Welcome to the second issue of Naturopathic News. Thank you for all the great feedback on NN #1. It’s my goal to help you find natural solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health.
Table of Contents for Issue #2
- Doubts on Mammogram’s Worth
- Chicken Pox vaccine
- You Know You Live in Pennsylvania When…
- Wet sock treatment
- Q&A—How do you dose Oscillococcinum?
- Emerson Ecologics Ordering Program
- Find out how you can win a 10% discount off your next visit.
- Gift Certificates
- Naturopathic Lecture Series
- Late breaking news about Alzheimer’s Disease
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1. Expert Panel Cites Doubts on Mammogram's Worth
An independent panel of experts has said that there was insufficient evidence
to show that mammograms prevented breast cancer deaths.
The group, which meets regularly to assess evidence on cancer and provide that information to doctors and to the public, said that while it was possible that mammograms were beneficial, it was also possible that they were not. The group, called the P.D.Q. screening and prevention editorial board, agreed here today that seven large studies of mammography had serious flaws, weakening or casting doubt on the studies' validity. Previously, the group, which does not make specific recommendations for medical practices, had said that the evidence showed that mammograms prevented breast cancer deaths starting at age 40.
The decision by this group clouds a continuing debate over whether women should have regular mammograms. Since 1997, the National Cancer Institute has also recommended that women have regular mammograms, starting in their 40.
The institute's Web site, www.cancer.gov, says that women in their 40's and older should have the test and that it reduces the breast cancer death rate by as much as 30 percent.
Members of the P.D.Q. board said they knew that it was not going to be easy for women and doctors to decide what to do. During the meeting, the members themselves wrestled with the question of how much benefit, if any, mammograms confer. Some, like board chairman Donald A. Berry, chairman of the department of biostatistics at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said they thought it was unlikely that there were benefits that could make the test worthwhile.
"What this new material has contributed is a softening, at least in my mind, of what I thought was true," said Dr. Isra Levy of the Canadian Medical Association. "I still think that for women aged 50 to 69 there might be something there. But we've had our confidence shaken."
In the end, the group decided not to deal with age, saying doubts persisted for women of all ages. The group focused on flaws in the studies that were recently uncovered by two scientists in Denmark. The report, published in the Oct. 20, 2001 issue of the journal, The Lancet, by Dr. Peter C. Gotzsche and Ole Olsen of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, concluded that the case for the screening was unproven. The studies were so poorly designed and carried out that they may have found benefits when there were none or exaggerated what benefits there were. None of the studies found that mammography prolonged life and even when the studies were analyzed as a group, women who had the test lived no longer, dying of diseases other than breast cancer.
Some experts have taken issue with Dr. Gotzsche and Mr. Olsen's analysis. But the P.D.Q. board said it believed that the scientists had found serious problems. The board's assessment of mammography is expected to be posted on the cancer institute's Web site in April 2002.
2. Chicken Pox vaccineNew study findings indicate that, at least among one group of children, the varicella vaccine is much less effective than previously reported. Dr. Jane Seward, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues reported on their investigation of a December, 2001 outbreak of chickenpox at a New Hampshire day care center.
The outbreak in 23 children began with a child who had been vaccinated, contradicting the belief that such "breakthrough" cases are not contagious, Dr. Seward noted. The child, a 4-year-old, was confirmed not to have developed chickenpox infection from the vaccine, but probably developed it after exposure to a sibling with shingles.
Previous findings indicate that the vaccine's effectiveness ranges from 71% to 91%. In the current study, however, the effectiveness that was only about 40%.
41st Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Chicago December 16, 2001
3. HumorSubmitted by the Wagners, this issue’s winners of the 10% discount off a follow-up visit.
Living in PA
- 1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.
- "Vacation" means going to Hershey Park for the weekend.
- You measure distance in hours.
- You know several people who have hit deer - more than once.
- Your grandparents drive at 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
- You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.
- You think of the major food groups as deer meat, fish, and berries.
- There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at the Sheetz store at any given time.
- You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
- Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
- You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.
- It takes you 3 hours to go to the store for one item even when you're in a rush because you have to stop and talk to everyone in town.
- You actually understand these jokes and sent them on to your friends in PA.
4. Wet Sock Treatment
This isn't as uncomfortable as it may sound. It is an excellent immune system stimulant.
- Just before bed warm the patient's feet in a bath or basin of warm water.
- Soak a pair of cotton socks in cold water. Wring them out dry.
- Place the cold wet socks on the patient's feet. Place a pair of dry wool socks over them.
- Leave the socks on overnight.
The organism increases the circulation to the lower body in order to warm and dry the socks.
This relieves congestion in the upper body. This is an excellent treatment for children, even
infants. Good for chest colds, earaches, migraines, nasal congestion and many other conditions.
5. Oscillococcinum dosingFlu Solution, or Oscillococcinum, is one of the few homeopathic medicines that is effective as an almost specific. As I mentioned last issue, when taken at the first sign of a cold or flu it can prevent onset or decrease symptoms. What I forgot to say however is that you should totally IGNORE the dosing instructions on the label. As this is a homeopathic medicine, one of those tiny little pellets equals 1 dose. Not the whole tube as is recommended. So, one box, with three of these tubes inside will last for a very, very long time.
6. Emerson EcologicsMany of you have been ordering you supplements and herbs through Emerson Ecologics. So you already know that this is a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices. Reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. Their customer service is excellent and they usually ship to our area in 2 days. If you would like more information on how to have the natural medicines you need delivered to your door, call or email me for further details.
7. Win a 10% discount off your next visit.
If you submit a question or joke that is published in the Newsletter, you will receive a 10% discount off your next office visit. So don’t be bashful. If you are a closet humorist or have a question you’d like to see answered, let me know. Please submit your offerings no later than the 20th of each month. (Limit to 1 discount in any six-month period).
8. Gift Certificates
Give the gift of health. If someone you know would benefit from naturopathic care, give them the gift of a mini-consultation. Three such consultations are offered.
Systems Overview 15 minutes $20
Wondering why you’re not feeling well lately? Don’t know what’s wrong but something feels out of balance? Do you have chronic low-grade symptoms that don’t fit a diagnosis? Get a Systems Overview with Dr. Gregory Pais, ND. After you fill out the Health Assessment form Dr. Pais will review the areas of concern. Learn what you can do to create wellness and feel better.
Supplement Review 20 minutes $25
Are you confused about the supplements or herbs you are taking? Not sure whether they are the right ones for you? Would you like expert guidance in choosing what works and what doesn’t? Schedule a Supplement Review with Dr. Pais. Bring in all the products you are taking and he will help you decide what is appropriate for you.
Be a well-informed consumer.
Prescription Review $10/drug
Looking for information about the side effects of prescription medications? Are you concerned about the interactions of herbs or supplements with drugs? Do you want to know if there are safe, natural alternatives?
Make an appointment with Dr. Pais to review your prescription medications.
Be knowledgeable about the benefits and risks of the drugs you are taking.
9. Naturopathic Lecture Series
Every Tuesday evening from January through May I will be giving a 1.5-hour lecture at my office at 926 Washington Blvd. February’s topic is “Heart Health”. Seating is limited so please call 320-0747 to pre-register. The attendance fee is $3.
10. High Homocysteine Levels May Double Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, New Report Suggests -- February 14, 2002
People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood had nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a new report from scientists at Boston University. The findings, in a group of people participating in the long-running Framingham Study, are the first to tie homocysteine levels measured several years before with later diagnosis of AD and other dementias. The report, which appears in the February 14, 2002, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, provides some of the most powerful evidence yet of an association between high plasma homocysteine and later, significant memory loss.
The relationship between AD and the amino acid homocysteine is of particular interest because blood levels of homocysteine can be reduced, for example, by increasing intake of folic acid (or folate) and vitamins B6 and B12. The therapeutic use of these compounds is being explored as scientists try to understand better homocysteine's role in AD or other types of dementia as well as its possible link to various forms of heart disease.
“The evidence is beginning to mount regarding homocysteine’s role in dementia,” according to Neil Buckholtz, Ph.D., chief of the Dementias of Aging program at the NIA. “The good news is that we may have found a potential risk factor for AD that is modifiable.
Editor: The best sources of folic acid are lentils, pintos, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. A good protective dose of folic acid would be 1 mg (1,000 mcg) per day. Best if taken with sufficient B 12, B 6 and the rest of the B vitamins.
That’s it for this month’s newsletter. I hope you learned a thing or two and got a smile out of it as well. Until next time, stay healthy.