Imaging Inflammation with Thermography

Today 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.
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. 


Inflammation and Heart Disease

Note the inflammation in the head and neck area with a focal (white) area in the upper left tooth. Client was found to have an abscessed (infected) tooth.
Also note the asymmetry in the lower chest. This male subject also has heart disease.

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.


Inflammation over the right kidney

This patient presented with low back pain, there were no thermal findings in the back but the abdomen showed a well defined area of inflammation over the right kidney which could refer pain to the back. Subsequent tests confirmed that she had a kidney infection.

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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Before: August 2010 – Client had been struggling with recurrent sinus infections and poor dental health.
After: November 2011 – Client had been grain-free for about 4 months and had a comparison scan done to monitor for improvements. Significant improvements are evident from this dietary shift away from ALL grains and sugar, including fruit sugar. Client has lost about 35 pounds and enjoys increased energy and better health by eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

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.



Immunity begins in having a healthy gut

Note the local area of hyperthermia over the hepatic flexure of the colon. Diverticulitis was diagnosed after clinical correlation with thermographic findings.
Probiotics enrich your gut microflora . Ingest plenty of omega-3 fats and completely eliminate Trans-fats found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

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.


A window into your immune health

Occasionally found is this type of hypothermic (cool) pattern near the T1-T2 vertebral level. This pattern is associated with autonomic or immune system dysfunction and needs to be correlated with clinical evaluation from your healthcare provider.



Continued leg pain after left hip replacement

This elderly lady had undergone a left hip replacement surgery 3 months previously and her continued leg pain raised a suspicion for Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT. The thermographic findings were not consistent with DVT, but showed a focal area of inflammation that guided a sonographer to a deep abscess near the bone. This was lanced and successfully treated with antibiotics.

Again, 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. Remember, health is a journey that requires constant attention.

Yours in prevention,

Lynda and Brenda Witt

Understanding the role of DITI in Breast Imaging

My sister, Lynda, and I are Level III Certified Clinical Thermographers, certified and trained by the ACCT, American College of Clinical Thermology.  We are grateful to be part of this wellness industry and strive to grow our individual businesses with integrity.

We challenge ourselves to convey accurate and reliable information regarding what thermography can detect and how it is best utilized as a tool for monitoring breast health.  Most clients understand its effectiveness as a tool for early detection of developing disease and preventive screening.

Although we feel we’ve covered this topic repeatedly, we’d like to review again the appropriate use of thermography in breast health.  Thermography cannot (and is NOT designed) to “see” structures but rather, blood flow/temperatures related to the health of the breasts.  It is in this fashion that thermography can detect the development of later biopsy-proven breast cancer potentially at a very early stage. At the appointment, we also discuss the requirement to establish a stable baseline to which all annual studies are compared against.  Any changes in that stable baseline indicates the early development of disease and for those with a mindset of prevention, it’s best to reverse this back to the previously-established, stable baseline.  This is how thermography is best-utilized as a tool for PREVENTING future disease.  

So why does thermography sometimes not identify all breast tumors?

What is the physiological basis for a thermographically “missed” tumor?” 

1.  Lack of activity.
In order to understand how a tumor could “hide” thermographically, understand that our cameras can only measure skin surface temperatures related to blood flow.  If a tumor is no longer active and there is no blood flow feeding the tumor, we cannot tell the difference between the temperature of the tumor and the surrounding tissue.  Thermographically, this would be (generally) one temperature and therefore, “missed” during thermographic interpretation. 

2.  Dormancy.
Another possible reason for a “missed” finding is that a tumor may become dormant.  Perhaps the immune system has encapsulated the tumor; walled off the tumor from the rest of the body and has contained it.  When you think about it, this is one major role of the immune system.  In this scenario, the immune system is protecting the body from the invading tumor but thermographically it is not seen due to the lack of activity (blood flow) of the tumor.  

3.  Non-vascular.
In some cases, some rare cancers may not be vascularized or may be non-inflammatory in nature.  That would mean that there is not a sympathetic component (vasodilatation and vasoconstriction) connected to the activity of the tumor and this would be “missed” as well.

While some may think thermography “failed” they may want to consider whether they truly understand the proper use of this technology.  We utilize DITI (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging) to watch for changes over time and it is not to be used to find cancer.  Certainly we come across changes that eventually lead to a diagnosis of cancer, but ultimately, DITI is not a cancer detection tool.
DITI is used by women (and men) who have shifted their paradigm from one of “detection of disease” to one of “prevention of disease.”  Annual breast thermograms monitor for a change allowing early interventions to help shift you back to your stable baseline.  This is the best use of Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging.

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Client, age 32 stable baseline Annual:
Unhealthy lifestyle changes: poor diet, increased alcohol intake, decreased exercise & disturbed sleep.
Follow-up Scan: Improvements to diet, sleep, reduced alcohol intake, stress management & nutritional supplementation. Back to stable baseline.

Below is a list of questions that frequently arise in regards to the above information:

If a tumor is not active (dormant) does that mean it’s not significant and I won’t need to do anything? 
Cancer is unpredictable and it wouldn’t be practical to make such a far-reaching assumption.  The truth is we don’t know that it isn’t significant.  We encourage you to talk to a medical practitioner about what options there are regarding this finding.

If a tumor is established, would this been seen in a mammogram? 
Older, more established tumors can be radiographically dense and therefore have a higher chance of being seen by a mammogram.  However, there is no test that has 100% detection rate.  On average, mammography will miss 1 in every 6 tumors.  

If I’ve had annual mammograms and they were all negative, would it be okay if I don’t have any more?  (Then I could just use thermography annually) 
Understand that mammography’s biggest limitation as an effective screening tool is breast density.  As we age, breast density diminishes and the effectiveness of mammography would possibly increase.  Although you may have had a negative mammogram several years ago, your breast density may have changed in such a way that what was difficult to see previously is now easier to visualize.  This would likely increase the effectiveness of detection of tumors possibly not seen thermographically. 

How often should I have a mammogram? 
Some prevention-minded doctors request that their patients have annual thermograms and to not allow more than 3-5 years between mammograms.  Other medical doctors may still want to see a mammogram annually. 

Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to look at all the data, talk to your doctor and decide what the best plan is for you.  Breast thermography is NOT limited by breast density and while it does not replace any structural test, it offers the opportunity to detect changes at any stage of development (from the first year to when it is dense enough to be seen mammographically).  See chart below.


Earlier detection may lead to earlier diagnosis and possibly more treatment options.  Ideally, it would be best to optimize breast health and prevent the advancement of disease.

In health,

Brenda and Lynda Witt

Breast Health and Your Lymphatic System

Listed in the table below are statistics related specifically to women’s health:

Disease or diagnosis Incidence Deaths
Heart disease 1:3 1:4
Heart disease or stroke 1:2 1:2
Breast cancer 1:8 1:30

Furthermore, many people are not aware that heart disease can be more deadly for women than men as 39% of women who have heart attacks die within a year, compared to 31% of men. During the first four years after a heart attack, the rate for a second heart attack is 20% for women and 15% for men. Heart disease actually kills more women than men.

Yet, breast cancer is the most feared disease of women.  

Breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy in women with approximately 200,000 cases diagnosed annually and approximately 40,000 women dying from this disease.
With more and more information about breast disease, many women are turning to therapies they can utilize to address breast health, focus on prevention and adopt a proactive approach for overall optimum breast heath.

1Client’s initial baseline breast scan was at Some Risk (C grade) and she was dissatisfied with her results.  The thermologist’s report commented on her lymph congestion and client left determined to make lifestyle changes that would decrease her congestion / reduce her risk factors and improve her T BI RADS score on her 3 month follow up scan.

The breast is composed of different layers: connective, adipose, and glandular tissue all overlying the pectoralis muscles of the chest wall.  These different layers of tissue along with fat give the breasts their size and shape.

Lymph nodes and lymph vessels combine to form the breast’s lymphatic system and work with a chain of lymph nodes that run up the center of the breast bone called the mammary chain and all drain into the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary) region.

2Client’s 3 month follow up scan showed decrease in inflammation as well as decreased lymphatic congestion.  Client chose to eat a anti-inflammatory diet (Mediterranean diet), gave up coffee, tea and other drinks and opted to drink more water.  Client also experienced improvements in her sleeping patterns and felt much more alert throughout her day. T BI RADS score improved to a B grade (Low Risk).

A well functioning lymphatic system is vital to good health as it is the “garbage disposal” for cellular waste, clearing the area of infection, bacteria, metabolic waste and any other stagnation.  Many women will ask about the inflammation in their armpits seen on their breast scans and a short discussion about the lymphatic system will ensue.

The protective nature of our lymphatic system works to halt the formation of unhealthy tissue build up, which can steadily progress to tissue damage (caused by inflammation) and disease.  With close to 500 lymph nodes in the neck, chest, breast and axillary areas, it is imperative that we work to maintain a free-flowing and well functioning lymphatic system in order to maintain or improve our breast health and reduce our risks for breast diseases.  

3Client’s annual imaging showed marked improvements throughout both breasts and axillary regions.  Client continues to utilize healthy lifestyle choices to maintain her now Low Risk / Within Normal Limits T BI RADS score (A/B grade).

Keep in mind the other factors besides lymphatic congestion that can cause breast and axillary region inflammation:  stress, poor diet, hormonal imbalance, lack of proper breathing (shallow breathing), lack of movement/exercise, etc. 

While current research is inconclusive, there are plenty of reports linking aluminum-based antiperspirants and parabens (ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-) with the growth of breast cancer cells.

As more women move towards prevention, utilizing thermography to monitor stability and watch for worrisome changes, other modalities are incorporated to remove lymph congestion including essential oils in the breast and axillary regions, lymphatic massage, rebounding (mini-trampoline), dry skin brushing, yoga and proper breathing techniques (diaphragmatic breathing – belly breathing).  Of course, healthy eating and regular body work should be utilized, as well.
A focus on breast health in the written reports is important and many clients quickly scroll down to the T BI RADS score to see if there is anything to “worry about.”   But, please keep in mind that cardiac health is also evaluated thermographically with each breast scan.  




This 48 y/o client was in for her routine annual breast scan and the interpreting MD states: Hypothermia (cool blue left side) at the posterior torso on the left (best seen on the lateral image) is consistent with cardiac dysfunction. This is a new finding. In the context of the history of hypertension, provocative testing such as exercise stress should be considered.”
We encourage women to make choices for their health based on their understanding of the assessment tool used.  It is imperative that everyone understands that thermography is not the definitive tool in assessing ALL aspects of health.  It is simply another technology that we can use to help pick up a “blip on the radar screen” that can then be followed closely to either have further testing or employ a strategy of “watchful waiting.”

What is nice to know is that during your breast health assessment scan (thermal imaging), your cardiac health is also evaluated and reported on.

All thermal reports with suspicious findings will state that further testing should be considered if clinical symptoms are present.   Please be sure to share these findings with your healthcare practitioners.

Both Brenda and I are well connected to practitioners in our areas that can offer their services to address your breast thermogram findings.  Please ask us if you have questions or would like us to connect you to a particular practitioner.

Yours in prevention,

Lynda and Brenda Witt

NOTE:  The client in the first 3 images was age 72 when she first started with thermography and is now age 77.  She maintains her healthy lifestyle choices as well as her optimum T BI RADS score!

Dental Health and DITI

Standard dental practices have come under fire recently as more and more research reveals how these practices may have an unhealthy impact on the rest of your body.

Since the inception of dentistry, teeth have been looked at as being separate from your body rather than a living part of your physiology.  As our awareness grows, more people are seeking less invasive dental procedures, as well as improving dental health to help heal other health challenges.

Listed below are 3 of the more common ways that dental procedures could be harming your health.

1.  Root Canals

According to Michael Ziff, DDS, 100 percent of root canals result in residual infections.  This may be due to the deficient seal that allows bacteria to infiltrate.  This causes toxins to build up and leach in to the body because the bacteria undergo changes in this anaerobic (living without air) environment.  

It was the research of the late Weston Price, DDS, MS, FACD, which determined that toxins leaching out of root canals may cause systemic diseases of the heart, kidney, uterus and nervous and endocrine systems. 

Dental_image1 Active infection (white area represents the “hottest” region) demonstrating dental pathology. The autonomic pattern over the heart (cool blue region) correlates with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

Hal A. Huggins, a leading dentist and educator on the dangers of root canals backs this up by stating that when a tooth with a root canal is removed, the periodontal ligament that attaches to the tooth should also be removed, otherwise a pocket of infection may remain. Full removal of the tooth and ligament stimulates the old bone to produce new bone for healing.

New dental practices are now on becoming part of integrative dentistry.   Oxygen/ozone therapy is used to help enhance the outcome in all aspects of dentistry.  For example, periodontal disease is a chronic gum and bone infection.  By utilizing the different application forms of oxygen/ozone such as ozonated water, ozonated oils and placing oxygen/ozone directly into the infected gum pockets, periodontal disease can be arrested without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and associated side effects.  Oxygen/ozone treatments can also help with root canals as this substance sterilizes all aspects of the tooth, even into the smallest canals and tubules.  This allows for a truly biologic root canal and thus retention of your natural teeth.

2.  Infections Under the Teeth

Pockets of infection can persist under the teeth and often not seen by X-rays.  This can be particularly true for teeth that have undergone root canals.  It is very difficult to remove all bacteria and toxins from the root during this procedure.  

These infections can remain in your mouth, undetected by you or your dentist, for years while toxins can leak out and depress your immune system.  A depressed immune system can allow for chronic degenerative diseases to develop in other regions of your body.  Often, once these infections are detected and treated, symptoms of other diseases will resolve.  



Low level infection can persist for years never seen by routine dental exams. DITI can help identify these acute infections so that further intervention can take place.


3.  Amalgam Fillings

While all metals used in dentistry are toxic, the most harmful are mercury fillings or silver fillings.  Unfortunately, this material contains 50% mercury and only 25% silver.  Mercury has been a known poison since the 1500s, but it has been used in dentistry since the 1820s.  Mercury cannot be put down a sink or thrown in a landfill, yet it has been put in people’s mouths for centuries.


Safe Amalgam Removal

Safe removal of this dental material takes the knowledge of a biological dentist.  To find one in your area, click on this link.

Dental_image3Proper and safe removal is not only for the patient, but for the dentist and his/her staff.  This is a lengthy process that should include:  proper procedure (cut and chunk), keeping the amalgam cool with water, suction, dental dam usage, covering of the skin and hair, supplemental air, etc. 
Seek more information at the above website.  The site is for the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.  There you can locate a biological dentist in your area.
Thermography can help correlate dental findings and illuminate problems that may be missed on routine x-rays.  Utilizing both radiographs and DITI can help improve dental health!  

Yours in prevention,

Lynda and Brenda Witt

10 Tips for Preventing Breast Cancer

We are right in the middle of October, you know, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we thought we would offer our readers tips on how to prevent breast cancer rather than focusing on finding or detecting cancer.

These tips come from the organization called Breast Cancer Fund. This organization works to move the conversation from awareness of breast cancer to the prevention of the disease.  These tips can help shift an individual from a position of awareness to one of personal action and empowerment.

1. Lower your exposure to medical radiation

Although X-rays and CT scans can give critical information for diagnosing medical problems, exposure to this kind of radiation is the longest and most firmly established environmental cause of breast cancer. Keep a record of your medical radiation exposure and discuss with your medical care team whether or not the tests are necessary and whether there may be alternative tests that don’t use radiation, such as an MRI or ultrasound.  

2. If you eat meat, choose hormone-free

The synthetic growth hormone Zeranol is one of the most widely used chemicals in the U.S. beef industry, even though it’s been banned in the European Union since 1989. It mimics estrogen and studies have shown cancer cells exposed to Zeranol-treated beef show significant increases in cancer growth.

 3. Choose organic fruits and veggies—avoid pesticides

Pesticides are formulated with the intent of destroying pests—it’s no wonder that they’re harmful to our health as well. Studies have shown that some herbicides and pesticides stimulate growth of breast cancer cells or cause mammary cancer in rats. Therefore, you should go for certified organic produce, which is grown without toxic pesticides and herbicides.

4. Choose cleaning products that tell you what’s in them…or make your own

Ever notice that those strong-smelling window cleaners and scouring powders you use don’t list ingredients on their labels? That’s because no law requires manufacturers to do so, even though these products often contain chemicals linked to breast cancer and other serious health problems. Look for products made by companies that voluntarily disclose ingredients, or learn how to make your own. A little bit of baking soda and vinegar will go a long way.

5. Ditch your Teflon pots and pans

Although there’s no denying they make our life easier, nonstick pans and stain-resistant materials can contain toxic perfluorinated chemicals. These endocrine disruptors have been associated with delayed menstruation, later breast development and increased incidence of breast cancer. Alternatives include anodized aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron.

6. Avoid toxic kids PJs

Even though some flame retardants have been phased out of kids pajamas, these harmful ingredients have been replaced with other dangerous chemicals. Stay away from PJs labeled “flame resistant,” and pick snug-fitting alternatives that provide fire safety without toxic chemicals.

7. Don’t be fooled by “natural” claims on beauty products

The beauty industry is virtually unregulated in the U.S., and many toxic chemicals can be found in the most common of makeup, shampoos, lotions and other personal care products. A claim of “organic” or “natural ingredients” still leaves plenty of room for harmful ingredients.

8. Avoid canned foods

While the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) has been banned from baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging, it is still widely used to line food cans. More than 300 laboratory and human studies have linked low levels of BPA exposure to a staggering number of health problems, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty, and diabetes. Even minuscule amounts have been shown to disrupt normal prenatal development. Avoid canned foods and learn more.

9. Find safe ways to fight germs

Triclosan was initially developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals, but in recent years it has been added to a host of consumer products, from kitchen cutting boards to shoes. Triclosan in cosmetics, antibacterial soaps and body washes may contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Endocrine disruption, allergies, organ system toxicity are among the additional health concerns associated with this prevalent chemical.

10. Know your plastics

Plastic is everywhere—it’s used in consumer products and packaging of all kinds, but there are serious risks to human health and the environment from its widespread use. Vinyl Chloride was one of the first chemicals designated a known human carcinogen. Yet it’s still used in food packaging, medical products, appliances, cars and more.  Avoid plastics that contain phthalates, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which often has the recycling code 3. 

Wishing you a happy autumn!

Yours in prevention,
Lynda and Brenda