Energy Medicine

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Energy medicine
I have written many posts on Hormones Matter and have tried to answer the questions arising from each post. These questions and my answers have been so repetitive that I decided to try to make it clear what “energy medicine” is all about and why it differs from conventional medicine. It is only natural that the posted questions are all built on our present ideas about health and disease. What I am about to say is that the present medical model has outgrown its use. Therefore it is obvious that I must discuss what this means. First of all, why do we need a “medical model”? In fact, what is the difference between complete health and its lack? The Oxford English dictionary gives the definition of disease as “a serious derangement of health, disordered state of an organism or organ”

The American Model of Medicine

As I have said before, the present American medical model was aimed at making a diagnosis of one of many thousand described diseases. It was devised from the Flexner report of 1910 that was initiated by Rockefeller. Rockefeller wanted to make medical education adhere to a common standard, thus creating the present “medical model”. The Flexner report used the methodology of diagnosis that was current in Germany. This stated that the patient’s report to a physician is called “history”, involving the patient’s description of symptoms and their onset. From this, the physician may or may not have an idea what is wrong. The next part is the physical exam where a hands-on search of the patient’s body is made for evidence of disease. This is extremely complex when put fully into clinical operation and also may or may not provide clues to a diagnosis. The third operation is laboratory testing and it is this constellation of abnormal tests that provide scientific evidence for the nature of the disease. Each test has been researched and aside from one that is either positive or negative, others have a normal range reported in numerical terms. Perhaps, as an example, the test for cholesterol level is the best known. Each test has to be interpreted as to how it contributes to arriving at a diagnosis. Finally, the physician has to try to decide whether medical or surgical treatment must be offered. Please note that the surgical removal of a sick organ may be the signature of medical failure, for example, removing part of the intestine in Crohn’s disease, for it represents a missed opportunity to treat earlier in the disease process.

Laboratory Tests and A Drug For Every Disease

It is the constellation of symptoms described by the patient and the abnormalities found by the physical examination that constitute a potential diagnosis to formulate what laboratory tests should be initiated. It is the constellation of laboratory tests that may or may not provide the proof. There are problems with this. For instance, there may be test items in the constellation that create confusion, such as “it might be disease A or disease B. We are not sure”. Tests that are “borderline” positive are particularly confusing. The diagnosis finally depends often on who was the first observer of these constellations. For example a person by the name of Parkinson and another person by the name of Alzheimer, each described clinically observed constellations that gave rise to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Since they were first described, the pathological effects of each disease have been researched in painstaking detail, without coming to the conclusion of the ultimate cause. Finally, the pharmaceutical industry has indulged in complex research to find the drug that will reverse the pathological findings and produce a cure. Because this concept rides right through the objective, each disease is thought to have a separate underlying cause and a separate underlying cure in the shape of a new “miracle drug”. Witness the recent revival of a drug that was initially found to be useless in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This revival depends on the finding of other pathological effects discovered in the disease, suggesting new clinical trials. When you take all these facts into consideration, it is a surprisingly hit and miss structure. For example, we now have good reason to state that a low cholesterol in the blood is more dangerous than a high one. Why? Because cholesterol is made in the body and is the foundation material for building the vitally important stress hormones. Cholesterol synthesis requires energy and is a reflection on energy metabolism when it is in short supply.

The Physicians Desk Reference, available in many public libraries, contains details concerning available drugs. Each drug is named and what it is used for, but often there is a note saying that its action is poorly understood. Just as often, there may be one or two pages describing side effects. In fact, the only drugs whose action is identified with cause are the antibiotics. The rest of them treat symptoms but do not address cause. Antibiotics affect pathogenic bacteria but we all know that the bacteria are able to become resistant and this is creating a problem for the near future. It is interesting that Louis Pasteur spent his career researching pathogenic microorganisms. However, on his deathbed it is purported that he stated “I was wrong, it is the defenses of the body that count”.

It must be stated that the first paradigm in medicine was the discovery of pathogenic microorganisms and their ability to cause infections. Many years were spent in trying to find ways and means of killing these organisms without killing the patient. It was the dramatic discovery of penicillin that led to the antibiotic era. I like to think that Louis Pasteur may have suggested the next paradigm, “assist the body defenses”.

Energy Medicine: A New Paradigm for Understanding Health and Disease

When a person is seen performing on a trampoline, an observer might say “hasn’t he got a lot of energy!” without thinking that this represents energy consumption. Energy has to be captured in the body and is consumed in the physical action on the trampoline. Many people will drink a cup of coffee on the way to work believing that it “creates” energy. The chemical function of caffeine stimulates action that consumes energy, giving rise to a false impression. Every physical movement, every passing thought, however fleeting in time, requires energy consumption. The person who has to drink coffee to “get to work”, is already energy insufficient. He/she can ill afford this artificial consumption of the available energy.

I am going to suggest that the evidence shows “energy medicine” may indeed be the new paradigm, so we have to make sure that anyone reading this is conversant with the concept of energy. In physics, “energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity, meaning that the available energy at the beginning of time is the same quantity today. The law of conservation of energy states that “energy can be converted in form but not created or destroyed”. Furthermore, Einstein showed us that matter and energy are interconvertible. That is why the word “energy” is such a mystery to many people. What kind of energy does the human body require?

We are all aware that the electroencephalogram and the electrocardiogram are tools used by physicians to detect disease in the brain and the heart. If that means that our organs function electrically, then where does that energy come from? We do not carry a battery. We are not plugged into a wall socket and the functional capacity of the human body is endlessly available throughout life. The only components that keep us alive are food and water. Everyone knows that foods need to contain a calorie-delivering and a non-caloric mixture of vitamins and essential minerals. The life sustaining actions of these non-caloric nutrients is because they govern the process of energy capture by enabling oxygen consumption (oxidation). They also govern the use of the energy to provide physical and mental function.

The calorie bearing food, consisting of protein, fat and carbohydrate is used to build body cell structure. This is called anabolic metabolism. If body structure is broken down and destroyed, weight is lost and the patient is sick. This is called catabolic metabolism. In healthy conditions, food is metabolized to form glucose, the primary fuel.

Thiamine (vitamin B1), together with the rest of the B complex, governs oxidation, the products of which go into a cellular “engine” called the citric acid cycle. This energy is used to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that might be referred to as a form of “energy currency”. Without thiamine and its vitamin colleagues in the diet, ATP cannot be formed. Research for the next stage of energy production has yielded insufficient information as yet concerning production of electrical energy as the final step. The evidence shows that thiamine may have an integral part in this electrification process, although much mystery remains. Suffice it to say that we are electrochemical “machines” and every physical and mental action requires energy consumption.

Maybe the Chinese Were Right

In the ancient Chinese culture, an energy form called Chi was regarded as the energy of life itself. Whether this really exists or not and whether it is in some way connected to the auras purported to surround each person’s body is still conjectural. It would not be too absurd to suggest that it might be as yet an undiscovered form of energy and that it is truly a reflection of good health. My personal conclusion is that some form of electromagnetic energy is the energy that drives our physical and mental functions and that it is transduced in the body from ATP, the storage form of chemical energy. There is no doubt that acupuncture does work and certainly encourages the conclusion that the meridians described by the ancient Chinese thinkers are an important evidence of electrical circulation. There is burgeoning evidence that energy is the core issue in driving the complex process of the body’s ability to heal itself. The idea that the physician or anyone else that purports to be a “healer” is a myth, because we have the magic of nutrients that are capable of stimulating energy production as already described. The “bedside manner” is valuable because a sense of confidence and trust results in energy conservation. Remember the proverb “worry killed the cat”.

Illness and the Lack of Energy

As essentially fragile organisms, we live in a situation of personal stress. We are surrounded by micro-organisms ready to attack us. We have built a culture that is enormously stressful in many different ways, I turn once again to the writings of Hans Selye, who advanced the idea that we are suffering from “the diseases of adaptation”. He recognized that some form of energy was absolutely essential to meet any form of physical or mental stress. One of his students was able to produce the general adaptation syndrome in an animal by making the animal thiamine deficient. Energy metabolism in Selye’s time was poorly understood. Today the role of thiamine is well known. As I have described in other posts and in our book, the lower part of the brain that controls adaptive mechanisms throughout the body is highly sensitive to thiamine deficiency. Alcohol, and sugar in all its forms, both overload the process of oxidation. Although energy metabolism depends on many nutrients, thiamine is vital to the function of mitochondria and its deficiency appears to be critical. Because the brain and heart are the dominant energy consumers it is no surprise to find that beriberi has its major effects in those two organs. Symptoms are just expressions of oxidative inefficiency of varying severity. This is the reason why 696 medical publications have reported varying degrees of success in the treatment of 240 diseases with thiamine. Its ubiquitous use as a drug depends on its overall ability to restore an adequate energy supply by stimulating mitochondrial function. It is also why I propose that energy deficiency is the true root of modern disease.

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8 Comments

  1. Back in April I commented on the post “Beriberi is alive and well in America”. I had been lead to the post doing searches on beri-beri as I was struck how similar my symptoms were to the disease. Dr Lonsdale proposed thiamine+biotin+magnesium. I tried the thiamine first in the different forms and the lipothiamine worked by far the best and mostly reduced the electric shocks in the feet/legs. I accidently took 50 mg biotin thinking I was taking 5 mg and it had a near immediate and profound effect throughout my body erasing my stiffness/numbness/tingling and giving me great relief in my tightly cramp feet. It also brought back normal sensation. One effect was a powerful feeling of pulsation (blood flow) at the base of the skull after taking the biotin. I had been experience a lot of falls and stumbling as well and that completely stopped once I started the biotin.

    During my experimentation phase I was looking at the doses given for Biotin dependent Basal Ganglia disease and decided to try about 800 mg of biotin. I quickly got a severe nausea and started throwing up copious amounts of green bile, picture “The Exorcist” . In hindsight I wonder if that was a paradox reaction. So I dialed that back to about 10mg biotin + 50 mg thiamin + occasional magnesium and was doing quite well. Not all my symptoms were gone but all in all manageable. I was also a bit bad on self care as I would go keto/low carb, no alcohol for winter/spring and drop 30 lbs but back to an anything goes with high carbs, occasional alcohol for summer and fall with a worsening of symptoms but tolerable along with rapid weight gain.

    This fall I decided that once and for all I was going to get a good health checkup and also a mainstream diagnosis and as part of that dropped the thiamin/biotin as to not affect some scheduled routine blood tests. I immediately had a big flareup in pain and stiffness which got me first send to Rheumatology where they said they didn’t understand why I was there, then to a Physiatrist who found some spinal stenosis and prescribed a course of Prednisone. The prednisone worked like magic. All my symptoms vanished except for my calves and feet where the pain and tightness was gone but the spasms and electric feelings were very high. I had the opposite of expected side effects on the Prednisone. I didn’t feel hunger, drank a lot of water and lost weight, no bloating, minor increase in BP. I had also been experiencing on/off chills with a low body temperature to the point I would wear a winter coat indoors at times. The prednisone vanished this, lighting up an internal furnace of heat and energy. I felt great, my motivation increased, and I got a lot of projects done whereas before I was dragging. Even my tinnitus was greatly reduced and even vanished at times. My heart rate which was around 60 popped up to 75. Unfortunately I broke my sleep tracker which pre-prednisone told me I was dropping into low 50’s and even high 40 heartrate while sleeping. The stomach pain, head pain, stiffness, numbness all gone!

    Then came the taper. I started to feel the cold again as I tapered off and on and the tinnitus came roaring back. I started to feel like I had a pain sensitivity dial. My pain was extreme in the mornings and evenings, reduced during the day. My average body temp dropped from 98.4 to 96.8. Now the numbness and tingling wasn’t just in the legs, hands and feet but everywhere. Spasms everywhere. I felt I was in a real crisis. My primary referred me to an Endocrinologist but it was a 2.5 month wait. I talked him into giving me another MRI of the head as the last one was 2005. That found 10 lesions that had progressed slightly but he didn’t feel that accounted for my symptoms. Still working on getting a neurologist scheduled.

    My 2005 MRI –

    HISTORY: Loss of feeling in feet and pain and numbness in hands,
    face, and feet. Occasional tremors. Polyneuropathy on EMG.

    FINDINGS: There are a few small scattered foci of prolonged T2
    relaxation in the central and subcortical white matter of the frontal
    lobes. A few similar lesions are seen in the temporal lobes. These
    are nonspecific as to etiology given their distribution and
    appearance. None of them shows abnormal Gadolinium enhancement. The
    rest of the brain appears normal. The arteries at the base of the
    brain and the dural venous sinuses are patent and the facial
    structures appear normal.

    My latest findings showed some progress of the lesions and they went from a few in two regions (6-7 I assume) to 10.

    2019 –

    FINDINGS: Diffusion-weighted images are normal. There is no evidence
    for intracranial hemorrhage or acute infarct. There are some scattered
    signal hyperintensities in the supratentorial white matter. These
    number approximately 10 and are not associated with any mass effect or
    enhancement. These have slightly progressed since the prior exam.
    Brain parenchyma is otherwise normal. Ventricles and subarachnoid
    spaces are within normal limits. Vascular structures are patent at the
    skull base. Postcontrast images do not show any abnormal areas of
    enhancement or any focal mass lesions.

    IMPRESSION:
    1. Several small scattered white matter lesions without enhancement or
    mass effect. These have slightly progressed since 2005. They are
    nonspecific and could be due to gliosis, chronic demyelination, or
    chronic ischemic change. They can occasionally also be seen in
    patients with headaches.
    2. No evidence for intracranial hemorrhage, acute infarct, or any
    focal mass lesions.

    My Doctor still didn’t think any of lesions accounted for all my symptoms and recommended waiting for the Endocrinology. Both the 2005 and 2019 reports lists multiple sclerosis as a possible differential diagnosis along with a couple of other things but nothing further was done. In 2005 the diagnosis was Neuropathy of unknown causes.

    This triggered some research and I discovered that high doses of biotin are being studied and in France prescribed for MS. This was enough to sink in and being in extreme pain and figuring it is some time before any new testing I went back to the thiamine+biotin+magnesium.

    The results were dramatic. I immediately felt my pain sensitivity reduce to normal, so a bit of back pain was a twinge not like something stabbing into my soul and the size of a beachball. Stiffness, numbness, and tingling vanished in most of my body with just a bit of numbness in mouth, lips, and tongue. I could now pronounce some words again that I couldn’t just days before. I still felt the cold, especially in my feet but this is lessening every day and my average body temp is now 98.2. My heart rate is down again, but mostly low 60’s. I still cannot stand on one leg with my eyes closed but can manage with two and not sway much or start to keel over.

    This time I decided that given MS patients were benefiting and tolerating 300mg of biotin to give it a try. I increased from 50 mg to 300 over a few days. I had a touch of nausea, very minor, and no throwing up this time. Every day my symptoms got better. Currently I am using 300 mg biotin, 200 mg lipothiamine, and 350 mg magnesium and now feel back to my “normal” My toes still curl and jump a bit, my feet get tight ranging from 25% normal to 85% normal. If I touch my thigh my toes curl. My mouth, lips, tongue are a bit numb. Prior though, I was also having pain in the left side of my head, in the jaw, “tmj pain”, pain Northeast of top of the ear, pain behind and below the ear going down the neck, and my left eye hurt a lot whenever I moved it. That is all gone as it was with the prednisone.

    I suspect that the prednisone was shutting down all the inflammation, and allowing me to feel great and energetic but without the biotin/thiamin and not eating much I was burning the candle at both ends and paid a terrible price once I tapered.

    I’ve done some genetic research but it all dead ended as anything related to thiamine deficiency disorder or biotin thiamin dependent basal ganglia disease doesn’t list any SNP’s except for a couple that have been studied and listed in clinvar database as benign. If I want to pursue that route I’ll have pay for special testing.

    My Promethease report (Which is free now everyone!) does list 29 mutations that increase multiple sclerosis risk but I suspect that is a general container for a lot of subtypes of neurological disorder. And I have a couple of homozygous mutations on SLC19a3 but there is no data them or any of my heterozygous mutations on SLC19a2 and SLC19a3.

    At this point I’m doing fairly well and plan on continuing with the thiamin+biotin+magnesium at the current level and debating if it is worth pushing on with the specialists.I also plan on going on the keto/low carb/no alcohol diet permanently. I’ve learned my lesson.

    I want to thank again Dr. Lonsdale, Dr. Mars, and this site for the information they provide. I cannot imagine where I’d be at this point without the knowledge I’ve gained here.

      1. Yes, glad to allow it as it might help someone figure what is happening to them. I do plan on an update and maybe add some background in a couple of months. Dr. Lonsdale was so right, my first symptom was panic attacks which were better when I quit smoking. Also I started drinking pop regularly at around the same time.

          1. While I could add a lot more on family history which has led me to believe in a genetic component here, further details on how this all developed over 40 years, and a more complete symptoms, yada yada, what I think I would add are –

            I believe the description of energy deficiency and the model of disease presented here is spot on. My first symptom was panic attacks starting about 4 years after moving from a healthy outdoor upbringing to a polluted urban area, a diet change that including far more sugar intake, and increased stress levels.Symptoms worsened greatly after a bout of walking pneumonia that slowly improved over several years but some chronic symptoms remained. The article BeriBeri, the Great Imitator could be used to describe my medical history.

            For me the thiamin helped but I got immense relief when I added the biotin. Dr. Lonsdale suggested this back in April when he suspected I had a thiamin transporter genetic issue. What I find fascinating about this is Biotin Dependent Basal Ganglia disease. I didn’t have the early onset nor some of the symptoms but I feel there is something related in my SLC19a3 mutations and the need for biotin for thiamin uptake to the brain.

            Some extracts from this article – http://m.molecularcasestudies.cshlp.org/content/3/6/a001909.full.pdf

            Together, SLC19A2 and SLC19A3 are responsible for transportation and homeostasis of thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Thiamine is not endogenously synthesized but is obtained
            from the diet via absorption through the small intestine. A number of thiamine-dependent
            enzymes are required for normal cellular function, including oxidative metabolism through
            the connection of glycolysis … Although individuals with BTBGD have defective or nonfunctional
            versions of SLC19A3, they do not experience global thiamine deficiency, showing normal
            levels of thiamine in the blood…

            Expression of SLC19A3 is ubiquitous … with expression in the brain restricted to the blood vessels. Specifically, the transporter is localized at the basement membrane and within the perivascular pericytes … In contrast, SLC19A2 is localized to the luminal side of the endothelial cells of the brain. This stark polarization of the two transporters in the brain differs from their localization in the peripheral tissues (namely, the intestines and kidneys), where SLC19A3 is found at the luminal apical side, whereas SLC19A2 is found both at the luminal and basolateral sides of these organs to maintain levels in the blood …

            The polarization of the two thiamine transporters in the brain but not the kidney or intestine suggests that both transporters are required for transport of thiamine across the blood brain barrier, and it may explain why individuals harboring SLC19A3 gene mutations develop neurological symptoms and pathology, without having a systemic thiamine deficiency.

            Ozand et al. (1998) reported that BTBGD patients responded to high doses of biotin with
            symptoms disappearing within days, with no further episodes of seizures, dystonia, confusion, or coma. Furthermore, clinical signs return to near baseline if treatment is initiated early
            enough …

            Most current treatment protocols use a combination of both biotin and thiamine. There is limited physiological understanding as to the rationale behind this treatment approach. It has been suggested that thiamine and biotin act synergistically in the treatment of BTBGD and there is evidence that biotin is required for the transcription of the SLC19A3 gene. Thiamine induced expression of an alternate thiamine transporter (encoded by the SLC19A2 gene) has
            been suggested to underlie the clinical benefit seen in BTBGD patients …

            Disease-associated variants, both homozygous and compound heterozygous, have been
            reported throughout the gene (Table 1), and the effect on localization and activity of
            SLC19A3 has been investigated for a number of mutations. There are mutations that prevent
            the transport of the SLC19A3 protein to the cell surface, and others that reduce the affinity of
            the transporter for thiamine by either eliminating or reducing the functional capacity of the
            transporter …

            There is an apparent trigger for episodes of illness … Bouts of decompensation are often preceded by febrile illness or mild trauma …This indicates that there is a background level of thiamine that is transported in the cell with a dysfunctional SLC19A3 transporter that is able to support the energy needs of the brain during normal conditions. There is evidence to suggest the decline and clinical manifestation of the disorder may occur when the energy required exceeds the background levels and there is an inability of the mutant form of the SLC19A3
            gene to undergo the normal stress-induced expression and functional compensation …

      2. I’m fine with posting now. I’ll just update with comments to that post in 2-3 months.

        Hope someone finds it helpful! And thanks again!

  2. Unfortunately this is indeed severe paradox. The trouble is that he has been in a state of catabolic metabolism for probably his entire 28 years. The process or retrieving anabolic metabolism entails this paradoxical “refeeding syndrome” and it is dangerous enough to require medical supervision. Low blood pressure is a hallmark sign in beriberi and the paradoxical fall to an even lower pressure is an obvious danger. The problem is that the average practicing physician is evidently completely ignorant of this clinical situation and will conclude that the vitamin treatment is toxic and BLAME the methodology being used. He should be in a hospital setting where this is accepted as the ONLY possibility of treatment and where the technology is available. I am so appalled that you cannot find a physician who understands the principles involved. It isn ‘t as if this is a dramatic new discovery. The biochemistry, complicated as it is, is well known and can be researched in the library. If you persist, he should be in bed or at least non active and the dose of allithiamine kept very low until paradox gives way to improvement that can last for a month. Since there is almost certainly a genetic background you are practicing epigenetic treatment.

  3. Hello Dr.

    I had the 28 yr old I posted to you about on Navigating Thiamine Supplements who had seizures since 6 months and a complex history; now having dyautonomia, POTS, hypotension. And he had ( and has) dangerous seizures ( myoclonic, but many of his seizures we finally realized were syncope or both seizures and syncope.) with injuries. He has always had trouble with supplements, except for magnesium, which oddly he could take large amounts and really seemed to need it. He takes about 800 mg. At one time they nearly controlled his seizures and they still help with control. But he can’t take other supplements and herbs cause his blood sugar to tank. He has reactive hypoglycemia if he doesn’t eat a careful balance of carbs, fats, and proteins and after 3 yrs of gastroparesis & being unable to eat meat he finally became able to eat these foods and gain weight and the reactive hypoglycemia is controlled pretty much. He cannot tolerate sugar – it causes pure hypoglycemia. Fruit as well. So, we tried Allithiamine first as I waited for the Liothiamine to arrive. I gave him only half a capsule (25mg) with about 1/8 of Ecological Formualas b complex. He began to get jittery and nervous and on the 3rd day had a tonic clonic seizure. He has not had one of those in nearly a year. We stopped. A week later we tried the Lipothiamine in an even smaller dose – 12.5 mg with 1/8th of complex. His already low blood pressure sunk lower & we had to give extra doses – even at bedtime. On the 3rd day he fainted and his helmet fell off and he konked his head on a bookcase and hurt a whole side of his body. Not seriously, but he was unable to sleep due to pain for several days. Have you ever seen anyone have this serious of a paradox effect?

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