Inflammation: The Fire Inside

In this May issue we describe other ways to consider utilizing DITI as a preventative screening tool. Thermal imaging alerts you to inflammation in an area of the body so early interventions can be taken.  Ultimately, decreasing inflammation is better for achieving optimal health and potentially preventing illness.

Allopathic medicine has a reactive or “downstream” approach to healthcare.  Waiting for a symptom to present, getting a diagnosis and then a medication to suppress that symptom has little to do with prevention.  Thus, the label of “downstream” medicine is used based on a story often called “The Upstream Story.’  Here is a short synopsis:

Suppose you are standing next to a river, and you see someone drowning as she floats downstream. You jump into the river and pull her ashore. As soon as you’ve done that, you see another person in trouble, again floating downstream, and you rescue him as well. Every time you’ve saved one person, you see another, and another. After you’ve dragged another drowning body out of the river, you’re thoroughly exhausted and you know you don’t have the energy to save one more person, so instead you decide you must go upstream to find out what is causing these people to end up in the river. You want to address this problem at its source. You move upstream, and see a bridge. Upon careful inspection, you find that there is a well-concealed, yet sizeable hole in this bridge that is causing people to fall in. What do you do? You do what makes the most sense – you work to repair the bridge. Primary prevention means “going upstream” to repair the bridge. Too often we just focus on the tangible aftermath of a problem. We just keep pulling people out of the river…” (Read full article)

Thermal imaging is one example of practicing “upstream” care.  Thermography images heat related to inflammation.  It is one way to determine if the chronic inflammation you have been ignoring may be contributing to deleterious effects in your body. 

Inflammation: Good or Bad?

Inflammation is a necessary and protective response to injury, an allergen, or infection that poses a threat to immune health.  The inflammatory response is driven by the release of chemicals that signals the body to launch an attack on the threat.  And then, in perfect synchronicity, the tissues and organs signal the immune system to shut down the assault; the threat is managed and the body is no longer in harm’s way.

While we need “short-term” inflammation, if the immune system does not shut off and the system stays “primed” for attack this leads to chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is the culprit behind all disease, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, arthritis, gout and cancer, to name a few.  In a reactive medical system, or “downstream” medicine, the doctors are taught to treat the symptoms of the disease, usually with drugs.  But many of these diseases can be reversed WITHOUT drugs when you find the root cause for the inflammation and eliminate it.  Let’s explore different sources of chronic inflammation.

Hidden or Chronic Infections

Chronic bacterial, viral, or yeast infections or parasites contribute to inflammation.  Foreign bodies activate the immune system to fight the invader.
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Root Causes of Inflammation:  You Are What You Eat

Food is probably the most common type of nefarious agent that contributes to inflammation.  Perhaps the one food that has received the most attention lately and contributes to inflammation is, of course, gluten.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat-related grains and is now a clear contributor to systemic inflammation.
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Some clients have even removed ALL grains and sugars from their diet and bake using almond flour, coconut flour, coconut nectar and other grain-free/sugar-free options.  Below is one client who was having trouble with recurrent sinus infections, diminished kidney function, was heading toward diabetes and had no energy.  After making significant changes to her diet, her kidney function is now normal, her A1C is within a healthy range and she has more energy.  Clearly, her sinus infection had resolved.

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Any food that launches an inflammatory attack is considered an allergenic food.  Some common allergenic foods include wheat, soy, dairy, corn and peanuts.  You may notice gut distension or a bloated feeling after eating a certain food and this is a sign that you are sensitive, if not allergic, to that food.  Coffee is considered pro-inflammatory because it triggers the release of excess stress hormone, increasing inflammation.  If decreasing inflammation is a personal goal for you, you may want to consider eliminating coffee from your diet and adding non-caffeinated teas.

In addition, the quality of the food we buy can contribute to inflammation.  Animals traditionally raised feed in open, grassy meadows that then provide us with meats high in omega-3 fats. Cattle that are fed a grain-rich diet (corn) provide us with meat that is laden with omega-6 fatty acids which increases inflammation.  Omega-3 fats are protective and anti-inflammatory in nature.
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Other contaminants in our food supply that contribute to inflammation include insecticides, pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  These chemicals act as foreign invaders to our immune system which activates all defenses to protect itself, thereby activating the immune system and keeping it stimulated causing chronic inflammation.

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Other Contributors to Inflammation:  Stress

Overwhelming life stressors or a combination of multiple major stressors and how you manage these certainly can contribute to inflammation.  Pressure from your boss, difficult times with your spouse and children, illness/death of a loved one, financial struggles or facing a life-threatening health challenge will certainly tax the “Zen” in any of us.  All these stressors, left unchecked, can contribute to inflammation, leading to disease.

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clip_image023Again, inflammation is always the beginning of disease and thermal imaging gives you an opportunity to assess where you may experience high levels of inflammation.  You can then work to address those areas, decrease inflammation and potentially experience better health.  Health is a journey and requires constant attention.  There are no guarantees to good health, but as for us, we like living “upstream.”

Yours in prevention,

Brenda and Lynda

DITI Uses in Atypical Imaging

We are often asked what inspired us to start a thermal imaging business.  Truthfully, it has been our own personal desire for prevention and wellness that piqued our interest in providing this technology to our clients.
Although we have been doing thermal imaging for many years, we sometimes receive a phone call from either an existing client or a potential new client asking if thermal imaging would be indicated for an unusual or unfamiliar specific condition.

In an effort to represent thermography accurately, we rely on our doctors to guide us when we are unsure.
Below are several examples (some with images) of some unfamiliar situations that required us to contact our interpreting physicians to ask if thermal imaging would offer additional information for these situations:

My husband doesn’t want to have a prostate exam and would like to know if thermography would be a good tool for evaluating prostate health? Would a thermographic scan help us evaluate prostate health?

Sorry gentlemen, thermography would NOT be indicated to evaluate prostate health. By the time we would be able to detect a significant finding thermographically, it would have been picked up years prior in an annual PSA test and/or by rectal digit exam. Our medical thermologists will not evaluate any requests for evaluation of prostate health.

My 32 year-old son was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. We are devastated regarding this diagnosis as he is facing an impending orchiectomy. We are wondering if this diagnosis is accurate and perhaps this is just an infection. Would a testicular scan help us determine if this is an infection versus a developing cancer?

We cannot evaluate testicular health. Although the testicles lie outside the body, they are surrounded and protected by the scrotum and thus any scans of the testicles would really be an evaluation of scrotal health, not testicular health. Talk to your health practitioner to try to alleviate your concerns. If you are uncomfortable with his current diagnosis, request a second opinion if this won’t delay his surgery or potentially compromise his prognosis. Ask about any blood tests that could help distinguish between an infection versus a more serious pathology.

I had a root canal two weeks ago and still am having lots of pain. If we did a thermogram, could we look to see if there’s an infection? Will it be able to tell the difference between an infection and the normal healing process after a root canal?

Thermal studies are useful to monitor the healing process or identify ongoing infection.  Thermography will correlate symptoms of pain with the thermal findings and give an opinion that can help with clinical decision-making.







Above: Client wanted to use DITI to monitor healing from dental procedures and images provided her with visual representations of her healing progress.







I had cancer several years ago and I want to do a full-body scan to see if there is evidence of cancer anywhere in my body. Can we do a full-body scan to look for recurrence of cancer?

Thermography has a high sensitivity and low specificity.  Using thermal imaging as a tool for looking for cancer throughout the body is not indicated.  Diagnostic tools that can help you determine reoccurrence of cancer may be a PET scan, MRI and cancer markers seen in the blood (CA 125, CA 19-9, etc).
Remember, DITI is used to watch for changes over time and not so much as a detection device.  Once a full body scan is on file, annual imaging to monitor for new findings, increase/decrease in inflammation and determine trends is how to use this technology.  Attempting to use DITI as a detection tool puts this technology in a different category and that leads to misuse and misunderstanding of this preventive screening technology.

In 2010 I was diagnosed with HPV. I want to do a thermogram to look for activity of the virus and/or progression of the infection. Can we look to see if this is leading to other urogenital (cervical, vaginal, etc) cancers?

Thermography can help provide objective findings relating to the activity and inflammation relating to an outbreak but would not be specific enough to contribute useful information about other associated or developing pathologies.

Can we do an abdominal scan to look at cervical, uterine and ovarian health?

Regional studies that include the lower abdomen can be helpful in identifying inflammation and infection and other causes of dysfunction relating to the cervix, uterus and ovaries. In most cases clinical correlation will be necessary to reach a diagnosis and again, watching for changes over time offers the best chance of early warning signs allowing for early intervention.

I hurt my shoulder about two months ago. It’s not painful when I perform my daily living activities (dressing, showering, etc) but do find it painful to reach upward.  I can tolerate this but now I’m wondering if I am causing more damage. Can a thermal scan tell me if there’s a tear (rotator cuff, tendon, ligament, etc) in my shoulder?

Yes, thermography can tell if there are any positive findings to indicate joint related, ligament, muscular or other types of dysfunction which require clinical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment.








I have a nodule on my thyroid. Can this test tell me if I have thyroid cancer?

Thermography is not diagnostic, however it can show useful thermal findings that correlate with a nodule and provide information relating to the activity of the nodule which is useful in the decision-making of diagnosis and treatment.







My daughter has a brain tumor and had surgery and has undergone radiation therapy.  Can a thermal scan tell us if there is a recurrence of the tumor before she is symptomatic?

No, thermal imaging does not provide any useful information in the case of brain tumors or the monitoring for recurrence.

Heart disease and peripheral vascular disease seems to be prevalent in my family.  I am a 35 year-old male and I have high blood pressure. My twin sister and I would like to come for thermographic evaluation of cardiopulmonary health or evidence of early heart disease. Would this be beneficial? Would it be helpful to do whole-body imaging? Would it be most-beneficial to do this every year or could we come every other year?







Above:  Client with elevated Cardiac Reactive Protein (CRP), an early risk indication
for heart disease.







Above:  Patient with asymmetrical finding in carotid artery detected with DITI.

There are useful thermal findings that can indicate developing cardiovascular disease.
Regular screening provides the best opportunity of detecting changes at an early stage. The region’s best suited to evaluate cardiovascular disease include the chest, upper back and head and neck images. A full body study is always helpful in assessing peripheral circulatory conditions and other associated problems.  The decision regarding ongoing annual screening or waiting longer periods would be made after the first study and results combined with individual history and symptoms.








“Infrared thermography is a promising technique for the detection of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) before and after revascularization.”  (Am J Cardiol 1993; 72: 894-896)  Summary: Detection of thermal asymmetry showed 94% sensitivity for the presence of significant CAD.   

We will always do our best to represent thermography accurately, and never hesitate to admit to what we do not know or understand and ask for help and guidance from our reading thermologists (MDs) when needed.

Thermography does not take the place of any other technology, but it is the ONLY imaging that monitors the following:  trends relating to inflammation, new findings in areas that should be stable, increase/decrease of inflammation which helps monitor healing/treatment response and allows for early interventions in an attempt to stop disease progression.  All other technologies offer detection AFTER disease has been present for many years.  At Proactive Health Solutions, we encourage intervention BEFORE symptoms are present, thereby offering the patient the opportunity to optimize health.

Yours in prevention,

Lynda and Brenda

Four Benefits of Breast DITI

As we move towards fall, we would like to review for all our new, and maybe some of our established clients, the four benefits of thermal imaging.

There are four main benefits to utilizing digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) for breast imaging:

  • Risk Assessment / Risk Reduction
  • Detection (not as a stand-alone technology)
  • Prevention / Early Intervention
  • Monitoring the Effects of Therapy

Risk Assessment

How healthy are your breasts?



Case Study #1
This client maintains good symmetry with no significant thermal findings. 
Embedded temperatures allow reading MDs to determine stable physiology and low risk for developing disease.




Case Study #2
This client had significant vascular activity in the left breast, not seen in the right breast which clinically correlates with fibrocystic changes. 
Thermal asymmetry is a risk factor for future disease.  This client is a good candidate for early intervention.

Risk Reduction

Case study #3:  A woman positively influences her breast health by making lifestyle choices to aid in decreasing risk factors. 




Initial scan:  Medical interpretation indicated client to be at “some risk for breast disease.” 
This T BI-RADS score would correlate with a letter grade of a “C” in the educational grading system.
This client began lifestyle modifications.



Follow up scan: Client initiated an anti-inflammatory diet, increased exercise and hydration and met with a professional to help manage stress and improve sleep cycle. 
Medical interpretation “at low risk for breast disease”which would correlate with a letter grade of a “B.”



Annual scan: Maintaining lifestyle changes reflected improvement and a lowered risk of breast disease.
Medical interpretation of “within normal limits and at low risk for breast disease.”
Letter grade would correlate to an “A/B” rating.

Traditional allopathic medicine reminds women to have their annual mammogram and hope that nothing is found.  This mindset is a reactive approach to disease.

However, every woman can utilize breast thermography to determine risk factors and make changes to diminish them.  This is a proactive approach to managing health.  Too many women aren’t aware that this technology is available and affordable or they are told by their doctor that “thermography doesn’t work.”  Unfortunately, many women stop their research when they hear those words. 

Disease Detection (but not as a stand-alone technology)

In the case of certain types of breast disease not seen with mainstream screening, DITI provides a valuable asset to women.



Case Study #4
Client, age 38 presented with no family history and no clinical symptoms.   Thermal findings were highly suspicious and follow up testing revealed Inflammatory Breast Cancer ~ a highly aggressive form of breast cancer not detected by mammography.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is rare, but has a poor prognosis.  The clinical symptoms are:

  • Rash or “bug bite” that won’t heal
  • Inflamed or reddened area on the breast
  • Feels “hot” to the touch
  • Found in younger women
  • No tumor or lump accompanies this type of breast cancer

This subject presented with NO clinical symptoms (listed above) and was having a routine breast thermogram when this pattern was seen.  Immediate clinical correlation revealed IBC and warranted aggressive actions be taken.  If you or anyone you know has any of these symptoms, please take action to have a thermal scan (or encourage someone to have a scan) as soon as possible to help rule in/out this very aggressive breast disease.



Case Study #5
Client, age 32 established stable baseline breast thermogram. 
This pattern and all temperatures were deemed stable after her initial scan and the required 3 month follow up scan.

image018 Annual visit:  A new vascular pattern in right breast was noted. 
Reported lifestyle:  poor diet, increased alcohol intake, decreased exercise and disturbed sleep all due to extreme stress associated with her career.
Consult with her health practitioner was arranged.
image020 Follow up thermogram:   Negative for developing pathology. 
Client was motivated to make lasting lifestyle changes.  After leaving her profession and making other significant changes, follow up scans showed thermal patterns had returned to the previously established stable state.

Awareness of how the body is reacting to how you manage your stress, what food you choose to put in your body, what quality and amount of sleep you get and many other lifestyle choices is priceless.  Using breast DITI helps with “seeing” how your choices are affecting your physiology. 

Treatment Plan ~ How Well is My Treatment Working?

image022 Case Study #6
A palpable mass in the upper left breast was accompanied by a faint bruise. Mammogram and sonogram of the mass were performed with negative results.  Client continued to seek answers using DITI. Thermal asymmetry of ~ 2.2ºC (ΔT = 2.2ºC) showing a significant thermal asymmetry and more testing was encouraged by the reading thermologist.
image024 Diagnostic mammogram with ultrasound and then biopsy confirmed a large carcinoma involving the upper half of the left breast. Client started on chemotherapy to reduce size and consolidate tumor prior to surgery. Two months post-chemotherapy showed decrease in thermal asymmetry now at ~1.2ºC (ΔT = 1.2ºC).
image026 Surgeon was encouraged by the response to chemotherapy based on thermographic findings as thermal asymmetry had now fallen to ~ 0.4ºC (ΔT = 0.4ºC) and determined a lumpectomy would be the next step.

As you can see in this series of images, DITI can and does cross the boundaries of allopathic and naturopathic medical procedures.  While most of our clients utilize the benefits of naturopathic medical procedures, at times, clients will need to act quickly and more conventional measures are needed.  Using DITI to “visualize” how well you are responding to treatments can be of benefit to you and your medical doctors.

Again, we offer imaging of all different regions, but breast DITI is especially fulfilling and you can see why with these case reports.  It feeds our souls and helps us to realize our life purposes to help the many women we have throughout these past 9 years.

We want to thank those of you who have shared your experiences with those you know and love to help them see the benefits of this preventative technology.  Please continue to pass along to others these newsletters.  Several of the clients in these images were encouraged to use DITI for no particular reason, but turned out to be of such significance to the lives’ of each individual shown here.

Also, if you have a desire to share your images with others via our newsletters, please let us know.  We disclose no names or other identifying information and a consent form is on file before any use of images is done.  If your story or situation was especially unique, please reply to this email letting us know of your interest in sharing your journey.

Yours in prevention / early detection / early intervention and risk reduction,

Lynda and Brenda Witt

Whole Body Health with DITI

In this newsletter, we’d like to focus on the value of adopting the mindset of whole body health and wellness.  Optimal breast health begins (and ends) with optimal overall health.  Today, we will show you one example of how one client, Sara, utilized thermography in a whole body scan to address overall wellness.  

Although Sara stated she was concerned about her health, she didn’t carry a sense of urgency regarding making long-term modifications until she saw the results of her full body and breast scan.  It was at that time that she realized she needed to make health a priority.  Here is a list of the changes she made to her health:

Diet:  Gluten-free diet; dramatically decreased carbohydrates; and increase in protein throughout the day.
Medications and supplements:  Stopped Synthroid (synthetic medication) and started using Iodizyme (natural replacement); increased B-vitamin supplements.

Spiritual and physical health:  Chiropractic treatments; energy practitioner to address emotional issues; a structural integration/myofascial release therapist; and a deep tissue massage therapist.

Below are the before and after pictures showing the dramatic reduction in inflammation after starting her journey to health:  (medical interpretation is abbreviated for brevity)

March 2011 June 2011
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Medical interpretation Mar. 2011:  The circumoral hyperthermia, along with the hyperthermia over the sinuses, may represent a neurogenic flare, which can be seen in fibromyalgia-like syndromes.

These patterns indicate a possible autonomic dysfunction, suggesting that this individual’s immune system is chronically activated. Contributing factors could include food allergies, pro-inflammatory diet, dental pathology, hormonal imbalances/deficiencies, hypoadrenia/chronic stress, heavy metal toxicity, low-grade chronic infection and systemic illness.
Medical interpretation June 2011:   Thyroid gland inflammation “is diminishing.”
March 2011 June 2011
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Medical interpretation June 2011:   “There is decreased hyperthermia over the posterolateral cervical neck regions bilaterally, which suggests improvement in the myofascial dysfunction.”
March 2011 June 2011
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Medical interpretation June 2011:   “Hyperthermia present in both axillary regions has decreased, indicating possible improvement in the lymphatic congestion.”
March 2011 June 2011
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Medical interpretation June 2011:  “The previously-noted irregular areas of hyperthermia over the ascending, transverse and descending colons, which suggest inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), have decreased in intensity.”
March 2011 June 2011
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Medical interpretation Mar. 2011:  These patterns of inflammation demonstrate myofascial dysfunction and joint inflammation.

Medical interpretation June 2011:  “There is decreased hyperthermia over the trapezius and rhomboid musculature bilaterally, which suggest an improvement in the myofascial dysfunction.  There is decreased hyperthermia involving the thoracic and lumbar spines, and particularly over the paraspinal musculature. These findings suggest an improvement in the myofascial dysfunction.”
The patient is to be commended on making significant health changes and in getting a good response, particularly related to sleep. As you know, sleep is essential to the body restoring itself, particularly the adrenal gland.

Inflammation is ALWAYS the beginning of disease and can lead to future organ dysfunction, chronic disease or incessant pain.  Thermography sees inflammation and affords you the opportunity to make changes to reduce or eliminate inflammation.  Like Sara, it can be used to monitor success of modifications that ultimately improve health.

After only three months on her new lifestyle regime, she reported the following:

  • Restful sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced neck and back pain
  • Detoxification as a response to her new diet

Sara understood that wellness can be attained on many levels; physical, mental, emotional, energetic, spiritual, etc. and she was not willing to choose only one path.  She chose many, all leading her toward wellness.

Thank you all for being a part of our lives.  Each and every one of you has enriched our personal tapestry of life.  We will forever be grateful for your presence in our world.

Yours in prevention,

Lynda and Brenda

Early Rates of Puberty: Obesity or Estrogen Dominance?

Heavier girls are hitting puberty at younger ages in the US.  Rising rates of obesity seems to be a contributing factor.  A small, long-term study of 1,200 girls ages six to eight years old have been followed annually or semi-annually and assessed for signs of breast development.  A summary of findings is noted below:

Breast development* (average age)
African American 8 years, 10 months
Hispanic 9 years, 4 months
Caucasian 9 years, 6 months
Asian 9 years, 8 months

* As measured by Tanner stages of breast development

We all are aware of the rising rate of childhood obesity and the correlative increased rate of type 2 diabetes.  But is this the primary cause?

Dr. Anders Juul, MD head of the Department of Growth and Reproduction, located at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark doesn’t necessarily agree that obesity is the primary factor in early breast development.  His research indicates that obesity among Danish girls is not a contributing factor to early breast development and suggests an environmental component known as xenoestrogens

Xenoestrogens are “foreign” estrogens that are consumed through environmental means and best defined as “hormone disruptors.”  They act at the same site as natural hormones and exert the same effects of estrogen:  cell growth and increased cell division.
Xenoestrogens can create an estrogen dominant scenario.  Estrogen dominance is the greatest risk factor for the development of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. 

Estrogen Dominance, a term coined by John Lee, MD and is defined as any amount of estrogen NOT off-set by an adequate amount of progesterone. As a woman transitions into menopause, progesterone production declines nearly twice as fast as estrogen.  Xenoestrogens are found in foods treated with pesticides and insecticides as well as any products that are petroleum-based.  This list may include:  lotions, soaps, shampoos, hair spray, cosmetics, room deodorizers, solvents, cleaning products and plastics (water bottles, food storage containers, etc). 

Other causes that can lead to estrogen dominance include: 

  • Excess body fat (greater than 28%)
  • Excessive stress, leading to increased cortisol, insulin and norepinephrine (leading to adrenal exhaustion)
  • Excessive refined carbohydrates, devoid of fiber and beneficial nutrients
  • Excessive chemical exposure (xenoestrogens)

So, with decreasing progesterone production plus foreign estrogen consumption, we can therefore see how easily it can be to create an estrogen dominant picture. 

The good news is that estrogen dominance is modifiable.  Here are a few steps you can take to decrease estrogen dominance:

  • Increase nutrients in the diet through high-quality, food-based supplements
  • Consume fresh (organic) vegetables, adequate protein, and moderate amounts of healthy fat.
  • Talk to your health practitioner about adding bio-identical progesterone cream to your regimen
  • Lose excess body fat and get regular exercise—especially strength training
  • Detoxify your liver.  Healthy estrogen metabolism is dependent on healthy liver function
  • Decrease stress.  Learn your limits; take care of yourself by allowing time for what is important and necessary for your mental, physical, and spiritual health

As 2013 comes to a close, we want to thank you for allowing us to be part of this empowering journey to health and wellness.  We watch you make necessary lifestyle changes that dramatically (and positively) impact your health.  We hold you in gratitude and look forward to serving you in 2014. 

In appreciation,
Brenda and Lynda Witt