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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #83 - August 2009
Issue #83 - August 2009
  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. NATURAL FLU PREVENTION WORKSHOP
  3. VITAMIN D TESTING
  4. WILLIAMSPORT FARMER'S MARKET
  5. ITHACA OPTIMAL HEALTH
  6. LIES ABOUT HEALTHCARE REFORM
  7. SWINE FLU RAPID TESTS OFTEN WRONG
  8. STATINS CAUSE MUSCLE DAMAGE
  9. FDA DECLARES MERCURY NOT RISKY
  10. COMFREY OINTMENT RELIEVES BACK PAIN
  11. EMERSON ECOLOGICS

Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #83. It's my mission to help you find optimal 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. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.


WEBSITE SERVICES
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:

Store: There are 246 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 83 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.

Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update every week. Check out the entry about iron deficiency anemia and pregnancy.



NATURAL FLU PREVENTION WORKSHOP
Presenting the best natural medicine to prevent the flu—homeopathy, nutrition, herbs.

Are you worried about getting the flu this year? Does the flu vaccine make you sick?
What else can you do to keep your family healthy?

The H1N1 flu may or may not be virulent this season. The new vaccine for swine flu is being targeted at young children and pregnant women. But little or no data exists on the safety or effectiveness of flu vaccines on these groups.

In 1976 the US Government vaccinated 45 million people for a swine flu outbreak that never materialized. But 500 people developed a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome which left people in a coma and 25 died.

Remember, the majority of flu shots contain mercury, a dangerous neurological toxin. And the groups that are most sensitive to the neurological damage are infants, children, and the elderly.

Objectives
By taking this weekend workshop you will:
Be able to recognize the early signs of the flu.
Learn the basics of homeopathic medicine.
How to choose the best flu remedy.
Become familiar with effective nutrition and herbal immune support.


Schedule
Friday, September 25, 2009 7-9pm
Saturday, September 26, 2009 9-5pm


Cost
$97 for Friday and Saturday, $25 for Friday night only
$75 for any active patient of the last 3 months
$105 for everyone after September 18


Participants will have the opportunity to purchase homeopathic remedy kits, join the local flu prevention community, and share resources and information.

If you’re willing to put up an out of town guest for the workshop please let us know.

To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 570-320-0747.


GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST WITH ZRT LABORATORY
It just happened again the other day. A patient sent me a copy of the Vitamin D test she just had done. With frustrating results. The wrong test was done. After all these years, and all the information available, MDs and laboratories still order the wrong test. What a waste of money and time.

For the last 6 months I’ve been looking for a home Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own. I finally found one. ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton OR. ZRT emphasizes research and technological innovation.

Until now, venipuncture blood serum has been the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. ZRT has developed and refined Vitamin D testing in blood spots. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.

Ordering A Vitamin D Test
ZRT allows anyone to order a Vitamin D test kit for $95 plus shipping and have it sent to their home. ZRT will let me prepay for kits and send them to my office for $55 each. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover my overhead and analysis of results.

If you are interested in getting a Vitamin D test done through my office please prepay so I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to ZRT it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the mail arrives.

If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, most accurate way to do it ourselves. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for prevention of disease and maintenance of health.


WILLIAMSPORT FARMER’S MARKET
Buy Local!    Buy Fresh!    Buy Organic!
Every Saturday 8-1
Corner of Hepburn St. and Little League Boulevard
The Farmer’s Market is happening every weekend throughout the summer. Find the best organic and local fruit, vegetables, meat, and eggs. There are even local craftspeople. Yes, Steam Valley Fiber Farm is back at the market. With it’s great selection of mohair, yarn, on display.


ITHACA OPTIMAL HEALTH
I’m excited to announce that I have opened a new office in Ithaca, New York. Why Ithaca? We feel very drawn to the area—socially, culturally, and politically. Now with the help of some friends we’re practicing there. Joy Weber, a massage therapist, has graciously opened her massage space to me, every 2nd Saturday of the month. I’ll be seeing patients there starting August 8. If you have any friends or family in the area let them know.
My Ithaca office address is 329 South Geneva St., Ithaca NY 14850.


LIES ABOUT HEALTH CARE REFORM
Health insurance and drug corporations, as well as right wing nutjobs are lying to you about health care reform. Their goal is to scare you, to turn you against the idea of health care reform. They want to destroy the possibility of reasoned debate about the real issues. They’re behind the yelling screaming people you’re seeing at town hall forums across the country. Comparing this administration to the Nazis and equating Obama with Hitler is despicable, political manipulation of the worst possible kind. It sets the stage for extremism and violence. I grew up with friends whose family lived under Nazi rule; they had concentration camp numbers stenciled on their arms. These talk show demagogues spouting this vile nonsense denigrate the deaths of 6 million Jews.

Another egregious lie is the idea that the government ‘death panels’ will euthanize seniors and other people somehow deemed unfit to provide care for. This is not in the bill, it’s not being planned, and the bill does not say this. The provision says that the government will pay for you to have a discussion with your doctor (if you want to) about care at the end of life.  The utter absurdity of such a bold-faced lie can only be understood when the source is looked at—Sarah Palin, the ex-governor of the state of Alaska. Remember this is the same person who thought Africa was a country and couldn’t name one newspaper that she reads.

Then there’s the canard about government run health care. A lot of these folks upset about the government running health care forget that the Medicare they depend on is exactly that—government run health care! Some think it’s a plot for a socialist takeover of the United States. I wonder how those people feel about their police and fire departments. By the same twisted logic these are socialist institutions too.

The jingoist refrain is, “Don’t change the best healthcare system in the world.” US healthcare is run by large corporations. We spend the most money in the world for healthcare and rank 37th in quality. Over 45 million Unites States citizens don’t have any health insurance. The United States ranks 37th in infant mortality rate—worse than Cuba, Slovenia, and Canada, to name 3 of the countries whose babies die less frequently. How does any of this represent the ‘best healthcare system in the world?’ Unless of course by best we mean the most expensive.

Truths about Healthcare Reform
You can keep your doctor and your health insurance if you want to.
Illegal aliens do not receive free healthcare
There is no rationing
No mandated abortions

Resources to refute the lies
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/counseling
http://www.communitycatalyst.org/projects/national_reform/alerts?id=0066              

  
How health care works in Canada
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/health-care-abroad-canada/?scp=15&sq=health&st=cse 

Paul Krugman on health care
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/opinion/17krugman.html?_r=2&scp=31&sq=health&st=cse 



RAPID TESTS OFTEN WRONG ABOUT SWINE FLU
The government's first study of how well rapid tests diagnose swine flu (H1N1) finds they're wrong at least half the time. The results of the study were released August 6 2009.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at rapid tests made by three companies. The tests correctly confirmed swine flu infections only 10% to 51% of the time.



STATINS CAUSE MUSCLE DAMAGE
Statin drugs, which are medications widely used to lower cholesterol, may cause structural damage to muscles in the body. These people experience muscle aches and weakness. The damage may continue even after statin use is stopped.

About 10 to 15% of people taking statins report myalgia, or minor muscle aches and weakness. A smaller number have stronger, persistent pain, called myopathy. In this study, researchers took sample leg muscle tissue from 83 patients: 44 were taking statins and had serious and persistent muscle pain, 19 were taking statins and had no myopathy, and 20 had never taken statins or suffered myopathy.

The biopsies showed that 25 of the 44 with myopathy had muscle damage.
Canadian Medical Association Journal July 7, 2009; 181 (1-2)

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Recently two of my new patients recounted a history of unexplained muscle pain and soreness that started around the same time they were put on a statin drug. I recommended that they have some liver function tests done (which can show problems from statins) and I suggested they have a conversation with the doc who prescribed the drug. Several patients have reported frustrating experiences having this type of conversation as their docs have not taken time to address their concerns.

One reason this symptom stands out to me is that, in severe cases, a life-threatening condition called rhabdomyolysis, in which your muscle cells break down, can also develop. Though none of my patients have had this problem, we now know from this Canadian research that muscle pain may be an indication that tissue is breaking down. Anyone on these drugs that has the symptoms of muscle pain and weakness should be taken seriously. I think it’s a mistake to ignore this warning sign.

There are lifestyle modifications that help reduce your risk of heart disease and can lower your cholesterol. This combination of diet, exercise, and supplements, if consistently followed, is very beneficial. Though the specifics vary for each person, a reduction of sugars and processed carbohydrates, as well as a large increase in the consumption of vegetables is the foundation to start from.



FDA DECLARES MERCURY NOT RISKY
On Tuesday July 28 2009 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that dental fillings contain too little mercury to harm the millions who've had cavities filled with them — even young children —. Supposedly only people ‘allergic to mercury’ need to avoid them.

This seems to go against what the FDA stated last year in its settlement of a lawsuit with anti-mercury activists by posting on its web site a precaution saying questions remained about whether the small amount of mercury vapor the fillings can release were enough to harm the developing brains of fetuses or the very young.

Even though the FDA now says its final review ends that concern, the agency did slightly strengthen how it regulates the fillings. It is now urging dentists to provide their patients with a government-written statement detailing the mercury controversy and what science shows.

Anti-mercury activists accused the agency of bowing to the dental. "FDA broke its contract and broke its word that it would put warnings for children and unborn children," said Charles Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Too much mercury harms the brain. In recent years this has been dramatized as scientists have warned that some types of seafood contain enough mercury to harm a fetus or young child.

Mercury amalgam fillings have been used since the 1800s. Interestingly, the American Dental Association was against their use by dentists for years, partially because of the toxicity of mercury.

Often patients ask me if they should have their mercury fillings removed. Over the years I’ve heard many stories of people who were worse after doing this. Even the FDA recognizes that removing the fillings releases more mercury vapor. It is very important to find a dentist who specializes in this procedure and has the proper equipment and takes the appropriate precautions.



COMFREY OINTMENT RELIEVES BACK PAIN
In this study, topical treatment with comfrey root extract ointment was shown to markedly reduce acute upper and lower back pain. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has long been used herbally (and homeopathically), to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. It is common throughout Europe and Asia and is a member of the Borage family. Left to itself it can grow several feet high with green fuzzy lanceolate leafs and purplish to yellow bell-shaped flowers.

In the current study, the researchers assessed back pain in 120 patients who were randomly assigned to receive 4 grams of comfrey root extract ointment or a placebo ointment three times daily for 5 days.

Between the first and fourth (and final) follow-up assessment, pain intensity dropped by
95% in the comfrey root extract group, while pain was reduced by 39% in the placebo group. Pain relief after application of the extract was rapid, usually beginning in less than one hour. As pain improved, patients' mobility did also.

"Comfrey root extract shows a remarkably potent and clinically relevant effect in reducing acute back pain," the research team concluded. Reduction of pain and improvement in mobility was fast and correlated with each other.
Efficacy and safety of a Comfrey root extract ointment in the treatment of acute upper or
low back pain: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-centre trial.
Br J Sports Med 2009 May 21.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Comfrey is an old herbal ally. I’ve been working with it for the past 28 years. As an herbal poultice, oil, ointment or homeopathy medicine it is a plant you want in your back yard and a medicine that should be in your kit.

You must be sure to get your comfrey products from a reputable source (better yet make your own). In its plant form it can be mistaken for Digitalis, with dire consequences. I recommend getting only organically made comfrey herbal medicinals. Herb Pharm, Wise Woman Herbals, Gaia Herbs, and Mountain Rose Herbs are a few of the companies I trust.



EMERSON ECOLOGICS
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
580 E. 3rd. St.
Williamsport  PA  17701
570-320-0747
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.foroptimalhealth.com