Thursday, April 17, 2014

Super Foods for Allergies

One of the first measures to take if you have prominent allergies is to check for and treat toxins.  Yeast toxins are generated when you have an overgrowth in the intestine.  A stool culture will help to make the diagnosis.  Heavy metals can be detected with a “challenge test”, using the same chelating agent that might be utilized for treatment.  Activated charcoal from the health food store removes toxins with a dose of 1 tsp or 3 capsules in 8 ounces of water.  Super foods that might help allergies include evening primrose oil, garlic, grape seed oil, horseradish, noni, and onions.  Olive leaf and holy basil are good immune boosters.

 See Superfood Therapeutic Guide by Robin Murphy. Celebrationof Health Association website  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Choosing Wisely Program

Nearly 60 medical organizations have endorsed a new program that has identified 120 tests and procedures that might be medically unnecessary and should be avoided.  Patients often come out of the ER with thousands of dollars of bills that might have been avoided.  I have seen families with an autistic child elsewhere rack up $25,000 charges in a couple of months.  Every test should have a purpose that leads to potential benefit for each individual patient.  The risks to testing such as mammograms, CT scans, MRI’s, and catherizations should be carefully weighed against the potential benefits.  Is the proposed test going to change the therapy for that patient?  We certainly do not want to spend so much on testing that we have nothing left for treatment.

See Family Practice News, 12/2013, p. 48.


 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Task Force Calls for True Preventive Medicine

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has called for more emphasis on preventive medicine that can make a difference in patients’ lives, including screening for cognitive impairment, mental and physical well-being, fall prevention, vision and hearing problems, and avoiding unintended harms from medical procedures and testing.  One could easily add side effects from drugs to the list.  At COHA, we have added the specific measures of toxic metals testing, breast thermography, balance testing, vascular screening (the CHAS score), and the 3-day intensive treatment for eye diseases.  We believe that true prevention is far more effective than vaccines and screening for diseases that are already present.

See Family Practice News, 12/2013, p. 40.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Walking Program Relieves Pain for Breast Cancer Patients

 A 6-week walking program relieved joint pain, fatigue, and stiffness for breast cancer patients on hormone therapy such as tamoxaphen.  Patients in the program gradually increased their time spent walking by 62 minutes per week.  Once again, exercise works better than almost any drug.



 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dramatic Changes in Fibromyalgia Guidelines

Multispecialty panels of physicians in Canada, Israel, and Germany have simultaneously made changes in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.  Previous focusing on specific tender points and pain medications has not been successful.  Instead they recommend a diagnosis based on a cluster of symptoms.  The 3 medications currently approved to treat FM (Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella) are only mildly successful and can cause significant side effects.  Instead, new emphasis is placed on alternative therapies such as exercise, tai chi, guided imagery, acupuncture, spa therapy, naltrexone and hyperbaric oxygen.  This is a big step in the right direction.

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Guidelines for Weight Loss

The Obesity Society has issued new guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity to help doctors and patients achieve successful weight loss.  Body Mass Index and waist circumference appear to be the best indicators for cardiovascular risk, diabetes and all-cause mortality.  No one diet was recommended, but reduced calories and patient preference were important factors.  The guidelines did not discuss food allergies, HCG, or herbal reduction of cravings.  But they did include the one drug that is approved for weight loss (Orlistat, which blocks the absorption of fat) and bariatric surgery.  Support groups and counseling for 6-12 months are helpful for many patients.

See Family Practice News, December 13, 2013, p. 13.

 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Risk Calculator Changes Cholesterol Guidelines

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have radically changed the approach to cholesterol levels, which is good and not-so-good.  It is now recommended that everyone takes a questionnaire that estimates his or her 10-year and lifetime risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  Then the patient chooses the risk factors that he can modify to reduce the risk.  The good part is the recognition that there are many risk factors other than cholesterol for vascular disease.  The bad parts are that no one agrees on what should be on the risk factor list, and that this approach might greatly expand the number of people that are put on statin drugs with minimal benefit.


Google the Framingham Risk Analysis or go to the Chappell Heart Alzheimer’s Stroke Score (CHAS) score, which will soon appear on healthcelebration.com.