Wednesday, December 03, 2003

December 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter December 2003

Let’s talk Flu.

With the implementation of the use of masks for the flu symptom patient coming into FHN offices , I thought it prudent to talk about some alternative approaches which help prevent the flu and deal with early onset symptoms. There are reports that the current strain is especially virulent and the vaccine may not be effective in some cases.

In addition to keeping your immune system healthy and moderation in all things during the holiday season, let’s look at two simple things that you might do to help yourself.

1. Create an internal environment that is not a conducive “host” for the Flu to take hold. The simplest way to do that is take a probiotic prophylactically.

The probiotic should be a mixture of lactobacillus acidophilus and bifido bacterium. Taken one to two times a day on an empty stomach will help populate the mucous membranes that are the site of first attachment of the flu.

2 From a Chinese standpoint, acute febrile diseases go through four stages.

The first stage is called the “wei stage”, which means defense stage. At this stage the pathogens are in the bodies superficial tissues. Symptoms would include: Fever, headache, absence of sweating, cough. Because the pathogen is only superficial the Chinese use herbs and acupuncture to disperse it through the skin and lungs. Typically the herbs will cause diaphoresis and promote lung secretions. If caught within the first 24 hour period this will many times stop the symptoms from progressing. We have a product called essential defense that does a nice job at this stage of the disease.

We wish you all a very healthy Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Monday, November 03, 2003

November 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter November 2003

Shingles and Post Herpetic Neuralgia

Shingles is a painful disease. It starts with a painful and very tender rash with blisters. A quarter of cases occur in the face. It is more common in the elderly and in people whose resistance is low because of illness or stress. It is caused by the chickenpox virus, which remains dormant in the body after the chickenpox infection. Roughly 20 percent of those diagnosed with shingles go on to suffer long-lasting pain from post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a condition that can be more painful than shingles. Although most people suffer with shingles for about a month, the pain and skin sensitivity can continue for months or even years in some patients with PHN. Shingles can be treated with antiviral medication provided it is given within 3 days of the rash appearing. There are some studies that show that this may not reduce the frequency of PHN.

At Complementary Medicine we have helped people from age 4 to 90 with the pain of shingles and PHN. We use a combination of acupuncture and high frequency lymphatic drainage. If we can start treatment of shingles during the active lesion phase most of the time we reduce or eliminate the pain in 2 or 3 visits. PHN may take longer depending on how long the pt. has had it and how much nerve damage has been done. We are starting to use the cold laser for more chronic pain suffering. So the earlier we start treating the better.


Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith

Friday, October 03, 2003

October 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter

October 2003

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel with Cold Laser

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), the most common repetitive-stress injury, is a manifestation of nerve and tissue damage from fast, forceful and seemingly harmless repetitive wrist and hand motions. Repetitive movements can cause inflammation of the tendons that pass through a narrow tunnel in the wrist called the Carpal Tunnel. Those tendons enable the hand to open and close. The median nerve that also passes through the Carpal Tunnel carries impulses from the brain to the fingers. Inflamed tissue in the Carpal Tunnel can squeeze the median nerve, cause significant swelling and debilitating pain. The longer the swelling compresses or pinches the median nerve, the greater the chance that some of the nerve cells will die. When enough nerve cells die, hand muscles deteriorate and lose their ability to grip. CTS sufferers may become permanently disabled if they ignore the symptoms.

Non-surgical treatments for CTS in the past have included immobilization, cold and hot therapy, aspirin, cortisone, infrared heat ultrasound, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, various types of physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs. In the most severe cases, surgery is performed to enlarge the Carpal Tunnel and repair ligaments. Statistics from the National Center for Health indicate that 2.4 million visits were made to physicians in 1999 because of CTS, of which 1 million were made to orthopedic surgeons.

In February of 2002 the FDA approved the use of COLD ( low level) Laser for the treatment of CTS. Low-level laser therapy is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or wounds to improve soft tissue healing and relieve both acute and chronic pain. Low-level therapy uses cold (subthermal) laser light energy to direct bio-stimulative light energy to the body's cells without injuring or damaging them in any way. The therapy is precise and accurate; and offers safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. The energy range of low level laser light is 5mW (milliwatts), while for surgical lasers the energy range lies between 3000 and 10000 mW.

The Physiological Effects of Low Level Laser Therapy

· Improved metabolism
· Increase of cell metabolism
2. Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
3. Analgesic effect
4. Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
5. Stimulation of wound healing

6. Relieves acute and chronic pain

7. Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair

8. Stimulates the immune system

9. Stimulates nerve function
10. Develops collagen and muscle tissue

FHN has purchased a Cold Laser for treatment of CTS and other pain syndromes. This therapy is non invasive, painless, and allows the patient to remain at work during the treatment period. Complementary Medicine is currently offering this therapy in their office. (Health works will also be offering this therapy in the near future.)


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Sunday, August 03, 2003

August 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter August 2003

We were recently asked about alternative care treatment for MS. That is a big question and treatment would be somewhat dependent on the progression of the disease.

Let me give you some general overviews to our approach.

As etiology of the disease is unknown we have to look at some of the theories, from secondary viral destruction of the myelin sheath, to allergy, to autoimmune. Diagnosis and treatment is aimed at those areas plus treatment of any deficits caused by the MS.

First we remove all nutrasweet (Nutrasweet can mimic neurotransmitters in the brain)

We look at allergic load.

We use an ELISA blood test and test 96 foods for IgE and IgG (immediate and delayed sensitivities). Treatment is aimed at elimination of allergen, desentisation,

gut permeability, and restoration of gut flora.

We look at possible other metabolic blocks:

Typically we look at heavy metal exposure. We prefer a hair assay as this can look at exposures that are more that 72 hours old. We just had a patient who had a diagnosis of MS that we found with high Arsenic. Her well water was tested and found to have high amounts. We have started a chelation (oral) treatment and the patients’ symptoms have abated.

We need to down regulate the immune response:

This dovetails with the allergies as we look at gut permeability (we have a test that involves taking a loaded dose of a large molecule that is normally not absorbed and measuring excretion in saliva, urine, and stool. We also may need to look at systemic candidiasis as an immune upregulator.

Demylenation needs to be supported with fatty acid supplementation

Antioxidant functions needs to be supported.

Here are some of the products that we would use.

Plant sterols (moducare) for immune system

Chinese Herbs for virus’ (viral aid)

Reduced glutithione (recancostat) for antioxidant




Flax oil

Phosphatidyl Serine

Acupuncture and auricular acupuncture can help both immune system and some symptoms.

Moderate (not hard) activity

Drs. Glenn & Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Thursday, July 03, 2003

July 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter July 2003


As many of you are now aware the Illinois legislature has passed a law banning the sale of products containing ephedra. (and one if it’s alkaloids ephedrine). We understand the hysteria that has been generated on the subject but let’s look at this from the objective information that is available. The controversy seems to lie in the use in athletic stimulants and diet and appetite suppressants. Several deaths have been “linked” to the use of the herb.

In 2002 the FDA commissioned the RAND Corporation to investigate more than 17,000 adverse events reported to ephedra use. In February 2003 the Rand report stated there was NO CAUSAL link to ephedra an ANY of the adverse events or deaths. The FDA actually backed off it’s position to limit the amount of ephedra used in products after the report was published.

Where does the truth lie? Ephedra has been used for several thousand years in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM). Traditional usage has been for treatment of bronchial asthma, colds, flu, cough, wheezing, headache, and nasal congestion………Notice the list does not include metabolic and athletic enhancement!!

Dosages in TCM would typically run in the 15-30 mg /day range with a max of 150mg per day. Many of the enhancement supplements were running 300mg per capsule, in addition they were usually combined with other stimulants (ie caffeine ). It is interesting that even with the dramatic abuse (overdose and combinations) of the substance a causal link could not be found.

So, dieters and parents the law does not outlaw the use of these products just the sale in Illinois. Parents talk to your kids about it, don’t over use it. Unfortunately the good and several thousand year tested uses are now also gone without the back up of any science.

Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

June 2003 Newsletter

Monthly Newsletter Complementary Medicine June 2003

Summer brings sun! Sun brings skin damage!

Your sunscreen may be giving you a false sense of security! It's not the sun exposure that’s the problem with skin conditions--it’s the damage to the folic acid in the skin caused by the sun.

Folic acid is important in the DNA for repair to healthy skin cells. It is destroyed rapidly by heat, cold and exposure to light including sunlight. Look for folic acid in foods like spinach, dark green vegetables, brewers yeast, lima beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, wheat germ and liver. If you spend large amounts of time in the sun, you should supplement with 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily.

Other nutrients important for health skin:

Essential fatty acids (fish oil)


Vitamin E (mixed tocopherol--avoid dl-alpha tocopherol)

Vitamin C and

Lipoic acid: The most potent anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory in the body. It enhances the action of other antioxidants like Vit. E, glutathione and Vit.C. Since it is both fat and water soluble it can penetrate the cell membrane to fight free radicals in the mitochondria as well as de-activate debris in the outer plasma. Animal and human studies have shown that oral applications of lipoic acid have a profound effect on skin improvement. It has also been used to treat diabetic neuropathy or liver and pancreas damage from alcohol.

Inevitably, the sunburn happens! Ointments containing Vitamins A and E work to cleanse, fortify, heal and protect damaged skin. These vitamins require fatty acids to be absorbed. Flaxseed oil used topically or orally will help with absorption and aids in healing sunburn, acne, deep cuts, scrapes and dandruff.

Happy sunshine!

Drs Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Saturday, May 03, 2003

May 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter May 2003

Calcium it is Not all equal!

Calcium is an essential element for biological processes in the body. It is used for bones, a buffer of blood, and in muscle contraction. We get good bioasorbable calcium from dark green leafy vegatables, salmon , etc. Most experts agree to get the amount that is needed that supplementation is required. Not all supplements are created equal. Several questions have to be asked.

For what purpose are you taking the calcium?

How much of the calcium are you capable of absorbing?

When are you taking the calcium?

In the case of calcium supplements, bioavailability refers to the amount of calcium a person actually absorbs from a supplement, rather than the amount of elemental calcium the supplement contains before it is taken. Although calcium carbonate contains more elemental calcium than calcium citrate, it is not as readily available to the body overall. A meta-analysis recently done confirms that calcium citrate provides superior bio-availability of calcium. Calcium carbonate requires an acidic environment in order to be absorbed. Stomach acid increases in the presence of food, so calcium carbonate should be taken with a meal. Calcium citrate does not require extra stomach acid to be dissolved, and can be taken on an empty stomach..

Calcium lactate while it delivers less elemental calcium to the bloodstream it seems to be much more readily used by the muscles. When you take calcium and magnesium salts of lactic acid the lactates are delivered to muscle tissues in an alkaline form. The muscles have much less soreness and pain, especially after strenuous exercise.

Calcium Apatite has been shown by radioactive tissue tagging to be more absorbable in the bones than other calcium tested.

All calcium's need vit. D, magnesium and phosphorus to work and absorb. In addition boron has been shown to help increase bone density.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Thursday, April 03, 2003

April 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter April 2003

Prostate Health

One out of five men over fifty have cancer cells in their prostate, 3 out of 4 have palpable inflammation. By age 75, 3 out of 5 men have active prostate cancer. There are some steps that can be taken to reduce those risks and reduce the hyperplasia ( and all of its complications, like nocturnal urinary frequency).

1. Vit E (400iu of natural d-alpha and mixed tocopherols), selenium(200mcg) and zinc (30 mg) are all protective.

2. Omega 3 oils like those in flax, salmon, and walnuts.

3. Lycopenes, like those found in tomatoes are prostate supportive

4. DHT ( the bad testosterone) can be kept low by taking herbs such as saw palmetto and nettles (use a standardized extract)

5. Saw palmetto and nettles also inhibit conversion of androgens to estrogens. DIM from broccoli also helps here.

6. Exposure to outside estrogens can be kept down by drinking pure drinking water.

7. Exercise has been shown to decrease risk of prostate cancer by 25 percent.

8. Over fifty years of age have a yearly DRE and PSA.

On another subject: Many patients have to pay out of pocket for the services at complementary medicine. That is true for those on assisted care who might benefit by some of our therapies. With the partners in giving drive coming we would ask those who might be inclined to designate their gift to benefit Complementary Medicine so we can in turn help some patients who can't afford to come here.

Thank you

Drs Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Monday, March 03, 2003

March 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter March 2003

Vitamin E Sense

With February being heart health month there was a lot written about vitamin E. Not all E's are created equal!! And more is not necessarily better.

Which form of this fat-soluble vitamin is best? The names of all types of vitamin E begin with either “d” or “dl,” which refer to differences in chemical structure. The “d” form is natural (also known as RRR-alpha tocopherol) and “dl” is synthetic (more correctly known as all-rac-alpha tocopherol). The natural form is more active and better absorbed, ( some studies show almost 2 times the activity).

After the “d” or “dl” designation, often the Greek letter “alpha” appears, which also describes the structure. Synthetic “dl” vitamin E is found only in the alpha form—as in “dl-alpha tocopherol.” Natural vitamin E may be found either as alpha—as in “d-alpha tocopherol”—or in combination with beta, gamma, and delta, labeled “mixed”—as in mixed natural tocopherols. Gamma tocopherol was found to be more effective than alpha tocopherol in protecting against certain specific types of oxidative damage.

Studies are usually done in the 400-1000 IU range (most studies unfortunately use the dl form which take 2 times as much to be active). There are some studies using 1600 IU's. Unless you have some fat absorbtion problems or some disease processes such as myasthenia gravis rarely would you need that much. Especially if you are using natural mixed forms.

In addition some experts believe that the dl form in dosages over 1000 IU's can cause some myalgia's, a rise in serum CK, and even some muscle necrosis. Most of which reverses when the high dosage is stopped.

So PLEASE use natural mixed tocopherols in 400-800 IU dosages. Your body will thank you!


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Monday, February 03, 2003

Febraury 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter February 2003

February is heart health month. So let's look at homocystiene as a marker for heart health.

In the past 10 years scientists have found high levels of homocystiene to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease and other vascular diseases. Scientists have concluded that homocystiene is up to 40 times more predictive than cholesterol in assessing cardiovascular disease risk.

Homocysteine is formed by the body as a naturally synthesized byproduct of methionine metabolim. Homocysteines like cholesterol is needed by the body and after it is used is broken down for other uses such as ATP and cysteine. If it does not break down and enters the bloodstream it will eventually attack the blood vessel walls causing scarring and laying the foundation for plaque and platelet formation, heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular disease. When homocysteine accumulates it causes oxidation of fats and free radicals causing platelets to stick together and free radical damage to the artery walls.

If certain enzymes, and catalysts are not present homocysteine cannot be properly metabolized by the body. The absence of these enzymes may be due to genetic defects or more often due to nutrient deficiencies such as B-6, B-12, and folic acid. For those who do not possess a genetic defect for homocysteine breakdown, supplementation with the deficient nutrients seen with elevated homocystiene may be encouraged. People with low levels of B vitamins and folic acid are smokers and those who use birth control. Both are linked to high homocysteine levels and heart disease. Birth control pills deplete vitamin B-6 and smokers generally have low levels of folic acid and vitamin B-12.

We highly recommend that homocystiene be checked during your cardiovascular profile….and if necessary start supplementing the B vits.


Drs Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Friday, January 03, 2003

January 2003 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter January 2003

Its after the Holidays and time to get serious about your health!!

Let's talk exercise!

Current studies show that 10 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day is as effective as 20-30 minutes at one time. So for you that can't get to the gym or can't afford 30 minutes at a time, this is great news! Be creative--aerobic can be a fast walk, bouncing on a mini tramp or large exercise ball, jump rope and of course any aerobic exercise equipment, or any combination of the aforementioned.

Further studies indicate that breathing exercises are very effective in weight management and health and healing. This can be as simple as lying on your back with knees bent and controlling your inhale and exhale. Start at a 4 count and work up to a ten count.

January starts the Get Fit Program. For those who like the discipline of classes, Fitness Lifestyles is teaming up with FHN and allowing non-members to use the facility (including all classes) for a small monthly fee.

I will be teaching an interval class (aerobic and weight training) as well as Qi Gong-a Chinese form of movement similar to Tai Chi, incorporating stretch and breathing. Please check with Fitness Lifestyles for times and dates.

Exercise is part of your daily life and should not be looked upon as a chore. I encourage you to find what works for you and stick to it!!

Good luck

Drs Julie and Glenn Smith

Complementary Medicine