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Sunday, September 30, 2007

ASPHALT PAVING OF ROADS: EFFECTS UPON CANCER

ASPHALT PAVING OF ROADS: EFFECTS UPON CANCER

I have been thinking about this subject for almost 50 years, and I know it will be very controversial, but here is the proposition. Have you ever as a child watched the tar on the road or sidewalk bubble under the heat of the hot sun in the summer time? I even remember as a child picking up the tar and molding it in my fingers. Also do you remember and do you observe now the hydrocarbon odor emanating from an asphalt road as the sun beats upon it especially during the hot summer months? If you have not, bring your nose to about one or two feet from the surface of the pavement and you will smell it.

Just go to the gas pump and observe the federal regulations in effect as the attempt is made to protect the gasoline purchaser from the fumes emanating from pouring gas into the tank. That short exposure is insignificant to the exposure one obtains driving down a hot asphalt-paved highway.

There might be a relationship, although probably difficult to prove a causal one, between the increasing use of asphalt for paving and cancer in the US. If we recognize the well proven causative effect of hydrocarbons upon causing cancer, why do we not recognize a similar causative relationship between the inhalation of asphalt fumes to the same disease? There is a reason mentioned below. Whether the exposure is to a single large dose of a carcinogenic substance or to the cumulative effect of many small doses would appear to be a mute one because in laboratory experiments it is well known that the body can store toxic substances so that the many small doses eventually are large doses. Although the body is equipped to eliminate toxic substances, depending upon the substance the detoxifying capacity of the body, it can be slowed because of the chemical involved and the dose accumulated.

The body can eliminate toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, but, depending upon the speed of this detoxification and the dose of the toxic chemical, disease may occur as a result of an imbalance between these two events. If the ability to detoxify is less than the amount of chemical entering the body, disease occurs.

The exposure to the fumes emanating from asphalt-paved roads is a chronic one. The fumes are hydrocarbon gasses which are taken into the lungs and absorbed. I do not know what effect skin exposure might have, but considering the amount of chemicals some people put on their skin, such as creams, antiperspirants, and deodorants, skin absorption might be altered and might be a source by which a chemical is absorbed.

We warn the public to avoid exposure to hydrocarbon chemicals. I am warning about the exposure to asphalt fumes but short of wearing a face mask all the time, I have, at this time, no ready solution. Sorry.

If DDT were considered so dangerous to the public health that in December 1972 it was banned from general use in the US, why not do the same for asphalt which might be a greater danger because of its ever present and continuous exposure?

It would probably be in health’s best interest to pave roads with cement which is more inert than asphalt, at least fumes do not emanate from cement-paved roads other than what might come from the adherence of tire rubber and oil spills from vehicles. I do not expect the practice of paving roads with asphalt to diminish any time soon because the largest industries in the world – the oil industry – is heavily involved and they have considerably more power than I to spew forth the propaganda refuting my humble considerations.


nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

TOXIC INSECTICIDES

TOXIC INSECTICIDES

When I was a young man the Postmaster of my home town of Salem Massachusetts decided early one Sunday morning to spray his roses with a DDT-containing insecticide. By early afternoon he was in the hospital, and by evening he was dead.

Just yesterday a good friend of mine emailed me from his home in California. He told me he was recovering from the poisonous effects of using a Malathion-containing insecticide.

Many of my readers know that I now specialize in Allergy, Nutrition, and Environmental Medicine. The exposure to very toxic insecticides is one of the more dramatic environmental-induced diseases. We will discuss the more subtle effects other environmental toxic substances sometime in the future.

What makes insecticides toxic? It is the anticholinergic effect of these toxins affecting nerve transmission.

CHOLINESTERASE AND ANTICHOLINESTERASE

In biochemistry, cholinesterase is an enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into choline and acetic acid, a reaction necessary to allow a cholinergic neuron to return to its resting state after activation. When a nerve is stimulated the chemical, acetylcholine, is produced to cause the nerve transmission to occur. With the build up of this chemical nerve transmission ceases and before the nerve can function again the acetylcholine must be broken down (hydrolyzed) into its two components of choline and acetic acid. Now the nerve is ready to transmit again with the production on acetylcholine.

A cholinesterase inhibitor (or "anticholinesterase") suppresses the action of the enzyme. Because of its essential function, chemicals that interfere with the action of cholinesterase are potent neurotoxins, causing excessive salivation and eye watering in low doses, followed by muscle spasms and ultimately death (examples are some insecticides (DDT and Malathion), snake venoms, and the nerve gases sarin and VX).

Outside of biochemical warfare, anticholinesterase are also used in anesthesia or in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease. Also, such compounds are used for killing insects in a range of products including sheep dip, organophosphate pesticides, and carbamate pesticides. In addition to acute poisoning as described above, a semi-acute poisoning characterized by strong mental disturbances can occur. Also, prolonged exposure can cause birth defects.

DDT’S REMOVAL IN 1972

Must copy and paste: http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.htm

In December, 1972, the general use of DDT was banned in the United States. In fact, it was the event which resulted in the development of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). DDT was developed as the first of the modern insecticides early in World War II. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations. Initially DDT was very useful, but with its widespread use it became evident that the harmful effect to human and animal health greatly outweighed its usefulness.

One of the more dramatic effects upon wildlife was its effect upon killing off large populations of Osprey and the Bald Eagle, our National Symbol. These birds would eat insects or fish contaminated with DDT and their eggs would develop soft shells preventing hatching. After the DDT ban it took almost 30 years before these bird species would recover to the point to remove them from the endangered list.


These insecticides are potent poisons which should be used very sparingly. One should constantly be aware of the balance between removal of insect populations for both disease control and the benefits to farming.

Additionally, individuals using these chemicals should be adequately protected, by wearing protective breathing gear and protecting against skin exposure. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and in a hot day when perspiration occurs the skin becomes much more vulnerable.

So be careful if you decide to spray those roses early in the morning so you will not be dead by evening!

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

TOURETTE'S SYNDROME, cont'd: PART II.

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME, cont’d.

PART II (PART I, published yesterday)

DISCUSSION

This is a story of a young man who suffered from Tourette's Syndrome for almost ten years from age 2 ½ till the time I examined him at age 12 years His problem got so bad that it required his removal from school 2 ½ months previous to his first visit in my office.

Being in early adolescence, he was beginning to feel the usual anxieties resulting from being isolated from his friends. On his second visit, one week after he came to the office for the first time, he told me: “Doctor, I want to thank you for what you have done for me.” This is quite a comment coming from a 12 year old child.

As he continued to improve, he appeared happier and he smiled more. His mother who was a nurse was well versed in the form of therapy we were giving the boy for she sought me out because of our approach. Her local physician advised her to go ahead and try out what we had to say. The husband, father of the boy, was skeptical.

The mother was very concerned about the fact that the boy was not improving and that he was on three medications, namely, Celexa, Ritalin, and Focalin (a quicker acting Ritalin-related drug). Most amazing is the fact that even though the child was getting worse on these drugs, little thought was being given to considering stopping such medications.

I know well that an objective scientific paper of this kind should be free of recriminations of others who insist upon staying the conventional course by giving such drugs even though they do little good and, in fact, can do more harm. The fact that this boy was worsening while on the drugs appeared not to awaken those who prescribed such drugs.

The theory we are considering can best be described in the answer to a question: Did the Good Lord Creator intend for some who apparently appear normal in most other respects to have impaired brain chemistry or why are some individuals abnormal in these manifestations while others are normal? I fully well realize that invoking the word Lord Creator brings in a non-scientific Theological Approach, but in essence the reader should know what we mean. If you wish, replace The Good Lord Creator with the word Nature.

What is impaired in an individual's brain chemistry which makes him prone to Tourette's Disease, or ADHD, or Autism, or such other abnormal manifestations of the brain and mind? Is it dietary? Is it a reaction to toxic elements in our environment? It is difficult for us to believe that it is the outward manifestation of impaired genetics. Genetics could explain why some are affected while others are not in so far as some may resist the aberrational effect of an impaired diet or toxins. Looked at in another way, everything that happens in our human body is related to genetics. But to explain the cause to genetics begs the question: given a normal clean environment including a proper diet and the lack of toxins, would we express such abnormal diseases.

Although we have the enzymes to rid our bodies of some toxins, such as limited amounts of arsenic and mercury, do we have the enzymes capable of eliminating those man-made chemicals which over the many years of evolution, adaptation, and mutation did not exist within the environment for us to develop those enzymes necessary for their detoxification?

Our theory begins with DIET. We believe that given the proper nutrients which may or may not include vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and other supplements, the body should be equipped to act and react normally to the environment. This theory would have little merit were it not for the fact that approaching treatment in this manner achieves results.

Placing an individual on a very strict elimination diet is the first step. It allows the body to eliminate what it has already taken in, and it begins a process by which no additional dietary insults are introduced. We consume too much of the same foods every day. Have you ever considered how many foods contain corn or a corn product, such as corn sweetener, corn starch, etc.? How about milk and milk products, such as whey and milk solids? These are in very many processed foods.

Years ago, there were some clinics both in the United States and Europe who advocated placing individuals on a water (distilled) only diet for two plus weeks before doing anything else. People responded. Some rare private clinics still do. These clinics still have their advocates and followers.

In our opinion, allergy testing, especially for foods, has little merit. It is in the process of elimination followed by food rotation and observing the response in the patient himself where the true and correct solution exists.

We fully realize that our young man with Tourette's Disease is a single patient. But the undeniable fact that his symptoms COMPLETELY disappeared on an elimination diet and complete cessation of his medications must prove something. It will take some persons other than we to convince this boy that his response did not really happen!

CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD

Environmental physicians have for some time proposed the Concept Of The Total Load . At the outset of this discussion, it would be prudent to define two terms: the allergic and sensitivity reactions. The allergic reaction would refer to a more specific set of circumstances where the body's reaction results from a series of biologic events initiated by a specific antigen/antibody reaction. A sensitivity reaction would result from a series of events not necessarily the result of an antibody reacting to a specific antigen. It could be a reaction to any number of toxic substances, such as irritants like cigarette smoke, perfumes, and colognes, etc. As an overall term, sensitivity could encompass the allergic reaction, but not necessarily vice versa. An allergic reaction could be a sensitivity, but a sensitivity would not always be an allergic reaction. For the sake of our argument here, I will refer to the more general and less specific term “sensitivity.”

A person could be sub-minimally sensitive to one substance so that no clinical symptoms occur. A person can be sub-minimally sensitive to a second substance again to the point where no symptoms are experienced. But the combination of exposure to both substances are additive to the point where symptoms now occur. Therefore, the Total Load resulting from both exposures increased the insult above the body's capacity to control symptoms. It is in this situation that skin testing may not truly represent what is happening within the body.

In a form of allergy testing, an antigen is introduced and the patient's reactions to the antigen are observed. Rarely are two antigens tested simultaneously. If what we wish to determine is the total load concept, this form of allergy testing falls short of the mark. A more prudent approach is to eliminate the suspected culprit foods or antigens, watch for the symptoms to disappear, then introduce the foods one by one. It may well be that, if rotation of foods were on the agenda, one may never know which combination of foods is causing which symptoms. But then, is this really important, if what we wish to achieve were the curing of the patient?

In the concept of food rotation, it is generally accepted that a person can eat a food to which he is sensitive, if he were to eat it no more than once every three or four days. It is important to note that this may hold true with most foods, but not to chance it with allergies to the legume peanuts, regular nuts or shellfish. With these complete elimination from the diet is essential.

The Concept Of The Total Load would hold true to combinations of sensitivity reactions, such as foods, pollens, other inhalants, and other exposures. Interesting may be the response of addicted individuals to an elimination. We had a patient who we wished to cure of her serious addiction to Paxil. During the course of a diet elimination program, she was able to slowly tapir Paxil where she was unable to do so before.

SUMMARY

We are reporting the cessation of severe vocal and motor symptoms in a 12 year old boy suffering from Tourette's Disease for ten years on an elimination diet. During the treatment period of four, we were able to completely discontinue the three medications he was taking for his condition. It would appear that others should try this rather harmless, but effective, approach to the therapy of Tourette's Disease.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso’s Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

Friday, September 21, 2007

TOURETTE'S SYNDROME: A Novel, But Effective, Treatment

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME: A Novel, But Effective, Treatment

PART I

INTRODUCTION

A 12 year old boy presented with the typical symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome (TS). As I sat in my office, I could hear his very loud vocal almost continuous utterances as he and his mother walked into the waiting room for the first time. When I went to investigate the cause of the noises, I observed the severe motor tics of nose twitching, grimaces, neck stretching, and total body twisting. He was, in fact, the worst case of TS that I had ever seen.

This paper essentially describes the course of therapy which resulted in COMPLETE cessation of symptoms.

HISTORY

The first symptoms began when this boy was 2 ½ years old. Symptoms progressed and increased as he got older until symptoms got so bad requiring his removal from school about 2 ½ months previously. He was presently home-schooled.

He had been examined by numerous physicians including a psychiatrist, all of whom confirmed the diagnosis of TS. The psychiatrist placed the boy on medication. Eventually, by the time I saw him, he was taking 3 medications:

1. Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) ( Forest ), 30 mg daily since age 5 ½

2. Ritalin LA (methylphenidate hydrochloride) (Novartis), 30 mg daily since age 6 ½ and

3. Focalin (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) (Novartis) , 5 mg daily for several months because he was not sleeping well..

He performed some usual exercise activities: swimming, biking, and baseball.

He had all the usual childhood immunizations at the required times. He was never allergy tested.


He had no major accidents or illnesses except at age one and one half and again at three he had ear tubes inserted bilaterally because of repeated recurrent otitis media (middle ear infections).

In response to a Food Allergy and Chemical Allergy Questionnaire the following questions were answered in the affirmative:

Do you or any family members have hay fever, asthma, hives, or chronic skin conditions?

Do you eat snacks frequently between meals: fruit, vegies, carbs.

Do you ever have itching of the skin?

Do you dislike or react to disinfectants, insecticides, sprays, ammonia, or moth balls?

Do you feel that you perform or feel better in natural lighting compared to fluorescent lighting?

FAMILY HISTORY

MOTHER: has hypertension, allergies and hay fever, and psoriasis.

FATHER: has sinus problems but was never allergy tested.

MOTHER'S PARENTS: both have hypertension, father has diabetes, prostate cancer, hypercholesterolemia, psoriasis, and a myocardial infarction.

FATHER'S PARENTS: both had high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia, and father had MS.



PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

The boy was of normal stature and weight for his age. His physical examination was normal except for the symptoms of TS, all of which were described earlier.

Additionally, the boy verbalized how upset he was with his condition. He missed the companionship of other children and playing baseball because his mother had to remove him from school. He was a young adult experiencing the psychological ramifications of his disease.


LABORATORY ANALYSIS

His most recent hematology was within normal limits and a Vitamin B12 level was slightly higher than the upper limit of normal by only 4 micro g/ml,


THERAPY

I will not detail the therapy here on the website because each patient will have to be individualized depending upon his particular circumstances and the medications he is taking. I will say, however, that during the first week on a rather severe elimination diet, we reduced his medication by 50%. During the second week, they were reduced an additional 50%, that is, he was now taking 25% of his original doses. The third week, all medications were stopped completely.

I will, however, describe his response in the following PROGRESS reports.

PROGRESS

Two days: The mother called me saying that the boy was about the same during the day but appeared to sleep better at night.

Second Visit (one week later): From my office, I heard the mother come into the waiting room, but I did not hear the vocalizations I heard the time they came into the office. At first, I thought that the mother left her son home not bringing him to the office. But when I went into the waiting room, there was the boy smiling not uttering a sound. Over the next 20 minutes he exhibited very mild utterances characteristic of TS. Additionally, his motor tics were also considerably diminished to the point that they were difficult to discern. The difference between now and the first visit one week earlier was literally like night and day .

Third Visit (one week later): On his third visit one week later the boy was even better. During the 45 minutes while he was in he office, I observed a single grimace and one small almost imperceptible peep. It would have been a well trained individual to have observed that this boy was suffering from Tourette's.

Fourth Visit (one week later): When this young boy arrived at the office on the fourth week, he was even better. During the 45 minutes in the interview he did not make a single sound and the a very rare, but mild, facial movement which went hardly unnoticed.

His mother, who was a nurse, stated that he experienced mild symptoms when given vinegar ( a fermented product) at one meal. She started feeding him fresh corn which he tolerated without symptoms.

Fifth Visit (three weeks later): At this, the young man was even better. The mother noticed that one evening following eating a large amount of pizza, which was not on his diet at the time, the boy exhibited moderate symptoms for several hours. He had, at this point, been off his medications for three weeks, indicating he needed them no more, not that he needed them in the firs place because they were making him worse.

PART II, TOMORROW.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M. D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD, PART II

CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD

PART II: Part I, published on 19 September 2007

WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE ALLERGIC?

I will digress a bit here to ask the question I posed earlier: “Why are so many people allergic?” We did not see this 50-100 years ago. Just look at the foods we buy at the stores. They almost all have additives in one form or another. Corn and wheat are grown in no till farms which require tons of herbicides, fertilizers, and chemical fertilizers. What happened to the farming principles when we rotated crops planting legumes such as clover, rape, and alfalfa every other year to fix nitrogen gas (80% of air) into the soil as soluble nitrogen salts for utilization by plants which are unable to fix nitrogen but still require it for growth?

Many of the chemical herbicides (to control weed growth) and pesticides (to control growth of noxious bugs) are absorbed by the plant and get into the grain, vegetable or fruit. But, fear not, our government determines what are safe amounts of these poisons in the final food product? But, the question to ask is: “Is there a safe level of a poison which nature never intended to get into the food chain?”

What about the animals we eat as food? They eat pesticide- and herbicide-contaminated grains. These chemicals get into the animal's system. We consume the meat. Another dangerous aspect of these chemicals is that the humans and animals have no way of ridding their bodies of these chemicals. They lack the detoxifying enzymes to destroy or eliminate these man made chemicals. I have often wondered whether the same thing akin to what happened to the eagle and osprey who ingested DDT. As a result of ingesting DDT, the egg shells were so soft that the babies never hatched. And these two species of birds were decimated because of the DDT spraying program. Thankfully, since we stopped using DDT as a mosquito pesticide these two species are recovering. But, it took years for recovery.

Are humans faring any better? Pesticides and herbicides accumulate within the human body. Mothers pass theses chemicals to their embryos, and children develop so many medical problems.

It is most difficult to grow up in a contaminated planet without getting contaminated. One does not need to attend a Jesuit school (as I did!) to understand the logic behind this statement.

On TV we view programs describing gross chemical contamination (e.g., the Love Canal Affair in Niagara Falls, NY in the late 1950's; Erin Brokovich's experience in Hinckley, in the Mojave area of California in the late 1980's: she wrote a book which was made into a popular movie; to name only two). What we are experiencing with food contamination is below the radar screen. It is still dangerous because it is insidious and slow, but it is still there. These aspects of insidiousness and slowness make it very difficult to establish cause and effect scientifically. Nevertheless we must try to explain why the response of the human body is changing.

Another aspect of prepared foods is that there are some foods found in many other prepared food products. Milk or a milk derivative (milk solids, whey protein, casein, etc.) can be found in many prepared foods. How about corn as corn sweetener, corn solids, etc? How about wheat? Did you know that there is wheat in Cherrios which is supposed to be made of oats? Begin to read labels and educate yourself.

When we eat any particular food (e.g., milk, corn, wheat, etc.) every day, we set ourselves up to develop a propensity for an allergy to the food. Believe me, my experience tells me it is so. Consuming prepared foods such as just described is not a good practice. Our protocol is designed to overcome this very bad eating practice.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
www.drtauraso.com

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BERNANKE HAS IT RIGHT THIS TIME; MoneyNews.com HAS IT WRONG

BERNANKE HAS IT RIGHT THIS TIME; MoneyNews.COM HAS IT WRONG

For once Bernanke and the Feds did the correct thing in lowering both the discount and fed funds rates by a half of a percent. I would have been bolder and lowered it 3/4 of a percent. MoneyNews.com, on the other hand, is getting it wrong by suggesting that this move by the Feds is not good for the American public. The so-called experts at MoneyNews.com should read all my previous Blogs on this subject and get themselves educated.

Let me simply state the argument again for those who lack a Jesuit education in logic. If the rapid lowering of the interest rates quickly over a short period of time and continuing to lower the rates before the market had time to adjust to the changes resulted, if not caused, the collapse of the sub-prime lending market, then increasing the interest rates will be the most logical thing to do to correct the problem. Get it, guys!

On a side note, can you believe Greenspan? This old man is losing his marbles. He just published a new book and if we can question some of “the facts according to Greenspan,” I am wondering about other things he said in the book. On TV yesterday Greenspan said that he carefully reviewed all of the actions of the Feds over the past 14 years and he could not find one instance where they made a mistake. Is this guy stupid, nuts, or just senile? I wish I had the omniscience he has. Why I thought only God had such knowledge and power. But, I guess Greenspan has it also. Not one single error? Oh, come on Alan.

I have mentioned in an earlier Blog that rarely does a politician or one in public office ever admit to an error. With such perfect individuals running our country, pray tell why is it so screwed up? Are we perhaps to assume that they might not be as perfect as they claim. Would any one of us consider taking that leap of not believing what politicians tell us?

Here is the problem. Greenspan is respected by some, not I, as an intelligent man. Why he must be intelligent because he speaks in a language no one else understands. Greenspan writes a book with so-called “facts according to Greenspan” and people will read his book and believe the erroneous facts he writes. There might be an occasional interviewer who may question his facts but the interview is long forgotten but the book is in print for all to read. This is what makes some parts of history so unreliable. Many books are full of garbage. Maybe Greenspan’s book is not full of garbage but it has a lot of garbage in it. I, for one, will not buy or read it. Why should I? I have seen Greenspan in operation while he was Fed Chairman. He was the worst performing individual holding that position that I can remember. If I have watched Greenspan perform, why should I read a book of him telling me his version of what he did. I have already seen what he did.

In another aspect of his interview with Neal Cavuto on FoxNews, he recounts the story and gives J. P. Morgan the credit of getting all the bankers together to solve the severe banking crisis at the time. He gives another banker the credit. But the real, correct, and true story is that President Teddy Roosevelt took J. P. Morgan aside shut him in a hotel room in New York City and told him he and the other bankers could not leave the room until and unless they solved the banking crisis. Teddy Roosevelt was quite a guy. That is the reason why he is the only modern-day President on Mount Rushmore. With Greenspan’s so-called facts so inaccurate, you can read the rest of his made up lies. I, for one, will not. I am not saying that my mind is devoid of garbage, but why should I put more garbage – garbage that I know to be garbage – into it?

My readers know by now that I have no love for Greenspan, or better yet his record. He probably otherwise is a good man. He is just too old and senile to be listened to. Besides I do not know what he says when he is saying it. Do you?

Today: four stars for Bernanke. But, please Ben, will you guys stop printing worthless paper money, the real cause of inflation. Read my up and coming book on: The Laws of Thermodynamics as They Relate to Financial Markets.

nicola michael Tauraso, M.D.

Ps. With this brief dissertation, I most likely will suspend my writing on politics and economics and devote more time to writing about health matters – something I know more about!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ALLERGY AND THE CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD, PART I

CONCEPT OF THE TOTAL LOAD

PART I:

Partly to answer the question of why there are so many allergic people, we need to consider the Concept of the Total Load . Let us imagine an arbitrary line below which an individual's body reacts (or handles) foreign substances (allergens or insults) in a way such that no overt symptoms develop (i.e., asymptomatic ), and above which there may be a myriad of symptoms ( symptomatic ) such as runny nose, coughing, wheezing and asthma, headache or other cerebral symptoms, tiredness, bellyaches, diarrhea or constipation, etc.

Many are asymptomatically allergic , if I could be so bold as to coin a term (which at first might suggest that it is an oxymoron ), to many items, such as foods. All of a sudden they are symptomatically allergic to pollens which push their system above the imaginary line mentioned above.

We can treat this problem by identifying the pollen and removing it from the environment or take a drug which as natural physicians we do not recommend. Or we could remove one or more of the foods to which one is asymptomatically allergic which will lower the entire threshold pulling the individual's response below the imaginary line

We find many individuals asymptomatically allergic to foods such as milk, corn, wheat, yeast, etc. Once these foods are completely removed from the diet the person becomes asymptomatic to another known allergic substance (allergen). Once the person's system is cleansed of these potentially allergic foods he loses his symptoms to the known allergen even though he is still exposed.

After the period of cleansing we can reintroduce each food one by one until we find a food high up on the symptomatic allergen list. Ordinarily, one can consume a mildly symptomatic food allergen no more than once every 3-4 day. The exceptions are peanut, nut, and shellfish allergy in which case these should be completely eliminated from the diet indefinitely. Allergy to the latter mentioned foods are in a different class and since a person allergic to them may die within minutes, we recommend they never be eaten.

Our protocol consists of eliminating certain foods entirely from the diet over a period of 30-45 days. There are foods which the individual can continue to consume, but never more than once every 3-4 days during the first cleansing period.

During this time we add powdered Vitamin C in moderately large doses according to a separate protocol. Additionally, we begin to taper whatever prescription drugs the patient is taking. This may take one to three weeks depending upon how many drugs are being consumed. The success of this stage depends entirely upon how vigorous to which the diet is adhered.

Our program works no matter what your private conventional Pediatrician or Medical Doctor might tell you. They do not know because they have no experience. And, if they tell you that our plan is “A lot of crock,”ask them if they have tried it? If they answer they have not, then ask yourself : “Who is the real crock?”

Another note of caution and I write this as frankly as I can. Do not decide not to employ our program because we do not take insurance. You get in this world what you pay for, and, if you pay nothing for something, it is usually worth just that – nothing.

Even though I now live in Panama we can provide you a protocol to follow and communicate by email. On occasion we may want to perform some laboratory analysis. I am licensed in the state of Maryland and can order them. Most of the time it may be sufficient to get a copy of test results which your private medical doctor has already performed.

Our protocol was developed years ago when we knew anything about the Concept of the Total Load . But following these principles have allowed us to perfect the protocol and understand why it works.

This protocol is not for the timid. It will take the energies of the 3 C's: commitment, commitment, and commitment. But, if you are plagued with a child with autism or Tourettes or severe ADHD , what is the problem? Returning a child (or adult) to being a normal and productive human being is reward enough. If the Protocol does not work (and we have as yet to see this)what have you lost?

PART II, Tomorrow,

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
www.drtauraso.com

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NEW SUPPLEMENT COMPANY: IDEAL HEALTH

NEW SUPPLEMENT COMPANY: IDEAL HEALTH

As many of my readers know I am primarily a physician. Although I was trained in what most would call “conventional” medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and after doing research in virology as a Branch Chief at the National Institutes of Health for 9 years, followed by a conventional pediatric practice in Frederick Maryland for 7 years, I turned my interests to the more Holistic Natural Therapies during the time that I founded and Directed The GoTaCh Center for Health, a not-for-profit center devoted to treating children with behavioral problems without drugs in Frederick, Maryland.

After a sojourn of almost 20 years running a Four-Star Italian Restaurant in the same city, I returned to medicine, this time devoting my efforts in the fields on Allergy, Nutrition, and Environmental Medicine which are the bases of many dis-eases plaguing our modern society. Any one perusing my www.drtauraso.com web site will soon appreciate what I am now doing.

Since I deal with vitamins and supplements in my practice, I have for many years been searching for a company who is devoted to the same things and who provides supplements to treat diseases. I do not make vitamins and would not know where to begin in extracting and manufacturing them. This is not my expertise. In my studies I have come to the conclusion, as many others have also done, that the foods we eat are seriously devoid of both macro and micro nutrients our bodies require for healthy bodies and minds. Additionally, the practice of so many people and establishments to prepare foods in very unnatural ways, such as microwave ovens, will further destroy the micro nutrients the body needs.

I have not wanted to come to this conclusion, but I now do that there is little
doubt in my mind that food alone is not enough to maintain a state of optimum well-ness especially considering the way food is grown and processed in the US. Additionally, many foods not previously associated with bacterial contamination, such as the recent problem with spinach, increase our concern about the food supply. Additionally, the junk food industry is pervasive throughout the world.

In an earlier Blog I talked about going to a Panaderia (a place where bread is made) here in the boondocks of Panama and I was told they did not sell bread. While I was there a small truck stopped outside and I watched a delivery man bring in trays and trays of the same junk foods we see in the 7-11's in the US. But they had no fresh bread!


We need supplements, not only to maintain a healthy state but also and especially to treat someone who already has an illness.

I will admit here something about which I have not written elsewhere that I have diabetes as did my mother who died as a result of complications to an anti diabetic drug. I vowed never to take such drugs for myself. But unfortunately, several years ago I developed diabetic poly neuropathy, a degeneration of the peripheral nerves going to my legs. Soon, I was unable to walk without the assistance of a cane. I went to my medical neurologist friends who told me that what I had was incurable but that I would be helped by physiotherapy. I refused. Instead, I studied, did research, and finally put together a program of supplements known positively to impact the nerves. And I took high doses of these supplements. Within a month I started to see positive changes. Within 6 weeks I was able to shed the cane. Now, although I still have difficulty doing the Salsa, I can get around so no one can recognize that I once was a veritable cripple. My neurologist who recommended the physiotherapist told me to take the supplements, that perhaps they would do no harm. Had I gone to the physiotherapist, my doctor would have concluded that I had a remarkable response to physiotherapy, because he had already concluded the supplements would do no good.

If one wants to evaluate a form of therapy, keep it simple and evaluate one form at a time. This is what I did in determining the effects of the supplemental therapy and not confusing the situation with trying to evaluate both physiotherapy and the supplements.

I have been searching for many years for a company whose approach to treating disease was both logical and natural. FINALLY I FOUND ONE: IDEAL HEALTH.

Let me give tell you something about this remarkable company:

- IDEAL HEALTH is the first company in the Nutrition Industry to offer Customized Nutrition to the public.
- IDEAL HEALTH is the only company that has exclusive alliances with Metametrix Labs, the top Testing Lab in the US, and HVL Douglass Labs, the top Nutritional Formulary in the US.
- IDEAL HEALTH is the only company that supplements you based on a Scientific Test.
- Quite simply, they sell a very easy to take, Urine Collection Kit called the “PrivaTest”, which was designed by Metametrix Labs. The consumer takes the kit home and gathers a first morning urine collection after following some simple dietary instructions the day before. The kit also contains a Prepaid Fed-X Envelope from which to package the Urine Sample, and send it off to Metametrix Labs for Analysis.
- Metametrix Labs will then analyze the urine sample to see where the individual is Nutritionally Deficient. They look at 3 Key Bio-Markers, that being Urinary Sulfates, Urinary Nitrates, and Urinary Lipid Peroxides.
- HVL Douglas Labs provides this individual with a Customized Blend of U.S.P.(Doctor Grade) Nutrients, we call “Custom Essentials”, based on their deficiency. The goal is to put the individual back in Metabolic Balance, given the proper amount of Nutrients.
- In Conclusion, people are getting the daily amounts of Nutrients that they personally need, through Supplementing with U.S.P.(Doctor Grade) Nutrients and seeing Phenomenal Results.


The Results that have been seen thus far are:
- Improved Energy
- Improved Skin, Hair, and Nails
- Improved Mental Clarity
- Bolstered Immune System
- Sleeping Better
- Vitality
- People are coming off of their Medications for the following issues, because now their Organs are getting the Proper Amounts of Nutrients on a Daily basis to operate Optimally: Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Migraines, Allergies, Asthma, Lyme, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, the list goes on.

For the first time I have decided to endorse this group and have included them as sponsors to my www.drtauraso.com site. Soon you will see more about this company on my site.

nicola michael Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ONLINE BOOKSTORE

ONLINE BOOKSTORE

I would like all my loyal readers to know that the Online Bookstore on the www.drtauraso.com web site is now activated. Several of our books are now on the site for purchase. Soon we will post a series of Ebooks: 1) How I Lost Three Million Dollars in the Stock Market, A Primer on What Not to Do, How to Recover from Disaster; 2) Milk Allergy and Intolerance; 3) Russia Is a Cursed Nation, The Reason I Would Never Return. Also we will be selling the now famous T-shirts: I Am A Genius, something every child and, perhaps, adult might like to wear.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Monday, September 17, 2007

DUMB, DUMBER, AND DUMBEST

DUMB, DUMBER, AND DUMBEST:

I do not know whether to entitle this article as I did with “Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest” or call it “Stupid, Stupider, and Stupidest” even though I know it is “more and most stupid.” But, here I am in a parking lot waiting for someone for several hours and I have no where else to wait. I am in a very remote area and thank God for the computer hookup to my car lighter.

What am I doing here today contemplating the dumb things of life. I just stopped by a Panadoria (place where bread is made) which I have gone by numerous times while in this very remote area. I was hungry and this time I wanted a piece of bread upon which to munch. At the door before I walked into the place, a young boy asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted to buy some bread. An older man next to the boy said they had no bread. I said but this is a Panadoria is it not? They responded yes it was but they do not have bread. I said in Spanish: “Oh a panadoria with no bread, I understand.” In Panama, one begins to understand these things.

Ten minutes before I stopped in a gas station to buy gas. I asked if they took credit cards and was told yes, go to the window. I got out of my car, went to the window as instructed where I was told by a woman behind a blackened window so black I had to stoop to peer through the bottom hole where one put one’s money that they did not take credit cards. I returned to the pump giving the man hell calling him stupid which I should not have done.. I should have instead said to myself: “Do not forget, Nick, you ARE in Panama now,” and take things in stride. Relax, chill out, it will be over soon! Instead of filling up, I put $20.00 worth of gas in the tank because I did not have that much cash on me at the time.

¨Then I returned to where I was supposed to wait on a section of the so-called “Inter-American Highway” going through Arrejan, the first small village just outside of Panama City. It was yesterday that a Panamanian told me that the Panamanian Government wanted to complete the highway through Darien, the section of Panama adjacent to Columbia, but the government stopped working on it because the US did not want it completed. I asked why should the US care? I was told that the US did not want the other countries in the Americas to unite. What kind of stupidity is this. Since when does any Latin American country in the Americas listen to the US anyway? The Inter-American highway is a highway which is supposed to go from the lowest tip of South America to Alaska. Much of it is already built.

I read in NewsMax.com just last week that there were people in the US who believed the US was actively promoting the completion of the Inter-American Highway because they wished soon to create an single Inter-American government similar to the European Union. Can you imagine how bizarre this thinking is? Can you just see the US giving up all those tax dollars to another sovereignty? I surely cannot imagine such a thing would ever happen. A Country with everything is not going to give it all away to a Banana Republic. But there is a significant number of people who believe that there are plans to create this bizarre government in this hemisphere. Where do people get these strange ideas? Has some foreign government already put LSD in the water supply over the entire US?

Several years ago, a supposedly intelligent business man, who was screwing around with my live in girlfriend at the time, gave me a book: “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg.” This man truly believed that the entire world was controlled by three men: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and some other third person whose name I have since forgotten, but I think it might have been The Shaw of Iran. Can anyone imaging such dribble. I never read the book because I finally concluded that my girlfriend who went to live with the man had to deal with him for he WAS the crack in the cosmic egg! I did not see him but once after that. He still appeared normal, at least, on the outside. I bet he now believes in global warming. Do you think Henry Kissinger has anything to do with this global warming crap? The Shaw of Iran is not, but how can we really be sure?

Do you know that there are people out there who believe there were more than one person involved in the assassination of President Kennedy and that President Bush masterminded the 911 collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers. My God, some of these people are professors in prominent universities teaching our young minds how to think! Hey, how about the people who think Elvis is still alive? How can he be. He was dead when he was alive. Is this not fun – laughing at people who are so stupid. Just grab a beer, folks, and watch the jackass parade with real human beings as characters..

So I really do not need to call some Panamanians dumb. Why we have individuals in the US with college degrees who are more dumb than any Panamanian could ever be.

Now I may not be the smartest man in the world, but I believe I am not the most stupid. Maybe you would not agree. You are free to answer my Blog if you do OR do not agree.

I am still sitting in my car here in Arrejan, Panama,

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Friday, September 14, 2007

SUB-PRIME PROBLEMS REVISITED

SUB-PRIME PROBLEMS

MoneyNews.com published the following today:
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007 2:50 p.m. EDT
“WASHINGTON -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledges he failed to see early on that an explosion of mortgages to people with questionable credit histories could pose a danger to the economy.

In an upcoming interview, Greenspan said he was aware of "subprime" lending practices where homebuyers got very low initial rates only to see them later jacked up, causing severe payment shock. But he said he didn't initially realize the harm they could do.”

So what do we do now, folks. In my book: How to Benefit from Stress, I wrote that no problem has ever been solved by looking back. How many games were won on Monday morning looking back at what we could or might have done on Saturday? The answer is: NONE. Greenspan is finally admitting that he did not have the insight to have prevented the problem. I believe that he did the correct thing in lowering interest rates when he did. This, I believe, is the first time I have given credit to Greenspan for having done something correctly. He was faced with a bubble bursting situation which we all know in like a black hole. Black holes in the Universe are situations where the internal gravity at a particular point is so great that it pulls light into itself leaving a black hole in space. When a major market bubble bursts the same thing happens. The entire market is drawn into itself collapsing leaving almost nothing behind. Although I believe Greenspan contributed to the bubble bursting, I do not fault what he subsequently did for he was forced to do something to correct the situation. Afterwards, of course, the financial markets recovered.

What he did not foresee, and probably should have because he is supposed to be the expert, was that when situations arise, especially in the financial market, there will be creative opportunist/predators who will devise ways to profit and scam the public. The sub-prime instruments were promising the so-called ”pie-in-the-sky” dessert to the public who could ill afford the dessert when interest rates went back up. There is a saying: “what goes up will come down.” The reverse is also true in our dynamic Universe: “What goes down will come up.”

The problem of the sub-prime collapse was not the decreasing interest rates, it is the rapid increase in the interest rates so rapidly the market did not have a chance to adjust. Why cannot these assumed educated loons see this? Yes, decreasing interest rates created the situation for the predators to create their scams, but it did not create the collapse.

So looking back will not correct the problem. We need, in a way, to look back to look forward. I have suggested it here before that decreasing the interest rates significantly might correct the problem, if it is not too late. It is difficult to stop the snowball from rolling down the hill when it gets too large. But decreasing interest rates is the LOGICAL thing to do because increasing the rates initially caused the problem. The poor unfortunate Fed members are always concerned about inflation that they cannot see anything else. So suck in your guts and live with a little bit of inflation. After all, inflation is a artificially created figure anyway. They take out of the inflation figure the two most important items, food and energy. Incredibly these goons want us to believe the figure remaining makes sense. Gosh, the nuns taught me better math in grammar school! Inflation figures are also like the National Debt. Who in the devil’s name has ever worries about the National Debt. The government does not so why should we?

As I have suggested before, decreasing interest rates will create a situation where the problem might correct itself, as I said if it is not too late. Each week the Feds delay in akin to digging the hole deeper. The Feds do not need to infuse money into the market under the situation I suggest. Besides, when they do infuse money, they only print more money not backed up by tangible items of worth such as gold. This is what really causes inflation – the printing of worthless money.

I know that I might be compared to St. John the Baptist – you know that biblical guy who was described as: “A voice crying in the wilderness.”

If the Feds would like I am available to help them out – Ego and all!!

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THE INTERIOR OF PANAMA

THE INTERIOR OF PANAMA

My regular readers know that I write a lot about politics and financial market matters. I am the first to admit that these topics are not real. I guess politicians are needed to run the world, at least, they think so. But being the dreamer that I am I wonder what the world would be like without them. Why cannot each individual be sovereign into himself free to be what he wants to be without some political entity dictating their ownership of us, our families, and our assets. This is what the Sovereign Society teaches, and it make a lot of sense to me. But, dream all I want, any change in the status quo will almost never happen. As far as the financial markets are concerned that is yet another matter.

Today I would like to share with my readers something that is real. I was fortunate the past two long weekends to travel into a part of Panama the locals refer to as “The Interior.” I spent the better part of 4 days in each of two trips into the state of Herrera deep into the Azuera Peninsular. I was told to expect to be reminded of Tuscany, Italy, but my experience can best be described as spectacular. Just miles, or here it is kilometers, and miles of rolling hills and mountains. The difference between The Interior and Tuscany is that The Interior had considerably more vegetation. After all, September is in the middle or the rainy season with an expected shower or heavy rainfall almost every day for an hour or so – the rainy season is from April to mid December.

The most remarkable thing about where I went was the freshness of the air – pure, clean, and fresh air not seen in the cities of either Panama or the US. In Panama City where the traffic can be pretty heavy, the pollution is not that noticeable, probably because at that point in the Isthmus the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is separated by only a small amount of land and the breezes one way and another keep the city’s air quite clean. But the air in the mountains of Herrera is something else. I came to Panama partly because I have experienced mild to moderate bronchitis almost my entire life. Moving to Panama, even though it is hot at times, my bronchial health has improved considerably to the point that it gives me no problems. Living my entire life in the North East and Middle Atlantic States of the US has not been good for my health.

In the area of Maryland where I lived and practiced Pediatrics, I often referred to the area as Maryland’s bronchitis belt. It did great for my pediatric practice but not very good for the children who also lived in the area. Well, here in Panama it is much better. But in Herrera, I experienced breathing air of a quality not experienced, at least by me, before.

I stayed in a home 30 by 30 feet, consisting of three rooms: two bedrooms and a larger kitchen and living area. Cooking was by a butane gas stove and there was no electricity. So you got up in the morning when the sun rose and went to bed when the sun went down. Well, at least, I did. The rest of the household stayed up later and talked by candlelight and listen to a battery radio.

At 3:30 in the morning the rooster began his “Cock-a-ru-koo” as he communicated with another rooster in the next house about 100 yards away. Our rooster was just outside my bedroom and was he loud. I guess it was nice that he heralded the rising of the sun each morning – but 4 hours before! I was talking about the rooster to my hosts and maybe they thought I was complaining, but I was not. I thought the rooster quite charming and after the first day I got used to him. Perhaps, my Spanish needs improving because they thought I was complaining about the rooster. On my second visit the following weekend, I was eating Sancocho soup, a traditional chicken soup made here in Panama. As I was eating a piece of chicken they ask me if I liked the rooster. I told them I really liked the rooster. They said they hoped I would for I was eating him as we spoke. I was aghast. I surely did not intend to complain about the rooster to get him in hot water, really hot water, if you know what I mean.

That day I took my host to a nearby town and bought another rooster and two laying hens. They had chickens running about but none of them produced eggs. I told them I would never have chickens which did not lay eggs. Even chickens need to pay their way. I told my host that while he was away from the car the rooster spoke to me: “Hefe, please make sure they do not put me in sancocho. If they want a chicken for sancocho, I offer one of my two sisters – hefe is the word for master or chief. I promised the rooster I would do what he desired and told my host who also promised. So I left feeling this rooster was secure. But was I surprised in the morning. This rooster, the one I gave a new lease on life began his Cock-a-ru-koo at 1:30 in the morning, two hours before the previous rooster. Well, some days one cannot win for losing.

My host insisted I stay and sleep on one of their two beds in the smaller bedroom. Now this bed had coiled springs with a sheet on top. Sleeping was not the most comfortable experience with the coiled springs digging into my body. I will admit I longed for my bed back in Panama City.

As I already said the mountains were just spectacular. The family wanted to visit the grandfather of the young lady who took me to Herrera. He lived about one hour drive up and very deep into the mountains. The road was very primitive. On three occasions I had to cross a stream. How I got across them I still do not know. I just put my trusty Toyota Hilux, a car not found in the US, in four wheel drive and gunned it. On the other side of one stream was a deep 8+ inches of mud, but my Hilux made it through. The Hilux is a four cylinder diesel pickup which has been very good to me. The car is not imported into the US, probably because it is diesel. In the US diesel fuel is almost as expensive as high test gasoline, thanks to the Irak war, but here in Panama diesel is the least expensive fuel which accounts for the Hilux being one of he most popular car/pick ups here in Panama.

High up in the mountains I ate fresh oranges picked from a tree. There were little pigs running everywhere, and I got an idea while I was up there. I will tell you of that later.

On my first weekend visit there was a festival in the very small town nearby – the festival of La Reina, the queen, who was somehow the patron saint of the town. I did not stay late at night for I did not like the crowd. Almost every male had a bottle of rum in one hand. If they were not staggering and bumping into everyone, they were just standing there looking into space just absolutely stone drunk. I returned to the house but most of the family stayed. My young lady friend promised to be back at the house by 9:30, but she did not return until 12:30 with a tale which was quite believable. One of her cousins got into a fight with another man. After the dust settled with the police having to use their mace, he was put in prison for the night. The family, including an 80 year old grandmother were unable to get a taxi so they walked home, about 5 miles away. It was quite a night for them anyway. At least I was sleeping in the coiled spring bed. The following morning they wanted me to go to the jail early to get their cousin. I went but the jail was not yet opened. They asked me again two hours later and I refused. I said to them let him stew in jail for a day, perhaps he will learn his lesson not to be so hot headed. Later he arrived on his own. The police released him.

The following night one of the other cousins got so drunk, he hooked up with a girl who before the night was over rolled him for his sombrero (hat), a beautiful diamond/onyx ring, a watch, and two gold neck chains. Not bad for the girl for one night’s work. The cousin felt like a fool the following morning, as he should have. These people do not realize that among such a crowd there are people who are not drunk. They are the predators who look for the right person and at the right time, roll them for their jewelry. At least, they did not take his shoes.

All of these life events did not detract me from feasting upon the magnificence of the natural scenery. I vowed to purchase some land there and build a house in the midst of such beauty and peace. I will keep away from the town during festival time.

On my second trip, besides buying the family the rooster and two chickens, I went into the town on the last morning of my second trip there. I spoke with a very helpful lady in the municipal building about buying a pig which I eventually did and brought it home. At harvest time, I do not know what they will do with all that meat considering they have no electricity or refrigerator. Perhaps curing with salt as they did in earlier times might be the way to go.

I hope I have been able to give you a glimpse of life in The Interior. I should, at least, close by saying something about the people who were so kind and simple. They were not complicated. Although they might not have the problems experienced by the fast-paced city folks, I am sure they have their own set of challenges. They do not seem to worry about lacking the amenities we who live in more developed areas enjoy. They think nothing of walking 5 miles because there was no taxi. They did not complain. They just walked.

I thoroughly enjoyed my two visits there and will return because I have to. Her entire family lives there. Need I say more!

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES

AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES?

The Problem

Please stop blaming the government for the lack of affordable health care in the US today. It is not the government’s fault. Here in Panama individuals can go to a good clinic see a physician for less than $7.00, get laboratory tests, and afford prescriptions given to them. I visited a clinic, was examined by a doctor, had two x-rays, and got several laboratory tests – all for $45.00. The same in the US would have cost me over $600.00. My co-pays alone for the physician, X-rays, and laboratory tests in the US would have been $45-60, equal to or more than I paid for the entire visit in Panama. Insurance would have paid the balance. But remember I have to pay the premiums which is an additional cost to me, the patient.

Do not think for a moment that the quality of medical care in Panama is inferior to the US for it is not. They perform complicated cardiac operations in the top-grade hospitals just as in the US. In fact, in Panama City there is a branch of the John’s Hopkins Hospital.

What is the difference? Besides for the US doctors being so greedy for a high life style, it is the trial lawyers who cause medical care to be so expensive in the US. If fact, there are too many lawyers influencing medical care. Have you ever wondered why the US government is so screwed up? It is also because there are too many lawyers in the congress. As an aside, we should make a vow not to vote into public office anyone who has a law degree. One should automatically be ineligible and excluded. I know this will never happen, but I can dream, can’t I? Maybe our government might turn around yet.


Malpractice Insurance and the Trial Lawyers

Look at the unfortunate obstetrician. His malpractice fees are so high that many are giving up delivering babies. In my home town in Maryland, I personally know some who do not deliver babies any more because they cannot literally afford malpractice insurance. In medicine as in nature things go wrong and babies are born with complications not because the doctor did anything wrong. But, most doctors involved with a bad outcome get sued. Although many of the law suits are frivolous and the ones suing lose, sad to say many win. But whether they win or lose the cost of this legal battles are tremendous to the insurance companies. Someone has to pay and ultimately it is the patient.



Doctors and the Business of Medicine

Another situation increasing the cost of medical care is that doctors are creating their own laboratories to perform tests. In Maryland, it is against the law for doctors to have large pieces of medical equipment, such as CAT Scan machines, for the government knows that, if doctors have such machines, they would tend to order more tests. But many doctors continue to have such machines, but they are not owned by the practice. They are owned by an LLC and so technically the machine, although within the office complex, is not owned by the practice. Hey, who’s kidding who? There is that old saying: “There are more ways to skin a cat!.” Only here the patient is being skinned. Meow!!

The following story I will write in the third person so as not to bring my home town upon me. I will explain what personally happened to a very close friend of mine. His cardiologist insisted he have a radioactive thallium heart scan. This is the same chemical that was used to poison that Russian agent in Great Britain several years ago. His cardiologist informed him that this was the ultimate test to do and insisted that because of his age he should have it done. He had the test and passed with flying colors.

His doctor then suggested he undergo an Echo cardiogram. My friend said to his doctor: “If the Thallium test was the ultimate and I passed with flying colors, why would I need an Echo, which I am assuming would be the sub ultimate?” The doctor insisted that it was important to have it done. He did and passed that with flying colors. He then told my friend that he needed to have the Holter Monitor test. He asked the same question that he did after the first test. But he was strapped with the Holter Monitor and was told to return it in, I think it was 48 hours, or he would be charged for the extra time. Imagine my friend who was a close friend of the doctor was going to charged if he kept it longer than he should have!

To complete the story, the insurance was charged for all three procedures. Let us face it, folks, each of these procedures represents a “profit center” within this doctor’s office, and good profit centers because the insurance companies pay. They had several Holter Monitors which are in constant use, and the first thallium test is run every day to the tune of better than $1,000.00 per pop $5,000/week, $260,000/year – not bad! While my friend was in my doctor’s office another friend dropped by. While he was there, the doctor’s wife called whereupon the doctor informed her that their good friend was in the office to schedule a thallium test. The wife’s comment was: “Good we could use the money!” I hope I do not get in trouble for telling this story. But, folks, I now live in Panama, and I am almost untouchable, except for the voodoo doll the doctor might have of me. I hope he doesn’t stick a pin into the doll’s heart! That would really be ironic, wouldn’t you think?

But I am too old and the other day someone said: “irascible,” but I don’t think I am irascible. I just think that I am free to say whatever is on my mind. Is this not what “free speech” is all about?

Is There a Solution?

I admit I do not have an easy solution to this serious problem of the soaring cost of medical care in the US, and I believe it will get much worse before it gets better. If it makes you happy, blame the government. There are some people who want to blame the government for everything. How can the government cause so many problems when they cannot get their own business done correctly? Essentially, the government is not causing the problem of soaring medical care costs, and they surely cannot solve it.

Michael Moore, the ignorant charlatan but sharp antagonist of the government, has it all wrong. After all I have said, the US has the best medical care in the world and is the reason why important people from all over the world come to the US for their care. Cuba cannot shine the US shoes. Castro knew where to go to get good medical care. He had to get specialists from Spain.

We can go a long way to solving the problem by passing laws of no-fault except in serious instances of gross malpractice. Awards should be tapped. Individuals who are unable to buy a million life insurance policy can easily win an award of millions and millions of dollars as a result of a medical lawsuit. Trial lawyers who get rich from such lawsuits should not be entitled to 30 or more percent of awards. Additionally, cases of potential malpractice should be resolved by special arbitration boards consisting of individuals trained to evaluate such problems. Get the bleeding judges and incompetent and ignorant and unknowledgeable juries out of the way.

Concerning doctors running their own laboratories, pass laws backed by the meat of enforcement to prevent such cottage industries.

But in the US expect to pay for top medical care because it is not cheap.

From Panama, this is my cheerful comment for the day.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

Saturday, September 8, 2007

IS THE INTERNET MAKING US STUPID?

IS THE INTERNET MAKING US STUPID?

I just saw an interview where someone was saying that the internet is making us stupid. To many this may sound ridiculous, but I could not agree with this individual more.

Do not get me wrong, the internet can be a very valuable tool, but in many regards and as with everything in life, it is how one uses the internet which can make it either a valuable tool as a source of misinformation.

There is a lot of crap and junk on the internet, however. Case in point: very early at about 3:00 this morning, I was searching the internet to find information on passports. I came across a link which promised to give you the passport information of anyone in the world. They advertised on the first page that there were 9 billion passports issued and that in 2003 an international agreement was signed which requested that every country issuing passports to submit the names to a world wide registry. It sounded too good to be true and you know what the rest of that saying is.

It took a very long time to download the site and what would you expect? Reasonably, it would take a long time to download 9 billion records, so I waited over 20 minutes. Finally it was completely downloaded and I submitted my name. What came up could have been anticipated. Remember the completion of the saying “if it is too good to be true,” before me was the first page of my passport with my name and an official number, but the picture was not of me. It was a picture of a chimpanzee! Below was written ”did you really think you could get a copy of one’s passport on the internet?”

What gets me is that someone went through a lot of trouble and expense to create this rather complicated internet site. And for what? It was a joke of completely worthless information. And there are many such sites.

How do you really know whether the information you requested is accurate and correct? Do you know the credentials of the writer or the group sponsoring the site? When you go to my internet site: www.drtauraso.com, on the left side there is a link to my credentials: Dr. Tauraso’s Curriculum Vitae. So you know who I am and what my credentials are. But then the only question you need to ask is: “Do I know what I am talking about?” Good luck answering that!

I use the internet to gather information from what I believe are credible sources and I help my children learn buy helping them do the same.

Another great problem I have experienced is when I do an internet search, up comes many sites with the information I requested in the initial link, but when I select the link, nowhere is there any information related to what I asked and nothing resembling what was in the link itself. It is a scam to get you to visit an erroneous site. This is the most frequent problem I experience when doing a Google or Yahoo search. This is not the fault of the search engines as much as it is what the site creators put in as information to select their site. The true value of this information is based entirely on the honesty of the site creators.

When I went to school, in the early grammar school years, then in Prep

School, and later in college, I was very fortunate in having received a very

good education. I was fortunate in having attended schools whose philosophy was to teach you how to think. I like to tell the story about an English Jesuit Professor who each week had us memorize poetry, and we were tested. The first poem we were given had 14 lines and it took me the entire evening to memorize it. I thought this professor was off the deep end and I could not see what all this memorizing had to do with learning English.

On the last day of class it was all revealed. The last poem we had to memorize was Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven,” – all 183 lines of it. The entire class, one by one, had to stand up and recite the poem from memory, of course. I memorized the poem in one evening. At the end the Professor told us he really cared less about the poems he asked us to memorize throughout the year. He posed to us a question. He asked whether we agreed that the 183 lines of Francis Thompson’s poem were easier to memorize than had been the first poem of 14 lines. The entire class agreed. And this was the “method of his madness.” As we ended that day in class, I appreciated for the first time the genius of my professor. He was really one of the greats at Boston College. The unfortunate Jesuit died in NYC getting hit by a car while helping and old lady across the street. Such is life and death on Planet Earth!

Both Prep School and College were places where I was taught and learned the discipline of using my brain and mind for the purposes of thinking. Where and when the internet is used for such purposes it will be a force of learning this art. As adults who teach our children, we must teach them the art and science of learning – the art and science of using our brains and mind. With this comes the art of discerning how to get information and how to decipher that what we are getting is accurate and real as we search for Truth.

About video games, many are mind-sucking inventions of the game creators. These are to be avoided. Good luck. Others are actually good mind training games which encourage the young player to create. These must be sought out. Monitor what your children are doing with their computers and let us not forget their cell phones which the youth are using more and more these days for communication and learning.

Those of us with children have the responsibility to teach them properly on how they can develop their minds to think – the art of creating thoughts and transforming these thoughts into useful items to be used in the world for the betterment of mankind.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic &

Author of: Awaken the Genius in Your Child,

Forward by Norman Vincent Peale

JUNK SCIENCE ON TV

JUNK SCIENCE ON TV

As most of my readers know, I live in Panama and we have only two US TV stations regularly shown here: Fox News and CNN. Although I watch Fox News more I need to go to CNN for serious news. Sorry to say that Fox is so into the sensationalism that I only watch several programs on a regular basis.

I have written on this before but the junk science on Fox News and elsewhere is particularly disturbing because I am a physician and medical scientist and I hate to see my field of interest misrepresented. One day this past week on Fox News it was reported that a virus may contribute to obesity in America. Oh come on! Let us face it the cause of obesity is overeating not balanced by adequate exercise. Obesity is due to taking in more calories than you burn resulting in the body storing the excess energy as fat. It could not be more simple than this.

Some of my readers know that I am a great believer of the principle of Ockham’s Razor. Ockham's Razor is the principle proposed by William of Ockham (England) in the fourteenth century: ``Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate,'' which translates to: ”entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.''

In many cases this is interpreted as ``keep it simple,'' but in reality the Razor has a more subtle and interesting meaning. Suppose that you have two competing theories which describe the same situation. If these theories have different explanations the relatively simple one should be considered to be correct.

To try to explain obesity as being caused by a virus is to stretch the imagination of the body of information explaining obesity. Apparently, experiments were performed on stem cell obtained from operations on individuals who had adipose tissue removed. When these stem cells were infected with adeno viruses, which cause upper respiratory infections, the stem cells transformed to fat cells which could store fat. The problem here is that, if these stem cells were co existing with adult fat cells, they probably were precursors of fat cells to begin with. Infection with a virus just hastened their transformation. Their transformation would have occurred anyway because they were stem cells already programmed to become fat cells.

But to make the statement that viruses might cause obesity is provocative, and leave it to Fox News to use it for this is what they are good at -- give me the sensational, we will give you air time. But, let’s face it, this is junk science. The sad thing is that most people look to the TV as a source of information. What is information? Philosophically, information is fact or, in other words, truth. If we cannot depend on TV to provide us with truth, how can we depend on the other information they give us? The simple answer is “we cannot.”

My advice is very simple: Be careful of what you see and hear on the airways. Be critical and look things up on Google Or Yahoo or other search engines to get another view. Be careful of what you read on Wycopedia for some of this information may be erroneous because of the fact that readers are able to modify and insert information. And we know little of the qualifications of the individuals providing this additional information.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

GREENSPAN IS AT IT AGAIN

GREENSPAN IS AT IT AGAIN

Just read what MoneyNews.com just reported about Greenspan
“Breaking News from MoneyNews.com
1. Greenspan Says Bubble As Bad As ‘98
Alan Greenspan, once the world's top central banker, said on Friday ongoing credit turmoil reminded him of the 1987 and 1998 market crises as data showed U.S. firms cut 4,000 jobs last month, the first fall in four years.
"What we are observing in the last seven weeks is identical in many respects to what we saw in 1998, what we saw in the stock market crash of 1987," the Wall Street Journal quoted the former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman as saying.
Hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management controlled $100 billion of assets in 1998 but collapsed in the wake of a Russian debt crisis, wreaking havoc in many derivatives markets. Greenspan took over as Fed chief shortly before the Dow Jones share dex slumped 23 percent in a day in October 1987. “

Poor old Greenspan! He did not get it right in 1998 and now he is an expert. I have written about Greenspan’s antics before, but he continues to give me fodder to feed to the pigs. He was so absorbed about controlling inflation which, by the way, did not exist at the time in 1998 when he was increasing interest rates to beat the band, that he did not, or better yet could not, see what was about to happen – the collapse of the market bubble. Unfortunately, Bernanke is no better, because they all went to the same school.

The present situation with the so-called sub-prime market collapsing the entire market could have been avoided. More importantly, it might have been corrected in its early stage, and even now, perhaps, can be corrected but time is running out. I have all the faith in the world that Bernanke will fail because he went to the same school as Greenspan.

Infusing more printed money into the system is not the way to do it. The system has the ability to correct the situation in the same way that it created the problem in the first place. I said it here before. Is any one listening?

The problem of the housing market collapse was due to the rapid increasing of the interest rates before the market had sufficient time to adjust. I purchased a sum-prime loan and before I knew it the rates increased so rapidly, I was caught off guard. Fortunately, I have the capital to survive, but many do not.

The correction will occur when the Feds reverse the process by decreasing interest rates. The half percent decrease two weeks ago was nothing more than pissing in the ocean. The reason why the decrease was so low is because they really did not want to do it but felt pressured to do so. With a decrease in interest rates NO money is added to the system; the market can generate the money and the process will be reversed. It is so darn logical it is a wonder why these men at the Fed cannot get it. There are still members of the Fed Board who were calling for an interest rate hike. They should be fired because they are so stupid they are actually dangerous.

One of the problems with the Fed Board is that they have no oversight. Yes, Bernanke has to report to Congress but Congress essentially has no power to force them to act any differently. The Fed Board is essentially autonomous, and this is dangerous. Their performance should be evaluated just as any other individual working in the marketplace. But, it is not.

With today report that jobs in August were decreased by 4000 appeared to shock the market. It did not shock me. Read some of my previous Blogs. I have seen the warning signs and have written about the impending problems Others have also. It is not that I consider myself a genius, or maybe I should take that back, but I know that I know logic for the Jesuits will be proud of me. Some of us have predicted the impending recession of jobs growth, and as usual the Feds are going to miss it as they have all the time that I have been observing them. They always do.

The All Knowing Market is actually quite stupid. Many in the market listen to every word spoken by the people at the Fed. They should instead ignore them for they do not know what they are doing. Greenspan never spoke two words which ten different people would interpret the same. He spoke eloquently about nothing. I remember that quite a number of years ago the AMA invited a speaker who was in reality a comic who spoke in double talk. After his speech he got an astounding ovation. It was then revealed that the speaker was actually a comic and gave a beautiful sounding speech on ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The point of the whole episode was to prove that most attendees at such a conference do not pay attention to the speakers. Well, we should do the same with the Feds.

I am so sorry I appear so negative on the Feds and their antics but they really give me no choice.

Soon I will write about the Laws of Thermodynamics (i.e., energy) as they relate to market forces. The concepts are quite interesting, if not challenging.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.