THE DARK SIDE OF HEALTHCARE: CHIROPRACTIC, DRY NEEDLING, ACUPUNCTURE, NATUROPATHY, TAI CHI, AND FASCIA. HUH?Read Now
SCIENCE BASED MEDICINE TAKES ON ALL COMERS
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NEW STUDY MAY PROVIDE "SMOKING GUN"
IN THE VACCINE / AUTISM DEBATE
The current schedule as per the CDC says that babies should be vaccinated against Hep B at birth, with a second dose at one month. By two months, infants should have been vaccinated for Rotovirus, DTaP, Haemophilus Influenza, Pneumonia, and Polio. By six months they should be getting their, "annual vaccination 1 or 2 doses" for Flu. What do we know about these vaccines? A couple things for sure. Firstly, we know that ACCORDING TO A RECENT COCHRANE REVIEW, Flu Vaccines in children under 18 are no better than placebo --- about the same effectiveness as what we've seen for those over 65, which is about 1% (HERE). Secondly, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that shots cause inflammatory reactions in many who get them --- especially children and infants.
Acute Inflammation --- the sort of inflammation dealt with in the Swedish study --- is characterized by five very specific entities; redness, heat (FEVER), swelling, pain, and loss of function. Let's take a look at what the experts say about vaccine-caused inflammation as it pertains to infants and young children. The information below was cherry-picked from the website of Seattle Children's Hospital. Be aware that there are thousands of similar disclaimers / warnings to be found on the net, all of which take their cues from the government (CDC, NIH, FDA, etc). I added a couple of links into their quote.
"Most local swelling, redness and pain at the injection site begins within 24 hours of the shot. It usually lasts 2 to 3 days, but with DTaP can last 7 days. Fever with most vaccines begins within 24 hours and lasts 1 to 2 days. All of these reactions mean the vaccine is working. Your child's body is creating new antibodies to protect against the real disease. Most of these symptoms will only last 2 or 3 days. Give ACETAMINOPHEN (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen by mouth. Fever with most vaccines begins within 24 hours and lasts 2 to 3 days.For fevers above 102° F, give acetaminophen every 4 hours (If over 6 months old, okay to give IBUPROFEN every 6 hours). The following harmless reactions to DTaP can occur: Pain, tenderness, swelling or redness at the injection site (in 25% of children) and lasts for 24 to 48 hours and fever (in 25% of children) and lasts for 24 to 48 hours. Sore injection site occurs in 30% of children after Hepatitis B Virus Vaccine. With Seasonal Flu Vaccination, pain, tenderness or swelling at the injection site occurs within 6 to 8 hours in 10% of children. Mild fever under 103° F occurs in 18% of children. Fevers mainly occur in young children. With the Pneumonia Vaccine, pain, tenderness, swelling or redness at the injection site in 15 - 30%. Mild fever under 102° F in 15% for 1-2 days. Rotovirus Vaccine causes mild diarrhea or vomiting for 1 to 2 days in 3%."
Just to be clear, this leaves no doubt that purposefully induced "harmless" inflammatory reactions are a common occurrence with infant vaccinations. Many of the other vaccines that are given when your baby is just a bit older cause typically worse reactions than these --- probably the reason they are not given in the first few months (for instance, Seattle Children's says of the meningitis vaccine that, "sore injection site for 1 to 2 days occurs in 50%, with limited use of the arm in 15%. Mild fever occurs in 4%, headache in 40% and joint pain in 20%" (BTW, this vaccine is cleared to be given by six weeks of age). Let's talk about four things that we know for sure about the relationship between inflammation and the Immune System.
Firstly, we know that GUT HEALTH is of extreme importance because it's where 80% of your Immune System lives (HERE). Secondly, because inflammation is a function of the Immune System, it's not surprising that a huge segment of our nation's medical treatments are based on IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION. Thirdly, research has been revealing for decades that problems in the Gut seem to be THE COMMON DENOMINATOR in children with Autism. And fourthly, we know that the infant Immune System, while miraculous, is nonetheless immature and largely undeveloped. On top of all of this, we've known for decades that all sickness and diseases (not to mention Chronic Pain) are either caused by, or highly affected by inflammation (HERE, HERE, and HERE). And none of this even begins to touch on the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS as it relates to AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES. Here's why knowing all of this is important.
"We think the immune system in early life may be a key determinant of later risk of autism, and what we can see is that the innate immune systems of these babies is being influenced by and is responding to the environment around them already at the time of birth." -Dr Renee Gardner, lead author of the study we are discussing today.
Vaccines contain substances called "adjuvants". Rather than me tell you about these adjuvants, I'm going to let our government do it for me. Be aware that in the quote below fails to mention the vast majority of common vaccine adjuvants. One of the more popular adjuvants (it also acts as a preservative); heavily used since the 1930's, also happens to be the single most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet --- MERCURY (Thimerosal). According to the CDC's website (Vaccine Adjuvants).....
"An adjuvant is an ingredient of a vaccine that helps create a stronger immune response in the patient’s body. In other words, adjuvants help vaccines work better. Some vaccines made from weakened or dead germs contain naturally occurring adjuvants and help the body produce a strong protective immune response. However, most vaccines developed today include just small components of germs, such as their proteins, rather than the entire virus or bacteria. These vaccines often must be made with adjuvants to ensure the body produces an immune response strong enough to protect the patient from the germ he or she is being vaccinated against. Aluminum gels or aluminum salts are vaccine ingredients that have been used in vaccines since the 1930s. Small amounts of aluminum are added to help the body build stronger immunity against the germ in the vaccine. Aluminum is present in U.S. childhood vaccines that prevent hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP, Tdap), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), human papillomavirus (HPV) and pneumococcus infection [pnumonia]."
Back in 2009, the medical journal Weirdos, Whackos, Quacks, & Ativaxxers (whoops; scratch that)...... The journal Current Medicinal Chemistry published a study called Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are They Safe? Here is the abstract of this paper in its entirety --- not cherry-picked. WARNING: prepare yourself for an OMG moment.
"Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science's understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community. We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue."
In case you did not grasp the magnitude of what these authors are saying, re-read it. They specifically discuss the complications of brain inflammation. We've already seen that vaccines given to infants and babies causes lots of inflammation. But how might inflammation affect a developing brain? When the brain's GLIAL CELLS are overcome with Inflammation --- something that is far easier to happen in a newborn than an adult --- bad things happen. But as Yoda would say, happen in adults they do. In fact, this is the same general mechanism that also leads to chronic neuro-degenerative conditions such as ALZHEIMER'S and PARKINSON'S. But it's even worse than it appears on the surface. Aluminum is only one of the adjuvants used in vaccines. There are others --- many others. If you get a chance, you can use Google to take a look at all the adjuvants associated with childhood vaccines.
Below left is a four minute video clip of British Columbia's Dr. Christopher Shaw, a neuroscientist of some renown, whose research focuses on neurotoxicity of aluminum as it relates to ALS, Parkinson's, Dementia, and other similar neurological problems. The video on the right is a lecture by famed neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock. Blaylock, age 70, is a retired assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi and current visiting professor at Belhaven College. An accomplished author; he has been warning people of the dangers of FLUORIDE, MERCURY FILLINGS (both of which various Dental Associations are finally admitting are problematic), Excitotoxins (MSG & ASPARTAME), and STATIN DRUGS, not to mention Vaccines, for the better part of three decades.
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RECENT STUDY REVEALS GLUTEN FREE DIETS ARE HARMFUL TO CHILDREN
- "Gluten Free Diets may Be Risky for Kids" LiveScience
- "The Gluten-Free Diet in Children: Do the Risks Outweigh the Benefits?" ScienceDaily & MedicalPress
- "Why Parents Need to Stop Forcing Kids to Eat Gluten-Free" The Boston Globe
These are a few of the hundreds of similar headlines being cranked out by today's mouthpieces for health. They are based on a commentary from last week's issue of the Journal of Pediatrics by Dr. Norelle Reilly (a pediatric gastroenterologist at Columbia University) called The Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Fact, Fiction, and Fad.
It's tough to argue against the fact that NUMEROUS FACTORS have been changing our modern grains for decades --- making them increasingly problematic as far as human health is concerned. This is at least part of what has led to a significant increase in in the AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION known as Celiac Disease (not to mention NUMEROUS OTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES) --- something that Dr. Reilly at least partially admits to at the beginning of her article ("The prevalence of CD is increasing, reflected by escalating awareness of CD in the scientific community").
At this point her article begins to look like a tirade against the "GLUTEN-FREE FOOD INDUSTRY" --- something I would readily join her in. She says, "This increase in CD, however, does not account for the disproportionate increase in growth of the gluten-free food industry. According to market research, consumers without CD purchase the vast bulk of gluten-free products." While this is undoubtedly true, it certainly isn't good.
When I suggest to a patient that they start researching GLUTEN and GLUTEN CROSS-REACTORS as potential contributors to their health problems, I try to get them to at least contemplate undertaking a GLUTEN FREE ELIMINATION DIET. Typically, this is the best approach for people to figure out what foods might be driving INFLAMMATORY PROCESSES in their bodies. Furthermore, when people do go Gluten Free, I strongly suggest they stay far away from the "Gluten Free" isle of the grocery store. Reilly goes on to say.....
"For individuals who do not have CD, wheat allergy, or NCGS, the latter which has been described in adults but for which there is little evidence in children, there are no data supporting the presumed health benefits of a GFD. In fact, the opposite may be true in certain cases.... There is arguably no role for a GFD for children outside of treatment of CD and wheat allergy. The likelihood of a diagnosis of NCGS in children is unclear, given the limited data available describing pediatric populations with NCGS."
I believe that the key to Dr. Reilly's entire paper --- right or wrong --- lies in understanding NCGS (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity), which, AS I HAVE SHOWN YOU DEFINITIVELY, is far more common than the standard one to three percent of the population that has Celiac Disease. Dr. Reilly, however, says that "The prevalence of NCGS ranges from about 0.5% to 6% according to recent reports.... It is not clear whether it is gluten to which individuals react. Recent evidence has supported the hypothesis that certain people with sensitivity to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols [FODMAPs] may be misclassified as having NCGS. Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], small bowel bacterial overgrowth [SIBO], and fructose and lactose intolerance may be responsible for symptoms in those self-diagnosed with gluten sensitivity." Let me show you why even though her the first sentence in her quote above might be technically true, it's extremely misleading.
Firstly, lactose intolerance (or intolerance to dairy period) and Gluten intolerance frequently go hand in hand. Secondly, as far as fructose intolerance is concerned; because of the rise of HFCS, it is becoming increasingly common and severe. And lastly, when it comes to the millions of individuals struggling with IBS or SIBO; FODMAPS are a huge consideration. Bottom line; people with these particular problems may not show positive with the various forms of Gluten Testing. However, when you take them off Gluten, their symptoms usually improve --- often times quickly and dramatically. So whether they actually have NCGS or some other problem affected by Gluten is a moot point as far as their health is concerned. Dr. Reilly actually proves this with the first sentence in the "Discussion" section of her paper. "It is undeniable that many people perceive benefit from a GFD, often without a clear scientific explanation."
She even goes on to chide parents who use a Gluten Free Diet for their AUTISTIC CHILDREN. "Data supporting the use of this diet in children with autism spectrum disorders are scant and have not been confirmed in double blinded studies." If you follow my blog, you know that I think studies are grand. But what do we seem to find over and over again when it comes to medical research? We often find data that has been fudged, results that are all over the place, not to mention the fact the the medical community continues to ignore any and all "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" they don't care for (click the link for examples). To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I've ever met a parent of an autistic child who, after getting serious about GAPS, PALEO, or similar diets, did not see some fairly radical changes in their child.
The craziest thing that Dr. Reilly says in her paper is that, "Obesity, overweight, and new-onset insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have been identified after initiation of a GFD. A GFD also may lead to deficiencies in B vitamins, folate, and iron, given a lack of nutrient fortification of many gluten-free products." The first sentence, while certainly true, is a red herring --- a no-brainer designed to distract us from the issue at hand. If you are eating lots of high glycemic-index crap, whether it's GLUTEN-FREE CRAP or Gluten-containing crap, you should plan on living with METABOLIC SYNDROME, DIABETES, and OBESITY. This is because even though you may not be consuming an iota of Gluten in your diet, you are LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. And as for her second sentence.....
If your children are getting their (SYNTHETIC) B-VITAMINS (folate included) from things like breakfast cereal, BREAD, or pasta (which is the EQUIVALENT of white bread), they are going to end up as another statistic. When grains are milled, everything living and good is removed (or "bleached"). This is what allows processed foods to sit on the shelf --- sometimes indefinitely (think pasta or cold cereal here) --- and not rot, spoil, or mold.
A couple penny's worth of CHEAP SYNTHETIC VITAMINS are added during the processing so that we can call it "fortified" or "enriched". The people who promote this as a good thing are the same sorts of people who were telling your parents and grandparents that FORMULA WAS BETTER THAN BREAST MILK. Honestly, Dr. Reilly's efforts would have been better spent not trying to convince people to eat more processed grains (LIKE HUFFPO DID awhile back), but in convincing parents to act the part of the parent, get their kids to stop munching Cheetos, and eat their vegetables (HERE). The problem is, way too many parents don't even realize there's a problem (HERE).
Does every child need to live Gluten Free? Certainly not. But if they have chronic health issues of almost any sort, Gluten is something to at least ponder. I used to promote testing for NCGS and Gluten Cross Reactivity. However, because of high costs, false negatives / positives, and the general inaccuracies so common to many medical tests, I simply recommend that you have your child follow an ELIMINATION DIET for a couple of months and figure out whether or not certain foods might be a contributing (or even causal) factor in their health issues. As is always the case, get the express written consent of your pediatrician before attempting any of these death-defying tricks at home.
THEIR FILTHY TRAIL OF DISABILITY, DESTRUCTION, AND CHRONIC PAIN
One of the earliest "official" warnings by the FDA that Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics can cause joint pain and TENDINOSIS / Tendon Rupture came out eight years ago. Look at what Todd Zwillich wrote clear back in July of 2008 for that bastion of truth, WebMD (FDA Warning: Cipro May Rupture Tendons ---- Agency Issues 'Black Box' Warning for Antibiotics Known as Fluoroquinolones).
"The new warnings apply to fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics that includes the popular drug Cipro. The FDA has told companies that the drugs must now carry "black box" warnings alerting doctors and patients that the drugs can increase risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in some patients. Fluoroquinolones have carried similar warnings for years, but officials say they continue to receive reports of safety problems. A "black box" warning is the FDA's sternest warning. Most of the tendinitis and tendon ruptures affect the Achilles tendon, behind the ankle. But the agency has also received reports of tendinitis and ruptures in the shoulder and hand. Researchers don't know exactly what fluoroquinolones do that promotes tendon rupturing. Theories suggest the drug may impede collagen formation or interrupt blood supply in joints. FDA officials would not confirm the number of reports of ruptures it has received, citing the ongoing litigation."
Unfortunately for the general public, this class of antibiotic is no different than other drugs or VACCINES when it comes to "Underreporting". Scores of studies reveal that only 1% to 10% of drug reactions are ever reported --- HERE). Although the government tells us that Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics only affect about 1 in 25,000 people, I will assure you that this number is low --- way too low. In 25 years of busy rural practice, I have probably, give or take, seen 25,000 unique individuals. According to the FDA, this means I should have seen one case of tendon problem caused by Flouroquinolones. The problem is, have seen dozens of such people who have been messed up by varying degrees by these drugs (and like STATIN DRUGS or CORTICOSTEROIDS; who knows how many others who not put two and two together concerning what messed them up). In fact, this problem is so common that there is actually a term used to describe it --- being "Floxed" (the name comes from the fact that there are about a hundred different Fluoroquinolones whose names end with "floxacin").
I see this problem as having two different layers. Firstly, is the underreporting mentioned above. It's virtually impossible to argue that the vast majority of physicians have totally ignored this phenomenon. They continue to prescribe drugs like Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) at the same rate they always have. Secondly, what do we know about doctor's prescription habits for ANTIBIOTICS IN GENERAL? Only that study after study continues to say that half or more are completely unnecessary or improperly prescribed (HERE). Cipro achieved rock star status shortly after the towers fell in 2001. If you don't remember, just Google "anthrax scare cipro". Because so many people now ask for it by name, it is frequently prescribed for things it has no business being prescribed for such as SINUS INFECTIONS and UPPER-RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS (colds and bronchitis) -- almost all of which are viral. Or THE FLU, which is always viral.
What does the federal government actually say about Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics on their website? Glad you asked. In light of the dozens upon dozens of citizen websites and message boards warning of the dangers of this particular class of antibiotic, we shouldn't surprised that the FDA has chimed in as well (other than the brand new warning at the top of this post).
"CIPRO belongs to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. CIPRO can cause side effects that may be serious or even cause death. If you get any of the following serious side effects, get medical help right away. Tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis). Pain, swelling, tears and inflammation of tendons including the back of the ankle (Achilles), shoulder, hand, or other tendon sites can happen in people of all ages who take fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including CIPRO..... Sometimes infections are caused by viruses rather than by bacteria. Examples include viral infections in the sinuses and lungs, such as the common cold or flu. Antibiotics, including CIPRO, do not kill viruses."
In that November meeting from last year, it was reported that since 2010, approximately 23 million Americans are taking these drugs --- each and every year. No matter how you slice it folks, that's a lot of people. Furthermore, the largest group taking this class of drug are those with UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections). Although this problem can affect folks (usually women) of any age, it's typically found in the elderly ---- those who are already at greater risk for tendon rupture.
If you are finding yourself struggling with chronic health issues of any sort, there's almost always a natural solution. But it depends on whether or not you are willing to study, learn, and make some changes in the way you live your life. To see what I'm talking about, take a quick peek at THIS POST.
WANT TO LIVE A LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE?
Just like the study's name would imply, the authors took a look at still more of the effects of Calorie Restriction on human health --- this time in non-obese individuals without DIABETES. 220 healthy people from three different universities were followed to see how much food they normally consumed. Then for the next two years, they were only allowed to eat 75% of that amount. In other words, the researchers cut the experimental group's customary energy intake by 25%. Here are the cherry-picked conclusions of this research.
"Calorie restriction (CR) increases longevity in many species and reduces risk factors for chronic diseases. The CR and AL groups [Ad Libitum --- eating as much as you want] lost an average of 16.7 pounds compared with <1 pound respectively at month 24. Compared with the AL group, the CR group had significantly improved mood, reduced tension, improved general health and sexual drive and relationship at month 24 as well as improved sleep duration at month 12."
Here's what's wild. This study was absolutely not an attempt to lose weight, as these people already had "normal" BMI's (INTERESTING PHENOMENON concerning normal BMI's and weight loss). What's fascinating (but not surprising in light of the quote from the top of the page) is that everything else improved as well --- MOOD, SEXUAL FUNCTION, STRESS, and OVERALL HEALTH were all significantly improved over the eat-as-much-as-you-want group; even though all indications (blood work, BMI, PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, etc) showed the AL group to be normal / healthy. Firstly, I believe this is an indication of the skyrocketing number of Americans who are MONW. Secondly, it is more proof that everything comes back to BLOOD SUGAR. And here's what you need to take to the bank concerning what we learned from this study.
The PALEO DIET, which I strongly advocate for THOSE PATIENTS (or HERE & HERE) with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES and AUTOIMMUNITY, knocks it out of the park as far as real life results are concerned. Although some of you might need to ratchet things up to the next level (HERE), a Paleo Diet (modified according to an ELIMINATION DIET) is going solve the majority of health problems of the majority of the people who stick with it. Doubters need only look at the links. This is because the Paleo Diet not only controls Blood Sugar extremely well, it also cuts out the most potentially immuno-reactive foods. And once more we are given living, breathing proof that we can all (self included) eat less --- some of us much less --- than we are currently eating. The cool thing about Paleo is that most people have no need to count calories (HERE --- at the end of this link).
But I already know what you're thinking. You feel you can't do this because you are ADDICTED TO SUGAR AND JUNK CARBS. Believe me when I tell you that I have seen people much worse off than yourself get their lives back on track simply by learning to control what they eat. There are a million ways to motivate yourself to succeed for one week. One week? That's right. If you can find a way to make it through the first week, things get easier --- much easier. For more information on Calorie Restriction as a way of life (not to mention tons and tons of peer-review), visit the website of the CR SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL.
TENDINOSIS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO DIABETES
If you go back and re-read my article on KETOGENIC DIETS, you'll find a short (seven minute) video by Dr. Charles Mobbs about the fact that BLOOD SUGAR is quite possibly the number one factor in aging and disease. Not a shock considering I have been BLOWING THIS SAME HORN for years. The shocking part of all of this is that when you start looking at studies on virtually all diseases (even many of the so called "GENETIC" diseases) you'll find that they have their foundations in Blood Sugar. Note that this does not necessarily mean that your Blood Sugar levels are high --- at least according to our nation's 'normals' or at least initially. What it means is that no matter how hard your body tries, it will eventually lose its battle with its ability to metabolize the immense amounts of SUGAR and PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATE so ubiquitous to the SAD (Standard American Diet).
Although I am one of those people who believes that when it comes to WEIGHT LOSS or battling chronic diseases such as Diabetes, diet trumps exercise (HERE) every time --- and it's not even close. This is not to say, however, that exercises is not valuable. It's just that you can't work out hard enough to compensate for a crappy diet. Case in point: "About 50% of patients with diabetes have to stop exercising because of musculoskeletal pain; and tendinopathy is typically the delineating factor." It is here that I would urge you to take a moment to learn the DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TENDINITIS AND TENDINOSIS. There is much more at stake here than an argument over semantics.
The Aussie researchers looked at over 1,000 scientific papers, threw out the ones that did not meet their criteria, and then crunched the data. What they found was disturbing for those of you who either have PRE-DIABETES or are considered MONW. "The researchers found that people with diabetes were more than three times (3.67) at risk of developing tendinopathy compared to the controls, regardless if the tendinopathy was diagnosed by imaging or clinical criteria." This was after throwing out confounders ("INCREASED CHOLESTEROL, STATIN USE, and ADIPOSITY [Obesity])"
The number one finding in these folks was, "thickened tendons". After revealing this, they implicates Collagen Cross-Linking --- something you can read about in the link a couple paragraphs back (or HERE). They also talked about the, "decreased vascularization" (blood supply) seen in Tendinosis / Tendinopathy. Blood supply is a huge problem with diabetics (and the obese) anyway (think PHN here). Add to it that tendons already have a poor blood supply, and you can imagine what might happen. But what about treatment?
Solving these and similar problems are where the rubber meets the road. Even though Tendinosis is not itself considered INFLAMMATORY, the conditions that set it up certainly are. Thus, you will probably have to deal with some of the underlying inflammatory factors --- especially if you find yourself with SYSTEMIC TENDINOSIS. The authors admit this by talking about the things that constitute effective treatment --- certain types of exercise / stretching and a wide array of body work techniques. They also admit that standard IMMUNO-SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY does not work worth a flip.
"Pharmacologic therapy does not do much, and continued use of anti-inflammatory drugs can even be counterproductive. In tendinopathy, 'inflammation' is not the pain generator and the NSAIDS do not do much more than Tylenol would, and of course there's the kidney and gastrointestinal risk."
Remember what I told you about Blood Sugar being the primer for the vast majority of all health woes? There is an epidemic of Diabetes sweeping our nation like an unholy tsunami of HFCS (HERE). If you are one of the majority of Americans living with chronic health conditions, you've probably already come to the realization that your doctor can't do as much for you as was ADVERTISED on TV. In other words, you are going to have to do some "Heavy Lifting" as far as your health is concerned. The truth is, you are largely on your own (OR MAYBE NOT). But don't fret. There are all sorts of things you can do to help your cause, and hopefully even help you get off your CRUDDY DIABETES MEDICATIONS. Where is the best place to start? HERE of course.
DANGEROUS TESTS, DANGEROUS DRUGS, DANGEROUS SURGERIES
"A 2004 report of inpatient deaths associated with the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Patient Safety Indicators in the Medicare population estimated that 575,000 deaths were caused by medical error between 2000 and 2002, which is about 195,000 deaths a year. Similarly, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General examining the health records of hospital inpatients in 2008, reported 180,000 deaths due to medical error a year among Medicare beneficiaries alone. Using similar methods, Classen et al described a rate of 1.13%. If this rate is applied to all registered US hospital admissions in 2013 it translates to over 400,000 deaths a year, more than four times the IOM estimate. A literature review by James estimated preventable adverse events using a weighted analysis and described an incidence range of 210,000 - 400,000 deaths a year associated with medical errors among hospital patients. We calculated a mean rate of death from medical error of 251,454 a year using the studies reported since the 1999 IOM report and extrapolating to the total number of US hospital admissions in 2013. We believe this understates the true incidence of death due to medical error...... Currently, deaths caused by errors are unmeasured and discussions about prevention occur in limited and confidential forums, such as a hospital’s internal root cause analysis committee or a department’s morbidity and mortality conference. These forums review only a fraction of detected adverse events and the lessons learned are not disseminated beyond the institution or department." Cherry picked from Tuesday's study that was published in the British Medical Journal (Medical Error: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US)
It's always interesting how many people who come to see me who are totally freaked out --- literally panicked --- about making a visit to a Chiropractor. They've never been, they're desperate, and have gotten to the point they are willing to do anything; no matter how crazy or 'dangerous' it might be. Although I choose not to go there with these patients, it would be easy to get up on my bully pulpit and preach that sermon about how safe the practice of CHIROPRACTIC really is in relationship to medicine ---- even things like TYLENOL.
And like the authors from the BMJ study above insinuate (they actually come right out and admit it), ADVERSE EVENTS ARE ACTUALLY UNDER-REPORTED --- usually by somewhere between 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. You read that right; dozens of studies have shown that under-reporting often occurs at rates approaching 100%. Does anyone understand the term, "Circle the Wagons"? The last two sentences of the red paragraph above clearly show us that this is exactly what's happening in the medical profession.
Although this has been known for a very long time, it did not really punch the public in the face until Dr. Gary Null's groundbreaking study twelve years ago. If you have read his meta-analysis called DEATH BY MEDICINE, you have a better idea than most about the severity and magnitude of this problem. Despite the fact that I have mentioned much of this in my numerous articles on EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE (take just a moment to browse the titles), we are going to take it a step further today --- mostly because new research dictates it by continuing to reveal that this problem is getting worse, not better, at a rapid rate.
According to the CDC, CANCER and HEART DISEASE have been running neck and neck for the past several years as far as leading causes of death are concerned here in America. Shocking for some of you will be the fact that a mainstream journal revealed earlier this week that MEDICAL ERRORS are in third place --- almost doubling up the fourth place contestant; COPD. According to medical safety expert, Dr. Lucian Leape, we have had at least an idea of this fact since 1974's Congressional Report on the subject (HERE). Allow me today, to give you a taste of just how big this problem known in the medical community as IATROGENENIC MORTALITY really is.
DANGEROUS TESTS / DANGEROUS EXAMS
- BONE DENSITY TESTS
- ROUTINE COLONOSCOPIES
- ROUTINE PROSTATE EXAMINATIONS
- ANNUAL PHYSICALS (this will shock your socks off)
- REGULAR MAMMOGRAMS
- CAT SCANS
- CHOLESTEROL SCREENINGS
What happens when people get these and other tests? Sometimes doctors find something bad, treat it, and end up saving a life. Just as often, it starts a process known in the medical community as OVERDIAGNOSIS & OVERTREATMENT. Overdiagnosis leads to Overtreatment, which leads to populations ending up dead at rates that science has shown us are equal to or even greater than those who choose not to get the tests. The problem is, as nationalized medicine rolls forward, you will have an increasingly smaller say in what healthcare you want and don't want (HERE is one example of dozens).
DANGEROUS DRUGS / DANGEROUS MEDS
If this were translating into good health for our citizens, we could live with the drugs and their OUTRAGEOUS COSTS. It's not. A quick peek at various categories of world health rankings reveals that the good ole USA comes in somewhere around 30th overall. Unfortunately, when you look at the CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES category, we come in about 90th. Here are just a few of the classes of drugs that are causing as many problems as they are solving --- probably more.
- HEARTBURN DRUGS (HERE, HERE & HERE as well)
- DIABETES DRUGS
- NSAIDS & CORTICOSTEROIDS
- DRUGS IN GENERAL
- SLEEPING PILLS
- MUSCLE RELAXERS
- FEMALE VIAGRA
- ADHD DRUGS
- LYRICA & NEURONTIN
- ASTHMA INHALERS
I could have kept going but I think you get the point. Drugs mess you up in ways that you cannot begin to comprehend (HERE & HERE) ---- until it happens to you. The cool thing is, there are actually ways to get off drugs. HERE is the template of an "Exit Strategy" one of my patients used to solve problems that were keeping her bedridden.
DANGEROUS & UNNECESSARY SURGERIES
YOUR MICROBIOME IS THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HEALTH
Case in point, an article by Karen Weintraub from last week's edition of Scientific American (Findings from the Gut—New Insights into the Human Microbiome). In this article she addresses many of the same things I have addressed under the category of GUT HEALTH. She talks about any number of diseases and their links to the Microbiome. She talks to DR. MARTIN BLASER --- one of America's foremost experts on the damage we are doing at a population level with antibiotics and author of Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues --- about the devastation being wreaked on our collective microbiomes via antibiotics. In essence she is sounding the alarm.
To give you an idea of how big this issue really is, I am going to show you some studies linking the health of your Microbiome to any number of health problems --- some of them so seemingly unrelated that if you didn't see it in black and white, you might not believe it. Most of these studies were published in the last several weeks, with none being older than March (one is February) of this year. As is always the case, results are cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space.
- WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTHY MICROBIOME, DIET MATTERS: This is sort of a no-brainier --- particularly considering we already know that sugar feeds infection; dysbiosis included (HERE). The March issue of Molecular Metabolism (A Healthy Gastrointestinal Microbiome is Dependent on Dietary Diversity) revealed that, "Like all healthy ecosystems, richness of microbiota species characterizes the GI microbiome in healthy individuals. Conversely, a loss in species diversity is a common finding in several disease states. The more diverse the diet, the more diverse the microbiome and the more adaptable it will be to perturbations. Unfortunately, dietary diversity has been lost during the past 50 years and dietary choices that exclude food products from animals or plants will narrow the GI microbiome further." What does this mean for those kids who eat nothing but CHICKEN NUGGETS, toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, and hotdogs? This month's issue of Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism (The Fiber Gap and the Disappearing Gut Microbiome: Implications for Human Nutrition) answers this by concluding that, "Increasing evidence indicates that modern lifestyle, and specifically a Western diet, has led to a substantial depletion of the human gut microbiome. This loss is implicated in the rampant increase of chronic diseases, providing an incentive to fundamentally transform human nutrition towards being more holistic and microbiome-focused." Stand up and pay attention folks -- this conclusion came from a mainstream medical journal; not Mother Earth News. If you are not playing the part of the parent in your relationship with your younger children (educating them and making their food choices for them), you are most likely DESTROYING THEIR HEALTH in ways they well probably never completely recover from. Oh; and as for FIBER -- it's a big part of the food source ("prebiotic") for your Microbiome.
- WHEN IT COMES TO A HEALTHY MICROBIOME, DIET MATTERS PART II: Numerous studies similar to the June 2016 issue of Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Breastfeeding and Perinatal Exposure, and the Risk of Asthma and Allergies) have been introduced to the public in recent years. After talking about numerous things that either help or harm the developing infant's Microbiome, this study states, "A diverse range of exposures were associated with allergic disease risk, highlighting the susceptibility of children during the perinatal period. Clinicians should reinforce public health messages concerning maternal obesity, smoking, and breastfeeding. The infant gut microbiome is emerging as an important hypothesis, which may mediate the relationship between many perinatal exposures and allergic disease." These "EXPOSURES" are one of the reason that many experts believe that as a society, we are too clean --- both on the inside and the outside (more to come on this topic of hygiene shortly). Another study --- this one from last month's issue of Genome Medicine (The Influence of a Short-Term Gluten-Free Diet on the Human Gut Microbiome) talked about the effects of GLUTEN on the Microbiome, stating that, "A gluten-free diet (GFD) is the most commonly adopted special diet worldwide. It is an effective treatment for coeliac disease and is also often followed by individuals to alleviate gastrointestinal complaints. It is known there is an important link between diet and the gut microbiome.... 21 predicted pathway activity scores showed significant association to the change in diet. We observed strong relations between the predicted activity of pathways and biomarker measurements. A GFD changes the gut microbiome." This is not news to those who have been following my site for any length of time. Knowing this information makes it easier to understand why both Gluten and Autoimmune Diseases are so heavily linked to each other as well as to one's Microbiome (HERE).
- MICROBIOME AND KIDNEY STONES / KIDNEY DISEASE: This study from last week's issue of Urolithiasis --- a journal especially devoted to doctors who specialize in kidney stones (Evidence for a Distinct Gut Microbiome in Kidney Stone Formers Compared to Non-Stone Formers) revealed that urinary Dysbiosis was linked to forming kidney stones. "These preliminary studies for the first time associate differences in the gut microbiome with kidney stone formation." For the record, there are any number of studies on various forms of Kidney Disease as they relate to one's Microbiome. Case in point, a study from last week's issue of Pediatric Nephrology (Gut Microbiome and Kidney Disease: A Bidirectional Relationship). "Here, we review changes in the host-microbiome symbiotic relationship in an attempt to explore the bidirectional relationship in which alterations in the microbiome affect kidney disease progression and how kidney disease may disrupt a balanced microbiome."
- MICROBIOME AND ALLERGIC DISEASE / ASTHMA: Last week's issue of the European Journal of Otorhinolaryngology (The Possible Mechanisms of the Human Microbiome in Allergic Diseases) specifically looked at the relationship between, "microbiome, dysbiosis, allergy, allergic rhinitis, and allergic disease." Their conclusions provided a great overview of this topic. "The microbiome is the genetic material of all microbes (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses) that live on or in the human body. Microbes outnumber human cells in a 10:1 ratio. Most microbes live in the gut, particularly the large intestine. Changes in the immune function of the respiratory tract are (at least in theory) linked to the immunomodulatory activity of the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota shapes systemic immunity, thus affecting the lung mucosa. Alternatively, changes in the gut microbiota may reflect alterations in the oropharyngeal microbiota, which may in turn directly affect the lung microbiota and host immune responses via microaspiration. Dysbiosis is defined as qualitative and quantitative changes in the intestinal flora; and modern diet and lifestyle, antibiotics, psychological and physical stress result in alterations in bacterial metabolism, as well as the overgrowth of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. All immune system components are directly or indirectly regulated by the microbiota. The nature of microbial exposure early in life appears to be important for the development of robust immune regulation; disruption of either the microbiota or the host response can trigger chronic inflammation. Dysbiosis is also an important clinical entity. Antibiotics, psychological and physical stress, and dietary factors contribute to intestinal dysbiosis." This, folks, is why ASTHMA is so heavily linked to antibiotics taken in infancy / childhood. The March issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society (Gut Microbiota and Allergic Disease. New Insights) came to almost identical conclusions. "The rapid rise in childhood allergies (atopy) in Westernized nations has implicated associated environmental exposures and lifestyles as primary drivers of disease development. Culture-based microbiological studies indicate that atopy has demonstrable ties to altered gut microbial colonization in very early life. Infants who exhibit more severe multisensitization to food- or aero-allergens have a significantly higher risk of subsequently developing asthma in childhood. Hence an emerging hypothesis posits that environment- or lifestyle-driven aberrancies in the early-life gut microbiome composition and function represent a key mediator of childhood allergic asthma."
- MICROBIOME AND BRAIN / NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION: Almost nowhere are there more studies on the microbiome than the area of NEUROLOGICAL & BRAIN HEALTH. This month's issue of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience (The Microbiome and Mental Health: Looking Back, Moving Forward with Lessons from Allergic Diseases) takes up where the last bullet point left off. "Relationships between gastrointestinal viscera and human emotions have been documented by virtually all medical traditions known to date. In particular, we pay specific attention to how the hygiene hypothesis and emerging research on traditional dietary patterns has helped re-ignite interest in the use of microbes to support mental health. At present, the application of microbes and their structural parts as a means to positively influence mental health is an area filled with promise. Impediments that could block translation of encouraging experimental studies include environmental forces that work toward dysbiosis, perhaps none more important than westernized dietary patterns. The microbiome is intimately connected to diet, nutrition, and other lifestyle variables; microbial-based psychopharmacology will need to consider this contextual application, otherwise the ceiling of clinical expectations will likely need to be lowered." Re-read that last sentence and grasp the magnitude of what's being said. No matter what sort of drugs Big Pharma comes up with (HERE), they will not ultimately be able to surmount a CRAPPY DIET.
- MICROBIOME AND BRAIN / NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION PART II: In a study from last month's issue of Molecular Psychiatry (From Gut Dysbiosis to Altered Brain Function and Mental Illness: Mechanisms and Pathways) we see more of the same. "The human body hosts an enormous abundance and diversity of microbes, which perform a range of essential and beneficial functions. We know, for example, that animals raised in a germ-free environment exhibit substantially altered immune and metabolic function, while the disruption of commensal microbiota in humans is associated with the development of a growing number of diseases. Evidence is now emerging that, through interactions with the gut-brain axis, the bidirectional communication system between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract, the gut microbiome can also influence neural development, cognition and behavior, with recent evidence that changes in behavior alter gut microbiota composition, while modifications of the microbiome can induce depressive-like behaviors. Although an association between enteropathy and certain psychiatric conditions has long been recognized, it now appears that gut microbes represent direct mediators of psychopathology." Not surprisingly, the March issue of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology published a similar study called Gut Microbiota: The Brain Peacekeeper. They concluded that, "Gut microbiota regulates intestinal and extraintestinal homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the gut microbiota may also regulate brain function and behavior. Results from animal models indicate that disturbances in the composition and functionality of some microbiota members are associated with neurophysiological disorders, strengthening the idea of a microbiota-gut-brain axis and the role of microbiota as a "peacekeeper" in the brain health."
- MICROBIOME, INFLAMMATION & BRAIN FUNCTION PART III: Last July's issue of Nature Medicine (Inflammasomes: Mechanism of Action, Role in Disease, and Therapeutics) described the "Inflammasome" thusly: "The inflammasomes are innate immune system receptors and sensors that regulate the activation of and induce inflammation in response to infectious microbes and molecules derived from host proteins. They have been implicated in a host of inflammatory disorders. Additionally, increasing evidence in mouse models, supported by human data, strongly implicates an involvement of the inflammasome in the initiation or progression of diseases such as metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases." In other words, the Inflammasome might best be thought of as 'pre-inflammation'. A study from last month's Molecular Psychiatry (Inflammasome Signaling Affects Anxiety and Depressive-Like Behavior and Gut Microbiome Composition) revealed that, "The inflammasome is hypothesized to be a key mediator of the response to physiological and psychological stressors, and its dysregulation may be implicated in major depressive disorder. Inflammasome activation causes the maturation of proinflammatory cytokines involved in neuroimmunomodulation, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.... Our results suggest that the protective effect of caspase-1 inhibition involves the modulation of the relationship between stress and gut microbiota composition, and establishes the basis for a gut microbiota-inflammasome-brain axis, whereby the gut microbiota via inflammasome signaling modulate pathways that will alter brain function, and affect depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors." What is Capsase-1 ? According to the venerable Wikipedia it's, "an enzyme that proteolytically cleaves other proteins, such as the precursor forms of the inflammatory cytokines.... It plays a central role in cell immunity as an inflammatory response initiator. Once activated by an inflammasome complex, it initiates a two-fold inflammation response through the initiation of pyroptosis, a programmed cell death pathway."
- MICROBIOME AND BRAIN PART IV --- PARKINSON'S DISEASE: Because it hits so close to home (HERE), I am going to at least mention Parkinson's Disease here. Last month's issue of Future Medicine published a study called Can Microbiota Research Change Our Understanding of Neurodegenerative Disorders?. After mentioning things like ALZHEIMER'S, Parkinson's, and Lou Gherig's Disease (ALS) by name, the author stated of them that, "no effective disease-modifying treatments are available." In other words, there are no drugs that effectively treat these diseases. But here is hope if you are willing to step outside the box. A study from Parkinsonism Related Disorders (Microbiota-Gut-Brain Signalling in Parkinson's Disease: Implications for Non-Motor Symptoms) has some interesting things to say about this common and devastating disease as it relates to one's Microbiome. "Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting 1-2% of the population over 65 years of age. The primary neuropathology is the loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, resulting in characteristic motor deficits, upon which the clinical diagnosis is based. However, a number of significant non-motor symptoms (NMS) are also evident that appear to have a greater impact on the quality of life of these patients. In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that neurobiological processes can be modified by the bi-directional communication that occurs along the brain-gut axis. The microbiota plays a key role in this communication throughout different routes in both physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, there has been an increasing interest in investigating how microbiota changes within the gastrointestinal tract may be implicated in health and disease including PD."
- MICROBIOME AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: One of the many things we've learned about Gut Health from DR. ART AYERS is that one's Microbiome makes all sorts of nutrients and chemicals needed by your body, including Vitamins (see link). In cases of Dysbiosis, the Microbiome makes bad things. These metabolic products of your bacteria, whether good or bad, make up what is known as your "metablome". A study from the March issue of BioMed Research International (A Nested Case-Control Study of Association between Metabolome and Hypertension Risk) sheds light on how critical this phenomenon is by revealing that, "Among the 241 metabolites identified in this study, baseline levels of 26 metabolites were significantly different between hypertension and control groups. After adjusting for body mass index, smoking, and drinking, 16 out of the 26 metabolites were still associated with hypertension risk.... Higher level of a fermentation product of gut microbes was associated with higher risk of hypertension. Our study identified multiple metabolites that associated with hypertension risk. These findings implied that... gut microbiome might play an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension."
- MICROBIOME AND BREAST CANCER: In case you weren't aware, I have written an awful lot of posts on BREAST CANCER. A study from last month's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (The Intestinal Microbiome and Estrogen Receptor-Positive Female Breast Cancer) came to some interesting conclusions in this arena. "The huge communities of residential microbes, including bacteria, viruses, Archaea, and Eukaryotes, that colonize humans are increasingly recognized as playing important roles in health and disease. In health, the function of the microbiome might be considered to be in dynamic equilibrium with the host, exerting both local and distant effects. However, 'disequilibrium' [dysbiosis] may contribute to the emergence of disease, including malignancy. In this review, we discuss how the intestinal bacterial microbiome and in particular how an 'estrobolome,' the aggregate of enteric bacterial genes capable of metabolizing estrogens, might affect women's risk of developing postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Estrobolome composition is impacted by factors that modulate its functional activity." Did you catch that? My best guess is that someone like Art Ayers would tell us that certain foods (broccoli for instance) that feed the P-450 CYTOCHROME SYSTEM are not themselves cleaning out estrogen (not to mention XENOESTROGENS), but are actually feeding the bacteria that do it.
- THE MICROBIOME AND CANCER IN GENERAL: Considering that 80% of your Immune System is found in your Gut (HERE), it should come as no surprise that Dysbiosis is related to all forms of CANCER. Last month's issue of the World Journal of Clinical Oncology (Role of the Microbiome in Non-Gastrointestinal Cancers) had something to say about this. "Disruption in the microbiome composition, termed dysbiosis, is mirrored by the development of pathologies in the host. Among the most serious consequences of dysbiosis, is the development of cancer. As many as 20% of total cancers worldwide are caused by a microbial agent. To date, a vast majority of microbiome-cancer studies focus solely on the microbiome of the large intestine and the development of gastrointestinal cancers. Here, we will review the available evidence implicating microbiome involvement in the development and progression of non-gastrointestinal cancers, while distinguishing between viral and bacterial drivers of cancer, as well as "local" and "systemic", "cancer-stimulating" and "cancer-suppressing" effects of the microbiome." I showed you earlier in this post that sugar feeds infection / dysbiosis. Should we not be surprised then that SUGAR FEEDS CANCER as well? It's not like this is new information. Germany's Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize for figuring this out ten years prior to our entry into WWII (1931).
- MICROBIOME AND CHEMOTHERAPY: In this interesting study (Pretreatment Gut Microbiome Predicts Chemotherapy-Related Bloodstream Infection) that was published in last week's edition of Genome Medicine, we see that, "Bacteremia, or bloodstream infection (BSI), is a leading cause of death among patients with certain types of cancer. A previous study reported that intestinal domination, defined as occupation of at least 30 % of the microbiota by a single bacterial taxon, is associated with BSI in patients undergoing allo-HSCT (stem cell transplantation). We found that patients who developed subsequent BSI exhibited decreased overall diversity and decreased abundance of taxa... These results suggest that the gut microbiota can identify high-risk patients before HSCT and that manipulation of the gut microbiota for prevention of BSI in high-risk patients may be a useful direction for future research."
- MICROBIOME AND SYSTEMIC ARTHRITIS (RHEUMATOID): A study from last month's issue of Genome Medicine (An Expansion of Rare Lineage Intestinal Microbes Characterizes Rheumatoid Arthritis) provided some details on something we knew years ago --- that RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS is associated with gut bacteria. "The adaptive immune response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is influenced by an interaction between host genetics and environment, particularly the host microbiome. Association of the gut microbiota with various diseases has been reported, though the specific components of the microbiota that affect the host response leading to disease remain unknown. Patients with RA exhibited decreased gut microbial diversity compared with controls, which correlated with disease duration and autoantibody levels. A taxon-level analysis suggested an expansion of rare taxa, with a decrease in abundant taxa in patients with RA compared with controls." One of these 'rare' taxa (Collinsella), "correlated strongly with production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17A. A role for Collinsella in altering gut permeability and disease severity was confirmed in experimental arthritis." Did you catch that? Not only do these dysbiotic bacteria create INFLAMMATION, they lead to CHANGES IN INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY (aka a "Leaky Gut"). "These observations suggest dysbiosis in RA patients resulting from the abundance of certain rare bacterial lineages."
- MICROBIOME AND CHRONIC PAIN: At February's 32nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Gerald Mullin gave a talk to pharmacists called The Gut Balance Revolution. Among other things the transcript of his lecture says that, "Agents and diets that perturb the gut microbiome can incur a heavy price, leading to diabetes, obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. Noting the general principle that increased species diversity increases an ecosystem’s efficiency and productivity while making it less functionally susceptible to external stressors, he pointed out that gut microbiome diversity helps with barrier integrity and with training the immune system, and overall has a great impact on health and well-being. Factors contributing to dysbiosis of the gut microbiota include host genetics, lifestyle (e.g., diet, stress), reduced early colonization (e.g., hospital birth, altered microbe exposure), and medical practices (e.g., vaccination, antibiotics, excessive hygiene)." This, folks, is a true mind bender. We have a mainstream MD, lecturing pharmacists about the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS and the fact that VACCINES HAVE THE ABILITY TO DESTROY GUT HEALTH (or HERE). He then went on to talk about the way that PPI DRUGS are causing dysbiotic problems like C. DIFF and SIBO. He goes on to say about people's ability to get back to normal after taking a round of antibiotics, "Recovery of gut biodiversity after a week’s course of clindamycin, a regimen commonly prescribed for dental procedures, may take up to two years. Furthermore, it has been proposed that subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics lead to increased adiposity [obesity]. One study showed that repeated exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics at ages zero to 23 months is associated with early childhood obesity." I actually have several studies on my site that show this last sentence to be true. Oh, he did eventually get around to mentioning CHRONIC PAIN in his talk as well.
- MOM'S USE OF ANTIBIOTICS WHILE PREGNANT OR NURSING ADVERSELY AFFECTS HER BABY: A study from last month's Journal of Immunology (Maternal Antibiotic Treatment Impacts Development of the Neonatal Intestinal Microbiome and Antiviral Immunity) was a smack in the face to doctors who OVER-PRESCRIBE ANTIBIOTICS to pregnant or lactating mothers. "Microbial colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract (GIT) begins at birth, is shaped by the maternal microbiota, and is profoundly altered by antibiotic treatment. Antibiotic treatment of mothers during pregnancy influences colonization of the GIT microbiota of their infants. Maternal antibiotic treatment/treated (MAT) during pregnancy and lactation resulted in profound alterations in the composition of the GIT microbiota in mothers and infants. Streptococcus dominated the GIT microbiota of MAT mothers, whereas Enterococcus faecalis predominated within the MAT infant GIT. MAT infant mice subsequently exhibited increased and accelerated mortality following vaccinia virus infection. We additionally determined that control infant mice became more susceptible to infection if they were born in an animal facility using stricter standards of hygiene. These data indicate that undisturbed colonization and progression of the GIT microbiota during infancy are necessary to promote robust adaptive antiviral immune responses." Are you catching some of this folks? Can anyone say TOO CLEAN?
- ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS DESTROY YOUR MICROBIOME: The March issue of Physiology & Behavior published a study called Low Calorie Sweeteners and Gut Microbiota. "Studies dating back to 1980s, using bacterial cultures, have reported associations between low calorie sweeteners (LCS) and alterations in bacterial composition, raising the potential that LCS might exert effects on the host via interactions with gut microbiota." This is the very reason that even though they have zero calories, DIET SODA'S cause double the weight gain (mostly in the form of BELLY FAT) that regular sodas do (HERE).
- MICROBIOME AND IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME / FODMAPS: We've known for quite sometime that FODMAPS are intimately related to IBS. A study in the March issue of Gut (FODMAPs Alter Symptoms and the Metabolome of Patients with IBS: A Randomized Controlled Trial) helped us better understand why. "To gain mechanistic insights, we compared effects of low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) and high FODMAP diets on symptoms, the metabolome and the microbiome of patients with IBS. IBS symptoms are linked to FODMAP content and associated with alterations in the metabolome. In subsets of patients, FODMAPs modulate histamine levels (reduced eightfold in the low FODMAP group) and the microbiota, both of which could alter symptoms."
- MICROBIOME AND GUT FAILURE CAN LEAD TO DEATH: Last month's issue of Critical Care Clinics (The Gut as the Motor of Multiple Organ Dysfunction in Critical Illness) talked a bit about what happens in an ICU setting. "All elements of the gut - the epithelium, the immune system, and the microbiome - are impacted by critical illness and can, in turn, propagate a pathologic host response leading to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Studies have demonstrated that this can occur by release of toxic gut-derived substances into the mesenteric lymph where they can cause distant damage. Further, intestinal integrity is compromised in critical illness with increases in apoptosis [inflammatory mediators that cause programmed cell death] and permeability [Leaky Gut --- something we have been aware of for at least two decades --- HERE]. There is also increasing recognition that microbes alter their behavior and can become virulent based upon host environmental cues [H. PYLORI is probably the best example of this phenomenon]. Gut failure is common in critically ill patients..."
Truthfully, this post is just barely scratching the surface of how big this whole Microbiome thing really is. The real question, however, is not where you can find more research. The real question is what can a person do who knows they have one or both sides of the coin that is fouled up Gut Health (Dysbiosis and / or Increased Intestinal Permeability)? I'm glad you asked. About six months ago I created a post called HOW TO HEAL YOUR DAMAGED GUT --- and it's totally free.
ARE YOUR HEARTBURN MEDS
DESTROYING THE HEALTH OF YOUR GUT?
"PPI prescribing rates among inpatients are high, and frequently not evidenced-based. There is also lack of consideration given to review of therapy and limiting provision to short courses. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used but commonly over-prescribed. A range of adverse effects are associated with their use, including susceptibility to C. difficile infection, fractures, pneumonia and electrolyte disturbances." From the abstract of a 2014 issue of the medical journal Gut (Overuse Of Proton Pump Inhibitors And Strategies To Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing). This is yet another area where the medical community seems to be throwing the "EVIDENCE" out the window.
"As many as 70 per cent of PPI prescriptions in the United States have been inappropriately handed out by doctors, according to a study published in January in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. German researchers found that people 75 or older who regularly take the medications had a 44 per cent increased risk of dementia, compared with seniors not using the drugs." From the Feb 16, 2016 issue of CBCNews (Proton Pump Inhibitor Heartburn Drugs Linked to Dementia Risk)
"Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are often given prophylactically to hospitalized patients even though they are known to increase the risk of serious conditions such as Clostridium difficile infection, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and more. Many patients are also on unneeded PPIs before they enter and after they leave the hospital, putting them at even greater risk of complications." From the March 2016 issue of AHC Hospitalist (Reducing Unnecessary PPI Use May Help Save Lives)
"How VA patients are treated, — or potentially overtreated, — for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is coming under greater scrutiny. Veterans often are prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPI) at much higher doses than recommended, then kept on the drugs far too long, according to the VA-funded study released this year." From the May 2013 issue of U.S Medicine: The Voice of Federal Medicine (VA’s Overuse of GERD Treatment Under Scrutiny)
DYSBIOSIS is the name given to the condition of having incorrect ratios of bacteria in the Gut. Although it is way oversimplified, it is what happens when you have too many bad bacteria and not enough good (be aware that too many of a specific type of "good" bacteria can create Dysbiosis as well (HERE). Historically the medical community has not had much to say about Dysbiosis in its various forms (SYSTEMIC YEAST and C. DIFF are two common ones) because for the most part they are responsible for causing it. How? Through out-of-control prescription habits concerning ANTIBIOTICS. Once people have Dysbiosis it is fed by over-consuming sugar and starch (HERE). When you consider that 80% of your entire Immune System is made up of cells found in your Gut --- much of it in the form of bacteria --- you can begin to see how big this problem can potentially be. Allow me show you some studies.
- It's not brand new news that PPI's mess up GUT HEALTH. A November 2014 study in the journal Microbiome (Prolonged Use of a Proton Pump Inhibitor Reduces Microbial Diversity....) concluded that, "The role of the gut microbiome in arresting pathogen colonization and growth is important for protection against Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Observational studies associate proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use and CDI incidence....... Our hypothesis that PPIs disrupt the healthy human gut microbiome is supported in this group. We conclude that decreases in observed species counts were reversible after cessation of PPI usage within 1 month. This finding may be a potential explanation for the association between prolonged PPI usage and CDI incidence." The problem is that people are not using their PPI's for one month (even though the box says no longer than two weeks). They are using them for years --- even decades. Interestingly enough, two months prior to this, Obesity Surgery carried a study that concluded almost the same thing --- only in individuals who had undergone lap band surgery for weight loss (those on PPI's had significantly more trouble losing weight).
- What is the mechanism for this phenomenon? Not surprisingly, INFLAMMATION. Last August's issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases (Proton-Pump Inhibitor Exposure Aggravates Clostridium difficile-Associated Colitis) had this to say on the subject. "Clostridium difficile is currently the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients. A mouse model of antibiotic-associated clostridial colitis was established to examine the role of PPIs for CDI. Mice with CDI that were exposed to PPI exhibited greater losses of stool consistency and body and cecal weights than those that were not exposed to PPI. Further, more neutrophilic infiltrations, epithelial damage, and inflammatory cytokine expression were noted in colon specimens of the mice with PPI exposure. More-evident inflammatory responses were detected by in vivo imaging of NF-κB reporter mice with CDI that were exposed to PPI. Gut barrier permeability was increased to a greater extent...... Our mouse model demonstrates that PPI exposure increases the severity of intestinal inflammation in mice with C. difficile-associated colitis." Did you catch the "GUT PERMEABILITY" thing (Leaky Gut Syndrome)? Once again folks, we see Inflammation at the root of the problem --- in this case being driven by the very meds used to "cure" people --- not as uncommon as you might believe (HERE).
- Two months later, the October 2015 issue of PLoS One (Reduced Gut Acidity Induces an Obese-Like Phenotype in Drosophila Melanogaster and in Mice) related PPI's not only to Dysbiosis, but to OBESITY as well. "....This deficit is likely to induce altered metabolism and contribute to accelerated aging, since vha16-1 mutant flies are short-lived and display increases in body weight and lipid [fat] accumulation. Similar phenotypes were also induced by pharmacological treatment, through feeding normal flies and mice... proton pump inhibitor (PPI, lansoprazole) to suppress gut acid production. Our study may thus provide a useful model for investigating chronic acid suppression in patients." These findings are not surprising knowing what we know about the relationship between Obesity and Gut Health (HERE, HERE, and HERE are some relevant examples).
- A month after this, the November 13 issue of Clinical Correlations (Are We Overusing Proton Pump Inhibitors?) revealed that, "Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most widely used medications in the US. Last year, esomeprazole was ranked as one of the top three best-selling drugs in the nation, with 17.8 million prescriptions. Physicians use empiric PPI therapy to diagnose GERD, one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases. If symptoms improve with empiric therapy, PPIs are then continued, often indefinitely. However, PPI use can have potentially serious medical consequences, including an increased risk of infections, malabsorption, and adverse drug-drug interactions. Prolonged PPI use can have serious infectious risks. Reduced acid production due to PPIs compromises the sterility of the gastric lumen, thus making it easier for pathogens to colonize the upper gastrointestinal tract and subsequently alter the colonic microbiome. The best-documented enteric infection linked to PPI use is Clostridium difficile, which is the leading cause of gastroenteritis-associated death in the US."
- More recently (this month, May of 2016) we were hit with it again. The journal Gut carried a study aptly named Proton Pump Inhibitors Affect the Gut Microbiome. Their conclusions are interesting on many levels; especially considering there are other "things" (drugs / vaccines) that can also affect the Microbiome. In fact, I wrote about one of them just the other day (HERE). But I regress. This study concluded that, "Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the top 10 most widely used drugs in the world. PPI use has been associated with an increased risk of enteric infections, most notably Clostridium difficile. The gut microbiome plays an important role in enteric infections, by resisting or promoting colonization by pathogens. PPI use is associated with a significant decrease in Shannon's diversity and with changes in 20% of the bacterial taxa. The differences between PPI users and non-users observed in this study are consistently associated with changes towards a less healthy gut microbiome. These differences are in line with known changes that predispose to C. difficile infections and can potentially explain the increased risk of enteric infections in PPI users. On a population level, the effects of PPI are more prominent than the effects of antibiotics or other commonly used drugs." This last sentence is hugely important, as historically CDI was virtually always associated with Antibiotics. In other words, if you are one of the millions of Americans taking a PPI and happen to go on Antibiotics, your odds of screwing up your Gut increase dramatically.
- Not to be outdone, this month's issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics said almost the same thing in a study called A Comparison of the Gut Microbiome Between Long-Term Users and Non-Users of Proton Pump Inhibitors. "Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is associated with an increased risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). We used a population-based database to identify individuals with 5 or more years of continuous PPI use along with non-PPI using controls. Stool samples were subjected to microbiological analysis.... Long-term PPIs use has an effect on the gut."
Hopefully this post has left you wanting to get off of your PPI drugs. Although I would certainly recommend that you talk to your doctor about this, as you can tell from some of the quotes at the top of the page, they are not always as helpful as you think they should be. Thus, make sure to go back up to the first two links in this post and read them. They will show you that everything you thought you knew about your chronic heartburn is probably wrong, and probably helping perpetuate the problem.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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Death By Medicine
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