This book is dedicated to physicians', dieticians, educators', mothers, fathers, young women and men for the art of realization and mastery how to stay healthy. The greatest gift in our time for all of manhood is to be healthy and maintain this gift through the entire life. In order to maintain this gift it takes desire, imagination, knowledge, understanding, continuous awareness, and dedication to maintain this priceless gift.
This book in a simple form, gives you an understanding of what food is; Why we need food; How food is absorbed; What form it is absorbed in; How food is used in our body to do continuous repair; Finally why it is important to choose proper food to avoid diseases, pain and maintain ones health.
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Read an Excerpt
The Future of MankindAs Related to Food Chemistry
By John Kayvanfar
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 John Kayvanfar, MD
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDisease Central: Where We Are Today
How It All Started
A few years into my practice, about twenty-two years ago, one of my patients walked in to be seen. After the usual greetings, she stated, "Doctor, I am here because the numbness and pain in my hand are back and are getting worse." She reminded me, I performed carpal tunnel surgery on her wrist three years earlier. She stated was doing fine until a year ago. After taking her history and examining her neck and upper extremities, including the hands, her complaint was confirmed.
I scratched my head and told her that in orthopedic books, carpal tunnel syndrome is generally considered to be a compression neuropathy. In other words, the pain is caused by direct pressure on the nerve. Since her surgery would have relieved that pressure, I had no other recommendation for her at the time. Therefore, I made the following suggestion: I asked my patient to give me three weeks to come up with an idea for her and get to the bottom of the problem. Maybe then we could come with answers to solve her problem or problems.
The next three weeks became a project for me to solve her problem.
My analysis went as follows: Compression neuropathy by definition means a nerve is pressed on by external forces—in this case, deep transverse carpal ligament or tendons within the carpal tunnel space, which is not an expandable space. Since she already under went carpal tunnel surgery, her problem could not be considered just a compression neuropathy anymore. This meant either the nerve had developed edema and was pressing against the ligament or tendons, which are harder structures than the nerve is; or the ligament had developed edema or inflammation and was pressing against the nerve, the softer structure. Or perhaps both had happened, with problems in both the nerve and tendons, which caused both inflammation and edema. Either way, something was swelling or was inflamed. There could be no other scenario.
This meant we were dealing with neuropathy and not solely compression neuropathy. Probably other components were involved (meaning the nerve was not able to do its job right because of other factor or factors). My goal became to determine what was the cause of inflammation or edema. In this case, another surgery would not do her any good.
Since the first two scenarios were old and surgery should have helped permanently, the fact that her problem was coming back meant the theory of compression neuropathy was no longer viable. Therefore only the third theory (internal problem/ neuropathy) was plausible.
I went back to basics and reviewed the literature, looking for all possible causes of neuropathy. The most common problems that cause carpal tunnel syndrome are thyroid problems, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. After putting the list together, I designed a series of blood tests to detect those conditions.
When my patient came back for follow-up, I discussed my plan with her. She told me she had been to four other doctors and no one had any ideas for her. She agreed with the plan, stating, "At least you have a plan that might work." She agreed to go ahead and have the blood tests that I had chosen to be done.
After the test results came back, the results were discussed with her. Surprisingly all her results were normal according to the lab standard. To test for thyroid problems, you check for thyroid-stimulating hormone, T3 and T4 (T3 and T4 are different components of thyroid hormones). Her TSH was 5.0, which according to the lab standard was normal (normal was between 0.3 and 5.5). Could it be that the guidelines were incorrect? After obtaining more careful history and examination of the patient again, I found she had other aches and pain. She said, "Those are routine pains, and I am getting used to them." I also noticed she had some tender tendons. With that in mind, I analyzed hormone values cannot really have such a wide range of normality. My experience from medical school days and looking at the results of TSH in normal people showed that a normal value was always below 2.0. The scenario was discussed with her, and she agreed to try thyroid medication to bring the TSH to below 2.0.
Four weeks later, she was seen again. Her hand pain and numbness were much improved, but some numbness was persisting. Lab testing was done again for TSH, which was 1.6. After two months had passed, the numbness was still there and not improving to normal level.
Could it be that there was some sort of deficiency going on? We reviewed her diet, which was an average American diet. Then we did blood tests on vitamins that could cause neuropathy. Again the results came back normal, but at the lower limit of normal on B6, B12, and folic acid. I suggested to her to take small but specific doses of vitamins (B6 = 50mg, B12 = 500mcg, and folic acid = 800mcg/day).
A month later, she came in smiling and stated her numbness was going away and she felt normal again.
Since then, I have cut down on surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome from five or six per week to two or three per year. Almost all of my patients are being treated with medicines (without surgery) after finding the underlying problems. Patients recover to normal without residual problems. The only patients who need surgery are the ones whose problems have been going on for a few years without any treatment for the underlying cause, and thus they have developed muscle atrophy.
I wondered if the normal values could be wrong for some other tests too. Normal values are decided by getting a group of people together and, through questionnaires, asking if anything is wrong with them. If not, then their values are decided to be normal according to a bell-shaped curve. Were the normal numbers wrong, or was something else going on?
Since for years people were doing well, all the lab values could not be wrong. Could it be that for some reasons, the threshold for developing problems was changing because something was causing the body not be able to do proper repair processing? Or is there something wrong with food, which is preventing proper repair process?
With the above in mind, I kept seeing this kind of problem more and more as time went on.
Once I even saw a patient with AVN (avascular necrosis, where the ball of the hip joint becomes a dead tissue in the body, which causes arthritis and hip pain) with severe hypothyroidism (TSH of 25). After treatment of hypothyroidism, the avascular necrosis stopped and the pain stopped. An X-ray showed that the hip condition had improved. That told me a bit more about the function of the thyroid in the body. This meant it also works on the capillary endothelial wall of arteriole blood vessels (the smallest blood vessels, which are very small pipes, which take blood to the tissues). It also improves the blood flow to tissues all over the body (including bones). All tissues in the body are live and need oxygen and nutrients continuously. If the brain does not get them, you are brain dead.
We have been seeing more similar problems, other autoimmune disorders, and metabolic problems in patients than we have ever seen before. Their number is on the rise, and nowhere in the history of medicine have the frequency and prevalence been documented.
Normal values should not and can be decided on mathematical basis.
Common Health Problems
What health problems have been happening to people?
Obesity is on the rise, and more people, including children, are gaining weight at an alarming rate.
More people experience foot pain at the bottom of the foot without any trauma.
More people experience ankle or heel pain—or both—without any trauma.
Increasingly people experience knee pain or so called osteoarthritis at younger age without any trauma.
More and, more people experience hip pain or arthritis at young age without any trauma.
Increasingly people experience lower back pain and arthritis without any trauma.
More and more people experience neck or upper back pain without any trauma or injury.
Increasingly people are not able to sleep, in spite of having active lives.
More and more people are developing infections of all types.
Increasingly people are developing aches and pains, so-called fibromyalgia, without any explanation.
Some people have problems that start with pain in their thigh, calf, or leg. Such as a woman shown on an ABC television morning news program last year (seen by me that eventually lost one of her legs).
The rate of cancer is on the rise.
We are seeing more and more people with dry eye.
Increasingly children are born affected by conditions that affect the brain, like ADHD, mental retardation, and autism, and become dependent on adults and eventually on society.
Common (but Unsatisfactory) Treatments
What is happening now?
We are increasingly seeing patients with neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, and hand pain, with numbness and tingling, either in upper or lower extremities.
We are also seeing more and more people with low back pain, hip pain, leg pain, and foot and ankle pain.
The pain starts in one place or the other and very slowly goes to other parts of the body. In fact, before twenty years ago, we never saw anyone with chronic muscular-skeletal or body pain.
I am seeing more patients with muscular-skeletal (joint and muscle) pain. The number of patients with chronic pain has been continuously on the rise. I never saw such a high number of patients with chronic pain before twenty-five years ago, not even in my residency programs, which took seven years. Now we know Chronic pain, in joints, is the consequence of inflammation and eventually causes arthritis at any age.
Let us see what type of treatment you are offered now.
You visit your primary care doctor. He gives you an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as Naprosyn (also known as anaprox or Aleve), Motrin or ibuprofen, or Voltaren (also known as diclofenac), as well as prescription pain medication. You may also receive some anti-inflammatory creams.
You take this for a while. It may work for a while or not work. It helps some with the pain, because all NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medicine) have painkilling effect.
Next, you see an orthopedist for treatment. Even some of the best diagnose you with sprain and strain with no history of trauma or any injury. You receive a prescription for another anti-inflammatory, stronger pain medication, plus a muscle relaxant (Flexeril = cyclobenzaprine, Skelaxin = metaxalone, Robaxin = methocabamol, or Soma = carisopprodol). You may also receive therapy. This also helps temporarily, but eventually will fail.
Then you are recommended to have surgery on your hand for carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery for Cubital tunnel syndrome, surgery for a Radial tunnel, or surgery on your shoulder or your neck and back. You feel a little better for a while. But you expected more relief. Then you get more therapy and maybe stronger pain medications. Maybe you receive ultrasonic treatment for lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) or plantar fasciitis. You may even get steroids or injections too. All will work for a while.
For back pain, you get the same. If you have a reasonably normal MRI, you are referred for steroid injection or acupuncture and finally to pain management.
If your MRI shows some degenerative changes, then you are recommended to have more therapy. When it does not work, you are asked to have surgery.
If you have knee pain and developing arthritis, then it is read as degenerative joint disease by a radiologist and you are offered surgery like arthroscopic surgery on your knee.
Most doctors do not think you are too young to develop arthritis, or why are you developing it?
Most doctors do not come up with the question "Why are you developing obesity?"
Eventually you are offered multiple surgeries, and at the end, there is a total knee replacement.
When it comes to a point that regular pain medications do not work anymore, then you are referred directly to pain management.
Why? The treatment above is offered because; it is the standard of care (in other words, the treatment generally accepted as proper medical care within the medical community).
Interestingly with orthopedists or even other doctors, you are diagnosed with sprain and strain with no history of any kind of injury. This treatment for chronic pain is so common that doctors believe it is sprain and strain. Sometimes this therapy business goes on for months, without any or much permanent benefit.
It is also common practice to advise diet and exercise, diet and exercise, even in the media. In private meetings, some doctors are quite honest and admit we do not know what is happening.
Chapter TwoThe Root Of The Problems
What the Human Body Needs
In order for us to live, we humans need to have available healthy food. This is due to the fact that our existence depends on what we consume, whether it is "solid" or "liquid" in nature. In order to make this matter simpler to understand, imagine if you use cheap, and not clean, gas in your car. Your car engine eventually will break down because the injectors will not stay clean. The same goes for the human body. As a matter of fact, our body is much more sensitive, precise, complicated, and complex than our car.
A little Biology
The human body is made up of millions of cells that must be in coexistence and harmony with each other all over the body. Every large group of cells is arranged to do specific tasks. These groups of cells are called organs. During the development phase of the fetus, certain groups of cells became the brain, nervous system, eyes, and bones. Other cell groups became the heart, lung, liver, fat, stomach, intestine, bone marrow, immune system, and skin. All organs need to work in harmony and without malfunction. If one organ (group of cells) stops working correctly, it will affect other groups of cells (organs). For example, if your heart stops beating and does not pump blood to other systems, we all know what the outcome is. You die. Why? Because all cells need oxygen and nutrients to survive. This arrives to them via the blood. The heart pumps blood to all organs, which consist of many cells.
Humans, like other living things, need specific food products as nutrition not only to live, but also to survive. Our body lives and survives from nutrition by repairing itself. Those who grew up during my time and watched the television series Star Trek know Mr. Spock used to say we are biological units. Biological units need to repair themselves by specific organic chemical materials, which was originally available on the planet earth, called food. These materials that we call food have nutrients that consist of very exact chemistry.
A Bit about Food Chemistry
Imagine that you are looking at a chair with a specific shape and looking at another chair with another shape. Both are chairs, but they have two different shapes and sizes.
The shape of the two chairs and their sizes are very important elements in chemistry and they make the difference in chemistry between two different chairs. A small chair can fit under a small table or go through a small door, but a larger one cannot.
A simpler way to present this is to imagine children playing with LEGO pieces (cubes and triangles). The different pieces need to be the exact size and shape to fit into their corresponding slot in the cube. The bigger cubes, for example, will not fit into the slot of the small one.
In our body, it is not only similar, but much more complicated.
Imagine your child is playing with a puzzle that has a specific picture on it. The picture is cut into many pieces. There are many rectangular pieces, for example, that are the same size. The one that fits into the appropriate place in the picture puzzle is the one that corresponds with the rest of the picture or image.
Now to make matters more complicated, a puzzle is two-dimensional in play, but in a body, the puzzle is three-dimensional.
Excerpted from The Future of Mankind by John Kayvanfar Copyright © 2012 by John Kayvanfar, MD. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One Disease Central: Where We Are Today....................3
Chapter Two The Root Of The Problems....................15
Chapter Three Why Treatments Are Not Working....................57
Chapter Four How You Can Take Control Of Your Health....................69
About The Author....................91