Archive for the ‘Medications’ Category

Glyphosate Continues To Stalk Us In Our Vaccines

September 8, 2016

Despite growing research linking the effects of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide/pesticide in the world, to our health problems, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has still not acted to take it off the market.

We know that Roundup depletes soils of rich microorganisms and plant diversity by gradually destroying soil nutrients. Proponents claim that Roundup will provide more food to feed the world. However, the world has survived to date through diversity. The reason we plant different varieties of vegetables is to ensure that most of them will survive to reproduce and feed us.

NH Biochemist Anthony Samsel and MIT Senior Research Scientist, Stephanie Seneff pioneer research on the effects of glyphosate on our health. Samsel found glyphosate in the vaccines promoted by multiple labs like Merk and Galaxo Smith Cline. The list included MMR, Proquad MMR, DPT, Hep B, PneumoVax 23, Chickenpox, Shingles, and Influenza.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Chickenpox—these are the vaccines given to our children. Shingles and Flu vaccines are targeted for adults.

Seneff researches the effects of glyphosate on our health. Seneff found that Monsanto, producer of glyphosate, initially did comprehensive studies and found that long term exposure to glyphosate caused cancer, endocrine disruptions, bone marrow disruption, and damage to lungs resulting in COPD and Asthma. Monsanto then got the EPA to agree to accept 3 month studies which of course show no problems.

It is the long term effects of Roundup that count. Glyphosate also binds with nitrates in the gut that lead to dementia.

Seneff’s research shows that by 2032, half of the boys born will have autism due to glyphosate, which triggers a manganese deficiency.

Unfortunately, there is much more to the glyphosate story. Depleted soils, destruction of worms and beneficial soil organisms, and more. We now have a derivative of Agent Orange being used to kill the weeds that have become immune to Roundup.

What can we do? For starters, we can go organic as much as possible, check our farm stands to be sure they do not use Roundup, check providers of prepared foods, rethink compulsory vaccines for school children and our use of adult flu vaccines. For more information, visit Seneff’s website: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff.

 

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Saving Normal from DSM-5

May 23, 2013

Saving Normal, by Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who led the task force for the DSM IV,  is a must read. Its subtitle is: An insider’s revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, big pharma and the medicalization of ordinary life.

DSM-I, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, was published in 1952 to replace various existing diagnostic classifications at a time when psychiatry was booming after WWII. Now, over 60 years later and 19 years since the DSM-IV was published, we have a 900 page tome in DSM-5, capable of classifying every one of us with a mental disorder. This is the classification used to determine treatment and insurance coverage.

Catchy acronyms like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or BiPolar (Manic Depressive Disorder) or Alzheimer’s (for all levels of dementia) encourage lay people to diagnose and, with the help of big pharma media advertising, expect their doctors to prescribe a potpourrie of drugs.

Children are being over-diagnosed and given prescribed drugs early on. Many new disorders have been added.  In the future, tantrums will be labeled Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. 100% of kids will qualify for this disorder. The rationale seems to be “get them as kids and have them for life pharmaceutically.”

Policy changes Frances sees that will help are: no more fructose subsidies, no more coke and fries with school lunches, no more streets without sidewalks to discourage walking, restore Phys. Ed. in schools, add calorie counts to menus, subsidize vegetables, lower insurance premiums for losing weight, encourage people to eat less and exercise more.

DSM-5 mislabels medical disorders as mental disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, Lyme Disease, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and more, now carry psychiatric disorder numbers.

Elsewhere in the news, oxycodon is being decried as an abused drug. I’ve observed that small doses given to elderly people for pain often causes them to hallucinate. Because they are elderly, they then risk being pegged with a senile diagnosis and given psychotropics.

Treatment of US service people for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is under fire in the news this week. After 3 or more deployments to participate in the horrors of war, there are reports that the Army is criminalizing PTSD behavior and discharging service people with PTSD instead of court-martialing them if they agree to give up their health benefits. The PTSD diagnosis without treatment makes it difficult for them to get a job, much less resume their personal lives. Is this how we want to recognize and care for our service people?

The rationale of using drugs to correct a chemical imbalance “for the rest of your life” has been abused, not only with psychotropic drugs but with drugs for medical problems. Frances reminds us that Big Tobacco once seemed invincible, yet was taken down so quickly. The same thing can happen with Big Pharma  when we refuse to accept the buffet of pills it promotes that rob us of our health and financial solvency, when we heed Hippocrates’ caution to let our food be our medicine, and when we intentionally give our bodies the exercise we need to keep all systems running smoothly.

 

Flu Vaccine is Not the #1 Prevention

January 10, 2013

Flu vaccine is not the #1 prevention, despite media claims. Flu doesn’t mess around. Flu virus has a strong addiction to sugar. It absolutely thrives on ice cream, sodas, sweetened juices, candy, fries, and processed foods.

 Flu virus just can’t survive when people drink plenty of tap water or lemon water, and eat plenty of whole foods, intact as nature made them, from scratch. This routine is the #1 prevention.

 It’s that simple. We do not have to have a nasty bout with the flu. It’s up to us.

 Flu vaccine may be 60 percent effective. Flu vaccine may tend to make people feel protected and therefore impervious to the three strains of flu included in the vaccine. People may ignore early signals of sore throat and the general feeling of “I’m coming down with something.”

 Each of us must take responsibility not to pass the flu around. The reason flu gets a stronghold is because as a civilization, we have increased our sugar consumption to outrageous amounts in the last 70 years alone. Sugar has gradually, stealthily, been added to just about everything we put in our mouths. Even when there was a sugar bowl on every kitchen table, we did not consume the huge quantity of sugar that has spawned so many conditions, in addition to leaving us in a weakened state to fight flu viruses.

 Pharmacies are becoming the new sub-clinics. As a nation, we seem to be accepting chronic illness as a way of life instead of as a wake up call to shape up and deal with our addiction to sugar. We lead the world with poor health as a result of our addiction. Over 1600 years ago, Hippocrates advised people to “Let your food be your medicine.” Imagine how different our lives could be if we followed that sage advice.

 Massive changes begin with small steps; sugar was added in small steps; pharmacies expanded in small steps. Our bodies do need natural forms of glucose for energy. Small steps toward healthier forms of glucose might begin with including one piece of fresh fruit each day and one fresh vegetable eaten raw or cooked. Habits change by adding something new, not by taking away the old. The new makes change possible, is more inviting. With every small new step, a bit of the old sloughs off and change happens.

 Here’s to shaping up with lots of small steps!

The Cholesterol Sting About ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’

January 2, 2013

A few years ago I received a call from a clinic technician telling me that my cholesterol level was high, over 200. She advised me to make a follow-up appointment. I asked, “What’s over 200, my LDL or HDL?” The technician replied that they only tested for total cholesterol.

 A red flag went up and I decided to find a provider who looked more astutely at the big picture. There, I learned that my “high” cholesterol came from an HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) that was even higher than my LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) count. Of course, this meant another appointment and blood test at my expense to learn that, cholesterolwise, I was pretty healthy. So, what’s all this banter about cholesterol?

 Cholesterol is a vital ingredient in every cell in our bodies, including our brains. We can’t make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone and other hormones, Vitamin D, and bile enzymes to digest fat, without cholesterol. It’s vital for nerve function and more.

 The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ myth got created when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. In 2004, the National Cholesterol Education Program Panel came up with guidelines on cholesterol management. At the time, USA Today reported that eight of the nine doctors on the panel who developed the guidelines had been making money from the drug companies that manufacture statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. The ten page report is available on line through NIH. The following year, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a 10 page review that found insufficient research evidence to support the treatment outlined in the panel’s report. Today, nine years later, there is still no evidence to support keeping cholesterol levels low.

 Here’s what happens when cholesterol levels are too low. We aren’t able to use the sun to generate needed levels of Vitamin D. Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme that our liver needs to produce cholesterol for body repairs. Cholesterol has the ability to heal scar tissue that may have formed in our arteries or elsewhere. Statins also deplete us of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), which supports heart health and muscles generally. Without enough CoQ10, we’re subject to fatigue, muscle weakness, and possible heart failure.

As far back as 1985, when the fat scare began, institutions began cutting down on nutritious fats (cattle were fed corn instead of grass; farmed fish were fed grain instead of marine diet). Stores began offering fat-free crackers, dips, frozen dinners and you-name-it. People began eating twice as much grain, vegetable oils and high-fructose corn syrup to satisfy their appetites with the automatic rise in obesity and diabetes. The sedentary lifestyle that followed caused more general inflammation and cell breakdown with not enough cholesterol to repair the damage caused by scar tissue.

 It has taken us all the years in between to finally get to the point of realizing that a natural diet, free of processed foods and sugared drinks, when coupled with plenty of exercise is a simple, affordable road to robust health. Cholesterol does not cause heart problems. Cholesterol levels may rise when there is already damage because it has a job to do, like repairing scar tissue in existing vessels and muscles that could result in heart disease. Reports that promote statin drugs and preoccupation with cholesterol levels without explaining cholesterol’s beneficial effects are suspect. Their charts and numbers serve to confuse the issue and keep pharmaceutical companies happy.

 A simpler route is to be sure we’re getting enough high-quality, nutritious fat from grass-fed animals and wild fish, enough raw fruits and vegetables, organic dairy products, raw nuts and seeds, and eggs from hens that walk the earth, to keep up a healthy supply of cholesterol. We can simply drink plenty of tap water for easy transport of whatever we eat through our digestive tracts. And we can be sure we’re getting plenty of exercise to keep all these nutrients circulating to repair and energize us.

 A fringe benefit in taking small steps to find quality foods is that we can get to know the farmers and grocers right here in NH who are making such foods possible for us. We can support them in our communities, grateful for the privilege.

Contaminated Steroids’ Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

October 12, 2012

This week we learned that 14 people died and over a hundred more people are sick as a result of contaminated injections of the steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, produced by the New England Compounding Center. In May, the NECC  began shipping contaminated steroids to 76 US clinics. People with back and neck pain may have been exposed to fungal meningitis by  injections of steroids to relieve their pain. Meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. 

The FDA was concerned about this drug and had warned the NECC but did not take action to see that distribution stopped, nor did the FDA warn health providers. 

Compounding companies have been around since our earliest pharmacies began, over 4000 years ago. Unlike drugs produced by the big companies for general distribution, compounding prescriptions are produced for specific patients. For example, a patient may need a smaller dose of a particular drug, or the drug may need a liquid added to make it easier to for a child to swallow, or the drug may be put into a topical cream to be absorbed through the skin by a hospice patient. Compounding companies are not allowed to produce a drug that is already commercially available. And, they do not glean enough revenue to fund the research required for FDA approval of new drugs. Their job is to customize existing medication.

 In this case, NECC appears to have been mass producing a preservative free form of this drug without subjecting it to the FDA approval process. The big drug companies like Pfizer and Merck must do extensive research for every drug produced and they spend millions to qualify for FDA approval. Sterile technique is rigorously monitored in their labs. This whole process means that every time a new drug is produced, even if only a molecule is changed in the formula, the big companies charge astronomical prices for each new drug. 

When a compounding company like NECC began producing methyl prednisolone and marketed it at a much lower price because they skipped the FDA approval process, 76 clinics in the US thought it was a good deal. Problem is, with careless oversight, the drug became contaminated with at least two different fungi that cause Fungal Meningitis, a non-contagious form of meningitis.

 Please note: there are many bona fide compounding companies that provide a needed service and play by the rules. No doubt, health practitioners will be carefully checking their supplies but it is up to each of us to double check where any medication we’re given comes from, and to keep a record of what we receive and why.

 Even more important, we need to eat well, exercise well, sleep well, enjoy family and friends, and hopefully be so healthy we won’t need injections!