what-is-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy
May 24, 2022

If you are looking for an answer to what Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is, this article is for you. This article will brief you on everything you need to know about HBOT.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen to treat various medical conditions and wounds inside a special room or chamber. The oxygen we breathe is only 21% pure, and the HBOT treatment speeds up the healing process of monoxide poisoning, stubborn wounds, or any kind of infections in which tissues starve for pure and more oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy aims to repair tissues and restore normal body function by filling blood with enough pure oxygen.

Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBOT therapy is used to treat different types of medical conditions, such as:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Injury from being crushed
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Gas gangrene
  • Decompression sickness
  • Any kind of traumatic or sudden blood flow in the arteries
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Osteomyelitis- an infection in the bone
  • Delayed radiation injury
  • Flesh-eating diseases
  • Air or gas embolism
  • Diabetic wounds

Facts About Hyperbaric Therapy?

The therapy was first used in the U.S in the early 20th century when scuba divers were affected by a prompt change in pressure around them.

Oxygen therapy was again tried when the U.S navy used hyperbaric oxygen to treat deep-sea divers having decompression sickness in the 1940s.

Then the therapy was again used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning by the 1960s. The oxygen treatment is still used by scuba divers to combat decompression and is further used to treat various health conditions, as stated above.

Risk of Hyperbaric Therapy

Oxygen therapy is generally safe when used for indications that the FDA clears. However, too much oxygen can be harmful, and potential risks arise when pressure increases, such as:

  • Ear and sinus pain
  • Middle ear injuries, including fluid leaking and eardrum rupture
  • Temporary nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Seizures
  • Lung collapse
  • Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes treated insulin

Benefits of Hyperbaric Therapy

HBOT has many benefits for patients, especially patients with wounds and any health condition. Below are some benefits of hyperbaric therapy:

  • Increases oxygen in blood tissues
  • Increases circulation and blood flow throughout the body
  • Boosts white blood cells count
  • Strengthens the body’s immune system
  • Helps reduce swelling and pain.

Precautions to Take

It is not safe for people with recent ear trauma, a cold, or fever to participate in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Also, people with certain types of lung diseases are not advised to take the therapy.

The most common complication after the treatment is trauma to the ear. Other complications are:

  • Eye damage
  • Sinus problem

Also read: ESOPHAGITIS: TYPES, COMMON SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND TREATMENT OPTIONS

In rare cases, it lead to other health-related issues. The best way to avoid adverse effects and take precautions is to be treated by certified and trained doctor.

Considering the conditions and possible risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it is a good idea to take the decision after consulting and discussing it with your doctor. If you are looking for an expert doctor for Glutathione and oxygen therapy treatment, then call us at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment today.

bile-reflux
April 1, 2022

Bile Reflux also called duodenogastric reflux, is a condition where the bile – a digestive fluid produced in the liver, flows upward i.e. refluxes from the small intestine towards the stomach and esophagus.

Bile is a digestive fluid produced in the liver. Some of the components that make up bile are –

  • Water
  • Cholesterol
  • Bile pigments
  • Bile salts

Bile is produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the duodenum (the upper section of the small intestine) when needed to aid the digestion of fats. Bile is essential for digesting fats and for eliminating aged red blood cells and certain toxins from the body.

Bile reflux is the result of bile that travels up from the small intestine into the stomach and esophagus. Bile reflux is caused by damage to the pyloric valve, which is a ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the duodenum. When the pyloric valve fails to close properly, bile flows into the stomach, causing pain and inflammation.

BR is sometimes confused with acid reflux because a person can experience some of the same symptoms and bile (like GERD) irritates the lining of the esophagus, potentially increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. The difference is –

  • Acid reflux symptoms are indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, pain swallowing and esophagus inflammation caused by stomach acids going through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.
  • Bile reflux symptoms are heartburn, gastritis, hoarseness, chronic cough, pain swallowing, esophagus inflammation caused by bile from the gallbladder making its way through the pyloric valve from the small intestine continuing its way through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.

Bile reflux causes damage to the lining of the stomach (called gastritis), which may progress to sores in the stomach (known as ulcers), bleeding, and stomach cancer. In patients that have both bile reflux and acid reflux, the combination seems to be particularly harmful, increasing the risk of damage to the esophagus, including conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Causes

Bile reflux into the stomach – Bile is secreted in the duodenum and passes down the gut with the rest of the intestinal chyme. If the integrity of the pyloric valve – part of the stomach that controls the outflow of gastric contents into the duodenum, is compromised then the retrograde flow of bile may occur leading to irritation of the stomach lining. This can cause persistent gastritis despite the appropriate gastritis treatment.

Bile reflux into the esophagus – If the lower esophageal sphincter is also impaired, then the bile along with the acidic stomach contents can flow up into the esophagus. Irritation of the mucosal lining by the bile, even if the stomach acid is neutralized by one or more agents discussed under stomach acid medication, will cause the typical symptoms associated with acid reflux.

Most cases of bile reflux are associated with chronic conditions affecting the pyloric sphincter and lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Risk Factors

Surgery complications – Gastric surgery, including total removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) and gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, is responsible for most bile reflux.

Peptic ulcers – A peptic ulcer can block the pyloric valve so that it doesn’t open enough to allow the stomach to empty as quickly as it should. Stagnant food in the stomach can lead to increased gastric pressure and allow bile and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.

Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) – People who have had their gallbladders removed have significantly more bile reflux than do people who haven’t had this surgery.

Symptoms

  • General – Bile reflux and acid reflux have similar signs and symptoms, and the two conditions may occur at the same time. Unlike acid reflux, bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Cough or hoarseness – Some, but not all, patients with bile reflux experience a cough or hoarseness that is caused by stomach acid and/or bile rising up into the throat and burning the lining.
  • Frequent heartburn – Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that may spread to the throat along with a sour taste in the mouth. In severe cases, it may be mistaken for a heart attack.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Nausea is feeling the need to vomit. Some patients with bile reflux may vomit bile.
  • Upper abdominal pain – Bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Weight loss – In some patients with bile reflux, unintended weight loss may occur.

Complications

GERD – Occasional heartburn usually isn’t a concern. But frequent or continual heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, a potentially serious problem that causes irritation and inflammation of esophageal tissue (esophagitis). GERD is most often due to excess acid. Although bile has been implicated, its importance in reflux is controversial.

Barrett’s esophagus – This serious condition can occur when long-term exposure to stomach acid, or to acid and bile, damages tissue in the lower esophagus. The damaged esophageal cells have an increased risk of becoming cancerous. Animal studies have also linked bile reflux to the occurrence of Barrett’s esophagus.

Esophageal cancer – This form of cancer may not be diagnosed until it’s quite advanced. The possible link between bile and acid reflux and esophageal cancer remains controversial, but many experts think a direct connection exists. In animal studies, bile reflux alone has been shown to cause cancer of the esophagus.

Gastritis – In addition to causing irritation and inflammation in the esophagus, bile reflux can cause stomach irritation (gastritis).

Treatment

Medications

  • Ursodeoxycholic acid – This medication helps promote bile flow. It may lessen the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
  • Bile acid sequestrants – Doctors often prescribe bile acid sequestrants, which disrupt the circulation of bile, but studies show that these drugs are less effective than other treatments. Side effects, such as bloating, may be severe.
  • Proton pump inhibitors – These medications are often prescribed to block acid production, but they don’t have a clear role in treating bile reflux.

Surgery

Diversion surgery (Roux-en-Y) – This procedure, which is also a type of weight-loss surgery, recommended for people who have had previous gastric surgery with pylorus removal. In Roux-en-Y, surgeons make a new connection for bile drainage farther down in the small intestine, diverting bile away from the stomach.

Anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication) – The part of the stomach closest to the esophagus (fundus) is wrapped and then sewn around the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure strengthens the valve and can reduce acid reflux. There is little evidence about the surgery’s effectiveness for bile reflux.

Lifestyle Changes

Limit or avoid alcohol – Drinking alcohol irritates the esophagus and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, predisposing the body to acid reflux.

Quit smoking – Smoking increases the production of stomach acid and dries up saliva, which cause the esophagus to be more vulnerable to damage by refluxed bile and stomach acid.

Relaxation – Patients under stress experience slower digestion, which may worsen reflux symptoms.

Tilted bed – Raising the head of the bed by about 4-6 inches may prevent reflux symptoms. Using a wedge or blocks is more effective than using pillows.

Weight loss – Overweight patients with bile reflux may lessen the backflow of bile when less body fat is pressing down on the stomach and small intestine.

Alternative Treatment

Magnesium helps control the muscle function in the digestive tract and throughout the body. It also aids in digestion to alleviate reflux issues.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is naturally found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and animal products. DMSO is available for both nonmedicinal and medicinal uses. The major clinical use of DMSO is to relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder infection).

A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Gamma-oryzanol occurs in rice bran oil and has been extracted from corn and barley oils as well. Gamma-oryzanol is frequently sold as a body-building aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, as ask your doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids if you take blood-thinning medications.

Qi gong, an ancient type of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) consisting of choreographed movements, postures, and meditation, has been used for thousands of years. It is traditionally used for spiritual enlightenment, medical care, and self-defense. Qi gong is meant to be in balance with the environment and has been described as “a way of working with life energy.”

Probiotics or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile teas are readily available and have a low risk of side effects.

Licorice, which is commonly used to soothe inflammation associated with GERD, gastritis, ulcers and other digestive problems. However, licorice contains a phytochemical called glycyrrhizin that’s associated with serious health risks — such as high blood pressure and tissue swelling — if used long term. Talk with your doctor before trying this therapy. Prescription preparations are available that don’t contain glycyrrhizin.

Slippery elm, which encourages a protective mucous lining. Available as a root bark powder, slippery elm can be mixed with water and taken after meals and before bed. It may, however, decrease the absorption of prescription medications.

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), which has been used for GERD symptom relief. Like slippery elm, marshmallow may cause problems with the absorption of medications. Note that this is the herb, not the puffy white confection.

Thymus extracts for nutritional supplements are usually bovine (derived from young calves). Thymus extract is commonly used to stimulate the immune system and to treat bone marrow failure, autoimmune disorders, chronic skin diseases, recurrent viral and bacterial infections, hepatitis, allergies, chemotherapy side effects, and cancer.

Garlic – The garlic bulb is made of many cloves wrapped with a paper-thin, white skin, and it is used both medicinally and as a spice in food (fresh or dehydrated). Garlic is widely used for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

 

Are you suffering from bile reflux and need treatment? We at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine have a group of experts at your service. Call us at 843-572-1600 to book an appointment now.

 

Reference –

http://www.thewhimsicalist.com/food/acid-reflux-bile-reflux-elimination-diet/

http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(03)00213-7/abstract

http://www.healthblurbs.com/causes-for-biliary-bile-duct-cholecystitis-cancer-cirrhosis-sclerosing-cholangitis-bile-reflux-symptoms/

http://www.boldsky.com/health/disorders-cure/2013/bile-reflux-cure-ten-lifestyle-changes-034975.html

https://www.aapc.com/memberarea/forums/gastroenterology/5089-dx-code-bile-reflux-acid-refllux.html

http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/113021/medical_conditions/what_is_bile_reflux.html

http://www.healthhype.com/bile-reflux-symptoms-causes-treatment-medication-surgery.html

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/bilary-reflux.html

February 2, 2017

Dear Doctor:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of your guidance, our grandson has a chance at a fulfilling and joyful life. I watched the Larry King Show again tonight re: autism. I once again was painfully aware of what my grandson and all of us who love him could be facing if not for you. Of course, we know that our daughter is one brilliant and awesome Mom. She would make mountains move for her children, and basically has done that….

I would not have been surprised if our grandson had died prior to coming to you.   Each time I saw him, his health deteriorated dramatically. The door opened to us when we (my daughter and I) both heard Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and Joe Scarborough talk very briefly one evening.

My daughter called me sobbing right after that show! And the next day she got your phone number and began this incredible journey! Our family is not full of religious fanatics, but we do truly believe my grandson had divine intervention—people like yourself were placed in my grandson’s path. We’ve all been blessed because of it.

I was so afraid for my daughter and her husband to chelate my grandson under your supervision that I held a picture of him to my chest and cried myself to sleep that night. But, the results of all the interventions together are astounding!

You really are a pioneer in all this. It isn’t easy being a pioneer….Our grandson was here for a week and he was a pure delight. He is so loving, so bright, and so strong.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, from all our family.

P.S. Keep up the good work!

Posted in Autism
February 2, 2017

After my son Haddon was born, I never felt like we had come home with your average newborn baby. Haddon had a piercing scream, terrible problems digesting his formula, and bloody stools on multiple occasions. Fortunately, I had previously benefited from the experience of having a happy baby, my daughter Liza, as a comparative example. For the most part babies are typically happy and usually only cry when they are hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change. It was immediately evident that there was so much more to baby Haddon’s screaming. The intensity and the frequency of his screams convinced me that something was definitely wrong. His constant abnormal behavior did not stop until I found out two years later what was wrong with my son. Baby Haddon’s cries implied to me that he was in extreme pain and that his development was progressing in an unhealthy fashion.

At the suggestion of our pediatrician, Haddon was placed on Alimentum, a formula for babies with colic and digestive issues. My husband and I called it “liquid gold” as it seemed to quell his signs of discomfort. We kept Haddon on this special formula until his first birthday. I wanted to believe the pediatrician’s reassurance that Haddon would grow out of this stage and be able to digest his foods in a normal fashion in due time. The situation still did not sit well with me, however, and I continued to worry, as most babies naturally do not need to have special formulas for proper digestion. I felt like we had put a “band-aid” on our son’s problems, but we were still concerned because we were unsure of why he had started out with these problems in the first place.

Eventually, we noticed that his screaming had subsided during his first year on the Alimentum as we started an addition on our 1925 home (this will be important later). When Haddon turned one, and milk replaced his formula and table food was being introduced, the screaming suddenly started to return in full force. Unfortunately, I did not make the connection between his meals due to the lack of bonding or interaction that occurred between us after he had eaten. His pediatrician again said he would grow out of this stage and perhaps he was upset because he was teething. At 18 months old, I began to panic about his unhappy demeanor because he was not showing any signs of typical development, particularly with his communication skills.

At 23 months, Haddon was not waving bye-bye as our daughter had and he was not enjoying everyday activities appropriate for his age. He clung on to me for dear life when we entered public places and screamed at anyone who tried to converse with him. He was a very cute toddler so people would naturally want to touch or hug him, which was a terrifying experience for all parties involved. That summer he ruined several birthday parties and had to be taken out of public places in a constraining type hold, so I naturally stopped taking him everywhere. I was exhausted and did not know what to do with my son. I called an out of town friend whose son was the same age and not talking. He suggested I have my pediatrician refer him to a developmental service agency. It took a lot of courage, but I knew I had to find out what was wrong with Haddon or we would all expire from his abnormal behavior and development.

I went to the youngest pediatrician in our clinic (the older ones are typically engrained with their old school mentality and not very keen on potential alternative avenues for any given diagnosis) and finally received a referral to the Children’s Developmental Service Agency. Within two weeks, the agency evaluated Haddon and diagnosed him with Pervasive Development Disorder, (PDD), a disorder found on the autistic spectrum. At two years old, Haddon had a 13 month old’s receptive language skills and a 17 month old’s expressive language skills. His cognitive skills were at 17 months and his self-help skills were at 14 months. Haddon was occasionally walking on his toes and had very poor eye contact. He was shy and intolerant of meeting new people. He had limited social reciprocity and joint attention. His only speech was rote utterances and he was unable to identify pictures of objects, body parts, or clothing. I finally knew what my son’s deficiencies were and was now eager to try to encourage his development and natural healthy growth the best way possible. My husband and I were devastated and worried about our son’s future.

Fortunately, I fell into the right therapists hands. Christine Duffy of “Fixin’ to Talk” referred me to the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the call to make an appointment with Dr. Allan Lieberman at the center would ultimately change my son’s condition and all of our lives consequently. I could tell from the lengthy and specific application that asked detailed questions from Haddon’s birth to the present that we were finally going to be able to get to the bottom of Haddon’s diagnosis and overall health problems. I knew I would not be told that Haddon was going through a stage and that he would definitely be assessed differently during our visit to the COEM. It was evident that Dr. Lieberman was not the kind of doctor who would say “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” and I was excited about finding out alternative ways to help our son.

My husband, Haddon, and I spent the entire day at the COEM during our initial appointment. Dr. Lieberman carefully reviewed and assessed Haddon’s history. He analogized that Haddon’s digestive and immune systems (which old school theory suggests are not symbiotic) was like an elevator whose capacity had been maxed out. He wanted to remove all toxins from his body to eliminate any further detrimental exposure to Haddon. He reasoned that he had trouble with the pesticides and aerosols that we had sprayed in our house.   He further hypothesized that the renovation to our 1925 home likely facilitated his problems, primarily with the introduction of contaminants to the atmosphere like the lead paint in our walls. Dr. Lieberman told us that his detoxification process would depend solely on our efforts to remove chemicals and toxins as much as possible from Haddon’s sensitive system.

Dr. Lieberman put Haddon on a gluten/casein free diet after the center performed very thorough food allergy tests. [These are two commonly ingested proteins that are known to break down into peptides that have opioids (from the root word opium) activity.   Casein is a protein in cow’s milk, and gluten is a protein from wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, and kamut]. Dr. Lieberman believed that these two proteins were stunting Haddon’s mental growth development by acting as opioid receptors in his brain that would prevent synapses from taking place in a normal fashion. The COEM’s caring staff also took hair and urine samples to further check for potentially toxic elements and perhaps the absence of basic essential elements. The analysis was sent off to a lab and results were later sent to us. We left the center with renewed hope and a new plan for Haddon that included environmental control, various vitamins and minerals for nutritional support and a new diet. I was so excited with this alternative and previously undiscovered approach to help my son, but did not really believe that environmental factors could be the primary contributing elements of Haddon’s recent diagnosis. Nonetheless, I began removing all chemicals from the home including dishwashing detergent, sprays, aerosols, and anything else that contained environmental toxins. I began to use only non-toxic products. I even went so far as to stop spraying starch while ironing and put only chemical free sunscreen on everyone in the family.

My efforts for removing toxins from Haddon’s system seemed to have immediate results. Haddon responded very well to the gluten-free/casein-free diet. We saw immediate improvements with his eye contact and his ability to communicate improved daily. Haddon’s father gave him the nutritional supplements (19 in total) prescribed by Dr. Lieberman every night and he continued his speech and social therapy in which he had already been enlisted.

We received the results from the hair and urine analysis and Dr. Lieberman was correct. Haddon had elevated lead levels likely from the lead paint particles that became airborne during the renovation of our house. Dr. Lieberman then suggested a process known as chelation to remove the toxins. He prescribed him a cream to rub on the skin over the liver area. We were reluctant at first, but decided to trust Dr. Lieberman’s recommendation because we felt so safe and secure with his direction and advice throughout our past experiences with the COEM. Haddon had made such great progress with their recommendations that we gave chelation a try. We are so glad we chelated Haddon!

Nine months after Haddon’s first evaluation. He was re-evaluated. Haddon jumped from 13-month receptive language skills to the level of a 2 year and 7 month old child (An 18 month gain in 9 months!). His expressive language skills jumped from 17 months to 22 months. His eye contact had vastly improved along with his ability to engage and play with other children. Altogether, he was making outstanding progress. We continued the environmental control, diet, and nutritional support. We took a 3-month break from chelation and continued later that fall.

Haddon made as many gains in his second year of school as he had in his first year. He is now talking appropriately for his age with only articulation being a concern at this point. Haddon has mastered eye contact, initiating interactions with peers, taking turns independently, and completing most age appropriate tasks, to include being completely potty trained. To our amazement, Haddon is now answering yes/no questions and “who” questions. As I write this testimonial, I hear Haddon and his sister playing with the doll house in an imaginative fashion. He enjoys friends and can be taken anywhere without concern. Haddon has made a complete transformation. We cry tears of joy when we recall his second birthday and the first evaluation. When you now observe our son’s behavior, it is hard to imagine that we ever had this very trying and stressful experience. We do not know if we can say for certain exactly what changed his health and development. Was it the diet, nutritional supplementation, chelation, removal of chemicals or the four hours of therapy a week? The answer is most likely all of the above, but I believe that our early intervention was by far the most powerful factor. We started this total implementation at age 2 and by age 3 and a 1/2 his issues were nearly undetectable. I am extremely thankful and recognize that the COEM combined with our fortitude and perseverance turned our son’s life completely around.

If you are reading this and concerned that your child won’t ever talk, won’t have relationships, and could be deprived of a happy childhood, you are not alone. I had all these fears after Haddon’s evaluation two years ago, but with faith, determination, the COEM, and most importantly early intervention, you can make the difference. Now I regularly hear “I love you” from my son, as well as age specific dialogue I never thought possible. With our dedication and commitment, and a lot of help from Christine Duffy and Dr. Lieberman, we were able to help Haddon in the best way possible that ultimately turned him into a typical child before his critical early development years had been compromised by these deficiencies.

Posted in Autism
February 2, 2017

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability in children that creates a significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Individuals with this condition have restricted, repetitive pattern of behavior, activities and interests. The term Autism Spectrum Disorder means that there is a wide range of variation that it affects people. The word spectrum refers to the variation of symptoms, skills, levels of impairment and disabilities that children with ASD can have. The considerable overlap among the different forms of autism has led to the concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

ASD affects about 1 in 68 children. Boys are affected with ASD 5 times more than girls. It belongs to an ‘umbrella’ category of 5 childhood-onset conditions called Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD). However, when we use the term ASD, we are basically referring to three most common types.

  • Autistic Disorder – Children who generate more rigid criteria for a diagnosis of autism have autistic disorder. These children portray more severe impairments including social and language functioning, as well as, repetitive behaviors. In this condition, children may also have mental retardation and seizures.
  • Aspergers’ Syndrome – The mildest form of ASD is Asperger’s Syndrome and affects boys three times more than girls. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome are obsessively interested in one topic or object. Although, their social skills are markedly impaired and are often awkward and uncoordinated. It is also known as high functioning autism, as children with this condition frequently have normal to above average intelligence. As these children enter adulthood, they are at a high risk of anxiety and/or depression.
  • Pervasive Development Disorder – not otherwise specifies (PDD-NOS) – Children whose autism is more severe than Asperger’s syndrome, but milder than Autistic disorder, are diagnosed with PDD-NOS.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome are the other PDD, but as both being the extremely rare genetic diseases, they are usually considered to be separate medical conditions and truly do not belong to ASD.

Causes

Although, there is no dingle known cause for ASD, but, based on the complexity of disorders and the variety of symptoms and severity, both genetic and environmental factors may play a key role.

  • Genetic Factors

A variety of genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. In identical twins that share same genetic code, if once have ASD, the chances of the other child to get this condition in 9 out of 10 cases are very high. It appears that there is no single gene involved in the causing of autism; instead there is an involvement of multiple genes, each being the risk factor of the different part of ASD.

  • Environmental Factors

The term “environment” in medical, means anything outside of the body that can affect health, which includes air, water, food, medicines and many other things that our body may come in contact with. Environment also refers to our surroundings in the womb, where our mother’s health directly affects our development. This also include premature birth and exposure to alcohol or certain medications during pregnancy such as sodium valproate

  • Neurological Factors

Problems related to the development of brain and nervous system contributes to the symptoms of ASD. Studies suggest that the connection between parts of the brain called the cerebral cortex, the amygdale and the limbic system may have become damaged or scrambled in children with ASD.

The causes of ASD can be describer in two ways, namely:

  • Primary ASD also known as idiopathic ASD – where no underlying Factors are identified to explain the cause of ASD.
  • Secondary ASD – where underlying medical conditions or environmental factors are responsible to increase the risk of ASD.

About 90% of ASD cases are primary and about 10% are secondary.

Gut Micro biome and ASD

In Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are hints that the gut micro biome may play a role. The human gut shelters a complex community of microbes that deeply influences a variety of aspects related to growth and development, including that of the nervous system. A large sub group of individuals with ASD show abnormalities in mitochondrial functions and in gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies show that, fecal DNA extracts have Clostridium or Desulfovibrio clusters over represented in children with ASD who have gastrointestinal (GI) complaints, than in children with GI but typical neuro-behavioral development. A study shows that if the gastrointestinal problem is blocked, the behavioral symptoms can be treated. Studies of humans have shown tantalizing observations on potential differences in the composition of gut micro biota associated with the behavioral disorder like ASD.

Symptom

Many children with ASD may reflect developmental differences when they are babies – especially their social and language skills. As they sit and crawl on time less obvious differences like development of gestures, pretend play and social language are left unnoticed.

Symptoms of Social Differences

  • Difficulty in maintaining eye contact or very little eye contact
  • Doesn’t look at objects, parent is pointing to.
  • Portray empathy issues
  • No response to parent’s smile or expressions
  • Often have inappropriate expressions
  • Unable to make friends
  • Not pointing at objects to show interest (for example. Not pointing at the flying airplane)

Communication Differences

  • Fail or slow in responding to their name or other verbal attempt to gain their attention
  • Babble in the first year of life, and later stop to do so
  • Repeats exactly what others say without understanding the meaning
  • Fail or slow in developing gestures
  • Speak only in single word, unable to make sentences o combine words into meaningful sentences.

Repetitive or Stereotyped Behaviors

  • Rocks, spins, sways, twirls fingers, walks on toes for a long time or flaps hands
  • Habituated to certain routines, unable to manage with change
  • Doesn’t seem to feel pain
  • May be over sensitive or not sensitive at all to sounds, smells, lights, textures and touch.
  • Unusual use of vision or gaze

Difference between children with ASD and typical developing children

A child with typical developmentAn child with ASD
At 12 months

 

Will turn his head when the name is called outMight not respond, even if called several times, might respond to other sound
At 18 monthsWill point, gesture, or use facial expressions to communicateMight not even attempt to compensate for delayed development of speech.
At 24 monthsBrings objects to show his mother and expresses joyMight bring an object like a bottle to open to his mother, but won’t look at her face, when she does so or share the pleasure of playing together.

Problems faced by ASD children

Research has shown that children with ASD face following issues:

  • Sleep Problems- Children with ASD tend to suffer from sleep problems like falling asleep or staying asleep extensively.
  • Intellectual Disability- In this condition, children have some degree of intellectual disability. This may include cognitive or language disability.
  • Seizures- 1 out of 4 children with ASD has seizures – the changes in behavior that occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Sometimes high fever can trigger seizure.
  • Sensory Problems- Children with ASD either overreact or under react to certain sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes.
  • Fragile X- Syndrome- It is a genetic disorder and is the most common of inherited disability with symptoms similar to ASD.
  • Tuberous Sclerosis- This condition occurs in 1 out 4 ASD patients in which numerous non-cancerous tumors grow in the brain and other vital organs.
  • Gastro Intestinal Problems – The children in ASD suffer from severe GI issues.

Treatment

  • Early Interventions – This includes an intensive behavioral therapy during the early years, significantly improves cognitive and language skills in children with ASD. This therapy focuses on: language and communication, social skills, cognitive skills etc
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)- One of the widely used treatment for ASD is ABA which includes- Verbal Behavior and Pivotal Response Training
  • Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship based (DIR): This type of therapy is carried out in natural settings such as home and pre-school. It aims at improvements in communication skills, thinking and social skills.
  • Interpersonal Synchrony- It focuses on social development and imitation skills and teaches children how to establish and maintain engagement with others.
  • Medications- Medications help improve the symptoms. The medications include –
  • Antipsychotic Medicines – Commonly used to treat serious mental illness
  • Anti-Depressant Medicines – Like Prozac or Zoloft are prescribed.
  • Stimulant Medicines – like Ritalin, but in most ASD cases children do not respond to it.

All medications carry a risk of side effects when consumed.

Alternative Treatments for ASD

  • Creative Therapies – Some parents of ASD children choose to go for art therapy which includes art or music therapy, which aims at reducing child’s sensitivity towards touch or sound.
  • Yoga Therapies – Yoga is a mind-body approach which helps to control anxiety in ASD patients.
  • Chelation Therapy- This type of treatment is used to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the body.
  • Acupuncture- This therapy is used as a tool to improve ASD symptoms.

Natural Treatment

  • Melatonin – Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle in ASD children, as they suffer from sleeping problems.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fatty acids are very important in the development and function of the brain. Several studies have proven that omega3 fatty acids reduce the symptoms of ASD.
  • Nutritional Supplements- Studies show that children with ASD tend to be deficient in various nutrients. Multi vitamin supplements are highly suggested.
  • Gluten-free, Casein-free and Soy-free diet
  • Probiotic Intake – It helps in improving the gastrointestinal issues that ASD children suffer from.

How we treat ASD-

At our center, we perform a comprehensive diagnostic workup, which helps us to study the entire history of the child. This includes the following:

  • Allergy Testing- to determine food triggers and inhalant allergy.
  • Structured food elimination diet- to yield vital information about gastrointestinal functioned food tolerance
  • Urine Tests- to determine abnormal peptides from wheat or dairy products to see if gluten-free or casein-free diet should be implemented for the child.
  • Hair Analysis- to examine toxic metal and essential minerals for its toxicity or deficiency and suggests us the safest forms of detoxification or supplementation.
  • Hidden sources of toxic pollutants are examined
  • Neuropeptide Levels, the biomarkers of brain chemistry and function are tested to uncover certain imbalances that can be treated with individualized amino acid programs.
  • Organic Acid Analysis –to determine the metabolites of yeast and some bacteria species.

With the above way of treatment, we have successfully unlocked the mysteries behind altered brain function and resulted in providing comprehensive treatment that helps us to reach out to these children and help them to reach out to the world…

Posted in Autism
February 2, 2017

Prior to the 1980’s, autism was rare, perhaps only 3 cases per 10,000 births. Today the number of children with this terrible disease is 1 in 150! What is causing the rate to sky rocket?

First, what is autism?

Autism is part of a spectrum of disorders that includes ADD, ADHD, and Aspergers syndrome… It describes a child who suffers from a medical disorder that severely impairs their interactions both verbally and socially. The diagnostic criteria are very specific but common to all autistic children: lack of awareness of others’ feelings; lack of peer interaction; impairment of communication; and the absence of, or abnormal seeking of, comfort at times of distress.

There may be absent facial expression, strange speech patterns or sounds, fixed preoccupations with things, repetitive body movements, and great distress if anything in their routine or environment is changed.

What is the cause of the spectrum of autism and autism-like disorders?

There is a great debate about causes of autism. The medical community at large thinks it is a genetic problem but is unsure. The doctors who use a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) approach feel that it is multi-factorial and know that great improvements can be made in many children. We physicians at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine share this view and are DAN providers.

Dr, Richard C. Deth at Northeastern University has discovered a genetic variation at the D4 dopamine receptor on the surface of brain nerve cells.

This variation–“a seven repeat”–causes the developing brain to be vulnerable to infections, toxins, allergens and other insults. When damage occurs, the synchrony of brain function may be affected. Those of us who practice Environmental Medicine believe genetics may load the gun, but it is the environment that pulls the trigger.

This problem with the D4 receptor is related to the general defect in a biochemical process called methylation. This methylation process is a key factor in cell repair and is critical to keeping a child’s brain protected and able to detoxify. If a developing brain can’t detoxify, it becomes damaged. About 20 percent of the population has this defect, but they won’t exhibit problems if their toxic load is low.

In autism, there is also a problem with energy supply to the brain cells, which is related to metabolic defects with methionine and creatine phosphate. There are about six other genetic factors involved in autism, as well.

The environmental insults that can result in these genetic vulnerabilities being triggered are suspected to be:

  1. Heavy Metal Toxicity: many physicians find significant levels of mercury and lead, possibly from mercury (thimersol) in vaccines, especially the measles virus
  2. Immune deficiency/ infection
  3. Candida overgrowth
  4. Intestinal bacterial dysbiosis
  5. Food allergy
  6. Neurotransmitter imbalances
  7. Nutrient deficiency

What are possible solutions?

The Defeat Autism Now organization has at least 1000 documented cases of full recovery from autism spectrum disorders. While full recovery is difficult to obtain, doctors regularly see significant changes in personality, vocabulary, peer interaction, moods and behaviors.

The use of a comprehensive biochemical “DAN” approach allows physicians to identify any potential triggers that have played upon the genetic vulnerability of these children. It also provides avenues for treatment and allows the maximum opportunity for change in this distressing condition. Due to the large number of possible triggers, it is important to perform a comprehensive medical evaluation that includes a full battery of laboratory tests that can more objectively pinpoint each child’s individual problems.

If you are interested in this approach, the physicians at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine have nearly forty years of experience with autism.

In our work with autistic children at The Center, we have seen improvements in behavior, eye contact, concentration, co-ordination, and communication, and reductions in night terrors and other intense fears and aversions, abnormal feeding patterns, and abnormal sensory or tactile responses.

Sometimes, even many times, these improvements are so dramatic over a period of several months’ persistent and consistent implementation of our comprehensive programs, that the child is no longer considered as falling anywhere at all within the range of autistic spectrum disorders. At The Center, we also never underestimate the role of parents in implementing our programs—we honor and appreciate their efforts at every step.

References:

Edelson, Stephen B., MD. Conquering Autism: Reclaiming Your Child Through Natural Therapies. Twin Streams, Kensington Publishing Corp, 2003.

Kennedy, Robert F., Jr. Deadly Immunity. (Investigating the government cover-up of a mercury autism scandal), Rolling Stone Magazine, June 17, 2003.

Pangborn, Jon, Ph.D. and Sidney Baker, MD. Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments. San Diego, CA: Autism Research Institute, 2005.

Shaw, William, Ph.D. Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD (2nd ed.). Lenexa, KS: The Great Plains Laboratory, 1998.

Treatment options for mercury and metal toxicity in autism and related developmental disabilities: Consensus Position Paper. San Diego, CA: Autism Research Institute, February 2005.

Posted in Autism
February 2, 2017

 Over the years, I have learned several very powerful secrets to beautiful skin. The first is keeping the skin well hydrated. Yes, the ‘6 to 8 glasses of water a day’ are certainly important. This is especially true as we age because older people tend to stay in a state of dehydration. Using nutrients with hydrating properties can be a great help. Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid, is just a great one.

I designed a transdermal cream containing the equivalent of 4000 mg. of Panthenol, which you rub all over your face at night before you go to sleep. You can also put it on again in the morning. Make up can be applied on top of the cream as it soaks into the skin without leaving any film. This hydrating cream is great for both men and women. You may not want to use any make up when you see how great your skin looks.

The movie star, Suzanne Somers, has certainly gotten the message across in her many books that our hormones are vital to aging. Yet we fear that our hormones will increase our risk of breast, uterine and prostate cancers. This fear cannot be evidenced base when you know that these cancers are extremely rare in very young men and women when the normal hormone ranges are at their highest levels.

Remember you want to have the same hormone levels when you are old as when you were young. You may have “normal” levels of a 65-90 year old but ideally you want to be ’20’ again. The only way you can have that is to supplement with estrogens, progesterone, DHA and testosterone. You don’t know what your sex hormone levels are unless you measure them and that is easily done using a comprehensive saliva hormone panel, which you can do at home. Your fountain of youth is but 3 weeks away when you review your levels and decide to supplement them if they are low.

You must never take Estrogen or Testosterone without balancing with Progesterone. To quote Dr. Wilson, “I have never seen a woman get breast cancer if she has high levels of progesterone. NOT ONE.”

The other two secrets to beautiful skin are a well-functioning G.I. tract with an adequate bacterial flora, as well as a functioning detoxification system. Probiotics are a critical aid to everyone desiring good health. I recommend Ther-Biotic Complete, which contains 25+ billion CFUs of multi-species probiotics.

What I also learned was toxic pollutants contaminating our bodies play havoc with our skin. This is especially true of heavy metal poisoning and specifically mercury poisoning. When I have chelated patients with severe acne many clear dramatically.

Just as we can measure our hormones, we can measure our body burden of toxic heavy metals. You simply swallow a chelating agent and collect your urine for 6 hours. The laboratory does the rest. You may even notice an immediate lessening of blemishes just with the challenge chelation dose. Continuous chelation will be required over many months to remove mercury from your body if you have a body burden. You may also note a change in your mood, a feeling of overt happiness after just one challenge dose, potentially revealing the cause of two major problems in your life – your skin and your mood.

If you are interested in trying some of these health aids click here or call the office for more assistance, 843-572-1600.

Allan Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.

Medical Director

Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Posted in Anti-Aging
February 2, 2017

“Well, sign me up!” That may be your first response to learning about Anti-Aging or Longevity Medicine, a phrase now being heard on talk shows and written about in popular magazines. Is it a new surgical technique or a magic pill? Oh, if only it were that simple!

Longevity Medicine describes a paradigm shift in the way some holistic doctors are approaching their patients. There are numerous differences from conventional “preventive” medicine. The first big difference is the amount of time spent getting to know the patient. In regular medicine, there may only be 8 to 15 minutes to review the entire history and medications and perform an exam. In Anti-Aging Medicine, the first visit may last 1 to 2 hours and follow-ups up to one hour, based upon the patient’s choice. Longer consultations are        necessary to gather a very thorough history, and to allow time to explain concepts which are important in an individual patient’s case.

Longevity Medicine also differs in testing and analysis. The usual blood, urine, and X-ray tests can be performed, but the Anti-Aging physician can also order a whole new battery of recently developed tests that can diagnose problems decades before the traditional tests.

For example, if you go to your regular doctor for your yearly physical and say, “My only complaint is that I feel tired a lot and don’t think as clearly as I used to,” then it’s not uncommon for the kind doctor to reply, “Well, Mrs. Jones, the blood, urine, X-ray, and EKG say you are okay. It’s probable you are just getting a little older. You aren’t 30 years old anymore. Are you depressed? Perhaps you could try an anti-depressant.”

And if you asked, “How could I live a healthy, long life?” the doctor would say all the right things like eat healthy and exercise. These are excellent suggestions, but you could reasonably ask, “What would be a healthy diet for me as an individual?” And, “Why don’t I have the energy to exercise?”

Now let’s ask the same question and imagine that you are asking an Anti-Aging or Longevity doctor. What would he say or do, and how is his approach different? “Mrs. Jones, I see you are 57 and you want me to address your fatigue and your desire to live well, not just longer.” After a 1 to 2 hour complete life history and physical examination, he would order—beyond the usual panel—an extensive testing panel to begin the diagnosis process. Let’s jump ahead to when they sit down to review the report of what they found.

“Mrs. Jones, let me tell you briefly all we found, but then we’ll want to educate you about each of the individual aspects. We did a saliva hormone panel that shows you’re estrogen dominant. This puts you at risk for breast cancer. The low progesterone may explain the breast tenderness, insomnia, and edema you checked on your symptom response form. Your testosterone was very low and may be why your libido is low. The DHEA and cortisol levels are low and your fatigue may be from adrenal insufficiency.

“We also found from our allergy testing that you reacted strongly to molds, dust, 3 foods, and ragweed, and even felt exhausted when one of them was tested, so this is a big clue!

“We performed the Cardio Ion Panel and after reviewing the levels of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, we found numerous imbalances that if not corrected, will eventually lead to disease. Your test showed evidence of cell membrane damage and DNA damage and high oxidative stress (“body rust”). This shows that your body is wearing down but you just can’t see it. This can come from the trans fats, pesticides, plasticizers, and other toxic chemicals in our diet, and we’ll want to inform you of possible sources of these toxins.

“The cutting edge cardiovascular markers show you have inflammation in your arteries. I know your cholesterol is normal but your HS CRP tells us there is a problem. Your homocysteine, fibrinogen, LPa and plaque test also indicate we should intervene now.

“The toxic metals test reveals high levels of aluminum and mercury. These could be why your memory is slipping and your blood pressure is rising. Other tests indicate you aren’t absorbing your nutrients and your level of the anti-cancer mineral selenium is very low, as well as your levels of magnesium and calcium.

“We found these things on your laboratory tests, but the important thing, Mrs. Jones, is to help you to know what to do with this information.”

Armed with a clear-cut report card of her body’s systems, Mrs. Jones is able to know what needs addressing in her individual case and can confidently take steps to correct her problems. Longevity Medicine can genuinely boost her quality of life—in ways she can feel long before she’s old!

If you would like more information about Longevity Medicine as practiced at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, please call our Center at (843) 572-1600.

Posted in Anti-Aging
February 2, 2017

By Allan Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.

Medical Director

Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine

It took me many years in the practice of medicine to realize that we get many of our chronic diseases from chronic malnutrition. Whether it’s heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis or obesity our increased susceptibility comes from deficiencies of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

If malnutrition is the cause of all these diseases then nutrition could also be the treatment. A few simple examples will support this concept.

Our Center has been doing breast thermography for many years. We have been able, over and over again to reverse the pathologic breast changes seen on a thermogram using intense nutritional intervention. Japanese women have the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the world because their diets are high in iodine. The corollary is also true. American women have the highest levels of breast cancer because they have the lowest. (0.5 mg. vs. 13.8 mg.) Does this mean if we would only increase the iodine in our daily diet we could prevent and even treat breast cancer? YES. Fibrocystic disease of the breast is unequivocally caused by iodine deficiency and can be reversed over 6 to 9 months by supplementing iodine. Also in general, countries with the highest levels of Selenium in their soil have the lowest evidence of all cancers.

The second example is that of this country’s number one killer- Heart Disease. Could it be that a deficiency of Vitamin K2 may be the cause and not cholesterol and fats in our diet? I was overwhelmed by the research from the Netherlands that demonstrated how Vitamin K2 pulled the plaque out of our arteries and did it in a matter of several weeks. Again, the Japanese and pacific islanders have the lowest incidence of heart disease because they eat NATTO, fermented soy, the greatest source of Vitamin K2.

A study done on a large population in Rotterdam revealed that 45 mcg. of Vitamin K2 prevented heart disease. This is why I urged all of my patients to take a single 90 mcg. capsule of MK7 (Vitamin K2). Does this mean that if we would only add a source of Vitamin K2 we could reduce our risk of deadly heart disease? Again, the answer is yes. The second part of the Vitamin K2 story is that when the plaque is pulled out of the arteries it goes back into the bones and reverses osteoporosis. A disease affecting a majority of women but also many men.

And finally if you haven’t heard it from me many times before, Vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin, may be the panacea that both prevents and treats our worst degenerative diseases. These include almost every disease that you can mention from heart disease, cancer, MS, diabetes, and the whole spectrum of autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Scleroderma and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

So what do I want you to take away from this medical alert? None of us should be foolish enough not to supplement our diets with these 4 basic nutrients:

1)Iodine

2)Selenium

3)Vitamin K2 as menaquinone 7

4)Vitamin D3

There are around 44 essential nutrients that your body requires but for our generation these 4 are dynamite!

Posted in Anti-Aging
February 2, 2017

By Allan D. Lieberman, M.D.

These are some of the many case histories of successful treatment of behavior disorders in children and adults. All of our patients are treated with an individualized, comprehensive program.

Case 1: This patient came to us when she was 4 years old. Her behavior could be described as “the Attention Fatigue Syndrome”, meaning she would appear very hyperactive and not able to focus one minute, and the next she would be whiney or crying with fatigue.

She also had allergic rhinitis, with runny nose and dark circles under her eyes and other classic allergy symptoms.

As we read through her medical history, we saw that she had often had ear infections and had been on many antibiotics. It was also documented that she had developed thrush and even vaginitis (infection of the female reproductive tract) as an infant and toddler, most probably as a side effect of all the antibiotics given for her ear infections. Based on so many symptoms of yeast overgrowth, we emphasized eradicating the yeast overgrowth as part of her initial treatment. Since her history of yeast-related problems was so clear, we used a systemic anti-fungal drug.

At the first follow-up visit, the mother said her child’s behavior had been better from the very first day of treatment. Overall, her symptoms were 50 percent better. About 4 months later as we continued to monitor her progress, we again prescribed a different anti-fungal medication and again her behavior improved significantly.

I had just heard Dr. William Shaw’s lecture about his research into the correlation between yeast overgrowth and neurological and behavior disorders. So eventually we tested this child with the Organic Acids Test as recommended by Dr. Shaw and found high levels of four metabolites from yeast overgrowth and also high levels of a bacterial metabolite from bacterial overgrowth.

On the basis of this test, I prescribed an anti-fungal medication again and the child’s behavior improved so markedly that the mother commented she had had only one tantrum in several weeks, whereas she used to have several tantrums daily.

However, we did not wish to continue to treat this child (or any patient) with medications to control yeast overgrowth, so we knew we had to look further into her case.

We suspected she had developed a hypersensitivity to the yeast metabolites we had found on her laboratory testing and that allergy testing could be an important key to her further improvement. During allergy testing in our Center’s testing room, she developed symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, restlessness, itching, and stomach pains when we tested her with allergy extracts of yeasts. Her symptoms all improved when we reached a neutralizing dose. Seeing these symptoms provoked and then “turned off” was amazing to the parents, but we see this sort of thing in our allergy testing process quite often. This little girl continued doing well with a maintenance treatment program of allergy desensitization extracts, a probiotic supplement (a supplement to replenish the normal good gut bacteria that are often killed by antibiotics), and, equally important, dietary measures. Her behavior continued to further improve over time with this comprehensive program.

[NOTE: Yeast eradication can play a powerful and important role in alleviating behavior problems, but need not be continued for an extended period of time when all the other parts of our Center’s comprehensive programs are followed.]

Case 2: This 12-year-old boy came to us with a long history of truly severe behavioral problems. His medical and school history showed he had been diagnosed with hyperactivity and aggressive tendencies by age 3 and difficulties with learning and focusing by age 6.

He was placed on Ritalin in first grade, but developed migraine headaches. He repeated first grade, was placed on Tofranil and became very fatigued. A pediatric neurologist was consulted and different medications tried, all of which provoked side effects of various kinds. Medications were discontinued but his behavior was so bad he was on the verge of being thrown out of school.

He was referred to a child psychiatrist at age 9. His formal diagnoses by age 11 were Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Dysthymia (a form of depression). High-dose Prozac (60 mg.) was prescribed. On this drug, he was somewhat better, but developed screaming tantrums in school, especially in spring and fall. By age 11, he was prescribed Zoloft, whereupon he developed more OCD behaviors. He was placed in a class for learning disabled children, with additional behavior modification instituted after school.

When this child came to our office for initial evaluation, he was still on Ritalin and Zoloft but was unable to sit still or stay in one room. He persisted in wandering all over the building while his mother tried to give his history to one of our physicians. She related that he had had many antibiotics as an infant due to recurrent ear infections. His favorite foods were milk, sugars, and chocolate. There was a family history of Bipolar disease. Our physical examination of this boy showed allergic rhinitis (runny nose), athlete’s foot and jock itch (fungus diseases of the skin), mouth ulcers, and nail biting.

We placed him in our Center’s allergy testing room (we have a separate room where restless children can go) and tested him for foods, pollens, and inhalants. These tests showed moderate reactivity so he was started on allergy desensitization. Due to the obvious symptoms of yeast overgrowth (athlete’s foot and jock itch), we also started him on medications to eliminate yeast and fungus. We strongly recommended that his diet be changed to eliminate sugars and milk products, since these foods feed yeast and were the things he craved the most and ate the most (probable signs of allergic addiction).

When we received the results of our laboratory testing a few weeks later, they showed he had elevated levels of mercury and low levels of the essential minerals magnesium and selenium, again specific imbalances that we were able to address.

At the first follow-up 6 weeks later, his mother reported her son’s behavior was 30 percent better. Because of such marked improvement, she had been able to taper him totally off Zoloft and down to one-half of his previous dose of Ritalin. Her son had brought home the best report card ever. He was obviously calmer and showed increased focus. Athlete’s foot and jock itch had been eliminated. His symptoms of runny nose, constipation, and headaches had also decreased.

At the 3-month mark after beginning treatment at our Center, his mother reported that her son was 60 percent better in both his behavior and his physical symptoms. She had tapered him totally off Ritalin.

He had brought home straight E’s (for Excellent) on his report card and had recently attended a summer camp! This young man was so dramatically changed in demeanor and behavior that it was hard to believe he was the same person. Since he was still craving sugars and having mild headaches, we recommended further allergy testing to uncover hidden food allergies. Other nutrients were added to his plan.

For this young man, a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program provided an almost incredible turn-around from a tragically dismal history to a promising future. It’s hard to describe how deeply satisfying it is for the parents, the child, and the physician alike to see what wonderful results are possible when an effective comprehensive program is developed and then carefully followed.

There have been many, many such success stories at The Center. We only wish more parents could learn that there are natural, effective treatments for overcoming ADHD and other behavioral and developmental problems in their children.

Posted in ADHD
February 2, 2017

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Submitted by Timothy J. Callaghan, M.D. for COEM’s Website

Three to seven percent of children (and one to six percent of adults) have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the use of pharmaceutical drugs to treat this condition is estimated to double every six years. Why?

In schools across America, teachers and nurses find themselves having to supervise administration of their students’ ADHD psycho-stimulant medication. In order to deal with ADHD symptoms, more and more children are being placed on drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta.

Let’s first define ADHD.

ADHD is a persistent lack of attention with the inability to control impulsiveness. This manifests as restlessness, difficulty sitting still, problems completing tasks, and may be accompanied by learning issues, decreased memory, mood swings, and even temper tantrums. As a consequence, the child’s self-esteem may be devastated and the parent exhausted.

Since there is no clear objective test to diagnose this condition, it is critical to get a second opinion and, hopefully, one opinion should be from a developmental specialist. There is a fear that many “boys who are just being boys” will be labeled in error.

What is happening in these children’s brains?

Current research indicates that there may be a “perfect storm” combining genetic predisposition (vulnerability) and environmental triggers. We in Environmental Medicine feel that “genetics loads the gun but the environment pulls the trigger.”

Professor Richard Deth of Northern University has discovered that ADHD (and autistic) individuals have problems at the D4 (dopamine) receptors of the brain. These receptors, critical to normal brain transmission and signaling, are genetically different in ADHD children and may explain their susceptibility.

Note that the susceptibility doesn’t mean inevitability!

Researchers Harding, Jodahand Gant list in their 2003 study eight categories of triggers. The researchers can be commended for identifying and initiating research into these eight areas of possible “triggers.” This concept of triggering mechanisms is the big key and has been utilized by Environmental Medicine physicians to successfully treat this condition for nearly thirty years!

What are the treatment options for ADHD?

The traditional approach to ADHD treatment is psycho-stimulant medication. It can be very effective and has helped many. However, there are often dangerous side effects and concerns over long-term use. One study showed chromosomal breaks with Ritalin. Another study found possible growth suppression. Some children exhibit insomnia, headaches, dizziness, and loss of appetite, neurological ticks, abdominal pain, social withdrawal, fatigue, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), “Zombie”-like behavior, and the possibility of increased risk for drug addiction. Side effects often necessitate anti-depressants and mood stabilizers being used to control emotional problems that are consequences of the medicine.

Is there a non-drug option to treat ADHD?

At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we look at the entire biochemistry pattern of the patient and utilize non-toxic treatments. After a very comprehensive initial evaluation, a battery of tests is performed to look for triggers. Testing includes tests to evaluate levels of toxic metals; hidden yeast or bacterial infections; allergies (including food allergies); deficiencies of important minerals, especially iron, as well as essential fatty acids and amino acids; and blood levels of glucose and insulin to rule out poor blood sugar control as a cause of mood swings.

Based on this wealth of information obtained from a comprehensive diagnostic work-up, we are often able to identify causes behind the behavior of ADHD. With proper diagnosis, treatment becomes much easier, and more importantly, more effective.

Adults also suffer from ADHD and these same principles apply. When the causes are identified, there are a multitude of natural and effective treatment options available.

References:

Crook, WG. The Yeast Connection and the Woman. Jackson, Tennessee: Professional Books, Inc., 1995.

Harding KL, Judah RD, Gant G. Outcome based comparison of Ritalin versus food supplement treated children. Altern Med Rev 2003; 8(3) 319-30.

Pangborn, JB and Baker SJ. Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments. San Diego, California: Autism Research Institute, 2005.

Posted in ADHD