|Issue #61 - October 2007|
My website is 1 year old this month.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 183 products from Emerson listed on this page. If yours isn't one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 61 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News".
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry for Oct. 10 to learn some interesting facts about the appendix.
GLOSSARY OF HOMEOPATHY TERMS
Aggravation - a noticeable intensification of the disease symptoms previously observed. Often associated with the action of the correct homeopathic remedy.
Antidote - a substance, or a remedy, that counteracts the effect of a homeopathic remedy. Strong odors are thought to antidote remedies. Mint is said to be an antidote of Natrum muriaticum. Caffeine antidotes homeopathic remedies. When a person is reacting incorrectly to a homeopathic remedy, an antidote may be given to neutralize the effects.
Characteristic symptom - a symptom that is 'striking, strange, unusual, peculiar' in the case. Close attention is paid to characteristic symptoms, as they must correspond to symptoms of the remedy if it is to cure. For example, burning pain better heat, or better lying on the painful side.
Common symptoms - symptoms that are common to a specific disease, for example, stiff joints in arthritis, or yellow skin in jaundice.
Complete symptom - sensation, location (including radiation or extension of sensation), modalities, and concomitants all together comprise a complete symptom.
Concomitant - occurring simultaneously. Refers to symptoms that happen at the same time as the chief complaint. One of the aspects of a complete symptom.
Etiology - the cause of disease.
Law of Similars - Similia similibus curentur-Let Likes be Cured by Likes. This is the fundamental principle of homeopathic medicine.
Homeopathy - system of natural medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann. Based on the Law of Similars.
Modality - a condition that makes a person or their symptom better or worse. For example, better in a hot bath, abdominal pain better bending over, worse rainy weather, etc. Modalities are one of the aspects of a complete symptom.
Organon - The Organon of Medicine, by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. This book describes the principles and practice of homeopathy. Hahnemann wrote 6 editions of the Organon from 1810-1842. The sixth edition, though finished in 1842, was not published until 1921.
Potency - the power of a homeopathic remedy. Determined by how many times the remedy has been succussed and diluted during preparation. A number and a letter are associated with the remedy name to indicate which potency scale has been used. An example of the decimal scale would be Arnica 6x. An example of the centesimal scale would be Arnica 30c. An example of the 50 millesimal scale (LM) would be Arnica LM1. These are the 3 potency scales currently in use.
Potentized - usually refers to a substance prepared according to homeopathic pharmaceutical standards. This means that it has gone through serial dilution and succussion.
Proving - the most accurate method of ascertaining the action of medicines on human health. Medicines (usually potentized) are administered to healthy people to discover the symptoms they are capable of producing and thereby able to cure. Yes, homeopaths have been carrying out such placebo-controlled trials for over 170 years.
Remedy - medicine, as in homeopathic remedy.
Sensation - the experience of a symptom, what it feels like. One of the aspects of a complete symptom.
Simillimum - the most similar remedy corresponding to a case. As such, the remedy most likely to cure.
Succussion - the process of forcefully striking a homeopathic remedy against a firm surface.
Suppression - Any treatment that removes a symptom without curing the whole person.
Vital force - the energy that maintains life in the individual.
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS)
This ubiquitous sweetener shows up in most junk food/fast food/processed food. Walk down any food aisle of your grocery store and randomly pull 10 different items off the shelf. Odds are HFCS will be in as many as 5-8 of those foods.
So what's the problem with HCFS? Here is a list of some of the major issues in consuming this harmful sweetener:
Increases LDL cholesterol
HCFS is made from corn that is genetically modified
Possible atrophy of the pancreas-organ most involved with blood sugar balance
Robs the body of nutrients to metabolize it
Fructose intolerance-Bloating, Diarrhea, Headache, Fatigue
High blood pressure
Some common products that contain HFCS
Jams and jellies
My patients are always surprised when I tell them that it has almost as much calcium as whole milk, and more importantly, the calcium is better absorbed. It also has twice the vitamin C of an orange. Like other dark green vegetables it is a good source of B vitamins. Broccoli contains Selenium, a trace mineral that has anticancer and antiviral properties. It is a modest source of vitamin A and vitamin E.
FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES KEEP NUTRITION
Belgian scientists report that fruits and vegetables do not lose any antioxidant content in the days after purchase. This is true even though the produce may be showing signs of spoilage.
Once a fruit or vegetable is harvested we usually judge its 'eatability' in terms of how it looks and what it feels like. These traits don't necessarily equal flavor and nutritional quality-especially with regards to antioxidants, which are affected by genetic, packaging and environmental factors.
The researchers obtained various fruits and vegetables from the Belgian market, measuring initial antioxidant content. They then stored the fruits and vegetables at room temperature or refrigerated them at 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Antioxidant levels were checked at various times until the produce presented visual spoilage.
In the days following purchase, fruits and vegetables do not lose any phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid or flavonols-several nutrients associated with antioxidant content. "Better, in some cases, an increase on the antioxidant capacity was observed in the days following their purchase, accompanied by an increase in phenolic compounds," the researchers state.
"Evolution of Antioxidant Capacity during Storage of Selected Fruits and Vegetables". Oct. 17 2007, "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry"
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: The message is not that you should eat food when it's spoiled. However, it's interesting how little visual cues represent overall nutritional quality.
PROBIOTICS AND CROHN'S DISEASE
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It often affects the lower part of the smaller intestine, interfering with absorption of nutrients. Some of the symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools.
Much of the available evidence suggests that the cause relates to an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut. An imbalance between detrimental and beneficial bacteria can set up the cycle of chronic inflammation that characterizes Crohn's disease. Antibiotics may be used to treat Crohn's but can make the problem worse as these drugs kill the good with the bad.
One way to change the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract is by taking probiotics-also known as beneficial bacteria. Taking prebiotics-substances that help probiotics to flourish in the intestine-such as fructooligosaccharides, psyllium fiber, and inulin may further enhance the actions of probiotics.
In this study, ten people with Crohn's disease took a prebiotic supplement containing 3.3 grams of psyllium dissolved in water three times per day, and a probiotic supplement containing a total of 75 million colony-forming units of Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium longum.
"We found that Crohn's disease patients with frequent diarrhea benefited most from a combined probiotic and prebiotic therapy," the authors said. They concluded, "Synbiotic therapy [pre- and probiotics taken together] can safely reduce Crohn's disease activity and can achieve its remission, especially for Crohn's patients with frequent diarrhea."
J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007;22:1199-204
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Some of the best homeopathic results I've seen over the years relate to patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis. I always use targeted beneficial bacteria along with the indicated homeopathic medicine. The results have been well worth the effort by my patients.
NO MORE MENSES?
Lybrel is a new birth control pill that eliminates women's periods. Unlike other oral contraceptives, which include a week of placebo pills at the end of the cycle to bring on menstruation, Lybrel has no placebos, and women on this drug do not menstruate.
While some women may have the concern that Lybrel takes away a key sign of health, fertility, and womanhood. Others want to escape from the symptoms they've come to associate with a "normal" menses.
Women must menstruate to shed the thick lining of the uterus that builds up during the menstrual cycle. Women on oral contraceptives only build a thin lining and, therefore, they may not need to menstruate.
Lybrel was only studied for one year so there's no way to know what long-term side effects may be. Eliminating menstruation, according to many sociologists and anthropologists, tells young women that there's something wrong or shameful about the natural menstrual cycle, and therefore with the female body.
DR. PAIS'S COMMENTS: Some of you may feel that I can have no opinion on this issue as I don't have a menstrual cycle. Many of you may have been told by your MD that Lybrel is safe. However the problems for women who take it may not show up for months or even years. We just can't know what the long-term cessation of menstruation will do to a woman. Biology dictates that women have menses, whether or not this can be manipulated with hormones.
Remember, use of artificial hormones found in Lybrel and all other birth control pills increases risk of blood clots and certain types of cancer. There are other, much safer forms of birth control that can be used-male condoms, female condoms, the ovulation method, the cervical cap and diaphragm.
THE METRIC PUNSTER
1 millionth of a mouthwash:1 microScope
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond.
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour: Knot-furlong
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because it's less filling: 1 lite year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone:1 Rod Serling
Half of a large intestine: 1 semicolon
1000 aches: 1 kilohurtz
Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes: A straight line
453.6 graham crackers: 1 pound cake
1 million bicycles: 2 megacycles
2000 mockingbirds: two kilomockingbirds
1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton
1000 cubic centimeters of wet socks: 1 literhosen
1 millionth of a fish: 1 microfiche
2 monograms: 1 diagram
8 nickels: 2 paradigms
3 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital: 1 I.V. League
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 30 years, herbs for over 20 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days to this region). It's a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That's it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you've thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP