January 24, 2017

A Natural Path to Treating Lyme Disease

Dissolve Borrelia Bacteria Biofilms Holistically

by Amanda Box

I remember when I spotted that dreaded bullseye rash. It appeared out of nowhere on my upper arm. My mind immediately began to race. What if I have Lyme disease? I didn’t even see a tick! What am I going to do to get rid of this? Should I get an antibiotic from the doctor or try to treat it on my own?

As my thoughts began to swirl, I remembered the people I have met who suffer with Lyme disease. I wouldn’t wish their struggle on anyone.

One lady in particular, Mary, suffered so severely with its effects on her brain that she struggled to articulate her words. She knew she had Lyme disease based on her symptoms. Yet, the tests from her doctor’s office were repeatedly negative. She came to me looking for a natural cure. Unfortunately at the time, I had little experience with Lyme disease and didn’t have much to offer.

Lyme Disease, Tick,Months later, I ran into Mary. Her eyes were bright as she shared how she had found a doctor in Nebraska who specialized in treating Lyme disease naturally. She was noticeably sharper and she happily shared with me the regimen the doctor had put her on. I took mental notes and later researched the supplements her doctor had prescribed. I mention many of these in this article.

Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC! However, a new estimate suggests that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is around 10 times higher![1] Unfortunately, just those diagnosed with Lyme comprise these numbers. Thousands of people contract Lyme disease each year but go undiagnosed. This is because their Lyme disease symptoms so closely mimic other diseases, such as:

  • MS
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue

Because of Lyme’s ability to “disguise” itself as other conditions, diagnosing Lyme disease based on symptoms can often be difficult. Symptoms that can help identify Lyme disease include:

  • Chronically swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Neurological impairment

The bacteria behind Lyme disease is called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is actually a cousin to the bacteria that causes syphilis. Borrelia’s corkscrew shape also allows it to hide in different body tissues. This makes testing for Lyme disease tricky! If the bacteria are hiding in the tissues, antibodies may not show up in the Western blot Lyme test!

Some alternative medical doctors recommend a lab called Igenex because they test for additional outer surface proteins. This form of testing better detects Lyme when standard blood tests cannot. Igenex labs also tests for co-infections such as Babesia and Erhlichia, which can often accompany Lyme disease.

It is also a misconception that Lyme is only spread by ticks and is identified by a bullseye rash. More than half of those with Lyme never had a bullseye rash! Lyme disease can also spread via fleas, mosquitoes, mites, and sexual contact![2] This is why identifying the symptoms as early as possible is crucial in treating Lyme.

If you suspect for any reason you may have Lyme disease, even if you never saw a tick or bullseye rash, then immediately get tested! Early treatment provides the best results and prevents severe damage to the body.

Preventing Lyme Disease

It is very important to take proper precautions to avoid contracting Lyme disease. This formerly “East coast” disease has now spread across the United States and affects those in the Midwest and the West coast.

Typical precautions include:

  • Wearing clothes that cover the body.
  • Using bug sprays containing DEET. However, DEET is extremely toxic. I urge you to handle DEET with caution. It is known to irritate the eyes and in intense doses may induce neurological damage.[3] People who use DEET daily have reported suffering symptoms including rashes, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and headaches.[4] It should only be sprayed on top of your clothing and never directly on your skin. It is also important that you do not inhale the fumes from the bug spray when using it

Before you get desperate and spray on commercial DEET bug spray, take some time to consider the better alternative; a natural bug repellent that smells wonderful, is effective, and takes only minutes to whip up. One natural alternative is rose geranium essential oil, which is 100% safe to use!

Ticks use their sense of smell to locate their next victim. This process of finding a host is called questing. They stick their front legs up in the air, which contain Haller’s organs. These organs can detect their future host by smell, temperature, movement and carbon dioxide. Ticks know when a person is approaching because it is essential to their survival. They don’t land on you by happenstance.

Luckily, ticks are turned off by the scent of rose geranium oil! Just dab a drop behind your kneecaps, on your wrists and behind your ears. You can also dilute it in a spray bottle and spray it on your clothes and body. Just follow the recipe below for a safe and effective tick repellent!

all natural insect repellentAll Natural Tick Repellent Spray
Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vodka
  • 40 drops Rose Geranium essential oil
  • ⅓ cup distilled water

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a small spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before using.
  3. Spray on skin. Note: Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
  4. This spray is also safe for pets.

Another fantastic natural tick repellent is food grade diatomaceous earth (DE). This all natural fossil shell powder is a mechanical insecticide. Mechanical insecticides kill insects by a physical action not a chemical one. Diatomaceous earth contains microscopic razor sharp edges that penetrate a tick’s exoskeleton. This causes the ticks to dry up and die. Don’t worry; the microscopic razor edges are of no harm to humans or animals. In fact, as I will discuss later, DE can be taken internally to treat Lyme disease!

Sprinkle food grade DE on your yard using a seed spreader on the lowest setting. Be sure to apply it when there is no rain in the forecast for several days. The rain will wash the diatomaceous earth away. By allowing it to sit on the grass for a couple days, DE gets a chance to make contact with the ticks and do its work.

I have personally witnessed the power of diatomaceous earth. A few summers ago the ticks were so bad that my dogs had several ticks on them each day. Once I sprinkled DE on the yard, they didn’t have another tick! It made me a believer and now I use it every year!

Natural Treatment of Lyme Disease

Those diagnosed with Lyme disease have probably been treated with long term antibiotic use. Short-term antibiotics work well when prescribed at the first sighting of a bullseye rash.

However, long-term antibiotic use comes with a list of side effects and promotes antibiotic resistance. Persistent antibiotic use may include the following side effects:

  • C-diff infection
  • Yeast infection
  • Nausea/diarrhea
  • Lowered immunity

Long term antibiotic use can also trigger an autoimmune response, which makes the disease even harder to reverse! Not only will you need to treat Lyme disease in these cases, but the accompanying autoimmune reactions!

natural treatments for lyme diseaseThe Achilles Heel of Borrelia Bacteria

Lyme has the innate ability to self protect by secreting exopolysaccharides and exoproteins. These create an armored shell called a biofilm (or cyst) that is difficult to penetrate.

Biofilms are made of a mucus like substance, fibrin and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. This protective biofilm makes killing Borrelia bacteria very difficult. Several all natural supplements can break down these biofilms and help to eradicate Lyme bacteria. Dissolve biofilms holistically with the following protocols.

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7 Steps To Immune System Recovery

by Amanda Box

Has sickness left you worn out and hung out to dry? Do you feel like, no matter what, every year you just can’t seem to escape the seasonal cold or flu? Maybe you suffer from a chronic autoimmune disorder that leaves you in a state of constant exhaustion and pain. Is it possible to intervene in this process and make your immune system stronger? Yes and I am going to show you how!

Our bodies have a built-in complex system that is designed to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. This system is so incredibly effective that it literally saves our lives on a daily basis by eradicating viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and so much more. It is always working as we go about our daily lives, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Most of us don’t notice our immune system until it fails to stop a sickness before it starts. Once we feel that tickle in our throat, the nasal congestion, or that achy feeling in our body, we become disappointed thinking that, once again, our immune system has failed us.

But, what if it is the other way around? In most cases, we are responsible for impairing our immune system! We often give our immune system some of the worst working conditions possible, yet still expect everything to run smoothly. So many of us fail to give our body what it needs to have a healthy, well-functioning immune system!

The 7 Steps To Immune System Recovery

7 steps to immune system recoveryThere are 7 essential steps to a powerful and strong immune system. Making these steps a central part of your lifestyle can pull you out of sickness and into recovery. These 7 steps will boost your immune system and give you an overall sense of well-being. When these important steps to immune recovery are not implemented, a weak immune system is often the result.

Weakened immunity leaves you vulnerable to sickness and disease. Ignoring these important aspects of health and wellness can also send your body into an imbalanced state. It is this state of imbalance that can cause your immune system to overreact and attack your own body! This self-destructive process is behind autoimmune disorders like M.S., fibromyalgia, and lupus.

Take each one of these 7 steps into account. Each and every step is extremely crucial for immune system recovery. Omitting even one step can make all the difference in truly restoring immunity throughout your body.

1. Adequate Sleep

Lack of sleep is a very common factor in those with compromised immune systems. The direct correlation between lack of sleep and low immunity has been acknowledged through recent studies.[1] Sleep is the time during which your body maximizes the chance to heal and repair. Our body’s immune system functions best at night because it doesn’t have to compete for energy when the body is at rest. This is often why fevers spike at night. The immune system is strong and fighting the best it can to kill the foreign invader by increasing the body’s core temperature.

When you deprive your body of this essential restoration time, the result is compromised immune function. T-cell function decreases and triggers inflammation in the body when you are not rested.

Boost immunity by going to bed before midnight and getting at least 6-8 hours of rest. A regular exercise plan also improves sleep. If you struggle going to sleep, start your sleep routine earlier. Also, supplements like melatonin, L-tryptophan, and GABA can help facilitate a more restful and deep sleep.

2. Reducing Stress

Stress is the #1 cause of disease, bar none. It tops the chart at being the root behind 99% of all disease![2] Stress puts a burden on every single system in the body, including the immune system.[3] It has also been well documented that cortisol, the hormone released during stress, can significantly lower the immune system if chronically elevated.

Prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response. As a result, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation promotes the development and progression of many diseases.

I am one who can testify to stress’s effect on immunity. I consider myself a healthy individual who rarely gets sick. However, if I let stress or anxiety take over my week, I begin to feel run down and sometimes end up battling a cold or sinus infection. I have experienced this cycle enough times that I now take every precaution I can to lower my stress. I have found that lowering stress is more effective at preventing sickness than immune boosting supplements like vitamin C or garlic.

Autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia have their roots in stress related causes like emotional trauma. Situations like divorce, loss of a loved one, or a loss of a job can be so traumatic, that a disease process is triggered in the body.

Stress encompasses all things emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Remember, even what you eat can put stress on your body. This is just another reason why a healthy diet is so important to boosting your immune system.

3. Healthy Diet

You are what you eat. If you eat unhealthy, you will be unhealthy.

As previously mentioned, unhealthy foods put unneeded stress on the body. Fast foods and processed foods contain toxic chemical ingredients that your immune system often recognizes as foreign invaders. This overstimulation of the immune system can sometimes trigger autoimmune reactions in the body. This is often common in the gut and can lead to bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These diseases begin because your colon becomes the site of a constant allergic reaction. As time passes, the inflammation and immune response leads to intense damage and pain.

Diet also plays an important role in providing the nutrition needed to keep the immune system strong. You have to feed your immune system what it needs to thrive and function properly. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids are all important nutrients that are essential for immune function.

Quit eating fast foods and processed foods and start preparing your meals from scratch. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and stay away from sugar! Sugar strips your immune system leaving it weak and vulnerable! The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria is significantly lowered for up to 5 hours after eating 100 g of sugar![4]

4. Exercise

Research has shown that sedentary people take twice as many sick days a year than those who exercise regularly.[5]

Though no one knows exactly how exercise boosts immunity, studies have proven it has a direct correlation. Many believe this connection has to do with exercises ability to oxygenate the blood and push white blood cells through the body at a faster rate.

Increasing your heart rate during exercise also helps to raise your core body temperature. This raise in body temp can kill bacteria or viruses in the body. Exercise’s ability to lower stress in the body is also a fantastic reason to adopt the habit of physical activity.

Exercise lowers cortisol levels thereby lowering your stress and helping you to sleep better at night! All the more reason why exercise is great for immunity!

You don’t have to exercise an hour everyday to reap the benefits of increased immunity. Something as simple as [am4show guest_error=’noaccess’] taking a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes can get your heart pumping.

5. Reducing the use of Pharmaceutical Drugs

The overuse of antibiotics has wreaked havoc on the immune systems of millions of people across the nation. Though antibiotics can act as a miracle for certain bacterial infections, their overuse has led to the formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA.[6]

One danger of antibiotics is that they don’t distinguish between good and bad bacteria when they are in the body. This often leads to a depletion of good flora in the gut. When the balance of the gut is compromised, it leaves us susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and fungi that otherwise would not be a problem. The side-effect of lowered levels of beneficial flora is behind some of the worst opportunistic infections like C-diff.[7]

It is very important to only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. They have no beneficial effect for viral infections and can actually lower your immunity making the infection last even longer!

Other pharmaceutical drugs also contribute to lowered immunity. Corticosteroids may work well for inhibiting allergic reactions, but their long-term effects can leave your immune system damaged and weak. The CDC even warns against the side-effects of these medications stating they can leave the body susceptible to fungal infections like candida, Pneumocystis pneumonia, and Histoplasmosis![8]

There are many natural alternatives to both antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. Some of my favorites include oregano oil and colloidal silver for eradicating bacteria. Also, curcumin from turmeric acts as a very powerful anti-inflammatory and alternative to corticosteroids without the side-effects.

5. Maintain a Healthy Gut

Eighty percent (80%) of your immune system resides in your gut, making it extremely important in immune system strength and recovery.[9] As I already mentioned, antibiotics can damage your gut by killing off beneficial probiotic bacteria. This leaves the gut susceptible to overgrowth of toxic bacteria and fungi like candida. These toxic microbes can damage the intestinal wall and create something called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition where the walls of the intestine become damaged and permeable. Tiny molecules from our food can pass through this permeable intestine and into the bloodstream. The immune system recognizes these proteins as foreign invaders and launch an attack that creates immune responses that range from headaches to skin rashes. Because this immune response can occur systemically, autoimmune diseases like Celiac, arthritis, and psoriasis can also result.

Keeping your gut healthy involves staying away from foods and medications that damage the gut lining as well as eating foods that promote balance. Some of the best ways to maintain a healthy gut are:

  • Avoiding antibiotics
  • Eliminating processed foods and GMO foods (contain chemicals that damage the gut) [clean 15 dirty dozen insert]
  • Avoid high allergen foods like wheat, corn, and soy
  • Incorporate fermented foods into your diet (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut)
  • Take a strong probiotic supplement daily

6. Preventing Dehydration

I am constantly surprised by the amount of people who simply don’t drink enough water. Millions of people are in a state of dehydration on a daily basis and don’t even know it! Inadequate water intake prevents the body from eliminating toxins from the body. This leaves these toxins in the body circulating in the system which causes even more damage. Also, bacteria and viruses can grow and multiply if not eliminated frequently. For example, what would normally be flushed out of the bladder can multiply and become a full-fledged UTI if your water intake is too low or infrequent. Water flushes body toxins out of them body which prevents these types of infections.

Water also helps to oxygenate our blood, which keeps our immune cells strong and healthy. It is also a crucial part of keeping our lymph system working. The lymph system is important for circulating white bloods from the thymus throughout the body to remove toxins from the blood.

Proper hydration is also important to keep our eyes, nose, and mouth moist. Bacteria grow at a faster rate in dry cavities. Also, a lack of moisture can cause irritation and possible inflammation.

A good rule of thumb is to always check your urine color. If it is dark or bright yellow, you aren’t drinking enough water. Your urine should be light yellow or clear. Staying hydrated will also help you sleep better and increase your energy during the day. Keep a water cup with you at all times. I can assure you that the more you drink water, the more you will crave it!

7. Sun Exposure

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our immune system. However, the recent push for sunscreen and decreased sun exposure has left many of you deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital for the function of immune cells in our body. T cells cannot activate and become killer cells without the presence of vitamin D. Without vitamin D available in the body, they will remain inactive, therefore unable to do their job at killing pathogens!

Many people feel tired, sluggish, and have depleted immune systems simply from a lack vitamin D! I recommend getting your blood tested for vitamin D if you feel like you may be at risk. A healthy level of at least 60 ng/ml is best for healthy immunity.

Boosting vitamin D levels is as easy as going out into the sun for 20 minutes a day with exposed skin. You can also take vitamin D3 during the winter months for an extra boost. Taking 35 IU per lb. of body weight is a great daily dosage when the weather is not permitting.

If you are tired of a weak and worn out immune system, then take the time to restore its efficiency. It is an intricate system that needs both our care and attention. When you take the time to incorporate the 7 steps of immune system restoration, you will literally be taking your health back into your hands. Your resistance to disease will increase, you will ward off colds and flu, and your overall vitality will skyrocket! Begin today and step by step, take back your immune system and your health!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.
Sources:
[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29wwlnlede-t.html?_r=0
[3] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm
[4] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract
[5] http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2010/09/30/bjsm.2010.077875.abstract?sid=fe62a8c5-430b-4506-b854-20b62e8a5e9e
[6] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/02/factory-farms-superbugs.aspx
[7] http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/June/clostridium-difficile-an-intestinal-infection-on-the-rise
[8] http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/infections/immune-system.html
[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10564096

 

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Up to 40% of Back Pain Caused by Infection?

Media outlets have been quickly spreading the news from a new Danish study that claims up to 40 percent of people with back pain could be helped by taking antibiotics.[i]

They detected bacteria in 46 percent of the slipped discs in patients with chronic low back pain following a herniated disc, and believe the antibiotics help to treat this underlying bacterial infection. In the study, patients received a 100-day course of antibiotic treatment or a placebo. At a follow-up one year later, the antibiotics group reported less back pain, leg pain and physical disability, and fewer days missed from work due to back pain.

antibiotics for back painIf you’ve been struggling with back pain for some time, and are growing increasingly frustrated by the ineffectiveness of conventional treatments, you may be tempted to ask your physician for an antibiotics prescription in the off-chance it might work … but not so fast …

This Study Was Rejected By Three Major Medical Journals

Although the research was eventually published in the European Spine Journal, it was first reportedly rejected by three prestigious journals including the Lancet andBMJ.[ii] This isn’t to say that the research is necessarily unsound, but rather that the research is incredibly controversial, in part because the vast overuse of antibiotics is already contributing to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant disease– and this research could make the problem even worse, especially since it requires long-term usage (more than three months) of the drugs.

Clearly, if the treatment was effective, it would be preferable to even more invasive options like surgery or a lifetime of pain meds … but only a select group of back pain patients — those with “Modic” changes in their spinal column that indicate a bacterial infection — would benefit (an MRI must be conducted to make this diagnosis).

Further, the long-term usage of antibiotics shouldn’t be taken lightly. Severe diarrhea is a common side-effect. Fever, nausea, headache, thrush, hives and even seizures can also occur. But one of the greatest risks of all is the impact that antibiotics have on your body’s microflora, as they will kill off both pathogenic and beneficial microbes that your body needs to flourish. This imbalance increases your risk of malabsorption syndromes, food allergies, parasitic infection and chronic disease. Antibiotic use is even linked to weight gain and cancer!

A Better Way To Treat Bacterial Infections …

back pain infectionIn the event that your back pain is, indeed, being caused by a bacterial infection, building up your immune system should be your first line of “treatment.” You’re probably well aware of the importance of eating well, exercising and getting proper sleep to boost your immune function, but do you also know the importance of proteolytic enzymes?

Proteolytic enzymes are produced naturally by your pancreas and are used by your body to “eat up” scar tissue, cleanse toxins from your blood, fight viruses and improve your immune system, so you’ll likely be less likely to succumb to bacterial infections in the first place.

Unfortunately, your body stops producing optimal amounts of proteolytic enzymes sometime in your late 20s, which is why taking a proteolytic enzyme supplement is a very smart move, especially if you’re in your 40s and beyond. Heal-n-Soothe is our top-recommended solution, providing you pure and powerful proteolytic enzymes. Not only will this help boost your immune system and battle infections without the serious side-effects antibiotics can cause, but you’ll also be getting 11 ADDITIONAL most powerful and natural anti-inflammatories to help relieve your pain – all in one tidy, all-natural package.

You can learn more about proteolytic enzymes here …

Most Back Pain Is Due To Physical Dysfunctions, Which Antibiotics Cannot Treat

It’s certainly possible, and intriguing, that some cases of back pain are due to an underlying bacterial infection. However, in most people, this is not likely to be the case because muscle imbalances are the number one cause of back pain. These imbalances lead to your body and spine being pulled out of their normal position and into what we call dysfunctions.

Click Above Now to Learn How to Correct Your Muscle Imbalances… and END THE PAIN for Good!

Physical dysfunctions develop over time – the result of poor posture, repetitive stresses, sitting too much, improper lifting and so on. Obviously, antibiotics will do absolutely nothing to help your back pain if the reason you have it is because you’re slouched in front of a computer for eight hours a day, followed by an hour-long commute where you’re again slumped over a steering wheel … likewise if your pain is from any other of the most common, and potentially damaging, movements like carrying a heavy backpack, lifting a child, using a shovel, or standing for long periods of time.

And even if your back pain was caused by bacteria, and antibiotics worked to treat it, you could still end up in pain if you’re subjecting your body to these types of stresses without compensating for them.

The bottom line is that, for most people, healing back pain is not about finding the right combination of drugs – antibiotics, pain meds, steroid injections or otherwise. It’s about finding the non-toxic, natural methods that will support your body’s natural tendency toward a healthful, pain-free state — no drugs at all are required. So…

Avoid toxic drugs and HEAL your back pain fast… and for good…

Click Here Now to Discover How to Quickly and Easily CORRECT Your Muscle Imbalances

Drugs – Will They Kill You or Cure You?

In 1977, Dr. Charles Carson and I never heard of each other. However, the next year, separate but similar incidents in each of our lives bonded us… until last week. That’s when Chuck’s amazing life, and thirty-four years of pain and suffering came to an end. And antibiotics may have had a hand in it… but not in the way you might think.

First, let’s address the drug issue, and then we’ll get back to Chuck.

Are Prescription Drugs Good or Bad For You?

The answer is “both.” They can cure… and they can kill. In fact, The Journal of the American Medical Association reports about 113,000 annual deaths due to drug medical errors and non-errors, and negative effects of drugs.

If you read Life Extension Express, you saw my opinion on drugs. Especially their chronic use to treat symptoms such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, headaches, weight gain, etc. One example, weight loss drugs, have the worst record of all in terms of side effects and success rate. In 1977, a research project showed a modified diet consisting of eight to ten servings a day of fruit and vegetables lowered blood pressure as well as drug therapy. Many things can be treated naturally or avoided altogether that doctors throw drugs at.

Do You Know How America’s Health Compares to Other Developed Countries?

Not too well. Yet we consume 50% of the world’s prescription drugs. The other 95% of the world’s population takes the rest. That would be a good testimonial for drugs if we led the world in health, longevity and aging. But we don’t. We lag behind almost every other developed country. In fact, we are ranked a pathetic forty-second in the world in longevity. Don’t buy into the story that you have to live on medications for lifestyle-related diseases. Statistic prove otherwise.

Symptom treating may mask and actually increase the underlying causes. In almost all cases, if you treat only a symptom you are going to make the disease worse. The symptom is there as your body‘s attempt to heal itself. Medication almost always causes an imbalance to your system. Most medicines are blunt instruments, and no one really knows what they’ll do once they’re inside of you. So, the deadly paradox of chronic drug use can often deceive you into thinking you are doing your body favors, when in fact you may be masking the cause and sabotaging your biochemistry. You could be playing with deadly medicine—short-term gratification that costs you long-term health and satisfaction.

Do you know how big a vested interest the medical and drug industries have in keeping you sick and keeping you on medications? Why do you think they spend twice as much on advertising as they do on research?

Drugs Can Be Life Savers

Drugs and nutrients can both cure and prevent disease. But only pharmaceuticals have government sanction. And Big Pharma protects its turf.

So, keep thinking “cause” and not treating “symptoms.” Take drugs when necessary. They can be life savers. But avoid chronic use unless you are well informed and well advised. The few hours you invest over time could reward you with revitalized health and extra years to appreciate it.

There may be times when you should thank your lucky stars that drugs are available though. Antibiotics used properly are a common example. In fact, if it weren’t for antibiotics, I would have been gone years ago. That’s what is so ironic about Chuck’s death. We shared a strong skepticism and  distrust of many of Big Pharma’s products, but he was much more distrustful. So distrustful, in fact, that he ignored his doctor’s prescription for antibiotics when he was hospitalized for pulmonary fibrosis. His doctor also suspected pneumonia and gave Chuck antibiotics. He dismissed them and died the next day.

Would he be alive if he took his drugs? I don’t know. I do know there is a time to trust and a time to distrust Big Pharma, and those should always be informed decisions.

What Pain Meds Do NOT Do

Chuck and I bonded due to our personal spinal cord injuries. He was a smart guy, and his grandmother told him if he wanted to walk again, he’d have to figure out for himself how he was going to get cured. In 1979, he founded the Spinal Cord Society, a non-profit foundation dedicated to curing paralysis. I was one of the start-up donors and opened a local fundraising chapter where I invested most of my energy until I decided aging was a more important challenge.

One of the things Chuck and I shared was chronic pain as a side effect of our injuries. Recently, my pain medication stopped taking the edge off, and the pain got more severe. So, I visited a specialist who worked with a lot of spinal cord injury pain. He prescribed methadone, you know, the drug used to get addicts weaned off heroin. Yep, I said what you are thinking. I asked him if that wasn’t an awfully strong drug, was it addictive and what the side effects were. He assured me it is now the preferred drug for my neuropathic pain syndrome, that it blocks three separate pain receptors and that it is perfectly safe at the doses I would be taking.

Here’s what it DID NOT do:

  • Relieve my pain

Here’s what it DID do:

  • Made me sick to my stomach
  • Made me weak
  • Made me dizzy
  • Slowed down my heartbeat dramatically
  • Made me itch
  • Decreased my appetite

It’s been a miserable month, especially the last week.

Sure, I checked the side effects before I took the medication methadone and read the long list that you see with nearly every drug. And even though I was encouraged by the doctor’s assurances that is was perfectly safe, I started at less than ½ dose and gradually worked my way up. As I increased dosage, I gradually started getting sick. When I really felt sick and weak, I checked the side effect list again. My symptoms jumped off the page, and I stopped taking it.

A Massive Amount of Drug Companies’ Marketing Budgets Target Physicians

They brainwash doctors. Then doctors give what they think is good advice, and lots of patients get better. But some get sicker with side effects, and some even die from their medications.

By the time we cure aging, science will deliver us personalized, targeted, safe and effective drugs. Until then, be careful.

Twenty years ago, when I suggested to Chuck that we should cure aging, he said “We’ll work on aging once we cure paralysis”. I’m sad he won’t be around to see either. Our paths slowly diverged when I founded Maximum Life Foundation. He set great examples as to how research should be managed, and that knowledge is now reinforcing the aging research agenda.

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