Posts filed under ‘Alternative Health Care News’

NEWS ALERT! Alternative Health Care Under Attack

A recent case in the news highlights how difficult it is becoming to obtain alternative care in the United States. Dr. James Michael Shortt (an M.D.) practicing longevity medicine in Greenville, South Carolina, has been sued by the relatives of a patient who died under his care, and may be indicted for murder. This situation was published by the Associated Press on January 1, 2005 in an article researched and written by Mr. Allen G. Breed. The information in the media concerning this case is very instructive if read with a discerning eye. First of all, Dr. Shortt is being sued because he administered a therapy that is outside “the standards of care of the medical profession.” This phrase is key. Another cause of action in the lawsuit was that Dr. Shortt had told the patient that her multiple sclerosis was caused by a bacteria or virus and that the organism(s) could be killed by hydrogen peroxide infusions. Finally, the coroner and pathologist who examined the patient attributed her death to “complications caused by the hydrogen peroxide infusion, which the pathologist said ‘had no legitimate use . . . in the medical literature.’” (www.quackwatch.com) Dr. Shortt consulted with the International Oxidative Medicine Association, which developed the regimens he used. The group found that Dr. Shortt had followed its “well-established” protocols. These protocols are clinically established in thousands of patients. (www.boston.com) An important point in this case was that the patient was also taking two pharmaceuticals (provided by her mainstream physician) which are routinely prescribed for the treatment of MS: Tegretol and Copaxone. The patient died from hemorrhage and multiple organ failure as a result of internal bleeding. (www.thestate.com) Let’s look for a moment at what hydrogen peroxide therapy might do and also at the side effects (from the Physicians’ Desk Reference) of Tegretol and Copaxane. The concern with infusing hydrogen peroxide is that it may cause convulsions, acute anemia and deadly gas emboli – essentially bubbles in the blood stream that stop the heart. Anemia is a loss of red blood cells that causes a lack of oxygen – not bleeding. The symptoms of anemia include: chills, fever, pain in the back and abdomen, prostration and shock. Also, if the cause is destruction of red blood cells (i.e., by the hydrogen peroxide), jaundice is evident – yellowing of the skin from accumulation of the breakdown products of hemoglobin in the tissues. (The Merck Manual) None of this is reported in this case. On the other hand, The Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) concerning Copaxone is quite interesting with regard to this case. Adverse reactions include “ecchymosis” – a fancy word for bruising, which is caused by bleeding into the tissues. During clinical trials, the drug was demonstrated to cause “pancytopenia” – which means suppression of all blood elements, including platelets – and “hematemesis” – which means throwing up blood because of bleeding in the stomach! The manufacturers postmarketing experience indicates that the following problems have been reported: “thrombosis” – i.e., blood clotting; and “thrombocytopenia” – which is suppression of platelet production leading to bleeding. Yet, the PDR makes the following two—to me, unbelievable – statements: 1) These reactions “may have or not have causal relationship to the drug” and 2) “Data collected during premarketing development do not suggest the need for routine laboratory monitoring.” Well, I suppose if you don’t monitor, you can’t be blamed for adverse reactions! (By the way, that’s the exact charge made against Dr. Shortt; he didn’t perform lab tests after the patient complained!) Now, Tegretol, which is even more interesting. In a large box, all in caps, immediately beneath the name of the drug and before any prescribing information is given, is the title ‘WARNING.” It goes on to state that the risk of developing both aplastic anemia (an inability of the body to produce red blood cells) and agranulocytosis (a decrease in the white blood cells that fight bacterial infections) is 5 – 8 times greater in patients receiving Tegretol than in the general population. The last sentence is as follows: “IF A PATIENT IN THE COURSE OF TREATMENT EXHIBITS LOW OR DECREASED WHITE BLOOD CELL OR PLATELET COUNTS, THE PATIENT SHOULD BE MONITORED CLOSELY. DISCONTINUATION OF THE DRUG SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IF ANY EVIDENCE OF SIGNIFICANT BONE MARROW DEPRESSION DEVELOPS.” And, as if this were not enough, the next entry in the PDR – in bold face type, no less – states, “Before prescribing Tegretol, the physician should be thoroughly familiar with the details of this prescribing information, particularly regarding the use with other drugs, especially those which accentuate toxicity potential.” (PDR) Copaxane, anyone? A further warning is given in the Adverse Reaction section pertaining to Tegretol in the PDR: “Multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions occuring days to weeks or months after initiating treatment have been reported in rare cases. Signs or symptoms may include, but are not limited to fever, skin rashes, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), . . . leukopenia. . . hepato-splenomegaly and abnormal liver function tests. … Various organs, including but not limited to, liver, skin, immune system, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, myocardium and colon may be affected. . . ” (PDR) Multiple organ failure anyone? This statement also invalidates the Richland County forensic pathologist Clay Nichols’ remark that the patient had been on both drugs for more than a year ‘with no adverse effects.’” (www.boston.com, Assoc.Press) Even more interesting (appalling?) is the fact that Tegretol is not proven in the treatment of MS!! The controlled clinical studies have been done with seizures and trigeminal neuralgia. MS isn’t even mentioned, so this is an off-label use. Yet, the Coroner Gary Watts attributed her death to the hydrogen peroxide administered by Dr. Shortt and labeled her death a homicide. (www.thestate.com) This is an egregious case of persecuting alternative care practitioners. There are several factors involved:

  1. The legal establishment makes the assumption that the medical profession has proven treatments and, more importantly, the only legal treatments for conditions of human health. If you’ve been following the news, you know how fallacious this is. Vioxx is only the latest example of a substance, approved for use, that has proven to be life-threatening. I predict that we will soon have another scandal in the news – statins and the way in which they cause heart failure.
  2. The medical profession uses its peer review process to decide what information and research enters the public realm. Any information that is outside the medical paradigm (read alternative therapies) is systematically shut out by peer review and never gets published in medically accepted journals. I can give you hundreds of references documenting the link between Lyme disease and over 350 chronic health conditions. But, the medical profession chooses to selectively ignore them.
  3. Most of the research in the United States is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Natural remedies, which cannot be patented, provide no profit incentive to the pharmaceutical houses and are, therefore, ignored – even though they are safer in many cases than the approved drugs.
  4. There are a wide variety of conditions for which the medical profession has no etiology. MS is one. There is research showing that many of these conditions are linked to the Lyme disease parasite; however, the medical profession is busy pretending that wide spread Lyme disease doesn’t exist, despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary. MS has been specifically linked to the Lyme organism (for example, Fallon BA, Kochevar JM, Gaito A., Nields JA, “The Underdiagnosis of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease in children and adults,” Psych Clin North Am., 1998, Sep;21(3):693-703. From the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York. The abstract specifically references the connection between Lyme Disease and multiple sclerosis.)

I personally believe that the medical profession is fighting for its credibility, because there are so many conditions for which they have no effective treatment. Whenever possible, the full weight of the medical board and the legal system is brought to bear on any medical practitioner who dares to buck the system. Dr. Shortt is only the latest in a long line of distinguished predecessors. The only solution that I can see is that the public become informed about what is going on and start a grass roots movement to oppose this entrenched power grab. Your health and your health care freedom depend upon it.

January 9, 2005 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

SHORTAGE OF INFLUENZA VACCINE

Are you concerned about the ramifications of the flu vaccine shortage for you and your family? If so, read on.Influenza viruses (strains A, B and C) are members of the Orthomyxovirus family. They are encapsulated viruses; i.e., they are covered with a lipid (fatty) coating.

This is exciting, because it means the virus is accessible to treatment utilizing high quality St. John’s Wort (SJW). Several studies have been done on a variety of encapsulated viruses, including herpes simples virus types 1 and 2, parainfluenza virus, vaccinia virus, cytomegalovirus and several retroviruses, including HIV (see the St John’s Wort article on my blog for references). Non-encapsulated viruses or “naked” viruses were also studied for comparison purposes. SJW was a potent anti-viral agent across a variety of encapsulated virus families, but showed no activity against naked viruses.

As you may be aware, a vaccine must be specific to each organism. With influenza virus this represents quite a challenge, because there is no way to know which strain will circulate in the coming year. Since it takes many months to cultivate the vaccine, authorities make an “educated guess” each year as to which strains to grow to produce the vaccine.

By contrast, SJW is active against all encapsulated viruses by a variety of biochemical mechanisms. Since it is active against ALL encapsulated viruses, the added plus is that you and your family will find it valuable for West Nile Virus, the ENTIRE Herpes family (including shingles, chickenpox, Epstein Barr and oral and genital herpes), hepatitis B (but not A), Rubella (i.e., German measles), respiratory syncytial disease, measles, parainfluenza, and rabies. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!! And, without any of the potential side effects of the flu vaccine.

Side effects, you say? What might those be? Well, they include Guillan-Barre` Syndrome, which is a demylinating disease (it strips your nerves of their coating, making them non-functional) of the peripheral nervous system. This means you only become paralyzed and stop breathing! If diagnosed in time, you can survive with respiratory support until your nerves recover. This can take several months to more than a year. Merck Manual

To me, of more concern is the study that analyzed a decade of influenza vaccine recipients and found that a person who had received 5 consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 had a ten-fold increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, compared to those getting no shots. (National Vaccine Information Center, Sept 1997). This statistic is frightening, because of its implications for quality of life. And, the target population for flu vaccine is the very young and the elderly!
If you choose to use SJW, the prophylactic dose is 2 per day. If for some reason, you develop a mild case of the illness, the dose increases to 2, three times per day. (These are adult doses; children’s doses need to be adjusted based upon body weight.)

The only SJW I recommend is high quality, pharmaceutical grade SJW produced by Medi-Herb (an Australian company which is regulated under pharmaceutical manufacturing requirements). Quality is critical, since the level of hypericin and pseudohypericin are key, and maintaining the phytochemical integrity of the whole plant is a necessity. These active ingredients degrade on store shelves. In an independent analysis of 3 products (all of which were certified to contain 0.3% hypericin}, the products were shown to be widely variant with one product 25% below label claims.

Medi-Herb St. John’s Wort can be obtained from health care practitioners who stock Standard Process products, including chiropractors, accupuncturists and veterinarians. You can contact my clinic, and we can ship it to you with a credit card order.

October 25, 2004 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

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