Monday, December 27, 2010

Premenstrual Syndrome

It is estimated that about half of the women in the U.S. capable of giving birth suffer from the scourge of PMS. It is regarded usually as a gynecological disorder and most sufferers wind up with the birth control pill. I want to explain why this condition fits the disease model that I have already described in a previous blog post.
Those that have read it know that the bunch of glands that come under the heading of the endocrine system are activated by the LS (limbic system) that is described as a computer. The LS has within it at least two time clocks. One rotates on a 24-hour basis and is called circadian rhythm. Circadian means “about 24 hours” and it is interesting to note that this rhythm without time cues is actually a 25-hour rhythm. It was proved by shutting a volunteer subject in a room without any clock and depriving him of the day/night cycle. Thus he had no clues as to whether it was night or day. I simply asked myself the question “why”? The intuitive answer is that we were programmed with a 25-hour rhythm and born into a 24-hour world. It strongly suggests that we have to compress that rhythm by adapting to the day/night cycle, an evolutionary phenomenon, perhaps of great importance as we live in this 24-hour world. It is as though Mother Nature has created a system to which we must continuously adapt throughout life. If not, then it gets out of sync and our body systems receive inappropriate signals.
The other known cycle is the menstrual cycle and it is an extremely important one since it is the “procreative mechanism” that prepares a woman for conception. Then, by hormonal control, it presides over the ensuing pregnancy. Its normal rhythm is 28 days, counting from the first day of the “period”. As everyone knows, the first sign of pregnancy is “missing a period”. This cycle has some curious features. For example, it is known that if women are living together in a dormitory, they begin to have their periods at the same time. I have often wondered, as I am sure others have, whether the 28-day moon cycle and the menstrual cycle are the same by coincidence or whether there is actually a cause and effect relationship. It would be curious if men do not have a 28-day cycle but they have nothing to show for it. Perhaps in some men it is responsible for emotional cycles that are considered usually to be “the reason that Dad gets grumpy periodically for no obvious cause”!
This cycle, governed by the LS, controls the release of hormones from the appropriate glands in the endocrine system. During the first half of the cycle estrogen increases and is withdraw at the 14th day when ovulation occurs. In the second half progesterone increases and is withdrawn when the period occurs. Thus, in the week before the period occurs, the LS is “working like a one-armed paper hanger”.
It is compromised function of the LS computer that is the cause of PMS and if a person reading this has become aware of the previous posts it will begin to make sense. The birth control pill shuts off the biofeedback system that is required for the LS to recognize and control the various hormonal changes over which it presides. It does work but is inappropriate to relieving the basic cause. It is as though the hormone is telling the LS that it is “no longer in charge” and it silences its controlling influences.
We can now begin to see that chocolate, sweet and salt craving are very much part of the whole picture because they are causing the problem and MUST be controlled. Why are they causing it? Because they provide inappropriate input signals to the computer as well as producing changes in oxygen use in the cells that are collectively responsible for the computerized program of the cycle.
As I have indicated previously, the computer becomes much more irritable and since the LS is responsible for our emotions, it is not surprising that one of the major symptoms of PMS is emotional lability. Husbands sometimes arrange their golf games during this week because they know that their wives are “difficult” at this time. The ensuing cramps are because of abnormal control signals to the uterus and there is often inflammation of the egg releasing mechanism at mid cycle. So left/right monthly alternating abdominal pain is experienced as the egg pops out of the ovary. This has been called “mittelschmertz”, a German word meaning “middle pain”. The release of an egg is from the left ovary alternating with the right with each successive period. Sometimes the inflammation affects only one side and the patient describes the fact that she gets this pain on that side only and with every other period cycle.
Because the autonomic nervous system is also controlled by the LS there may be associated heart palpitations, or diarrhea because of an irritable bowel. Sometimes there is excessive sweating or major changes in appetite from being voracious or diminished and the sweet craving is very hard to control in some individuals. It is important to understand that ALL the symptoms come from the faulty signals that go to the body organs.
What then is the treatment? The first one that I advise, always with extreme emphasis, is to stop taking the sweets, particularly when the craving occurs. That is often easier said than done but it is entirely useless to take vitamin supplements unless this is done “cold turkey”
Sometimes, just this effort and a hard look at appropriate diet is sufficient but nutrient supplements are usually required and should be chosen by a physician who understands the causative factors. It is well to remember that what I call “God-made” food is the only food that should be ingested. If there had been no naturally occurring food when we arrived on Earth, we could not have survived as a species. It is still the same today and the avoidance of “man-made” food is a necessity, particularly those that are sweet or salty. I always ask a salt-craving PMS patient how she solves it and the answer usually is pretzels. Coffee is also another cause and the number of cups ingested is irrelevant in those that are sensitive to caffeine. It has been suggested (erroneously) that we should all be taking 7 or 8 cups of coffee a day “because of the antioxidants that it contains”. Although this fact is true, it is far outweighed by the undesirable effects of caffeine. Caffeine stimulates brain cells to work and it may cause consumption of energy that the individual can ill afford. It gives us the false impression that it is providing energy because of the sense of stimulation. The reason that so many people drink coffee in the morning is because they are extremely fatigued. They are unfortunately adding to the problem because their fatigue is due to loss of efficiency in the energy required to make their brain cells function properly. They are being misled by the temporary disappearance of their fatigue. Just like any “recreational” drug, stopping it causes withdrawal headache that is assuaged by taking more coffee. It often contributes to the symptoms associated with PMS

Saturday, December 11, 2010


:I have discussed the principles of high calorie malnutrition in reference to oxidation and I want now to put it into practical use. The future of medicine lies in knowing and understanding body chemistry and its relationship with electricity, already referred to as “energy medicine”. Children are my favorite patients and I have seen thousands. I was a pediatric oncologist for about 6 years and many people are not aware of the fact that children get malignant disease. I have long questioned whether poor diet has anything to do with such tragedy. However, much more commonly, I found myself confronted many years ago with children who were brought for emotional and behavioral disease. The accepted cause was “bad parenting” so I would try to discuss the approach of the parents in viewing the cause. I found little or no evidence of it in nearly every case. Some may remember that autism was once considered to be a psychological problem induced by “cold parenting” and that has now been properly debunked. Of course there is bad parenting and I have also had considerable experience with child abuse, but behavioral issues are so common that they could be seen as an epidemic, for which it was very hard to see as poor parenting. I have talked to teachers that have told me that when they first went into teaching there were very few, if any, children in the class that were disruptive, inattentive or exhibited bad behavior. In their recent experience they complained that there were many such children in their class. In some cases the children were lining up to receive their medication. Some may remember that the country actually ran out of the drug Ritalin, commonly used to “slow down” this kind of bad behavior. It has been suggested that it is due to “over-diagnosing what is really normal childhood behavior”. However, many of the children that I have seen are quite impossible to examine in the usual way. In fact, I have often told parents that my examination of their child is measured by how quickly he/she wrecks the consulting room.
There was very little to go on but I started looking at the diet of children and it became more than obvious that it contained a huge amount of tasty things that are now referred to as “junk”. Early in this experience I can distinctly remember several cases that stand out. I told the mother of a little hyperactive girl to stop giving her all forms of “sweet junk” and she quickly became normal. She was so impressed that she did the same for the girl’s sister with the same result. The trouble is that we allow children ad lib access to many kinds of sweet tasting “junk” and when a physician tells a parent that it is the basic cause of the child’s behavior, it is inevitable that credibility is stretched.
Way back in the middle of the last century Dr Yudkin, a professor at one of the big London hospitals in England had written a book entitled “Sugar is dangerous” and a few brave souls had suggested that sugar was the culprit in producing increased cholesterol in the blood. Of course, they were generally considered to be “crazy” and the development of research had already gone deeply into cholesterol as the “bad guy” related to fat intake. Anyway, I found that a sugar free diet in these hyperactive, attention deficit kids produced normal health and a return of “old fashioned” good behavior. Because of the relation of sugar with vitamin B1, I also found that nearly all of these children were vitamin B1 deficient. A supplement of this vitamin became a necessity, although never administered alone since vitamins all work together in a complex team association. One adolescent boy who was ingesting huge amounts of cola had dived through a plate glass window after he had been reprimanded by a parent. That he had cut himself badly in the process was an added complication. Massive temper tantrums in children that should long have grown out of such infantile behavior were common as were school complaints of class disruption. Another boy was “passing out” when urinating, a phenomenon known as bladder syncope.
A young athlete was a mile runner. He would get half way around the track and peel off to vomit, before resuming the remaining part of the run. A “vomiting center” in the lower part of the brain is the mechanism that controls this reflex. The exercise stress imposed an energy deficit in the “brain computer” that stimulated this reflex. Compromised oxidative metabolism in the boy’s brain, brought on entirely by the nature of his diet, had stimulated a reflex that is always associated in our collective minds with the stomach.
Later he started basket ball practice but found that he was too fatigued to continue.
In each of these cases the diet was appalling and its correction, together with a few supplements was followed by successful return of mental and physical health. Usually, good students are also good athletes for the body/mind connection is all important. Perhaps the saddest one was a girl who was training for competitive swimming. One day, she reached the end of the pool and stopped there. She was found to be dead. Her brother, also a food “junkie” was climbing down from a rope in the gym and collapsed. He was rushed into a hospital where he received glucose saline intravenously. He had 11 blood stained bowel movements and expired. I could explain the mechanism but it would take too much space. The message is that sweet junk food is dangerous. That is indeed the point! I now know with certainty that the “bottom line” in all of these cases is compromised oxidative metabolism affecting adaptive reflexes that normally are initiated for protective, sometimes life saving, purposes. The fight-or-flight reflex that almost everyone understands as a normal life-saver is being initiated as panic attacks in huge numbers of adults and it represents exactly the same mechanism. Mild hypoxia (too little oxygen) and vitamin B1 deficiency produce the same effects in the LS computer. It makes the reflex adaptive mechanisms much more active and grossly exaggerated. The affected individual develops a disease of adaptation, just as the animals that formed the experiments done by Hans Selye who gave us the General Adaptation Syndrome that I have mentioned in a previous post. The only correction that I would like to have made is to call it “The Diseases of Maladaptation”. It is well to remember that activating adaptive reflexes like this is never a good thing. It is an abnormal state and sometimes, depending on the severity of the body/brain chemistry, it can kill and autopsy examination is always negative so the nature of the death remains unknown.