- NATURALDOC FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
- HOMEOPATHY 101: WHEN SHOULD WE TREAT ACUTE DISEASE
- SODA INCREASES PANCREATIC CANCER RISK
- FECALBACTERIA FOUND IN FAST FOOD SODA
- ATTENTION DEFICIT AND DHA SUPPLEMENTATION
- WEBSITE SERVICES
- LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
- VITAMIN D TEST
- ITHACA OPTIMAL HEALTH
- EMERSON ECOLOGICS
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #89. 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.
Come join my fan page at www.facebook.com/NaturalDoc Help bring information, news, and stories about natural medicine to the Facebook community.
It’s been about 3 weeks since I joined Facebook. I’ve been exploring the Facebook community and finding many points of interest. Folks I haven’t seen in years have reconnected and tuned me into their lives. It’s been a treat in a lot of ways. My wife’s brother-in-law posted some pictures of her and her 2 sisters that were a real blast from the past.
For those of you who don’t know, Facebook is a social networking website that is privately owned and operated. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, and school or college.
Facebook pages help you discover new artists, businesses, and communities as well as those you already love. On my fan page www.facebook.com/NaturalDoc I post discussions that you can join in with and relay breaking health news related to disease prevention, clinical nutrition, and ways to make you healthier.
I’m looking forward to exploring this community with you. See you there!
WHEN SHOULD WE TREAT ACUTE DISEASE?
In last month’s newsletter I wrote that I wasn’t seeing any flu cases but I was seeing some folks with a residual cough or a recurrent cough. I talked about how I might recommend the Vitamin C protocol, an indicated Chinese herb formula, or other non-homeopathic support. I want to answer the question, “Why not give a homeopathic remedy”?
Acute and Chronic Disease
As defined in Homeopathic philosophy, the terms acute and chronic are not time dependent. In conventional terms, a disease is acute for the first few days then becomes chronic as either it is not treated or does not respond to treatment. This is not the case in Homeopathy.
In Homeopathic philosophy, a chronic disease is chronic from onset, just as an acute disease is acute from its onset.
Acute disease has a period of onset, a period of activity, and a period of decline to resolution. Unless the disease is severe enough to result in the death of the body, resolution will occur without outside treatment. With treatment, the course of the acute disease can be shortened and the severity of the symptoms lessened.
Some examples of acute disease are trauma, toxins, and fixed infectious disease scenarios such as measles, chicken pox, etc.
Chronic disease also has a period of onset, a period of activity, but no period of resolution. The Vital Force cannot eliminate a chronic disease without outside help. Chronic disease may have periods of latency during which no overt symptoms are seen.
Some common symptoms of chronic disease are restrictive fears, compulsive or repetitive behaviors, chronic discharges, constipation, symptoms before menses, etc.
Many apparently acute diseases clearly represent the acute flare-up of pre-existing chronic disease, sometimes under the influence of an external pernicious influence, such as the recurrent cough as described mentioned above. Sometimes the pernicious influence overwhelms the system. I think that, in order to ensure and maintain health, we need to focus equally on both the chronic and the acute. Otherwise you end up chasing your tail, never getting beyond the temporary relief of acute symptoms.
So why not give a homeopathic remedy for that so-called acute? It’s my experience that it’s very easy to lose the thread of the chronic case when you focus on an acute. Let me give a personal example. I’ve been working with one of the best American homeopaths I know for my chronic disease state-David Kramer. Much has transformed in the time that he has been my homeopath.
A couple of months ago I was in the middle of having a severe reaction to a composite filling that was placed along my gum line—pain, sensitivity, inability to chew, etc. These symptoms had been building for weeks and reached a crescendo. I wanted to address them as the threat of a root canal or worse was looming. David prescribed a homeopathic remedy for me that worked very well to the point that about 99% of my dental symptoms resolved, and I also felt better in general. However, since then, there has been some slippage of my chronic case. Aspects that had been responding to previous care (with a different remedy) are surfacing again. What happened?
I’d like to use the analogy that Will Taylor, MD uses. We saw the tip of the whale’s fin and prescribed upon it with very good results. But the rest of the whale was submerged under the water at the time. Now the whale has surfaced and that fin is just one part of the larger whole. If we want to be well on all levels we have to grok the whole whale and prescribe on that.
At least with homeopathy there’s much less chance of causing further problems. With prescription or over the counter drugs you suppress symptoms, forcing them deeper into the organism causing new severe problems to show up. Which then need to be treated with other drugs, which cause further symptoms, which need other drugs, ad nauseum. A nice racket if you can get away with it as the status quo.
So the next time you reach for something to get temporary relief stop and think. What part of the whale are you treating? What part is invisible to you? Are you going to take the steps necessary to address the totality or are you going to see the part and miss the whole?
SODA INCREASES PANCREATIC CANCER RISK
Chinese men and women living in Singapore who drank two or more soft drinks per week were 87% more likely to contract pancreatic cancer after the researchers adjusted for factors such as smoking. "In this large prospective cohort of Chinese men and women in Singapore, those who reported regular soft drink consumption were at increased risk of pancreatic cancer when compared with those who largely abstained," Mark Pereira, PhD, of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues wrote.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers, with less than 5% of patients surviving five years after diagnosis. Rates continue to climb in some Asian countries, including Singapore. "This increase may reflect demographic and socioeconomic shifts as well as a transition towards a more westernized lifestyle and diet," the authors wrote.
Research has shown that insulin promotes pancreatic cancer cell growth. High sugar products like soft drinks cause blood sugar and insulin fluctuations that expose the pancreas to high concentrations of insulin. In the U.S. diet soda is the major source of added sugar a major contributor to hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia.
Pereira and colleagues followed 60,524 men and women who enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study between April 1993 and December 1998 and were followed for 14 years. At enrollment, the participants completed a 146-question food frequency questionnaire, which contained three items related to soda consumption. The questions asked the participants how much, if any, they drank of soft drinks such as Coca-Cola and 7-Up.
The dietary data was later cross-referenced with records from the Singapore Cancer Registry and the Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths, to determine which of the participants had died of pancreatic cancer and whether it might be related to their soda consumption.
Researchers found that 140 participants had contracted pancreatic cancer. These results were consistent with three previous U.S. studies on the links between pancreatic cancer and soda which found an association between soft drinks and cancer.
February 8, 2010 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: In case you needed another reason to not drink soda, here you go. Pancreatic cancer is reputed to be one of the most painful cancers. With 4 major studies now demonstrating a link between soda consumption and pancreatic cancer how much more evidence is necessary? Put that can down!
FECAL BACTERIA FOUND IN FAST FOOD SODA
This recent study revealed that 48% of soda fountains at fast food restaurants contain coliform bacteria. These are bacteria that grow in feces. 11% also contained E. coli.
There were other organisms identified that can cause disease. These included Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, and Candida.
Int J Food Micro 2009
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: This fairly disgusting revelation points to the lack of food hygiene found in fast food restaurants. Don’t think this is all due to sick individuals contaminating your food and drink. If you’ve watched Food Inc. the incredible documentary starring Michael Pollan and other of my food heroes, you know about the prevalence of E. coli in the hamburger, fries, and other items.
Even worse most of the identified bacteria showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics tested. Meaning that you’re in deep doo doo if you develop one of these food borne diseases. Better find your way to your local naturopath.
ATTENTION DEFICIT AND FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTATION
This is a randomized study involving 33 healthy young boys aged 8-10 years. They were given a supplement containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 400 or 1200 mg/d for 8 weeks. This was found to increase red blood cell membrane DHA composition by 47% in those who received 400 mg/d and 70% by those who received 1200 mg/d. This compared to boys taking a placebo whose DHA membrane concentration actually decreased by 11%.
During periods of sustained attention, DHA supplementation was associated with significant increases in activation of the parts of the brain necessary to maintain focus, and decreases in activation of parts of the brain associated with distracting focus. The higher dose of DHA was associated with even greater decreases in activation of these areas.
"Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation increases prefrontal cortex activation during sustained attention in healthy boys: a placebo-controlled, dose-ranging, functional magnetic resonance imaging study," McNamara RK, Able J, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Feb 3
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Another study demonstrating the importance of DHA in the healthy function of the brain related to attention.
DHA is the most abundant omega 3 essential fatty acid in the brain and retina. It comprises 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the brain and 60% of the PUFAs in the retina. 50% of the weight of the brain cell membrane is composed of DHA. Of all the fatty acids, DHA has the largest effect on brain PUFA composition. DHA is found in three of the most active brain PUFAs. It also modulates the transport of important brain nutrients such as choline, glycine, and taurine.
DHA deficiency is associated with cognitive decline that can lead to dementia. Low DHA levels increase neural cell death. It has been shown that DHA is depleted in the cerebral cortex of severely depressed patients.
We can get DHA directly from the diet-oils of certain cold water fish; derive it metabolically from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), another omega 3 essential fatty acid, or from a nutritional supplement.
A patient was waiting nervously in the examination room of
a famous specialist.
"So who did you see before coming to me?" asked the important doctor.
"My local General Practitioner, Dr. Cohen."
"Your GP?" scoffed the doctor. "What a waste of time. Tell me, what sort of useless advice did Cohen give you?"
"He told me to come and see you."
A General Practitioner is a doctor who keeps knowing less and less about more and more areas until he knows nothing about everything.
A Specialist on the other hand, keeps knowing more and more about less and
less until he knows everything about nothing.
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 253 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 89 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out my latest post, “No Deaths From Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids Or Herbs”.
LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
As is often the case, a recent new patient asked if I would review their choice and use of supplements and herbs. Why does this happen so often? For many, taking a vitamin or herb is their introduction to natural medicine. Their desire to be healthier drives them to take supplements and herbs. The death, pain, discomfort, and side effects experienced with over the counter and prescription drugs compels people to look elsewhere. It’s very different with supplements and herbs which, when used correctly, have an incredibly low risk of harm.
Some people take this to an extreme and take every supplement or herb that someone tells them is ‘good for them’. It might be a clerk, an internet ‘expert’ source, or a friend who is marketing the latest or greatest fad. Most of these individuals or companies have no professional training or experience in the medical use of the supplements or herbs that they’re selling. The people they’re selling to come into my office with 5,10, 15, or more supplements that they’re taking. Sometimes it’s been so long since they started taking them that they don’t remember why they’re doing it. When I ask, they can’t tell me what, if anything, a particular product is doing for them. Yet, they can be quite fearful of stopping any of these items, as if their health would careen off a precipice without them.
Why do I think my approach is any different? Partly, it’s because of my background. I’ve literally been working with nutritional supplements since 1974. That’s 35 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Starting in 1980 I started working with Western and Chinese herbs. The quality of herbs used and how they’re combined together has the greatest effect on the efficacy of the final product. Because I’ve grown, identified, harvested, and produced medicinal herbal products I recognize a good formula when I see one.
Licensed naturopaths like me receive the most extensive academic and clinical training in the use of nutritional supplements and herbal medicines of any professional in the United States. Nothing can substitute for such hands on experience, especially when you see, and are responsible for, the results of your treatments. Very different from the clerk in the store, or coworker who’s part of a MLM scheme.
What I’m offering to kick off the New Year 2010 is access to this experience and training. Both for you and your family. If you have questions about the supplements or herbs you are taking, or are thinking about taking, now is the time to ask. Send me an email with the brand and name of the product you’re taking. Let me know that you want to bring the bottles in at your next visit, so I can see what you’re taking. Start a discussion on my Facebook fan page. Either way I’ll give you honest feedback about what I think is good, or what isn’t. We’ll fine tune what you’re taking to maximize effect and eliminate waste.
Let me hear from you and we’ll get started. This is one New Year’s resolution that we can achieve.
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 a long time I looked 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.
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.
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