State of the Art Thermography Center in Northwest Arkansas

As a follow up to a previous post about thermal mammography, I recently learned of a state-of-the-art thermography clinic in northwest Arkansas. The clinic was founded by Dr. John Bain, a natural dentist who practices in Farmington, AR. Dr. Bain had a personal experience with cancer and since then, in addition to his busy dental practice, has dedicated much of his time researching natural methods to help people who are either struggling with some form of cancer or are trying to avoid it in the first place. While researching, Dr. Bain learned of thermal imaging and the benefits it has over traditional x-ray based mammography. Frustrated by not being able to to find a thermography clinic to refer his patients to, Dr. Bain started his own.

Known as the Thermography Clinic Healthclub, Dr. Bain’s is only the third location worldwide to have the most advanced thermography technology available. Here are some of the features that the clinic has, which Dr. Bain refers to as R.A.P.S.:

  • Resolution – of 307,200 pixels per image (the highest in the industry)
  • Accuracy – advanced patented software positioning templates assure consistent accuracy of images year after year.
  • Privacy – totally remote controlled camera stand allows the patient complete privacy
  • Safety – no ionizing radiation, no contact, and safe even if pregnant

I will post more in the future, but here’s where you can get more information:

Thermography Clinic Healthclub
82 S. Southwinds Rd.
Farmington, AR 72730
(479) 301-7705
www.thermography-clinic-healthclub.com

“Do Mammograms Increase Your Risk Of Breast Cancer?”

Men Are At Risk As Well…

Breast cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer for women in the United States.  Only lung cancer claims more women’s lives than breast cancer.  But it doesn’t just affect women.  In 2007, more than 2,000 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 450 died.  Since men are rarely screened for breast cancer, when it is diagnosed it is usually at an advanced stage, with a much lower likelihood of survival.

It’s Like 1,000 Chest X-rays

The traditional means of early detection uses x-ray based mammography.  While there is no conclusive evidence that routine mammographies save lives, a considerable amount of research has shown conclusively that this x-ray exposure can indeed be harmful.  The standard practice of taking four x-rays of each breast every year is equivalent to 1 rad of exposure, which is the same as having 1,000 chest x-rays, every year.

This is not to say that I am anti-x-ray, as I use them, sparingly, in my practice.  It’s a risk-reward relationship, where seeing previously unknown fractures, disc degeneration, arthritis and the benefit of having the exact 3 dimensional correction vector necessary to resolve a practice members subluxation outweighs the risk posed by 2 x-rays.

That said, even with the large amount of radiation from traditional mammography, if it resulted in a significant drop in mortality, or if it lead to better early detection, the risk might be worth it, as early detection is seen as the best defense .  However, by the time a tumor has grown to a sufficient size to be detectable by either a traditional mammogram or a physical examination, it has been growing for several years, and achieved more than 25 doublings of the malignant cell colony.

True Early Detection?

As with most cancers, early detection greatly increases the chances of survival from breast cancer.  But since traditional mammography does not typically find tumors until late in the process, wouldn’t it make sense to utilize a diagnostic method that has been tested on over 300,000 women and shown to detect breast cancer with greater accuracy than other methods?  Of course it would.  It is known as breast thermography, it has been around since the 1960’s, and it does not use mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, plus it can detect signs of breast cancer years earlier than either mammography or a physical exam.  Abnormalities are often evident 8-10 years before a structural exam, such as a Mammogram, can currently “see” a mass.  It works on a similar principle as the digital infrared thermography I use to analyze your spine.

Thermography is able to detect the possibility of breast cancer much earlier, because it can image the early stages of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of a direct supply of blood to cancer cells, which is a necessary step before they can grow into tumors.

Thermography measures the amount of infrared heat coming from your body and translates this information into anatomical images. Your normal blood circulation is under the control of your autonomic nerve system, which controls all of the stuff you don’t have to think about like breathing and digestion.  The Tytron C-3000 technology I use on your spine also measures the function of your autonomic nerve system by looking at temperature differences along the spinal column.

Apples To Oranges

Comparing traditional mammography to breast thermography is like comparing apples to oranges.  Mammography looks at the anatomy, the structure, whereas thermography looks at the physiology or the function.  Regarding the breasts, typically, dysfunction will occur long before structural change occurs.

Now, this is not to say that mammography isn’t useful.  If a positive result is found with thermography, it is typically followed with a physical exam, mammography and/or ultrasound.  Mammography is still a useful tool.

Breast Thermography In Georgia

I searched for a qualified provider of thermography services here in Georgia and found Nina Rea, an A.M.I.T. Board Certified Thermographic Technician.

Nina is based out of Athens, however her equipment is mobile, so she is often in Roswell, Norcross, and Snellville.  I know those aren’t around the corner, but they are closer than Athens.  If you call Nina she can tell you her scheduled locations.  Also, Nina is very knowledgeable about breast thermography and is willing to answer your questions.  I had a bunch for her, and she answered them patiently, as well as emailed several research articles which provided some of the source material for this article.

One very important tip that Nina shared was regarding the choice of equipment.  There are some providers who use sub-standard imaging devices that can utilize only visual results, whereas accurate thermography utilizes both visual and quantitative results.

Other factors to consider include the ambient temperature, patient to room temperature and lighting.  Sub-standard devices can lead to either false positives resulting in unnecessary procedures, or false negatives, which could lead to not getting necessary treatment.  It is critical to find a provider that uses modern, up-to-date equipment like the MHS 5000 infrared camera that Nina uses.

You can reach Nina Rea, B.C.T.T. at (706) 338-3611 or by email at:

ti@ithermalimaging.com

or

ithermalimage@charter.net.

Her mailing address is:
P.O. Box 5312
Athens, GA 30604

Chiropractic Newsletters Now Online

I just started posting The Beacon: The Official Newsletter of Lighthouse Chiropractic over at the main site. I’ll post the new ones as I write them and will continue to post back issues. When you go to the site you’ll also see a variety of articles and trivia. Go explore the site and leave some comments here. Believe it or not, I read the comments and try to respond quickly.

Beware: Cold Germs Are Out To Get You!

The following was excerpted from The Week, Nov 14, 2008, p. 24

“If someone in your home or office has a cold, they’re leaving viruses on everything they touch, says the Associated Press. Scientists at the University of Virginia asked 16 volunteers suffering from colds or the flu to lead them around their homes, showing them the surfaces they’d touched over the past 18 hours. Previous research has shown that cold and flu viruses can live up to three days on surfaces such as countertops and doorknobs. Tests found that six out of 10 remote controls in the homes of the sick volunteers tested positive for rhinovirus, along with eight out of 10 faucets, four out of seven phones and all of the salt and pepper shakers.”

Here’s the problem with this “scientific” study. It didn’t compare surfaces in homes of volunteers NOT suffering from colds or the flu, and it didn’t prove a causal relationship between the amount of ‘germs’ and the sickness of the household members. Question, did every one of the household members become ill when they were exposed to these germs? No? Then there must be something else at work, some other force that can keep you well. Something known as a host factor.

The type of thinking that goes into designing research like this is symptomatic of our current ‘no responsibility’ society. All of our problems are blamed on something outside of ourselves. Our parents, the government, germs…

“Ohmigosh, McDonald’s coffee is too hot! Someone should be sued!”

What’s next? Suing your neighbor when you or a family member comes down with the flu? Sounds ridiculous? Many years ago people would have said the same thing about suing a restaurant over hot coffee.

Deconstructing The Germ Theory

We all come in contact with bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. Why don’t we all become miserably sick? Because when we are healthy, our bodies’ are able to deal with normal levels of ‘germs’. When our immune systems become compromised, such as when we are too stressed, eating poorly, not exercising and/or getting adequate rest we are then susceptible to these germs. Likewise, if we are exposed to an extremely high amount of foreign invaders, we may ‘come down with something’.

But looking at germs and saying they are solely responsible for sickness and disease is like looking at a garbage dump, infested with rats, and blaming the rats for the piles of garbage. Rats, like germs, are opportunistic. The rats go where there is garbage, the germs multiply in a weakened host.

Do Chiropractors Believe In Germs?

I’ve often heard it said that chiropractors do not believe in germs, to which I have two comments: First, each chiropractor is free to choose what he or she believes in. In studying to become a chiropractor, I didn’t have to take some oath that I would or would not believe in certain concepts. So this commentary is my opinion, and doesn’t necessarily apply to my entire vocation. Second, of course I believe in germs. I’m an engineer by training, so I have an appreciation for science. I’ve watched bacteria multiply. If I keep it too long, my bread gets moldy, too. It’s not a question of whether or not I believe germs exist, it’s a question of whether germs cause disease. So here’s my take on it.

Many people walk around scared of germs. But germs are only part of the health equation. Host factors play an ever larger role in determining each person’s relative level of health. By host factors I mean how well a person’s immune system is functioning, which is directly affected by eating healthy, getting adequate rest and exercise, having a mostly positive mindset, maintaining a properly functioning nerve system (research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can improve immune system function), as well as certain inherited traits.

But regardless of how well a person’s immune system is functioning, I’m not suggesting that you should knowingly overexpose yourself to germs. I am a big fan of hygiene. It’s a good idea to bath, wash hands, eat clean food, etc. Thinking otherwise would be folly. But I don’t worry when someone says, “Don’t come near me, I’ve got a cold,” or similar. Are there times when my system is overcome and I get ‘sick’? Sure. Usually it’s because I’ve neglected my normal healthy routine.

I will not be so cavalier (arrogant?) as to suggest that if everyone followed the previously mentioned methods for improving immune function that there would be no disease. As I mentioned, there are genetic factors. Some people are just born unlucky. As well, some people have acquired factors, such as severe trauma that limits their immune function. Finally, there are limitations of matter. The amount of germs can become so great as to overwhelm even the strongest immune system.

So no, this isn’t about eradicating disease from the face of the earth. But what it is about is empowering you to know that there are things you can do to improve your odds of succumbing to the next super bug. Even the sickest, most immune-deficient individual would be better off eating a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, and having a nerve system free from interference.

What would you rather focus on, something that is more-or-less out of your control (the amount of germs ‘out there’), or that which you can control (your internal resistance, your relative level of health)? I hope you choose the latter. Empower yourself, take charge or your health, do something pro-active. Simply fearing germs and running from anyone who is ‘sick’ is no way to live. Have faith that your body can heal from most illness, have faith in the power that made your body.

OK, rant over. I look forward to your comments.

p.s. With “flu season” upon us, I posted some videos below about the flu vaccine. Have a look and feel free to leave you comments.

Do Flu Shots Work?

The Flu Shot Vaccine Scam:

Testing an Influenza Vaccine:

If you have trouble viewing the videos on this page, click the links below to see them on YouTube:

Do Flu Shots Work:

The Flu Shot Vaccine Scam:

Testing an Influenza Vaccine:

Juicing Secrets For Great Health

As some of my frequent readers know, I regularly make fresh vegetable juice.  Recently, a couple of practice members asked me to describe the basics of juicing.  One suggested I put on a seminar.  So what I’ve done is write a brief summary of the whats and whys of my juicing and made a video that’s posted below this article.  If you want to learn more by attending a seminar, let me know.  Then, if enough people express interest, I’ll expand this into a seminar that goes into much greater detail.

A quick background of how my juicing has evolved.  About 6 years ago I read an article that mentioned the benefits of juicing.  I got a Juiceman II, which came with a recipe book, and I started using it.  Now this next part might come off sounding like a slam against the Juiceman, which is not my intent.  If you have a Juiceman or something like it, know that any fresh juice is better than none.  If you don’t have one, I’ll make some suggestions as to what types to look into.



The recipe book had several tasty juices that I tried until I found my favorites.  I even did a couple of juice fasts, where I went several days with nothing but fresh juice and water.  There were several problems with the approach.  The first was the juicer itself.  The Juiceman and others like it are known as centrifugal juicers.  They generally have a rotating basket and you shove the items to be juiced down a tube.  The Juiceman worked OK for fruit, but when I added vegetables, the yield went down immensely and the pulp came out wet, so I would have to re-juice the pulp.  Also, it would often clog with certain vegetables, and I would have to disassemble it part way through, clean it, and then finish the juicing.  Finally, the mesh basket rusted and clogged.  I don’t know why, as I cleaned it after each use with a toothbrush and it looked to be made of stainless steel.

The other problem I experienced was with the juice itself.  Whenever I did predominately fruit juices I would become lightheaded and woozy.  This became even more pronounced when I fasted.  I recognized this to be a blood sugar problem.  The recipes I was using contained a lot of sugar and not enough fiber to slow the digestion.  I was using several recipes that were heavy on carrot, beet and apple.  I started doing some research and began including more vegetables like celery, green peppers and cucumbers.  This seemed to help, and I eventually did away with the beets and now occasionally use carrots.  I also stopped mixing fruits and vegetables.  When I want fruit, I eat it.  Then it includes the fiber.  Another tip is to eat some of the vegetable pulp and here’s why; the pulp contains a high amount of fiber which slows the digestion of the juice, reducing the “sugar crash”. It also bulks up the stool, helping to, uh, clean out the pipes, if you will.

The next big change in my juicing came when I started using wheatgrass.  Jeffrey has juiced wheatgrass for a long time, and often recommended I try it.  My Juiceman wasn’t capable of juicing wheatgrass, so when it finally bit the dust I got one that did.  I’ll tell you which one later.  First, let me talk about my experience with wheatgrass.  Note:  DO NOT EAT WHEAT GRASS PULP.  If you watch the video, you’ll hear me mention eating the pulp as well, but I wait until the celery has cleaned away the wheat grass.

Rather than launch into a detailed description of all of the wonders of wheatgrass, I’ll summarize and then describe how it has affected me.  Wheatgrass is supposed to have a good amount of amino acids, and when freshly juiced (as opposed to powdered) it has a number of beneficial enzymes.  If you want more technical info, Google ‘wheatgrass’.  Here are my personal experiences with it.  The first thing I noticed was it works even better at cleaning out the pipes then plain vegetable juice.  It’s like roto-rooter on steroids.  A very interesting effect that I’ve never seen mentioned elsewhere is that my eyes don’t dry out when I use wheatgrass regularly.  I wear gas permeable semi-hard contacts and experienced dry eyes for years until I started wheatgrass.  If I miss a week for vacation, my eyes start to dry.  I don’t know why or how wheatgrass does that, but it works for me.  Another effect I’ve noticed is increased endurance while riding my bike.  I’ve looked into this and have seen mention of increased oxygenation of the blood.  Again, I don’t know the mechanism, but I can testify to the effect.

What does it taste like?  Well, to me, it tastes sweet but definitely pungent.  I’ve read that if it doesn’t taste sweet, that can mean you are toxic.  I don’t know, as it has always tasted fine to me.

Where do I get it?  I usually buy 8 ounces at Life Grocery in Marietta, for about $7.50.  It lasts me about a week.  Harry’s / Whole Foods sometimes has it as well.  Or you can grow your own.  I’ve tried growing it and found it easier to buy it, but if you don’t have a local source, do not use that as an excuse.  Grow it.

As to recipes, I typically make about ½ ounce of wheatgrass, and then mix it with juice from celery and cucumber.  I often include cabbage (very pungent), and green or red pepper (very tasty).  Sometimes I’ll include fresh ginger (supposed to help detox), or garlic (very hot).  This makes around 4-5 ounces of juice that I share with my family.  Also, as I mentioned, I eat some of the pulp for the fiber.

I currently use an Omega 8003.  I got it on eBay, new, a couple of years ago.  I forget exactly how much I paid, but I think it was $229.  The Omega 8003 is a masticating juicer.  It has a cone-shaped screw that ‘chews’ the juice resulting in very dry pulp.  It also turns at a low RPM so it doesn’t heat the juice, which could destroy the beneficial enzymes.  It’s also very easy to clean as you can see on the video.

Other juicers I considered are the Champion, which is very good, but was a few dollars more than the Omega, and the Green Power, which is also very good, and was a little more than the Champion.  So, if you don’t have a juicer, I suggest you look at one of these models.  You can get a good one for between $200-300 new.  At the time I shot the video (Aug 2008) my Omega was 4 years old, and still in great shape.  I use it nearly every day and it has held up well.  I have spent $0 on maintenance.  I highly recommend the Omega 8003.

In addition to eBay, you can also look in the classifieds and/or garage sales for a juicer.  It might take more time, but could save you a chunk of money.  If you already have a juicer, even if it isn’t the masticating type, use it!  Too many people make excuses instead of making juice.  When it wears out, you can replace it with one recommended above.  OK, no excuses, get juicing!  Also, feel free to ask questions below.

If you have trouble viewing it on this page, click the link below to see it on YouTube:

Juicing Secrets for Great Health

Tylenol Linked to Asthma

Babies who are given acetaminophen for fever are more likely to develop asthma as they get older, says a new study. Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is a very effective fever reducer that is often given to babies as an alternative to aspirin (which can cause a potentially fatal illness in children called Reye’s syndrome). Acetaminophen is the active pain-relieving ingredient in such common over-the-counter drugs as Tylenol, Midol, and Anacin, and is present in such prescription medications as Percocet and Vicodin. A five-year study of 200,000 babies and children has shown that if an infant is given acetaminophen, he or she is 46 percent more likely to have developed asthma by 6 or 7. Study author Richard Beasley tells BBCnews.com that the findings do not mean that parents should never adminster acetaminophen to their infants or young children, but should use the medication only when absolutely necessary-that is, to lower fever exceeding 102 degrees.

Dr. Dan’s Comments:
46 percent more likely! That is much higher than I would have guessed. According to figures from the CDC, the number of people diagnosed with asthma (LINK) continues to rise and this may be one of the reasons why. As far as suppressing a fever, unless it is at life-threatening levels, it just doesn’t make sense. There is a reason why the body has a built-in fever producing mechanism. By raising the temperature, the body is attempting to rid the body of some foreign invader. Many harmful bacteria thrive at body temperature, but cannot survive at slightly elevated temperatures. When a person’s body is functioning normally, it turns up the heat to get rid of the harmful bacteria without the need for antibiotics. So, short-circuiting the body’s normal defense mechanisms, by giving acetaminophen or other drugs in order to reduce a low-grade fever, can lead to increased susceptibility to bacterial infection, a reliance on antibiotics and decreased immune function. In addition, interleukins and leukotrienes, powerful cancer-fighting agents, are produced at elevated temperatures. Suppressing low-grade fevers can lead to long-term problems such as cancer. While the cause of asthma is probably not related to suppressing fever, the increased possibility of it, coupled with antibiotic resistance and perhaps cancer strongly suggest allowing low to moderate fevers to run their course.

For more information, look at some of my other posts regarding asthma as well as research studies on chiropractic care and asthma.

From: www.theweek.com

Chiropractic Care and Asthma

An Impairment rating analysis of asthmatic children under chiropractic care. Graham, RL and Pistolese, RA. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1997.

Eighty one children under chiropractic care took part in this self-reported asthma related impairment study. The children were assessed before and two months after chiropractic care using an asthma impairment questionnaire.

Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement) were reported for 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care in comparison to their pre-chiropractic scores. In addition, 30.9% of the children voluntarily decreased their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care.

Twenty four of the patients who reported asthma attacks 30 days prior to the study had significantly decreased attacks by an average of 44.9%.

Six different chiropractic techniques were used by the different chiropractors who participated in this study.

From: www.jvsr.com

Australian Study on 420 Patients Showed Chiropractic Care Significantly Improved Asthma Symptoms

October 24, 2002 Des Moines, Iowa— Patients afflicted with asthma may benefit from spinal manipulation in terms of symptoms, immunological capacity, and endocrine effects, an audience was told on October 5 at the 9th International Conference on Spinal Manipulation in Toronto. The investigative team, headed by Ray Hayek, Ph.D., has been conducting a trial at 16 treatment centers in Australia involving 420 patients with an average age of 46 in an effort to find out what effects spinal manipulation has on symptoms, depression and anxiety, general health status, and the levels of immunity as reflected by the concentrations of both an immunoglobulin (IgA) and an immunosuppressant (cortisol). This investigation draws from several references in the scientific literature which suggest that different forms of manual therapy (including massage) improve the symptomatology and lower cortisol levels in asthma patients.

Dr. Hayek reported that only the patient group which underwent spinal manipulation (by any of four commonly used manipulative treatment protocols) displayed significant improvement in asthma symptoms and depression and anxiety scores.

From: www.chiro.org/research

“Chiropractic Management of 47 Asthma Cases” as published in: Today’s Chiropractic , November 2000 by William Amalu, DC.

Over a seven-year period, 47 cases of asthma were managed in an outpatient setting. Every case was followed for a minimum of two years to observe effectiveness of care. The study group comprised 28 males and 19 females, ranging from 7 to 42 years of age. Of the 47 cases, 32 patients ranged in age from 7 to 19 years.

All of the cases presented with an incoming medical diagnosis of asthma and corresponding classification level. Medical specialists monitored these patients for objective respiratory improvement and medication changes. A thorough initial history and physical examination was performed to corroborate the diagnosis. The chronicity of this condition ranged from 2 to 23 years. Patients with intermittent or exercise-induced asthma were excluded from this study due to the ease of care response in most cases. Of the 47 cases, 11 were classified as mild persistent, 28 as moderate persistent and 8 as severe persistent. Each patient’s progress was assessed on every office visit by rating the intensity of the symptoms along with the frequency of their acute medication usage.

Upon stabilizing the upper cervical spine, determined by consistently presenting normal paraspinal infrared images, objective improvement in all 47 asthmatic cases was 87-100 percent. The total time of care to reach this point ranged from 3 to 9 months, with a mean time of 16 weeks. The most common initial care frequency used was 3 times per week with tapering frequency after 4-8 weeks. Total care visits ranged from 14 to 44, with a mean of 26 office visits to stabilization. All 47 patients reported maintaining their improvements at two years or more of follow-up care.

From: www.erinelster.com

FDA Wants Ban On Children’s OTC Cold Drugs

This is a hot topic and there are numerous references to this around the internet. I pulled from two articles that I thought summarized the situation.

1. From Saint Louis University:

“Last year, citing concerns over safety and effectiveness, several experts from the US Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency ban all over-the-counter, multi-symptom cough and cold medicines for children under six. Although their advice managed to stay under the public radar, a few more progressive medical experts have praised the advice.

Ken Haller, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, said recently that the regulatory action is long overdue.

“Cough and cold medicines were first approved many years ago under the assumption that children’s bodies worked like adult ones, but on a smaller scale,” Dr. Haller explained to parents. “They were never tested for safety and effectiveness in children. There are a lot of side effects associated with these medicines.”

While infant cough and cold medications were pulled off shelves last year, nearly 800 over-the-counter cough and cold medications are still available for children over two years-old — a decision with which Haller disagrees.

“I feel strongly that they should all be taken off the market,” he stated.

“Numerous studies have shown that these do not make children with colds and sore throats feel better any quicker than doing nothing. And over the years, thousands of children have been hospitalized and scores of children have died as a result of taking these drugs because of their side effects and the fact that many of these drugs contain multiple active ingredients, which add up to a harmful dose.”

In the first two years of life, it’s normal for children to get an average of six significant upper respiratory infections per year. “Parents often feel powerless when their kids are sick and are desperate to help them feel better,” Haller said. “But drugs are not the answer for every illness. Not only will these over-the-counter medicines not help your child feel better, but they can be very dangerous, too.”

SOURCE: Saint Louis University Medical Center, Sept. 8, 2008.

2. From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — Safety experts for the Food and Drug Administration urged the agency on Friday to consider an outright ban on over-the-counter, multisymptom cough and cold medicines for children under 6.

The recommendation, in a 356-page safety review, is the strongest signal yet that the agency may take strong action against the roughly 800 popular medicines marketed in the United States under names like Toddler’s Dimetapp, Triaminic Infant and Little Colds.

The next step in the process is a meeting of outside experts on Oct. 18 and 19 to examine the medicines’ safety and offer recommendations to the agency.

In the new safety review, the agency’s experts suggested that all “infant” cough and cold formulations be removed from the market, and that the droppers, cups and syringes included with products for children be standardized to reduce the risks of confusion and overdose.

The reviewers wrote that there is little evidence that these medicines are effective in young children, and there are increasing fears that they may be dangerous. From 1969 to 2006, at least 54 children died after taking decongestants, and 69 died after taking antihistamines, the report said. And it added that since adverse drug reactions are reported voluntarily and fitfully, the numbers were likely to significantly understate the medicines’ true toll.

In the case of pediatric over-the-counter medicines, the agency decided decades ago that drug makers could market the medicines for children even though they had only been tested in adults. Back then, it was assumed that children’s bodies were simply smaller versions of adult ones.

That assumption has proven untrue. Indeed, a growing number of studies suggest that cough and cold medicines work no better in children than placebos.

Despite this, there are 800 such products on the market and sales have long been strong. Most major pharmacies carry a dozen or more brands. The medicines are popular largely because children have an average of 6 to 10 colds each year, far more than adults.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/29/health/29fda.html

Dr. Dan’s comments:

Wouldn’t it make more sense if, instead of attempting to suppress children’s immune systems with dangerous and unproven drugs, we made efforts to strengthen them?

Some of the ways to strengthen a child’s immune system:

  1. A Healthy Diet with minimal reliance on processed foods
  2. Daily consumption of fresh vegetable juices
  3. Plenty of outdoor activity, fresh air and…
  4. Sunshine, for Vitamin D, or supplement during colder months
  5. Adequate amounts of rest
  6. Reducing or eliminating caffeine (see #5 above)
  7. Chiropractic care, proven to improve immune system function
  8. Use of homeopathic remedies as needed

And consider this:

“These cold products simply don’t work. There is no reason to give something that costs money, is ineffective, and has potential risks,” said Dr. Michael Shannon, chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston.

I couldn’t agree more.

Asthma Diagnoses Continue To Increase

In 2002, 30.8 million people (111 people per 1,000) had ever been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime.  Among adults, 106 per 1,000 had a lifetime asthma diagnosis (21.9 million) compared to 122 per 1,000 children 0-17 years (8.9 million).

In 2005, an estimated 11.2% of people, (32.6 million) had ever been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime. Among adults, 10.7% had a lifetime asthma diagnosis (23 million) compared to 12.7% of children (9 million).

By my calculations, that’s an increase of 5.8% in just 4 years.

I dug a little deeper at the CDC site and found these statistics:

In 2003: 29.7 million people had ever been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime. 

Whereas in 2006: 34.1 million people had ever been diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime. 

This also covers a 4 year period, showing an increase of 14.8%.

I continued to look around and found data from a 1998 CDC report stating that in 1993 and 1994, an average of 13.7 million persons reported that they experienced asthma-related conditions. Based on trends for the past 15 years, CDC estimates that today more than 15 million Americans suffer from asthma. This is referring to 1998. So we went from 13.7 million in 1994 to 15 million in 1999 to 34.1 million in 2006.

That’s a whopping 148.9% increase in 12 years.

Based on the CDC statistics, we can see that Asthma is clearly on the rise.

There are a number of reasons why, and I cover some of them on this blog, under the Asthma category.

Can Bacteria Lower Asthma Rates In Children?

Common bacteria that have lived in human stomachs for generations are associated with lower rates of childhood asthma, researchers are reporting.

Their study, to appear Aug. 15 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, does not prove that the microflora, Helicobacter pylori, help protect children from asthma. It may be that asthmatics do not host the bacteria for other reasons.

Still, the recent study, conducted by researchers at New York University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York, found that children who carried H. pylori were 40 percent less likely to have asthma before age 5. And children ages 3 to 13 who had the bacteria were 60 percent less likely to report that they had asthma at the time of the study. The study relied on interviews with individuals and their families to determine whether the children had asthma.

Antibiotics kill helpful bacteria as well as harmful ones, and previous research has linked antibiotic use in children with higher risk for asthma.

“H. pylori is disappearing, and this is a fact that probably cannot be changed,” said Dr. Yu Chen, the lead author of the study. “But it’s important to realize that bacteria that have been living with us for millions of years may actually have some beneficial qualities.”

From: Bacteria may reduce asthma rates in children
By Bina Venkataraman, Published July 30, 2008