1. Steroids linked to sepsis, clots, and bone breaks

    Oral steroids pack deadly risks

    It's one of the most common types of meds in the country, dished out daily by docs from coast to coast.

    You almost certainly know someone who's been on them recently.

    Odds are, you've taken them yourself at some point.

    But if your doc is pushing you to pop oral steroids -- even for just a few days -- give him the old pushback, because new research reveals how these drugs are packing a SECRET danger.

    And it's one that could send you right to the ER weeks or even MONTHS later!

    The new study finds oral steroids such as prednisone given for allergies, skin conditions, pain, and any number of inflammation-related issues could raise your risk of serious health problems.

    One of the most frightening conditions in medicine today is sepsis, an immune system reaction to infection so deadly -- and so tough to treat -- that it kills between 30 percent and 50 percent of the folks who come down with it.

    One way to get it, it seems, is oral steroids: They increase the rate of sepsis by FIVE TIMES, according to the new study.

    The same drugs triple the rate of a potentially deadly clotting condition, and double the rate of a bone break.

    What makes this study so frightening is that just a single round of oral corticosteroids -- six days on the meds -- is enough to boost the risk of these problems, and the dose doesn't even have to be all that high.

    Just 20 mg per day -- or, in some cases, even less -- will raise the odds of these potentially deadly conditions.

    And while the risk is highest within the first 30 days of taking the drugs, it lingers for as long as THREE MONTHS after the treatment has ended.

    The shame of this is that while steroids certainly have a place in medicine, they've been abused like crazy by mainstream doctors who give them out far too easily and far too often.

    Most of the conditions treated by these drugs are recurring. Even if they go away after six days on a steroid, they're like Arnold in The Terminator.

    They'll be back!

    Then what? Your doc might send you off to the pharmacy for another round of steroids... and another round of risks.

    It's madness, especially since longer-term use of these drugs can cause thinner bone and other serious problems.

    And all for a drug you probably never needed in the first place -- because, in most cases, there are better, safer, and more effective ways to treat these conditions.

    You may not even need meds at all!

    A holistic medical doctor can help you overcome many of these health concerns naturally, and if you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

  2. Steroid shot no help for back pain

    Just say 'no' to epidurals for back pain

    It's one of the most common approaches to back pain -- one that's used by mainstream docs so often that you almost certainly know someone who's had it.

    Maybe you've even gone through it yourself.

    It's an epidural, a powerful steroid shot delivered right into the spine -- and if you're like most people, you might even think it worked.

    After all, new research confirms you can get about two months of relief from that injection -- and next time you visit the doctor and he recommends a steroid shot, he'll probably be quick to point that out.

    But there's another side to this study that he won't be so willing to talk about -- and that's the fact that patients who get saline placebo injections enjoy the same two months of relief.

    Getting a steroid shot, of course, is expensive and dangerous, with studies showing they can weaken bone over time and increase the risk of breaks and fractures.

    Saline is cheap and safe, but since doctors can't earn much money selling it, they're not likely to start recommending it over big-money steroid shots anytime soon.

    But maybe they should, because this might be more than just the placebo response at work. It could be that the saline itself is therapeutic, that as it rushes through the spine it can reduce inflammation, clean up scar tissue and even restore the flow of blood to damaged nerves, according to the review of 43 studies involving more than 3,600 patients combined.

    That certainly makes sense to me.

    After all, we've seen these results before -- in study after study, placebo injections have matched steroid shots and even shots with other drugs in them, including a study I told you about just a few months back. (You can read more about that one right here.)

    I'm not saying you should rush out for saline injections (although in some cases it might not be the worst idea around).

    What I am saying is that there are clearly much better options for relief from back pain -- and that's true whether your pain is in the upper back, lower back, neck, shoulders or right down the middle.

    For starters, try natural anti-inflammatory supplements such as MSM, bromelain, and turmeric. For more chronic pain -- especially the "non-specific" pain your doc can't quite seem to figure out -- consider the natural pain-beating techniques that have helped millions around the world, including acupuncture, cold laser, chiropractic and even a good massage.

    If the problem doesn't go away over time -- as most cases of back pain do -- you may need a little more help. And by that, I don't mean drugs, shots or surgery.

    You need a doctor who can find the source of your pain, whether it's a posture problem, an undiagnosed injury or something else entirely.

    Once you find the cause, you can get to work on the cure -- and you'll be amazed at how often that cure is little more than an adjustment to how you sit or a few months of gentle physical therapy... not drugs, surgery or a steroid shot.

    Ready to get started? Speak to a holistic medical doctor today.

  3. Cortisone shots hurt symptoms of tennis elbow

    The most common treatment for tennis elbow doesn't work. Steroid shots actually make relapse more likely.
  4. Steroids for back pain fall short

    It's one of the most common conditions in the country -- but no matter how many times your doctor has seen it, he still doesn't know the first thing about treating it. I'm talking about back pain.
  5. The dark truth behind milk

    It might seem like there's nothing more natural than a kid with a glass of milk -- but what's in that glass could be anything but natural.

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