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How infections affect the HPA axis.

Happy Monday Tribe!

I hope you all have had a wonderful past couple of weeks.  As we move into October, sickness is in full swing already due to many factors.  As we know a big culprit is lower vitamin D levels as well as enclosed spaces with lots of shedding viruses! 
However, even not in “flu season”, there are many viruses and bacteria that can affect the way your brain can function.
I came across some research lately, that isn’t that new but was very interesting when I dove deeper into it.
It’s research done from the society for endocrinology in Maryland. ( If you want the article just let me know).

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Before I begin, I should probably explain what HPA means.  HPA stands for hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are in your brain, and your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys.  This is basically a signaling system.  The just HP axis, is a signaling system from your brain for many different hormones to be secreted, and organs to function.  You NEED that brain signal working first and foremost to be able to tell the organs what to do!


(not my image)

We know that for instance STRESS can make our immune system go down right?  Well, that is because of this pathway.  Stress activates the HPA axis and allows the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol (a stress hormone).  Cortisone controls the body’s blood sugar levels and thus regulating metabolism, acting as an anti-inflammatory, influencing memory formation, controlling salt and water balance, influencing blood pressure and helping development of the foetus. But chronic stress, means chronic cortisol being secreted and lots of problems.

The release of cortisol has many effects on bacterial and viral infections and on the immunity induced by these infectious agents. This study showed that HPA axis activation enhanced Mycobacterium growth in susceptible mice, and increased susceptibility to viral disease.  It also enhances the replication of some viruses.

This talk today though won’t be about that direction, because we know stress causes many problems.  Today we want to talk about the opposite direction: how these infections effect the HPA axis.

The HPA axis is a bidirectional communication between the brain and immune system.  The immune system will signal to the brain via something called cytokines, then the brain will respond by regulating the immune system in part through the action of the HPA axis.  It’s a feedback loop.

How do bacterial and viral infections activate this axis?!

The activation of this axis is probably the result of the action of inflammatory mediators (cytokines).  However, also possible that infections can get into the brain, and have a direct impact on how the HPA axis functions.

These are the infections they studied:
-Mycobacterium
-Endotoxins like salmonella
-Clostridium difficile
-Staph Aureus
-cytomegala virus
-HIV
-Herpes type 1
-sindbis
-newcastle disease
-influenza

They also found that the release of cortisol during cytomegala virus infection, wasn’t mediated only through the HPA axis, but can be released from the adrenals directly by the immune system.  

The HPA axis release following a viral or bacterial infection is advantageous to the invading organisms, as it serves to minimize the host’s immune response, enhancing the organisms ability to survive. 

An intact and HEALTHY HPA axis and cortisol response are necessary for host survival after exposure to an infectious agent as well. The lethal level of a pathogen depends on a complex interplay between the specific organism’s induction of an appropriate level of the host’s HPA axis response, the health of that response and pathogen interactions at the level of the cortisol receptor. 

ok ok enough research..

Basically Infections cause problems with how our brain functions and signals… Some infections can even affect the brain directly by being IN the brain, but don’t have to be.  They can have an effect on the brain through this axis not being regulated properly because of an infection!

As I mentioned previously, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland have MANY functions, and so we really need this signal to work well.  But, the research shows in the presence of infections it can’t work well.

SO…
Where does that leave us?

Well..

WE know that first the HPA axis needs to be supported and healthy so that the immune system doesn’t allow infections to arise. 

But additionally, infections NEED to be cleared in order for this axis to work effectively as well.

How do we achieve this?!

Well we look for both!

In my practice, we can support the HPA axis through enhancing how the brain is functioning through craniopathy and chiropractic care.  If anything is putting pressure or creating tension directly on the brain or directly on these glands, it has to be released in oder for the intact HP axis. 
Nutrition can also be given to help heal and nourish the brain if there has been any previous damage to the hypothalamus and pituitary either from trauma, stress or hormone dysregulation.

THEN.

WE must attack those infections!

I love using craniobiotic technique (CBT) in my practice to clear infections energetically.  More information is found on my website about this amazing technique.
We also use herbals and remedies if needed to kill the infections, but usually CBT will do the trick.

Lyme Disease Brain is a very real thing and needs MORE complex care, but infections in the brain like lyme disease and many other related viruses cause HUGE problems in brain function.

We then utilize genetic based nutrition to make sure that there are no cracks where infections can creep back in.  No detox pathways that are clogged, no blood brain barriers open, vitamin D is being absorbed (huge for infections) no hormone pathways blocked.

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Utilizing these methods, we can heal the brain and regain that HPA axis health that we need!

That is all for now.
Wishing you a happy and healthy week.


Dr. Hamel

The Meningeal Lymphatic System. Keeping this well, to keep YOU well!

The Meningeal Lymphatic System.  Keeping this well, to keep YOU well!

Happy Monday Tribe!

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last blog, and a lot has changed.  I definitely have been feeling the weight of the recent laws in California regarding vaccinations throughout the week.  Although extremely discouraging, I know that a wave of change has to come.  The fighting won’t cease, and it really has to stop here.  Prayer works!

Since the weather (for some) is changing, it means that immune systems change.  In fact, our immune system is always adapting. Because of all the increase in vaccinations (people shedding viruses), flu shots (which do NOT give immunity), decrease in sunlight, increase in inside time and EMF exposure, we are just exposed ALOT.
Creating a healthy immune system is a FULL TIME JOB!
Let me tell you!

It requires your internal processing working efficiently, and a HUGE player in that is your lymphatic system. 
This is the clear liquid that surrounds the cells of your body.  Except for cartilage, nails and hair your ENTIRE body is bathed in lymph.  Basically we are a big pool of it!
This is why diseases like: chronic pain or illness like Lyme, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, etc., you will have a lymphatic problem.  It’s a given.  It was definitely a given for me figuring out my healing journey.

If the body can’t rid of cellular waste during the healing process, the inflammation simply stays in the tissues causing pain. If it can’t get out of the body, you can’t get better.

So, since this liquid is everywhere we need to make sure that everywhere is draining and flowing.  One reason I’m very adamant about not having a sedentary life.  Even when you feel very ill, you must try and keep your body moving.  Unlike our circulatory system that is pumped constantly because our our heart beating, the lymphatic fluid is not.

It flows through movement.  And I mean movement everywhere from the head down to your toes.

It’s extremely important for the fluid surrounding your organs to remain in constant motion.  Why?

Because lymphatic fluid is like the plumbing system in our body.  It removes waste and toxins.  That means if it’s not working, then those substances will remain in your body, remain around those organs.


(not my image)

One area we DO not want this to remain is the BRAIN of course.

There is around 501 and 700 lymph nodes in the body depending on the person.  1/2 of all of those are in the stomach/abdominal cavity, and 1/3 of all the lymph nodes of the body are in your neck!  

For the sake of this week’s post I want to talk about the lymphatic system in the brain called the glymphatic system.  By meningeal I mean BRAIN.

Meningeal lymphatic vessels at the skull base drains cerebrospinal fluid.  We need spinal fluid drainage to flow freely so that our nervous system can work efficiently.  This fluid cushions the brain, and serves as a shock absorber for the central nervous system. CSF also circulates nutrients and chemicals filtered from the blood and removes waste products from the brain.

Impaired lymphatic drainage messes with your brain.  You get accumulated macromolecules in the brain when lymph doesn’t work well.  And that in turn will lead to brain inflammation.  In recent research, protein accumulation and aggregation in the brain, such as found in alzheimer’s brains, was linked to a backup of of lymphatic vessels in the meningeal (brain).

In yet another study, blocking meningeal lymphatic drainage aggravated parkinson’s disease like pathology in a mice study. 

I can give you this research if you want.

But in short, it’s suppper important for this system to work in your brain.  It can affect your memory, the way you process, your immune system (don’t want that waste product) hormone and of course the gut brain axis!

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You will get a problem in the gut brain as well.  Cranial brain problems are gut brain problems.
Remember 1/2 of your lymph nodes are in the gut. So, if the majority are in the gut and the brain, makes sense to make sure these two are working at their best right?!!

So… how do we keep this moving to keep up moving out of that toxic zone?!

1.  Make sure you are getting regular cranial chiropractic care. You cannot move this system on your own.  You need someone like myself who is trained to help get your cranial system moving.  If the bones/joint of your head are stuck, this fluid will get back up.  

Remember.  This system moves through motion.  So we must start with your head and work our way down your entire body to make sure there is no tension causing a backup.

2. Another form of body care that’s great is lymphatic massage or electric lymphatic massage.  I will say thought, this DOES not take away from needing #1. Colon hydro-therapy is also helpful to clean out stagnant lymph in the abdomen.

3. Keep moving.  Exercise daily, no matter what it is is so helpful.  Sitting for long periods, computer work, just being in stagnant positions creates a pooling of fluid.

4. Infrared saunas.  Very helpful for increasing circulation and getting that fluid pumping.

5. Nutritional.  There are some genetic components that can back up the lymphatic system.  This was a big factor for me.  It didn’t matter how much body work I got, I got to a certain point where I would plateau.  This being because my natural detox processes in my liver and kidneys weren’t working effectively to clear out what I needed. When I started focusing on this, I needed less massages and lymph clearing as my body was able to do it more efficiently.

When you are fighting infections though, you might need some extra help like those mentioned above even if your internal system isn’t too bad (which it probably is since you got sick!)

This system is really BIG for making sure your immune system is resilient.  So many individuals that come in for regular care are far less sick than those that aren’t.  And they recover more quickly.

Look forward to chatting with you in a couple weeks!!

Dr. Hamel

This hidden chemical that causes a deficiency in your brain

Happy Monday Tribe!
I hope you have all had an amazing past couple of weeks! I know its back to school time, and with school back in action, work in full swing, it’s important to talk about hidden toxins that are lurking!

As you now being a brain doc,  I’m always lurking for more information on how to enhance this vital organ that we possess. 

You see, because our brain controls every function in our body we HAVE to do our best to protect it at all costs.

A huge part in creating that healthy brain is of course making sure that environment is working, that VAGUS nerve.  You can take all the supplements in the world but if that nerve isn’t working, you will not get many results.

But, today i’m not talking about cranial work (for once;)), i’m talking about the gut/brain axis and specifically a chemical and many that disrupt this communication.

There’s actually many toxins in your home and that you utilize that you might not know are disrupting this super important connection.

What do you mean gut brain?.  Well, if you’re new here let me explain, for some of my current patients that have been with me awhile, you can sit back for a moment…

Your gut has been termed your “second brain”.  In fact your gut has its entire new network of nerves called the enteric nervous system, that works similar to your brain.

It connects and controls your digestive system, but also has a huge connection in the neurotransmitters in your brain.  It in fact, talks to your actual brain.  A lot of this resides in the health of our gut bacteria to be able to relay that information. So, really you can’t just heal your brain and neglect the rest of your body.

In fact, all the cells of your body talk to one another. So you can’t think that your liver not working won’t cause pain or dysfunction somewhere else.  The cells talk!!

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So what are things that disrupt this connection?

1. Stress
2. Gluten
3. Processed Foods
4. GMO foods
5. Head Traumas
6. Gut dysbiosis
7. Chemicals
8. EMFs

So, let’s talk about one because of a patient story, so you can see the connection.

I am treating a female patient, and she is doing really well on her protocol, great energy, mostly all her symptoms managed.  She went on a camping trip, and upon her return cancelled her followup because she couldn’t get out of bed.  She said she was wiped out for a few days. I assured her to come in to check on her protocol.  After going through the program, it showed up that their was a titanium toxicity, and she was not making intrinsic factor (i’ll explain in a minute).

I asked her if she applied sunscreen during camping, to which she said yes lots all over my legs. She had the bottle in her car, and we read the back which said ” titanium oxide”. This chemical interfered with her intrinsic factor a glycoprotein that is produced in the stomach, which plays a HUGE role in absorbing vitamin B12. When you can’t use intrinsic factor, it results in a condition called pernicious anemia, which makes sense of why she was tired!.

I gave her some kidney and liver support, and she felt better that next day.
There are so many natural ways to prevent sunburn that don’t include chemicals!

This is just one example, but in reality there are many chemicals we are exposed to all the time!

What else has titanium oxide?

  • Food: Candies, chewing gums, powdered doughnuts, frosting, coffee creamer, vanilla pudding, chocolate bars.
  • Personal Care: Toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions.
  • Misc: Paper, paint, markers, and plastics.


What happens to your brain when you have B12 deficiency ( which can also happen when you have certain genetic mutations) ?!

  • loss of memory
  • cognition problems
  • decreased mood
  • decreased energy
  • Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the metabolism of fatty acids essential for the maintenance of myelin in the brain.

Again, this is just to show you that all your cells in your body talk to one another!  So what you continually put IN and ON your body matters and makes changes all the way in your brain. 
When the gut in this case is affected (from the chemicals), it sends a signal to the brain to dysfunction.  They HAVE to coordinate with one another.

There’s also a system called the Heart Brain Connection.  Maybe we’ll talk about that next time… stay tuned!

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Orofacial Disorders: The Tongue and Development of the Face

Happy Monday Tribe!

It’s almost September, I can’t believe it!  Today we will be talking a little bit about developmental stages in the face and the tongue, and some disorders that arise from these issues.

The reason that I treat children, and talk about it quite often, is that in my profession, working with the cranial system, that is THE BIGGEST time frame we have to impact changes in the brain.

Of course, you can still make changes as an adult, but the reason for children is that most of the development in the face happens during childhood.

The BIGGEST brain growth happens from age 0-2 years old. 
By Age 2- A mature swallow is well established
By age 3- Adult like swallow has developed
By age 6- 80% of upper and lower jaw growth is complete
By age 7-12 – 90% of the upper and lower jaw growth is complete.

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Whenever I’m examining a child, the motion of their head, nervous system, I will always examine the relationship of their palate, and make sure I refer as needed to get the maximum results because of this time line.

This is an example of a high palate that can arise from either birth trauma, thumb sucking, tongue tie, and other orofacial disorders.

A high, narrow palate leads to sinus issues, since the roof of the mouth is also the floor of the nasal cavity.
* I’ve had many individuals come to me after having sinus surgery, and some feel no different.  This is because the root of the problem lies in the palate being the cause of the problem because it is the FLOOR of the sinus, not the actual sinus itself.

Guaranteed anyone with sleep apnea like disorder or just oxygen depletion has a high narrow palate.  It’s a given.  And most really really improve with the proper care, not needing uncomfortable CPAP machines.  I’ve done many case studies and spoke about my care, combined with dentists and other individuals.

Many have no idea of their birth trauma, past head traumas, or improperly done orthodontics that have placed them in this pattern.

You HAVE to have craniopathy care to normalize this function of the system, but it is a TEAM effort to get this palate looking this way.
(more on this in a minute).

Another reason for orofacial disorders is something called improper oral rest posture. 

I bet most of you had no idea there’s a proper way to hold your lips and your tongue in your mouth?!  Am I right??!

Well, I was with you about a year ago until I started doing myofunctional therapy, tongue tie work and fixing my narrow palate. 

In reality, there is a proper healthy resting posture and it is SUPER IMPORTANT!

In order to accomplish this:
-Your lips need to be slightly touching
-A freeway space of 2-3mm needs to be in place
-Tip of tongue resting on incisive papilla
-Lateral borders of tongue touching lingual of maxillary molars
-Dorsum of tongue touching palate
-Nasal breathing

Most individuals I see in my practice have what is called a low tongue resting posture.  In reality, the tongue should be up on top of your mouth all the time.  That is what gently expands the upper palate as you grow!  This is why the tongue must always be evaluated when getting orthodontics!

So what is an unhealthy resting posture?!
-Open lip posture
-teeth clenched or abnormally far apart
-mouth breathing
-tongue resting low and forward
-lips straining upon closure
-bunched mentalis muscle

The jaw and the tongue can also drop down too much in people who have

  • enlarged tonsils
  • enlarged adenoids
  • chronic nasal allergies
  • thumb sucking habits
  • prolonged sippy cup usage/ pacifier
Why sippy cup?  Well when you use a sippy cup, it pushes the tongue down continually.  Same with a pacifier.  The tongue needs to lift up! It can lead to tongue thrust, improper swallowing, hinders speech development, so you can actually start cup drinking at age 1!

Here are some visual identifiers in children when they have sucking habits:
-high, narrow palate
-thumb indentation in the mouth
-calluses on their fingers
-infections around the nail bed

Tongue Thrusting is one that we see pretty often in children with cranial problems. 

In tongue thrusting, the tongue protrudes from the front of the side, there is an open bite, possible lisp, incorrect swallow, tongue rests low and forward and possible airway obstruction.

Tongue thrusting is just a part of a bigger issue.  The improper posture of the tongue, lips and jaw.  This is why many dental appliances just don’t work for these conditions.  You have to address the nervous system and brain and then train the tongue and the lips for the correct posture.

This low tongue position causes that upper palate to continually narrow because you need that tongue lifting up!!

Another cause-  you probably guessed it.  TONGUE TIE. 
This is why a tongue tie evaluation from a professional is really important.

Most utilize it just for feeding issues in infants, but in reality it can affect the entire function of the palate.  Some ties do not need to be removed, and can be helped with just body work from myself, others need removal.  It affects the neck, airway and palate in adults dramatically.

This is the big point here:
A orofacial disorder in a child can result in an adult with obstructive sleep apnea.

I see it all day every day.

Here are some possible sign of a tongue-tie in toddlers:
– Delay in speech
-Gagging a lot of different foods
-unable to handle certain food textures
(also these can be helped and changed dramatically wiht cranial work and cranial nerves)

So, what are your options?!!

1. Come in for evaluation!!  Bring children as early as possible to evaluate their cranial system and tongue.  Just getting a tongue tie revision isn’t just what’s needed.  Trust me.  I get referrals every week from lactation consultants where babies have had their tongue tie removed but still can’t utilize their tongue!  You can to connect it with the brain!

2. Myofunctional therapy.  HUGE, huge to be instructed on that oral rest posture

3. Tongue tie revision.  If you have a tongue tie, you must do the cranial and myofunctional therapy first.  It works so much better this way.  You need to know how to use your tongue and lips first before just removing something.

4. Dentist.  If their is a very narrow palate, then dental co-management is often necessary.  Gentle expansion can happen to widen the palate and prevent these patterns and sinus and sleep apnea issues later in life.

5.  ENT.  Sometimes nasal surgery is needed, but only after all other methods had been addressed.  Often what I see is nasal surgery isn’t needed, but it really depends on the case.

I hope this was helpful!

Have a wonderful week!

The dangers of mycotoxins and what to do about them!

The dangers of mycotoxins and what to do about them!

Happy Monday Tribe!

Sorry I didn’t give you guys a health tip last week!  I have been BUSY! I wanted to let you know that I will be cutting down on my blogs so that I can reach my deadline and finish writing my book!

I’m thinking either one every other week or once a month.  I will let you know as soon as I know!!

_____________________________________

Back to this week’s topic. Myocotoxins.

What are mycotoxins and why do we care in the health field?!
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of molds. Molds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foods such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices. Mold growth can occur either before harvest or after harvest, during storage, on/in the food itself often under warm, damp and humid conditions. Most mycotoxins are chemically stable and survive food processing.
Several hundred different mycotoxins have been identified, but the most commonly observed mycotoxins that present a concern to human health and livestock include aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, fumonisins, zearalenone and nivalenol/deoxynivalenol. Mycotoxins appear in the food chain as a result of mold infection of crops both before and after harvest. Exposure to mycotoxins can happen either directly by eating infected food or indirectly from animals that are fed contaminated feed, in particular from milk.

Mycotoxins are capable of causing mycotoxicosis (disease and death) in humans and animals.  These toxins cause disturbance in the gut, particularly in the intestinal epithelial.  However, research exists to show that the gut microbiota is capable of eliminating mycotoxin from the host naturally, provided that the host is healthy with a balanced gut microbiota.

It has been estimated that 25% of the world’s crops such as nuts, cereals and rice are contaminated by mold and fungal growth (WHO).  The exposure is mostly by ingestion. Some people are more susceptible to getting mycotoxicosis than others, and this is due the the pharmocogenetic variability where gene mutations such as CYP 450 could increase or decrease the metabolic activity of getting rid of them.
It tends to still be ignored by the medical field though unfortunately.

Mycotoxins can induce diverse and powerful toxic effects in that some are carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, estrogenic, hemorrhagic, immunotoxic, nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, dermatoxic and neurotoxic.
They are finding that the ever changing climate changes (warming) are having increases in contamination.  

What happens to the gut?!

Some mycotoxins have been found to exert their detrimental effects in the GI tract by altering the normal intestinal functions such as barrier function and nutrient absorption.  
And as we know, the occurrence of disease has often been linked to dysbiosis of the gut! EVERY autoimmune disease has a gut dysbiosis cause.  We also know through research that the mycotoxins also are capable of altering the microbial balance of the intestine further causing oxidative stress.

Usually mycotoxicosis results from a high dosage of mycotoxin contamination, and involves regulation of DNA methylation and alteration of gene expression. 
Gut microbes varies from person to person, so different reactions toward mycotoxins are observed.

So how do we treat it?!!

I’m So glad you asked!!

I treat it two different ways.

1. Clear the mycotoxins through craniobiotic technique.  When I find the mold aspergillus in an individual through CBT, mycotoxins can also be present.  Alerting the brain of the mycotoxins can allow them to clear it out.

2. Methylation Genetic work!  Work on the genetic variations that are making people react to the mycotoxins in the first place!   Fixing that gut microbiotia always involves methylation support!

Be aware of molds!! They are silent killers and wreak havok on the immune system.  They are found in foods as mentioned here, but also in homes, bathrooms, garages, basements, ect.   Don’t leave mold!  It a serious health threat.

 

That is all for now.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy week.

Dr. Hamel

WHO WOULD LIKE DR. HAMEL TO BRING BACK ESSENTIAL OIL CLASSES?!

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She will be teaching various classes soon in her PB office, but can do weekend virtual EO classes.

Email her!