Friday, January 31, 2014

Is Your Medication Making You Sick?

Is Your Medication Making You Sick?

Suzy-Cohen-1-150x111Dear Pharmacist,
You said that some drugs are related to fluoride and may cause hypothyroidism or other diseases of the reproductive tract. Which medications and why? –D.L., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Answer:  Shocking I know! Some of the most popular medications in the world are “fluorinated” meaning they were created using a backbone of fluoride, the same fluoride used in toothpaste, insecticides and some supplements .

The situation with fluoride is that it competes with iodine in your body. It tricks the cell into thinking it is iodine because it looks similar. Once enough fluorine atoms hook onto your cell, you become iodine deficienct. That could make you thyroid deficient because your thyroid gland cannot produce any thyroid hormone without iodine! Iodine protects your male and female reproductive organs, like your breasts, uterus, ovaries, prostate, testicles and all your private parts.

When you take a fluorine-containing drug, I worry that you will become deficient in other minerals, especially iodine. You may become fluoride toxic. I’m not saying drugs cause illness in your private parts, though they could, but really, it’s the drug mugging effect of fluoride-based medications that could raise risk for iodine deficiency. Chronic fluoride ingestion could spell side effects, which unfortunately won’t get spotted as a “side effect,” rather they will be diagnosed as some new disease that you don’t authentically have. Many practitioners and patients have no idea their medication contains so much fluoride-related compounds.

I’m a pro at the drug nutrient depletion effect, what I call “drug mugging” so I am happy to empower you with this information.  You can ask your doctor if you need to continue your medication or if you can switch drugs to something in the same therapeutic category that is not fluorinated. Never suddenly stop taking a medication because some cause dangerous withdrawal reactions, in particular antidepressants. If you have to take your medication, then you can evaluate your iodine status with a 24-hour urine analysis.  If it’s low, you may want to supplement. Now, here are some popular fluorinated drugs:

Some statin cholesterol drugs such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol)

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and levofloxacin (Levaquin) implicated with dangerous “floxing.”

The antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro).

The popular antifungal fluconazole (Diflucan)

Steroids like dexamethasone (Decadron), fluticasone (Flonase) and flunisolide (Nasarel and Nasalide)

The medication used for major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder called fluvoxamine (Luvox)

The infamous drug midazolam (Versed) which was implicated in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson. It’s commonly used to relieve anxiety and induce drowsiness before surgery.

The symptoms of fluoride overload are too numerous to mention here, they include problems with hormones, thyroid, sexual organs, the heart, nervous system and GI tract. Do you think you have fluorine overload or iodine deficiency? It’s a possibility if you take a fluorinated drug. If you liked this article please sign up online, for my weekly newsletter because I am constantly writing about drug mugging and how to protect yourself.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What Is Causing the Asthma Epidemic?

What Is Causing the Asthma Epidemic?

In the United States, asthma cases have increased by more than 60 percent since the early 1980s, and asthma-related deaths have doubled to 5,000 a year. What is causing the asthma epidemic and what can we do to stem the tide? A recent series of articles in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) delves into this question and offers advice from doctors of chiropractic and allergists who have helped control asthma symptoms in many patients.

People in their 30s and older can remember that when they were young, it was very unusual for even one child in school to have asthma. Schoolchildren now often know several kids with asthma in a single class. The rapid increase in the number of young people with asthma was brought home to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) Council on Occupational Health, when he went to a football game with his 13-year-old son: "Someone on the field had a breathing problem. It was hard to see whose son it was, and 15 parents ran to the field with inhalers."

So far, researchers don't know why cases of asthma are increasing at such an alarming rate. They hypothesize that a combination of genetics and some non-hereditary factors — such as increased environmental exposure to potential allergens — play a role. "Thirty years ago, Windex was the only cleaning solvent used by a few people. Now, we have a special cleaning solvent for every object," says Dr. Bautch. "In addition, furniture and carpets are produced with formaldehyde as a preservative, and people breathe it," he says.

Decreased air quality is coupled with the allergy-friendly modern house design, says Dr. William E. Walsh, MD, FACC, an allergist practicing in Minnesota: "Fifty years ago we lived in old, drafty houses, and the breeze dried and freshened the air, and cleared out mold and other allergens. Nowadays, our super-insulated houses don't breathe adequately. Making basements into a living space increases mold exposure because mold grows in any basement."

Food has become another source of exposure to allergens. "Food manufacturers put more preservatives in foods now to store them longer," says Dr. Bautch. Researchers hypothesize that an increase in vaccinations, cesarean births, and antibiotic intake may be playing a role, too.

Asthma is a chronic disease; it can't be cured—only controlled. For best treatment results, both the primary care physician and an asthma specialist, such as an allergist or pulmonologist, should be involved. According to experts interviewed for the article, the treatment program, in addition to medication intake, should include reducing exposure to the substances that induce acute episodes and identifying specific allergens that affect the patient.

Allergens aren't the only culprit. Stress factors—such as moving to a new home, or changing jobs—may induce or aggravate asthma attacks. Even emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, hard crying, or laughing can cause an attack as well. To reduce the patient's stress level and improve the patient's quality of life, alternative treatments should be incorporated into the treatment program. Various relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and stress management, as well as massage, chiropractic manipulation, breathing exercises, and acupuncture can be helpful.

A multi-site clinical trial on chiropractic management of asthma is underway in Australia. "The preliminary data are very encouraging. Chiropractic patients are showing decreases in physical asthma symptoms and cortisol levels," says Dr. Anthony Rosner, former director of education and research for the Foundation of Chiropractic Education and Research.

"Doctors of chiropractic can give a full-scale evaluation to asthma patients; assess their physical and neurological status, their lifestyle, diet, and stressors; and help the patients increase motor coordination, and improve the work of respiratory and gut muscles to increase the quality of life," says Dr. Gail Henry, a chiropractic neurologist, who practices in Houston, Texas. "Doctors of chiropractic can be a great addition to the healthcare team treating the asthma patient."

Asthma experts offer the following tips for asthma patients:
  • Use air filters to help clean air in your home.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with dust covers and use hypoallergenic bed clothing to reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • If your condition is getting worse, get checked for viral respiratory infections and different medical conditions, such as flu, rhinitis, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux. When those are treated and eliminated, asthma symptoms improve. Endocrine factors, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and thyroid disease, may exacerbate asthma, as well.
  • Some medications—aspirin; beta-blockers, including eye drops; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.—can also precipitate or aggravate asthma symptoms.
  • If your asthma is exercise-induced, an individually prescribed exercise program carefully chosen under the guidance of your primary health care provider or doctor of chiropractic should be incorporated into the treatment plan.
  • Avoid sulfites or monosodium glutamate (MSG) in foods. Since both additives are used in a wide variety of foods, carefully read processed food labels and choose MSG-free foods when eating out.
  • Choose a more vegetarian-type diet. Animal proteins found in meat include arachidonic acid—a precursor for inflammation.
  • Include foods with omega-3 fatty acids in the diet—such as fish or fish oil.
  • Supplement with vitamin C, which helps reduce allergic reactions and wheezing symptoms.
  • To reduce stress in your children, spend quality time with them and limit their exposure to TV programs that include violence.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

A note on nutritional supplements

A note on nutritional supplements: 

Not all supplements are created equally.  There is an enormous amount of technical biochemical information that goes into evaluating a dietary supplement.  To put it simply, most direct to consumer products are of poor quality and have no therapeutic effect in a clinical setting.  Keep in mind that the FDA does not regulate the production of dietary supplements therefore companies can and do produce products that do not always contain what is on the label.  This clinic uses only pharmaceutical grade, independent laboratory tested products which have been scrutinized by Dr. Lund for information about bio-availability, biochemical form, quality control, absorption, dosing, etc.  These factors are vital for achieving optimal clinical results.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Insomnia Solution

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
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If you suffer from insomnia then you understand the seriousness of simply not getting a good night's sleep. Your whole world around you appears to crumble when you can't get a good 6-8 hours of quality deep REM sleep. Your work life, your family life all suffer.
Today's article will touch on a few "key" things to consider to solve insomnia.
To begin remember that the awakening after a few hours of sleep and not being able to get back to sleep is often rebound from what you ate or drank hours before. High sugar, alcohol, highly spiced foods and of course, caffeinated drinks are often the culprits.
If you are unknowingly deficient in chromium, vanadium, manganese and other nutrients you can experience hypoglycemic rebound in a few hours where you abruptly wake-up and are unable to drift back to sleep.
Let's now consider something called the “happy hormones” that lead to a restful sleep.
One of these hormones is serotonin, which anti-depressants like Prozac work on.
We make serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan.
Unfortunately as we age or faced with an overload of stress the level of serotonin suffers.
Dozens of studies show that low tryptophan levels lead to insomnia, awakening feeling unrested, inability to stay asleep after getting there, and just lying there all night watching the clock.
For over a quarter of a century literally dozens of studies have proven this amino produces a great sleep in many, and with no side effects or hangover. In fact, folks have better mental clarity during the day. Furthermore, it improves daytime depression, PMS, fibromyalgia, and anxiety as well as carbohydrate cravings, binge-eating and even alcohol recovery.
Now from a functional medicine position it is important to know that a simple B6 or zinc deficiency can contribute to insomnia. A common vitamin B6 deficiency can keep you awake all night, or low zinc causing impaired conversion of B6, which is needed to make tryptophan work.
If you have an elevated organic acid, kynurenate acid, for example, and a low tryptophan, the correction of B6 may be all you need.
Now don't forget plasticizers in our bodies lower zinc which is needed in the enzyme to convert B6 to its active form so it can then transform tryptophan to a serotonin.
I am disappointed with the number of people suffering with insomnia who could be helped if only their physician understood the significance of nutritional biochemistry.
It comes down to finding the cause of the cause.
Remember that as important as serotonin is for sleep and moods, most of serotonin is not made in the brain.
Ninety five percent of serotonin is made in the gut.
If the gut isn't healthy, then you are going nowhere. If you have gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea or constipation or other gut issues than your chances of solving your insomnia problem may be futile until you fix your gut.
The secret is to find a doctor who understands the probable underlying causes of insomnia and knows how to do the proper testing to discover what needs to be fixed.
It really can be as simple as that.


Schmidt HS, L-tryptophan in the treatment of impaired respiration in sleep, Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir, 19; 6:625-9, 1983

Demisch K, et al, Treatment of severe chronic insomnia with Ltryptophan: results of a double-blind cross-over study, Pharmocopsychiatry, 20; 6:242-4, 1987

Hartmann E, Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep, J Psychiatr Res, 17; 2:1-7-13, 1982

Ashley DV, et al, Evidence for diminished brain 5-hydroxytrptamine biosynthesis in obese diabetic and non-diabetic humans, Am J Clin Nutr, 42; 6:1240-5, 1985

Riemann D, et al, The tryptophan depletion test: impact on sleep in primary insomnia - a pilot study, Psychiatry Res, 109; 2:129-35, 2002

Schneider-Helmert D, et al, Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review, Psychopharmacol (Berl), 89; 1:1-7, 1986

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New study shows gluten and dairy cause brain autoimmunity

New study shows gluten and dairy cause brain autoimmunity

Kharrazian-Vojdani-gluten-dairy-brain-autoimmunityA new study shows a significant portion of the US population not only reacts to gluten and dairy but also that this reaction causes the immune system to destroy brain and nervous tissue in a scenario called neurological autoimmunity (as evidenced by positive tissue antibodies). With the explosion of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, childhood development disorders, and other brain disorders happening today, these findings confirm what many clinicians have already seen in their practice: removing gluten and dairy from the diet has a profoundly positive impact on brain health in many people. The study was conducted by world-renowned immunologist Aristo Vojdani, PhD and I had the privilege of serving as a study co-author, working under his guidance and learning how to conduct immunological research in his Los Angeles laboratory.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Acid Blockers: Are they worth it?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

You can't open a magazine these days or watch television without seeing an ad for "the purple pill", Nexium. The original purple pill, Prilosec, was the number one selling prescription drug in 2001.
Both Nexium and Prilosec are what we call proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Prilosec is the original proton pump inhibitor that functions by disabling the protein in your stomach that pumps hydrogen ions (H+ ions) into gastric juices. Basically the PPIs can increase the pH of the stomach from 1 to 5. That means acid production is effectively ceased by these drugs.  
When the patent for prilosec expired, Nexium was introduced with much fanfare. The FDA approval was based on the argument that Nexium was more effective than Prilosec.
Now for the chemistry trivia: Nexium is exactly the same molecule as Prilosec!
To understand the relationship between Nexium and Prilosec let me review a little chemistry. First, prilosec or omeprazole as it is known generically, is a racemic compound. You need to know that many organic molecules come in mirror-pairs. The molecules have exactly the same structure, but are mirror images of each other. Your hands are a good example of this kind of mirror pairing, and in fact the chemical term describing this phenomenon, chirality, comes from the Greek for hand.
That means it is a combination of two chemically identical compounds but one has a different chirality, or handedness, from the other. It just so happens that one of the handed molecules (or as they call it in chemistry, enantiomers) in prilosec is the active drug, and the other enantiomeris inert.
It does nothing.

Amazing isn't it?
That just changing a molecule to its mirror reflection can make it so a drug is effective or totally worthless. 
Again the only active ingredient in Nexium is the exact same thing as the only active ingredient in omeprazole (Prilosec), a (now) generic drug made by the same company, which is over the counter and four to eight times cheaper.
AstraZeneca (the drug company that makes Nexium and Prilosec) just figured out how to purify out the active component from omeprazole.  
Therefore anyone prescribing Nexium is totally missing the basic chemistry of the drug that he is prescribing, because there's absolutely no financial reason to use it.
For pricey Nexium is nothing more than OTC (over-the-counter) Prilosec!

What is the Problem with PPIs?

Both Nexium and Prilosec stop the stomach cells from producing acid needed to digest food, promote nutrient absorption and kill unwanted bugs.

Stopping the pain associated with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) may be a temporary blessing for the one suffering with this condition. But I ask, at what cost to one's overall health?

You see, these drugs act as fertilizer for everyday bugs that then go on to raise havoc. When prescribed for hospitalized patients, they increase pneumonia 30%. Unfortunately, this is what lots of people die from once they end up in the hospital.

PPIs have been found to decrease magnesium in the human body to a point that not even high oral doses of magnesium can correct it.

If you have read any of my past articles you will know that there is overwhelming evidence that magnesium deficiency can create Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, chronic back spasms mimicking a ruptured disc, depression, seizures, and more.

It is important to mention that Nexium and Prilosec by stopping the acid secretion in your stomach, inhibit the absorption of nutrients that then lead to new diseases, but also then kill the acid needed to fight off fungi like Candida (which can destroy the t;hyroid gland and heart), as well as bacterial H. pylori overgrowth (that can then create coronary artery plaque and heart attacks).

Worse, acid inhibitors counteract medications like Plavix (clopidogrel) which are prescribed to decrease unwanted clotting. So physicians may be unknowingly propelling the patient toward a heart attack, even though the FDA quietly warned about acid inhibitors canceling out the effects of Plavix years ago.

The goal with all patients is to seek to identify the root cause(s) of the disease entity. The same goes for GERD. There are a number of underlying issues which should be considered when seeking to help patients suffering with GERD. This is the power of functional medicine!

One novel alternative to PPIs is D-Limonene.

Thongon N, et al, Omeprazole decreases magnesium transport across Caco-2 monolayers, World J Gastroent, 17; 12:1574-83, March 28, 2011
Epstein M., et al., Proton-pump inhibitors and hypomagnesemic hyperparathyroidism, New Engl J Med, 355:18 34-36, 2006
Shabajee N, et al, Omeprazole and refractory hypomagnesemia, Brit Med J 337:80 425, 2008
Cundy T, ey al, Severe hypomagnesemia in long-term users of proton-pump inhibitors, Clin Endocrinol (Oxford) 69:338-41,
Broeren MA, et al, Hypo-magnesemia induced by several proton- pump inhibitors, Ann Intern Med 151:755-6, 2009
Durlach j, Magnesium depletion and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, Magnes Res 3:217-18, 1990
Rude RK, et al., Magnesium deficiency and osteoporosis: animal and human observations, J Nutr Biochem 15:710-16, 2004
Touyz RM, Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis of hypertension, Mol Aspects Med 24:107-36, 2003
Ho PM, et at, Risk of adverse outcomes associated with concomitant use of clopidogrel and proton pump inhibitors following acute coronary syndrome, J Am Med Assoc 301:937-44, 2009
Sibbing D, et at. Effect of proton pump inhibitors on the antiplatelet effects of ctopidogrel,Thromb Haemost 101:714-9, 2009
Dunn SP. et at, Baseline proton pump inhibitor use is associated with increased cardiovascular events with and without the use of clopidogrel in the CRDEO trial, Circulation 118: S8I5, abst. 2008
Gilard M. et at. Influence of omeprazole on the antiplatelet action of clopidogrel associated with aspirin: the randomized, double-blind OCLA (Omeprazole CLopidogrel Aspirin) study, J Am Coll Cardiol 51:256-60, 2008

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. to find practitioners thoroughly trained in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP).  
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