Volume 11, Number 5, 2005, pp. 787–792
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Perhaps readers might be sceptical about the experience TREATING A HIGH-GRADE
I have related in this letter. I would be too. I am a true al- IATROGENIC DISABILITY
lopathic physician. I prescribe only evidence-based thera-pies in my everyday practice. Furthermore, I teach evidence- based health care in Continuing Medical Education courses.
The case I am reporting in this letter represents my own Nevertheless, I did find that the solution to my own “health personal experience as a patient. While my being both pa- nightmare” lay in a nonallopathic herbal treatment and the tient and doctor in this situation means that there was an nonsurgical remedy of using the baths.
“empathetic bias,” I have checked with my colleagues, and As a result of my personal experience, in my practice: they have told me that my view of the events is basicallyaccurate.
(1) I will be more cautious about prescribing invasive pro- On February 13, 2004, I underwent ambulatory surgical removal of a nevus from the dorsolateral region of my left (2) I will be more open-minded and empathetic with suf- foot, as had been recommended by three dermatologists. Af- terward, I was unable to attend to my personal needs for 15days. I was only able to walk at home (for no more than 3 meters) only by using crutches. My pain reached a score of 9 on a visual analog scale; this pain was not controllable through analgesics or minor opioid agents. I also developed After 1 month, I underwent a second surgical procedure, which was done to investigate my rejection of unabsorbed and infected material from my stitches.
My iatrogenic ulcer only healed in May when I tried— after the failure of allopathic drugs—local applications (asa pomade) of calendula (Calendula officinalis; marigold),for 10 days (t.i.d.). Thereafter, for the subsequent 30 days, HOMEOPATHY AND ACUPUNCTURE
I walked very slowly, autonomously for 300 meters. Med- TEACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SÃO
ical or physical treatments were ineffective in enabling me PAULO MEDICAL SCHOOL: THE
to walk normally. The pain I experienced (i.e., burning at UNDERGRADUATES’ ATTITUDES
the still-undermined iatrogenic keloid and striking distallyas a result of my iatrogenic neuropathy) was still great.
In mid-June, a trustworthy surgeon suggested that I try thermal baths before undergoing a third surgical procedure The Brazilian population’s interest in complementary and on my still-undermined keloid. I went to the wonderful ther- alternative medicine (CAM) is as great as in other countries, mal baths of Ischia Island, near Naples, in Italy. These baths mainly with regard to homeopathy and acupuncture. The are known worldwide for the curative effect of their vol- Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine recognized home- canic waters. I had hydrotherapy at different temperatures opathy and acupuncture as medical specialities (in 1980 and (from 15°C to 40°C), 8 hours per day for 15 days, and I 1995 respectively). These therapies are available for the pop- walked up and down to reach the 20 pools disseminated ulation in primary care clinics, and the medical fees and expenditures are reimbursed by private medical insurance When I went back home, I was able to move normally at companies, in contrast to most of the health care systems in a regular speed. A surgeon found that my scar no longer had the undermined keloid and noted that a reintervention was Despite this there are few medical schools in Brazil that no longer necessary. Now, in 2005, 18 months from the out- include the systematic teaching of homeopathy and acupunc- set of my first surgical procedure, I have only a chronic ture as obligatory or optional (elective) disciplines in their painful iatrogenic neuropathy, but I can walk normally.
curricula, depriving the medical class of orientation con- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
cerning the basic principles and the scientific evidence that Paulo: The undergraduates’ attitudes. São Paulo Med J 2005; support such therapies—indispensable tools for appropriate 123:77–82. Online document at: www.scielo.br/pdf/spmj/v123n2/ guidance of patients regarding the use of these medical prac- tices as well as the involved risks.
In 2002 these disciplines were introduced in the São Paulo University Medical School (FMUSP) undergraduate curricu- Milton de Arruda Martins, M.D., Ph.D. lum as elective disciplines, with the objective of satisfying the undergraduates’ interest in learning the fundamentals, scien- Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo tific evidence, and clinical practice of these branches of med- icine. Having in mind the improvement of this initiative and repeating the initiative accomplished in other countries, the present authors elaborated a self-administered questionnaire to evaluate the attitudes of FMUSP students regarding home- opathy and acupuncture, to obtain a profile that could con- tribute to the organization of learning activities concerning these recently implemented subjects.
The questionnaire, consisting of 12 multiple-choice ques- tions, was answered by 484 students in the last (6th) yearof medical school, involving their interest in learning, theteaching forms, their knowledge level and manners of ac-quiring knowledge, their experience (or that of a close per- EFFECTS OF AN ELECTRIC FIELD ON
son) with these therapies, and the corresponding effective- PLASMA LEVELS OF ACTH AND
ness. The questionnaire also addressed the main indicators -ENDORPHIN IN DOGS WITH TUMORS
for these therapies and their general effectiveness, and the OR SPINAL CORD INJURIES
possibility of offering and integrating the therapies in pub-lic health care units.
More than 85% of the students considered that homeopa- We recently studied that an electric field (EF) had an ef- thy and acupuncture should be included in the curriculum of fect on the plasma level of ACTH and -endorphin in dogs medical schools, either as optional (72%) or obligatory dis- with tumors or spinal cord injuries.
ciplines (19%), 56% of the interviewed students showed Previously, the curative effects of therapy utilizing EF on great interest in learning these disciplines. Despite little or several types of pain (headache, stiff shoulders and stom- no knowledge about the subject (76%), 67% of the students achache) have been described in over a thousand clinical believed, to a certain extent, in the effectiveness of the re- cases from 1994 to 1997.1 EF at 50 Hz and an intensity (17.5 ferred therapies, with chronic diseases (37%) or both chronic kV/m) are similar to the conditions used in our previous and the acute disease (29%) as the main indicators for their studies.1 This level of EF suppresses the response to stress, use. Approximately 35% of the undergraduates thought pos- as determined by the transient elevation of adrenocorti- itively about offering public primary care in homeopathy and cotropic hormone (ACTH) in space-restricted rats2 and sup- acupuncture, whereas a median of 34% favored the avail- presses the lipid peroxide level in hyperoxidative-stressed ability of these treatments in hospitals also, with 60% of the rats.3 In an in vitro study, a current intensity of 6 A/cm2 students believing in the possibility of integration with the estimated to be within the range generated in the human body influences the change in intracellular calcium levels in The results obtained in our research with FMUSP under- lymphocytes stimulated with lectin.4 In our study, we ex- graduates were similar to those obtained in other surveys of amined the alterations in plasma levels of ACTH and -en- medical students in other countries as well as in academic dorphin in dogs to further investigate the mechanisms of the institutions. The medical students were interested in learn- ing the fundamentals of homeopathy and acupuncture, were The EF exposure system was composed of three major able to observe and report the effectiveness of these treat- parts, namely a high voltage generator (500 mm width, 360 ments, and defended the use of these medical specializations mm length, 92 mm height) made from acrylonitrile-butadi- ene-styrene resin, which included an upper electrode (465mm, 245 mm, 5 mm), a grounded electrode (540 mm, 420mm, 3 mm) made from polyvinyl chloride, which included REFERENCE
a stainless wire, and an EF exposure cage (758 mm, 583mm, 532 mm) made from high-impact polystyrene. The up- 1. Teixeira MZ, Lin CA, Martins MA. Homeopathy and acupunc- per electrode and the grounded electrode were located on ture teaching at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São and under the exposure cage, respectively. A maximum out- ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone; ANOVA, analysis of variance.
put voltage of 2 kV was the effective value of the 50 Hz al- levels after exposure to an EF were significantly higher than ternating current (AC) component superimposed with a di- those before exposure over the 7 days of study (p Ͻ 0.01; rect current (DC) of 0.8 kV. Thus, the total effective value of 2.2 kV was calculated by the following equation: Our results indicate that exposure to the EF used in this study did not change the plasma ACTH levels in healthy dogs but did significantly decreased the levels in dogs with spinal cord injuries or tumors. In our previous study, plasma levels Five male beagles, approximately 2 years of age, weigh- of ACTH in stressed rats also significantly decreased after a ing 12–16 kg, were obtained from Charles River Japan Inc.
50 Hz EF exposure.2 The production and secretion of ACTH (Yokohama, Japan). Five dogs with a confirmed diagnosis and -endorphin from pro-opiomelanocortin occurs at the pi- of a tumor (brain) and five dogs suffering from a spinal cord tuitary gland. ACTH is produced in the anterior and inter- injury, weighing less than 15 kg, were chosen at random mediate lobes and is only decomposed in the intermediate lobe. On the other hand, -endorphin is also produced in the Each dog was transferred from a conventional cage to an anterior and intermediate lobes but its decomposition occurs EF exposure cage and exposed to EF each day for two hours in both the intermediate and anterior lobes. These results pro- for 7 days. To avoid hormonal changes resulting from cir- vide evidence that exposure to an EF does not raise stress re- cadian rhythms, all experiments were carried out from 2 sponses in healthy dogs but may reduce chronic stress caused by diseases, such as spinal cord injury or tumor. In addition, PM. All dogs were maintained without any other clini- cal treatment during the experimental period.
we propose that this EF is a result of a modification of path- Blood samples of 5 mL were obtained from the ante- ways of production, secretion, and/or decomposition of brachial vessel using a heparinized syringe before and after ACTH and -endorphin in the pituitary gland.
EF treatment. Plasma ACTH levels and plasma -endorphin The effect of EF on plasma -endorphin levels also did levels were measured with a commercial kit.
not change in healthy dogs. However, contrary to the results Table 1 summarizes the plasma ACTH and -endorphin of plasma ACTH levels in dogs with tumors or spinal cord levels in all treatments. In the five control dogs, the plasma injuries, the -endorphin levels in these animals signifi- levels of ACTH after exposure to an EF were slightly higher; cantly increased after the EF treatment, suggesting that an however, these differences were not significant, according EF affects the -endorphin producing pathway and enhances to multiple comparisons. In the control group, the plasma -endorphin levels (pg/mL) also did not change over time The effects of electric treatments on several neurological or between pre- and postexposure throughout the 7-day pe- disorders, such as neuropsychiatric disorders, a cholinergic pathway, and depression, have been discussed. It has been In the five dogs with tumors, plasma levels of ACTH af- speculated that the brain is one of the locations of electric ter exposure to an EF significantly decreased over the 7-day treatment effects. In addition, there are reports that a walk- experimental period compared to the pre-exposure levels ing disorder caused by spinal cord injury or Parkinson’s dis- (p Ͻ 0.01; two-way ANOVA). After exposure to an EF, the ease was remitted by an electric treatment.6,7 EFs, magnetic -endorphin levels were significantly higher than those be- fields (MF), and electromagnetic fields (EMF) are physi-fore exposure in these animals over the 7 days of the ex- cally different from each other. If the effect of various elec- periment (p Ͻ 0.01; two-way-ANOVA). Moreover, a one- tric treatments, including EF, MF, or EMF, on an organism way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that the had common target(s), many diseases or symptoms men- plasma values of -endorphin in this group after exposure tioned above would be candidates for EF treatment.
to an EF gradually increased throughout the 7 days (p Ͻ Our results suggest that EF affects hormonal processing 0.01; one-way ANOVA; p Ͻ 0.05 at 5th, 6th, and 7th days; or metabolism and that EF may act to enhance the antistress multiple range test); however, the pre-exposure levels did response and activate an analgesic pathway. Further well- controlled studies with sham exposed group, however, are On the 1st day, the plasma ACTH levels before EF in the needed to elucidate the possible association of these two five dogs with spinal cord injuries were significantly higher mechanisms cited to the findings of this study and their po- than those of healthy dogs and of dogs with tumors (p Ͻ tential role in the palliation of bodily symptoms postexpo- 0.05; Student’s t test). These higher baseline ACTH values appear to be caused by spinal cord injury.5 However, theACTH levels significantly decreased over the 7 days of ex-posure to EF (p Ͻ 0.01; one-way ANOVA). As was found REFERENCES
for dogs with tumors, the ACTH levels in dogs with spinalcord injuries after EF were significantly lower than those 1. Harakawa S, Doge F, Saito A. Exposure to electric field (EF): found before exposure over the 7 days of the study (p Ͻ Its palliative effect on some clinical symptoms in human pa- 0.01; two-way ANOVA). In these animals, the -endorphin tients. Res Bull Obihiro Univ 2002;22:193–199.
2. Harakawa S, Takahashi I, Doge F, Martin DE. Effect of a 50 THE CASE FOR ORTHOMOLECULAR
Hz electric field on plasma ACTH, glucose, lactate, and pyru- MEDICAL CARE: A PATIENT’S PLEA
vate levels in stressed rats. Bioelectromagnetics 2004;25:346–351.
3. Harakawa S, Inoue N, Hori T, Tochio K, Kariya T, Takahashi K, Doge F, Suzuki H, Nagasawa H. Effects of a 50 Hz electricfield on plasma lipid peroxide level and antioxidant activity in I am writing this letter as a layperson whose initial un- rats. Bioelectromagnetics 2005;in press.
derstanding of orthomolecular medical care came from a 4. Harakawa S, Inoue N, Saito A, Doge F, Nagasawa H, Suzuki radio interview I heard some time ago with Dr. Avram Hof- N, Martin DE. 60 Hz electric field upregulated cytosolic Ca2ϩ fer, one of the authors of this term. Because it refers to get- level in mouse splenocytes stimulated by lectin. Bioelectro- ting the correct nutritional support on the molecular level for alleviating the body’s ailments, as opposed to taking pills 5. Cruse JM, Lewis RE, Roe DL, Dilioglou S, Blaine MC, Wal- to remove symptoms, I had an epiphany about the kind of lace WF, Chen RS. Facilitation of immune function, healing of medical care I wanted. And while this has kept me in good pressure ulcers, and nutritional status in spinal cord injury pa- health, as I have used foods, nutritional supplements (herbs, tients. Exp Mol Pathol 2000;68:38–54.
vitamins, minerals, and so on), to resolve a whole variety of 6. Malhi GS, Sachdev P. Novel physical treatments for the man- ailments, I find it frightening that the “orthodoxy” of the agement of neuropsychiatric disorders. J Psychosom Res2002;53:709–719.
medical practice I received and paid so exhorbitantly for 7. Shimamoto H, Takasaki K, Shigemori M, Imaizumi T, Ayabe was, and is, absolutely of no avail.
M, Shoji H. Therapeutic effect and mechanism of repetitive For instance, for the past 5 years I have been grappling transcranial magnetic stimulation in Parkinson’s disease. J Neu- with a problematic diagnosis, metaplasia of the antrum, rol 2001;248(Suppl 3):III48–III52.
which can be a precursor to stomach cancer, and for whicha gastroenterologist (one of several) who diagnosed it says he knows of no healing strategy. This problem began as fol- National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases lows: 5 years ago, I discovered a tick “blood blister” at- Obihiro University of Agriculture tached to my stomach. I removed it and brought it to a doc- tor for testing. I was immediately treated with antibiotics for about 10 days. The tick tested positive for Lyme disease, and I was told to find a doctor who treats Lyme for a fol- and Hakuju Institute for Health Science low-up appointment around 3 months later.
I chose a doctor whom I thought was a “responsible” doc- tor, an M.D. who treated in two modalities: complementary and allopathic. He had just set up his own practice after Despite this doctor’s awareness of my large number of supplements, including the magnesium and potassium, he decided to give me more than 5 weeks of minocycline (and Biaxin), as he found Lyme titers in my blood tests. Thisminocyline was contraindicated with minerals cited. More importantly, the doctor was fully aware that I was not ex- periencing any physical symptoms of Lyme disease. A week or two after I took the antibiotics, I began feeling severe, National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases incapacitating stomach pains. The doctor was perplexed, and Obihiro University of Agriculture he said I could stop the antibiotics. However, the pain did not subside. Weeks passed. Then, annoyed with my persis- tent calls, he fairly shouted, “Go to a gastroenterologist!” When I went to a gastroenterologist, the endoscopy showed a lot of stomach damage—lesions, blebs, gastritis, Helicobacter pylori bacteria, and duodenitis. And when the National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases gastroenterologist told me I urgently needed more antibi- Obihiro University of Agriculture otics for the H. pylori, I refused and said I would find an alternate approach. I had heard about DGL, a licorice for- mula from a health food store, which helps the stomach’s mucosal lining, instead of the acid-reducing medications he advised. I then researched issues involving ulcers andstrategies in “folklore” about how to improve the integrity of the stomach. In other words, I wanted to deal with pre- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
cursors to this kind of tissue before the problem progressed finally found a sympathetic and knowledgeable M.D. (Jef- frey Morrison, M.D.), things were happening so fast that In reality, I was actually faced with a double problem. It they needed addressing almost on an emergency basis.
seemed that the antibiotics taken for the tick bite, plus oth- Fortunately, my maverick research lead to some strate- ers taken later (required by my periodontist for surgery), gies to resolve the extreme weariness I felt with a distressed were causing chronic diarrhea and wasting. I was very weak liver: I took (and still take) digestive enzymes, do exercise, and was losing weight on a daily basis, 25 five pounds in take dandelion root capsules, silymarin, powdered greens, just several months, and eating like a horse. I had already and wheatgrass juice. In addition, I juice fresh beets almost acquired another allopathic doctor, an infectious disease spe- daily, along with carrots, cabbage, radishes, and parsley. I cialist, who told me there was nothing wrong with me and now have the gastric distress under control, I sleep better, that I should just eat yogurt. In the meantime, I found I could feel more energetic, have an improved complexion, “nor- no longer digest many foods, that I had terrible night-long malized” my digestion, gained back some weight, and have insomnia, and that I had no energy. When this doctor fought against giving me the required prescription for a compre- All this has been (and still is) a very slow, and frankly, hensive stool analysis, I quit seeing him. I had gotten the scary process—using the correct substances that address the idea about a stool analysis from an M.D. (Louis Mehl- needs of my vital organs—done on my own, for the most Madrona, M.D.), who I had contacted on the Internet part. What makes me unhappy is not only that I had very through my sister’s suggestion (she is a retired nurse in Ari- little help from medical practitioners, or that I spent thou- zona). He advised me about the laboratory stool test, and it sands of dollars for their appointments, but that the health turned out that this test revealed excessive intestinal yeast ideas that I was using to correct the problems caused by their and several bacterial and parasite infections, along with de- iatrogenic interventions were treated with contempt.
pletion of acidophilus and other beneficial flora. My gas- Furthermore, it would seem that I should not have had to trointestinal doctor furnished me with the needed prescrip- “experiment” and do the research to address my conditions; tion, although he admitted also to being at a loss for solving there is so much medical material out there, I am sure. There- fore, it is my contention that rudimentary orthomolecular The problem I had to solve was to heal what was diag- care by a trained physician, because it is so cost-effective a nosed as gastritis, duodenitis, and metaplasia, and also to paradigm for patient care and treatments, should be both af- destroy the yeast. By now, I had begun to get some relief fordable and accessible to every person on earth, not to men- from gastritis from the DGL and other nutrients. However, tion to an “enlightened” and “advanced” country such as the anything that could kill these pathogens in my intestines was United States. In other words, common-sense medicine, ori- too toxic for my stomach—especially to my liver. I was us- ented toward the orthomolecular approach, should be the ing the very alkaline raw, fresh cabbage juice daily for its major, standard American practice—not the allopathic glutamine and indol 3 carbinols, some DGL, a licorice for- model—mediated by an overbearing pharmaceutical indus- mula for the stomach available in health-food stores, along try that is fueled by the profit motive and its own past “won- with small amounts of antiyeast, antibacterial herb formu- las taken in powder form with water. The problem occurred when the herbal formulas that were destroying the yeast overgrowth seemed to have negative effects on my liver. I felt discomfort near the liver, nausea, pallor, weakness, im- mune and digestive insufficiency, and loss of appetite; inshort, I experienced very worrisome symptoms. Although I

Source: http://www.hakuju.co.jp/hk11_medical/img/32.pdf




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