Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pain Meds Can be Dangerous

Vioxx was taken off the market in 2004 because of an increased risk of heart attacks. Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Aleve, etc. were demoted to second tier status due to GI and kidney problems. Long-term use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) can contribute to liver or kidney problems. Now it is evident that low-dose narcotics increase falls and fractures, especially in the elderly. Perhaps it is time to officially endorse natural pain relievers such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and boswellia. Pulse magnet fields, cold laser treatments, and the pain reduction technique by Dr. Stephen Kaufman can also be very effective in relieving either chronic or acute pain. These agents and procedures are safe and usually quite effective, in our experience at Celebration of Health Association. See Family Practice News(click here), March 1, 2012, page 1&9.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Should You Take Low-dose Aspirin Every Day?

Dr. Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford says “yes” in his article in Lancet in March, 2012. There are mixed reports about the use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes, but Dr. Rothwell has shown that it can help prevent the occurrence and spread of esophageal and colon cancer. Five other British studies have confirmed the benefit with lung, prostate and colon cancer by as much as 46%. Two U.S. studies had negative results, but those studies looked at patients taking the drug only every other day. The appropriate dose appears to be 81 mg every day with food. See Lancet, March 21 issue.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

20% of U.S. Adults Have Mental Illness

A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2010 divulged that 20% if people 18 years and older reported that they had experienced some mental illness in the previous year. Only about half had received treatment. Professional help is needed for effective treatment of mental difficulties. However, prescription medications can often be avoided. Herbal and nutritional supplements can be helpful. Empower plus is a supplement that has good research to back it up. We often will measure urine neurotransmitters to see which ones are out of balance, and then suggest amino acids and other supplements to increase the ones that are low. Allergies can play a significant role. There are many other holistic approaches to treating mental illness. Search for holistic docs from the American Holistic Medical Association(click here), the International College of Integrative Medicine(click here), the American Academy of Environmental Medicine(click here_, and the American College for Advancement in Medicine(click here). For the survey results, see SAMHSA or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cognitive Decline Begins at Age 45

A study published in the British Medical Journal of 7000 patients over 10 years showed that cognitive test scores showed a decline in mental capacity as we age for all measurements except vocabulary. The decline began at age 45 and continued as aging progressed. President Obama has established an advisory council to explore ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Much research has to be done. But a good way to start is to exercise our minds as we do for our bodies. Reading, doing puzzles, playing games, and challenging discussions all might by helpful. The primary screening test for memory loss is a challenge test for toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum. This test is available from most holistic physicians. To find a holistic doctor, go to American College for Advancement in Medicine (click here) or International College of Integrative Medicine(click here) or American Holistic Medical Association (click here)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Prevention is Universal

Standard advice has been look at your family history to see which diseases you might be prone for, and then make a plan for prevention. A recent collaborative effort by the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association showed that the healthy lifestyle recommendations from each group tended to prevent the diseases targeted by the other group as well. Avoiding smoking, healthy diet, regular exercise and dealing with stress are activities that will help prevent many diseases. I would add screening and avoiding toxic metals and optimal nutrition, including supplements like vitamins D and C. It doesn’t have to be complicated for a basic approach. See Family Practice News,(click here) Feb. 1, 2012, p. 1.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What to do for Painful Muscles and Joints

One in twenty people over the age of 50 have artificial joints. The incidence of knee replacements has tripled in recent years. As we get older, we are more prone toward muscular pain, tendonitis, and cartilage deterioration. The key to prevention is regular exercise, rather than infrequent concentrated efforts. Contrary to belief, stretching vigorously before running and similar activities can make us more prone to injury because our muscles are cold and less supple. Better to stretch after exercise. If pain persists more than a few days or is severe, it might be time to see a doctor. In my experience, excellent pain relief can be obtained with acupuncture, cold laser, the pain neutralization technique by Kaufman, and chiropractic. Persistent joint instability responds very well to prolotherapy. Nutritional supplements often give temporary relief. Prompt and effective treatment can avoid surgery for the vast majority of patients. See the Associated Press article in the Toledo Blade, February 13, 2012, p. 1, or Google the therapies mentioned.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

British Study Expresses Concern that Screening Mammograms Might be Harmful

Medical Economics reports that a British Medical Journal study analyzed eight trials including 100,000 women, aged at least 50 years old, who received annual mammograms for breast screening. When they took into account false positive diagnoses, additional studies required, and unnecessary surgeries, the net benefit over 20 years of getting mammograms was reduced by half. The study did not consider thermography as an alternative screening procedure, but following patients closely with thermograms before cancer actually develops would likely reduce these risks of screening considerably. See BMJ;DOI:10.1136/bmj.d.7627. Thermography (click here)