The occurrence of Candida albicans is largely due to our j dietary habits. It can easily be called a twentieth-century disease, because our lifestyle and environment allow allergies more and more opportunities to develop. Yeast is naturally present in everyone from the age of about six months. The risk of Candida infections is greatly reduced by a natural, balanced diet.
In a lecture given by Dr Alfred Vogel quite some time ago, he spoke about friendly bacteria in the bowels which are frequently killed off by the food we eat. One wouldn’t think that asking a patient to change his or her diet would be too much of an imposition, but this suggestion isn’t always enthusiastically received. Sometimes I think that people have less trouble changing their religion, their political allegiance, or even their husband or wife, than changing their diet. All I ask is that they cut five foods from their diet, namely sugar, mushrooms, wine, fermented foods or drinks, and chocolate. When I mention sugary foods, I mean all foods that contain sugar. Of the fermented foods, bread is probably the most difficult one to replace. Most alcoholic drinks are fermented and are therefore off limits. Only by following these guidelines, and by introducing a natural diet with lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts, and drinking plenty of water, do we have a chance of combating a Candida problem successfully.
The discovery of antibiotics was quite rightly hailed as a tremendous discovery and many lives have since been saved. Yet, the word antibiotic actually means ‘anti-life’ and unfortunately antibiotics are not selective in the bacteria they destroy. Often the good or friendly bacteria are killed off along with the harmful bacteria. It is these friendly bacteria we rely upon for digestion and for our general good health. Control and balance of a Candida is very important and fortunately there are several good remedies that will assist us in this. Harpagophytum (Devil’s Claw extract in its mother tincture) is one of the best remedies to control a Candida or yeast infection. Molkosan may be used and Caprylic acid, a derivative of coconut oil, has also been used successfully, especially when the Candida is active in the vaginal area.
Deficiency of essential fatty acids may also result in a greater likelihood of developing a Candida infection. These acids contain Omega three and Omega six, essential to health. There are three ‘essential’ fatty acids: linoleic, arachidonic, and linolenic, collectively known as vitamin F. They are termed ‘essential’ because the body cannot produce them. These unsaturated fatty acids are necessary for growth and healthy blood, arteries and nerves. They also help to keep the skin and other tissues youthful and healthy by preventing dryness and scaliness. Essential fatty acids are necessary too for the transport and breakdown of cholesterol. Evening primrose oil, borage oil and blackcurrant seed oil are all good sources of essential fatty acids, and these oils change as we react to the environment with respect to the cell membranes. There are also some oils that are actually detrimental from this point of view, such as peanut oil and coconut oil. The body tissues are made of what we eat, and how we respond to our environment depends totally on how strong the tissues are. Life is a constant renewal of cell tissue and in order to rebuild tissue we need the correct material. Topically applied and absorbed fatty acids can be of great help here, even for babies with skin problems. Even a very young baby can change metabolically when the right oils are used and will improve very quickly.
If the diet is poor, supplementary Omega three and six tend to produce a more anti-inflammatory response. Skin irritation or injury will cause the cells to go into a coagulation response, stimulating the reaction of white blood cells and increasing the production of leucotrines. This can be clearly seen in the skin condition psoriasis. The more leucotrines or inflammatory response, the more division and proliferation of cells is necessary to decrease this reaction. One of the remedies that can be very useful here is Ginkgo biloba.
Ginkgo biloba is the world’s oldest living tree species. Its lineage stretches back 200 million years, and although it originated in China, it grows to a ripe old age in the many other parts of the world to which it has been transplanted. Modern scientific analysis has revealed the reason Ginkgo trees have survived for so long: their leaves are packed with highly-active chemicals that give the tree unusual resistance to parasites, infections and pollution. The leaves of the
Ginkgo are traditionally harvested in the autumn, just as the colour changes, and this is exactly the time when they have their highest active concentrations of bioflavonoids. These are now thought to be most potent of all bioflavonoids, and are thought to have the ability to help maintain the circulation of blood to the brain.
To increase the Omega three factor, flax seed, cod liver and sunflower oil are helpful, as well as selenium and betacarotene. A combination of vitamin E with flax seed oil is totally suitable for the treatment of this affliction. Linoleic acid production is helped by biotin, magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc. Unfortunately this is obstructed by the use of alcohol, high cholesterol foods, saturated fats, virus infections, and cancer. Evening primrose oil helps to form DGLA (dihomo gammalinolenic acid), which in turn needs vitamin B3, vitamin C and extra zinc to form prostaglandins, necessary in the case of all skin disorders.
Many skin disorders are self-inflicted insofar as they are the result of modern dietary habits. The many patients with yeast infections I have been asked to treat over the years have all been greatly helped when nutritional deficiencies have been dealt with, together with some herbal or homoeopathic treatment. Evening primrose oil, sometimes in combination with fish oil, has been of great help, as well as vitamin A and C supplements.
In countries where the wheat intake is low I have never seen an active candidiasis, which leads me to believe that our lifestyle, wheat consumption and the number of processed food items in our diet, all have a great deal to answer for. Organically-grown wheat is much less harmful, but, if a definite wheat allergy has been proven, it must be banned from the diet. If the Candida albicans condition is indeed affecting the vaginal and anal areas, dabbing with some diluted Molkosan will ease the discomfort, and sometimes it is useful to know that the skin will soften with witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). The Bioforce range also has a witch hazel cream, called Hamamelis salve, which also contains St John’s Wort, echinacea and wheat germ oil.
Patients are not always prepared to accept changes in their diet, and I often have to explain that, even if they are not willing to accept a major change of direction, the very least they ought to do is leave out sugar and hopefully yeast. Just eliminating these substances often brings about a considerable change. I often wonder why people suffer such unpleasant problems, when they can be helped so easily. Never underestimate a yeast infection, because it is likely to lead to greater problems if it goes unchecked. In research, active Candida conditions have been found in cancer patients and, together with this word of warning, I also want to encourage the sufferer that yeast infections and Candida albicans can be treated successfully. However, never delay seeking help when the condition comes to light.
It is such a vicious cycle that it’s hard to believe that it’s one that most people happily bring upon themselves. I’m talking about sun damage, often glamorously referred to as sunbathing. When the sun’s ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB, hit the skin, the process of skin destruction is immediately activated. If the skin’s natural reserves of antioxidant ingredients are ample enough, this process can sometimes be slowed down significantly. Naturally, using a skin care line rich in numerous antioxidants is a step in the right beautifying direction.
I will be reviewing some of the most proven antioxidants, such as green tea extract, grape seed extract and vitamin C. Others include: vitamin A, coenzyme Q10, lycopene and alpha lipoic arid.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea is proving to be as potent on the skin as it is inside the body.
The data that has been released on the powers of green tea is just too impressive to ignore. I was already a believer and I had already incorporated a high amount into my skin care line, but after reading up on the latest data, I decided to boost the levels of green tea in the products.
A lot of the medical studies that have been released on green tea showt hat when applied on the skin it protects it from ultraviolet light and may even help prevent skin cancer. In the medical field, daily oral intake of green tea helps to prevent prostate cancer.
What is growing old, anyhow? A half century ago, people thought that the most obvious aspects of growing old—senility, strokes, heart disease, and cancers—were part of the natural process of aging. Now we recognize that they may often be wreckage from our collisions with the microbial world. If most microbes deal with us benignly, then we are compelled to ask how much of the less obvious part of aging is caused by microbial fender benders. Logic tells us that it may be much. If so, what can we expect from human life simply by preventing the damage from our encounters with microbes?
The diversity of activity among the elderly gives us a clue. The bodies of some 50-year-olds are falling apart, whereas some people pushing 80 seem to be cavorting like teenagers. I know this from personal experience because my mother, Sara Jeanne Ewald, is one of these teenagers in her late 70s. She does not respond in ways typical of a person of this age group. For instance, she was run over by a truck in November 1998 and brought to the hospital with a badly fractured pelvis, a broken set of ribs, and a punctured lung. She left the hospital in December and was walking with a cane in January. In April she discarded the cane and departed on a European tour with her boyfriend, leaving in her wake doctors and nurses who were happily scratching their heads in disbelief.
Could the recovery rate from such injuries depend on whether someone was lucky enough to be resistant to chronic infections? I don’t know. Many of the elderly and some middle-aged people have problems with osteoporosis; if infections play a role in this condition, then an elderly person who is resistant to such infections might be especially well able to heal broken bones. Sara Jeanne has been incredibly resistant to acute infectious diseases throughout her eight decades of life. “I must have a strong immune system,” she would often say to me as I was growing up. Perhaps that may help explain why she is zipping around like a college student on spring break instead of being hobbled by the ailments of old age.
Of course this account is just an anecdote. But what is an anecdote? In an effort to be scientifically rigorous, twentieth-century medical science has made anecdote a dirty word. Ardent attempts to codify rigor have stripped us of the benefits anecdotes provide. Anecdotal observations are essential for rigorous science because they provide possible clues to the solution of medical puzzles. Their true value often cannot be discerned without follow-up studies. They may turn out to be junk or gems. When anecdotal observations are followed up with careful studies, some will be recognized as spurious coincidences, whereas others will be recognized as the signposts that guided research to new breakthroughs.
The vision of medicine is sometimes blinded by the average. Any large cohort of 80-year-olds will include some who are youthfully active and others who have become immobilized by the “process of aging.” We see the same in 70-year-olds and 60-year-olds. But as the cohort becomes younger, our sense of what is normal changes. We begin to see the debilitation as something out of the ordinary and therefore deserving of a special explanation. We therefore begin thinking of the debilitation as disease rather than as part of the normal process of aging. Once this transition in thinking occurs, we are spurred to understand the cause of the illness. Perhaps when we understand the full scope of infectious causation and effectively prevent its damaging outcomes, vibrant 80-year-olds will be the rule rather than the exception.
Viruses aren’t the only suspected environmental trigger. In the early 1980s Canadian researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto found that rats and mice from specially bred diabetes-prone strains did not develop the disease unless they were given cow’s milk during the first few weeks of life. The rats that developed diabetes had high concentrations of antibodies in their blood against a protein in cow’s milk, bovine serum albumin (BSA). Some children with diabetes have antibodies to this protein, too. Moreover, the researchers found that the antibodies against BSA also bind to a protein on the surface of beta cells.
The researchers believe that the cow’s milk protein may provoke an autoimmune attack against a look-alike protein in the beta cells, causing a slow destruction of pancreas cells, and, ultimately, diabetes. They believe that only children genetically at risk can be affected, and that exposure must occur in the early months of life when the immune system is still learning the difference between its own molecules and foreign ones. (Breast-feeding, on the other hand, seems to protect against diabetes.)
The evidence is not yet conclusive. Scientists will have more concrete data at the conclusion of a ten-year international study that is following children who do and do not drink cow’s milk before the age of nine months.
Love of self; selfish, mania of possessing things, self-pity, greedy, always wants to get something, never wants to part with any of his possessions, wants company. In the positive CHICORY state, the person is full of that divine quality which is called LOVE – selfless love, universal love which shows by self-less service to fellow beings, assists them to become self-reliant, strong and independent individuals, always willing to give without expecting anything in return – a very loveable person.
However, in the negative chicory state the love turns in- wards – love of self- then the person becomes selfish, and does everything to serve his self-interest. He becomes greedy and wants to add to his possessions. In his mania to accumulate things, he does not bother about the worth, or utility or even the means of securing those possessions. Think of an office superintendent stealing office stationary, or a well-to-do gentleman pocketing a silver spoon after dining at a five-star hotel. Years ago there was this news item in an Indian paper ‘The son of a Union Cabinet Minister caught stealing in an American Store and jailed” He feels no compunctions in sacrificing the vital interests of his nearest and dearest relatives to serve his petty self-interest.
Take the case of a parent who would not let his brilliant son or daughter to go away for higher studies to improve his career prospects for narrow selfish ends.
A widowed mother put all types of obstacles in the marriage of her son lest his present love and care for the mother may be shared between the mother & the wife. An old mother feighned to be ill and remained bed-ridden for several years just to prevent her daughter from marrying and leaving her alone.
I suspect that the very notion of the “language instinct” is the result of looking at the brain through an artificially narrow slit, of considering language in isolation from much of the rest of cognition, its mapping in the brain, its development and decline following brain damage. It is much more parsimonious and plausible to think that language is an emergent property made possible, once the neural circuitry in the brain reaches a certain level of complexity. According to this scenario, language does not rely on any specific, narrowly dedicated circuitry, but is a product of very complex but relatively general-purpose neuronal networks in the human brain.
This scenario is supported by current knowledge of the functional neuroanatomy of language, which arises with impressive consistency both from lesion studies and from functional neuroimaging studies. Today we know that, contrary to some earlier assumptions, language does not sit neatly in one particular “language-dedicated” part of the brain. Instead, various aspects of language are distributed throughout the neocortex by attaching themselves to different cortical regions, each in charge of representing certain aspects of physical reality: Cortical representation of action words is found near the motor cortex in charge of movements; cortical representation of object words is found near the visual cortex containing the mental representations of things; cortical representation of relational words is found near the somatosensory cortex containing the mental representations of space, and so on. This is precisely the kind of distributed picture that a self-organizing neural net, rather than a genetically programmed net, would come up with.
Am I saying that the internal structure of the brain has no impact on the nature of language and other symbolic systems at our disposal? That would indeed be a fallacy, particularly coming from a brain scientist! Of course the brain has an impact on these systems—a huge, crucial impact at that. But this impact is quantitative rather than qualitative. It sets the limits on the system’s complexity rather than on its specific content. In an equally compelling insight, Simon suggested that the “wisdom bank size” is roughly the same for the “collective knowledge bank of the species” and for the individual knowledge bank. Both the number of words of natural language recognized by a literate human being (the repository of the “collective wisdom of the species”) and the number of chess position patterns in a grand master’s memory (individual acumen in a particular field) are approximated by the same number: ~50,000. This figure should not be taken literally, but it may prove to be an interesting order-of-magnitude estimate of some important capacities of the brain for pattern formation, internalization, and storage, within a given domain.
So a “hierarchy of wisdoms” exists, each type of wisdom reflecting experience on vastly different time scales: millions of years for the phylum, thousands of years of civilization, and just years of your life. Each of them has its own mode of transmission:
Wisdom of the Phylum (or Subphylum, “Class”)
This form of knowledge is expressed as a set of processes in the brain (to a substantial degree genetically encoded and transmitted), which are automatically triggered by certain stimuli or situations. This type of wisdom captures millions of years of experience of mammalian evolution and is expressed in humans as basic emotional responses to certain stimuli, as well as basic perceptual discriminations.
Wisdom of the Species
This form of wisdom is expressed as a culturally encoded and transmitted set of categories enabling us to parse the world in a species-adaptive way. This type of wisdom captures thousands of years of human experience and is expressed as language and other symbolic systems at our disposal.
Wisdom of the Group
This type of knowledge is the collection of skills and competencies possessed by a group of individuals with shared background (such as all the members of the same profession), which allows them to perform complex tasks, daunting to most people, in a relatively effortless fashion.
Wisdom of an Individual
This is the main subject of the book and we are well on our way in exploring it. But first we need to learn more about the cultural devices for pattern recognition, the foremost among them, language. It is commonly said that your language is as good as your intelligence. This is probably true to a large degree. But the opposite is also true: Your intelligence is as good as your language. As we have just learned, language is more than a communications tool; it is a rich repository of concepts, which allows you to pattern the world.
Methods of surgical treatment
History is littered with unsuccessful procedures intended to cause weight loss:
No further surgical treatment of obesity has apparently been attempted since the tragical fate of a German Duke who in order to get leaner had the fat cut away by a Doctor in Upper Italy, and naturally succumbed to the operation (manuscript communication from Professor Dr DeLagarde 23 February 1882)
Other obsolete methods of surgery include jejunoileal bypass and jaw wiring, both of which are described later in this chapter.
There are two commonly used categories of bariatric surgery – restrictive and malabsorptive – and these are used either alone or in combination. More recently, implantable gastric pacing devices have been introduced.
Surgical treatment of obesity is a vital facet of weight management and, in many, patients is the only effective method for losing weight. As in every other branch of surgery there have been massive technological advances in surgical procedures, resulting in safer, better and cheaper operations. The surgical option is limited to a few extremely obese people but for such patients it is an important means of significant long-term weight loss, and a huge improvement in health and quality of life.
The first symptoms of HIV infection, sometimes called acute infection or primary HIV infection, occur early in the disease process. The interval between transmission of the virus and the first symptoms of acute infection lasts, on average, between two and six weeks, but actually ranges from one to twelve weeks. Probably 50 percent and possibly 90 percent of all people with HIV infection have the symptoms of acute HIV infection.
Many of the symptoms of acute infection are nonspecific; that is, they are also symptoms of many common viral infections. Symptoms include fever, sweats, malaise, fatigue, achiness, joint pain, headaches, a sore throat, trouble swallowing, and enlarged lymph glands. Some people have a rash consisting of red spots or splotches over the chest, back, and abdomen. Some have evidence of infection of the brain: severe headaches, mood changes, personality changes, irritability, and confusion. Occasionally, people lose the use of their arms or legs for a short time, then regain use again.
Because some of these symptoms resemble those of infectious mononucleosis, the acute infection stage is sometimes referred to as a mononucleosis-like syndrome. Mononucleosis, however, is caused by an entirely different virus, and with acute HIV infection the blood test for mononucleosis is negative.
Some people with HIV infection have no recollection of an acute infection stage, some mistake it for a common viral infection, and a minority of people feel sick enough to go to a physician. A physician will find enlarged lymph glands and an enlarged spleen. A blood count will show fewer white blood cells than normal—but then, a low white count accompanies most viral infections. Liver tests may show changes suggesting mild hepatitis, but many other conditions cause similar changes. A spinal tap to analyze cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord, may show evidence of meningitis. The usual blood test for HIV, which detects antibodies to HIV, will be negative at this time, but will usually become positive within three to ten weeks. Blood tests for HIV instead of the antibody to HIV would be positive, but are not usually done: these tests are expensive and few laboratories offer them.
Acute HIV infection can last from a few days to three weeks; it usually lasts one or two weeks. Occasionally, people have excessive fatigue that may last weeks or months. Virtually all people recover from the stage of acute HIV injection. The immune system, after fighting off the acute infection, returns to normal.
As noted in the section on classification of diabetes, type 1 diabetes may be immune-mediated (type 1A) or idiopathic (type 1B). In either case, complete (or almost complete) loss of pancreatic beta cell function results in an absolute need for insulin therapy. The pathogenesis of immune-mediated destruction of the pancreatic beta cells has received the most attention, and is better understood than idiopathic loss of beta cell function. Pathologically, it is characterized by degranulated beta cells, an inflammatory infiltrate, and preservation of the other pancreatic islet cells, such as the glucagon-secreting alpha cells or the somatostatin-producing delta cells. The inflammatory infiltrate is composed of lymphocytes (CD4 and CD8 cells), natural killer cells, and macrophages. Islet involvement may be variable, and the clinical course of islet destruction may be slow or rapid.
Autoantibodies in the plasma are predictive and diagnostic for type 1A diabetes. Autoantibodies to the pancreatic islets were the first to be described. Subsequently, other autoantibodies have been found, including antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), insulin, and other islet cell antigens. Type 1 diabetes-associated autoantibodies have been recognized before the onset of clinical disease, and their presence indicates a high risk of developing type 1 diabetes. First-phase insulin release is often reduced, and hyperglycemia eventually occurs. Islet cell autoantibodies are present in at least 70-80% of people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, and insulin autoantibodies are present in about 50%. As the disease progresses, titers of autoantibodies fall and may be undetectable with long-standing autoimmune type 1 diabetes. A relatively high incidence of other autoimmune diseases (thyroiditis, celiac disease, pernicious anemia,or Addison’s disease) in people with type 1 diabetes supports the role of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of the disease. The components of the immune system that are primarily responsible for cell destruction are under study. Elaboration of the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) is thought to be of pathogenetic importance. IL-inhibits insulin secretion and may be cytotoxic to the islets. Another cytokine, IL-6, is produced by beta cells and can stimulate the immune response, enhance insulitis, and result in beta cell destruction. In one m it is hypothesized that viral infection of a beta cell increases release cytokines and adhesion of leukocytes. The infected beta cell is susceptible to attack by antiviral cytotoxic CD8 lymphocytes. Macrophages in the islets are stimulated to produce cytokines and free radicals, increasing the cytoxicity to the beta cells. Macrophages offer viral antigens to CD4 lymphocytes, which activate B lymphocytes to produce antiviral and anti-beta-cell antibodies. The process is obviously a complicated one with evolving concepts. The end product of virtually complete beta cell destruction leads to an absolute need for insulin therapy.
Thanks to Dr. Walsh of Johns Hopkins, incontinence and impotence may no longer be the expected side effects of surgery for prostate cancer. In a brilliant series of anatomic studies, he identified the nerves affecting urinary control and sexual potency and developed a surgical method that left both functions intact.
After this development was announced in 1982, surgeons nationwide rushed to learn the Walsh technique. Some also said surgery was being performed too often.
Can doctors develop a way to identify cases that require surgery? Are many prostate glands removed unnecessarily? To find out, researchers at the Mayo Clinic developed a mathematical formula. It factored in the patient’s age, the apparent rate of growth of the tumor, the malignancy of the tumor’s cells, and the size of the prostate gland (the bigger the gland, the more PSA it emits).
With this formula, they systematically reviewed 339 cases of prostate cancer surgery at the clinic from 1991 to 1993. The researchers, headed by Dr. Oesterling, reported their findings in the January 24/31, 1996, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. In applying their formula, they wrote, they found only 14 cases in which the surgery probably had not been necessary. This is impressive work.
Dr. Oesterling estimates that up to 30 percent of men over 50 have undetected prostate cancer, of which only 4 percent will cause trouble and require treatment. This is because age often slows the cancer’s growth. Dr. Oesterling also says that the older a man is, the more PSA he puts out. A high reading at age 70, then, holds less risk for a man than it might at 50 or even 60.
“In a man younger than 60,” says Dr. Oesterling, “a big, fast-growing tumor needs to be treated quickly, or the cancer might spread and become incurable. A small, slow-growing prostate cancer in men 70 or older probably won’t be life-threatening. These are the men for watchful waiting.”
Also encouraging is the news that some drugs can slow the cancer’s growth after it has spread beyond the prostate, even if current treatments can’t stop it.
A team of physicians and statisticians at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, studied 10,598 cases of prostate removal among Medicare patients aged 65 or older. Their cancers had been removed by radical surgery (excision of the entire gland and the pelvic lymph nodes). In the period of the study, from 1984 to 1990 (after Dr. Walsh devised his method), the rate of prostate surgery had increased six-fold.
Better science and public awareness may partially explain why. In the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1993, the Dartmouth team wrote, “Increased detection might be the major factor contributing to the rising rate of prostate cancer.” But they concluded, “Despite increasing detection of prostate cancer and increasing instances of its surgical removal, [death rates] from prostate cancer have not decreased…. The therapeutic benefit of radical prostatectomy [prostate removal] for . . . cancer that was detected early has not been demonstrated.”
Yet Dr. Oesterling says that 10-year follow-up studies of surgical prostate removals in four medical institutions showed an estimated 90 percent long-term survival rate for patients whose cancers stayed within the gland.
Many praise surgery. Bill E. Hahn, 66, a retired salesman and resident of suburban Kalamazoo, Michigan, had a PSA test that revealed prostate cancer. It was then removed Dr. Walsh’s way on January 4, 1995, by Dr. Oesterling.
“I have no sign of cancer,” Mr. Hahn said. “My PSA is negligible. I have full bladder control, and I have erections.”
In December 1995, soon after having the Walsh method of surgery, Army Gen.
(Ret.) Norman Schwarzkopf, 61, said on national TV, “It is so stupid that anybody should die of prostate cancer – it can be detected. … If you are over 50 years old, you go in every year for a checkup!”
If your family has a history of prostate cancer, however, Dr. Oesterling urges annual checkups beginning at age 40.