Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Benefits of Mammograms Questioned

In order to reduce mortality, a procedure must detect a tendency towards a life-threatening illness early enough so that the treatment alters the course of the disease. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine put mammograms to that test over the last 30 years. The surprising conclusion was that “screening (mammograms) is having, at best, only a small effect on the death rate from cancer.” It was found that 122 excess cases of early breast cancer were detected for every 100,000 screened, but only 8 of those were expected to progress to advanced disease that was life-threatening. On the other hand 1.3 million women were incorrectly diagnosed with breast cancer in those 30 years due to mammography. Not mentioned by the authors was that thermography is an alternative way to screen for the tendency to develop breast cancer before a cancer has a chance to form. Aggressive nutritional management might then prevent breast cancer. Thermography does not utilize radiation or compression, and is the preferred screening option for most women at our clinic. See A Bleyer and HG Welch, N Engl J Med 2012;367:1998-2005 or for more information on thermography or

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Expensive Drugs are Driving the Health Care Cost Crisis

Commonly used name-brand prescription drugs increased in cost at twice the rate of inflation between 2005 and 2010, according to a report by AARP. This means an average increase of $1000 per year for a single drug. The biggest increase was in 2009. An important factor in reducing health care costs should be a switch to natural therapies whenever possible. Nutrient, homeopathic, and herbal therapies are often just as effective, much safer, and less costly than prescription drugs. Work with your holistic practitioner to get good results at less cost. See our web site

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adult Acne is More Common in Women than Men

Adult acne can be a frustrating problem, especially for women. 26% of women aged 40-49 and 15% in greater than 50 y.o. Usual treatments may include ongoing oral antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and the diuretic spironolactone. We find that the vitamin pantothenic acid can be just as effective without the risk of side effects. Often long-term control can be achieved with laser treatments. Smoothbeam laser for details.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

There are Different Subtypes of Rosacea, Treat Them All the Same

Dermatologists debate the various subtypes of acne rosacea and their varying mechanisms of action but treatment recommendations are the same, oral tetracycline and either oral or topical metronidazole. These medications can be helpful in controlling this very frustrating problem, but they also can cause significant side effects, mostly due to yeast overgrowth. Our experience shows that 3 or 4 laser treatments at monthly intervals can wipe out the rosacea process for many months. Patients are delighted with these results, and there are no side effects to worry about. Smoothbeam laser website for more details.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bypass Beats Stents, but Why Not Treat with Chelation?

A 4-year follow-up study ASCERT, showed that bypass surgery had a16% mortality and stents had a 20 % death rate, showing that the more invasive surgery was slightly more effective. However, the TACT study presented at the American Heart Association meeting on November 4, 2012 showed that both surgeries can be avoided in a significant number of cases with EDTA chelation therapy. Which would you prefer? See the ASCERT study in the New England Journal of Medicine, March 27, 2012 issue, and the news release from the American Heart Association meeting in Los Angeles, November 4, 2012.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cardiac Arrhythmia Linked to Strokes After Age 75

Almost half of patients greater than 75 y.o. who suffered strokes also had atrial fibrillation (AF). Patients with AF should be treated with anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. Thus beginning at age 75, patients should be considered higher risk and screened with physical exams and possible EKGs. Sometimes patients with AF can be treated effectively with natural products such as nattokinase and fish oils instead of the riskier drugs such as Coumadin and Plavix. See Drs. Jacob Haft and Louis Teichholz at the Hackensack (NJ) University Medical Center, presented by poster at the International Stroke Conference, 2012.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eight Common Procedures that Physicians and Patients Should Question

The American Academy of Family Physicians has put out a list of medical procedures that are usually unnecessary and might be hazardous: 1. Don’t do x-rays for low back pain in the first 6 weeks of discomfort. 2. Don’t use antibiotics for sinusitis at least for 7 days. 3. Pap smears for women under 21 y.o. and those with hysterectomies are unnecessary. 4. Dexa scans for osteoporosis screening should not start before age 65 for women and 70 for men if there are no significant risk factors. 5. Do not do baseline EKGs or screening exercise EKGs in low risk patients. 6. For patients who have passed out without neurologic signs, MRI and CT scans are unnecessary. 7. A D-dimer blood test is much more cost-effective than expensive imaging in checking for a blood clot in the leg. 8. Preoperative evaluations need not include a chest x-ray. See

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Magnesium Lower Blood Pressure

British investigator Lindsy Kass and associates did a meta-analysis (study of studies) on the use of magnesium in doses greater than 370 mg a day to treat hypertension. Magnesium was effective in lowering BP by 3-4 mg. The higher the dose the greater the effect. However, if you take too high a dose, you can get diarrhea. Magnesium might not be enough of a treatment by itself, but as an adjunct, it might be very helpful. See Lindsy Kass at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and in Holistic Primary Care, summer, 2012, p. 10.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healing the NSAID Nation

Patients use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for over-the-counter pain relief and doctors encourage it, resulting in 20,000 deaths and 100,000 hospitalizations every year. This class of drugs includes virtually all pain-relieving drugs except acetaminophen and low dose aspirin: Indomethacin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, Aleve, Motrin, etc. Holistic medicine offers many alternatives that often work as well and are much, much safer. Different patients respond better to different products. Start with curcumin, boswellia, ginger, black pepper, or fish oil. A holistic practitioner can give you guidance for effective treatment. See Sunil Pai of the Sanjevani Integrative Medicine in Albuquerque ( As reported in Holistic Primary Care, summer, 2012, p. 1,6.