A brief tour of our new clinic

A brief tour of our new clinic

We’re so excited to share our new location at 515 E 39th Street in Vancouver. Call (360) 695-8800 for an appointment.

Dr. Bye has a great collection of historical medicine on display in the waiting area. Here are just a few of her favorite finds.

Fever is our friend, acetaminophen is not

Fever is our friend, acetaminophen is not

For those that have been with me for a while, you know that I am an advocate of letting yourself or your children have a fever. Remember the body does things for a reason. When we get an invader in the body, the body in its infinite wisdom raises our body temperature to a level that is inhospitable to the invader. The only danger is if the temperature goes too high, or in children it raises too fast. In the case of children where a fever comes on quickly they can have a seizure and the first thing to do is put them in a cold bath and call 911. They will usually come out of it quickly as the cold bath brings down their temperature. My brother used to have these when we were growing up. A good immune response is a fever in the 101-103 range. Most bacteria and virus can not live at that temperature.

There have been many studies showing the side effects of all the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS). We know that aspirin is hard on the gut, and acetaminophen and ibuprophen are toxic to the liver and kidneys. Now a study about acetaminophen adding to asthma. We have known that there has been a significant increase in childhood asthma since the 1980’s. Many things contribute to this increase, change in diet, more sugar, dyes and preservatives in food, and now we are making the connection to the use of acetaminophen. The most recent studies show that acetaminophen decreases glutathione in the lungs. Glutathione is an enzyme that helps repair oxidative damage that causes inflammation in the lung tissue.

I know I sound like a broken record, but if you have enough pain or inflammation to need a NSAID, you need to treat the cause of the inflammation. The longer I am a physician the more I see that all disease is caused by inflammation. I see this in all my cancer patients. What is inflammation except the immune system reacting to some irritant. So lets figure out what is irritating the body instead of taking a NSAID to reduce the symptom of inflammation, treat what is causing it. If you have a fever the irritant is a invader, if you have joint pain or allergies you most likely have a food allergy or bad digestion. Treat cause not symptoms. Take medication only when you have to, and then work on why you have to take the medication so you can get off of it.

Cynthia Bye, ND
www.cynthiabye.com

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Do you have a Flex Spending account?

Do you have a Flex Spending account?

Do you have a Flex spending account (FSA)? FSA is one of a number of tax-advantaged financial accounts that can be set up through a cafeteria plan of an employer in the United States. An FSA allows an employee to set aside a portion of earnings to pay for various medical expenses.

I write today because one of my patients came in the other day and said she still had $1200 left on her FSA. The down side is if you do not use it you lose it.

The FSA is a great tool to help pay for complementary medicine and out of pocket medical expenses. There is a tax benefit as this money is pretax.

So if you have FSA that still has money left for the year come in and use it. If you do not, it would be good to consider it to help pay for your out of pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. Talk to your employer to see what they offer. If you are not working, then you qualify for a Health Savings Account. See my previous article on this.

be well

Cynthia Bye, ND
www.cynthiabye.com

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The aging brain  in the News

The aging brain in the News

The Aging Brain in the News

We have all heard of Alzheimer’s. It is a disease we all dread. The rate of Alzheimer’s has risen significantly in the US to around 5.4 million. This number is projected to double by 2040, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

We have been hearing for a long time that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with blood sugar. In fact I have heard it coined as Type III diabetes. There was a large study conducted in Japan reported that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study, published in the journal Neurology, found that even people with impaired glucose tolerance — a level of poor glucose control that precedes diabetes — were 35% more likely to develop some type of dementia. Now that is scary. As a ND we have always said every symptom in your body is connected to every part of you. Symptoms do not happen in isolation. Because 80% of my patients are cancer patients, I have always seen this connection that cancer is a multifactorial, systemic disease, and one of the common symptoms is impaired blood glucose. This is why we leave treating the tumor up to the oncologist but we treat the person with the cancer and the things that have contributed to the systemic process that allowed the cancer to grow.

Alzheimer’s disease is also a systemic process. It involves a buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. Diabetes plays a role in that process. Some researchers believe that poor blood sugar control can make it harder for the body to clear away amyloid proteins from the brain. We know that high blood sugar leads to high insulin and more inflammation in the body. Some suspect that high levels of glucose create a kind of toxicity in the body related to oxidative stress, in which harmful free radical molecules build up and damage tissue. We know with diabetes that the high blood sugar leads to high insulin which leads to inflammation Coinstar locations of the arteries and more plaque in the arteries. This leads to reduced circulation, and increased blood pressure. Ultimately, most of us are familiar with the end stage diabetic that has kidney failure, and amputations of the lower extremities due to lack of circulation. Now we are starting to put this same process of oxidative damage, insulin resistance, and poor circulation together with dementia.

Again, my mantra is prevention has a 100% cure rate. We all need to take charge of our own health and be proactive to prevent the onset of the diseases of aging. Keeping blood sugar under control, eating and digesting healthy foods, exercising, all reduce the oxidative damage, improve blood sugar control and circulation. We are here to experience our lives and live every moment of every day to its fullest. We can not do that without having fully functioning minds and bodies. As an ND my job is to help my patients do exactly that. Live life to its fullest.

Be Well,

Dr. Cynthia Bye

Cynthia Bye, ND
www.cynthiabye.com

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drug shortages…..what can we do ?

drug shortages…..what can we do ?

So there is a lot in the news about the recent drug shortages. Of course as a patent for a drug expires it goes generic and other companies can now manufacture it, and the price drops significantly. OK that is business. These drug companies spend $200-300 million to run their studies so they need to recoup their costs. I am ok with that. What I am not ok with is new drugs that have one minor variation of the old drug so that they get a new patent and then reduce the supply of the old drug so you have to use the new drug. The new drug does not work any better, it just has a new patent so they can maintain exclusivity. An example is the cancer drug leucovorin. The new drug is L-Leucovorin, what is called a isomer of the old leucovorin, a drug used for colon cancer. At this time, from what I have read, it does not appear to work any better than the old Leucovorin.

So what can we do about it. We can do what I tell all my patients, take charge of your health so you won’t need these drugs. Remember, the only person in charge of your health is you. My premise has always been, be proactive not reactive. Don’t wait until you have a symptom to start doing something about it. A symptom is a late stage imbalance. Given the body is so well designed, when something goes out of whack, it is designed to bring it back into the normal range by compensation and what we call homeostasis. I can’t tell you how many times I have people say, I didn’t start having symptoms until I turned 50ish. In actuality the imbalances started way before then, it is just that the body was compensating for the imbalance. A symptom occurs when the body can no longer keep up with the imbalance.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to using drugs if they are really needed. Some people would not be here without them. I myself prescribe them on occasion. However, just remember, in the majority of cases, the drug is treating the symptom not the cause of the symptom. I work with my patients to teach them how to take care of themselves. I believe it is the doctors job to empower patients to be proactive in their own health care. Unfortunately, in todays medical model of 7 minute visits, the physician only has time to write a prescription to treat the symptom. It is not that they don’t want to spend more time, it is they can’t based on the insurance reimbursements. Given Medicare reimbursements are slated to drop again in January 2012, this is only going to get worse. In order to understand what is going on with my patients, I spend 2 hours in the initial consultation. We do a full head to toe review of systems and start connecting the dots. I explain what is going on and why. You can’t do this in 7 minutes. Our present system is not set up to do this.

One way we can reduce the impact on our personal and national economics is to stay well. By staying well we reduce the need for pharmaceuticals. Take charge, empower youself with education and implement a strategy that will improve the quality of your life. The only person in charge of your health is you. Prevention has a 100% cure rate… no one can argue with that statement.

be well,

Dr Bye

Multiple vitamin study

Multiple vitamin study

I am sure some of you saw the multiple vitamin study in the news that said that taking a multiple vitamin might increase risk of death in women who take them. Well that got my attention until I read the study. A total of 38,772 older women were included in the analysis. Women were aged between 55 to 69 years, with an average of 61.6 years at the beginning of the study in 1986. This was Self-reported data on vitamin supplement use from 1986, 1997, and 2004. If you look at the study a couple of things come out. First the study points out that these women also reported more use of estrogen replacement therapy. So how do they know this slight increase in risk of death was not due to the hormonal replacement. Second this is a non controled self reported study and they are not the most reliable and therefore not used to show cause and effect. There are also questions about what type and form of each vitamin, this was not disclosed. They point out that Although many vitamin supplements did not appear to be associated with a higher risk for total mortality, several were, including multivitamins, vitamins B6, and folic acid, as well as minerals iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Well there are many questions here, what was the total mg/day, what form was the vitamin in, minerals should not be taken separately unless under a doctors supervision. Calcium should be paired with Magnesium, Zinc should be paired with Copper, Iron should only be taken if you have low ferritin per a blood test. Each of these vitamins or minierals can be used separately short term for a therapeutic effect, but not long term by themselves. This is why it is important to see a Naturopathic doctor who is trained in nutrition, vitamins, minerals and herbs. ND’s are the only licensed primary care physicians that have formal training in these areas. I can’t tell you how many times I have patients come in with literally large garbage bags full of supplements that they got from the internet, or healthfood store, especially cancer patients. We go through each of these.products and most are in the wrong forms or duplicates and I end up taking them off of most of them. That savings alone many times pays for my visit.

What this study does do, is remind us that if you want to use supplements, you should not self-prescribe over-the-counter medicines unless you know what you are doing. Please find a licensed ND who is knowledgable and informed about recommending vitamins, herbal medicines, supplements, dietary changes, etc as medically indicated.

Cynthia Bye, ND
360-695-8800

medicinal mushrooms and cancer

medicinal mushrooms and cancer

Introduction to Medicinal Mushrooms:

Dr. Cynthia Bye,

2400 Broadway St

Vancouver, WA 98663

360-695-8800

Medicinal mushrooms have some of the most potent remedial compounds found in nature, and they are starting to be recognized in Western society for their great wellness properties. Interestingly enough, humans are more closely related to fungi than to any other kingdom, including plants, protozoans, and bacteria, and we have developed similar defenses against mutual disease-causing enemies. The idea is that because fungi and animals suffer from many of the same diseases, fungal medicines are active against many of the organisms that infect humans. Though ancient cultures have known this for centuries, scientific studies have only confirmed their incredible healing powers within the past few decades.

The results of these studies are numerous and overwhelmingly positive. To name a few, Dr. Ikekawa, who studied a huge population in Nagano Prefecture from 1972 to 1986, found that the cancer rates were reduced by 65% for men and 43% for women who consumed Enoki mushrooms regularly. Then, in 1994, the first clinical study in the US revealed a multifold increase of natural killer cell activity, a reduced rate in cancer markers, and increased survival rates among cancer patients supplementing with mushroom extracts.

Since then, research on medicinal mushrooms has exploded. Scientists have also verified antimicrobial and anti-fungal activity. Different species of mushrooms have shown to inhibit the growth of yeasts and bacteria that cause staph and various E. coli infections, diarrheal diseases, TB, listeriosis, strep throat, rashes and impetigo. Notable scientific articles have identified various mushroom species as stress reducers, sexual performance enhancers, nerve, liver, and kidney tonics, cholesterol reducers, cardio-vascular enhancers, blood sugar and blood pressure moderators, anti-oxidant, and anti-tumor.

Medicinal mushrooms have become increasingly valued and exploited for their promising anti-tumor and immune-enhancing properties. The active compounds responsible are beta-glucans, polysaccharides found in the cell wall of the mushroom. These beta glucans stimulate the immune system, activating macrophage and cytokine expression. These macrophages and cytokines are our disease-fighting cells and mediators of immune responses. However, because these compounds are found within the cell walls, which are made of chitin and indigestible to us, it is very important to buy only hot water extracts of the mushrooms; otherwise the benefits of these beta glucans are lost. That is not to say eating a mushroom does not have any value, it does, however the true medicinal properties and immune enhancing properties are from the beta glucans that are stored in the cell wall of the mushroom. The Chinese have known this since the beginning of time and use hot teas to extract the active ingredients of mushrooms and herbs. So it is important that you read your labels when buying mushrooms. The majority of mushroom supplements being sold today are ground up mushrooms, or what they call mycelium biomass, so would have the same benefit as eating the mushroom. The ground up biomass does not have the therapeutic beta glucans because you can not digest the cell wall of the mushroom where the beta glucans are stored. Given this just buy the mushroom at the grocery store and eat it. It is a lot cheaper way to get the whole food benefits of the ground up mushroom. If you want the therapeutic benefits of the beta glucans you need to buy the mushroom extracts. The product will say on the label what percent of beta glucans it has if it is an extract and should say extract in the supplement facts section of the label.

One of the six guiding principles of Naturopathic medicine is to, first do no harm. In contrast to pharmaceuticals, mushrooms have a very low toxicity, even at high doses, which becomes important for cancer patients weakened by their chemotherapy and radiation. The fact that mushrooms can treat a broad range of diseases without harming human host cells makes them one of the most useful and exciting cancer treatments as seen by multiple studies. Through centuries of use and recent scientific studies, medicinal mushrooms have proven to be a powerful, safe treatment for a variety of diseases, and they are finally receiving recognition in the West as powerful, safe, natural tools.

Be well

Dr. Bye

Cynthia Bye, ND
www.cynthiabye.com

Confidentiality Disclaimer: The information contained in this communication is confidential and is intended only for the use of the recipient named above. If you have received this Email in error, please return it to the sender and delete it from your system. Thank you.