Health & Fitness
What Doctors Don't Tell You Australia/NZ

What Doctors Don't Tell You Australia/NZ April - May 2020

What Doctors Don’t Tell You is a bi-monthly magazine which publishes the latest healthcare news, alongside information on complimentary therapies and alternative medicines, with a host of features and stories written by leading experts and our highly-respected regular contributors. We aim to bring our readers world-leading research and ground-breaking news. Our hallmark is in-depth research, and hard-won information of a quality that can change lives for the better.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
a knife in back surgery

Every year, half a million Americans undergo surgery for low back problems alone, at a cost of more than US$11 billion. For the most part, the surgeries are for herniated (or slipped) discs, where a disc tears, some of its gelatinous insides come out, and the disc starts to bulge. The other major condition landing people at the surgeon’s door is spinal stenosis, caused by slipped discs or arthritis. In this case, the spinal canal begins to narrow, pinching the spinal cord or the nerves branching off to various parts of the body, and causing pain, tingling or numbness in your arms or legs, depending where the pinch occurs on the spine. With our sedentary lives, pinched nerves affect more than 10 percent of the population, particularly those over 50. The most common procedure…

3 min.
editorial panel

Dr. Jean Monro, medical director of the Breakspear Hospital, is an internationally recognized specialist in environmental medicine, including such conditions as chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease and multiple chemical sensitivity. She is Fellow of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and a Board Certified US examiner. Dr. Damien Downing, whose practice specializes in allergy, environment and nutrition, is current president of the British Society for Ecological Medicine and on the editorial board of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. Chief Medical Advisor of cancer charity Yes to Life (www.yestolife.org.uk), he is also the author of numerous books, including The Vitamin Cure for Allergies. Dr. Harald Gaier, arguably the UK’s most knowledgeable practitioner of the major alternative medical disciplines, is registered in the UK as an osteopath, homeopath, acupuncturist, naturopath and medical herbalist. Former director…

3 min.
have your say

“I have been telling my patients for years there’s no such thing as mind and body. It has to be one integrated system” Hormones helped me As a subscriber, I have loved your UK magazine for years and have learned much. I just wanted to make a few comments about the hormones article in a recent issue, based on my experience using bioidentical hormone gels (estradiol/estriol and progesterone). I am almost 60 now and went through menopause in my early 50s. Hormones can be cycled so there is a ‘break’ of five or six days, like a period each month, which is what I do when taking mine. I also cycle my progesterone and only use it for the last half of the month, before I have the ‘break.’ At first, I took progesterone…

25 min.

Meditation breaks opioid addiction spiral Mindfulness meditation—a passive awareness of the body and its surroundings—can help people overcome their addiction to opioids, the powerful painkillers. After eight weeks of meditating, people lost their need for opioids, felt less pain and regained their joy for nature and family, a shift that was recorded by EEG (electroencephalogram), which monitors brain patterns. With opioid addiction killing around a hundred Americans a day, researchers from the University of Utah say mindfulness meditation is a proven and safe way to break the addictive cycle. A type of mindfulness practice, which the researchers call MORE (Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement), has been tested on 135 people who had been taking opioids for chronic pain. During the two-month study, the participants either meditated or took part in a therapist-led support group. Their brain function…

5 min.
blues clues: ssri antidepressants don’t work

Zoloft (sertraline) is the world’s most commonly prescribed antidepressant, with more than 37 million prescriptions written every year in the US alone—and it doesn’t work. Researchers who carried out the trial, one of the first independent studies that wasn’t funded by the drug’s manufacturer, say they were left “shocked and surprised” by the results, which revealed the drug was only slightly more effective than a placebo, or sugar pill. The discovery puts a big question mark over the whole family of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, which were developed based on the controversial theory that depression is the result of an imbalance in serotonin, a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system. The SSRIs were launched more than 30 years ago and are now generating annual…

1 min.
what can help?

If SSRIs can’t help lift depression, what can? Depression is being seen as a multifactorial problem—and inflammation, environmental causes, trauma and nutritional deficiencies have all been cited as possible causes. This suggests that many different therapies could be used to relieve symptoms, and even reverse the problem. Lifestyle changes, including an improved diet, adopting a positive attitude, exercise and social activity, have all been used successfully. Vitamin D: Low levels have been linked to depression, and people with a deficiency are more likely to be depressed. The vitamin can help with the healthy functioning of neurotransmitters and inflammatory markers. Omega-3 fats: If depression is an inflammatory disease, the omega-3 fats could help reverse it. One analysis of 13 studies concluded that the supplements could ease major depressive disorders.1 St John’s wort: The herb is “significantly more effective”…