Expectation of Medicine

Meeting expectations has always been the meaning of quality.  The understanding of quality has long been what drives business.  Give the customers what they expect and they will knock down your door down for you to serve them and will reward you for your efforts.  Medicine has lost its way in this understanding.

I am not one to really knock allopathic medicine when I am ill or injured.  I expect them to offer the best solution that science and art has available.  When I do not get this them I really get excited.  Doctors worry more about getting paid than meeting the expectations of their clients.  When a patient wonders off on his own into the study of his illness and finds his doctor has not delivered for him, he either confronts the doctor or just walks away.

Our expectation as consumers of medicine is that now we not only expect our doctors to provide us with the best immediate care that they can but also that they tell us how to prevent disease.  This is an expectation that is not ready to be met by modern medicine.  This has long been the argument inside of medicine that if you practice treatment is it necessary to practice prevention.  What happens with chronic disease is that it falls into the category of prevention and doctors do not know how to deal with it.  If they knew how to treat chronic disease it would not be a chronic disease because you would be healed of the disease.

Anything that truly treats a long developing disease falls into the category of prevention and most that are educated in the field of medicine just believe that if you tell people how to prevent disease that they would not do it anyway.  If the medical profession told everyone that coffee was extremely bad for them would it reduce consumption?  Coffee is the most addictive drug that is on the unregulated market and can significantly impact your health if consumed in too large of quantities.  I found in particular that I drink more than one small cup that it causes a mid morning down turn that is disastrous to my production.  It also causes me to not sleep at night.  I am particular sensitive to coffee and just maybe everyone else is too, but they really like the rush it provides.  It recently took me a whole month to detox from coffee or a full two weeks longer than it took to detox from opiate pain meds.  The withdrawal symptoms were not the same, but were equally negative to my health.

Now that I am off of coffee I have been sleeping much better and do not even need that morning burst as I did when I was drinking coffee.  I am extremely more productive.  Coffee houses are nothing more than addictive drug deliver sites that bring people back to continue in their addictive habit.

Doctors will tell you that if you do not sleep that it causes all kinds of bad things to happen to your body.  They will just casually mention that it may be the coffee that is really affecting your well being.  A typical comment by a doctor is, “they would not stop drinking the coffee anyway if I told them.”  All of the above applies in particular to the current problem with obesity.  We have been lied to over the years about our diet and high fructose corn syrup is nothing more than a liver toxin that does not affect our brains so it is ‘generally consider safe’ or meets the standards of the FDA. Would you just as willingly give your 6 year old a can of beer as you would a soft drink loaded with high fructose corn syrup?  Both are equally toxic to the liver.  Is there any doctor that is going to tell you this?  Most likely not!

This is all that we expect from our doctors.  That is that they tell us the truth about how substances will affect our long term health.  This is our expectation and we are not having our expectations met.  The quality of our medical system is a failure for chronic disease.  It is great for immediate needs like having your broken bones cast or that thing that you need to have cut from your body or the latest antibiotic delivered to knock out the most recent infection.

This is not so much a problem with the doctors as it is with our medical institutions in general.  Poor health feeds a large economic sector and herein lays the rub.  How do I know this?  Name one single study that has been sponsored by an insurance company for disease prevention and you win the prize.  Disease prevention and especially chronic disease prevention would take huge profits away from the insurance companies because of a decrease in sales.  Every CEO that is worth a damn does not want decreased sales, then no studies sponsor by insurance companies.

If you, you are the government because our constitution says so, then if you really want health care reform then pass a law that says the insurance companies are going to be required to pay for all of the large scale chronic diseases studies with vitamin D.  After all if there were only well people it would significantly reduce their cost.  They would get of the business so fast you would not even believe it.

Lies or simply ignoring the truth of science and art is not what we expect from our medical providers.  We should be told the truth by our government agencies and then we can decide if we want to keep killing ourselves with high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, tobacco, and coffee.

What a great day it is to go into the sun and get a tan even though my doctor says it will give me skin cancer.  Oh yeah, she forgot to mention that it would prevent fifty other more deadly diseases.

–          Pandemic Survivor

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Sunday Daybreak

Winter Tones

Grey tones define our days as soft rain
Draws us to the desire of sun and its nourishment
And we know that this cannot last forever
Yet there is peace and joy in this solitude

My body aches from lack of summer days
But this peace brought on by the cold
Is truly an understanding that the renewal
Is only moments away from true restoration

With body in a defenseless mode
I am weary from the lack of warmth
And in particular there is the desire
That is beyond my understanding

A ray of sun then stills itself on my forehead
From the bright spectral clouds before me
And hope springs into mind as I know now
Defines the fulfillment of hope, faith, and love

Original Verse – Mark Pegram

all rights reserved

Sunday Morning Musings

So what is going on with influenza like illness?  We have seen a significant drop in the rate after a spike in September and October.  We are now at rates that are very similar to last year in late January.  Given that we see a 33% Fibonacci return in this chaotic statistic, the knee will mirror 2009 February and March results or just another normal flu season. Graph at this link.

There has been much chatter about the efficaciousness of the H1N1 vaccine.  The EU in particular is taking on the large pharmaceuticals over this issue.  I believe that the H1N1 is a none-mutating virus to date and has effectively played havoc with people that were susceptible.  The reason that the spike occurred in September and October instead of later is because this is the first drop in serum levels of vitamin D in the northern latitudes.  A similar type of occurrence happened in the southern hemisphere in our summer which makes me wonder at the push by our government over the vaccine.  We have been much more effective is getting the message out about vitamin D.  If the spike in February is not similar to last year and also make a Fibonacci return then people in the US have blunted the virus by taking vitamin D.  I know that this is a very technical mathematical predication, but if you deal with stocks or currency trading, you know this analysis is correct.  The technical changes are very predictable in chaotic markets as long as there is not a fundamental change like an economic news such as an increase in the number of lost jobs.  In our case the fundamental change is increased use of vitamin D.

I have been keeping up with people that I have casual conversations about vitamin D and whether their doctor has ask to check their serum 25(OH)D levels.  I am happy to say that approximately 1 out of 6 of the people that I have talked with has had their serum level checked.  This is up from zero 5 years ago.  Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council goal is to have every one’s serum vitamin D routinely check by their physician.  John, I believe that we are starting to reach a tipping point.   However, even at this low rate we could see as much as a 5% drop in the rate of total cancer in the US over the next two years.  I know that this is a bold prediction but the research is there.  If the Food and Nutrition Board on vitamin D comes out with a favorable report in May saying that everyone should take more, the amount of reduction in cancer will amaze you as well as heart disease and diabetes in more time as these diseases take longer to respond.  The manufacturers of cold remedies will start to feel the pinch as people start to use significantly less.  They will simply create other products to fill the voids.

Interesting article at Boots WebMD saying that increased levels of vitamin D could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by 40%.  I do not know what the big deal is.  In November of 2007 the National Cancer Institute came out with a report as a rebuttal to the Lappe finding at Creighton University.  The Lappe finding showed a 60% ( or 77% when taking out the tumors not found in the initial screening that occurred in the first year of the trial) reduction in total cancer in a placebo control double blind study.  NCI did an epidemiological study based on flawed data (questionable and two few actual test data on serum levels of vitamin D) and even then as you read through the abstract it said something to the effect that there was no relationship between higher vitamin D levels and cancer except that there was a 75% reduction in death from colorectal cancer in the higher quintals of vitamin D.  Well dang NCI isn’t this enough to trigger treatment trials with people with cancer and not just prevention trials.  Maybe they are not just ignoring the facts but acting with disdain.  Given these numbers you can see why I think that just a modest improvement in supplementation and (trips to the Caribbean or Hawaii in the winter for you rich people) will have significant impact on cancer.

You know one of the things that I have notice when talking with people is the lack of consistency in taking vitamin D.  They typically take two small an amount when supplementing or they just skip days while taking this small amount.  Remember the serum half life of vitamin D at 30 ng/ml is approximately three weeks.  This means that after three weeks with no supplementation or exposure to tanning that your serum level is 15 ng/ml.  At higher rates this half life is much reduce.  I need to do more reading on this, but I found one study that said that the half life at 100 ng/ml was only 5 days.  This seems like two short amount of time but if it is correct then compliance when supplementing is extremely critical.  This also explains why people at latitudes close to the equator catch viruses more easily in the rainy season when there is not much sun.

Ah, for a two week repose on the garden island of Kauai that would drive away the winter blues and chronic disease.  Maybe I can make that happen if I were president.  I would certainly declare a national emergency for vitamin D deficiency.  Living easy with the sun in my mind and vitamin D supplements at hand –  Pandemic Survivor

Love in Health and Illness

I attended a white coat ceremony this past weekend.  No it was not a KKK meeting nor was it on the white house lawn.  It was the initiation of medical students in moving from the classroom to their start of training in practice with actual patients.  This has long been the practice of medical schools as a way to tell students that they have the ability to deal with patients under the management of their professional medical trainer.  It also allows patients that are in contact with these neophytes that they have had enough training to start the art of medicine.  I want go into the detail but was amazed to learn that the type of coat that you wear is a code for your level of training.

It was your typical moving on ceremony but one of the speakers gave the students some really great advice.  He went on to describe how he was a ‘very get it done’ type of medical practitioner.  He believed that the best thing that he could do for his patients was to determine the type of treatment needed and then deliver the procedures to them.  However, as he practiced he became more aware that healing was best delivered when he had the patients know that he understood their concerns and that he truly cared about their well being.  His advice to the students was to show their patients that they understood and truly cared about them.  Some may call this love.

1 Cor. 13:13 NIV “And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

Studies have shown that mothers produce enormous amounts of oxytocin.  This is otherwise known as the love hormone.  New studies have shown that this same hormone is produced in persons that have skin to skin contact with another individual.  What is it about this closeness that causes our bodies to react?  I personally do not believe that you have to have the contact but just someone that is willing to listen to your complaints and react positively to you that they understand your ‘pain’ and truly care about you.  I know that this was the thing that I truly desired when I was in pain for all of those years.  I just wanted someone to hold me and tell me they cared.  I did not realized that this was actually shown in science to be an active form of treatment.

To show you how this works you may have heard of the study that was done sometime in the mid-twentieth century with lights and factory workers.  When the management decided to add increase lighting to the plant floor the productivity of the workers increased.  Strange enough when they went in and reduced the lighting to a lower level the productivity increased again.  The effect was not so much the light as it was that the workers knew by the presence of management that the management cared about their well being.  You may have also heard about a study that was done with babies where they were separated into two groups.  One group was held normally and cared for.  The other group was given minimal contact and the study was stopped after the first baby died from lack of personal contact and all the babies in the noncontact group were developing poor health.  It just sounds like common sense that we should be aware that this carries on into our adult life.  It has been shown that people with a strong support group such as a church that they have a healthier life as well as a longer life.

Know that I care about your health and that I understand your pain and the many chronic diseases that you may be developing or that you have from the years of being scared out of the sun.  It is with this love that I write to you as often as I possibly can so that you may be healed.

When scientific studies are now done, they are double blind, placebo controlled, large cohort so that the effect of love and care is subtracted from the procedure or substance that is being studied.  For your doctors to act with arrogance in that you do not know anything about what is going on in your body may be said about the doctors themselves.  Sometimes the placebo or love and care effect is much greater than the effect that is being studied.  So this professor giving the advice to the students is truly a wise man.

In care of concern for your health; know that I love you and this drives my purpose in writing this blog.

–          Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D and the Doctor III

“Hope and Elation – Frustration and Anger – Fear and Loathing: The contrasting emotional responses to the Revolutionary Discoveries in MS made by Dr Zamboni”. – Dr Ashton Embry, Ph. D gives us this quote:  “Hell hath no fury like a researcher proven wrong or disenfranchised.”   www.direct-ms.org; when discussing the resistance to implementing the new treatment for MS that is a true break through. 

Can we get a better grip on the understanding of what doctors are like when facing a completely new radical understanding of health, there is this huge resistance to change.  This could very well be a good thing when the possibility of side effects can cause more harm than do good.  However, what is wrong with keeping the patient’s serum level of vitamin D to that of a sunny country or at a ‘summer level’ all year.  We tend to feel so much better in the summer than in the winter.

Dr. Embry’s frustration above is being described as that of a researcher that has been ‘barking up the wrong tree’ for thirty years or longer.  We find a similar episode in vitamin D where one of the super heroes of the vitamin D movement is fired from his job by a dermatologist no less after writing a book for retail. (His book is a great read – http://www.uvadvantage.org/ ) I am referring to Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University.  The University had the good sense to keep him on in another capacity.  Here is the detail of that battle from Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council in the February 2006 newsletter.  http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2006-feb.shtml

These researchers are putting their careers on the line for your health.  There is no money to be made from trying to get the medical profession to change.  Their only reward is your health.

Your doctor can only follow the guidelines and if your insurance does not cover the cost of a serum 25(OH)D test your doctor will most likely not follow through.   “There is no medical evidence that getting your vitamin D to a summer level will help your illness”, he will tell you.  What he means is that the treatment guideline for your illness does not have normalizing the serum vitamin D level as part of the treatment protocol.  This means until our heroes of the vitamin D movement get those changes made, you are responsible for being replete.

I have been really tough on doctors and maybe I should not have been.  I really am still upset with the researchers that have let the benefits of vitamin D go unpublished in the hopes of making and selling an analog for profit.  So why have we gone for so long when there is not just a magic bullet for one disease but there is a ‘magic shotgun’ (Oliver Gillie in Sunlight Robbery http://www.healthresearchforum.org.uk/sunlight.html ) for most chronic disease.

So let’s just list the things that have made this understanding of vitamin D so difficult for doctors:

  1. First, doctors have been trained in med school that vitamin D is highly toxic and to not even consider supplementation because just a small amount of sunshine is enough for strong bones.
  2. Efficacy issues comes from claims that D2 and D3 are equal and maybe this is true if you are only taking D for bone health at 400 IU per day.  Part of the issue with D2 is that you radiate fungus to make it, and over-radiation will cause isomers of vitamin D that are highly toxic.  D3 is concentrated from lambs wool and fat is less likely to form toxic sterols because there is no radiation involved in the process.  Only D2 is available as a prescription med.
  3. The amount of D3 is so small that errors in dosage could easily be made.  The suggested upper limit by the researchers is just 0.25 mg or 10,000 IU.  The upper limit now is 2000 IU or 0.05 mg or 50 micrograms.
  4. The really confusing thing is that there have been only a hand full of toxicity cases in the last fifty years with vitamin D3 and most of these were manufacturing errors by a factor of 1000 or more.   For example instead of 2000 IU; 2,000,000 IU was given.  Details on toxicity by Dr. John Cannell from 2003 http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/PDFs/toxicity-of-vitamin-d.pdf
  5. There have been many serious toxicity cases with D2 and in trials when using the steroid form of vitamin D, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D, thus causing the fear of toxicity
  6. Vitamin D is not a disease specific nutrient and has an impact on all metabolic diseases or diseases that can be related to the endocrine system.  This is really difficult for doctors to believe.

Your local doctor is in general a conscientious professional and will help you though the understanding of vitamin D if you ask nicely.  But then again he may not, because his belief that one vitamin has more than a single response in the body, namely bone health is absurd because that is what he learned in medical school.  If this is the case, for your health, the responsibility is yours.

I know that this may fly in the face of what you have always believed about your relationship with your doctor, but the truth is modern allopathic medicine has reached a ‘cookie cutter’ state that does not fit individual needs.  You have spent years of bad nutrition that has created disease, even if you followed the guidelines for nutrition to the best of your understanding.  The doctor tries to bring you back to health using drugs and surgery.  Your responsibility is to be sure that your levels of essential nutrients are where they should be.

There are institutional issues with what is the best available nutrition and what is the best available technology for treating disease.  I heard one doctor in a talk about 25 years ago say that all chronic disease is the result of poor nutrition.  I now believe that he is correct.  Institutions have ignored what is the best available understanding of medicine and nutrition for profit.  This has happened through specialization.  Each member of a research team or a medical institution is assigned a specific task and he does his best to complete the task.  The moral obligation for the people that the institution serves falls to the head of the institution?  However, the CEO or Director or Administrator believes that their job is the survival and economic health of the institution.  Who holds the moral obligation?  This type of failure in systems holds true whether it is a three man squad in battle or the NIH.  Who holds the moral compass for the NIH?  Is it the Secretary of Health or the President?  I am sure in the mind of each it is passed on to someone else.  Based on that meeting of ‘white coat’ doctors on the White House lawn to discuss health care, I think the feeling is that the moral obligation ends up in the doctor’s hands.  I am sure the doctors do not feel this same obligation as long they are following the practice guidelines.  The truth is that you hold the responsibility for your own health and can take the advice of professionals for what it is worth.

I remember in 1985 what my doctor said to me when I was using ‘his language’ to talk about my back pain as I had accepted the responsibility.  “You are using all of the right words, but do you know what you are talking about.”  In other words, he was telling me to just ‘shut the h— up and to take what he was saying at face value.’  I was effective enough for him to send me in for x-ray of my back after seven years of just telling me I had muscle strain.  After the x-rays he sent me a letter of apology to keep me from suing him.  That was nice.  Unfortunately he had not bothered to read the science and did not ask to check my vitamin D level even though Dr. Michael Holick had discovered the mechanisms of how vitamin D worked in the body and published 10 years earlier.  It is not too much to expect the best available from our doctors but it is never wrong to verify to the best of your ability.  This may include your own review of the current literature regarding your illness to see if the suggested treatment protocols agree with current research.  Most doctors will hate you for this.

Living in a world without back pain is wonderful.     Take responsibility for your health.  – Pandemic Survivor

Note: There was an episode of House where the suggested illness was vitamin D deficiency.   My wife, the director of a large clinical lab is telling me that doctors are ordering serum vitamin D test on almost everything.  Maybe we are getting there.  There is hope and you will not have to suffer pain for 30 years like I did.

Vitamin D and the Press

This is a real tough nut to crack.  When a truly amazing story breaks on health, it is like the news people do not want to touch it.   When I first became aware of all the chronic disease that vitamin D deficiency was responsible for I was a bit hesitant.  Even though I had significant healing of cartilage and bone, I could not believe the science I was reading about all the metabolic effects.  Just like everyone else we had been up and down the road of claims about various nutrients and their effectiveness.  The science is so far reaching that no one can separate their common beliefs from the reality that society has done itself a huge disservice in the last fifty years by not following where the science has lead.

News people can be lazy in chasing down the latest on a story.  And there is this thing about having to keep the institutions that are buying the majority of the ads happy.  Ben Franklin did not have this problem as the advertising world was almost none existent in his day and he made his income from the paper by selling the paper.

We have heard about the toxicity of vitamin D over the years and this in combination of the ‘fear of the sun’ has driven the health of America into the toilet.  Not only are we paying unheard of amounts of money to fund the science, we are not being shown what the science has discovered because the largest economic sector, health care, would move from 16-18 percent of the economy to less than 10% of the economy.  This would still be a large percentage of the economy but not the glory days when large houses and yachts could be purchased off the backs of sick people.

The toxicity issue is there but not nearly as drastic as it was made out to be because we were putting a substance in our bodies that was not natural to our bodies and screaming about toxicity – vitamin D2.  The medical profession has always claimed that D3 and D2 are equal and they are not.  I have reported at length on this toxicity in the past and how much more D3 is effective than D2 and will not bore you with it now.

The experts are hesitant to move very fast because no one is willing to take the responsibility of bringing the largest segment of the economy down.  This really seems odd because by not moving they are taking responsibility for the sick and dying from vitamin D deficiency.  So which is the largest crime; theft by taking people’s jobs away or murder by withholding information about what causes chronic disease?  I am allowed to use language like this because I was personally tortured for 25 years because no one who had understanding of the science would come forward.  I had to discover it on my own by reading the science and acting.  My doctor, bless his heart, was telling me that I was going to damage myself and now he takes 8,000 IU’s of D3 per day.

And the press, well we have at least one paper that has got it right and that is the Financial Times.  I had a previous post on this – Major Newspaper Gets It This was a real surprise to me to see this article.  The rest of the world’s press have been playing it real safe and the Financial Times just comes right out and says vitamin D is not going mainstream because governments do not know what to do about the economic impact.

The Financial Times is based in London, England a country whose economic segment for health is already half of America’s segment.  So maybe they are just trying to get the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the same economic neighborhood in which they live.  Our ‘sick care’ is about $8,000 per capita and in the UK it is about $4,000 per capita.  So let’s see:  $4000 x 300,000,000 people in the US is 1.2 trillion dollars.  Now that will buy a lot of houses and yachts for news corporation owners, medical insurance managers, pharmaceutical CEO’s, hospital directors, politicians filling their freezers with money, and doctors doing unnecessary procedures.  Is there a grand conspiracy or is our trusted professionals just ignoring the facts for profit otherwise known as murder.

The thing that should have got your attention was that the UK’s segment for health care is half of America’s and their sick rate is about the same.  The US has created a huge sick economy out of medical insurance so that our politicians can continue to fill their freezers with money.  If the US got the insurance thing right and had a healthy population from better nutrition, the segment could move from $8,000 per capita to $3,000 per capita freeing up funds to stimulate our economy in other segments.

Is there at least one good investigative reported left that is willing to tell the truth and not some theory of relative speculation?  We know there are no politicians left with morals.

Physically surviving, emotionally distraught.  – Pandemic Survivor