Holistic medicine encompasses all that is not covered by Western conventional allopathic medicine. I am not qualified to write about such a wide range of alternative health. My training and background are as a trained and qualified research scientist. This world requires that any value be proved by double blind, experimentally sound scientific studies.
Bipolar Disorder was diagnosed in 1991. This is a rare diagnosis at 50. Manic Depression, also known as Bipolar Disorder, is not something that usually happens after 40. My wife Marcia took me from my Long Island home to Manhattan, where I was suffering from clinical depression. It took us about an hour and a half to get there by car. Jerry, our insurance agent, suggested that the Atkins Center might be a good option. Robert Atkins M.D. Although he died a few years back, he still had a six-story building that was dedicated to what he called Complementary Medicine.
Complementary meant that Dr. Atkins was adding holistic medical approaches to his traditional internal medicine cardiology training. I arrived at the hospital in the early morning and was given a 5-hour blood glucose tolerance test to determine if I was hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic. Blood was taken for various analyses and stool samples were taken. Food allergies were also tested. I was given a bag of vitamins and told that I had yeast in the intestinal tract. I then started the Atkins high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Marcia also took me to our first alternative medical conference, which was held in Manhattan that year. Although none of the options offered, including the orthomolecular psychotherapy at the Atkins Center did anything to alleviate my clinical depression, it did set me on a path to holistic medicine.
Today, I practice my own form of complementary medicine for myself and anyone who is interested. My migraines began to worsen when I was 27 years old and I returned from Israel with my Ph.D. in Biophysics. My migraines got worse and my pain became more intense. Although I had been able to tolerate pain since the age of four, this pain was unbearable.
Migraine headaches are vascular. First, one triggers the vasoconstriction (squeezing blood vessels in the neck and head) followed by the vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels). The blood vessels expand beyond their original locations, causing the migraine sufferer to feel the terrible throbbing. Although I don’t know much about giving birth, you can’t imagine the pain if you have never experienced migraines.
After living with this pain for years, I was finally able to read a book written by a South American doctor about the relationship between sugar and migraines in the early 1980s. I don’t know his name or the title of the book but I do recall what the doctor wrote. He suggested that sugar could trigger migraines in some people who were sensitive to the biochemical changes caused by sugar. My science background helped me understand the doctor’s suggestion. I was desperate to find a reason for my migraines and was open to any explanation. I had been to the Headache Clinic at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, New York. No explanation was given.
The body breaks down table sugar or the sucrose disaccharide into monosaccharides glucose and fructose. This causes the pancreas to secrete insulin. The insulin is required to transport the glucose-broken sugar of sucrose into our cells for energy, work in our muscles, as well as for making triglycerides within our fat cells. It is a complex biochemical process that involves the exchange of certain ions across cell membranes.
The term sugar is a misnomer. Sugar is the sugar product of sucrose which is glucose. The secretion of norepinephrine or epinephrine can cause migraines in migraine sufferers who have sensitive blood vessels. These hormones or neurotransmitters in addition to breaking down glycogen (a string of glucose molecules), they also cause vasoconstriction in the skin blood vessels in their neck, shoulders, and head. This is how migraines can begin and become difficult to stop.
According to a South American doctor, migraines can begin within minutes of eating sweets. It could happen anywhere from forty-five minutes to ninety minutes after sweets were consumed. I had a few thoughts about his findings in the 1980s, but never tried to keep a close eye on my food. This was until 1991, when I joined the Atkins Center. At the start of my Atkins Center treatment, I weighed 175 lbs. A couple of months later on a carbohydrate-restricted diet I was 150 pounds. Miraculously, the migraines vanished.
Intestinal Yeast Infection
An intestinal yeast infection, which yeasts such as Candida albicans love, can also be a problem. Traditional allopathic doctors do not believe in intestinal yeast infections, even though they are open to oral and vaginal yeast infections. I believe in yeast because I have personally experienced its effects as a scientist. It is much more difficult to get rid than to acquire something. People often say this about their marriages. In the same way that mercury contamination can cause havoc in your body, yeast in your large intestine could also cause problems. Or yeast can cause similar symptoms to a low thyroid level or low blood sugar levels due to hypoglycemia.
Bloating and brain fog are two of the most obvious signs of yeast infection. However, stool cultures and blood tests will be required to confirm it. My diagnosis was made at the Atkins Center in 1991. It is very difficult to get rid of yeast. A doctor who is knowledgeable about the subject is essential. All of this can be accompanied by yeast allergy, which I refer to as yeast psychiatry. Your family doctor might recommend that you see a psychiatrist if you are suffering from clinical depression.
You may need to eat a restricted diet of carbohydrates. You are killing the yeast and building your immune response to attack it from the inside, but you also need to replace your intestinal tract by what we call good bacteria. All your good bacteria is destroyed when yeast takes over. In the early nineties, we compared several commercial products to see which ones had good bacteria. Many of the commercial products were either devoid of live bacteria or contaminated.
Although we did not publish this work, it is important to have a product with live bacteria such as the organic yogurts to allow the bacteria to attach to the intestinal wall. One of these products is still in use today. It’s called Kyo-Dophilus. I can assure you that I do not own stock in the company.
You need to replace it by good bacteria. Good bacteria may also be helpful in preventing yeast infections from developing in the vaginal area. The wild berries our ancestors grew in the wild were the source of sweet taste many years before we were all born. Sugar is a staple in American diets and our children love it. We have become accustomed to the sweetness of white sugar, which is refined from sugar cane.
Most of the products on supermarket shelves are made up of sucrose, glucose, or sugar derivatives such as corn syrup. You might wonder, “What is it that we like about sugar?” Let me leave you with a short, poorly designed experiment with baby rats. The scientists pre-fed the rats sugared water and the pups were able stay on the hotplate for longer. The conclusion was that sugar stimulates rat’s endorphin system, which helps us to distract from pain. Anything that makes us feel good in life gives us an endorphin high. Every action has a response and they our costs for living a good life.