Written by Frank J. King Jr., N.D., D.C.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 10:02
An estimated 35 million people in the U.S. have sinus problems or sinusitis. Sinusitis refers to any kind of inflammation or irritation of the sinuses. Acute sinusitis commonly follows a cold or allergies and can last for up to three weeks, at which time it becomes defined as chronic.
Homeopathy helps naturally overcome the underlying causes of sinus and allergy symptoms, with no side effects, while the patient stays fresh and alert. It can provide fast and easy results for both acute and chronic sinusitis.
Homeopathy activates our inner healing resources as it works bio-energetically upon the nervous system to quickly correct nerve interferences where the hands of the chiropractor cannot. Results can commonly occur as quickly as thirty seconds to three minutes. More resistant cases may take a few days, particularly if the symptoms have been present for months or years. The time it takes to naturally overcome symptoms may vary according to the overall health picture of an individual.
The most common symptoms of sinusitis are:
• pain in only one area, especially in the face or behind the eyes
• the sudden start of pain
• mucus-congestion in the nose
• indigestion due to mucus overload
• frequent and sometimes severe headaches
• pressure in the head that may be intense
• runny nose and inflamed nasal passages
• post-nasal drip with discharge
• sore throat
• loss of smell and taste
• bad breath from low grade infection
There are many official homeopathic remedies that are regularly used to activate the body’s ability to overcome the debilitating symptoms of sinusitis and allergies. Some of the most universal homeopathic remedies used for relief of sinus congestion, headaches and sinus pressure associated with sinusitis, hay fever or upper respiratory allergies include (but are not limited to) the following:
Apis Bellifica (Honey Bee) acts on mucous membranes and relieves heavy sensations in the back of the head as well as red, swollen, and burning, puffy eyelids. It helps with swelling in the nose and face, as well as with the pain. As you might imagine, this will also help clear the brain and raise energy levels.
Baptisia Tinctoria (Wild Indigo) is useful for foreheads that feel tight along with eyeballs and brains that feel sore. It helps when eyelids feel heavy and sleepy or when there is confusion, a swimming feeling, vertigo and stupor. It helps alleviate pressure at the root of the nose.
Coloeyathis (Bitter Cucumber) is great for frontal headaches, pain in eyeballs and facial pressure. It relieves the sharp, boring pressure in the eyes. It also relieves tearing, shooting pain and swelling of face.
Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum (Calcium Sulphide) centers its action on sore nostrils, sneezing and running nose, inflamed and painful eyes and eyelids, pain in right temple and root of nose, and throbbing in the ears. It is good for sinuses that have pus forming, as well as for pain in bones of the face.
Histaminum is for dryness in the mucus membranes. It is also helpful for "heavy" headaches that spread down the front and back of the head into the temples and the nape of the neck.
Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) centers its action on mucous membranes. It is excellent for relief of profuse nasal discharge and hawking up mucous. It relieves muscle pain in scalp and neck, as well as dull, pressing frontal head pain.
Ignatis Amara (St. Ignatius Bean) is a powerful remedy for pounding headaches and congestive headaches, and relieves the cramp-like pain over the root of the nose and pain about the eyes and eyelids. It relieves sore throats, stitches between swallowing, and tonsils that are inflamed and swollen, as well as dry, spasmodic coughs.
Kali Bichromicum (Bichromate of Potash) is useful for vertigo with nausea when rising, for headaches over eyebrows preceded by blurred vision, frontal pain over one eye and soreness of scalp. It also relieves pressure and pain at root of nose, sticking pain in nose, thick and profuse discharge, inflammation extending to frontal sinuses, hawking, inability to breathe through the nose, violent sneezing, and chronic inflammation of frontal sinus with a stopped-up sensation.
Lemna Minor (Duckweed) is effective for inflammation of the air passages of the head and throat, post-nasal dripping and pain from nostrils to ear. It also reduces nasal obstruction and dryness and helps restore the sense of smell.
Mercurius Vivus (Quicksilver) is a great remedy for every organ and tissue of the body. It provides relief from "band-feeling" around the head, one-sided tearing pains, scalp tension, much heat in the head, swollen and red eyelids, sticking pains in ears and much sneezing. It relieves aching in facial bones, nosebleed at night, vertigo and congestive headaches.
Pulsatilla (Wind Flower) relieves stitching about head and pains extending to face and teeth; itching, burning eyes; loss of smell and taste. It is helpful for nasal congestion and pressing pain at the root of the nose, as well as hearing difficulty and facial pain.
Rhus Toxicodendron (Poison Ivy) relieves heavy head, sensitive scalp, headache that is painful to touch, irritated or red and swollen eyes and painful ears, sneezing, sore nose, mucus discharge, bones sensitive to touch, facial pain, sore throat with swollen glands, and sticking pains in throat while swallowing.
Sabadilla (Cevadilla Seed) acts on the mucous membrane of the nose and hay fever symptoms. It relieves red and burning eyes, spasmodic sneezing, running nose, inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes and profuse discharge from the nostrils. It is also good for the relief of sore throat and phlegm, vertigo, oversensitivity to odors, heat in head and face, and hands and feet that feel icy cold with chill.
Thuja Occidentalis (Arbor Vitae) is a great remedy for inflammation of the ear marked by pain, fever, difficult hearing, tinnitus and vertigo. It is for chronic mucus discharge and dryness of nasal cavities, as well as painful pressure at the root of the nose.
Other homeopathic formulas may be necessary to address all the underlying causes. Homeopathy is based on the law of similars. Look for formulas that relate to your patients’ symptomatic patterns. In addition, there are homeopathic detox formulas that can be involved in chronic cases. Homeopathy can be safely and effectively combined with chiropractic, nutritional and herbal products and conventional drugs and procedures.
After 30 years of clinical practice and research in homeopathy, I have shifted away from the classical single remedy approach and become more a believer in properly formulated combinations and multi-potency homeopathic products.
Many new homeopathic formulas include multiple ingredients in a variety of strengths so that the user experiences a synergistic effect of the total formula. Use is far easier as well; traditional alcohol tinctures or sugar-based tablets do not afford the versatility of sprays and highly therapeutic value of both the oral and topical application. With a spray application, there is no opening or closing, spillage, measuring, or contamination, not to mention the ease of one-handed administration. Newer formulations take advantage of a pure, water base, making possible topical application, providing a more individualized protocol for patients. They may use the exact method of application (topical, oral, or both) to maximize therapeutic value.
Homeopathy works to activate the body’s natural innate ability to heal and maintain vibrant health within our bodies. Without the valuable components of homeopathy, other treatments (whether nutritional or conventional) may not correct the malfunctions within the energetic and metabolic control systems of our bodies. Homeopathy equips us to go beyond the parameters of the biochemical realm of life and correct interferences within the bioenergetic control systems of our body. It gives us the opportunity to experience unprecedented high levels of health and wellness.
Frank J. King Jr., ND, DC, is a nationally recognized researcher, author and lecturer on homeopathy. In addition, Dr. King is the founder and director of King Bio, an FDA registered homeopathic manufacturing company dedicated to completing chiropractic destiny with the marriage of homeopathy. These procedures can be used with any homeopathic company’s product line and are so easy you can apply them in one day. Call King Bio, Asheville, NC, 1-800-543-3245 or email
Written by Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:24
Doctors and their patients continue to search for the magic bullet that will cure fibromyalgia. Elavil, Klonopin, Flexeril, SSRI’s, Ambien, Neurontin, and Cymbalta have all, at one time or another, been promoted as the latest and greatest "new" drug for fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia drug du jour, Lyrica, has seemingly topped them all by becoming the first FDA approved drug for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Pfizer’s Lyrica, known generically as Pregabalin, is very similar to Neurotonin. Both are analogs of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). The two compounds share similar mechanisms of action, binding to the calcium channels, modulating calcium influx, and resulting in analgesic, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant activity. Lyrica provides equivalent efficacy at lower doses but, other than that, they’re very similar. A lower dose is supposed to mean fewer side effects, especially fatigue. But Lyrica, like Neurontin, has several unwanted side effects including somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like condition that may continue for a number of days), weight gain, edema (fluid retention), dizziness, weakness, fatigue, double vision, ataxia (lack of muscular coordination), thought disorder, possible long-term ophthalmic problems (abnormal eyeball movements and disorders), tremors, back pain, constipation, muscle aches, memory loss, asthenia (weakness), depression, abnormal thinking, itching, involuntary muscle twitching, serious rash, and runny nose.
Some say that Lyrica doesn’t work well enough to have warranted its FDA approval. In 2004, reviewers recommended against approving the drug, citing its side effects. But the FDA ignored the advice of Lyrica reviewers, and approved it anyway. Pfizer asked the FDA to expand the approved uses of Lyrica to include the treatment of fibromyalgia, and the agency did so in June 2007.
In clinical trials, patients taking Lyrica reported that their pain fell on average about two points on a ten-point scale, compared with one point for patients taking a placebo. Not a big deal, to say the least.
However, a minority of patients (roughly 30 percent) said their pain fell by at least half, compared with 15 percent in those taking a placebo. While a 50 percent reduction in pain is impressive, remember that it occurred in only three out of ten patients who took Lyrica. And three patients out of twenty got the same relief by taking a sugar pill. Still, for those who can’t get their pain under control, Lyrica is certainly an option.
On the bright side, Pfizer’s multi-million dollar PR campaign should help the public become more knowledgeable about fibromyalgia. Pfizer has wasted no time in promoting Lyrica for the treatment of fibromyalgia. During the first nine months of 2007, Pfizer spent $46 million on Lyrica ads. Following FDA approvals, online investment research forecaster Datamonitor had this to say about fibromyalgia, drug companies, and profit potential: "…foresees a dramatic rise in market value resulting from an upsurge in diagnosis and treatment rates. Estimated at $367m in 2006 in the US…the market is forecast to grow to $1.7 billion in 2016."
The antidepressant Cymbalta may become the next FDA approved drug for treating fibromyalgia. Cymbalta can be helpful and certainly has less potential side effects than Lyrica.
Looming on the horizon is the next "major" drug for fibromyalgia, Milnacipran. Milnacipran is similar to Effexor and Cymbalta—all three block the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. Milnacipran preferentially blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine with a higher potency (by 2:1) over serotonin. Everyone in the fibromyalgia community, myself included, welcomes any and all drugs that can provide long-term symptom relief with minimal side effects.
However, past history should temper our rush to embrace every new fad drug that promises to be the magic bullet for fibromyalgia. Too often, today’s mass marketed drug is tomorrow’s scourge—Vioxx, Bextra, Phen-Fen, Avandia, Baycol….
Doctors and researchers are still struggling to validate the cause of fibromyalgia. Why should we expect a magic bullet for such a complex syndrome? We shouldn’t.
Drugs can be helpful for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia but most have potential side effects that may create even more symptoms. And, unfortunately, most symptom relief is fleeting at best.
No one has an Ambien deficiency. The question should be, "Why can’t a person fall asleep on their own each night?" Perhaps, it’s from low melatonin (sleep hormone) levels. Some drugs, including NSAID’s (Mobic, Alleve, Celexa, etc.), antidepressants including Elavil, Trazadone, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, etc., and tranquilizers including Klonopin, Ativan, etc., decrease and eventually deplete the natural sleep-promoting hormone, melatonin. How many doctors ask their patients to try melatonin first?
Doctors routinely recommend selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) like Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. These drugs don’t make serotonin, instead they help a person hang onto and use their serotonin more effectively. These drugs can be helpful. But no one has a Prozac deficiency. And a meta-analysis of the research shows that antidepressants are no better than a sugar pill in up to 70 percent of the cases. And worse, they’re associated with numerous potential side effects including chronic muscle pain, mood disorders, brain fog, fatigue, and insomnia.
Doesn’t it make more sense to correct the serotonin deficiency by increasing the raw ingredients that make serotonin?
The natural amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP), which turns into serotonin, boosts melatonin levels (by 200 percent), helps promote deep restorative sleep, reduces pain, boosts moods, reduces anxiety, increases mental clarity, and reduces or eliminates irritable bowel syndrome.
I find I spend the bulk of my time educating my patients on the potential side effects of their medications. This exercise routinely yields some of the biggest health gains for my patients.
Anti-anxiety drugs like Klonopin and a number of other drugs, beta- blockers (Toprol, Inderal), certain antidepressants, and lipid lowering drugs can create a CoQ10 deficiency. A CoQ10 deficiency may then lead to muscle pain, nerve pain (tingling), depression, problems with memory, and fatigue. And, as each side effect raises its ugly head, another drug is recommended. More drugs, more side effects. I’m not anti-drugs, just anti wrong or unnecessary drugs.
I’m guessing that, if you knew you could beat fibromyalgia by taking the appropriate essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids), which don’t have the side effects associated with common drugs, you would. I’m also guessing that, if you knew more about the drugs you’re taking and their potential side effects, you’d be looking for safer options. Sharing this information has been my mission for over a decade.
Where to Start
1. Reestablishing optimal serotonin levels and deep restorative sleep is the first priority—preferably with 5HTP (and melatonin, if needed). Prescription drugs that do promote deep restorative sleep (Elavil, Trazadone, Ambien, Lunesta, and Flexeril) should be the last resort.
2. Adrenal fatigue is known to cause many of the same problems associated with CFS and FMS:
• a compromised immune system
• decreased sense of well-being (depression)
• muscle or joint pains.
Individuals with fibromyalgia don’t handle stress very well. Stress will make their symptoms worse and cause them to have flare-ups. Restoring proper adrenal function is a crucial step in building up a person’s stress-coping abilities. I recommend using adrenal cortex glandular supplements.
3. Taking an optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula with extra magnesium (natural muscle relaxant), high doses of B vitamins (forms proper brain chemicals), essential fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), and amino acids (makes pain blocking, mood elevating, energy boosting hormones) helps to shore up any nutritional deficiencies commonly found in fibromyalgia.
True nutritional therapies don’t offer a magic bullet either. But they do offer a safe, oftentimes, more effective long term approach for reversing fibromyalgia.
Rodger Murphree, D.C., has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder of, and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice, which was located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, and Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine. He can be reached at www.treatingandbeating.com, by email at
or call 1-205-879-2383.
Written by Lynn Toohey, D.C.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:18
Water is essential for life and we need to replenish our supply of it everyday. But what happens when that basic life force becomes a toxic assault? Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other chemicals pollute our water supplies, and now even "second-hand drugs" have hit the news and become a concern. In actuality, antibiotics, birth control pills, beta blockers, contrast agents for diagnostic X-rays, etc, were discovered in sewage, treated water, and rivers ten years ago; up to 90 percent of excreted drugs can remain biologically active!!1 Scientists report that "17-alpha ethinylestradiol, a pharmaceutical estrogen, is detectable in water systems worldwide."2
The Mayo Clinic website listed antibiotics in food and water as one of the major causes for the emergence of the virulent MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) long before the news broke on the pharmaceuticals in the water. They note that, "Prescription drugs aren’t the only source of antibiotics. In the United States; antibiotics can be found in beef cattle, pigs and chickens. The same antibiotics then find their way into municipal water systems when the runoff from feedlots contaminates streams and groundwater."3 Xenoestrogen Exposure:
The drugged water discovery is a warning sign, and it has been out there for some time now. Drugs and other toxic compounds find their way into our water supplies. Xenoestrogens, for instance, are toxic, estrogen-like compounds (due to the breakdown of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.) blamed for increased cancers and hormonal disruption, including decreased sperm counts in humans.4 Xenoestrogens modulate vascular endothelial growth factor secretion in breast cancer cells through an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism.5,6 Fish that were born male have been known to turn into egg-bearing females because of these chemical xenoestrogenic by-products.7,8 The bald eagle has suffered a life-threatening deformity of its beak due to the same suspected toxic cause. Researchers reveal that, "Endocrine-disrupting compounds have the capacity of altering the normal function of the endocrine system. They have shown dramatic effects on the reproductive biology of aquatic wildlife and may affect human reproduction as well," AND that "low doses caused major reproductive deficits."9 Additionally, it is known that "human beings are widely exposed to low levels of the synthetic xenoestrogen, bisphenol A."10 Detoxification:
Detoxification nutrients can really help against this toxic assault. Nutrients like milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, selenium, glutamine, rosemary and turmeric can increase the liver’s ability to detoxify second-hand drugs and toxins by increasing glutathione levels. Glutathione acts as a major antioxidant and detoxifier, conjugating deleterious substances in the liver and getting them ready for removal. Sulfonation is another method of detoxification in the liver. It has been shown that sulfonation not only inactivates estrogens, but the way that some of the xenoestrogens are wreaking havoc is by interfering with the sulfotransferase enzyme.11
One of the best ways to enhance sulfur detoxification is to facilitate the methylation pathway (methylation is also good for toxin removal) that makes sulfur as an end product. This methylation pathway has the added perks of reducing toxic homocysteine, increasing brain neurotransmitters, and producing glutathione precursors and can be facilitated with the nutritional elements vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folic acid, and DMG (dimethylglycine). Garlic and onions are good sources of dietary sulfur. Those who are sensitive to consuming sulfur can make sulfur in their body and bypass gastrointestinal problems without consequence by facilitating this pathway. If the garlic is organic, it will contain selenium as well.
Of course, it is imperative to drink water filtered to remove small particles, not just chlorine. Eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables with a balanced diet full of nutritional detoxifiers. Supplement when necessary to facilitate pathways. We have options to build defenses against the toxic assaults we find in our environment.
Dr. Lynn Toohey received her Ph.D. in nutrition from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO. She has lectured to chiropractors and other health professionals on nutrition-related topics and complementary medicine, including the chiropractic associations of New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, and Georgia, and the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK). Dr. Toohey has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Nutrition, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the British Journal of Nutrition.
1. Science News, Vol 153, March 21, 1998
2. Physiol Genomics. 2006 Nov 27;27(3):328-36. Gene expression profiling in the neuroendocrine brain of male goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to 17alpha-ethinylestradiol. Martyniuk CJ, et al.
4. J Endocrinol. 2008 Feb;196(2):399-412
5. Buteau-Lozano H, et al.; Hum Reprod. 2002 Aug;17(8):1973-9
6. Decreased human semen quality and organochlorine compounds in blood. Dallinga JW, et al.
7. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Apr;114(4): 500-6.
8. Antiestrogens inhibit xenoestrogen-induced brain aromatase activity but do not prevent xenoestrogen-induced feminization in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Kuhl AJ, Brouwer M.
9. Proc Biol Sci. 2007 Jul 7;274(1618):1631-6. Altered reproductive success in rat pairs after environmental-like exposure to xenoestrogen. Fusani L, et al.
10. Endocrinology. 2008 Mar;149(3):988-94. Bisphenol a prevents the synaptogenic response to testosterone in the brain of adult male rats. Leranth C, et al.
11. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Feb;108(3-5):213-20. Phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens: the contribution of diet and environment to endocrine disruption. Waring RH, et al.
Written by Dr. Howard F. Loomis, D.C.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:11
An important part of every case history, and even ongoing case notes, should be knowledge of the patient’s prescription and over-the-counter drug use. This has always been important because drugs mask symptoms and physical findings that are important in making an accurate assessment of the need for chiropractic care.
However, at the dawn of the 21st century, prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming epidemic.
Consider the findings of a recent survey conducted by USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health of 1,695 individuals taken in January of this year:
• One third of Americans were prompted to ask their doctor about a drug they had seen advertised.
• An alarming 82 percent have a prescription written for them. Forty-four percent were given the drug they asked for and the remainder had a prescription for a similar drug written for them, although a third of them had an over-the-counter drug recommended for them.
These figures show an increase in patient requests for prescription drugs from 2005 when 75 percent of those requests were being granted. The president of the Kaiser Foundation stated that the survey shows that advertising of drugs is very effective. Substantiating this view is the fact that drug companies spent a whooping 4.8 billion dollars for advertising in 2006 as compared to $2.6 billion in 2002.
The study found that Americans are evenly divided on their opinion of the pharmaceutical industry:
• Forty-seven percent have a favorable impression of drug companies;
• Forty-four percent have an unfavorable view, citing high prices and large profits, as well as corporate greed as the basis for their opinion.
Extensive advertising of prescription drugs began in 1997 after the pharmaceutical industry spent an unspecified amount of money for four years (1994 to 1997) encouraging congress to "modernize the Food and Drug Administration." Previously, it would have been necessary to list almost the entire content of the Physicians Desk Reference for each drug advertised. There were probably two reasons for the change in marketing direction. First, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the pharmaceutical companies were rewarding individual doctors and hospitals for using their products and many thought this unethical. Second, by the late 1980’s, it was being reported that more Americans were visiting non-medical practitioners than medical doctors.
In 1994, The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study by DM Eisenberg, that identified ten conditions that Americans were willing to pay for—out of their own pockets—because the sick care provided by their health insurance providers was ineffective. Those conditions were:
1. Back problems
4. Sprains or strains
8. High blood pressure
9. Digestive problems
All of the above are symptoms and not considered pathological or, at least, disease entities.
I would like the reader to know that other articles like this one will appear bi-monthly in The American Chiropractor and will not be taking an anti-pharmaceutical position; rather, the emphasis will be pro-chiropractic and how your patients’ prescriptions are affecting your clinical findings and even perpetuating structural problems. I would like to bring to your attention what I believe to be critical points concerning the use of all pharmaceutical drugs, either prescriptive or over-the-counter:
• Commonly prescribed drugs work by either blocking receptor sites or interfering with a human enzyme system.
• Therefore, they all have deleterious effects on the body, not the least of which are nutrient deficiencies they can produce.
• They do not restore normal function, nor can they maintain health.
• Drugs provide great benefit for the public when used for the treatment of disease. But, when used for symptoms only, no objective tests are performed to determine which patients will suffer their known side effects.
This article will basically follow this outline:
• The targeted symptom or condition;
• Drug-class being advertised and brand names;
• Clinical studies—the physiological effects on the body;
• The known side effects;
• Reported nutrient deficiencies produced, if any;
• Possible visceral (functional) dysfunction and perpetuation of a structural disorder and/or subluxation pattern—this is what I refer to as 2nd Factor in Chiropractic.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome is described as a disorder in which a person experiences vague, unpleasant, seldom painful, but always very annoying, sensations in the legs, such as creeping, crawling, and tingling. These sensations occur anywhere from the thigh to the ankle. One or both legs may be affected and, for a small percentage, the sensations may also be experienced in the arms. The symptoms usually occur when the person lies down or sits for prolonged periods of time, such as at a desk, riding in a car, or watching a movie.
There are no laboratory tests to diagnose RLS and no physical examination findings are indicated in the literature for determining the presence or cause of RLS. Recommendations for a drug are based solely on the following symptoms:
• An urge to move the legs usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable and unpleasant leg sensations;
• Symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying or sitting.
These symptoms can be partially or totally relieved by movement such as walking or stretching, at least as long as the activity continues. Since movement relieves the symptoms, it is commonly reported that the symptoms only occur or are worse at night.
Drug-class being Advertised and Brand Names
Orally administered dopamine agonists are being widely advertised for symptomatic relief of RLS. In pharmacology, an agonist is a substance that binds to a specific receptor and triggers a response in the cell. It mimics the action of a neurotransmitter or hormone that binds to the same receptor. Since anogists are useful in replacing the neuron-transmitter dopamine, these drugs are also used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. While the patho-physiology of both Parkinson’s and RLS is unknown, neuro-pharmacological evidence suggests a primary presynaptic system involvement.
The most commonly advertised dopamine agonists are RequipTM (ropinirole hydrochloride) and MirapexTM (pramipexole dihydrochloride). The medication most studied for RLS is oral levodopa combined with a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor (carbidopa or benserazide). The dopa decarboxylase (an enzyme) component prevents the peripheral conversion of levodopa to dopamine. Thus, more levodopa is available to cross the blood/brain barrier.
Studies have shown that these drugs have helped some people control or improve their symptoms. Although they may seem to help at first, later, in some people, these medicines make symptoms worse by a process called augmentation. Because this undesired outcome is most associated with regular use of levodopa, most patients who require daily medicine will need a dopamine agonist.
Side Effects in Healthy Subjects
The most common side effects in clinical trials for RLS were nausea, headache, and tiredness. Studies indicated the drug has little or no effect on blood pressure or pulse rate when lying down. But, upon standing, they produce a drop in blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic. These changes are accompanied by lightheadedness upon arising, general fatigue, inability to tolerate stress, and a slow, weak pulse rate.
Patients treated with dopamine agonists have reported falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living, including the operation of motor vehicles, which sometimes resulted in accidents.
Patients and caregivers should be informed that impulse control disorders and compulsive behavior may occur, including hallucinations and exaggerated urges for sex and gambling.
Nutrient Depletion by Levadopa and Dopamine Angonists
Increased urinary potassium losses occur in some people treated with levodopa. The mechanism isn’t clear, but potassium losses are not significant when a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor, such as carbidopa, is used with levodopa. However, when Requip or Miraplex is used for symptoms of RLS potassium, losses may become significant. Symptoms of potassium loss include stiff, sore joints (hypoflexia), constipation, inability to think clearly, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Can Chiropractic Help?
Gastrointestinal side effects of dopamine agonists directly affect your patients. These include:
• Stomach upset and pain (T5 to T9)
• Nausea (T10 to T11—Kidney)
• Constipation (L1 to L3—Colon)
• Other more systemic, side effects include headache, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, and unusual weakness.
Have you ever thought of Restless Legs as a chiropractic deficiency? In my opinion, RLS should be considered a chiropractic specialty, since patients who experience its frustrating symptoms invariably have chronic sacroiliac subluxations that can be caused by many mechanical or structural problems: fallen arches, Morton’s Syndrome (long second toe), knee cartilage damage, and an anatomical short leg, just to mention a few.
Recommend the patient change chairs at work or in the car. One of the most common causes of RLS is sitting in a recliner at home.
Nutritionally, we expect patients with symptoms of restless legs to present symptoms associated with pre-calcium and protein deficiencies commonly seen with frequent joint complaints (particularly the sacroiliac joint), cold hands and feet, and edema.
Howard F. Loomis, Jr., DC, President of Enzyme Formulations®, Inc., has an extensive background in enzymes and enzyme supplementation. As president for fi fteen years of 21st Century Nutrition® (now the Loomis Institute® of Enzyme Nutrition), he has forged a remarkable career as an educator, having conducted over 400 seminars to date, in the United States and internationally, on the diagnosis and treatment of food enzyme deficiency syndromes. Dr. Loomis welcomes your comments or questions through the Loomis InstituteTM at 6421 Enterprise Lane, Madison, WI 53719 or by phone at 1-800-662-2630.
Written by Dr. Richard Drucker, B.S., M.S., N.D., Ph.D.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 17:09
What took Mother Nature thousands of years to create, recent humanity has taken for granted and has selfishly destroyed. In the last 75 years, modern U.S. economic agricultural practices have nearly eradicated all of the naturally occurring organically (carbon containing) complexed trace minerals, poly-electrolytes and metalo-enzymes from our diet. Two-time Nobel prize winner and renowned scientist Linus Pauling categorically stated to the 74th Congress of the U.S. that, "Every ailment, every sickness and every disease can be traced back to an organic trace mineral deficiency."
Without a doubt, organic trace minerals are "the gift of life" and cellular function becomes impossible without them. The 74th Congress, 2nd session, of the United States declared that 99 percent of Americans are deficient in 100 percent organically complexed trace minerals. Why? Because our foods no longer contain adequate amounts of critical, essential, and life sustaining organic trace minerals, poly-electrolytes and metalo-enzymes! Dr. Charles Northern in Senate Document 264 indicated that, when an organic soil-based bed is destroyed, plants and crops harvested in that soil lack virtually all of the critical organic trace minerals and more. There is enormous scientific evidence proving organic trace minerals and fulvic acid are both critically necessary to maintain health, promote healing and prevent illnesses and disease. Further, they may be the solution to the world’s health problems and may even be the key to preservation of life on earth for many centuries to come. Lastly, they are proving indispensable to every organ, gland and muscle in the body. Without them, life cannot exist because they are both the stimulus (neuro-electrical catalyst) and the "spark" that single-handedly produces all life functions.
What is fulvic acid? Where does it come from and how does it work?
Fulvic acid is a humic substance or extract. It is the end product of nature’s humification process, which is the ultimate breakdown and recycling of once-living plant matter. Fulvic acid contains all the phytochemical protective substances, amino acid peptides, nucleic acids, poly-saccharides and muco-polysaccharides from the original living and organic (carbon containing) plant matter. Thus, fulvic acid is highly concentrated, refined, transformed, and enhanced over hundreds of years by the actions of innumerable and microscopic organically complexed plants. This humification process does not break down the original phytochemical protective components and prevents them from turning back into their basic mineral elements and micro-structures. Even the smallest strands of RNA, DNA, and organic plant photosynthetic materials still remain intact. Over time, the original components become organically complexed and enriched with organic and carbonaceous materials.
In addition, because fulvic acid is so highly refined and so naturally chelated (i.e., ultra tiny and low molecular weight) by nature itself, it consists of 100 percent organically complexed and ultra tiny molecules which can easily penetrate human tissue and cells. It is highly bio-active on the cellular level, providing innumerable bio-chemical and metabolic detoxification functions. The short term health benefits and long term clinical results are scientifically phenomenal and medically outstanding. Fulvic acid is one of nature’s most precious forms of protection and defense for plants, animals and, possibly, man. Unquestionably, it is tied very closely with immune system functions and has exceptionally powerful antioxidant qualities.
What scientific facts do we know about fulvic acid and its vast applications?
Because fulvic acid is naturally chelated and organically complexed by nature itself, it has been entirely and perhaps wrongly misunderstood and overlooked by most of medicine and science.
We believe nearly every pharmaceutical drug, herbal extract, health supplement and therapeutic substance from nature can, somehow, be traced to the functions and the actual chemical makeup of fulvic acid.
We also believe the DNA of every living and extinct species of organism on Earth—be it plant, animal or microbe—has eventually become a component of fulvic acid. The original life-giving, protective, and healing components from plants (phytochemicals) do not disintegrate during nature’s fulvic acid production process; rather, they become highly concentrated.
Many species of plants, particularly microscopic plants, seem to be involved in the fulvic acid production process. Fulvic acid production appears to be the end result of nature’s perfect recycling process, and may provide a steady increase in health to subsequent generations of living organisms. Modern agricultural practices appear to have completely broken nature’s recycling process, resulting in progressively deteriorating crops yielding hollow foods and, subsequently, affecting our health.
In fact, the use and consumption of a homeostatic balanced amount of fulvic acid on a regular basis could possibly reverse the steady chronic cycle of deteriorating health.
Based on medical research, what are the known health benefits of fulvic acid?
There are many beneficial therapeutic uses of fulvic acid. Below are findings from some of the latest medical research.
1. Anti-inflammatory agent: Fulvic acid seems to inhibit an enzyme secreted from an infected area, and regulates the level of the trace elements zinc and copper, activating a super-oxide called dismutates. Free radicals generated in the infected area are dismutated, utilized, and eliminated by this agent.
2. Stimulates blood circulation and enhances blood coagulation: Many diseases are caused by circulation malfunction in the capillary blood system. A therapeutic effect of fulvic acid seems to be is its ability to restore and improve blood circulation in the capillary system. Fulvic acid also appears to serve as a blood coagulant when there is bleeding or blood seeping from the vascular bed.
3. Digestive tract ulcers: Another healing effect of fulvic acid is its ability to stimulate blood circulation in the stomach wall and inhibit excessive secretion of acid. It also seems to stimulate the secretion of the glands in the stomach that have the ability to protect the stomach inner wall, thereby potentially preventing and healing stomach ulcers.
4. Immunology: There are indications that, with injection of fulvic acid into the abdominal region, the size of thymus in experimental animals increased, together with indications of macrophage activation. A dosage of 5 mg/kg of fulvic acid when injected into the abdominal cavity appears to be beneficial.
5. Endocrinology: Fulvic acid appears to regulate abnormal thyroid hormone secretion because it is able to regulate cyclic nucleotides at the cellular level.
6. Anti-cancer: In general, fulvic acid does not seem to kill cancer cells directly. However, it serves as a regulating agent in the immune system and can be used therapeutically in conjunction with other anti-cancer medicines.
Further research may show that humic acids can also be used to resuscitate some of our soils, and possibly our food sources. Until this can be accomplished, good quality nutritional supplements containing fulvic acid remain our best defense against food devoid of life-sustaining organically complexed minerals and nutrients.
Dr. Drucker has a Master’s of Science in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy. He is a highly respected doctor in the field of natural health and the CEO of Drucker Labs, which manufactures and distributes health, wellness and nutritional products. These products use a breakthrough technology called intraCELL™ V, which yields unique carbon-bond organic microcomplexed structures that are highly bio-available and extremely effective.
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