An Epidemic of Pain

An Epidemic of Pain

You hit your little toe on the coffee table and your world stops. Agonizing, shooting pain that makes you double over and curse like a sailor. This is a transient pain. You walk it off and you go on. But, what happens when the pain stays? When it’s stuck to you like a shadow?

 

100 Million Americans suffer from chronic pain according to the American Academy of Pain Management. Compare that to 11.9 million suffering from cancer. According to those numbers, if I know 2 people with cancer I probably know 16 with chronic pain. [1] Those cancer patients could be part of that number, because chronic pain is not an isolated condition. It can be its own disease or be a comorbidity with cancer, diabetes or heart disease. 

Demystifying the Paleo Diet!

Good news!

 The community classes are back on! If you are interested in Paleo, but are confused by all of the different "versions" of paleo, this class is a good way of defining your own paleo! 

The coolest thing is that my school the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine is allowing me to teach it FREE OF CHARGE! 

If you are in the Phoenix Area, and would like a nice primer into the Paleo Diet, or if you just want to come and learn a little and meet more people from our tribe, join us! 

If you are interested, you can sign up HERE!

If you want more info on the philosophy of the program, you can listen to my interview on The Paleo Solution Podcast with Robb Wolf!

The Science Behind Profits

Science is the only compass we have to guide the efficacy of new discoveries and treatments.  But we should continue to be skeptics even when something is “double-blind placebo controlled”. 

Herpes labialis or “cold sores” are common lesions of the oral mucosa that are prevalent in our population (as many as 1.6 cases per 1000 people).

First let’s learn some virology! Herpes simplex virus 1 or "HSV1", is the virus responsible for those annoying lesions. It is a type of DNA virus, that after infecting the host, causes the painful sore (in the case of HSV1 in the oral mucosa) to help shed itself. Then it runs away to the neural ganglia to “hide” from the immune system. And then it waits. During periods of stress, such as illness or life events, our immune system is compromised and the virus migrates from its hiding spot back to the oral mucosa and BAM! you get another cold sore. Lather, rinse, repeat. Those painful lesions reoccur in one of every three sufferers. [1]

The most frustrating thing about this little virus is that we don’t have a good way of treating it. For example, doconasol commonly known as “Abreva” only reduces the effects of the virus by a whooping 18 hours! [2]

“The median time to healing in the 370 docosanol-treated patients was 4.1 days, 18 hours shorter than observed in the 367 placebo-treated patients (P =.008; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2, 22).”

The reason the docosanol is not more effective, is because it prevents attachment of the virus to the host cell. Once the virus is inside the cell, then the virus is safe. By the time you begin to feel symptoms, the virus is likely already reproducing inside the cell. You are only preventing more viruses from infecting more adjacent cells. Secondly, by using such a poor mechanism of inhibition, you are selecting for viral particles that are resistant to docosanol. And when they come out of hiding the treatment will be even less effective. Talk about evolutionary mechanisms of survival!

Now, no one is disputing that those are significant results. They were achieved because the number of people treated did benefit from the treatment over placebo. And just like everything science can be motivated by money. Imagine, hundreds of hours spent in labs, millions of dollars spent in trials and product development. There has to be some profit somewhere. 

We can see this biased interpretation of scientific results in many places, from food science to nutraceutical science and it turns out that evidence-based medicine is not absolved. The problem is that companies can wordsmith scientific data to make results look better than they actually are.  They advertised docosanol as being “able to cut healing time in half”

The papers and the studies are out there for you to interpret, and if you think that applying a cream every two hours and shortening the infection time by 6.4% is worth the price; then go for it!

The advertisers for doconasol, said it was. And it worked, To the tune of $3,420 per pound of docosanol

1. Opstelten W, Neven AK, Eekhof J. Treatment and prevention of herpes labialis. Can Fam Physician. 2008;54(12):1683-7.

2. Sacks SL, Thisted RA, Jones TM, et al. Clinical efficacy of topical docosanol 10% cream for herpes simplex labialis: A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;45(2):222-30.

Demystifying the Paleo Diet: Customizing Paleo for Your Health

Wednesday, February 24, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

You have decided to adopt a Paleo diet! That was the easy part, but how do you customize it to ensure the biggest impact for your health? Which snacks are the best to keep you satiated? What about Paleo and kids? A well-designed Paleo diet can benefit everyone! In this class, we will discuss the different approaches to Paleo, from fueling a high-intensity athlete to adapting the diet for people with chronic conditions. We will learn how to design your plate and even discuss strategies for successful meal planning. 

Class details

Demystifying The Paleo Diet: What does Science say about Paleo?

Didn’t caveman live to thirty? Doesn’t meat cause cancer? Where will I get all my fiber? What does a typical day of Paleo food look like? In this class, we will discuss why it is scientifically sound to implement a Paleo diet. We will update you with the latest research on supporting a nutritionally dense diet. We will clear the confusion on the macronutrient breakdown of a Paleo diet. Finally, we will discuss how to apply the topics covered to your own lifestyle.

Sign up today!

Demistyfing the Paleo Diet!

Weight loss is a $55 billion dollar a year industry globally, 17% of the US population is currently on a diet. The Paleo diet has gained mainstream popularity in the past couple of years, and with it, many misunderstandings and erroneous beliefs have become dogma. What does science say about Paleo? Can an athlete eat a Paleo diet? What about someone with chronic disease? What does Paleo say about lifestyle? Ditch your loincloth and learn how to avoid common mistakes when implementing a Paleo lifestyle and become healthier, stronger and savvier while you learn how to make Paleo work for you!

Sign up for this class and learn more about Paleo:

Demistyfing The Paleo Diet: Introduction class

 

Symposium of Integrative Oncology Presentation

This is the poster presentation I made at the Symposium of Integrative Oncology. It deals with a botanical extract that is able to rescue p53 protein from virally infected and transformed cancerous cells. The most important take-home from the poster is that the botanical extract is able to spare healthy cells! It specifically targets the cells that are replicating out of control, and allows the cell's ability to undergo apoptosis if the cell is infected. 

 

    If you would like a higher resolution copy, please contact me. I'll be happy to share!

 

If you would like a higher resolution copy, please contact me. I'll be happy to share!