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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lets talk about...


Yesterday's mail brought a card stock 8 1/2x11 folded color card: "Open for a message about your son's and daughter's health" from Merck &Co., Inc.. It was a reminder to ask my doctor about HPV, meningitis, whooping cough, and chicken pox. While vaccines weren't mentioned, fear raising was the goal. 

The topic of vaccinations is a hot one, and you young parents out there are forced to face it as soon as your offspring sees the light of the world as mandatory vaccination schedules begin at 2 months of age, with over 2 dozen recommended by age 18 months.

As a parent, it is your job to know what to do. To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate. That is the question. 

If you say "well, of course, you have to vaccinate your kids in order for them to go to school" - I beg to differ. Vaccination exceptions are available, but few parents are aware of them, and few pediatricians will talk about them. You know your obligations to your children, but do you know your rights?

From authors like Neil Z. Miller to Robert Sears, websites like to and  and many others talking about the controversies - you have a wealth of information available at your fingertips.
Research them, read articles by Fran├žoise Berthoud, MD and only after you've read pros and cons,  make the best decision for you and your kids. 

As a parent you have the responsibility to look at both sides of this debate - just like you do about what TV programs you let your children watch (... and thats a topic for another day!).

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."   Buddha

That makes sense to me.  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Options and choices

I got an interesting phone call yesterday. You see, a couple of weeks ago I came across a widget in a magazine that I wanted to know everything about, because it was perfect for me and I had never heard of this particular widget. So I contacted the company online, and the next day spoke with a young lady who was not only very helpful, but also quoted me a price that is quite manageable for me. Now I am in the process of figuring out how I can get this widget into my hot little hands.
Then yesterday afternoon I get a phone call, a guy from the same company called to give me information. I didn't let on that I had already spoken with a young lady at his company and that my questions had been answered. I figured I could always learn a different perspective.
And that I did! He quoted me a price that was almost twice as high. Twice as high is never acceptable for me. Be it a dollar item or a car. 
I had to really bite my tongue, I so wanted to say something to him. Instead I wrote down the information, thanked him, and hung up.
Two opinions, one I researched, the other was just presented to me without asking. 

I am now seeing correlations to the "health care field". (Wait, hang on... lets just call a spade a spade. Our current system is nothing resembling a "health" care system. It is a "sick care" system, plain and simple.)
Patients are presented generally with one option, most likely "traditional". And a minority will seek out "alternatives".

I love researching information, finding the best deal for me. It has become a challenge that I enjoy in all areas of my life, health included. Except I am not only a researcher of information, I am also the distributor.

When a condition presents itself to me, I want to find the most manageable way to treat it. Traditional sick care is generally the most expensive way if you're looking at the big picture, be it in dollars and cents or "human cost". But in some cases, its what the patient wants and I have to support that, regardless of how hard I have to bite down on my tongue.

Personally, it makes sense to me to go with the least costly option, financially is obvious to most, but what many folks don't (want to) understand is what I call the "human cost".
Human cost is the pain and suffering an option causes, it includes physical, emotional, as well as long term cost. It is a cost benefit ratio that each of us has to calculate for him- or herself. As before, twice as high is not acceptable.

While I can make the choice for myself to see pain as a symptom and warning and seek out the cause, it may be unacceptable or intolerable to others.

While pills and potions are rarely an option for me, for many the quick results make up for the side effects.

While surgery is an absolute life-saving only option, for many the removal of a troublesome organ or unwanted tissue is very first choice.

Believe me, there are days when I want to scream. Scream about the pain I see caused by people's choices, that oftentimes bring them to me as a last resort. And yet, they still don't get it. "Fix me quick, Doc, and send me on my way."

And then there are days when I get compliments that remind me that there are people who do get what I'm trying to accomplish.
The patient who calls me first - regardless of what the health issue is - and trusts me to help her make the right decision for her.
The long distance client who prefers a consultation with me over one at a traditional health care facility.
The first-grader who writes me a letter to thank me for taking care of her baby brother so he can be healthy and happy. 
I am so thankful those expressions of trust and compliments of care. They humble me, and sometimes I don't believe I deserve them. But they definitely make my day.

So what am I trying to say with all this...
We have to make the right choices for us. And we all have to find a source that helps us make those decisions.
Research and find the sources that deserve your trust.

We need to learn about choices that don't work for us in order to know which ones that do, that have the right cost benefit ratio for us.
Know the price you're willing to pay for your health, now and later.

Periodically re-evaluate your choices.

(Re)Claim your health.

Dr. Marie

Monday, July 5, 2010

Modern Myth

The Myth of Acid Indigestion

Fact:  At least 90% of you suffering from "acid indigestion" and/or "acid reflux" are in reality suffering from too little stomach acid. Ninety plus percent. You read that correctly. Too little. I have yet to meet a patient with too much stomach acid.

"How can this be?" you ask.  "It feels like too much acid, and the TV commercials tell me it's too much acid."

Here's how it works:  When you eat a meal, the stomach is designed to produce strong acid to begin the digestive process of proteins.  When there is too little stomach acid, the food sits too long in the stomach undigested, and begins to ferment and rot.

It is the acids of the fermenting and rotting food that cause the feeling of acid indigestion (and can eventually cause ulcers).

Sufficient stomach acid is also the signal to the top of the stomach to close, the small intestine to open up, receive the stomach contents, and begin the next phase of digestion.  Without enough stomach acid, the stomach contents escapes in the other direction, causing the symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.
What happens when antacids are taken for this condition?  It makes the burning stop …but the problem worse.  It would be like putting a piece of duct tape over the oil light in your car when it comes on and thinking you've solved the problem.

Antacids stop the digestive process and the partially-digested, fermenting, and rotting food is forced through the rest of the digestive tract.  (The same is also true of the acid stoppers like Zantac, Pepsid AC, and especially Prilosec and Prevacid.) 

Minerals cannot be digested without a strong acid medium in the stomach.  Antacids and acid stoppers create an alkaline condition in the stomach.  It becomes impossible to digest calcium and most other minerals. Therefore... chewable antacids for extra calcium is useless and a waste of money.

As this condition continues, the digestive tract becomes weaker and weaker, as well as increasingly toxic.  You are also not digesting and absorbing the nutrients from food.

Loss of the ability to produce sufficient stomach acid, and all the consequences of this, is the first step in developing all kinds of degenerative diseases.  However, the connection that this is an underlying cause of disease is seldom made.

The real solution is simple!  There are cheap, natural, effective ways and supplements to assist digestion and help your body to repair its own digestive ability.

Trust me, I'm a doctor! :) 

If you'd like, contact me for a consultation on effective, natural ways to improve your digestive health. Or get a head start by filling out the Symptom Survey here.

Dr. Marie

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th...

Always remember that we have the freedom to choose our health and how we take care of it.

We have the freedom to pay for it now -  or pay for it later.

We have the freedom to choose our foods. (Find out what Hippocrates said about food)

We have the freedom to go seek medical care or alternative care.  

We have the right to walk out of a doctor's office saying No! to his "only option"

We have the right to say "no" to prescriptions and vaccinations (Check out what vaccination exemption are available for your children)

But most of all, we have the privilege to learn and the right to make informed decisions about our health. 
Please, always exercise that right. For health's sake.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do you rent or own??

Currently I am renting. After 13 years after owning my own home it was time for me to move. So I did. Renting is very different from owning for me. I love to do projects and improvements and gardening, so being in a house where I really can't do much of that is difficult for me.
So until I own again, friends and family are benefiting from my willingness to work in house and garden.
This morning I was in one of those benefit gardens, fertilizing and spraying oils and soaps for organic bug control at 6:45am, talking to the newly panted trees and roses... I had fun. My name is The Bug Whisperer. Fire ants fear me, Japanese beetles bug out, and fungi flee when they see me coming with my ghost-buster-like backpack sprayer. And the plants are looking and doing beautifully!

After that I came home and looked at the grass at my rented house. And sighed. Time to mow. Sigh again.  Don't get me wrong, I do take care of my temporary home, but I don't really put the effort into it that I would if I owned it. Grass is mowed, but not as carefully fertilized as it could be. Plants are watered, but not treated with materials that would make them stronger, healthier. As long as everything is not dying, its ok.

Then it dawned on me. That's how many of us treat our bodies, as if we're renting. Yeah, we do the basics to keep us alive, but we may not address deficiencies or do things to boost our health, prevent sickness. We're human, we're busy, we got lives, faster is better. And as long as we're not sick, we must be doing ok. Are we... REALLY?

So... do you rent or own? Just think about it.

Dr. Marie

Friday, July 2, 2010

Do youuuuuu...

Remember that commercial for Dunkin Donuts from many years ago? Well, of course I never saw them live - only on You tube ;) but they still make me laugh...

So do youuuu have symptoms like
legs that feel like lead weights
mood swings
monthly cramps and bloating
painful bowel movements
joint pains
brain fog
unexplained tiredness?

Are youuuuu troubled by
heart palpitations
memory loss
blurry vision
loss of taste 
or insomnia?

Do youuuuu know people who have been diagnosed with
Brain tumors
Multiple sclerosis
Chronic fatigue
Lymphoma or

If your answer is "yes" to more than a few of those symptoms, above and you consume Splenda (Sucralose) and Nutrasweet (Aspartame) I strongly encourage you to learn more them, as they have been implicated.
In 2006 Sucralose wass found in nearly 4,000 foods, drinks, even health-care products such as toothpastes. As I mentioned the other day, Nutrasweet is found in most regular grocery store gums, not just the sugar free kinds... It will make you crave more of the food that it is contained in! Russell Blalock wrote about this in 1997. Very interesting read - about so much more than just Nutrasweet.

I have had many patients in my office over the years who were using one or both of these sweeteners over the years, and my first recommendation is always that they stop using them immediately. The ones who do invariably feel better within a couple of weeks or so, sometimes with some nutritional help, but mostly without.

What do you know about Splenda and Nutrisweet? Are your kids eating them? Do you know that there have there been long term studies about their effects?
Please!!!  Learn more about them before you consume any more, and then make an informed decision. Oh, and don't forget those labels, including your fiber cereal, 'cause the blue stuff is hiding in some of them too.

Dr. Marie