Customized Medicines

Customized Medicines
Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm.D., ABAAHP Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate-American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: "Creative Medicines" for Hormones-Weight-Pain-Fatigue-Skin Diseases-Pediatrics-Autoimmune Disorders-Veterinary Needs. Using Complimentary, Integrative, Regenerative, Bio-Identical, and Lifestyle Medicine For Health and Healing.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Treatment Worth Mentioning for Autism. We've Got It Covered

First things first:
The diagnosis of Autism is best managed by a team of professionals often including psychologists, neurologists, speech therapists, primary care physicians, and other professionals with a knowledge of it's effects. Autism is a complex disorder that affects children, and the prevalence seems to be steadily increasing. 

There are many theories as to why this is happening in our pediatric population, but one such theory and an area of long-term research indicates a link to opioid-excess (beta-endorphins).  This can often be realized in young patients that seem to have a high tolerance to pain, less interaction socially, repetitive behaviors, and even some unusual behaviors such as walking regularly on the toes.  These children also may demonstrate poking of body parts, skin picking, self-biting, punching and slapping the head, lip chewing, removal of hair, along with other things.  Many of these behaviors are repetitive and the child is not aware that they are even doing so.   Opioid excess is an interesting connection because researchers have gone so far as to treat young animals with pain pills (containing opioids) and they exhibit similar behaviors as autistic children.  Interesting huh?  

Today's blog is to present an awareness about this opioid-excess connection in Autism, and also to introduce a treatment that is making a significant impact in the lives of those with Autism.  As I did my research and reading, I couldn't help but think of all of the parents that simply don't know about this therapy option.  And by the way, it's very affordable whether covered by insurance or not and we provide it to many patients in our care.

Naltrexone is a medication that is used to halt the effects of opioids and has been used for many years (since the 70's actually) in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.  The typical dosing usually requires 50mg-150mg per day to block the drug response of heroin or morphine and even alcohol.  For young patients with Autism however,  a LOW dose naltrexone is used and must be formulated in a custom lab in very small dosages.  Remember, the same principle and mechanism of action is desired in patients with Autism because they tend to have opioid-excess.  In other words, the medication halts the effects of the high endorphins.  The dose needed, however, is much, much lower than in the case of opioid addictions.  In fact, a fraction of what the prescription strength naltrexone provides. 

Various case studies exist for this treatment in patients with Autism and many include an introduction of the therapy, withdrawal, and re-introduction.  Many parents realized that while on the low dose naltrexone, their children exhibited fewer of these behaviors, engaged more socially, and didn't inflict self-harm as much as when not on the medication.  The low dose naltrexone had a positive impact on behavioral problems, seizures, impulsivity, and hyperactivity which are some of the main symptoms of Autism. A help to the child and a help to the parent, right?  Now that's a win-win!

Many children with Autism are treated with the classic regimen of mood altering/stabilizing agents with no knowledge that this low-dose naltrexone (LDN) treatment even exists.   If Autism affects your life in some way whether through a direct family member, a friend, or perhaps an acquaintance, please feel free to pass this information along.  And even more importantly, please take some time, personally, to read about low dose naltrexone and it's place in the treatment of Autism. I think Low Dose Naltrexone is a treatment that we are going to see more of in the future for this and other diseases such as Cancer, Crohn's, Multiple Sclerosis, and more. 

As always, please call us if we can help you in navigating treatment options for your concerns and conditions.  The Custom Compounding Center has been creating unique and effective therapies for almost 15 years now.  Wow, time flys!  Our professional staff is dedicated to working with you on whatever ails you.  I feel confident that we can help you in some way.  Give us a call

Monday, December 2, 2013

Anti-Aging Medicine: Often Means Getting You Back to "Your OLD Self"

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of those living in today's high paced, fast food, deadline driven world and interruptions in a persons schedule can make seizing the day near impossible.  I'm not sure what the statistic would be of those coming to me for help, but I'm guessing that >90% of those that I interview will express fatigue as a noticeable concern.  What about you?  How are you feeling in the area of stress and fatigue?  Not sure?  In this blog,  and because it seems to be so prevalent, I want to simply cover a little background to help you determine if something can be done to help you get "back on your game".

If you have symptoms such as tiredness, difficulty concentrating, inability to lose weight, anxiety, or depression, then you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.  This clinical condition dates back as far as the medical texts of the 1800's, and the prescription for treatment then was simply to "relax".  That's about as helpful as telling someone who is depressed to "cheer up" while you softly pat them on the shoulder.  It just doesn't quite work like that.  Despite effective diagnostic tools and treatment regimens, most clinicians are not informed or prepared to treat adrenal fatigue as a threat to health.  I say threat to health, because I personally wonder how often there are car accidents, falls, illnesses, and diseases that can be connected to long term fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, etc.

How extreme is the fatigue?  That's a reasonable and necessary question because there is another condition called Addison's disease where the adrenal glands are not functioning.  While Addison's disease is often caused by autoimmune problems, adrenal fatigue is most commonly caused by stress.  Conventional medicine recognizes Addison's disease, but not necessarily the hypoadrenia state of adrenal fatigue.   I've never really understood that, and don't have the same clinical perspective about it.  The person experiencing either will have similar symptoms, and both, in my opinion, should be treated.

Does this list describe you?

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
Tendency to gain weight and inability to lose it
High frequency of illness and difficulty getting well
Tendency to tremble under pressure
Reduced sex drive
Lightheaded upon rising
Lack of concentration
Need for coffee or stimulants
Dry and thin skin
Low body temperature
Unexplained hair loss
Alternating constipation and diarrhea
Upset stomach
Emotional behaviors and expressions
Rapid Aging

The reality is that stress is no longer a mystery to treat and our body has a built is mechanism to give clinicians diagnostic identifiers.  The mission control center of our body are the adrenal glands and when they get short circuited due to stress, the whole body can go haywire and physical manifestations can present (like those above).  The good news is that hormones produced by the adrenals can easily be tested, and if out of range, can be treated through natural and restorative therapies.   It's rare that I recommend only an adrenal hormone panel because the sex hormones are also intricately connected to everything in the endocrine system as well.  Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone can have a significant impact on well being, energy, weight, emotions, mood, etc.  While testing one aspect of adrenal fatigue, it's important to test others.  And it's very affordable to do so as you see below.

So what do you do with this information?
If this describes you, or is a concern to you, then call our office for an at-home saliva testing kit.  417-231-4544. We only charge $10 for the packet of information and the testing kit.  Mention this blog for that deal!!  From there, you will simply need to follow the instructions within the kit for testing, or call us to help guide you through the process before shipping off your sample to the lab. A good panel to evaluate sex hormones and adrenals hormones is typically $130.  That's a small price to pay to identify what the source of your concerns might be.  Then, once your results post to me, I will call you and design a treatment plan for you.  Remember, I'm ALL about natural when possible, but sometimes the intervention and expertise of your personal medical doctor will be necessary to get you back to your "old" self.  It's rare that practitioners in Anti-Aging Medicine focus on getting you back to your old self, but in this case, that's a good thing.

Give us a call today!

Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm. D. ABAAHP
Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate
American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine