Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" September 2011
Thursday September 1, 2011
Doctors and Nurses Use CAM More than the Public
Three of every four US healthcare workers use CAM for prevention. MDs and RNs used CAM services more than their assistants. Thirty eight percent of the US uses CAM services such as supplements, meditation, chiropractic, Pilates, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine. The reasons healthcare workers used CAM was for back, neck, and joint pain.
Yet only 1.5% of total medical expenditures account for CAM services. Om 2007, 38 million adults made about 350 million visits to CAM practitioners at a cost of $12 billion.
Friday September 2, 2011
Assessing Hospital Quality of Care
Avoidable readmissions to hospitalization is only one way of measuring quality of hospital care. While they often relate to physician judgment or lack of it, there are many other factors such as patient education about medicines and why they are necessary, administration of medications, social factors for supportive care, and financial matters.
Monday September 5, 2011
Is Chocolate Really Heart Healthy?
High levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. Really? Candy bars, truffles and Bon Bons may have chocolate, but they are not healthy for us. Data from a metaanalysis showed that the highest chocolate eaters have a 37% lower risk for heart disease and a 29% lower risk for stroke. The study did not differentiate between dark and milk chocolate. Many chocolate products are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, milk and vanilla. You simply have to read the ingredients before trusting that a "chocolate" product is healthy for your heart.
Dark chocolate by itself does have health benefits by lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL, slowing the rate of LDL oxidation, a mild anticoagulant effect, improved insulin sensitivity, and boosted serotonin and endorphins. Whatever else is in chocolate products often has the reverse effects!
Tuesday September 6, 2011
Is Pradaxa a New Breakthrough in Anticoagulation?
Pradaxa is currently the only FDA approved drug that inhibits factor Xa and seems to have significant advantages over Coumadin. Early studies have shown a 21% less likely risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation, a 31% lower risk of bleeding, and an 11% lower mortality rate. Two drugs under study by the FDA now include Xarelto, and Eliquis.
If this data holds up, these drugs promise to replace Coumadin and perhaps aspirin and Plaxix as anticoagulants.
This is well and good, but the science behind the conclusion that these drugs are the cat's meow is completely lacking. Until we have comparative studies that show head to head results from pharmaceutical drugs and nutritional products such as nattokinase, lumbrokinase, fish oil, ginko biloba, vitamin E etc., we will not have good data to guide us in choosing a therapy. Our government funded NIH has the responsibility to fund these studies and has let us down bigtime because of its conflicts of interest with Big Pharma.
Lastly, we need a better way to be certain that the approach we're taking actually is working. The best way to do this is to look at blood under dark field microscopy. This is a far underutilized technology that could save a lot of heart attacks, strokes and other diseases where coagulation plays an important factor.
Wednesday September 7, 2011
Potatoes Lower Blood Pressure
In people who are overweight that have high blood pressure, potatoes lowered their blood pressure about 4% and did not cause weight gain over a 30 day period. It is the condiments that lead to weight gain. Most foods that are unadulterated are healthy for us.
Thursday September 8, 2011
Public Disclosures of Clinical Trials
A lack of openness about designs and results of clinical trials, coupled with inadequate oversight of off-label use of drugs and adverse events, puts consumers of health products at risk. There is also the aspect that government sponsored clinical trials are paid for by the public, yet they must purchase the information when results are published in medical journals. We should not have to pay twice for studies we've funded through NIH. Business has taken precedence over service.
Friday September 9, 2011
9.11 Firefighters Have an Increased Risk for Cancer
Male firefighters exposed to toxic dust and smoke from the 9/11 disaster have a 19% increased risk for all types of cancer. They were exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins, all known carcinogens. This is important data because it now makes it possible for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to consider reimbursing those firefighters who have developed cancer after only 7 years.
It is a shame that people who have risked their health and lives have to fight for compensation for their exposure to the toxins in the air from the 9/11 event. This is similar to what has happened through the VA hospitals for soldiers exposed to toxins in wars.
Monday September 12, 2011
Methyl Jasmonate as a Treatment for Cancer
Methyl jasmonate is a plant hormone that is able to disrupt the mitochondria of cancer cells, but not normal cells. This would add to the abilitiy of cancer cells to produce energy and perhaps help destroy cancer cells. We clearly need more research on this inexpensive and readily available treatment. Hopefully the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would fund research on this as there is no incentive for Big Pharma to become involved because they cannot patent their research on natural substances.
Tuesday September 13,2011
Weight Loss Takes More Than Will Power
Weight loss takes much more than will power. There are many reasons why people become overweight that must be dealt with in order to lose and sustain weight loss. There are endocrine causes such as thyroid, adrenal, and ovarian causes as well as diet, exercise, PTSD, insomnia, environmental toxins, many drugs, and quitting smoking that are involved in weight gain and loss. Many eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, are binge eating make weight management far more difficult to deal with as well.
Wednesday September 14, 2011
What You Should Know About Vitamin K
Vitamin K's function is underappreciated by both MDs and patients. It regulates calcium metabolism and protects against osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, aortic valve calcification and regulates clotting. Adequate levels of vitamin K move calcium out of soft tissues such as arteries and heart valves and into bones, where we need it. Even people on Coumadin need small amounts of vitamin K to protect against osteoporosis and heart attacks and strokes. Coumadin doubles the risk of artery and heart valve disease as well as osteoporosis within three years!
Thursday September 15, 2011
Congress to Relax FDA Rules on Drug Conflicts of Interest
Congress is considering relaxing FDA rules on drug conflicts of interest. The FDA has taken the position that it is very difficult to recruit highly qualified people onto committees that determine whether or not a drug will be approved by the FDA. They say that 23% of FDA Advisory Panels have vacancies and that people who are the most knowledgeable should be included on these regulatory panels regardless of their conflicts of interest. Fees from drugmakers and medical devices provide more than one thikrd of the FDA's funding. This is no different that recruiting foxes to guary the hen house!
We agree that anyone with qualified information needed to educate FDA panelists should be invited to serve on FDA committees. However, they clearly should not have voting privileges!! They have a track record that is a disgrace. The Vioxx and Celebrex stories are good examples of the depth of this corruption. The bottom line is we don't need more corruption caused by conflicts of interest and there are plenty of people who are smart, qualified, and don't have conflicts of interest. It is shocking that Congress has the gaul to put such a law into practice.
Friday September 16, 2011
High Dose Zinc Lozenges and Colds
High-dose, but not low dose, zinc lozenges shorten the duration of the common cold. Daily doses greater than 75 mg showed a 42% reduction in duration of colds. The forms of zinc working the best are acetate and glycinate. Zinc acts as an antirhinoviral agent, inducer of interferon (prevents viruses from entering cells), and immune booster.
Monday September 19, 2011
Salt, Exercise, and Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
There is a lot of confusion about what salt does for the risk of hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and mortality. Recent studies have shown that for people without heart disease or stroke, that salt does not increase mortality. There is no question that salt is a bad idea for someone with congestive heart failure or fluid overload. We know that salt retains water.
There is more data now showing that for older people who are eating too much salt and not exercising that the risk for cognitive decline goes up. It is clear that one size doesn't fit all...some people should not consume salt and some can if they want. We should also highlight the fact that refined table salt is only sodium chloride but that sea salt or Himilayan salt is far more complex and provides a lot of micronutrients that are good for us. Each person should be evaluated to determine who can eat more salt and who is at risk for fluid accumulation and health issues as a result.
Tuesday September 20, 2011
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Lower Anxiety and Inflammation
Increasing omega 3 intake my lower both anxiety symptoms and proinflammatory cytokines. Medical students receiving omega 3 supplements for 3 months showed a 20% reduction in anxiety and 14% reduction in interleukin 6, a proinflammatory cytokine. An omega 3 deficiency is associated with increased anxiety, which is very common in the US.
Other benefits of omega 3 fatty acids include being antiarrhythmic and anticoagulant, making healthy cell membranes, and helping lift depressive symptoms. Sources of these fatty acids include fish and krill oils and precursors include a variety of seeds and nuts such as flax, hemp, chia, and walnuts.
Wednesday September 21, 2011
Healing Chronic Pain Using Bodymind Psychotherapy
We all suffer from pain at some time in our lives. Bodymind healing psychotherapy focuses on the felt meaning of the pain rather than on only drugs and technologies. Dr. Mayer developed an integrative style of treating pain that uses mainstream psychotherapy as well as qigong. It integrates breath, movement, posture, sound, touch, and often uses acupuncture points. He incorporates these strategies with a technique called the "river of life."
Learning about the role of our emotions in creating pain provides access to powerful tools that can relieve symptoms.
Thursday September 22, 2011
Treating Hypertension Using Mindbody Psychotherapy
Hypertension is generally treated with drugs in mainstream medicine, but using bodymind psychotherapy can get many people off their drugs and still have controlled blood pressure. This approach shifts the balance of the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic (fight or flight response) to parasympathetic (relaxation response) dominance. This treats the cause rather than just the symptoms of hypertension. The river of life technique is explained.
Friday September 23, 2011
Obama Backtracks on Smog Prevention
Despite Obama's promise to clean up our air, he has backtracked on legislation supporting lowering the levels of smog in our air. He has bowed to power plants and factories such as Dow Chemical by stating that it would cost thousands of jobs and $90 billion dollars in the bottom line for these polluting corporations. The cost is our health. There will be 12,000 preventable deaths before the bill comes up again in 2013.
Politics is complicated, non-transparent, and dirty.
Monday September 26, 2011
Energy psychology is coming into its own as a bonified field of psychology. It originally developed from applied kinesiology and muscle testing. According to Eugene Gendlin, psychotherapy is about energetic shifts, called a felt shift, that happen when someone finds new meaning on a life issue. There are interesting tapping techniques that can activate energy for change, but there are also soothing techniques that relax, comfort, and release feelings that are trapped inside the body and can hold pain and memories that restrict our ability to let go and release the tension etc that is held inside. Body postures are remarkable as expressions of our inner challenges and reflect primordial movements.
Tuesday September 27, 2011
Treating Insomnia with Mindbody Psychotherapy
Many people turn to medication first and then perhaps look for the underlying meaning of insomnia. There are many bodymind psychotherapy strategies that can do a lot to resolve sleeping problems. Using the river of life technique it is possible to shift from a sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance because it is relaxing. The felt sense of the meaning of insomnia is often discovered during this treatment and can help reveal underlying psychological issues that need to be resolved. Drugs suppress the symptoms of insomnia, but they never deal with the underlying reasons for it.
Wednesday September 28, 2011
NSAIDS Double the Risk of Miscarriage
It is amazing that NSAIDs would be used by anyone who is pregnant. We know that many drugs have serious effects on the developing fetus. Because we know that NSAIDs cause at least 30,000 deaths every year in the US and 300,000 hospitalizations, who in their right mind would suggest that a pregnant women, especially in the first trimester use an NSAID? There are so many safe options such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, Reiki, and so much more, we should consider the least invasive therapies first for anyhone who is pregnant.
Thursday September 29, 2011
How Prevalant is Mental Illness in the US
The World Pharmaceutical Market Summary shows that antidepressants and mood stabilizers are the third most commonly prescribed medications and that antipsychotics are fourth! Most families have serious dysfunctionalities that lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Our value system is misguided and leads to materialism taking precedence over service and narcissism over giving, sharing, and loving. Until we evolve to a higher level of consciousness, we are likely to continue suffering from mental illness.
Friday September 30, 2011
Options for Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Mainstream treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease sometimes require very aggressive treatment with steroids, TNF alpha blockers, chemotherapy, and even surgery, but they also require nutritional support of the GI tract with probiotics, l-glutamine, quercetin, digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids, and optimal nutrition. Unfortunately, rarely are conventional and CAM approaches combined.
Prescriptions for Health Radio Show: Fastrack Archives
This archive is a work in progress. At the end of every week, the most recent editions of Prescriptions for Health, Fastrack edition, will be posted on the DoctorSaputo.com Radio page. Shows from the previous week are then archived. There can be as many as 40 shows archived for a month.
All "Fastrack" Archives starting in June are in video!