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The Six Homeostatic Systems

Basic Supplementation: “Doctor! How do I know what to take?

Self-Cure = Self-Regulation = Homeostasis

“What functions properly and what does the organism need?”

If you are out of balance, or have multiple health problems, you must first correct your diet and your capacity to eliminate, which is what drainage is all about: intervening on lifestyle. After we intervene on lifestyle, if there are still symptoms in a particular area, we have to look at what self-regulating mechanisms may be out of balance. These mechanisms were donned the Six Homeostatic Systems by Gérard Guéniot and he discussed them in the order in which they develop: electrolytic -> metabolic -> immune -> endocrine -> circulatory -> nervous. This is a clever and useful method to determine those supplements that are the most critical in a person’s regimen.

If an adult has a health problem that does not change with lifestyle (diet, nutrition and basic detoxification), then it is important to address this problem by correcting the imbalance in the corresponding homeostatic system. When these types of imbalances occur, neither diet, nor homeopathy can correct these imbalances alone, but must be treated through specific nutritional support of the dysfunctional system or systems.

Here is a quick summary of what those systems are and which nutrients can help to re-establish normal function. (You may find your own particular complaint listed here or you may not. Overall, the specific disease names are only intellectual categorizations we use as physicians and as a society; it is fine to extrapolate what kind of nutritional support you need based on the area of your primary complaints). Also pay attention to your own personal history, since traumas or personal events at a particular age of development can predispose one to a problem in a particular system if that is what was completing its development at that time.

Electrolytic systemMetabolic SystemImmune SystemEndocrine SystemCirculatory SystemNervous System

Electrolytic System

Develops first, from 0-18 months: An infant cannot regulate his pH as well as an adult, but develops this capacity quickly

An imbalanced electrolytic system is evidenced by signs of:

  • Poor electrolyte balance: atrial fibrillation
  • Poor pH balance (excess acidity, excess alkalinity)
  • Chronic cramping, Charlie horses, etc.
  • SIADH: Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone

Electrolyte function can be easily compromised and is a common after-effect of:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Excessive sweating (third world travel to hot climates)
  • nervous system depletion
  • chronic illness and anemia

Supplements to consider for Electrolytic Homeostasis:

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Metabolic System

Development is complete at 4 years of age; think of how infants and young children must eat a restricted diet to ensure the future health of their overall digestion and metabolism. See The Importance of Breastmilk for more information.

A dysfunctional metabolic system is evidenced by:

  • poor energy, chronic fatigue
  • weak or sluggish digestion: gas, bloating, or constipation
  • chronic diarrhea : Crohn’s or colitis
  • evidence of high oxidation in the body, such as with chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis

Paraphrasing Dr. Guéniot on Enzymes & the Pancreas:
“The pancreas makes our enzymes, but the pancreas is often lacking them since we lack absorption of enzymes from our food. The pancreas gets tired because it has to deal with the insufficiencies of the food depending on the food cultivation, animal husbandry and preservation. The enzymes are the most important; they are given to us with the food, but if they are not, then we must supplement. The pancreas is the organ of assimilation and it is the organ of obsession, of the intellect. With these problems pancreatitis is common. Chewing gum and eating sugars all day destroy the pancreas.”

Supplements to consider for Metabolic Homeostasis:

Other Supports

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Take ½-1 tsp. of organic apple cider vinegar diluted in 6-8 oz. water before any major meal.
  • Fasting Intermittent fasting helps the pancreas to rest. Fasting is ideally done with supervision from a naturopathic physician or other qualified wholistic health practitioner.
  • Immune System- (7 Years: A child’s immunity is not completely developed until age seven, liver is complete at age 4, when all immunoglobulins, or antibodies can be made).

Natural immunity starts in the intestines, in what we call the “barriers”. Fever and elimination are also crucial aspects to natural immune function. If there is a problem with the immune function, one must address the digestive tract and strengthen that system.

Signs the natural immunity is weakened:

  • Chronic respiratory infections, or frequent
    • strep throat, tonsillitis, otitis media (ear infections), sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis
  • Chronic genito-urinary infections:
    • vaginitis, yeast infections, cystitis, or urinary tract infections, pyelonephritis or kidney infections, prostatitis or prostate infections, herpes
  • Frequent or chronic gastritis or stomach flus or acute diarrhea
  • Cancer of all forms

Supplements to consider for IMMUNE Homeostasis:

Special attention is paid to the need for slow chelation of heavy metals, since heavy metals most commonly affect the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. See more information on Slow Chelation for ideas if your symptoms pertain to any of these systems.

Drainage Supports for Immune function:

  • Unda Numbers to support elimination (those for liver, kidney, intestines and emunctories, see the quick Unda numbers guide in the First Aid section.)

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Hormonal System

Age 12-14, or earlier with girls starting menses on average at younger ages than twenty years ago. When girl doesn’t menstruate regularly from the beginning, this is a sign of a hormonal imbalance.

Special attention is paid to the need for slow chelation of heavy metals, since heavy metals most commonly affect the nervous, endocrine (hormonal) and immune systems. See more information on Slow Chelation for ideas if your symptoms pertain to any of these systems.

Women

Menstrual irregularities, heavy menses, cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and amenorrhea (absence of a regular period) and uterine fibroids are all obvious indications of an imbalanced hormonal system. If these problems are left unresolved until menopause, this natural transition will be more difficult with multiple symptoms, including mood disturbances, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and heavy periods. Any obvious cyclical symptoms can often be the results of a hormonal imbalance as well, and usually respond beautifully to drainage, supplementation and individualized homeopathic care.

Men

Most men don’t realize they also have a cycle. It is not on the same time frame as the female cycle and there is great disagreement on its exact length (anywhere from 45 days to 72 days, as Dr. Guéniot claimed), during which many men report periods of highs and lows that repeat over several weeks. It is a much more subtle cycle, but some men, when more in tune with their bodies, can observe these changes.

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance or congestion in men often start after age 40, and worsen as men get older when their prostates (or their “garbage cans” as Dr. Guéniot called them) progressively fill up with the toxins of the body. Sitting at the bottom of the torso, gravity pulls all the heavy metals and various other unmetabolized grit into this little, normally walnut-sized organ. Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH is the most common diagnosis that men develop as they age.

Symptoms that may indicate you have a congested or toxic prostate include:

  • frequent urination at night
  • urination difficult to start or stop
  • dribbling
  • less forceful stream
  • low libido
  • erectile dysfunction

Supplements to Consider:
Women

In Pregnancy

  • DHA (The infant’s brain is 60% of its weight, of which 60% is fatty tissue; if the proper fats are not provided in the diet, the infant will naturally pull these nutrients out of the mother’s brain). DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, comes from fish oil, but the fish get it from seaweed, so the purest source is from seaweed!

Other Supports for Women

Men

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Circulatory System

Development is completed at 15-16 years of age, when the pubertal changes are complete and the communication with one’s inner self has begun; think of the passion of a teenager, or the tendency for depression in adolescence

Circulatory imbalances is symptomatic of elevated blood pressure, mostly known as “idiopathic hypertension”, where ‘idiopathic’ means that the cause is unknown, or, at least, a mystery to the conventional medical profession. What it actually means is that there is a problem with the rhythm and an imbalance in the circulatory system. Since circulation is the exchange of the most vital of fluids in the body, the circulatory system represents a sort of communication with the innermost self. Hypertension, then, can be interpreted as a miscommunication with the self. It is often the earliest sign of dysregulation of the circulatory homeostasis , and, if treated early on naturopathically, can be easily overcome.

We have to remember that, generally speaking, all known diseases are a sign of an imbalance with the inner self. When a disease reaches the cardiovascular system, it is a very deep and very significant degree of imbalance.

Indicators of cardiovascular homeostatic imbalance:

  • Hypertension
  • Rate disturbances, such as fibrillation, bradycardia (abnormally slow heart rate) or tachycardia (abnormally high heart rate)
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Atherosclerosis or chest pain originating in the heart (Angina)
  • Cardiomyopathy (enlarged or dilated heart)
  • Diabetes-any person with diabetes has an automatic risk of heart disease and should act to prevent such occurrences

If you suffer from one of the above cardiac conditions, we suggest taking one supportive nutrient from each of the categories in the supplements to consider section. The more severe cardiovascular diseases can also improve a great deal with basic nutrients and natural medicines. Typically, the more severe the problem and more long-term the problem has been, the greater amount of natural therapies it will take to bring the problem back into balance. Thus 1-2 supplements from each section should be considered.

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Nervous System

For women, the nervous system is completely myelenized at 21 years of age, for men it is 25 years; Rudolf Steiner maintained that the nervous system was not completely developed until 28 years. The nervous system is the last system to completely mature and takes years of interaction with the environment.

Special attention is paid to the need for slow chelation of heavy metals, since heavy metals most commonly affect the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. See more information on Slow Chelation for ideas if your symptoms pertain to any of these systems.

Signs of a dysfunctional nervous system include:

  • Memory, cognitive problems, Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Anxiety, nervousness or depression
  • ADD, ADHD, problems on the Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Multiple Sclerosis or other pathology of the nervous system

Supplements to consider to reinstate Nervous System Homeostasis

  • Phoscholine
  • EFA’s: DHA, Ultra Pure Fish oil, Norwegian Cod Liver oil

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