Illuminating Invisible Illnesses: Principles of Energy Medicine
Article Contributed by C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.
For decades conventional and alternative practitioners have been frustrated with the inability to explain the causes of illnesses that have become epidemic in the U.S. population. Patients seek care for “invisible” ailments such as chronic head and back ache, depression, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. Most patients have undergone treatments, trials, tests and trauma with predictably poor results.
I believe that without understanding the human body’s physical, chemical, emotional, mental, electromagnetic and spiritual response to prolonged stress (and most illness is a result of accumulated stress) appropriate and effective treatment is only accidental.
In over 30 years of practice, it has become apparent to me that there are indeed explanations for these unexplained illnesses. In light of these explanations, it is not surprising that successful traditional medical treatment of stress-induced illness is rare.
As a research scientist, I have focused on discovery and correction of the metabolic changes that are found in patients with similar complaints. One advantage of my work with thousands of patients has been the accumulation of vast amounts of data reflecting patients psychological histories, blood chemistries, nutritional habits and correlating symptoms. Over the past ten years, I have noticed a number of metabolic abnormalities apparent in the test results for patients who are afflicted with “invisible ills,” including depression and chronic fatigue.
Because conventional lab work does not reflect these findings, I have devised a battery of laboratory tests to measure metabolic function and blood chemistry. Patients with chronic complaints receive tests for DHEA, intracellular magnesium, serum taurine, vitamin B6, and metabolic rate as determined by basal temperature. Analysis of the data provided by these tests reflects significant differences in chemistry and metabolism from the “normal” population.
Although at this time insufficient scientific research exists to prove that these observed variations are directly related, in practice, patients have experienced significant improvement of their chronic conditions by natural correction of hormonal and nutritional deficiencies. Perhaps, these deficiencies hold treatment solutions for a large percentage of patients whose invisible illnesses continue to frustrate conventional physicians as well as their patients.
The results of replenishing natural levels of essential hormones, amino acids and vitamins can be truly amazing for patients with chronic illness. However, as a word of caution, you should consult with your medical practitioner before undertaking therapeutic supplementation as mentioned in this article.
The importance of DHEA, magnesium, taurine, and B6
The function and importance of this hormone is currently disputed in the medical community, yet DHEA is the most prevalent human hormone. I have found that my healthy patients have healthy levels of this hormone, and unhealthy people have less than adequate levels. This is true regardless of age.
I have found that natural supplementation and lifestyle changes have been quite effective in raising DHEA levels and improving overall health in my patients. However, over-the-counter DHEA is not a miracle cure, and I caution patients that taking these supplements can be risky it if they aren’t truly deficient. DHEA supplementation or enhancement should only be carried out under the direct supervision of a medical professional who has training and experience in psychopharmacology, and ONLY if accurate blood tests show levels to be below adequate.
The human body relies on adequate magnesium for many of its basic functions, yet magnesium levels are not part of basic lab screenings. Because of its many essential contributions to body function, proper magnesium levels are essential for optimum health. It is one of the basic tests we order for patients because it is frequently found deficient in patients with invisible illness, and frequently overlooked in traditional medical diagnosis. Research evidence shows that hypertension, depression, diabetes, muscle tension, anxiety, and chronic pain are associated with a lack of magnesium. Cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, and possibly TIA’s and strokes are related to deficient magnesium. Exciting evidence is emerging that shows magnesium serves as a catalyst for the conversion of cholesterol. These encouraging results could reveal the cause of high cholesterol, which is known to contribute to heart disease. We have found that inadequate levels of magnesium are most effectively treated with injections administered in the clinic.
Taurine is an essential human amino acid. Deficient taurine levels are indicated in diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, gall bladder problems, eye disease, and sexual dysfunction. My test results show that 86% of depressed individuals are taurine deficient. There is evidence emerging that shows many adults neither absorb nor manufacture taurine adequately. Chemotherapy and premarin/estrogen block the manufacture of taurine, and vegetarian and low fat diets are are suspect, as only animals produce it. I recommend up to four grams of taurine per day in patients who exhibit a taurine deficiency correlated with the above syndromes.
Vitamin B6 –
B6 is the most commonly deficient B vitamin. 35% of non-smokers and 80% of smokers are deficient in B6. B6 is essential for most magnesium functions and for making serotonin, which is commonly deficient in depression and insomnia. Other illnesses directly associated with depleted Vitamin B6 include epilepsy, glucose intolerance, anemia, cracking of the lips and tongue and impaired nerve function. Patients with heart disease, carpel tunnel syndrome, and PMS also respond to increased B6 intake.
Metabolic rate –
Yet another key irregularity found in patients who experience chronic illnesses is a low metabolic rate, which is evidenced by a lower than normal body temperature. I consider a morning oral temperature reading below 97.6 Fahrenheit and an afternoon temperature below 98.6 are indicative of low metabolic rate. I believe that in large part, the environmental depletion of iodine in our diets is culprit in decreased metabolic rate. Iodine is essential for metabolic and muscle function as well as for metabolizing metabolism. In our practice, we find that 60% of individuals who increase their iodine intake by 1.5 mg per day are able to improve their metabolic rate and raise their body temperature to normal within one month, simultaneously improving their health.
The far-reaching implications of just these five nutritional/metabolic functions and five lifestyle adaptations are mind-boggling.