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The Not-So-Common, Common Cold

The “Not-So-Common” Common Cold

Common Colds Shouldn’t be so Common

A recent Wall Street Journal article (March 24, 2014) talked about the common cold.  It stated that the average adult has 2 to 5 colds per year while school children may have up to 7 to 10 colds per year.  It also stated that the average cold lasts 18 days.  And conventional doctors say zinc, echinacea or vitamin C are not the answers–the evidence is not conclusive that any of them help.

Dr. Gardner’s comments:  Although I recognize 2 to 5 colds a year is ‘average,’ having any more than 0 or 1 cold a year is not healthy.  ‘Average’ people do not have healthy immune systems. 

So: How do you build the immune system?

  1. Get off sugar and processed food, which suppress the immune system!
  2. Get proper nutrients—eat real food and high-quality supplements.
  3. Reduce stress—poor sleep, emotional stuff, finances, relationships.
  4. Exercise releases redox signaling molecules which help fight all infections.
  5. There are supplements that specifically build the killer T cells and support the immune system.
  6. And yes, zinc, echinacea, and vitamin C all can benefit our health.

When you get a cold, what should you do?

  1. Get rest, especially if sleep-deprivation is the cause of the stress.
  2. Oil of Oregano has the strongest anti-viral properties of all the essential oils.
  3. High dose vitamin C, 6 grams per day, as it takes that much to replace the vitamin C depletion in the white cells during a viral infection.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids to flush out toxins released as part of the infection.

To your dynamic health and energy,

Stan Gardner, MD, CNS

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Leg Swelling

I have had a problem with swelling in my legs for about 15 years and was told I have deep varicose veins. I use support stockings and a small dose of diuretic every other day to keep it under control. Would the herb hawthorne help as well as grape seed extract to actually repair the blood vessels so I don’t have the swelling?

There are many factors that can cause swelling in your legs, so you’ll have to play detective and see what your body responds to for the most effectiveness.

Most swelling in the legs due to varicose veins is due to the breakdown of the one-way valves that permit the blood to flow in one direction–from the feet to the heart.  When there is a blockage or partial blockage in the pelvis, it puts more pressure on the veins.  It may put so much stress on them that the valves break down, causing even more blood back flow and further breakdown of more valves.

The pressure stockings keep the swelling down because of pressure, and not because they are fixing the basic problem.

Movement and exercise, done properly, can get the fluids in the legs moving, and that can help.  Drink lots of water (which may seem counter intuitive, but it is important).  Ask your body if you have emotional triggers that might be holding on to something, which keeps the body swollen.

I have used grape seed extract in the past to try to support the vein walls and connective tissue support, but not with consistent results.  Hawthorn also provides additional support.  Don’t forget vitamin C–perhaps 1,000 to 4,000 mg per day.  Try all three of these supplements for 3 months and see if they make a difference.

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Food and Nutrition Police

As you know, I like to stay on the side of offering healthy alternatives to you, rather than rant about the political messes that are taking place with our health.  But in two cases today, I must at least inform you about what is going on.  First of all, vitamin C (intravenous) is being threatened.  Here’s the link that gives you more information.  I use intravenous vitamin C often in my practice and find that it is superbly effective in numerous conditions.  To lose the ability to administer IV vitamin C would be a great loss in our nation’s health options.

Secondly, on a rather humorous note, this blogger takes on First Lady Michelle Obama’s health approach to childhood obesity.  It’s a good read:

What to do?  I believe we need to be more focused than ever on our personal health: and be aware of what is happening in our government to legislate our choice to be healthy.  Make your voice be heard.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Dr. Gardner,

I have irritable bowel syndrome and a constant problem with constipation. The things I do to try to solve the constipation problem seem to make the irritable bowel syndrome act up more, and the things I do to keep the irritable bowel syndrome under control seem to make the constipation problem worse. Could you please address these issues? Thank you very much.

‘Irritable bowel’ is the cause of the constipation, so you’ll want to start with treating the irritable bowel. What are possible causes? Here are a few:

  • history of eating processed food that eventually broke down the intestinal tract
  • antibiotic use
  • food may not be being digested
  • low acid content in the stomach
  • food allergies
  • organisms that interfere with the intestinal tract
  • emotional stress, worry, trauma, etc.

Here are some initial options for addressing your IBS.  Obviously all processed food and sugar need to be eliminated from the diet. If there has been antibiotic use, low amounts of good gut bacteria (probiotics) may be the problem.

Probiotics need to be supplied–at least 5 to 20 billion per day. These should be taken by anyone with irritable bowel, whether they have been on antibiotics or not.

Food may not be being digested, causing irritability to the gut. A trial of pancreatic enzymes for a few weeks may be helpful. I say a few weeks because if poor digestion has been a problem, it has to be fixed first before the gut can heal and feel better.

Low acid content in the stomach also interferes with protein digestion–betaine HCl could be tried to help with this problem.

Food allergies could also be contributing to irritable bowel. NAET is the basic treatment, so you need to find a local practitioner that can test you for food allergies and treat them. Malnutrition contributes to the inability of the gut to heal itself, so nutritional IVs are occasionally necessary.

There are also organisms that may or may not be easy to identify that interfere with the intestinal tract. Laboratory tests may prove helpful. During times of constipation, you may want to try high doses of vitamin C (5 to 50 grams) or magnesium (1,000 to 2,000 mg) one day, then titrate to maintain the proper consistency of stool.

You’ll want to address any possible emotional, stress, or traumatic triggers that bring on IBS incidents, and identify any precipitating events that you experienced prior to onset of symptoms.

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Staff…er…Staph…Infection, and How to Use Oil of Oregano

Staff infection — I’ve been treated for one going on 5 months!! Please HELP!

I recognize that hanging around with people you work with–your staff–can be infectious, but I assume you are referring to the bacterial organism, Staphylococcal infection.

Usually by now, that wound has been cultured in a laboratory, so that the antibiotic regimen you have been on was determined to be appropriate for your particular strain of infection. If the infection has not been cultured, it should be and you should take the appropriate antibiotic for it.

I’m also assuming that this is not a bone infection (osteomyelitis), which requires long-term antibiotics intravenously; nor is it a deep, chronic infection, and it is not MRSA, methicillin (and most other antibiotic) resistant staphyloccus aureus.

Any chronic infection (or any infection, for that matter) means the immune system is not as strong as it should be.

So, how do you build the immune system? It starts with a good diet, especially avoidance of all sugar which interferes with the immune system. Next, take a potent multi-vitamin and essential fatty acids for basic cellular function, along with drinking lots of water for good hydration. The next step is to start taking products that build the natural killer cells in your body—β-glucan, colostrum, and mushrooms—maitake and sheitake.

Any chronic infection may have viral or other organisms that are not responsive to antibiotics. There are neutraceuticals that are effective against those organisms. Try high doses of vitamin C orally, 6,000 to 10,000 mg per day. Intravenous administration of 20,000 mg of vitamin C over 3 hours is even more effective. Add citricidal, echanacea, oil of oregano to also help kill the organisms. High doses of resveratrol, cat’s claw and/or andrographis are more expensive, but also very effective at both building the immune system and killing organisms.

Some of you asked me how I administer oil of oregano; I simply add part of a dropper full into a swallow of room temperature, pure water, and drink it quickly.  It has a “hot” pizza-like flavor, but it is very effective and usually knocks a cold quickly.  You can also place oil of oregano directly upon an inflamed area, and it is often effective in that way for reducing inflammation.

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Prostate Issues and Herbal Treatments

Thank you for your wisdom and insight regarding so many health issues. Recently you ran an article regarding prostate issues, and listed an herb tea that would benefit the PSAT level. Please remind me the exact herb again. Thank you.

There are 3 herbs that are effective with prostate issues. These include Continue reading Prostate Issues and Herbal Treatments

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Intestinal Pathogen Spreads

The Wall Street Journal from November 12, 2008  reports that Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is on the rise, having more than doubled between the years 2000 and 2005. Up to one out of 20 (up to 300 of the presently diagnosed 70000) will die from this intestinal bug. C.diff is typically manifested after the administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which destroys the good intestinal flora, permitting the emergence of this strain. Symptoms include Continue reading Intestinal Pathogen Spreads

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Superbugs and How They Can Harm You

Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2008

Virulent Foe Defies Hospitals’ War on ‘Superbugs’

Another complication of antibiotic use.

Clostridium difficile is an intestinal organism that causes tremendous gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, perforated bowels and death. When I went to medical school, it was uncommon and easy to treat. Today it has morphed into a more virulent form, does more damage, and is resistant to antibiotics that used to kill it. It is caused by Continue reading Superbugs and How They Can Harm You

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The High Cost of Cancer–at least in Conventional Medicine

A Wall Street Journal article found in the July 8th edition entitled Pricey Drugs Put Squeeze on Doctors, by Marilyn Chase, describes the soaring price of chemotherapy in the cancer market. For instance, the average cost of a course of Avastin, which targets a type of lung cancer, is approximately Continue reading The High Cost of Cancer–at least in Conventional Medicine

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Diabetes: Critical Information You Should Know

Update:  I just came across an excellent article linking diabetes with thiamine deficiency.  Check out the article here.

(Can anyone get this information to Larry H. Miller?)

A patient recently came into my office for a consultation. She was in her early 50s, overweight, and was struggling with constant tiredness and a sense of being overwhelmed. She had tried multiple diets, with little to no success, and when she succeeded in dropping a couple of pounds, they came right back on. She was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She, like countless other baby boomers, is dealing with a physical condition that is nearly epidemic in proportion. If untreated, it has the potential to lead to full blown Continue reading Diabetes: Critical Information You Should Know