Friday, 30 January 2015

Reflux, Heartburn, GORD? Why Homeopathy is the best treatment option

NHS Choices define GORD, Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease as follow
"Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition where acid from the stomach leaks out of the stomach and up into the oesophagus (gullet). The oesophagus is a long tube of muscle that runs from the mouth to the stomach. Common symptoms of GORD include:
     * heartburn   burning chest pain or discomfort that occurs after eating
     * acid reflux   you may havean unpleasant taste in the mouth, caused by stomach acid coming back up into your mouth
     * pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
     * difficult swallowing (dysphagia)

GORD is more usually known as Reflux or Heartburn by non-medics. It can be an occasionally problem, but if symptoms persist it's usually regarded as a condition that needs treatment.


Conventional Medical Treatment

Self Help
NHS Choices suggest losing weight, giving up smoking, eating smaller, more frequent meals, removing 'triggers' from your diet, particular alcohol, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, fatty or spicy food, raising you hed in bed by about 20cms, 8 inches. Also it suggests that you ask you doctor to check whether any drugs for other conditions could be causing the problem.

Over-the-Counter Drugs
Antacids drugs, which neutralise the effects of stamach acids are mentioned "but the shouldn't be taken at the same time as other medicines". One of the most popular antacids, frequently advertised on television in the UK, is Gaviscon. For the side-effects of Gaviscon, largely rclated to one ol its ingredients, aluminium, ick here.

Alginate drugs, which produce a protective coating that shields the lining of you stomach and oesophagus from stomach acide. The side effects of these drugs are also included in the link above to Gaviscon.

Proton-Pump Inhibitors
PPI drugs work "by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach". NHC Choices state that patients should be on these drugs for no longer than one month, and on 'the lowest possible dose', presumably because of the D.I.E's they cause. They admit to the following side-effects of these drugs.
     * Headaches
     * Diarrhoea
     * Feeling sick
     * Abdominal pain
     * Constipation
     * Dizziness
     * Skin rashes

Here we are told about links between these drugs and fractures in post-menopausal women (Osteoporosis), and with infection by he superbug, Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff). The article underplays the importance of this research, and notably, does not include it under this particular illness in order to enable patients to make a fully informed choice.

H2 Receptor Antagonists
These drug will be prescribed if PPI drugs do not work, either in combination with them, or seperately. They block the effects of the chemical histamine, which is used by you body to produce stomach acid. NHS Choices admit to the following side effects.
     * Diarrhoea
     * Headaches
     * Dizziness
     * Tiredness
     * Rashes

However, a cursory inspection of the internet indicates that these drugs can also cause constipation, hives, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty urinating (see here). Moreover, one of the drugs of this class, Cimetidine, or Tagamet, is known to ctause more serious side-efffects, the following having been reported: somnolence, depression, agitation, disorientation, confusion, paranoia, delirium, unsteadiness, slurred speech, lethargy, hallucinations, coma, and also kidney and liver disease, amongst others.

Surgery
If these drugs do not work, and the problem becomes persistent and troublesom, surgery is the next treatment offered by conventional medicine. It is also offered "if you don't want to take medication on a long-term basis". NHS admits that surgery 'can help relieve your symptoms' but that 'there are some associated complications that may cause additional symptoms'. The mention dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), flatulence, bloating, an inability to burp. The various types of operation are discussed.


Important Note. 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter  Illness Diagnosis  above.

The following homeopathic remedies, with brief descriptions, can help with occasional heartburn or with heartburn during pregnancy. They have been taken from the 'Homeopathy Vancouver BC' website, which recommends that chronic heartburn should be treated by a professional homeopath.

Pulsatilla
Heartburn that is worse after eating rich, fatty foods. These people feel worse in a warm room and better in cool, fresh air.

Natrum Carbonicum
Heartburn accompanied by problems with digesting food. These people have a lot of problems digesting milk and dairy products.

Phosphorus
Heartburn accompanied by burning pain in the stomach relieved by drinking cold liquids.

Nux Vomica
Heartburn brought on by stress, alcohol or spicy foods. These people are chilly, oversensitive to stimuli and are very irritable.

Arsenicum
Heartburn characterized by a burning in the esophagus or stomach, relieved by milk or warm liquids.

Carbo Vegetabilis
Heartburn accompanied by bloating, gas and belching.

The website also suggests that you try Natrum Phosphoricum 6X homeopathic cell salts, taken 2-3 times per day. This cell salt neutralizes the acidity in the digestive system.


Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) 

As far as I am aware, there have been no RCT trials conducted on the homeopathic treatment of GORD, Reflux or Heartburn.


Conjunctivitis. Homeopathy is better than conventional drugs for treatment.


Conjunctivitis, sometimes called 'Pink Eye' or 'Red Eye'  causes redness and inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye (the conjunctiva). It is often called 'pink', or red eye'. Symptoms include itchiness and watering of the eyes, and sometimes a sticky coating on the eyelashes, especially if it's caused by an allergy. It can affect one or both eyes.


Conventional Medical Treatment

NHS Choices outlines the conventional treatment of Conjunctivitis. It says that the recommended treatment for conjunctivitis depends on whether it is caused by an infection, or an allergic reaction.

Infective conjunctivitis
NHS Choices says that most cases of infective conjuctivitis "do not require medical treatment" and will clear up "in one to two weeks". It suggests various 'self-help' treatments, all sensible measures, involving removing contact lenses,cleaning away any sticky discharge, and keeping you hands clean. Treat starts when the infection becomes severe, or lasts for more than two week, Then, Antibiotics are prescribed.

     Choloramphenicol, usually in eye drops. There is a warning to consult a doctor "if the drops are not suitable for you".

     Fusidic acid, again in eye drop form, prescribed if Choloramphenicol is not suitable, with the warning that children, and older people, should not use it too often. However, it is 'the preferred treatment' for pregnant women.

NHS Choices admits the following 'side-effects' on the use of these eye drops. Blurred vision, avoiding driving or operating machinery after using the eye drops, stinging, burning, eye pain sensitivity to light, loss of vision, intense redness in eyes.

Allergic conjunctivitis
NHS Choices further divides this type of conjunctivitis into 4 main types.
seasonal conjunctivitis: typically caused by an allergy to pollen
perennial conjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to dust mites or pets
contact dermatoconjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to eye drops or cosmetics
giant papillary conjunctivitis: usually caused by an allergy to contact lenses

Again, sensible self-help methods are advised, the removal of contact lenses, a cool compress over the eyes, or a wet flannel, and avoiding exposure the the allergen. 

Drugs for these allergic conditions include:

     Antihistamine Eye Drops such as Azelastine, Emedastine and Ketotifen. All of them are not suitable for children under 3 years of age, and Antazoline with xylometazoline (Otrivine-Antistin) which is not suitable for children under 12 years, although it is available without prescription from pharmacies! Pregnant women are advised to see a doctor!

     Oral antihistamines, like cetirizine, fexofenadine, and loratadine, with the advice not to take them if pregnant or breasfeeding.

     Mast cell stabilisers. These are prescribed in the form of eye drops, and include lodazamide, nedocromil sodium and sodium cromoglicate

     Corticosteroids. These drugs are prescribed is symptoms are 'particularly severe', but they are "not usually prescribed unless absolutely necessary".


Important Note. 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above. 

The following homeopathic remedies for the treatment of conjunctivitis have been outlined on the National Center for Homeopathy website. They are all safe, without any side effects, and if the symptoms are similar, they have regularly been found to be effective.

Apis mellifica
Puffy swelling of the eyelids.  The eyes feel better from cold applications. Stinging, burning pain may be experienced, and the eyelids may stick together. A person who needs this remedy often feels irritable.

Argentum nitricum
With this remedy there can be swelling of the eyelids with yellowish or pus-like discharge as well as redness of the whites and inner corners of the eyes. The person’s eyes may be tired and achy, worse from light and warmth, and better from cold compresses and fresh air. 

Belladonna
Patients needing this remedy often have intense redness of the eyes, including bloodshot appearance to the whites. There may be throbbing pain or the eye may feel hot. Bright  lights and even loud noises may increase the discomfort. The patient may also have a fever. Belladonna is useful when there has been a rapid onset of symptoms.

Euphrasia
This remedy is frequently called on when the patient has symptoms that center on the eyes.  There is often a large quantity of tears that burn the eye and surrounding skin. At times a greenish or whitish discharge may form with a feeling as though a foreign object, such as sand, is in the eye.  There can also be a profuse bland discharge from the nose.

Hepar sulphur
When this remedy is called for, the eyes feel sore or bruised, with inflammation and burning pain.  Yellow discharge can stick the eyelids shut, especially in the morning. Warm compresses and warmth in general, often make the patient feel better. The patient is often extremely sensitivity to cold - a chilly patient - and can also be sensitive to light and noise. Irritability can also be a feature of the case.

Mercurius solubilis
Patients needing this remedy often feel lousy and are sensitive to both heat and cold. Discharge is greenish-yellow and can irritate the lids and margins of the eyes. A person who needs this remedy often has very offensive breath and lots of salivation with thirst. There can also be eruptions around the eyes and on the lids of someone who needs this remedy.

Pulsatilla
This remedy is often called for when there is a great deal of thick, yellow, itchy discharge from the eye.  The discharge generally doesn't irritate the skin. The person needing this remedy can be needy as well as worse in a warm room. They are also often thirstless.  Cool compresses applied to the eyes is often soothing. 

Sulphur
This remedy may be helpful for patients whose eyes are red with burning and itching. The whites of the eyes look red and bloodshot, and the tears feel hot. Symptoms are worse from heat.


Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathic Remedies

As far as I am aware, there are no RCTs on the homeopathic treatment of Conjnctivitis.




Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Big Pharma drugs cause Dementia, Alzheimers

In the journal American Medical Association, commonly used pharmaceutical drugs, used to treat a variety of illnesses, such as gastrointestinal condition like nausea, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhoea, diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis; and respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, and COPD; as well as other conditions, such as cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, insomnia and dizziness, were linked to higher dementia risk in elderly people.

Even the BBC reported the study today ( 27th January 2015) which, given their usual craven and submissive attitude towards the conventional medical establishment, is quite something. Yet, as usual, they play down the importance of this evidence for all of us.

First, there are many kinds and brands of Anticholinergic drugs, many of them readily on sale 'over-the-counter'. It has been estimated that about 50% of the USA population is taking at least one of these drugs. The figure for the UK is similar. This demonstrates the dangers that these drugs are to our mental health.

This list of anticholinergic drugs has been taken from the Wikipedia website (used here, but not always the best, or most accurate source of health information because of its connections with the conventional medical establishment).

Anti-Muscarinic Drugs. Atropine, Benztropine (Cogentin), Biperiden, Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), Dicyclomine (Dicycloverine), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex, Advil PM, etc.), Doxylamine (Unisom), Glycopyrrolate (Robinul), Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril), Ipratropium (Atrovent), Orphenadrine, Oxitropium (Oxivent), Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Driptane, Lyrinel XL), Tolterodine (Detrol, Detrusitol), Tiotropium (Spiriva), Trihexyphenidyl, Scopolamine, Solifenacin, Tropicamide.

Anti-Nicotinic Drugs. Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin), Ganglion blockers; Dextromethorphan, (Cough suppressant and ganglion blocker), Doxacurium (Nondeplorizing skeletal muscular relaxant), Hexamethonium, (Ganglion blocker), Mecamylamine, (Ganglion blocker and occasional smoking cessation aid), Tubocurarine, (Nondepolarizing skeletal muscular relaxant).

The Wikipedia article states that the anticholinergic drugs with the greatest effect, and taken frequently by older people, were:

  • Anti-depressants such as Amitriptyline, Imipramine and Clomipramine
  • Tranquilisers such as Chlorpromazine and Trifluoperazine
  • Bladder medication such as Oxybutynin
  • Antihistamines such as Chlorphenamine. 

The second reason why they underplay this information is that it has been available to us for a very long time, but the BBC, and the mainstream media generally, have not little or no attention to it before. Do an internet search on 'Anticholinergic drugs' and 'dementia' and you will see that the link has been known for many years, and no-one has bothered to tell us about it before. But this article, in the British Medical Journal (332: 455 – 459) was published in February 2006, nine years ago. It refers to research that says doctors should be aware that anticholinergic drugs can cause confusion, memory loss and disorientation. Karen Ritchie, the author of the article, told Reuters (London) that:

          "A large number of elderly people are taking medications that can mimic early dementia and are likely to be classed as having early dementia. A very large number of people with so-called early dementia have these effects due to drug consumption. The drugs they are taking are very common - they include things like antihistamines”

          "What we showed is that many of the people who are classified in this way have it due to the medication they are taking, and not because they have early Alzheimer's disease".

          "The drugs they are taking are very common they include things like antihistamines"

No wonder there has been an epidemic of Dementia and Alzheiemer's disease in recent decades. It has little to do with 'an ageing population', and much to do with the drugs the conventional medical establishment has been giving us for a very long time, and our media, who have stood passively to one side and allowed them to do so.

So in their article, the BBC still feels able to tell us that "Experts say people should not panic or stop taking their medicines". Who are these experts? They are, of course, the only experts the BBC ever consults over health matters - the very people who have been giving us these drugs over the years, without telling us about these disease-inducing-effects (D.I.E.s), and perhaps reluctant to admit how serious their error has been.

Actually, there appears to be no pharmaceutical drug that is sufficiently safe for us to risk taking.

There appears to be no Big Pharma drug that the conventional medical establishment will every warn us about, until it has done such untold harm that they can no longer continue withholding the truth further.

And, our mainstream media, including the 'public broadcaster' the BBC, seem willing to continue to do nothing that might bring to us the evidence that a variety of illnesses and diseases are being caused by conventional medicine.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Suicide. The known links with pharmaceutical drugs,

Suicide is not an illness or a disease, but it is something that is contemplated, or actually happens when an individual’s mental health has reached its nadir. Life has become unbearable, and the person cannot contemplate going on with it.

What causes this level of despair? Of course, there are many social and emotional reasons, all connected with the life of any individual who is contemplating suicide. Suicide has been with us, no doubt, since time began. Likewise, the depression that causes suicidal ideation has been with us from the beginnings of time.


“Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Hence, many millions of people are affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally in 2012”.

WHO go on to explain that in the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide, and that suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). They also said that suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides, and that mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.

Yet there is another cause for concern, one which is seldom discussed or thought about, certainly not by the Conventional Medical Establishment. This is that there are a variety of conventional medical drugs are known to cause, and to increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts, and suicide.

Antidepressant Drugs
If depression is a major cause of suicide, the conventional treatment of depression is known to increase it too! This paradox is common with pharmaceutical drugs, that their D.I.E.s can actually increase the disease they are given to treat!

This association is well recognised in the conventional medical world. For instance, the FDA requires all antidepressant drugs to include strong warnings about risks of suicidal thinking and behaviour, especially in children, adolescents and young adults. Many doctors seek to justify their use of these drugs on the basis that untreated depression can also be linked with suicide. Of course it can! But to give depressed people drugs that increase the likelihood of suicide seems to be an extraordinary policy, although one routinely practised by our conventional doctors!

One group of antidepressant, SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors), including drugs like Prosac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro and Luvox, have been particularly associated with an increased risk of suicide, especially in children and young people. Even in the drug tests that preceded their approval and introduction about 4% of patients were found to experience suicidal thinking or behaviour, as well as actual suicide attempts.

Yet prescribing antidepressant drugs has become routine, common practice, and the consumption of these drugs has mirrored the increase in suicide rates over the last 50 to 60 years. It has been estimated that some 164 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants in 2008 alone, and sales of SSRIs alone increased by 32% from 2000 to 2004. It is likely that they have increased significantly since then.

Antidepressants have also been linked to akathisia, which can cause extreme restlessness, an inability to be still. The discomfort of this ‘side effect’ are known to be so great that suicide can become a welcome alternative to such agitation.

Prosac, perhaps the best known SSRI antidepressant, is known to have a stimulant effect, similar to amphetamines, which can in turn lead to suicide. An FDA official, who was responsible for evaluating adverse drug effects during the approval of this drug, repeatedly warned that it could have this effect - without avail!

Drugs for Parkinson’s Disease
Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease are also implicated in causing suicide. Friends of Robin Williams have linked the drugs he was taking for Parkinson’s, alongside a plethora of other drugs, with his death. Unfortunately, this may have had an unfortunate consequence, in that it has triggered fierce denials from the conventional medical establishment, angry at this link being made. 

The denials are, as usual, that Parkinson’s disease is a condition that causes depression, and that suicidal ideation might be the result of this depression, and not the drugs.

Yet the prevalence of suicide amongst people with Parkinson’s is well known. And the link with drugs used for Parkinson's is also known, and in some cases is published on inserts in the boxes the drug is dispensed in. This one, for instance, is for the Levodopa drug, Cardidopa monohydrate.

“Depression - you or your carer should seek medical advice if there are changes to your mental state or behaviour, if you are depress or have thoughts of committing suicide”.

Suicide is not always mentioned in websites as a ‘side-effect’ of Levodopa, but it is in others, such as this RxList website. One D.I.E mentioned is “confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself”.


“Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of suicidal behaviour in Parkinson's disease (PD). In the first part of the study, we followed a cohort of 102 consecutive PD patients for 8 years and found that the suicide-specific mortality was 5.3 times higher than expected. In the second part, we tested 128 PD patients for death and suicidal ideation and administered an extensive neurological, neuropsychological and psychiatric battery. Current death and/or suicidal ideation was registered in 22.7%…… In conclusion, the suicide risk in PD may not be as high as it is expected, but it is certainly not trivial. According to our data almost a quarter of PD patients had death and/or suicidal ideation, that may significantly influence their quality of life”.

As much as the Conventional Medical Establishment might like to attack this study, they are still unable to provide evidence that it is the Parkinson's, and not the drug used for Parkinson's, that is causing the high rates of suicide in Parkinson’s patients! So we just have to trust their denials, and their re-assurances!

But this attitude is also a hostage to fortune! If we follow their logic, that is, if you are depressed you are likely to have suicidal ideation, then any drug that causes depression (and there are plenty of these, and a later blog will point out) should be considered as a likely cause of suicide!

There are other conventional medical drugs known to create suicidal ideation, and I will outline just three here.

Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Accutane is a drug used for severe Acne. It is also marketed under the names Isotretinoin, Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, and probably others. The FDA’s has reported that this drug is the fifth most related to depression, and that it is also one of the top 10 drugs linked to an increased risk of suicide. Indeed, Accutane is linked to many serious D.I.E.s, including Crohn’s disease, liver damage, depression, miscarriage, and birth defects if taken during pregnancy.

Many Accutate users have reported depression and suicidal behaviour. From 1982 to 2005, the FDA received reports of 190 suicides by Accutane users.  In 2003 there were so many reports that Accutane was listed as one the top ten drugs associated with depression and suicide attempts.

Chantix
Chantix in the USA, Chanpix in the UK, is a drug prescribed to stop the smoking habit. The FDA thought the risk of suicide from this drug warranted a ‘black box’ warning on its packaging in 2009. Apparently, the symptoms of depression and suicide can appear shortly after taking Chantix, and that it can quickly progress to dangerous levels.

There is a Chantix lawsuit pending in the USA following hundreds of Chantix users reporting incidents following the drug's approval. Apparently, in one 18-month period, over 300 reports of Chantix suicide and depression incidents were reported directly to the FDA.

By 2014, the drug was linked to over 500 suicides. But obviously, the Conventional Medical Establishment still feels it is a suitable drug to continue selling and prescribing to us, as it is still not banned!

Darvocet, Darvan, Co-Proxamol
Darvocet or Darvan in the USA, Co-Proxamol in the UK, is an Opiate painkiller that was long associated with depression and increasing suicidal tendencies. Apparently, deaths occurring within one hour of overdosing with this drug were not uncommon. Over 3,000 reports of serious problems associated with Darvocet / Darvon were received by the FDA, including many suicide reports. The ‘Drug Abuse Warning Network’,  a US government database reporting on emergency room visits, showed 503 Darvon-related deaths just in 2007, with at least 20% of all deaths being reported as suicides.

Co-Proxamol was investigated by Oxford University’s ‘Centre for Suicide Research’, and their study found that “the risk of dying after co-proxamol overdose was 2.3 times that for tricyclic antidepressants and 28.1 times that for paracetamol”, the main ingredients of the drug”

As a result of this, and other findings, it was ‘withdrawn’ by the MHRA in January 2005.

However, the USA took another four years (during which time the drug was presumably still sold to unsuspecting patients) before the FDA finally banned the drug in November 2010. However, because of its addictive qualities, many young people are still taking the drug for ‘recreational’ purposes! 

Perhaps one of the longer lasting legacies of our much lauded pharmaceutical industry!


This is not an exhaustive list of the Big Pharma drugs known to cause suicide, but it is hopefully sufficient to ensure that anyone who is taking, or planning to take ANY pharmaceutical drug to undertake a thorough web search for possible associations. Your doctor won't tell you! And your life might depend upon it!


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. There is a treatment, and it is Homeopathy!

Dementia has become a common condition that affects over 800,000 people in the UK, and is increasing annually. It is associated with ageing, although many more people under 65 years are now contracting the disease. Dementia involves the loss of many mental functions, including memory loss, speed of thinking and recall, mental agility, use of language, comprehension, understanding and judgement. Those suffering from dementia are known to become increasingly apathetic, depressed, changeable in mood, lose interest in people and socialising, and subject to quite radical personality change.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

Conventional Medical Treatment
NHS Choices says this about the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, although medication is available that can temporarily reduce some symptoms or slow down the progression of the condition in some people”.

It deals largely with ‘care plans’, ‘palliative treatment’, ’supportive measures’, and treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy to reduce depression. However, it mentions four drugs.

These drugs are named as Donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl) and rivastigmine Exelon (known as AChE inhibitors) can be prescribed for people with early to mid-stage Alzheimer's disease. When describing these drugs, NHS Choices described their action as follows:

“A number of medications may be prescribed for Alzheimer's disease to help temporarily improve some symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition” (My emphasis).

Most websites do not describe or suggest that these drug have anything but a very minor affect on dementia, or the progress of dementia.

However, in November 2006, NICE ruled these three Alzheimer’s drugs should not be used for new Alzheimer’s patients as they were not good value for money. They are expensive, and have little effect on the disease. NICE said that they should be allowed only for patients with moderate levels of the disease. The drug companies, and some patient support groups supported by the drug companies, put enormous pressure on government ministers to reverse the decision (the drug companies apparently threatened to remove their factories and R&D facilities from Britain). So the decision  about the drugs was overturned. (For more information on this event go to this link). 

The side effects of these drugs are many and serious. They include
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat
  • Breathing problems
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hives
  • Yellowed skin
  • Dizziness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Sudden or substantial weight loss
  • Weakness
Memantine may be prescribed for people with mid-stage disease who cannot take AChE inhibitors, or for those with late-stage disease. The drug has an enormous amount of side effects, listed here as follows:
  • Anxiety
  • back pain
  • bladder pain
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in all fingers except smallest finger
  • change in walking and balance
  • chills
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • cough producing mucus
  • coughing
  • diarrhoea
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with moving
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • discouragement
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • nervousness, agitation
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid weight gain
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blood in the urine or stools, dark coloured urine, decreased urine outpu
  • chest pain
  • coma
  • cold sweats
  • cool pale skin
  • Confusion!
  • constipation
  • continuing vomiting
  • convulsions
  • dark-coloured urine
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • depression
  • fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fear
  • feeling sad or empty
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of discomfort, illness, tiredness, weakness
  • heartburn
  • High fever
  • High of low blood pressure
  • hyperventilation
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • indigestion
  • infection from breathing foreign substances into the lungs
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • hostility
  • itching
  • large amounts of fat in the blood
  • lethargy
  • light coloured stools
  • lip smacking or puckering
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • muscle twitching
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • no breathing
  • no pulse
  • numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
  • pain in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pain in the joints
  • pain or swelling in the arms or legs without any injury
  • pain, tension, and weakness upon walking that subsides during periods of rest
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding, slow heartbeat
  • puffing of the cheeks
  • rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue
  • rapid weight gain
  • recurrent fainting
  • red irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple centre
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • seizures
  • severe constipation
  • severe headache
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • severe vomiting
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • stomach cramps
  • stomach upset
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • stupor
  • sudden severe weakness
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • tenderness in the stomach area
  • tightness in the chest
  • tiredness
  • trouble with concentrating
  • trouble with sleeping
  • total body jerking
  • trouble with speaking or walking
  • troubled breathing
  • twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled chewing movements
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusually pale skin
  • vomitin
  • watery or bloody diarrhoe
  • wheezin
  • yellow eyes and skin

Anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia, should realise that when the conventional medical establishment says there is ‘no treatment’ for a disease, it means that there is no conventional treatment for the disease. It also means that it does not want people to know that there are other forms of treatment available.


Important Note. 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above. 

The homeopathic treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is based on an understanding of the causes of this new disease, which implicates factors such as mercury and aluminium pollution, pesticides, and most particularly, conventional pharmaceutical drugs. (Go to this link for further information)

Therefore, it is an individualised process, and a homeopath should be consulted. But there are remedies that are known to be particularly effective in the treatment of this disease. These remedy descriptions come mainly from the Hpathy website.

Alumina
An excellent remedy for those who are depressed and afraid of losing their minds. They become confused with their identities and experience rapidly changing moods. Patients are often chilly, constipated, and very hurried in their actions and movements.

Baryta Carb
Helps those who have regressed back to childish behavior. They may be fearful, timid and shy and lack confidence. There is loss of memory and some patients may suffer from chronic glandular disorders.

Calcaria Carb
Complete lack of development of brain and other organs with forgetfulness. Slowness and inability to acquire knowledge.

Chamomilla
Sensitiveness; irritability, peevishness; very easily angered and suffers profoundly as a result thereof.

Ignatia
Extreme mental sensitiveness due to grief, disappointment in love affairs.

Lycopodium
Great depression of spirits; despondent; worried about his salvation; about being able to perform his duties; about passing in examination, fretful, irritable, morose, very vehement and angry. Constipation, eructations of sour food.

Mercurius
Complete loss of all sense of decency; filthy in body with groveling mentality; great weakness of memory; impaired vision; foul breath; heavy coated tongue.

Natrum Sulph 
Can often bring relief to those who are fixated with and dwell on past hurts and unpleasant events. They may feel sad and lonely, be filled with self-pity, or be unable to express the love they feel for others. These people often have headaches and painful joints.

Nux Vom
Often angry, quarrelsome, irritable, disposition to find fault with everything and every body. Extreme sensitiveness to the words and attention of others, easily hurt, can be insensitive to other’s feelings. May want to commit suicide but is too cowardly to do so; very irritable, quarrelsome, vindictive.

Staphisagria
Sleeplessness. Coward with shamefulness, disgust, humiliation, despair, shyness with desire for solitude

Terentula His
Rages over something and throws whatever in hand and whatever he could reach. On slightest contradiction or objection he will hit the person with whatever he can get hold of.


Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathic Remedies

There have been studies suggesting that the progress of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed by homeopathic treatment. These studies have been discussed here. It concludes that a Homeopath should be consulted in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

This concludes with the following statement:

“All studies have confirmed our earlier observations: this medication has proven to enhance the learning and memory performance significantly in a dose-dependent fashion”, says Dr. Bernd Seilheimer from Heel. “It showed at least as effective as the Gold Standard at all tested behavioural models. In addition, it is very well-tolerated. No negative side-effects could be documented with the natural preparation. Following the new paradigm, multi-target preparations could become a natural alternative to conventional preparations for treating complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”


The information on this webpage represents the views and opinion of the author, based on his clinical experience, and the traditions of Homeopathy. This material is provided for information only, and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Always consult with a suitably qualified and registered Homeopath, or with a medical doctor for advice about the treatment they offer, especially in serious or life threatening medical conditions, or if you are already taking medical drugs.’



Dementia, Alzheimer's disease and links with Anticholinergic drugs

Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat a variety of ailments, including gastrointestinal conditions such as nausea, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhoea, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis; respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, and COPD; and other conditions, such as cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, insomnia and dizziness.

There are many kinds and brands of Anticholinergetic drugs, and it has been estimated that about 50% of the USA population is taking at least one of these drugs.This list has been taken from the Wikipedia website (used here, but not always the best, or most accurate source of health information because of its connections with the conventional medical establishment).

Anti-Muscarinic Drugs. Atropine, Benztropine (Cogentin), Biperiden, Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), Dicyclomine (Dicycloverine), Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Sominex, Advil PM, etc.), Doxylamine (Unisom), Glycopyrrolate (Robinul), Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril), Ipratropium (Atrovent), Orphenadrine, Oxitropium (Oxivent), Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Driptane, Lyrinel XL), Tolterodine (Detrol, Detrusitol), Tiotropium (Spiriva), Trihexyphenidyl, Scopolamine, Solifenacin, Tropicamide. 

Anti-Nicotinic Drugs. Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin), Ganglion blockers; Dextromethorphan, (Cough suppressant and ganglion blocker), Doxacurium (Nondeplorizing skeletal muscular relaxant), Hexamethonium, (Ganglion blocker), Mecamylamine, (Ganglion blocker and occasional smoking cessation aid), Tubocurarine, (Nondepolarizing skeletal muscular relaxant).

Known (Disease Inducing Effects)
It is important to note that Anticholinergetic drugs are widely implicated in causing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Wikipedia lists the following side-effects for these drugs, and included amongst these can be found many pointers to these diseases of the mind. The article states that long-term use of these drugs increases the risk of both mental and physical decline.

Ataxia; loss of coordination
Decreased mucus production in the nose and throat; consequent dry, sore throat
Xerostomia or dry-mouth with possible acceleration of dental caries
Cessation of perspiration; consequent decreased epidermal thermal dissipation leading to warm, blotchy, or red skin
Increased body temperature
Pupil dilation (mydriasis); consequent sensitivity to bright light (photophobia)
Loss of accommodation (loss of focusing ability, blurred vision – cycloplegia)
Double-vision (diplopia)
Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
Tendency to be easily startled
Urinary retention
Diminished bowel movement, sometimes ileus (decreases motility via the vagus nerve)
Increased intraocular pressure; dangerous for people with narrow-angle glaucoma.

Possible effects in the central nervous system:
Confusion
Disorientation
Agitation
Euphoria or dysphoria
Respiratory depression
Memory problems[7]
Inability to concentrate
Wandering thoughts; inability to sustain a train of thought
Incoherent speech
Irritability
Mental confusion (brain fog)
Wakeful myoclonic jerking
Unusual sensitivity to sudden sounds
Illogical thinking
Photophobia
Visual disturbances
Periodic flashes of light
Periodic changes in visual field
Visual snow
Restricted or "tunnel vision"
Visual, auditory, or other sensory hallucinations
Warping or waving of surfaces and edges
Textured surfaces
"Dancing" lines; "spiders", insects; form constants
Lifelike objects indistinguishable from reality
Phantom smoking
Hallucinated presence of people not actually there
Rarely: seizures, coma, and death
Orthostatic hypotension (sudden dropping of systolic blood pressure when standing up suddenly) and significantly increased risk of falls in the elderly population.[8]

The Wikipedia article says that it is ‘unclear’ whether they affect the risk of death! Research done by the University of East Anglia in 2011 appears to give some clarification on this, and confirmation of the association between Anticholinergetic drugs. They found that a ‘side-effect’ of many commonly used drugs increased the risks of both cognitive impairment and death in older people. This research was described as the first systematic investigation into the long term health impacts of anticholinergic drugs, and its findings were published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

They found that the anticholinergic drugs with the greatest effect, taken frequently by older people, were: 
  • Anti-depressants such as Amitriptyline, Imipramine and Clomipramine
  • Tranquilisers such as Chlorpromazine and Trifluoperazine
  • Bladder medication such as Oxybutynin
  • Antihistamines such as Chlorphenamine. 
Other drugs with an anticholinergic effect mentioned were Atenolol, Furosemide and Nifedipine for heart problems; painkillers such as Codeine and Dextropropoxyphene; the asthma treatment Beclometasone; and the epilepsy treatment Carbamazepine; and Timolol eyedrops which are used for glaucoma. 

More than 13,000 men and women aged 65 and over from across the UK were included in the two-year study. Around half were found to use a medication with potential anticholinergic properties. The key findings were:

• 20% of participants taking drugs with a total ACB of four or more had died by the end of the two-year study, compared with only seven per cent of those taking no anticholinergic drugs - the first time a link between anticholinergics and mortality has been shown. 
  • For every additional ACB point scored, the odds of dying increased by 26%.
• Participants taking drugs with a combined ACB of five or more scored more than 4% lower in a cognitive function test than those taking no anticholinergic medications “confirming evidence from previous smaller studies of a link between anticholinergics and cognitive impairment”. 
• The increased risks from anticholinergic drugs were shown to be cumulative, based on the number of anticholinergic drugs taken and the strength of each drug’s anticholinergic effect. 
• Those who were older, of lower social class, and with a greater number of health conditions, tended to take the most anticholinergic drugs.


Such are the dangers of this category of pharmaceutical drug there has even been a disease named after it - Anticholinergic Syndrome!