Thursday, October 12, 2017

Statin Use Increases the Risk of Herpes Zoster

A report from the British Journal of Dermatology found that those who were taking statin drugs had an increased risk for developing herpes zoster, which can cause severe ongoing pain.  Even patients whose last statin exposure was up to 36 months prior were at risk.  The authors recommended widespread use of the zoster vaccine.  However, the vaccine is not totally effective and is expensive.  Using alternative treatments for hyperlipidemia is another reasonable recommendation.

See British Journal of Dermatology 2017; 175: 1137-1138.


 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Big Increase in Injuries from Falls

The Centers for Disease Control reported that the rate of injuries from falls rose 39% from 2007 to 2013.  The rate increased 76% for people 75 y.o. plus.  Brain injuries, hip fractures, and death are the most devastating results.  27,000  Americans die from falls each year.  Decreased vision, dizziness, and unsteadiness from various chronic illness all contribute.  Much can be done by having your vision checked yearly and learning exercises that strengthen your legs and improve balance.  A vibration plate called Vibabody costing about $1500 can be very helpful.  Additional railings in the house can reduce the risk.

See the Toledo Blade, March 17, 2017, p. 1.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Detoxify or Die

Dr. Sherry Rogers’s book of that title strikes home.  All of us carry significant loads of organic toxins, over and above the toxic minerals that we hear so much about.  Recent urine tests looking for as many as 168 organic toxins have been developed by prominent holistic labs such as Great Plains Laboratory in Kansas and Doctor’s Data in Chicago.  If you are found to have high levels of toxins, such measures as milk thistle, anti-oxidants, saunas, massage, exercise, and foot baths can detoxify.  Hopefully, that will help you feel better, avoid disease, and live longer.


American College forAdvancement in Medicine

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Treatment of Lyme Disease Depends on its Autoimmune Response

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are studying whether it is helpful to add disease-altering drugs such as those used to treat rheumatoid arthritis to antibiotics first line to treat Lyme disease.  Side effects are of some concern.  A much safer and less expensive way to treat the secondary autoimmune response of Lyme is low-dose immunotherapy (LDI).

See the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, especially the work of Ty Vincent.


 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Relief of Pain with B-complex

I have had reports of TTFD and niacinamide giving pain relief from two different physicians prominent in the field of nutritional medicine, Derrick Lonsdale and Jonathan Wright.  Both of them emphasize that if you take single B-vitamins over time you can create an imbalance of other B-vitamins.  It is best to take high potency B1, B6, and B12 concurrently or perhaps separately, even 3 or 4 a day to accomplish significant pain relief from osteoarthritis or muscle pain.  Rare cases of B6 given independently in doses greater than 200 mg a day have resulted in toxicity.

See Jonathan Wright’ Green Medicine, Sept. 2016 and Derrick Lonsdale, personal communication, November, 2016.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

What Kind of Arthritis Do You Have?

The pattern of joint swelling and pain might be as important as sophisticated testing to distinguish the type of arthritis you have.  Multiple joints are usually involved with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and autoimmune problems.  Autoimmune and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to be symmetrical and involve the upper body. Lower body involvement points more toward osteoarthritis and gout.  Of course it is also possible to have more than one form of these common diseases.  Your diagnosis is important because the treatment might be different for different conditions.

See Family Practice News, March issue, p. 4.

 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Screening Tests that Make Sense for Senior Citizens

The risk of complications from colonoscopies might outweigh the potential benefits after the age of 75, unless you have a history of polyps previously treated.  Mammograms over the age of 70 and sometimes earlier than that can lead to overtreatment.  Thermographies might be better as a preventive test.  With no previous history of precancerous lesions, pap smears can be discontinued at age 65.  PSA’s have no benefit after the age of 75 and are optional for men before that.  Bone density tests are recommended every five years, beginning at age 65 for women and 70 for men.  One ultrasound per lifetime to screen for abdominal aneurysm is recommended.  I would add CardioRisk tests for arterial plaque, a questionnaire for the risk of falls, and periodic blood tests for vitamin D, CRP sensitive, glucose, Lp(a), and other lipids.

 See AARP Magazine, February/March issue, 2017, p. 24-25.