Dear Dr Yael,
I want to acknowledge your courage for printing a column about integrative approaches for those suffering from mental health issues (August 7).
Interestingly enough, there will be a conference this month in San Diego addressing the works of of Dr. Jeffrey Bland, owner of Metagenics and director of the Institute for Functional Medicine. Functional medicine asks two questions: what does the patient need more of – usually nutrition and functional genes – and what does the patient need less of – usually environmental toxins, food allergies, and non-functioning or partially functioning genes. This type of thinking has resulted in the improvement of hundreds of patients who were dismissed, marginalized and otherwise chased away by the medical community because they did not respond to conventional drugs or became more and more ill with conventional treatment.
Let’s talk about science, keeping the question open and not worshiping at the alter of pharmaceuticals, which, after all, are metabolic inhibitors. Most of our medications have “mechanism unknown” listed in the drug description. Did you know that there are only eight publishing companies that control the dialogue in “peer review” journals? Did you know that there are no conversation in the literature regarding the growing burden of environmental toxins, food allergies, drugs in our drinking water, the effect of genetically modified genes on our reproduction, longevity and cancer risk?
We do know that there can be real consequences and adverse reactions to mandated vaccinations. We do know that sometimes what it is in antibiotics allows for the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria and yeast, which cause lack of digestion of protein and carbs. We do know that the invasion of undigested food in the blood stream leads to food allergies, which then further inflammation at the gut border.
It behooves us to question the use of genetic testing for SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that inhibit production of neurotransmiters. It behooves us to test for food allergens that worsen the small intestinal inflammation so that less folate and other nutrients are absorbed. It behooves us to provide enough dense green vegetables grown on healthy amended soil for maximum nutritional bang for the buck. It behooves us to consider demonstrated therapies such as EMDR to help patients climb out of those pesky and debilitating autonomic and automatic reactions.
Once again I thank you for showing the courage to tackle a very controversial subject.
Janet Weiss, MD
Holistic and Integrative Medicine
Dear Dr. Weiss,
I appreciate all of your assertions and am amazed at your depth of knowledge on this subject. I too believe in healthy living through proper nutrition and exercise. I think everyone should try to eat healthy and exercise. However, I must take issue with some of your statements, especially in regards to vaccinations.
The anti-vaccine attitude has grown to an almost cult-like situation in the frum community? There are many people, chassidish, litvish, modern-Orthodox who now refuse to vaccinate their children. There are even two well-regarded rabbonim who, based on information given to them by their wives, have come out against vaccines, so people assume that this attitude is daas Torah.
I believe in rabbonim and their place in our community, however, I think that when it comes to medical issues we should trust our physicians.
Vaccinations over the last few decades have helped to almost eradicate measles, mumps and rubella. The vaccine developed against meningitis has literally changed the field of pediatrics.
I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Susan Schulman, a well-known pediatrician in Boro Park, on my radio show this summer. The focus was on the harm being generated by the “anti-vaccine” cult. Hashem gives us a refuah; how dare we not use it?
While I agree with some of your ideas, everything must be done in moderation. I welcome letters from my readers on this very volatile issue.
May Hashem grant us all the seichel to make the right choices for ourselves and our families and grand us a year of refuos and yeshuos. Kesiva v’chasima tova.