291 – Nutritional Support for Auto Immune Issues – My Interview with Laurel Sterling

Targeted nutrients are critical for auto immune challenges*

Immune Support

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Laurel SterlingI have a strong personal interest in this topic. I have reported on this frequently because my wife, Debbie has been challenged with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 40 years. In her case it was severe. She left her job as a teacher in 1989 and never was able to go back to work. She spent the next 15 years just trying to survive day to day by consuming 8 narcotic Darvocet doses each day. Those were tough days. So we personally know the challenge of auto immune breakdown. I have great empathy for those who suffer and their families.

Our lives were turned around in 2003. There were two thing that changed her course in the most dramatic ways, drugs and nutrition.

Drugs: In Debbie’s case her only option early on was pain medication. For us, who try to avoid drugs it was a philosophical challenge. It was a journey from aspirin to Darvocet to Methotrexate. There were other drugs involved as well with limited success. In the early 2000’s a new class of drugs emerged that are called biologics. These are life changing drugs for some of those who suffer with auto immune issues. These new drugs disrupt the disease process and are revolutionary.

We spent months trying to decide whether to add a new medication. I know many people face the same dilemma. We don’t want to take the medications but we do because we hope they will provide some relief when we are desperate. In our case, the new biologics changed her life dramatically. But only partially.  Her sky high inflammation dropped by half within one week. After one week of her first injection she was off all pain medication and has been clear of those ever since. To be clear, these new meds do not work for everyone and they carry their own risk. As I mentioned, Debbie’s inflammation score dropped by half. Dramatic but still left her dealing with chronic inflammation and some pain. Less pain but not gone. Good but not great. This was some relief but we wanted more. 

NutraceuticalsNutrition: About this same time in 2003 I learned what I consider to be the turning point in my understanding of pain and inflammation. I attended a presentation on the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 in inflammation. I have since explored this topic many times on HealthQuestPodcast.com because to me this is foundational for health. Debbie began to take 1 tablespoon of Carlson Liquid Fish Oil daily as this was the dose discussed by the experts as a therapeutic dose*. A tablespoon provides almost 4000 mg. of EPA + DHA. Much higher than capsule dosages. She has been on that dose ever since. The result of adding fish oil is that her inflammation dropped into the normal range within six months and has stayed there ever since*. We have taken the omega-3 home blood test and we have confirmed that her omega-3 levels are at the top of the range.


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Once we normalized her inflammation status with Carlson’s Liquid Fish Oil, her health status has improved in many areas*. My belief is that her chronic inflammation contributed to other chronic issues that could not and would not improve until the inflammation was resolved*. Problems with sleep, constipation and low iron levels have all normalized*. Chronic inflammation prevents the body from functioning normally in many ways beyond the primary problem*. She has eliminated the other drugs and now takes only the lowest dose of the biologic drug. 

Normalizing the omega-3/6 balance is one of the first nutritional steps you must take, regardless of the health issue involved. The effect of too little omega-3 and too much omega-6 is devastating to health*. In my opinion this is one of the main reasons so many people suffer with so many inflammation related disorders*. If one does not restore this balance then other interventions will be less successful. I believe that nothing else will do what omega-3 does and must be consider one of the first steps in dealing with pain and inflammation*. Once the omega-3/6 fats are in balance, all the other nutritional interventions will be more successful*.

Carlson Liquid Fish Oil: We credit Carlson Liquid Fish Oil for being the right fish oil for us. It tastes good and clean with a hint of lemon (or orange) and makes it easy to take the higher amounts. You would have to take 5 to 10 capsules to equal 1 tablespoon of liquid fish oil. A high quality fish oil will NOT taste fishy or burp up a fishy taste. We have both been taking this product for 15 years and see no reason to change. It is the best we have found for us. I have recommended it to many others with reports of great success. Just choose a good brand and take alot. Then get tested. I’m betting that the higher your score, the better you will feel. Try it for six months and then evaluate. 

Just to be clear, Debbie takes a lot of nutritional support nutrients in addition to fish oil. Whatever your concerns, the concept is to nourish your body specifically targeting the organs, tissues and systems involved.

Auto Immunity: In this interview with Laurel Sterling, we will discuss auto immune issues and what can be done naturally and nutritionally to support health*. I think it is easy to understand why this is an important issue for my family. We can say we have found a way though a devastating auto immune disease. If we can find a way, then there is hope for others. This interview will give you an overview of auto immune issues and some of the important lifestyle and nutritional choices*. In previous interviews with Carlson experts we have discussed many of the important nutrients for immune support*. 

Remember, drugs are not nutrients and nutrients are not drugs. Drugs treat your disease, see your doctor for any medical condition. Nutrients nourish the body. Drugs do not nourish the body. You must take in nutrients through food and supplements. Think of food and supplements as the delivery system. Good quality foods are foundational. Supplements allow you to take targeted nutrients in therapeutic amounts*. Learn what nutrients benefit the organs, tissues and systems involved*. Listen to this interview with Laurel Sterling to learn what those nutrients are that can support your immune system*.

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About Laurel Sterling
Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN currently works as a national educator for Carlson Labs. She is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and Certified Nutritionist. She has worked in the Natural Products Industry since 2000. Over the years she has counseled hundreds of individuals, lectured at various corporations and events, written numerous articles and blogs on health and nutrition, appeared on local TV and radio shows, and interviewed by local news, newspapers, and university students. She regularly attends various medical, dietetic, and integrative conferences to keep up-to-date on the latest information in the ever-changing health industry. Laurel has a genuine passion for educating, informing, and empowering the public through nutrition education.


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