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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #42 - March 2006
Issue #42 - March 2006
  1. Glossary of Homeopathy Terms
  2. How Many Americans Really Die of the Flu Each Year?
  3. Antidepressants Tied to Suicide Risk in Children
  4. Lower Children's Pesticide Exposure
  5. Homeopathy Saves Your Face
  6. Humor
  7. It's Not Just Soda
  8. The Myth of Antibacterial Soap
  9. High Homocysteine Bad for the Bones
  10. Emerson Ecologics

Welcome to this issue of Naturopathic News, issue #42. 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. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.

GLOSSARY OF HOMEOPATHY TERMS

Aggravation - a noticeable intensification of the disease symptoms previously observed. Often associated with the action of the correct homeopathic remedy.

Antidote - a substance, or a remedy, that counteracts the effect of a homeopathic remedy. Strong odors are thought to antidote remedies. Mint is said to be an antidote of Natrum muriaticum. Caffeine antidotes homeopathic remedies. When a person is reacting incorrectly to a homeopathic remedy, an antidote may be given to neutralize the effects.

Characteristic symptom - a symptom that is 'striking, strange, unusual, peculiar' in the case. Close attention is paid to characteristic symptoms as they must correspond to symptoms of the remedy if it is to cure. For example, burning pain better heat, or better lying on the painful side.

Common symptoms - symptoms that are common to a specific disease, for example, stiff joints in arthritis, or yellow skin in jaundice.

Complete symptom - cause, location (including radiation or extension of sensation), sensation, modalities, and concomitants all together comprise a complete symptom.

Concomitant - occurring simultaneously. Refers to symptoms that happen at the same time as the chief complaint. One of the parts of a complete symptom.

Etiology - the cause of disease. One of the aspects of a complete symptom.

Law of Similars - Similia similibus curentur—Let Likes be Cured by Likes. This is the fundamental principle of homeopathic medicine.

Homeopathy - system of natural medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann. Based on the Law of Similars.

Modality - a condition that makes a person or their symptom better or worse. For example, better in a hot bath, abdominal pain better bending over, worse rainy weather, etc. Modalities are one of the parts of a complete symptom.

Nosode - a homeopathic remedy prepared from diseased tissue or the product of disease.

Organon - The Organon of Medicine, by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. This book describes the principles and practice of homeopathy. Hahnemann wrote 6 editions of the Organon from 1810-1842. The sixth edition, though finished in 1842, was not published until 1921.

Potency - the strength of a homeopathic remedy. Determined by how many times the remedy has been succussed and diluted during preparation. A number and a letter are associated with the remedy name to indicate which potency scale has been used. An example of the decimal scale would be Arnica 6x. An example of the centesimal scale would be Arnica 30c. An example of the 50 millesimal scale(LM) would be Arnica LM1. These are the 3 potency scales currently in use.

Potentized - usually refers to a substance prepared according to homeopathic pharmaceutical standards. This means that it has gone through serial dilution and succussion.

Proving - the most accurate method of ascertaining the action of medicines on human health. Medicines (usually potentized) are administered to healthy people to discover the symptoms they are capable of producing and thereby able to cure. Yes, homeopaths have been carrying out placebo controlled trials for over 170 years.

Remedy - medicine, as in homeopathic remedy.

Sensation - the experience of a symptom, what it feels like. One of the parts of a complete symptom.

Simillimum - the most similar remedy corresponding to a case. As such, the remedy most likely to cure.

Succussion - the process of forcefully striking a homeopathic remedy against a firm surface.

Suppression - Any treatment that removes a symptom without curing the whole person.

Vital force - the energy that maintains life in the individual.

HOW MANY AMERICANS REALLY DIE OF THE FLU EACH YEAR?

Ask the American Lung Association. Even better, read their own report from August 2004, titled, "Trends in Pneumonia and Influenza/Morbidity and Mortality. At the bottom of the document, the source is listed as: National Center for Health Statistics, Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1979-2001.

You’ll be surprised at what you find out, especially since the CDC keeps repeating flu-death annual numbers as 36,000. Year in and year out 36,000 people supposedly die from the flu every year in the United States. Every Fall we hear that this is a killer disease. You better hurry up and get your flu shot. You might die without it.

Here are the flu death numbers from the report.

From 1979 to 2001, the stats were released every two years.

1979:   604    1981: 3,006    1983: 1,431    1985: 2,054    1987:   632    1989: 1,593  1991: 1,137   1993: 1,044    1995:   606     1996:   745     1997:   720    1998: 1,724  1999: 1,665   2000: 1,765    2001:   257

Here is the webpage to verify this for yourself

www.lungusa.org/atf/cf/%7B7A8D42C2-FCCA-4604-8ADE7F5D5E762256%7D/PI1.PDF

Starting on page 9 of the document you can find the chart for flu deaths as a separate category. I challenge you to find any number remotely close to 36,000.

So what’s going on here? Basically, when huge annual flu death numbers are being tossed around they’re combining deaths from the flu with deaths from pneumonia. Which of course is quite different from the flu itself.

As the time comes closer to when the avian flu makes it to North America I will be commenting about preventive measures to help ensure yours and your family’s health. Remember, in the 1918 flu pandemic hospital records show that conventional doctor’s mortality rate for treatment was anywhere from the 20-30%. While homeopathic medical practitioners had a 1-3% mortality rate.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS TIED TO SUICIDE RISK IN CHILDREN 
There is a study reported in the March 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry that shows a relationship between antidepressant use and an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children. In 2004, the FDA told manufacturers of the antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to revise their labels to include a “black box” warning. This was to alert health-care providers to an increased risk of suicidality in children and teens. The FDA issued a public health advisory in 2005 that also applied this increased risk for suicide to adults taking SSRIs.

This new study reviewed information from 24 completed clinical trials on pediatric patients taking one of nine antidepressant medications. The studies involved 4,582 children and teens who had been diagnosed with juvenile major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, social anxiety or attention-deficit disorder.

One trial, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, found a more than fourfold increase in suicidality. Overall, children with depression taking SSRIs had a 1.66 higher risk of suicidal ideation and behavior. For all drugs taken by depressed youngsters, the increased risk was almost double.

Dr. Jon A. Shaw, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine, had this comment, “The important take-away message is to be judicious when using [antidepressants], and weigh the potential cost-benefit analysis."

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: “Potential cost-benefit analysis”? Here the cost is, a teen might become suicidal while taking antidepressants. I don’t see any benefit. Unless it’s the money that the drug company’s are making selling these drugs.

When you seek out homeopathic care for mental and emotional issues, including depression, there is absolutely no increased risk for suicidality. The benefit is that you can get well. And you don’t have to take drugs that might make you worse.

LOWER CHILDREN'S PESTICIDE EXPOSURE

In a study involving 23 elementary school-aged children, eating an organic diet significantly lowered exposure to organophosphorus pesticides. During the first and third phases of the study, the children consumed a conventional food diet, and during the second phase (days 4-8) organic foods were substituted in the children’s diets.

Twice daily urine samples were taken from the children throughout the study period. Immediately after the introduction of the organic diet, concentrations of the specific metabolites for malathion and chlorpyrifos (two common organophosphate pesticides used in agricultural production and mosquito spraying) decreased to non-detectable levels, and remained non-detectable until the conventional diets were reintroduced.

Organophosphate pesticides are known to cause neurological damage in humans and animals and there are some concerns that they are also carcinogenic.

This study suggests that the consumption of an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against dietary exposure to organophosphorus pesticides.

Lu C, Toepel K, et al. Organic diets significantly lower children's dietary exposure to organophosphorus pesticides. Environ HealthPerspect 2006;114(2):260-263.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: What a great study! One of the prime reasons for feeding your children organic foods is to decrease the health risk caused by pesticides. Children are particularly susceptible to these poisons as their nervous systems (Brains!) are still developing, they consume a lot of some of the most poisoned commercial foods—cow’s milk and apples, and their organs of detoxification (liver, kidneys) are not fully functional. If you’ve been following our recommendations to eat organic here’s proof that you’ve been doing the right thing for yourself and your family.

HOMEOPATHY SAVES YOUR FACE

It’s not such a big secret anymore. Plastic surgeons have been using homeopathic medicines to help their patients heal faster. A recent study in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (2006;8:54–9) shows that the homeopathic remedy Arnica montana significantly decreased the amount of facial bruising after surgery.

In this double-blind clinical trial, 29 women undergoing a facelift (rhytidectomy) were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or homeopathic Arnica12 C starting the morning before surgery, and then repeated every eight hours for four days. Computerized digital image analysis of photographs taken before and after surgery were used to evaluate the amount of facial bruising and swelling. Facial bruising and swelling were evaluated by doctors and nurses, and also by. When compared with placebo, the area of ecchymosis (bruising) was significantly smaller for those patients taking Arnica.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: It is difficult to design clinical trials that adequately evaluate homeopathic medicine. Those difficulties aside, an increasing number of research studies over the last 10 years have shown the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine. One of the most compelling was a 1997 review of 89 placebo-controlled trials that demonstrated clear results beyond that of placebo.

HUMOR

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons, and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs.

IT’S NOT JUST SODA

Well, not according to Jasmine Roberts, a seventh-grader whose science project showed something else. She examined the amount of bacteria in ice served at fast food restaurants. The 12-year-old compared the ice used in the drinks with the water from toilet bowls in the same restaurants. Seventy percent of the time, the ice had more bacteria than the toilet water.

Jasmine said she has always been interested in water quality and its link to health issues. Last year, she compared hotel ice to toilet water. She decided to branch out to restaurants this year. For this project, Jasmine visited five fast food restaurants near the University of South Florida. She collected ice samples from self-service dispensers inside the restaurants, as well as ice from drinks served through drive-through windows. She also collected samples of toilet water from those restaurants.

Jasmine found that in four of the five restaurants, the ice that came from the self-serve machines had more bacteria than the toilet water. Three of the five cups of ice from the drive-through windows had more bacteria than the toilet water. Of the bacteria found in the ice, three out of the five restaurants tested positive for fecal coliform or E. coli, organisms that come from the feces of warm-blooded animals. Health symptoms related to the presence of coliform include cramps and diarrhea. E. coli can cause intestinal illness and sometimes more serious conditions.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: The moral of this story is not to get soda without ice. It’s just another nail in the coffin for this ubiquitous non-food. Some other nails:

#1. Obesity

Soft drink consumption rose more than 60 percent among adults and more than doubled in kids from 1977-97. The prevalence of obesity roughly doubled in that time. Scientists say these parallel trends are one criterion for proving cause-and-effect.

Numerous studies link sugary drink consumption with weight gain or obesity. One by Ludwig of 548 Massachusetts schoolchildren found that for each additional sweet drink consumed per day, the odds of obesity increased 60 percent.

Another at Harvard of 51,603 nurses compared two periods, 1991-95 and 1995-99, and found that women whose soda drinking increased had bigger rises in body-mass index than those who drank less or the same.

#2. Heart disease and Diabetes

The main sweetener in soda — high-fructose corn syrup — can increase fats in the blood called triglycerides, which raises the risk of heart problems, diabetes and other health woes.

#3. Sugar-sweetened beverages affect the intake of other foods.

Dietary patterns of 9,500 American adults were examined in a federal study from 1999-2002. Those who drank healthier beverages — water or herb tea— were more likely to eat vegetables and less likely to eat fast food. Conversely, fast-food consumption was doubled if they were high soda consumers and vegetable consumption was halved.

THE MYTH OF ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP

The American Medical Association (AMA) is doubting the use of antibacterial soap. There is no evidence that these products stop infection any better than regular soap. The concern is that increased use of antibacterial products is one of the causes of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For this reason alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being recommended instead of the antibacterial additives triclocarban (for hard soaps) and triclosan (for liquid soaps). In 2002 the AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs suggested that consumers stop using antibacterial soaps.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: For years I’ve been discouraging the proliferation of household antibacterial products such as soaps, bandaids, and cleaning products. None of these products ever kill all bacteria (thankfully!), meaning that the ones that survive become resistant to antibiotics in the long run. Which means that, when you really need an antibiotic odds are the bacteria are already resistant.

When I was in naturopathic medical school in the late 1980s antibacterial soaps were used mostly in health care environments. Since then, these products have grown into a multi billion dollar industry. 72 percent of all liquid soap sold in the United States contains antibacterial ingredients.

But a March 2 2004 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that people who use antibacterial soaps and cleansers develop cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who use products that do not contain antibacterial ingredients. So there is no reason to use these soaps. Unless you let commercials scare you into buying these worthless products.

HIGH HOMOCYSTEINE BAD FOR THE BONES

Women who have high levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood are at increased risk for low bone mineral density (BMD), European investigators report. "Our finding adds to the increasing evidence that homocysteine is important for bone health," stated Dr. Clara Gram Gjesdal from the University of Bergen in Norway.

"Osteoporosis is a major public health problem with increasing consequences as people live longer," she said. "If the modest associations observed in our study are causal, the public health implications may be significant because high homocysteine levels respond to intake of folate and other B vitamins."

Using data from a population-based cohort of more than 5,300 middle-aged and elderly men and women, researchers observed that total homocysteine level was inversely related to hip BMD among middle-aged and elderly women. Women with high homocysteine levels were nearly two times more likely to have low BMD compared with women with low homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine predicted osteoporosis among women after adjusting for confounding factors such as smoking, physical activity, intake of vitamin D and calcium, and use of estrogen.

Archives of Internal Medicine, January 9, 2006.

DR. PAIS’S COMMENT: For several years now high serum homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The best approach to this issue is a nutritional one, not a drug one. High homocysteine levels are most easily reduced by the correct amounts of 3 different B vitamins—B6, folate, and B12. This study seems to suggest that osteoporosis might be treated by lowering high homocysteine (with these same B vitamins).

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 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