Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Follow Me Over to My New Fibro Blog ...

My fibro blog has a new home!  Please continue to follow me here:

All The Best -
Dr. Rodger Murphree

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Doctors Are Typically Down On What Their Not Up On

Ignaz Semmelweis - Wikipedia

In the 19th century a young Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis advocated that doctors wash their hands in between patients. Dr. Semmelweis found that by doing so the incidence of infectious disease was drastically reduced.

His peers called him a “quack, they ostracized him and continued to perform vaginal exams, surgeries and other medical therapies without washing between patients. It was believed at the time that bad air was the cause of childbed fever (puerperal sepsis).

In spite of the fact that Semmelweis was able to consistently demonstrate that mortality rates from childbed fever immediately declined from 18 percent to 1.3 percent, his peers clung to their beliefs. Not because they had ever been proven but because this is the way it had always been done. Because of their reluctance to change, even in the face of what we would all agree to an obvious and common sense approach to reducing the spread of disease, thousands of people died. 

Semmelweis was eventually committed to an insane asylum where he died at age 42. It would take another 132 years before doctors would realize that sanitary precautions should be incorporated into daily practice procedures.

Alexander Fleming - Wikipedia
In 1928 Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. His discovery was discussed the very next year in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology. Dr. Fleming was ignored by the medical community and it was not until some 15 years later that penicillin began to be used to treat bacterial infections. Why did it take so long?

Maurice Maeterlinck expressed it ever so well with his comment “Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.”

Doctors are usually down on what they what they aren’t up on.
Could this be the main reason traditional doctors don’t acknowledge the potential health restoring abilities of nutritional therapy? Most likely it is. Of course it could be that they are brainwashed into believing that drug therapy is the only real philosophy with hard based science reviews. Either way, ignorance is ignorance!

Please know that doctors and drugs are the third leading cause of death in the United States. As reported in the Journal of American Medical Association, over 250,000 Americans die each year from medical therapies including at least 113,000 from the negative effects of prescription medications. Death from medical errors is now the third cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer.

Although some what dated the study that appeared in two articles in the June 19, 2002 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Fletcher and Fairfield reviewed studies published between 1966 and 2002 that investigated the links between vitamin intake and diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. This article alone should have made traditional doctors take notice of the healing and preventative powers of supplements.

Folic Acid may cut the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

Other vitamins, such as vitamin E, have been found to reduce cancer risk when consumed at recommended levels, and vitamin D plus calcium supplements have been shown to decrease the risks of bone loss and fracture in the elderly.

Fletcher pointed out that most Americans–except those who follow what he described as a “super-perfect” diet–likely do not get enough of certain vitamins in their diets and would benefit from multivitamins, as well. A recent survey showed that only 20% to 30% of Americans consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the recommended amount.
The evidence promoting the benefits of various vitamins is relatively new, Fletcher explained, so doctors may not yet be aware of it. Furthermore, vitamins are considered to be somewhat of an alternative therapy and some doctors have “this prejudice against anything that’s not very orthodox,” Fletcher stated.

As people age, they also become less able to absorb some vitamins from their diets, and research has suggested that people who drink alcohol may need extra folic acid.  In addition, Fletcher said, some physicians may not understand the importance of vitamin deficiency and may fail to recommend multivitamins.

Many so-called experts will tell you not to worry about taking vitamins if you are eating a balanced diet. Unfortunately, dieting alone can’t provide enough essential vitamins and minerals to promote optimal health. For instance, you would need to consume 5,000 calories per day (mostly fat) in order to get the recommend minimum (400 IU) of vitamin E, and 12,000 calories per day to get the minimum amount of chromium. Most of our foods are processed and, therefore, the nutrients have been leeched out of them. Could this be one of the reasons pre-senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have increased so dramatically over the last few decades?

Thousands of studies validate the benefits of taking a multivitamin/mineral formula on a daily basis. These studies have been reported in medical journals, popular newspapers and magazines. A good multivitamin/mineral formula offers a broad range of health benefits. Taking a daily multivitamin/mineral formula reduces the incidence of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, glaucoma, depression, macular degeneration, diabetes, senile dementia, and various cancers. 

A Few Vitamin Facts

1. Multivitamin Use Is Associated With Lowering A Risk Factor For Cardiovascular Disease. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine states that an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, C-reactive protein (CRP), could be reduced by the intake of a multivitamin. An elevated CRP level found in one’s blood serum is associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Source: American Journal of Medicine, Volume 115, and Issue 9

2. Daily Multivitamin Use May Bring Significant Savings To Older Americans. According to this study, the daily use of a multivitamin by older adults could bring about more than $1.6 billion in Medicare savings over the next five years.

3. Slash Cancer Odds. Taking 200 micrograms of selenium daily for four and a half years cut cancer rate 42 percent and cancer deaths in half in a group of 1300 individuals. The incidence of colorectal cancer dropped 64 percent and prostate cancer an amazing 69 percent!  University of Arizona Study.

4. Prevent Alzheimer’s. Not a single elderly person who took separate doses of vitamin E (200-800 IU) or vitamin C (500-1000 mg) developed Alzheimer’s disease during a four-year double blind study. Chicago’s Rush Institute for Healthy Aging. 

5. Boost Immune System. Taking 200 IU of natural vitamin E daily boosted immune functioning in older people. A supplement with only 60 mg of vitamin E daily did not improve immune functioning. Obviously, superior immune functioning lessens infections, possibly cancer and heart disease. Tufts University Study 

6. Stop Heart Attacks. A daily dose of 400-800 IU of natural vitamin E cut subsequent heart attacks in men with heart problems by an astonishing 77 percent. Cambridge University, England. 

7. Stop Strokes. High doses of B vitamins decreased the amount of plaque in carotid (neck) arteries by 10 percent during a four-year study. Blocked carotid arteries can cause strokes. Plaque increased by 50 percent in non-vitamin B takers. University of Toronto. 

8. Prevent Fractures. Taking 500 mg of calcium and 700 IU of vitamin D daily for three years significantly cut the rate of bone loss and non-vertebral fractures in men and women older than age 65. Tufts University Study. 

9. Save Vision. Women taking vitamin C supplements cut their risk of cataracts by 77 per cent. Tufts University and the National Institutes of Health. 

10. Prolongs Life. Taking vitamin E and vitamin C (in higher doses than in a multivitamin) cut chances of death from all causes by 42 percent. Vitamin E users were 47 percent less apt to die of heart disease and 59 percent less likely to die of cancer. National Institute on Aging.

11. Help Decrease The Risk Of Stroke. According to researchers from Harvard, the long-term dietary intake of folate and vitamin B12 may help decrease the risk of ischemic stroke. Source: Stroke, Volume 35, 2004

12. Vitamin C Deficiency May Be Linked To Respiratory Disorders. In a two-year study, researchers found that vitamin C may prevent symptoms linked to airway diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 101, Number 10, 2004

Almost as unacceptable as not recommending vitamin and mineral supplements is the recommendation of them based on the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The RDA is the measured amount or dosage of nutrient per vitamin and minerals recommend. The RDA or as I call it the Recommended Disease Allowance, may keep you from getting Scurvy, but it certainly won’t stand- up to the many chronic diseases that continue to plague modern man.

The U.S. federal government sets these levels based on the “average adult.”  The “average person plan” assumes that you are an adult under 60 years old who is in good health, has normal digestion, isn’t overweight, leads a relatively stress-free life, has no medical problems, doesn’t take any medication, eats a balanced diet, and consumes 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Needless to say, most of us don’t fit into the definition of the average person defined by RDA. In fact, most adult women don’t meet the RDA for zinc, Vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin E.  Likewise, most adult men don’t meet the RDA for zinc and magnesium. Fewer than 29% of people eat 5 fresh fruits and vegetables a day. Furthermore, 20% of the U.S. population doesn’t eat ANY fruits or vegetables at all! 

The recommended daily allowance is some fifty years out of date. It was never intended to advance health, only to prevent malnutrition diseases like scurvy or rickets. Taking the minimum amount of a nutrient to prevent gross deficiency diseases doesn’t help those people who want to be truly healthy and not just be free of symptoms. 

The RDA is inadequate if your goal is for prevention and or treatment of heart disease, cancer, cataracts, depression, senility, diabetes, arthritis and other age related disorders. For optimal health and well being, many health practitioners are recommending many times higher than the RDA on certain nutrients. It’s no secret, for the majority of the U.S. population the diet is poorly lacking in essential nutrients. Additionally, nearly all Americans are deficient even in the minimal RDA requirements, and are therefore exposed to premature death.

Taking an optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula is the best way to ensure you obtain and maintain optimal health.

The average medical doctor has less than 3 hours of nutrition while attending medical college. Our health as a nation would be better served if medical students received more hours in nutrition and prevention than in “drugs are the only thing to mention” mentality.

Questions? My staff loves to answer questions and help others help themselves get and stay healthy. Give us a call 205-879-2383.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fibromyalgia Poorly Served By Drug Happy Rheumatologists

The term “fibro” was used to designate soft (or fibrous) tissue involvement and “myalgia” is Latin for “pain”. 

Fibromyalgia was originally thought to be a rheumatologic condition because - like a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis - it is characterized by musculoskeletal pain. But research has since shown that there are no abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system in people with fibromyalgia. Instead, the problem appears to lie in the pain processing pathways of our central nervous system.

The term Fibromyalgia was created by rheumatologist Dr. Frederick Wolfe in 1984 to describe a condition affecting primarily women.

Of course if you’re subscribed to my free Health Matters newsletter,, you read my article about how Dr. Wolfe now denies that fibromyalgia is a real disease-Sad but true.

Before 1990, no guidelines for evaluating and diagnosing fibromyalgia existed. To reduce misdiagnosis and confusion, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) sponsored a multicenter study to develop these criteria; the results were published in 1990. In 1992, at the Second World Congress on Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia, the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia were expanded and refined.

Since rheumatologists were the first health specialty to promote and ratify the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, they became the doctors of choice for seeing fibro patients. It didn’t matter that may at least early on had no idea what fibromyalgia was or how to treat it-unfortunately this is often the case today. Many rheumatologists won’t take any new fibro patients or are openly skeptical about the condition.

I believe rheumatologists are the worst possible doctors to manage a fibromyalgia patient’s case. 

Why? There are several reasons -

Because they deal in hard to treat autoimmune diseases, and see patients other doctors don’t want to see, Rheumatologists have a lengthy waiting list-may take 3 months to be seen.

A waiting list of patients can create a lack of empathy for the longwinded, hard to treat fibro patient who needs more than a five-minute office visit every 3 months. “Who cares if you come back I have plenty of other patients waiting in line to be seen.”

Rheumatologist are trained to use drugs, usually incredibly toxic drugs, Methotrexate, gold salts, Plaquenil, Enbrel, etc.

Here is the warning box info for Enbrel:


Patients treated with Enbrel are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death.

Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressant’s such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.
Enbrel should be discontinued if a patient develops a serious infection or sepsis.

Reported infections include:

Active tuberculosis, including reactivation of latent tuberculosis. Patients with tuberculosis have frequently presented with disseminated or extrapulmonary disease. Patients should be tested for latent tuberculosis before Enbrel use and during therapy. Treatment for latent infection should be initiated prior to Enbrel use.

Invasive fungal infections, including histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and pneumocystosis. Patients with histoplasmosis or other invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease. Antigen and antibody testing for histoplasmosis may be negative in some patients with active infection. Empiric anti-fungal therapy should be considered in patients at risk for invasive fungal infections who develop severe systemic illness.

Bacterial, viral, and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.
The risks and benefits of treatment with Enbrel should be carefully considered prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.

Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with Enbrel, including the possible development of tuberculosis in patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy.

Lymphoma and other malignancies, some fatal, have been reported in children and adolescent patients treated with TNF blockers, including Enbrel.

Scary huh?
The black box warning for Plaquenil is just as scary.

Immunosuppressive medications used by rheumatologists for autoimmune diseases are fraught with danger. That is the reason these drugs are used only by rheumatologists and not by internists, family physicians, or other medical specialists. Rheumatology is a medical specialty developed to prescribe and monitor the side effects of these high-risk medications.

The rheumatologists mentality has been conditioned over the years to continue prescribe more and stronger symptom suppressing drugs. This is a disastrous approach for fibromyalgia patients. Most fibro patients can’t tolerate drugs - they only make them worse. Drugs don’t make you healthy, they can be helpful but they don’t make you healthy. The only way to reverse fibromyalgia is to get healthy!

Using an atomic bomb like Enbrel or Plaquenil to treat fibromyalgia symptoms is not only stupid, it is incredibly dangerous!

Traditional medicine and drug therapy is a dead end for fibro patients. You can read my past blog Traditional Medicine Fails Fibro below or even better:

You can listen to my past First Tuesday of the Month Fibromyalgia Teleconference recordings here:

My fibro blog- Traditional Medicine Fails Fibromyalgia

Friday, September 28, 2012

One of The Stupidest Things Ever -

Absurd New Study Claims Eating Egg Yolks Is “Nearly as Dangerous as Smoking Cigarettes”

Did you read the sensational media headlines reporting that eating egg yolks increased carotid plaque and thus increases the risk of heart attack and stroke?
The authors of the “study” (really a simple questionnaire) found that “carotid plaque area increased linearly with age after age 40, but increased exponentially with pack-years of smoking and with egg-yolk years.” This led them to form a hypothesis—that egg yolks may cause plaque in much the way cigarette smoking does—and that regular consumption of egg yolks should be avoided by persons at risk of cardiovascular disease.

This is how medical myths start to take hold. This is like other medical myths full of junk science, biased views and promoted by those with monetary interests. This “study” may do to eggs what statin drugs (Lipitor) did to cholesterol. Eggs aren’t dangerous, unless they are spoiled. Eggs are in fact a health food and cholesterol is in fact a potent antioxidant needed for maintain healthy cells.

In fact: low cholesterol is more dangerous than high cholesterol.

Don’t believe me? It is all documented in the leading scientific medical journals-you can read more on my past blog:

This study and the media love fest is nothing more than yellow journalism.

Read More Here ...
Don’t lump the tasty egg, the all purpose omelette, the Sunday morning quish, and the staple of many gourmet cooking sauces in with a known health robbing, cancer causing, inflammation generating, habit-smoking cigarettes.

This is as stupid as saying you shouldn’t eat any fat-remember the low fat, high carb diet days when we spent a decade gaining more weight than ever and drove our type II diabetes cases to record highs?

Medical misinformation creates medical myths. Please don’t be fooled by this “study” eat all the eggs you want.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Type II Diabetes Reaching Epidemic Status

Type II diabetes continues to climb in the United States.  

The number of Americans with diabetes continues to increase, according to CDC's most recent National Diabetes Fact Sheet. So does the number of Americans with pre-diabetes, a condition that increases their risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The National Diabetes Fact Sheet, provides data on how many Americans have diabetes, as well as information on age, racial and ethnic differences in diabetes, and on complications of the disease. Below are some highlights from the fact sheet.

Diabetes affects 8.3% of all Americans and 11.3% of adults age 20 and older.

Some 27% of people with diabetes – 7 million Americans – do not know they have the disease. In 2010, 1.9 million Americans were first diagnosed with diabetes.

Pre-diabetes affects 35% of adults age 20 and older, and half of Americans age 65 and older.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

The CDC estimates that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Type 2 diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to use and produce insulin, accounts for 90% to 95% of cases.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history, having diabetes while pregnant, a sedentary lifestyle and race/ethnicity.
In The New England Journal of Medicine, Robert Steinbrook, M.D. stated:

“The diabetes epidemic in the United States continues unabated, with a staggering toll in acute and chronic complications, disability, and death.”

He continues…

“The primary culprits are poor glycemic control over the long term and other major risk factors, such as hypertension, cigarette smoking, obesity, and elevated levels of cholesterol or blood lipids.”

Children With Type 2 Diabetes Now Common

To make matters worse, type 2 diabetes is no longer a disease of older adults, but children and young adults as well.

In an article published in July, 2008 in an issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, pediatric endocrinologist Joyce Lee, M.D. stated:

“Recent studies suggest that there have been dramatic increases in type 2 diabetes among individuals in their 20s and 30s, whereas it used to be that individuals developed type 2 diabetes in their late 50s or 60s…”

Children Under 20 years of age:

215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes

What is so different in today’s society that seems to be causing this disease to be on an increase?

People with type 2 diabetes suffer from multiple nutritional deficiencies.


Research has shown, those with type 2 diabetes often have low levels of the vitamin, biotin. This is a significant finding because biotin appears to be involved in the synthesis and release of insulin.

In other words, when there is a biotin deficiency, glucose (blood sugar) utilization is impaired. It appears that biotin helps improve blood sugar control.

Diabetic Support Formula
An article based on a study related to the pharmacological effects of biotin from The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that patients with type 2 diabetes had high blood glucose levels that corresponded to lower biotin levels, whereas, the non-diabetic control subjects had lower fasting blood glucose levels that corresponded to higher blood biotin levels.

In order to see if an association existed, the patients with type 2 diabetes where given a supplementation of 9,000 mcg/day of biotin for one month.

The results were significant.

After one month, their fasting blood glucose levels decreased by an average of 45%!

A study done in 2006, found that biotin also seems to have an effect on lowering triglyceride levels; in both the diabetes group as well as the control group.

“We conclude that pharmacological doses of biotin decrease hypertriglyceridemia. The triglyceride-lowering effect of biotin suggests that biotin could be used in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia.”

Yet another study, involved patients who took biotin in combination with chromium (a vital trace mineral used in the body for carbohydrate metabolism and insulin regulation.)

The result showed improvement in blood sugar levels, decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL cholesterol levels.

Studies like these prove the gross nutritional deficiencies that are so apparent in today’s society. Poor diet, living on an over abundance of carbohydrate processed foods, cereals, bagels, chips, sweets, sodas, is the bedrock of faulty metabolism and leads to type 2 diabetes.

I’ve found that the best way to eliminate type 2 diabetes is to lose weight and take the right nutritional supplements. My patients with type 2 diabetes are placed on my Jump Start Weight Loss Program and are usually able to eliminate all their diabetes meds within 2-4 weeks of starting my program. It is not unusual for my patients to lose 15-30 pounds in the first month of care. And with this program not only are patients able to discontinue most if not all of their meds for diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, they also keep the weight off that they’ve lost. I’ve got patients who’ve lost 40, 50, even 100 pounds and have kept the weight off one year later! 

This program has been a godsend for my diabetic and high blood pressure patients.

You can read more about the Jump Start Weight Loss Program Here, or by calling the clinic 205-879-2383.

Here’s an entertaining and very informative past article about diabetes and the potential dangers of the common drugs used to treat it-

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stress Busting DHEA and Fibromyalgia

Adrenal fatigue is common among those battling fibromyalgia. 
The adrenal glands are located atop each kidney. These glands and the hormones they release allow us to be resilient to day-to-day stress. They allow us to build-up stamina to stressful situations-to rebound from daily stress or stressors.

Individuals with fibromyalgia will find that their adrenal glands have been stressed to the max. They will experience symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue including low energy, brain fog, poor immune function, anxiety, depression, poor sleep, and other stress depleting symptoms. In short they don’t handle stress very well. Because of this they will try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible. Those with severe cases will be become totally withdrawn from social situations, hibernating in their homes and avoiding stress at all costs.

Of course stress also increases their anxiety, makes their symptoms worse and causes them to have flare-ups.

Because they’ve lost their ability to handle stress if they have a day when they feel good and over do it (clean the house, paint the playroom, grocery shopping, etc.). Then they usually crash the next day. These flares are repeated over and over when a person suffers with adrenal fatigue.

Once adrenal exhaustion sets in, it’s not long before the body begins to break down. Getting “stressed out” and staying “stressed out” is the beginning of chronic illness for most, if not all, of the fibromyalgia patients I work with.

One way to repair adrenal fatigue and boost stress coping abilities is to supplement with the over the counter hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).


The adrenal cortex, when healthy, produces adequate levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

DHEA boosts:

• Energy, both mental and physical
• Sex drive
• Resistance to stress, builds tolerance and stamina to stress and stressors
• Self-defense mechanisms (immune system)
• General well being
  And helps to raise:
• Cortisol levels-our major stress coping hormone
• Overall adrenal function
• Mood
• Cellular energy
• Mental acuity
• Muscle strength
• Over all stamina

DHEA is notoriously low in my fibromyalgia patients. Chronic stress initially causes the adrenals to release extra amounts of stress hormone cortisol. Continuous stress raises cortisol to abnormally high levels. Then the adrenal glands get to where they can’t keep up with the demand for more cortisol. As the cortisol levels continue to become depleted from on going stress the body attempts to counter this by releasing more DHEA. Eventually they can’t produce enough cortisol or DHEA. This is where most of my patients find themselves in-low DHEA levels from years of stress.

Aging makes holding on to DHEA even tougher. Even in healthy individuals, DHEA levels begin to drop after the age of 30. By age 70, they are at about 20% of their peak levels.

Stress and DHEA

DHEA helps prevent the destruction of tryptophan (5HTP), which increases the production of serotonin. This helps provide added protection from chronic stress. Serotonin is one of the most important stress coping chemicals. This happy hormone increases or moods, reduces pain (increases pain threshold), and is responsible for stimulating the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. If you’ve read my book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you know the importance of 5HTP and serotonin. And I spend quite a bit of time discussing the merits of DHEA for reversing anxiety and depression in my book, Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression With OrthomolecularMedicine.

DHEA is one the most effective antianxiety therapies available and much safer than benzodiazepine drugs.

Studies continue to show low DHEA to be a biological indicator of stress, aging, and age-related diseases including neurosis, depression, peptic ulcer, IBS, and others.

DHEA and Immune Function

The decrease in DHEA levels correlates with the general decline of cell-mediated immunity and increased incidence of cancer. DHEA protects the thymus gland, a major player in immune function. DHEA is a potent immune booster. It is one of my go to supplements when treating patients with poor immune function including those with chronic fatigue syndrome and shingles.

Get Tested
DHEA Supplement I recommend to my patients

To know if you need to start taking over the counter DHEA, have your blood tested. The normal range is quite large and so most doctors will tell you if you have DHEA show up above 20 you are good. Don’t listen to this nonsense. Numerous studies and 17 years of clinical experience show that optimal levels of DHEA are needed for optimal health. For women optimal DHEA levels should be above 250 and for men closer to 350.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Overcoming Poor Sleep Is Key To Reversing Fibromyalgia

Chronic poor sleep is the beginning of fibromyalgia. Sure chronic pain and even fatigue get all the press, but poor sleep is the real nail in the coffin for fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep leads to more pain, inflammation, brain fog, depression, fatigue, headaches, IBS, RLS, weight gain, and other health robbing symptoms.

Melatonin is the primary hormone of the pineal gland and acts to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, especially the sleep/wake cycle.  When administered in pharmacological doses (1-3mgs), melatonin acts as a powerful sleep-regulating agent that controls the circadian rhythm. 
The same area of the brain that releases melatonin also regulates the happy hormone serotonin. Serotonin helps to produce melatonin. If you are deficient in serotonin, you’ll also be deficient in melatonin (can’t sleep). If you’re low in serotonin, I recommend you start taking 300mg 5HTP before beginning melatonin therapy.

Melatonin is affected by a person’s exposure to light. Melatonin levels start to rise as the sun goes down and drop off as the sun comes up. The retina (eyes) are extremely sensitive to changes in light. An increase in light that strikes the retina triggers a decrease in melatonin production. Conversely, limited exposure to light increases melatonin production. This explains why some individuals suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What Can Decrease Melatonin Levels? 

Essential Therapeutics Melatonin  P.R.
Chronic stress and depletion of stress coping chemicals including serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP)• exposure to bright lights at night• exposure to electromagnetic fields• NSAIDs (Celebrex, Vioxx, Mobic, Alleve, Bextra,etc.)• SSRIs, yes the very same antidepressants that many take for FMS, including Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and Lexapro.• anxiety meds (benzodiazepines) like Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, etc.• anti-hypertensive meds (beta-blockers, adrenergics, and calcium channel blockers) including, Inderal, Toprol, Tenormin, Lorpressor, etc.• steroids• over 3 mg. of vitamin B12 in a day.• caffeine• alcohol• tobacco• evening exercise (for up to three hours afterwards) • depression

Instead of addressing the cause, countless pharmaceuticals have been created to treat the symptoms of these conditions (many based on serotonin, the very hormone that is dependent upon producing your natural sleep hormone melatonin). Most patients are taking sleep drugs that don’t promote deep restorative sleep (benzodiazepines-Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Seroquel, etc.) and don’t ever feel rested.

Popular prescriptions for insomnia have recently made headlines due to “Risk of Death”. The following are only some that have been named:

  • Ambien
  • Restoril
  • Sonata 
  • Lunesta

A recent article on FOX stated,

“People who took more than 132 pills a year were not only five times more likely to die, but were also at greater risk of developing several types of cancer, and 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with any type of cancer, overall”

In the UK, the following was said in an eye opening article;
   ”Experts have warned that sleeping pills prescribed in the UK could increase the risk of death more than four-fold.”
also finding that…

“The benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.“ Sleeping Pills ‘Quadruple Risk Of Death’

The list of drugs used for treating anxiety is almost endless, however some of the more popular include:

  • Cymbalta
  • Ativan
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Valium
  • Xanax 

Dr. Peter Bongiorno, naturopath, wrote an interesting article in Psychology Today. He states,

“These anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are among the most prescribed in the United States – and possibly the most dangerous. According to a report in the 2010 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, people who use anti-anxiety medication have a 36% increased mortality risk. That means persons using these drugs are almost 40% more likely to die than people who do not use them…”

Treat The Cause Not The Symptoms

Poor sleep can and must be corrected preferably with natural supplements which correct the cause, low serotonin and or melatonin. Sleep drugs potentially create more problems and often lead to other drugs. For an in-depth discussion on sleep, sleep meds, and natural remedies please see my book Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If ...

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she tells you fibromyalgia doesn’t exist.

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she dismisses your fibromyalgia symptoms as nothing more than you being a hypochondriac-someone wanting attention.

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she tells you that more exercise, sleep or losing weight is all you need to do to for your fibromyalgia symptoms-you know the doctor who says “you just need to improve your sex life, take a vacation, lose some weight, your just depressed, it is just PMS…”Give me a break, this doctor doesn’t have a clue!

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she tells you that all your blood work looks normal so you must be a “drug seeker.” It may not occur to this stupid doctor that you never mentioned you wanted pain medication, that in fact you have repeatedly declined to take pain meds in the past. What you are really seeking is to have a doctor listen, understand and help you feel better.

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she fails to order the proper tests, especially but not limited to thyroid tests. Simply following the herd and only ordering routine tests, including “the normal” thyroid tests, stimulating hormone (TSH) and a T4 (Thyroxine) is similar to trying to critique The Sound of Music after only watching the first 20 minutes of the movie/play. Your synopsis is-Julie Andrews was a quirky nun. Ok, what about the Captain, his children, the Nazi party, the wedding, and the escape? My point is stupid doctors are happy to stay stupid. They don’t care to practice the art of doctoring, being a detective, investigating anything outside the routine.

They’re happy to follow the herd, not make any waves and dispatch the drugs the pharmaceutical rep asks them to based on “this is how we’ve always done it.”

Sorry but it burns me up that patients go to their doctor with all the symptoms of low thyroid-fatigue, depression, anxiety, elevated cholesterol, brain fog, weight gain, cold hands, cold feet, swelling, tingling pains, constipation, hair loss-only to be told their blood work looks fine.

They totally miss the diagnosis because they don’t go the extra mile (“this is how we’ve always done it”). They are then only too happy to promote life draining drugs to cover up the hypothyroid symptoms-Ritalin for low energy, Lipitor for elevated cholesterol, Zoloft for depression, Lyrica for tingling pain…it just goes on and on.

The patient’s symptoms and poor health continue to grow year after year when all the stupid doctor needed to do was run the right tests, or think outside the box and recommend prescription or over the counter thyroid hormone therapy. Correct the cause, low thyroid and all the symptoms go away!

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she dismisses the very real condition known as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs when your stress coping glands, the adrenals become to stressed to perform properly. Stress is definitely the catalyst for disease! They will tell you your symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, low energy, brain fog, low immune function, depression, poor sleep, weight gain, etc. are from getting older or all in your head.

Why? Because doctors are evaluating blood work for disease not function. They don’t care that your adrenals aren’t functioning at optimal levels (to allow you to deal with and rebound from stress). They only care if you have TOTAL adrenal failure, Addison’s disease. Blood tests won’t show adrenal fatigue but a four-sample, 16-hour saliva test will.

Guess what else stupid doctors don’t believe in, saliva tests. This despite they’ve been proven valid and are recognized by insurance companies, accredited labs, Harvard Medical School, and other leading organizations.

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she has you taking two different SSRI or SSNRI antidepressant medications. These drugs, including Savella, Cymbalta, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Pristiq, and Prozac are supposed to help your brain re-uptake the happy hormones serotonin and or norepinephrine. It makes no sense to be on more than one of these drugs at the same time-you only increase the risk of more side effects (including poor sleep, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, etc.).

If you stop to get gas why would you mix 89% with 91% unleaded fuel? You wouldn’t. If you need more fuel you simply increase the cars intake, you don’t mix them. Mixing these drugs is a sign of a lazy and stupid doctor!

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she has you taking a stimulant drug or drugs and a relaxant or tranquilizing drug. Examples include-taking Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera, Intuniv, Vyvanse, Wellbutren, Effexor, Cymbalta, Savella, or Pristiq and a benzodiazepine drug for anxiety including Ativan, Xanax, Seroquel, Klonpin, Valium or Busbar. One drug is revving you up the other is making you a zombie.

Lazy or stupid doctors are happy to over medicate you. They don’t take time to study how to naturally reduce your anxiety, which after the fact, you can and should use natural amino acids (which make the happy, calming and or stimulating brain hormones, serotonin and norepinephrine)-no one has a drug deficiency!

You May Have A Stupid Doctor If-
He or she has you taking a potentially stimulating drug while you are complaining of insomnia. It used to surprise me to see doctors recommending their patients take a SSRI or SSNRI at bedtime. Why? Because these drugs can, not only re-uptake the calming hormone serotonin, they can also re-uptake the stimulating hormone adrenaline. Now I may not be “a real doctor,” I’m only a little chiropractor nutritionist, but I know enough about biochemistry and physiology and after 17 years experience of treating fibro I know you don’t do anything to potentially sabotage deep restorative sleep.

Timed-release stimulant drugs including some antidepressants and Ritalin are notorious for causing sleep disorders. AND you should know that these drugs deplete your natural sleep hormone melatonin.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

But I’m sure the stupid doctor simply increased your sleep medication or added another potentially dangerous drug to knock you out at night.

Well I could go on and on about stupid doctors but I’ve got to finish up now so I can pack my clothes for my weekend seminar on Functional Medicine. I’ll be learning about more tests that stupid doctors don’t use or even know about. I’m happy not to follow the herd, and strive to be a smart doctor, even though I’m still learning how to work the new TV remote.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Most Common Thyroid Disease: Especially For Women With Fibromyalgia

A majority of my fibro and CFS patient's complain of low thyroid symptoms. They relate that they, and sometimes even their doctors, suspected a thyroid problem only to have their blood work come back "normal". Most physician's won't recommend thyroid replacement therapy if the blood tests come back "normal". Most don't know or choose not to accept the well-documented studies that show a low body temperature is indicative of low thyroid function and perhaps true hypothyroidism. 

And most doctors don’t realize that blood tests for low or hypothyroidism is notoriously inaccurate.

Do you have a number of these symptoms, associated with hypothyroidism- fatigue, headaches, dry skin, swelling, weight gain, cold hands and feet, poor memory, brain fog, hair loss, hoarseness, nervousness, low sex drive, brittle nails, constipation, poor immune function, chronic sinus infections, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, anxiety, depression, joint and or muscle pain, and burning or tingling sensations in the hands or feet? Reads like the symptoms of fibromyalgia and or CFS doesn’t it?

Ok, how many symptoms did you have? Several I imagine. So if you have most of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, why doesn’t your blood test show that you in fact do have hypothyroidism? Good question.

One major reason is that most doctors don’t do the complete tests to uncover hypothyroidism, especially when it comes to those with fibromyalgia and or CFS.

You may have a common autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It may be the most common thyroid disease, especially with women with fibromyalgia.

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis - Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune thyroid disease where the immune system immune system aggressively attacks your thyroid gland-attempting to destroy your gland as if it’s some dangerous enemy. It can cause nodules or lumps in the thyroid. However most of the time there is no physical change in the appearance of your thyroid.

It typically starts out silently, slowly, but soon enough inflammation, low thyroid function and gradual destruction of your thyroid gland begins-symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, or other symptoms associated with low thyroid function, become common. Unfortunately typical blood tests (TSH, T4 blood levels) won’t uncover this disease! Symptoms from thyroiditis can go on for years and years. Doctors may continue to suspect from all your symptoms you have hypothyroidism but since your blood work always comes back “normal,” you must just be depressed or lazy or….here take an antidepressant.

Year after year your doctor treats the symptoms of the uncovered Hashimoto’s disease with drug after drug-antidepressants for your depression, cholesterol medicine, high blood pressure medicine, stimulant drugs for your fatigue…it goes on and on. Why not treat the CAUSE of this symptoms-the Hashimoto’s?

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? Again for most, the symptoms are silent–at least in the early stages. But eventually, you start to notice the same symptoms of hypothyroid, including poor stamina, easy fatigue, feeling cold, gaining weight, dry hair and skin, constipation, etc.

There are special blood tests to uncover Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which I routinely perform on ALL my patients-why would you want to miss such a valuable piece of information? If your fortunate enough to get a doctor who isn’t blindly following the herd, and does actually have some “smarts” and runs special thyroid tests to uncover Hashimoto’s, they’ll typically take a wait and see approach to a positive test.

This ridiculous! “Miss Jones you have the beginnings of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but since we can’t treat it affectively with prescription drugs, or at least not until your thyroid has been destroyed from the Hashimoto’s disease.”

“Doctor, how will you know when my thyroid has been destroyed.”
“Your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level will finally be elevated and we will then be able to prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone like Synthroid or Levothyroxine, which you’ll need to stay on for the rest of your life.

Allowing the attack to continue on your thyroid until your TSH is elevated is crazy-not only last for years, but cause all sorts of problems along the way of its destruction, including years and years of poor health. Instead, why not just stop the attack and all the consequences?

Why because traditional medicine doesn’t have a drug to stop the attack. Fortunately there natural over the counter remedies and protocols that will in fact stop the destruction and correct the altered thyroid function.

Listen if you have symptoms similar to the ones discussed above do yourself a favor find a doctor who’ll do more than order the typical run of the mill tests. You know what I’m talking about, the same tests your doctors runs every year and then reports your labs look great it is just your fibromyalgia that is the problem.

The real problem is you’ve got a doctor or doctors who are content to do the same tests, ask the same questions, and prescribe the same recommendations, and you get worse every year. WHAT YOU NEED is a detective, a health professional who based on his or her experience knows that the only way to reverse a complicated illness like fibromyalgia is to order the uncommon tests (no one with fibromyalgia is common), ask the questions not asked, and pursue every health clue until you are know the TRUE cause of the symptoms-then start treating the CAUSE not the symptoms.

If you suspect you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or a low thyroid function and can’t get your doctor to help you then please consider taking the time to find a doctor who will listen to you and order the right tests.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have uncovered hundreds of missed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis cases and have helped spare these patients of years of misery. There are ways to correct Hashimoto’s thyroiditis short of letting your thyroid burn out and health become shattered.

I’ve helped thousands reverse their fibromyalgia and get their life back. Are you next?

Phone and in clinic new patient consults available 205-879-2383