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January 2001

In this issue:


Aspirin, Acetaminophen May Prolong the Flu

The above is the title of an article on the DrKoop.com web site from Dec. 06, 2000 Reuters Health Information.  The article reports on research by Karen I. Plaisance, MD; Philip A. Mackowiak, MD published in the Achieves of Internal Medicine.  The essence of the article states that taking aspirin or similar drugs to decrease a fever will increase the duration of the Flu.

For many years common practice was to treat the fever of a Flu by taking aspirin and reducing the fever.  This new research has confirmed what chiropractors and others have been saying for years.  Fever is a defense mechanism designed to help the immune system by raising body temperature. 

The article was a review of several studies. In this article it was revealed that flu sufferers who took one of the anti-fever medications such as aspirin, were sick an average of 3.5 days longer than people who did not take any of the drugs.  

According to coauthor, Dr. Karen I. Plaisance, "The extra sick days may be an acceptable trade-off for the relief they get from such medications". She continued, "Depending on what it is you have to get done ... you may be willing to take that. Some busy people would rather be somewhat sick for a longer time than be nearly wiped out for a shorter period."

According to the report, the investigators found that anti-fever drugs such as aspirin or Tylenol, prolonged the duration of the flu. On average, flu symptoms lasted 5.3 days in participants who did not take aspirin or acetaminophen, compared with 8.8 days in people who took the anti-fever drugs.  Even an analysis that took into account the severity of illness, the use of anti-fever drugs was still linked to longer-lasting illness.

According to the authors the mechanism that links the drugs to prolonged flu symptoms is unclear. However, they do mention the possibility that reducing fever may interfere with the immune system responses to an infection. In other studies on reducing fever, similar findings were reported in cases of chickenpox.  

The underlying message of these studies should suggest that interfering with the defense mechanisms of the body, such as fever, may reduce some symptoms but will prolong the time the body needs to fight off infections and illness.


Disease; Understanding The Cause

“Illnesses hover constantly above us, their seeds blown by the wind, but they do not set in the terrain unless the terrain is ready to receive them.” 
Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard was a 19th century French physiologist and contemporary of French chemist Louis Pasteur.  The two famous doctors argued throughout their lives as to what really was the cause of disease, the soil or the seed.  Pasteur insisted it was the seed (germ) while Bernard claimed it was the soil (the body).  On Pasteurs death bed, it is said that he admitted that Bernard was right; he said, “ it is the soil, not the seed.”

The seed (germ factors) or the soil (the body, host factors) argument was as prevalent then as it is now again today.  Today many medical authors are agreeing that, although germs are certainly a factor involved in the diseases of man, the germ alone is not the cause of disease.  Dr. B. J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic, and the son of the man who discovered chiropractic stated:

“If the germ theory of disease were correct, there would be no one living to believe it.”

Think about it for a moment, and you will see the common sense in Dr. Palmers statement. 

Some medical doctors and most Chiropractors agree that the germ, though being part of the disease syndrome, is not the direct cause of disease.  First a person must be susceptible to the germ.  Germs will always be with us and our concern should be to strengthen our resistance to them.

Dr. D.D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic stated, “Disease is abnormal performance of certain functions: the abnormal activity has its causes. “Chiropractic has sought to find these causes which often are due to nerve interference along the spine caused by a spinal misalignment, called subluxation.  Subluxations can impair normal nerve transmission which then causes abnormal body function, lowering the bodys resistance and making the body susceptible to disease.

Chiropractic Science holds that regular chiropractic care helps prevent disease and maintains the body in a high state of health.  That is why millions of people choose to receive regular monthly chiropractic care.

The cause of disease is within you, it is the lack of your bodys ability to ward off disease.  Increase this ability through the natural drugless method of chiropractic care.


Seniors; Are They Being Over-medicated?

From the University of Buffalo comes an article that raises questions and concerns about the amount of medications taken by senior citizens.  Dr. Wayne K. Anderson, Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences states, "Different physicians use different drugs to treat different conditions, and some of these drugs interact, in some cases exacerbating the side effects of other drugs that are being taken for other conditions."

Anderson estimates that senior citizens in the United States age 65 and older take an average of six to eight prescription drugs daily.  His response is, "That is probably too many. Proper pharmaceutical therapy management probably could cut in half the number of drugs most senior citizens now are taking so the amount of money they are spending is reduced and the quality of their lives is much improved."

Anderson also notes that a person taking eight drugs can expect at least one drug interaction that will have a negative effect on his health.  Additionally he noted that the American Association of Consultant Pharmacists suggest that 25 percent of admissions to nursing homes result from failed drug regimens, noncompliance by patients, drug interactions, inappropriate medications being prescribed for certain conditions and the lack of good therapeutic monitoring.

Dr. Andersons answer to this problem is "proper pharmaceutical therapy management."  From a chiropractic perspective the answer seems obvious. Healthier seniors will just naturally need less medications. Chiropractic has always focused on removing interference to the functions of the nervous system and therefore allowing people to function better.  Millions of senior citizens already know this approach makes sense and works for them.


Spirituality and Healing in Medicine

PRNewswire, December 16, 2000 published an interesting article concerning the movement of the medical profession toward spirituality. According to Herbert Benson, M.D., president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, "Spirituality and healing are rapidly becoming integrated into mainstream American medicine." 

"Over the last ten years, we have witnessed a substantial growth in the role and application of spirituality and healing in medicine," said Dr. Benson. "It is our hope that this evolution will continue and build momentum for more widespread acceptance by managed care organizations and insurers." 

Dr Benson noted that since 1990, almost 1,500 research studies, research reviews, articles and clinical trials have been published on the connection of spirituality or religion to medicine and health. This figure is equal to the total of all such pieces published prior to 1990.

Harold G. Koenig, M.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center states, "We are astounded and thrilled with the explosion of research in the past ten years. These studies have explored almost all aspects of medicine, from kidney disease to sexual dysfunction. The collective findings and positive results indicate that we have just broken the surface. Imagine what the next ten years will bring."

These views are certainly not just the views of certain individuals. In a 1999 consensus report, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine suggested that physician care include a review of, and attentiveness to, psychosocial, existential or spiritual suffering of patients with serious medical illness.

The chiropractic slant on this is obvious.  All healing comes from within.  Whether you consider it spiritual, nature, innate intelligence, or whatever, the main focus of Chiropractic is to remove interference and allow it to work!


FDA Says Many Prescription Drug Ads Are Deceptive

The US Food and Drug Administration regularly sends out citation letters to many drug companies for overstating the effects of their drugs in advertising.  Tom Abrams, the chief watchdog at the Food and Drug Administration for deceptive advertising, says some ads stretch the truth with overstated claims of effectiveness and understated descriptions of side effects.  This report was aired on  January 3, 2001 by ABC News.

According to the report, every year, the FDA sends about 100 letters to drug companies demanding changes in television commercials, magazine ads and other promotional materials. Many companies are repeat offenders and continue to use deceptive advertising. Some examples include the allergy drug Claritin. According to the FDA the makers of this drug are repeat offenders. Since 1997, the manufacturers have been told 10 times to change their advertisements. Additionally, makers of two other allergy drugs, Flonase and Flovent have been cited 12 times for commercials the FDA claimed were misleading.

 Dr. Sharon Levine of RX Alliance says, “This is intentionally misleading, the drug companies are trying to suggest they can deliver more than they do.”  Amazingly, the ABC story noted that the FDA has never taken a company to court.  They noted that most offenders simply change their advertisements and come up with another sales approach.