As doctors how can we safely prescribe medications to all our patients? We can read the scientific studies that are published regarding the pharmaceutical. This is called "evidence based" medicine.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Gluten sensitivity and drug reactions go together.
Dr. David Healy, a psychiatrist has some very powerful points in his address to the American Psychiatric Association meeting October 4, 2012. The main one is how physicians are not apprised of all the adverse effects (including death) and side effects of the medication promoted to them, for the purpose of prescribing them to their patients. Or even the true effectiveness of medications. Part of the reason is because of some doctors' close relationships to the pharmaceutical industry. I hope the Mental health community starts to realize it has to lower it's reliance on drugs for those very reasons, and increase it's awareness of the up to date neuroscience information which point to non-drug therapies such as orthomolecular medicine and very effective NADA practices.
Gluten Sensitive persons have high rates of methylation problems, more than 50%, which leads to many health issues but especially drug reactions.(In my own chart review, 76% of my patients have at least one abnormal methylation gene, out of two genes studied, and there are a total of 11 methylation genes).
And gluten sensitive persons, especially when they are ingesting gluten, have high rates of depression, schizophrenia (17% increased risk), and other mood disorders. When they seek help, they may be treated with medications without an effort to eliminate the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity (see my previous blog entry on how gluten causes neuropathology), methylation issues and the nutritional deficiencies that go along with it, like low cholesterol, iron,vitamin A,D,E,and K,or zinc.When the gluten is eliminated, the methylation issues cleared with B vitamins and zinc, infections cleared, nutritional deficiencies corrected and other metabolic alterations corrected, mental health can be regained. Drugs may have a role while the person is restoring their health, but much caution is required. Monitoring for suicide ideation, a side effect of many drugs, by asking directly, is part of my routine.
Read part of Dr. Healy's address to psychiatrists:
This situation of hidden relevant data concerning medications for all indications is similar in Canada.
Two points I'd like to make:
1. Gluten sensitivity and psychiatric problems go together. Many persons have undiagnosed celiac and gluten sensitive problems, a 400% increase incidence since 1948, and the may be as many as 13 undiagnosed for everyone diagnosed. Maybe 40% of the population is affected in some way. And they have severe health issues including mental health issues. Testing for celiac is imperative.
2.Gluten sensitivity and drug reactions go together. It needs to be understood that the role of medication is as part of a complex of remedies with: diet, supplements, mindfulness, psychotherapy, acupuncture and others. This will avoid serious side effects. With the use of medication, look at the risk/benefit profile and look for all the metabolic abnormalities in the individual.To repeat, this would include, but is not limited to: Homocysteine for methylation issues and the nutritional deficiencies that go along with gluten sensitivity, like low cholesterol, iron,vitamin A,D,E,and K,or zinc. I also look for pyrroluria, a genetic condition that leads to functional zinc and B6 deficiency.
To your health and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers.