Comment on Hitting a medical wall, and turning to unproven treatments

The online NY Times published the following comment I wrote regarding their article, Hitting a medical wall, and turning to unproven treatments, by Jane Brody on 1 May 2017.

While I was doing my residency training in Washington, DC in the late 80s, I daily saw proof that much of the current medical approach to patient care is not only misguided but profoundly unscientific. Patients were ignored;their symptoms became the focus of their physicians.
For the past 27 years I have focused on meticulous physical examination of patients, figuring out why their bodies produce the symptoms they do. I do this using ever more refined palpation of physiology via the musculoskeletal system which is a reflection of the autonomic nervous system. The ANS, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, is often out of balance in our patients. Most patients are in a hypersympathetic state.

Using osteopathic examination and treatment it is possible to change this. In addition, using classical homeopathy and acupuncture, patients may be guided to their natural state of health. I rarely prescribe drugs.

As Andrew Taylor Still, MD, the man who discovered osteopathy wrote, To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease.

Our current medical model is focused on disease. This results in the treatment of symptoms which, while not always bad ( ex. stabilization of patients in the ER or other emergency and acute situations), does not seem to be the answer to most chronic problems.

When we truly treat the person versus their symptoms and focus on changing their physiology, then we may help them return to their natural state of Health.

Here is the link to the NY Times article:

Sarcoidosis disappears with bee venom treatment.

Sarcoid or sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease.  It consists of the development of fibrotic or granulomatous tissues which interfere with the functioning of the system. Most commonly it develops in the lungs and also frequently in the heart as well as other parts of the body.

In many patients it may be asymptomatic but some people the symptoms are so bad that they interfere with normal life functions.

There is no treatment to cure sarcoid. The most serious complications are treated with oral steroids.

I am one of the few physicians I know of who uses apitherapy or the injection of honey bee venom in small amounts as treatment for inflammatory conditions like bursitis and rheumatoid arthritis. This form of therapy, which produces systemic inflammation and thus stimulates the body to remove it and the chronic inflammation, is not new. It has been in use for over 1,000 years according to historical records. I buy the venom from a supplier whom I trust and inject it using a syringe subcutaneously.

Multiple treatments are necessary for chronic conditions though usually the patient will notice an immediate positive response after the injections. However, after about 2 or so days, the effect disappears so more injections must follow. With many conditions this can result in the elimination of the systemic inflammation.

Honey bees produce many products ( pollen, propolis, venom, honey) which have salutary effects on our function especially to decrease inflammation. For example, raw, untreated honey put on an open wound will usually heal it much faster than conventional medical means. Pollen can be used in honey to treat patients who are sensitive to pollen ( ex. ragweed, hayfever). If the bees pollinate such plants locally, such raw, unprocessed honey will often be of help in desensitizing the patient to the local pollens if taken early on.

Back to sarcoid.

Several years ago, within a few months, three patients with pulmonary and cardiac sarcoid walked into my office.

All were in serious condition. One was unable to carry her child up a flight of stairs due to the cardiac and pulmonary involvement. All had refused steroids which their physicians offered in lieu of treatment.

Since I know that honey bee venom (apitherapy) has been long used successfully to treat systemic inflammation, I offered to inject these patients with it.

All three of them responded over time with elimination of symptoms and, in the case of the woman who could not carry her child up the stairs, a normal biopsy of the diseased tissue in the lung.

All three were able to return to a regular life.

I contacted one of the national sarcoid groups but did not receive a response. I also posted on one of the patient support sites but there seemed to be little interest.

Recently, I have signed up for a course in beekeeping since I find these creatures fascinating. While I do not look forward to being stung, at least I know it will be therapeutic. And with the local, untreated honey, pollen, propolis and related bee products, what’s not to like?