Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holiday Joy December 2005 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter December 2005


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19

As we approach the holiday season with all its’ busyness and hurrying around, let us take a minute to remember where we get our strength and the reason for the season. With all that has happened in the last year, with hurricanes, floods, war, etc. I am always humbled how God has moved through the various people at FHN to go out and help those people. We thank you for your sacrifice and for your service and pray that God continues to strengthen you.

We would also like to thank Dennis Hamilton for the great service he has done in his 20 years here. We wish him a full and healthy new stage of life!

Merry Christmas to all

Complemetary Medicine

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bone Density November 2005 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter November 2005


Increasing Bone Density

Osteoporosis and bone fracture due to osteoporosis are a significant problem for people as we age or have bone loss due to drug therapy (ie steroids). Calcium (especially calcium apaitite) and Vit. D supplementation and exercise can help slow the loss and may show some moderate increases in density over time. For more severe cases osteoporosis drugs have been needed. Fosamax, Actonel, Bovina, etc. have been shown to reduce fractures by 40% , but in many cases have produced side effects. Those have included nausea, heartburn, GI problems, and in a few cases kidney failure.

So is there an alternative?

Sometimes something old becomes new again. Strontium! Strontium is a mineral (Sr) atomic weight of 87. (Not the radioactive Sr 90 of atomic weapon fears of the 1950’s).

Sr was used a hundred years ago for bone health but fell out a favor in the 1950’s. I guess people thought they would glow in the dark!

Recently studies looking at Strontium have shown it also can increase bone density in the 40% range over time. With one big advantage….. little to no side effects.

Studies show dosage ranges between 700 -1500 mg /day. Because Sr can interfere with calcium absorption it should be taken at a separate time from calcium ingestion.

Dosages at that level should be taken for 2-3 years for maximum bone density, unless you are on drugs that affect bone density and then continuous usage would be required .


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complemetary Medicne

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dark chocolate October 2005 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter October 2005


Dark chocolate …it’s for you!

All right, let’s have some fun this month. At the risk of admitting that all the females have been correct about chocolate, especially around menstruation time, dark chocolate may be good for you!

A study published in Hypertension 2005;46(2):398-405 took dark chocolate and gave it to 20 patients with essential hypertension that had never been treated. The subjects were feed 100g/day of chocolate containing flavonols for 15 days. A second group were given 90 grams/ day of dark chocolate with out flavonols for 15 days. After a 7 day rest from chocolate ( wash out period) the subjects groups switched ( crossed over) and the non flavonol group now got the flavonols and vice versa.

The results…. the flavonol group lowered BP (systolic -11.5 ave and diastolic -8.5 ave.) , the non flavonol group did not. Interestingly enough the flavonol groups’ cholesterol came down as did there oral glucose tolerance test.

We have talked about other flavonols in the past such as quercetin. This is another example of whole foods having rich healing properties.

The darker the chocolate the better! I don’t want any I told you so’s!!


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Integrative Oncology September 2005 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter September 2005


Integrative Oncology

Just got back from New York City and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) where I participated in a conference and did grand rounds with their Integrative Medicine Department. The conference was focused on Acupuncture in oncology, but MSKCC is doing multiple disciplines in the hospital from music therapy to massage, acupuncture to karate.

Currently MSKCC is using acupuncture at all stages of cancer care in conjunction with standard and investigational cancer treatments.

Acupuncture is being used for:

Pain control in all stages. They involve this early on and have found that use of traditional pain meds are substantially decreased. In addition they have found hospital stays are shortened.

Symptom relief from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This is especially true of treatment of nausea and vomiting and neuropathy prevention and treatment.

Fatigue due to anemia and cytotoxicity.

Immune system modulation. Improving T-cell count and Lymph counts.

Help with urination and defecation after surgery.

MSKCC is doing some interesting research on acupuncture and herbs in oncology.

One of the projects involves using functional MRI while doing acupuncture and watching the areas of increased metabolic activity at various brain centers.

One project involves studying the use of the Chinese herb of Coptis in solid tumors.

Over the 7 year history of the integrative medicine department they have gone from 2 people to a department of over 50 and growing.

Some food for thought for FHN.


Dr. Glenn Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

August 2005 Newsletter Neurotransmitter Testing

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter August 2005


Neurotransmitter Testing

Last month we talked about SSRI’s and TAAT (targeted amino acid therapy). One of the problems with the usage of SSRI’s or SNRI’s is picking the right one or titrating the right dose. Up to now that has been done by the clinical skill of the physician, which at times can be hit or miss. Assaying the brain levels has proven clinically difficult as CSF is not practical to obtain. There are several studies that have shown that HPLC testing of urine can be used to assay neurotransmitters with results that compare with CSF levels. A lab in Wisconsin ‘NeuroScience’ has started to offer this type of testing.

Knowing what the status of the individual neurotransmitters are can be invaluable in decided what class of antidepressant to use. Further targeted amino acid therapy can be added to address long term deficiencies.

Therapeutic doses can be titratated with additional testing after the start of a therapeutic regimen.

Up to now we have been talking about depression but the same approach can be used with other neurotransmitter sensitive problems such as ADD and ADHD.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Friday, July 01, 2005

Newsletter July 2005 SSRI's and TAAT

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter July 2005



SSRI’s (and SNRI’s) have been well established in the medical community. In some patients they provide symptom relief for depression and anxiety related problems. However many patients fail to find the relief they are looking for on the meds, which may become ineffective over time even at higher doses. So let’s look at that issue.

SSRI’s block the reuptake of serotonin (SNRI’s block norepinephrine) from the synapse into the neuron allowing more serotonin to be available to bind with serotonin receptors. However, it is important to note that they do not add to the total serotonin supply in the body. Several studies have shown that SSRI functioning is dependent on serotonin stores in the body. In one study tryptophan (serotonin precurser) was removed dietarily from patients taking SSRI’s. Depressive symptoms worsened in that patient population.

So what is TAAT? TAAT stands for targeted amino acid therapy. As you can surmise from that last study, tryptophan supplementation in the form of 5 HT tryptophan can greatly enhance SSRI therapy. Other amino acids like tyrosine are used in the synthesis of epinephrine and norepinephrine, theanine helps with GABA which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Different combinations of amino acids and herbs can help push different pathways of neurotransmitter synthesis.

SSRI and TAAT is a powerful combination in depression and anxiety. SSRI’s work to maintain increased synaptic neurotransmitter levels, while TAAT supplies amino acids for neurotransmitter synthesis thereby increasing supply.

Next month we will look at different testing that can help evaluate individual needs for amino acid and neurotransmitters.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

June 2005 Newsletter Celiac Diagnosis

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter June 2005


Celiac Diagnosis

For those of you that have celiac disease the problem needs no introduction. Briefly celiac is an enteropathy of the small bowel, characterized by a sensitivity to the proteins in wheat , barley and rye. Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, type I diabetes, abdominal distension, weight loss, dermatitis, anemia, autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel, miscarriage, and neurological symptoms.

Because of the many clinical presentations of the disorder the average time between symptom onset and diagnosis is 11 years! The gold standard to diagnosis is a tissue biopsy in the intestine.

Great Smokies Lab (GSDL) has developed a new celiac profile blood test that measures antibodies (IgA and IgG) Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG). These markers have been shown to be very specific for celiac disease that was later confirmed by biopsy.

If Iga-tTG is positive GSDL runs another marker , anti endomysial antibodies which help identify silent of latent forms of the disease.

Celiac disease is now considered the most common food intolerance world wide affecting about 1% of the population. This simple blood test may help shorten the detective work in discovering this problem.


Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Friday, May 06, 2005

May 2005 Newsletter Hot Flashes! and chinese medicine

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter March 2005


Hot Flashes! And Chinese medicine

This month lets talk about a problem that many women start to experience as they become perimenopausal….hot flashes. Many women have relied on hormonal replacement therapy ( HRT) to control the symptoms. With the advent of all the studies most have either stopped HRT or have substantially reduced the amount taken, rendering it less effective.

So let’s look at the problem from a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) approach. As most of you know the Chinese have a concept of yin and yang balance. Some qualities of Yin are:



Predominates at night

Is female in nature.

So it follows that if you have a lack of yin that there would be too much heat (lack of cold) that it would be worse at night and there would be some irritability (lack of nuturing).

One more concept in TCM before we can talk about how they would deal with hot flashes. Kidneys! In TCM kidneys :

Store of essence
Dominate human reproduction

Dominate water metabolism
Produces marrow for the brain and bone
Manufacture blood

It is not to hard to see that with these functions attributed to the kidney that they would be involved in the female hormonal/ reproductive system.

So one of the TCM diagnosis of hot flashes is Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Treatment involves nourishing the yin and tonifying the kidney. With a prescription called eight flavor tea.( It comes in pill form). As you might guess it has eight herbs in it. After 30- 45 days we should see some improvement.

Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

March 2005 Newsletter TCM Seminar Tui Na and Chi Gong

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter March 2005


Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)

As some of you may have seen we are going to put on a seminar on Traditional Chinese medicine, using Chi Gong and Tui Na. The seminar is sold out for this weekend. If there is enough interest we may do a second one.

TCM was historically based on 7 pillars

· Acupuncture

· Medicine/Herbs

· Movement

· Manipulation

· Nutrition

  • Astrology (western medicine from this time period also used astrology)
  • Geomancy (Feng Shui)

Our seminar will take a look at two of these modalities, Chi Gong and Tui Na.

Chi Gong is a system of gentle but effective exercise, stimulating the chinese meridians with breathing, movement, and relaxation.

Qigong draws on many elements. It includes "regulating the body" through posture, "regulating the mind" through quiet, relaxation and concentration of one's mental activity," regulating the breath", self-massage and movement of the limbs.

Tui Na is Chinese massage and manipulation used to bring about organ tonification and healing.

Tuina (tui na) is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Tuina (Tui Na) methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi , and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Newsletter February 2005 Magnesium and hs C reactive Protein

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter February 2005


Your heart, magnesium , and hsC-Reactive Protein

With February being Heart Healthy Month let’s talk about two subjects. Magnesium and highly sensitive C-reactive Protein (hsCRP).

Highly sensitive C-reactive Protein (hsCRP) is a protein that increases during systemic inflammation. Most studies show that the higher the hs-CRP levels, the higher the risk of developing heart attack. In fact, scientific studies have found that the risk for heart attack in people in the upper third of hs-CRP levels is twice that of those whose hs-CRP is in the lower third. These prospective studies include men, women and the elderly. Recent studies also found an association between sudden cardiac death, peripheral arterial disease and hs-CRP. We at Complementary Medicine feel this relatively inexpensive test should be included with most of the cardiac risk screenings. (ie cholesterol )

There is another study that we need to look at regarding magnesium. Analysis showed that adults who ingested less than the RDA (400mg/day) of magnesium were 55% more likely to have elevated C-reactive protein levels compared with those who met the RDA for magnesium. After controlling for other variables, low magnesium intake was still significantly predictive of elevated C-reactive protein levels. Subgroups at highest risk for elevated C-reactive protein linked to low magnesium included those adults over 40, those with a body mass index over 25 kg/m2, and those who consumed <50%>

Added together these two things are relatively easy to do and may have profound effects on your health!

In health,

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

January 2005 Frequency Specific Microcurrent

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter January 2005


NOT ALL CURRENT IS THE SAME –Frequency Specific Microcurrent

Most of you who have been to physical therapy or a chiropractor have experienced the use of electric current in one form or another. Bioelectric therapy has been around for over a hundred years and all of the different types have their use. In the last 25 years there has been a lot of research done on microcurrent ( a millionth of an amp( uA)) and different frequencies.

We need to know why microcurrent and frequency are important.

ATP production increases five times with currents from 50uA to 1000uA. With currents exceeding 1000uA ATP production leveled and with 5000uA ATP production was reduced. Microcurrent has also been shown to increase protein synthesis and amino acid transport.

The frequencies appear to work on the principle of biologic resonance. A singer can shatter a glass when the note resonates with the crystal structure of the glass. Microcurrent frequencies seem to be able to resonate with biologic tissue and change the structure of the tissue when the frequency is correct. Once the tissue is changed and stable it seems to be able to stay in the new configuration.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent ® utilizes these principles in treatment of many disorders. Some of which are:

· Chronic and Acute Spinal Pain

· Chronic and Acute Low Back and Neck Pain

· Orthopedic Injuries

· Fibromyalgia

· Myofascial Pain

· Tendon and Ligament Repair

· Fractures

· Edema/Lymphatic Drainage

· Shingles

· Irritable Bowel

Microcurrent changes muscle tissue, softens scar tissue, and increases circulation with the effect of removing long stored waste products and increasing cellular metabolism so quickly that there is sometimes a detoxification reaction after treatment. Some people have a similar reaction after a massage but the reaction after microcurrent is stronger because so much is accomplished in such a short period of time. This reaction is short lived (less than 24 hours) with water intake helping this process.

Microcurrent treatment is painless, increases speed of recovery, often promotes healing in conditions that have not responded to other treatment, and is cost effective. The effects are long lasting and the healing of tissue is more complete.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine