Thursday, August 17, 2017

What Kind of Arthritis Do You Have?

The pattern of joint swelling and pain might be as important as sophisticated testing to distinguish the type of arthritis you have.  Multiple joints are usually involved with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and autoimmune problems.  Autoimmune and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to be symmetrical and involve the upper body. Lower body involvement points more toward osteoarthritis and gout.  Of course it is also possible to have more than one form of these common diseases.  Your diagnosis is important because the treatment might be different for different conditions.

See Family Practice News, March issue, p. 4.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Screening Tests that Make Sense for Senior Citizens

The risk of complications from colonoscopies might outweigh the potential benefits after the age of 75, unless you have a history of polyps previously treated.  Mammograms over the age of 70 and sometimes earlier than that can lead to overtreatment.  Thermographies might be better as a preventive test.  With no previous history of precancerous lesions, pap smears can be discontinued at age 65.  PSA’s have no benefit after the age of 75 and are optional for men before that.  Bone density tests are recommended every five years, beginning at age 65 for women and 70 for men.  One ultrasound per lifetime to screen for abdominal aneurysm is recommended.  I would add CardioRisk tests for arterial plaque, a questionnaire for the risk of falls, and periodic blood tests for vitamin D, CRP sensitive, glucose, Lp(a), and other lipids.

 See AARP Magazine, February/March issue, 2017, p. 24-25.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sugar Increases the Risk for Heart Disease

The average American consumes 22 tsp of sugar daily.  Recommended maximum intakes are 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men.  Excess sugar increases blood pressure, raises your chances of developing diabetes, lowers HDL cholesterol, and raises your risk of dying from heart disease by 38%.  It takes 12,500 steps per day to cancel out two 20 ounce sodas.

See the AARP Magazine, February/March issue, 2017, p. 23.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Prescription Drug Prices are Outrageously Expensive

In 2013 per capita spending for prescription drugs was $858.  The mean expenditures in 19 other industrialized countries was $400.  That gap has increased even more in the last 3 years.  While increased research costs have accounted for some of the increased prices, gouging by Big Pharma is a much bigger factor in my opinion.  While drug substitution by pharmacists, greater availability of generics, and authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies might have some impact, a much wider acceptance of natural remedies that are effective would have much more influence.

See  Sept. 15, 2016 issue, p. 32-33.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Limit Added Sugar Intake to 25 Gm per day for Children

The American Heart Association recommends that added sugar in the diet be limited to 25 Gm per day.  Currently, 2-5 year olds consume 53 Gms of added sugar, 6-11 year olds 79 Gms, and 12-19 year olds 93 Gm.  Evidence links excessive sugar intake to fatigue, weight gain and hyperlipidemia, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease in later life.

See  Family Practice News, Sept. 15, 2016 issue, p. 18.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

FDA Warns Against Combining Opiods and Benzodiazapines

Accidental overdoses of medications are common with this combination of prescribed medications.  Fatalities can result from using such drugs as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax with narcotic pain meds.  Every effort should be made to use herbal preparations, amino acids, lifestyle changes, and relaxation techniques like massage and the Kaufman procedures to avoid this risk.  Periodic attempts to reduce dosages and find alternative combinations that are effective are strongly recommended.

See Frontline Med, Sept. 15, 2016 issue, p. 3.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tight Blood Sugar Control for Diabetic Patients is Ineffective

All the guidelines for Diabetes from major physician organizations recommend that tight blood sugar control (a HBA1C less than 7) should be a major goal for diabetic patients.  However, an article in the highly respected journal, Circulation, that analyzed all the scientific data concluded that tight glycemic control didn’t prevent 10 out of the 11 micro and macro complications of diabetes, including fatal heart attacks, strokes, retinopathy, kidney disease and all-cause mortality.  The only complication prevented was nonfatal heart attacks.  Perhaps side effects from medications are playing a role.  We should try using such supplements as chromium, cinnamon, berberine, and BergaMet to achieve better control safely.

See Family Practice News at, Sept. 15, 2016 issue, p. 1,13.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Smoking Still a Major Cause of Cancer Deaths

Cigarettes can cause 29% of all cancer deaths, including lung, throat, stomach, liver, colon, pancreas, kidney and leukemia.  Cardiovascular disease is also related to smoking. 40 million U.S. adults continue to smoke.  If you need help to quit, try Crave Arrest, which is a cheap and easy supplement that is available from our office.

See JAMA internal medicine, October 2016.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Why Not Get a Flu Shot?

Public health advocates contend that everyone should get annual flu shots.  However, only 41% of all adults received flu shots last year.  It is thought that the reasons for not getting the shots are “access, price, and education”.  Wrong!  People are more concerned with ineffectiveness, toxicity, requirements for annual boosters, and reactions to the shots.  Alternatives to flu shots are homeopathics like mucococcinium and vitamin D supplements.  Mercury-free shots are also available.

See the Toledo Blade, Nov. 7, 2016, section D

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Anxiety Doubles the Risk of Death Due to Cancer in Men

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in men greater than 40 y.o. doubled the risk of death due to cancer in men over a 15 year study.  Similar effects were not found in women.  This confirms that anxiety is not just a personality trait, but that it is important to treat it effectively.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

When is it Time to Stop Hormone Replacement Therapy in Women?

The median time for taking bio-identical HRT to control symptoms of menopause is 10-11 years.  Longer periods of time might be indicated in slender white or Asian women or in those with a family history of hip fractures.  As menopause symptoms decrease, every year or two, the patient might try to reduce the dose or switch to an intra-vaginal prescription.  Natural progesterone might be used instead of estrogen-containing preparations, especially if the indication is osteopenia or osteoporosis.

See Menopause. 2014 Jun; 21: 679-81.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

CABG Surgery Reduces Mortality for Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease

A European study confirmed that there is some benefit for bypass surgery coupled with optimal drug therapy to help patients live longer.  There is some doubt as to the benefit in elderly patients due to non-cardiovascular risks.  And there are risks with the surgery as well.  Chelation therapy was not included in the study, but TACT showed that chelation was at least as effective as the surgical approach without the concomitant risks.  If surgery is performed, follow-up chelation is likely to be very helpful indeed.

See Family Practice News, Nov 1, 2016, p. 8.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Midlife Hypertension Leads to Cognitive Impairment

Poorly treated hypertension in midlife can result in dementia latter in life with devastating implications, according to a report from the American Heart Association.  Blood pressure is sometimes difficult control without taking multiple drugs with potential side effects.  The use of natural supplements, lifestyle changes, and stress reduction measures can be very effective to reduce the reliance on drugs.  One way or another, the blood pressure must be controlled.

See Family Practice News, Nov 1, 2016, p. 7.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Works Best for Chronic Sinusitis?

What Works Best for Chronic Sinusitis?

An article in the Family Practice Journal summarized the research on treating chronic sinusitis.  Intranasal steroids worked slightly better than placebo, and nasal salt irrigation was almost as effective as the steroids.  Z-packs for 3 months did not improve symptoms.  Surgery was about the same as medical therapy.  Those of us in the alternative field might treat with Low-dose Antigens or with sinus injections with Procaine anesthetics.  Reports are much better with the natural approach.

See the Journal of Family Practice, Nov, 2016, 829-831.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Autism Linked to Mother Taking Anti-depressant Drugs

I credit Dr. Frank Shallenberger with calling our attention to a study in the AMA Journal that pregnant women who take SSRI drugs for depression from the fourth month of their pregnancy are much more likely to have children who develop autism.  The reason appears to be a disruption of the 5HTP biochemical that control serotonin in the body.  Instead of the drugs (like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, for example), it would appear that such natural treatments as brain mapping and neurofeedback would be safer.  Measuring neurotranmitters and correcting imbalances with supplements is another excellent treatment that is very safe.

 See Second Opinion newsletter and Boukhris, T.  JAMA pediatrics 2016 Feb. 117-124.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blood Pressure is sometimes hard to control with nutrients

Fish Oils and Magnesium at the highest doses tolerated might do well in controlling hypertension.  Cofactors include grape seed extract and taurine.  BP nat relief is an herbal preparation which often works very well.  Many BP meds have disturbing side effects.

See Journal of Nutrition, March 2016.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Osteoporosis and breast diseases respond to vitamins E and D3.

Both of these common conditions in women do much better when they take both of these nutrients.  Use the natural form of E with mixed tocopherols at 800 iu and 5000-10,000 iu of D daily.

From the British Journal of Nutrition of January, 2016.