Thursday, October 29, 2009

Osteoarthritis and Neuropathic Pain

Osteoarthritis is usually caused by wear and tear on the joints, perhaps accelerated by an injury. Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen and natural supplements like glucosamine are commonly prescribed. Dr. Jacqueline Hochman of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto reported to the World Congress on Osteoarthritis this fall that Neuropathic pain might be a significant contributor to the pain of arthritis. Numbness, burning, tingling and sensitivity to light touch are symptoms of nerve pain, not inflammation. Of course, her recommendation is to treat this type of pain with anti-seizure medications and anti-depressants. I would try alpha lioic acid and acupuncture first, because they are much less likely to cause side effects, and they can be very effective.

See Family Practice News (subscription required-click here), October 1, 2009, page 1.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hypertension and Viruses

Dr. Robert Rowen’s newsletter, Second Opinion, in its October, 2009 issue discussed the connection between CMV viral infection, which can stay with you a lifetime, and hypertension. This was discovered by researchers at Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center. He suggests measuring CMV titres in the blood. If high, a therapeutic course of oxidative therapy might significantly lower the blood pressure, which might in turn prevent heart attacks and strokes. My favorite anti-viral supplement is Lauricidin (Monolaurin is one brand name). Olive leaf and oregano preparations and high dose vitamin D might also be effective.

See Second Opinion (click here) 10/09 issue.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weight-Loss Surgery Can Thin Your Bones

Almost 250,000 patients undergo obesity surgery in the US each year. One of the disturbing complications from resulting malnutrition is thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). Calcium supplements are not enough to avoid this complication. We believe that most patients can lose weight by reducing calories, or changing to a low carb diet, or discovering and avoiding food allergies. Sometimes, however, a patient will do all these things and still will not lose weight. The best program for those might be working with an experimental protocol coupling a very low calorie diet with HCG injections. Read the FDA warning before you consider the latter approach, because HCG is an off-label use that has not been proven effective.

See Associated Press article click here, June 16, 2009 or connect to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (click here) or to the ongoing research being conducted by Dr. Shonni Joy Silverberg at Columbia University Medical School (click here)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Arsenic in Chicken Feed

Arsenic is found in roxarsone, a pesticide routinely added to chicken feed to combat parasites and increase weight gain in chickens. Arsenic dust is commonly found on farms, in the water and in the air. In 1999, the European Union outlawed the use of arsenic for this purpose, but it is still legal in the US. Chicken consumption has increased dramatically in the last 40 years, which in turn has increased the arsenic levels in our bodies. Arsenic is a Class A toxic metal that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and memory loss. Americans routinely get exposed to as much as 11 times the recommended upper limits of allowable exposure, according to the EPA. You can test for arsenic with an EDTA challenge. Treatment usually requires a series of IVs. But most people do not know that they have been exposed, and they mysteriously suffer in silence and ignorance. Paradoxically, this material came from an organization that works with Medical Boards which have routinely charged doctors with inferior care when they test and treat their patients for arsenic poisoning.

Based on an article in the Washington Post (click here) by Douglas Gansler, co-chair of the environmental committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dangerous Anti-psychotic Drugs Approved for Use in Children

An Advisory Panel for the FDA has recently recommended that three anti-psychotic drugs be approved for doctors to prescribe for children. In adults, Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Geodon all carry mandatory black box warnings because they can cause weight gain, diabetes, hypertension and premature death. It is high risk behavior to put our kids on such potent drugs. There are safer drugs available, and a whole host of natural products that can be used to help children with psychiatric problems. Caution is particularly important when you have a whole lifetime ahead of you.

See the Health Science Institute, (click here) newsletter of 6/11/09

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Natural Approach to Acne

Despite what dermatologists have contended for years, diet does have a significant role to play for many who suffer from acne. One should avoid greasy foods, those high in sugar, grains, cow’s milk, sodas, fruit juices and other sweetened beverages. Sometimes it is helpful to test for food allergies. Extra vitamins D, C, and A are helpful, but the amounts should be guided by a physician. Zinc is useful and an anti-fungal program of probiotics and herbals such as Echinacea, Garlic, and Berberine are important to treat or prevent yeast overgrowth. Roby Mitchell, MD, a reporter for Holistic Primary Care has a “Touch My Face Masque” that is good to rapidly reduce acute outbreaks of acne.

See Holistic Primary Care (click here-subscription required) and their summer issue, 2009, p. 14.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Warnings for Tylenol (acetaminophen) Toxicity

This summer, an FDA advisory panel made several recommendations to reduce the available doses of Tylenol in both adult and children’s medications because of known liver toxicity. There are 640 cases of liver failure a year due to Tylenol, as well as many more cases of toxicity due to overdoses. 54,743 visits to the ER in 2006 were acetaminophen-related. The panel decided not to remove Tylenol from all over-the-counter products by a narrow 24-13 vote. Tylenol has been thought to be safer than other pain relieving products available in pharmacies, but now it should be clear that natural products such as glucosamine, boswelia, MSM from Health Food Stores are better choices.

See Family Practice News(subscription required, click here) August, 2009, p. 49.