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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Overlooked Health Consequences

UPDATE: 9 March 2010

Virus infections may be contributing factor in onset of gluten intolerance

ScienceDaily (2010-03-07) -- Recent research findings indicate a possible connection between virus infections, the immune system and the onset of gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease. ... > read full article

UPDATE: 18 February
Shingles is readily treated and resolved with herbal compounds. Historically Black Walnut tincture was used to apply externally to the patches, although I have found that Valerian root tincture can be effective. Valerian may be taken inernally to help with the pain, and St. John's Wort, an effective anti-vital herbal tincture, may be used alone or in combination with Valerain for pain and help fighting the virus.
Flower essence of Impatiens can be an adjuct treatment, as in the original development of Bach's remedies he found in his hospital provings that Impatiens essence was as effective as morphine, yet it had no untoward effects.
Shingles 'risk' of arthritis drug
Some popular treatments for rheumatoid arthritis could increase the risk of the painful condition shingles, a German study suggests.

Anti-TNF (anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha) therapy drugs can slow the progress of disease and help to reduce some of the worst symptoms.

But some of them may make patients more vulnerable to shingles, a skin disease which produces sore, itchy blisters.

Writing in JAMA, the authors advised patients on such drugs be monitored.

The team at the Rheumatism Research Centre in Berlin analysed data from more than 5,000 patients on different forms of treatment.

There were 86 outbreaks of shingles - triggered by the virus Herpes zoster - among 82 patients. Thirty-nine of these coincided with treatment with the anti-TNF drugs adalimumab and infliximab.

Etanercept, a protein therapy, and conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs were associated with 23 and 24 cases respectively.

Watchful eye

After adjusting for the age of the patient, the severity of their illness and their use of steroid hormone therapies, researchers found that the risk for patients on the anti-TNF programme almost doubled.
“ All drugs which damp down the immune response run the risk of increased risk of infection ”
Professor Alan Silman
Arthritis Research Campaign
Although this was beneath the threshold of clinical significance, which would be an increase of more than double, the researchers, led by Dr Anja Strangfeld, said their findings suggested doctors should be on the look out for shingles in the patients they treat with these drugs.

"Based on our data, we recommend careful monitoring of patients treated with monoclonal anti-TNF-alpha antibodies for early signs and symptoms of Herpes zoster," they wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Shingles is the reactivation of the virus infection that causes chickenpox. After a person has had the infection, usually as a child, the virus remains in their body and can return, usually after the age of 50.

It often first manifests as pain, itching or tingling in an area of skin on one side of the body or face before developing into a rash. Many continue to suffer chronic nerve pain once the rash has subsided.

A weakened immune system is thought to be one of the triggers, and it is suggested that this may be why anti-TNF drugs could have this effect.

"All drugs which damp down the immune response run the risk of increased risk of infection; steroids being a well known example," said Professor Alan Silman, medical director of the Arthritis Research Campaign.

"Shingles is also a rare but well recognised complication of immune drugs used to treat both autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as cancers. This distressing but fortunately treatable infection is likely to be increased in incidence in anti-TNF treated patients."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/02/18 © BBC MMIX
I have known for decades the benefits of cod liver oil for arthritis. Seems funny that it has taken so long to reach the hallowed halls of the BBC.
Cod oil 'cuts arthritis drug use'
A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study suggests.
Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say.

Concerns about side-effects of NSAIDs has prompted research into alternative.

Rheumatologists said the study, in Rheumatology journal, funded by Seven Seas, was small but showed fish oil could benefit some patients.

Patients in the trial were either given cod liver oil or placebo and after 12 weeks asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.

“ Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients ”
Dr Andrew Bamji, British Society for Rheumatology
Almost 60 patients completed the nine-month trial which found 39% taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs compared with 10% taking a placebo.

The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease, the researchers reported.

The research team at the University of Dundee, aided by colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cod liver oil.

It is thought fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.


Some side-effects of NSAIDs, such as an increased risk of stomach bleeding have been known for a long time.

But more recently, concerns have been raised about an apparent increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in those taking the drugs.

Study leader Professor Jill Belch said the study offered hope to many rheumatoid arthritis patients who wanted to reduce the amount of pain medication they take.

"Every change in medication should be discussed with a GP but I would advise people to give cod liver oil a try for 12 weeks alongside their NSAIDs and then try to cut it down if they can manage it but if they don't manage it, that's fine.

"If you can get off NSAIDs it will be much safer."

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society chief executive Ailsa Bosworth said: "People with rheumatoid arthritis still rely heavily on NSAIDs, even though the safety of these drugs is under scrutiny.

"We look forward to more research in this area."

British Society for Rheumatology president Dr Andrew Bamji said it was a small study so difficult to draw firm conclusions.

But he added: "Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients.

"It does look as if the results are positive and that is quite interesting.

"I would say to patients by all means take cod liver oil and when you feel ready start to reduce your NSAID dose."

But he stressed that patients must discuss plans with their doctor because it was important that physicians were aware of all medications and supplements the patient was taking.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/03/25 © BBC MMIX
Originally posted 20 January
TV adverts make me angry.

One reason is because I do not think these ads should be on TV. Secondly I think the ads are disease mongering and an effort to increase profits for Big Pharma.

One new ad I saw the other day while flipping channels, since I am not a TV addict or fan, was an ad for Humira in the treatment of psoriasis.

Notwithstanding, Humira is used as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other so described "auto-immune" disorders.

Humira(adalimumab) is a recombinant human IgG1 monoclonal antibody specific for human tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This means it is a genetically modified product, that in itself creates a plethora of problems.

Humira has a Black Box warning for the risk of tuberculosis. Other serious sided effects may include serious infections, neurologic reactions and malignancies. More information may be found in the professional section at

I'm in the midst of writing the January issue of my opt-in newsletter, herbalYODA Says! The topic happens to be detoxification and as part of my research I came across an interesting piece of information about non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.

I happen to be someone with gluten and gliaden sensitivity. I have many other food allergies which I attribute to certain situations I experienced in the last couple of decades which took a pretty devastating toll on my adrenals.

I'd say there were some other factors because my father had psoriasis. It isn't something I have but I have helped many people who lived with this condition, from mild to severe, to resolve their case.

This of course alerts me to the fact that I probably should not ever have had bread. It also has to do with heritage and the metabolic typing as developed by William D. Kelley, DDS.

Simply what this means is that there are certain symptoms of gluten and gliaden intolerance, even if you do not have Crohn's.

Conditions Often Associated With Gluten Sensitivity
From 'Going Against the Grain' (Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 2002) by Melissa Diane Smith

Autoimmune diseases
Chronic neurological conditions of unknown cause
Dermatitis herpetiformis (a blistery, itchy skin disease)
Downs syndrome
Epilepsy and/or a personal history of migraine headaches, hyperactivity and/or digestive problems
Frequent unexplained headaches
Osteoporosis and other bone diseases unresponsive to conventional treatment
Infertility and pregnancies of poor outcome
Insulin-dependent (type I) diabetes
Intestinal lymphoma or esophageal cancer
Sjogren’s disease (dry-eye, dry-skin syndrome)

I find it interesting that Sjogren's is on this list along with psoriaisis, as Humira is often prescribed for Sjrogren's as well.

I noted in some other data that esophageal cancer is related to gluten intolerance (wheat allergy) and the articles I found on this date back to the 1970s.

This is the long way around but if you have any of these health issues perhaps you want to demand your doctor to order some food allergy testing, and re-consider Humira.

Or at least ask why your health care provider missed this one.

If your doctor looks at you like you are crazy then refer them to this study -
The innate immune system is an old system (evolutionarily speaking) that predates the antibody-producing “adaptive immune system” and nonspecifically defends against pathogens.

Biopsies from 5 out of 6 patients showed an IL-15 response to at least one gliadin fragment. The implication is that the majority of people have an immune response to wheat, even if they don’t have Celiac disease. The reason they aren’t diagnosed as Celiac patients is they don’t have circulating anti-gliadin antibodies (and they presumably don’t yet have severe structural damage to their intestinal tract as judged by biopsy or endoscopy), but as the paper shows, people can react to gluten without producing antibodies via the innate immune system.

This is the first time that an IL-15-mediated innate response to gliadin is described in individuals without celiac disease. The authors of the study believe that “gluten elicits its harmful effect, throughout an IL-15 innate immune system response on all the individuals. This innate response is found in both patients with and without celiac disease.” However, in patients with celiac disease, an adaptive response to gluten also takes place.

Study reference: Bernardo D, Garrote JA, Fernandez-Salazar L, et al. Is gliadin really safe for non-coeliac individuals? Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from non-coeliac individuals with gliadin peptides. Gut, 2007;56:889-890.

Six people in the study had symptoms including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia, colic, abdominal pain, diarrhea and chronic gastritis. How many people have these conditions and take medications for them instead of considering that the bread, pasta and other wheat products they are eating may be the culprit behind their problems?
or have them look up the work of Kenneth Fine, MD or Alessio Fasano, M.D.

There is just more here than meets the eye - "Many gluten-sensitive make the mistake of substituting too many non-gluten grains (rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth and teff) and sugars in place of gluten grains. This can lead to carbohydrate sensitivity and conditions such as Syndrome X and type II diabetes. To prevent the development of a new health problem, emphasize vegetables, such as salad greens, broccoli, green beans and asparagus, in place of gluten grains."

If you are interested in food allergy testing, the same system I used to uncover mine, please contact us.

By the way, one of my original teachers in natural healing always taught that RA and gluten allergy go hand-in-hand.

Certainly altering your nutrition and food plan first can do a lot before you succumb to another dangerous drug, and it just might heal your condition.

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