We all run on Chemicals/Chemistry

We all run on Chemicals/Chemistry.

(A post put together with one of our readers, a retired General Practioner.)

We all run on chemicals – hormones, endorphins, neurotransmitters, enzymes and thousands more chemicals. How well we feel, perform, our health and our quality of life all depend very much on our brain and body chemistry. To have a good life we need to develop habits that keep our chemicals/chemistry normal, which isn’t difficult if you get a simple understanding of how we each make our own chemistry.

Our chemistry is mostly made from what we put in our mouth. The foods and drinks we put in our mouth are broken down and then made into chemicals/chemistry, firstly by our stomach acid and other digestive juices, secondly by billions of helpful bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in our intestines, and thirdly by our genes in every cell in our body.

Our gut and genes come down to us from our ancestors, through our parents, very little changed in the last 150,000 years. But what we put in our mouth today is drastically different to what our ancestors ate and drank. Today it’s from farms, market gardens, factory farms and factories, not from the uncultivated virgin nature our ancestors got their foods and drinks from. These greatly changed foods and drinks are very difficult for our unchanged ancient gut and genes to create normal chemicals/chemistry systems from. So many people now have high sugar, salt, fat and cholesterol in their food, and so suffer from obesity, blocked arteries, high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, diabetes and dementia. Also, altered brain chemistry causes mental disturbances and chemical cravings that can cause substance abuse and addictions.

The three most damaging changes to what we put in our mouths today are, (1) the great amounts of sugar and white flour products, (2) the lack of fibre from fruit, vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds that our helpful gut bugs need to thrive, which has changed our gut flora, and, (3) the increased saturated fats and cholesterol in meat, dairy and eggs from caged, cramped, inactive grain fed fat factory farm animals that eat no greens. High saturated fat is very different from the small amounts of unsaturated fats and cholesterol in the diets of our ancestors’ diets that came from the lean meat and the small eggs of free wild active lean grass and plant eating animals.

The changed foods and drinks changes the type of bacteria, viruses and fungi that thrive in our gut, which further changes the raw materials passed through our genes to make our chemistry from.

We need to get raw materials through to our genes that they are used to and adapted to making into our chemicals/chemistry from over a period of 150,000 years. The more our foods and drinks come direct from nature and are like our ancestors’ foods and drinks, and the less they are changed by factories, factory farms and cooking with lots of sugar, white flour, saturated fat and cholesterol, the more normal our chemistry is. And then the better we feel and perform and the longer we stay healthy.

Our chemistry is also changed for many of us by a lack of daily physical activity and exertion in sunlight and fresh air, and a lack of nightly rest and sleep in quiet darkness that humans adapted to over thousands of years. Our chemistry is also changed by water, air and noise pollution.

So American health and life expectancy have got worse each year for the last 3 years despite largely beating the starvation, infections, physical injuries and childbirth problems that killed most of our ancestors. And despite Americans tripling spending on health care from 5% of their GDP in 1965 to !8.5%  in 2018, which has produced far better knowledge, laboratory tests, imaging, thousands of new medicines, and many new surgical operations, devices, facilities and hospitals, average life expectancy is falling.

And the zeitgeist of our times has deteriorated because so many products and so much marketing hype today have upset the very important balance between the brain effects of the chemicals, dopamine and serotonin. We need a balance between two kinds of happiness – dopamine based pleasure and excitement and serotonin based satisfaction and contentment. Too much dopamine based pleasure and excitement is giving excessive restless quickly discontented consumerism, waste and pollution, and is crowding out the calmer serotonin based satisfaction and contentment that we all need.

The books, “How Not to Die,” (See this review, and other reviews.) “The LDN Book,” “The Disordered Mind,” and “The Inflamed Mind,” are excellent source of information on physical and mental chemistry, health and addictions.

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The Australian Health Care Systems generally

We’ve mentioned this before, but we think of it so often. One of our readers reports that someone he’d been at university with in Australia, who’d ended up as a University Professor in the US, recently wrote this in an email to him – “I’m 73, and should have retired years ago, but here in the US, any nest eggs we may have built up for our retirement can be gone in a flash if  we have any sort of medical problems, and so we all keep working – it’s a strange culture we live in.” So, a Univestity Professor, no less, working past his normal retirement age in fear of the possibility that he may not be able to afford proper care if he has any medical problems!

This, on top of what one of our other readers has told us, and that is that pills that can be bought in India for $5 are sold for $1,200 in the US?

So what about those  who don’t have the incomes that University Professors have?

Our point, of course, is that we very much fear that, in relation to these matters, Australia is heading in the same direction.

One of our Australian readers has recently claimed that erectile disfunction tablets that he can get from India for $1 cost him $26 each if he buys them from an Australian pharmacy, (so $104 gets him 4 tablets in Australia and 104 tablets form India!!!) and anything he has to pay to get the prescription he needs to get them comes on top of this – and each prescription he gets gets him only 4 tablets, there are no repeats.

It’s claimed that Americans were spending 5% of their GDP on health care in 1965, and that this had increased to 18.5% by 2018 – you can imagine how happy these developments make the pharmaceutical companies, the private hospitals, and so on. But, oops!, their life expectancy has declined in each of the last three years!

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Dr Andrew James Brooks – Sydney Urologist 18

As you can see, this is our 18th post on the Dr Brooks story – some might even suggest we’re obsessed with it, and perhaps we are. But, in the past, all we’ve ever talked about is claims by one of our readers that Brooks charged him $3,200 for less than an hour’s work to carry out on operation on him which didn’t work, which was never going to work, and which damaged him for life, it can’t be reversed.

And it’s only recently that it’s started to dawn on us that there may be an aspect to the story which is many times more serious, (why has it taken us so long? why have we been so dumb?) And that is that under the “reward system” that operates under the Berejiklian government, aided and abetted by Sue Dawson, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commissioner, Brooks is probably doing far better than two other Urologists we’ve since come to know about who come over to us as perhaps 2 of the 4 or 5 best doctors we’ve come across in more than 11 years. It raises the question, perhaps doctors are better off being crooks???

Our reader reports that, after his experience with Brooks, in a conversation with the GP, Dr Chris Grant, who’d referred him to Brooks, he said to him, “I think he, (Brooks,) is just trying to build up a nest egg for his retirement,” and that Grant’s response was just to laugh and say, “I would think he’d have lots of nest eggs already!” Was he suggesting he was filthy rich already?

And to complete the picture!

As we’ve mentioned, we’ve been contacted at various  times by 4 different people acting on behalf of Brooks, (including a Jack Wilson,) making threats against us for what we’ve been putting up on our blogs, and demanding apologies etc. etc., when all we’ve ever done is put up our reader’s side of the story, at the same time inviting Brooks to tell his side of the story – invitations he’s always  completely ignored. And that one of these 4  mentioned in passing that Brooks, from time to time, makes “contributions” to GPs to help them in running their practices, and that he described the making of such “contributions” as “a norm for the industry.” (We bet this bloke wishes, in hindsight, that he hadn’t mentioned this, and that Brooks certainly wishes he hadn’t mentioned it!) because, of course, most people would describe these “contributions” as “bribes.” And presumably these contributions would only be made to GPs who were referring patients to him – not to those who were not referring patients to him. When we emailed Grant asking him if he’d ever received one of Brook’s “contributions,” not only did he not respond, he blocked his email addresses so we can’t send him any more emails, and neither can our reader. Fortunately, we can pass a copy of this post on to him in another way.

So there you have it readers. Brooks, perhaps charging enormous fees to carry out operations which don’t work for patients and were never going to work, referred to him by GPs to whom he makes “contributions” from time to time, and building up lots and lots of nest eggs along the way. So is Brooks laughing all the way to the bank, as the old saying goes?

And, if so, does Premier Berejiklian care? Does Health Minister Hazzard care? Does Sue Dawson Care? Does Jack Wilson care? Do the people in the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand care? – they’ve always told us in the past that Brooks is one of their highly respected members? Perhaps we’ll send out some emails to try and find out?

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A 9 Jan. 2020 update: A copy of this post was sent today to the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand. We’ll let you know if we get a reply.

A 16 Jan. 2020 update: Nothing yet from the Urological Society – you can imagine that they wouldn’t be too concerned about one of their members laughing all the way to the bank.

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Getting dentures (false teeth)

A contribution put together with one of our readers.

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The Low Dose Naltrexone story 4

We believe that, in hundreds of cases around the world every day, the failure of doctors to prescribe Low Dose Naltrexone for patients, to recommend to them that they “give it a go,” amounts to CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE!

Readers need to understand that this is how the world works.

When a new drug is discovered, one of the pharmaceutical companies takes patents out on it, then has extensive tests carried out on it, which can be VERY expensive, to the point where the FDA, (the Food and Drug Administration in the US,) grants approval for it to be used in certain situations, which puts the pharmaceutical company in a position where it often makes huge profits, as it has a monopoly to manufacture and sell the drug until the patents on it run out, in about 20 years, in a world in which doctors seldom prescribe anything for patients that doesn’t have FDA approval.

Naltrexone went through this process. It was discovered in about 1965, and eventually, by about 1985, FDA approval was granted for it to be prescribed to treat certain addictions with 50mg tablets. And it was after about 1985, when the patents on it had run out, in a quite extraordinary development, it was discovered that, taken in small doses, often about 5mg, (hence the term, “Low Dose Naltrexone,”) it often brought about almost miraculous health benefits.

As a result of this history, no pharmaceutical company is ever going to pay for extensive tests to be carried out to see if these claims are justified, as it’s never going to be possible for it to get a 20 year monopoly on it’s manufacture and sale. And, in any case, Naltrexone is so cheap, and with the claims for how many different health benefits taking it in low doses being so numerous, it seems the pharmaceutical companies are happy to just rely on the likelihood that doctors won’t prescribe Low Dose Naltrexone, because it doesn’t have FDA approval, but will prescribe only their medications, which are more expensive and less effective, because they have FDA approval – which clearly seems to be what is happening.

We’ve referred to the fact that Low Dose Naltrexone is being widely talked about as one of the five great medical breakthroughs in history, along with Antidepressants, Anti-Inflammatories, Immunisation and Antibiotics – perhaps the greatest of them all! But, EITHER, this talk is total rubbish, OR, doctors not prescribing it in lots of situations is CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. Whichever is right, the other is wrong.

As far as we know, it’s never been suggested that being on LDN does harm. And it’s so cheap and easy to take – why aren’t more doctors recommending to patients that they give it a go? All the feedback is that if patients are on it for 6 to 8 weeks, that they will experience at least one health benefit which will make them want to be on it for the rest of their lives, with the fact that, the longer they’re on it, the more health benefits they will experience, and that, it will prevent them from developing other health problems, (by far the biggest claim for it,) being bonuses.

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Doctors and other Health Professionals – dealing with generally 3

To us there are 4 types of doctors.

(1) Those who have an ordinary email address, or, at the very least, an email form, and who are prepared to provide medical help and information in emails.

(2) Those who have an ordinary email address, or, at the very least, an email form, who aren’t prepared to provide responses to emails sent to them seeking medical help and information, but who are prepared to respond to those who’ve had a face-to-face consultation with them, who’ve sent them an email along these lines – “In my recent face-to-face consultation with you, I understood you to have said blah blah blah, blah blah blah – is there anything important that I’ve left out?” even if it’s just with a “Yes and no.”

(3) Those who, in the circumstances described in (2) are not prepared to respond in any way.

(4) Those who don’t have an ordinary email address, or, at the very least, an email form.

In more than 11 years of searching, we’ve only found one who’s as we’ve described in (1) – we’ve sent him 2 or 3 emails and his responses have been really helpful, obviously saving us lots of time, and, less significantly, some money. (He’s refused to accept any money, which we think is madness.) We’re not prepare to give out his name for two reasons. Firstly, because we’re afraid that if what he’s doing became widely known, he could be attacked by doctors and doctors’ organisations that are fighting tooth and nail to keep things as they have been for hundreds of years, in which the people, you and I, have to line up for face-to-face consultations if we want medical help and information. Secondly, because, if he became widely known, he might become too busy to answer our emails!

To us, it’s madness not to make it a rule only to deal with the doctors described in (1) and (2) – other things being equal. Not sticking to this rule has cost us SO dearly. Life and death matters can be involved.

To us, the doctors described in (3) and (4) are going to be replaced by people who are experts on what’s on the internet, because everything we want to know about medical matters, (and everything,) is going to be on the internet, if it isn’t already, and so up-to-date – it’s just a matter of finding it. As a young doctor told us once, “After 3 years, what I learnt in Med School started to be out of date.” And that was 50 years ago!

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The Low Dose Naltrexone story 3

We received this in an email a couple of days ago.

This is a link to the MedInsight Research Institute website, and this is a link to the LDNscience website.

We’ve just, (on 21 Dec. 2019,) used the email form on the LDNscience website to ask – “Is the method of taking LDN by dissolving Naltrexone tablets in distilled water recommended at all?” That it might be, fascinates us.

We’ll let you know if we get a reply.

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The Low Dose Naltrexone story 2

If you do a Google search on “Low Dose Naltrexone Wikipedia,” you are taken to a result which is the most one-sided Wikipedia article we’ve ever come across, telling only one side of a story – in fact, it’s the only Wikipedia article we’ve come across that comes over to us in this way.

All it talks about is, “unproven,” “unsupported by rigorous clinical research,” “no peer-reviewed studies,” “evidence for recommending such use is lacking,” and so on and so on, all coming over to us as typical propaganda by the big pharmaceutical companies. And while all of these things may be true, they’re scarcely the point.

The other side of the story, and the point is, that, as far as we know, no one has ever suggested that going onto Low Dose Naltrexone does harm, (if any of our readers knows otherwise, we would be grateful if they could let us know so we could share it with other readers,) and that it can be so easy and cheap to give it, say, an 8 week trial, and the feedback is that if anyone does this, they will experience at least one health benefit which will make them feel it worthwhile to continue being on it – with any further health benefits they may experience later on, and they can be many, together with it preventing them from  experiencing any other health problems, as it’s claimed for it, being bonuses.

While, in a sense, we can understand why doctors are always wanting to just advise on and prescribe medications that have been “rigorously tested,” there are reasons why taking Naltrexone in low/smaller doses may never be rigorously tested, which we’ve set out elsewhere. But that’s no reason why we, the people, you and I, should miss out on what’s being talked about as the fifth, and perhaps the greatest medical breakthrough in human history  – up there, and perhaps greater than Antidepressants, Anti-inflammatories, Immunisation and Antibiotics.

Obviously, for obvious reasons, there’s a great deal out there, trying to discourage the people, you and I, from giving it a try

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Patient and Family Experience Units in NSW government hospitals???

An email just sent, (on Thu. 19 Dec. 2019,) to Brad Hazzard, the NSW Minister for Health.

We are SO excited to learn that such a unit exists, at least for the Royal North Shore government hospital, and, particularly if other NSW government hospitals have them – to us it’s a highly significant GAME CHANGER!!!

This almost makes us laugh – perhaps even Brad Hazzard doesn’t realise how much it’s a game changer! Because, amongst other things such units would involve the government in employing experienced and highly intelligent, (and, almost certainly highly paid,) people to carry out investigations and to provide high quality responses to emails from patients – you would hardly think that low quality responses could be got away with. This when, (and we speak from a lot of experience, especially with the Westmead government hospital,) we’ve never got the slightest indication in the past that there are people like this in government hospitals. And would undoubtedly lead to lots of the doctors in government hospitals having to be sacked for shere incompetence.

It wouldn’t surprise us if Brad Hazzard and the Berejiklian government in general suddenly thought, “Oops, we hadn’t thought of these things,” and backs off somewhat from having such units. But if they don’t, the people of NSW are going to be SO much better off.

Come to think of it, we’ve never got the slightest indication in the past that there are people like this in private hospitals, particularly in the Ramsay Health Care organisation.

It’s going to be SO interesting to see how things develop from here on.

We’ll let readers know, if and when, a response is received from Minister Hazzard to the email set out above. Hopefully, for our readers, such a unit exists for the government hospital nearest to them. And we’ll be particularly interested to know whether one exists for the Westmead government hospital.

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Doctors and other Health Professionals – dealing with generally 2

If doctors and other health care professionals are not prepared to put anything in writing, especially when, these days, emails make it so easy and convenient to do so, as far as we’re concerned, they may as well have up in big red letters somewhere, “I’M NOT PREPARED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING I DO OR SAY.”

And, as far as we’re concerned, doctors who are not prepared to be accountable are to be avoided like the plague.

AND, in our experience, doctors who work in government hospitals, at least under the Berejiklian government, are ALL like this. If any of our readers has ever encountered even one doctor in a government hospital who’s prepared to put anything in writing, we’d LOVE   to hear about it. It can be life and death stuff, but they are not prepared to put anything in writing!!!!????

As we’ve mentioned, one of our readers claims to have been given advice, in a 4 or 5 minute face-to-face consultation with Dr Aravinda Thiagalingam, which would seem to be absolute rubbish, almost farcical! Our reader’s story is that, after he’d had such a bad case of dizziness that he’d had an ambulance take him to the hospital, that, after he’d had two sessions carrying out extensive tests on his heart, Dr Thiagalingam announced, almost with pride in his voice, “We’ve found the cause!” And the cause he suggested was that it had been found that his heart paused for 1 second on an average every 12 minutes, and very occasionally, during 24 hours, for 2 seconds!!!!????

Various other opinions have been, firstly, that it was incredibly unlikely that a severe dizziness attack would be related to his heart in any way in the first place, and secondly, even if it was, that it would be caused by pauses in his heart for one or two seconds, was also incredibly unlikely. But, of course, Dr Thiagalingam has refused to put anything in writing, despite a number of requests being made for him to do so, both by email and “snail mail.” Getting second opinions would be so much easier to get if doctors, in such circumstances, provided anything in writing.

One of the things that fascinates us is this. Quite apart from the fact that Dr Thiagalingam has refused to put anything in writing to our reader, and undoubtedly would do the same if any of his relatives and friends asked him to do it, if the CEO of the Westmead Government hospital, where Dr Thiagalingham was seen, emailed him asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that he’d be likely to do it,) Dr Thiagalingham almost certainly wouldn’t do it. (Hopefully he’d get the sack if he did.) And if Health Minister Hazzard emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that he’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. And if Health Care Complaints Commissioner Dawson emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that she’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. And even if Premier Berejiklian emailed Dr Thiagalingham asking him to put his advices in writing, (not that she’d be likely to do it,) he almost certainly wouldn’t do it. It seems that, in the NSW health care systems, doctors like Dr Thiagalingam are not accountable to anyone about anything.

As we keep saying, the solution to all this is simple, well sort of. Readers, don’t continue to deal with doctors who won’t put anything in writing. Of course, this doesn’t help those who need to go to hospital, and can’t afford to go anywhere other than to a government hospital. And it seems virtually impossible to find GPs who will put anything in writing – at least in Sydney.

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