Flu season is that dreaded, head-pounding, body-aching, feverish, nauseating, coughing affair that adds up to equal parts misery and inconvenience. Flu season runs November through May; most cases usually occur in January or February.
Influenza virus spreads from infected persons to you when you make contact with contaminated surfaces and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus is also passed by sneezing when you inhale someone else’s droplets of contaminated fluid.
Rates of infection are highest among children. Flu can cause:
• sore throat
• muscle aches
Influenza can lead to pneumonia and can be dangerous for people with heart or breathing conditions. It can cause high fever and seizures in children. About 90 percent of the fatalities are among the elderly.
ANNUAL FLU SHOT
Flu shots are vigorously promoted each year, but the latest science suggests they simply don’t work very well.
The annual flu shot is a product of the educated guesses of a group of vaccine researchers. Every February, they try to predict which flu viruses will circulate the next winter. Their three top choices are put into the vaccine. The CDC claims the vaccine will be 70 to 90 percent effective against just those strains of flu.
But the virus mutates from year to year. In 2003-2004, the CDC admitted that it completely missed the virulent Fujian flu strain that hit hard that winter. In the 2005-2006 season, a strain not included in the vaccine hospitalized 31 children in Houston.
One of the three strains in the seasonal flu shot for the 2010-2011season is the swine flu virus (H1N1) of 2009. The seasonal flu shot and the swine flu shot will be just one shot this year. If you got the H1N1 vaccination last year, the CDC recommends that you get it again in 2010. And if your shot comes from a multi-dose vial, it will contain mercury as a preservative.
There are two types of influenza vaccine:
• Inactivated – vaccine made with killed virus material and thimerosal, and injected into the muscle. Usually dispensed from multi-use injectable bottles and thimerosal (mercury) is used as a preservative.
• Live, attenuated (LAIV) – weakened influenza vaccine and sprayed into the nostrils. These viruses can survive in the nose and throat long enough to trigger the immune reaction that fights off flu, but will be killed by the higher temperatures in the lower respiratory tract. It does not contain thimerosal. The CDC describes this as “an option for healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.”
People with egg allergies shouldn’t get the shot because the vaccine is manufactured using eggs. Also, the shot is not recommended for babies under 6 months. The LAIV form is not recommended for children under age 5 with asthma, pregnant women, or those with a weakened immune system (especially cancer, bone marrow transplants), nor for people with various chronic diseases – the list includes Guillain-Barré Syndrome, heart disease, and cerebral palsy.
In February 2010, on the heels of the 2009 Swine Flu “pandemic,” the CDC made a new recommendation that every American over the age of six months be vaccinated for the seasonal flu each year. The effect of the policy change is that flu shots are now recommended for almost 100 percent of the population, up from 85 percent. The CDC said, “This represents an expansion of the previous recommendations for annual vaccination of all adults aged 19 to 49 years and is supported by evidence that annual influenza vaccination is a safe and effective preventive health action with potential benefit in all age groups.”
Meanwhile, the British government was quietly cancelling their flu immunization program for children aged six months to five years. In December 2010, senior government advisers ruled that flu shots for kids would not have significant “gain,” despite flu levels reaching a ten-year high.
Should you stand in line for your annual flu shot? Consider these findings:
• Every year only 5%-20% of the US population gets the flu. It can become serious for those with a pre-exiting condition. Approximately 175,000 people are hospitalized each year from flu complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and other respiratory problems, or the aggravation of chronic illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, cardiovascular disease, lupus, and diabetes.
• A yearly flu vaccine has not been shown to prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, according to the 2005 and 2007 Cochrane Collaborative’s reports in The Lancet medical journal.[8,9]
“Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related mortality since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%.”
The prediction that flu vaccines reduce the mortality risk among the elderly by 50% is also being challenged by researchers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This challenge is based on the fact that the actual flu virus is usually cleared before secondary complications set in. When researchers from the Institute included all deaths from illnesses that flu aggravates, like lung disease or chronic heart failure, they found that flu accounts for, at most, 10 percent of winter deaths among the elderly. Dr. Tom Jefferson, head of the Vaccines Field at the Cochrane Collaboration, said:
“For a vaccine to reduce mortality by 50 percent and up to 90 percent in some studies means it has to prevent deaths not just from influenza, but also from falls, fires, heart disease, strokes, and car accidents. That’s not a vaccine, that’s a miracle.”
• The CDC kicks off the annual flu shot campaign with the statistic that 36,000 Americans die from the flu every year. But others find that number is propaganda, not fact. The American Lung Association’s report from April 2010, entitled “Trends in Pneumonia and Influenza/Morbidity and Mortality,” uses CDC figures and shows:
The CDC’s 36,000 number is based on an estimate of cases where “seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death.” The flu is not a reportable disease and most physicians don’t do a nasal swab to determine whether the symptoms are indeed caused by influenza.
After much criticism, including a blistering editorial in the British Medical Journal, the CDC announced in 2010 that it was discarding that decades-old estimate. The agency now says that flu is unpredictable, and the number of annual fatalities ranges from 3,000 to 49,000.[14,15]
• A study in the British Medical Journal reported vaccines just don’t work too well for people of all ages:
“The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking. The reasons are probably complex and may involve a messy blend of truth conflicts and conflicts of interest…”
• Internationally renowned vaccine researcher Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny found that 70-80% of the sniffles, fevers, and body aches generally characterized as “the flu” between 1999-2004 were not caused by influenza viruses, but by other organisms not covered by a vaccine.
• Between October 1, 2003 and April 9, 2004, the CDC identified 863 antigenically different influenza viruses. If you assume that flu vaccines work for the three chosen strains, the vaccines do not provide protection against the other 860 influenza viruses known to be in circulation.
• Federal health officials warned in November, 2007 that risks from the flu drug Tamiflu warrant stronger warning labels. Tamiflu is prescribed for almost two million Americans a year, including almost 700,000 children. About 600 cases of psychiatric problems in Tamiflu patients have been reported; five children died in Japan after “falling from windows or balconies, or running into traffic,” the FDA stated.
• Flu vaccine is preserved with thimerosal, which is 50% mercury. So with each shot comes a dose of a neurotoxin.
• Vaccines are also grown and strained through animal or human tissue like monkey kidney tissue, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells, calf serum, and human diploid cells (the dissected organs of aborted human fetuses as in the case of rubella, hepatitis A, and chickenpox vaccines). Vaccines can also contain bits of bacteria and measurable amounts of aluminum, gelatin, polysorbate 80, MSG, and other chemicals.
• Hugh Fudenberg, MD, an immunogeneticist and biologist with nearly 850 papers published in peer review journals, has reported that if an individual had five consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 (the years studied), his/her chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease is ten times higher than if they had zero, one, or two shots.
• Vaccine manufacturers received federal legislation to protect them from liability.
“There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza…they are worthless.”
— Dr. J. Anthony Morris, research virologist and
former Chief Vaccine Control Officer of the FDA.
So the flu vaccine is said to be virtually worthless at best and loaded with toxic chemicals at worst. On top of that, many people come down with the flu shortly after receiving the shot. How does that happen? Because it weakens the immune system, making you more predisposed to the illness.
IS IT A COLD OR THE FLU?
Good question. You are much more likely to come down with a cold. Colds and flu are both respiratory illnesses but caused by different viruses. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. There are more than 200 cold viruses, they mutate a lot, and virtually everybody comes down with one from time to time. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
||Suddenly, 3-6 hours
||Slowly, 1-2 days
WHY DO COLDS & FLU COME IN THE WINTER?
Influenza is an Italian word that some historians proposed originated in the mid-18th century as influenza di freddo, or “influence of the cold.” Here some plausible ideas why winter is to blame:
• During winter, we are indoors more often in poorly ventilated buildings and this aids the airborne transmission of viruses.
• Ultraviolet light kills viruses and there is less sunlight in winter.
• People are exposed to less sunlight in winter and so their bodies make less vitamin D which nourishes the immune system.
• Colds and flu increase after Christmas when students return to schools and colleges because young people have less mature immune systems and crowded nurseries, schools and colleges provide an ideal breeding ground for viruses which then spread out into the community.
• Cold weather and sunless days can be tough on the psyche. Combined with holiday stress, our bodies are more prone to succumb to viruses in winter.
• Researchers found that flu virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry. Flu viruses spread through the air, unlike cold viruses which primarily spread by direct contact when people touch surfaces. 
WHAT’S A PERSON TO DO?
1. Wash your hands. Even the CDC tells you that hand washing is the best protection. “Rub your hands for 20 seconds – about the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.” Note though that colds and flu come from viruses, not bacteria, so antibacterial soap doesn’t help. In fact, anti-bacterial soaps merely invite environmental bacteria to become resistant.
2. Sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands. Ditch the old mantra to “cover your mouth” with your hands. Kids especially, when they sneeze or cough into their hands, don’t always wash their hands, and then they use their hands to touch surfaces and other people.
3. Find out what your vitamin D level is. Vitamin D deficiency may be the real reason people come down with the flu in winter. Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council first introduced the hypothesis in 2006 that influenza is just a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.[21,22] His papers were subsequently confirmed by a large study of 19,000 people that found that those with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu.
A Japanese study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests vitamin D is better than the vaccine at preventing flu. Researchers found that vitamin D supplementation almost halved incidence of seasonal flu or influenza A among school children given 1200 International Units per day.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is more readily absorbed by the body and more potent than vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), the form often found in multivitamins and “fortified” milk.
4. During the hectic, stressful holiday time, it is more important than ever to eat right. Conversely, this is the time of year we are bombarded with foods full of sugar which lowers the immune system. Avoid processed foods.
Out of respect from Grandma’s wisdom, we’ll put this one first on the list: Eat chicken soup. In folk wisdom, rich chicken broth – the famous Jewish penicillin – is a valued remedy for the flu. The 12th-century physician Moses Maimonides prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma. Modern research has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases. Properly prepared broth contains the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. A big dose of good nutrients is always a good thing to have on board when the body is sick. Nourishing the gut boosts the immune system.
When children run even a small a fever, adults run scared. But hold on a minute. Fevers inhibit the replication of many bacteria and viruses. White blood cells also move more quickly to the site of infection at higher temperatures. A basic fever, brought on by bacterial or viral illness, is an expression of the immune system working well. The argument can be made that children need to experience fevers to develop a strong immune system that can ward off allergies and asthma as they grow older.
At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we use different forms of treatment, depending on how early in the course of the flu treatment is requested. Before the start of the flu season we recommend that you purchase Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy for flu, found in any health food store. This remedy needs to be taken early, preferably on day one of symptoms. Many people swear by colonic hydrotherapy – it has been their experience that a colonic taken at the first opportunity keeps the flu from taking hold. We also recommend a couple of Chinese herbal formulae for cold symptoms – one of them, if taken at the very first sign of the cold or flu, will dispel symptoms at least 95% of the time. The other formula we use commonly is taken if the symptoms go deeper – with cough and fever. If symptoms are very severe, we recommend treatment with high doses of Vitamin C, often intravenously, and with glutathione, to oxidize and destroy the viruses from the system. We may also treat your blood by passing some of it through a device which exposes it to ultraviolet light, a well-known killer of viruses and bacteria.
 Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2010-2011
 Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2010-2011
 CDC dosage chart: Influenza vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for different age groups – United States, 2010 -11 season
 LIVE, INTRANASAL INFLUENZA VACCINE – What You Need to Know. CDC info sheet.
 February 26, 2010. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180511.php
 Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. Centers for Disease Control. July 29, 2010
 T. Jefferson, D. Rivetti et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in elderly people: a systematic review. The Lancet, October 2005, Volume 366, Issue 9492, pages 1165-1174
 T. Jefferson, C. Di Pietrantonj. Inactivated influenza vaccines in the elderly—are you sure? The Lancet, June 2007, Volume 370, Issue 9594, pages 1199-1200
 S Brownlee and J Lenzer. Does the Vaccine Matter? Atlantic Monthly, November, 2009
 Centers for Disease Control, Inactivated Flu Vaccine-What You Need to Know 2007-2008, accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-flu.pdf
 Accessed at http://www.lungusa.org/atf/cf/%7B7A8D42C2-FCCA-4604-8ADE-7F5D5E762256%7D/PI1.PDF, page 9
 Peter Doshi. Are US flu death figures more PR than science? British Medical Journal, December 10, 2005
 Julie Steenhuysen. CDC backs away from decades-old flu US death estimate. Reuters. August 26, 2010
 T. Jefferson. Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence, BMJ 2006;333(7574):912
 Dr. S. Tenpenny. Annual Number of flu deaths: it’s a guess. accessed Jan 2008 at http://www.whale.to/a/ten12.html
 Dr. S. Tenpenny Questioning Vaccines is Not Fueled by Ignorance News With Views, Feb 7, 2007
 Hugh Fudenberg, MD, Founder and Director of Research, Neurolmmuno Therapeutic Research Foundation. Information is from Dr. Fudenberg’s speech at the NVIC International Vaccine Conference, Arlington, VA September, 1997.
 Gina Kolata. Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter. New York Times, December 5, 2007
 J Cannell, R Vieth. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. December 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Epub 2006 Sep 7.
 J Cannell, M Zasloff et al. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virology Journal 2008, 5:29doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-29
 A Ginde, J Mansbach, C Camargo Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. February 23, 2009;169(4):384-390.
 Mitsuyoshi Urashima, Takaaki Segawa. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr, March 10, 2010 (doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094)
Fibromyalgia (FMS) was first recognized by the American Medical Association as an illness and a cause of disability in 1987. In an article the same year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a physician named Don Goldenberg called the syndrome “Fibromyalgia”.
The universal symptom of fibromyalgia is pain. FMS is characterized by widespread, debilitating pain involving the muscles, the joints – almost any area of the body.
Usually when the body has pain, inflammation is present. But this not necessarily the case with fibromyalgia. People with FMS can experience pain throughout their entire body without any damage or apparent inflammation of the peripheral tissues.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 10 million Americans suffer from it. Most of them are women.
There is no blood or x-ray test that can diagnose fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is based upon the patient’s history and physical examination. Widely accepted criteria created by the American College of Rheumatology define fibromyalgia by two things:
- A history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months and affecting all 4 quadrants of the body (left side, right side, below the waist, above the waist).
- Upon examination, a finding of pain at 11 or more of 18 “tender points”
|Pain and tenderness in the so-called “tender points” are the defining characteristics of fibromyalgia, so medical care providers focus on the features of the pain to distinguish it from other rheumatic disorders.
||A posterior view of the “tender points” often used to diagnose fibromyalgia.
(Figures reproduced from the American College of Rheumatology website )
While these criteria for classification of patients were originally established for research purposes, they have become the de facto diagnostic criteria.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by diffuse pain, but is often accompanied by other “functional” conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, chemical sensitivity, Raynaud’s phenomenon and chronic fatigue, making it often difficult to reach a definitive diagnosis.
Because of the difficulty of diagnosis, and because so many patients also reported cognitive difficulties, for years the conventional medical community was quick to tell patients that “it’s in your head.” But patients instinctively knew better. So they shuffled from one doctor to another as they continued to search for what was wrong. Many physicians believed that FMS was mainly a disguised form of psychological distress or depression.
THE PAIN IS FOR REAL
New research since 2003 demonstrates that FMS is indeed real, not imagined.
Daniel Clauw, M.D., of the University of Michigan, recently did much to legitimize the pain of FMS. He used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look into the area of the brain that registers pain. Dr. Clauw observed that the area of the brain that registers pain showed an increase of blood flow when FMS patients were given a low-pressure stimulus. The identical stimulus showed no change in the brains of control group subjects. But when a more intense stimulus was administered to the control group, the blood flow increased in the same way as it had when the FMS group received the low-pressure stimulus. Dr. Clauw says his research finally offers visual proof that FMS patients experience hypersensitivity in the pain processing areas of their brains.
Dr. Clauw’s work provided visual evidence that FMS patients really do experience pain differently than people who don’t have the disorder. Clauw states:
“Pain is always a subjective matter, but everything that we can measure about the pain in fibromyalgia shows that it is real. We think that one of the primary abnormalities in fibromyalgia is an imbalance between the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that affect pain sensitivity. Although right now there are no drugs approved to treat fibromyalgia, within three years it its likely that there will be three, if not four, drugs specifically approved to treat the condition. This is not an inflammatory disorder and this is not a primary psychological condition. … A person is about eight times more likely to develop fibromyalgia if one of their relatives has it. But there are also certain environmental triggers. For example, people develop fibromyalgia after motor vehicle accidents, or after certain types of infections or biological stress.” 
Dr. Clauw is a Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Rheumatology, at the University of Michigan. He is the Executive Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, and of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), at the University of Michigan.
In a 2003 paper in the journal Science, the University of Michigan team reported that a small variation in the gene that encodes the enzyme called catechol-O-methyl transferase, or COMT, made a significant difference in the pain tolerance, and pain-related emotions and feelings, of healthy volunteers. Researchers also have found that individual mutations in the COMT gene are related to the future development of temporo-mandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, a condition related to fibromyalgia.
In 2006, The University of Michigan team concluded:
“It is increasingly clear that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder and that patients experience hypersensitivity to pain. There also appears to be a fairly strong genetic component to fibromyalgia and related conditions. These studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities within their central brain structures. … It is time for us to move past the rhetoric about whether these conditions are real, and take these patients seriously as we endeavor to learn more about the causes and most effective treatments for these disorders.”
National Fibromyalgia Association president and founder Lynne Matallana said that doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients face a unique challenge. “This is a new paradigm for medical professionals to understand,” she says. “It isn’t a tumor or something else that you can see. It is a problem within the pain-processing center of the central nervous system.” 
AND IT’S MORE THAN JUST PAIN
People with FMS can be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and temperature. Rain beating on the windowpane may feel as if it were beating on the walls of your cells. Noise emitted by fluorescent lights can be very irritating, and you may have to avoid overcrowded areas such as malls. FMS sensitizes nerve endings as well as the rest of the autonomic nervous system. The actual ends of the nerve receptors may have changed shape, turning touch and other receptors into pain receptors. Pain signals then bombard your brain. Your brain knows pain is a danger signal – an indication that something is wrong and needs attention – so it mobilizes its defenses. Then, when those defenses aren’t used, the brain becomes anxious.
If you have FMS, you may have insomnia or a host of other sleep-related problems. You may have sleep apnea, or your heightened sensitivity does not allow you to sleep deeply. Our body heals and many neurotransmitters are balanced during deep sleep, and without it we soon suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation.
You may experience skin mottling. Your finger and toe nails may have vertical ridges – a typical sign of endocrine imbalance. Fingernails may break off, often in crescent-shaped pieces. If nails do grow, some may start to curve under (beaking).
You may experience “brain fog” and so you have a cognitive overload, memory dysfunction, and an inability to do more than one thing at once. The brain “feel good” chemical, dopamine, and the overall master controlling neurotransmitter, serotonin, are typically low in patients with fibromyalgia. Since a firm diagnosis of fibromyalgia is difficult, and no confirmatory laboratory tests are available, FMS patients are often misdiagnosed as depression patients.
People with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are particularly likely to develop fibromyalgia. To the good, patients with fibromyalgia do not develop deformity as happens with rheumatoid arthritis. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. Therefore, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions.
Many medical conditions can cause pain in different areas of the body, mimicking fibromyalgia. These conditions include:
- low thyroid hormone level (hypothyroidism)
- parathyroid disease (causing elevated blood calcium level)
- muscle diseases causing muscle pain (polymyositis)
- bone diseases causing bone pain (Paget’s Disease)
- infectious diseases)
Even though there is no blood test for fibromyalgia, blood tests are important to exclude other medical conditions.
IS FIBROMYALGIA SOMETIMES LYME DISEASE?
Many people with Lyme disease suffer the same widespread pain and tender points as fibromyalgia sufferers do. There is no good test for Lyme disease, so things get confusing. According to some in the Lyme community, as many as half the people diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually have Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease and fibromyalgia have very similar symptoms. Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorferii, a spirochete originally transmitted to animals and then humans by ticks. Lyme disease can cause a host of different symptoms because it affects a number of different systems within the body, including the heart, brain, and musculoskeletal systems.
One school of thought says that many fibromyalgia patients have unrecognized infections caused by atypical bacteria or viruses, including mycoplasma, chlamydia, Lyme disease and HHV-6. They claim beneficial results from long-term antibiotics. Several studies support these claims, but none was large or well-designed enough to put skepticism to rest. Breakthrough research on HHV-6 virus as a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome was reported recently. Transfer Factor, colostrum made from cows especially immunized to produce antibodies against HHV-6, was reported to help about two thirds of patients. This same approach, in theory, could also help fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can affect every aspect of a person’s life. The chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia is pervasive and persistent and can severely curtail social activity and recreation. As many as 30% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are unable to maintain full-time employment. Like others with disabilities, individuals with FMS often need accommodations to fully participate in their education or remain active in their careers.
HOW TO TREAT
For FMS, the recommended prescription drugs typically are:
- Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. Elavil/amitryptiline, Pamelor/nortriptyline)
- Desyrel/trazadone, a different form of anti-depressant
- Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor Antidepressants (e.g. Prozac)
- Sleeping Medicines (Ambien/zolpidem, Klonopin/clonazepam)
- Muscle relaxants (Flexeril/cyclobenzaprine)
- Various pain medicines
Traditionally, the most effective drugs have been the tricyclic antidepressants. In treating fibromyalgia, tricyclic antidepressants are taken at bedtime in doses that are a fraction of those used for treating depression. Tricyclic antidepressants appear to reduce fatigue, relieve muscle pain and spasm, and promote deep restorative sleep in patients with fibromyalgia. Scientists believe that tricyclics work by interfering with serotonin.
In reality, the degree of benefit differs very much for each individual.
Several drug companies are testing new drugs for the treatment of fibromyalgia; they target the central nervous system. These drugs fall into two general classes. One class raises the levels of neurotransmitters that normally stop the spread of pain, while another class lowers the levels of neurotransmitters that normally increase the spread of pain.
In 2007, pregabalin (Lyrica) became the first drug approved specifically for treating fibromyalgia.
Local injections of analgesics and/or cortisone medication into the trigger point areas can also be helpful in relieving painful soft tissues, while breaking cycles of pain and muscle spasm.
Limit the dietary stimulants. Just say no to caffeine and sugar. Avoid excitotoxins, especially MSG (monosodium glutamate) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Both glutamate (in MSG) and the amino acid, aspartic acid (in aspartame) stimulate pain augmenting receptors within the spinal cord. These are called NMDA receptors. Some individuals with Fibromyalgia improve very much on a Fibromyalgia diet that avoids MSG and aspartame. Occasionally, people with Fibromyalgia improve with the elimination of foods to which they personally are sensitive. Wheat/gluten, milk, yeast, and sugar can be culprits.
One of our patients had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia since 1996. In 2007 he came to us. One week after we took him off gluten, his pain was completely gone. Gluten, the protein in wheat, is notorious for creating chronic inflammation in many people.
Acupuncture is effective in treating some patients with fibromyalgia. The University of Michigan team is attempting to quantify just how helpful it is.
Exercise helps many patients. While exercise improves the symptoms of FMS, pain and fatigue often prevent individuals from beginning an exercise regimen in the first place. Because of the known benefits of exercise on FMS, it is important to find new ways for individuals with FMS to increase their physical activity. Lifestyle physical activity, which involves any type of moderate-intensity activity such as walking, housecleaning, shopping, and gardening, may be more doable than structured exercise like what you find at a gym.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome often goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia. Detoxification of the body is especially beneficial at the beginning of treatment. Colon hydrotherapy cleans out the colon, initiating the detoxification process. The first step in any detoxification process is to make sure the toxin has someplace to go that is outside the body.
As is true with so many autoimmune diseases, stress plays a big role and learning how to handle stress can make living with the disease easier. As is true with so many autoimmune diseases, stress plays a big role. Hypnosis can be extremely helpful to learn how to defuse stress.
One thing which may distinguish fibromyalgia is its brain activity. It does appear that people with fibromyalgia have a hyperactive pain sensitivity, with significant elevations of substance P, a pain neurotransmitter, in the cerebro-spinal fluid. Differences in blood flow to specific areas of the brain have been noted in patients with fibromyalgia.
FMS dysfunctions may be simply points on a spectrum of chemical sensitivity or autonomic nervous system imbalance, through a mechanism called “neurogenic switching” . This is a process whereby a signal from the brain, in response to an inflammation from a given site in the body, causes inflammation at a second site elsewhere in the body, apparently not related to the first site. Fibromyalgia is an excellent example of the “switching” phenomenon – we may ingest a food which causes inflammation in the intestinal tract, sending signals to the brain, which are then expressed as diffuse pain in the muscles. This phenomenon happens because the body uses many of the same neurotransmitters and hormones to activate pathways in many different organ systems. It is not surprising that, with an overwhelming stimulus, the system itself may become overwhelmed.
To make an appointment for evaluation at the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, call 480-240-2600.
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If you’ve ever told a doctor you had erectile dysfunction, did the doctor talk to you about cardiovascular disease or diabetes?
Erectile dysfunction, ED, is more than just a bedroom frustration. ED is often a warning bell of the onset of heart disease or undiagnosed diabetes.
Men with erectile dysfunction are 80 percent more likely to develop heart disease compared to men who do not have ED. Men ages 40 to 49 with erectile dysfunction are twice as likely to get heart disease.
Diabetics with erectile dysfunction are perhaps twice as likely as non-diabetic men with diabetes to develop heart disease.
The cause of erectile dysfunction is typically the lack of adequate penile blood supply as a result of damage to inner walls of blood vessels. Sounds like the arterial damage we see in heart disease and diabetes? Yes, because it’s the same physiology, the same underlying problem.
• A buildup of plaque blocks arteries around the heart and can also plug the smaller penile arteries, even before we see the effect on heart performance
• Inflammation causes the blood to become more viscous (thick, sticky) and the red blood cells membranes to become more rigid. These rigid red blood cells then nick the lining of the arteries.
• Arteries may lose elasticity over time, affecting the penis first and the heart later
The endothelium or inner lining of blood vessels regulates how the heart relaxes and contracts. When there is a problem with blood vessel relaxation, you have bad blood flow and develop heart disease. Endothelial malfunction in the penis causes erectile dysfunction.
When the brain gets aroused, it sends a signal to the penis. Nerve cells in the penis’ corpora cavernosa start producing nitric oxide, which creates cGMP, an enzyme which tells smooth muscles that line the arteries to relax. Next, blood flow increases and small arteries at the base of the penis dilate. Blood rushing into the penis is shunted into the expandable tissues of the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum. These fill under high pressure to compress outlet veins so blood cannot drain back out again. So those small capillaries are the first element that must operate correctly for a successful erection.
If the arteries in the penis do not dilate enough, the amount of cGMP produced is not enough to maintain an erection.
More than half of American men age 40 to 70 suffer from erectile dysfunction, so that’s a lot of men who may be at risk of vascular disease – and may not realize it.
Other diseases – kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, and multiple sclerosis – can impact vascular health; such diseases account for about 70 percent of cases of impotence. What if it’s not damage to blood vessels which provide blood flow to the penis? Then we look for damage to nerves, medications, chronic inflammation, and environmental toxicity. In late 2009, it was found that Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in hard, clear plastic used to make everything from baby bottles to food packaging, caused erectile dysfunction in male factory workers exposed to large amounts of the substance. The men handling BPA were four times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and seven times as likely to have difficulty with ejaculation.[2a]
And finally, don’t discount psychological factors such as stress. Psychological impotence occurs when erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings.
Erections are triggered by emotional, physical and hormonal signals. The hormone testosterone is important overall but it has no direct impact on blood vessels. Most men who are low on testosterone can blame low adrenal function because of stress.
STATINS – THE ANTI-VIAGRA
Heart disease is often the result of chronic inflammation. Inflammation causes the blood to thicken. The red blood cells get stiff and nick the walls of the arteries. The body uses cholesterol patches to cover the nicks. Although cholesterol does not cause heart disease – it is merely a marker of inflammation – statin drugs were created to reduce the body’s production of cholesterol.
Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she made cholesterol. It is a super anti-oxidant, the building block for manufacture of our sex hormones, and a good Band-aid that can be transported to tissues to repair damage. When you artificially reduce your body’s ability to make cholesterol, you also reduce your body’s ability to make a whole family of intermediary substances which have important biochemical functions in their own right. Let’s highlight Coenzyme Q10 depletion.
Inside each of the 5 trillion or so cells in your body are energy factories called mitochondria. They need CoQ10 as much as a car needs gas. Cardiologist and researcher Dr. Peter Langsjoen says:
“The depletion of the essential nutrient CoQ10 by the increasingly popular cholesterol lowering drugs, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), has grown from a level of concern to one of alarm. With ever higher statin potencies and dosages and with a steadily shrinking target LDL cholesterol, the prevalence and severity of CoQ10 deficiency is increasingly noticeable.”
Deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997. Statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987. Interference with production of CoQ10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation because the heart is a muscle which requires high levels of CoQ10 for healthy functioning.
The most common reported side effect of statins is muscle pain and weakness. So on one hand, statins help heart disease patients by lessening inflammation, but on the other hand, statin drugs can predispose patients to congestive heart failure by lessening heart function and antioxidant activity. Statins are now proven to activate a gene called atrogin-1, a gene that is activated in order to break down skeletal muscle, when the muscle protein is needed for calories (as in diabetes, starvation, and… when taking statin drugs). This explains why patients on statin drugs so often experience muscle pain.
Anecdotal reports have been surfacing for years of impotence, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction associated with statin drug use. Researchers continue to find a strong relationship between statin drugs and erectile dysfunction. In 2010, an Italian study of 3,484 men found that statin drugs lower testosterone levels and contribute to ED. The authors called upon doctors to be better aware of the association. “Our data suggest that statin therapy, even at low dosage, might induce an overt primary hypogonadism [decreased production of testosterone] and should be considered a possible confounding factor for the evaluation of testosterone levels in patients with erectile dysfunction.” Other studies show ED is reversible when men stop taking statins.
Chronic inflammation also can cause prostate enlargement, by the way. That tends to go hand-in-hand with erectile dysfunction, but prostate enlargement does not directly impact the ability to achieve an erection.
THE ED SOLUTION
Viagra® can enable an erection to be attained and maintained long enough for intercourse, but drugs do not permanently improve the underlying condition.
A healthy artery is a clean, smooth, slick one with flexible walls that can expand to let more blood through when the heart needs to work harder. And what maintains that youthful vigor? Nitric oxide. It is essential for healthy circulation. It helps dilate blood vessels, prevent blood clots, and regulate blood pressure. It also inhibits the accumulation of dangerous arterial plaque.
Drugs can increase the efficacy of nitric oxide temporarily. But drugs come with side effects. The most common side effects of Viagra are headache, facial flushing, and upset stomach. Less commonly, bluish vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light may briefly occur. People taking nitroglycerin need to be especially careful because nitroglycerin works by increasing nitric oxide. The combination of nitroglycerin and Viagra can lead to major problems maintaining any blood pressure at all. Viagra can cause a heart attack. As the television commercials say, if you get a painful, long-lasting erection, you have to see a doctor to solve the problem. Treatment involves removal of blood from the corpora cavernosa by needle decompression. Sound painful? You betcha. But so is priapism (painful long-lasting erections). And priapism can cause death of penile tissue – also pretty painful.
Herbal preparations: Many are offered, but effectiveness is questionable. A few have been tested – ginseng, DHEA, propionyl-l-carnitine – but very little research has actually been done with them. Yohimbe, a popular remedy, can cause significant high blood pressure and heart failure.
Acupuncture can be helpful with ED. The placement of acupuncture needles in the back and lower legs support the bladder-kidney meridian. The penis is part of that system. In Chinese medicine, impotence is chiefly due to the deficiency of the kidney’s energy, or kidney qi. At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we use acupuncture to improve the function of the kidney meridian to relieve stagnation, calm the mind, and invigorate the heart and spleen. Relieving stagnation helps to move blood out of the body into the penis. Calming the mind relieves stress, which is a major factor in erectile dysfunction. Invigorating the heart and the spleen gets the blood moving, gets the emotions in a good place, and enhances the entire sexual experience for both men and women.
In the long run, the best way to address ED is not with a pill. Sure, the pill works – but at some considerable cost to the health of the body. If the other health issues are not addressed, you stand the chance of dying in the saddle – not a very nice experience for anyone involved. If emotional issues are addressed, then look at the underlying state of health of the body – clean up the filters (the liver), make sure the fuel pump is working well (the heart), make sure the fuel lines are clear (the arteries) and make sure that the computer is loaded with the right software (the brain).
 Martin Miner, MD; Erectile Dysfunction and the “Window of Curability”: A Harbinger of Cardiovascular Events; Mayo Clinic Proceeding, February 2009, vol. 84 no. 2 102-104
 Dr Peter Chun-Yip Tong, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, May 2008
[2a] Lyndsey Layton, High BPA levels linked to male sexual problems – Study in China is likely to bring further scrutiny of the common chemical; Washington Post, November 11, 2009
 Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications; Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):101-11. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/02/May02/052902/02p-0244-cp00001-02-Exhibit_A-vol1.pdf
 Jun-ichi Hanai, Peirang Cao, et al; The muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase atrogin-1/MAFbx mediates statin-induced muscle toxicity, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Volume 117, Issue 12 (December 3, 2007)
 Rizvi K, Rizvi K, Hampson JP, Harvey JN; Do lipid lowering drugs cause erectile dysfunction? A systematic review. Family Practice 19 (1):95-8, 2002
 Corona G, Boddi V, et al. The Effect of Statin Therapy on Testosterone Levels in Subjects Consulting for Erectile Dysfunction. J Sex Med. February 5, 2010.)
On January 19th, 2012 almost two dozen people gathered in Tucson, AZ to learn how to use the Chiren™, a biophotonic device which they had just purchased. Among the students were a physician, a chiropractor, a naturopathic doctor, an acupuncturist, a dentist, a nurse, an energy healer, a brewer, a nutritionist, a publisher, a social worker, a patient’s mother … not exactly the usual crowd for a course dealing with a medical wellness devices.
Based on the principles of electroacupuncture according to Voll, the device measures electrical energy stored in specific places on the fingers and toes, and relates these points to specific meridians and organ systems in the body. In that sense, it is somewhat similar to other bioelectrical impedance measurement devices currently on the market – the Biomeridian, the QXCI, the Ondamed, the Asyra, and others.
All the above-mentioned devices use electromagnetic pulses both to measure and to treat the physical organism. Since bioelectric energy corresponds directly with biophotonic energy, this is an easy way of measuring biophotonic signals without having to put probes into individual cells.
The Chiren measures coherence of the signal emitted by the physical body. Healthy cells radiate coherent light, unhealthy cells radiate chaotic light. This radiation, called “ultraweak photon emission” is the subject of an increasing amount of research published in the scientific literature. The Chiren device measures the frequencies of homeopathic remedies and the inverted frequencies of illnesses (nosodes) which it then uses to feed back to the body for healing.
Since treatment is effected through fiberoptic cables and glass rods, the higher frequencies associated with emotional disturbance can also be accessed and used, enabling restoration of the head-heart connection which is disrupted in so many people. And since no negative or incoherent signals are returned to the body, but only positive coherent signals, no harm accrues to the system from treatment.
Bioenergetic devices work on the electrical channels of the body, to restore balance where electrical conductivity is unbalanced. Depending on the device, thousands of remedies can be tested, to see which one or ones help to balance the electrical channels. Patients then take these remedies home and use them for a time to continue the treatment.
Electro-magnetic frequency devices pump electrons into the system, assuming that the body will know how to distribute the extra electrons. Sometimes this works well, sometimes it simply strengthens that which is unhealthy in the body, as well as that which is healthy, and there is a war.
The Chiren biophotonic device uses measurement of light frequencies, and is able to demonstrate coherence of each point by means of an audio signal. When the correct remedies are added to the treatment, points become coherent, the audio signal becomes steady, and treatment can be accomplished on the spot. There is no need to continue to take remedies outside the office, unless the physical body is indeed very weak.
The device requires some skill to learn. First, the therapist must learn the meridian system of Chinese medicine as it relates to the different organ systems within the body – including the emotional attachments to the various systems. Second, it is necessary to find the correct location of points on fingers and toes. Third, the signal must be heard and correctly interpreted. Fourth, it is crucial to know which remedies, on what level, are most appropriately used. And fifth, it is vital to know when the physical body also requires support. Not all ills can be immediately healed energetically.
Nevertheless, when the energy is available, and the information is clear and coherent, restoration of the health of the physical body (emotional and mental, too, for that matter) is much easier to accomplish.
The director of the course and inventor of the device, Johan Boswinkel, is quoted in Ode magazine as saying: “If all the information required to control the body’s biochemical processes is in the light that the body emits, and if disturbances in that light disrupt biochemical processes and cause disease—as Popp claimed—then it must be possible to “examine” the light and remove the disease. Then you return the “repaired” light to the body. If it works, it will have enormous consequences for everything.”
There are three major differences between the Chiren and the other EAV devices which this writer has investigated.
- Measurement of the points is operator-dependent only insofar as the operator acquires the skill to find the points. As soon as the necessary skill is developed, the audio-feedback is very clear, and there is also an on-screen representation.
- The number of remedies programmed into the system is limited, but a limitless number of remedies may be used – including people and experiences.
- Specific treatments are left to the knowledge and intuition of the therapist, not preprogrammed into the system, allowing room for the art of medicine to flourish.
The Chiren absorbs the body’s own light frequencies, corrects them to make them coherent light, and sends them back into the body. If the frequencies absorbed belong to toxins like lead, or drugs, or allergens, the device can send back the inverted frequency to neutralize the effect of these substances, freeing the tissues from these disharmonious forces.
Correcting the disharmony within the body allows the body to come to a state where it can heal itself. One session may not be sufficient. It is often necessary to peel the onion over several sessions – generally 5 or 6 is enough, occasionally more are required.
But even more important than the nature of the device was the nature of the course itself. The word “biontology” conveys the essence of the course. The word is a combination of the word “bio” meaning life, and “ontology” meaning the branch of metaphysics which deals with the nature of being. A so-called “wellness machine” which deals with the nature of being? Not exactly your usual medical device…
BioEnergetic Medicine is a powerful approach to healing based on physics, not chemistry. If chemistry is about the body’s components (oxygen, carbon, etc), then physics is about the bigger universe that the body encompasses.
All living things are surrounded by fields of energy and emit visible light in extremely small quantities. Kirlian photography is able to capture these emissions. Other technologies capture some of the body’s energetic functions. EKGs are an electronic representation of the activity of the heart, for example. EEGs are an electronic representation of the activity of the brain. Ultrasound machines use high frequency sound energy to create images. The physical plane is simply dense energy and we now have devices that can interface with it, such as MRIs and CT scans.
The field of light and energy that surrounds the body is called a “biophoton field.” Eastern medical traditions have operated on this premise for thousands of years. This energetic model for health has influenced Tibetan medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and Ayurvedic medicine.
In 1974, Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp proved the existence of the biophoton field. He demonstrated that normal living cells emit a regular stream of photons, or quanta of light radiation. In his book Biologie des Lichts (Biology of Light) he showed how living cells pass on biological information via photons, through the language of light.
Each of the trillions of cells in the human body undergoes more than 100,000 biochemical reactions per second, all of which are exquisitely timed and sequenced with each other. The DNA sequence contracts and expands several billion times per second, producing a photon of light with each contraction. DNA sends out and receives information on each photon. This all happens with a speed far faster than any computer mankind has devised. Light is fast; it is an efficient carrier of biological information.
So too are the meridians, avenues of electrical energy that flow trough the body. In the 1950s, Dr. Reinhold Voll, a German medical doctor, scientifically verified the existence of meridians and acupuncture points which had been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Dr. Voll created an electronic testing device to pass a tiny electrical current through the human body and measure the amount of resistance encountered at the acupuncture points. He found that the acupuncture points exhibit a different resistance to current than nearby tissues. He also realized the diagnostic abilities of this information. For example, he found that patients with lung cancer had abnormal readings on the acupuncture points referred to as lung points. Dr. Voll made it his life’s work to identify and document correlations between disease and changes in the electrical resistance of the various acupuncture points.
To heal with energy is to heal with the body’s own essence. Rather than assaulting the body with chemicals, we can encourage our ability to heal through its own inherent mechanisms. It is the body’s natural inclination to set itself right again.
“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.”
— Albert Schweitzer
The NES scan is based on Quantum biology. It is an assessment tool at the energetic level, researched and developed by an Australian physician, Peter Fraser, and a British computer expert, Harry Massey. The scan of the body’s quantum electrodynamic (QED) body field allows us to peek into the body’s innate wisdom and see where the energy fields are distorted, so that we may determine where physical dysfunction may be occurring before disease sets in.
There is evidence that all plant and animal cells and tissues continuously emit weak light in the visible spectrum (400-800 nm). Experimental evidence shows that DNA is a source of this emission. Electrons and photons are thought to be the carriers of information through the body.
In its external form this human body-field is what some people call the “aura.” It has measurable structure, and the NES scan shows us the various components of that field.
The human body-field is like the body’s energetic mastermind, the operating system which organizes the body’s chemical processes.
Chemical reactions are all about making and breaking energetic bonds between molecules. The human body-field provides the information needed for the body to initiate chemical reactions.
The body field has energy pathways that channel information to direct fundamental activities like pumping blood and digesting food. There are 12 such pathways, each representing a band of energy wavelengths and magnetic vectors in the QED field. These compartments are called “energetic integrators” and are folded on one another, such that information must be sequenced in the correct order in order to be correctly interpreted. Chinese Medicine calls these pathways “meridians”.
Loss of homeostasis – the break-down of the body’s ability to self-correct – is an intricate interplay of a multitude of factors. There is no single “correct” state of being. Most of the body’s interactions have considerable flexibility built into them.
In Quantum biology, disease can be thought of as “untunement.” This state arises because particles are arranged incorrectly in space, not because they are vibrating at an incorrect frequency.
The human body-field also coordinates with the emotions and the consciousness. It is in constant interaction with its environment.
We use the NES scan to determine whether any of the information pathways which control the body’s metabolic processes have been damaged, distorted or blocked. Then we use remedies to correct the distortion of the information pathways, so that the body may have the best chance of returning to full health.
A NES scan is typically conducted during our patients’ initial visit. It helps give us a broad picture of what is going on inside the body.
The NES scan starts by placing your hand on the input device. Your human body-field information is transmitted to the computer where it is compared to an optimal human body-field.
Dr. Martha Grout demonstrates how to analyze the data.
The Chiren, a biophotonic device that is new to the energy medicine scene in the United States, is based on the principles of electro-acupuncture.
Based on the principles of electroactupunture according to Voll, the device measures electrical energy stored in specific places on the fingers and toes and relates these points to specific meridians and organ systems in the body. In that sense, it is somewhat similar to other bioelectrical impedance measurement devices currently on the market, such as the Biomeridian, the QXCI, the Ondamed, the Asyra, the Zyto and others.
The Chiren measures coherence of the signal emitted by the physical body. Healthy cells radiate coherent light, unhealthy cells radiate chaotic light. This radiation, termed ultraweak photon emission, is the subject of increasing of research published in the scientific literature.
The Chiren measures the frequencies of homeopathic remedies and the inverted frequencies of illnesses (nosodes), which it then uses to feed back to the body for healing. Because treatment is effected through fiber optic cables and glass rods, the higher frequencies associated with emotional disturbance can also be accessed and used, enabling restoration of the head-heart connection that is disrupted in so many people. Because no negative or incoherent signals are returned to the body, only positive coherent signals, no harm comes to the system from treatment.
Additional physical treatment may be required, such as vitamins and nutrients and detoxification, but once the issue is identified and released, the physical treatment becomes more rapidly effective and significantly easier to effect.
But even more important than the nature of the device is the nature of the treatment itself. The word “biontology”, which conveys the essence of the device, is a combination of the “bio”, meaning life, and “ontology”, meaning the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being, resulting in a “wellness machine” that deals with the nature of being.
A bioimpedance analysis (BIA) energetically measures body the percentage of body fat and lean body mass. This test gives us a reading on many aspects of your body including:
Phase angle: All living substances have a phase angle. Lower phase angles indicate either cell death or a breakdown of the cell membrane. Higher phase angles indicate healthy cells. Phase Angle indicates the course of disease. It increases as the result of optimal health based on good nutrition and consistent exercise.
Body Cell Mass: BCM represents the “living cells” such as those found in muscles, organs, blood and immune cells. In the normally nourished individual, muscle tissue accounts for approximately 60% of the body cell mass, organ tissue for 20% of body cell mass, with the remaining 20% made up of red cells and tissue cells, as well as intracellular water – the water inside your trillions of cells.
Extracellular Cell Mass: This is extracellular fluids, the amount of water found outside your cells. ECM includes blood and lymph, plus solids such as bone and cartilage – the primary functions of support and transport.
Lean body mass: The sum of body cell mass and extracellular cell mass.
Fat mass: The amount of fat stored in the body.
Body capacitance: Measures the ability for nutrients to move into the cell and waste to move out. It increases or decreases depending upon the health and the number of cells. Damage to the cell membrane and its functions is as lethal to the cell as direct damage to the nucleus itself. Cells are compartments filled with a concentrated solution of chemicals and salts. Groups of cells perform specialized functions and are linked by an intricate communications system. The cell membrane maintains an electrochemical concentration gradient between the intracellular and extracellular spaces. This gradient creates an electrical potential difference across the membrane which is essential to cell survival. Electrical gradients are necessary to support movement of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrients. Therefore, the cell membrane has electrically insulating qualities, or capacitance.
Basal metabolic rate: Based upon lean body mass, the number of calories your body uses each day, not including the calories burned through exercise, to maintain its weight.
We use the BIA measurements to determine the current state of health of the physical body, as well as for comparison purposes, as treatment progresses.
Evoked Photon Capture (also known as Gaseous Discharge Visualization, GDV)
Evoked photon capture (EPC) is a tool of quantum medicine. Simply put, it allows us to measure the energy level at which the body is operating.
The EPC technique measures the body’s photon and electron emissions. The EPC machine emits a weak electric current that is pulsed and measured in micro-amps. It is safe for the human body because it causes no substantive physiologic effect.
The body has electrical properties. Electrons are generated first from the surface of the skin, and within a short time, electrons from deeper tissues within the body are included in the current flow. The electrons come mainly from the proteins. According to principles of quantum mechanics, these electrons are dispersed among many molecules, and form an “electron cloud,” occupying a specific region in space. Other sources of electrons are the free radicals which form in response to metabolic processes.
When the body is functioning normally, electron clouds are distributed among all systems and organs. The mitochondria inside cells use the mitochondrial electron chain to convert molecules to ATP, packets of energy. When there is imbalance or dysfunction, electrons are not transferred normally to the blood and redistributed to all tissues. This prevents the normal flow of electrons (the basis for energy production), resulting in overall decrease of energy of the system. Accumulation of electrons also allows free radicals to build up in specific organs, resulting in tissue damage. This decrease in energy both to the body as a whole, and to specific organs, is measured by the EPC technique.
Information exchange occurs between the organs and the autonomic nervous system all the time. In a state of health, there is excellent information exchange, the autonomic nervous system can respond to all the needs of the different organs, and the body is in a state of balance (or homeostasis), and is healthy.
When information channels are blocked, by inflammation or tumor or injury, this information transfer is suppressed or completely cut off, and the autonomic nervous system can no longer respond as rapidly or completely. At a given point, the information suppression gets so severe that it may result in insomnia, abdominal pain, fatigue, susceptibility to infection. In conventional allopathic medicine, this is still considered to be a state of health.
Eventually, the body can’t compensate enough and you get noticeably sick. You many have organ damage. At this point, allopathic medicine agrees that you are sick and gives you a “diagnosis.”
EPC is a means of assessing the energy state of a person, from the point of view of the balance of autonomic nervous system function. It is a unique way of assessing how the body is functioning. The EPC evaluation can be added to other forms of assessment – EKG, ultrasound, blood analysis, etcetera – to give a more complete picture of the state of health of a person’s organ systems.
The Photon Genius
The Skilling Institute created a device called the “Photon Genius” that combines the healing power of noble gases with infrared heat. The machine stands about seven feet tall. Sitting in front of it, you notice the pulsating glass rods of various colors and the heat emanating from it.
This device sends an electrical current through noble gases contained in glass rods, putting the gasses into a semi-plasma state. As the gases cool, they need to discharge energy which they have absorbed. The energy is released as photons – light that vibrates at the same frequency as the noble gases. These frequencies also happen to be harmonics of the human body – and indeed of most living things. Hence, the healing power of noble gasses.
The Photon Genius nourishes the body with a complete spectrum of bioavailable frequencies to break up blockages and barrier tissues in the body, while moving the lymphatic and circulatory systems to assist in detoxification. Nourishment is the driving principal behind this approach to healing. Nourishing the body’s own powerful self-healing intelligence has much deeper and long-lasting benefits than allopathically forcing a change of symptoms with chemicals. Symptoms are simply the body communicating to us about much deeper levels of physiological and energetic imbalance.
The infrared heat is used to elevate the body temperature in much the same way the body triggers a fever to kill germs.
We can use photonic energy to bring the body back to a balanced state because photons drive our metabolism. The body is about 70 percent water with a high mineral content making it highly electrically conductive.
When the cells of our bodies lose their normal charge due to stress and unhealthy elements in our daily lives, they become disorganized. They clump together and blockages are created. Noble gases can be used to send out photons of light that mimic the body’s natural, healthy vibration. The cells then are prompted to re-orient themselves back to a healthy state.
The word “noble” has its roots in the German word for resistance, meaning that these gases resist bonding with other elements so they are very stable. Noble gases are a high energy light that conducts electricity; they fluoresce. They glow in distinctive colors when used inside gas-discharge lamps. Used medicinally, these gases repair damaged red blood cells, make nitrous oxide for healthy arteries, make proteins that fight inflammation, normalize blood pressure, prime the immune system, move the lymph system, keep DNA from being damaged by toxins, accelerate detoxification, produce antioxidants and neurotransmitters, and much more. Noble gases have the ability to correct acute infections and chronic illnesses, including cancer.
If you say “vibrational energy medicine” people think of modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy, bioelectrical devices and aromatherapy. Noble gases are a form of vibrational energy that uses photons instead of a needle, a diluted essence, electrodes or a smell.
How do we know that Bioenergetic Medicine is valid?
One of the reasons that the allopathic community has such a hard time accepting the concept of bioenergetic medicine is that its practitioners are often unable to explain how they get their information. The information cannot readily be confirmed by any tests that we have currently available to us. Thus we are left with only the “proof of the pudding being in the eating” concept. If the treatment works and the person is healed, then the treatment must have been valid. And if the treatment doesn’t work, then maybe it didn’t do anything, or maybe the person being treated was resistant to the treatment, or maybe the practitioner was a charlatan.
So how does one choose a correct response? How do we distinguish among the multitude of bioenergetic treatments and machines which are available all over the Internet and used by both licensed and unlicensed practitioners?
My own preference is to use devices which are not operator-dependent. If I am having a bad day, I don’t want the bioenergetic scans to be affected by my energies. And once I have picked a device, I check the information it gives me against other devices, or my own logical brain, or the patient’s laboratory tests – whatever I need to do, in order to get information from more than one source. If all sources are in agreement, then I consider the information to be valid. If there is disagreement, then the information needs to be double-checked.
The goal of homeopathic medicine is the cure of chronic illness and restoration of health on an energetic level. This is fundamentally different from the goal of allopathic medicine, which is the management of chronic disease and suppression of symptoms.
Classical homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany more than 200 years ago, although the discipline was founded on principles which were expressed in Chinese medicine and in the ancient world more than 2,000 years ago.
In Dr. Hahnemann’s day, very powerful toxic substances were being used as medicines. Conventional medicine has a long history of it. Mercury was injected as a cure for syphilis, for example. Other fashionable treatments included purgatives, bleeding, and blistering plasters that were more harmful than effective. Dr. Hahnemann stopped using these treatments, because he felt that the effect of the medicine was worse than the effect of the disease. He believed that approaches to disease must be studied from the viewpoint of vitality, meaning the life and health of an individual, and not from the viewpoint of suppression of symptoms.
From the perspective of advanced homeopathic medicine, all disease or dysfunction is an external manifestation of an internal bioenergetic disorder unique to the individual. Homeopathic medicine looks for that substance which will work on an energetic level to correct the energetic defects or dysfunctions unique to a given individual.
In 2010, Professor Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, shook up the mainstream medical community with his announcement that he had verified the science behind homeopathic remedies. Speaking to 60 Nobel prize winners and some 700 other sceptical scientists at the Lindau Nobel laureate meeting in Germany, Montagnier explained he had discovered water has a memory that continues even after many dilutions. He said solutions containing the DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, “could emit low frequency radio waves” and influence water molecules around them, turning them into organized structures that in turn emit waves. Montagnier said water could retain such properties even after the original solutions were diluted to the point the original DNA had effectively vanished. In this way, he suggested, water could retain the “memory” of substances with which it had been in contact and doctors could use the emissions to detect disease.
A few months later, Montagnier told Science magazine, “The high dilutions [used in homeopathy] are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules … DNA produces structural changes in water, which persist at very high dilutions, and which lead to resonant electromagnetic signals that we can measure. Not all DNA produces signals that we can detect with our device. The high-intensity signals come from bacterial and viral DNA.”
Many skeptics fail to recognize that homeopathic remedies attribute their effects not to molecules present in the water, but to modifications of the water’s structure.
As technology has advanced, we have learned how to measure energetic dysfunctions and departures from the original template. We are now able to treat with substances which can restore the disharmony of the information systems which subtend the body’s cellular function, right down to the level of the DNA. This may include electromagnetic energy, homeopathic remedies, combination remedies, and physical remedies such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.
Homeopathic medicine carries the potential to modify DNA switches which have been turned off or on by toxins presented to the body. This, in part, is why it is said that energy medicine is the future of medicine.
So why is homeopathic medicine not the standard of medicine in this modern age?
By the year 1900, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals operated in the U.S., along with 22 homeopathic medical schools and more than 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies. Interestingly, many students and practitioners were women, and the homeopathic Boston Female Medical College, founded as a school for midwives in 1848, was the first women’s medical college in the world. Mark Twain wrote in Harper’s magazine in 1890, “The introduction of homeopathy forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business.”
But the allopaths competed for patients. They established the American Medical Association in 1846, two years after the founding of the American Institute of Homeopathy, the nation’s first national medical society. Allopaths were called quacks in the 19th century and even before, because they used quicksilver, what we call mercury, also known as quack silver, as medicine. Homeopaths did not support the use of caustic or poisonous pharmaceuticals; homeopathy was the predominant form of medicine at the start of the 20th century. People living on the frontier relied on homeopathic remedies because doctors were few and far between.
As Doctors Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini wrote of that era:
“The rapid initial spread of homeopathy was probably initially due, on the one hand, to the fact that the orthodox medicine of [Hahnemann’s] day and age was still extremely backward and lacked truly effective therapeutic remedies, and, on the other to the distinct superiority of homeopathy treating the various epidemics of typhoid fever, cholera, and yellow fever which raged across Europe and America in the 1800s.”
In 1855, the AMA incorporated a code of ethics that included expulsion of physicians who even consulted with homeopaths or other “un-scientific” practitioners. Similar events were unfolding in Europe; orthodox physicians in France also banned consultations with homeopaths. Homeopathy was outlawed in Austria.
In 1908 the newly formed American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Medical Education wrote to Andrew Carnegie to propose a collaboration with the purpose of reforming medical education. The Carnegie Foundation was allied with the Rockefellers, who heavily invested first in oil, then in pharmaceutical companies. It was decided to hire Abraham Flexner to investigate the 155 U. S. and Canadian medical schools.
Flexner was a schoolmaster who knew nothing about the field of medicine but he was well-connected; his brother Simon was director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.
Flexner’s subsequent findings, not surprisingly, heavily favored the medical schools which supported the use of pharmaceutical medicine and “science-based” medicine. Flexner wanted to promote higher status for doctors. He recommended specialization, and recommended that most of the schools for women and blacks be closed, since women showed a “decreasing inclination” to enter the profession, and blacks were a potential source of “infection and contagion.” In the report, Flexner called chiropractors “quacks.”
Medical journals had mixed reactions. The Journal of the American Medical Association announced that “[a]lthough there may be statements of detail which might be criticized in the Foundation’s report, generally speaking the statements made are recognized as the truth by those who are in a position to judge.” It was “full of errors,” alleged the Denver Medical Journal; “a piece of monumental impudence,” according to the American Medical Compound. Among other failings, the report was produced too fast to for Flexner to visit all the schools. “You don’t need to eat a whole sheep to know it’s tainted,” Flexner later wrote in his autobiography.
The New York State Journal of Medicine berated the Carnegie Foundation for attempting to “dictate the policies … to wipe out institutions with the stroke of a pen” and thereby “threaten the freedom” of medical schools.”
Despite the clear bias against all forms of medical treatment other than allopathic, the report was widely acclaimed by the allopathic medical community. It sent shock waves through the medical schools of the United States.
The historic Flexner Report dictated that medical schools which would be funded and accredited would be those which trained doctors in the extremes of medicine – emergency and surgical, both of which make extensive use of pharmaceutical drugs. In 1905, 160 medical schools were in operation. By 1927, seventeen years after the Flexner Report, the number had dropped to 80. The homeopathic medical schools were disappearing.
Medicine in America was shifting from its early emphasis on prevention and health to a model of disease management. Influential forces promoted “allopathic” medicine, the suppression of symptoms. And they fought competition fiercely.
Doctors of Chiropractic came to find themselves denied coverage and recognition in all federal and state government agencies. They took the fight to the court. The historic 1987 decision found the AMA guilty of an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession” and that the “AMA had entered into a long history of illegal behavior.” Since then, chiropractors have largely been able to continue their practice without medical doctor interference.
George Vithoulkas, a Greek homeopath who is credited for much of homeopathy’s revival since the 1960s in Europe, said:
“The immune systems of the western population, through strong chemical drugs and repeated vaccinations, have broken down … If conventional medicine were really curing chronic diseases, today we would have a population in the West that was healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically.”
Americans are beginning to demand more than symptom management. More and more, they want to find out what went wrong and how to fix it at the fundamental level. In 1999, the first homeopathic college to open its doors since the Flexner report did so in Phoenix, Arizona: The American Medical College of Homeopathy under the direction of Dr. Todd Rowe. It currently graduates the Doctor of Homeopathy and Homeopathic Medical Assistants.
Where are we headed?
I always envied the doctors in the Star Trek programs, with their hand-held scanning and diagnostic devices, and their ability to do surgery – and visualize what they needed to see – without having to use cumbersome and physically dangerous tools. We could be headed in that direction. If we can conceive the device, I am quite certain that someone will build it. Those photons keep popping in and out of existence, showing us the way to a world of infinite possibilities.
And in the meantime, we do our best with what we have available to us. We use those physical tools that are effective, we use pharmaceuticals when we have to, we use nutrition and detoxification to maintain and restore our health, we use supplements to provide that which nutrition does not, and we use the tools of bioenergetic medicine that make sense to us.
And we keep our minds open to new tools, new drugs, new treatments – remembering that ballast is good, to keep the ship stable in the water. But ballast is meant to be jettisoned, when the ship needs to move quickly, or the waters become shallow. I read a wonderful little book years ago, talking about how to distinguish true prophets from false. The book’s advice:
“You will know them by their fruits.”
If use of the tool results in dangerous consequences to the patient, we are well advised to find a different tool. If use of the tool results in accurate assessments or good treatments, then we can use it in good conscience, and with the sure and certain knowledge that something better will come down the pike next year.
 Nobel laureate gives homeopathy a boost
. The Australian
. July 5, 2010 Enserink, Martin. Newsmaker Interview-French Nobelist Escapes “Intellectual Terror” to Pursue Radical Ideas in China
. December 24, 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6012 p. 1732
 Kim Ridley. The Controversial Cure. Ode Magazine, January/February 2006
 Paolo Bellavite, Andrea Signorini. The Emerging Science of Homeopathy – Complexity, Biodynamics, and Nanopharmacology. North Atlantic Books, 2002, p 21.
 Kim Ridley. The Controversial Cure. Ode Magazine, January/February 2006
 Berliner HS. A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. Tavistock Publications; 1985. p. 120-121
 Felts JH. Abraham Flexner and medical education in North Carolina. NC Med J 1995; 56:534-40. p. 537
 Flexner A. Abraham Flexner: An Autobiography. Simon & Schuster; 1960.
 Berliner HS. A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. Tavistock Publications; 1985. p. 122
 Flexner A. Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Bulletin No. 4. New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1910.
 Wilk v. American Medical Association, 671 F. Supp. 1465, N.D. Ill. 1987.
 Speech to the Swedish Parliament upon acceptance of Right Livelihood Award, 1996. Accessed at http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/175/9/lang,en
Thomas Edison switched on his first light bulb about 130 years ago. Since then, the world has become enveloped in an invisible net of radio and television signals, military networks, cell phone towers, WiFi, baby monitors, etc. Add to that the plethora of AC energy used to run electrical appliances in the house – refrigerators, printers, hairdryers, electric clocks by our bedside, dimming light switches, and more. Electrosmog, pollution through electromagnetic energy, is relatively new in human experience.
A human being is a complex organization of electrical fields. The body is about 70 percent water with a high mineral content making it highly electrically conductive. We have some 60 trillion cells, and between the nucleus and the membrane of each cell is a measurable electrical field. Brain cells, nerve cells, bone cells, all vibrate at different rates in order to communicate with one another. Cells know when to divide by vibrating. Cells, tissues, and organs communicate using bioelectrical pulses. When you look at an EKG, for example, you see the electrical functioning of your heart. Although Western medicine has been focused on chemistry for last century, electricity is what drives our biology.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by modern technologies are artificial intrusions with unnatural intensities, signaling characteristics, pulsing patterns, and wave forms. They can misdirect cells in myriad ways. “If you put a radio near a source of EMFs you will get interference,” says Olle Johansson, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “The human brain has an electric field so if you put sources of EMFs nearby, it is not surprising that you get interference, interaction with systems and damage to cells and molecules.”
Not So Good Vibrations
A frequency of energy created by the amount of times lightening strikes the earth every second of every day. The Schumann Wave is a steady frequency of energy that measures 7.83 Hz, and beats 7 to 10 times per second.
When astronauts first traveled to space, they came home sick. They had been separated from gravity and from the Schumann Wave – the earth’s natural frequency, a constant vibration to which our bodies are attuned. When later space flights installed a Schumann Wave generator, astronauts came home in good shape. The steady rhythm of the Schumann Wave regulates our biological clock, our sleep/dream patterns, our patterns of arousal, and hormonal balance. Our optimal brain wave pattern duplicates the Schumann Wave. Human beings do best when they resonate with this frequency, which is what we have done since time began.
Man-made frequencies exert a constant pressure on the cells to shift their natural vibration. Our DNA is affected because these unnatural fields carry enough energy to break the chemical bonds that hold DNA together. EMFs also slow our brain waves and affect our long term mental clarity, according to Eric Braverman, MD, an expert in the brain’s global impact on illness and health.
The term electrosmog here refers to
EMF = Electromagnetic field, a field of energy created by electrically charged objects.
EMFs occur naturally in storms, in the Earth’s magnetic field, etc. The development of man-made electricity and rapid technological progress over the past century have multiplied their sources and diversified their characteristics.
EMFs are an invisible air pollution.
» Electrically charged wires or appliances that exert a magnetic pull on our cells, prompting them to move away from their natural, healthy vibration.
» Frequencies from wireless communication networks which penetrate the body.
» ”Dirty electricity” is very-low-frequency voltage signals (1-100kHz), by-products of modern energy-efficient appliances, halogen lamps, computers, wireless routers, plasma TVs, dimmer switches, etc. What all of these devices have in common is that they tamp down the electricity they use. This manipulation of current creates a wildly fluctuating electromagnetic field. Say you bought an “Energy Star” refrigerator. You plug it in. It receives 110 volts, but it ramps down to use less and the unused excess is directed away from the appliance toward you and back onto the electrical lines. Some research has shown that “dirty electricity” increases your risk of melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer.
Electricity powering our homes exposes us to magnetic fields as current flows to power appliances and lights, and to ever-present electric fields produced by the wiring in the walls, floors and ceilings, and wiring to appliances, etc. If you are sleeping with your head against a wall that has a refrigerator on the other side, for example, every time the refrigerator goes on in the middle of the night, you are bathed in its unnatural magnetic field.
Nighttime exposure is the worst. It is at night that your body regenerates, organs detoxify, and cancer-fighting melatonin is produced. Dr. George Carlo, the researcher who first blew the whistle on cell phone hazards, explained that when there is a constant pulsing signal as you get from ‘Energy Star’ appliances and Wi-Fi networks, human cellular receptors are fooled into entraining to the frequency of that pulsing signal. DNA within the cell has to interpret and decide whether the vibration is friend or foreign. If foreign, the cell thinks it is under attack and closes its ‘doors’ which means nutrients do not get in, and toxins do not get out. The medical term is oxidative stress. At night it is essential that the cell membrane be permeable. Think about those 60 trillion cells in your body. Because the cells are not releasing toxins, you get free radical buildup and DNA repair is disrupted. Cellular communication is also impacted, causing confusion within the cells as to how and when to divide. This is the path for the development of tumors associated with cell phone usage.
RF (radio frequency) signals + chemical toxins = damage. It has been shown that mammalian brains are affected negatively by mobile phones, causing increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier and leakage of albumin from the capillaries into the surrounding tissues. [5a] The Kuopio research group found that mobile phone radiation, at 5W/Kg, can amplify the DNA damage caused by a chemical mutagen.
When pathogens are grown in a Petri dish and bathed in electromagnetic energy, they reproduce ten times faster than normal. It is theorized this is because the pathogens feel threatened and rapid reproduction is a survival strategy. This could explain why, in part, we see disease states manifesting in younger people and becoming more virulent.
When Science Meets Politics
|Cell phones radiate microwaves, as do microwave ovens. If cell phones had been called “microwave phones” when they came on the market, would you have bought one?
The Russians first noticed during World War II that radar operators often came down with symptoms we now call electrical hypersensitivity syndrome. When television was introduced in Australia in 1956, researchers there documented a rapid increase in cancers among people who lived near transmission towers.
In 1960, neuroscientist Allan Frey “heard” the persistent low-level hum of radar at GE’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as electromagnetic waves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This told scientists that by pulsing a radio signal, it is possible to have the signal interact with the brain and nervous system. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect, and it caused an uproar in the neuroscience community. Frey had stumbled upon the fact that microwaves open up the blood-brain barrier. He was pressured to stop further investigation. (Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States.)[7,8]
When cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected – there are definite human health risks:
• cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
• radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
• there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer
The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.
Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.
In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.
In the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.
“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.
“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”
But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:
“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.
“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”
The Interphone study began with cases – people with brain tumors – and controls – people with no cancer – and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.
At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”
“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”— Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health
We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century – toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.
People Began to Say No
In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.
Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.
In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools. Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:
“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”
Various doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head – they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:
“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”
In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: • Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
• Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
• Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
• Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.
Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”
EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3
Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.
She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.
“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.
“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”
She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.
Riskier for Children
When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.
This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.
Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:
• Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).
• Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.
• Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.
The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones – either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves – had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.
Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.
The French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”
In 2011, the influential Council of Europe’s Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.
Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 – end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.
America Lagging Behind?
The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.
At the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.
Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF – in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.
From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:
“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”
Yet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.
In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.
They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”
As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.
Cordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you – and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.
Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.
Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.
Holding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.
When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.
Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.
Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.
Cell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional – similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.
A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less – that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:
• The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.
• SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.
• SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions – strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation – not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.
• Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.
• SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.
• Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.
As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”
Wireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off – thus more exposure to you.
It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.
Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.
REDUCING THE ELECTROSMOG
You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.
There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:
• Paint the interior walls of your house with shielding paint.
• Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes – most of these look like a silvery space blanket.
• Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.
• Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.
• Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.
Cell phones emit microwave energy – the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.
Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.
As momentum builds, we may see the day when – by incentives or mandates – much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.
Clint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.
He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.
Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.
Throughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.
Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.
Ober puts it this way:
“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G – G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”
And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.
In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic – a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.
Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”
Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone
Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org
emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.
ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.
electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.
 B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007
 Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005
 Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007
 Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002
 Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009
 Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer
 Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998
 Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010
 Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010
 Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007
 Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007
 Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010
 Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010
 Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579–86.
 WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009
 Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008
 Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008
 Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008.
 Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897
 Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4.
 Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008
 Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009
 Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608
 Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010
 L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006.
 D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004
 Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010
Diabetics have a problem with insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar within healthy levels.
An estimated 85-90 percent of those who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It used to be called the “adult” version of the disease because it comes after decades of eating an unhealthy diet. However, increasing numbers of children are now developing type 2 diabetes, partly because today’s kid-food is laden with sugar, refined carbohydrates, and bad fats. In addition, the children’s mothers (and sometimes grandmothers) also ate diets laden with sugar, refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, thus modifying their genetic expression. By so doing, they were able to pass the predisposition for diabetes on to following generations, whether they themselves developed diabetes or not.
If for years you eat more sugar than is needed by the muscles for exercise, you strain the pancreas, asking it to make excess insulin constantly to lower your blood sugar level. Eventually, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin, and the blood sugar level remains chronically high. At this point, the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.
Controlling blood sugar is one of the most fundamental requirements of life. When blood sugar levels are too low – less than 80 – that is hypoglycemia. When levels are too high – over 110 – that is hyperglycemia. Insulin is the hormone that “unlocks” the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and turn food into energy.
A fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.
So why doesn’t everyone develop diabetes? Why can some people eat junk food for years without problems, where others develop diabetes in their youth? Part of it is in your genes. We know that more than 50% of the relatives of diabetics demonstrate insulin resistance decades before they develop overt diabetes.
The Killing Effect of Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to multiple complications including blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Diabetics have two times the incidence of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and two times the mortality rate after ACS compared with patients who do not have diabetes. Diabetes appears to blunt some of the effects of estrogen, which may increase the risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that many diabetics suffer from depression, which sometimes interferes with self-care. Other studies link diabetics to a 65 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.[4,5]
Uric acid is often elevated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes because of the high blood sugar level. Hyperuricemia is presumed to be a consequence of insulin resistance rather than its precursor. Excess uric acid levels can lead to gout, kidney stones, and heart disease.
Too much sugar causes the small blood vessels throughout the body to narrow. That is your body’s way of trying to head off damage to organs by minimizing the ability of the excess sugar to reach them. The higher the blood sugar level, the less nitric oxide is available , and the more the small blood vessels narrow. Circulation is impaired. If there is adequate glutathione in the system for dealing with free radicals, the negative circulatory effect does NOT occur. But in the relative absence of glutathione, poor circulation develops, in turn resulting in complications such as: kidney disease, poor wound healing, and foot and eye problems. High sugar levels damage the kidneys so that they can no longer fully cleanse the blood of waste. Sugar imbalance also alters fat metabolism, causing people to gain weight. When sugar sticks to proteins, it changes their structural and functional properties. Wounds do not heal because they have trouble making good collagen, the connective tissue that is the major structural protein in the body.
This is also why sugar is sometimes called, “the aging drug.”
Insulin run Amok
A study reported in 2009 [5a] shed new light on the conventional wisdom that when we eat a calorie-restricted diet, we live longer. But this new study looked deeper and found that the underlying reason for longevity is – less sugar, thus fewer surges of insulin.
Researchers studied 31 patients referred for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, excessive weight, fatigue, and other chronic diseases of aging. The group ate a very specific diet for 3 months:
“The diet included unlimited amounts of certain fats and oils, a restricted amount of protein, and a very limited amount of carbohydrate. Patients were told to eat when they were hungry. Calories were not explicitly restricted; calorie intake was determined only by levels of hunger. Recommended sources of fat included raw nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and olive oil, flax oil and cod liver oil. The intake of protein was told to be limited to approximately 1.0 grams/kg lean body mass per day (increased for exercise to 1.25 grams/day). As a result, most patients were instructed to eat from 50-80 grams of protein per day. Recommended sources of protein included sardines, fish, eggs, tofu, chicken, turkey, wild meats, low-fat cheeses (cottage, ricotta, swiss), seafood, and veggie burgers. Only non-starchy, fibrous vegetables were acceptable: lettuce, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sprouts, asparagus, and seaweed. Though not explicitly stated, the general dietary intake as percent daily caloric intake from macronutrients for most people ended up by history to be approximately 20% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 60% fat. For drinking, 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water and/or herbal tea were recommended.
“Nutritional supplements to support fat metabolism and enhance insulin sensitivity were recommended to all patients to be taken on a daily basis: L-carnitine 2000mg, alpha-lipoic acid 400mg, coenzyme Q10 100 mg, 1 tbsp cod liver oil, magnesium 300mg, potassium 300mg, vitamin C 1000mg, vitamin E 800mg daily, and a multivitamin consisting of all essential B vitamins and minerals.”
And what happened on this “high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet”?
• Patients lost an average of 7 pounds
• Insulin levels dropped almost in half
• Leptin levels dropped almost in half
• Triglyercides and blood pressure levels dropped
These great results were achieved on a high fat diet, the antithesis of what Americans are told to eat. Note there were no starchy carbs (corn, potatoes, bread), no grains (rice, wheat, gluten), no modern fats (margarine, vegetable oils) no fried foods, and no sugar. Seaweed served as a natural source of iodine.
This is a clear illustration of the dietary wisdom from centuries ago when natural fats were a much higher percentage of the diet. It has been known for some time that different dietary fats appear to have varying effects on insulin-sensitive tissues.
Less starchy food, less sugar and carbohydrate in the blood lowers triglycerides and fatty acids in the blood by simply not producing them – because these are produced in response to high glucose levels. Less sugar and carbohydrate promotes the break-down of fats (to use as calories, or energy) in the liver, fatty tissue and blood.
The researchers also pointed out that centenarians – people who live to be more than 100 – have lower blood glucose, insulin, leptin, and serum triglycerides than those who do not live to be over one hundred years old.
Reducing sugar consumption can add years to your life.
Refined carbohydrates – most or all of the fiber, bran, hull, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytochemicals have been removed during milling or processing.
The process prolongs shelf life, but it also removes important nutrients, such as B vitamins and fiber.
If any of the B vitamins are not available, the conversion of carbohydrates to energy is blocked. Instead, the carbs are converted to fat in the human body.
Refined carbohydrates are made from flour, corn, rice, beets, cane, and fruit.
Refined carbohydrates have a higher sugar content.
The body assimilates refined sugar, fructose, very differently than naturally occurring sugar, sucrose. Sucrose stimulates the production of insulin and leptin, which help regulate food intake and body weight. Fructose over-stimulates insulin, causing problems with rapidly falling blood sugar levels (Bray, 2004). Leptin has also been correlated with weight gain and food cravings (Abelson, 2004).
Until the advent of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, concentrated sugars and refined grains were absent from the human diet.
The “civilized” diet has been so full of sugar, refined carbs that rapidly turn into sugar, and trans fats, that many people have become “pre-diabetic.” The medical term for this is metabolic syndrome, and it is a disease of the 21st Century.
Twenty-four percent of adults in the United States already qualify for this diagnosis. The syndrome is increasingly diagnosed in children. For the first time in recorded history, it is suggested that, if the current trend in obesity continues into the next generation, our children may have a lower life expectancy than we have ourselves.
Criteria for diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome include at least 3 of the following 5 things:
• a waist circumference of more than 40″ in men, and more than 35″ in women
• elevated triglycerides (>150),
• low HDL cholesterol (<40 in men, <50 in women)
• high blood pressure (>135/85)
• fasting blood sugar levels of 110 mg/dL or greater
So, we see the family practice doctor or internist for our high blood pressure and high cholesterol. We try to lose weight the best we can – by eating egg whites, avoiding fat whenever possible, drinking diet sodas – and still we find that we gain weight. The doctors give us prescription drugs to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure, but we do not feel well.
How many people do we all know who are chubby around the middle? How many of our friends are taking high blood pressure medicine and statin drugs for their “cholesterol”? And these are the folks who consider themselves healthy, because by all insurance-based criteria, they are healthy. Their disease is “well managed.”
In fact, they do not have a defined disease. They have diagnostic codes, for which they see multiple specialists, and are given multiple drugs as a “preventative” measure. They are advised to return for follow-up, so that when they get sick enough, they can be given more drugs. As Jeffrey Bland so eloquently put it, “somewhere along the line they will develop a ‘clean’ diagnosis – myocardial infarction, diabetes, stroke, cardiac arrest… In the meantime, they take medicine, eat refined flour, sweets, diet sodas, low-fat manufactured foods… and become more obese, and more ill, until finally their ‘diagnosis’ becomes apparent.”
Insulin is the transporter of glucose across the cell membrane. But it serves other functions as well.
When our bodies think they are under stress, they shift to “storage” mode – to store up fat against the hard times coming, when game is not plentiful and we need every ounce of fat we can store if we are to survive the winter season. Most of us do not have the issue of survival through the winter season any more. But unlike our caveman ancestor who had periodic bouts of stress, we have constant daily stress. We are always fighting the clock, always trying to do more in less time, always shorting ourselves on sleep, always in a hurry… And what does the body do under stress? It stores up fat for the hard times ahead.
To take it one step further – cellular signaling depends on the information coming into the cell, and the state of health of the cell itself. A cell under stress reads somewhat different signals than a healthy cell, and therefore sends out different signals. Not all calories are alike. Is it not possible that meat from animals raised under stressful conditions with hormones and steroids inevitably imparts those stress signals to those of us who eat the meat?
So, one way to treat the metabolic syndrome is to relieve stress. Set realistic goals. Learn to say “no.” Read a good book. Get enough sleep. Stop putting chemicals into our bodies. Drink water, not sugar. Eat food, not chemicals.
REDUCING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Besides stress, what else contributes to the body’s inability to successfully regulate blood sugar levels?
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS doesn’t actually exist in nature. It is a man-made product created by using enzymes to increase the fructose content of corn syrup to about 90%. This super high fructose syrup is then blended “down” with a 100% glucose corn syrup to create various mixes. HFCS 55, for example, which is 55% fructose and 45% glucose is the mix used most commonly in beverages. HFCS 42 is the blend used more commonly in baked goods.
Fructose is absorbed differently than other sugars, and fructose isolate as found in high fructose corn syrup even more so. It causes major health problems.
• When the liver is asked to handle such large quantities of fructose, there is rapid breakdown of fats and rapid accumulation of triglycerides, which in turn contributes to reduced insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance.
• Unlike glucose, fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin production, which means it isn’t utilized for energy, but rather is stored in the liver as triglycerides.
• HFCS doesn’t increase production of leptin or suppress production of ghrelin, hormones that play a primary role in appetite control. The sweet taste of HFCS encourages you to eat more. And there comes the weight gain and obesity.
Hydrogenation – hydrogen is forced into heated vegetable oil. This changes the chemical structure so the oil will become more solid. Fully hydrogenating oils will make them too solid, difficult to use for cooking. To keep margarine or shortening slightly soft, those oils are only partially hydrogenated. When oils are only partially hydrogenated, the molecules of the partially hydrogenated oils form trans configurations, which means the oil molecules have an unnatural shape for fat molecules.
Fully hydrogenated oils do not contain trans fat. However, if the word “hydrogenated” is used without the word “partially,” that product may contain partially hydrogenated oil. Not all labeling is accurate and the word “partially” may have been omitted on some products.
Under FDA regulations, “if the serving contains less than 0.5 gram [of trans fat], the content, when declared, shall be expressed as zero.” So if 4 food items on your plate contain 0.4 grams per serving, you have just consumed 1.6 grams of trans fat, despite the fact that the package claims that the product contains zero grams of trans fat per serving.
Simply put, “good carbs” are vegetables, “bad carbs” are potatoes, pasta, breads, cereals, cookies, chips, crackers, donuts, instant rice and instant oatmeal. Bad carbs are pure carbohydrates that your body converts to sugar. Bombarding your system with these foods every day makes your pancreas work overtime to produce insulin – and wearing it out. So next time you see a hamburger on a bun – envision a beef patty sandwiched between two disks of sugar.
Consumer beware in the marketplace. Products labeled “whole wheat” or “whole grain” in the typical grocery store will probably not meet the criteria for lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome. Increasingly, people have an inflammatory reaction to the gluten in wheat and some other grains. Instant oatmeal is processed and is much higher on the glycemic index than the old fashioned steel cut oats which are much less processed and take 10 minutes or more to cook.
Plastic-derived chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA) increase the risk of diabetes and obesity. BPA is an endocrine disrupter that mimics the hormone estrogen. Testing performed by the CDC discovered that about 93% of the United States population has BPA in their body at a median concentration of 2.7 ppb.
Repeated exposure to BPA causes insulin resistance at the cell level, which leads to type II diabetes. Tissues lose their sensitivity to insulin, causing the pancreas to produce even more insulin, further increasing insulin resistance and diabetes. This leads to a progressive cycle that reinforces itself.
Partially hydrogenated oils are a leading cause of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They change the proteins in our bodies in such a way as to reject insulin. The pancreas makes insulin, but the body can’t use it.
“Good” fats such as those from grass-fed animals do not contribute to diabetes. But trans fatty acids in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils cause insulin resistance. When these man-made fats get built into the cell membrane, they interfere with the insulin receptors. Trans fats harden the cell walls, making it harder for nutrition to get in and metabolic waste (toxins) to get out. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are often found in processed, high-carbohydrate foods – chips, cookies, French fries, crackers, donuts, and margarine.
Some food producers are phasing out partially hydrogenated oils because trans fats have been linked to heart disease and obesity. For certain products, such as baker’s shortening and margarine, some companies are turning to interesterified fats.
Interesterified fats are typically created by blending solid fats like fully hydrogenated soybean oil or palm oil with liquid oils (e.g., soybean oil, canola oil) and then using a process to interchange the fats in order to achieve specific attributes in foods such as texture, mouth feel, and structure. Interesterified fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature. You may find them in margarines, spreads and shortenings, and in confections and baked goods.
Interesterification shuffles the fatty acids that make up each fat molecule. Like partial hydrogenation, interesterification produces molecules that do not appear in nature. In a small study, interesterified fat raised blood-glucose concentrations in the people studies and slowed the metabolism of glucose relative to the effects of either of the other fats. Both those changes are associated with increased diabetes risk.
In the United States, the number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing, while the average amount people sleep is dwindling, according to a sleep survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those two conditions appear to be linked.
In 2008, researchers found that a mutation called rs1387153, near a gene called MTNR1B, is associated with having an increased average blood sugar level and around a 20 percent elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
MTNR1B forms part of a signaling pathway that controls the action of the hormone melatonin. This hormone regulates the body’s circadian rhythm – the internal clock that controls sleeping and eating patterns – by responding to daylight and darkness.
The research places bodily rhythms, including the clock that sets human sleep cycles, squarely in the blood sugar business. Three new genomic studies show that melatonin, a major regulator of the body’s sleep clock, is closely linked to increased glucose levels and diabetes.
Too few antioxidants
There is evidence that the ratio of antioxidants to free radicals plays a role in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Antioxidant levels are typically low in overweight people, while research shows that the production of free radicals may increase in bodies that carry too much fat.
Too little vitamin E?
As reported in the journal Diabetes Care, the Otago researchers recruited 80 overweight men and women whose ages ranged from 31 to 65. To test the effects of vitamin E on glucose and insulin, as well as ALT levels, half the group received 800 IU of vitamin E per day for three months, while the other half took a placebo. At the end of this first phase of the study, the dosage in the vitamin E group was increased to 1,200 IU for an additional three months.
At the end of the first three-month phase, both glucose and insulin levels were considerably reduced, lowering the likelihood of developing the insulin resistance that leads to type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the reduction in glucose and insulin levels did not remain steady through the second phase of the study. The researchers note that although vitamin E had a positive impact on oxidative stress, additional studies will be needed in order to clear up the mystery of the fluctuation in glucose and insulin. But throughout the full six months of the study, ALT concentrations had a marked decline. This is significant because elevated ALT indicates the possible onset of diabetes, as well as cancer and other liver diseases.
Too little vitamin D
Three-quarters of children with type 1 diabetes were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The study appeared in the January 2009 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. It measured levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in 128 youths with type 1 diabetes ranging in age from 1.5 to 17.5 years.
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is a gene regulating nutrient. The lack of it sets the stage for autoimmune problems – including damage to the pancreas that can cause type I diabetes.
Mother’s diet during pregnancy
DNA is the primary mechanism of inheritance; kids get half their genes from mom and half from dad. However, scientists are just starting to understand additional kinds of inheritance like metabolic programming, which occurs when an insult during a critical period of development, either in the womb or soon after birth, triggers permanent changes in metabolism.
UK researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, led by Dr. Stéphanie Bayol, found that feeding mother rats junk food during pregnancy and lactation to an increased preference for fats and sugars in their offspring. Perhaps the biggest surprise here came after birth. Some rat mothers were switched from the junk diet to nutritionally-balanced rat chow and spent their days nursing the rat pups. When weaned, those pups did not have the same strong preference for junk food as the pups whose mothers were still eating the junk diet while lactating. The study’s authors conclude that a mother’s “nutrition during lactation might play a key role in influencing the long-term appetite of the offspring” for junk food.
When we, as physicians, work with our patients, we need to realize that we may not be dealing just with the patient sitting before us, but also their children and grandchildren, whether born or yet unborn. This puts a whole new twist on the concept of “family medicine”.
IS DIABETES A MEDICAL OR SOCIAL ISSUE?
The British medical Journal, The Lancet, delivered a stern editorial blast regarding the treatment of diabetes. The cover of the June 26, 2010 issue says,
“Medicine might be winning the battle of glucose control, but it is losing the war against diabetes.”
The editors explain that although the June issue contains various studies that represent great progress in the understanding of how to lower concentrations of blood glucose, there is a glaring absence: no research to report on lifestyle interventions to prevent or reverse diabetes.
“Since 2000, the number of people [worldwide] with diabetes has more than doubled … even if care was widely accessible, increasing evidence suggests that glucocentric treatment might not result in better overall outcomes… Because type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of diabetes, is largely rooted in reversible social and lifestyle factors, a medical approach alone is unlikely to be the solution. Moreover, medicalisation disempowers individuals and excludes communities, schools, and urban planners who have the potential to reduce diabetes incidence… To lessen the burden of diabetes requires a substantial change in diet and routine, such as that advocated by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign… The fact that type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disorder, has reached epidemic proportion is a public health humiliation.”[16a]
The majority of doctors in America work in environments where the average patient appointment is about ten minutes – long enough to whip out a prescription, but far too short to educate patients how to eat fresh, nutrient-dense food instead of processed products with additives in bags and boxes. The national health care reform that passed in 2010 said nothing about the creation of health through nutrition. The conventional medical school curriculum says precious little about nutrition. We have a long way to go.
Perhaps a future editorial will note that a key distinguishing feature between conventional medicine’s Standard of Care and the approach taken by most of us who practice Complementary and Alternative Medicine is the difference in the emphasis on food as medicine.
Standard medical treatment offers drugs like metformin which inhibit the absorption of high glycemic carbohydrates in the intestinal tract and enhance insulin sensitivity in the body, thereby reducing the need for extra insulin. Side effects of metformin range from mild loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, cramps, flatulence and diarrhea, to lactic acidosis where the cells of the body do not get enough oxygen to survive because so much lactic acid has built up in the blood.
Drugs like glyburide work by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin. But it doesn’t repair beta cells; it just forces them to work harder which speeds up the day when they break down and become dysfunctional.
At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we can often repair some of the damage to the insulin mechanism. We look first at the diet – the fuel which is being presented to the body. Then we look at the metabolism, to see where processes may be distorted – are there kinks in the fuel line? Colonics can help with that by restoring good function to the colon. We look at the information systems which direct the metabolism – are all the cables connected correctly?
For those with a stubborn weight issue – that hard to lose belly fat that drives chronic inflammation – we use a medically managed program that will cause you to shed the weight, safely. We also make use of FirstLine Therapy to easily transition you to a new way of eating for a lifetime, with emphasis on lower blood sugar levels. We modify the diet, to include lots of “clean” meats, fruits and vegetables, and eliminate the high inflammatory foods – sugars, starches, additives, colorings and chemicals. Remember, if you can’t pronounce it, it probably isn’t good for you, even if the FDA says it’s OK as an additive. Nobody ever suffered from a deficiency of aspartame , BHA or BHT.
We also use herbal medicine to help restore the body’s sensitivity to insulin, so that we can eliminate pharmaceutical medication. We monitor blood work, to make sure that the markers are improving. We may even look at total body burden of heavy metals, since it is known that heavy metal toxicity can cause “unexplained” high blood pressure.
Diabetics can’t be couch potatoes; you need to work the muscles to lower your blood sugar level. You can’t be a comfortable couch potato if you are constipated. And in the end, with diet change and exercise as a way of life, the syndrome is reversible. It is possible to become restored to excellent health. It simply takes resolve and some diligent work.
Sometimes, diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be addressed on an energetic level. Let me share one woman’s story:
A woman with diabetes recalled that her parents were always fighting, that there was a lot of screaming and yelling in the house. She had a memory that when she was just one year old, she was put down for nap and said to herself, “I give up.” When she awoke, she was in the hospital with acute onset Type 1 diabetes.
When I knew her, she was on her second transplanted kidney, and had lost some toes to amputation. She died at age 41.
The energetic link is that diabetes occurs in the pancreas which is located in the solar plexus chakra – our power chakra, how we deal with the world. It is almost always associated with some issue of power versus force. I have found this to be often true in Type I, and sometimes also type II, diabetes. Sometimes energetic medicine can release these kinds of blockages.
It is possible to become restored to excellent health. It simply takes resolve and some diligent work.
 Beck-Nielsen H, Groop LC. Metabolic and Genetic Characterization of Prediabetic States. J Clin Invest 94:1714-21 (1994). 0021-9738/94/11/1714/08
 Carlos Sanchez, MD, Diabetes-Related Knowledge, Atherosclerotic Risk Factor Control, and Outcomes in Acute Coronary Syndromes, The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 95, Issue 11, 1 June 2005, Pages 1290-1294
 John W. Williams, Jr., MD, MHSc; Wayne Katon, MD; et al; The Effectiveness of Depression Care Management on Diabetes-Related Outcomes in Older Patients; Annuals of Internal Medicine, June 15, 2004 | Volume 140 Issue 12, Pages 1015-1024
 Zoe Arvanitakis, MD, et all; Diabetes Mellitus and Risk of Alzheimer Disease and Decline in Cognitive Function; Arch Neurol. 2004;61:661-666.
 A. Ott, et all; Diabetes mellitus and the risk of dementia: The Rotterdam Study, Neurology, 1999 Dec 10;53(9):1937-42.
[5a] Ron Rosedale, M.D., Eric C. Westman, M.D., M.H.S.,1 and John P. Konhilas, PhD; Clinical Experience of a Diet Designed to Reduce Aging. J Appl Res. 2009 January 1; 9(4): 159–165.
 Giugliano D, Marfella R et al. Vascular Effects of Acute Hyperglycemia in Humans Are Reversed by L-Arginine. Circulation. 1997;95:1783-1790.
 Ford ES, Giles W et al. Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome Among US Adults. JAMA 287;3:356-59 (Jan 16, 2002).
 Olshansky SJ, Passaro DJ, et al. A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century. NEJM 352;11:1138-1145 (March 17, 2005).
 Yun AJ, Doux JD. Unhappy meal: How our need to detect stress may have shaped our preferences for taste. Med Hypotheses. 2007 Mar 19.
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 Alonso-Magdalena P, Morimoto S, et al; The estrogenic effect of bisphenol A disrupts pancreatic beta-cell function in vivo and induces insulin resistance, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2006 Jan;114(1):106-12.
Ben Harder, Diabetes from a Plastic? Estrogen mimic provokes insulin resistance; Science News, January 21st, 2006; Vol.169 #3
 Ben Harder, Ingredient Shuffle: A trans fat substitute might have risks too, Science News, February 10th, 2007; Vol.171 #6
 Valeriya Lyssenko, Cecilia L F Nagorny, et al; Common variant in MTNR1B associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and impaired early insulin secretion; Nature Genetics, 7 December 2008, doi:10.1038/ng.288 Laura Sanders, Lack of sleep has genetic link with type 2 diabetes – Large genomic studies show body rhythms, melatonin may influence sugar levels in the blood, Science News, January 3rd, 2009; Vol.175 #1
 Jukka Montonen, MSC, Paul Knekt, PHD, et al; Dietary Antioxidant Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes Care 27:362-366, 2004
 Lori Laffel, et al. Overall health in youth with type 1 diabetes, The Journal of Pediatrics, January 2009, Joslin Diabetes Center
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[16a] Type 2 diabetes—time to change our approach. The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9733, Page 2193, 26 June 2010
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 Hu H, Aro A et al. The relationship of bone and blood lead to hypertension. The Normative Aging Study. JAMA – Vol. 275 No. 15, April 17, 1996.
Depression can range anywhere from “the world is grey today” to “the world is intolerable today and I want out.” The only emotion is greyness and sadness, and it feels as though there is no hope for the future.
When depression is combined with anxiety – a constant feeling of agitation, where nothing ever settles down, the nerves are always on edge – it is even more difficult to deal with, because there is never a time of quiet. For those who have anxiety, having to perform at work, going shopping, cooking breakfast, reading the newspaper – almost anything can stop them in their tracks.
Depression affects approximately 10-15% of our population in any given year, and up to 20% of the population as a whole, some time in their lifetime. Three times more women than men are diagnosed with depression. Average duration of illness is 10 years. It is estimated that 15-20% of older adults suffer from depression.
Many symptoms of depression are associated with things which we are “supposed to” be able to control – mood swings, focus on self, concentration, ability to experience pleasure. “Just pull yourself together!” “Get over it!” Once a person has been treated successfully, and has experienced remission of symptoms (one hardly dares say cure), it becomes quite clear that they were in fact incapable of “pulling themselves together” prior to the treatment.
Standard allopathic treatment for depression used to involve cognitive/behavioral therapy – let’s sit on the couch and talk. Increasingly in these days of HMOs, standard allopathic treatment comes from the prescription pad – antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anxiolytics (anti-anxiety agents), stimulants, and other psychotropic (mind-changing) pharmaceuticals.
Drugs sometimes calm the anxiety, sometimes they merely make people feel brain fogged. Depression drugs have a track record of giving about a 50 percent decrease in symptoms. Many patients have experienced that over time their anti-depressant doesn’t seem to work anymore and they have to switch to an ever stronger cocktail of pharmaceuticals. If you are way low on serotonin – the hormone that is a master neurotransmitter – the drugs may not work much at all. Up to 20% of patients fail to respond to any form of therapy for depression.
Dr. David Rubinow, in an excellent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006, talks about the National Institutes of Health funded trials which were also reported in the same issue, and laments that at least half the patients treated for depression with standard antidepressant medication continue to have symptoms of depression despite treatment. 75% of the patients in those studies had suffered from depression for 15 years or more, and over half of them waited for over a year before receiving their first treatment.
Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative Study revealed that post-menopausal women taking antidepressants were 45 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than those of the same age not on the medicines. The research also found that overall death rates were 32 per cent higher in women on the drugs.[2a]
Because therapy is so ineffective and the condition so prevalent, it is reasonable to look for more effective alternative therapies.
Depression can be caused by many things. If it has a spiritual basis, then acupuncture and hypnosis can be helpful. A sudden spiritual awakening is enough to lift the veil – but those awakenings are hard to orchestrate. More often, depression and anxiety have an organic cause. You may have very poor neural function, meaning your brain doesn’t work very well because some wires are crossed or don’t even exist. Your neurotransmitters could be misfiring because of low levels of serotonin and dopamine – your brain functions like a truck running on two cylinders instead of eight. For some people, food allergies trigger the blues. For others, a body burden of heavy metals inhibits neural functions to the point nothing works and you feel depressed.
Other physiologic factors implicated in depression include low levels of Vitamin D, hormonal imbalance, head injury, vitamin deficiency, and fatty acid deficiency[10,11].
A five-year study involving 3,500 people showed that people who eat a diet high in processed food increase their chances of depression. Conversely, those who avoided processed food and instead ate a healthy amount of vegetables, fruit and fish, or what is known as the Mediterranean diet, actually lowered their risk of depression.[11a]
We can start by looking at hormone levels because they affect all the neurotransmitters. Then we look to see if there is merit in desensitizing environmental allergies with smart testing and homeopathy, removing heavy metals with chelation, and identifying food allergies.
Is there any exercise in the picture? The January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported a study on the effects of exercise and found comparable results from studies in which patients with mild to moderate depression were treated with antidepressants. “The effect you find using aerobic exercise alone in treating clinical depression is similar to what you find with antidepressant medications,” said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, a study author and professor of psychiatry and director of UT Southwestern’s mood disorders research program. “The key is the intensity of the exercise and continuing it for 30 to 35 minutes per day. It’s not for the faint of heart.”
How are the vitamin D levels? How is the omega 3/omega 6 balance in the diet? Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” and fish oils with omega-3 oils have been found to provide some benefit. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults. Consumption of omega-3 fats is especially low in the United States, and we have one of the highest depression rates in the world. Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health has shown that higher national consumption of fish for a nation equates with lower rates of depression.
What are the sleep patterns? The body does most of its healing as we sleep so adequate sleep is important too.
Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of Five Elements:
The theory says wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are the basic elements of the material world.
Each element possesses distinct characteristics. These elements are in constant movement and change.
We all have each of these elements in us.
On the basis of the phenomena’s different characteristics, functions, and forms, the complex links between physiology and pathology as well as the correlation between the human body and the natural environment were explained.
In sum, you want to create a good terrain from the neck down.
Then it is time to go to work on the brain. The frontal lobe is key to depression because it isn’t usually working right. Your right frontal lobe looks at the big picture and puts the past and the future in perspective. When the frontal lobes are not working well, it is harder for people to cope. You get slow or garbled transmission of impulses to the limbic system in the brain. This is often the source of the fight or flight response in the brain. The anxiety makes you want to run away, and depression makes you want to freeze.You are quivering between the proverbial rock and the hard place.
We all have different reactions to dysfunctional transmission of nerve impulses. If we look at the temperaments as described in Chinese Medicine:
- Woods – angry and anxious and depressed
- Waters – weepy and depressed (frozen)
- Metals – rigid and obsessed
- Earths – soggy and weepy and depressed
- Fires – anxious and depressed
We can increase the brain’s processing speed by increasing neural connections with HEG (hemoencephalography), and then exercise the brain to teach it to make new connections.
The brain operates on a use it or lose it principal. Blood brings oxygen and the basic nutrient, glucose, to all parts of the brain. The more blood flow you have, the more oxygen and glucose you will have on board and the more neural connections you can make. The less blood flow you have, the less processing power you have.
HEG feedback is a simple way to increase blood flow to the frontal lobes of the brain. This is the area where you do “executive functions” like paying attention to details and remembering them, organizing, strategizing, and planning. HEG feedback is combined with exercises using special sounds and pictures to exercise the brain on different levels. After about 20 HEG sessions, a person achieves permanent gains in brain function. HEG is proving to be much more rapidly successful than the older style of qEEG feedback training.
One 42-year old professional woman was incapacitated with depression and anxiety. She had been unable to work for two years and spent most of her days crying. Within 3 ½ weeks of starting HEG therapy, she was off her meds, had stopped crying, and was able to see the “light of day.” Within 6 weeks she was done with therapy, done with meds, and looking at going back to work. She had previously tried biofeedback, which does not stimulate blood flow, but her depression and anxiety were not relieved. She talked about the HEG neurotherapy as a miracle, said she began to see changes within 3 days of starting therapy.
Using HEG feedback, you can literally increase the processing speed of the brain. This has proven to be beneficial not only for depression and anxiety, but also for ADHD, memory loss, and more. It works so well because brain malfunction is usually a processing issue. We can give a patient more serotonin for example, but odds are the brain wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Incapacitating anxiety is one of the most difficult things to deal with on any level. The anxiety becomes a global state of being. It can relate to misinterpretation of physical signals like falling blood sugar. Depending upon the personality, that can advance to a state where everything triggers anxiety.
Looking at things energetically can help. Sometimes things are hidden in the energetics of our body. There can be a latent reason for the anxiety that has become an integral component of the person and the ego. A skilled energetic healer can sometimes see what is going on behind the scenes and help bring it to the surface so the conscious mind can deal with it and get rid of it. Hypnosis is another option for getting at the root cause.
“Just pull yourself together!” isn’t a realistic demand of someone with depression and anxiety. Solving depression is not as easy as tackling any one thing.
We have found a combination of therapies to be most effective in the treatment of depression, particularly when depression is associated with incapacitating anxiety, including HEG biofeedback, nutritional and dietary counseling, supplements, auditory and vestibular processing training, audio-visual entrainment (AVE), cognitive and memory training, as well as counseling and hypnosis. Together, these modalities have had remarkable effect in helping people overcome their depression and return to life – all within the space of about 20 sessions of treatment.
 Murphy JM, Olivier DC et al. Incidence of depression and anxiety: the Stirling County Study
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 Gallo JJ, Lebowitz BD. The Epidemiology of Common Late-life mental disorders in the Community: Themes for the New Century. Psychiatric Services 50:1158–1166, 1999.
[2a] J Smoller, MD et al; Antidepressant Use and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality Among Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative Study, Arch Intern Medicine, 2009;169(22):2128-2139. See also: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/charting-the-depths/201001/the-womens-health-initiative-study-firebell-in-the-night-0
 Rubinow DR. Treatment Strategies after SSRI Failure – Good News and Bad News. NEJM 354.12:1305-07 (March 23, 2006).
 Papakostas G. Dopaminergic-based pharmacotherapies for depression. European Neuropsychopharmacology , Volume 16 , Issue 6 , Pages 391 – 402.
 Mayberg HS. Modulating limbic-cortical circuits in depression: targets of antidepressant treatments. Semin Clin Neuropsychiatry 2002;7:255-268.
 Gloth FM 3rd, Alam W, et al. Vitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. J Nutr Health Aging. 1999;3(1):5-7.
 Walf AA, Frye CA. A Review and Update of Mechanisms of Estrogen in the Hippocampus and Amygdala for Anxiety and Depression Behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) 31, 1097 – 1111.
 Jorge RE, Robinson RG et al. Major Depression Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61:42-50.
 Morris MS, Fava M. Depression and folate status in the US Population. Psychother Psychosom. 2003 Mar-Apr;72(2):80-7.
 Hibbeln JR, Salem N. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and depression: when cholesterol does not satisfy. AJCN, Vol 62, 1-9.
 Puri BK, Counsell SJ et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid in treatment-resistant depression associated with symptom remission, structural brain changes and reduced neuronal phospholipid turnover. Int J Clin Pract. 2001 Oct;55(8):560-3.
[11a] T Akbaraly, E Brunner, et al; Depression link to processed food, British Journal of Psychiatry, February 2009, 195: 408-413)
 Walf AA, Frye CA. A Review and Update of Mechanisms of Estrogen in the Hippocampus and Amygdala for Anxiety and Depression Behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) 31, 1097 – 1111.
 C.H Wilkins, Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 14:1032-1040, December 2006.
 Hibbeln JR. Fish consumption and major depression. Lancet 1998; 351: 1213.
Dr. Murray “Buz” Susser was among the first medical experts who proposed that people could have more than one infection at a time. Conventional medicine used to say that only when you are to the point of dying could you have multiple, opportunistic infections. Dr. Susser’s early recognition of the more common presence of multiple infections is now widely accepted.
Dr. Susser co-authored one of the first books on the subject, entitled “Solving the Puzzle of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
As the book explained, chronic fatigue syndrome is the product of a dysfunctional immune system. How so? Probably because it got overloaded with multiple infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and/or protozoa may parasites. Let’s toss in some contributing factors too – hormone imbalance, food and chemical sensitivities, and especially heavy metal toxicities.
The following interview with Dr. Susser covers new ground since the book was written in 1991.
Q – What do you call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome today?
A – By definition, it is intense fatigue that is not improved by bed rest that has lasted for six months or longer, and has greater than 50 percent debility (weakness) with no known cause. That is chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS.
Chronic fatigue, CF, is different. It is chronic fatigue from a known cause like low thyroid or low adrenal function which can make you feel like you can barely get up in the morning.
The problem with the CFS diagnosis is that it is unclear. We know what six months means, but what exactly does 50 percent fatigued mean? I consider CFS a disease of exclusion. If I can exclude everything else, then it is CFS.
Q – What causes CFS?
A – I believe it can be caused by many things. One of the most common and treatable is a poly-microbial infection. In other words, more than one infection. All infections are opportunistic. When the day comes that we can identify and get rid of all infections, we won’t have CFS anymore. But there are other insults to the immune system that can cause fatigue too.
A lot of people used to get CFS after they left the hospital following surgery. The anesthesia drugs can give lasting liver, kidney, or brain damage. It used to happen a lot that people would wake up almost as if they had had a little stroke, but you couldn’t prove it. The newer anesthetics are better.
Other causes of chronic fatigue are:
- Hidden thyroiditis. Usually autoimmune diseases like Graves and Hashimoto’s. The thyroid gland is the master controller of the body’s metabolism inside each cell so if there is thyroid problem, you can have a lot of downstream problems. Everyday toxins like fluoride interfere with thyroid function. Standard blood tests fail to detect many cases of hypothyroidism.
- Heavy metal poisoning. Lead is one of the worst. Fortunately, leaded gasoline is DECREASED so the lead contamination is not as bad today as it used to be. But you’d be surprised where else you find lead. One patient was a mid-thirties bank executive with a steel trap mind who started losing his memory at age 35. He came to see me and I noticed some gray hair, so I did a hair analysis and it was loaded with lead. He was using Grecian Formula #9 which was loaded with lead. So I checked his pubic hair and it too had high levels of lead. Clearly the formula was being absorbed. Conventional medicine would have labeled him as early Alzheimer’s and written him off. We did chelation and he got his steel trap mind back.
- Malnutrition. We have high tech malnutrition. We have technical foods that taste great and last long on the shelf but they lack nutrients. The average American eats 125 pounds of sugar a year that have zero nutritional value. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause fatigue. Aspartame has a bad effect on the immune system and can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. I’ve cured CFS for more than a few people in just two days with diet changes.
- Food allergies. There are some common food allergies like gluten (wheat) and casein (milk) that attack the nervous system and make you tired. There is a condition we call leaky gut syndrome which is a permeability issue. When we eat protein for example, the juices from the pancreas and the liver should break down the protein into individual amino acids which are easily absorbed. When you have a chain of amino acids, you have short chain proteins (polypeptides). Polypeptides should not be absorbed, but when they are because of a leaky gut, you have (1) allergies because the body rejects the short chain proteins, or (2) pure toxicity without an allergic response. Most snake venom is loaded with polypeptides. One of the folk remedies for bee stings is papaya enzymes that break up the polypeptides. So leaky gut syndrome and the resulting poor digestion means we are exposing venomous by-products of our protein digestive process. This can be fatiguing in many ways – arthritis, rash, and neuropathies, for example.
- Low level electromagnetic radiation. The electrosmog in our environment has increased exponentially since 1995. We have GPS, cable TV, computers – we are overloaded with these foreign signals that interfere with the body’s signaling. When the body can’t communicate properly, it can’t work as it should. A December 1998 research paper said the evidence is that exposure to environmental level 50 – 60 Hz EMFs may be an immune system stressor with the potential to cause hormone disruption and changes at a cellular level.
- Lyme disease is one of the major mixed infections that gives CFS syndrome. With Lyme disease comes a biofilm, a mucous coating that acts as a promiscuous party scene for lots of bugs because they get in there, exchange DNA with each other, and become super bugs. Antibiotics do not penetrate biofilm.
When I first started treating CFS, we didn’t know much about Lyme. That was the 1980s, the early days of Lyme and the early days of CFS. I can tell you this, it was a lot easier to get rid of Lyme with antibiotics then. I think the organism has morphed since those early years. It has become more stubborn, more resistant to treatment. It is a clever, insidious bug.
I think a lot of the brain dysfunction so common now is Lyme or heavy metal poisoning. There is evidence that Lyme is fueling the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease specifically. Pathologist Alan MacDonald acquired sections of 10 different brains from Harvard Medical School – all the people had died of Alzheimer’s. MacDonald looked in the microscope and found that Lyme, syphilis, and Alzheimer’s brains look identical. He also did PCR (DNA testing) which showed Lyme in seven of the ten brains. It would be wrong to extrapolate that 7 out of 10 Alzheimer’s cases are actually Lyme disease, but it certainly suggests there is a connection.
Q – When CFS is not Lyme, how treatable is it?
A – Sometimes it’s incredibly simple. I remember one woman who had been to 64 doctors for fatigue, pain, and brain fog. No one would believe her. She stopped telling doctors how many she had been to because they didn’t want to see her. So at first she didn’t want to tell me either. I did my routine physical and I asked about soreness in her mouth. I put a glove on and felt around her molars. She was tender so I got an X-ray and saw an abscess. She had already been to a dentist who had ignored her. So we got the abscess drained and that was it. She was cured.
Treatment depends upon using the best possible diagnostic technologies and seeing if you can find a clue as to what the cause is. Infection is the most common thing we find. So you treat it and you boost the immune system with things like intravenous vitamin C and glutathione, large amounts of oral vitamins, the best possible diet, and often heavy metal detoxification.
Hidden yeast infection is a common part of the equation. Something that seems as innocent as acne treatment with antibiotics can lead to an occult overgrowth of yeast in the gut. This can cause varying degrees of digestive problems, and can – in an of itself – cause chronic fatigue and require intense treatment.
Candida plays a major role in CFS. Being “so tired” and “sick all over” is a common link between sufferers of CFS, fibromyalgia and yeast overgrowth. Candida is a fungus, and it has several forms. The yeast form is the young form of fungus before it “sprouts arms” and it can do a lot of damage. Candida is common in gut and vaginal infections. Yeast by itself has been a common cause of CFS. Candida can be tested for and if positive, it needs aggressive treatment. I use Nystatin or Diflucan, but we are seeing some resistance now to Diflucan. You see a quick, sometimes dramatic response to these drugs within a couple of days – that way you know it is not Lyme.
Chelation is really wonderful in many ways. It cleans out the toxic elements and heavy metals that suppress the immune system in your body. I’ve seen numerous cases of CFS cleared up with a course of chelation One of the most helpful treatments for CFS and Lyme is gamma globulin injections, although the intravenous form and the injectable form have gotten very pricey. Gamma globulin is the human protein from which antibodies are made. Gamma globulin is a product of blood – without the problems that can come with blood transfusions. When you get gamma globulin, you are receiving antibodies from ten thousand other human beings who may have been better at making antibodies against various things than you are. Antibodies are specific for a specific invader. Antibodies against measles, for example, do nothing against Lyme and vice versus. Antibodies can destroy pathogens. I’ve seen a number of cases of chronic fatigue from sinus infections that go away when people take a monthly gamma globulin shot.
Some people like to use transfer factor, but it takes a good ten months to work and in ten months so many things change, you don’t know how helpful the transfer factor was. But mostly it just takes too long to work.
I love hydrogen peroxide. Twenty percent of the oxygen we breathe becomes hydrogen peroxide in the body. It is a natural and potent bug killer. The amount we give intravenously can kill organisms and do no damage to us. Hydrogen peroxide is like a little internal flame thrower. You don’t want to drink it, however, because it will kill off good as well as bad guys in the colon. But anything in the bloodstream XXX doesn’t belong there AND can be killed by hydrogen peroxide.
Many cases of fatigue and emotional instability are cleared up quickly when the hormones got balanced using bio-identical hormones. Synthetic hormones had some hormonal action, but they caused huge imbalances in a person’s physiology. Synthetic hormones were dangerous and could cause depression and weight gain. When you have the right balance of natural progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone, then you have good energy. Pills are my least favorite form. Cream is good. I like sublingual drops the best. I start with one hormone at a time, and then watch for symptoms that tell us how to adjust the three hormones. If you get weight gain with bio-identical hormones, you need to cut down the dose. The “side-effects” from bio-identical hormones come from overdosing. So you just lower the dose. When you get the combination right, fatigue and depression go away. Balance is the key.
Q – What about the connection to fibromyalgia?
CFS by definition must include fatigue. But it often causes pain. So fibromyalgia, a chronic muscle pain of unknown origin, often comes with CFS. The two are often intertwined.
Fibromyalgia is myalgia – muscle pain. If you don’t know the cause, then you call it fibromyalgia. The accepted criteria say that if 11 out of 18 specified trigger points are tender, that’s fibromyalgia. But what if there are 9 or 10 spots? What if there are 18? It is a nonsensical criterion. But conventional medicine decided to label it and assign diagnostic codes. Think about this – how hard do I press on the 18 points? How much pain tolerance do you have? There is a lot of nonsense in medicine and you have to see through it or you get stuck in it.
Trying to treat fibromyalgia with pain pills is frustrating because they usually don’t work well. Fibromyalgia doesn’t respond well if at all to anti-inflammatories and analgesics or muscle relaxants because they are addressing the wrong problem. The problem is hidden toxins. The toxins that are causing the fatigue are also causing the pain. All anti-oxidant nutrients play a role in pain reduction including vitamins C and E.
Q – Did we ever solve the puzzle of why Incline Village, Nevada, was ground zero for the modern era of CFS starting about 1985? That’s when two physicians in a small medical practice there claimed that the symptoms of fatigue and poor mental functioning had affected the town in unusual numbers. There had been a flu-like epidemic and some of the people remained sick.
A – No. There was a new test out at the time, the one for Epstein Barr virus (EBV), and when they tested, everyone who tested positive for EBV also had the fatigue. Turned out that almost everyone has been exposed to the EBV so it was an almost worthless test.
EBV has an incubation period of about 40 days, so it is not a good candidate for a rapidly spreading viral epidemic. But the level of EBV antibodies probably goes up because of what is causing the chronic fatigue. So it is still kind of a mystery.
Doctors didn’t know what to do WITH EBV so they would prescribe the anti-herpes drugs for it, Valtrex and Acyclovir. EBV is Human Herpes Virus 4 (HHV-4). But the drugs almost never did anything.
What did help was good anti-viral alternatives like large doses of vitamin C or a good solid course of hydrogen peroxide therapy – non-pharmaceutical agents that knocked down the body’s viral load overall.
In October 2009, the National Institutes of Health announced that a retrovirus named XMRV is frequently present in the blood of patients with CFS. Researchers found XMRV in 67 percent of samples from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome out of 101 samples analyzed, compared to approximately 4 percent of 218 control samples. That suggests there is an association between XMRV and CFS, but that does not prove that XMRV causes CFS. XMRV belongs to a family of viruses that cause neurological disease.
I wonder if this is going to turn out to be just another fancy EBV situation. Maybe, like with EBV, the XMRV emerges when your immune system is overwhelmed with something else like Lyme.
Q – When you peel off all the layers of the onion, what is the fundamental cause of fatigue?
A – Mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are inside each cell of our body and they act like a digestive system that takes in nutrients, breaks them down. This is where the body turns glucose into energy, creating energy for each cell. We have 60 trillion or so cells and there are a thousand or more mitochondria generating energy inside every cell. Just as a coal-fired power plant requires a lot of raw material, the mitochondria require a lot of nutrients to create energy. I don’t think we know enough yet to really understand how substandard mitochondrial action creates CFS – but we know the mitochondrial action isn’t creating enough energy. That makes us tired.
Food and Nutrition
Low Dose Chemotherapy