By Moshe Lewis
Co-written by Mikel Davenport LAc
In Chinese medicine, there is a saying: where there is blockage there is pain, but where there is no blockage there is no pain. We know this to be true in western medicine, as well. When we are hurt, inflammation effectively blocks and redirects our body’s healing resources to the site of an injury or infection.
As a result, we often manipulate inflammation as a tool to bring about healing. For example, the orthopedic technique of prolotherapy requires injection of an irritant such as a sugar solution into a weak joint. This irritant induces inflammation, thus increasing the healing of nearby tendons and ligaments.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture works in much the same way: it creates minute traumas along the skin’s surface to bring a beneficial inflammatory response. Acupuncture does more than simply irritate local tissue, though. By directing inflammation to areas that stimulate orthopedic trigger points and our neural pain sensors, the effect of each needle can bring widespread and lasting relief. In my own practice I’ve found acupuncture to be a boon to chronic pain sufferers.
A new study in the Archive of General Psychiatry suggests a link between alcoholism and obesity within the United States.The prevalence of obesity has risen sharply in the United States in the past few decades. Etiologic links between obesity and substance use disorders have been hypothesized.
The results of the study:
In 2001-2002, women with a family history of alcoholism (defined as having a biological parent or sibling with a history of alcoholism or alcohol problems) had 49% higher odds of obesity than those without a family history (odds ratio, 1.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-1.61; P < .001), a highly significant increase (P < .001) from the odds ratio of 1.06 (95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.16) estimated for 1991-1992. For men in 2001-2002, the association was significant (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-1.38; P < .001) but not as strong as for women. The association and the secular trend for women were robust after adjustment for covariates, including sociodemographic variables, smoking status, alcohol use, alcohol or drug dependence, and major depression. Similar trends were observed for men but did not meet statistical significance criteria after adjustment for covariates.
Dr. Moshe Lewis, a physician who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries and diseases at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, explains what rhabdomyolysis is, what causes it and how it is treated.
(via USA Today)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking drug manufacturers to limit the strength of acetaminophen in prescription drug products, which are predominantly combinations of acetaminophen and opioids. This action will limit the amount of acetaminophen in these products to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit, making these products safer for patients.
In addition, a Boxed Warning highlighting the potential for severe liver injury and a Warning highlighting the potential for allergic reactions (e.g., swelling of the face, mouth, and throat, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash) are being added to the label of all prescription drug products that contain acetaminophen.
These actions will help to reduce the risk of severe liver injury and allergic reactions associated with acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen is widely and effectively used in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products to reduce pain and fever. It is one of the most commonly-used drugs in the United States. Examples of prescription products that contain acetaminophen include hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab), and oxycodone with acetaminophen (Tylox, Percocet). OTC products containing acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) are not affected by this action.
My colleague and friend Dr Perry is offering is stress reduction classes again at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It's an intensive 8-week course that helps people cope with physical and mental stress, and to reduce suffering from the conditions arising from stress. Read his statement below:
I am again offering a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class at Rainbow Medical in Palo Alto.
Curious? Maybe interested? Come to a free introductory class at my office on Saturday morning, February 5, 2011 from 9:30 until noon.
The class will begin the following Saturday, February 12, 2011, and will meet for 8 Saturdays from 9:30 until noon until April 9, 2011 (no class on March 12, 2011). The fee of $300 includes all materials (2 CD’s and a book).
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. developed MBSR in the 1980’s as a way to introduce the mindfulness concept, practices designed to cultivate mindfulness, and applications of mindfulness in reducing suffering. In his 1994 book, Wherever You Go There You Are, he gave a simple definition: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Since then, the teaching of MBSR has spread world wide, and hundreds if not thousands of research reports have revealed the power of these practices in relieving the suffering of those of us with all kinds of stress, including in particular chronic pain, anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, etc. Does anyone out there not have stress?
After studying with Renee Burgard, MFT and Bob Stahl, Ph.D., I began offering MBSR classes in my office several years ago. Our classes have been small, and the participants have been enthusiastic in describing the benefits.
(Read more at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website)
(Image courtesy Associated Press/Yahoo!)
The recent decision vindicating Howard Stern is a mixed victory of sorts. In the court of public opinion and in the eyes of the law when people doctor shop for opioid prescriptions and secure them under false pretenses patients lives are put at risk. I have seen this approach result in fatal and near death consequences in celebrities and non celebrities. Anna is not the first or the last. However I do respect the judges decision that chronic pain patients do suffer severely and as adults they alone have to accept responsibility for the risks they are taking with controlled substances.
After losing Anna Nicole Smith and then a court battle over her estate, Howard K. Stern says a judge's dismissal of convictions in a prescription drug case vindicates both him and the late Playboy model.
"I loved Anna and I cared for her so much. I have no regrets," Stern told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday, hours after the court reversed his two conspiracy convictions for using his name on prescriptions for Smith.
"The regrets I have are for what people caused afterward," he said, referring to multiple legal complications which arose after Smith died of a drug overdose in Florida in February, 2007.
The most agonizing postscript, he said, was the prescription drug abuse charges filed in Los Angeles against Stern, Smith's psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Smith's general physician. He called the months of trial a nightmare.