“The REST of the story”

For more than 50 years, radio commentator Paul Harvey famously surprised us with “rest of the story”. These days, a fly on the wall would often hear me muttering “but what about…” as I read / listen to news reports about health. Here are three examples:

  • “The body’s ‘normal’ temperature has dropped.” As the Scientific American article reports, for nearly 150 years, 98.6° was understood to be the temperature of a healthy human. Now researchers claim based on averages that the new normal is 97.5°.

The rest of the story. Really? It is illogical that the genetics of whole populations could have changed in just a few decades. Hmmm…you know what else has changed in that time period? The incidence of thyroid insufficiency which has gone up markedly and a major symptom of low thyroid is low body temperature! The condition is under-reported and the low-temp symptom is often still present even after treatment with the synthetic thyroid drug. So, are they really talking about a new “normal” or have they basically said that on average we are sicker, so we’ll just call it normal?

Since 40% of the country is obese, should we now call that “normal”? Likewise, several studies have concluded that boys and girls are reaching puberty at younger ages. Do we change the guidelines in the textbooks, or try to control the hormone-disrupting chemicals and plastics in the environment that Dr. Jay said are to blame?

  • Sepsis. According to the CDC, “each year, at least 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis. Nearly 270,000 Americans die [annually] as a result of sepsis. 1 in 3 patients who die in a hospital have sepsis.” Wikipedia explains: “Sepsis is caused by an inflammatory immune response triggered by an infection. Most commonly, the infection is bacterial, but it may also be fungal, viral, or protozoan.” Sepsis is the leading cause of deaths in hospitals and the incidence of it is rising by 8% per year. 

The rest of the story. Bill Sardi reported: Modern Medicine’s Aversion To Vitamin C Therapy Results In Needless Deaths From Sepsis In U.S. Hospitals Every Year. He also told me that “one published study reveals the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency is ~7% for the public at large but rises to 47.3% among hospitalized patients.  That figure approaches 100% in the ICU.” Intravenous vitamin C is extremely inexpensive.

  • A New Approach to Cancer Treatment Draws Lessons From Darwin. “Adaptive treatment” is a type that takes a break from chemo after the tumor is reduced by a certain percentage. The point is to stop before the tumor cells all become resistant to the chemo drug. Once that happens, the patient is in serious trouble. (Some farmers and smart pest control services do something similar. They leave a few critters behind to compete with the ones that have evolved resistance to the poison.) Cancer treatment is resumed when the cancer begins to grow again. This approach significantly increased the survival rate while reducing both the cost of treatment and side effects. Sounds promising.

The rest of the story. Research continues. In an early study it was projected that the optimum time to suspend treatment was when the tumor had shrunk 25%. However, to make the idea better accepted, the treatment was continued until a 50% reduction was achieved. What interests me most about this is that oncologists have been so slow to learn from the farmers, pest control and the horrible mess we’ve made by creating antibiotic resistance. I’m impressed that our friendly bacteria, which are a huge part of our immune system, can mutate to protect us as the threats change. Too little research is being done on how our microbes can be used to help with treatment and how to avoid killing them off with treatment. (Chemo damages them of course, but so do antibiotics that are used in cancer surgery…often with no thought to replacing the depleted probiotics.)

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