Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Swimming in a Sea of Green

Swimming in a Sea of Green
by Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PRMA), the industry’s trade association, recently announced new voluntary guidelines concerning direct marketing to physicians. Under the new guidelines doctors won’t be getting pens, pads, mugs, and other gifts that drug makers bombard doctors with on a daily basis. Under the new guidelines these items and other freebies will be forbidden. In order to squelch the groundswell of public distrust for drug company tactics, the PRMA has been cowed into action.

"What took so long?" you might ask. There are millions of reasons that come to mind—all of them green with former presidents on the front of them. The medical institutions and doctors themselves have become addicted to the pharmaceutical industry’s largesse; it’s hard to imagine they can break their addiction.

But, please be aware that these are voluntary guidelines. And they provide no definite limit on the millions of dollars spent on speaking and consulting arrangements that drug makers have forged with tens of thousands of doctors. Nor do they ban the bribing of office staff through office breakfasts and lunches. Nor do they ban the common practice of inviting and paying doctors to attend educational dinners at fancy restaurants.

In 2005, drug companies paid hundreds of millions of dollars and provided for 60 to 80 percent of the costs of doctors’ continuing-education classes.1
These classes have now become nothing more than a "my drug is best," brainwashing sales-pitch. Medical doctors routinely receive expense-free trips to vacation destinations for these seminars. Many are paid handsomely to speak on behalf of the drug companies at these conferences. We’re talking $750 to $2,000 for a thirty-minute speech.

For instance, drug companies paid the American Psychiatric Association $60,000 for each of its 50-plus yearly industry-sponsored symposia. Pharmaceutical companies paid an additional $200,000 to $400,000 in expenses to host each of these events.2
Pharmaceutical companies often fly doctors to annual 
meetings in exotic locations—free of charge—where they dine on gourmet meals in four-star resorts.

"I’m not that hopeful for any real change," says Dr. Marcia Angell, past editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and author of The Truth About Drug Companies. "They have bought politicians and doctors. They’ve looked at everyone and anyone who could stand in their way and they’ve thrown money at them."

Drug companies have lined the pockets of politicians, universities, and the medical profession (as a whole) for so long and with so much money that real change isn’t even on the radar. In fact, drug companies spend more money on lobbying than does any other industry. There are now two lobbyists for every member of congress.3

Through the promise of increased wealth, the drug companies continue to persuade (bribe) and brainwash the majority of medical doctors about the newest "great" drug. As reported by Melody Petersen in her book, Our Daily Meds, Dr. Martin Keller, the chief of the psychiatry department at Brown University, earned more than $500,000 in consulting fees, mostly from companies whose drugs he touted at medical conferences and in published reports.4
And bottom-line results clearly show that free samples, vacation "workshop" retreats to posh resorts, and free educational "classes" over gourmet dinners do, in fact, sway the opinion of doctors. Profits are soaring for drug companies. The top ten companies reported combined profits of $35.9 billion dollars in 2002. That was more than the remaining 490 Fortune-500 companies put together ($33.7 billion) for the same year.5

"The result of all those attractive women in short skirts armed with pseudo-science invading the practices of doctors is that Americans are over-medicated, taking far too many drugs, most of which they don’t even need, and they are paying too much for them," says Jerome Kassirer, another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Americans now spend over $250 billion a year on prescription drugs. In fact, Americans spend more on drugs than do all of the people in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom combined!6
Spending on drugs continues to increase by an average of 12 percent each year. Drugs are now the fastest growing part of the staggeringly high American health-care bill, and over $400 billion is spent on prescription drugs worldwide.7

Drug companies must aggressively market their wares, lest the public and gullible doctors learn the truth about the drugs they peddle. First, they’re often ineffective. Second, they’re quite dangerous. Drugs aren’t the "magic bullets" that the TV ads would like for you to believe. Far from it, they are often no better than a placebo. Dr. Brian Spear, a scientist at Abbott Laboratories, reviewed the effectiveness of drugs used to treat fourteen different diseases and found that the recommended drugs worked for as few as 25 percent of those who took them.8

Dr. Allen Roses, a top executive at GlaxoSmithKline, has reported that some 90 percent of drugs work in only thirty to fifty percent of the people who take them.9
Drug companies definitely don’t want you to know that prescription drugs—taken as directed—claim the lives of 300 Americans a day.10,11
Nonetheless, drug companies are all too happy to provide us with an abundance of synthetic, often worthless, and potentially dangerous drugs for everything that might ail us.
While I applaud the PRMA’s new voluntary guidelines, I don’t think much will change. Doctors will still be paid to attend free seminars at posh resorts while their peers on the drug company payroll deliver highly manipulated data promising what they most likely can’t deliver—a safe and effective treatment.

The American Medical Association and the other drug-company influenced associations have been swimming in a sea of green for so long, it’s hard to imagine their coming ashore.
Dr. Murphree is a board certified nutritional specialist and chiropractic physician who has been in private practice since 1990. He is the author of 5 books for patients and doctors, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You and Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine. To contact Dr. Murphree or for more information about his Doctors VIP One-on-One Nutritional Coaching Program, visit www.Essentialthera.com or call 1-888-884-9577.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is There A Connection?

Fibromyalgia  syndrome is associated with chronic severe muscle or soft tissue pain. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, depression, and anxiety.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that involves abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, as well as changes in bowel movements – constipation or diarrhea, or alternation of both. People with IBS often experience anxiety and depression.
Millions of people have at least one of these conditions. Fibromyalgia affects over 5 million U.S. adults, and an estimated 25 million to 45 million people in the U.S. have IBS.
Studies are now showing that if you have fibromyalgia or IBS, you may be more likely to have the other one, too.
In one study, 32% of people with IBS also had fibro symptoms compared with 4% of people without IBS. Another study showed fibromyalgia occurring in 20% of people with IBS. And studies have estimated 32% to 70% of people with fibromyalgia also meet criteria for IBS.
I find that about 80% of my fibro patient’s has IBS.
Fibromyalgia and IBS don't always go together. They're two separate conditions.
Pain Processing
Researchers see a possible pain link between IBS and fibromyalgia. In short, people with those conditions respond to pain differently than people without the two conditions.
IBS patients are hypersensitive to intestinal pain; people with fibromyalgia are hypersensitive to skin, soft tissue, and muscle pain. Both have a lowered threshold to pain in general. In fibromyalgia, the central nervous system may be highly sensitive, making someone feel more pain than what someone without fibromyalgia would feel in a similar situation.
The neurotransmitter, serotonin has been linked with both fibromyalgia and IBS.
I find that once I start to return my patients serotonin level to normal their IBS goes away within a couple of weeks.
If you’d like to know more about reversing IBS please see my past article Treating and Beating IBS click on the link below-

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dehydration Contributes to Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Hormones that may be Affected by Hypothalamic Dysfunction           

The hypothalamus is the master gland controlling the activity of most other glands in the body.
This small gland coordinates a phenomenal portion of the body’s activity. The hypothalamus receives and transmits messages from the nervous system and hormonally through the circulatory system.

Because of its broad sphere of influence, the hypothalamus could be considered the homeostatic regulating center. It regulates appetite, monitors blood sugar, blood volume (fluid level within the circulatory system), and metabolism. It is the coordinating center for much of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is like our little robot that controls all of our unconscious functions including breathing, heartbeat and digestion.

Low Vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone). 
This causes decreased ability to hold on to fluid resulting in frequent urination and increased thirst. 
Dehydration then occurs despite increased water intake.  Because vasopressin is also a stimulus for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and adrenal function, low vasopressin could also result in decreased adrenal function.  Both dehydration and low cortisol (a hormone secreted by the adrenals) can increase the susceptibility to NMH.

“How do you tell who has the worst case of FMS or CFS?  By the size of their water bottle.”

Dehydration can cause many of the chronic symptoms seen in FMS and CFS including NMH, depression, excess body weight, high blood pressure, fatigue, low back and neck pain, and headaches.

Dehydration depletes the neurotransmitter serotonin. A reduction in serotonin is associated with insomnia, increased pain and depression and is a major cause of fibromyalgia!

From Dr. Batmanghelidj and his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” comes the following;
“The human body is composed of 25% solid matter (the solute) and 75% water (the solvent). The brain tissue is said to consist of 85% water...It is the solvent-the water content-that regulates all functions of the body, including the activity of all the solutes (the solids) that are dissolved in it.

The disturbances in water metabolism of the body (the solvent metabolism) produces a variety of signals, indicating a “system” disturbance in the particular functions associated with water supply and its rationed regulation. Let me repeat, every function of the body is monitored and pegged to the efficient flow of water. “Water distribution” is the only way of making sure that, not only an adequate amount of water, but its transported elements, hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients first reach the more vital organs…

However, since water shortage in different areas of the body will manifest varying symptoms, signals and complications now labeled as disease, as soon as water is offered as a natural solution, people may think this could not be so!”

I recommend my patients drink pure water-half their weight in ounces on a daily basis.

The above material comes from my book “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

You can read more about my book by clicking the link below-

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Electromagnetic Fields And Poor Sleep

Artificially generated electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are produced when alternating current passes through electrical wires or a portal device, like your cell phone. The energy that's produced, known as an EMF, exerts pressure and impacts everything around it including the cells in your body.

The Earth has its own static electromagnetic fields, with magnetic poles located roughly at our North and South Poles. We don't fully understand these magnetic fields. We do know that many of our basic bodily functions, including sleep and sense of direction are largely controlled by these fields.

For decades, numerous scientific entities including the World Health Organization have been telling the public that there are almost no credible health risks from excess exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). The official public-health-agency position is that, aside from a small increased risk of childhood leukemia, consumers are perfectly safe no matter how many appliances litter their homes and offices, or how many power lines exist nearby.

However, this view is being challenged by dozens of studies including the $8 million, seven-year study by the California Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) Program.
"To one degree or another, all three of the scientists who worked on the EMF Program are inclined to believe that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and miscarriage," says Dr. Raymond Neutra, one of the scientists who wrote the report.

I’ve been educating my fibromyalgia patients about the potential dangers of excess EMFs for several years now. I’m particularly concerned EMFs and their ability to deplete normal melatonin levels. Low melatonin levels contribute to poor sleep- linked to numerous health conditions including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, obesity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypothyroid, low metabolism, accelerated aging, heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, diabetes, and migraine headaches.

The Importance of Melatonin
The pineal gland is located at the base of our brain, and the ancient Greeks considered it the seat of the soul. This thought may not be far off, since the pineal gland is responsible for releasing melatonin, an extremely important hormone that plays a vital role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Melatonin is a potent antioxidant that plays a part in preventing cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, colds, chronic inflammation, fibromyalgia, mood disorders, headaches, and heart disease.

Once a curiosity to scientists, melatonin is now known to slow down or perhaps even reverse the effects of aging. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that, unlike other antioxidants, can cross the blood-brain barrier and attack any free radicals floating around in the brain. This is perhaps one reason why it is so important in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, two illnesses that attack the brain.

Normally, melatonin levels in your body begin to rise in the mid-to-late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then decline in the early morning hours.
But some things can work against your body’s production of melatonin. Levels gradually decline with age, and some older adults produce very small amounts or none at all.
Melatonin is also affected by a person’s exposure to light.

Levels start to rise as the sun goes down and drop off as the sun comes up. The eyes are extremely sensitive to changes in light, and an increase in light striking the retina triggers a decrease in melatonin production. Conversely, limited exposure to light increases melatonin production.

Exposure to electromagnetic fields can also deplete melatonin. Do you keep any of these things in your bedroom? Electric clock or radio, electric blanket, sound machine, cell phone, electric telephone, electric fan, television, or computer? In fact, any plugged-in electrical device generates electromagnetic fields. I recommend you remove all EMF generating appliances from your bedroom.

Melatonin levels can also be decreased by certain drugs including non-steroidal anti- inflammatory (NSAIDs), antidepressants (SSRI’s), and anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines).

Sleep Hygiene
If you’re like some 20 million Americans who find it hard to fall asleep at night find it hard to fall asleep at night, you may be suffering from delayed sleep phase insomnia- a disruption of normal circadian rhythms. Removing those melatonin- zapping EMFs from your bedroom may be all you need to do for a good night’s sleep.
However, if your melatonin levels are really depleted, you may need to use over the counter melatonin replacement therapy. Studies have shown that 3-6 mg. of melatonin taken at 11 p.m. helps reset these rhythms while providing deep restorative sleep.

An alternative to supplementing is to get more melatonin in the foods you eat. Foods high in melatonin include oats, sweet corn, rice, Japanese radishes, tomatoes, barley, and bananas.

I recommend that before bed, you turn off the TV, computer, avoid all EMF generating gadgets (cell phones), and find a comfortable, quiet room (other than your bedroom) where you can read something pleasant by the light of a soft low-wattage lamp.

Relax and read or listen to soothing music for 30 minutes to an hour. Keep the lights low, and avoid any stimulation, especially the TV. Simply pour one cup of Epsom salts into a warm bath, and soak.

Sweet dreams.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Insanity Continues—Statins for Children by Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C.

The Insanity Continues—Statins for Children
by Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C.

The over-hyped, pharmaceutical fueled, disease known as hypercholesterolemia has now reached an all time level of insanity.
Insanity. In-san-i-ty. Function: noun. a: extreme folly or unreasonableness b: something utterly foolish or unreasonable.

Ex: "The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends cholesterol screenings for children who are two years or older, greater use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, for a select group of kids who are eight or older at risk, and low fat diets."
There is no better example of pure insanity than the recent announcement by the AAP to begin screening two-year-olds for high cholesterol and placing eight-year-olds on statin drugs! One statin, Pravachol, has already been approved by the FDA for use in children as young as eight.

This absurd advice is being offered even though statin drugs have never been tested on young children, have not been proven to increase longevity or reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths (compared to control groups), have actually been shown to have a one percent greater risk of death over ten years compared to those not taking statin drugs, and are associated with numerous life robbing side effects!

The medical profession and its societies, including the AAP, have been hoodwinked by pharmaceutical propaganda and obviously haven’t read my book, Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, or the dozens of other books which report the dangers of statins, which list numerous studies showing that statin drugs don’t lower the death rate for those with cardiovascular risk.

In just one meta-analysis, analyzing forty-four trials involving almost 10,000 patients, the death rate was identical, at one percent of patients in each of the three groups—those taking atorvastatin (Lipitor), those taking other statins and those taking nothing.

Taking statins for one year raised the risk of polyneuropathy and nerve damage by about 15 percent—about one case for every 2,200 patients. For those who took statins for two or more years, the additional risk rose to 26 percent. The damage is often irreversible.
Numerous studies find that low cholesterol is just as, if not more, dangerous than elevated cholesterol. In nineteen large studies of more than 68,000 deaths, reviewed by Professor David Jacobs from the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.

An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that, in every study with rodents to date, statins have caused cancer. In the CARE Trial, breast cancer rates of those taking a statin went up 1500 percent.
Cholesterol is one of the most potent antioxidants, protecting us from cancer and toxic free radicals.

It is the precursor to adrenal cortex hormones (cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, etc.), which are crucial for regulating moods, the immune system, and stress coping abilities. Cholesterol facilitates the production of vitamin D, produces bile salts required for the digestion of fat, and is vital to proper neurological function. It plays a key role in the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical. When cholesterol levels drop too low, the serotonin receptors become dysfunctional. Poor memory, anxiety, and depression are byproducts of low cholesterol levels. I can’t think of a more dangerous scenario than having children take statin drugs for the rest of their lives. Surely this has the pharmaceutical industry foaming at the mouth as they contemplate all the additional drugs needed to counter the side effects of these statin drugs—antidepressants for low moods, Ritalin for poor mental clarity, and maybe some Lyrica for the statin induced polyneuropathy.

And what about the APA recommendation for low fat milk? The low fat diet myth is just as dangerous as the medical myths associated with cholesterol. Various nutritional experts, including Sally Fallon, Mary G. Enig, and Marion Dearth, authors of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, have voiced their opinions on the fact that saturated fats aren’t harmful to our health. Saturated fats are needed for proper absorption of calcium. These valuable fats also help protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins. Saturated fats enhance the immune system. And, they help with the retention and utilization of essential fatty acids. Our bodies, especially young maturing bodies and minds (70 percent of brain matter is fat), need both polyunsaturated as well as saturated fats.

Research shows that there is no evidence that saturated fats are bad for health, and plenty of evidence that saturated fats actually prevent both cardiovascular disease and stroke.
In fact, the fatty acids found in clogged arteries are mostly unsaturated (74 percent), of which 41 percent are polyunsaturated. Avoid trans-fats, yes; but advocating low fat diets to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease is just another sign of just how crazy the APA and other medical groups who suggest this have become.

Low-fat diets don’t alter mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disease. In fact, it’s been shown that low fat, low cholesterol diets cause a whole host of health problems, including increased death, depression, suicide, and hormonal imbalances. The American Heart Association and others have advocated a low saturated fat diet as a way to lower the risk for heart disease for two-plus decades. But the research doesn’t show this approach to be valid. In fact, Americans have steadily reduced their consumption of animal-based saturated fats over the last sixty years. While consumption of cholesterol actually rose one percent, saturated fat was reduced from 83 percent to 62 percent over this sixty-year period. While saturated fats were being decreased, polyunsaturated fats increased. This was especially true for man-made trans fatty acid laden polyunsaturated fats, which increased during this period by over 400 percent. Our sugar consumption increased by 60 percent. 

Trans fats, sugar and inflammation are the enemies of cardiovascular disease, not saturated fat and certainly not cholesterol. For more information about the true cause of cardiovascular disease, see my past article, "It’s the Inflammation, Stupid."

If the insanity continues, and I’m sure it will, it won’t be long before the pharmaceutical industry brainwashes the APA into believing that children need to be vaccinated for cholesterol.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia With Orthomolecular Medicine

Dr. Janet Travell, White House physician for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine at George Washington University, co-wrote Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, which is acknowledged as the authoritative work on muscle pain. In one chapter alone, 317 studies are referenced showing that problems such as hormonal, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies can contribute to muscle pain and soreness.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and certain enzymes, when properly supplemented, can provide profoundly beneficial results for those suffering from poor health

Below is a sample listing of essential nutrients and their contributions to the treatment of FMS and CFS.
Vitamin E helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. It can also improve nighttime leg cramps, which interfere with sleep.
Vitamin C boosts the immune system by increasing natural-killer (NK) cells, B cells, and T cells.
Magnesium and malic acid have been found by controlled
studies to be effective in relieving the symptoms of FMS. Magnesium is essential to healthy muscle function, and, working with malic acid, it increases cellular energy, reduces pain, and enhances immune function by increasing NK cells. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxant and critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol enhances the immune system by increasing NK cells.
Selenium supports the immune system by enhancing antibody production.
Vitamin D regulates many immune functions.
Amino acids, such as glycine, serine, taurine, and tyrosine, are essential for the production of energy in the body and for brain function.
Zinc supports the immune system by enhancing white-blood-cell activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.

But I Already Take Vitamins
You might be thinking, I’ve taken  vitamins for years, and I haven’t noticed a difference. You probably haven’t been taking enough to even make a dent in your deficiencies. If you compare Centrum or One-A-Day vitamins to the Essential Therapeutics multivitamin and mineral formulas, including the CFS/Fibromyalgia formula, you’ll notice that our specially designed vitamins have 50 times—and in some cases, 100 times—the recommended daily allowance (RDA). 

This is because the RDA is an outdated system that does not take into account the depletion of our nutrient-rich top soil, environmental pollutants, chemical food processing, the addition of artificial ingredients, and the increased demands placed on an individual’s homeostatic system in the 21st century.
So nearly as criminal as not recommending vitamin and mineral supplements is the recommendation of them based on the RDA. It was never intended to advance health, only to prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy and rickets. 

Taking the minimum amount of a nutrient to prevent gross deficiency doesn’t help those people who want to be truly healthy and not just free of severe symptoms. And optimal health should be the goal for all of us.

The key to reversing disease and the unwanted symptoms, pain, fatigue, depression, poor sleep, etc. is to take the RIGHT DOSE AND RIGHT COMBINATION of optimal daily allowance nutrients. The reason my patients see such a drastic improvement on the CFS/Fibromyalgia Jump Start supplements.

Are these higher doses safe?
One of the arguments against megavitamin treatment is that a high dose of certain vitamins are toxic and may cause certain adverse reactions. Let me present some statistics to you and let you decide for yourself.

The American Medical Association reports that death from medical errors is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. As reported in JAMA,
over 250,000 Americans die each year from medical therapies, including at least 113,000 from the negative effects of prescription medications.

The total number of deaths from vitamin/mineral therapy during the years of 1983 to 1990 was zero.
what is orthomolecular medicine?

When we establish nutritional deficiencies, our health suffers. Man-made chemicals (synthetic prescription drugs) can’t correct these deficiencies, but a nutritional-replacement therapeutic program can. This is the very premise of orthomolecular medicine, which means, “right molecules in the right concentration.”

Linus Pauling, two-time winner of the Nobel Prize, is regarded as one of the greatest biochemists of our times. He defines orthomolecular medicine as “the preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present in the body.” This concept involves a medical approach based on the physiological and enzymatic actions of specific nutrients present in the body, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The idea that to beat a disease one has simply to “get healthy” may seem trivial to those with such life-robbing illnesses as FMS and CFS. Still, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Synthetic drugs may be helpful at times, but they always have an inherent ability to cause harm. Not only are nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids unharmful, the body depends on them for survival. The body knows what to do with—and depends on—vitamin B6. The same certainly can’t be said for Lyrica. The World Health Organization’s definition of health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” These words advocate to us the need to correct the biochemical causes of disease rather than merely covering up the symptoms with drugs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid stated in a recent report that the nation spent $140.6 billion in the year 2000 on prescription drugs. And of course this number is rapidly escalating; over one billion prescriptions were written last year. But even though the United States spends more money on health care per capita than any other country in the world, The World Health Organization ranks the overall health of the United States as 15th among the 25 industrialized countries.

Even with this dismal ranking, things in the United States are changing. A new paradigm is emerging, one based on taking responsibility for our own health through abstinence from dangerous habits—like nicotine, trans-fats, sedentary lifestyles, and excessive stress—and through proactive behavior like regular exercise, healthy diet decisions, and optimal nutritional supplementation.

You can reverse fibromyalgia and get your life back. It won’t happen with a magic new drug though, that is a dead end (see Lyrica, Savella, and Cymbalta). Having specialized in treating fibromyalgia for almost 14 years I know orthomolecular medicine is the only true way to beat fibromyalgia.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About IBS

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About IBS
How You Can Reverse IBS In As Few As 2 Weeks

An estimated 40 million Americans suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Some experts, recognizing that many go undiagnosed, suggest that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 10–20% of the general population. The majority of patients I see for fibromyalgia suffer with IBS. 

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal
pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements or diarrhea, and/or hard or less frequent bowel movements or constipation.

We know that gender plays a clear role, as more than 80 percent of IBS patients are
women between 20 and 55 years old.
The criteria for diagnosing IBS is based on the newly modified Rome criteria (Rome II criteria) as the presence for at least 12 weeks (not necessarily consecutive) in the preceding 12 months of abdominal
discomfort or pain that cannot be explained by a structural or biochemical abnormality and that has at least two of following three features:

(1) pain is relieved with defecation, and its onset is associated (2) with a change in the frequency of bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation) or (3) with a change in the form of the stool (loose,
watery, or pellet-like).

Some people with the disorder have constipation (IBS-C). Some have
diarrhea (IBS-D). And some alternate back and forth between constipation and diarrhea (IBS-A).

IBS symptoms result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility
(motor function) or sensory function.

Research has shown that the cause of IBS is related to neuroendocrine- immune system dysfunction (brain and stomach hormones). This connection is largely mediated by the neurotransmitter or brain hormone known as serotonin. The brain and gut are connected through the neuroreceptors (hormone docking stations) for serotonin, 5-hydroxytriptamine-3 (5-HT3) and 5-hydroxytriptamine-4 (5-HT4).

These serotonin receptors regulate the perception of intestinal pain and the GI motility (contractions that move food through the intestinal tract). Therefore serotonin controls how fast or how slow food moves through the intestinal tract. In fact, there are more serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract than there are in the brain. Ninety percent of serotonin receptors are in the intestinal tract.

Research suggests that IBS patients have extra sensitive pain receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be related to low levels of serotonin (another link to fibromyalgia). Decreased levels of serotonin may help explain why people with IBS are likely to be anxious, depressed or have fibromyalgia. Studies
show that 54–94% of IBS patients meet the diagnostic criteria for depression, anxiety, or panic disorder.

Restoring optimal levels of serotonin has been the focus of traditional drug therapy. Zelnorm, a 5-HT4 receptor agonist, was once hailed as “the drug” for IBS-c (IBS with frequent constipation), has
recently pulled from the market for its association with heart attacks and stroke. The percentage of patients taking Zelnorm that had serious and life-threatening side effects was 10 times higher than the
percentage of patients taking a placebo.

Even before this drug was recalled cardiovascular risks, many experts warned that this drug was dangerous for its other potential side effects including severe liver impairment, severe kidney impairment,
bowel obstruction, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headaches, abdominal adhesions, gallbladder disease, and back pain.

Antispasmodics (Levsin, Levsinex, Bentyl, Donnatal, etc.) are routinely prescribed for the treatment of IBS symptoms. 
Potential side effects include bloating; blurred vision; clumsiness; constipation; decreased sweating; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; excessive daytime drowsiness ("hangover effect"); feeling of a whirling motion; headache; light-headedness; nausea; nervousness; rash; hives;
difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue agitation; confusion; diarrhea; difficulty focusing eyes; disorientation; exaggerated feeling of well-being;
excitement; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; loss of coordination; loss of taste; memory loss; muscle pain; pounding in the chest; severe or persistent trouble sleeping; trouble
urinating; unusual weakness; very slow breathing; vision changes; vomiting.

Using potentially dangerous drugs to reduce symptoms, while ignoring natural and often more effective approaches is typical of what is wrong with “cookbook” (symptom-focused)

        Reversing IBS With Nutritional Therapy

 I find that IBS usually disappears rather quickly once my patient’s correct their poor eating habits (increase fiber, reduce simple sugars, caffeine and junk foods), uncover any hidden allergies when
present, including gluten intolerance (Celiac disease), boost optimal stress coping chemicals (serotonin, magnesium, B-vitamins, etc.), restore bowel ecology (probiotics), and take the right digestive enzymes with their meals.



To boost serotonin levels I recommend patients take, the amino acid responsible for making serotonin, known as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP). 5HTP along with the right vitamins and minerals, is responsible for making serotonin.
Patients should take 300-400mg a day with food or if have fibromyalgia and suffer with poor sleep, start with 100mg taken on empty stomach 30 minutes before bed with 4 ounces of grape juice and increase by 100mg each night up to 300mg.

 Digestive enzymes

Most digestion and absorption takes place in the small intestine and is regulated by pancreatic enzymes (digestive) and bile. The pancreas aids in digestion by releasing proteolytic enzymes, which help break
down proteins into amino acids. Natural digestive enzymes are found in raw fruits and vegetables. Processed foods are usually devoid of digestive enzymes.

Over consumption of these processed foods can lead to digestive enzyme deficiencies. This may then lead to malabsorption and or intestinal permeability syndrome (bloating, gas, indigestion, diarrhea,
constipation, and intestinal inflammation). To ensure proper digestion and absorption, I recommend taking pancreatic enzymes with each meal.

For stubborn IBS symptoms, I recommend using a high dose, pharmaceutical grade, pure 8X (100% stronger than most over the counter digestive enzymes).


I always recommend people take a good optimal daily allowance
multivitamin/mineral formula. Patients with IBS have depleted their stress-coping chemicals (serotonin, magnesium, and vitamins) and this not only leads to IBS but also prevents them from overcoming IBS.

It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by taking adequate amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients I’ve already mentioned above. The mineral magnesium, which is involved in over 300 bodily processes, is particularly important for reversing the symptoms of IBS-c and IBS-A.

Magnesium helps relax the smooth muscle of the colon (natural laxative) allowing normal bowel movements. While a diet high in nutritious fiber is important, magnesium is even more important. A
magnesium deficiency not only causes constipation but can also lead to heart disease, mitral valve prolapse (MVP), depression, anxiety, chronic muscle pain, headaches, migraines, fatigue, and many other unwanted health conditions. Those with IBS-c may need up to 1,000mg of
magnesium each day. While those with IBS-d, may need less than 500mg.

I recommend patients begin with 500mg of magnesium a day, preferably taken in a multivitamin formula.


The human intestines are inhabited by billions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, which are mostly located in the colon, aid in digestion by fermenting substances that were not digested in the small
intestine and by breaking down any remaining nutrients. A healthy intestinal tract contains some 2-3 lb. of bacteria and other microorganisms, such as yeast, that normally don’t cause ay health

However, when the intestinal tract is repetitively exposed to toxic substances (antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, etc.), these microorganisms begin to proliferate and create an imbalance in the bowel flora.
Harmful organisms like yeast and some normally dormant bacteria, begin to overtake the good bacteria. This is known as intestinal dysbiosis.

IBS and small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth may share similar symptoms. One study showed that 78% IBS participants had small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth. To aid in digestion and prevent intestinal dysbiosis, patients with IBS should take probiotics (Lactobacillus and Biidobacterium) on a daily basis.

I recommend taking a high dose (9 billion strong), pure, enteric coated probiotic formula once a day on an empty stomach for 2-3 months.

This approach isn’t guaranteed to solve every case of IBS. However, in
the majority of my patients, their IBS symptoms are usually gone within two weeks.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Study Links Obesity and Fibromyalgia

The purpose of the study, conducted by University of Utah researchers, was to evaluate the relationship between fibromyalgia and obesity. They hypothesized that obesity significantly adds to the disease and disability burden of the condition. Two hundred fifteen fibromyalgia patients were evaluated in the study and given several physical tests to measure strength, flexibility, range of motion, and strength. Heart rates and sleep quality also were assessed.

The authors reported that consistent with previous studies, obesity is common among those with fibromyalgia. Half the study sample was obese and an additional thirty percent were overweight. Also consistent with previous findings, obese patients in this study showed increased pain sensitivity, which was more pronounced in lower body areas. The obese patients also had impaired flexibility in the lower body and reduced strength.

The study concluded that obesity is a common comorbidity of fibromyalgia that may compromise clinical outcomes. The adverse impact of obesity is evidenced by hyperalgesia, disability, impaired quality of life and sleep problems. The authors also noted that recent evidence suggests weight loss improves fibromyalgia symptoms, perhaps resulting from patients adopting healthier lifestyles and taking more positive attitudes toward symptom management, and overall quality of life.

In recent years, scientists have looked at fat cells and their surrounding cells not just as yellow blobs that make our clothes too tight, but more as an organ, or neighboring bodies of organic fatty tissue. The fat cells, or “adipocytes,” within this tissue have several functions, such as pumping out vital energy-producing fatty acids, storing fatty acids for future use, and secreting hormones that regulate body weight. But unfortunately, among the obese, they’re a source of inflammatory chemicals.

My thoughts-first not everyone with fibromyalgia is obese, true many are but one third of Americans are overweight so this is no big surprise. Second if anything- being overweight is a result of fibromyalgia not the cause of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia lowers a person’s metabolism (low thyroid). Those with fibromyalgia become less active as their energy levels decrease and painful flares from over activity, including exercise, increases.
What needs to be clear about this study is that fat cells store inflammatory chemicals, the more fat cells you have the more inflammatory chemicals you have-and of course the pain you experience.

Dietary Changes Can Help Reduce Inflammation

To reduce degenerative disease, it’s necessary to avoid pro-inflammatory foods and rely exclusively on anti-inflammatory foods:

Pro-inflammatory foods to avoid:
* Red meats from corn-fed, antibiotic/hormone-laden animals (choose grass fed livestock when possible)
* Saturated fats such as lard and over consumption of meat fats
* Fried foods
* Partially hydrogenated (trans fats) found in margarines, chips, candies, cereals and baked goods
* Cooking oils that are exclusively corn, safflower, sunflower or soy based
* Soft drinks (both high sugar and diet varieties)
* Excess sugar (both from heavily processed sources, such as candy and from naturally occurring sources such as fruit juice)

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Sugary foods quickly elevate blood sugar, creating an insulin release along with free radicals that oxidize fats. When oxidized, the fats form plaque deposits in our arteries, leading to disease. Thus, a diet high in sweets, pasta, fruit juices, cereals and even rice cakes can actually lead to heart disease. Insulin release also increases stored body fat and release of pro-inflammatory chemicals causing cell damage and accelerated aging.

Anti-inflammatory foods and dietary supplements to include:
* Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially cold water, wild-caught fish (or fish oil    supplements)
* Raw nuts and seeds (especially pecans, almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds)
* Dark green vegetables (especially kale, seaweed and greens)
* Antioxidants in supplement form (especially vitamins C and E, and qurcetin)
* Zinc taken in supplement form, which assists healing and reduces inflammation
   Extra virgin organic olive oil is good anti-inflammatory oil