As a Physician, My Conversion to Nutritional Supplements Part 2
Liz religiously took the nutritional supplements for as long as three weeks, at about this time, she was feeling much stronger. It seemed like those funny looking pills and strange looking drinks had worked after all. With her strength back, Liz stopped using the nebulizer and steroids.
In the following three months, Liz’s recovery was steady and positively progressive. She felt stronger and she was more confident about facing the previous triggers of her allergies like dust, hay or mold.
She was able to stay up late again, having fun with the family after dinner. We were very happy.
In my quiet time I pondered what had just happened before my very eyes. This is a report I wouldn’t have believed if I had not personally witnessed it. Were those vitamins the major source of nutrients that helped my wife’s body recovers from such a debilitating illness?
Is it possible that the cure was right there in those vitamins while this illness defied all the advanced medical attention and medications my wife received?
It was apparent that Liz had fully recovered from the pneumonia that affected her lungs and there was no symptom of Fibromyalgia anymore.
It is a proven fact that there is no treatment for fibromyalgia, so how did Liz recover from it? I still found it hard to believe that it was because of the nutritional supplements though the truth was very obvious.
My professional instincts kicked in. I knew I had to conduct a clinical trial for this hypothesis. I went into my records and got the contacts of five patients’ under my care who suffered from acute cases of fibromyalgia. I invited them for a short meeting during which I told them what had just happened with my wife.
I prescribed these nutritional supplements to them with the explanation that there was no proven scientific research report backing the claim but they had nothing to lose by trying it.
I had seen how despondent fibromyalgia could make a patient feel, I was happy to know that my patients were willing to take my suggestion after all they have been through.
I got reports from each patient after about three months to six months during which time they were using the nutritional supplements. There was remarkable progress in some cases but none was as outstanding as Liz’s recovery.
It was a good decision, all five patients had renewed hope that they could live strong again.
One of these cases was so severe, the female patient involved had gone as far as seeking medical attention at the Mayo clinic to find a cure for the intense pain she felt. Fibromyalgia has no cure; the solutions she was able to get were all temporary. It got so bad that she attempted to take her life because of the unbearable pains she felt.
I got a report from her and it was really touching, in between sobs through a phone call, she thanked me for giving her a new chance of living. I was so overwhelmed.
It was very encouraging; I knew there was more work to be done. There was no scientific proof of this claim. I needed to carry out more research.
My Research on Nutritional Supplements
I became interested in books related to nutritional supplement and healthy living; I came across a book written by Dr. Kenneth Cooper at the book shop. It was titled “The Antioxidant Revolution” (Thomas Nelson, 1994). I was a fan of Dr. Cooper,
I was aware of his extensive knowledge about aerobic exercises and preventive medicine previously. I couldn’t wait to read this book.
Reading the book was a very revealing experience, Dr. Cooper explained the concept of “oxidative stress” which he attributed to causing chronic degenerative diseases- a major health concern on a global scale.
Oxidative stress is caused by the destruction of our cells by free radicals generated from the oxidation processes in our bodies. This means the oxygen we rely on to live by breathing it in can also be detrimental to our health.
The harmful effects of free radicals are the major cause of a large number of the prevalent degenerative diseases we know today.
A vivid illustration of this harmful process can be seen in the process that leads to iron rusting, or when an apple cut into two halves turns brownish after a few minutes. This degenerative process has been linked to many ailments like cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke etc.
This simply means that as we age, we are slowly dying from the inside. The main reason for this is the harmful impact of oxygen on our internal organs. The human ageing process can be directly linked to the process of oxidative stress.
Our living conditions are also not encouraging. Our world as we know it today is facing serious problems from toxic pollution. We also have bad eating habits, and the challenges faced each day will contribute to wearing down our minds and bodies.
An individual who faces these challenges for a prolonged period will definitely develop one of the degenerative diseases.
I had a better understanding of the harmful effects of oxidative stress. I understood that this process can be so severe that even the human DNA nucleus of a cell can be affected. This means that an individual going through oxidative stress inwards is at risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
This means antioxidants might hold the solution to preventing and managing cancer.
It is only logical to say that nutritional supplements will be effective when used to prevent degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes, macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease and crohn’s disease since it stops the process of oxidative stress in the body which makes people prone to these diseases.
In his book, Dr. Cooper highlighted cases of patients who trained at his aerobics center in Dallas. These patients were most dedicated to their training but ended up being diagnosed with ailments that had similar symptoms with fibromyalgia. These patients all had indication of oxidative stress.
This drew my attention to the fact that oxidative stress could be the cause of fibromyalgia. This might also be the reason why Liz and the other patients who are recovering from fibromyalgia. The antioxidants they have been taking are effectively reducing the oxidative stress their bodies have been suffering from.
I have been compelled to make the theme of my research “The Dark Side of Oxygen”. I picked a lot of reason from the arguments made by Dr. Cooper in his book. I immediately began to source for the research studies he referenced in his book. My search also included every medical literature I could find written on oxidative stress.
After one year of studying over 1,300 peer reviewed medical reports related to nutritional supplements and their effects on degenerative diseases, I have realized that these studies are double blind and placebo controlled medical assessments.
The general conclusion from my research studies is that patients who took nutritional supplements in doses higher than the RDA (recommended daily allowance) enjoyed better health benefits than other patients suffering from similar health challenges.