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"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Monday, March 31, 2014

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association


 American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe,  MI  48021-2227
Tel: 586-776-3900 800-598-4668
Fax: 586-776-3903

Description: National organization that works to alleviate suffering and the socioeconomic impact of autoimmunity. Dedicated to the eradication of autoimmune diseases through fostering and facilitating collaboration in the areas of education, research, and patient services.

National 501(c) tax-exempt organizations offer a comprehensive program of information and support services for patients and their families. They may offer patient and professional information and education materials, sponsor meetings and scientific workshops, fund research, and provide referrals to chapters and support groups.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chronic Pain Syndromes

 Published on Jun 23, 2011


Jeffrey Applebaum of UC Davis,
Family Medicine presents an update on the diagnosis and treatment of
chronic pain syndromes in the primary care setting. Series: "UC Grand
Rounds" [6/2011] [Health and Medicine] [Professional Medical Education]
[Show ID: 21036]

  • Category

  • License - Standard YouTube License


Chronic Pain by Elliot Krane

Uploaded on May 19, 2011 We think of pain as a symptom, but there are cases where the nervous system develops feedback loops and pain becomes a terrifying disease in itself. Starting with the story of a girl whose sprained wrist turned into a nightmare, Elliot Krane talks about the complex mystery of chronic pain, and reviews the facts we're just learning about how it works and how to treat it.
The mystery of chronic pain

TED2011 · 8:14 · Filmed Mar 2011
Subtitles available in 37 languages
View interactive transcript

About 10 percent of the time, after [a] patient has recovered … pain persists. It persists for months and oftentimes for years, and when that happens, it is its own disease.
Elliot Krane
TED2011 • 1.2M views May 2011
Informative, Fascinating

We think of pain as a symptom, but there are cases where the nervous system develops feedback loops and pain becomes a terrifying disease in itself. Starting with the story of a girl whose sprained wrist turned into a nightmare, Elliot Krane talks about the complex mystery of chronic pain, and reviews the facts we're just learning about how it works and how to treat it.
pin This talk was presented at an official TED Conference. TED's editors featured it among our daily selections on the home page. 

Pediatric anesthesiologist 
At the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Elliot Krane works on the problem of treating pain in children.  

Why you should listen

It's an awful problem to contemplate: How do you help a young child in pain? As director of Pain Management Services at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Elliot Krane works on solving this problem, studying and treating kids who are undergoing surgeries, suffering from complications of diabetes -- and kids suffering "neuropathic pain" resulting from injury to the nervous system itself.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Preventing heart attacks


Dr. Gifford-Jones: Preventing heart attacks

The Doctor Game  – W. Gifford-Jones M.D .
For Release – For Release October 20, 2012

Vitamin C and Lysine Powder Help Prevent Heart Attack

Why is heart attack the No. 1 killer in this country? Ninety-nine per cent of doctors say it’s due to atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and that cholesterol lowering drugs are the primary way to treat it. But I say it’s because cardiologists have closed minds and are ignoring facts that could save thousands of North Americans from coronary attack.

History shows mankind is not kind to new ideas. In 1847 one maternity patient in six who entered the University Hospital in Vienna left in a coffin. Why? Because esteemed professors ridiculed Dr. Semmelweiss, a colleague, for showing that by simply washing hands after doing an autopsy, deaths were prevented.

Years later Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Noble Prize winner, is ignored for reporting that large amounts of vitamin C and lysine are needed to prevent coronary attacks. Twenty-five years ago Pauling reported that animals make vitamin C and humans do not. That’s why sailors died of scurvy during long sea voyages, but the ship’s cat survived.

Vitamin C is required to manufacture healthy collagen, the glue that holds coronary cells together, just like mortar is needed for bricks. Lysine, like steel rods in cement, makes collagen stronger. Pauling claimed it takes a mere 10 milligrams to prevent scurvy, but several thousand to prevent heart attack.

Williams Stehbens, Professor of Anatomy at Wellington University in New Zealand, proved Pauling was right. Stebhens’ research showed that coronary arteries closest to the heart are under the greatest pressure. This causes collagen to fracture resulting in the formation of a blood clot and death.

Dr. Sydney Bush, an English researcher, has now proved that vitamin C can reverse atherosclerosis. Bush took retinal photographs, then started his patients on high doses of vitamin C and lysine. One year later additional pictures showed atherosclerosis had regressed in retinal arteries. This also occurs in coronary arteries.

So what has happened to these monumental findings? Bush, like Semmelweiss, has been ridiculed by cardiologists. One has to ask whether cardiologists, by ignoring his results, are condemning thousands of people to an early needless coronary heart attack.

Fourteen years ago following my own coronary attack, cardiologists claimed it was sheer madness for me to refuse cholesterol-lowering drugs. Instead, I decided to take high doses of vitamin C plus lysine with breakfast and the evening meal, for several reasons.

I knew that Dr. Graveline, a physician and NASA astronaut, had twice developed transient global amnesia from taking Lipitor. I was also aware that patients have died from CLDs. Others have developed kidney, liver and muscle complications. I also believed the research of Pauling and Stehbens irrefutable. Now, the work of Dr. Bush has convinced me my decision was prudent.

But to take large doses of vitamin C and lysine requires swallowing many pills daily. It’s a tall order for those who dislike swallowing one pill. So for several years I’ve been trying to find a company that would manufacture a combination of vitamin C and lysine powder. Now Medi-C Plus is available at health food stores. Its sales will help support The Gifford-Jones Professorship in Pain Control and Palliative Care at the University of Toronto.

The dosage for the Medi -C Plus combination is one flat scoop with breakfast and the evening meal with either water or orange juice. Those at greater risk should take one flat scoop three times a day. If high doses cause diarrhea, the dose should be decreased.

This column does not recommend that those taking CLDs should stop them. This is a decision that can only be made by patients and doctors.

Most of today’s cardiologists are impervious to persuasion. They continue to believe that cholesterol-lowering drugs are the be-all-and-end-all to prevent heart attack. They’ve been brain-washed by millions of dollars worth of promotion by pharmaceutical companies. It reminds me of the saying that cautions “It’s not what you don’t know what gets you into trouble, it’s the things you know for sure that ain’t so!”

It’s time for cardiologists to have an open mind and stop ignoring this research. As for me, I bet my life on it.




Providers of Medical Marijuana Face New Fears



Muraco Kyashna-tocha, whose Green Buddha cooperative in north Seattle dispenses medical marijuana. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

 SEATTLE — There should be, one might think, a note of triumph or at least quiet satisfaction in Muraco Kyashna-tocha’s voice. Her patient-based cooperative in north Seattle dispenses medical marijuana to treat seizures, sleeplessness and other maladies. And with the state gearing up to open its first stores selling legal marijuana for recreational use, the drug she has cultivated, provided to patients and used herself for years seems to be barreling toward the mainstream.

But her one-word summary of the outlook for medical marijuana is anything but sunny: “Disastrous,” she said, standing in her shop, Green Buddha, which she fears she will soon have to close.

The legalization of recreational marijuana for adults in Washington, approved by voters in 2012 and now being phased in, is proving an unexpectedly anxious time for the users, growers and dispensers of medical marijuana, who came before and in many ways paved the way for marijuana’s broader acceptance.

In the 16 years since medical marijuana became legal here, an entire ecosystem of neighborhood businesses and cooperative gardens took root, with employees who could direct medical users to just the right strain; there are now hundreds of varieties with names like Blue Healer, Purple Urkle and L.A. Confidential, each with a variety of purported medicinal benefits. Medical users could also start gardens in their backyards and keep large amounts of marijuana at home. It was all very folksy — and virtually unregulated, which the authorities say led to widespread abuses. Photo

There are now hundreds of marijuana varieties with names like Blue Healer, Purple Urkle and LA Confidential. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Now, under pressure from the federal government, the state is moving to bring that loosely regulated world, with its echoes of hippie culture, into the tightly controlled and licensed commercial system being created for recreational marijuana, which goes on sale this summer. (The first license to grow marijuana was issued on Wednesday.) This week, the Legislature is debating bills that would reduce the amount of the drug that patients can possess or grow, eliminate collective gardens under which most dispensaries operate, require medical users (unlike recreational users) to register with the state and mandate that all marijuana be sold only by new licensees, effectively shutting down the medical dispensary system.

Proponents say the changes are needed to stamp out fraud and help ensure that Washington has a uniform system, supplying the medical products people need and want while at the same time passing muster with guidelines issued by the federal government last summer, even though marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But many medical marijuana users and dispensary owners say the rules will inadvertently discourage the legitimate use of marijuana to treat illness and pain even as science has increasingly been validating its therapeutic effects.

Trusted dispensaries will be closed, they contend, and choices will diminish, with the varieties that marijuana medical users prefer squeezed off the shelves by more profitable recreational varieties grown for their greater, high-producing THC content, not for headache or nausea relief. In Seattle alone, about 200 dispensaries will have to close, replaced by 21 licensed retailers, and under current state regulations, employees in those shops will not be allowed to even discuss the medical value of the products for sale.

A medical marijuana user will certainly be able to enter a shop and buy marijuana once the new stores are open in June, but the old system of medical advice and supply, however flawed or beloved, is over, say both critics and supporters of the new rules.

“Prepare for the end,” said Hilary Bricken, a lawyer in Seattle who works mostly with the marijuana industry, summarizing the advice she is giving her medical marijuana dispensary clients.

Washington State’s struggles — and the inevitable comparison with Colorado’s different, smoother path toward retail marijuana — are being watched around the nation, Ms. Bricken and other legal experts said.

California, for example, with a medical marijuana system far larger but otherwise similar to Washington’s in its absence of state controls, also has active voter-initiative efforts pushing toward legalization. Twenty states as well as the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, and at least 14 more are considering some form of it this year. Oregon’s Legislature is wrestling with how to administer its dispensary system even as efforts continue to put legalization on the ballot.

Colorado avoided trouble mostly by acting early. There, state regulators stepped in with strict rules for medical marijuana long before full legalization. And after voters approved legalization in 2012, those regulated dispensaries were put first in line for licenses, forming the backbone of the new recreational market. The dispensaries had supplies of the product in the pipeline — and expertise — which is why recreational marijuana sales started there from the first day of legalization, on Jan. 1, while Washington’s are still weeks away. Photo

A marijuana plant was trimmed at the shop. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

In Washington, some dispensaries might be well run, others poorly, but without oversight, state officials could not know which was which. So a clean sweep was seen as the only way forward, legislators say.

“We’re moving from the wild, wild West to the regulated West,” said State Senator Ann Rivers, a Republican and a sponsor of one of the leading bills. A similar bill, sponsored by a Democrat from Seattle, Representative Eileen Cody, passed the House last month. 

Ms. Rivers emphasized that her goal was to protect, not punish, marijuana patients, though she said she understood their fear of change. Without formalized rules allowing patients to continue growing their own plants, for example (I-502, the initiative legalizing recreational marijuana, prohibits that), and to have more than one ounce in their possession, arrest and federal prosecution are a real risk, she asserts. Her bill allows both.

A mandatory registry, she said, provided the legal spine to those protections. Under her bill, a registered patient buying medical marijuana at a licensed store with an “endorsement” from the state to sell medical marijuana would also be exempt from the 25 percent retail tax charged to recreational buyers. (Other state taxes, assessed on growers and producers, would already be included in the retail price.)

“The feds have been very clear, that if we don’t get our ducks in a row, they are going to bring it to a screeching halt,” Ms. Rivers said. “We have a chance right now to define our destiny with this, and if we don’t we will most definitely allow the feds to define our destiny.”

To many patients and providers, though, the proposed mandatory registry is not a good thing. Some patients, especially those receiving Social Security or other federal aid, have said they will refuse to sign up because that would be a legal admission of drug use that they said could jeopardize their benefits. Others have told lawmakers they fear a loss of private information.

Some dispensary owners concede that the medical system was rife with abuses but that patients were now about to pay the price.

“The state failed to regulate, allowing doctors to write these prescriptions to 20-year-old gang-bangers on the street who said, ‘Oh, I hurt my knee playing basketball,’ ” said Karl Keich, a dispensary operator and founder of the Seattle Medical Marijuana Association, a group of collective gardens.

Andrea Mayhan, who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms and seizures that she suffers as a result of a degenerative disorder, says she believes she will be able to get the strains of marijuana she wants because she knows what to ask for. New patients, though, might walk in — or, like her, roll in using their wheelchairs — and find a clerk less familiar with medical strains, or prohibited by state rules from giving advice.

“They’re going to be lost,” she said.

Boohoo... my life sounds dismal on paper.

It pays to be upbeat and to keep moving froward.

"If we can overcome early loss and not let it become magnified, that can help us move forward.  That's not always easy to do, but even someone who hs faced a very great loss can learn to do it.  I  once read that General Robert E. Lee visited the beautiful home of a wealthy widow after the Civil War.  During their visit, she showed him what was left of a magnificent old tree that had been badly damaged by Union artillery fire.  The woman told Lee about the impact of its loss to her, expecting him to sympathize.  Instead, after a long pause he advised, "Cut it down, my dear madam, and forget it."  He advised her to move on.  We also need how to do that in a positive way."

From a book called... "Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn" by John C. Maxwell that I took out at the library because of the catchy title.Create new post

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

For Runner With M.S., No Pain While Racing, No Feeling at the Finish

 Is it sour grapes that I find this article a little misleading and maybe even a little irresponsible.  We learn that people suffer differently with this disease so maybe this person is very lucky.  But it is early days in the disease onset for Miss Montgomery and it may be more fair to other people with m.s. to make that situation clear.

Kayla Montgomery (4) has become a top runner for Mount Tabor High School. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

For Runner With M.S., No Pain While Racing, No Feeling at the Finish


 When a pack of whip-thin girls zipped across the finish of the 1,600-meter race at a recent track meet here, the smallest runner’s legs wobbled like rubber, and she flopped into her waiting coach’s arms. 
She collapses every time she races.

Kayla Montgomery, 18, was found to have multiple sclerosis three years ago. Defying most logic, she has gone on to become one of the fastest young distance runners in the country — one who cannot stay on her feet after crossing the finish line.

Because M.S. blocks nerve signals from Montgomery’s legs to her brain, particularly as her body temperature increases, she can move at steady speeds that cause other runners pain she cannot sense, creating the peculiar circumstance in which the symptoms of a disease might confer an athletic advantage.

But intense exercise can also trigger weakness and instability; as Montgomery goes numb in races, she can continue moving forward as if on autopilot, but any disruption, like stopping, makes her lose control.
Kayla Montgomery being carried off by her coach, Patrick Cromwell. Because of her multiple sclerosis, she collapses after every race. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times 
“When I finish, it feels like there’s nothing underneath me,” Montgomery said. “I start out feeling normal and then my legs gradually go numb. I’ve trained myself to think about other things while I race, to get through. But when I break the motion, I can’t control them and I fall.”

At the finish of every race, she staggers and crumples. Before momentum sends her flying to the ground, her coach braces to catch her, carrying her aside as her competitors finish and her parents swoop in to ice her legs. Minutes later, sensation returns and she rises, ready for another chance at forestalling a disease that one day may force her to trade the track for a wheelchair. M.S. has no cure.

Last month, Montgomery, a senior at Mount Tabor High School, won the North Carolina state title in the 3,200 meters. Her time of 10 minutes 43 seconds ranks her 21st in the country. 

Her next major competition is the 5,000 meters at the national indoor track championships in New York on March 14, when she hopes to break 17 minutes.

Her trajectory as a distance runner has been unusually ascendant.

“When she was diagnosed, she said to me, ‘Coach, I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to run fast — don’t hold back,’ ” said Patrick Cromwell, Montgomery’s coach. “That’s when I said, ‘Wow, who are you?’ ”

At the time, Montgomery was one of the slowest on her team, completing her first 5-kilometer race in 24:29; by last November, she had run a 17:22, placing 11th in the regional qualifier for the Foot Locker national cross-country championships.

The diagnosis of M.S. came after Montgomery could not feel her legs after she fell playing soccer and shocks ran up her spine. She was on Mount Tabor’s junior varsity cross-country team and told her coach that her legs went numb when she ran.

“I said, ‘Well, sweetie, that’s kind of how running is, you feel the pain and then you don’t, you just have to push through,’ ” Cromwell said. “But she said ‘No, they stay numb.’ I knew that wasn’t normal, and that’s when the doctor visits started.”

A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed six lesions on Montgomery’s brain and spine. With treatment, she went into remission and resumed racing.

Because Montgomery has played down her condition, few people understand her unusual racing finishes. In the national indoor 5,000-meter championship last year, officials forgot to catch her and she fell on her face, lying prostrate on the track until someone carried her away. 
Announcers speculated that she had a seizure. Some assume she is fainting. Others, she said, have simply called her a wimp.

She dismisses the attention.

“I didn’t want to be treated differently, and I didn’t want to be looked at differently,” she said.
In many ways, Montgomery’s life resembles that of an ordinary high school track athlete. Before every race, she puts on the same lucky green sports bra and size 5 ½ racing flats that carry her 5-foot-1 frame. She is deeply involved with her Methodist church, along with her younger sister and her parents, a nursing student and a pesticide salesman. She carries a 4.70 grade-point average and logs 50 miles a week.

Though examples of elite athletes with M.S. are scarce, some have speculated that Montgomery’s racing-induced numbness lends a competitive edge, especially given the improvement in her times since the diagnosis.

“The disease has no potential to make her physically more competitive,” said her neurologist, Lucie Lauve, who also said she did not know precisely why Montgomery collapsed after races. 

“If M.S. has made her a better athlete, I believe it is a mental edge.”
Cromwell, Montgomery’s coach, said he thought that insensitivity to the pain of distance racing could be marginally advantageous.

The numbness is particularly dire for midrace falls.  At her state cross-country meet last year, she clipped the heel of a fellow runner in the lead pack and crashed.  She could not get up. Runners sprinted by while she used a nearby fence to pull herself up and cruise into 10th place.

It was a lesson in resilience. 

Exercise is commonly recommended for M.S. patients, and Montgomery’s doctor has cleared her for racing. However, some experts worry pushing to the point of collapse could have long-term drawbacks.

“When you push to your limit, your body usually sends pain signals to warn you that you’re damaging tissues,” said Dr. Peter Calabresi, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Johns Hopkins. He has not treated Montgomery.

“Pushing that limit is what endurance sports are all about. But if you can’t feel those signals and push from tingling to extreme or prolonged numbness, you could be doing damage that we won’t even know about until down the road. It’s a paradox.”
Montgomery is closing out a high school career that is consistently improving.