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hp blogger Hyla Cass, M.D.'s Comments

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Tonya Mickesh & Jeff Reitz, Southern California Couple, Halfway To Visiting Disneyland Every Day

Tonya Mickesh & Jeff Reitz, Southern California Couple, Halfway To Visiting Disneyland Every Day

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 16:28:54 in Los Angeles

“For Jeff: As a former air force firefighter, have you thought of volunteering to fight the extensive fires in CO? Or in other places this summer, since unfortunately, we are sure to have more? It it sounds like you like helping others - and could even lead to paying work.”
Erin Brockovich To Investigate Mystery Illness At Le Roy High School

Erin Brockovich To Investigate Mystery Illness At Le Roy High School

Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:38:16 in Healthy Living

“Thank you Erin Brockovich! One more example of unexplained symptoms being lumped together as "hysteria" and blamed on the patient. There is a likely physical cause here-- possibly contagious infection or chemical contamination causing brain inflammation, leading to Tourette-like symptoms. As a psychiatrist, it frustrates and saddens me to see far too many patients with very real physical conditions that have been dismissed as being "all in their head." Is anyone measuring inflammatory markers, for example? Or presence of volatile chemical compounds? And of course, the community needs some epidemiological detective work to look for common exposures. Perhaps this very public case will be a focal point and impetus for change in how medicine is practiced. Bottom line: Let's look for the root cause rather than treating the symptoms -- and that, most often with medication which in cases of brain issues like this, can cause further toxicity and damage.”

iamwired on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:19:16

“Dr Cass, do the sypmtoms these girls show not remind you of a case of anxiety and stress?”

jannas2cents on Jan 31, 2012 at 22:27:50

“Eric Brockovich is really something and I so admire her. She has only a high school education, but a very high IQ and is very curious and always looking for answers. It's incredible that these girls have been suffering since October and all these doctors and "experts" were so quick to dismiss their symptoms as something akin to mass hysteria. Eric is there one day with an environmental expert and suddenly we know about this toxic spill of 25 rail cars spilling 30,000 gallons of toxic chemicals into the soil which seeps into the ground water -- and it was never cleaned up. Apparently rocks from the spill were used to build LeRoy High School and some of that soil may have been moved there as top soil for the lawn. I lived in Niagara Falls so I know about the Love Canal where oil drums full of toxic chemicals were dumped into the canal but the toxins were not discovered until 30 years later so it would not surprise me at all the toxins from this spill were still in the soil and ground water 40 years later. Different residents of LeRoy are coming forward to discuss their strange cancers and tics. I want these girls taken out of that area and to a sunny, warm location where they can recuperate in the fresh air and sunshine and drink pure water and just rest and recuperate. I'm furious their symptoms have been so dismissed by so-called "experts".”

iamwired on Jan 31, 2012 at 14:59:32

“Hello,

While I agree that it could be some form of menigitis or brain swelling sickness, and what we see is a side effect, this also very much seems like either a hoax or mass hysteria. The odds that a group of girls the same exact age catching a sickness from an environmental factor at the same exact time seems very low to me. Almost unbeleivable really.”

sharlevoix on Jan 30, 2012 at 22:53:11

“Dear Dr. Cass,

Please go to Huff Post Weird News Page and protest the shameless fun being made of Erin Brockovich and all of the LeRoy residents that are being affected by this serious unknown illness.”
Erin Brockovich To Investigate Mystery Illness At Le Roy High School

Erin Brockovich To Investigate Mystery Illness At Le Roy High School

Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:30:54 in Healthy Living

“RIght on! There is a likely physical cause here-- infection or chemical contamination causing brain inflammation leading to Tourette-like symptoms. Enough of unexplained symptoms being lumped together as "hysteria" and blamed on the patient. As a psychiatrist, I see far too many patients with very real physical conditions that have been dismissed as being "all in their head." Is anyone measuring inflammatory markers, for example? And of course, we need an epidemiological look for common exposures.”

Bike Commuter on Jan 30, 2012 at 20:41:17

“I don't know how you could say "right on" to what is essentially an internet diagnosis of dystonia caused by cyanide. It is one thing to question the existing diagnosis and suggest that the cause could still be physical. That is a valid criticism. It is completely different to make an internet diagnosis, especially one such as the above. .......... FYI, local news stories have indicated that the NIH is offering to look into the diagnoses to offer a second opinion regarding conversion disorder to any who wish it.”
huffingtonpost entry

Is it Drugs Not Guns that Cause Violence?

Commented Mar 4, 2013 at 14:21:05 in Healthy Living

“In my book, Natural Highs, I discuss the medical use of cannabis (and downsides of its recreational use--lest the book title mislead you!), and the field has clearly grown since that time. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been receiving growing attention for its anti-psychotic-like properties. According to a recent published study1, "evidence suggests that Cannabidiol (CBD) can ameliorate positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Behavioral and neurochemical models suggest that CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical anti-psychotic drugs and a clinical trial reported that this cannabinoid is a well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia."
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23109356)
Any research on using natural products for schizophrenia would be a great boon, especially since the commonly-used medications, while useful, can have serious side effects. These medications have overshadowed successful natural approaches, such as:
1. high dose niacin as researched by the late Dr. Abram Hoffer (http://www.livestrong.com/article/493724-niacin-and-schizophrenia/)
2. niacinamide and alpha lipoic acid (Seybolt, 2010).(http://tinyurl.com/choobpm)
3. N-acetyl-cysteine and sarcosine -- new combo developed by a colleague of mine.(http://profrontal.com).
4. eliminating food sensitivities (eg gluten/grains or casein/dairy) (http://tinyurl.com/c2zf6e3)
These comprise a more targeted solution by treating the specific imbalance instead of just the symptoms-- and without the side effects of medications.”
huffingtonpost entry

Is it Drugs Not Guns that Cause Violence?

Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 12:16:47 in Healthy Living

“I don't think we disagree. I am asking for good medical practice here: prescribing the correct medication for the issue, and first determining any underlying medical condition including nutritional imbalance ("biochemical individuality" has some people needing far more of a certain nutrient than average). I have had great success with natural products-- and it's not "give St Johns' wort instead of Prozac" which is the same allopathic model of "treat the symptom not the person". Rather, with a thorough history and lab tests when needed, we target very specific deficiencies or toxicities (eg heavy metals, chronic infection) and treat accordingly. Omega 3's won't help a depression that is due to heavy metal toxicity, for example, or low thyroid. I am asking for good medical practice, as are you.”

hp blogger Hyla Cass, M.D. on Mar 4, 2013 at 14:21:05

“In my book, Natural Highs, I discuss the medical use of cannabis (and downsides of its recreational use--lest the book title mislead you!), and the field has clearly grown since that time. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been receiving growing attention for its anti-psychotic-like properties. According to a recent published study1, "evidence suggests that Cannabidiol (CBD) can ameliorate positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Behavioral and neurochemical models suggest that CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical anti-psychotic drugs and a clinical trial reported that this cannabinoid is a well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia."
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23109356)
Any research on using natural products for schizophrenia would be a great boon, especially since the commonly-used medications, while useful, can have serious side effects. These medications have overshadowed successful natural approaches, such as:
1. high dose niacin as researched by the late Dr. Abram Hoffer (http://www.livestrong.com/article/493724-niacin-and-schizophrenia/)
2. niacinamide and alpha lipoic acid (Seybolt, 2010).(http://tinyurl.com/choobpm)
3. N-acetyl-cysteine and sarcosine -- new combo developed by a colleague of mine.(http://profrontal.com).
4. eliminating food sensitivities (eg gluten/grains or casein/dairy) (http://tinyurl.com/c2zf6e3)
These comprise a more targeted solution by treating the specific imbalance instead of just the symptoms-- and without the side effects of medications.”

Make love not war on Mar 3, 2013 at 20:10:33

“What do you think about the studies of cannabidiol as a therapy for schizophrenia, Dr Cass, and are you in favor of accelerating and increasing funding into this promising therapy??”

hp blogger Michael J. Tansey on Feb 22, 2013 at 18:42:13

“I do not understand why you say, "I don't think we disagree." You are asserting an agenda in what I consider to be an irresponsible and dangerous manner. Nowhere do you offer a single caveat that many who take medication are greatly helped. Instead you offer advice for how to withdraw by using your supplements. From the title to the last paragraph, you scare people who are taking medication and those who might be considering it. You are raising questions as to the possible dangers of medication in a manner that itself is exceedingly dangerous. The message essentially is, "Unless you--or your 20 year-old--want to risk becoming Adam Lanza, don't take an SSRI." It is not a stretch to be concerned that someone who is suicidal will read your post and not get the help they need. You are pushing an agenda with no concern for the possible damage you are causing.”
huffingtonpost entry

Is it Drugs Not Guns that Cause Violence?

Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 22:50:37 in Healthy Living

“You're welcome! Making vital choices here.”
A Path to Guaranteed Happiness

A Path to Guaranteed Happiness

Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 02:21:56 in Healthy Living

“Thank you for your beautiful sharing, for the reminder of what it's really all about-- an open heart, vulnerability, gratitude, and kindness. You're a wonderful role model and inspiration. Namaste.”

mactheknight on Jan 25, 2013 at 09:31:10

“It isn't what it is all about. It is a fraction of what life is all about.

For every open heart there is a black one, for vulnerability there are those that take advantage, gratitude imposes obligation, and kindness is seen as weakness.

If you are fortunate in life to live in this fairy tale, how nice for you, reality is much different and all too real.”
Time For The Changing Of The Guard? Some Lessons From 007

Time For The Changing Of The Guard? Some Lessons From 007

Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 13:20:58 in Fifty

“I agree. Our culture has tended to disdain older folks-- but now that we are them (they?), it's a different story! The Boomers are a force- and we can change how it's all done, by staying active as over 50s" (I can't say 'elderly' yet), honoring the wisdom and experience of those yet older, and still including the vibrancy and enthusiasm (and often sharper minds) of the younger folks. Hollywood is one example of rejecting the older writers, directors, etc when in fact their experience is a goldmine. So let's be the role model for inclusiveness, where we all benefit.”

hp blogger Levi Ben-Shmuel on Dec 11, 2012 at 14:59:30

“Hi Hyla! It is good to hear from you. On a deeper level, the issue is about much more than jobs. To add to what you wrote, do we want to build a society that values inclusiveness more than the us-against-them mentality that fosters increased conflict and strife? Competitiveness has its place, but there are other values we can encourage than temper it and also contribute to a more balanced, well-working society. All the best, Levi”
Stanford Organic Study: Should You Take It With a Grain of Salt? (SLIDESHOW)

Stanford Organic Study: Should You Take It With a Grain of Salt? (SLIDESHOW)

Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 18:01:16 in Home

“Thank you! We are seeing more illness related to the use of pesticides and genetically modified foods. 'Organic' is about keeping our food supply as close to natural as possible so that when ingested and becomes a part of our body (!), it's as healthy for us and non-toxic as possible. Check out the vested food interests involved in this study before using it as gospel in making food choices for you and your family.”
Keep the Paterno Statue But Change the Message

Keep the Paterno Statue But Change the Message

Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 18:38:33 in Sports

“What an original and thoughtful reframe! I like it. He did a great deal of damage which should not be forgotten. This may be a way for that to happen. Thanks, Rob”
Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 02:09:49 in Healthy Living

“Thanks to both of you for your letters here, and contributions to 'the cause.".”
Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 02:07:44 in Healthy Living

“Well said! my experience too after years of doing pychodynamic psychotherapy. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hyla-cass-md/energy-psychology_b_1328995.html#”
Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Trauma Release For Enhanced Health And Happiness

Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 02:06:28 in Healthy Living

“Thanks so much for taking the time to write and to expand our awareness of the possibilities of EP with your broad-ranging, very informative book. For those of you who don't know Michael Mayer, he is also a gifted clinician, in the SF Bay area. http://www.bodymindhealing.com

MichaelHMayer on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:53:55

“Thanks Hyla, The feeling is mutual. For any of your readers who are interested in learning more about an integral, comprehensive approach to EP there's a free article on my website, at http://www.bodymindhealing.com/Articles/An-Integral-Comprehensive-Energy-Psychotherapy.html.
huffingtonpost entry

Fountain of Youth Is Closer

Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 20:44:55 in Healthy Living

“Thanks! Live 'healthy and clean' for longer and better quality of life. Our genes are simply a blueprint that can be turned on and off by lifestyle-- and that starts by feeding our children right.”

Madame Tiffany on Feb 3, 2012 at 13:08:39

“Agreed:-)”
huffingtonpost entry

Why You Should Not Stop Taking Your Vitamins

Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 19:02:10 in Healthy Living

“Thanks, Mark! I have been explaining to my alarmed patients and readers why they still can and should be still taking their nutritional supplements. Our inadequate diets, nutrient-depleted fruits and vegetables (even organic, though they're better), general toxic exposure, and other factors of modern life make supplements mandatory. Which ones and how much depend on individual biochemistry, and this can be determined by testing. That aside, good quality, high potency multi is just good insurance, with the appropriate caveats on iron for men and post- menopausal women. And you covered it all wonderfully!”
huffingtonpost entry

In Praise of Grassroots Health Care Reform

Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 20:24:09 in Politics

“I understand but you must agree that diet and exercise are excellent for preventive care. Then, a more 'functional medicine' approach, looking for root cause vs using drugs as bandaids (addressing symptoms not cause), would go a long way toward improving our nation's health. Have a look at my PS above: single payer government supported medicine would leave out the insurance companies entirely. Canadian medicine works, really, not like the vested interests' commercials would have you believe. My family and friends in Toronto get excellent care: no charge for prenatal care, labor and delivery, prostate surgery, cancer treatment, heart transplants-- all covered, no co-pay. Wouldn't that be preferable? And the docs are paid for service.”

John Di Saia on Oct 14, 2011 at 14:35:54

“Hyla,

The Canadian system is not without its problems or I wouldn't have extended family coming to the US to have me remove facial growths because they couldn't get them done in Canada. I agree that insurer power in the US drives patients away from care by failure and/or difficulty with reimbursement. This is why I do far less emergency surgery than I used to do. Insurers have bought favor in government and will be very hard to extract.”
huffingtonpost entry

In Praise of Grassroots Health Care Reform

Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 20:10:43 in Politics

“PS to my blog: Canadian born and bred (and educated), I have been appalled at the fact that health care is not government supported as it is in most of the civilized world. Yes, this costs the taxpayer, but without covered care, we end up with poor health, overcrowded emergency rooms, bankrupt individuals who were unfortunate enough to become ill, and lowered standard of living for many. How about single payer government-supported coverage, without the insurance companies as middle-men, and with emphasis on self-care, prevention, and overall health education? A more holistic approach would save money in the long run. For more information on alternatives, especially or healthcare practitioners, check out this conference Nov 4-6 in Long Beach, CA: Heal Thy Practice: Transforming Primary Care. http://holisticprimarycare.net/heal-thy-practice-conference
huffingtonpost entry

Neurofeedback treatment for PTSD?

Commented May 18, 2011 at 19:07:41 in Impact

“I refer patients for neurofeedback all the time, with great success. It's a very safe and effective method of treating a large number of conditions, including PTSD, ADD, depression, and traumatic brain injury. Yielding long-lasting results, it is also empowering for the individual to not be dependent on medication for the rest of their life. It can be used in conjunction with psychotherapy, nutrient, or drug treatment as well.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented May 12, 2011 at 15:39:46 in Home

“It's been a few years since I was there. They certainly had an Earthquake Response Plan at Diablo Canyon PP, with drills involving the community. I have no need to defend them or nuclear power, a whole other issue, but I do want to clarify the facts.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented May 12, 2011 at 15:27:41 in Home

“thanks for this thoughtful contribution and I agree with all you've said, Nature provides us with some excellent radioprotective nutrients.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented May 12, 2011 at 15:25:35 in Home

“thanks for your thoughtful comments and of course, I did research here, spoke to other docs, etc. It's an ever-unfolding story here, too. We are exposed, regardless of anyone's "belief system." We have facts, and we need protection.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented Mar 19, 2011 at 01:02:26 in Home

“The independent safety committee was formed as oversight for the plant's safety procedures and practices, and still exists. It did/does not run the plant, so no need for snide remarks here. I consulted to the committee in regard to medical matters, and learned a great deal in the process. We were extremely concerned about all aspects of plant safety, including earthquake possibilities, and the overall safety of the surrounding community.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented Mar 19, 2011 at 00:51:24 in Home

“There are other areas of the body that need and store iodine such as breast tissue, ovaries, and prostate, so this is still relevant. Then there are the other isotopes from which we need protection (see addendum above on protective foods and supplements).”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 17:15:29 in Home

“It can be a single dose or more, depending on amount and length of time of exposure. See CDC details, referenced in my article: ie take as advised by authorities in case of close/high exposure, which is not likely in this case.”
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

How to Protect Yourself From Radiation

Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 17:06:10 in Home

“I agree that KI should be taken only under medical advice/supervision. It is best to protect yourself with food sources of iodine and of antioxidants. There is actual research in food as medicine. This blog is a work in progress, in a rapidly evolving scenario. I try to be a clearinghouse for the best information that I can gather at the time, and add/fine-tune/clarify as indicated.
Food sources: For details, check out this site of fellow HuffPo blogger: http://brigittemars.com/other/radiation-and-toxic-environmental-protection/
Buckwheat and brown rice
• Seaweeds rich in iodine and micro minerals, such as Hijiki, found in macrobiotic or Asian food sections
• Wheatgrass and barley grass
• Sulfur rich vegetables including broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens
• High-pectin foods including carrots, sunflower seeds and apples
• Liver-cleansing foods such as artichokes, beets and radishes
• Fermented foods such as miso and unpasteurized sauerkraut
• Nutritional yeast
• Garlic, burdock, dandelion, milk thistle seed, nettles, yellow dock
• Echinacea
• Green and black tea
• Eleuthero
• Vitamins A, beta-carotene, B complex and C; and zinc, calcium and magnesium

Stay healthy, and stay in gratitude for what you have. Please join my prayers for our brothers and sisters in Japan, and all who suffer all over the planet.”
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