|Issue #35 - August 2005|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #35. It’s my mission 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. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter send me an email and let me know.
“A DAY IN THE LIFE” OF A HOMEOPATHIC CASE
Part 6 Return of Symptoms
It’s my intent with this ongoing series of articles to address everyday issues that come up in the course of homeopathic care. If there is a question you have that you would like addressed, please let me know.
If you’ve worked homeopathically with me for a period of time more than likely you’ve heard me mention the idea of a “Return of Symptoms”. This is the reoccurrence of any symptom that you’ve had in the past. It may be something from several months ago or a symptom that you first had many years ago. Often this symptom was treated with some kind of suppressive drug therapy—steroids, unnecessary antibiotics, hormones, ointments, creams, etc. As your health revives while taking the correct homeopathic remedy you may re-experience previous health problems. Concurrent with this, the more serious health problems for which you are being treated are resolving. As the healing process continues the symptoms from the past also resolve.
For example, it’s not unusual to hear something like, “I’m feeling much better, but I have a rash like what I had years ago. What can you give me for the rash?” Most of the time my answer is “Nothing! We have to let your system heal from the inside out. As the more serious health problems improve the less serious ones will too. If you put something on your skin ‘it’ may get ‘better’. But ‘you’ will get worse again. That’s not the proper direction of cure.”
The return of old symptoms is a sign that the homeopathic medicine is acting deeply on the Vital Force and that the timeline by which the chronic disease developed is reversing. These symptoms should not be stronger than or more prolonged than the original incident. In fact, they should be shorter and milder and pass through quickly. If the return of symptoms involves intense pain and suffering the size of the dose (pills, drops, or teaspoons) was too large, the potency was incorrect, or the remedy was given when it was not necessary to speed the cure.
There are many pieces of information that need to be reviewed to truly understand whether a person is experiencing a 'return of symptoms'. One factor is too frequent dosing. Though in conventional medicine More is thought to be Better, that is not necessarily the case in homeopathy. 1 dose may act curatively for several days, weeks, or months. If a dose is taken again too soon it may bring on a “Return of Symptoms”. Watchful waiting (without further dosing) is then appropriate until the Vital Force calms down.
Another important factor is the sensitivity of the individual. If someone is hypersensitive his or her reaction to 1 dose may be exaggerated. The next dose will need to be modified in such a way that the sensitivity and reaction are managed. The beauty of dosing in water is that there are several ways to do this. Often I start by having the individual take 1 tsp. from their succussed medicinal solution, place it in a glass with 4 oz. water, and then take a dose from that glass. This is called dosing from the 1st glass and is often all that is needed to manage the reaction. This can be extended to 2, 3, 4, or more glasses if necessary. This process does not ‘weaken’ the remedy. It just further disperses the dose in water to soften the reaction of the Vital Force. I successfully treated a woman with severe Multiple Sclerosis using this method. Her system was so sensitive that she dosed from the 4th glass, with excellent results.
Usually, if a person is experiencing a ‘Return of Symptoms”, it is not random. It relates to what is going on with their state of health and how the healing process is unfolding. Typically, symptoms are less intense, less frequent, and shorter in duration than in the past. But this is not always the case. That’s why it is so important to keep me updated with all of your symptoms. It’s the only way that we can manage your case and keep you on the path of healing.
EAT YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
A variety of veggies, fruits, and nuts were ranked this month on a new list of the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods, ranked by nutrition scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Small red beans were the food with the highest concentration of disease-fighting compounds per serving. Wild blueberries were the next food on the list.
Antioxidants fight damage to cells from molecules called "free radicals." Free radical damage to cells is involved in many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and aging.
The Top 20 list was published in the June 2005 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Researchers used the most advanced technologies available to tabulate antioxidant levels in more than 100 different types of fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, and spices.
There’s much to be learned about the food constituents that make some foods richer in antioxidants than others. Berries are better understood than beans. It is the anthocyanins in blueberries that contribute much of their antioxidant activity. Such compounds give the rich, dark color to many fruits and vegetables. Other examples are lycopene in tomatoes, lutein in kale, and carotene in carrots.
DR. PAIS’S REVIEW: For those of that that have had a Nutrition Consultation with me this concept of color should be quite familiar. I always emphasize the necessity of eating from all colors of the rainbow to ensure that there is an abundance of anti-oxidants in the diet.
You’ll notice on the list that same foods are cooked and some aren’t. Blueberries for instance are best eaten fresh as opposed to cooked in a cobbler. Cooked tomatoes on the other hand have been showed to have higher amounts of lycopene.
Though supplements can be useful to achieve high doses of anti-oxidants in specific situations you get much more nutritional value per dollar spent when you eat these whole foods. Why not make up a healthy salad based on foods from the above list? It will taste great and provide an antioxidant boost at the same time.
NO RADIATION LEVEL IS SAFE
It is now estimated that 1 out of 100 people will likely develop solid cancer or leukemia from minimal exposure to radiation over a lifetime. The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer or other health problems and there is no threshold below which exposure can be viewed as harmless, a panel of prominent scientists concluded in June of this year.
The finding by the National Academy of Sciences panel is viewed as critical because it is likely to significantly influence what radiation levels government agencies will allow at abandoned nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons production facilities and elsewhere.
It has been argued by the nuclear industry and the military that there is a threshold of very low-level radiation where exposure is not harmful, or possibly even beneficial. After five years of study, the panel rejected that claim.
"The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionized radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial," said Richard R. Monson, the panel chairman and a professor of epidemiology at Harvard's School of Public Health.
The committee gave support to the so-called "linear, no threshold" model that is currently the generally acceptable approach to radiation risk assessment. This approach assumes that each unit of radiation - no matter how small - still causes cancer.
The panel, formally known as the Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, or BEIR, generally supported previous cancer risk estimates - the last one by an earlier BEIR group in 1990.
Contrary to assertions that risks from exposure from low-level radiation may have been overstated, the panel said, "The availability of new and more extensive data has strengthened confidence in these (earlier) estimates."
DR. PAIS’S REVIEW: I have been studying, writing, and teaching about the effects of radiation on human health for 35 years. Whenever a medical procedure that utilizes radiation is recommended one must weight the benefit and the cost. To ignore these findings or to attempt to minimize their importance does a disservice to us all. As always, the more informed you are about your choices the better able you are to make an intelligent decision.
Two of the best resources for this information are the works of Samuel Epstein, MD, and the book “Radiation and Human Health” by John Gofman, MD.
VIOXX AND CELEBREX MAY RAISE BLOOD PRESSURE
An analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials involving COX-2 inhibitors (drugs such as Vioxx, Celebrex, and others) suggests that these agents raise blood pressure more than either conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or placebo.
Tai-Juan Aw, of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues, analyzed data from all 19 randomized controlled trials of COX-2 inhibitors published before May 2004, with a total of 45,451 participants for whom blood pressure data were available.
The meta-analysis was designed to compare the relative risk of developing hypertension and of clinically important blood pressure elevation in study participants treated with COX-2 inhibitors versus those treated with NSAIDs or placebo. COX-2 inhibitors were associated with a blood pressure elevation compared with NSAIDs and placebos, the authors found. These blood pressure elevations may be clinically significant in relation to increased cardiovascular risk.
DR. PAIS’S REVIEW: If you needed more reasons NOT to use these drugs, here you go. It’s amazed me how much complacency there has been regarding the cardiovascular deaths these drugs have caused. It’s assumed that there are no other options so you have to take your chance with one of these drugs.
The positive effects on arthritis of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, herbal and nutritional support cannot be ignored. Combined with homeopathy these tools can provide for long-term pain relief, increased function, and greater health. All without causing a heart attack, stroke, or raising your blood pressure. Which would you choose?
HOMEOPATHY UNDER ASSAULT AGAIN
The Lancet has published the results of a study comparing the effectiveness of homeopathy versus conventional medicine. Out of 110 matched studies only 8 of the homeopathic studies were compared to 6 studies of conventional medicine. The report concludes that homeopathy is less effective than conventional medicine.
Researches were highly selective and looked at only double-blind placebo-controlled homeopathic studies (prescribed on allopathic rather than homeopathic principles). In a double-blind placebo-controlled study only one medicine is given against the placebo. Homeopathy will naturally do poorly if the selected medicine is not similar to the symptoms displayed in the patient. As an effective homeopathic remedy is not chosen based on the name of the disease being treated it’s no wonder that the report’s conclusions are negative.
Prescribing methods for homeopathy are not compatible with this type of study because the homeopath chooses the appropriate remedy for an individual based on their symptoms. For someone with asthma there are a number of remedies that could be used depending on the characteristics of the disease. It may be more bronchial (wet) or dry asthma, be affected at different times (eg, worse at night) or in different seasons. Hence 10 people with asthma may require different homeopathic medicines.
The researchers of the Lancet study were quite biased going into the study, as the following quote from a researcher suggests:
“Based on these trials, remedies which do not fit into our traditional concepts of biological mechanisms do not have a specific effect,” he said. “We cannot prove the negative…”
Recently a large study showing that homeopathy is more effective than conventional medicine had a brief mention by one news source (The Telegraph). This new study saying it is not as effective has been picked up by a number of news sources. Mainstream media appears keen to show homeopathy in a negative light, simply because it does not conform to the status quo.
This new study also conflicts with a preliminary report on homeopathy from the World Health Organization. It states that the majority of peer-reviewed placebo controlled studies of homeopathy over the last 40 years demonstrate that homeopathy is at least equivalent to conventional medicine in its effectiveness.
One reason for this current round of attack is that Homeopathy is becoming very popular again. In Britain alone, sales of homeopathic medicines have grown by a third in the past five years to £32 million in 2004. Recently Prince Charles issued an inquiry into alternative medicine, which found that £480 million could be saved if just 10% of GP’s prescribed homeopathy instead of conventional medicine. Homeopathy is not only cheap it’s effective. This news appears to have sent the pharmaceutical companies into a spin and they went into overdrive to get their favorite medical and science correspondents to put out highly negative stories about homeopathic medicine in newspapers all around the world.
Joyce Frye DO, MBA commented that the study's authors seemed to begin their work with a bias. "While their analysis clearly showed effects of homeopathic treatment, they found ways to disregard those. Out of the millions of trials in conventional medicine, their primary outcome relied on the comparison of ridiculously small numbers, 8 trials of homeopathy and 6 trials of conventional medicine. They began their work with the assumption 'that the effects observed in placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy could be explained by a combination of methodological deficiencies and biased reporting'. Sound research is not conducted from this starting position."
DR. PAIS’S REVIEW: The ferocity of the media attack can only mean one thing. That there is a huge rise in popularity of homeopathic medicine and that it is now becoming a threat to the billion-dollar drug industry! This worldwide revolution has taken place almost entirely by word of mouth and by personal recommendation - a truly remarkable phenomenon because up until now the media has studiously ignored and excluded any positive news on the subject.
If anyone needed proof of the efficacy of homeopathic medicine, they need only study the statistics of various epidemics during the 1900s. In 1854 a cholera epidemic struck London. A report revealed that under allopathic care the mortality was 59.2% whereas under homeopathic care the mortality was only 9%. In the yellow fever outbreak in the US in 1878, the mortality in New Orleans was 50% under allopathic care and 5.6% for homeopathic care. Records of three years of diphtheria in Broome County, New York from 1862 to 1864 show the mortality rate for allopaths as 83.6% and 16.4% for homeopaths.
There are 220,000 homeopathic doctors in India. In Europe, especially France and Germany, homeopathy is hugely popular. The Queen reportedly travels everywhere with a homeopathic first aid kit and often dispenses to staff. The kings and queens of Britain have always had their own personal homeopathic doctor and for the last two centuries the aristocracy has traditionally enjoyed the benefits of homeopathic medicine. Is it possible that all these people have been deluded into taking medicine that doesn’t work? That their good health is all in their mind? Not likely.
What about animals and babies? How does the placebo effect work on them? As any homeopathic veterinarian will tell you, homeopathic medicine works almost better on animals than on humans and likewise, babies respond particularly well to treatment. Is it even possible to explain to them that the homeopathic remedy alleviated their symptoms, much less that the psychological effect of taking it brought about the cure?
The fact of the matter is that homeopathy has enjoyed a huge rise in popularity for one simple reason and that is because it works.
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 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 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 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 any of you would like to check out Emerson Ecologics online here is the address of their home page: http://www.emersonecologics.com/Main.asp Here you will find information on herbal products and nutritional supplements as well as product specials. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.