Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fibromyalgia and the Drug Makers

According to a February, 2009 Associated Press article, Lilly and Pfizer have donated more than $6 million in 2008 to non-profit organizations to publicize Fibromyalgia. Guess why. These companies have the only drugs that have been approved to treat this disabling condition. Cymbalta and Lyrica, the sales of which immediately jumped hundreds of millions of dollars. These drugs might help some with pain and depression that occurs with Fibromyalgia, but they have no impact on its cause. Much better long term results occur with an integrative approach that includes thyroid and adrenal support, yeast treatment, food allergy testing and treatment, and energy therapy such as acupuncture.

Associated Press (click here) by Mathew Perrone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The FDA Puts its Stamp of Approval on Another Toxin

The Chicago Tribune recently published a strong editorial criticizing the FDA for its August, 2008, statement that Bisphenol A (BPA) is safe at typical exposures for human consumption. Even Wal-Mart and Toys R Us disagree with the FDA on that one. These stores have begun to phase out products that contain these toxic chemicals, which are found in liquids that are contained in plastic bottles, such as bottled water and baby formula. BPA can disrupt hormone balance, brain function and increase the risk of heart attacks. The risk in babies is 12X as high as in adults. Canada has banned BPA in baby bottles. In December, the FDA stated that it will take a closer look. The FDA generally has spent more time protecting the pharmaceutical industry from competition from nutritional supplements than it has protecting the public.

See Chicago Tribune for bill (click here) , original article January, 2009.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obesity and the Economy—From Crisis to Opportunity?

Another recent JAMA editorial Harvard docs makes sense. Ludwig and Pollack outline the origins of the obesity epidemic. They include government subsidies for megafarms that produce high-calorie, low nutrition foods, fast food meals, poor incentives and facilities to promote exercise, and decreasing quality family time. Increased obesity has lead to higher incidences of stroke, heart attacks, cancer, arthritis and other medical problems. The authors push hard to correct these problems now. They contend that by doing so, we will have a highly favorable impact on the economic crisis as well improved health. I could not agree more.

See Journal of American Medical Association (click here) for the article- February 4, 2009 issue, p.533-535 (click here)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

AMA Admits that Current Guidelines are Faulty and Calls for Reform

In an editorial in their journal, the American Medical Association gave profound criticism to the process by which treatment and testing guidelines are prepared for practicing physicians. They suggest immediate reforms: appropriate expertise on committees to include clinical experience, avoid placing the same people on the committees from one edition to the next, reporting on disagreements on the committees, asking for public comment via the internet, avoiding the conflicts of interest (especially financial) that are now prevalent, independent peer review, publishing alternative interpretations, and requiring associations which distribute guidelines to not accept financial support from the industry to do so. Hear, hear! It sounds good. But we shall see if this voice has any impact to put a dent in the medical-industrial complex that has proven to be horribly expensive and marginally effective.

See Journal of the American Medical Association (click here for home page) January 28, 2009 issue, p. 429-432 (click here for article)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Primary Care Physician Shortage is Imminent

According to a survey of 270,000 primary care physicians, 49% stated they plan to retire or reduce their patient loads over the next three years. Reasons include declining reimbursements with increased costs and debt load, demands on physician time and increased paperwork. Only 17% reported that their practices were “healthy and profitable” and 45% said they would retire immediately if they had the financial means to do so. This comes at a time when baby boomers are requiring more medical care. It is crucial that the Obama administration and Congress work together to solve the health care crisis. Family physicians are pushing hard for Medical Homes to be established, which would improve care and increase reimbursement for preventive medicine. In my experience, physicians in Integrative Medicine have a much higher job satisfaction, perhaps because they are not dealing with drugs and surgery all day.

See Family Practice News(click here) December 15 issue, p. 33 and International College of Integrative Medicine (click here)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Long-Term Antibiotics for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Ineffective

An Italian Study published in Pediatrics showed that children with recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) do no better than placebo when treated with long-term prophylactic antibiotics, and they often suffer side effects. This should not be a surprise, because the treatment does not get to the cause, which is acompromised immune system. Part of the immune system is the good bacteria that protect against abnormal bacteria taking hold in an infection. For most children, I have seen a much better result by treating yeast overgrowth and food allergies. Diet can play a huge role for such problems.

See Family Practice News (click here) December 15 issue, p.12. and International College of Integrative Medicine (click here) and The Yeast Syndrome by John Trowbridge (click here)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hospitalizations for Congestive Heart Failure Increase Dramatically

Dr. Longjian Liu of the Drexel School of Public Health in Philadelphia reported to the winter scientific sessions of the American Heart Association that hospitalizations for congestive heart failure (CHF) rose by 230% from 1980 to 2006. He attributed the growth in this dangerous condition to an explosive growth in the incidences of Diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease; improved survival from heart attacks; and the graying of America. He left out toxicity, including heavy metal contamination, which has been found to be a significant factor in other studies. Those in the field of alternative medicine know that the wide spread use of chelation therapy, coenzyme Q10, l-carnitine, d-ribose, and magnesium would have a huge impact in treating and preventing CHF.

See Family Practice News(click here) subscription required. December 15 issue, p.7 and International College of Integrative Medicine (click here)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Impotence is Common and Predicts a High Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease

Family Practice News reports that 40% of 50 y.o. men who came to their family doctors for an unrelated medical problem had significant symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Upon testing many ofthose had peripheral artery disease (PAD) in their legs, even though they had no other symptoms. Most did have at least one other risk factor (hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hypertension or smoking). PAD is often missed until symptoms are severe. It should be treated early and aggressively to avoid surgical procedures in the extremities as well as coexisting heart attacks. In addition to risk factor reduction and exercise, some studies indicate that chelation therapy can be very effective to treat these problems.

See Family Practice News (click here) December 15 issue, p.7 and International College of Integrative Medicine (click here)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hormone Therapies Improve Symptoms and Slow Progress of Multiple Sclerosis

Kathryn Simpson is a MS patient who achieved a remission of her symptoms by normalization of her glucose metabolism, balancing thyroid and adrenal function, eliminating infections and taking sex hormones to treat very low levels in her body. Natural Progesterone had a particularly strong effect to promote myelin formation, as was documented in Endocrine Reviews 2007; 28(4):387-439 by Schumacher and associates. ALS was also found to be responsive to progesterone.

See The MD solution: How I Solved the Puzzle of My Multiple Sclerosis (Los Olivos Publishing, 2008) by K. Simpson (click here to see it on Amazon)