Could chronic inflammation be causing your child’s mystery symptoms? Our son has suffered from inflammation since birth. DNA testing has finally provided answers.
Dealt a Raw Deal
Chronic inflammation has held Little Man in its angry grip since birth—he is now 9.
Inflammation has affected his speech and movement, and has landed him in the hospital with asthma more times than I want to recount.
I remember Dr. Kendal Stewart’s brutal honesty at a recent check-up.
“Your boy has been dealt a pretty raw deal,” he said. “He’s hit the inflammation jackpot.”
What is this jackpot?
For Little Man it is two conditions—methylation deficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction. Pile onto these two conditions environmental toxins and chemicals and you have a recipe for off the chart inflammation.
I think back to the months I was pregnant with Little Man and what I would have done differently. Though I will save all that for another post, one thing I would have done in a heartbeat is moved as far away from that LA freeway as I could. We lived perched on a bluff above I-215 and the signs were all around us—literally. This one in particular was posted on the gates of our property. Did I pay heed to it? No. And that’s one big time regret.
But onward we go.
I can’t look back.
Today I read every food label. I question the off-gassing stench of that new area rug (it was promptly returned). We have installed a whole-house water filtration system. I carefully consider all immunizations—especially ones carrying live viruses. I question our need for WIFI 24/7. I do what I can to maintain a home and environment that is pure, clean and toxin-free.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation plays a significant role in autoimmune diseases, mental illness, obesity, diabetes, ADD/ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, cancer, arthritis, asthma, eczema and psoriasis. In fact, inflammation is the key to at least 70% of the disease states known to man.
It is important to understand that inflammation, when regulated, is not a bad thing. It is a proper response of the immune system—a defense mechanism that allows our body to deal with invaders that don’t belong in it.
That said, the immune process must also regulate itself. It must know when to turn “on” and fight, and when to turn “off” when the job’s done. If it fails to switch “off,” the immune system remains on high alert and inflammation becomes too aggressive. And with a broken “off” switch, the body can enter a state of chronic inflammation.
Genes and Chronic Inflammation
The regulatory mechanism behind inflammation is very complex and touchy. Dr. Stewart, a Neurotologist and Neuroimmune/Genomic Specialist sees this in his practice every day. Most of his patients have immune systems that are running off the chart and in his research has found that most of these patients have specific genes that possess the same single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) —abnormalities with CTLA4, STAT4, IL13, IL4R and/or TNF being very common.
In a recent podcast, Dr. Stewart shared a wealth of insight on the topic of inflammation—particularly chronic inflammation. The knowledge shared on Coffee with Doctor Stewart blows me away every time. It is FREE access into the minds and findings of some of the most brilliant, cutting-edge medical doctors of our time.
The first podcast I listened to left me in tears, because finally, FINALLY someone GOT my child and all that we were struggling with. It was in that moment that I knew we had to get in to see Dr. Stewart.
After a seven-month wait, we flew to Austin, Texas for our first appointment. Dr. Stewart listened patiently as my husband and I rambled off a long list of Little Man’s symptoms and medical history that I keep in a 5-inch binder. Then, he smiled compassionately and handed us a DNA test kit.
If you were to see Dr. Stewart today, the first thing he’d want to do is take a good look at your genes—particularly your genetic abnormalities. He’d do this with a simple cheek swab. Soon enough you’d realize what a game changer knowing your genetic weaknesses can be.
Prior to working with Dr. Stewart, we relied mostly on doctors’ hunches.
“Let’s remove this food, experiment with that supplement, try this therapy and see what happens.’
This hit or miss approach to medicine gets very costly, very quickly. We know from experience.
For us, genetic testing finally provided the harder proof we had been looking for. Years of medical testing told us something was wrong. Genetic testing finally told us why. And with the “why” at his fingertips Dr. Stewart has been able to provide an evidence-based, strategic approach to healing Little Man. We are so grateful!
Turning Down Chronic Inflammation
At our last visit, Dr. Stewart had some news that he was excited to share with us. He had identified four compounds that, in his research, proved to help turn chronic inflammation down—and even off—in individuals with faulty switches.
These 4 compounds are:
Steroids are a very effective off switch. In acute situations they can help reduce pain and save lives. However, steroids are just too dangerous to use long term. Exceptions are the natural steroids progesterone and testosterone. Interestingly, when a child enters puberty and these sex hormone levels begin to rise, asthma and many chronic inflammatory conditions in children can resolve or significantly diminish. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? We are waiting with bated breath.
Low Dose Naltrexone
When the body is stressed it makes endorphins to calm the nervous system and tells the immune system to rev up. Prescription Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is an opiate blocker. At very low doses, it gently blocks the opiate receptor and calms the immune system without affecting the nervous system. LDN is very touchy, some tolerate it very well—calling it life-changing—some not as well. Talk to your doctor about it.
Inflammation responds to vanillins—a compound found in vanilla beans. Dr. Stewart has found it to be a little weak for his very sick patients, but says it definitely can help. We dose Little Man with 1/3 teaspoon ground vanilla beans in his morning smoothie.
CBD Hemp Oil
In Dr. Stewart’s practice, cannabidol (CBD) has been highly beneficial in treating inflammation. CBD oil derived from hemp (Cannabis Sativa) is virtually free of the mind-altering THC found in marijuana (Cannabis Indica). There is an enormous amount of research out there on CBD and the recently discovered Endocannabinoid System. CBD Hemp Oil is taken in drop form and is federally legal in all 50 U.S. states. It is proving to help with seizures, inflammation, pain, anxiety, PTSD and overall homeostasis of the body. Little Man takes 10mg of cannabidiol per day. If you are interested in purchasing the same high quality CBD oil we use at a discount, you can order it here at Flo and Grace.
The Inflammation: What It is and How Does it Affect Our Health Coffee With Doctor Stewart podcast episode goes into greater detail about these latest techniques for managing chronic inflammation, be sure to give it a listen.
How to Test Your DNA
Thankfully, from genetic testing we can see things we have never seen before. If after listening to Dr. Stewart’s podcasts you suspect you are dealing with inflammation or other neuro-immune condition, get your DNA tested.
The beautiful thing is that this genetic testing requires no needles, no poking, no prodding. Simply request a 55 Gene Test Kit from a Genomix Nutrition Provider or good friend of mine and Nutrition Therapist, Christy Thiel.
The test consists of a simple cheek swab that is sent to the Genomix Nutrition lab for testing and interpretation.
What You Get
- Clinical definitions on what each SNP means to you and your health.
- Recommended nutrients and nutritional oversight on how to overcome your genetic weaknesses (SNPs)
- Nutritional product recommendations for these particular genetic SNPs
- Scientific references on each SNP from top medical journals and research abstracts.
Cost for the test varies by provider. The test alone and the Genomix Nutrition report should run $400-$500. What consultation and/or follow-up costs a provider adds to this base price varies. Many providers, like Christy, are happy to work with you via Skype or phone.
Find the Answers to Your Mystery Symptoms
Genetic testing just may hold answers to the mystery symptoms you live with. Knowing and understanding your personal genetic weaknesses or SNPs is the future of medicine. And the future is here. Testing offered by companies like Genomix Nutrition are becoming the gold standard for identifying dysfunction in the critical engines of body—in methylation, neurotransmitter function, mitochondrial function, detoxification and inflammatory potential.
Give Coffee with Doctor Stewart podcasts a listen and begin the journey to understanding and taking control of your health.