Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Most Powerful Documentary You’ll Ever Watch

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Many of you may have heard about a recently released documentary called, “Doctored.” I finally got to see this video within the last couple days and I have to say… I was much more impressed than I expected to be. Most often, documentaries are produced with an agenda and/or a message in mind, and this one is no different. However, too often those documentaries fall extremely short in actual data and truth in reporting. I’m happy to announce that this is NOT one of them. Although there is a good deal of anecdotal stories, this documentary had a ton of statistically verifiable evidence in support of the underlying message. Many of you that know me, know that I’m not an “Anti-Med” chiropractor. Yes, I’m natural first, but I recognize that there are times and conditions that warrant concurrent pharmaceutical intervention. That said, this documentary is essential watching to anyone interested in true “health care” as opposed to “sick care.”

I want to thank Dr. Mercola for making this video available for free on his website for a limited time. Watch it now, before it’s taken down. Once it’s taken down… it’s worth the few bucks to order a copy on DVD.  Keep your eyes peeled, because I’m sure it will be available on pay-per-view at some point, too. Here is the link to the free video on Dr. Mercola’s site: Click here to go to Dr. Mercola’s site with the free video.

– Dr. Gray

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Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions, Political, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Headaches… Research Keeps Proving Chiropractic Right

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cleopatra, Moses, and Hippocrates have all been associated with headaches. In fact, archaeological findings have shown evidence of trepanation (cutting a hole in the skull to relieve pressure) dating back to 7,000BC. Is seems as long as humans have been on this planet, there have been headaches. There are over 200 types of headache, and the causes range from harmless to life-threatening. Of the many types of headache, all can be classified into 13 groups as noted in ICDH-2(2004). Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – is an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A report released by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication. Also, a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

Every day, chiropractors hear similar stories from hundreds of people who have been suffering for years with pain and are at their wits end because the only thing offered to them by their physicians and specialists are more drugs. Many people think headaches are normal and take over-the-counter or prescription drugs to relieve the pain. But these drugs only dull the pain, they don’t treat the cause, which is why the headache returns.

In addition to chronic headaches, chiropractic care is also effective in treating tension headaches. A recent study released by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research finds that individuals undergoing chiropractic therapy showed sustained reduction in headache frequency and severity compared with patients who took the drug amitriptyline, a commonly prescribed medication for tension headaches. The conclusion of the study shows that chiropractic is not actually a therapy or treatment, but rather gets to the cause of the problem, thus allowing the body to effect a correction that lasts beyond actual care.

While many people associate chiropractic care as a treatment for bad backs, there is growing documentation that chiropractic is also effective in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association reports that 14 percent of the public who see chiropractors presently go for headaches. However, much of the general public continues to use the traditional medical practitioner route for headache treatment, with little success. The problem rests in the six misconceptions about headache relief. They are listed below, followed by an explanation:

  1. Over-The-Counter Medications Treat The Cause Of Your Headache. – Drugs primarily numb the pain. If these drugs treated the real cause, your headaches would go away permanently. None of us were born with too few Advil in our blood. A lack of drugs is not the cause.
  2. Headache Medication Can’t Harm You. – On the contrary, drugs can cause side effects that can be far worse than the headache pain you’re trying to relieve.
  3. Stress Causes Headaches. – Although stress is a part of life, it is not the cause of headaches. Rather, it’s how your body adapts to stress that affects your health. Chiropractic care can provide ways to help you increase your body’s ability to adapt to stress of any kind.
  4. Headaches Go Away On Their Own. – Without treating the cause, or root of the problem, they won’t.
  5. All Doctors Know How To Treat Headaches. – If this were true, no one would suffer from headaches. Chiropractors offer natural alternatives that do not involve drugs or invasive treatments.
  6. Your Problem Is Always Where Your Pain Is. – In fact, not all headaches originate in the head. For instance, a person who suffered a neck injury at some point in their life, whether from a car accident, playing sports, or a fall as a child, could suffer head pain later on. These are called cervicogenic headaches because they result from tension of the neck and head muscles.

Although headaches come in many shapes, forms, and causes, wouldn’t you prefer to address the underlying cause instead of masking the symptoms? Chiropractic care has proven a valuable and safe alternative to traditional medicine that should be a part of any treatment plan as one of the first lines of defense when addressing these conditions. Those of you who have read my blog and/or know me, understand that I’m NOT an anti-med guy. I readily admit and embrace my medical counterparts as we attempt to help our patients achieve better outcomes from their health care. All I’m asking is that you determine your priorities and goals… weigh your pros and cons. If there is a treatment option that has fewer side effects and risks, less overall cost, and better outcomes… why would you not explore that option?

If you or someone you know suffers with headaches, please tell them to choose chiropractic as one of their first options rather than their last.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, Headaches, Neck Pain | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Weight Loss, Better Health… Awesome Story

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, July 5, 2010

I want to extend a well-earned congratulations to one of our patients who has lost 80 pounds in 20 weeks! I’d also like to thank Steve for granting me permission to write about his story and reprint an article published about him. Steve has been a patient and friend for many years. I am so proud and happy for him and his accomplishments! Kudos, buddy!!!

Here is an article that was written about him in Carondelet Connection, a periodical published for employees of the behemoth Carondelet Health Care System.

Steps Add Up to Weight Loss, Better Health

When Steve Clarke makes up his mind to do something, it’s as good as done. Five months ago, he weighed about 285 pounds and says he was “fed up with not being able to breathe well doing simple things like tying my shoes.” Clarke works in Environmental Services at St. Mary’s Medical Center and has to walk throughout the medical center while on the job. He decided to take off some weight.

Today, you’d be lucky to keep up with him. Clarke dropped 80 pounds in 20 weeks the “old-fashioned way” – through diet and exercise. He started following the program his wife joined – counting points to determine how much he should eat. The plan encourages exercise and at about the same time, SM [sic] opened its fitness center to associates and Clarke became a big fan of the treadmills.

“I try to walk about four to five miles a day,” says Clarke. That’s in addition to the miles he puts in on the job. “I’ll walk at a pace of about 4.7 miles per hour for a while, then slow down a bit; then go back to 4.7 again.” When the weather’s nice, Clarke walks outside – on the fitness trail at SM or around his neighborhood.

Equally as impressive as the weight loss are the other health improvements Clarke has made. He used to take medication to control his blood pressure – not any more. His resting heart rate went from “about 80 beats per minute” to under 50. His total cholesterol dropped from 234 to 153. His LDL level dropped in half – from 141 to 71.

“I’ve lost weight at other times in my life, but never saw the big improvements in my numbers like I’m seeing this time,” says Clarke. He credits exercise, plus eating the two teaspoons of olive oil daily his eating plan calls for. He says exercise has become a routine he will continue because there’s no doubt about the difference it has made in his life.

Once again, congratulations, Steve! You are an inspiration, and a prime example of how healthy we can be if we just get back to the basics. Steve didn’t need medications to lose weight. He didn’t need a lap-band… a stapling procedure… growth hormones… over-priced multilevel juices… questionable supplements…  the latest infomercial gadget… or any other fad that has come and gone. Steve has just decided to make different choices. Better food choices, better portion sizes, and regular exercise is all it took. And look at all of the other unexpected benefits that came along with those healthy choices!!!

Steve graciously stated that he credits regular chiropractic care in our office with being a contributor to his achievements. Although I would love to take the credit, the admiration and respect remains with him. Chiropractic is but one tool he uses to achieve his health care goals. A little willpower, and some self-responsibility are the most important tools… and Steve’s got plenty of each!

The power that made the body, heals the body. Too often we think it’s our medicines making us well. We credit this technique, that gadget, this other treatment, etc… for “healing us.” Well, that’s just bull! Our bodies heal themselves. Any health care option we choose is just a means of trying to assist the body in healing itself. Our goal is to get the body to do what it’s supposed to do. Think about it. It’s not the band-aid that heals a scrape. It’s the body’s innate ability to recognize a problem and find a solution. Where we come in as health care providers is in assisting the body when there is dysfunction. Chiropractic seeks to optimize neuromusculoskeletal function thereby allowing the body to operate optimally. Antibiotics seek to assist the body’s immune system in fighting off bacterial infections. If you look at how tons of health options are designed, most of them are just designed to assist the body.

Therefore, as with Steve’s case, if you feed the body optimal nutrition and take care of it… it needs less assistance. Simple as that. Steve changed how he was taking care of his body, and it responded by recovering it’s ability to take care of itself.

Dr. James C. Gray

Posted in General Health, Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Preventing Diabetes

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Diabetes currently affects almost 21 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Even more alarming is that the age of onset has dropped dramatically. It used to be that diabetes was primarily a “senior” disease, affecting those over age 45. Sadly, this is not the case any more.

There are two main types of diabetes: type I, which usually is diagnosed in childhood and requires insulin; and type II, which does not require insulin treatment but may require medication. Most cases (about 95 percent) are type II, which can be prevented in the overwhelming majority of cases with proper diet and exercise. What is particularly frightening is the rise in type II diabetes among children.

The effects of diabetes can be felt, literally, from head to toe, according to the CDC.

  • People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than those without the disease.
  • Poorly controlled blood sugar may lead to glaucoma and blindness.
  • Gum disease and high blood sugar are related.
  • Diabetes, particularly in conjunction with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, may lead to heart disease.
  • Kidney damage may result from diabetes, especially in combination with high blood pressure.
  • Diabetes has been linked to male sexual dysfunction (impotence).
  • Nerves in the feet may become damaged, sometimes leading to amputation.

Fortunately, there are much easier and less dangerous ways to not only control diabetes if you have it, but actually prevent getting it in the first place. Both the CDC and the National Institutes of Health agree that there are two basic elements to this: exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week; and eat foods low in fat and reduce total caloric intake. Pay attention not only to the types of food you eat, but also the portions. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the following:

  • Eat a variety of fruits (2 cups per day for a 2,000 calorie diet) instead of just juice. You can have these fresh, frozen, dried or canned. An example would be: one small banana, one large orange and ¼ cup of dried apricots or peaches.
  • Make your veggies more colorful by adding dark green (broccoli, kale, spinach) and bright orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and other winter squashes). Also add more beans and peas to the mix (kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils).
  • Eat more calcium for healthy bones. The USDA recommends three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk per day. You can substitute the same amount of low-fat yogurt and/or low-fat cheese (1 ½ ounces of cheese is equal to one cup of milk). Try lactose-free milk if you have trouble digesting dairy products.
  • Focus on whole grains. Make them at least half of your total grain intake. Try to eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day. This is equal to one slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta.
  • Go lean with the protein. Opt for lean meats such as chicken or fish. Be sure to prepare it in a healthy manner, such as baking or broiling. Don’t forget that nuts, beans and peas are also good sources of protein.

The point is that while it might seem that preventing a major disease such as diabetes is a daunting task, it actually isn’t. All it really takes is common sense, a bit of creative planning and a positive attitude. With these three things, you are well on your way to success.

– taken from Sweet Success, To Your Health March, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 03)

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Swine Flu, Flu Shot, Vaccination Follow-Up

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, January 21, 2010

In October and November of last year, when the big swine flu scare was ramping up, I wrote several articles discussing my thoughts on the Swine Flu Pandemic and vaccinations. Here we are several months later and guess what… I was right! The swine flu hoax is coming to light, and now even doctors are beginning to admit it was all crap, and just about money.

Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, a leading health authority in Europe, says that drug companies “organized a ‘campaign of panic’ to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic. He believes it is ‘one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,’ and he has called for an inquiry.” Read more about it here.

It turns out… as predicted… that the swine flu was never as dangerous as advertised and has led to less than 10% of the number of deaths annually related to the traditional “seasonal” flu. Dr. Wodarg said, “The great campaign of panic we have seen provided a golden opportunity for representatives from labs who knew they would hit the jackpot in the case of a pandemic being declared.”

What did I tell you? It’s all about the Benjamins, baby! The H1N1 Swine Flu virus was never dangerous, and should never have been escalated to a level-six pandemic. All of the hubbub, fear, and intense concern were mere tactics used to sell vaccines. Why would so many participate? Follow the money…  In the fourth quarter alone, GlaxoSmithKline shipped $1.4 billion worth of their vaccine. That’s BILLION… with a B… $1.4 BILLION in taxpayer dollars just to one company… in just three months… for something that was an artificially inflated risk. Wonder which politicians GSK is supporting in this year’s elections, huh? Wonder which TV stations are selling tons of ad time telling you how badly you need the shot? Wonder which companies all of sudden began supporting the new health care bill… right after the politicians got on board with this hoax? Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com wrote that, “The drug companies raked in billions of dollars in revenues while providing a product that offered absolutely no net reduction in mortality. In fact, as the long-term side effects of the vaccines remain unknown, it could turn out that the vaccines actually result in a net increase in mortality.”

So… all I’m asking is for you to use your head. Be smart. Do your research. And always, always, … follow the money.

Dr. Gray

More information here

Posted in General Health, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, January 5, 2010

There are very few people that if given a choice would decide to have painful surgery or take lots of medication to reduce pain from an injury or disease. For a long time that was the only option open to most of us. With the invention and acceptance of chiropractic medicine, all of that changed. One of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is its holistic approach to treating the whole body. Most people tend to think of chiropractic medicine as only neck and back adjustments, when it is actually a whole lot more. Chiropractors are trained in many of the sciences and they can do offer help in the areas of neurology, orthopedics, and pediatrics and geriatric care. That means they are ready and able to help patients of any age and fitness level. Here is a quick look at some of the other benefits of chiropractic care.

  1. Reduces muscle spasms
  2. Increased flexibility
  3. More effective training for athletics
  4. Reduces the appearance of adhesions
  5. Controls soreness and pain due to injury or disease
  6. Increased circulation
  7. Injury prevention

That’s just a short list of the benefits that can be achieved through chiropractic care. These highly trained professionals have helped countless people enjoy a renewed state of physical health. Their special training also includes nutrition, physical therapy techniques, and stretching exercises. Your chiropractor may or may not be a massage therapist himself or herself, but many chiropractors include this service in their practices because of the proven benefits of therapeutic massage. It helps to stimulate oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles and promote relaxation for safe healing.

Another treatment method chiropractors sometimes choose to include in their practices is acupuncture. As previously noted, chiropractic care is intended to treat the whole body. When one system of the body is struggling with injury or illness, the whole body is affected. Unlike most doctors that only treat one illness or symptom, chiropractic care strives to heal the injury or illness, as well as the adverse side effects to the rest of the body.

If you have never explored the benefits of chiropractic care for yourself, the time has never been better. This industry is booming as more and more people make the decision to treat their health gently and effectively. While chiropractic care can’t cure every disease or injury, it’s certainly worth looking into before undergoing painful surgery with its long term health effects. You will be amazed at how much better you feel and your increased range of motion, and renewed energy. These benefits of chiropractic care are why patients regularly refer their friends and family to us for treatment.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unanswered Questions About Vaccinations and Flu Shots

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, October 22, 2009

As I was preparing and doing some research for this blog post, I found a near identical article to what I was planning.  I’ll add one question that I felt should have been added to the list afterwards, but here ya go:

Vaccine mythology remains rampant in both western medicine and the mainstream media. To hear the vaccination zealots say it, vaccines are backed by “good science,” they’ve been “proven effective” and they’re “perfectly safe.”

Oh really? Where’s all that good science? As it turns out, there’s isn’t any. Flu vaccines (including swine flu vaccines) are based entirely on a vaccine mythology that assumes all vaccines work and no vaccines can be scientifically questioned. Anyone who dares question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines is immediately branded a danger to public health and marginalized in the scientific community.

Here are ten questions vaccine-pushing doctors and health authorities absolutely refuse to answer:

#1) Where are the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies proving flu vaccines are both safe and effective? Answer: There aren’t any.

#2) Where, then, is the so-called “science” backing the idea that flu vaccines work at all? Answer: Other than “cohort studies,” there isn’t any. And the cohort studies have been thoroughly debunked. Scientifically speaking, there isn’t a scrap of honest evidence showing flu vaccines work at all.

#3) How can methyl mercury (Thimerosal, a preservative used in flu vaccines) be safe for injecting into the human body when mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal? Answer: It isn’t safe at all. Methyl mercury is a poison. Along with vaccine adjuvants, it explains why so many people suffer autism or other debilitating neurological side effects after being vaccinated.

#4) Why do reports keep surfacing of children and teens suffering debilitating neurological disorders, brain swelling, seizures and even death following flu vaccines or HPV vaccines? Answer: Because vaccines are dangerous. The vaccine industry routinely dismisses all such accounts — no matter how many are reported — as “coincidence.”

#5) Why don’t doctors recommend vitamin D for flu protection, especially when vitamin D activates the immune response far better than a vaccine? Answer: Because vitamin D can’t be patented and sold as “medicine.” You can make it yourself. If you want more vitamin D, you don’t even need a doctor, and doctors tend not to recommend things that put them out of business.

#6) If human beings need flu vaccines to survive, then how did humans survive through all of Earth’s history? Answer: Human genetic code is already wired to automatically defend you against invading microorganisms (as long as you have vitamin D).

#7) If the flu vaccine offers protection against the flu, then why are the people who often catch the flu the very same people who were vaccinated against it? Answer: Because those most vulnerable to influenza infections are the very same people who have a poor adaptive response to the vaccines and don’t build antibodies. In other words flu vaccines only “work” on people who don’t need them. (And even building antibodies doesn’t equate to real-world protection from the flu, by the way.)

#8) If the flu vaccine really works, then why was there no huge increase in flu death rates in 2004, the year when flu vaccines were in short supply and vaccination rates dropped by 40%? Answer: There was no change in the death rate. You could drop vaccination rates to zero percent and you’d still see no change in the number of people dying from the flu. That’s because flu vaccines simply don’t work.

#9) How can flu vaccines reduce mortality by 50% (as is claimed) when only about 10% of winter deaths are related to the flu in the first place? They can’t. The 50% statistic is an example of quack medical marketing. If I have a room full of 100 people, then I take the 50 healthiest people and hand them a candy bar, I can’t then scientifically claim that “candy bars make people healthy.” That’s essentially the same logic behind the “50% reduction in mortality” claim of flu vaccines.

#10) If flu vaccines work so well, then why are drug makers and health authorities so reluctant to subject them to scientific scrutiny with randomized, placebo-controlled studies? Answer: Although they claim such studies would be “unethical,” what’s far more unethical is to keep injecting hundreds of millions of people every year with useless, harmful vaccines that aren’t backed by a shred of honest evidence.

Kudos to Natural News who got this article done, researched, and posted before me. They went even further with their discussion, and have links to a lot of the factual evidence backing up their answers. Don’t take my word for it; check ’em out for yourself.

Now… one other question that keeps hitting me, but never receives an answer: Often, people are made to feel guilty if they refuse the flu shot because “they are putting others at risk.” If I get exposed and fight the flu virus… if the flu shot does what they say, and they’ve had the flu shot, what are they worried about and how am I putting them at risk?

Posted in General Health, Political, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Swine Flu Vaccine… History Repeating Itself?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This video was broadcast once, and was subsequently squashed. Interesting that none of this is being discussed. Fear is again driving the issue. All over the media, you are being pummeled with dire warnings about the swine flu and how dangerous it is. What you’re not hearing is that a majority of experts admit that the swine flu is actually a fairly mild form of the flu. In fact, many have stated that it is less invasive and dangerous than the traditional seasonal flu.

So why are we being warned about it so much? What’s the motivation? Come on, people… in your gut, you know what it is… It’s all about the Benjamins! Money, of course. What you have witnessed is an all out media blitz to sell a product. A marketing ploy that the “news” media and your federal government has been complicit in pushing. Can you imagine having a product in production that is sold out before it even rolls off the assembly line? That’s what this is. All you hear about is, “There may not be enough vaccine to go around.” What that means is… they’ve already sold as much as they will produce within the flu season window. Nobody in the media is asking the pertinent question, “What do you mean ‘not enough to go around’… do we even need it? And what are the potential side effects? Do the perceived benefits outweigh the risks?”

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Fight Colds and Flu Naturally, Part Two

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bacterial or viral? What’s the difference?

First the basics: Bacteria are live cellular organisms that can reproduce and survive on their own. They reproduce by cellular division similar to the process our cells go through. There are millions of species of bacteria. Some are harmful, and some are not. In fact, tons of bacteria are already in, on, and around us. Our body regulates their growth and population through the normal operation of the immune system. Most are harmless, and can actually play a vital role in a few bodily functions. However, some bacteria can be very dangerous if left untreated. Often, bacterial infection and illness is caused by normal bacteria located in abnormal places, or growing out of control due to a weakened immune system.

On the other hand, viruses are non-living organisms that are basically little packets of genetic material. Viruses must have a host organism to invade and attack. Once inside the host cell, the virus takes over the internal function of the cell and uses it to produce thousands more genetic copies of itself. This is how viruses reproduce. Most often, the host cell is destroyed and the thousands of new viruses go out in search of new host cells.

In Part One of this series, we discussed the fact that antibiotics don’t kill viruses. We briefly talked about the negatives of using antibiotics when the underlying infection is viral. Now, how about a few generalizations about how to tell the difference between the two? These are not concrete, but are the “usual” expectations, findings, or warning signs. That said, here are a few starting points:

  • In general, viral infections tend to be more broad (multiple areas affected), while bacterial infections tend to be more localized (single area affected).
  • Viral infections are most often associated with low-grade fever, but can cause a higher fever (up to about 102 F) for a couple days at onset. Bacterial infections are more often associated with high-grade fevers, especially those that rise above 102 F or last longer than two days.
  • Mucous in viral infections tend to be yellow-colored, while bacterial infections are generally associated with green-colored mucous.
  • A sore, red throat is probably viral. However, if there are white patches on the areas of the tonsils, it’s probably bacterial (or fungal).
  • Rashes associated with viral infection tend to cover large areas or the whole body, while those associated with bacterial infection may look more like an isolated spot or group of spots (like diaper rash).

There are blood tests, cultures, and other tests your doctor can perform to more accurately diagnose infections, but most of the time, these are unnecessary. More often than not, your body will fight off the infection on its own just like it is designed to do. Your actions, diet, lifestyle, environment, and history all play a role in how efficiently your immune system can react to viral or bacterial invaders. You can do things that will help fight them off and get you through the symptom phase quickly… or you can do things that will feed the infection, make it worse, and cause it to last longer and do more damage. More on that in our next post…

Until then, keep this in mind: Most infections can be treated naturally and don’t need antibiotics, vaccines, over-the-counter medications, or other poisonous pharmaceutical intervention. We’ll talk about how to treat them next time, but let me be clear… there are also times when medical intervention is absolutely necessary, and sooner rather than later. Get to the hospital, emergency room, or doctor’s office immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms/signs: sudden onset of fever above 104 F; persistent fever above 102 F for more than three days; persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea causing dehydration; delirium or confusion; severe headache and vomiting; sudden unexplained stiffness in the neck; or seizures.

Article by: Dr. James Gray

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Trouble Sleeping At Night… Then Have No Energy During the Day?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, June 29, 2009

Too many of my patients, friends, family, acquaintences, and the rest of our society are complaining of difficulty sleeping at night, while needing some form of stimulant to function during the day. Are you one who began by needing a little energy during the day? So, you chose to drink a caffeine-laden soda, coffee, or energy drink… or took NoDoz… ate an energy bar… etc. This temporarily works to boost your energy levels. Now, because you’re alert during the day, you find yourself having difficulty getting to sleep at night. This, of course, leads to fatigue the following day… so you drink another soda or other stimulant of choice. And the cycle begins…

The psychoactive drug caffeine is the second largest traded commodity (in dollars) around the world (oil is the only commodity traded in higher amounts!). 48 million sleep-aid prescriptions were written in 2006, and that number has been increasing every year. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, over-the-counter pills, pain meds, energy drinks, so-called “health” bars, and a myriad of other consumables. Caffeine has a half-life of four to seven hours in the body, therefore, nearly half of the caffeine taken in at lunch is still in your system by the time you’re heading to bed.

Caffeine molecules bind to the same receptors that signal the pressure for sleep, thus hiding your body’s need for rest. Masking tiredness is a signature feature of caffeine. Caffeine also prevents adenosine from dilating the brain’s blood vessels (theoretically, to increase oxygen efficiency during sleep). That’s why caffeine is found in many over-the-counter headache pain medications, such as Anacin. If a headache is vascular in nature, caffeine helps relieve the pain by narrowing the blood vessels.

All of this activity caused by the caffeine also triggers the body to release epinephrine (adrenaline), another anti-sleep chemical. Adrenaline, among other things, increases the heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the pupils, increases blood sugar levels, and increases the blood supply to the large muscle groups in the body.

Caffeine is not the devil (that’s refined sugar), and can be used in moderation. However, caffeine consumption should end by noon. Often, the simple act of cutting caffeine after noon will be enough to allow your body to begin recognizing normal sleep signals from the brain. You’ll then have a much easier time of falling asleep at a reasonable time… and staying asleep for seven to eight hours.

P.S. – Found a new blog cycling site similar to the last one I told you all about. It’s called Condron, and has a few differences. Haven’t decided which one I like best yet. Check ’em out.

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