Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Diet revision and Exercise are the Best Treatments for Diabetes 2

Diet Revision and Exercise are the Best Treatments for Diabetes 2

Standard medical treatment protocols for diabetes 2 always mention diet revision and then quickly proceed to medication options. While diet control is always mentioned, the critical, decisive importance of diet revision and exercise is not emphasized and in practice, diet revision is often neglected in favor of drug treatments.

Drug treatments of Type 2 Diabetes do not have a good track record. The main problem is the false belief that a drug or combination of drugs can rescue an individual from a disease-causing lifestyle. While there are theoretical benefits to be had with the newer medications, the long-term outcomes are not known. An overweight diabetic should exercise all the therapeutic and preventative options available before taking drugs.

The most negative aspect of medication is that a drug prescription means that the patient is passive, dependent and has been excused from making all the important changes that will preserve body parts and ultimately save his or her life. If the drug is taken as permission to postpone or forego the vitally important changes in lifestyle, then the prescription has done a disservice. Even with medication, precise diet control is still required to maintain reasonable sugar levels.

I do not advocate drug use with the exception of taking very low ASA and a diuretic that can be useful in controlling blood pressure. Whelton et al confirmed an earlier finding that inexpensive diuretics at low dose were effective preventing heart attacks and fatal heart disease in people with diabetes 2. In their study, there were more heart attacks in people with pre-diabetes on a calcium channel blocker than those on a diuretic. They concluded: ”Our results provide no evidence of superiority for treatment with calcium channel blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors compared with a thiazide-type diuretic during first-step antihypertensive therapy in subjects with diabetes, impaired fasting glucose or normal glucose levels.”

See the Book of Diabetes 2 by Stephen Gislason MD

Reference: Paul K. Whelton, MD, MSc; Joshua Barzilay, MD; William C. Cushman, MD; Barry R. Davis, MD, PhD; Ekambaram IIamathi, MD; John B. Kostis, MD; Frans H. H. Leenen, MD, PhD; Gail T. Louis, RN; Karen L. Margolis, MD; David E. Mathis, MD; Jamal Moloo, MD; Chuke Nwachuku, MA, MPH, DrPH; Deborah Panebianco, MD; David C. Parish, MD; Sara Pressel, MS; Debra L. Simmons, MD; Udho Thadani, MD; for the ALLHAT Collaborative Research Group. Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT). Clinical Outcomes in Antihypertensive Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, Impaired Fasting Glucose Concentration, and normal blood sugar. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:1401-1409.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Drugging Children

I am deeply disturbed by the use of psychotropic drugs in children.

You could argue that half the biological determinants of children learning and behavior problems are in the genes and the other half are in the food and the environment. You can also argue that if the biological determinants are wrong, the best parents, best schools and most supportive community will fail to produce sane, happy, productive adults.

The problem may be concealed in the environment as an agent X, a chemical hidden in air pollution, or a protein in milk or bread that interferes with brain function. Or, the problem might be more obvious, such as young children wired on colas or older children drunk on beer and stoned on marijuana.

When you take a child suffering from bad chemistry to the psychiatrist and he prescribes antidepressants, Ritalin or amphetamines, you do not get a healthy sane child, you get a worse mix of bad chemicals.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a descriptive term that refers to restless, distractible children who have a knack for disrupting any environment that tries to enclose and control them. They have poor impulse control, often display abrupt mood swings, have inappropriate anger, and sometimes are violent. Their schoolwork suffers from inattention, disorganization, poor memory, and behavior disruptive of an otherwise orderly classroom.

Several theories have been advanced to explain ADHD. The theory of "minimal brain damage or dysfunction" had many advocates. The child is viewed as having a fixed disability, manifesting a structural problem of brain, acquired during prenatal development or at birth. Language disability or dyslexia has also been attributed to a fixed circuitry problem in the brain that impairs encoding and decoding of language symbols. The brain-damage theories ignore the living, dynamic properties of the brain; they seem to view the brain as an appliance or computer that comes hardwired to behave in a certain way. But what about all the environmental factors that influence the growth and development of the brain? What about the molecular and cellular dynamics of the brain? What about the daily input of molecular substances to the brain through air, food and water?

"Sugar" was often blamed for hyperactivity. Parents often observe that children's' behavior deteriorates after eating sugar-containing foods, such as chocolate chip cookies, cake, jello, kool-aid, pop, strawberry ice cream, or chocolate bars. They blame “sugar” and do not think of other ingredients in the food as potential problems. The sugar and hyperactivity connection illustrates a mistake of attribution, blaming the results of the complex interaction of many food ingredients with the body on only one of the ingredients. When sugar (glucose and sucrose) alone is given to children, they tend to be sedated, with unchanged or even decreased physical activity.

Caffeine is major problem. Hirsch reported a 252% increase in ADHD scores (using the Connor’s scale) when children drank less than one can of caffeinated colas. Coca cola contains 44 mg per 12 oz can and Pepsi Cola 38 mg per can. High caffeine drinks such as Jolt and Red Bull are available in supermarkets and may be consumed by children.

The pharmacological approach to hyperactivity is based on an abstract, over simplified drug-neurotransmitter model of brain function. The dopamine system is involved in reward-seeking behavior, sexual behavior, control of movement, regulation of pituitary-hormone secretion, and memory functions. ADHD may be attributed to dopamine deficiency. Dopamine synthesis slowly increases as children grow and may not reach full capacity until late teens. This is one of the built-in maturation lags that prevents children from assuming more mature behavior in their early life. Dopamine in young animals exerts a protective influence against hyperactivity. Since schizophrenia is associated with increased dopaminergic activity and is improved by dopamine-blocking agents, there is a reciprocal relationship between psychosis and hyperactivity.

A drug treatment approach is designed to stimulate dopamine circuits. Drug options have included pemoline, L-dopa, bromocriptine, amantadine, and lergotrile. Ritalin and amphetamines increase dopaminergic activity and decrease hyperactivity while they increase stereotypy. Ritalin has become the "drug of choice" for children with ADHD. Any child treated with Ritalin is moved from the hyperactivity end of the spectrum toward a schizophrenia-like state. Ritalin therapy poses risks, some obvious and others concealed. The most obvious Ritalin effect is appetite suppression and retarded growth. Some parents complain that their Ritalin-treated child acts like a "zombie". They describe emotional blunting and detachment from family and friends, a schizophrenic attribute. Children on higher doses and with chronic use of Ritalin may manifest paranoid features: there is a tendency to be overly suspicious, to withdraw, to get angry, and to display restless, non-productive behavior.

People who abuse the related class of drugs, amphetamines, often develop a psychotic state with full-blown paranoia. Ritalin may also produce disruption of movement control in a few patients. Facial and head tics may appear and may progress to Tourette's syndrome which includes peculiar grunting and respiratory tics, associated with compulsive behaviors and explosive swearing.

Drugs that influence the dopamine system all show longterm adverse effects on the motor system and the psyche. Studies on the effects of long term Ritalin use show the mixed results expected from a symptomatic drug therapy that does nothing to remove the underlying cause of the disorder.

If you ask the question: Should children or adults with ADHD take Ritalin long term?  My answer is easy – definitely NOT.

Amphetamines are the second class of drugs used to treat ADHD. The amphetamines have a long history of use and abuse. A popular prescription version,  Adderall® and Adderall Xr®  ( a sustained release form) was withdrawn from the market in Canada after Health Canada issued a warning that there were 20 international reports of sudden death in patients taking either Adderall® (sold in the United States, not in Canada) or Adderall Xr® (sold in Canada). These deaths were not associated with overdose, misuse or abuse. Fourteen deaths occurred in children, and six deaths in adults. [i] 

Should children or adults with ADHD take ampethamines long term?  My answer is easy – definitely NOT.

Another drug, Strattera, marketed as the first non-stimulant ADHD medication causes liver damage. The USFDA warned that severe liver damage may progress to liver failure resulting in death or the need for a liver transplant in a small percentage of patients taking Strattera. The labeling also notes that the number of actual cases of severe liver damage is unknown because of under-reporting of post-marketing adverse events.

Should children or adults with ADHD take Stattera long term?  My answer is easy – definitely NOT.

[i] Feb 9 2005 OTTAWA - Health Canada instructed Shire BioChem Inc., the manufacturer of ADDERALL XR® to withdraw the drug from the Canadian market. Health Canada has suspended the market authorization of the product due to safety information concerning the association of sudden deaths, heart-related deaths, and strokes in children and adults taking usual recommended doses of ADDERALL® and ADDERALL XR®. The immediate release form of ADDERALL® has never been marketed in Canada. Health Canada is advising patients who are currently being treated with ADDERALL XR® to consult their physician immediately about use of the drug and selecting treatment alternatives. Health Canada's decision comes as a result of a thorough review of safety information provided by the manufacturer, which indicated there were 20 international reports of sudden death in patients taking either ADDERALL® (sold in the United States, not in Canada) or ADDERALL XR® (sold in Canada). These deaths were not associated with overdose, misuse or abuse. Fourteen deaths occurred in children, and six deaths in adults. There were 12 reports of stroke, two of which occurred in children. None of the reported deaths or strokes occurred in Canada. A preliminary review of safety data for the other related stimulants authorized for use in the treatment of ADHD in Canada has been conducted. In that review, the incidence of serious adverse reactions leading to death was higher in ADDERALL® and ADDERALL RX combined than in the other drugs of this class

Children's Health  Stephen Gislason MD  Revised Jan. 2015

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Drug Bias in Medicine

A bias toward drug prescription is endemic in medicine. In Canada, there are 5,000 prescription drugs for sale. In the year 2000 in the United States, 173 million people filled 2.2 billion outpatient prescriptions, accounting for $103 billion in expenditures. Each year in Canada and the USA the money spent on prescription drugs increases. There are deep and fundamental problems with drug prescriptions. The problems are located in five groups; the producers, the prescribers, the dispensers, the users and the payers. Drug users are essentially naive and gullible and assume that the other groups have their interests first and foremost in mind. The producers have profit as the main motive.

The prescribers are dependent on the drug producers and remarkably obedient to the producers marketing commands. Some have argued the drug producers now own medicine and simply compete with each other for their market share.

The World Health Organization's Model List of Essential Drugs has 350 entries. The WHO defines essential medicines as those drugs that "satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness." Even if you agree with the WHO drug list, most of the drugs are special purpose agents that have limited applicability. I have long thought that a physician could serve his or her patients best with a list of about 20 well-chosen, and well-understood drugs. As it now stands, primary care physicians prescribe 80% of the 5000 drugs available and understand less than 20 in any detail. Many patients take 6 to 10 prescription drugs daily; the number of drugs increases with age.

The medical management of arterial disease, for example, provides major markets for a variety of expensive prescription drugs. The scientific evidence that links high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes 2 and obesity grows stronger everyday. These are inter-connected diseases caused by eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little. In Canada, a public financed health care system is too costly and is deteriorating rapidly as budget cuts reduce resources available. The tidal wave of food-related disease threatens to bankrupt health care systems if existing methods of diagnosis and treatment continue to be used.

Stephen Gislason MD

Please See Book of Heart and Arterial Disease


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Environmed Research publishes two series of books

Environmed Research offers two series of books written by Stephen Gislason MD.

There are 19 books in the Alpha Nutrition Health Education series that address the most important health issues and their solution.

Persona Digital Books publishes a series of books on current topics in psychology, sociology, neuroscience and philosophy. eBooks and can be downloaded to any destination on the planet. Printed books and eBooks are ordered from Alpha Online... shipped only to Canada and the USA by postal services.

Everyone, who is interested in Nutritional Therapy, will need a copy of the book, The Alpha Nutrition Program. The underlying concept is that the solution for most diseases requires your active involvement. To solve a health problem, important changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle are required. Smart people, given the right information, should be able to self-manage and solve most of their health problems. We include technical sections and abstracts from the medical literature in many publications. The information in some texts will overlap to some degree, but the reader may want to go further and order texts that are more detailed. You might become interested in food allergy, for example, when you read discussions in the Book of Arthritis or the Book of Skin and want to read more in the book Immunology Notes.

Alpha Education Books

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Inflammation, Heart Attacks and Strokes

Inflammation, Heart Attacks and Strokes

The Alpha Nutrition Program is offered as a guide to diet revision for the prevention and treatment of stokes. The big difference is the exclusion of cows milk and wheat from the diet. Dr. Gislason explains the reasoning in the Book of Heart and Arteries recently released in a revised edition. He states, for example:

“There has been a relatively sudden paradigm shift in cardiovascular medicine from fat-based theories of arterial disease toward recognition of the pervasive role of inflammation. Inflammation is a fundamental pattern of immune response. Chronic inflammation may arise from food, infection, and autoimmune disease. I have yet to meet a cardiologist who knows that food antigens, such as cow’s milk proteins, can trigger inflammatory disease. Delayed patterns of food allergy may cause inflammation in vessel walls and trigger the clotting mechanism. Keaney et al reported that:” background Inflammation within vulnerable coronary plaques may cause unstable angina by promoting rupture and erosion. In unstable angina, activated leukocytes may be found in peripheral and coronary-sinus blood. Inflammation can be treated by removing the causes of inflammation, treating infection and using anti-inflammatory medication such as ASA and ibuprofen. The role of food proteins and immune complexes as agents of inflammation is rarely investigated and may turn out to be the hidden agent behind many heart attacks and strokes.”

Read information online at http://www.nutramed.com/artery/index.htm
The Book of Arterial Disease is an intelligent guide to one the most common and most lethal of health problems. This book explains why the 80 million Canadians and Americans who have high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and are at risk of having heart attacks and strokes. They should seek the benefits of complete diet revision therapy!

See http://www.nutramed.com/publishing/arteriestext.htm

Friday, June 03, 2005

Elemental nutrient formulas

Alpha Nutrition specializes in elemental nutrient formulas, the pure expression of nutrient biochemistry. We use the concept of nutrient modules to create nutrient formulas. A definition of modules is: a unit that is combined with others to form a larger structure or system, and is self-contained enough to be easily rearranged, replaced, or interchanged to form different structures or systems.

We provide a choice of nutrient modules so that food can be replaced, nutrient intake can be supplemented and balanced in a variety of ways. These precise nutrient sets are formulated by assembling nutrients into modules that supply energy, electrolytes, antioxidants, phosphate, vitamins, minerals, neurotransmitter substrates and amino acids as the protein building blocks. The formulas are all packaged as dry powders to be mixed with water or juices and taken orally.

See our online tutorial at www.alphanutrition.com/modularnutrition/