Who is our average patient?
Our average patient at “The Center”:
- Has been to 10 or more doctors
- Has had a chronic illness for anywhere from months to decades
- Feels that other doctors have not listened to their full history or concerns
- Has been told it’s all in their head
- Has already spent thousands of dollars on laboratory and other testing
- Is afraid of going to yet another doctor
- Is looking for a doctor to understand and treat the root causes of their illness, rather than just alleviating symptoms
- Has heard of the Center through a physician, other patient, or support group who is familiar with the Center’s approach
- Has personally researched our Center on our Website and has validated that the information is credible
- Lives anywhere in the U.S. or now may live in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East
- Is often one of two or three generations of a family who become patients
- Feels like they’ve found a partner is us, one who is committed to improving their health
- Is surprised that we present an estimate of costs based upon an understanding of what their medical needs are, which enables them to prioritize treatments within their budget
- Finds great value in time and money invested at the Center, especially as compared to all they’ve spent in their previous attempts to improve their health
- Appreciates the thorough education they receive in how to manage their own health
- Sees a significant improvement in their health in a relatively short period of time
Concepts of Environmental Medicine
Environmental Medicine is a branch of medicine whose domain is not limited by anatomical boundaries but, rather, is concerned with the whole person and the way that a person reacts to his/her total environment.
The approach of Environmental Medicine is holistic in nature and addresses every part of the body, including the brain that controls thinking, perception, mood, and behavior. Chronic exposure to various stressors can trigger a wide range of mental, physical, and emotional disorders. Stressors may include infection, allergies and intolerances, addiction, nutritional
deficiencies, exposure to toxic chemicals and toxic metals, or toxic relationships. Stressors may be linked to the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the chemicals that pollute them, or more subtle sources. Over time, if stressors outweigh the body’s ability to cope with them, imbalance and illness result.
The Center evaluates each patient in terms of his/her total environment and the impact of that environment on the individual biochemistry. We strive to reduce the Total Body Stress Load and rebuild the body’s reserves, restoring balance and strengthening the individual to overcome and prevent illness.
Establishing and nourishing the growth of beneficial bacteria in our digestive tracts is one of the most misunderstood and neglected things we can do to regain and maintain our health. We have in essence another body inside our body, in that we have some 300 trillion cells making up the bacterial flora of our gut. This number of cells is equal to the number of cells that make up our entire body! These “bugs” are our first line of defense against the toxic outside world. It is the multiple strains of bacteria that live on the surface of our intestinal tract that protect us against constant invasion. Yet so much of what we do and are exposed to is killing off this critical mass of flora. We take antibiotics, acid blockers, myriads of synthetic chemicals from dozens of medications, and are exposed to pesticides and heavy metals, all of which destroy our vital bacterial flora.
This month we are introducing three new products and offering significant discounts to entice you to try them and see what a difference they can make in your life.
No farmer would plant seeds without fertilizing his fields and you shouldn’t either. BUTYRAID is butyric acid, the fertilizer that helps your “garden” of vital bacterial flora grow. It smells like parmesan cheese and critically balances the pH of your intestines, which enhances the growth of your normal flora. The medical literature suggests it can also reduce the risk of cancer of the colon by enhancing glutathione, our major detoxifying molecule. This product is free of common allergens.
Fertilize your bowel with 1 – 2 tablets of BUTYRAID per meal, then plant your garden with healthy living probiotics. Regularly $16.00 for 100 tablets*.
Our probiotics of choice are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is the primary ingredient in our new THER-BIOTIC COMPLETE. This highest-potency, hypoallergenic blend of 12 certified probiotic species provides over 25 billion organisms in every capsule. The InTactic delivery system also guarantees that the probiotics will be live and viable at the time they reach your “garden” where they can grow. There is NO dairy or dairy ingredients in this product and only vegetarian capsules are used. The benefits of the strains of probiotics in Ther-Biotic Complete include:
* Produce lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other compounds naturally antagonistic to pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and viruses
* Interfere with binding of pathogens to the intestinal mucosa (& compete with them for food)
* Synthesize Vitamin K and the B Vitamins
* Support immune defense mechanisms
* Produce analogs of the DPP-IV enzyme that break down opiod peptides
Take 1 capsule of THER-BIOTIC COMPLETE per day, always with food. Can be taken long term. Regularly $42.90 for 60 capsules*–a 2-month supply.
This probiotic is actually a yeast but is genetically quite different from brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and pathogenic Candida species of yeasts. It has a long history of use for diarrhea or dysentery, but is being used today because it is so helpful in boosting intestinal IgA secretion and decreasing inflammatory bowel disease and Candida overgrowth. It is very effective against pathogenic Clostridia. Our Saccharomyces boulardii product has NO lactose or gluten in it and can be used to support GI-related problems even in autistic children. Only vegetarian capsules are used. S. boulardii is usually taken short-term for difficult digestive and bowel problems, always while using a product such as Ther-Biotic Complete that provides a full spectrum of probiotics.
Take 1 capsule of SACCHAROMYES BOULARDII 2 times daily with food, but separated from anti-fungal agents by at least 2 hours. Regularly $31.00 for 60 capsules*.
THE HEALTH OF THE GUT IS THE FIRST MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN REGAINING HEALTH AND MAINTAINING HEALTH.
We cannot encourage you more to take this first step.
The results will be obvious in a very short time.
– Allan D. Lieberman, M.D.
To Order These New Products, fax (fax (843)-572-1795)or e-mail (Orders@coem.com) your order.
*ALL LISTED PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER 30 DAYS OF PUBLISHED DATED OF ARTICLE.
Pool-Zobel BL, Selvaraju V, Sauer J, Kautenburger T, Kiefer J, Richter KK, Soom M, Wolfl S. Butyrate may enhance toxicological defence in primary, adenoma and tumor human colon cells by favourably modulating expression of glutathione S-transferases genes, an approach in nutrigenomics. Carcinogenesis, 2205 Jun:26(6): 1064-76,. Epub 2005 Mar 3.
Scheppach W, Weiler F. The butyrate story: old wine in new bottles? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Sep; 7(5): 563-7.
CHEMICAL TOXICITY & SENSITIVITY
Treatment of chemical toxicity | chemical sensitivity treatment and Chemical Sensitivity
Many disorders and diseases can be caused or exacerbated by an overload of stored chemical toxins. Addressing this aspect of the Total Body Stress Load can be truly life saving for people chemically injured through acute or chronic chemical exposures. Our toxic body burdens are critical to our health. This is why we often say, “We don’t just get sick, but are being made sick.”
At the root of hypersensitivity to common airborne pollutants–such as pesticides, synthetic fragrances, and petrochemical fumes—are three common problems: an increased body burden of toxins, a depletion of key nutrients used in the body’s normal detoxification processes, and, at times, an inherently weak detoxification system.
How does the Center treat chemical toxicity | chemical sensitivity treatment?
Each patient that we see at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine is evaluated and treated individually. [Click here to learn more about our Comprehensive Diagnostic Work-up.] Based on an individual’s history and laboratory results, our physicians are able to determine if an overload of stored chemical toxins is a major cause of a patient’s signs and symptoms. If so, the Biodetoxification Program offers the most comprehensive and cost-effective treatment in the least amount of time.
The Center’s Biodetoxification Program has been operating since October 1988 and was pioneered for one purpose:
to offer safe, intensive treatment for the reduction of the body’s burden of toxic chemicals. Our Biodetoxification unit is one of only a half-dozen such units in the entire country, and to our knowledge, it is the largest stand-alone unit for this treatment protocol. Dr. Lieberman’s background and experience in Toxicology has made him a recognized expert in this field.
Before a patient enters the program, specialized laboratory testing is performed to determine the body burden of toxic chemicals and how these may be affecting body chemistry, immunity, and overall function. A considerable amount of time and research went into the development of our Biodetoxification Program. Each part of the program has evolved according to the needs and results of our patients.
Hundreds of patients from all over the world have now completed the Biodetoxification Program at The Center. Patients come to us on their own referral (often because someone they know has had good results) or on the referral of various state or federal programs.
What is The Center’s Biodetoxification Program and how does it work?
The Center’s Biodetoxification Program utilizes clinical procedures that safely reduce the body’s burden of toxic chemicals, including chemicals stored following occupational, accidental, and/or chronic airborne exposures. Chemicals bind to human tissues on the basis of their lipophilic properties — meaning literally “attracted to fats.” When our bodies absorb lipophilic toxins, they are deposited in our fat stores and released whenever those fatty tissues are broken down to provide energy. Thus, although we may initially be poisoned by an extrinsic (outside) source of toxicants, we may continue to be poisoned over a prolonged period of time by our own intrinsic (inside) body stores of those poisons.
The biodetoxification process is designed to remove toxicants using three basic mechanisms:
These three mechanisms permit acceleration of the body’s system of detoxification, making it possible to decrease the time normally required to reduce a body burden of toxicants from months to weeks.
The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine uses a four-week outpatient Biodetoxification Program operating eight hours each day, five days per week, for treatment of the average patient. However, some patients may require more time, varying from four to ten weeks.
What are the advantages of undergoing Biodetoxification at The Center rather than at home?
The intensive four-week portion of the program at The Center is continued through maintenance detoxification procedures that can be done at home. We teach patients how to safely and effectively continue maintenance biodetoxification on their own, with only periodic follow-ups with the physicians at The Center to monitor their progress.
Can extremely chemically sensitive patients safely undergo Biodetoxification at the Center?
YES, WE ARE A SCENT-FREE, CHEMICAL-FREE, AND SMOKE-FREE FACILITY, housed in an environmentally safe building.
Since our Biodetoxification Program is an outpatient program, we have made arrangements for accommodation close to The Center for our chemically sensitive patients. We have safe housing available. Please contact the Center for more information.
If you are not certain if you are a candidate for Biodetoxification, you can schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation during which time the doctor can advise whether biodetoxification is recommended in your case.
Fortunately, the majority of participants who complete both the intensive and maintenance portions of The Center’s Biodetoxification Program become much less chemically sensitive, but we recognize that each case is individual.
What is the goal of the Biodetoxification Program and how successful is The Center at reaching that goal?
The ultimate goal of The Center’s Biodetoxification Program is to rehabilitate each individual, and to help return him or her to a normal, active life within the guidelines of reasonable but strict environmental control.
We now have 19 years of experience treating chemically burdened patients through Biodetoxification. Eighty per cent of our patients who have successfully completed both the intensive and maintenance portions of The Center’s Biodetoxification Program have reduced their signs and symptoms by at least 50 per cent.
The overwhelming majority of them report feeling more energetic, better able to think and problem solve on a daily basis (due to improved neurocognitive function), and better able to function in performing activities of daily living. Many have been able to return to gainful employment in reasonable but strictly controlled environments.
The volume of extremely positive feedback we have had about the Biodetoxification Program has strengthened The Center’s commitment to continue helping chemically injured patients overcome severe illness and limitations.
What are patients’ experiences with The Center’s Biodetoxification Program?
We’ll let them speak in their own words. Click here to read A Patient’s Story of Chemical Sensitivity.
How can I get more information about the Biodetoxification Program?
Click here to read “We Are All Polluted: The Role of Biodetoxification in Overcoming Illness.”
You can also call The Center at (843) 572-1600 and ask for a further explain of the program and request a packet of detailed information be e-mailed to you.
Stopping Heart Attack and Stroke
(It’s More than Cholesterol)
Submitted by Timothy J. Callaghan, M.D. for COEM’s Website
It’s a tragedy! We all know someone who has faithfully gotten an annual physical (including blood tests and EKG) from their doctor, and the doctor has happily reported that the results show no evidence of cardiovascular or other disease. Your friend feels secure, believing that his preventive measures of regular exercise and prudent diet seem to be working well.
Yet, that same person experiences a heart attack or stroke within weeks of seeing his doctor! How could someone be assured that he’s doing well and still get a heart attack or stroke? What went wrong?
This is a question that doctors have long agonized over—but are recently getting more satisfying answers. Beginning in 1948, researchers began a comprehensive study of 5,000 Americans to try to identify and understand cardiovascular disease risk factors. What they found from this now famous Framingham Heart Study was that there is inconsistency between the results of our routine laboratory testing and the incidence of heart disease.
The Framingham study revealed that 80 percent of patients who had a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) showed results from routine blood lipid profile tests for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc., similar to the normal population who did not have cardiovascular disease. This implied that the traditional lipid panel was not capable of being an accurate “key” to determining true risk. In a research study reported in The American Journal of Cardiology, it was demonstrated that the usual “cholesterol” panel was only 40 percent predictive for revealing coronary heart disease. Why?
We now have the answers to the lack of predictability based on annual cholesterol tests. It appears that heart disease has many risk factors other than cholesterol that have not been tested for previously. It also appears that we have not understood that a major culprit in cardiovascular disease is the “soft plaque” in the arteries and not the traditional calcified plaque that was thought to gradually build up and “clog” the artery.
A newer laboratory test called the VAP Cholesterol Test analyzes fantastic new markers to help predict cardiovascular disease. Researchers have “cracked open” the lipid molecules in the bloodstream and found at least 10 new items critical to evaluate heart disease. These include Lp(a) (lipoprotein a), VLDL and VLDL-3 (very low density lipoproteins), Non-HDL (non-high-density lipoprotein), IDL (intermediate density lipoprotein), real LDL (real low density lipoprotein) and real-LDL-C size pattern, remnant lipoproteins, and HDL2 and HDL3 (high density lipoproteins 2 and 3). VAP Cholesterol Test markers, when abnormal, have been found to be “positive” indicators even when traditional markers like total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides are “normal.”
Another accurate marker that can now be evaluated is the homocysteine level. When homocysteine is elevated, the risk of heart attack and stroke has been shown to be three times higher than with normal homocysteine levels.
C Reactive Protein–High Sensitivity is another blood marker that is elevated with any inflammation in the body, but also correlates with an increased risk of heart attack. Another is fibrinogen, a protein normally found in the blood that is key in helping us not bleed to death when we’re injured, but when excessive, increases the risk of clots forming in the bloodstream itself and causing heart attacks or strokes. Low testosterone levels in men, and low levels of the trace mineral selenium may increase the risk of coronary disease by 24 percent.
The ADMA (asymmetrical dimethyl arginic) test measures levels of a chemical that inhibits normal nitric oxide dilation of the blood vessels. When levels are high, researchers have found a 27-fold increase in the risk of heart attack. A high level can also reveal an increased risk of hypertension, erectile dysfunction, and insulin resistance.
Researchers have discovered that bacteria like Chlamydia, H. pylori and dental bacteria are associated with heart disease. Chlamydia has actually been found in the artery plaque and is suspected of increasing plaque formation. Cytomegalovirus and Coxsackie virus are thought to trigger plaque build-up through a complicated mechanism of “molecular mimicry.” Elevated antibody levels to these bacteria or viruses can indicate excessive levels of these harmful organisms and may be an indicator of risk.
Then there are nutrients that we need to help prevent plaque formation in the blood vessels. These include antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. Evaluating whether or not we have optimal levels of these nutrients can help us know how close we are to obtaining a truly heart-protective diet.
We can take a totally non-invasive look into the arteries and see if plaque is developing years before an EKG or stress test (nuclear or regular) can indicate a problem. This technology entails 64 heart scans taken through various cross-sections of the coronary arteries and analyzed with calcium scoring. It can visualize blockages better than ever before and provides a calcium (plaque) score between 1 and 400. As terrific as this scan is, it is best not done because of the extremely high level of radiation to which you will be exposed. It provides the highest level of radiation of any of the CT scans.
Carotid ultrasound of the carotid arteries can measure the thickness of blood vessel walls, and the thicker and more inflexible the vessel walls, the greater the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Not everyone needs all of these advanced cardiovascular tests, but it is wonderful to know that they are available to help us identify our individual risk factors and understand how to reduce them. These tests are especially important when a person has a family history of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, dementia, and other increasingly preventable problems. Knowing where our genetic weaknesses may lie can be a great help in avoiding the family cardiovascular disease pattern.
If there are positive test results from any of these new tests, multiple strategies can be used to lower risks. At The Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine, we use a comprehensive approach including diet changes, nutrient supplementation, intravenous chelation, and medication where necessary. Please see Healthy for Life Weight Loss for information about our very successful weight loss program.
For further information about our programs, please contact The Center at (843) 572-1600.
Castelli WP. Lipids, risk factors and ischaemic heart disease. Atherosclerosis. 1996;124:S1–S9.
Castelli WP. Canadian Journal of Cardiology 1988:4A: 5A.
Frost; American Journal of Cardiology 1998: 81:26B.
Lamarch B, Tehernof A, Moorjani S, et al. Small, dense low density lipoprotein articles as a predictor of the risk of ischemic heart disease in man: prospective results from the Quebec Cardiovascular Study. Circulation. 1997 Jan 7; 95(1) 69-75.
Superko HR. Did grandma give you heart disease? The new battle against coronary artery disease. American Journal of Cardiology. 1998;82:34Q–46Q.
An Interview with Dr. Lieberman
Editor’s Note: Many times we on the staff have heard a patient say, “Oh, I wish I could have sat with Dr. Lieberman for hours-I learned so much!” In this “chair-side chat,” Dr. Lieberman explores the connection between yeast and developmental delays, food allergies, asthma, and even prostatitis.
Q: What has made this field of yeast-related illness so timely for several decades now?
Dr. Lieberman: When I first started working in this field in the late 1970’s, I thought every patient had yeast, and I treated everybody accordingly. After awhile I got disillusioned and I said, “No, this is impossible, nobody has it!” As the years went by, the pendulum swung back again. If you’re an astute clinician and you talk to patients, you see that yeast is a problem.
The paper presented by Dr. William Shaw at one of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine conferences in Kansas City was the real bombshell, because it gave us, for the first time, really hard evidence that many physicians were right who talked about yeast as a major cause of impairments.
Q: What was Shaw’s background and why did he get interested in this himself?
Dr. Lieberman: Dr. Shaw, as an analytical biochemist, was analyzing the urine of two brothers. He didn’t know anything about these children, except that once the results came from the laboratory, he had never seen the presence of these particular metabolites before. He said, “These are not normal metabolites of normal people,” and ultimately realized that they were metabolites of bacteria and fungi. When he inquired about the children he had tested, he found that they both were autistic. So then he started to look at the urine of other children with autism and other neurologic problems, and lo and behold, he found that their urine also contained the same metabolites. That was really the great breakthrough-the presence of yeast and abnormal bacteria produce identifiable chemicals in the urine.
With Shaw’s paper, we now had a scientific basis to show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a patient can have these organisms and be influenced by the metabolites of them.
Dr. Lieberman: To me, the most amazing thing is to look at levels of yeast metabolites in the urine of children who have been on antibiotics for their ear infections. We wonder what happens to these kids-why their behavior changes and why they develop all kinds of problems-and there it is. Shaw’s contribution has been not only to identify yeast metabolites as a cause of neurologic problems, but also to show an imbalance in the gut bacteria can produce abnormal metabolites. The imbalance of the gut flora is called dysbiosis.
Q: In what way does a bowel dysbiosis or yeast overgrowth actually manifest? How does that impact upon the brain?
Dr. Lieberman: Small molecules have the capacity to go through the blood-brain barrier and it seems that they are amazingly capable of altering cerebral function. We know, for example, that in digesting and metabolizing wheat and other grains containing gluten, certain types of opioids can be produced and these things can really affect brain function. Well, now we see that organic acid molecules that are coming from yeast and bacteria are also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and influencing behavior and brain function.
Q: And that might show up as autism, or hyper-activity, or other neurologic problems?
Dr. Lieberman: When I’ve talked with Dr. Shaw, he said he’s seeing a lot more of these organic acid metabolites in the urine of hyper-active children. That doesn’t surprise me in the least. There is an epidemic of these problems in children. They’re sick all the time and why are they sick all the time? It is because of their diet, food sensitivities, and the development of secondary dysbiosis problems with either yeast or bacteria that produce these metabolites. The metabolites are actually causing behavior problems.
Q: So he has seen a reversal in the problems of the patients who have been treated on the basis of his Organic Acids Urine Test?
Dr. Lieberman: When Dr. Shaw found these unusual metabolites in the urine of the brothers, he asked the parents, “Why don’t we put these children on some anti-fungal drug and see what happens?”
With anti-fungal treatment, the yeast metabolites in the children’s urine decreased and their behavior improved.
So we have a very wonderful cause and effect relationship. Of course, it takes more than treatment of yeast to clear all behavior problems, but this can be a critical piece in the treatment program.
Q: And you’ve seen a change in the behavior of those you’ve treated, too?
Dr. Lieberman: Yes, definitely. As you read our Testimonials from successfully treated patients or their parents, you see that treatment of yeast has made a huge difference in behavior in many cases.
Q: Does dysbiosis or yeast overgrowth cause other problems besides changes in behavior?
Dr. Lieberman: Dysbiosis is actually an imbalance of all the microbiological flora of the gut, not just a yeast overgrowth. Dysbiosis produces a permeability dysfunction so that things that should remain in the G.I. tract are now getting through the wall in bigger pieces. Bigger pieces are more antigenic, meaning they are capable of producing an immunologic response, especially an allergic response. That’s how we think the mechanism of food sensitivity is being created. The more antigens from a permeable gut enter the circulation, the more immune response would be initiated. A permeable gut, which can be caused by dysbiosis, does make the problem of food allergy much worse.
In addition, once the antigen enters the circulatory system, it’s carried to all the organs of the body and comes into contact with those elements of the immune system called lymphocytes. If the antigen triggers lymphocytes and immune response in the lung, it might set off asthma. If the antigen triggers an immune response from the lymphocytes in the Peyer’s Patches of the G.I. tract, it might trigger diarrhea. It usually takes a combination of insults for the organ to react, so that is why we say in Environmental Medicine, “The previously injured organ becomes the target of the allergic response.”
Depending upon a person’s family history and medical history, any organ might be the target and produce adverse symptoms.
But what is important here for our discussion is that if yeast is a root cause of gut permeability or food allergy or other symptoms, we can confirm the presence of the yeast through Shaw’s test for the metabolites of yeast and bacteria. Now we don’t have to be defensive in trying to present this whole yeast connection concept to the scientific community.
Q: And if you don’t find the metabolites of yeast, is that the end of it?
If the metabolites of yeast are not there on testing, then we have to rethink the whole thing. I would like to address this for a minute. We all see these patients who come into the office who are totally convinced that all their problems are coming from yeast. They have literally put themselves through a mangle-there isn’t any anti-fungal drug that they haven’t been on, there’s nothing that they haven’t tried, and they feel that they’re still full of yeast. In many ways, we now have some nice criteria to say with confidence to a patient, “There is a problem, but it’s not yeast, and we have to look elsewhere. Trying to do only yeast eradication cannot be the total answer to the problem you have.”
Q: What other conditions would mimic those symptoms that a patient would think were caused by yeast?
Dr. Lieberman: That’s an interesting question, because when you’re a medical student and you’re taking the course called “Medicine,” you’ve got this textbook that has almost 2,000 pages. You say, “Okay, what are the signs and symptoms of this disease and that disease?” You find they’re often the same!
That is what makes Environmental Medicine so unique, because we’re not interested in choosing an organ and just identifying the signs and the symptoms.
The only thing that makes any difference is what causes those signs and symptoms, and what you’re going to find is that there are many ways to produce headache and the flu-like symptoms in a patient. They can come from anything from A to Z, usually a combination of things. But one of those causes is often Yeast. It doesn’t matter if yeast is affecting the nervous system, the G.I. system, or the joints. If yeast is a cause and you treat it, it’s astounding the myriad of signs and symptoms that can respond in that patient.
Q: What would be the treatment for yeast overgrowth, and is there any rule of thumb about how long treatment should be continued?
Dr. Lieberman: In our practice, we’ve always used a rather classical approach with systemic anti-fungal drugs and local-acting fungal drugs, often combined. With this approach we can treat the reservoir of yeast in the gut with the local-acting fungal drugs, but also treat elsewhere in the body where yeast may have been able to migrate due to a permeable gut or impaired immune system that didn’t keep the yeast localized. It depends upon the patient as to how long the treatment has to be applied.
For example, interestingly, many cases of chronic prostatitis in males are actually yeast prostatitis, and that’s the reason why they never get rid of the problem because they’re treated with more and more antibiotics. It’s often a combination infection of both yeast and bacteria, and until you identify which organisms are causing the infection and treat them appropriately for a sufficiently long time, the problem doesn’t resolve. We have not found cultures and stool analyses and other diagnostic tests to be entirely accurate, but with the aid of the other newer tests we use like Shaw’s test, we have very good results with many different kinds of chronic problems.
Q: Many patients seem happy to take anti-fungal medications, even expensive ones, but less inclined to follow diet changes. In your experience, what effect do anti-fungal medications without dietary changes have on the patient’s progress?
Dr. Lieberman: Well, I can answer that question because I was remiss when I first started working with these kinds of patients. I felt the diet was not the most important thing and what we needed to do was just use the drugs. What I found was that it didn’t work too well and especially there was a rebound effect after the drugs were discontinued. If you want to really try to hold these organisms down, it’s so important to stop feeding them with so many different kinds of sugars, even so-called natural sugars that are concentrated into syrups and such, and with refined carbohydrates.
Q: What happens when a person tries to diagnose himself or herself with yeast overgrowth and tries to self-treat? Can that be beneficial or harmful?
Dr. Lieberman: The question that you asked is really very relevant. Most patients will read the wonderful books by Billy Crook [William Crook M.D., who wrote the whole Yeast Connection series of books] and think, “That’s what I have!” But as I said before, if you study medicine you find that many diseases have common signs and symptoms.
I have given patients credit for being more knowledgeable than the doctor in terms of better knowing their bodies, but we gave an example before of some patients whose whole life was obsessed with the idea that they were overrun with yeast. We were able to document with these new biomarkers that it wasn’t yeast at all.
So what they did in a sense was just waste time, probably money, and effort. They were looking at the wrong cause, and that’s why they never got better. It probably takes a combination of a physician plus a patient, because the physician has to develop a more comprehensive approach and write a prescription, if necessary. Nevertheless, doctors don’t give patients enough credit for understanding their own problems, so here at our Center we try very much to respect patients when they come tell us their histories.
We have to look for the root causes of a patient’s many signs and symptoms, and a patient can’t do that on their own very often. It takes the sophistication of testing and identifying biomarkers, and with those laboratory findings, we can do a much better job of diagnosing now.
Q: So testing for these organisms is key?
Dr. Lieberman: Well, actually the most helpful testing involves looking for causes in many areas, not just hidden infection.
One other common element that needs to be thought about is the combination of allergy and hidden infection.
I’ll give you an analogy, and maybe then you can appreciate it. There was a woman who was my patient who pointed her finger at me and said, “If I touch a drop of wheat, within two hours I have a rip-roaring yeast infection. Explain that, Doctor!” The lesson that’s learned from this, of course, is that there are triggers for each individual that increase susceptibility to infection. So when necessary we also test for food, inhalant, pollen, or chemical allergies in our patients. With our allergy desensitization extracts, and also avoidance of the most severe triggers in some cases, it’s not only easier to treat hidden infections but a lasting resolution is possible. Then too, we try to build patients up through nutritional supplementation or whatever else is needed in their particular case to make the patient stronger to resist infections.
We come back to our philosophy here at the Center that you don’t just get sick, you’re made sick, and we do our best to identify what is making you sick and help you to get well again.
CANDIDA ALBICANS AND OTHER YEASTS
By Allan D. Lieberman, M.D.
Dr. Billy Crook (William Crook, M.D.) wrote the Yeast Connection book in 1986. It was one of the first books published on the importance of Candida albicans on the health of men, women, and children. Everyone knew women had yeast, but few realized that yeast infection wasn’t reserved just for women.
Billy was a member of the American Academy of Environment Medicine (AAEM) and had a great deal of influence on the many like-minded physicians who recognized the environment as a major influence on health. I became a member of AAEM in 1978, which changed the course of my life in medicine.
The Yeast Connection brought down the wrath of conventional medicine upon us for treating our patients with anti-fungal medications. We had at the time only Nystatin, one of the safest drugs in the whole Physicians Desk Reference. As time went on, we learned more and more about the role of Candida albicans, as well as the development of new more potent drugs, such as Ketoconazole and Fluconazole.
As many books and medical papers have been written about yeast, it would be difficult to discuss this topic in a few paragraphs. Nonetheless, I would like to share my 33 years’ experience in this brief report.
Unbeknownst to most people, Candid albicans is part of the normal flora of our bowel. It acts as our body’s own antibiotic against enteric bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, and Typhoid fever. However, when we imbalance the microbiological flora of our intestine, that which is good becomes bad.
The one factor that made Candida bad was the introduction of antibiotics, which altered our healthy flora. Our use of steroids and immunosuppressive drugs also contributed to Candida’s imbalance.
Surprisingly, there are probably no signs and symptoms recorded by patients that could not be associated or caused by Candida, and the symptoms may affect every organ of the body.
The only way you can tell if Candida is the cause, in my experience, is to treat the patient empirically. There are now a few laboratory tests available which can be helpful in suspecting Candida, but even if the results are positive, you will never know if a patient’s problems are related to yeast until you treat it.
There are a few important observations I have found over the years:
1) There is clearly a relationship between endocrine function, especially the ovary and thyroid, with Candida. That is because there is molecular mimicry between Candida and the tissues of these glands.
2) One of the toughest problems in medical practice is recurrent hives. It is true that the known causes are drugs, yellow dye, food (especially natural salicylates), parasites, and hidden infection. Yet despite a patient being reactive to these many things, yeast eradication using systemic anti-fungal drugs clears the great majority of these patients’ hives.
3) A large segment of my patient population is made up of children with the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Whereas heavy metal poisoning is clearly the major cause in altering behavior in these children, yeast cannot be far behind. It never ceases to amaze me how effective systemic yeast eradication is in improving these disorders. As so many of these children have significant allergies, which leads to superimposed infections with massive recurrent use of antibiotics, the prevalence of yeast should really be no surprise. [For further information, see our companion article Yeast-Yet Again!-An Interview]
4) Diet plays a role in the support of our natural good flora-and of yeast. Diets high in simple carbohydrates do promote further yeast, so controlling its overgrowth requires reducing refined carbohydrates and simple sugars.
5) There are many alternative products that can control Candida. These include Oregano, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, and bicarbonate. I prefer beginning patients on Ketoconazole (Nizoral) or Fluconazole (Diflucan) first because the therapeutic trial is critical to making the diagnosis and establishing the cause. If Candida is the cause, the response is usually rapid and obvious.
6) Some patients are from Missouri and demand to be shown first that they are inhabited by massive yeast before they will start drug therapy. An Organic Acid Analysis, performed on a urine sample, may reveal presence of specific metabolites that are not of human origin. D-arabinose is specific to Candida, while Citromalic and Tartaric Acid are non-specific to other forms of yeast.
7) Finding physicians willing to test and treat problems of yeast is difficult, except for environmental physicians. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s website will provide their names: www.AAEMonline.com
8) There are presently numerous books on yeast, but all of the late Billy Crook’s are, in my opinion, some of the best.
Based on 33 years in the practice of Environmental Medicine, it is my opinion that Candida plays a critical role in many of the patients I have treated. Candida should be considered in every patient, especially those patients with multi-system involvement. In my experience, a therapeutic trial using systemic anti-fungal drugs is the only way to identify yeast as a causative factor in the patient’s multiple signs and symptoms.
CAN CANDIDA CAUSE CELIAC DISEASE, ALLERGIES, AUTISM, & AUTO-IMMUNITY?
By Allan D. Lieberman, M.D., Medical Director of COEM
Do you have Candida (yeast)?
If you are reading this, then you may be wondering about Candida (yeast) as a cause of your medical problems. So, based on my 33 years of evaluating and treating for yeast overgrowth, let me set you straight. Yes! Yeast could certainly be the cause of your disease and is often the cause of many patients’ multiple problems. There is no sign or symptom that cannot be associated with it.
Everyone has some Candida albicans because it is part of the normal flora of our intestine. It was put there to protect us, like a natural antibiotic, from pathogenic enteric organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, and Typhoid fever. Like everything in Nature, the key is balance. In our body, which is made up of around 300 trillion cells, is another body of about 300 trillion cells living within our gastrointestinal tract, made up of our microbiological or bacterial flora. This community of helpful organisms can be altered or destroyed when we take antibiotics, steroids, hormones, and an unhealthy diet rich in refined carbohydrates and sugars.
How do you know if yeast is contributing to your problems?
You can look for Candida in your stool, vaginal secretions, and even from scraping the inside of your mouth. Or, you could analyze your urine for the metabolites produced by yeast. An Organic Acid Analysis performed on your urine may reveal the presence of such metabolites as d-arabinose, citramalic and tartaric acids, and several others. These are not metabolites natural to humans, so if you find them, you know they must belong to something else living in your body, such as Candida. Organic Acid Analysis is routinely used in diagnosing our patients as a first step towards yeast eradication. Kits are available from the Center.
Most women can easily diagnose if they have yeast vaginitis by the white odorless discharge accompanied by itching. But you must remember the vagina and also the prostate in men are only opportunistic sites. ALL Candida comes from the GI tract.
If we have Candida, is it really all that harmful to the body?
Although this may be hard to believe, taking an antibiotic can alter the flora of your gut for as long as two years. This alone explains why Candida can be so damaging. The proper balance of flora in your gut provides a strong foundation for good immunity.
Candida has at least 90 antigenic foci on its outer membrane, which cross react with multiple tissues of the body in what we call autoimmunity. This is especially true for ovarian and thyroid tissues. Autoimmunity is the mechanism by which many of man’s enigmatic diseases are caused. We may be especially vulnerable to disruption of our endocrine glands’ function through this process of autoimmunity.
Candida albicans overgrowth as a cause for celiac disease or gluten intolerance is also being actively researched. In gluten intolerance, a person is unable to properly digest gluten in wheat, oats, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, or anything containing these grains. When people with gluten intolerance consume gluten-containing grains, their intestines become so inflamed the intestinal villi are gradually destroyed and the person suffers many symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation, unexplained weight loss or even weight gain, irritable bowel, skin rashes, or unresolved nutrient deficiencies. Even chronic headaches, neurological symptoms, mood swings, and changes in behavior, can be provoked by gluten intolerance, since the breakdown products of gluten adversely affect the brain and nervous system. The gliadin portion of the gluten protein is thought to be the component of gluten that is so toxic to gluten-intolerant people. A laboratory test for celiac disease measures antibodies in a patient’s blood against gliadin (anti-gliadin antibody) and against their own body’s tissue transglutaminase (anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody).
“Is Candida albicans a trigger in the onset of coeliac disease?” was the title of a research article published in the highly respected medical journal, The Lancet [reference below]. The researchers found Candida albicans contains a protein in its cell wall called “hyphal wall protein 1” or HWP1 that is very similar in its structure to components of gliadin. In addition, Candida can actually use its human host’s tissue transglutaminase to adhere to the intestinal wall. Researchers are looking at the possibility that when Candida becomes attached to a person’s intestines and their immune system tries to get rid of it, antibodies are produced that attack both gliadin and transglutaminase, since these are similar or identical to components within Candida’s cell wall. Unfortunately, these antibodies could also trigger full-blown celiac disease in the unsuspecting person. This is yet another reason why overgrowth of Candida is not to be taken lightly. The researchers went further to hypothesize that some patients who are gluten intolerant but do not improve with a gluten-free diet, might be able to improve if Candida overgrowth was effectively treated.
Dr. Billy Crook was one of the first physicians to call our attention to the dangers of Candida. When he wrote The Yeast Connection, many of us began to think that the sun rose and set on this little microorganism called Candida albicans. Dr. Crook and many other doctors paid a heavy price from the medical establishment who did not agree. But Dr. Crook was right–problems with yeast must be considered in any patient with unexplained multi-system disease.
How do you treat an overgrowth of Candida?
Dr. Crook always liked questioning his fellow physicians who were actively working with patients to overcome yeast overgrowth, in order to learn what they found to be successful treatments. I was no exception. He quoted me in many of his books as saying, “A therapeutic trial with a systemic anti-fungal drug is, in my opinion, the most effective way of identifying yeast as the cause of a patient’s problems,” and a major step in yeast eradication. If the patient improves dramatically when on the anti-fungal drug, yeast is most likely at least one of the major causes of his problems. We’ve been helping patients successfully overcome yeast-related illnesses for over 30 years.
Unfortunately it is hard to find physicians open-minded enough to look for the presence of yeast or to write a prescription for anti-fungal drugs for yeast eradication. I am often amazed to see patients coming to us from all over the country for treatment of yeast because they cannot get their own doctors to treat them for this condition.
Although treating Candida is important, preventing it is just as important. If taking antibiotics is a major cause, then how do you prevent an overgrowth of Candida if you are prescribed an antibiotic? Using large and generous doses of a well-balanced probiotic with your antibiotic is one way. Taking the anti-fungal drug Nystatin with the antibiotic is another way, but again you need a physician who understands the importance of preventing yeast overgrowth and is willing to work with you.
To make this point, I would like to share my experience specifically with children with autism. When taking the history of these children, we very often see they’ve had multiple ear infections and have been treated with multiple antibiotics, resulting in major GI flora imbalances. So it should come as no surprise that yeast becomes a major factor for these children. Although autism is a complex multi-cause disorder, I find yeast to be very prominent as a cause. Treating with a systemic anti-fungal often results in dramatic reversal of these children’s symptoms, including problems with behavior and focus. When yeast recurs many of the symptoms recur, and when treated again the signs and symptoms abate. This is the pattern often seen when yeast is a major cause and why I believe it is important to do a therapeutic trial of a systemic anti-fungal and a comprehensive program for yeast eradication.
What can you do to get started?
The Center is happy to talk with any patient who feels they might have a problem related to Candida. You can call our New Patient Coordinator, Cathy, at (843) 572-1600 to talk with her and set up an appointment for evaluation and treatment.
Progesterone gets its name from “for gestation” because its highest levels occur during pregnancy. Without the high levels a mother would reject her boy baby. But, progesterone is present and functioning throughout our entire life. It is equally important to both men and women.
Everyone is trying to reduce their cholesterol levels but cholesterol is the essential molecule we begin with to synthesize Progesterone as well as all of our sex and adrenal hormones. This is one good reason you should explore the alternatives to taking cholesterol-blocking drugs. Let’s focus on Progesterone, the subject of this alert.
Progesterone’s contributions to health and well being are:
1-Essential for maintaining pregnancy.
2-Lowers blood pressure.
3-Converted by the adrenal glands into all of the stress hormones.
5-Relieves water retention.
6-Protects the brain against estrogen induced brain fog.
7-Helps form the protective layer around nerve endings.
8-Provides significant protection against heart disease.
9-Offers protections against osteoporosis.
10-Is necessary for balancing many other hormones and nutrients in the body.
And most importantly, it balances the proliferative effects of estrogen preventing breast, prostate and uterine cancer. The epidemics of these cancers, remember, are caused buy dominance of the hormone estrogen. Not because there is an overabundance of estrogen in our bodies but because we have so little progesterone.
During Menopause your estrogen levels drop about 50% but your progesterone drops 99% leaving what Dr. John Lee calls “estrogen dominance”. Another disastrous situation of young women is the occurrence of anovulatory menstrual cycles. If you don’t ovulate, even if you have normal menses, you do not make progesterone. It is estimated that as many as one third of women are having anovulatory cycles.
The point of all this is that risk of cancer to the breasts is increased in young women with little to no progesterone and to perimenopausal and menopausal women when again progesterone is very low to absent.
Therefore, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for women to have adequate levels of progesterone. (200-600 times more progesterone than estrogen.) The only way to be sure if you have adequate levels is to measure it in the saliva. This applies to both men and women. The only way to measure the free and available levels of hormones is to use saliva. Blood levels measure only the bound and non-useable form.
Although I have said this before it bears repeating again and again. A physician with many years of experience said, “I have never seen a woman with high levels of progesterone ever get breast cancer, not one.”
Also, the most common pathology of the breast found on mammography and thermography is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. It is said to represent stage 0 cancer. Dr. Lee felt strongly that this was caused by a deficiency of progesterone and if supplemented the lesion returned to normal. And men, don’t feel left out because treating men with progesterone often also reverses prostate cancer.
A deficiency of progesterone can lead to many health issues. It is fortunate that this can be treated.
The Comprehensive Saliva Hormone Kit tests for the following:
D. Morning/noon/evening/pm cortisol levels
We are offering a special introductory price for the month of March for Comprehensive Saliva Hormone Panel testing. This test is performed at home and shipped to the laboratory. UPS fees are included in the price.
Probalance (2 oz. cream) is offered here at the Center. This transdermal cream supplies the recommended effective dose of natural progesterone (400 to 500 mg. per ounce) in a base suitable for proper absorption. (Not all progesterone creams are.)
CLICK HERE to order Comprehensive Saliva Hormone Kit or ProBalance Transdermal Cream.
Allan Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.
Medical Director, The Center for Occupational and Environmental
- Progesterone – One Heck of a Hormone
- Spring Checkup – Hair Loss & Aging Skin
- Aging Gracefully and Beautifully
- Healthy for Life Weight Loss
- Bone Health
- Breast Health
- Natural Hormone Balancing for Women
- Women’s Health
SPRING CHECKUP – HAIR LOSS & AGING SKIN
Today is the first day of spring and we are almost into the second quarter of the year. We all promised ourselves we would pay more attention to our health and welfare. Some of us have by adding Vitamin D 2,000 to 4,000 I.U.’s and Vitamin K2 as MK7 to our daily regimen. Whether you realize it or not you have reduced your risks to all of the major disease processes including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity and osteoporosis. Now, you have to admit, that was pretty easy.
How we look has a lot to do with how we feel and also vice versa. As we all would like to look good I am going to discuss a few important points about our hair and skin; two parts of our body we are all so aware of.
I never really noticed how many women style their hair with tight curls close to their scalp in order to cover up for what they see as thinning hair. Men don’t have that luxury. Hair loss is a part of the aging process, which can be reversed, and more importantly prevented.
Hair loss in young women is more often associated with low levels of hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. In older women it’s acid deficiency but often also deficiencies of the hormones: thyroid, progesterone and DHEA.
The Center has one of the few Heidelberg Systems in both North and South Carolina, which measures accurately your stomach’s ability to produce acid. This is such a critical piece of our health maintenance that if you have any suspicion of malnutrition you should really undergo testing. (Click here to learn more about the Heidelberg System) When HCL is low in the stomach you cannot breakdown proteins or absorb minerals. Sublimely simple but incredibly important to our health. The best part is this deficiency is correctable and minerals can also be repleted.
Hormone testing is also easily done using a simple saliva panel and blood for testing the thyroid. How you interpret the results of hormone testing is critical because you don’t want “NORMAL FOR AGE”. You want “OPTIMAL” which is normal for a youthful age.
We discovered, empirically that the Pantothenic acid formula we developed to treat Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea was also a remarkable skin cream. Almost overnight your skin would appear so much younger as a result of the great moisturizing properties of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). Acne Rosacea is a very common problem of older people. It is nice to have not only a therapeutic agent for this skin disease but also one that has an anti aging effect.
The message for this alert is that we can both prevent and correct the causes of hair loss and aging skin. If this is a concern for you call (843) 572-1600. Click on one of these links for more information on the discussed products, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 MK7, Pantothenic acid, hormone panels, thyroid panels, Heidelberg System Analysis.
- Progesterone – One Heck of a Hormone
- Spring Checkup – Hair Loss & Aging Skin
- Aging Gracefully and Beautifully
- Healthy for Life Weight Loss
- Bone Health
- Breast Health
- Natural Hormone Balancing for Women
- Women’s Health