Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
December 2013 Newsletter
A common question I get these days is whether someone should get a Shingles Vaccination. I legally can’t tell you what to do about drugs or prescriptions since I’m not licensed to prescribe drugs. I thought instead I would show you what Dr. Brownstein, MD wrote in a recent blog on the subject:
Should You Get A Shingles Vaccine?
I sent the following letter (below) to the editor of the American Family Physician Journal. I wrote the letter after reading an article about the shingles vaccine. “Do I need the shingles vaccine,” is one of the most common questions I receive in my practice. I hope this letter will help you decide on whether to get the shingles vaccine. I have reprinted the letter that I sent to the editor. This letter was rejected by the American Family Physician Journal.
Original article: Prevention of Herpes Zoster in Older Adults by Jared Kocher published on November 1, 2013
The author wanted to answer the question, “In older adults, is vaccination against herpes zoster effective and safe? The author summarized the Cochrane Review and stated that, “The herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine has demonstrated effectiveness in preventing shingles in older adults.”
However, reading the section titled Practice Pointers presented a different picture. In this section, the author states that, over a median surveillance period of 3.12 years, with over 52,000 participants, there was a 51% relative risk reduction in confirmed cases of herpes zoster in those that received the vaccine. Furthermore, the author stated that among those aged 60-69, the number needed to treat to prevent one case of shingles was 50. Among those 70 years and older, the number needed to treat was 100.
These numbers show that, in those aged 60-69, the shingles vaccine was ineffective for 98% (forty-nine out of fifty) of those studied. For those aged 70 and older, the vaccine was 99% ineffective, since 99 out of 100 received no benefit.
I am incredulous that anyone looking at this data could proclaim that the shingles vaccine was effective. In fact, it wasn’t. According to this data, the shingles vaccine was a 98-99% failure. Assuming the cost of the vaccine is $200 (a generous assumption), we would have to vaccinate 50 subjects aged 60-69 years to prevent two cases of shingles at a cost of $10,000 per case. For those over 70 years, 100 patients need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of shingles at a cost of $20,000. Clearly, this vaccine is not cost effective in these tough economic times.
Finally, the author summarized the adverse effect risk of the shingles vaccine. The number needed to harm from the vaccine was 2.8. That means for every 2.8 vaccines given, one patient was harmed. Furthermore, for every one hundred subjects vaccinated, one had a severe adverse reaction such as rash, fever, or hospitalization.
At the end of the article, the author states, “Overall, the herpes zoster vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated…” I can’t understand where that statement came from. The numbers don’t lie. The concluding statement should have read, ”Overall, the herpes zoster (Shingles) vaccine is neither safe, effective or well tolerated.” (http://blog.drbrownstein.com/should-you-get-a-shingles-vaccine)
I think that pretty well sums up my opinion as well. Some researchers have theorized that the meteoric rise in the incidence of shingles in older people is because of the chicken pox vaccine. In the past, you would have chicken pox as a kid, then you were exposed to them again when your kids had them and exposed again when your grand kids had them. This was nature’s way of inoculating us every 20-30 years. Today, most kids don’t get chicken pox due to the vaccination and we adults aren’t being exposed periodically to this virus.
The solution is to either go hangout with kids who do have an active case of chicken pox or make sure your blood levels of vitamin D are over 60. Also, taking 2000-3000 mg of lysine daily can help to suppress this virus. If you do have an outbreak: take 4-6k mg of lysine, 1500-3000 mg of Olive Leaf Extract, 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D and put Melissa or Lemon Balm on your skin blisters.
If this doesn’t help, you may have an underlying infection like parasites and/or yeast that is pulling your immune system down. Get in and I can help you figure out what you need to be taking to help this condition. Remember, the holidays are a great time to pick up parasites and/or bacteria from tainted food because we eat out more, eat at parties and banquets where someone else prepared our food. I take a pack or two of GI Synergy on the days I eat restaurant or party food to keep me from getting sick.
Not Breathless but Overbreathing
There was a great article recently in a Mercola.com email newsletter about how most of us aren’t breathing properly and how it is killing even the super fit athletes. It’s also affecting us mere mortals with high blood pressure, anxiety, cold hands and feet, sleep apnea, snoring, memory problems, etc.
“The Buteyko Breathing Method—named after the Russian physician who developed the technique—is a powerful approach for reversing health problems associated with improper breathing, the most common of which are overbreathing and mouthbreathing.”
Taking a big breath actually makes things worse! You need to read the article and watch the interesting videos at the link below. Yow will also find some breathing tests and exercises outlined in this article.
We will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but open on the 26th and 27th. We will get you in after Christmas regardless of how late we have to stay on those two days. I will be gone for the next week but back on January 5th.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Years!