant number of people. In one study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2006, experts found patients with fibromyalgia did have an increased expression of NMDA receptors in their skin.
That appeared to be the case for patients in one small study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy in 2001. Other artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, saccharin, and stevia do not appear to have the same effect as aspartame. The same is true, says McNett, for foods containing preservatives such as nitrates, commonly found in lunchmeats like ham or bologna or in bacon. Shikhman adds that cutting out carbonated beverages sweetened with fructose may yield even more noticeable results. Because people with fibromyalgia are already tired, McNett cautions, those sedative effects can be much more powerful.
In the case of yeast, some doctors say it fosters the overgrowth of the yeast fungus in the body. On the other hand, if you feel as if milk is doing your body some good, keep chugging a glass or two of skim milk a day. And while, she says, this won't necessarily reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms, it can help to reduce the risk of other ailments that can only compound your health issues.
One small study published in the journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2001 found that patients who ate a vegetarian diet consisting of mostly raw whole foods did see a reduction in their fibromyalgia symptoms. Holtorf also believes that sticking to a heart-healthy diet may yield some specific helpful effects. What can also help, he says, is a high potency vitamin supplement as well as supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids. There is mounting evidence that there is low thyroid activity present in the majority of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients.
TSH is secreted by the pituitary in the brain and stimulates the thyroid to secrete T4, which is not the active thyroid hormone. There is clearly hypothalamic and pituitary dysfunction in these conditions (can potentially be caused by viruses, bacteria, stress, yeast, inflammation, toxins, pesticides, plastics and mitochondria dysfunction). Furthermore, many chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients have relatively diminished T4 to T3 conversion and a relatively increased T4 to reverse T3 conversion, also resulting in low tissue levels of active thyroid hormone levels despite having a normal TSH.
Another significant cause of low tissue thyroid levels in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia that is not detected by standard testing is the fact that there has been shown to be a peripheral thyroid hormone resistance found in these patients, meaning that there is a diminished thyroid effect for a given amount of thyroid hormone in the blood. A review of the literature regarding evidence of significant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) dysfunction in CFS and FM.
A study published in the Annals New York Academy of Sciences entitled Evidence for and Pathophysiologic Implications of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysregulation in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome discussed the evidence for HPA axis insufficiency in CFS and FM. Cleare et al published a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry that obtained 24-hour urine collections from 121 consecutive patients with CFS. Another study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation performed a combination of stimulation tests on FM patients.
Cortisol levels normally increase with pain, but it has been shown that patients with CFS and FM either cannot appropriately increase cortisol production with pain or the inability to increase cortisol causes the increased pain.
Dynamic testing is certainly useful in straight forward primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency, but in patients with CFS, there is a complex interaction of hypothalamic and pituitary dysfunction. Numerous studies demonstrate that this lack of sensitivity likely explains the seemingly contradictory findings between studies using stimulation tests.1,3,8,9,19,27,34-40 For instance, Scott et al in Clinical Endocrinology did 1ug ACTH stimulation tests on subjects with CFS and found a significant decrease in the delta cortisol value of patients with CFS vs. Another study that clearly demonstrates this confusion and that standard stimulation tests are not a reasonable method of evaluation of adrenal-cortical dysfunction is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism entitled Evidence for Impaired Activation of the Hypothalamic Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Although this cortisol response to ACTH is clearly abnormal for all of the patients with CFS, the dose response curve varies. Kirnap et al in a study published in Clinical Endocrinology compared standard and low dose ACTH stimulation tests on patients with primary fibromyalgia syndrome (PFS). Further supporting the use of low dose cortisol in these patients is the fact that such treatment has been shown to improve the HPA axis response in these patients. Another randomized control trial published in JAMA also found significant improvement in fatigue scores with hydrocortisone replacement, but they used excessive dosing of 25-35 mg of cortisol. There has been a significant increase in the number of people suffering from lifestyle related disorders like diabetes, obesity and chronic auto-immune diseases like arthritis etc.
Types Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome There are 5 different types of chronic fatigue syndrome, namely post exertional fatigue, brain fog fatigue, wired fatigue, energy fatigue and flu-like fatigue.
Though the exact cause of chronic fatigue is not yet known, a number of researches suggest that it may be a result of other existing diseases of the individual such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease or kidney failure. The signs and symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome are quite complex and differ from person to person. Early treatment is essential to avoid progression of the disease, even in chronic fatigue syndrome. Risk Factors Though chronic fatigue syndrome can affect almost any individual at any given time, there are certain people who are more at the risk of developing this condition. Consequentially, millions of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have gone without comprehensive treatments and have had to suffer for years with a poor quality of life. It is believed that fibromyalgia may affect millions of individuals in the United States alone. Therefore, some have argued that by replenishing these decreased energy levels, symptoms may be lessened or alleviated.
Endpoints of this study will assess levels of relief in symptoms of fatigue and pain, as well as potential benefits in their quality of life, assessed by questionnaires. The patient must be experiencing pain or achiness, steady or intermittent, for at least 3 months.
Because of this complexity, these conditions have been poorly treated by the current medical system in this country.
Through a more detailed evaluation and specialized testing, all identifiable etiologies contributing to the symptomotology may be appropriately addressed, and when multifaceted treatment is instituted that addresses the entire spectrum of these diseases, truly remarkable success and total cures can be obtained. The mitochondria are the energy producers of the cells and are critical for normal functioning. Unfortunately, these hormonal deficiencies are often missed or poorly treated because doctors have come to rely on standard blood tests that require an intact pituitary and hypothalamus for diagnosis and dosing of hormone levels.
Because of the immune dysfunctions, there is often more than one infection that must be addressed. If a poor immune system is not addressed, successful eradication of the organisms is not likely, even with the most potent treatments. For instance, some individuals have a coagulation defect that is set off by a chronic infection.
Significant recovery or complete resolution of symptoms is the rule rather than the exception when a multifaceted treatment plan is instituted. Symptoms vary amongst individuals and commonly include severe fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive problems, commonly called brain fog, muscle pain and multiple infections. The most common initiating cause is a viral or bacterial infection, which is very commonly Epstein Bar Virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), HHV6, mycoplasma, Chlamydia pneumonia or Lyme’s disease.
The mix of treatments needed varies from patient to patients, but there is consistent abnormal pathophysiology.
It can require a combination of medications, supplements and sometimes intravenous treatments to eradicate some of the persistent infections.
Unfortunately, there is not a single treatment that reverses hypothalamic dysfunction directly. It consists of a complex array of symptoms that include widespread muscle and joint pain along with overwhelming fatigue. Nevertheless, a trip around the Internet will show that dietary approaches to fibromyalgia abound. He says, "We're at the point now where we know diet plays a role in this disease -- it's just not the same diet for everybody. That's another reason, he says, we can sometimes see such dramatic and immediate response to so many different dietary measures.
Researchers found that, when patients with fibromyalgia avoided aspartame as well as the flavor enhancer MSG, they felt better overall. But one of the hallmarks of this condition is that it amplifies unpleasant reactions," McNett says.
That, in turn, creates more cravings for sugar, followed by still more fatigue -- allowing a vicious cycle to develop." Cutting out the sugar, he says, particularly soda, can result in better, more even control of blood sugar. This overgrowth may cause or exacerbate much of the joint and muscle pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia.
Gluten intolerance, Shikhman says, frequently results in a variety of stomach ailments and other digestive problems. We're not sure why, but it seems to work in a significant percentage of fibromyalgia patients." At the same time, these vegetables are among the most nutritious. Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says, however, that most can also benefit from an overall heart-healthy approach to good eating. Omega 3 fatty acids -- which are also found in foods such as fish oil, flax seed, walnuts, some fortified cereals, and eggs -- are the "good fats" that have been shown to have an impact on inflammation. Studies demonstrate that in addition to an increased incidence of primary hypothyroidism in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, there is a combination of secondary, tertiary and thyroid resistance in the overwhelming majority of CFS and FM patients, despite having normal thyroid tests because these latter forms of tissue hypothyroidism are not detected by standard thyroid function tests.
The hypothalamic dysfunction results in the production of TSH that has diminished biological activity so there are lower T4 and T3 levels for any given level of TSH. This has been discounted in the past, but more and more evidence is surfacing proving that this is indeed a significant problem with these conditions. T4 preparations such as Synthroid and Levoxyl rarely work and Armour thyroid, a pig glandular product, is somewhat better, but definitely not adequate for most patients.
They found over 95% of these patients had HPA axis dysfunction.3 They state, “The etiology and pathophysiology of this disease is not fully understood but the current data suggests that the PFS [Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome] is not a primary disease of muscle. A study published in the November 2005 Journal Arthritis and Rheumatism demonstrated this strong relationship between cortisol levels and pain in individuals with CFS and FM and that low cortisol levels alone explained 38% of the variation in pain upon waking. There is an initial exaggerated response followed by an abnormally blunted response, which is not the case for patients with primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency without a dysfunctional hypothalamus.
The author of this study postulates that this is due to a lack of CRH (corticotrophin releasing hormone) with a secondary hyperresponsivness from inadequate levels of ACTH. This is counterintuitive to what physicians are taught and have found with higher pharmacological doses of glucocorticoids. He writes in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, “Hydrocortisone, the glucocorticoid that is routinely prescribed to correct the chronic cortisol deficiency of patients with Addison’s disease, has recently been confirmed to be significantly effective also in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The authors conclude,” Significantly greater benefits were seen in the active group than in the placebo group for all primary outcomes. The following information has been compiled to help spread the good news with the hope of placing more people onA the path to greater health, relaxation and happiness. Chronic fatigue is one of the severe debilitating conditions, affecting thousands of people worldwide. Read below to find out more about this condition- its causes, types, treatments, symptoms and risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control indicate that stress, infections and toxin exposures may lead to chronic fatigue syndrome.Infections of Epstein-Barr virus, human retrovirus, fungi, and bornavirus and Lyme disease bacteria may be one of the major causes of chronic fatigue syndrome in many individuals. Certain common signs and symptoms include short term memory impairment, loss of concentration, sore throat, extreme weakness, feeling tired always, muscle weakness, cramps, pain in the joints, lethargy, dizziness, tender lymph nodes, swelling and redness of joints etc.These signs can be confirmed as chronic fatigue syndrome only after they persist for more than 6 months and fail to respond even after medications. Several researches have confirmed the fact that patients who are diagnosed and treated for chronic fatigue syndrome in the first 2 years respond more quickly and efficiently than those who were diagnosed later.Drug therapies for chronic fatigue syndrome include use of medications including Buopropion, sertraline and others. Statistics reveal that this condition is most commonly diagnosed among people of the age group 40-50 years and in the elderly group.Also, women undergoing menopause may be at a much higher risk of developing this condition.
Even though these are complex diseases, the physiological causes underlying these conditions can usually be uncovered with specialty testing and then multi-faceted treatment protocols that address the numerous physiologic dysfunctions are successful.
Fibromyalgia, as defined by the American College of Rheumatology, includes: diffused widespread pain, presence of multiple tender points, sleep disturbances, fatigue, reduced exercise tolerance, and irritable bowel syndrome. D-ribose, a naturally occurring pentose sugar, aids in the formation of adenine nucleotides, via an intermediate compound called phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP), which is essential for de novo synthesis and salvage of nucleotides 5. This is in general a temporary "stop gap" phase because as the treatment progresses and the underlying problems are addressed, the medications that "mask the symptoms" are no longer needed. But they are shown to be poisoned in these conditions, leaving the cells starving for energy. There is, however, severe hypothalamic and pituitary dysfunction with these conditions, making the standard blood tests inadequate.
Potential pathogens include a variety of viruses such as Epstein Barr (EBV), Cytomegalovirus( CMV), Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6), Enteroviruses, such as Coxsackie, Echo, and Stealth virus. This results in the laying down of a fibrin coating on the lumen of the vessel causing impaired oxygen and nutrient transfer. Unfortunately, many individuals and physicians continue to deny that these syndromes are legitimate diseases.
When specialized testing is utilized, these infections are found in 30-80% of CFS and FM patients.
Thus, this situation is different from illnesses that affect a single target organ and which can be treated with a single intervention. That's one reason, say experts, that so many people have turned to diet as a way to relieve some of the symptoms.
The variety is so diverse it's hard to imagine they are all aimed at treating the same disease. All the experts WebMD talked to agree that for a large majority of people with fibromyalgia, foods sweetened with aspartame could exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. Aspartame, which is classified as an excitotoxin, helps to stimulate this event." He also says people with fibromyalgia appear to already have overly active NMDA pain receptors, making them more susceptible to the stimulation.
MSG is an additive or flavor enhancer that's found in many processed and frozen foods and in some Asian cuisines. There is no clear evidence that cutting out simple carbohydrates -- like sugar, cake, or white bread -- will have an impact on fibromyalgia. Because it is considered a stimulant, many fibromyalgia patients turn to caffeine-rich beverages as a source of energy. Although these are two separate food substances, they frequently appear together -- particularly in baked goods like cake, donuts, and bread. Be they low fat or high fat, some experts say, dairy products -- particularly, milk -- have been known to drive the symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are over 2,000 species of plants that that can be listed under the category of "nightshade." Those which are edible comprise a group that some say can trigger flares of various types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia. Thus, many chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients are erroneously told over and over that their thyroid levels are fine. In addition, the pituitary dysfunction results in a diminished secretion of TSH, masking low tissue thyroid levels as the TSH is usually in the normal range.
The type II deiodinase that converts T4 to T3 is down regulated in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia while the type III deiodinase enzyme that increases T4 to reverse T3 (rT3) is unregulated in these conditions. The authors conclude, “Urinary free cortisol was significantly lower in the subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome regardless of the presence or absence of current or past comorbid psychiatric illness…From whatever cause, low circulating cortisol is associated with fatigue; furthermore, raising cortisol levels can reduce fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome.
They conclude, “In conclusion, the amount of cortisol released following stimulation with 1ug ACTH, is lower in CFS patients than in healthy volunteers…We propose, as has been suggested from previous studies, that the abnormality of HPA regulation is more likely to be central in origin. Consequently, standard dynamic testing is not medically useful in these patients and it is improper to use the defined normal cutoffs of response as is done with other conditions.
They alternatively state that this HPA axis defect could be secondary to a chronic viral infection. In a study published in the 2001 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism entitled Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the Effects of Low-Dose Hydrocortisone Therapy, the authors utilized ACTH and cortisol responses to CRH, insulin stress test, D-fenfluramine and 24 hour urinary free cortisol in 37 patients with CFS and treated these patients with low dose cortisol. These drugs may help relieve symptoms, especially those associated with pain and sleep changes. Certain studies also suggest than women in the menopausal stage have 4 times a much greater risk of developing this condition than other women. The medical practice focuses on these conditions as well as hypothyroidism, complex endocrine disorders and chronic infectious diseases, including Lyme disease.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of patients are never brought past this stage by their doctors. Many things can poison the mitochondria including hormonal deficiencies, toxins and infections. Some typical hormones functions, not just levels, that need to be evaluated include thyroid function, growth hormone, testosterone, aldosterone, cortisol, DHEA, pregnenolone, estradiol, progesterone, among others. Bacterial infections include intracellular organisms such as mycoplasma, Chlamydia pneumonia, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) and ehrlichia.
The medical literature is, however, very clear that these are legitimate diseases and individuals with these syndromes have measurable hypothalamic, pituitary, immune and coagulation dysfunction.
Many people with these syndromes can pinpoint the start of their disease to a viral infection that never got better usually during significant life stressors.
This is, however, usually not picked up on the standard blood tests because the TSH is not elevated in these individuals because of the pituitary dysfunction.
Some doctors believe food sensitivity itself could sometimes be responsible for some of the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.
Nevertheless, the experts WebMD talked to agree that eliminating at least some of these foods is worth a try. What it can do, though, is reduce symptoms of chronic yeast infection -- a fungus that thrives on sugars and may be a secondary condition contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia.
Consequently, it's necessary to have high levels of nutrients to get the mitochondria to work and for energy to be produced." So, Holtorf adds, the higher your level of dietary nutrients, at least theoretically, the better off you might be. This is the standard way to diagnose hypothyroidism and is the only way that the majority of physicians (endocrinologists, internists, family practitioners, ect.) know how to test for low thyroid levels. Very few doctors understand the significance of this and incorrectly state that the thyroid is fine based on a normal TSH level. T3 works the best for many of these patients, but Cytomel, a very short acting T3 available at normal pharmacies, is also a poor choice because the varying blood levels can cause significant side effects. Thus, this study provides further evidence that adrenocortical dysfunction in chronic fatigue syndrome, whatever the etiology and whether primary or secondary, may be one piece of the multifactorial jigsaw underlying the production of symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome.” 7 The authors agree that treating this adrenocortical dysfunction with cortisol replacement is a fundamentally necessary part of the appropriate multi-system treatment of this condition.
They found that the treatment resulted in significant improvement and not only was there no adrenal suppression, but rather there was an improvement in the HPA axis as documented with CRH testing. The authors concluded, “This study shows that low-dose hydrocortisone results in significant reduction in self-rated fatigue and disability in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome…The degree of disability was reduced with hydrocortisone treatment, but not with placebo. Using a far infrared sauna can help strengthen the bodya€™s immune system by stimulating increased production of white blood cells by the bone marrow and killer T-cells by the thymus.A 2. This is because this component is the limit of training for most doctors, but it really should only be the first step.
These abnormalities then result in a cascade of further abnormalities, in which stress plays a role by suppressing immunity and hypothalamic-pituitary function.


Many of these individuals will also have high levels of the anti-thyroid reverse T3, which is usually not measured on standard blood tests.
This effect is multiplied in hypothalamic dysfunction, which affects several critical systems in addition to the pituitary gland.
Like aspartame, MSG is classified as an excitotoxin and has the same potential for affecting NMDA receptors.
There are, however, multiple abnormalities in CFS and FM that result in tissue hypothyroidism that are not detected using the standard TSH, T4 and T3 testing. The T3 and rT3 levels can be measured and the ratio calculated, but merely finding normal T3 and reverse T3 levels is not adequate to detect this abnormality.
They concluded, “In this group, there was a significant increase in the cortisol re¬sponse to human CRH, which reversed the previously ob¬served blunted responses seen in these patients. Insulin stress tests showed that endogenous adrenal function was not suppressed by hydrocortisone.” 9 This demonstrates the effectiveness and appropriateness of this treatment. Far infrared rays improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphins, lower lactic acid, kill certain bacteria and parasites, and burn calories.
In addition to the treatments above to rid the body of the offending agents, specific nutrients can be given to jump start the mitochondria and get the body functioning again. Infections with many of the above organisms will also further suppress the immunity, often resulting in further infections with other organisms. If not treated, not only are the cells starved for oxygen and nutrients, but it is very difficult to eradicate any infection because they will "hide" in the fibrin coating. The pituitary and hypothalamic dysfunction results in multiple hormonal deficiencies that are often not detected with standard blood tests, as well as autonomic dysfunction, including neutrally mediated hypotension. In addition, the majority of individuals can also have a thyroid receptor resistance that is not detected on the blood tests.
An integrated treatment approach based on simultaneously treating the above problems is significantly beneficial in CFS and FMS. In fact, standard thyroid tests fail to detect tissue hypothyroidism 80-90% of the time in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
However, to achieve significant improvement, the treating physician must be very knowledgeable about T3 and must realize that when on T3, standard bloods blood test will lead one to dose incorrectly and not obtain significant benefits. Proponents of hyperthermia, also known as fever therapy, maintain that using far infrared energy to therapeutically induce higher body temperatures helps fight infections and even cancer. The immune dysfunction, which includes natural killer cell dysfunction, results in opportunistic infections and yeast overgrowth, making the symptoms worse.
Consequently, thyroid treatment, especially with timed release T3 is effective for many patients.
This includes doctors who previously felt that they were thyroid experts and had been using thyroid with in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia for a long time. Their argument is supported by the human body itself, which radiates infrared energy for the benefits of warmth and tissue repair.A 3.
These substances can remain in the body and continue to cause symptoms long after the organism that produced them are gone. Recent studies have shown that the coagulation dysfunction is usually initiated by a viral infection and has genetic predisposition.
T4 preparations (inactive thyroid) such as Synthroid and Levoxyl do not work well for these conditions. This abnormal coagulation results in increased blood viscosity (slugging) and a deposition of soluble fibrin monomers along the capillary wall. In addition, adrenal insufficiency and growth hormone deficiency are also very common with these disorders, and supplementation with these hormones can often have profound effects.
This is the heat you feel penetrate your skin when you stand in the sun and miss when you walk into the shade.
This results in tissue and cellular hypoxia, resulting in fatigue and decreased cognition (brain fog). As with thyroid testing, these deficiencies are, unfortunately, usually not detected with the standard screen blood tests and require more specific testing.
Neurotransmitter abnormalities and macro and micro nutrient deficiencies have also been shown to occur with these disorders.
When people do not receive adequate amounts of far infrared heat, they often can become ill or depressed.A 4.
Far infrared saunas are recognized by health practitioners worldwide as perhaps the most effective method of removing both chemical and heavy metal toxins from the body. Far infrared saunas are thought to be 7 times more effective at detoxifying heavy metals such as mercury, aluminium, and other environmental toxins than conventional heat or steam saunas. For many chronically ill patients as well as people who are well and wish to stay that way by reducing their toxic burden, the far infrared sauna is the detox method of choice.A 6. Bathing in a far infrared sauna in the early stages of a cold or flu has been known to stop the disease before symptoms occur.A 7. Far infrared heat can penetrate into the skin about an inch and a half to two inches deep and can have therapeutic benefits, such as helping to dissolve fat deposits under the skin. Since toxins may be stored in the fat, the deep penetrating heat of a far infrared sauna can help eliminate them, especially toxins such as heavy metals and acidic compounds.A 8.
The radiant heat of a far infrared sauna is efficient because it warms the sauna bather directly.
The body absorbs as much as 93 percent of the heat, causing perspiration and producing a vast array of health benefits.A 9. Far infrared saunas can help clear cellulite, the gel-like lumps of fat, water and debris trapped in pockets beneath the skin. European beauty specialists routinely incorporate daily far infrared sauna baths in programs to reduce cellulite.A 10. Generally speaking, far infrared saunas are less expensive, easier to install, and require less maintenance than traditional saunas. They come in many sizes and are often quite portable, making them a great choice when limited space is available.A 11. Far infrared radiant heat provides all the healthy benefits of natural sunlight without any of the dangerous effects of solar radiation.A 12.
Far infrared saunas are more cleansing than conventional saunas because they are designed to generate more than two to three times the amount of perspiration.
Unlike in traditional saunas where temperatures range from 140 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 105 degrees Celsius), the temperatures of far infrared saunas typically range from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 60 degrees Celsius).A 14.
This allows a person to perspire faster and to tolerate a longer period of time inside the sauna. Typical sessions in a far infrared sauna last 20 to 30 minutes and can be repeated to maximize the benefits.A 15. The lower heat range of far infrared saunas is safer for people with cardiovascular risk factors or fragile health because lower temperatures dona€™t dramatically elevate heart rate and blood pressure.A 16.
Far infrared saunas have been used to treat sprains, bursitis, rheumatism, muscle spasms, neuralgia and hemorrhoids. The effects of toxin, chemical and pesticide poisoning can be greatly reduced by the far infrared saunaa€™s detoxification action. People who work with chemicals, as well as home gardeners who frequently use fertilizers and pesticides, are advised to use far infrared saunas on a regular basis.A 18. Far infrared radiant heat is a form of naturally occurring energy that heats objects by direct light conversion. Direct light conversion warms only the object and does not raise the temperature of the surrounding free air.A 19.
Far infrared sauna use can help promote rebuilding of injured tissue by having a positive effect on the fibroblasts, the connective tissue cells necessary for the repair of injury.
It also can help increase growth of cells, DNA syntheses, and protein synthesis, all of which is necessary during tissue repair and regeneration.A 21.
In the electromagnetic spectrum, far infrared wavelengths measure between 5.6 and 1,000 microns. Wavelengths of between 6 and 14 microns are believed to be the most beneficial to humans and other living things on Earth.A  The human palm emits far infrared wavelengths of between 8 and 12 microns.
The energy output from far infrared saunas so closely match the human bodya€™s radiant energy that nearly 93 percent of the saunaa€™s far infrared waves reach the skin.A 22.
Far infrared sauna therapy has helped people with cardiovascular conditions such as congestive heart failure and angina.
It enhances endothelial nitric oxide, lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular function.A 23. The radiant heat of far infrared saunas has been shown to be especially beneficial to people with sports injuries, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions.A 24. There are some definite advantages to using far infrared sauna thermal heaters, such as no high heat claustrophobic reaction and better air circulation.
Far infrared heaters heat the body, not the air, so a bather is more comfortable and cooler. Far infrared saunas require 90 percent less electrical energy than conventional saunas, and no plumbing is required for a far infrared sauna.A 26.
A 20 to 30-minute session in a far infrared sauna has been touted to burn as many calories as a six-mile run.A 27.
Far infrared saunas are now used in health facilities for a range of health problems such as menopause, ulcers, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, and allergies.A 28. You dona€™t have to worry about setting the sauna up on a waterproof floor or near plumbing, and you dona€™t have to worry about mildew.A 29.
Unlike a traditional sauna, which requires a closed atmosphere to maintain heat levels required for therapeutic results, a far infrared sauna can be used with its door or window completely open if far infrared penetration is the only objective.A 30. Far infrared saunas benefit all your organs of elimination, from your lungs to your liver to your kidneys to your skin.A 31.
Infrared light lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared light has a range of wavelengths, just like visible light has wavelengths that range from red light to violet. Near infrared light is closest in wavelength to visible light, and far infrared light is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. A far infrared sauna is usually warm within 10 or 15 minutes, whereas a conventional sauna can take more than an hour to reach optimal temperatures.A 33. Another option, although quite costly, is to use far infrared bulbs, which can provide warming and stimulating color therapy.A 34.
In addition to hemlock, wood choices for far infrared sauna construction include basswood, birch, oak, poplar, spruce and western red cedar. When a wood type is stated to be hypoallergenic, it means that the wood contains minimal allergens and is therefore less likely to cause an allergic reaction. When far infrared heat penetrates a bathera€™s body, he or she can experience a refreshed mind, relaxed mood, reduction of aches and pains, improved metabolism, and systemic regularity leading to an overall feeling of wellness.A 37.
Hemlock is a very strong wood that is quite able to withstand the heat of a far infrared sauna. It is also abundantly available, which means the end cost to the consumer is less than it might be for another wood type.A 38. Far infrared radiation is believed to be the only antidote to excessive ultraviolet radiation.A 39.
Certain alternative healing practices such as palm healing, a practice with some 3,000 years of tradition behind it in China, rely on the human bodya€™s ability to emit far infrared radiant energy.A 40. And weight gain, muscle loss, decreased libido, wrinkles in our skin, and a growing number of aches and pains are probably other distressing concerns.A Some people try to defy nature by undergoing cosmetic surgery, utilizing every a€?anti-aginga€? skin care product available, taking stress management or meditation courses, or relocating to less polluted areas.
These actions may have merits worthy of consideration, but the fact remains that no one, no matter how determined he or she may be, can slow down the passage of time.
We start aging even before we are born, and the process does not stop until the day we die.A While our efforts may not influence time itself, they can, however, affect how our bodies respond to and endure it.
Qualified health professionals agree, for example, that regular exercise and good nutrition can have a long-term positive impact on a persona€™s quality of life.
As well, avoiding the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun is universally regarded as an effective way to help maintain healthy, youthful skin. And leta€™s not forget how quitting smoking has been shown to improve respiratory health and reduce the risk of cancer in many vital bodily organs. A One activity that has been proven to be of great benefit to the lungs, heart, skin and other organs is far infrared sauna bathing.
The rays from a far infrared sauna can help improve cardiovascular functioning, strengthen the bodya€™s immune system, reduce fat and cellulite, revitalize skin cells, improve muscle tone and strength, improve nutrition and production of brain chemicals, and much more.A Far infrared sauna bathing also helps to flush toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other destructive agents from our bodies. Exposure to this highly toxic substance can reportedly increase blood pressure and cause fertility problems, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory or concentration difficulties. Researchers have also linked lead exposure to Alzheimera€™s disease, a debilitating condition akin to dementia that most people associate with aging.A Various sources likewise suggest a connection between Alzheimera€™s disease and mercury, the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth. By definition, red is the color with the longest wavelengths of visible light, and violet is the color with the shortest wavelengths of visible light. Among the types of invisible light or electromagnetic radiation that reside outside of the optical spectrum are infrared radiation (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Translated from Latin, a€?infraa€? and a€?ultraa€? mean a€?belowa€? and a€?beyond,a€? respectively, so infrared radiation, or infrared light, is literally a€?below red,a€? and ultraviolet light is a€?beyond violet.a€?The German-born astronomer William Herschel discovered infrared light while living in England in 1800, about 20 years after his historic first sighting of the planet Uranus. Measuring the heat from the optical spectrum, Herschel observed that the temperature in the colors increased as he went from violet to red.
He also noticed that the temperature continued to increase beyond the color red, into a region of invisible light that Herschel named a€?infrared.a€?Infrared light is divided into three distinct segments with precise ranges of wavelength measured by microns.
Far infrared light is sometimes called thermal radiation or thermal light, and its wavelengths measure between 5.6 and 1,000 microns. The light or energy from sunlight and fire that we perceive as heat is far infrared.The far infrared radiation (FIR) emitted by the sun should not be confused with its deleterious ultraviolet radiation. Chief among the consumer products utilizing the technology is the far infrared sauna or heat therapy room.
A key attribute of far infrared light is its ability to heat an object directly without elevating the temperature of the air surrounding the object.
This is called direct light conversion.A Direct light conversion is perhaps best demonstrated when youa€™re outside on a summer day and a big cloud moves in front of the sun. In the shade, you dona€™t feel as warm as when you were basking in the direct path of the suna€™s energy. Yet, by positioning itself between you and the sun, the cloud has blocked the suna€™s far infrared rays from reaching you.
Thata€™s the reason you feel cooler even though the temperature of the air around you has not changed.A The value of far infrared light to human health and wellness must not be underestimated. Penetrating as deeply as three inches into our bodies, far infrared rays improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphins, destroy certain bacteria and parasites, lower lactic acid, and burn calories.Advocates of hyperthermia, also known as fever therapy, contend that employing such deep-penetrating far infrared energy to therapeutically induce higher body temperatures helps combat infections and even cancer. Their assertion is supported by the human body itself, which emits infrared energy for purposes of warmth and tissue repair.A Saunas have long been a tried, tested and true source of health benefits. For centuries, traditional saunas have helped to improve cardiovascular function, promote body detoxification, maintain general health, and foster greater relaxation in sauna bathers around the world. For many sauna enthusiasts, the traditional hot sauna a€“ the Finnish sauna a€“ remains the preferred route to renewed health and a rejuvenated spirit.A Sometimes called radiant heat saunas, soft heat saunas or heat therapy rooms, far infrared saunas offer most of the same benefits that traditional Finnish saunas do, but they do so at lower, more tolerable temperatures. While the air temperature in a typical Finnish sauna bath ranges from 170 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (77 to 93 degrees Celsius), such temperatures arena€™t required in a far infrared sauna to induce optimal bather perspiration.A By penetrating the bathera€™s body and effecting a deep, satisfying heat of just 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 55 degrees Celsius), the far infrared rays can create an enjoyably cleansing, detoxifying and revitalizing experience for the bather.
In fact, many sources claim that the volume of sweat produced during a far infrared sauna bath can be as much as three times greater than in a Finnish sauna bath. The higher volume of sweat means a faster, more thorough, and thus more beneficial flushing of toxic chemicals and harmful heavy metals from the body.A Far infrared rays are a fundamental, indispensable part of life on Earth.
And now, with far infrared heat therapy rooms and other infrared applications becoming increasingly common, we humans are wisely taking action to benefit from those rays and improve the quality of our own lives.A Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna UseThere are many benefits to be derived from proper and regular use of a far infrared sauna. Far infrared sauna bathing can improve autonomic functions of the nervous system.Further Applications of Far Infrared EnergyFar infrared saunas are just one example of the application of infrared energy in contemporary society. Other uses of infrared energy have resulted in infrared hair dryers, infrared foot massagers, infrared pillows, infrared underwear, and even infrared leg wraps for horses.
There are far infrared ray-emitting paints and wallpaper that combat mold as well as fast-cooking far infrared ovens that reportedly kill E. Far infrared rays are being utilized to purify polluted air, promote growth in plants, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, treat injured athletes, and even encourage new hair growth.Far Infrared Is Essential to LifeFar infrared rays are a fundamental, indispensable part of life on Earth. And now, with far infrared saunas and other infrared applications becoming increasingly common, we humans are astutely taking steps to benefit from those remarkable rays and improve the quality of our own lives.
Similarly, you may not pay much attention to far infrared saunas, but these fantastic devices offer health benefits that you may not be able to afford to ignore any longer.A As time progresses, it seems that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. We live in an age of terrorist activities, nuclear weapons, dictatorships and religious fanaticism. Costly international conflicts show no sign of abating, and just about everyone feels more insecure and vulnerable than they did a decade ago.
Even in our local neighborhoods, many of us worry about rising crime rates and growing threats to our personal safety.A And, as if those problems were not enough for us to worry about, many of us have major health issues with which we have no choice but to contend. Not helping matters are all the poisons and contaminants that have found their way into our environment and into our bodies. Fortunately, though, we are not powerless against these mighty and malicious microscopic menaces. In fact, we can start doing something about them right now - we can start fighting back with far infrared sauna detoxification therapy.A Far infrared saunas are revered by scientists and health professionals around the world for their ability to help flush out many of the toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other destructive agents that have accumulated deep within the bloodstream, skin and other vital organs of people from all walks of life. For individuals affected by mercury toxicity, lead poisoning, and other life-threatening exposures, the far infrared sauna is often viewed as an essential component of detoxification therapy.A If you think that only people in high-risk occupations qualify for far infrared sauna detoxification therapy, youa€™re wrong. Exogenous toxins, which can be absorbed through the skin, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract, are those not produced by the body itself, and examples include mercury, lead, zinc and cadmium. Sylver writes that a€?this category consists of waste produced by the body in the course of normal metabolic functioning and also pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites) and the waste they excrete. Also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), CFS was once commonly referred to as the a€?yuppie flua€? after about 200 people, most of whom were white, wealthy, young females, come down with a strange illness in 1984. National Institutes of Health claim that, for some people, chronic fatigue syndrome can first appear after a cold, bronchitis, hepatitis or an intestinal bug; for others, it can follow a bout of glandular fever. CDC and CFIDS Association of America announced in 2001 that stress may exacerbate but most likely does not cause the disorder.A On the polemical subject of CFS prevalence, Dr. Buist asserts that toxins can impede muscle metabolism, causing the pain and fatigability of muscles felt by many fatigued people.A Addressing the Well Mind Association in Seattle, WA, Dr. The affected persona€™s detoxification system is clogged up or destroyed, they get a backlog of chemicals, and their immune system goes down.a€?A Dr. Edelson and Deborah Mitchell, authors of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Autoimmune Disorders, put it like this: a€?The hallmark of CFIDS is overwhelming, persistent, incapacitating fatigue that leaves those afflicted unable to carry on their normal physical functions. Schmidt writes, a€?Researchers at Uppsala University Medical School in Sweden reported that patients with chronic fatigue contain abnormal levels of mercury within their cells.
Of patients with chronic fatigue, 45 percent showed mercury hypersensitivity and 49 percent showed lead hypersensitivity. When the metal burden was removed from the body (in many cases, by removing mercury-containing silver dental fillings), 77 percent of patients reported improved health.a€?A If these conclusions are correct, how can sufferers retaliate after the damage of toxic build-up has manifested itself as chronic fatigue syndrome? Lyon recommend far infrared sauna therapy.A a€?For the chronic fatigue patient, a consistent program of infrared sauna therapy will assist the problem of autonomic dysregulation, which is common to the condition,a€? states Dr.
These symptoms are reduced, as regular sauna therapy induces normal autonomic functioning.A a€?Through extensive research, it has been shown that saunas greatly assist in the elimination of accumulated toxins,a€? Lyon adds.
It has become well known that people who take regular saunas (2-3 per week) reduce their incidence of colds and influenza by over 65% (a study by the British Medical Association). While many people use saunas primarily for relaxation and stress reduction, the other health benefits are increasing the popularity of saunas. An often agonizing muscle disorder in which the thin film or tissue holding muscle together becomes thickened or tightened, fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pains and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, mild to incapacitating fatigue, and disturbed sleep.A The pain of fibromyalgia is typically felt in the neck, back, shoulders and hands, but it is not exclusive to those areas. Based on criteria set in 1990 by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), a diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a patient to have experienced widespread pain for a minimum of three months in 11 of 18 tender muscle sites. Among those 18 sites are the hips, knees and rib cage.A Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include allergies, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, dizziness, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms, numbness, and tender skin.
Most sufferers of fibromyalgia are women of childbearing age, but it has also been known to strike men, children and the elderly.As for what causes fibromyalgia, many theories exist. The Alternative Medicine Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and Environmental Illness states that a€?post-traumatic fibromyalgia is believed to develop after a fall, whiplash or back strain, whereas primary fibromyalgia has an uncertain origin.a€? However, in her book Detoxify or Die, Dr.
Nenah Sylver extols the sauna for its ability to increase cardiovascular activity and white blood cell, enzyme, and norepinephrine, beta-endorphin and possibly thyroxin production. As they, in turn, help to enhance circulation, increase waste removal and nutrient absorption, raise metabolism, and promote the elimination of toxins, foreign proteins and microbes, Dr. Sylver deems the aforementioned benefits of proper sauna use crucial in helping people with fibromyalgia. She notes a€?there are actually very few health problems that cannot be helped (or would become worse) with sauna therapya€? but advises patients nevertheless to consult with their health providers before beginning sauna therapy.A Dr.
Rogers and other health professionals insist that the far infrared sauna, radiant heat sauna or heat therapy room is of greater benefit to fibromyalgia sufferers than the traditional hot Finnish sauna because of a fundamental difference between the two styles of sauna. Rogers calls the far infrared sauna a€?infinitely more tolerable,a€? particularly for people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or multiple sclerosis, because it can function effectively at a much lower temperature than a conventional Finnish sauna.A a€?Ia€™m convinced that the far infrared sauna is something that everyone should do to restore health,a€? declares Dr. That such an effective detoxification tool exists should be welcome news to anyone suffering the ill effects of excessive lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic or aluminium in his or her body.
A Not everyone may believe they have sufficient reason to worry about heavy metal and chemical toxicity, but many experts are urging the skeptics to think again.
Lead is a highly toxic substance, exposure to which can produce a wide range of adverse health effects.
In adults, lead can reportedly increase blood pressure and cause fertility problems, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, irritability, and memory or concentration problems. A Because their brains and central nervous systems are still being formed, young children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to leada€™s harmful health effects.


National Safety Council (NSC), a€?Even very low levels of exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, and kidney damage. Lead can also be found in automobile exhaust, pesticides, hair dye, ink, and some glazed dishware.Mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant that can be found in tuna and swordfish, latex paint, dental amalgams, vaccines, cosmetics, contact lens solution, fabric softener and tap water, has also been classified by researchers as posing a grave threat to human health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that no level of mercury can be considered to be safe, as it is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth.A In their book What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Autoimmune Disorders, Dr. Like so many other heavy metals, cadmium can be found in air, water, soil and food.A Noting that the highest contributor to cadmium toxicity is cigarette smoke, the Center for Environmental and Integrative Medicine (CEIM) in Knoxville, TN, states that a€?cadmium can weaken the immune system and allow bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites to proliferate. Cadmium may also promote skeletal demineralization and increase bone fragility and fracture risk. Department of Health and Human Servicesa€™ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Eating food or drinking water with very high cadmium levels severely irritates the stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes death. Breathing air with lower levels of cadmium, or eating lower levels of cadmium, over long periods of time can result in a build-up of cadmium in the kidneys. This has been seen mostly in workers exposed to arsenic at smelters, mines, and chemical factories, but also in residents living near smelters and arsenical chemical factories.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified inorganic arsenic as a known human carcinogen.A Since arsenic is found naturally in the environment, humans risk exposure to it when they eat food, drink water, breathe air, or come in contact with contaminated soil or water.
The same can be said for aluminium compounds.A People may also be exposing themselves to aluminium compounds when they ingest medicinal products like certain antacids, laxatives and buffered aspirin or have skin contact with aluminium metal, antiperspirants, or other substances that contain aluminium or aluminium compounds. Mercola asserts that aluminium has been linked to serious illnesses such as osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, speech disturbances, and memory loss. He also contends that people who have died from Alzheimera€™s disease have been found to have up to four times the average amount of aluminium accumulated in the braina€™s nerve cells.A Offering its view on the subject, the ATSDR states that exposure to aluminium is usually not harmful but notes that some people who have kidney disease store a lot of aluminium in their bodies.
In these children, the bone damage is caused by aluminium in the stomach preventing the absorption of phosphate, (which is) required for healthy bones.a€?Lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminium are just five of an intimidating number of toxins capable of severely compromising your health. Among the other heavy metals most often found at unacceptable levels in the body, according to Edelson and Mitchell, are nickel and tin. Sherry Rogers writes, a€?The lungs, urine, stool and sweat are the main vehicles the body has for getting rid of nasty chemicals, but by far sweat is the most efficacious.
And Mayo Clinic studies show that (utilizing) far infrared energy is the safest way to induce healing sweata€¦ Far infrared sauna technology is the only proven, most efficacious way of getting rid of stored environmental chemicals.a€?A A far infrared sauna has been cited as the best place to sweat because, whereas bathing in a conventional hot air sauna produces perspiration that is composed of approximately 97 percent water and three percent toxins, soaking in a far infrared sauna has been shown to produce sweat composed of about 80 percent water and 20 percent toxins. As well, far infrared saunas can produce up to three times the sweat volume of a conventional hot air sauna while operating at a considerably cooler air temperature range of 110 to 130 degrees versus 180 to 235 degrees for hot air saunas. Ita€™s worthwhile to also note that, according to author and sauna historian Mikkel Aaland, a 15-minute far infrared sauna session can execute the same heavy metal excretion that would take the kidneys 24 working hours. In other words, sweating in a far infrared sauna can be a very efficient method of detoxification.A Even though sweating is a natural function of the human body, many people do not perspire properly because their skin has been damaged or deactivated by, among other culprits, chemicals in bath water, lotions, soaps and deodorants. Fortunately for these people, far infrared sauna therapy can greatly help to restore the skina€™s eliminative powers. Ita€™s just one more way far infrared saunas work to heal bodies compromised by harmful chemicals.A If you are concerned about how harmful chemicals and heavy metals can affect your health, consider the many benefits of owning a far infrared sauna.
Most people have a casual understanding of each of those three, but it is the mercury included in the periodic table of elements that demands greater public contemplation. For if contemporary society placed more of an emphasis on the pernicious effects of mercury exposure, perhaps fewer people would be victimized by related illnesses and diseases.A Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has proclaimed that no level of mercury can be regarded as being safe. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a 2001 study that one in every 10 American women of childbearing age is at risk for having a baby born with neurological problems due to mercury exposure.A There are three principal types of mercury, and each type presents a serious health hazard to humans.
The first type, elemental mercury, is a liquid that gives off mercury vapor at room temperature. Elemental mercury can also enter the bloodstream by permeating the skin.A Inorganic mercury compounds, the second type, can also be inhaled as well as pass through the skin.
Unlike elemental mercury, though, inorganic mercury compounds can also be absorbed through the stomach if swallowed. Elemental mercury, if swallowed, is not absorbed and usually exits the body without causing any harm. Many inorganic mercury compounds are irritating or corrosive to the skin, eyes and mucus membranes.A The third type of mercury, organic mercury compounds, can enter the body by way of all three routes a€“ lungs, skin and stomach. Exposure to any form of mercury on a repeated basis, or even a very high single dose, can lead to chronic mercury poisoning.
According to the New Jersey State Department of Health, chronic mercury poisoning is characterized by three major symptoms:Gum problems. People with chronic mercury poisoning frequently experience wide mood swings, becoming irritable, frightened, excited or depressed very quickly for no apparent reason. Some people may become extremely upset at any criticism, lose all self-confidence, and become apathetic. Memory loss, hallucinations, and inability to concentrate can also occur.Nervous system impairment. The earliest and most frequent symptom of chronic mercury poisoning is a fine tremor of the hand. A person with chronic mercury poisoning may also experience difficulty balancing and walking.A In What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Autoimmune Disorders, authors Dr.
Research has demonstrated that the bodya€™s tissues, especially in the brain, kidneys, jaw, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and liver, absorb and store mercury.a€?A With such research findings having caught the publica€™s attention, some people have begun insisting that their dentists use composite fillings, also known as a€?white fillings,a€? as a non-toxic alternative to amalgam fillings. As well, some dental patients are demanding that their existing amalgam fillings be removed and replaced with composite fillings.A In her book Detoxify or Die, Dr.
Rogers writes, a€?Autoimmune disease, heart disease, high cholesterol and triglycerides, chemical sensitivity, allergies, antibiotic-resistant infections, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, leukemia and just about any symptom you can think of have improved once sufficient accumulated mercury was removed from the teeth and body.a€?Going a step further, Dr. Daniel Royal, member of the Nevada State Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners, states, a€?While removal of amalgam fillings stops further poisoning from mercury fillings, you still need to detoxify the body to eliminate the residual effect from mercury that remains behind in the body. Royal calls the sauna a useful adjunct to safe mercury removal because it induces profuse sweating. One reason is that far infrared saunas, also known as radiant heat saunas or soft heat saunas, can effectively function at temperatures lower than those characteristic of traditional hot Finnish saunas. The findings of this study make a strong case that far infrared saunas are simply better detoxification devices than conventional hot saunas.A Before you begin a sauna detoxification program, or if you suspect that you suffer from mercury poisoning, you should discuss your plans or share your suspicions with a qualified health professional.
And if you decide to purchase a far infrared sauna for any of its many therapeutic properties, be sure to research your choices thoroughly, as satisfied sauna buyers are typically well-informed sauna buyers.A Opening the Sauna Door to Better Healthby Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa You may think of a home sauna as being little more than a luxury, an object that offers pleasure and comfort but is ultimately inessential to your well-being. However, the results of decades of research may just convince you of what sauna enthusiasts have believed for centuries a€“ that regular sauna bathing offers significant, perhaps even life-saving, health benefits.A A chief objective of any sauna bath is to make you perspire, and perspiration is a natural, necessary function of the human body.
Ita€™s a means by which the body can rid itself of extra heat and water and eliminate harmful toxins that have, over time, built up inside it. Included among these toxins are mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminium.A The health benefits of sauna bathing, however, go beyond aiding detoxification.
As your body increases sweat production to cool itself during a hot sauna bath, your heart increases blood circulation. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate all increase, while diastolic blood pressure decreases, helping to improve overall cardiovascular fitness.A Sauna bathing may also contribute to healthy weight loss. A letter in a 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association asserted that a€?a moderately conditioned person can easily a€?sweat offa€™ 500 grams in a sauna, consuming nearly 300 calories, the equivalent of running two to three miles. A heat-conditioned person can easily sweat off 600 to 800 calories with no adverse effects. While the weight of the water lost can be regained by rehydration with water, the calories consumed will not be.a€?A Most irrefutable are the claims that regular sauna bathing helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. It has been demonstrated time and time again that spending just a few minutes in a hot sauna bath can reduce anxiety levels, sooth nerves and warm tight muscles.
Not only has sauna bathing been shown to encourage deeper, more restful sleep, far infrared sauna therapy has proved effective in alleviating pain associated with arthritis, backache, bursitis, fibromyalgia, headache, sprains, strains and other muscular and skeletal ailments.A a€?I am convinced that the far infrared sauna is something that everyone should do to restore health,a€? contends Dr. And while the condition known as Raynauda€™s disease has perhaps not received as much attention as those previously mentioned, credible sources suggest that sauna bathing can benefit its sufferers as well.A Raynauda€™s disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body, such as your fingers, toes, ears, cheeks, tongue, and the tip of your nose, to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. Named after Maurice Raynaud, the French physician who first described it in 1862, it is a disorder of the blood vessels that supply blood to your skin. During a Raynauda€™s attack, these arteries narrow, limiting blood flow to affected areas.A Accurately discussing Raynauda€™s can be challenging for some people, as two types of it exist, and each type has two names. What most laymen generically call Raynauda€™s disease could be either primary Raynauda€™s or secondary Raynauda€™s.A Primary Raynauda€™s, the most common form of the disorder, is what physicians and medical textbooks correctly refer to as Raynauda€™s disease.
Although anyone can develop the condition, primary Raynauda€™s mainly affects women between the ages of 15 and 40. Ita€™s also more common in people who live in colder climates.A Secondary Raynauda€™s, also known as Raynauda€™s phenomenon, is caused by an underlying problem like scleroderma, Sjogrena€™s syndrome (both connective tissue diseases), lupus (an autoimmune disease), rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory disease), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), diseases of the arteries (such as atherosclerosis and Buergera€™s disease), carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage, or chemical exposure.
As well, people in certain occupations, such as those who operate vibrating tools, may be more vulnerable to secondary Raynauda€™s.A Most typically, cold temperatures provoke Raynauda€™s attacks. Just taking an item out of your freezer, putting your hands in cold water, or exposing yourself to cold air could trigger one. For some people, however, cold is not even necessary; emotional stress is enough to instigate an episode. In both cases, the body seems to exaggerate its natural response of trying to preserve its core temperature by slowing blood supply to its extremities.
During an attack, which can last from less than a minute to several hours, affected areas of your skin usually first turn white.
As your blood circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. Raynauda€™s attacks may grow more severe over time.A If the condition becomes severe, blood circulation to your extremities could permanently diminish, resulting in deformities in affected areas like your fingers or toes.
Also, skin ulcers or gangrene could develop if an artery to an affected area becomes completely blocked.A Depending on the cause and severity of symptoms, treatment can take many forms. Medications may include alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers, or vasodilators, all of which help relax blood vessels. For example, during a session in either type of sauna, the bathera€™s heart responds to the sauna heat by increasing blood flow and perspiration production to cool the bathera€™s body. In this way, sauna bathing is a form of cardiovascular exercise.A Perspiring in a sauna, especially a far infrared sauna, also helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins that have built up over time. With experts having already drawn the connection between nicotine, secondhand smoke and Raynauda€™s, this benefit is certainly noteworthy.A As anyone who has stepped into a sauna seeking relief from muscle aches, sports injuries or ailments such as arthritis or fibromyalgia should already know, sauna bathing also offers a proven way to alleviate pain. A clinical study conducted at Sunnybrook and Womena€™s College Health Science Centers at the University of Toronto confirmed that far infrared therapy can bring about significant improvements in both subjective measures of pain and discomfort associated with Raynauda€™s disease.A Lastly, sauna bathing fosters relaxation and stress relief. To those Raynauda€™s sufferers whose attacks are caused by emotional stress, as well as to the innumerable Raynauda€™s sufferers whose emotional stress is understandably caused by their attacks, this news is likely very welcome.A If you think you may be suffering from Raynauda€™s disease or Raynauda€™s phenomenon, be sure to discuss your concerns with a qualified health professional.
Meanwhile, youa€™d be wise to investigate the many ways a home sauna, be it a traditional Finnish sauna or a far infrared sauna, can improve your health and happiness.A Insomnia and the Far Infrared Saunaby Pertti Olavi JalasjaaYoua€™ve wisely avoided sleeping pills, but it seems as if youa€™ve tried almost everything else to get a better nighta€™s sleep. The comforting heat of a sauna works to induce healthy perspiration, assist respiratory function, benefit blood pressure, stimulate endorphins, cleanse skin, and relieve sore, tired muscles. By raising your body temperature in a sauna bath right before bedtime, you compel it to normalize itself afterwards, and ita€™s this temperature readjustment following the sauna bath that helps to improve the quality of your sleep.A Of course, other effects of the heat bath can certainly contribute to improvements in your sleep. Regular sauna bathers routinely report that soaking in a hot sauna helps them rid their minds of the anxieties, frustrations and worries that may have been plaguing them prior to bathing.
And by helping to alleviate any existing physical pain like headaches, muscle strain or joint stiffness, a sauna bath can effectively disarm many of the aggravations that might have impeded truly restful sleep.A Home saunas are available in many styles and sizes. Around the globe, doctors, researchers and other professionals have discovered the tremendous value of using sauna heat to help increase the human bodya€™s white blood cell count, stimulate its immune system, facilitate detoxification, and produce a state of general relaxation that is vital to the healing process.A In many countries, experts continue to research the therapeutic properties of the sauna.
Chuwa Tei, professor of medicine and chair of the department of internal medicine at Japana€™s Kagoshima University, and his colleagues have demonstrated saunasa€™ usefulness in treating heart patients.A In one study, Tei and his colleagues compared 25 men with at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking, with a group of 10 healthy men. Each study participant spent 15 minutes in a 140-degree Fahrenheit (60-degree Celsius) dry sauna, followed by 30 minutes in a bed covered with blankets, once a day for two weeks.
The researchers then measured how well the participantsa€™ blood vessels expanded and contracted, a sign of the health of the vessels. The researchers also found that the sauna therapy lowered participantsa€™ blood pressure slightly. The results of the study should be encouraging to anyone concerned about blood vessel diseases like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and erectile dysfunction.In earlier studies, Tei and his colleagues demonstrated that sauna therapy improved the blood vessel function in hamsters with chronic heart failure.
The hamsters that received sauna therapy also lived about three weeks longer than those that didna€™t receive sauna therapy.A German researchers recently studied 22 kindergarten children who took weekly sauna baths and compared them to a group of children that did not take any sauna baths. Both groups were followed for 18 months and closely monitored for any occurrence of ear infections, colds, or upper respiratory problems. The researchers found that the children who did not take the weekly sauna baths took twice as many sick days as their counterparts.A Other findings suggest that it may be more than the heat of a sauna that is so advantageous to human health. Tests have indicated that the practice of tossing or splashing water on heated rocks in a traditional Finnish sauna produces a high quantity of negative ions in the air.
Research has concluded that air abundant with negative ions offers great benefits, while a lack of negative ions or a higher ration of positive to negative ions in the air we breathe can cause physical harm.And while a June 2001 edition of The St. Lying above the 60th parallel, the southern boundary of the Arctic Circle, northernmost Finland receives little sunlight during the winter, which typically begins in November and lasts at least until May. Throughout all of Finland, winter days are remarkably short, with the sun low on the horizon even at midday. In the far north, the period known as a€?kaamosa€? or polar night, during which the sun never rises above the horizon, is nearly two months long.A Light deprivation is a serious concern during Finnish winters, particularly in areas where continuous darkness stretches several weeks.
Many experts believe it could explain why Finland has one of the worlda€™s highest suicide rates. Each year, 14 percent of northern populations reportedly experience the a€?winter blues,a€? and another six percent suffer from the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of clinical depression that, by definition, afflicts people only at certain times of the year. A In addition to depression, common symptoms of SAD include anxiety, fatigue and low energy, irritability, increased sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite, most notably carbohydrate cravings.A For many people, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a seriously disabling illness that prevents them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment. For others, it is a mild but debilitating condition that causes discomfort but not severe suffering. This milder form of SAD, called Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder, is what most people perceive to be the aforementioned winter blues.A Yet another form of SAD is Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (RSAD), and it typically strikes during the late spring or early summer and lasts throughout the warmer months. Also known as summer depression, RSAD is characterized by decreased sleep, weight loss, poor appetite, and other symptoms. Because treatment options can differ for SAD and RSAD, ita€™s important to note that the information in the following paragraphs pertains specifically to SAD a€“ in other words, winter depression.A According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOs), psychotherapy, and light therapy. Certain sources claim that, in addition to being used to treat SAD, insomnia and jet lag, light therapy can also be beneficial for people suffering from skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and vitiglio.A For treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, the most commonly used phototherapy equipment is a portable lighting device known as a light box. The patient sits in front of the box for a prescribed period of time that can be as brief as 15 minutes or as long as several hours. The duration and frequency of light therapy sessions often depend on the patienta€™s physical needs and lifestyle.
As one might surmise, light therapy sessions for SAD typically begin in the autumn months and continue throughout the winter, sometimes even into the early spring.A The light box may be mounted upright to a wall or slanted downwards and set on a table. The light from a slanted light box is designed to focus on the table upon which it sits, so patients may look down to read or enjoy other sedentary activities during their phototherapy sessions. Patients using an upright light box must face the light box, although they dona€™t need to look directly into the light. As for the brightness of the light utilized, the light sources in these light boxes typically range from 2,500 to 10,000 lux (units of illumination). In comparison, average indoor lighting typically ranges from 300 to 500 lux, and a sunny summer day is roughly 100,000 lux.A Before undergoing any light therapy treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder, be sure to discuss your concerns and options with a qualified health professional. If you believe that you suffer from SAD, it is vital that you receive a proper diagnosis from a physician experienced in treating mood disorders. As well, certain risks (like potential eye strain, hypomania and headache, among others) are associated with phototherapy, especially for people who are photosensitive, so consulting with your doctor and an ophthalmologist could prevent additional problems from arising during or after your treatments. If you decide to pursue light therapy treatments without the assistance of a qualified health professional, be aware that different companies hold decidedly different stances on exactly what constitutes light therapy. A Among the health-related companies that are now making light therapy part of their business are manufacturers and retailers of home saunas.
It is a logical development since far infrared sauna therapy has repeatedly been proven to be an effective form of light therapy.
The light found in a far infrared sauna is, of course, far infrared light, a type of invisible light located below the optical color red in the electromagnetic spectrum.A An indispensable part of life on Earth, far infrared light has long been used by humans to purify polluted air, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, promote growth in plants, and more. Little did the early sauna bathers of Finland realize centuries ago that their beloved heat baths might someday become a source of hope and healing, not just for the people of their own country but for everyone who finds the dark days of winter hard to weather.A Sweat and Far Infrared Saunas- Here's the Skinnyby Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa For whatever reason, most people feel uncomfortable talking about perspiration. For example, ita€™s not unusual to hear someone remark that he or she a€?sweateda€? over an academic assignment, a€?worked up a sweata€? on the tennis courts, or a€?lost a pint of sweata€? while awaiting an important decision. But these are simply colloquial expressions that many of us utilize to make a point about our mental or physical stress or exertion related to a particular undertaking or event.
After all, to do so, polite society decrees, would be in poor taste.A And yet much could be gained if people felt free to discuss the natural biological process of perspiration without fear of judgment or reproach. When we perspire in a far infrared sauna, we help our bodies rid themselves of the countless toxins like mercury, lead, cadmium and other contaminants that have accumulated within us over time.
As well, by intensely sweating in a far infrared sauna we benefit our hearts, lungs, kidneys and other organs that are essential to our survival. Far infrared sauna bathing has also been proven to promote pain relief, muscle relaxation, and emotional tranquility.A For people suffering from certain skin diseases, far infrared sauna bathing can be particularly therapeutic. As the far infrared heat induces an increase in blood circulation to the skin, the bodya€™s defence against chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis is considerably bolstered. As well, thorough sweating helps unclog the skin of whatever unhealthy remnants of soap, lotions, deodorants or makeup may be unnecessarily lodged in its pores. Dead skin cells are also effectively flushed away by a good sweat in a far infrared sauna.A Increased blood flow and decreased toxins and foreign material in our skin mean more natural nutrients and fewer reasons for irritations and disease.
Elasticity, texture, tone and color can all noticeably improve after just a few sessions in a far infrared sauna. These benefits are available even if your skin has suffered harsh damage from excessive exposure to the sun.A You dona€™t have to talk about perspiration if you dona€™t want to. If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle and therefore dona€™t perspire much on a regular basis, you must take action for the sake of the health of your heart, lungs, skin and other vital organs. People face stress at home, at work, at school a€“ anywhere opportunities to react to internal or external stimulation exist.A That stimulation can come from a disagreement with a spouse, a conflict with a co-worker, criticism from a teacher, bad news from a doctor, and so on. And the stimulation need not be negative; people often become stressed when they start new jobs or enter into new relationships. Even a big, surprise win at the casino can cause stress.A A little stress isna€™t necessarily a bad thing. Stress during a job interview can help you give the best answers to the people asking the tough questions. These hormones are not harmful in moderate amounts, but cortisol is secreted excessively in response to chronic stress and is extremely toxic in these larger amounts.A a€?Cortisol actually kills and disables your brain cells,a€? says Dr. Chronic exposure to cortisol causes the mental haziness, forgetfulness and confusion that is associated with aging.a€?A People under stress may also be at higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Stress causes arteries to constrict and blood to become stickier, increase the probability of an artery-clogging blood clot.
As well, people who regularly experience sudden increases in blood pressure caused by stress may, over time, develop injuries in the inner lining of their blood vessels.A Studies suggest that chronic stress may increase a persona€™s chances for developing infections, having strokes, experiencing flare ups of multiple sclerosis, and suffering gastrointestinal problems like peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Chronic stress has also been linked to the development of insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes.
And ask anybody who has ever suffered from headaches, insomnia, skin disorders or sexual dysfunction if they believe that stress was at least partly to blame for their woes, and then construct your own conclusions about how damaging stress can be to onea€™s health and well being.A If you think you have a serious condition that has been caused or made worse by certain stressors in your life, you should discuss your concerns with a qualified physician. If, however, youa€™d like to improve the quality of your life by learning how to better cope with stress, many options exist. Perhaps your first focus should be on discovering the remarkable benefits of relaxation.Relaxation decreases blood pressure, respiration and pulse rates, releases muscle tension, and eases emotional strains. In their quests for greater relaxation, some people choose biofeedback while others opt for massage therapy. Studies indicate that soaking in a hot sauna bath can help improve respiratory function, increase cardiovascular strength, reduce and remove body toxins, strengthen the bodya€™s immune system, relieve headaches, and cleanse and beautify skin. Sauna bathing can also increase blood circulation, relaxing tight, tired or aching muscles by providing them with more oxygen.A If youa€™re searching for a healthy way to alleviate the stress in your life, consider purchasing a home sauna.
Residential saunas are available in a range of styles and sizes, from pre-cut Finnish sauna kits to outdoor barrel saunas and far infrared heat therapy rooms. Seemingly ubiquitous advertisements and TV commercials for antiperspirants continue to convince generations of consumers that perspiration is an undesirable, offensive bodily function. While no one would dispute that sweat can be quite unwelcome in important social and business situations, it would be imprudent not to acknowledge the necessity of perspiration and understand the critical role it plays in human health.A Sweating is an essential function of the human body, as essential as eating, breathing and sleeping. Skin is sometimes called a€?the third kidneya€? for this very reason.A Your body eliminates various toxins through a variety of metabolic processes, one being urination and another being perspiration.
The kidneys filter waste materials from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. The temperature in a traditional Finnish sauna is usually between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (80 and 95 degrees Celsius).
The two types of sauna operate differently, but, at their respective temperature ranges, working up a sufficient sweat in either type should be achievable for even the most inexperienced sauna bather.A Using high heat to induce perspiration has a great number of benefits.
In addition to decreasing the amount of toxins and heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc, in your body, an intense sweat bath in a sauna can help cleanse it of other impurities like cholesterol, nicotine, sodium, and sulfuric acid. By improving blood circulation, regular sauna bathing can help draw the skina€™s own natural nutrients to the surface, leading to better tone, texture and elasticity. Thata€™s why sauna bathing is being increasingly included in high-intensity treatment programs for skin ailments like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Some beauty specialists in Europe even claim the sauna can be quite a powerful weapon in the war against cellulite.A As beneficial and therapeutic as sweating in a soothing hot sauna may be, however, it is imperative that bathers not allow the experience to dehydrate them. As well, be sure to discuss your plans and expectations with your personal physician before you take to the sauna for the first time, as he or she should know of any existing conditions or limitations that pertain specifically to your health and might impact your sauna use.A As for all those advertisements and TV commercials that say sweating is bad, forget about them, and start doing what you know is best for your health.



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