"The test to which all methods of treatment are finally brought is whether they are lucrative to doctors or not." (George Bernard Shaw)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol 3, No 11) April 20, 2003
"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written and copyright 2003 by Andrew Saul, PhD. of HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM INFORMATION OVERLOAD ON IRON OVERLOAD?
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Sempos, CT, et al, Body iron stores and the risk of coronary heart disease. NEJM 1994; 330:1119-24) by the National Center for Health Statistics and Centers for Disease Control "reported that high transferrin saturation levels are not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular heart disease or myocardial infarction. On the contrary, it was found that there is an inverse association of iron stores with overall mortality and with mortality from cardiovascular disease." (from Iron status and cardiovascular heart disease, by Carl Germano, M.A., R.D.)
In other words, high iron does not cause cardiovascular disease, but low iron might.
Over ten years ago, always a shameless promoter of vegetarianism, I taught my clinical nutrition students that there were two types of dietary iron: heme, and non-heme. That basically means "blood," and "non-blood." Heme iron is from meat. Too much blood iron IS associated with an increase in heart disease. (Ascherio, A, et al, Dietary iron intake and risk of coronary heart disease among men. Circulation 1994; 89:969-74) Your body can soak up and accumulate excessive heme iron even if it already has plenty of iron on hand.
But the really good news is that your body has an automatic shut-off system to limit its absorption of non-heme, or vegetarian, iron. Yes, this includes practically all iron supplements on Earth (and those that may someday be made from meteors as well).
Do I think you should take an iron supplement, or a multiple vitamin containing iron? If you are a child, yes. Iron deficiency remains a major public health problem for kids, because they are making lots of blood as they grow. If you are a reproductive aged female, yes again. Women lose about a half a cup of blood in every menstrual cycle. That's like giving a unit of blood three times a year, ladies.
But this is no reason to stuff women and children with the muscles of dead animals. A simple, cheap multivitamin with iron will do the trick and save a cow.
For men, iron supplementation is generally unnecessary. For heme-heavy "meat and potatoes men," it is positively a bad idea. Guys, if you give blood a lot, persistently do excessively heavy exercise, or lose blood from injury, take any average-dose iron supplement for while.
Caution: These above comments, while valid for the great majority of people, do not apply to persons with hereditary hemochromatosis, which is a severe iron-buildup problem. Next time you have your blood checked, you can bring this up with your doctor of choice.
Vegetarianism (or in my personal opinion, what I call "near-vegetarianism") has always been a good idea. Now it is better than ever.
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
It's just another virus.
Maybe it's a mean one, or maybe it's just a new strain of one of hundreds of common cold viruses, whooping it up in a person with a low immune system. But it cannot be worse than, say, polio. Polio can be whipped by megadoses of vitamin C. I think we can all take confidence in that.
If vitamin C megadosing for polio and other viral diseases is a new concept to you, please look at HYPERLINK "http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html"http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html HYPERLINK "http://www.doctoryourself.com/ortho_c.html"http://www.doctoryourself.com/ortho_c.html HYPERLINK "http://www.doctoryourself.com/klenner_table.html"http://www.doctoryourself.com/klenner_table.html HYPERLINK "http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html"http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html and especially at the excellent website of Robert F. Cathcart, M.D. HYPERLINK http://www.orthomed.com http://www.orthomed.com
A "new" opportunistic virus is a big surprise to no one. History is full of them.
About 10 million soldiers were killed in World War I, charging machine guns and getting mowed down month after month. There were nearly a million casualties at the Somme and another million at Verdun. A terrible slaughter went on for four years. Yet, in just the two years following the war, over 20 million people died from influenza. That is more than twice as many deaths from the flu in one-half the time it took the machine guns.
Preventing is obviously easier than treating severe illness. Immediate use of half-hourly gram (1,000 mg) doses of Vitamin C, up to saturation, will usually stop a cold from escalating to pneumonia. But if it has, treat serious illness seriously: in the very young or the very old, pneumonia can kill. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
Here is a second opinion. Dr. Cathcart advocates treating pneumonia with up to 200,000 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, often intravenously. You and I can simulate a 24 hour IV of Vitamin C by taking it by mouth very, very often. When I had pneumonia, it took 2,000 mg of Vitamin C every six minutes, by the clock, to get me to saturation. My oral daily dose was over 100,000 mg. Fever, cough and other symptoms were reduced in hours; complete recovery took just a few days. Bronchitis clears up even faster. That is performance at least as good as any pharmaceutical will give, and the vitamin is both safer and cheaper.
I suggest consulting The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine for additional support for mega-vitamin therapies. The research is done, the write-ups are out there, and your librarian will help you tap into them easily. More on the Journal at HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_JOM.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_JOM.html . The Journal's own website is HYPERLINK http://www.orthomed.org http://www.orthomed.org
Treating respiratory infections with massive amounts of Vitamin C is not a new idea at all. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. and William J. McCormick, M.D. used this approach successfully for decades beginning back in the 1940's. You will want to consult their works, which you can quickly find with a site search from the top of the main page at HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com http://www.doctoryourself.com . All who think that, though vitamin C generally has merit, that massive doses are ineffective or somehow harmful will do well to read the original papers for themselves. Clinical evidence confirms the powerful antiviral-antibiotic effect of Vitamin C when used in sufficient quantity. Speaking as a parent, I can confirm that Vitamin C works as well as antibiotics since our children have never needed antibiotics, not even once. That is NOT because we did nothing; we used vitamin C instead.
Vitamin C can be used alone or right along with medicines if one so chooses. Prescription drugs are not doing the job. 75,000 Americans die from pneumonia each year (Vital Statistics of the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services, Vol. 2, 1989). That is over 200 deaths a day.
As of April 3, 2003, Johns Hopkins University reported that 60 people have died from SARS. In total. Worldwide. HYPERLINK http://www.jhunewsletter.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/04/04/3e8e038cec7b6 http://www.jhunewsletter.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/04/04/3e8e038cec7b6
There is no question that aggressive use of Vitamin C would lower that figure a great deal. There is no excuse for excluding it.
While I think that optimum vegetarian nutrition, and supplementation (especially with vitamin E) is the best way to prevent fibroids, I am yet to learn of a good non-surgical cure for them. Please send me your experiences with this illness, and what has, or has not, worked for you. My readers all know that I am not interested in individual company or specific brand recommendations. And while I am indeed very interested in pain relief, what I am especially keen on are accounts of doctor-confirmed cure. Please correspond to HYPERLINK mailto:doctoryourself.com/contact.html doctoryourself.com/contact.html
This is one of the most frequent search topics at my website. Let me help save you some time.
TO BEGIN WITH:
Stop eating sugar. Eat whole natural foods instead. Knock off the caffeine. HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine_allergy.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine_allergy.html Cost? Zilch.
And try this nutritional protocol: HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com/nerves.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/nerves.html
Be sure to rule out thyroid insufficiency.
DON'T BE A THYROID ANDROID
I have personally seen what thyroid, or a lack of it, can do. In her early fifties, my mother suffered from arthritis, depression, skin problems, fatigue, unexplained weight gain and assorted other miserable symptoms. Nothing seemed to help, until she got a new, younger family physician. He promptly put her on thyroid medication, and she was a new woman. Her singing voice came back, along with her get-up-and-go. Her weight came down, her joy of living came up, and her skin looked great. No more bags under the eyes; no more three-hour daily naps. If this is you, then perhaps a thyroid supplement (by prescription) is for you. More on thyroid at HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com/thyroid.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/thyroid.html
The homeopathic Bach flower remedies can be of profound help with depression and related troubled states of mind.
THE "OTHER" WORLD-FAMOUS BACH Dr. Edward Bach, a graduate of London's University College Hospital, was a bacteriologist with a successful practice on Harley Street. That is the English equivalent to having a Fifth Avenue professional address in New York City. In 1930, he left medicine irretrievably far behind when he ran off to the country to study, and heal with, flower blossoms of all things. He floated them in spring water (but never in "dead" tap or distilled water) in glass containers, placed in the sun. The energy from the flowers was thus collected, then diluted hundreds of times to make it stronger, and dropped onto patients' tongues and wrists. Somewhere, anywhere, in here you can find enough nuttiness to begin snickering.
The eccentric Dr. Bach believed that disease was, at its root, a matter of diseased temperament. He researched a dozen common flowers known as The Twelve Healers (also the title of his first book). Over two dozen more were to follow, bringing the total to 38. Impatiens seemed to cure impatience, Mustard ended black depression "like a dark cloud has overshadowed life, blotting out all enjoyment." A combination of remedies, known as Rescue Remedy, was a first aid preparation for shock and trauma to the mind. Clematis relieved suicidal tendencies and Holly dissipated hatred. Honeysuckle dissipated excess nostalgia, and there were several remedies for fear, classified as to whether fear was from known or unknown causes, worldly or unfounded, or otherwise. HYPERLINK http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/drbach.htm http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/drbach.htm
Dr. Bach is especially easy to dismiss. First, he was British, so to many an arrogant Yankee, he was not a real scientist, like, say, Michael Faraday, or Isaac Newton, or Kelvin, or Robert Boyle, or Alan Turing, or Charles Darwin. . . Secondly, flowers, especially common blossoms like impatiens and holly that served as their very names would suggest, offer no satisfaction to the scientific-spectacle-seeking patient.
Thirdly, the idea that dilution increases potency is a homeopathic one, utterly in opposition to orthodox medical thought. The works of historian Harris Coulter, especially the three volume masterwork Divided Legacy, will provide readers with very ample, very rational support for homeopathy and there is no need to try to justify it here. Homeopathy, itself regarded as quackery by many, is practiced by a large minority of licensed medical doctors worldwide. It is at least close enough to reason that over-the-counter homeopathic remedies are sold in Wal-Marts and the federal government both codifies and approves the manufacture of such remedies in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Double-blind, tightly controlled studies of homeopathic remedies have indeed verified their statistical significance to a very high degree, and their record of safety is unassailable even by the Food and Drug Administration. (More on homeopathy is posted at HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com/homeopathy.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/homeopathy.html and all over the Internet. A single Google search for "homeopathy" (549,000 listings) will keep you busy for days. My Internet-surfing cautions and hints will follow at the end of this article.)
Back to Bach: his flower remedies seemed to work. Medical doctors would follow him, leaving a broad trail of case notes, published articles, and textbooks in their wake. It is a bold move to dismiss all these physicians as quacks without at least trying the remedies first. I have seen first hand how they help the people who've come to see me.
BUT THIS IS CHEAPER:
My favorite book on the subject is Bach, Edward and Wheeler, F. J. "The Bach Flower Remedies" (New Canaan, CT: Keats, 1979). This volume is a compilation is three short books in one: Heal Thyself and The Twelve Healers by E. Bach and The Bach Remedies Repertory by Wheeler. Both were medical doctors. Wheeler's repertory (an index of symptoms and appropriate remedies for each) is simplicity itself to use. This is the best introductory volume available. Ask your librarian to help you get a copy.
SAUL'S GUIDE TO SURFING THE 'NET FOR HEALTH INFORMATION
A.) Beware of websites that have a product for sale. Such sites have an essential, inescapable vested interest in selling that particular product. How can you expect otherwise? You may have to look very carefully to find the product affiliation within a website, but it is worth the look nonetheless. B.) Beware of so-called consumer-protection sites that conclude such things as "you can get all the nutrients you need from your balanced daily diet" or "natural healing is unscientific." Such misinformation is 50 years out of date and will not stand up to experience. If a site tells you to NOT read something, you should make a point to go and read it immediately. Use negative websites backwards: do the opposite of what they say. It is not just in mathematics that two negatives can often make a positive.
C.) Be cautious of sites run by private physicians or other individuals who make their money through consultation services. Such professionals have an interest in offering you some promising free information, and then charging you for the real service. If a physician puts up a large quantity of freely-available information for you to read, such as the complete text of their book, or a lot of articles, the site must be weighed in as useful. But don't sign on the dotted line just yet.
D.) For that matter, be cautious of ANY site run by ANYONE. This includes HYPERLINK http://www.doctoryourself.com http://www.doctoryourself.com . Use my CELERY system:
*Check *Every *Literature reference and personal *Experience, and *Read for *Yourself.
E.) When in doubt, follow the money. I think it is a good idea to ask the website where its funding comes from. While a complete financial disclosure cannot be expected of everyone, it certainly can be a powerful recommendation. (Incidentally, DoctorYourself.com's only source of funding is through the sale of my books.)
If this all sounds like work, well, of course it is. Life is work. You have to eat anyway; you might as well eat right. You have to spend time on your health; it might as well be at the library as in a doctor's waiting room. We spend plenty of time in front of the TV; we might as well exercise while we do it. Time in front of the computer screen can teach us a lot more than time in front of a movie screen.
Health information on the Internet? Hasn't that been described as the very motherlode of all quackery? Of course it has. But as you learned in kindergarten, calling names does not make it so. Use your noodle and see for yourself.
SO WHO ARE THE QUACKS?
Let's ask George Bernard Shaw. In his great preface to an otherwise unremarkable play, The Doctor's Dilemma (1906), he wrote:
"The distinction between a quack doctor and a qualified one is mainly that only the qualified one is authorized to sign death certificates, for which both sorts seem to have about equal occasion."
Ouch. Of course, Mr. Shaw was not about to hold it at that. No, sir, not him:
"Nobody supposes that doctors are less virtuous than judges; but a judge whose salary and reputation depended on whether the verdict was for plaintiff or defendant, prosecutor or prisoner, would be as little trusted as a general in the pay of the enemy. To offer me a doctor as my judge, and then weight his decision with a bribe of a large sum of money and a virtual guarantee that if he makes a mistake it can never be proved against him, is to go wildly beyond the ascertained strain with human nature can bear.
"But just as the best carpenter or mason will resist the introduction of a machine that is likely to throw him out of work, ... so the doctor will resist with all his powers of persecution every advance of science that threatens his income... . It unluckily happens that the organization of private practitioners which we call the medical profession is coming more and more to represent, not science, but desperate and embittered anti-science: a state of things which is likely to get worse until the average doctor either depends upon or hopes for an appointment in the public health service for his livelihood.
"The only evidence that can decide a case of malpractice is expert evidence: that is, the evidence of other doctors; and every doctor will allow a colleague to decimate a whole countryside sooner that violate the bond of professional etiquette by giving him away.
"... The effect of this state of things is to make the medical profession a conspiracy to hide its own shortcomings. No doubt the same may be said of all professions. They are all conspiracies against the laity.
"And the healthier the world becomes, the more they are compelled to live by imposture and the less by that really helpful activity of which all doctors get enough to preserve them from utter corruption.
"All that can be said for medical popularity is that until there is a practicable alternative to blind trust in the doctor, the truth about the doctor is so terrible that we dare not face it."
Mr. Shaw was right on all counts save one: there IS a practical alternative, and always has been: learn to do it yourself. Be your own doctor. Manage your own case. Change your life and live healthier, today.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Shaw was a vegetarian, hated vaccination, and lived to be 94.
YOUR FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS
(Not to be confused with one of my favorite books, My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell)
We've all heard that "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." You might, however, be able to make the horse WANT to drink.
While most people need a jump-start, a strongly motivated person will do all they can to improve their health without you, me, or any doctor telling them to. The very sick person may work harder to heal than almost anyone, and desperate people are often the most motivated of all. Such people need plenty of practical information, but almost no persuasion.
From what I've seen, it is your own family members that may need a boost the most, and accept it the least.
In a hurry? Peeved because your relations, who should know better, don't listen to your healthy advice? Don't feel bad: surgeon James Lind published his citrus-fruit cure of scurvy 1753. It was not until 1795 that the British Royal Navy mandated the treatment. Believe it or not, it was not until 1865 that the British merchant navy began to require a daily lemon or lime juice ration! During the intervening 112 years, countless tens of thousands of sailors died unnecessarily. Nah, they thought, nutrition can't possibly be the cure for a REAL disease!
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