Friday, December 07, 2007

December 2007 Holiday greeting

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter December 2007

” Every good and perfect gift is from above”

As we approach the busy holiday season, we sometimes get so wrapped up in the hustle and business that for some it is overwhelming. We are reminded as health care workers that this season finds many who are lonely and depressed, with all the stresses of the season they have a much more difficult time dealing than any other time of year.

Let us take a moment out of our busy lives and reach out a comforting hand, a kind word, a selfless deed to all people around us, as you never know who might need it.

We in America have been truly blessed with an abundance of many things. FHN has been blessed with an ability to serve our community in many unique ways.

Let’s be thankful for that abundance and the opportunity to serve as we head into a new year with the many changes that are about to come. And remember that “ every good and perfect gift is from above ”.

Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.


Complementary Medicine

Dr. Julie, Dr. Glenn, Julie, Linda, and Dana

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thiamine November 2007

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter November 2007

Is your diuretic giving you BeriBeri??????

So what is beriberi? It is a deficiency of the B1 vitamin known as thiamine. Symptoms include weight loss, emotional disturbances, impaired sensory perception (Wernicke's encephalopathy), weakness and pain in the limbs, and periods of irregular heart rate. Edema (swelling of bodily tissues) is common. In advanced cases, the disease may cause heart failure and death. The disease was common in Asia where polished white rice is a stable of the diet and has had all the B vitamins removed in the husk. Subclinical deficiencies do exist in the west.

Nutritional Reviews 58(10): 319-323 had an article studying the effects of diuretics on thiamin. It found that many diuretics deplete thiamine and magnesium.

Interesting magnesium is needed to convert thiamin into its active form and also relaxes smooth muscle and reduces BP.

So if you are on a diuretic you may need more than just your potassium replaced. Some small doses of B1 and magnesium may help reduce the amount of the diuretic you need and may help your heart not advance into congestive heart failure.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cold Laser How it works Oct 2007

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter October 2007

What’s in a Therapeutic Laser and Why does it work.??????

Those are two of the more frequent questions we get asked about LASER therapy that we do here at Complementary Medicine. As most of you know we use a low power laser for smoking cessation, carpal tunnel, weight lose, wound healing, and many pain control applications. So how does shining a light on it make good things happen? There have been many PhD papers written on the subject and much additional research is being done daily. We are going to look at this from a very rudimentary level. (For those of you who hate physics!)

We are fortunate to have a class 4 laser which gives us enough power to effect deeper tissues effectively. So …..What’s in a laser. We actually have 3 laser in one. They are made of special LED’s (similar to those lights that are on all your electronic equipment these days). We have three separate diodes that produce 3 separate wavelengths of light. (650nm red light, 790nm infrared, and 975nm infra red, for those who just have to know). The different wavelengths they have found have different therapeutic effects and different penetrating effects. Those diodes are then put through different lenses to additionally focus the light to a small beam.

Why does it work? Many in the medical community are surprised to find out that there is good solid physics behind the physical effects. So what are some of them? Just a quick review of cell biology. Inside the cells are “chromophores”, these are light sensitive apparatus that are responsible for many functions inside the cell including ATP (energy) formation.

So the first thing the laser does is increase energy at the cellular level. When tissue is damaged it requires increase energy levels to heal. Other documented effects are the increase in nitric oxide, calcium ion balance restoration, increased collagen formation in the fibroblasts, increased action potential in nerves, stimulation of immune system. These are a few known effects, more are being learned everyday.

Beside the wavelength being an important factor in therapeutic laser so is dosage measured in Joules (watt-secs) of energy. We must get enough laser energy to the tissue that we want to effect to get the physical effects to happen. Our new class 4 laser has from 10mw to 5 watts of power that we can deliver to the tissue. This allows us to effect tissues we could not have previously reached and to cut treatment times down.

So there is a short course in why it works. We hope you find this useful.

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Carnitine Deficiency From Antibiotic

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter Sept. 2007

Carnitine Deficiency Associated with Antibiotic Use

There was a recent case (to be published in Pediatrics) about an 18 month old boy who was on long term antibiotic therapy for “intractable” otitis media. The boy was admitted to the hospital having seizures, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. Lab tests revealed hypoglycemia and hypocarnitinemia. IV glucose was ineffective against the seizures and LOC. IV carnitine resolved both.

The antibiotic involved with this case was a Cephem (Cefitorem Pivoxil). It appears that the antibiotics containing Pivalic Acid all deplete carnitine. Some other antibiotics that involve pivalic acid include Pandocillin and Selexid.

All tissues that use fatty acids as a fuel source, or require coenzyme A for cellular reactions, require availability of carnitine for normal function.

Carnitine has been shown in several studies to be effective in reducing heart related problems including CHF, MI’s, and angina. In addition intermittent claudication also seems to be positively effected by carnitine levels.

We have been talking for years about how we need to replace the good bacteria (Probiotic) with antibiotic use. Now it becomes obvious that use of these antibiotics should also include supplementation with carnitine.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tamoxifen and Q10 May 2007

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter May 2007

Tamoxifen and CoQ10

An interesting study was just done in India on Lipids in post-menopausal women breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen. Tamoxifen therapy seems to induce higher lipid levels in patients. Therefore enzyme CoQ10, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), were given to these patients for 90 days to see how they responded.

The study involved 78 women with breast cancer (these are women who have already gone through primary cancer therapy) in 3 groups. Those who were untreated, those who were treated with Tamoxifen alone (10 mg/twice a day), and those who were treated with Tamoxifen (10 mg/twice a day) plus coenzyme Q10 (100 mg), riboflavin (10 mg) and niacin (50 mg), and 46 age- and sex- matched controls without breast cancer. (The dosage of niacin is certainly low enough as to not cause any liver concerns.)

Results found that compared to control subjects without breast cancer, all lipid and lipoprotein levels were significantly altered in untreated breast cancer patients. Compared to untreated breast cancer patients, levels of serum triglycerides and very-low-density cholesterol were significantly elevated and levels of HDL cholesterol were significantly reduced among patients with breast cancer treated with Tamoxifen alone. After 90 days of treatment with coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and niacin, "all the lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities were reverted back to near normal levels!”

Certainly this is a small study, but with the low doses used it would certainly warrant the use of these nutrients with Tamoxifen therapy.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Cleaning April 2007 Newsletter

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter April 2007

Spring is the time for house cleaning

Spring is the time we clean the house and get out all the winter clutter and dirt. The body is no different, it needs a good spring cleaning also.

The Chinese say that the “liver predominates” in the spring. After a winter of heavy food, holiday binging, and not much exercise, the liver awakens and gets things moving. Gallbladder flare-ups are common, as are gallbladder channel headaches. As the qi begins to move and the liver system becomes more active, stagnant toxins may become more apparent! So we start to get these spring symptoms, the phlegm starts moving; the eyes water; the sinuses gush; and Americans all over rush to find something - anything - to stuff that unsightly phlegm back in deeper than ever. The solution is the phlegm and its accompanying toxins and parasites must come out.

The liver wants nothing more than a spring cleaning - for most, this means fasting and cleansing diets. However, most Americans are overfed year-round. Few Americans fast voluntarily. In our not-so-distant ancestry, fasting was common. No food? What are you going to eat? In springtime, you can plant food, but there's nothing to harvest until later - it's a historically common time to go hungry.

So am I telling you to stop eating? No, but we need to make some dietary changes and allow the natural cleansing to start to work. . It is a natural part of the cycle of life. If winter didn't kill you off, it's time to get moving!

Start with what you are eating…..lighten it up!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Granny smith apples
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Miso soup
  • Rice
  • Vegetables

We also do a couple of other things to expedite the process. To help the liver and intestine cleanse we have a medical food product called Ultraclear that we put patients on to help the process (no we don’t sell this without seeing the patient first to make sure it is right for them). We also use Milk Weed Thistle (Silymarum) Capsules to help the liver function better and repair any damage it may have.

So it is springtime, time for a cleaning.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fiber Facts Newsletter 2007

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter March 2007

Fiber Facts ( you aren’t getting enough)

We all know the benefits of fiber! Fiber not only promotes health, it also helps reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. For instance, fiber prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis. Fiber is also linked to prevent some cancers especially colon and breast cancer. In addition, fiber may help lower the LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) and the total cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, fiber can help lower blood sugar therefore help better manage diabetes.

The intake of crude fiber in the American diet was assessed for 7 time periods between 1909 and 1975 using food consumption and composition tables. Crude fiber intake dropped 28% from 6.8 g/day in 1909 to 4.9 g/day in 1957 to 1959 and has remained at that level until the present. The intake of fiber from vegetables has remained relatively constant from 1909 to 1975 while potatoes, fruit, cereals, dry peas, and dry bean consumption have declined. The trends shown for crude fiber consumption in the United States support the hypothesis that fiber intake has decreased coincidentally with increases in degenerative diseases.

Fiber falls into 2 broad catagories soluble and insoluble. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are undigested. They are therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact, therefore bulks up the size and weight of the feces. Soluble fiber bind with fatty acids and prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly.

The RDA of fiber is 25 grams. Sadly the average American diet contains between 1.7g to 10g per day. Obviously we need to do better. We need 5-6 servings of vegetables (potatoes don’t count and ketchup is not a vegetable) and 3-4 WHOLE grain servings per day to come close to that amount. The best source of fiber is your food. If you can’t or won’t eat that much you may need to supplement your fiber input. But not all fibers are the same…the fiber you take depends on what you need and what you are trying to accomplish.

Here are some ideas.

Wheat Bran Increase Fecal Bulk

Oat Bran Binds bile salts

Gums Laxative

Guar,legumes, psyllium, citrus rind, Bind steroids,delay gastric emptying,

Apple, onion skin, agar,carrageenan and remove heavy metals

Wheat , apple, Cabbage , Broccolli Antioxidant, anticarcinogenic

So start chewing for your health.

Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chidhood asthma and probiotics

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter February 2007

Is there something parents can do to change whether their children will get asthma? Babies who received a course of antibiotics during the first six months of life are 2.5 times more likely than their peers to have developed asthma by age 7, according to a Henry Ford Health System study. And babies who took even one round broad-spectrum antibiotics were 8.9 times more likely to acquire asthma. The study, presented at the European Respiratory Society's September 2003 annual conference, and reported by Reuters Health, also demonstrated a link between infants antibiotic use and other allergic diseases such as eczema. Recent controlled studies showing that giving probiotics (active cultures of beneficial bacteria) lowers the risk of allergic disease suggest that these data point to antibiotics actively raising the risk.

A study in the Journal of Pediatrics (November 2004 Volume 145, Number 6) showed Children with atopic dermatitis (AD) have increased intestinal permeability, thought to be due to increased mucosal inflammation. The investigators demonstrated that administration of probiotics could reduce eczema in patients with AD.The trial also reviewed whether administration of probiotics could reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.

The investigators concluded that the gut mucosal barrier is less effective for patients with AD and can be improved with the use of probiotic bacteria and GI symptoms could be reduced. Antibiotics reduce the gut mucosal barrier. If antibiotics are important to give, ask for the most narrow-spectrum choice that would work (antibiotics that kill the desired bacteria, and as few of the bystander bacteria as practical). Whenever a child needs antibiotics, We suggest giving probiotics to replenish the diversity of beneficial bacteria.

In children under 2 the bifido bacterias predominate and should be in the probiotic that is given. After 2 years of age lactobacillus strains predominate and should be the majority of what is given.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Migraines and Acupuncture January 2007

FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter January 2007

Migraines and Acupuncture

Those people that have ever suffered from migraines know how debilitating they can be. One of the standard prophylactic treatments is metoprolol (toprol). A study was recently done in Germany comparing the effectiveness of toprol to acupuncture for the PREVENTION of migraines.

In a randomized controlled multi-center trial involving 114 patients who experience migraine headaches, treatment with acupuncture over the course of 12 weeks was found to be as effective as standard prophylactic drug therapy for the prevention of migraine headaches. The study began with a 4 week pre-randomization period, in which subjects recorded information about their headaches in a headache diary. Subjects were randomized into one of two groups. Group1 received 8-15 acupuncture treatments over the course of 12 weeks. Group2 received the commonly used, first-line drug for migraine prophylaxis, metoprolol (brand names: Lopressor, Toprol-XL), 100-200 mg/d over the course of the same 12 week period. Subjects were followed up with for an additional 12 weeks following the intervention period. Outcomes were primarily assessed based on the difference in the number of days with migraines before randomization as compared to the number of days with migraine between weeks 9-12 after randomization. While only 2 subjects randomized to acupuncture dropped out of the study, 18 subjects randomized to drug therapy dropped out (7 experienced intolerable side effects, 1 experienced worsening of symptoms, 7 refused to take the drug). The percentage of subjects who experienced at least a 50% reduction in migraine attacks was 61% for subjects who received acupuncture and 49% for subjects who received metoprolol. Furthermore, subjects who received acupuncture experienced a 2.5 day reduction in the number of days with migraines, while subjects who received metoprolol experienced a reduction of 2.2 days.

This research certainly agrees with what we experience at Complementary Medicine. In addition to the acupuncture we add chiropractic care and nutritional support for very good migraine control.


Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith

Complementary Medicine