Alternative Medicine

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I think the major risk is Guillain-Barre.  I can find no research to tell me that if you had Guillain-Barre before you are at risk of getting it again, with this vaccination.  But that is what it said on the only printed informed consent instrument I could find.

I have a peripheral neuropathy.  About 20 million folks do in these United States.  Eight million stems from diabetes and the rest from other metabolic stuff.  Sometimes it’s from medications — like chemotherapy –and that is plenty enough nerve damage for me to deal with in life. Read more on No Flu Shot for Me This Year I did not get my flu shot this year. Collective gasp!…

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The first time I heard of the fruit mangosteen, I thought it was just a Jewish mango. Turns out it’s Southeast Asian and in no way Jewish.  Makes sense; I mean, how do you circumcise a fruit?  Let alone teach it to read the holy books.

The second time I heard of it, I was trying to help a manic-depressive who went manic on it.  A degree professional had suddenly thrown angry tantrums, put his hand and other weapons through nearby walls, and tried to burn down the apartment building where his woman-friend lived.  He succeeded in burning down part of it. It all happened within a few hours of him ingesting mangosteen.  I told him to stop the damned mangosteen.  I remember seeing him through bars, and I doubted he could get any mangosteen in there, anyway.  But he would not hear ill of his dear mangosteen.  It was a multi-level-marketing product and he seemed to believe in it for that reason, despite some factors I was trying to introduce.  Things like biochemical truth, behavioral pharmacology, and my decades of medical practice experience — as opposed to his multi-level marketing experience.  His family stopped paying me as an expert.  I think they all sold mangosteen. Read more on Utah, Mangosteen, and Bad Stuff…

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When a marijuana patient visits me for permission to use that drug, I have to ask them, gently, how long they have used it.  Most, if they are old enough, do not give me an answer that I can quantify.  Instead, they start with something like, “It seems like yesterday I used it for fun.  Now, I need it just to (fill in the blank).” Survive, live, walk, or keep from throwing up.  They wonder about how and when it changed from a form of recreation to a form of drug treatment.

They never seem to believe it has already been a drug, for thousands of years, in other cultures.  If I give them enough time, they count their own age and their own problems by how they use it.  With a few thousand papers published every year, mostly in other countries, it would be crazy at this point to try to believe it wasn’t a drug.  For an amazing number of folks, it seems to be the way they reckon the passage of their lives. Read more on The Passage of Time…

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The Catholics have a history of making heroes out of those who suffer the most.  I really don’t know what kind of reaction this young man should expect from his “very Catholic” grandmother when she finds out he is using medical marijuana.

My patient is 27, on dialysis, and looking for a kidney transplant to stay alive.  He takes medical marijuana to increase his appetite and well being, as well as minimize the pain and anxiety of his situation.  I have promised that I will not stop trying to help him.  We will go as far as we need to, raising funds if necessary.  My help will likely include taking him “public,” using the media. Read more on How Can We Explain Medical Marijuana to a Catholic Grandmother?…

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I recently got hold of a copy of Dr. Atkins’ Vita-Nutrient Solution; a book by the same Robert C. Atkins, M.D. who invented the “Atkins Diet” –mainly known as the low-carb diet.  I was impressed by his general erudition and review of the literature.  He had even visited with various luminaries of alternative medicine.  Here was a guy who was capable of writing a pretty complete vitamin and mineral prescription for almost any chronic illness that was part of an internal medicine practice.

In a section titled “My Own Transformation,” he tells how, when he was devoted to mainstream medicine, he found a diet that worked for him and for most folks.  He had found it in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which is perhaps the most mainstream medical journal that exists.  He wrote his first book about that diet.  He was shocked when a consensus panel from the American Medical Association was critical. After all, he had been relying on medical literature which had been reviewed by peers and validated in every way that academics respect and deserve when they have done work.  He started questioning these professional “edicts” and found himself squarely in the world of nutrition-based therapeutics. I have believed for a long time that most psychiatric disorders, maybe all, are the result of a genetically transmitted limitation of the ability to metabolize nutrients.  There is plenty of evidence for this. Read more on Yes, Virginia — Cannabis IS Medicine…

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I read a joke once about a husband’s preemptive strike in the bedroom.  He walks in holding two aspirin and a glass of water.  When his wife asks what it’s for he says it’s for her headache.  She replies “But I don’t have a headache.”  “Gotcha!”

Headaches are no fun, so we might as well get a little chuckle at their expense.  And if you suffer from sinus headaches, there might be quick and inexpensive relief your doctor hasn’t shared with you.

Listen, I have had allergies since I was small but sinus headaches have been rare.  That is, until I got my complete dental implants.  They have wildly improved my quality of life, but I have had more intense and regular sinus headaches as a result.  My surgeon had removed teeth prior to the implants and freely admitted he had been up in my sinus area.  He said I could see an ear nose and throat specialist if the sinus headaches became too much of a problem.  He tried to ignore my laughter as I told him I could fix this myself. Read more on What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Sinus Headaches…

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Maybe the folks who continue to argue against stem cell research are just afraid their own stem cells could beat them at a game of checkers.

Listen, I want to live forever.  Not like in the song “Fame,” but like in the way that most of us would do anything to live.  Or like the guy who had to leave the country to get life-saving treatment for cancer of the trachea.  Now he is alive when everyone thought he wouldn’t be. It’s a treatment he couldn’t get in the States.  In the States, stem cell benefits are masked by misinformation and fear.

Okay, so I had a metabolic disease that threw me into a coma and nearly killed me a few times.  But here I am to talk about it.  I think about it every blessed day and I find myself grateful to this universal intelligence.  Yes, I am a theist. But I still live in a personal world where I would do anything to live. Read more on Stem Cell Benefits Masked By Fear and Misinformation…

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I think everybody loves to eat.  Eating can be pure, sensual delight.  And those that don’t like eating – well, they come see somebody like me because that can be a real problem.  It can be a problem for those that REALLY love to eat also – like the 700 lb. woman that not only makes her living in eating contests, but wants to be a record holding “Most Obese Woman” in the world.

I’ve seen some patients who could be in the running for this. Sometimes they have medical treatment to blame. Many medicines can add weight even if you eat nothing but air and water – seriously. I have seen people gain weight regularly, usually 15 to 20 pounds a month or so.  Steroids, psychotropics and some other drugs can make you gain weight and keep you losing weight.  Even treatments for diabetes – like insulin. Read more on Will Your Doctor Help You Lose Weight? Fat Chance!…

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The first known account of this plant, known by Latin (Carolus Linnaeus) nomenclature “Sceletum tortuosum allegedly dates back to Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch founder of South Africa. He appears, also, to have seen the first recorded comet that passed through that distant place, so we know he was educated enough to be a scientific dilettante at the very least. He has earned, rightfully, a lovely place in the history of South Africa. I am not knocking such status, mind you. I think few people would be clever or concerned enough to be scientific even at dilettante level in our day and age — thinking of even the cleverest of politicians. I am somewhat more concerned about what the South Africans seem to be excited about. Read more on African Drug Being Developed For Antidepressant…

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Some think chelation can cure autism

There is no evidence of chelation curing autism.

NOTE: CLICK THE CARTOON AND SEE IT FULL-SIZE TO READ THE LAST PANEL

The field of alternative medicine is as wild and woolly as the old west.  There are all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.  Some are studied and tested, some are intuitive, and some seem to come from Uranus.

So it is no surprise that the FDA occasionally cracks down on some of the most flagrant offenders.

Please listen to someone with a lot of formal training and many years of experience in clinical trials and many treatment modalities — There are no miracle cures. If there really were, I think I could have a handle on them by now.

One hot button recently is autism.  And one of the biggest misconceptions is that it is just mercury poisoning.  Believe me (and a million other medical experts) – it is NOT.

There are plenty of people around who want to believe in the magic bullet. Somehow this goes hand-in-hand with believing that doctors and drug companies are hiding things that are wildly effective.

Truth, science, and the American way are effective. People are always devoted to things that will make them a lot of money.  They may even convince themselves that they are on the way to miracles. Old fashioned values like responsible experimentation, even responsible observation … the heck with it.

I will not expostulate. I see it all the time.  Some of my colleagues – and I mean trained and licensed MDs – seem to settle on one treatment and think it fixes everything.  I suspect it is because they are basically lazy and cynical, but that may not be fair.  But in my years of practice I’ve seen docs who give everybody thyroid hormone, others who firmly believe in vitamin D, the apostles of Prozac, and other things too bizarre for me to really believe. Read more on Denial, Wishful Thinking And Chelation…

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