Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Naturopathic Family Care

Here it is! tThe much anticipated November edition of the Naturopathic Family Care Blog!!!

First, we would like to say thank you to all of the people who participated in our first annual Fall Festival. Everyone at the office thought that the day went really well, and all of the feedback that we have received was resoundingly positive. Stay tuned for the details about our upcoming spring open house!

We have a few healthy thoughts to send your way this month:

Dr. Marie ponders whether the winter blues are due to holiday overload or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Dr. Marchese lets us know why she thinks PAP smears are important.

Dr. Psenka shares some fun facts about one his favorite anti-cancer supplements and breaks down the numbers on the dreaded bisphenol A(BPA)

We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your free-range Tofurkey and organic, low-fat, stevia and chicory sweetened pumpkin pie! Yeah, right....

Holiday Blues or is it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? By Dr. Marie

Living in the Valley of the Sun does not give us immunity to SAD. As the days get shorter, moods can drop, carbohydrate cravings increase, and general lethargy sets in. We tend to blame the stress of family and holidays for feeling blah when there may be an underlying cause. It is estimated that 15% of North Americans have SAD. Phototherapy (light therapy) is the most effective treatment for SAD but not all lights have the same therapeutic results. Type of light, placement, and time of use can maximize the effectiveness. Lights that simulate sunrise are showing to be most effective. Light therapy can be supported with neurotransmitter balancing. And don’t underestimate the power of a healthy diet and regular exercise – especially if it is outside in the sunlight. And always check with your physician if your mood interferes with your activities of daily living.

The Importance of the Annual PAP by Dr. Marchese

What do you do if you go to see your medical doctor for your annual gynecology exam and you get a call saying your pap came back abnormal? Unless you take the time to educate yourself about what an abnormal pap smear means and learn what your options are, you may end up doing something that doesn’t need to be done.

It is recommended that women get their first pap smear test at age 21. The pap test, also called a pap smear, checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The pap test can tell if you have the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), abnormal cervical cells, or cervical cancer.

If you are younger than 30 years old, you should get a Pap test every year. If you are age 30 or older and have had three normal Pap tests for three years in a row, talk to your doctor about spacing out Pap tests to every two or three years.

During your annual gynecological exam and pap smear it is now possible to test for the HPV virus at the same time. This is important because it is possible to have a normal pap smear and still test positive for HPV which is why the new standard of care is to test all women over 30 for HPV during their pap smear test.

What if my PAP is abnormal?

If you have an abnormal PAP your MD will recommend either freezing off the abnormal cervical cells or burning off the abnormal cervical cells. These are called cyrotherapy and a LEEP respectively. The MDs goal is to remove the abnormal cells and shed the top layer that holds the virus. But, the virus is in the body and an MD doesn’t have any treatments to treat the whole body and support the immune system. Also, there are complications from cryotherapy and a LEEP that will make pregnancy and child birth more difficult.

You have options!!!!!!!

If you pap comes back abnormal see Dr. Marchese. She can shed the abnormal cervical cells with anti-viral herbal suppositories. These are herbs that are inserted into the vaginal canal and shed the virus and abnormal cells. Dr. Marchese can also treat the body and boost the immune system and help your body fight off the virus. In cases of severe cervical abnormalities Dr. Marchese can perform the escharotic treatment which sheds the abnormal cervical cells on a deeper level.

If you haven’t had a pap smear in over a year or have not had HPV testing in combination with the PAP it is time to see Dr. Marchese for an appointment.

Fun Facts About Curcumin and Not-So-Fun Facts About BPA, by Dr. Psenka

Curcumin has to be one of my all time favorite supplements. It's non-toxic, decreases inflammation, prevents cancer cells from becoming resistant to chemo drugs, helps sensitize some cancer types to radiation therapy, and inhibits tumor growth. Now it seems that this extract of turmeric, the yellow spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, may actually potentiate chemotherapy drugs. A newer study which was published in the journal Anticancer Research this past June described the effects of curcumin against pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer tends to be a more difficult cancer to treat as it quickly becomes resistant to chemotherapy and can spread rapidly as well. The authors of this study used a newer type of curcumin in the study called liposomal curcumin. In the past curcumin's big drawback was it's low absorbability. This new liposomal form, in which the curcumin molecule is basically wrapped in fat, is absorbed much better. The study found that 20mg of liposomal curcumin per kilogram of body weight provided a 52% decrease in tumor growth. This study was carried out in a mouse study in which human pancreatic cancer cells were implanted in the mice. Poor mice.
While it would be preferable to have a human study which demonstrated the same findings the mouse research is a step in the right direction. This is particularly true with pancreatic cancer, as at the current time the available treatment options are few. Considering the low toxicity profile of curcumin, and the number of established benefits, along with the fact that curcumin has been shown to make the one chemo drug (Gemzar/gemcitabine) that works against pancreatic cancer work better, the question really isn't if we should add it to the current treatments, but rather if it is ethical not to....

Not so fun facts about BPA
Nearly everyone has heard that this plastic additive, which can be identified by the numbers 7 and 3 stamped on plastic containers is bad for you. The number of health problems that have been associated with this chemical make it nearly as harmful as other favorite nasty chemicals, like dioxin, and cigarette smoke. If you look at BPA on Wiki you will read that it is estimated that there are six pounds of this chemical produced for every person in the United States. There's 304 milion of us these days in case you lost count. That equates to roughly 1,824,000,000 pounds of BPA produced annually. Another study that recently came out (yes, I am a nerd, my is your Facebook!) found that nanomolar dosages of BPA could produce chemoresistance in breast cancer. That is kind of disturbing as a nanomol can roughly be thought of as about a billionth of a gram (which there are 454 of in a pound). My recommendation: detox daily.
Look for more on this subject in an upcoming post.