My Notes from The Functional Health Summit
An Interview with Paige Adams NP Family Nurse Practitioner
Addressing Today’s Nutritional Challenges with Intravenous Therapies and Detoxification Strategies
My practice is multifaceted, it all comes down to searching for the underlying causes and treating them from the ground up. Maybe that’s why I tend to specialize in difficult to treat cases many times I’m told I am the fifth or fifteenth provider someone has seen. I see cases of Autism, autoimmune, neurodegenerative disorders, hormone imbalances for both men and women, thyroid, adrenal dysfunction, correcting nutritional imbalances, enhancing sports and athletic performance and putting together comprehensive detox plans for patients. Because I have so many passions it seemed appropriate for me to discuss the methods I incorporate to be used to treat many different symptoms across the board in multiple coexisting disease states at the same time and very effectively and efficiently.
When were talking about nutrition our ultimate goal is to encourage others toward a healthy diet combined with the appropriate type of exercise for them in order to obtain a sustainable lifestyle and it’s benefits. That’s very important people want results and the approach is never one size fits all. When we refer to exercise more is not necessarily better especially in the case of adrenal dysfunction or limited mobility and when were talking about nutrition were referring to the food. Our bodies take in nutrition to nourish ourselves and to create energy or adenosine triphosphate ATP within the mitochondria. let’s look at what this mitochondria is and what function it has in our bodies, they are little structures in our cells that make energy through a process called cellular respiration. You’ll find they are often referred to as the powerhouses of our cells and without these guys our cells die and when our cells die our bodies cease to function. Most people have heard that your food can either heal you or kill you, you are what you eat, and Hippocrates let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food, If you think about it you find there is much truth in these simple meanings.
We know our food sources have been devoid of nutrients for many decades, we also know our food pyramid in the U.S. has essentially been debunked and it seems every other day there’s a new diet being promoted. One thing most integrative practitioners can agree is that certain types of cholesterol are not bad for us in fact cholesterol is essential for our brain health and for the plasticity of every cell in our bodies. Cholesterol is a component of the phospholipid membrane that surrounds and protects our cells. Most functional integrative practitioners and our patients also agree that organic is best when it comes to our food consumption. Here is yet another conundrum that we are facing as a population, we can eat organic until the cows come home and that’s a great reassurance knowing that were not loading us and our children up with doses of GMO’s, pesticides and other carcinogens and neurotoxins. The question becomes is our organic food being grown in healthy soil, by that I mean is the soil being fed with necessary nutrients prior to each planting, are the crops properly rotated. Is the food green picked meaning it’s harvested before it’s had time to adequately mature and develop all of it’s own vitamins, minerals and enzymes, there’s a lot more to this food thing than most people realize. Do you know your local farmers, get to know them yourselves, support them and buy local, buy organic or grow your own food, it’s really not as hard as you think.
This brings me to one of the many tools in my practice to help patients get well and stay well, it’s important to realize how proper nutritional replacement and replenishment can greatly impact the overall positive trajectory toward greater health. The nutraceuticals or supplements are also a big part of my practice I especially lean toward products that can treat multiple issues at one time. I often use L-theanine this is an amino acid that helps feed the adrenals and it also blocks the conversion of glutamine to glutamate which is an excitatory neurotransmitter and can throw of the gamma glutamate balance, not a good thing. L-theanine is also calming without being sedating, consider it a natural benzodiazepine without the side effects that we commonly use for patients that are tired but wired. Another example is niacin, niacin is a B vitamin that’s know for helping decrease bad cholesterol, rather it actually changes the pattern size from B to A which causes less oxidative damage and subsequent inflammation within the arterial wall. It also helps in the increase of the good cholesterol or HDL, it’s also important in the methylation process particularly if a patient becomes over methylated. Those are two that are good for dual or triplicate function.
I feel it’s extremely important to first determine what patients are deficient in, it takes the guesswork out of it so we order functional nutritional testing. What if I have a patient that has a faulty gastrointestinal system and by this I’m referring to the lining of the gut, what if that’s compromised and someone truly can’t utilize their food for energy. What if they can’t break down even quality supplements that are made to be easily digested and absorbed for whatever reason such as low stomach acid which is commonly seen in thyroid, adrenal and many other immune disorders. What if they have inflammation and were actually adding fuel to the fire, it becomes a very viscous cycle eventually the adrenals and thyroid are thrown into the mix and this creates the perfect storm.
There is a gut brain connection that’s been well documented by many sources, keeping the gut happy must be a conscious and constant effort it doesn’t have to be a full time job but it’s absolutely vital to your concrete foundation of health. My personal approach when treating even the toughest cases is to eradicate or eliminate then reestablish and reinoculate. I’m not talking about just one symptom or disease state here and this is the beauty of I.V. therapies. Without I.V. therapies I don’t believe my success rate with patients would be as high as it is if I didn’t incorporate these therapies in my practice, it’s a pretty hefty tool in my toolbox. I’m very fortunate to have the knowledge to provide patients with many different strategies of healing, there’s no one size fit’s all method to my madness.
The intravenous therapies I use in my practice along with detoxification strategies, in my 15 years of training with I.V. therapy I would say there are over 100 potentials. the one’s I use most frequently in my practice and have the capability of treating the many different conditions across the board with just a single therapy. One thing I love about the I.V. therapies is that the ingredients completely bypass the gut for people with damage to the gut lining and it also for the most part bypasses the first pass of the liver. So the benefits are instant and the patient receives the rough equivalent of a months worth of supplements in one simple infusion. Some of the I.V.s I do take anywhere from 20 minutes to over 2 hours to infuse, the protocols are stringent and must be carried out with precision there is zero room for error. The various ingredients are included for a reason osmolality must be isotonic to hypertonic but never hypotonic and there’s computer programs that can calculate the osmolality when it’s uncertain. By bypassing the gut and using I.V. therapy you get 100% into the cells. One of the most common I.V.s that we use is vitamin C and there is several variations in doses that range from 10-100 grams, if that amount were taken orally one would need a toilet the size of Texas. These ingredients are infused directly into the cells where they can do their respective jobs, we are the only mammal that does not make our own vitamin C. People with adrenal dysfunction burn through their vitamin C stores much faster so they require much more. Dr. Russell Jaffe has a great protocol called the ascorbic acid calibration and it’s designed to help patients determine their personal threshold I encourage everyone to go read that article.
Through the work of many including Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Linus Pauling I.V. vitamin C not only kills cancer but also boosts chemotherapies ability to kill cancer, in fact I.V. vitamin C can also reduce the negative side effects of chemo and improve quality of life. There have been many laboratory studies on the efficacy of I.V. vitamin C for slowing the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, malignant mesothemlioma, neuroblastoma, ovarian sarcoma and other types of cancer cells. It’s also important to note that high dose vitamin C may block the benefits of certain anti cancer drugs, not all but a small number of them so always speak with your doctor before adding any adjunctive therapy to your protocol. It’s also touted for fighting active and remissive viral and bacterial infections, how many people do we know with chronic Epstein-Barr infection that pops up you don’t have this horrendous sore throat that pops up you might have a low grade fever but that overwhelming fatigue and we check tithers and their through the roof because it’s recurrent. We know that viruses live in our nerve root and in our spine and they come out in times where our immune systems are stunted and that could be because of a compromised secretory IGA, adrenals or a combination of all these things.
Vitamin C is also a potent chelator of mercury, people can experience herxheimer reaction it’s also known as a healing crisis, typically because it’s killing off something or because it’s chelating mercury. It even has that effect orally, vitamin C is also touted in being an important factor in collagen production as a woman I consider that very important. This is important for wound healing, easy bruising protection, from DNA damage and mutation, prevention of cataracts, improvement in cardiac health by preventing oxidation of cholesterol within the arterial wall which leads to plaque formation. It’s also helpful for asthmatics because of it’s antioxidant function in the lungs, it may also help diabetics by regulating blood sugar as insulin assists vitamin C along with glucose into the cell. It’s surmised that diabetics and those with insulin resistance are intracellularly deficient in vitamin D and we do see that clinically. Other potential benefits include treating preeclampsia in pregnancy, increasing sperm count especially in smokers, treating Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disorders, mood issues and periodontal disease.
Clinically I have personally witnessed dramatic improvements in patients with bringing vitamin C into the treatment plan and yes even with cancer patients, I don’t want to make any medical claims but I know what I’ve seen. I’ve seen tumors shrink and or disappear to the complete befuddlement of traditional medicine I’ve seen the actual Ct’s, ultrasounds, MRI’s, and PET scans. By the same token I have had patients that did not survive, those are patients that by the time they get to me they have been through the gambit of traditional treatment and their just hanging on that one thread of hope, I believe in hope it’s all about hope. I have read the studies and I’ve been doing this for a long time and the benefits far outweigh the risks. It’s rare to find this but I’ll still order a G6PD enzyme level which if someone has that it means that essentially their body cannot tolerate vitamin C as it will cause lysis of the red blood cells which means their blood cells kind of just blow up. At the start of treatment I will run this and a full panel of labs, in addition I look for evidence of oxalate issues but in 15 years I’ve not once seen evidence of oxalate problems even with organic acid testing in these patients.
My next favorite treatment is Myer’s Cocktail, this is probably our most requested treatment likely because it doesn’t take very long to infuse. Imagine taking a month’s worth of super high potency B complex supplement in a single treatment that’s a Myer’s Cocktail. If you were to take that much orally it would shut your liver down in a snap. It packs a serious punch for those with adrenal issues, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraines, asthma and allergies, it will actually stop an asthma attack in it’s tracks. For those who just need a boost energy wise it currently is widely being marketed as an instant hangover solution which makes sense, we know that alcohol leaches B vitamins. Personally I do two of these a week, it is some serious food for the brain and adrenals hands down. Patients become calm and overall relaxation and then later on or the following day they usually feel a tremendous increase in energy and endurance. It’s perfect for those who want increased athletic endurance and performance so we treat many athletes pre game as well as post game for recovery benefits. We do determine if this is appropriate for you and can individualize it by adding things like glutathione, this is an extremely safe treatment.
I worked for a company and I was the clinical director of 7 clinics in Tennessee and one in New Hampshire and what we did was test and treat workers that were exposed to these very dangerous toxins and chemicals. It was a bit of an Erin Brockovich experience riddled with some very interesting stories of overt malice and cover up by major companies and I witness it first hand. Talk about bone chilling stories it definitely was a learning experience, I was concerned about my well being at times but I would go back and help those folks all over again. Chelation in and of itself is a controversial subject and I find that people are either staunch proponents or staunch opponents. I was on the fence about it and wanted to know more so I pulled every scientific article on it to date including papers from other countries I had translated. I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that I.V. Chelation Therapy is extremely safe when administered by a well trained provider and if somebody tells you that everybody receives the same chelator or the same dose or they don’t know about detoxification processes like methylation, sulfation or even about the importance of mineral replacement then my recommendation to you is to run not walk like the wind. As far as my training and certification in chelation therapy I’ve gone through several entities starting with ACAM (American College for Advancement in Medicine) but most of my training is through ISIM (International College of Integrated Medicine) they really tend to stay on the up and up. Although I initially treated adults only several years later I found myself treating children with Autism, all be it kicking and screaming, but now I love every minute of it. I learned how to utilize chelation different ways by looking at genetics and the patients ability to adequately detoxify, also I learned the difference between several detox agents and how to assist the body in optimizing detoxification. I am still learning, things change you have to keep abreast of these changes.
The next therapy is the Phospholipid Exchange Protocol, I love this guy. Remember the phospholipid membrane I spoke of that each cell in our body is surrounded with that keeps our cells pliable as opposed to rigid. When cells are pliable it allows for proper exchange and transport between the cells and one of the medications we use in this protocol is the double stranded phosphatidylcholine that is imported from Switzerland so the quality of PC is very important. We can also use and tailor glutathione, leucovorin, B12 depending on genetic snips it’s helps us determine whether we should use hydroxymethyl or cyanocobalamin different types of B12 or leave out the leucovorin all together which is high dose folinic acid because some patients simply can’t tolerate it or convert it. The protocol is a membrane stabilizing protocol for neurological disorders, a great resource here is the Detoxx Book Detoxification and Biotoxins and Chronic Neurotoxic Syndromes. More information on this here. In it is explained the methodology and the multitude of illnesses treated with this protocol including and not limited to Lyme disease, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, this and other neurodegenerative diseases. It also claims to reverse ALS as well as improve symptoms connected with neuro problems such as microbial infections, immune dysfunctions, Fibromyalgia, mood disorders, Down Syndrome and even Traumatic brain Injury. Here’s an interesting side note did you know that phosphatidylcholine has been used in conventional medicine to treat arteriosclerosis and plaque, it’s also been suggested that the protocol may work by supporting cell membranes that are malfunctioning as a direct result of coronary artery disease.
I have found that when developing a detox program for a patient if they suddenly stop dumping toxins and yet when we retest them we continue to see elevated neopterin and porpyrin levels and those indicate overall body burden so we know it’s still there and that’s when we know we have hit a roadblock. I cannot reiterate enough just how important it is to evaluate these parameters, not only must we support detoxification pathways or were going to do more damage. Were just going to cause recirculation of all these toxins but also to replace mineral status because detox can take out good things too. We often have to keep in mind that in the disease state I previously mentioned the cellular integrity is greatly compromised already, fortunately we have the capability of assessing valuable clues that give us vital information about cellular integrity and signaling. An organic acid test, fatty acid and metabolism testing, in depth amino acid analyzing and/or a functional ion test can provide superb information in regard to cell function and even mitochondrial function. More often than not whenever I hit this roadblock with a patient not being able to detox I do a couple of Phospholipid Exchange Protocols and voila the patient begins to release or dump more toxins.
Just by paying attention to very basic biology principals like the Krebs Cycle and glycolysis, in my opinion this is where the art of clinical practice comes in and where providers can help patients achieve maximum benefit using a completely safe combination of protocols.
The last I’m going to discuss is kind of a large conglomeration of therapies called oxidative therapies, the majority of these protocols have been around since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and include such treatments as hyperbaric oxygen therapy which I do in my clinic, ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy also known as photoluminescence therapy, ozone therapy, prolozone and hydrogen peroxide therapy. Many of these therapies are not only controversial some are not allowed in certain states so many of these I do not do in Tennessee, however I strongly believe in their healing ability and I have no hesitation with suggesting it to people living in other states that allow it. An interesting point to keep in mind if any of those therapies sound remotely familiar to any of you it could be because it came up fairly recently in a situation including Dr. Rowen who traveled to Sierra Leon and taught physicians how to effectively treat and eradicate Ebola and it worked, however mainstream media turned a blind eye and deaf ear but you can read about Dr. Rowen’s experiences on his web site . He’s a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of John Hopkins and he went there because he was confident in the treatment, a treatment that cost pennies compared to the alternative and the alternative holds a high death rate. I was trained in oxidative therapies by Dr. Farr and IOMA the International Oxidative Medicine Association and I was trained by Dr. Rowen. An excellent resource on all things oxidative is the book The Oxygen Prescription The Miracle of Oxidative Therapies. A few points to keep in mind peroxide is present in every living thing our bodies even produce it, now with ultraviolet radiation it’s nothing more than exposing bad bugs and pathogens to a UVC light. Which then creates an otologist vaccine for the patient, the energy from the treated cells reverberate to other cells and wipe out toxins, parasites, bacteria, viruses, yeast and other mycotoxins. it’s also reported to help with septicemias, severe inflammation, third degree burns, abscesses, bacterial endocarditis and non healing infections. An interesting study done at the turn of the century 1900’s had to do with women who had septic abortions and were not expected to live and using this therapy, every single one of these women survived and went on to have subsequent healthy pregnancies. Another study in 1988 by an MD in Ohio reports he successfully reversed hepatitis C in all 32 of his patients. Ironically this was pushed to the backburner with the invention of penicillin, a great resource on UVVI is a book called Into The Light – Tomorrow’s Medicine Today.
You have probably heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as it’s gained media focus in the last few years on athletes who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. It’s commonly used in hospital settings to treat decompression syndrome also known as the bends that scuba divers can develop. It’s also used to treat diabetic ulcers, other wounds, gangrene, osteomyelitis, skin graphs, thermal burns, compartment syndrome, carbon dioxide poisoning, intercranial abscess, radiation tissue damage and insurance typically covers hyperbaric for these purposes. Now functional we have seen benefits in treating other conditions, Lyme Disease, Autism, Migraines, Neurodegenerative Diseases, CP, near drowning, recovering from plastic surgery as well as enhanced healing from any surgery for example, we treat many athletes who have had corrective surgery or replacements with excellent outcome. Other conditions treated include stroke and of course traumatic brain injury. For the above conditions insurance typically does not cover these sessions. Now how hyperbaric works is pretty fascinating it’s a medical treatment so it does require medical clearance and it is non invasive and painless, it works by 100% oxygen in a carefully controlled pressurized chamber usually at between 2.4 or 3 atmosphere absolute pressure. This allows the oxygen to penetrate beyond the tissues but also into the plasma, central nervous system and all body fluids, lymph and bone. That’s pretty profound, and in this way oxygen can reach damaged areas and provide for healing, it also increases our white blood cells fighting ability which subsequently boosts our immune system and helps to kill bacteria. Hyperbaric reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow per needed and this very cool process is called Neovascularization. The most common negative side effect we see, if we do, is otic barotrauma or pain in the ears or sinuses this is the same symptom as going up or coming down in an airplane. Children will commonly experience that and we’ll have them chew gum or have their little sippy cup or bottle because swallowing takes care of that issue. Children love the chambers they go directly to it, it’s their rocket, spaceship or submarine, they love it. There are many scientific articles showing effectiveness of hyperbaric treatment there are several specifically showing brain improvement on spec scans pre and post hyperbaric therapy. An excellent book on hyperbaric therapy is The Oxygen Revolution.
I would like to add my quick disclaimer here, I am not making any personal or even general recommendations for anyone, my goal is simply to educate people so they may make an informed decision along with their physicians expertise. My specialty is in functional and integrative medicine with a strong emphasis on science based evidence and I can only speak of personal experiences I’ve witnessed with my own patients within the standards of practice in the state of Tennessee. If you have learned something here today that you did not know before this session then I have accomplished my goal, thank you all.
Paige Adams web page proactivemed.org
This is a very interesting article on the development of mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired oxidative metabolism for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction. NCIB resources The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The Many Roads to Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neuroimmune and Neurophychiatric Disorders.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.
M. Scherker medical researcher