August 30, 2010

Earthing is a simple technique that I’ve recently learned of, thanks to a patient with a severe medical illness who has noticed some dramatic changes. In its most basic form, it involves having your bare feet on the ground for at least 30 – 40 minutes. Briefly, it is said that such a practice will “activate” the parasympathetic nervous system, restore a more normal circadian rhythm of cortisol secretion from the adrenal gland, and most importantly, connect you to an inexhaustible supply of free electrons which then act as antioxidants in the body, to counter inflammation.

If you click on the link above, and then click on the research tab, you’ll find several articles that describe the effects of this technique on human physiology. The book, of the same name, has been written by Clint Ober, with a section on cardiology written by Stephen Sinatra, MD, from Manchester, CT. I’ve asked Wonderland Books in Putnam to carry this locally, but it can be ordered by any bookstore or obtained online.

I think that this technique is intuitively obvious and pertains to everyone, but especially to anyone with illnesses in which inflammation plays a large part. Of course, the list of such illnesses is quite long and include the common scourges of chronic disease in our society. Again, I hope to make time to write a bit more as I gain experience using this tool. In the 4 weeks or so that I’ve seen people using it, I’ve seen some very encouraging results.

For those of you who are, or who should be monitoring your blood pressures at home, I’ve posted a good protocol here.

Influenza season is approaching. While there have been some reports of “antigenic mixing” of the “Novel H1N1” virus with other viruses which could cause more widespread disease in humans, there are no reports (to my knowledge, at least) of any spread of these variations on the Novel H1N1 (formerly known as “Swine Flu”).

As always, I’ll follow this and advise you as I learn more and the story evolves. I’ll take this moment to remind you that  good Vitamin D status has a strong protective effect against not only influenza, but other bacterial and viral diseases.

I’ve long neglected to make you aware of my use of FirstLine Therapy. This is a lifestyle intervention primarily involving healthy food (as well as exercise and stress control), and which has the aim of improving health by restoring normal body composition and insulin sensitivity. While this can be used as a weight-loss program, such is not its primary function. By restoring insulin sensitivity, metabolic “inflammation” is reduced which otherwise plays a large role in promoting such diverse problems as obesity, adult onset diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and other common problems involving inflammation (probably including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and dementia).

I’ve been using this program now for about 18 months and have seen very gratifying results. I hope to soon make the time to describe this more fully, but by clicking on the link above and also here, you can find out much more;

8/29/2010 — Gluten Sensitivity — Again, I need to write a longer article, although much information is available both online and in print. On the internet, I strongly recommend , and in print Living Gluten Free for Dummies which, like the other “dummies” books, is straightforward and reasonably comprehensive.

Gluten is a component of wheat, barley, and rye, and is also found in many processed foods where you wouldn’t necessarily suspect its presence. Approximately 30-40% of the population has the genetic susceptibility to this problem. Until fairly recently, medical authorities did not recognize that so-called “celiac disease” was not the only way in which this problem presented. A recent review article with a more updated approach can be found on Medscape by clicking here.

After (belatedly) learning how common gluten sensitivity in February 2009, and of a relatively inexpensive ($124), sensitive, but obscure test done by EnteroLab , I began testing individuals who met one or more of the following

1. diagnosed autoimmune disease (hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.);

2 chronic gastrointestinal complaints which have defied diagnosis and/or treatment;

3. the presence of multi-system problems which have defied diagnosis and/or treatment;

4. with a positive family history of 1-3 or of gluten sensitivity itself.

In these 18 months, I’ve ordered tests on 145 individuals. Of the total tests, 21 (14%) were negative (some of which I suspect are “false negatives” owing to the clinical setting.

Of the remaining 124 test results, I’m able to report on the status of
102 people. The rest are not in treatment for a variety of reasons (such as being relatives of my patients who’ve tested positive but who are not my patients, people who have moved or are unable to (or refused to) undertake a gluten free diet, etc.).

Of the 102 persons, I’ve tablulated the following results:

— 15 individuals (17%) have not been in treatment (a gluten free
diet) well enough or long enough to evaluate;

— 14 individuals (14%) have not experienced any change in their medical complaints (although there may be more subtle effects that would require a long time to become evident and which could theoretically be precluded by avoiding gluten);

— 13 individuals (13%) have had positive changes but because of the simultaneous administration of other treatments or changes in their lives, I cannot be sure that the results are attributable to a gluten-free diet;

— 61 individuals (60%) report definite improvement (often digestive problems, frequently reduction in joint pain and often increased energy and well-being);

The numbers don’t completely add up because of rounding (in the case of the percentages) and because I’ve temporarily counted one individual in two categories for rather unusual reasons.

Gluten sensitivity is apparently frequently associated with auto-immune disease, which affects approximately 24 million people in the United States. In the presence of gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disease, it can take 2 years or more for the inflammatory reaction (against thyroid tissue, for example, in Hashimoto’s disease) to subside. Because of this, in many cases even when there is some early improvement, I don’t think that I’ve seen the full benefit of the dietary changes.

It appears that by diagnosing gluten sensitivity and by helping people achieve a gluten-free diet, some very good results have been obtained.
If anyone thinks that they should be tested, please give Donna a call or send an email and we can set it up. A separate visit is not required to set up the test.

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