Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lola's cancer diet

As many of you have been following along our cancer journey the past few weeks, I wanted to report Lola seems to be doing fairly well. We are now 3 1/2 weeks since she has been diagnosed with Lymphoma and a week into her holistic diet. On here two week checkup, we thought we may have to put her down and were heart broken. But the vet said he had hope for her, that the lymph nodes had shunk a small bit in size and he wanted us to possibly look into a holistic route.

That night I began research and between extensive resources came up with the following diet we are following. I am not a vet, I am not trained in the art of holistic healing or diet, please use this information as a stepping off point for your research. As well as follow our story and what is working (and isn't working) for us.

Please also note that at this time we did decline to place her under chemo treatments but she does receive 20mg of prednisone each day. It is my goal to be able to ween her off the prednisone and be able to treat her fully with just my holistic treatments.

The Diet: (Lola is a 20 pound dog - please base your calculations around this)

2 ounces Essiac Tea
1/2 Cup Fruit/Veggie/Supplement Mix*

Mid-morning snack:
2 TBS yogurt/1 TBS flaxseed oil/ 1 Red Clover Capsule 

Snacks during the day/ evening: (we mix it and vary it)
Organic baby carrots

1/2 Cup Fruit/Veggie/Supplement Mix*
2 "medallions" (Nature's Variety Raw Frozen foods)
1 Omega 3 Fish Oil softgel
2 ounces Essiac Tea

Evening snack:
2 TBS yogurt/1 TBS flaxseed oil/ 1 dropper full of Red Clover liquid

*Fruit/Veggie/Supplement Mix:

Chop of the following in your food processor:

4-5 apples
Large handful of baby carrots
handful spinach
handful parsley
handful kale

This mix makes a apple sauce type of consistency. I then add my supplements to the mixture, and stir:
2 TBS Hemp protein powder
4 Capsules of Red Clover (I open the capsule and pour in the powder)
2 TBS Nutritional Yeast 

This amount fills a large pyrex refrigerator dish (I posted a picture of it on Tuesday) and lasts her for roughly 3-4 days.  

After following this diet for a week, we took her back to the vet and he was in shock at the difference in her. All of her lymph nodes had completely shunk and she was breathing much better, was wagging her tail, running around, and a happy furry monster. 

She has a long way to go, she is definitely not in remission and has better days than others. But it's a step in the right direction. Especially from being almost put down, to now running and playing...definitely a good sign.

Now a little lesson on what all these supplements do.

Nutritional Information

Essiac Tea 

Essiac tea is a blend of four or more herbs; it was made famous by Canadian nurse Rene Caisse. Its name comes from her name, “Caisse,” spelled backward. She obtained the recipe from a shaman of the Ojibwa tribe in Ontario in the early 1900s and claimed to have had a great deal of success in using it in dealing with cancer. Essiac tea has since become very popular, with many holistic practitioners reporting similar successful treatments.

The 4 herbal ingredients in Essiac Tea are Burdock Root, Sheep Sorrel, Slippery Elm and Turkey Rhubarb Root.
1. Burdock Root helps to stimulate the immune system and reduces free radicals. It is an excellent blood purifier by supporting liver and kidney detoxification. In fact, Japanese studies have indicated that Burdock Root has anti-mutagenic and anti-cancer properties
2. Sheep Sorrel has also been studied extensively in laboratories. Sheep sorrel is anti-parasitic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and has regressed tumors in laboratory animals. It is important to note that the whole plant must be used, including the roots of the plant.
3. The inner bark of Slippery elm supports the digestive and urinary systems. It also helps to reduce inflammation.
4. Turkey Rhubarb root contains a plant chemical called emodin, which can have a laxative affect. Emodin also has anti-cancer properties by stimulating the production of certain enzymes.  

Red Clover

Red Clover Red Clover is known to purify the blood, clear mucus from the lungs, improve circulation, and cleanse the liver. It is traditionally used for whooping cough, cancer, respiratory problems, and skin inflammation from psoriasis and eczema. Red clover is one of the richest sources of isoflavones. Isoflavones are water soluble chemicals that act like estrogens. The isoflavones found in red clover have been studied for their effectiveness with some forms of cancer and their ability to destroy cancer cells. It also contains bio-available calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus

Hemp Protein

Hemp Protein Hemp protein is made by milling (grinding) the THC free hemp seeds into a powder and then sifting some of the fiber out. It is possible to grind your own hemp seeds and use the whole seed, or sift it yourself. This is obviously a much cheaper alternative. Hemp seed is considered to be a nutritional powerhouse packed with a full spectrum of proteins and amino acids as well as other great health attributes. It’s a very clean protein source that can easily be found organic, raw, and non-genetically modified. Hemp is also considered to be very allergy friendly.   

Flaxseed Oil

The oil extracted from flaxseeds is said to lower cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, and prevent cancer. Flaxseed oil is high in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is thought to have beneficial effects against cancer when consume. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found fish and fish oils, as well as in some other plant oils.

(found in the refrigerated section in your local health food store)

Fish Oil

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil for dogs have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous tumors. A study published by The American Cancer society in April 2000, reviewed the efficacy of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil to reduce inflammation, and extend and improve the quality of life for dogs treated for lymphoblastic lymphoma. Researchers believe they have identified a link between DHA and EPA (two fatty acids), and the prevention of the spread of tumors, development of new tumors and occurrence of cachexia. Cachexia is the weight loss that is experienced by dogs (and all animals) with cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to normalize elevated blood lactic acid and insulin levels which in turn may help reduce or eliminate cancer related cachexia. (general rule of thumb is 1000mg per 20 pounds of body weight)

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast Containing 18 amino acids, nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It’s loaded with high quality proteins as well as 15 essential minerals. It also improves blood production as well as liver function, two important factors when dealing with a cancer. In dogs it also promotes a shiny coat

I have read so much over the past couple weeks and continue to read and learn more. One of the diets I read about was the Budwig Diet -  If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer I highly recommend you read about this. I have adapted it into my diet for Lola. Some days we use cottage cheese other days we use yogurt. Yogurt is a lot easier to digest for older dogs, so that is why I chose the yogurt/flaxseed oil combination instead.

I hope this information will help anyone looking to get started on a diet and give you some basic information regarding why I'm using what I currently am.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestion or would like to share your story, I would love to hear.

I am lucky enough to live near some amazing health food stores, but you can also find all of these ingredients online through various markets as well.