|Issue #130 July 2013|
Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #130. 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.
2013 OPTIMAL HEALTH LECTURE SERIES
Living Arthritis Free
Week of Aug. 19, 2013
Time and place to be Announced
Steps to Arthritis Free Living
Live Arthritis Free
Is it possible to live free of arthritis? Are there lifestyle changes you can make to live arthritis free? How do you do prevent arthritis from getting worse? Can arthritis be cured without drugs or surgery? What steps can you take to keep your joints healthy? Find out how to do this in the simplest way possible.
It’s estimated that 1 out of every 2 people will develop knee arthritis by age 85. That 1 out of 4 people will develop painful hip arthritis in their lifetime. An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition; this represents approximately 1 in every 250 children in the U.S. By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Come to this free lecture to learn how to avoid unnecessary surgery and drugs. Learn how to get well through a holistic approach—lifestyle, diet, nutrition, and homeopathy. Dr. Gregory Pais shares his 39 years of experience to help you stay healthy. Make a difference in yours and your family’s health.
30 MINUTE FREE CONSULTATIONS
For those of you not currently working with me I want to give you a chance to learn a bit more in depth. For any topic I write about in this newsletter, or something of your own, you can ask for a free 30 minute consultation, by Skype or by phone. I have 6 openings available before the end of the month. If you’d like to learn more about the articles below or have a question to ask, email me to schedule a consultation. Just another way to say thanks for your support.
FIRST ORDER SYMPTOMS
One of my favorite teachers is Joe Kellerstein, ND. Dr. Kellerstein is a naturopathic physician who practices homeopathy in Ontario, Canada. When discussing the nature of how patients report symptoms he describes what he terms 'First Order Symptoms' (FOS). I thought this might be helpful as many of you are unsure what to report when you check in or have expressed difficulty in relaying what's happened to you.
First Order Symptoms are the direct experience. They are what you have before you process the overall experience. Everything else is after the fact, having been run through various mental or behavioral filters. Let me offer a really common example.
I often ask you what foods you really like or crave. A food craving is an intense, spontaneous, clear desire for a food. "I love chocolate", or "I could eat bread all day long." The craving itself is a First Order Symptom. It's what you experience. Many people, when they answer this question, run this FOS through a health filter. They think to themselves "I shouldn't eat bread," and they will never say that they crave bread. Even if this person never eats one piece of bread, the First Order Symptom is "I really like bread." I'm not judging you if you eat bread or not. I just need to know if the craving for bread exists.
The following situation is another common example. A person finds out at work that someone is talking about them. Immediately in the moment they feel shock, then anger. In their mind they think, "People talking about each other is so common, I shouldn't let this get to me." And the experience gets lumped under the filter, 'work stress'. Which becomes "I'm stressed out." This is not the FOS. The First Order Symptom was what? Shock, with anger. That's what I need to hear to understand what your experience was. When you only relay the category or box you've assigned to your experience-'stress'-I miss out on the richness and diversity of who you are. Which means you miss out on the most individualized care that you can receive.
In working with Homeopathy I need to hear what your 'altered feeling and function' is. What your First Order Symptoms are-anger, shock, surprise, excitement, embarrassment, sadness, burning pain better heat, etc. How you have these experiences, and what they mean to you, is what counts. It's not how you are like everybody else that helps me understand what you are dealing with. It’s not whether or not you ‘should’ experience what you experience. It's how your experience is unusual, peculiar, unique, and rare, that can be most telling.
I want to give one more example of how important this is. When I first give a homeopathic remedy, or at any point while someone is taking a homeopathic remedy, I am looking for what's changed, what’s different. This can be quite difficult for you to report. If you’re hurting, it just hurts. If you’re down you just feel ‘out of it’. That’s all you can say. You might think, “why is he asking me this dumb question?” There are times when someone says nothing has changed. But I think that is rarely the case. Let me give an example.
Someone comes to me for a sharp, shooting pain in their legs. They take the homeopathic remedy I prescribe and the following happens. First the pain is worse for a bit. Then it's better for a bit. Then it's worse again back to where it was or slightly less. This becomes, through the patient's filter, 'nothing's changed'. In their mind it's nothing because sometimes their pain is worse, sometimes it's better. Actually, they experienced a highlighting of their symptoms, then a reduction, with a return to a slightly different state. Rather then 'nothing' this response pattern can be an indicator that a higher potency is needed, or a repetition of the dose.
Almost no one asks questions like a homeopath does. At least, that’s what my patients say all the time—“nobody’s ever asked me that before.” One definition of homeopathy is that it is the ‘medicine of experience.’ While I was a student and later when I was first starting out I thought this was just a nice sounding philosophical statement. But the longer I’m in practice, the more I see what homeopathic medicine can do, the more clearly I understand what this means. Your experience is the medicine. In other words, your symptoms are what determine which homeopathic medicine I use. If I don’t ask the correct question, if I don’t give you the opportunity to communicate what your experience is, we’re less likely to be successful in our work together.
Think of it as a work of art. First Order Symptoms are the primary colors. With them you must paint a picture of your experience that I can successfully match with the homeopathic medicine that is most similar. The more accurate your description of your FOS-mental, emotional, and physical-the more likely you will heal in a gentle, rapid, and permanent manner with the correct homeopathic medicine.
EARLY PUBERTY AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
A presentation at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting held in San Francisco revealed a greater risk of precocious puberty in girls with deficient levels of vitamin D in comparison with girls who entered puberty at a normal age. Early puberty in girls is defined as the onset of sexual development before the age of 8. The incidence of precocious puberty has increased over the past several decades, and girls affected by the condition may have a higher risk of breast cancer or other conditions later in life.
The current research included 110 girls aged 7 to 10 years, among whom 35 were categorized as having experienced precocious puberty. Blood samples collected from the subjects were analyzed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and other factors. Vitamin D levels were lower on average among girls with early puberty in comparison with girls who entered puberty at a normal age. Forty-four percent of the girls who underwent precocious puberty had serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were classified as severely deficient at less than 10 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) in comparison with 21% of the normal group.
The lead researcher Dr Kim explained. "Our results suggest that vitamin D may inhibit early pubertal onset and/or the rapid progression of puberty, at least in part."
The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting June 17, 2013.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Puberty generally begins between the ages of 10 and 14 for girls and between 12 and 16 years of age for boys. However, precocious puberty is diagnosed in girls when sexual development begins before the age of 8 and changes occur before the age of 9. Past studies have found that unusually early puberty can negatively affect social behavior, psychological development, reduce adult height potential, and may shift some lifelong health risks for disease like breast cancer.
There seems to be a direct correlation as researchers found that girls with precocious puberty were twice more likely than girls with age-appropriate development to have a severe vitamin D deficiency. Another good reason to test Vitamin D levels.
WHO OWNS ORGANICS??
The Cornucopia Institute acts as an organic industry watchdog—a governmental and corporate watchdog. Large enterprises like Eden Foods and Nature's Path are proving you can do hundreds of millions of dollars in business without betraying the values that the organic movement was founded upon.
However, all too often giant corporations like Dean Foods (Horizon/Silk), General Mills (Cascadian Farms/Muir Glen), Smuckers (R.W. Knudsen/Santa Cruz), and their trade-lobby group, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) have supported adding gimmicky or risky synthetics to organic foods, giant factory farming, and imports from China and other questionable sources. Many of these corporations also stood with Monsanto and the biotechnology lobby, funding the misinformation campaign that scuttled Prop 37, the GMO labeling legislation defeated in California last fall.
Please use the organic brand scorecards on the Cornucopia website to help reward the true heroes, protect and reward your family with authentic organic food, and send the corporate bad-actors a serious message: www.cornucopia.org.
Click on this link for a version you can enlarge of the Who Owns Organic infographic below.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: As organic consumers we need to vote with our food purchases. If we are to help protect the “Organic” label and trust foods that have been certified we need to support those companies who are truly producing organic food. And we need to let those companies coopting the organic brand know that they do not fool us.
SUPPORT REAL FOOD! Say no to GMOs. Just Label It!
ARSENIC IN CHICKEN: A U.S.-BASED MARKET BASKET SAMPLE
In the United States, arsenic-based drugs are permitted in poultry production. Inorganic arsenic (iAs) causes cancer and other adverse health outcomes. The level of contribution of chicken consumption to iAs intake, however, is unknown.
The objective in this study was to characterize the different arsenic species found in chicken meat and estimate bladder and lung cancer risk associated with consuming chicken produced with arsenic-based drugs.
This objective was met by collecting conventional, conventional antibiotic-free, and organic chicken samples from grocery stores in ten US metropolitan areas from December 2010 to June 2011. 116 raw and 142 cooked samples were tested for total arsenic, and 78 samples were examined to look at different arsenic types.
The results showed a dramatic difference among the samples. iAs concentrations were higher in conventional samples than antibiotic-free or organic samples. Roxarsone was detected in 20 of 40 conventional samples, one of 13 antibiotic-free samples, and none of the 25 organic samples.
iAs concentrations in roxarsone-positive samples were significantly higher than in roxarsone-negative samples. Cooking increased iAs and decreased roxarsone concentrations. Compared to organic chicken consumers, we estimated that conventional chicken consumers’ lifetime exposure could result in 3.7 extra lifetime bladder and lung cancer cases per 100,000 exposed-persons.
Environmental Health Perspectives, May 11, 2013
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Yes Dorothy, organic food really is healthier for you. Conventional chicken meat had higher iAs concentrations than conventional antibiotic-free and organic chicken meat samples. Cessation of arsenical drug use could reduce exposure and the burden of arsenic-related disease in chicken consumers.
Roxarsone is an arsenic compound that is widely used in poultry production as a feed additive to increase weight gain and kill bacteria. The drug is also approved in the United States for use in pigs. In 2006, approximately one million kilograms (2.2 million pounds) of roxarsone were produced in the U.S.
PLASTIC FOOD PACKAGING AND BLOOD PRESSURE IN CHILDREN
According to a new study chemicals found in common plastics could cause high blood pressure in children,
Exposure to the phalates used in food packaging and other items is thought to cause significant metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, especially during early development.
The American scientists who carried out the study claim flooring, plastic cups, beach balls and plastic packaging contain the colorless and odorless toxic additives that are causing a rise in cases of juvenile high blood pressure.
Analysis of nearly 3,000 children by researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Centre, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington and Penn State University School of Medicine, points the finger of blame squarely at a common class of phthalates for the first time.
The report said exposure to DEHP (di-2-ethyhexylphthalate), which is often used in industrial food production, is responsible for elevated systolic blood.
Dr Leonardo Trasande, associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at NYU Langone Medical Centre, said: “We wanted to examine the link between phthalates and childhood blood pressure, in particular given the increase in elevated blood pressure in children and the increasing evidence implicating exposure to environmental chemicals in early development of disease.”
The team only recorded a small rise per child in blood pressure with every three-fold increase in the level of phthalates detected in the children's urine samples, but Dr Tresande says the wider implications of a small rise are significant. “The increment may seem very modest at an individual level, but on a population level such shifts in blood pressure can increase the number of children with elevated blood pressure substantially.”
According to Dr Tresande their research shows it is not just bad diets to blame. “Obesity is driving the trend but our findings suggest that environmental factors may also be a part of the problem. Our study underscores the need for policy initiatives that limit exposure to disruptive environmental chemicals, in combination with dietary and behavioral interventions geared toward protecting cardiovascular health.”
Journal of Pediatrics, May 23, 2013
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Phthalates function as plasticizers in everything from vinyl flooring to detergents, hoses, raincoats, adhesives, air fresheners, medical supplies, shampoos and even toys. Phthalates belong to the "gender-bending" chemicals group that causes males of many species to become more female. Phthalates have also been linked with chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma and autism, and can cause inflammation for at-risk infants. Children have been found to absorb phthalates from crawling around on soft, flexible plastic flooring and plastic play mats.
Exposure to phalates causes elevated systolic blood pressure - a measure of pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, and serious kidney disease. With the increased incidence of high blood pressure in children, every avenue of prevention should be explored. Phthalate exposure can be controlled through regulation and just not buying plastic in the first place.
ALZHEIMER'S, DEMENTIA AND VITAMIN B
Vitamin B for Alzheimer's and dementia delay was the subject of a research study that showed that Vitamin B is “the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked.”
A. David Smith, senior author of the research study, said that “we have proved the concept that you can modify the disease,”.
The results of the study about the effects of Vitamin B on Alzheimer’s and dementia surprised even the author of the study. “A cheap regimen of vitamins in use for decades is seen by scientists as a way to delay the start of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a goal that prescription drugs have failed to achieve.”
The study showed that vitamins B6 and B12 combined with folic acid slowed atrophy of gray matter in brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Brain shrinkage and thus the shrinkage of gray matter in the brain is responsible for mild cognitive impairment which often leads to dementia.
Half of the volunteers who participated in the research study took a daily tablet that contained levels of the B vitamins folate, B6 and B12 well above the recommended daily amount. The other half of the volunteers received a placebo.
All of the participants showed signs of mild memory lapses and language problems that are often seen as a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s and that were due to more than just normal ageing. “The average brain shrinks at a rate of 0.5% a year after the age of 60. The brains of those with mild cognitive impairment shrink twice as fast. Alzheimer's patients have brain shrinkage of 2.5% a year.”
After participating in the study for two years, the rate at which the participants' brains had shrunk was measured. The research team discovered that in those taking the vitamin supplements, brain shrinkage slowed by 30%. In some cases brain shrinkage slowed more than 50%.
According to Professor David Smith, the results of the research study of Vitamin B on Alzheimer’s and dementia were more significant than what he had expected and that the consequences of the study have a bigger effect than anyone could have predicted. The Alzheimer's Research Trust, which co-funded the study, also called for further investigation.
"These vitamins are doing something to the brain structure - they're protecting it, and that's very important because we need to protect the brain to prevent Alzheimer's."
May 21, 2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Regarding B vitamins - folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 – they control levels of a substance known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are associated with faster brain shrinkage and Alzheimer's disease.
Odds are, you haven’t heard about this study. Even though it was published over 2 months ago. Why do you think that is? No drug company stands to make millions from selling these 3 B vitamins. Hence, no fanfare of publicity touting the incredible benefit of these vitamins in preventing Alzheimer’s.
You can get more of these B vitamins by eating lots of green leafy vegetables and some beans, as well as fish, poultry, meat and eggs (all organic of course). Go for it!
Here are some pages that are of particular interest:
Store: There are 398 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 123 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.
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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 compel 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 36 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Beginning 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 is easy 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.
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, plus $8 shipping. I am charging $65 per kit for patients to cover the total.
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.
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