"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them to discover it within themselves." (Galileo Galilei)
The DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER (Vol. 3, No 13) May 20, 2003
"Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A." Written and copyright 2003 by Andrew Saul, PhD, of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a free online library of over 350 natural healing articles with nearly 4,000 scientific references.
HARD TO BELIEVE it was thirty years ago that I was dropped right into the deep end at the intensive care unit of Boston's Brigham Hospital. No, I was not a physician then and I am not one now. I was a clinical counseling student. A never-ending stream of the critically ill were wheeled through the Levine Cardiac Unit, where I'd hung my hat for a semester. What a place. Even back then, it was as full of electronics, switches, desktop displays and overhead monitors as is the control room of a Navy submarine. And just as crowded.
In the few remaining corners not taken up with life-saving equipment, space had somehow, grudgingly, been found for patients' beds. If you ducked under some wires and walked over others, you could usually locate your patient. Most were unconscious, or else lay still and scared while nurses and doctors scurried past them, bound for the latest beeping, light- flashing crisis just a few feet away.
And there I found Sammy.
Samuel, a 74-year-old retired firefighter, had just had a couple or three heart attacks. I had an instant rapport with this delightful grandfatherly man, who was so quick with the Yiddish humor and a charming, glad-to-see-you-sit-down-why-don't- you-stay-awhile smile. His kindliness towards me went a long way towards hiding my nervousness, inexperience and youth.
As counseling students, we were supposed to get seriously ill patients like Sammy to talk, open up, and feel better. But although he told me much about himself and all about his family, most of the time it was he who got me to do the talking. It was as if he was the real counselor, and looking back, I think he was.
I looked forward to our visits, and one day his bed was empty. The sheets were all made, but the bed was empty. Sammy died the night before.
The bed was not vacant for long.
For our patients, the survival odds were balanced on a knife's edge, being about 50-50 for most. One day I was asked to visit a big 40-year-old football coach. He was well aware of his chances, and told me so without batting an eyelash.
"I've played games with worse odds than those," he added with a grin.
His bed was vacant a week later. That's because he'd gone home. He lived.
Downstairs a few floors, I was assigned to a 34-year old woman with cancer. She was dying, and the most advanced medical technology had nothing to offer her. Unlike the intensive care patients, who usually came or went within a week, I visited her for an extended period of time.
I got to know her husband, too. They were not happy people. And while I could sympathize, I still felt useless. There was so little I could do, aside from visiting and listening.
I spent quite a lot of time there. It was not easy.
She died shortly before the semester was over. The last thing I remember is her husband, sitting alone on a wooden bench in the old whitewashed-brick hospital corridor, with his head bent over a medical textbook. He didn't see me. He was too preoccupied trying to figure out what had happened.
All these images from thirty years back. Now you know why I am in the line of work I am in today.
Do I now have the sure cure for these diseases? No. If I did, I'd be Surgeon General of the World. But I can offer you a piece of the answer, and that's worth doing. Modern drug medicine is as incomplete as a novel written with three vowels, or as discordant as a symphony constructed with only some of the notes. High-dose nutritional therapy is the much-needed missing part of our vocabulary of healthcare. When going into the ring to fight the champ, you do not want one hand tied behind your back. The fight against disease needs all the help it can get.
Links for more information on the Number One and Number Two killers of our time:
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Dr. Abram Hoffer's important articles on megavitamin therapy for heart disease: http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_shute.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_cardio.html How to select and use vitamin E http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitamin_e.html The discovery of vitamin E therapy for heart disease: http://www.doctoryourself.com/estory.htm Angina http://www.doctoryourself.com/angina.html Congestive Heart Failure http://www.doctoryourself.com/congestive.html Smoking http://www.doctoryourself.com/tobacco.html
CANCER An overview of natural cancer treatments: http://www.doctoryourself.com/cancer_2.html Specific adjunctive treatment suggestions: http://www.doctoryourself.com/cancer.html Dr. Abram Hoffer's comments on megavitamin cancer therapy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/cancer_hoffer.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_cancer_2.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_vitc_can.html
Dr. Hugh D. Riordan's use of vitamin C as chemotherapy for cancer: http://www.doctoryourself.com/riordan2.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/riordan1.html
How to arrange a vitamin C IV for a patient: http://www.doctoryourself.com/strategies.html
Safety of vitamin therapy used along with conventional chemotherapy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/chemo.html
Important reading on the Gerson cancer therapy: http://www.doctoryourself.com/gersontherapy.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/gersonbio.htm
A POUND OF PREVENTION is worth a ton of cure. The very best way to deal with cancer and heart disease is to prevent them. In addition to taking your vitamins and eating a near- vegetarian diet, try:
THE "DOCTOR YOURSELF" SEVEN-POINT, TWO-MINUTE HEALTH CHECK-UP
1) Look in the kitchen sink. The fewer greasy pots and pans you see, the more complex carbohydrates you are eating. If there are very few dishes, the more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables you are eating. This presupposes that you are not merely living on junk food, so after this,
2) Look in the kitchen wastebasket. The fewer wrappers, plastic packages and paper boxes you see, the less "convenience food" in your diet.
3) Look at your compost pile. The bigger, the better. How I garden, the cheap and easy way: http://www.doctoryourself.com/aphids.html More helpful hints: http://www.doctoryourself.com/organic_garden.html
4) Look at your multivitamin bottle. Vitamins C, E and the B- complex should be provided in much, much larger than RDA quantities. What amounts do I personally take every day? http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulslurry.html
5) Look at the bathroom scale, with you on it. I do not have to tell you what to do next, now, do I. I do? Well, OK: http://www.doctoryourself.com/dieting.html http://www.doctoryourself.com/weight_loss.html
6) My high school Phys Ed teacher told me a long time ago that the single, simplest test of a person's physical fitness is to see if they can touch their toes. Can you? If not, refer to links in item 4, above.
7) When you look in a full-length mirror, and turn yourself sideways. If your posture droops, straighten up and fly right. Corrective hints at http://www.doctoryourself.com/exercise_avoid.html and http://www.doctoryourself.com/backache.html
IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY that this photo was taken of yours truly. It will take a while to load, but you may enjoy such a blast from the past. http://www.doctoryourself.com/authorphoto.htm
WORST ELEPHANT JOKE EVER: It seems that this elephant woke up one morning with a very stuffy nose. Now to an elephant, a congested nose seems truly life threatening. So, the elephant gave away all his possessions, made funeral arrangements, and then went to a naturopathic doctor expecting to hear the worst. The doctor said, "Relax, you'll get better in a few days." That goes to show that just because your trunk is packed doesn't mean you're ready to go.
(adapted from Peter Shickele, aka PDQ Bach, in The Carnival of the Animals)
DOCTOR YOURSELF WEBSITE OF THE MONTH For a visually appealing and well-referenced how-to guide to avoid cardiovascular disease, I recommend http://www.health-heart.org . The site is thorough and non- commercial. The more I use it, the more I appreciate it.
NEW YORK TIMES HEALTH WRITER UNFAIRLY ATTACKS HIGH-DOSE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS by Bill Sardi www.askbillsardi.com
In a scurrilous and misdirected report on vitamin supplements published in the New York Times April 29, 2003 ("Vitamins: More May Be Too Many"), Gina Kolata writes that vitamin supplements cannot correct a poor diet, multivitamins have not been shown to prevent any disease, and it is easy to overdose on vitamins and minerals to the point where they actually cause diseases rather than prevent them.
Kolata says, "no longer are experts concerned about vitamin deficits," which she says "are almost unheard of today." Kolata errantly claims, "even with the population eating less than ideal diets," that the "concern is with the dangers of vitamin excess." But in fact, data published by the Poison Control Centers of America reveal that vitamin supplements are extremely safe.
And vitamin deficiencies are rampant.
> 8 in 10 Americans are deficient in magnesium which leads to an array of muscle spasm disorders including sudden-death heart attack.
> Over 4 in 10 Americans are deficient in vitamin D which is associated with weakened bones, high blood pressure and poor immunity.
> About 4 in 10 Americans experience symptoms of short-term memory loss, fatigue, sore tongue and burning feet from a deficiency of vitamin B12.
> A significant percentage of the population does not consume adequate amounts of folic acid, a B vitamin, with shortages associated with symptoms of mental depression, blood vessel disease, colon cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Kolata cites Dr. Benjamin Caballero, a member of the Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academy of Sciences and the director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins University, who claims the "difference between the recommended dose (of vitamin A) and a dose that could lead to bad outcomes like osteoporosis" was not large, so it may be easy for consumers to overdose. But the study which claims too much vitamin A can lead to accelerated bone loss was conducted in a Scandinavian country where natural vitamin D levels are minimal due to lack of sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is required for proper absorption of calcium, the primary mineral found in bones. It is more likely that a shortage of vitamin D was the problem, not vitamin A.
Are high-dose vitamins really toxic?
A chart published in the New York Times gives the false impression that 500 milligrams of vitamin C could be potentially toxic. To the contrary, this is the amount of vitamin C that was found to help reduce high blood pressure. Other reports show that vitamin C prevents cataracts. A widely published 1992 UCLA study showed that vitamin C extended the human life span by six years, which is more than can be accomplished by regular physical exercise or cholesterol reduction.
The false impression that high-dose vitamin C is somehow toxic is beyond plausibility since humans once produced their own natural vitamin C, at least 2,000 to 13,000 milligrams a day. A genetic mutation that occurred somewhere back in human history stopped the production of an enzyme required for the conversion of circulating sugars into vitamin C. How could high- dose vitamin C be toxic when most animals today produce thousands of milligrams per day?
What about the AMA's recommendation to take vitamins?
A recent study indicates the consumption of fruits and vegetables by Americans is down by 14 percent despite massive public education efforts to consume more plant foods. Even when Americans consume vegetables, among the most- often consumed plant foods are iceberg lettuce and French fries, which are nutritionally worthless. The American Medical Association recently published a landmark report which recommended mutivitamins for the population at large. The AMA report was never mentioned by Kolata.
(Thanks to Bill Sardi for permission to use his fine rebuttal. My own commentary on "Vitamin Bashing" articles is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/antivitamin.html . An excellent article on the subject by Dr. Abram Hoffer is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_factoids.html )
OUR PHARMOPHILIC (Drug Lovin') NEWS MEDIA Well, you can pretty much count on the media to slam supplements. And, of course, they manage to remain just as keen as ever to report the latest in REALLY VALUABLE, life- saving nutritional news.
Here is a modest example:
ALL KINDS OF MARSHMALLOWS REMAIN TAX-FREE IN NEW YORK
The Associated Press reported (May 12, 2003) that marshmallows and "Marshmallow Fluff" will not be subject to state sales tax.
Golly, THAT'S good news! Verily a balanced State budget looms large in our near future. Or not. Here's a portion of the article for your edification and amazement.
"Shoppers jamming supermarket aisles for a bag of large, puffy marshmallows to roast around a campfire or a container of Marshmallow Fluff to make a sandwich are in for a real treat - both items remain tax-free in New York.
"Though few, if any, consumers took notice, the (New York Governor) Pataki administration has just extended the tax-free status of big marshmallows.
"Up until five years ago, big marshmallows were subject to sales tax because they were considered candy. Mini- marshmallows and "Marshmallow Fluff," on the other hand, were exempt from sales tax since they were classified as food.
"In 1998, the state Department of Taxation and Finance sought a more uniform treatment of all types of marshmallows and revised its tax laws to repeal the levy on large marshmallows.
"But the issue of whether big marshmallows are candy or food continues to be debated every five years because of an act passed by the state Legislature that requires state agencies to review their regulations within that timeframe.
"Food merchant groups welcomed the news."
No doubt the majority of the dental profession will welcome this next item:
MERCURY IN TEETH "IS INCREASING POLLUTION" by Charles Clover, Environment Editor, The Weekly Telegraph (09/05/2003)
"A reduction in pollution from crematoriums has been ordered by the Government after a study found that emissions of mercury were rising fast because of the number of fillings in people's teeth."
(If that link does not come intact through in your email, try the Telegraph's main page ( http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk ) and do a search for "mercury.")
And from the 22 November 1998 Weekly Telegraph, something to cheer up morticians everywhere:
CREMATORIA STAFF FACE RISK FROM MERCURY IN TOOTH FILLINGS by Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent
"Mercury from dead people's tooth fillings is putting the public's health at risk because it is not destroyed during cremation, a study has shown. Concentrated levels of mercury were found in the hair of crematorium workers, an indication that it may be in their livers and kidneys. Previous research has found the chemical in the soil around crematoria. One of the researchers said that it is estimated that one crematorium emits almost 12 pounds of mercury every year. It has been known for some time that there are dangers for dental staff who work with mercury, which makes up 50 per cent of amalgam fillings.
"The Federation of British Cremation Authorities said that it was surprised by the report."
Yes, with the Doctor Yourself Newsletter, all the news that gives you a fit, or keeps you fit, we print.
That is a hard act to follow, but I can at least offer you this favorite line from one of my more offbeat high-school teachers:
"Two maggots were fighting in dead earnest."
Perhaps they were fighting because Ernest had amalgam fillings. After all, mercury poisoning is known to cause nervous irritability.
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