Nick came to the Goldberg Clinic in July 2017 suffering from Psoriasis, digestive issues and back pain (see patient history below). He had previously seen Medical Physicians including Dermatologists who prescribed drugs (Enbrel, Otezla, Clobetasol) but his condition worsened over time. After six months of care at the Goldberg Clinic, his Psoriasis has cleared, his digestive issues have resolved and his back pain is significantly improved. His case illustrates the important connection between the skin, the GI tract and the joints as these are often interrelated problems. As Nick's overall health improved, his digestion, skin and back pain improved simultaneously without the use of drugs, treatments and therapies. When causes are addressed, health is restored! Watch the video interview with Nick (see left).
Paul A. Goldberg, BA,BS,MPH,DC,DACBN,DCBCN
More “health information” than ever before is available to the public due to the Internet. Opinions of all kinds, often presented as fact, can be yours at the press of a few keys. Dr. Google is open twenty-four hours per day with more versions of “the truth” than you can shake an I-pad at.
More “information,” however, has not advanced the average person’s health. What the thousands of websites and “authorities” speaking through them have done, is increase the level of confusion most chronically ill people feel. Looking for answers, the health seeker finds so much contradictory information that they end up with a splitting headache. This one says that and that one says this and there is little they agree upon other than they all disagree with each other. Everyone on the internet presents themselves as authorities due to their degrees, their experiences or their “research.” Others say my condition is hopeless and I should just stick with my medical physician and continue to be drugged even though that has only gotten me worse.”
The Internet has changed how patients seek solutions to their chronic health issues but not necessarily for the better. Offering massive quantities of diverse and divisive “information,” the Internet can lead the individual into a deep abyss. Dr. Google can become a most stressful experience leading to frustration and despair.
Many doors open and then smack you in the face as they close once you enter Google World. The Internet is akin to walking through a minefield… be cautious where you step for Dr. Google sails in every direction the winds of the keyboard carry you. It is an impersonal journey where no one knows who you are or what makes you up (except interlopers/scammers). It is a warehouse of salesmanship, entertainment, scams, pornography, beauty and ugliness with bits of the angelic and demonic scattered about. It has the potential for good and the potential to generate blinding confusion and harm.
There are many reasons websites exist dealing with health and disease issues. Some are academic, some promote products, some (like ours) primarily give information about a clinic or service and others supposedly address a specific “disease”. Fact is, however, that all health websites, even those with prestigious sounding names to them that are funded from Medical Organizations or Government Agencies, have an agenda and represent a limited viewpoint. That does not mean they are dishonest (although some are) or contain fallacious information (although some do) but that they intend to convince you of a particular point of view.
To figure out if a headache or a stomach twinge is something they need be concerned with or if their doctors “diagnosis” is really a death sentence, millions of people each week head to a search engine first, often “ Dr. Google." More than a third of all American adults have gone online to find a diagnosis, according to a 2013 Pew survey (http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/01/15/health-online-2013/).
The name of a disease, however, only represents, at most, the signs and or symptoms that person has experienced, not the actual causal factors. It has been my long experience, for example, that if we see one hundred patients who have been labeled with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus, or other “disease” title, there will be one hundred different reasons among them as to reason(s) each one developed those particular symptoms. The name of a disease entity is not the same as the reasons the person is ill. Therefore, for a web article of any kind to list the prognosis for any so called condition is to create the potential for confusion and even worse, create a self defeating, self fulfilling, negative prophecy. Furthermore, when a site describes a set of negative outcomes that arise calculated on those having had a particular chronic “disease,” this is invariably based on those whom have had drug treatments for that “disease." Drug treatments for chronic diseases by their nature assure a virtually certain negative outcome since the name “chronic disease” implies that the patient under medical care has no chance of ever enjoying good health again. Note, however, that this is by definition, under medical care. The Internet user, however, assumes this simply means they are now doomed.
Looking for a diagnosis from Dr. Google often unnecessarily increases a person’s anxieties. There is even a word to describe what happens when the person searching the net for medical information becomes ill from it or addicted to continuing to probe and probe…cyberchondria.
Confusion creates anxiety and anxiety decreases the opportunity for recovery. The Internet is a wondrous place but it has its limitations and potential hazards for the health seeker, particularly for the troubled individual, as we all are, when facing serious illness and desperately looking for answers.
Psoriasis | January 2018
Harrison suffered from severe Psoriasis, an autoimmune skin disorder. Lesions were present on his face, scalp, arms, legs, torso and back. His skin itched and flaked which is characteristic of Psoriasis. He saw Dermatologists who gave him skin creams and drugs but his symptoms persisted.
Harrison's skin has improved considerably in all areas since coming to the Goldberg Clinic as seen in the pictures below. Harrison shares his experience with us in the video interview to the left.
Also see the article: "Skin Deep: A closer look at dermatological afflictions."
Mediation of Causes Rather Than Medication of Symptoms
Paul A. Goldberg, MPH, DC, DACBN, DCBCN
Director, The Goldberg Clinic for Chronic Disease Reversal
This is a follow up to a prior article presented on IBD which can be viewed here: http://www.goldbergclinic.com/blog/2014/12/31/tackling-inflammatory-bowel-disease
The number of people in the United States suffering with some variation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) continues to increase rapidly, as does the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in general. Those seeking medical care for these issues find themselves on a never ending trail of toxic drugs, surgeries and misery. The ongoing failure to provide real help to the legions of sufferers leads us to the inevitable conclusion that methods employed by Medical and Alternative Medical Practitioners do not address the core causal factors producing these disease states and are failing patients desperate for help with life altering conditions.
Skirting the Issues and Suppressing Function
Genetics, infection, autoimmune mechanisms, environmental factors and psychological elements are intertwined as part of the scenario in most IBD cases. Individual reasons for these problems are, however, highly diverse, a fact the medical care of patients with IBD ignores. A question that goes unanswered is why IBD has increased dramatically including it more frequently occurring in children along with variations such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Gastritis and Colitis.
Whereas Medicine and Alternative Medicine focus on “treatments” as opposed to causal factors, the question of why IBD has increased goes mostly unexplored. IBD Research continues on the same futile path focusing on the development of newer, more dangerous drugs including the so called Biologicals e.g. Humira, Remicaide and newer variants like Entyvio. These are advertised daily on television indicating the lucrative marketplace that has been created. These toxic medications carry serious risks including cancers such as lymphoma, the development of other autoimmune disorders and reduced resistance to infections including tuberculosis. How could they not do so when their function is to turn off a portion of the immune system nature gave us for protection? Older drugs with their own long list of toxic effects e.g. prednisone and methotrexate continue to be administered in combination with the Biologicals” adding to the risk for destructive side effects.
When these poisons (as physicians often refer to them among themselves) fail, as they ultimately do in our experience, the patient is frequently instructed to undergo surgery to remove portions of their small and/ or large intestines, or the entire colon ignoring causal factors. New issues are created and additional drugs and surgeries will soon follow.
The amount of human suffering, despair and staggering financial costs incurred as poisons are administered and body parts are removed is mind-boggling. I have seen it regularly for over 40 years with desperate patients crying to us for help after drugs, surgeries and alternative medicines have failed. None of the antics foisted upon patients with variants of IBD address causal factors any more than covering the temperature gauge in an overheated car solves the overheating problem. The car will eventually be seriously damaged. The same holds true in the human realm with non-causal based, non-health based treatments. It is not simply the wrong kind of treatments…it is the idea of “treatments” that is incorrect in the first place.
The alternative medical group follows the main medical show with their own mischief. A plethora of treatments are exhibited which are also unrelated to causal factors. Supplements, colonics, IV vitamins, ionic footbath “detoxification” and a slew of other often injurious treatments are pushed. The words “natural, progressive, or “alternative” are bandied about but causes remain ignored. Are they less dangerous than the poisons of the pharmaceutical houses? Perhaps… but these alternative medical treatments also fail to address causal factors and thus allow the patient to descend further into illness. That too is dangerous.
A more recent genre of practitioners referring to themselves as “functional” medical practitioners has emerged over the past decade. After a weekend practice building seminar or two new products, supplements, lab tests and frequently bio-identical hormones are added to the drugs and other therapies already employed often in hope of obtaining leverage in a competitive market. They frequently promote the much-overused term “Holistic.” Years ago this meant something but today is bandied about as advertising lingo. Functional Tests are sometimes employed to justify prescribing supplements. Some of these tests when understood and used correctly have value and have been employed by some older practitioners such as myself for decades to our patient’s advantage. They must however be appropriately chosen, interpreted and applied to be of value, a fact I have repeatedly stressed in lectures to students and physician groups I’ve lectured to.
No one acquires IBD due to lack of pharmaceutical agent or supplement. Conversely we will not get well from their employment while allowing underlying issues to remain. What we need is not medicine nor alternative medicine but rather an alternative to medicine.
Mediation of Our Maladaptive Responses Rather than Medication
Stepping back a moment let’s take a broader look at the picture. As a person trained in Chronic Disease Control and Epidemiology and as an independent observer looking beyond the Medical Matrix including the “Alternative Medicine Crowd that has an iron grip on our nation, I see fundamental errors with the ways we live that have contributed to the rise of IBD. Disorders including IBD afflicting us in large numbers today are fairly recent occurrences certainly in terms of their current prevalence. Some like to say that they “believe in Western Medicine and Science”. There is nothing “scientific” in manufacturing and applying pharmaceutical potions to suppress symptoms without addressing causal factors. Answers to chronic diseases like IBD will rarely if ever be found under a microscope. Decades of “research” costing billions of dollars has proven the futility of relying on medical research to solve issues related to the maladaptive responses that our lifestyles produce. We fail to recognize that medicalizing so many of life’s problems like IBD is missing the point. It is the causes of our maladaptative responses that need to be addressed not the prescribing of drugs, potions and pills. Our course most Medical Practitioners would sneer at any suggestion that would draw attention away from medication and towards the mediation of our maladaptative responses.
Taking A Panoramic View
Rather than developing more drugs and therapies we must study the nature of the factors that produce health not simply how to “treat disease.” The reversal of IBD requires the provision of health giving elements and practices designed for the patients needs. This is part and parcel of mediating maladaptive responses.
The clear identification of causes requires time, effort and patience, contrary to the practice of physicians running in with a patient’s chart and quickly obtaining their symptoms to plug them into a disease entity. The IBD patient enters a world few escape from…ongoing physician visits, colonoscopies, CT scans, biopsies, endoscopies, lab tests… all to justify the use of pharmaceuticals, insurance billing and to measure the condition as it worsens which under medical care it almost inevitably will.
The treatment of disease is not the same as reversing chronic disease through health building measures which takes experience, time and patience on both the doctors and the patients part. You cannot run 40, 50 or as some doctors brag, a 100 patients per day through an office and have time to uncover the causes of the IBD manifestations in each person. My associate and I working together with each person can properly care for six to ten patients per day, which equals three to five patients per doctor per day.
The patient’s life must be thoroughly explored. Their upbringing, trials and tribulations, medical care, occupational background, travels, the home life and factors involving their daily habits over the years must be explored not dispensed with casually as “lifestyle factors”. The necessary physical examination and laboratory studies must be performed according to individual patient needs. This process we refer to as the period of discovery and take two to three weeks before even beginning the outlining of initial recommendations to the patient.
Maladaptation Responses To What?
As stated, I see IBD as a maladaptive response. Maladaptation to food ingested. Maladaptation to stress patterns and diet habits that have led to digestive mayhem and insults to the microbiome. Maladaptation to the patient’s social, work and home life. Maladaptation to sleep patterns and light exposure. Maladaptation to a digitized, electronic world of cell phones, lap tops and Blue Tooth connectivity a world where multi-tasking is the norm and standards of what are and are not appropriate behaviors have become increasingly blurred. Maladaptive responses are piled on top of the patient’s genetic heritage. Since environmental factors can turn the expression of genes on and off, the patient’s genetic background need not be a reason for despair. Many of our patients with IBD who have obtained excellent health had strong family histories of autoimmune processes. Attention to the causal factors involved in turning those genes on and the Re-Creation of the person’s body making use of that information, allows a new, healthier, well-balanced physical body to emerge.
Maladaptation responses manifest themselves in many ways including IBD as well as the plethora of allergic and autoimmune issues now prevalent in our nation as seen in the rising incidence of eosinophilia issues, asthma and other allergic problems.
Finding the answers for each patient requires more than simply naming symptoms and prescribing drugs or therapies. Each patient must be thoroughly interviewed. Laboratory studies must be chosen appropriately and interpreted and applied correctly.
Patients have to become active participants and this requires retraining which is not always simple. Some new patients are just looking for another form of treatment thinking that even though they’ve had many different types of treatments prior to seeing us which did not work they simply require a different one. For most, however, it is refreshing to find a clinic where identification of and addressing of causes is paramount. For a few the process requires too much effort… and it does take effort.
The patient’s cellular make up has to be re-created and this requires taking on new habits and discarding old, destructive ones. Those wanting to get well without a thorough rehabilitation will continue on the treatment train. For those individuals the Medical Matrix has designated them correctly… their disease will be a chronic one lasting their entire lives.
For the patient willing to take up the challenge of overcoming IBD not simply managing it “chronic disease” the road can be difficult. The destination, however is disease reversal, the construction of health and a pathway to vitality, comfort and independence.
Part III of this series will look at the Bio-Hygienic Approach to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It has been staring you in your face since the first time you went outside. It is the physical force that sustains our planet and us. Our connection with the sun is so strong, so direct and so intimate, that David Bohm, a respected physicist, once surmised, “all matter is frozen light.”
The Swiss Physician A. Rollier, M.D. was a leading proponent of sunbathing in the early 20th century. Author Arnold Devries recounts that the country folk of Switzerland at that time told Rollier that; “where the sun is, the doctor ain’t.”
During the early 20th century the medical profession explored the use of sunlight in some infectious diseases, but with the discovery of antibiotics in the late 1930’s, sunlight was considered obsolete. Technology and pharmaceuticals sidelined the importance of Sunlight as it has other Foundations of Health.
In the presence of sunlight we feel more alive and vibrant. The sun emotionally and physiologically elevates our mood and balances our disposition. In a nation rampant with mental illness, it is time to seriously consider our isolation from sun exposure. A pioneer on the effects of sunlight on h uman health, Dr. John Ott, noted in an interview published in 1991 that:
“There are neurochemical channels from the retina (where light is received) to the pineal and pituitary glands, the master glands of the whole endocrine system that controls the production and release of hormones. This regulates your body chemistry and its growth, all organs of your body, including your brain and how they function.”
To list all the benefits received through exposure to sunlight would be as cumbersome as to list all the benefits we receive by breathing air. Sunlight profoundly affects the endocrine, nervous, immune and digestive systems. It positively affects digestion and absorption. Without sun exposure humans and other animals suffer from a lack of vigor and fail to grow normally. Sunlight is nutritive, supporting both physical and mental health simultaneously.
Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater
Modern men and women living conventional 21st century lifestyles increase their risk of skin cancer by excessive sun exposure. In light of sunlight’s essential nature for good health, however, we need to be cautious about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. According to Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D. of Boston University School of Medicine: "There's no question that chronic, excessive exposure to sunlight and sunburning incidents markedly increases your risk for skin cancer. But there's little evidence out there that if you practice safe sun exposure, it would increase your risk for skin cancer or wrinkling,"
Evidence That Sunlight Reduces Some Cancers
Many cancers, most notably breast, colon and prostate cancer, have been noted epidemiologically to increase the farther you get from the equator, where exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun is the least.
Epidemiological studies show that Americans who live in areas with greater sun exposure have higher mortality from skin cancer but that they also experience significantly lower mortality from female breast and ovarian cancer, male prostate cancer and colon cancer in both men and women.
A study of more than 430,000 death certificates showed that mortality from female breast cancer and colon cancer were negatively associated with both residential and occupational sunlight.
Guidelines for the Rational Use of Sunlight/Sunbathing
Sunbathing, like exercising should begin in a graduated fashion. Those who have fair complexions must proceed more slowly. When the skin has not darkened through the protective action of melanin, the sun easily burns it. Starting with three to five minutes of sun exposure on each side of the body is generally safe and sufficient to begin with. This can be increased over a period of several weeks in increments of an additional minute per day per side till about twenty minutes of sunbathing is taken daily on each side of the body.
The time of day chosen for sunbathing is important. The ultraviolet rays are too strong during the hours of about 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. in most locations for lengthy exposure. From approx. 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning and from after 3:00 till about 6:00 are the preferred times, taking into allowance the geographic location and season.
At these times the amount of ultraviolet radiation is lower yet the sun’s rays are sufficient to bring about a pleasurable, health promoting, experience.
As much of the body should be exposed as is convenient. The use of sun tan lotions while engaging in rational sunbathing should be avoided, as the benefits obtained will be reduced.
Following the sunbath it is best to not bathe with soap for several hours. This will allow time for the skins oils that have been charged with the suns rays to be absorbed into the body allowing for more 7-dehydrocholesterol, the precursor to cholecalciferol or “activated Vitamin D” to be formed. Do not by the way think of sunlight only in terms of getting Vitamin D. The entire country is “Vitamin D” deficient because we are sunlight deficient! There is also far more benefits to sunlight then simply obtaining “Vitamin D” which is not even a Vitamin, but rather a hormone.
If over the following days the skin appears significantly reddened followed by peeling it indicates over-exposure, which is to be avoided. Obtaining a gradual, even golden bronzing coloration is what is sought after. Special precautions should be taken with very young children and infants since their ability to produce melanin pigmentation is limited and damage to their skin may therefore occur more easily than with an adult.
Observation of other animals e.g. dogs and cats shows the folly of deliberate sun exposure during the sun’s zenith, i.e. when it is high in the sky. Our canine and feline friends seek the sun during the hours of sunbathing suggested above but they will likewise seek the comfort of the shade when the sun is high in the sky. Their instincts serve them well.
The rational employment of sunlight has been on my “prescription pad” for patients for thirty years. Employing the sun appropriately has helped with the improvement of many cases of illness. Keep in mind that sunlight should not be thought of as merely some treatment for disease, but as part of a foundational health program.
The Goldberg Clinic
Devries, Arnold The Fountain of Youth 1958 Ott, JN. Interview by Bland JS. Preventive Med Update 1991; (Jan). The New York Times January 28, 2003 : “A Conversation With Michael Holick “Shining a Light on the Health Benefits of Vitamin D” Interview with Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D.
“Sunlight Gains Favor As Health Key” Ronald Kotulak, The Chicago Tribune 3/3/04
D M Freedman, M Dosemeci and K McGlynn: “Sunlight and mortality from breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancer: a composite death certificate based case-control study” Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2002;59:257-2