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From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions – 10-06-10

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Dr. Oz on X-Rays, Thyroid Problems & Self Exam

He said that dental X-rays are contributing to thyroid cancer and anyone who has had 5 dental X-rays is at a much greater risk. He said you must ask the dentist for another part of the lead apron that covers your neck and don't allow them to do X-rays without it. He is going to demonstrate self exams for the thyroid next. [See video of that demonstration HERE.]

I found this quite informative and I cringe every time my dentist wants to do X-rays. I often say not this time. But in the future, I will ask for extra protection around the neck. – J


Most Chronic Pain Patients Feel PC Providers Distrustful, Dismissive

Re:The U-Mass research report, "They Don't Want Anything to Do with You": Patient Views of Primary Care Management of Chronic Pain.

Even in Massachusetts with its healthcare insurance support and all its world class medical schools, this major study found that most patients with chronic pain conditions don't get understanding, collaborative treatment. The recommendations seem to indicate the problem isn't with people who need help coping with their pain, but with doctors operating in a system that doesn't support patient-centered pain management. – G


Vinegar May Benefit Blood Sugar Control

I (and I think many others) have some degree of insulin resistance in large part due to enforced lack of physical activity… I'm very strict about my diet but it's very difficult to overcome all the negative effects of lack of physical exercise. Anyway, here's a study showing the benefits of vinegar re blood sugar and insulin levels: (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.long)

Here's another article about the benefits of vinegar (in addition to lowering blood sugar): (http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/the-health-benefits-of-vinegar3.htm)

Here's a blurb from one of the articles:

“A study cited in 2004 in the American Diabetes Association's publication Diabetes Care indicates that vinegar holds real promise for helping people with diabetes. In the study, 21 people with either type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance (a prediabetes condition) and eight control subjects were each given a solution containing five teaspoons of vinegar, five teaspoons of water, and one teaspoon of saccharin two minutes before ingesting a high-carbohydrate meal. The blood sugar and insulin levels of the participants were measured before the meal and 30 minutes and 60 minutes after the meal.

“Vinegar increased overall insulin sensitivity 34% in the study participants who were insulin-resistant and 19% in those with type 2 diabetes. That means their bodies actually became more receptive to insulin, allowing the hormone to do its job of getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Both blood sugar and blood insulin levels were lower than normal in the insulin-resistant participants, which is more good news. Surprisingly, the control group (who had neither diabetes nor a prediabetic condition but were given the vinegar solution) also experienced a reduction in insulin levels in the blood. These findings are significant because, in addition to the nerve damage caused by perpetually elevated blood sugar levels, several chronic conditions, including heart disease, have been linked to excess insulin in the blood over prolonged periods of time.”
– M


Interview with Dr. Charles Lapp on Ampligen

Did you see that “The New Ampligen Diaries” website posted an Interview with Dr. Lapp on October 1? Reminiscing about his early years researching CFS with David Bell & Paul Cheney, he says: “I counted it up and there were over 120 'ideas' we tested or researched, based on what we read in journals, or heard at meetings with other physicians.” He was "placed in charge of the Ampligen patients” at the time Ampligen studies began, in 1991, and is still treating patients experimentally. – R


Hearing Loss as Side Effect of Drugs & Drug Combinations

Quinine was one the drugs in the combo of stuff my daughter was taking when she got messed up on doc prescribed meds. Sudden hearing loss was a major side effect to her life. Look it up – there is info out there on this. Many drugs working in combo or alone can cause hearing loss. – J

Many people don't know that hearing loss can be caused by [the antibiotic] zithromax. Everyone needs to do their homework about everything! – A

Note: Long term use of over the counter analgesics including aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprophen (Advil) can harm hearing. Here is a listing of some potentially “ototoxic” drugs (http://www.chchearing.org/sites/default/files/Ototoxic_Brochure.pdf).


Repeated Antibiotics Disrupt Beneficial Gut Bacteria

Re: The article, "Repeated Antibiotic Use Alters Beneficial Microbe Mix in Gut"

I wish that every doc prescribing antibiotics would have a discussion with their patients about probiotics. S. boulardi can help prevent C. diff. Other probiotics re-populate the gut with beneficial bacteria. I also wish that every doc prescribing a fluoroquinolone like cipro [the antibiotic involved in this study] would counsel patients to take magnesium to help avoid tendon issues (wish I knew that back in the day). Another thing on my wish list is that medical professionals would make full use of both allopathic and "alternative" medicine. Fortunately, more medical professionals (in my experience) recognize the importance of both. – A

Interesting. It's been known for a long time that taking antibiotics effects the gut flora and I have had a few doctors tell me to take probiotics with antibiotics. I think the researchers made a good point at the end of their abstract "In all subjects, the composition of the gut microbiota stabilized by the end of the experiment but was altered from its initial state. As with other ecosystems, the human distal gut microbiome at baseline is a dynamic regimen with a stable average state. Antibiotic perturbation may cause a shift to an alternative stable state, the full consequences of which remain unknown"

So they found an altered gut flora in each of the three subjects – but the altered state may be a shift to an alternative stable state – so even though the gut flora may change after AB's it may not be a negative change. And they don't know how these shifts in gut flora will affect people in the long run. So the question still remains – does it matter if doctors tell a patient to take a probiotic with their ABS. This study is not big news, the media loves to make big news out of little news. My personal belief is that it is a good idea to take probiotics with antibiotics. – K

I am a looooong-time user of probiotics, especially when I'm on an ABX. I have yet to have a doc tell me to take probiotics. Those that do usually suggest patients eat yogurt. Yogurt is good but not good enough to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. As we age, our body produces less and less of the good bacteria and using probiotics helps us digest our food, get more nutrients, and avoid inflammation and infection in the digestion tract. They are good to use every day with our other supplements. – M


Proposed Guidelines for Vitamin D Dose by Weight

In answer to questions about vitamin D dosing vis-à-vis body weight: Here's the dosing schedule from Dr. David Williams’ ALTERNATIVES Newsletter…

1000 IU's for children under 2 yrs old
2000 IU's for children over 2 yrs old
3000 IU's for individuals weighing 80 to 130 lbs
4000 IU's for individuals weighing 130 to 170 lbs
5000 IU's for individuals weighing over 170 lbs.

I am probably forever going to take at least 5000 IU's per day with my calcium and now finding Vit K is essential for building bone health along with Vit D3. So now I take K2, 100 mcg most days. – J


"Pain School" for All Ages in Chicago

The Rehab Institute of Chicago has a Pain Management Center [http://www.ric.org/conditions/chronicpain/CenterPainManagement.aspx] that teaches “active ways of fighting pain” to both children and adults, and conducts many pain-related clinical trials & investigations. They help more than 2500 people with pain every year. Here's an article about their pain "boot Camp"(http://www.ric.org/pdf/RIC_PainMedicine_00.pdf). – A


Easy Cooking for Fibromites!

I have had so many problems lately trying to cook! I either burn stuff or don’t cook it enough! I used to love cooking… but when I got severe fibro it was awful for me. BUT I now use a slow cooker (I think you call them crock pots) and I cannot believe how this has helped me in my life. You just put all your food into it in the morning and then just eat it at dinner when you are ready!

I cannot work because of fibro so this helps me sooo much instead of panicking about what to make and when to cook it. And since the cold weather here in the UK has already started I am happy to use this quite a lot making stews/curries/chilies etc., knowing that I don’t have to stand watching the food cook makes my life so much easier! – R

Or have hot oatmeal in the morning. I love my crock pots. I have a couple of different sizes which I use. In the colder weather I have hot cinnamon apple and raisin oatmeal waiting all ready for me first thing in the morning when I wake up. – T

Note: Try a site like AllRecipes.com for slow cooker recipes(http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=slow+cooker&SearchIn=All). Or have a look at About.com Southern Food’s crockpot recipes, with 40 recipes just for chili (http://southernfood.about.com/library/crock/blcpidx.htm).


Online US Research Registry

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College have developed a new research registry called ResearchMatch. The program connects people who are trying to find research studies with researchers who are looking for people to participate in their studies. If interested, visit www.researchmatch.org. It takes between 5-10 minutes to register and anyone residing in the United States can join. – VUMC


For Them the Final, Correct, Diagnosis was Mold

I am getting so much better! The correct diagnosis – mold.

Symptoms: Fatigue, body aches, temperature instability, memory loss, foggy thinking, dryness, viral infections, headaches, etc.

Diagnoses: Sjogren's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, EBV/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MCS, Immune Dysfunction, etc.

What's really wrong with me? Chronic and Acute long term MOLD exposure!

What's curing me? Heavy anti-fungal treatments, diet, rest.

Amazing…I feel like a robot being rebooted, or better yet, with a whole new set of works! So much energy and clarity! Now I don't have to think about suicide all the time. Yeah, I was really sick.

How did I get the correct diagnosis? The answer… is that after about the 15th specialist, I was referred to a brilliant Infectious Disease Specialist who works with hospitals such as Sloan Kettering, Montefiore-Albert Einstein, New York Hospital…real credentials! Her name is Dr. Irene Grant and she is in Tarrytown, NY. She has successfully treated people with autoimmune diseases, CF, FM, MCS, etc. with conventional tested FDA approved anti-fungal medication and nutrition. I strongly recommend her to anyone who cannot heal from a chronic condition. Hope this helps someone! – E

Some people suffer from mold allergy, not necessarily moldy environment. I have Allergic Fungal Sinusitis. I'm severely allergic to mold, aspergillus and culvalaria. It's an immune reaction and not necessarily caused by living around or in mold. Even though it would be important to get away from it. Aspergillus lives in pot plants and in soils and is hard to stay away from completely.

My diag was based on several cultures and years of being sick with incurable sinus infections that do NOT clear up with antibiotics. AFS is only managed with steroids, surgeries, and help from an allergist…. Not every ENT can deal with AFS either. – K


Guide to Resources for People with Chronic Illness/Disabilities

Chicago is lucky to have the CFCCC (Chronic Fatigue Shydrome, Fibromyalgia & Chemical Sensitivity Coalition of Chicago), at www.cfccc.net. They offer a lot of support and information, including a very large and helpful "CFCCC Resource Guide" – http://www.mcshealthenviron.org/resourceguide.htm – with contact information for finding all kinds of needs that people with chronic illness can have.

The guide includes a lot of Chicago area, but also national resources. It was developed in partnership with DePaul University’s Chronic Illness Initiative, and with a grant from AT&T. – D


Mixed Feelings About Vaccines; Different Situations

My pediatrician has been very careful about all vaccines because my children have weak immune systems. I always get their titers tested before boosters are due. Turns out they haven't needed all the shots "on the list" because they were immune already. In the event shots are needed, I try to space them out. The measles shot used to be available by itself. Not so anymore. If you don't have immunity to measles, you have to get the MMR. The same applies with DTP. If you have immunity to tetanus and diptheria but not pertussis, you still have to get the triple whammy.

The only year I got pneumonia was the year I didn't get the flu shot. I believe vaccines save lives, but I also believe they generally are given too close together and that some ought not be given at all. – M

My aunt woke up one morning feeling fine, by lunch time she was running a fever and had the full blown flu, and by that evening she was dead. She was one of five people that died that day in her care home alone. The flu does kill people, especially seniors. Even though I won't be a senior for many more years to come, I will be getting my flu shot this year and every year as I have been doing for the past five or six years. A recent study showed that people who get the flu shot every year, long term, tend to be less sick as they age. – T

I haven't had the flu since I was a kid and that was a lot of years ago. 🙂  I've probably only ever had the flu two or three times at most. I don't think a lot of people actually know the true definition of "influenza" and call food poisoning and any viral bug the flu. – T

I get my flu shot this week. I am doing this on the advice of my PCP because she thinks I am immune compromised. – G

Flu shots – I became very ill after vaccines and will never take them again. I take echinacea if I come down with cold or flu, although that rarely happens now I take echinacea. Whereas in the past I came down with them all the time. – S

Note: This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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