2017 Toronto conference presentations

Botanical Medicines for Thyroid Disease

This session will present current research on botanical medicines aimed at regulating thyroid function. Agents that improve hypothyroid function by increasing iodine uptake and synthesize of thyroid hormones will be reviewed, along with agents known to block excessive stimulation of the thyroid in cases of excessive TSH production, or thyroid auto-antibodies. Nutritional and botanical evidence based protocols for a variety of common thyroid conditions seen in clinical practice will be shared. Lastly, synergism between the adrenal and the thyroid gland, and the “cross talk” between all the endocrine organs will be addressed as an important aspect of treating thyroid diseases

Evidence Based Botanicals and Nutrition in the Treatment of Inflammation

The presentation will review and contrast various inflammatory pathways and how they influence the GI and cardiovascular system. The presentation will also review formulations of botanicals which modulate prostaglandins & leukotrienes, proinflammatory cytokines, complement and alternate complement pathway, immune complexes (antigen antibody complexes),transcription factors and kinases {NF kappa beta & kinases, SyK, Pl3 Kinase, Akt, etc.) and matrix metalloproteinases (inflammatory enzymes hyaluronidase, elastase, and collagenase).

Metabolism of Steroid Hormones

This presentation will look at the further metabolism of the steroid hormones. Dr. Klassen will present commonly encountered patterns in hormone metabolism and take a detailed look at clinical management of typical scenarios. This will include the relevance of enterohepatic recirculation, bile production, phase I & II liver biotransformation, and the role of the gut and the microbiome. We will also examine the elegant relationship between the thyroid and steroid hormones. Lastly, there will be a brief overview of relevant single nucleotide polymorphisms

Vitamin D Beyond Bone Health: Primary Prevention and Therapeutic Potentials for Multiple Sclerosis and Prostate Cancer

Remarkably, vitamin D is the only nutrient that Canada’s Food Guide tells adults to take as a supplement. The amount of vitamin D that adults should be taking for disease prevention or treatment remains highly disputed, ranging from 600 IU (15 micrograms) per day, toward up to 10,000 IU/day. The lower range of advice is intended to optimize the accepted utility of vitamin D for bone health, while the higher range relates to evolving roles of vitamin D in a variety of conditions, which include conditions as diverse as prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis. This presentation will explore the role of vitamin D to prevent and treat osteoporosis, prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Vieth will share firsthand research experiences on vitamin D, and help us understand why it is unrealistic to expect that double- blind, randomized trials will ever provide evidence that vitamin D can prevent prostate cancer or multiple sclerosis.

The Gut Connection: Solutions for SIBO, IBS and GERD

Most agree that having a healthy gut is one of the most important parts of overall wellness. We also agree that one of the biggest complaints levelled against us is there isn’t enough research-based information used by natural practitioners. This lecture is meant to use research to support the first statement and completely dismantle the oft-recycled myth concerning our lack of use of credible information in the treatment of disease conditions. The trillions of bacteria that make up our microbiome are being shown, in multiple research papers daily, to affect our basic health but very specifically our digestive health. Our discussion will begin with looking at how new research has changed our understanding of how the GI tract functions and then will quickly move into specific conditions including the treatment of IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and GERD using diet, nutrients, and botanical medicine. She will also look at small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO), and examine motility issues and the use of antibiotics versus herbs. Dr. Bretz will discuss the brain-GI connection, including the role of neurotransmitters. She will review the relationship between the dietary microbiota and the mental health changes that are seen in association with these conditions. This talk will look at the most relevant information in diagnostics, prevention and treatment including targeted dietary programs – moving beyond simple elimination diets, nutrient treatments, herbal remedies and strain specific probiotic therapies.

Using Serum TSH as Biological Index of Thyroid Function

The negative feedback loop between circulating thyroid hormone and the neuroendocrine system (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) is the fundamental mechanism preserving thyroid hormone homeostasis. During iodine deficiency, there is decreased synthesis of thyroid hormone that leads to a reduction in plasma thyroxine (T4), rapidly activating secretion of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and pituitary thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates the thyroid to grow and normalize thyroid hormone synthesis and secretion. As with T4, a reduction in plasma 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3), the biologically active thyroid hormone, also triggers the feedback mechanism and activates TRH and TSH secretion. A focus will be placed on understanding the appropriate tests required to diagnose hypothyroidism and how to restore hormonal balance through evidence based therapy.

Homocysteine: Friend or Foe?

We are aware that high levels of homocysteine are associated with a wide range of diseases. This would tend to imply that homocysteine is a toxic molecule and less is better. The recommended maximum “safe” levels have dropped several times the past 2 decades as research has progressed. However, the homocysteine/methylation cycle is right in the middle of a lot of metabolism. Like cholesterol, we are inappropriately vilifying a molecule important for health. Homocysteine is an important storage/transfer molecule and the factors that cause its elevation may be the actual problem, not homocysteine itself (except at very high levels). And very low levels are associated with increased risk of several diseases.

Vitamin K2: The Calcium Paradox in Practice

Awareness of the long overlooked, fat-soluble vitamin K2 is increasing among practitioners and their patients, but confusion persists with regards to dosing, food sources, safety, indications, drug interactions and more. This presentation features a new and expanded range of vitamin K2 clinical benefits, in addition to clarifying the significant role menaquinone plays in bone and cardiovascular health, insulin resistance and more. The seminar will demystify the vitamin K/oral anticoagulant conundrum and shed light on the different types of vitamin K2 available to practitioners, including dosage and safety considerations. This presentation will also reveal and clarify misunderstood connections between vitamins A, D and K2.

Gut immunology and the Microbiome

The immune system evolved to both tolerate and react to microbes. In the gut, the immune system and microbes interact to produce health or disease. Affecting either the immune system or the microbiome clinically leads to consequences in both systems. This session will discuss the different immunological reactions that occur in the gut, and how these reactions are impacted by the microbiome. As clinicians gain understanding of these complex interactions, they will better be able to manipulate the response to improve clinical care.

Probiotics and Cytokine Patterns

Probiotics are often described by the single word “probiotics.” Yet each probiotic product actually contains a variety of strains of microbes, each with a different characteristic. As such, different probiotic products can yield wildly different clinical responses. This session will discuss the research on several different probiotic bacterial strains, the different cytokine patterns that each elicits, and the clinical implications.

Food Allergies and Hypersensitivities

The prevalence of food allergies and hypersensitivities are increasing. From life-threatening allergies, to irritating hypersensitivities, reactions to food are more common than ever before. Yet, a diverse array of symptoms, and inconsistent reactions make it difficult for people to identify which foods trigger them. This presentation will review adverse reactions to food, including the basic science and the symptom picture that accompanies it. Various food allergy and hypersensitivity testing methods will also be discussed.

Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Holistic Approach

This lecture will review the foundational biochemistry of thyroid hormone production and the role of iodine and other nutrients. Dr. Brownstein will share why epidemic levels of iodine deficiency could explain the explosive rise of autoimmune thyroid disorders. Furthermore, this talk will examine appropriate iodine dosing, and how it can be safely and effectively used to prevent and treat autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Overcoming Thyroid Disorders

This lecture will describe why hypothyroidism may be the most overlooked, yet most common illness presenting in a physician’s office. Standard thyroid laboratory testing may not be sensitive enough to properly diagnose all who are suffering with a thyroid condition. This lecture will provide a basic understanding of the interrelationship between the thyroid and other hormones. It will delve in to the nuances of interpreting thyroid laboratory tests and clinical symptoms to identify easily overlooked cases. Dr. Brownstein will also detail how to prescribe desiccated thyroid hormone and nutrients which help optimize thyroid function.

Foundational and Practical Applications of Natural Hormones for Women

Adequate hormone levels are needed by every cell in the body. This lecture will explain the physiology and clinical applications of using bioidentical hormones to treat a variety of conditions including menopausal symptoms. Covers the basics of natural hormone prescribing: Hormones prescribed, timing, dosage, route of administration, clinical laboratory monitoring for efficacy and safety. Review a few of the most common problems encountered and their solutions. Evaluating natural hormones after treatment for “estrogen related” cancer.

Toxins as the Primary Driver of Disease

Over the past 50 years, the incidence of virtually every chronic disease has increased in all age groups. While deteriorating diet and lifestyle clearly contribute, the huge increase in toxic exposure has become the primary reason for the chronic disease epidemic. The cumulative release of metals, chemicals and persistent organic pollutants into food, air, water and health and beauty aids has resulted in an ever-increasing body load. Research has now documented in most of the population physiological disruption, overt pathology and diagnosed disease in proportion to toxin load.

Diet-induced Cellular Acidosis

Modern diet and lifestyle are acid forming requiring significant physiological adaptation. The resulting cellular and peri-cellular acidosis and physiological adaptations induce mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired detoxification, calcium loss from bones, increased risk of kidney stones, increased risk for cancer—the list is long and substantiates the long held belief that an alkaline diet is health promoting. As humans were evolving, our diet was clearly alkaline. In contrast, Western diets are strongly acid-inducing and underlie much disease.

Innovative Solutions for Weight Loss: New Perspectives on Thyroid, Adrenal, and Hormones

Obesity is an ever-growing epidemic causing increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, cognitive dysfunction, NAFLD, and cancer. Dr. Wilson will review foundational endocrinology concepts and discuss some of the physiology of obesity. He will review recent research on thyroid, adrenal, other hormones, and exercise that provide promising avenues for fat loss. Dr. Wilson will provide practical, effective new strategies using hormones, herbs, nutrients, diet, and easily incorporated exercises that will help physicians help their patients lose fat and gain health.

TSH and Body Temperature in Relation to Chronic Illness: Part One and Two

This lecture will review and present data demonstrating how low cellular thyroid hormone levels can cause or contribute to a wide range of chronic illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, insulin and leptin resistance, heart disease, PMS, depression, hypercholesterolemia, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Review of evidence how standard thyroid reference ranges do not apply to all cases. Review how signs, symptoms and low metabolism (body temperature) are keys to the diagnosis. Evaluate if standard thyroid medications are a good choice in all cases and if T3 should be an option.

Progesterone Treatment of Menopausal Hot Flushes/Flashes and Sleep Disturbances

The conventional etiological concept of hot flush/flash and night sweat (Vasomotor Symptom, VMS) is closely associated with estrogen deficiency. A Cochrane meta-analysis also makes it clear The conventional etiological concept of hot flush/flash and night sweat (Vasomotor Symptom, VMS) is closely associated with estrogen deficiency. A Cochrane meta-analysis also makes it clear that conventional estrogen or estrogen-progestin therapies are very effective for VMS. However, even if estradiol or estradiol/progesterone can be effective, these treatments are often linked with certain disadvantages and risks (e.g., no VMS-independent improvements in sleep, potential vascular diseases, breast cancer). As a result, not all women are willing to take estrogen/estradiol. This presentation will show you evidence that oral micronized progesterone (Progesterone, alone, without estradiol) can significantly improve moderate to severe hot flushes/flashes in healthy women 1-10 years from their last flow. Dr. Prior will also review the evidence that oral micronized progesterone (OMP) can improve sleep and increase bone formation, without increasing the cardiovascular and breast-related risk factors that are associated with conventional treatments.

Autoimmune Thyroid Illness and Iodine – Does it Worsen or Improve AIT?

Autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) is among the most common autoimmune disorders and can only form in an iodine deficient state. Mechanistic studies suggest that thyroid injury is caused by reactive oxygen species. There is some research suggesting that iodine, in concentrations larger than the RDA, may be required to prevent and treat AIT. Iodinated lipids are key to treating autoimmune thyroiditis due to their ability to prevent oxidative damage in the thyroid.

Hormone Disorders Seen in Family Practice

The prevalence of many medical conditions continues to increase in our aging population. The endocrine system produces hormones and the maintenance of adequate levels is key to health. Many complaints seen in the family practice setting may be related to hormonal imbalance which may occur at various life stages. Practical solutions to major complaints seen in the family practice setting will be discussed including fatigue, PMS, prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, cold hands and cold feet, and loss of sexual desire and function.

Integrating Natural Hormones and Herbs for Menopausal Therapy

Are your patients asking about natural hormones and other alternatives to standard HRT? Dr. Baucom explains the differences, benefits, limitations, and evidence based uses of various hormones and herbal medicines in combination to support the bones and tissues while addressing menopausal symptoms. Participants will receive specific evidence based dosing guidelines to widen their hormonal tool kits immediately.

Hormone Dosing: A Pharmacist’s Perspective

Ontario Naturopaths have requested further instruction on prescribing compounded hormones because of their recently earned new hormone prescriptive rights. This presentation is designed to address questions about specific practical applications of women’s hormones. Ehab Mekhail will review the role of the pharmacist, and the keys to writing appropriate hormone prescriptions. He will also educate attendees on the key characteristics to evaluate when selecting a quality pharmacy, and the regulations that they must adhere to.