Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Could This 'Forbidden Medicine' Eliminate the Need for Drugs?

Could This 'Forbidden Medicine' Eliminate the Need for Drugs?
Posted by: Dr. Mercola December 22 2009 51,297 views
Amy L. Lansky, PhD
Perhaps the most derided of alternative medicines is my own favorite – homeopathy. Over the past few years, detractors have focused their efforts in the United Kingdom and have succeeded in crippling homeopathic hospitals and clinics funded by the National Health Service, as well as the practices of many homeopaths.

A few well-placed editorials in prominent newspapers have done the trick, despite the fact that Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family are ardent supporters of homeopathy.

It now seems that some of these folks are taking their show on the road. Two key UK players, Michael Baum and Edzard Ernst have published a commentary in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine [1] in which they state, “a belief in homeopathy exceeds the tolerance of an open mind. We should start from the premise that homeopathy cannot work and that positive evidence reflects publication bias or design flaws until proved otherwise.”

Not surprisingly, their commentary also reflects a complete ignorance of homeopathy and the range of studies that support its effectiveness. For example, their article incorrectly uses the term “potentation” instead of “potentization” for the method used to create homeopathic remedies (more on this later). The authors also insist on citing a single negative meta-analysis study that has already been shown to be methodologically flawed [2], while ignoring many positive studies in respected publications, including two other meta-analyses that showed positive results [3—8].

So why do the skeptics love to hate homeopathy? Perhaps because it is one of the most threatening alternative modalities – financially, philosophically, and therapeutically. Actually, homeopathy has been a threat to allopathy ever since the 1800s, when German physician Samuel Hahnemann developed the homeopathic system.

Founder of Homeopathy
Hahnemann, a respected doctor and chemist who helped to pioneer the importance of hygiene as well as homeopathy, was forced to move frequently during his life because the local German apothecaries objected to the fact that he created his own medicines rather than use theirs.

A fierce battle was also waged against homeopathy in the United States during the 1800s, where homeopathy had achieved a strong presence by 1840. In fact, in 1847, the American Medical Association (AMA) was formed specifically to fight the battle against homeopathy.

Most homeopaths of the 1800s were former allopaths who had abandoned their brethren because they found Hahnemann’s system to be more successful in battling cholera, typhus, yellow fever, diptheria, influenza, and other epidemics of the 1800s. In retaliation, the preamble to the AMA’s charter forbade its members to associate with homeopaths or to use their medicines, and many doctors were expelled for failing to comply.

But does homeopathy really pose such a threat to conventional medicine today? To see how the little David of homeopathy could take down the Goliath of big pharma, we need to take a closer look at what homeopathy is all about.

Like Cures Like - - Law of Similars
Homeopathic practice is based on a single law of therapeutics called the Law of Similars. This law states that a substance that can cause the symptoms of a disease can also cure it. In fact, that’s exactly what word “homeopathy” means: similar (“homeo”) suffering (“pathy”). For example, one reason that the remedy Coffea Cruda (made from coffee) can be curative for insomnia is that coffee can cause sleeplessness. Interestingly, allopaths sometimes utilize the Law of Similars, but are unaware of it when they do and are perplexed by the phenomenon.

Ask any conventional doctor why Ritalin (a substance that would normally cause hyperactivity) can treat hyperactivity in children, and they’ll scratch their heads in confusion. Ask a homeopath, and it’s a no-brainer: the Law of Similars.

The reason why homeopaths run into trouble with the skeptics, though, revolves around how homeopathic remedies are prepared. Obviously, many of the substances that can cause the symptoms of disease are toxic. This inherent toxicity poses a challenge if you want to administer these substances safely.

In an effort to deal with this problem, Hahnemann tried various methods of diluting his medicines so that they would become less harmful to his patients. This proved unsuccessful until he also incorporated vigorous shaking or succussion into the process. The result was a method that he called potentization, in which a substance is serially diluted and succussed over and over.

Much to Hahnemann’s own surprise, these ultradilutions – so dilute that they cannot possibly contain a single molecule of the original substance – were still potent therapeutically. In fact, they were even more potent than low levels of dilution.

Of course, this was and still is too much for the skeptics to bear. It turns much of accepted science on its head!

What the skeptics keep ignoring, however, are an increasing number of scientific studies that indicate that some kind of signature of the original substance is embedded in a potentized ultradilution. In a 2007 paper by Professor Rustom Roy, the founding director of the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State and one of the world's leading experts on the structure of water, it was demonstrated that lab instruments could pick up energetic signatures in ultradilutions that were not only specific to individual homeopathic remedies, but to specific potencies of these remedies [9, 10].

Indeed, science has backed up the phenomenon of potentization for over 20 years. In 1988, Nobel Prize nominee and medical researcher Jacques Benveniste turned the course of his life upside down when he discovered that ultradilutions could retain substance-specific properties. In particular, he found that a certain antibody could be serially diluted and succussed beyond the point where a single molecule could remain, but still cause the same effects [11].

Naturally, the skeptics quickly attacked Benveniste. But he continued his work and further demonstrated that the electromagnetic signature of an ultradilution could be recorded electronically, transmitted via Email, replayed into water, and still achieve the same substance-specific effects in the laboratory [12]. Eventually, Benveniste’s results were replicated [13]. Most recently, a 2009 paper by Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier underscored the power of ultradilutions too [14].

Drug Companies are Running Scared
Now think about it. This is what big pharma is scared of.
What if an expensive drug could be potentized to create billions of effective doses at essentially no cost? It would destroy big pharma entirely. Medicines that cost essentially nothing? Nontoxic ultradiluted medicines that cause fewer side effects? How could the coffers of big pharma be sustained? Forget about the Law of Similars. It’s potentization – the process of creating effective ultradilutions – that big pharma is scared of! No wonder Baum and Ernst got the word “potentization” wrong. This one word is the small stone that could take Goliath down.

Of course, homeopaths add fuel to the fire. The fundamental philosophy of homeopathy implies that the primary tools of allopathy are harmful. In particular, homeopaths believe that suppressing symptoms with anti-pathic drugs – drugs that oppose the symptoms of a disease rather than mimic them – cannot cure and can even do harm. If a symptom is suppressed – for example, if a seasonal allergy is suppressed by an antihistamine – it is only temporarily palliated.

A patient still has allergic tendencies and his or her symptoms will eventually return. That’s why suppressive drugs must be taken again and again. And of course, big pharma loves that! It’s good for business.

Deceptive Cures
Unfortunately, if a substance succeeds in completely suppressing a symptom, there may be an illusion of “cure,” but the real result is more sinister. Another key tenet of homeopathy is that the true result of suppression is a deepening of the underlying disease state – because the energy of the disease is now forced to manifest in a more serious way.

That’s why repeated application of cortisone cream to eczema can lead to asthma. That’s why the suppression of arthritis pain can lead to heart disease. That’s why teenagers who take acne drugs sometimes develop suicidal depression.

Doctors call this phenomenon a “side effect” or a “natural disease progression.” But that’s because they don’t understand the effects of suppression or the signs of true cure.

Over the past two hundred years, homeopaths have discovered that homeopathic medicines – drugs that mimic a person’s symptoms rather than oppose them – can lead to genuine cure of chronic disease, not mere palliation or suppression. Rather than creating a deeper disease, a homeopathic medicine that is similar to a patient’s disease can not only cure it, but reveal previously suppressed layers of disease that can be treated too.

That’s why good homeopathic treatment can often cure asthma – and also reveal and treat previously suppressed eczema. That’s why it has the potential to cure arthritis and chronic bladder infections, not simply palliate them with endless medications. Indeed, homeopathy can effectively treat acute diseases like influenza and bacterial infections too. With its ability to successfully treat both chronic and acute disease with low-cost medicines, homeopathy really could be a threat to big pharma, given half a chance.

Ideal for Poor Countries or Rich Ones with Declining Economies
Poor countries with less access to expensive drugs have already discovered this. That’s why homeopathy is the second most widespread form of medicine in the world. In India, homeopathy is a full-fledged medical system with its own medical schools and hospitals. Homeopaths in India successfully treat the full range of diseases, including AIDS, cancer, and malaria.

In Cuba, a poor country with a health care system that often does better than our own, homeopathy is being used more and more. In 2008, 2.5 million Cubans were given a homeopathic remedy to prevent Leptospirosis, an infectious disease also known as swamp fever.
This disease has plagued the country for several years in the aftermath of flooding, but the year in which homeopathy was used, in contrast to previous years, there were no fatalities and very few cases of the disease [15].

But here’s the rub. Homeopathy is harder to practice than allopathy. There are no cookie-cutter cures, especially for chronic disease. (Luckily, however, effective treatment of epidemic diseases like the flu is easier; see Resources.) Each patient’s health pattern is unique, so each patient must be treated as an individual.

A homeopath must find a single remedy (among thousands of possible homeopathic remedies) whose associated symptoms match those of the patient – not just their main complaint, but their entire symptom picture that includes emotional, mental, behavioral, as well as the physical symptoms of the entire body. It’s a daunting task. A practitioner who practices classical homeopathy (the kind of homeopathy I advocate) typically needs at least two hours for an initial case interview and may spend just as long deciding upon a remedy.

And sometimes it takes a homeopath several tries to find just the right remedy – the one that homeopaths call the simillimum. This process also requires patients to engage in their own treatment, because symptoms are gathered not by machines or by using tests, but through direct communication between patient and homeopath.

Of course, this is not something big pharma, conventional doctors, or insurance companies would be happy about. No expensive medicines or tests or equipment needed? No five-minute appointments reimbursed at $300 a shot? A medical system that requires long appointments, time for case analysis, and patients who must participate in the healing process? Not very lucrative.

How I Broke Out of the Mold and Reliance on Failed Medical Therapies
Of course, I used to be a lover of conventional medicine like most people. Back in the early 1990s, my husband Steve Rubin and I were both computer researchers in Silicon Valley and followed our doctors’ instructions obediently, loading our kids up with every recommended vaccine on schedule. Our allopathic trance began to break in 1994 when our 3-year-old son Max began to show signs of autism.
I first read about homeopathy in the January 1995 issue of Mothering Magazine, which contained an article about the successful homeopathic treatment of ADD and other children’s behavioral problems [16]. Steve and I decided to give it a try and found a practitioner in our area. Within a week we began to see small and subtle improvement in Max – improvement that became a slow and steady trend. After two years of treatment, he was testing normally and was released from eligibility for special education benefits.

His speech and language therapist told the county representative that she had never seen an autistic child recover like Max had, and she fully credited homeopathy for his recovery. By the time he was eight, nearly all signs of Max’s autism were gone. Today he is 18, a freshman at a leading university, completely autism free, and without restrictions of any kind.

Needless to say, this experience was both mind-boggling and life-transforming. I began to study homeopathy myself and ultimately wrote what became the best-selling patient education book in the USA – Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy [17] – a comprehensive introduction to homeopathic history, philosophy, science, and experience, sprinkled with dozens first-person cure stories for a variety of ailments, along with a chapter about Max’s cure.

In the end, I left my work in computer science and devoted myself to letting others know about the healing powers of homeopathy. I got involved in the successful campaign for health freedom legislation in California too [18]. Steve also got involved and developed the National Vaccine Information Center’s online interface to the VAERS database [19] (the CDC’s public record of vaccine injuries). I guess Max’s healing led us both to become alternative medicine activists, and we haven’t looked back.

So why not take a look at homeopathy for yourself? Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a good classical practitioner and to learn more about this amazing medical modality. The skeptics manage to create a lot of smoke in an effort to hide homeopathy from public view. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Find out about how this powerful healing system – a system that packs a lot of firepower into an infinitesimal punch – can help you and your family.

(1) Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy – http://www.impossiblecure.com/.
This website includes: book ordering information; autism help page; free archive of Amy’s show on AutismOne Radio – There’s Hope with Homeopathy; Cure Stories Database; helpful links.
(2) National Center for Homeopathy – http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/.

Leading open-membership organization for homeopathy in the USA that organizes the yearly national conference. Membership buys a quarterly magazine, Homeopathy Today, monthly eNewsetter, online chats with leading experts, extensive online resources and social network. Website includes many free resources, including practitioner and resource referrals lists and flu treatment information.

[1] Baum, Michael and Edzard Ernst, “Should We Maintain an Open Mind about Homeopathy?” The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 122, No. 11, pp. 973-974 (November 2009).
[2] Shang, A. et al. “Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? Comparative Study of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Homeopathy and Allopathy,” The Lancet, 366, pp. 726-732 (2005).
An extensive refutation of the results of this study, including statistical analyses and evidence of foul-play, can be found here
[3] Linde, K. et al. “Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials,” The Lancet, 250, pp. 834-843 (1997).
[4] Kleijnen, J. et al. “Clinical Trials of Homeopathy,” British Medical Journal, 302, pp. 316-323 (1991).
[5] Jacobs, J. et al. “Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua,” Pediatrics, Vol. 83, No. 5, pp. 719-725 (1994).
[6] Bell, I.R. et al. “Improved Clinical Status in Fibromyalgia Patients Treated with Individualized Homeopathic Remedies Versus Placebo,” Rheumatology, 2004b; 43 (5):577-82.
[7] Taylor, M.A. et al. “Randomised Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy Versus Placebo in Perennial Allergic Rhinitis with Overview of Four Trial Series,” British Medical Journal, 321, pp. 471-476 (2000).
[8] For more trials, see http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/ (under Articles, click Research).
[9] Rao, et al. “The Defining Role of Structure (Including Epitaxy) in the Plausibility of Homeopathy,” Homeopathy, 96, pp. 175-182 (2007).
[10] Rao, et. Al. “Characterization of the Structure of Ultra Dilute Sols with Remarkable Biological Properties,” Materials Letters, Vol. 62, Issues 10-11, pp. 1487-1490 (2008).
[11] Davenas, et al. “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Againt IgE,” Nature, Vol. 333, No. 6176, pp. 816-818 (1988).
[12] Aissa, J. et al. “Transatlantic Transfer of Digitized Antigen Signal by Telephone Link,” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 99:S175 (1997).
[13] Brown, V. and M. Ennis. “Flow-Cytometric Analysis of Basophil Activation: Inhibition by Histamine at Conventional and Homeopathic Concentrations,” Inflammation Research, 50, Supplement (2), S47-S48 (2001).
[14] Montagnier, Luc, et al. “Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences,” Insterdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci, 1:81-90 (2009).
[15] http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/successful-use-of-homeopathy-in-over-5-million-people-reported-from-cuba/
[16] Reichenberg-Ullman, J. “A Homeopathic Approach to Behavioral Problems,” Mothering, Number 74, pp. 97-101 (1995).
[17] Lansky, Amy. Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy. R.L. Ranch Press (2003).
[18] http://www.californiahealthfreedom.com/.
About the Author
Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a Silicon Valley computer scientist when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In April 2003 she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, one of the best-selling books on homeopathy in the USA (http://www.impossiblecure.com/).
Amy is an executive board member of the National Center for Homeopathy (http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/). She speaks and writes internationally about homeopathy and hosts a monthly radio show on Autism One Radio (http://www.autismone.org/).

Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diabetes Epidemic Expected to Double

Reprinted with Permission of
Dr. Mercola December 15 2009

According to recent estimates, the total number of Americans with diabetes will almost double in the next 25 years -- from the current 23.7 million to 44.1 million in 2034. Annual costs for treating those patients are expected to soar, nearly tripling from the current $113 billion to some $336 billion.

The figures are, if anything, on the conservative side, since they are based on the notion that obesity levels will plateau, and even decline, by 2033. If actual prevalence outpaces these estimates, the cases of diabetes, and resulting costs, could be even higher.

Past estimates often dramatically underestimated just how quickly the problem would grow. Figures from 1991 projected that some 11.6 million Americans would have diabetes by 2030. In fact, that's fewer than half of the total number of Americans with diabetes right now.
Time November 27, 2009
Diabetes Care December 2009, vol. 32 no. 12 2225-2229

Dr. Mercola’s Comments

Diabetes cases are growing at lightning speed. Nearly 14 percent of men and 12 percent of women
over 30 in the United States have diabetes, and close to one-third of them don’t know it.

But even worse are those with pre-diabetes, who are a hair’s breath away from the full-blown disease. Nearly one in four people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes.

That is just absolutely amazing. ONE IN FOUR. Please read that again a few times. Again, many are walking around clueless that they have this illness.

Further, in the next 25 years the number of people with diabetes is expected to double to over 44 million, while annual costs for treating those patients are expected to nearly triple from the current $113 billion to $336 billion.

Most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes, so this is an issue very close to my heart. It’s also a disease that is becoming so commonplace that it’s easy to overlook the very serious consequences it can have on your health.

But diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly. It increases your risk of heart disease and brings on fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events
15 years earlier than in those without diabetes, as well as significantly shortens your lifespan.

The additional health complications that diabetes fosters are numerous, and quite serious, including:

Heart disease and stroke
High blood pressure
Kidney disease
Nervous system disease
Dental disease
Pregnancy complications

Why are Diabetes Cases Surging?
The latest statistics on diabetes in the US are a very sad testament and a major clue that conventional medicine has it all wrong; their standard diabetes recommendations -- both in terms of medication and nutrition -- are incorrect.

At best, they simply do not work. At worst, they’re aggravating your problem and speeding up the deteriorating disease process.

By some estimates, diabetes has increased more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. What does this tell you about the advice you’ve been given and the direction you’ve been led in by conventional medicine?

There’s no doubt in my mind that if government agencies and the medical community would do the right thing; i.e. stop catering to the greedy demands of the industries of sugar, grain and pharmaceuticals, and start issuing recommendations that actually promote health rather than deteriorating it further, this modern epidemic would be curbed in fairly short order.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of physicians are still seriously confused about this issue, which is why most doctors cause diabetics to D. I. E.

Serious Problems With Conventional Diabetes Recommendations
Diabetes is NOT a blood sugar disease like your doctor may have led you to believe.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease caused by insulin resistance and faulty leptin signaling
, both of which are regulated through your diet.

Until that concept becomes well-known in both the medical community and by the public at large, the misconception about what diabetes is and the appropriate way to treat it will continue to be promoted.

Conventional treatment that is focused on fixing the symptom of elevated blood sugar, rather than addressing the underlying disease, is doomed to fail in most cases. Treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication. It just trades one evil for another.

Since most treatments for type 2 diabetes utilize drugs that either raise insulin or lower blood sugar, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the additional diseases and the shortened lifespan that diabetics experience.

Let me assure you, the cure for type 2 diabetes has NOTHING to do with giving insulin. Giving someone with type 2 diabetes insulin is one of the WORST things that can be done. Any physician doing this is suffering from ignorance of insulin physiology.

If You Have Diabetes, You Need to Know About Leptin
The hormone leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether you become insulin resistant or not.

Leptin, a relatively recently discovered hormone produced by fat, tells your body and brain how much energy it has, whether it needs more (saying "be hungry"), whether it should get rid of some (and stop being hungry) and importantly what to do with the energy it has (reproduce, upregulate cellular repair, or not).

In fact, the two most important organs that may determine whether you become (type 2, insulin resistant) diabetic or not are your liver and your brain, and it is their ability to listen to leptin that will determine this.

When your blood sugar becomes elevated it is a signal for insulin to be released to direct the extra energy into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen in your body, but the majority is stored as your main energy supply -- fat. Thus, in this regard insulin's major role is not to lower sugar, but to take the extra energy and store it for future times of need.
Insulin lowers your blood sugar as a side effect of directing the extra energy into storage.

This is why treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.

Please understand that if you only implement strategies to treat your blood sugar level, you are destined for premature death. Taking insulin is one of the WORST things you can do, as it will actually make your insulin and leptin resistance worse over time.

Most Diabetes Cases Can be Cured With Lifestyle Changes
Nearly 100 percent of type 2 diabetics can be successfully treated -- meaning you will no longer have the symptoms of diabetes, or the high risk of developing health complications -- if you are willing to implement the recommendations I provide below.

If you follow these recommendations, your likelihood of successfully going off of drugs and having normal blood sugars is close to 100%, as treating type 2 diabetes is simply a matter of implementing some basic strategies to improve your insulin and leptin resistance:

1. Exercise
Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, without which you’re highly unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is clearly one of the most potent ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance.

Typically, you’ll need large amounts of exercise, until you get your blood sugar levels under control. You may need up to an hour or two a day. Naturally, you’ll want to gradually work your way up to that amount, based on your current level of fitness.

2. Eliminate Grains and Sugars
For the last 50 years, many people have been following the nutritional recommendations dictated by conventional health agencies, which advise a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet. The end result has been a 700 percent increase in diabetes in the same time frame and many have come to view diabetes as an incurable chronic disease…

This is clearly not true; rather, it’s the inevitable result of seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Instead, you’ll want to eliminate foods that your body will react to by creating insulin, which includes all types of sugars and grains -- even “healthy” grains such as whole, organic grains. This means avoiding all breads, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, and corn (which is in fact a grain). You may even need to avoid fruits until your blood sugar is under control.

3. Eat Right for Your Nutritional Type

Exercising and avoiding grains and sugars might not be enough unless you balance your protein, carb and fat ratios for your unique and specific genetic biochemistry. This is based on The Metabolic Typing Diet.™

4. Monitor Your Fasting Insulin Level
This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 to 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin receptor sensitivity is.

The recommendations mentioned above are the key steps you need to achieve this reduction.

5. Optimize Your Vitamin D Level**
Interestingly, optimizing your vitamin D levels can not only help improve type 2 diabetes if you have it, but can likely eliminate the risk of type 1 diabetes
in your children if you are pregnant. It’s also vital for infants to receive the appropriate amounts of vitamin D in their early years for these same reasons.

Ideally, you’ll want to do this by exposing a large amount of your skin to
appropriate amounts of sunshine (or a safe tanning bed) on a regular basis, year-round. Your body can safely create up to 20,000 units of vitamin D a day this way.

However, if neither of these options are available, you may want to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. But remember, if you choose to take an oral supplement it’s essential that you get your levels tested regularly by a proficient lab
to make sure you’re not reaching toxic levels, and are within the therapeutic range. Maintaining your vitamin D levels around 60-80 ng/ml can significantly help control your blood sugar.

These are the top steps you should take, starting today, if you have type 2 diabetes. Doing so will virtually guarantee that your diabetes will disappear. And if you want to make sure you are not one of the millions impacted by the coming diabetes epidemic, these same steps will help you to stay healthy and diabetes-free.

**Vitamin D testing can be done with a simple blood test at our office in Rolla, MO. We also have a great Micelized vitamin D3 supplement available for those who need it. Studies show that most americans are low on vitamin D.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alpha Lipoic Acid - Diabetes and Cardiovascular Health

The first time alpha lipoic acid was reported as beneficial for diabetics was in 1951. By the late 1980s, researchers realized that alpha lipoic acid had long been overlooked as a powerful antioxidant. It has been proven to slow aging, help protect against heart disease, and strengthen our immune system (which fights against infections, including colds, flu, pneumonia, cancer, etc). More recently, alpha lipoic acid has been shown to increase brain and memory function, as well as muscle strength. Athletes report that it also improves endurance.

In addition to it being a strong antioxidant itself, alpha lipoic acid also greatly improves the function the other antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and E and coenzyme Q-10. In fact, alpha lipoic acid has been called the "universal" or "ideal" antioxidant because it can work in more parts of the body than either vitamin E or C can.

It is well reported that antioxidants should be employed for the treatment of all atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Vitamins C and E and coenzyme Q-10* are well known and respected antioxidants, but all have limitations. Since Alpha Lipoic Acid has no restrictions, it is certainly an indispensable nutrient in treating cardiovascular disorders.

Diabetic patients should be especially excited to learn that alpha lipoic acid speeds the removal of glucose from the blood stream. Also it has been effectively used in Europe for nearly 30 years to treat nerve damage, including that caused by diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid protects our nervous systems from diabetes, in addition to other devastating nerve disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. In Germany, it is an approved medical treatment for most types of nerve damage.

Very small amounts of alpha lipoic acid are produced by our bodies, and it is found in only very small amounts in red meat, spinach and potatoes. The richest source is liver; however, you would have to consume 50 tons of beef liver to get 100 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid.

The unavoidable and literally epidemic amount of pollution in our modern environment makes supplementing with antioxidants essential for good health.

Supplementation is the only way to obtain adequate amounts of antioxidants for prevention or treatment of any chronic disease. There are no unwanted side effects from Alpha Lipoic Acid. Most authorities suggest we take between 50 and 100 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid daily.

Diabetes and Alpha Lipoic Acid
Eighty percent of all diabetics are classified as type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetics. While type 1 diabetics must take insulin injections to live, type 2 diabetics commonly produce as much insulin as ever. The problem in type 2 diabetics is they have lost the ability to utilize their insulin.

In order for type 2 diabetics to recover their ability to utilize insulin, three steps are essential:
1) Dietary modification: Saturated (trans) fats and refined sugar must be avoided while consuming foods that are easily metabolized (vegetables and fruits).

2) An adequate exercise program: It must be vigorous enough to cause the body to better utilize its insulin.

3) Adequate nutrition through proper diet and supplements: Even though most diabetic patients are overweight, they are malnourished.

The most common problem for diabetics is nerve damage closely followed by cardiovascular disease.

Alpha lipoic acid is indispensable in improving utilization of insulin and reversing nerve damage.

Nerve damage from diabetes causes muscle weakness which leads to an irregular heart rate and numbness with burning and extreme pain, especially in the feet. The first symptom of nerve damage from diabetes may be foot drop caused by weakening muscles. Blindness, kidney failure, and amputations are all expected diabetic complications which are caused by arteriosclerotic disease and nerve damage.

There are no effective medicines for treating diabetes. However, there is now hope. Recent studies report that the antioxidant nutrient, alpha lipoic acid, can begin restoring nerve function after only four months of high dose treatment.

The first clear evidence that nutritional treatment can reverse the nerve damage done by diabetes was produced by a German team. Seventy-three type 2 diabetics from seven German medical centers were ultimately selected and randomly assigned to receive either 800/mg of alpha lipoic acid or a placebo (sugar pill). At study's end (four months), there was appreciable improvement in those taking alpha lipoic acid while no change was noted in the placebo group.

In 1993, Diabetes Care reported that gamma-linolenic acid from borage, black currant seed, or oil of evening primrose would reduce the always-present inflammation in diabetes. Yet, so far it has not gained favor with traditional medicine. It is probably safe to assume alpha lipoic acid will meet the same fate.

* Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to reduce inflammation and have beneficial affects on Diabetes, Heart Disease and other inflammatory conditions.

For more information on CoQ10 visit our website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12 Days of Health and Wellness

Well it's that time of year again. When people say hustle and bustle around the holidays what they are referring to is stress. There are many ways to help reduce stress, but during the festive holidays its difficult to avoid sugary foods and stay on top of your exercise routine.

The ACA has created some great informational pages for the holidays called 12 days of Health and Wellness for the Christmas season. You can go to their web site to view them or click on the links below. http://www.acatoday.org/12days/

Day 1: Don't Overload on Holiday Treats

Day 2: Make Time for Exercise

Day 3: Keep Your Feet Pain Free for the Holidays

Day 4: Watch Your Back

Day 5: Relieve Your Headache Naturally

Day 6: Relax and Rejuvenate

Day 7: Travel Right

Day 8: Get a Good Nights Sleep

Day 9: Enjoy Winter Activities

Day 10: Consider Safety when Decorating

Day 11: Wrap the Right Way

Day 12: Take Care of Yourself and Enjoy the Holidays

The American Chiropractic Association is a great source for health information. We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and A Happy and Healthy New Year. For more health tips listen to our radio show Tuesday mornings on KTTR/KZNN 99.7 FM or 1490 AM in Rolla, or go to the radio show page on our website and listen on line. You can also sign up for our e-newsletters on our website http://www.drkessinger.com/.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Miracle-Ear® is at Kessinger Health and Wellness Diagnostic Center

Did you know that you can visit your Miracle-Ear® representative at Kessinger Health and Wellness Diagnostic Center? All you need to do is call their number 800-456-2540 and make an appointment to visit with them at our office in Rolla.

Miracle-Ear® has been helping hearing impaired people find solutions that fit their lifestyle and budget for over 60 years, and for the last couple years we have had many satisfied patients use their services right here in our office.

About Hearing Loss
Growing Fastest Among Baby Boomers, Yet Largely Ignored

Hearing is essential to full enjoyment and participation in life. Unfortunately, today 1 in 10 Americans — over 30 million people — experience some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third leading chronic health condition among Americans, after arthritis and high blood pressure.

Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
You might be a little surprised to know that the typical person with hearing loss waits over five years to see a health care professional for an evaluation. Although hearing loss is not a life threatening condition, it is a condition that does lower the overall quality of life for those suffering from it. The good news is that well-designed clinical studies have shown that when hearing aids are properly fitted they significantly improve the overall quality of life for their users.

The downside to choosing to wait until your hearing loss gets worse, or not wearing them at all, has also been well documented. There are several reasons for taking the advice of your Miracle Ear professional, and beginning the process of hearing aid use now. Below is a list of the reasons for taking action today. Evidence clearly shows that there are serious negative consequences if you wait to use hearing aids.

1. The Effects of Auditory Deprivation
Auditory deprivation is the term used to describe a decrease in speech understanding resulting from a hearing loss. In simple terms, hearing loss starves the auditory centers in the brain of acoustic information. The good news is that hearing aids, which allow the auditory centers of your brain to “stay busy,” have been proven to help this potential problem. Using hearing aids now will stave of the effects of auditory deprivation.

2. The Binaural Advantage
It’s easy to think that wearing only one hearing aid will be enough to combat the negative effects of hearing loss. Unfortunately, the vast majority of studies over the past 25 years have shown that two hearing aids provide more benefit and satisfaction to their users than wearing only one. Since every patient is unique, it is up to you and your Miracle Ear professional to sort out the individual advantages of binaural hearing with two hearing aids.

3. Social and Emotional Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
There is also considerable evidence, much of it archived at The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) website, suggesting that patients with untreated hearing loss suffer more from depression and social isolation compared to those of similar age who wear hearing aids. Patients with hearing loss are more likely to be depressed and suffer from the many quality of life effects of it, than patients of similar hearing loss that have chosen to wear hearing instruments. To learn more go to http://www.betterhearing.org/.

Economic Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
There is also evidence suggesting that hearing impaired patients choosing not to wear hearing aids earn less when compared to hearing impaired patients who chose to use hearing aids. There is a growing body of evidence showing that there are substantial economic consequences to a person’s decision to delay hearing aid use. This is a particularly important finding for those in the workforce.

The Advantages of Modern Hearing Aids: Open Canal Technology
As you may know there is still a strong stigma associated with wearing hearing aids. Over the past decade technology has become smaller and better. Today, many hearing aids are virtually invisible and still deliver outstanding performance in challenging listening environments.

Open Canal (OC) technology allows the modern components of the hearing aid to be hidden both over the ear and deep inside the ear canal. In addition to being virtually invisible, OC devices have several acoustic advantages, including the elimination of the plugged feeling many patients experience with hearing aids as well as squealing or feedback. In order to learn about your OC options and if this technology is right for you contact your local Miracle Ear professional.

The Most Vulnerable Generation
Car horns. Jet planes. iPods. Headphones. Rock concerts. Aerobics classes. Lawn mowers. Office equipment.

These are all hallmarks of the Baby Boom Generation, the group aged 44-62 that currently makes up the largest segment of American society. They have witnessed, and contributed to, a greater increase in noise pollution than any other generation. And they'll live longer than any who preceded them. These two factors combined make them the generation most vulnerable to hearing loss.

Prolonged or loud noise appears to have overtaken age as a cause of hearing loss in the U.S., at least for the Baby Boomer generation. About 40% of the hearing impaired are younger than 65* — and Baby Boomers themselves are the fastest-growing group to suffer hearing loss today.**

Unfortunately, the problem of hearing loss is "growing younger." 15% of recent college graduates have as much or more hearing loss than their parents.* And over two million Americans with hearing loss are the age of 18.

What are the major causes of hearing loss? Find out more

Ending the Legacy of Indecision
  • Previous generations tended to get hearing aids much later in life than they should.
  • Less than half of those with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids use them.
  • Some statistics report that only one in seven seek help.
  • People who did take action waited an average of eight years from the first time the loss was noticed, until they finally got treatment.
Why? One reason may be that hearing loss is so gradual over time, that most people don't notice a change until it has become really pronounced. Other reasons may include embarrassment. Even though eyeglasses and contact lenses have now become perfectly socially acceptable, we still have to work hard to ensure that hearing aid wearers are treated with the same respect as eyeglass wearers.

You could have hearing loss and not even know it. It's the people closest to you who may recognize it first. So make sure to listen to their advice about getting your hearing tested on a regular basis.

* Source: Hearing Alliance of America, Inc.
** Source: National Academy on an Aging Society

Call today to make your appointment 800-456-2540!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Managing Inflammation in Your Body

Inflammation is your body's natural response to bacteria, viruses and foreign matter. It is a normal reaction and is actually part of the healing process.....in a normal situation. The problems begin when this normal response to everyday stimulus, doesn't do its duty and then go away.

In any situation where your body finds something that does not belong, a reaction begins immediately to fight off the invader. Depending on the type of invader it is, you could have several different reactions. Many common reactions to these invaders are itchy-watery eyes, runny nose, fever, rash, body aches and the like. These irritations are actually not symptoms of the invader itself, they are caused by your body's natural response to the foreign objects. Due to years and years of ads showing that you can reduce fever with pills, many people think that a fever is a bad thing and they take an over the counter medicine as soon as it hits. This actually goes against what your body does automatically to fight off viruses and bacteria.

In a situation of constant inflammation, such-as many autoimmune disorders, the body is continuously fighting, and sometimes its even fighting itself. Chronic inflammation numbs the body's ability to determine the good guys from the bad guys. Which means it could also attack its own tissues, or become so inflamed that it can not do its job properly.

Chronic inflammation of the arteries is what allows plaque to attach itself to the walls of the arteries and cause blockages and hardening of the arteries. This particular type of inflammation can be checked by testing the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, which we do at our clinic.

If your intestines are inflamed, much of what we eat could pass on by and the nutrients would not be absorbed. This could also allow things that we would not normally use as nutrition (such as pesticides, and microorganisms) to be absorbed by the body. Intestinal inflammations are most often caused by what we eat. Food sensitivity testing is the best way to find out what is causing this type of inflammation.

Many people are unaware that being overweight actually causes inflammation in your body, and that diabetes is an inflammatory condition. Testing shows that reducing your weight, and your risk of diabetes reduces the amount of inflammation in your body automatically. Exercise is also a great way to help your body fight inflammation. It gets all of your "juices" flowing and gets blood and oxygen into places where it may not be reaching easily.

Chronic inflammation can be caused by many different factors. Many times inflammation is increased by the types of foods we consume, but it can also be reduced by what we eat. We do recommend that you avoid certain types of foods if you have inflammation of any kind. Soda, pork, chocolate, cows milk, and sugar are some of the foods that increase inflammation. To reduce inflammation you should increase your intake of certain nutrients. We typically recommend supplements such as buffered vitamin C, Essential Fatty Acids, Bromelain, Quercetin, and sometimes others, depending on the type of inflammation.

For more information and to reduce the inflammation in your body please feel free to stop by our office. We have dietary recommendations and supplements available at your convenience.