Precision Based Medicine Offers a New Approach in Treating IBS-by Dr. Richard Firshein

As a physician, one of the greatest senses of accomplishments comes from our patient’s success.  It is a collaboration that takes hard work on both the part of the physician and of the patient. Judy was one such patient.

Judy and Her Rocky Road to Recovery….

Over the past 16 years, Judy had seen numerous specialists whom collectively, represented hundreds of years of medical experience. Yet they could not figure out what the causes of her underlying medical conditions were. In truth, they were looking in the wrong direction. She presented with numerous chronic symptoms which had worsened or progressed.

Continue reading “Precision Based Medicine Offers a New Approach in Treating IBS-by Dr. Richard Firshein”

Natural Compounds Help to Inhibit Prostate Tumor Growth- by Dr. Richard Firshein

Longevity is defined by the obstacles we must face as our bodies age. For men, one such obstacle is prostate cancer. It is estimated that one in five men will develop a tumor in their prostate. Second to skin cancer, it is the most common form of cancer in men. In cases with an early diagnosis, it may be a source of morbidity leading to impotence and other urologic complications.

In a recent post, I discussed the role of specific toxins and how they cause cancer. This was yet another emerging body of evidence, in regards to how cancer may die with prevention; particularly with foods and/or supplements.
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How to Prevent Environmental Toxins from Damaging Our DNA- by Dr. Richard Firshein

A new area of research targets molecules which are more prone to cause cancer, and natural ways we can help to prevent this. Recent scientific evidence has shown that specific toxins found in cigarette smoke, plastics, diesel, and ultra-violet radiation create damaging lesions within our DNA. The findings published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, provides new insight and understanding as to how environmental agents affect our DNA repair mechanisms; and why certain toxins are so damaging.

The answer at least partly, is due to certain chemicals which contain large difficult to remove molecules, that stick to our DNA.  Examples of these chemicals are those found in automobile exhaust and cigarette smoke ((also known as PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)) which possess the capability to attach to our DNA. Due to the size of their molecules, our bodies struggle to remove said compounds; unlike those of a smaller size which are easily removed.

Most individuals possess a specific repair mechanism-equivalent to a scissor- called NER (Nucleotide Excision Repair). NER is what allows our body to cut out/remove damaged DNA, and replace it with a new copied set of DNA fragments; without the damage or injuries caused by toxins. Conversely, there are some individual who lack the ability of creating such a repair.

One of the advantages of preventive DNA testing, is to understand which patients are at risk for certain cancers; along with which natural compounds are best suited to mitigate this problem. For example, in prostate related cancer it may be tomatoes; which contain both vitamin a and lycopene.

This is one of the various reasons why I incorporate DNA based testing and treatments for most of my patients. It is also the reason I recommend using specific antioxidants, which not only help with DNA repair; but can also halt the subsequent steps once cancer has been initiated.

The good news is, that with time, our bodies remove many of the compounds that damage our immune system at a genetic level. Understanding and determining which healthy compounds work best for individual patients, is where Precision Based Medicine distinguishes itself from traditional medicine; and allows us to provide tailored treatment to each individual patient

 

 

Acupuncture Can Help End The Opioid Epidemic- by Dr. Richard Firshein

As an Integrative physician with over 25 years of experience, it’s hard to understand how the current opioid epidemic got started. Like other medically induced epidemics (Premarin which led to a serious uptick in great cancer) incentives got ahead of the science. The difficult truth is that there are situations when pain medicines are needed.

There are also many situations where these often casually prescribed narcotic medicines, could have been substituted with other more holistic approaches such as acupuncture or even meditation.

That’s why the FDA recently recommended doctors prescribe acupuncture -because it works.  Not for everyone. But when it works it’s a life saver. And the science to back it up is getting better as well.

Here is the deal, the Opioid epidemic in our country has reached a critical level, and garnered the attention of the media, the government, and the American people. Research from The National Institute on Drug Abuse, has shown an alarming increase in drug overdoses, rising from 4,000 American Deaths in 1999 to over 52,000 American Deaths as recently as 2015.

Two-thirds of these overdoses stem from opioids, resulting in numerous states declaring a medical emergency to combat the epidemic. These overdoses are believed to be attributed to the rapid increase of prescription narcotics, which has quadrupled since the early 1990’s. The CDC has since announced that urgent and critical action needs to be taken.

Numerous studies have shown that Acupuncture works as a highly effective treatment method for chronic pain in a plethora of ways understood by those who use traditional medicine. In comparison to traditional pain management treatment; which work on a specific receptor in the brain, acupuncture has been shown to release endorphins, increases immune response, and increases blood flow.

Originating in China, acupuncture is one of the oldest continually practiced forms of medicine. In Chinese Medicine energy is also known as Qi (chee). It is believed that blockages in our energy pathways lead to an imbalance in the way that energy flows through our nerves, muscles, tendons and blood vessels.  When Qi is blocked, it results in our bodies experiencing a sensation of pain.

To alleviate pain, Acupuncture needles are placed in strategic pressure points- known as meridians- on the body, acting as a bridge/detour around the areas of pain density/blocked energy. This is believed to result in a normal flow of “energy” being released throughout the body and a reduction of symptoms

With my 25 years of experience as an Integrative Physician, I have found that while Acupuncture is not designed to treat every painful medical condition; it does serves to mitigate numerous painful conditions, as well as a host of others. As a Certified Acupuncturist, I use Acupuncture as treatment for many ailments including Chronic Pain, Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Sinus Pain, Asthma, Sciatica, Migraines, Headaches, Insomnia, PMS, Menopausal Symptoms and Pain due to Acute and Chronic Injuries. It has proven to be one of the most effective therapeutic options that I have in my medical arsenal.

There are very few adverse effects and patients can resume normal activities right after receiving treatment. Generally, I recommend that acupuncture is used as an initial or adjunctive form of treatment, for anyone that has been prescribed a mild pain medication. These results have a significant effect on the way my future treatments are administered for each patient.

In some cases, I’ve found that Acupuncture is not the only form of treatment that I use.  When a patient needs additional treatment, I recommend other natural modalities such as cold laser, ultrasound, osteopathic manipulation treatments and physical therapy.  Occasionally, certain analgesics are used before considering a narcotic medication.

There is something truly exciting on the horizon as well. PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) is a ground-breaking new treatment for damaged joints and ligaments, that has also proven to be one of the most effective, and promising treatments methods for pain management. I will discuss PRP Therapy and its many advantages in greater detail in a future blog, where I will also explain how to Naturally Reduce Chronic Pain and Inflammation.

If You are Concerned about Alzheimer’s or have Noticed a Change in Memory, it May be Time to Ditch the Sugar and Opt for a Healthier Lifestyle- by Dr. Richard Firshein

A critical area of concern in the field of Anti-Aging Medicine is the prevention of Dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. I have seen this medical condition wreak havoc on individuals and families. There has been little hope for prevention until now.

A new study shows that the death rate from Alzheimer’s has risen 55% in the last 15 years. This dramatic change also appears to be a significant new risk for increasing mortality rates. Globally, there are more than 50 million people affected by Alzheimer’s, and that is estimated to increase to 125 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s mainly affects people over the age of 65 (some research suggests symptoms can occur as early as the early 40’s) and the most common symptom and effect is chronic disabling memory loss.  Other common symptoms/conditions associated with the disease are impaired language, difficulty in concentrating/ decision making, confusion and ultimately disorientation. It’s both emotionally and physically draining not only to the individuals, but their families as well. Read More

Exercising May Lead to a Longer Life- by Dr. Richard Firshein

I often recommend exercise to my patients. Determining the type of exercise and duration depends on the individual. We all know that exercise has been linked to better outcomes in heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes.

What we haven’t known are the exact mechanisms as to why. New DNA tests help to quantify the benefits. A new study out of Brigham Young University revealed that if you work out extensively, and are willing to sweat, you may be able to reduce one type of aging that happens inside your cells. Read More

Timing of Meals can Affect Weight Gain and Impair Metabolism- by Dr. Richard Firshein

There is a great deal of controversy around eating times and weight loss. My general preference is to limit most calorie consumption to one meal a day and to fast or go on a calorie restricted meal plan for the rest of the day. This is in line with what current research suggests promotes longevity.

When choosing a diet I incorporate many factors including a patient’s metabolic profile, DNA and family history, cultural preferences and lifestyle. One factor that I consistently recommend against is eating late at night which forces the body to store calories while reducing metabolic function during the day. What I call the Sumo Wrestlers diet, a specific technique used by these portly athletes, which loads carbs late at night forcing their liver to store the meal as fat. Continue reading “Timing of Meals can Affect Weight Gain and Impair Metabolism- by Dr. Richard Firshein”