Archives For July 2014

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And if you’re white, these drugs can make you feel like an albino. It’s a drug side effect called photosensitivity. Let me explain.

I’m a brown person and I never wear sunscreen except on my face to avoid wrinkles. I worry more about osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency instead of skin cancer and sunburns. My skin is strong and amazing, but one strange day after playing in the water all day …my arms, back, shoulders, and legs started to burn. It was an itchy, prickly feeling. Then a few days later my skin started to flake and fall off. At first I didn’t know what was happening to me. I thought the gods were getting revenge because I’d made fun of my honky relatives who burn to a crisp. “What’s happening to me,” I thought. “I’m turning into a white person. This hasn’t happened since I was a kid.”

I would burn as a kid, but as I got older my skin got tougher….that was until I started taking a new drug that caused photosensitivity.

So I just want to warn everyone, if you are put on a drug that is on the list below, you might want to be extra diligent about using the sunscreen. And if you have a child on one of these drugs, be extra careful.

Photosensitivity doesn’t always happen while on these drugs, but it’s a possibility I think you should be aware of. The following list is NOT all-inclusive. There are many other.

Common Pills that can cause photosensitivity: this list is not all-inclusive.

RetinA

pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamin A

bitter orange, chlorella, dong quai, gossypol, gotu kola, st john’s wart

tacrolimus, minoxidil,

Antihistamines like zyrtec, benadryl, claritin, phenergan,

Antibiotics like cipro, levoquin, avelox, noroxin, floxin, tetracycline, azithromycin, flagyl, bactrim, azulfidine,

Antifungals like terconazole, Vfend

Antivirals, like norvior, fortovase, hivid

antimalaria drugs like plaqueil,

amantadine, zofirax, methotreate, plavix, clopidogrel

water pills aka diuretics: hydrochlorothiazide, lasix, triamterene,

blood pressure drugs: captopril diltiazem enalapril nifedipine,

Cholesterol drugs: statins,

amiodarone, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, topiramate, valproic acid, thaldol,, zyprexa, risperidone, paxil, sertralin, wellbutrin, xanax, chlordiazepoxide, ambien

tricyclic antidepressants

serotonin reuptake inhibitors

All NSAID, iburprofen and naproxen

hormonal drugs, estrogens, birth control pills, testosterone

corticosteriods like prednisone

diabetic agents like glucotrol, diabeta, micronase, glipizide, amaryl

 

 

 

tylenol-motrin-recall

If you have been reading my blogs you know that I believe all drugs are both good and bad depending on the situation. This is true for tylenol (also known as acetaminophen), and motrin(also known as ibuprofen). And you also may know that my belief is that drugs are not dangerous….it’s drug IGNORANCE that is dangerous. Tylenol and motrin can be obtained withOUT a prescription, so don’t put yourself in one of these dangerous drug situations.

 

Tylenol is processed through the liver.  Daily high doses of tylenol can damage the liver (more than 3 grams), especially if the person drinks a lot of alcohol or has a weakened liver from disease. If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, or if you drink more than 4 times a week….you might want to switch to Ibuprofen, that would be a better choice.

 

Tylenol over doses are the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, however, half of them are intentional overdoses. Don’t be part of that group that accidentally overdoses on them. Safe doses are less than 3 grams, but for short periods of time you can go up to 4 grams if needed. Be sure to look for hidden tylenol in cold/flu products, sleep aids, menstrual cramp products etc….and add that amount to the daily dose you consume.

 

Now on to Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is stronger than tylenol because it also stops swelling and redness. It’s an anti-inflamitory. It even stops the redness and swelling of a sunburn…FYI. The trade off is that unlike tylenol, there are 3 major things that can wrong here, not just one.

 

First:Ibuprofen is processed through the kidneys, therefore other drugs that act on the kidneys can react badly with ibuprofen. Example, the ACE inhibitors like lisinopril, Zestril, ramapril, enalapril, ….anything that ends in an “il”

 

These drugs lower the blood pressure in the body and in the kidneys. When the blood pressure in the kidneys goes from high to normal, the kidneys are preserved and they stay young and healthy. However, when the blood pressure in the kidneys goes from normal to LOW, that is a recipe for kidney injury, and that can happen to a person on ace inhibitors who get sick.

 

When a person on ace inhibitors becomes dehydrated and sick, the blood pressure in the kidneys can go too low and start damaging the kidneys. If you add ibuprofen to the mixture, things go get even worse. It’s almost like the perfect storm developing. Then if the person is also on a water pill like hydrochlorothiazide….it can accelerate the damage even more. If you are on ace inhibitors to control your blood pressure, tylenol is a better choice for you.

 

Occasionally we admit people to our hospital that are in acute kidney failure for this reason. It’s something to be very aware of if you take blood pressure medications.

 

Which reminds me…..both tylenol and ibuprofen can increase blood pressure in people who are prone to high blood pressure. You might want to monitor your blood pressure daily to make sure you stay in the safe range. I don’t know how this happens, all I know is that it does happen. Tylenol (rarely) and motrin (more often) can partially stop blood pressure medications for working properly.

 

Second thing that can go wrong: your stomach and intestines can bleed from ibuprofen use. Ibuprofen, and all NSAID’s (aleve, naproxen), can irritate and erode the lining of the stomach causing an ulcer or sore that can bleed. Some people have reported passing blood in their stool after just one dose. Usually it takes several doses to erode the lining. However, people who have a strong, healthy, intact stomach and intestines don’t seem to have any problem at all.

 

Third thing that can wrong: Soon after taking ibuprofen you can have heart attack. Usually it’s people who are on the verge of a heart attack anyways, that end up having problems. People with healthy hearts and veins don’t seem to be at risk. I wrote a blog about this and an herbal alternative that works great http://wp.me/p3YRVv-8v However, tylenol and naproxen are better choices in this situation.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Stay tuned for more advice on how to stay safe and healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

tylenol-motrin-recall

Bad Medical Advice

July 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

bad medical advice

If you are the type of person that believes in ufo’s, alien abductions, psychics, big foot etc…. you might not require a lot of medical evidence before trying herbal and alternative medications. But as a medical professional, I would lose my reputation by recommending stuff that didn’t work. I must require a high level of evidence. The highest level of evidence is called a met-analysis of randomized placebo controlled studies and the lowest level is an observational study.

My biggest pet peeve is when people who require very little medical evidence make recommendations to the general public who are easily confused and mislead. Beware of such bad advice. Here are some examples of bad advice.

Most common bad medical advice I see on the internet is recommending that someone treat a disease with herbal medicines.

If you have, or think you have, a disease that is getting worse and progressing….like prostate disease, glaucoma, cancer, infection….you need to go to a real medical doctor to stop the destriction of your body. You need treatment that is proven in the medical studies to work and work fast. You need a product that yields consistent results and that is tested and standardized.

In my opinion, the only time it is okay to treat yourself with herbal medications is to ease your discomfort when you know the source of the discomfort and that is being addressed. For example, it’s okay to take turmeric or curcurmin for arthritis pain caused from old age or an old injury. In fact it works very well, and it’s proven in the medical literature to work better than even some prescription drugs. And it’s safer. I know a good thing when I see it and I will tell you.

It’s also okay to use ginger to treat nausea and it’s okay to take probiotics for stomach upset and/or diarrhea…..as long as you are not delaying treatment for a serious condition.

But it is not okay to use saw palmetto to treat urinary problems. Saw Palmetto was shown in randomized trials to work by the placebo effect…even at very high doses…..it doesn’t work and you can delay treatment for prostate cancer if that is what is really going on. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21954478?dopt=Abstract

It’s also not okay to treat cancer with herbs….I have links in my twitter account with articles to treat skin cancer with herbs. Really? The cancer could be spreading like wild-fire while you are taking herbs that have the potential to be nothing more than grass clippings sold by con artists.

However, I do believe in the possibility of miracles. Especially miracles created from a strong and healthy mind. Louise Hay writes about them and so do other people. I believe that they are possible, and I would recommend you pursue those avenues at the same time you receive traditional medical treatment. But I would NEVER recommend delaying traditional medical treatment from a medical doctor.

And just to let you know, we use about 20 dietary supplements in the hospital and they do have a place in keeping us strong and healthy under the right circumstanses. I’ll let you know what those are in my book.

Second pet peeve, do not stop taking the medications your doctor has prescribed, especially medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have high blood sugar or high blood pressure you are aging at an accelerate rate. If you stop your medications you most certainly will shorten your life. But it is okay to make dietary and lifestyle changes to cure and treat those diseases. Just don’t stop taking your medications until your doctor has given you the official “okay”. Usually you must sustain your radically new and strict lifestyle for several weeks or months before it’s okay.

Third pet peave :beware of probiotics. Yogurts are good, but the supplements can be a waste of your money if you don’t get the right ones. A con artist can put powdered milk in gelatin capsules and make general claims to boost your immune system and keeps you healthy. Those words mean nothing. No one would ever know if they were not working.

The only probiotics I recommend are the ones that appear in my medical studies and I recommend them for those specific purposes. I don’t recommend them for general health. I recommend whole food and like yogurt, an orange, a salad…but NOT probiotic supplements. Reason being, everyone’s gut bacteria is different. If I went to Mexico I would get sick from their common bacteria. What is healthy bacteria for them is not healthy for me. It’s the same with probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our intestines. Each specific type of bacteria performs a specific action and that is why they are not interchangeable.

Just for the record: Only two probiotics have been proven to cause weight loss and they are not on the market as of this date. You canNOT substitute a random probiotic and expect to lose weight. We are dealing with specific bacteria that produce a specific effect when they live in the intestines.

Two or three probiotics have been proven to boost the immune system. They were given to children in daycare who were constantly sick and that’s how the know they work. But not all probiotics across the board boost the immune system. You can read my past blog on boosting the immune system to find out which ones work.

If you want a probiotic to prevent diarrhea associated with antibiotic use you need to use lactobacillus and or saccromyces.

The probiotics claim-to-fame is the lactobacillus probiotics made famous by yogurts. These live bacteria secrete lactic acid and change the pH of the skin and environment thus preventing yeast infections. (But frozen yogurts don’t work because the probiotics are frozen/dead…fyi)

Sometimes probiotics can be inactivated by freeze-dry method and brought back to life with the addition of water. But they have to be alive to work. Which is my pet peeves number 4. If anyone recommends you take frozen yogurt or frozen kefir as a source of probiotics, then they don’t understand how probiotics work. Don’t listen to them. Dead probiotics do not work. They have to be alive and plentiful. Which reminds me, don’t waste your money on discounted or sale probiotics. They are usually old and half dead.

Bad medical advice is more prevalent than you realize, and it’s usually given out by sales people and people eager to believe anything. Beware and keep in touch.

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I’ve researched a lot of near death experiences and those who have experienced both life and death say that dying is easy, living is hard. And unfortunately, I believe that even thought I don’t want it to be that way.

 

Waking up everyday, going to work in rush hour traffic. Dealing with annoying people. Giving your love to the people around you and not being appreciated. The list goes on of things that can wear you down and make you want to curl up into a ball and stay in bed, or even worse….do illegal drugs and or alcohol.

 

I think a lot of people do drugs and alcohol to escape reality. And I do not judge them, I want to help them. 

 

At work in the hospital I sometimes sit in a room with social workers and over-hear the social circumstances of the patients. It’s heart breaking. Many of them are sick and dying because of illegal drugs and alcohol. They are young (40’sand 50’s) and they have children that still need them. It’s a sad situation for everyone involved.

 

From excessive alcohol use people develop hemorrhages and bleed from their throats and intestines. Their livers become enlarged and their bellies painful and swollen. In the end stages of cirrhosis they turn yellow and their minds go delirious.

 

I’ve seen a young female abuse narcotic pills to the point that her intestines died and they had to be cut out. Now she poops from a hole in her stomach.

 

Almost all IV drug abusers end up with bacterial infections in their blood. The infections destroy the heart valves and other random parts of their body. One lady had an infection in her eyeBALLs and they had to take her to surgery multiple times to put needles into her eyes and inject antibiotics. I don’t know what happened to her, but I’m afraid she went blind.

 

Another young man in his 20’s has a chronic infection in his prostate. He lives with chronic pain and swelling around his anus.

 

But the sadest story was a young man in his twenty’s that had to be put on hospice. He was sent home to die a quiet death because his heart valve got infected. They cut it out and put a new one in. He kept doing iv drugs and the new valve got infected and destroyed. There was no tissue lift to sew a new heart valve onto. So he was sent home to die. His family was devastated.

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is help for those people. It can come in the form of antidepressants pills.

 

I’ve seen and heard a lot of people bash prescription pills and antidepressants. But antidepressants can help people and change lives. They can give hope to the hopeless. They can help people keep living and keep giving their all until their circumstances change.

 

Because it is true that antidepressants don’t fix your personal problems. But they can give you the strength to wake-up and resolve your problems and create a better life for yourself. They can give you strength to hold down a job, sustain relationships, or take care of your children.

 

Even antianxiety (valium like drugs) and narcotics have their place in medicine. If someone is physically addicted to heroin or some other substance, it’s better to be on a prescription drug than street drugs….until the addiction can be resolved.

 

All drugs are booth good and bad depending on the circumstances. Beware of people who say all antidepressants are bad or all pain pills are bad or all valium-like drugs are bad. They are not. They are a safety net and a crutch for people who are sick and need them. And there is no shame in being sick and needing drugs. The shame comes from being stubborn and unwilling to change and improve your life. The meaning of life is to live and learn. We all have different lives, just like books and movies are different. We are experiencing different story-like lives and we should NOT compare our lives to those around us.

 

What complicates life is that our “happy hormones” in our brains can dry up with age, disease or pregnancy. I don’t care how wonderful you are as a person, if this happens to you, you’re going down. The quality of your life will decline, your relationships will suffer.

 

Dr. Amen, a brain specialist who wrote the book “Magnificent Brain” talks about doing brain scans and brain imaging on people with dementia and other diseases. Sometimes dementia is cured with giving an anti-depressant and then the person is restored to their usual self. I was amazed to read that he can physically see with a brain scan who needs anti-depressants.

 

Dr Amen opened my eyes to the fact that there are physical causes to needing anti-depressants. It’s not just personal problems that lead people to take antidepressants.

 

Please don’t self medicate with drugs and alcohol. You’ll only end up hurting yourself and your relationships. Instead, go to your doctor and ask for an antidepressant, then you can work on putting your life back together. Exercise to restore your brain chemistry, get connected with people and form relationships, join groups that interest you. Read self-help books to start healing your life. Do what is right and good. Purposefully make and create your dream life. You can have the wonderful life that you want. There is so much help out there.

 

In my book I write about a drug that is used to help people stop abusing their bodies. It’s a special antidepressant that restores multiple chemicals in the brain. It’s been tested to be good for people with bulimia, cocaine addictions, and smoking addictions.

 

This blog is already too long. I’ll have to tell you about this special drug in a future blog so please stay tuned….subscribe. Or buy my book when it comes out.

 

xoxo