From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 12-30-09

Kiwi & Regularity: One Woman’s Victory

Re: Studies showing enzyme complex derived from kiwi fruit supports healthy bowel function.

By way of background, C wrote to us in November: “The article on Kiwi fruit was interesting. Why couldn’t taking a few Kiwi fruits daily provide the same benefit? It might take longer but it would be a lot easier and pleasant than taking a supplement…. I just bought a bag and I am going to try two after supper for a few weeks to see if it has any effect. I will write back in two or three weeks and let you know. I live in a large city and it is readily available.”

On December 26, she wrote: “I have been eating 2 Kiwi a day since I wrote to you on November 11th. It has worked wonderfully. The first week there was no effect – but the Kiwi were not that ripe. The second week was better and now I am almost normal – for the first time in a year and a half. Eating Kiwi was the only change I made in my diet and exercise program, so it must be the fruit. It works gently and takes about 3 weeks to get back to a normal routine. I would recommend it… – C  


Marriage – When One Patner Gets Sick

I thought this was a great article in MORE Magazine on a subject you don’t see a lot about. So… wanted to share. (“How a marriage survives when one partner gets sick.”) – S

Nail Fungus Test by Mail

In a list of top 10 drugs for 2009, Suzy Cohen [a pharmacist who writes a syndicated column emphasizing prevention & natural remedies], mentioned a nail fungus test kit that you can get by mail to learn whether you have a toenail or fingernail fungus infection.

You send a clipping from a nail you’re concerned about to the lab, a licensed professional tests it, and gives you a “diagnosis” if it’s infected. This stuff is very contagious, plus it’s important to take care of it, especially if you’re diabetic like me. – D


Ideas for Ousting Nail Fungus

Oil of oregano can treat toenail fungus – my mom used it successfully. Also turmeric (curcumin) and olive leaf extract may work on it, as they are both natural antifungals. These are safer and maybe cheaper than the drugs that are typically prescribed for this. Any of these (including the drugs) have to be taken for quite a few months to get rid of the fungus. Oh, and tea tree oil can help too, but it is applied topically, and anything topical can only get so far into the nail bed – usually something internal also has to be used. – A


Different Types and Causes of GERD [Acid Reflux]

Re: “Common Knowledge’ About GERD Cause & Treatment – Wrong? Damage is Immune Related, Research Suggests

I am a physicist with health problems, so I tackle my health problems as a scientist. I had GERD and researched why my stomach would have such problems, then tried multiple treatment options. Over time, I came to realize that a proper diagnosis of reflux and heartburn and other symptoms depended greatly upon WHEN they occurred.

In my case, the reflux came 3-4 hours AFTER a meal. I would drink some water, and the reflux would start. First, the food should NEVER have been in my stomach that late (normally takes 1-2 hours). Normal digestion needs acid from the stomach and enzymes from the pancreas. Without both, you do not digest your food properly. Then, when the food is digested, your system produces alkaline substances to neutralize the acid so it can now safely enter your intestines.

Without all 3, the food will remain in your stomach and ferment, causing reflux. I ended up supplementing all 3 items: adding acid when I started eating, along with enzymes. Then 3 hours later I would take Alkalime (an alkaline substance) to kill the acid, and the food would move out.

The cause for my problems came from a chronic stress scenario, but not from my lifestyle as doctors always assume. It turns out that I have Positional Cervical Cord Compression (PC3). The tube formed by my spine is smaller than normal (plus damaged by my military service as a pilot), and the spinal cord is being pressed on by the surrounding bones. This causes my body to think it’s in Fight or Flight mode all the time 24/7 (like being chased by a lion).

Thus, it shuts down digestion (I’m running for my life, I don’t need to digest my food, right?), including the production of acid, enzymes, and alkaline at the right times. I am now in the process of figuring out the PC3 treatment to stop this stress response once and for all. So, this article is only part of the whole story. Good luck to you all. –  S


Cold Sores – Causes, Things to Try

Foods that are high in (the amino acid) Arginine can cause a cold sore breakout. Nuts, chocolate, and seeds are very high in Arginine. I can even get a breakout from using Hazelnut body lotion/cream. You can see a more detailed list here:

Try taking either turmeric (curcumin)… or the amino acid Lysine. Both are known to suppress Herpes viruses [and are available as supplements]… I take one, three times a day when I get a cold sore. – E


Anesthesia and Cancer – Another Argument for Local Anesthetics?

Re: “Opiates May Encourage Cancer Proliferation & Migration, U of Chicago Researchers Discover.”

These results could stimulate offering minor surgical procedures with local anesthetics. The U.S. culture encourages the “I don’t want to know what happens during my surgery” mentality, regardless of how minor the procedure.

We could save a few dollars and possibly some postoperative adverse effects with incentives to encourage local anesthetics for procedures such as chemo port insertion or removal, for laparectomies, etc. Our culture of everyone knocked out has huge associated cost overhead consequences and also lost wage and patient down time consequences. – G


Cold (Low-Level) Laser Therapy for Fibro Pain

I started physical therapy last week and the therapist told me about Cold Laser Therapy. She sees a lot of Fibro patients and has had really great success with it. Meaning, more energy, less pain. So I figured, why not? It could take weekly visits for a couple of months, but I was willing to give it a try. (Supposedly, it reduces pain and inflammation.)

Here’s how it works… she applies a laser to the trigger points and other tender areas. I feel nothing other than the pressure of the laser on my skin. She moves around the sensitive and trigger points, taking her time.

For people without Fibro, one treatment can go a long way. But she said I may feel some relief after my first treatment, but not to expect miracles. Well, although it wasn’t 100%, I did feel maybe a 20% improvement! … I was going to wait for the 2nd visit to post this but I thought: a) maybe I can help someone, and b) maybe there’s someone out there who’s tried this. Curious about your results. – D

Note: On this subject, see for example the research report in this issue: “Low-level laser therapy may reduce neck pain significantly in many cases.”


Coping with Fibrofog

Re: “Dealing with Cognitive Problems in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS” by Bruce Campbell 

I’d like to know why we have brain fog, but otherwise I found the article helpful. I’ve just left my job of 26 years because I couldn’t keep up. How can working people cope with brain fog? Is it all about coping or does it ever get better? – A

Other things have helped me. The points in this article may apply to some people, but certainly not to me. Most of the things mentioned in this article have not helped my brain fog. The things that have helped are avoiding chemical exposure and food allergies, and taking blood thinners to increase circulation.

Want drug suggestions. In my opinion based on my personal experience with ME/CFS this illness is some kind of persistent viral encephalitis. So brain fog is a constitutive element of this illness. I would expect some pharmacological suggestions like what neuroprotectants or neurotrophic agents are useful. – A

Note: Dr. Campbell’s expertise is in sharing patient-tested ideas for day-to-day coping – in this case with the difficulties posed by cognitive problems. As for info on the causes of fibrofog, and supportive supplement or pharmaceutical options, search on ‘fibrofog’ or ‘brain’ fog in articles by physicians who treat FM patients. We recommend Dr. Mark Pellegrino’s article “The Cognitive Dysfunction of Fibromyalgia”, and others by Dr. Derek Enlander, or Dr. Daniel Clauw.


Dr. Cheney Suggests Curcumin May Influence XMRV

The introduction to an article in Dr. Paul Cheney’s December Research Newsletter says “The many potential benefits of the curcuminoid polyphenols present in turmeric and curry powders are discussed, including the observation that curcumin is an NF Kappa B inhibitor and P450 inhibitor. Both these therapeutic aspects of curcumin are of potential use in CFS including the importance of NF Kappa B influence on XMRV.”

I couldn’t afford to buy the article and would need somebody to explain it if I could, but thought this attention to the benefits of an herb used as a medicinal food (in curry powder) for thousands of years is interesting. In another blurb Dr. Cheney says that curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, promotes neurogenesis (nerve growth), is an anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and helps chelate heavy metals. – K


Dr. Bell to Speak Jan 15 in Santa Ana on XMRV, CFS, and FM

Dr. David S. Bell, MD, will give a free lecture on Friday, Jan 15 in Santa Ana, CA (Orange County). Dr. Bell is a leading ME/CFS/FM clinician currently pursuing XMRV research in patients he has followed for many years.

The lecture is scheduled for:
6:30 pm on Friday, Jan 15

The address:
LDS Church Building
9801 Newport Blvd.
Santa Ana 92705
(1 mile south of Chapman on Newport Blvd.)

To see street map, click here

The presentation will be geared toward patients, families, and all others interested in learning more about XMRV, fibromyalgia, and ME/CFS – E


Testing for Mold – and Mold Toxins

Testing for mold in your home. If you have not yet determined if there is mold in your home or work environment, there are test kits available at most home improvement stores. If you can see any mold, there is a kit that can determine the type of mold, so you can go on to determine how dangerous it is. There is another type of kit that measures the amount of mold spores (or maybe mold toxins?) that are in the air. The bathroom and/or basement are most likely the best places to test. Or, of course, any other rooms you suspect may have mold (under wallpaper, etc). – D

Test for toxins in your body. There is only one lab that can test your body for mold and mycotoxins (mold toxins or poisons). It is RealTime Labs in Dallas, Texas, operated by Dr. Dennis Hooper, MD. He can test your urine or saliva. Your doctor needs to order the test and you need a test kit from RealTime Labs. Here’s the link for the lab:

For additional information about the health effects of mold, go to – T

Dr. Lapp to Launch XMRV Study

Thought you would be interested in the following from Dr. Charles Lapp’s Christmas Newsletter:

“We plan to follow XMRV developments closely, and to participate in ongoing studies. Hunter-Hopkins has already been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to participate with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health in a prospective study of XMRV in persons with CFS (PWCs). This “Working Group” plans to accomplish three goals:

1. Validate and standardize testing for XMRV,

2. Confirm the prevalence of XMRV in the general population, and

3. Identify modes of transmission.

“We hope to soon be enrolling patients and controls in a study that will help answer these questions. Recruitment has not yet begun, but please “stay tuned”! We will inform you when the study begins by way of the ME-Letter and/or our website.
“In the meantime, you will be pleased to hear that XMRV studies are beginning in at least 4 US universities, at two British sites, in Sweden and probably Japan. Several private studies have also been initiated.” – M

Note: This information has not been evaluated 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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