Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NSAID’s Liver Damage Has Risen Dramatically

Common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Motrin, Alieve and Ibuprofen now cause seven times more serious hepatotoxicity than they did 10 years ago. Speculation about the cause includes that many more patients are taking with these drugs and statins to lower their cholesterol. NSAID’s have previously been linked to ulcers, heart attacks and kidney disease. Tylenol and natural pain relievers like glucosamine are much safer. Be especially careful if you are taking a NSAID along with any drug that also might affect the liver. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to be sure.

See (click here) Family Practice News, October 15, 2008, P. 24.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Depression is Common after a Heart Attack

Virtually all patients who have had a heart attack should be evaluated for depression. This problem is often missed, and may have a profound effect on the quality of life and how long a patient lives after suffering a heart attack. Depression can be treated with medications, nutritional supplements, neurotransmitters, acupuncture, acupressure, B12 shots at home, biofeedback. Some medications are contraindicated because they can cause arrhythmias, but others are perfectly safe. If in doubt, please talk with your doctor about depression after a heart attack. It can make a big difference.

American Heart Association and Family Practice News, October 15, 2008, p. 18

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vitamin C Reduces Hip Fractures by 50%!

The long-term Framingham Study recently uncovered that the incidence of hip fractures is almost 50% lower in patients who take more than 300mg per day of vitamin C compared to those who take less than 100mg. This is a dramatic new finding. Vitamin C should by taken along with 5000 iu of Vitamin D, at least 1000mg of calcium and 500mg of magnesium daily, along with regular exercise, for a basic program to prevent hip fractures, which is one of the leading causes of death in elderly patients.

Framingham Study, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, and Family Practice News, October 15, 2008, p. 10

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Resistant Hypertension

As many as 30% of patients with hypertension have uncontrolled hypertension. Guidelines for this problem were recently published in Hypertension 2008;51:1403-19. This is extremely important because high blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, congestive heart failure and other problems. The guidelines include a thorough physical exam and some basic lab tests. We also believe that an ICD test for cardiac output and vascular resistance helps define how serious the problem is. Lifestyle changes are recommended, including weight loss, low salt diet, reduced alcohol consumption, and exercise. Adding or increasing various kinds of water pills is often helpful. At COHA, we also recommend adding or switching to an herbal product called Natural Blood Pressure Relief, which is often extremely helpful.

See Hypertension (subscription required) and Family Practice News, October 15, 2008, page 9

Friday, December 12, 2008

FDA Warns Manufacturers of 5 Drugs used for Attention Deficit

The FDA issued official warnings to the makers of Adderal, XR, Concerta, Focalin XR, Methylin and Strattera because of making false claims for effectiveness and downplaying risks. Some of the offending ads, claimed that the drugs can reduce the negative consequences of ADHD, including anxiety, substance abuse, car accidents, injuries and abnormal sexual behavior. Other claims implied that the drugs improve hobbies and interests outside of school. There is no evidence to support any of these claims. Occasionally such drugs can improve attention span, but first I would suggest looking at food allergies, yeast imbalance and nutritional therapies. It is usually better and much safer to find the cause of such problems than to cover up the symptoms with a drug.

Links FDA.gov - American Academemy of Environmental Medicine - Defeat Autism Now - Celebration of Health Association

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mental Health Gets More Coverage from Health Insurance

After a 12 year struggle, Congress finally passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenci Mental Health Policy and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which goes into effect in October, 2009. Basically, this act will require health insurance policies to cover treatment for mental illness as well as physical illness. Medications are first line for most physicians. At COHA, we offer many more choices, including balancing neurotransmitters, nutritional supplements, herbals, homeopathics, acupuncture and acupressure, Reiki, biofeedback, electrical stim and other modalities. Massage therapy can also be very helpful.

Click here to find YOUR Congressperson or check out American Psychiatric Association

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Subclinical Thyroid Abnormalities Increase Mortality

Dr. Jose Augusto Sgarbi of Brazil reported at the American Thyroid Association meeting this fall that subclinical thyroid disease increases all-cause mortality (especially from cardiovascular disease). “Subclinical” is defined as normal thyroid hormones but either high or low TSH, which is a feedback hormone from the pituitary gland. Previously, there was a controversy about whether these conditions should be treated. At COHA, we go one step further. Even in patients with normal TSH, if they have clear symptoms of low thyroid and their thyroid thermography is hypometabollic (low function), we will treat with a small dose of natural thyroid hormone to boost thyroid function. Not only, do patients almost always feel better, but we might be extending their lives as well. Further research is needed. Ask to take our thyroid symptom questionnaire if you suspect that you have low thyroid function.

American Thyroid Association and to Family Practice News, October 15, 2008 (membership required).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

“Free” Drug Samples Increase the Cost of Care in the Long Run

A study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center showed that physicians were 3 times more likely to prescribe generic drugs for their patients after drug samples were removed from their offices. This resulted in major savings for their patients. Once the samples ran out for patients that received them from doctors whose policy was to distribute them, the recipients usually continued the brand name drugs, which were significantly more expensive. We no longer have drug samples in our office. We expect that our patients are reaping the benefits.

Dr. David Miller at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center click here for the study

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Exercise Can Overcome Obesity Genes in the Amish

A study by University of Maryland researchers of old-order Amish patients who had two specific genes that marked them for obesity showed that intensive exercise could prevent the expression of those genes. Those with the presence of the genes who exercised with moderate intensity for 3-4 hours a day were able to eliminate their risk for becoming overweight. This study was a pretty dramatic confirmation that lifestyle and perhaps supplements as well can prevent abnormal gene expression. Genomics is the science of genetic testing, and for many conditions tests are now available in the office setting.

Link to Archives of Internal Medicine 2008;168: (membership required)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Low Selenium Might be a Major Risk Factor for Hypertension, Especially for Afro-Americans

A low serum selenium, measured by a simple blood test, can assess the risk for hypertension. It is well known that Afro-American patients have a higher incidence of hypertension. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys reports that Black patients also have lower selenium levels. Perhaps we should be measuring selenium levels for all patients who have hypertension or even a family history of hypertension. It is easy to boost selenium with nutritional supplements.

Link to Family Practice News October 1, 2008 (membership required)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Antidepressant Drugs Help Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Milnacipran and trazadone and a couple of other antidepressants have been shown to help sleep and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from fibromylagia. Sometimes that can be helpful, but there are more effective agents available in the integrative realm. D-ribose, magnesium, MSM and treatment of yeast imbalance and food allergies are usually the best places to start to get excellent results for this debilitating problem. Prescription drugs do not work nearly as well as the natural route.

Check out Family Practice News 10/01/08, membership required.
And to endfatigue.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Osteoarthritis on the Rise and Treatment is Often Ineffective

According to a study in Arthritis Care and Research 45% of people 85 years old, and 61% of those who are also obese have significant osteoarthritis of at least one knee. Those who have had previous injuries are also at higher risk. The increase in arthritis correlates well with the increase in obesity and decrease in exercise nationwide. Diet, exercise and prolotherapy are the answers, especially since arthroscopic surgery in older patients is being severely questioned because it does not appear to be effective in most cases.

You can go to Arthritis Care and Research and search for 9/08.
and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Health Care Cost and Utilization Project.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Source for Heavy Metals

Thirty years after removing lead from gasoline, the EPA is finally cutting the amount of lead allowed to be spewed into the air by industry by 90%. Exposure to even low levels of lead can result in learning and memory problems in children and hypertension, kidney problems, heart disease, strokes, and cancer in adults. This is definitely a big step forward, but we also should consider treating patients who have already been exposed. Chelation therapy is effective and should be widely used.

Link to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Recommendations for Children

Manufacturers of cough and cold products are now warning parents not to give them to children under 4 years old. More than 7000 children go to emergency rooms because of adverse effects from these drugs. The FDA is considering banning the products for those under 12 years old. On another front, the government is now recommending that children take up to 1000 units of Vitamin D3 in a supplement daily. Vitamin D has multiple benefits, but one is to improve immunity against viruses. I suggest to parents that they give their children vitamin D regularly and double the dose, with some extra vitamin C as well, if a cold develops. Warm clear liquids laced with some honey should help a cough, or black elderberry syrup might even be a little more effective.

Associated Press, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Newer Joint Replacements Do Not Hold Up

In October, the Associated Press reported on a British study that concluded that 1 out of 75 hip replacements have to be redone within only 3 years. This figure is about the same in the US, according to Thomas Barber of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Women are much more likely than men to required repeat procedures so soon. “Hip resurfacing” procedures did not do as well as total replacements. Partial knee replacements are popular because more post-op activity is allowed, but they also fared poorly compared to total knees. This should make us lean toward prolotherapy injections, which can sometimes avoid surgery and commonly delay the needs for it considerably.

Associated Press, October 8, 2009.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Helicobactor Pylori Treatment for Peptic Ulcers is Failing

The discovery of H. pylori as a major cause of peptic ulcers was very important. Instead of taking medications for the rest of their lives, patients could be cured with 2-3 weeks of a combination of antibiotics. If this sounds too good to be true, it is. The bacteria has developed resistance to a simple course of antibiotics. Sound familiar? This is how Methicillin-Resistent Staph (MRSA) infections have become such dangerous threats inside hospitals and out. Drs. Nimish Vakin and Dino Vaira now advocate in JAMA five different combinations of antibiotics given sequentially for 5-10 days each. Can you imagine the roaring yeast imbalance this would cause? The H. pylori might be killed off or further resistance might develop, but opportunistic and other resistant infections would be rampant. In my opinion, a much better result would come from using some of the plentiful nutritional supplements that have been shown to boost the immune system naturally and by flooding the GI tract with probiotics and anti-fungal agents.

For the good doctors’ proposed protocol look at www.jama.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Risk Factors for Heart Disease are Distorted by MRFIT

In 1986 in the Journal of the American Medical Association the MRFIT study established that a single measurement of cholesterol being higher than average correlated with a higher risk of Coronary Artery Disease. The massive study of 356,222 men aged 35-57 y.o. was looked at again with a 25-year follow-up, and the findings were essentially the same. If patients had a cholesterol below 200 and did not smoke or have diabetes or hypertension, their risk was 87% lower than the rest of the study participants. The text used unusual flowery language in describing the importance of their own study, but their results did not show that lowering cholesterol resulted in fewer deaths, it did not advocate the widespread use of statin drugs (which can have dangerous side effects), and it presented no data showing that a low fat diet is healthier than one with restricted carbohydrates, although both factors were mentioned, and they clearly favored low fat. The lead author, Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, did some good but also has done considerable damage in this country by contending that cholesterol is by far the major risk factor for CAD, along with others who have contended that we should lower it at all costs. CAD is still the number one cause of death 25 years later. Cholesterol is one risk factor among many, and we need to address them all to be successful.

See The Journal of the American Medical Association to see these two articles of historical interest.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

High Lead Levels Raising Concerns

A study of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004 showed that increased lead levels were associated with older age, low socionomic status, being born in Mexico, smoking, poor kidney function and living in a home built before 1978 (due to lead-based paint). There were also concerns that consuming herbal products was associated with high lead levels. More recently, many products from China have been found contaminated with lead, and lead has been found in the food supply as well. This study tells us that we must be very careful about our sources of herbal products. The ones we provide to patients have been tested for purity. Despite being cautious about environmental exposures, all of us should be tested for lead with a challenge test. High levels of lead not only decrease IQ but also increase the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, arthritis and premature death. Do not overlook this extremely important, common risk factor. It can be detected easily and treated with chelation therapy.

See www.familypracticenews.com July 15, 2008, p. 47.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis at Risk for Heart Disease!

A group of Dutch investigators have reported that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis have as much risk for cardiovascular disease as Diabetic patients do. This is a striking finding because diabetes is a major risk for vascular complications. There is no evidence yet that the usual preventive measures for heart attacks and strokes would be effective for RA, but there are reports that chelation therapy might be helpful for both Rheumatoid Arthritis and to prevent heart attacks. Therefore, until further data is obtained, I am now recommending chelation therapy for all rheumatoid patients, especially since the newer more powerful drugs, such as Enbrel, Humira and Remicaid are now under FDA investigation because of safety concerns.

See www.familypracticenews.com July 15, 2008, p.43.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Alternatives for Hot Flashes?

Dr. Charles L. Loprinzi of the Mayo Clinic was the senior author for a poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting this spring. The findings of a meta-analysis (study of studies) showed that Paxil, Effexor, Prosac, Zoloft and Neurontin all were between 26-38% more effective than placebo for relieving hot flashes. Synthetic estrogens are even more effective, but increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Keep in mind that all of these drugs have been listed by the FDA as leaders in causing serious side effects and/or death. Also noteworthy is that Dr. Loprinzi and several coauthors listed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. My experience is that bio-identical hormones, especially estriol and natural progesterone are safer and more effective for these very significant symptoms. The FDA is currently trying to ban estriol, even though they admit that no serious side effects have been reported. There are bills before both the US Senate and House of Representatives to prohibit the FDA ban.

Action Plan: Please contact your US senators and representative urging them to vote for these bills.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is a List of the Most Dangerous Drugs

An AMA journal, the Archives of Internal Medicine last year listed the drugs which were reported to the FDA most frequently for side effects from 1998 to 2005. The leading causes of death included Oxy-contin, Duragesic, Morphine, Tylenol, Remicade, Enbrel, Taxol, Vicodin, Vioxx and Paxil. Serous disability resulted from synthetic estrogens, insulin, Lipitor, Celebrex, Zocor and Effexor. Significant adverse events resulted from Zyprexa, Zoloft, Accutane, Dilantin, Neurontin, Viagra, Plavix, Depakote and Tegretal. New drugs most commonly named were Avandia, Humira, Fosamax, Strattera, Cymbalta and Crestor. Sometimes these drugs are really needed, and the benefit clearly outweighs the risk. But if a more natural alternative is available, it should be used. That is when an integrative approach might be very helpful.

Go to
www.archinternmed.com for September 10, 2007 or to the FDA web site for the complete list.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FDA issues Warnings on the Dangers of Common Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has operated an adverse drug warning system since 1998. From 1998 to 2005, the incidence of serious adverse reactions to prescription drugs increased from 35,000 to 90,000 per year and deaths increased from 5500 to 15,000. During this period, the incidence of adverse events increased 4X more than the number of prescriptions increased. These statistics were reported in the Sept 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and are now posted on the FDA web site. Drugs are getting more and more dangerous, as well as more expensive. Natural alternatives make a lot more sense when they are effective, which is frequently.

See the FDA web site.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Maternal Depression Common at 2 Weeks After Delivery

Approximately one mother out of five has post-partum depression at 2-6 weeks after delivery in a study by Karolyn Kabir, reported in Family Practice News in the July 15 issue this summer. This can be a severe condition and must be treated promptly. My belief is that the increased levels of yeast present during pregnancy are compensated for by high levels of sex hormones. Those levels drop after delivery and the resulting yeast overgrowth releases toxins when exposed to carbohydrates. These toxins can cause depression as well as fatigue. I would certainly try a vigorous anti-fungal program before I would jump to high-dose anti-depressant drugs, which is the standard approach.

See familypracticenews.com July 15, 2008, page 25.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The US has the Highest Diabetic Amputation Rate in the World

Among industrialized countries, the US Amputation incidence is 7.0 per thousand each year. Germany is 5.5, the Netherlands 3.5, England 2.7 and Denmark 1.2, according to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot. That is a horrible statistic, since between 50 and 85% of amputations are preventable. Control of the blood sugar, exercise and rapid treatment of foot injuries are factors. However, a simple thermogram or doppler test of the foot can detect problems before they create symptoms. I suggest annual testing of circulation to the feet of diabetics, and routine chelation therapy for all diabetics as prevention.

See http://familypracticenews.com July 15, 2008 issue, p. 15.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lifestyle, Not Lipid-lowering Drugs, for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics this summer recommended that children 2-10 years of age be screened for cholesterol if they have a known family history of high cholesterol or premature vascular disease or even if their family history is unknown. The primary treatment is weight loss and exercise, but a multitude of cholesterol lowering drugs are an option as well. The drugs have a high potential for side effects in children, and statins are contraindicated in pregnancy. To me it makes more sense to insist that obese children get thoroughly counseled in diet and exercise, regardless of the lipid status. Testing the kids for lipids just adds pressure to use dangerous drugs, and even the AAP states that they do not want that to happen as a primary treatment.

See Pediatrics 2008; 122:198-208 or go to the American Association of Pediatrics (click here) web site.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Probiotics can be Extremely Useful, but Be Careful

Family practice News reports than there have been several complications with probiotics. Dr. David Mack presented his warnings at the International Probiotics Association Meeting. Up to 2/3 of probiotics contain cow’s milk proteins. Some patients have developed asthma while taking them. The death rate for patients with Pancreatitis was higher in patients who took a complicate mix of probiotics. You should get your probiotics from a knowledgeable physician. Avoid complex mixtures and those that contain milk products. One child in five is allergic to milk.
See Family Practice News, June 15, 2008, p. 25(click here for preview-membership is required for full story) and contact the International College of Integrative Medicine (click here) for an alternative doc.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Acne has Several New Treatments

Two new topical drugs will soon be available for acne, Azone and Epiduo. Both are slightly better than previous therapies with a 40% clear rate after 12 weeks. After decades of steadfastly denying that food played any role in acne, Dr Mancini at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and Dr. Cordain at Colorado State University are now claiming that low glycemic diets, especially low milk diets can play a significant role in acne. They should try yeast screening and an IGG blood test for allergies as any alternative doc will offer. Difference people respond to different remedies.
Contact Family Practice News, June 15, 2008 for preview (membership is required)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trade in Your Cancer for Heart Disease Later On

Several articles have appeared in the scientific literature lately about the increased risk of heart problems and hypertension as a side effect of both radiation and chemotherapy for cancer. That’s why I advise patients to consider only chemo and radiation that has a good chance of improving lifespan and quality of life. Then add vitamins and minerals, especially high dose intravenous vitamin C, during and/or after the conventional treatments. This tends to repair the free radical damage generated by the drugs.
Contact Family Practice News (membership required) June 11, 2008, p. 10 and get an International College of Integrative Medicine doc (click here)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Congress Passes Anti-discrimination Law for Genetic Testing

Despite its very low approval ratings, Congress did something good when it passed an anti-discrimination law this spring. Now we can use genetic screening for effective preventive medicine, without the fear of branding someone for life and making insurance coverage impossible. With this info about genetic susceptibility, we can go about preventing genetic expression, which is often possible with an aggressive immune system building. See your local alternative doc for details.

Go to the International College of Integrative Medicine to find your doc.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Skin Lesions are Worse Than we Thought

Actinic Keratoses are common dry, scaly skin lesions often attributed to excess sun exposure, sometimes years ago. Most of the time the treatment is reassurance and watchful waiting. However, a recent Japanese study showed that the incidence of both squamous cell and basal cell cancer is much higher than previously thought with AK’s. They should be burned or frozen more often, based on this new information.
See Family Practice News, June 15, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Exercise Helps Your Memory

We know that exercise helps your mental alertness. The World Health Association and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness (click here) both now recommend regular exercise for Alzheimer’s Disease patients. A 2003 JAMA article confirmed that there was significant benefit in such patients that exercised at least 60 minutes a week. Everyone needs to keep moving. If you can’t stand up, get a bounce chair. You will really miss your mind if it goes. By the way, 2000 units of vitamin E increases survival and slows deterioration in Alzheimer’s. According to a report presented by Baylor University at this year’s American Academy of Neurology Meeting. Lot’s more can be done with intravenous nutrients like phosphatidyl choline and glutathione.
Google for more information.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Which is Worse—the Cost of Drugs or the Side Effects?

A survey by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that many people do not take their medicine as prescribed(click here to view). 29% did not fill the prescription because of the cost and 23% cut their pills in half to make the prescription last longer. Now we learn from the Archives of Internal Medicine 2008 that longer term common diabetes pills called thiazolidinediones increase the incidence of hip and other fractures by twofold to threefold. Further in the Archives of Internal medicine 2008, Dr. Heckbert reports that alendronate to strengthen the bones, also very common, have a much higher incidence of atrial fibrillation, which in turn can cause strokes. What to do?—Try a more natural approach with lifestyle changes and herbal and nutritional supplements. These are a lot safer and less expensive and in my experience, most of the time they work well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Americans are Sick and Don’t Know It

A Federal-State Program called the Delta Regional Authority did a screening program at Wal-Marts for 1000 people. 78% had high blood pressure, 56% had very high Cholesterol (greater than 240), 41% had high blood sugar, and 71% were obese. Do not take your health for granted. These risk factors cause deadly diseases and are treatable. Get an annual PE from your doctor or at least do one of the many free or low cost screenings that are available. The PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Research Institute estimates that almost half of the $2.2 Trillion we spend on health care is wasted. The biggest culprits are defensive medicine and the lack of preventive medicine and screening. Do not be a statistic. Get tested now. And go to an alternative doc, who will not submit you to defensive medicine.
Contact International College of Integrative Medicine for such a doc.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My expereience is that St John’s Wort is not very effective, even though it has been proven to be helpful for some cases of depression. Every time there is a negative study, as there was last month on using it for ADHD, the press concludes that supplements don’t work. St. John’s Wort is not only fairly weak but it has side effects like antidepressant drugs and many interactions to watch. There are many other natural therapies that work better. As my friend Al Czap, who edits the Alternative Medicine Review, says, St. John’s Wort doesn’t work for a bloody foot either!
Contact Associated Press and Bastyr School of Naturopathic Medicine, University of Washington Med school and Harvard, who all participated in the study.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Study for Chelation to Treat Autism?

The Associated Press reported on July 9 on a proposed study on removing heavy metals in autistic children that is being pushed hard by parents, who have seen dramatic improvements in their children. Unfortunately, one of the med schools, Johns Hopkins, charged with doing the study is very reluctant to do so. Sometimes this means a negative study before it even starts. Those with experience in the field know how to give the therapy safely and effectively.
Contact Associated Press for details and the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology formerly the American Board of Chelation Therapy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Raising the Good Cholesterol is Easier Than Most Doctors Think

The American College of Cardiology continues to have the goal of raising the HDL, which is the subfraction of the cholesterol that protects against heart disease and strokes. The standard advice is to increase exercise, which is a very good idea by itself but does not produce dramatic improvement in HDL numbers. The B-vitamin niacin is probably more effective than any drug in raising the HDL. A nightly glass of wine might have a tiny effect. But the most dramatic increases in HDL occur by lowering carbs in the diet, especially if your triglycerides are at least slightly elevated. I have seen HDL’s double, just by switching to a low carb diet.

Contact American Medical News, May 19, 2008 issue, page 29 or search the internet for low carbohydrate diets.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How Doctors Make Mistakes When They Think

The best-selling book, How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman was recently reviewed in Family Practice Management. The best thinking by docs requires that we must learn from our mistakes and failures by constantly revisiting and reworking medical “truths” that we have learned in our training. How many times have patients told me that they have reported to their conventional docs that an integrative therapy worked when standard medicine did not? The usual response is either that it must have been something else that caused you to get better or that your experience is interesting but I don’t have time to look into it further. All doctors should constantly be searching for new answers for their patients instead of categorizing them into inflexible protocols that may or may not be effective.
Contact www.aafp.org.fpm , May, 2008, pp. 31-36 or order the book, How Doctors Think, published by Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Preventive Medicine is a Necessity, not a Luxury

Dr. Steven Woolf wrote an excellent editorial in the May 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Power of Prevention and What It Requires. Twin crises that we face in the US are a sinking economy and deteriorating health of our citizens. In order to live longer in better health and avoid sinking under the burden of health care spending we have no choice but to embrace health promotion and preventive medicine. This strategy is more effective than episodic care with drugs and surgery and much less expensive, with or without the use of integrative medicine. Of course, I would suggest we embrace the latter to maximize the benefits.
Journal of the American Medical Association

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quackpots take Aim at Chelation Study

The usual small group of suspects have recently tried to stop the NIH-funded Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy and discredit every dedicated physician who has ever been associated with chelation for treatment of vascular disease, including yours truly. This group files complaints about good doctors and then serves as expert witnesses for exorbitant fees from medical boards across the country. They usually lose, but they still get their fees, and they cause the docs to spend large sums to defend themselves. The latest quackpot article was published in Medscape, an on-line journal. The NIH, the several medical schools who sponsor TACT, and most of the docs who were defamed have decided to ignore the article rather than be defensive. The quackpots should eventually sink by their own deteriorating reputations.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More than Half of Americans Take Prescription Drugs

The Associated Press reported on May 14 that 51% of adults and children in the US now take at least one prescription drug for a chronic medical condition. Most common are drugs to lower cholesterol and to reduce blood pressure. This could mean that Americans are getting sicker and more obese or that doctors are getting more aggressive or that massive advertising campaigns by drug companies are working. Not mentioned in the article are the resulting impact on the rising cost of health care and the side effects caused by these very same drugs. Herbal blends and nutritional supplements can get the same results, cheaper and safer. A knowledgeable integrative physician can give you guidance.
Contact the International College of Integrative Medicine or the American College for Advancement in Medicine

Thursday, June 19, 2008

FDA Finally Admits the Dangers of Amalgum Fillings

Charlie Brown, the brother of our Ohio senator, has been determined to win the battle against mercury in dental fillings. On June 6, he reported that a lawsuit against the FDA was settled, winning a ten-year struggle against the American Dental Association and the FDA. The FDA no longer insists that amalgums are safe. Their official policy states that there are serious health concerns posed by amalgums for children, fetuses, pregnant women and those with mercury sensitivity or high levels of the same. Neurotoxicity can result, which we have known for many years. No longer can dentists lose their licenses simply for discussing this possibility.
For more info, contact web@ProtectHealthcareFreedom.org or http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/amalgams.html

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Physicians Commit Suicide More Frequently than Any Other Profession

A new documentary due to be shown on PBS stations in May, 2008 explores why physicians are the leading profession in committing suicides: “Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide”. There are many pressures for being a physician and modern medicine is discouraging in many ways, from third party relations to massive debt to malpractice insurance. If you want a doctor who is excited about medicine and who really has fun helping people, I suggest you find an Integrative Doc. The docs I know who have chosen this field are a lot happier than most physicians in the United States, mainly because their practices are so much more positive than prescribing drugs and surgery all day long.
Contact the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Family Practice News April 15, 2008).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Prevention Trumps Surgery for Coronary Heart Disease-Chelation Therapy Works in My Experience

Dr. Simon Capewell reported at a spring, 2008 American Heart Association Conference that despite their enormous cost, angioplasty, stents and bypass together accounted for only 5% of the reduction in cardiac mortality since 1980. Even adding all the drugs prescribed for cardiac, hypertensive and cholesterol treatment, surgical and medical therapy accounted for only one-third of the reduction in mortality. Lifestyle improvements accounted for more than 2/3 of the improvements, and that number was dragged down some by an increase in obesity and diabetes. Integrative Medicine’s impact was not measured. My experience is that one of the best therapies for CHD is chelation therapy, but so far this therapy is not even considered by most physicians.
Contact Amercian Heart Association, Family Practice News (April 15,2008) or the Celebration of Health Association

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Control Hypertension in the Elderly the Right Way

The HYVET study in England showed that a reduction of blood pressure to a target of 150/80 significantly reduced mortality. This study was reassuring to doctors because some previous studies did not demonstrate that such a reduction was effective. What was the difference? Perhaps it was the use of safer drugs. The safest and one of the most effective therapies for hypertension in my experience is not a drug at all. Blood Pressure Natural Relief is an herbal blend that is very effective in controlling blood pressure with virtually no side effects. It is cheap and easy to take as well. Contact Celebration of Health Association (800-866-4627) to get this treatment, but you have to be an active patients to be treated.
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, March 31, 2008.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hip and Knee Replacement Rates Skyrocket-Try Prolotherapy Instead

The April 15, 2008 issue of Arthritis Care and Research reports that joint replacements are on track to overwhelm the health care system. At the current rates of expansion, the number of these procedures will triple by 2015 and increase sevenfold by 2030. The growth in Obesity is a major factor. Arthritis drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and cox-2 inhibitors (Celebrex) have no affect on the progress of the disease and frequently cause serious side effects, such as heart attacks, kidney failure and ulcers. Not only should we control our weight, but we should also take glucosamine and consider prolotherapy injections to strengthen ligaments and avoid the need for surgery.
Contact AMA News (May 5, 2008) and Prolotherapy Doctor Listing - getprolo.com

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cardiac Evaluation Before ADHD Drugs Given

The American Heart Association now recommends that all children with ADHD who have any family history of heart disease be seen by a pediatric cardiologist and probably be tested with an EKG before being prescribed common stimulant drugs. These drugs have a similar structure to cocaine, and they can be fatal if provided to the wrong kids. Much safer would be fish oils, B12 and food allergy testing. Most integrative doctors have excellent results with natural therapies.
Contact the American Heart Association or see Family Practice News (May 1, 2008) for more info.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Improving Fatigue

One of the most common complaints in a doctor’s office is fatigue. Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, poor athletic endurance are all symptoms that often respond well to a new supplement, d-ribose. Our experience is that this simple sugar is excellent at improving muscle performance in voluntary muscles and in the heart muscle for those with congestive heart failure. Endurance improves and muscle aching can disappear. Contact Celebration of Health Association at 419-358-4627 for references.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Vascular Risk Factors Identified

Family Practice News in their May 1, 2008 issue discussed two new risk factors for vascular problems. The blood pressure readings in the arm compared to the ankle has been added to the popular Framingham Risk Score. If the blood pressure is not significantly higher in the ankle, there is likely blockage somewhere in the leg arteries. At the spring American Heart Association meeting, it was reported that simply measuring the waist circumference can detect significant
risk of heart attacks. High risk is a waist greater than 88 cm in women and 102 cm in men. You do not have to spend a thousand dollars to find out if you are at high risk.
Technorati Profile

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Drug Companies Corupt Medicine

The Journal of the American Medical Association contained a strong editorial in the April 16, 2008 issue about the profound influence of drug companies and medical device industries on the practice of medicine. Too often the FDA, which is supposed to regulate these areas of medicine, serves as a supportive partner instead. Many nutritional and other safe integrative therapies are suppressed by this destructive mechanism. Drugs and surgery are sometimes needed and appropriate but more natural therapies that are usually just as effective and less expensive should be what we try first. JAMA needs to go beyond the cry about corruption and call for a major overhaul of our basic approach in medicine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mercury and Autism

The government finally conceded that the mercury in thimerisal caused a case of autism in a legal case in November. Of course they warned that this was just an isolated case. Over 4000 sets of parents have legal actions pending linking autism to vaccine injuries. This is not the whole story on autism, but for a remarkable number of parents that I have seen, autism developed soon after a vaccine or multiple vaccines.
For more info link to autism.com , or David Kirby’s review, Evidence of Harm posted at HuffingtonPost

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The American Heart Association has revised guidelines for CPR. You only have to do two things: call 911 and push hard and fast (100 beats per minute) on the victim’s chest. No longer do you have to do mouth-to-mouth breathing. The latter was a big impediment to successful CRP, and it probably made the rescue process less effective by interrupting the support of the heartbeat. If an automatic defibrillator is available, use it as well. It will be equipped with audio instructions. Link to the American Heart Association

Monday, May 12, 2008

The mental decline of normal aging is related to toxic chemicals in the environment, according to new research from Brian Schwartz of Johns Hopkins and Howard Hu of the University of Michigan. PCB’s and lead at low levels show minor changes in the young but increase mental decline as patients age. The difference in mental function is about 5 years as we grow older, due to the lifelong absorption of lead. We offer a challenge test to detect levels of lead and chelation therapy to remove lead if it is elevated. The article appeared in the Associated Press. Click here or on the link above to these authors for more details.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that two best selling cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, that combine a statin with a new drug have no better outcomes than the statin alone. The results of the study were available but not released for two years while the drug makers piled up the profits. You might be better off taking the natural red yeast with some niacin and fish oils, all of which have separate mechanisms of action that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Fixation on cholesterol alone just doesn’t work.
Go to the New England Journal of Medicine and
American College of Cardiology

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is committed to prevent accidental poisonings, especially from cough and cold medicines. They are improving the child-proof packaging. Better yet, use honey with a good herbal tea such as chammomile. It works as well and it perfectly safe. For a study that documented 7091 visits to the ER due to these meds to be published in April, go to the pediatrics(click here) website.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Boston Globe reported recently that there are no easy answers to heart health. Robert Superko, veteran cholesterol researcher, said, “There’s a huge number of people who are still having heart attacks while on (statin) drugs.” Raising HDL with exercise and niacin might be a bigger factor than lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol, according to the disappointing findings in a study in Circulation. And that doesn’t even consider the frequent nasty side effects with the statins. The best answer is to get a comprehensive evaluation and consider treatment with intravenous chelation therapy from an integrative doc. Somehow that was left out of the 328-page book on the subject just released by the AMA.

You can find a doctor at the International College of Integrative Medicine website.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We have been told for years if you are a diabetic, that the tighter your blood sugar control the fewer the complications. Surprise! The Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH stopped a study in progress that was comparing strigent control of the blood sugar (HbA1C of less than 6.0) to those who had a more standard control of 7.0 to 7.9. The strict control patients had a 20% higher mortality. My guess is that the medications required to get super control were causing the problems. I would still shoot for about 6.5, and I would use more natural means such as diet and supplements to help achieve that control, avoid over medication.
See nih.gov for a search of the "ACCORD study".

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Center of Public Integrity is crying out that the government is blocking the release of a study mandated by Congress about the environmental hazards in the 26 areas of concern around the Great Lakes. The study was supposed to be released 8 months ago, and it is rumored to show high levels of dioxin, PCB’s, pesticides, lead, mercury and other toxic substances. It appears to be a political hot potato, especially since most doctors don’t test for or treat these carcinogenic substances. If you are at all concerned, we can test you for a toxic buildup at Celebration of Health Association in Bluffton, Ohio.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The wrong kind of calcium causes heart attacks in women. The British Medical Journal reports that women who take plain calcium to treat or prevent osteoporosis have an increased risk of heart attacks, especially at the high doses recommended. My observation is that calcium should be save in the 500-1000 mg a day range as long as it is balanced with at least half that amount of magnesium. Circulation Magazine also pointed out that high doses of vitamin D might protect against heart attacks. I recommend 5000 units a day of Vitamin D3, unless you are getting plenty of sunshine. As an added incentive, a recent study showed that a vitamin D deficiency might decrease the lifespan by up to 5 years.
Online BMJ.2008 (1/15/08) and Online Circulation.2008 (1/7/08) and Am. J.Clin.Nutr. 2007;86:1420-5.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What is the Best Treatment for Low Back Pain?

There is no good evidence to support surgery for most types of back pain. Watchful waiting, chiropractic, and acupuncture can be effective. Only two treatments appear to actually increase the growth of supportive tissue. Decompression therapy, a special type of traction, can rehydrate discs, and is an excellent therapy. Prolotherapy is a series of injections that stimulate the body to lay down ligament tissue and strengthen these structures that support the back. In my experience, prolo is the most effective long-term treatment. Check out http://www.getprolo.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stents Fail to Measure Up, Again

A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that bypass surgery had better outcomes than placement of drug-eluting stents. A previous study determined that after a heart attack, patients did better with medicines alone than they did with stents plus medicines, thus disproving the Open Artery Theory. Why not treat with intravenous EDTA chelation therapy instead of any kind of surgery? Our research showed a lot fewer heart attacks and premature deaths in patients with vascular disease when treated with chelation. Check out my web site http://www.healthcelebration.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Probiotics Revolution

Dr. Gary Huffnagle, a professor of immunology at my alma matter, the University of Michigan Medical School, has written a fine book about the importance of adequate good bacteria in the digestive tract. Now if we can just get the university folks to accept food allergies, lack of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, and yeast overgrowth as very important co-existing factors in digestive problems, we will really have a revolution. Most of our very common digestive disorders would be solved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Adapted by Terry Chappell

Oh God, our heavenly Father,
Look at our brokenness.

We know that in all your creation
Only the human family
Has strayed from your sacred way.

We know that we are the ones
Who are divided,
And we are the ones
Who must come back together
To walk in the sacred way.

Please, God,
Teach us love, compassion, and honor,
Grant us wisdom and strength,
That we may heal the earth,
And heal each other.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Evidence-based Hogwash

One of the great hoaxes of modern medicine is that all conventional medicine is scientifically-based, and that complementary and alternative medicine should not be utilized because of a lack of evidence. Dr. Julian Whitaker in Health and Healing points out that only 25% of medical treatments used today are backed by objective evidence, and that includes bypass surgery, angioplasty, spinal fusion for back pain, Pap tests for low risk women, routine chest Xrays, and tubes in children’s ears. Even if objective evidence is available, which costs millions of dollars and is usually supplied only by drug companies with a profit incentive, the studies just report what happens in the majority of a large group. Individual variation, which is very common in human beings, is not considered important.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Surgical Cure for Diabetes?

The Los Angles Times reported on a AMA Journal article by Australian surgeons that compares a stomach banding surgery to a conventional dietary approach for Type 2 diabetics. All patients were obese and had fairly mild cases with recent onset. Those that had surgery lost 20% of their body weight and 73% of them went into complete remission. Those on a diet lost only 1.3% of their body weight, and 13% went into remission. The results stress the importance of weight loss for obese diabetics, but vigorous lifestyle changes including exercise and an integrative approach with a Lo Carb diet to produce the weight loss is surely a safer approach in the long run. This study lasted only 2 years, and the long-term consequences of creating surgical malabsorption were not evaluated. Such surgery should never become a treatment of first resort for type 2 diabetes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Low Carbs or a Vegetarian Diet—Which is Better?

It depends on who you are. A recent article in Circulation identified lots of red meat, processed meat, fried foods and diet soda as major factors for developing heart disease and Diabetes. However, new guidelines published on Diabetes, for the first time listed Low Carbs as a legitamate choice to prevent and treat Diabetes. If you have high triglycerides, you definitely do better on Low Carbs. If not, you might want to select a vegetarian diet with some fish and poultry. Regardless, junk food and artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Fruits and Veggies are good—aim for at least 5-7 servings a day. If you eat meat, eat it lean and avoid frying or grilling it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vitamin E Helps Maintain Your Physical Abilities

The AMA Journal reports that taking vitamin E helps you maintain normal function and muscle tone as you age. There has been some research published lately that vitamin E might not be good for you, but this report joins the many articles that have extolled its benefit. Remember that the natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherals is much more effective that alpha tocopheral, which has been cited in most of the negative studies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CAT Scans Cause Cancer

The American Medical News reports that as many as 2% of all cancers are caused by CAT scans, which expose patients to up to 50X as much radiation as other Xrays. We need to do these tests only if necessary. MRI’s might be safer for complicated studies, and thermography is a good substitute for screening mammograms, which are not high dose radiation but combine compression with radiation to increase the likelihood of damage.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

U.S. Ranks Last Out of 19 Countries in Preventable Deaths

Researchers in London reported that the U.S. had dropped from 15th place to 19th in deaths that could have been prevented by access to effective medical care. 47 million U.S. citizens do not have health insurance. And still, the U.S. health care system spends $7026 for every person in the country, by far the highest in the world. Our system is dominated by unnecessary surgery and expensive, dangerous drugs. We know that there is a better way. To find an integrative medicine doctor, visit the International College of Integrative Medicine website.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FDA War on Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine combines the best of conventional and alternative medicine, but the FDA is responding to the pleas of Big Pharma by trying to eliminate the latter. In the last two weeks, the FDA has threatened to outlaw the use of Bio-identical hormones and chelation therapy for vascular using disodium EDTA. Both of these therapies are used widely by doctors and patients seeking a more natural approach and both have been extremely successful and safe. Something is very wrong in Washington D.C. Check out the American Association for Health Freedom website.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Universal Health Insurance—a Message for Presidential Candidates

One way or another everyone should have catastrophic health insurance. But we should be very careful, because the “health” care that is currently insured is the wrong kind of health care! If we allowed patients to choose preventive medicine and alternative and complementary care with the first dollars of coverage, we would great reduce costs, diminish complications, and improve health.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don’t Nuke Our Supplements

The FDA might allow companies to irradiate supplements to insure that they are not contaminated. There is great concern that such processing would affect the potency of herbals and nutrients adversely. I have no problem if the FDA requires that those which have been nuked are clearly labelled as such, but that is not likely, since sales would be almost nil.