If You Do Nothing, What Are The Risks of Bleeding?

On Episode ​38 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​there is a discussion about the role of inaction and how that might impact the degenerative process with the eyes. Bleeding can be a condition faced by people with degenerative eye disease, so the question is what happens when we do not address these potentials ahead of time. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 38


DOWNLOAD ​​​IF YOU DO NOTHING, WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF BLEEDING?

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 38
IF I DO NOTHING WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF BLEEDING

This is the next in a series of questions that I call the “should ask” questions. You know of frequently asked questions - basically answers to questions that people ask frequently. Well these are questions that I drew up that I want people to ask, but that they don’t often think of. This is a little off how its normally done, but it’s working, so we are giving it a go. I hope it’s working for you as well. 

WHAT IF I DO NOTHING?

The question for today applies mainly to people with Macular Degeneration and Stargardt. If you have Macular Degeneration or Stargardt and you do nothing other than take the vitamins that your eye doctor recommends, what are the chances that you’ll become exudative, or develop wet degeneration or wet Stargardt. 

Let me preface this discussion with two things that may not be evident to people. First, Macular Degeneration and Stargardt are very closely related. Stargardt is the juvenile form of Macular Degeneration and the genetic predisposition for that there maybe two abnormal genes instead of one. That could be why it shows up when you’re younger. 

The other thing is that a lot of people think, and this is in part because of the way eye doctors think about this, that somehow wet Macular Degeneration or wet Stargardt disease is a different entity than dry Macular Degeneration or dry Stargardt disease. The truth is they are the same disease. 

UNDERSTANDING DISEASE NUANCE

The example I like to use is to think of another common disease, something like diabetes. We are well familiar with diabetes, and at a certain point you can progress into a stage where you start having the complications that diabetics can manifest. Things like heart problems or poor circulation in the legs or kidney failure or diabetic retinopathy. There are also eye problems associated with diabetes.

However, It’s all still just diabetes. It’s diabetes in a more advanced stage, now with complications. The same is true for the eye diseases. If you have wet macular degeneration, you have good old Macular Degeneration, only now it’s progressed to a point where you have the complication of leaking and bleeding.

SHIFT OF DRY TO WET

I’ll finish this topic and then we can talk about when a doctor decides to inject your eye. The data is clear for people with Macular Degeneration that the odds that you will convert from dry to wet is only about 10 or 15%. That doesn’t mean that everyone with Macular Degeneration, because it all starts out as dry, is going to convert to wet Macular Degeneration. The odds are in your favor that you won’t.

You can have a lot of geographic atrophy. You can continue to lose vision, but you may not have the problem with leaking and bleeding. The leaking and bleeding can be catastrophic. It can lead to sudden and dramatic loss of vision because of the damage the fluid and blood leaking into the retina causes. The damage caused can be quite severe, and it can happen very quickly. When you hear about the treatments for macular degeneration, really, they’re not talking about treatments for the disease. All that language is talking about treatments for the complications. Ophthalmologists still really have no treatment for the disease. 

STEM CELL INJECTIONS

Some are looking at injecting stem cells and they keep saying that’s years away. There’s some people trying it now, but most of the people trying it are not using an approved technique. The clinics that do it aren’t supervised or registered or licensed to do it. There’s a bit of a scandal going on now with a lot of stem cell therapies where stem cells are injected.

It’s not fraudulent, but it’s not a controlled procedure, and people spend a lot of money for that. They can charge you tens of thousands of dollars to inject stem cells into you. You like to think it’s going to work if you’re going to spend that kind of money. But in general  people aren’t doing it well or don’t know what they are doing. So the results aren’t very good. 

INJECTIONS NOT ALWAYS INDICATED

The next conversation I wanted to have - though just briefly though - relates to this because the only tool that ophthalmologist  feel they have is these injections. So they tend to do them a lot. In fact, they do them often when they are not indicated or called for. Often,  people don’t even know that they have Macular Degeneration until they have some sort of catastrophic event like a bleed or a leak. They may know that their eyesight is declining, but no one’s ever used the words Macular Degeneration before. 

KNOWING BUT NOT SPEAKING

This gets into a whole other thing that is a sorry thing that doctors still do - that they’ve always done. They don’t want to worry their patient. They don’t want to worry their client. If your eye doctor sees loss of pigmentation, geographic atrophy, maybe some droozen, you know, the kind of debris you left behind because of all the cells that are dying off - they may say to themselves  this is an eye with Macular Degeneration most likely. 

But they don’t say anything and then you will one day wake up and you can’t even really see in one of your eyes. And they will say, oh you bled and this is Macular Degeneration and it’s not new, just nobody ever told you were having problems with your eyes. The reason they don’t tell you is that since they have nothing to offer, they figure why worry this person. Why upset them. It’s not doing a good service to you when they do that.

CHALLENGE WITH INJECTIONS

To get back to what I was saying, there are a lot of people who I see now who are getting these injections and they are not really indicated. There is evidence now that those injections can do some damage in your eye. If you had a big leak or a bleed and it's causing a lot of damage into your eye - sure - you want to do some first aid, some emergency thing to try to cut it back. But getting injections every month for years on end ultimately leads to problems. This is a bigger discussion, so let’s come back to this in the future. 

I’ll put it down on this list of topics for coming weeks. But I’m going to end there with the just thought that getting these injections in your eye, when you don’t need them, can be damaging. Wet and dry are the same and sometimes the first time you even notice you have macular degeneration is because of a bleed. But it’s always preceded by a dry form. You had degeneration in your eye before you had the bleed. It’s just that no one told you or no one diagnosed it. We’re going to open the Q&A now. 

CONCLUSION

As an addendum, I want to mention two important references about the risk of repeated eye injections. The first reference is from one of the bigger ophthalmology journals called Retina, in 2014, July, volume 34, number 7, pages 1308 – 1315. The primary author was Young. There’s another article from the journal Ophthalmology from 2013. Both showed the risk of geographic atrophy in people who received multiple injections of these drugs. That’s a bad thing, so I wanted to make sure that people were aware of those findings.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 38
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Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration Are The Same Thing

On Episode ​40 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​​​the discussion turns to looking at Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration and how they can be approached in a similar fashion. ​

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 40


DOWNLOAD ​​​​​WET AND DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION ARE THE SAME THING



BEH PODCAST EPISODE 40
WET AND DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION ARE THE SAME DISEASE

Today I want to revisit something we’d talked about before. It’s been over a year, so I
think it is time to talk about wet versus dry macular degeneration. I get a lot of questions
about this topic. Some of those questions come from the fact that Ophthalmologists are
a little unclear in how they discuss the difference.

THE SAME PROBLEM

To be clear, wet and dry macular degeneration are both the same problem. They’re
both the same disease. So, if you have macular degeneration, it can progress to the point
where you have enough degeneration that you can have leaking and bleeding into your
eye. Once you have leaking and bleeding, that makes it “wet” macular degeneration.
The official term for that is exudative, and exudative means leaking.

The analogy I like to use is diabetes, a different disease but one that people are more familiar with. If you have advanced diabetes, one of the complications is that you have poor circulation in
your legs and you may get a wound that won’t heal. As a result,  now you have a non-healing sore on your leg. The problem is still diabetes, and the non-healing wound is just a complication of diabetes, not a different disease. The same is true with the eye in macular degeneration.

WHAT EXACTLY DEGENERATES?

If you have a degenerative disease in your eye, the things that degenerate are not just the complicated neural cells, it’s not just the neuro-epithelial cells, the nerve cells responsible for vision. Those are not the only thing to degenerate. The structural components of the eye and the blood vessels all break down too. This is the case mostly with Macular degeneration, but you can see it some in Stargardt and rarely in Retinitis Pigmentosa. 

But we heard one person announce on the call today that they have a tear in their retina. Getting structural damage in the retina is very common with these diseases. The different types of damage have all kinds of names: macular tears, punctures, holes, buckles or thinning. However, they’re really all the same thing even though they are given different names, it’s all structural breakdown of the retina.

THE ISSUE OF BLOOD FLOW

The vessels can also degenerate, which is significant, because that results in a problem with poor circulation to the eye. That is bad because the eye has a need for blood greater than any other tissue in the body. The eye demands a lot of blood flow. As a result, it needs a lot of blood flow to function well. So even a little decrease in that blood flow compromises the eye. 

The body doesn’t like tissues to be hungry for blood. It has ways that it deals with that. If there’s not enough blood flow to make the eye happy, then the first thing that happens is the tiny vessels called capillaries (that are only supposed to carry a little bit of blood) dilate to try to let more blood into the eye. If the condition goes on long enough, the eye grows new vessels into the eye. That’s called neovascularity.

NEW VESSELS, FRAGILE VESSELS

The part “neo” means new and vascularity means vessels. So, you get new vessels, and that is how the body tries to compensate for the fact that there’s not enough blood flow.

These new vessels that the body builds, and those small vessels that dilate to carry more blood, are rather fragile and are prone to leak and bleed. One of the tests that’s done to measure neo-vascularity is an angiogram. They put a fluorescent dye into your body and they can see the vessels themselves in the eye. A tangle of these new vessels is seen as neo-vascularity and those vessels are prone to leak and bleed. 

They used to do a lot of things to try to destroy those small vessels and thankfully they don’t do that anymore. It didn’t work very well and therefore it did a lot of damage. What they do now mainly is inject drugs into the eye to try and block new vessel formation, neovascularity. Those are the drugs like Eylea and Avastin and Lucentis. All similar, very similar drugs. They do a pretty good job of blocking the formation of those new vessels, but there’s a downside to that.

THE PATH OF DRY AND WET

I’ll talk about the consequences of those drugs in a second, but I just want to come back to talk about what I started out with, the fact that wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration are the same disease. If you have wet macular degeneration, that always started out as dry macular degeneration. It’s just that nobody diagnosed it. 

It is common for people to first learn that they have a problem with macular degeneration when their disease is advanced, and they had a problem with leaking and bleeding. The treatments that are done for macular degeneration don’t really treat the disease itself.

DRUGS NOT A CURE

If you Google treatment for macular degeneration, the first articles you usually see are talking about drugs that treat the complications. That’s important to remember, these drugs don’t treat the disease. They’re not done to make your vision any better, and in fact they won’t make your vision any better. They are simply done to try and prevent the formation of those new vessels so you don’t have leaking and bleeding.

Because the leaking and bleeding can be destructive and can cause damage to the eye, treating the leaking and bleeding is not a bad thing to do. Before I talk the downsides of those injections, I just kind of want to bring it back to the program that you’re doing. The reason you all are on this call is you are doing the Better Eye Health Program. One of the things that happens with the Better Eye Health Program is that you’re doing a number of things that improve circulation. 

COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM

The color therapy improves circulation. ACU-EYE© points improves circulation. Eye Health Exercises improve circulation. The microcurrent stimulation improves circulation. Even some of the supplements we use improve circulation. But they don’t supercharge your circulation. They heal it and  bring it back to normal.

That is important because you may have a condition that makes you prone to leak and bleed. Fortunately, we’re not pumping up your circulation. We’re merely trying to bring it to normal. The formation of those abnormal vessels came as the result of a stress, and that stress was the poor circulation in the eye that was a consequence of the degeneration. So, if we improve circulation, we remove that stress, and the body feels less need to make new vessels. As a result, that in turn takes the stress off the eye that puts you at risk for leaking and bleeding.

HELPING VESSELS TO GROW

The healing that occurs with this program goes further because it actually helps new normal vessels to grow. There are a number of things that lead to the healing of the eye in this program. It takes time, but it will happen if you stay with it. There have been many studies that have looked at data for this procedure and I’m going to be talking in the future there are some newer studies that have been done.

Most of the studies looking at microcurrent stimulation took place in Europe, and they’re showing that it is of great value. We’ll talk about those studies on a later call because people always like
data. People like to know that there are doctors looking at this treatment, and yes, this is
real and it works.

GRACE'S RESULTS

For example, I looked at the data that Grace and I collected on 120 patients and it showed that this program worked very well for both wet and dry macular degeneration. In fact, in the first 120
patients that I kept careful data on, the first people that I treated, the people with wet macular degeneration actually did better than the people with dry. I saw a higher percentage of people with wet show improvement. 

Now, people ask me that if I start doing this program, and they’ve already had bleeding, will they bleed again. I can’t really answer that. I can’t make a promise there because one of the greatest risk factors, the best predictor of whether you are going to bleed is whether you’ve bled before. There are people that started this program that do have continued problems with leaking and bleeding. But most people, if they stay with the program and they do what we ask them to do, have the leaking and bleeding eventually slow down and even stop. 

INJECTIONS

This has kind of been a long talk, I’m sorry about that, so I will try to start wrapping things up. I did want to talk about why you don’t want to just do the shots. Yes, the shots do help stop the leaking and bleeding. However, the shots do not treat the underlying disease. The shots are not intended to improve your vision. I’ve talked to a lot of people who somehow had it in their minds that shots are a treatment that would improve their vision. 

Then they are very disappointed that their vision continues to decline even though they are getting these shots every month or every couple of months. The drugs that are injected directly into the eye were originally used orally. Then they were using them intravenously, and really, it wasn’t until they started injecting them into the eye that they did any good at all.

DRUG DOWNSIDES

The downside of the drug was something connected to whether they’re given orally, intravenously or injected directly. These drugs reduce the tendency to bleed by reducing blood flow. I just want you to think about this: the body is growing these new vessels for a reason. The vessels are prone to leak and bleed and that is a little bit of problem. But, the body is growing those vessels to try to compensate for a problem. 

The problem is poor circulation in the back of the retina, the back of the eye. It’s an imperfect solution because these vessels are abnormal. Therefore these vessels are prone to leak and bleed, but they do what they are supposed to. They improve blood flow to the retina. These drugs are very effective at blocking the formation of these new vessels. So, when an eye that was growing vessels, because it was starved for blood flow, now has no help in sight. Now what happens is that the eye cells start to die off in the back of the eye.

TRACKING THE ISSUE

The way we can see that are through 3D ultrasounds of the eye. You see overtime, as you do more
and more shots, that the retina thins and you have a decrease in vision. Visual acuity and other things fall off. There is a very real consequence of these shots, which is that they give you some short-term benefit, but in the long run, they tend to lead to further decline in your vision and the health of your eye.

That’s why the shots are not a good long-term solution. But as far as first aid, they can be helpful. If someone calls me and they are a little panicked because they have leaking and bleeding, and maybe they’re seeing a dramatic decrease in their vision. I might recommend they get a shot or two because they have a real problem that needs to be dealt with quickly. The shots are the best way of doing that. 

CONCLUSION

I would then suggest they do a program like the Better Eye Health program, which is a way to treat the underlying disease, the root of the problem. Hopefully they would need fewer or even no shots in the future. Sometimes, that first aid is necessary and I’m glad that it’s there. If you have
any more questions about wet or dry macular degeneration, I’m going to ask you to bring them to the Q&A session that we are about to begin.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 40
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Does It Help To Join A Clinical Trial?

On Episode ​43 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​​​​​​Dr. Miller talks about the reasons behind joining a clinical trial or not as part of the process of reversing your eye disease. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 43


DOWNLOAD ​​​​​​​​DOES IT HELP TO JOIN A CLINICAL TRAIL?

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 43
DOES IT HELP ME TO JOIN A CLINICAL TRIAL?

Today, we will cover the last of our “should ask” questions that I propose people should ask. This involves a more general discussion, and the question today looks at whether it is advisable for people to involve themselves in a clinical trial, specifically for their eyes, or really for anything medical. In general, my recommendation is no. Do not involve yourself in a clinical trial.

About the only time I recommend a clinical trail is if you had a truly life-threatening disease where the only possible chance of survival involved enrolling in a clinical trial. Even then, my answer is still a qualified maybe. If that situation arose, we’d have to talk. 

THE ISSUE WITH CLINICAL TRIALS

The whole discussion of clinical trials is complicated by the controversial nature of medical research. Controversial in terms of how studies are set up. Controversial in terms of what even is the placebo. The simplest way to think about this, and what I propose to you, is not encouraging someone to run to the front of the line for a new and unproven study.

In a clinical study, there is a very good likelihood will end up placed in the non-treated group, the placebo group. You might go through a lot of time and a lot of effort and not even really receive any kind of treatment. This delays your chance to do something positive for yourself. 

There is another reason, which connects to changes in clinical studies. In the old days, it was considered a great favor to the field of medicine and medical research if you stepped forward to take part in a clinical study. Now, clinical studies number one design focuses on getting a drug on the market. There’s virtually no clinical research for any of the kinds of therapies and treatments that I  propose as a first line of therapy for most diseases.

THERE IS A COST 

They are also not free anymore. Very often, you pay for the meds, the visits and even some of the lab tests. Alternatively, they might charge your insurance company, so you pay the copays. In addition there is a huge amount of time involved: invasive studies, lab work, blood sticks, meal sticks and even the possibility of paying for the doctor’s time. I’m glad that studies are done in general, but this is why I’m not a big proponent of many of these studies. 

OTHER FACTORS

Another issue is many studies are now done overseas. They are done in 3rd world countries. Part of the reason is connected to cost. You can pay people a small stipend, a small token to get them involved. The bad news of that setup is that when a study doesn’t work out, the data, including adverse effects is hidden. The drug companies are very selective about only showing you results that they think are positive and that benefit their product.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 43
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Can Vitamins Alone Help My Eyes?

On Episode ​42 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​​​​​​the question of just using one aspect of the program comes up in terms of just taking vitamins alone to help reverse eye disease. At times people do not want to do the multiple components of the program and only want to do one, thinking that will cover the issue. Dr. Miller talks about this and why it is important to do all that you can. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 42


DOWNLOAD ​​​​​​​CAN VITAMINS ALONE HELP MY EYES?

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 42
WILL VITAMINS ALONE HELP MY EYES

The topic that I wanted to talk about today is one I get frequently from people who are first considering the program. They are told they have some serious eye problem. They are told by their doctors there’s nothing that can be done, except maybe take some eye vitamins. The thing I wanted to address is what happens if you only do what your eye doctor recommends, which is only to take the basic vitamins. For instance, something like the AREDS formula or OCUVITE. What could you except?  What would happen if you did not do anything besides that? 

THE REASON FOR THIS QUESTION

The reason I pose this as a question and address this today is that the answer to that is very well known. The reason that this is well known, result in studies dating back to the 1950s and 60s, which attempted to look at the effects of different vitamins, formulas and supplements on the natural history of these diseases. When I say these diseases, I mean things like Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Stargardt disease - these degenerative retinopathies or degenerative retinal diseases. The results of hundreds and even thousands of studies are interesting. One of the things they’ve shown is that there is no vitamin that anyone has ever tried that  stopped or reversed these diseases. 

JUST SLOWING THINGS DOWN

They simply slow down the course of these diseases. The natural history of all these diseases is that over time, your eyes gradually get worse. There is no point on the course of these diseases, where there is remission or things get better for a while. What’s more typical is that you may have something happen and you lose a certain amount of visual function and then you may plateau.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR VISION

Your vision may stabilize and stay that way for a few years. But then it will slowly keep drifting down. Then if you have a disease, especially something like Macular Degeneration, there is a complication in the later phases of this diseases where it can leak or bleed into the retina, which as a result can cause damage very quickly. Damage meaning, loss of vision and physical damage to the retina. That’s why doctors are so aggressive about treating this problem. What you hear today in 2016 about treatments for Macular Degeneration are not treatments so much as treatments for the complications. 

USING THE TERM MACULAR DEGENERATION

I use Macular Degeneration as the common term for all these diseases. That’s because number one, this is the most common of these problems. But number two, I feel it’s fair to lump them all together because genetically, these diseases are more alike than different. There’s one gene, the ABCR gene, that can look like Macular Degeneration if you have that genetic defect. It can look like RP or it can look like Stargardt.

So these diseases are much more alike than they are different. They all have a very similar natural history. One of the differences is that for things like RP and Stargardt disease, the onset, or the beginnings of problems, can be early in your life. They can happen while you are still relatively young. But, the natural history is just to put it simply progressive loss of vision and progressive damage to the retina. 

SOMETHING REMARKABLE

The natural history does not include any kind of remission or period where things get better. One of the reasons I say that is that you have to understand that this is well described, and well-studied. So, when something comes along like the program we’re doing, where even a few people get better, that is so outside the norm. The result is remarkable. Even with documented cases of people getting better, it has been very hard to get mainstream medicine interested in this program. 

THE NULL SET

One of the hardest things in medicine is defining what’s called the null set. What happens if you do nothing. So one of the reasons that the standard for research and medical research is the double blinded placebo control study is that you can examine results from a study if it’s a double blinded placebo control study. You can decide if the results are significant and meaningful or not - even if you can’t define the null set. 

The classic would be a disease like rheumatoid arthritis. In something like rheumatoid, people can go into remission, where they may have a bit of damage to their joints, but all the inflammation goes away and they are suddenly ok. You know if you are doing a study to do a treatment in a disease where it’s possible that things can just get better on their own, it’s hard to know if the improvement that you see is due to the treatment you did or whether its just a natural healing.

DEFINING THE NULL SET

For instance, when you’re talking about a disease like Macular Degeneration, things never get better on their own. Never, ever, ever do they get better on their own. That essentially defines the null set. The reason that is important is that even if you have just a few isolated cases - case reports - even that data becomes meaningful because you know the definition of the null set. You know what happens if nothing is done, so if something is done and people get better it is by definition, significant. 

VITAMINS ALONE WILL TAKE YOU ONLY SO FAR

So, I just say this because a lot of people feel that they just want to not do anything, take their chances, and just take the vitamins their doctor recommends. And they’re just essentially resigning themselves to a lifetime of seeing their vision dissipate and go away. So that’s all I want to say about that. I’m not saying this to be negative, because all of you who are on this call are doing something that’s at the very least, I would expect, stabilizing your vision, so you’re not going to lose any more. 

CONCLUSION

One of the reasons we’ve added these additional calls with me to the program, you know the 3, 6 and 9 moth calls is to keep better track of this and to look for other things in your health that might be obstacles to your eyes getting better. So, it’s important to realize that if you’re doing everything we’re asking you to do and you’re not getting better, then we need to be talking. That means there’s something we’re missing, because this should work for everybody. That’s the goal, because this is supposed to be a program that just flat out works for everybody.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 42
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A Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind

On Episode ​36 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​the interconnection between the health of our body and the best functioning of our mind is explored by Dr. Miller. Each system needs the other to function properly and push back illness. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 36


DOWNLOAD ​​A HEALTHY BODY = A HEALTHY MIND

BEH PODCAST EPISODE 36
A HEALTHY BODY = A HEALTHY MIND

Today we are going to start off and talk a little bit about memory and supplements that might help improve memory and the relationship between lifestyle and memory. In other words, things you might do to preserve memory. I think this topic is important this because everybody is worried about Alzheimer’s disease, especially when people find themselves having difficulty remembering names and maybe and other things as they get older.

SHIFTS IN MEMORY

I just want to say that there is a certain amount of deterioration that occurs with age, but you never want to blame anything on age. I know that sounds like a crazy statement, but you know an exaggerated loss of memory is abnormal. If you feel like you can’t remember anything, then that is a reason to talk about it with me or your physician. But more importantly, what I want to say is that there are some things you can do to preserve memory and prevent the loss of memory, but there are no easy fixes with this problem.

I was a speaker at a conference last fall called neuro-regeneration. So, what are the things you can do regenerate your brain, nerves and spinal cord and your eyes? I was obviously talking about the eyes at that conference. One relevant protocol from the conference dealt with preserving memory. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP MEMORY?

What’s interesting about the protocol is that it is simply a checklist of all the things we talk about over the course of these calls. It is a checklist of all the things you do to maintain good health. The protocol includes a clean diet, not drinking alcohol, not smoking cigarettes, dealing with stress, getting adequate exercise, breathing, meditation, detoxification, and doing things to engage your mind. Your mind is kind of a use it or lose it thing. In this case, you want to think of the brain as a muscle.

Then there are some more intangible things that help you preserve memory. One thing I noticed at this conference that works to preserve function is have purpose in your life. You need to have a reason to live, you need to have a reason to be healthy. For some people, the reason is taking care of their grandchildren, or watching their grandchildren grow up. Some people are very engaged in a career or a job they love, and that keeps them going.

OTHER METHODS

Some people get involved in other ways. They get retired from the job they had all their life and they apply their gifts, skills, time and energy to something else that means something to them, and that’s what keeps them going. If you’re retired from a job and think you’re going to just sit back, put your feet up and watch TV -and have your mind be healthy - you’re mistaken. 

It is this vague idea of purpose that’s a very important thing to your well-being. Purpose isn’t just about keeping your memory, it’s about keeping you going. Purpose keeps you out of depression, keeps you engaged and lithe and enthused and excited about life. I’m putting together a checklist, which wasn’t put together in the conference, of things to live with purpose. I’ll put that list up on the wall once I’ve settled on the most important parts. That’s probably going to be a few weeks.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR MEMORY

Since we are talking about memory, I think it is relevant to discuss supplements for memory. We had touched on this topic early, which was the inspiration for this topic. I know some of this is a little repetitive, but there are no supplements that anyone has ever found that will take a healthy mind and make it work better. Probably the only exception is speed, or other things like that, which enhance function, but are very corrosive and damaging. If you want to limit yourself to substances that might be allowed in professional sports or Olympic sports. Performance enhancing drugs, that are somewhat safe, that you might actually use, don’t really help memory much. 

MEMORY COMPETITIONS

There are professional and amateur memory competitions. I know that sounds a little crazy, but basically, they do things like try to memorize the order of a deck of cards in 60 seconds. Maybe you’re handed a list with names to remember. There are tricks to help you remember better. It is a skill that you can work to learn. 

Memory competitions are fairly big things. There are international competitions, and these people are very good and work very hard to be the best. If there is some way to get an edge in these competitions, they would use it. They try everything proposed, and so far nothing that has enhanced memory in a healthy brain. 

ENCREASING CIRCULATION

Having said that, there are things you can take if your brain is a little unhealthy. There are supplements that can help you if your circulation is compromised. Compromised circulation is a consideration for all of us who are worried about with eye disease, because degenerative diseases in the eyes and brain can cause the loss of healthy circulation in those areas. A few supplements like Vinpocetine and Ginkgo, that we’ve talked about in the past, very gently open circulation of the small vessels of the brain. Often with better circulation, everything in the brain works better. Regeneration works better. Healing works better. Memory works better. Even cognition, thinking and problem solving, work better. 

If your brain is a little compromised, there are also herbs and supplements that can help. They are quite safe, they don’t damage your liver, give you high blood pressure, do things that some other substances might.

CONCLUSION

But really, you probably should not worry too much about this unless it becomes a problem. All the things that you talk about that you can do to take care of your health, and take care of the health of your eyes, are going to take care of the health of your brain. In fact, even the microcurrent stimulation can improve your brain functioning. There is a resurgence in something called cranial, electrical stimulation, which we’ll discuss more in a future talk. Just so you know, the unit you have for your eyes is appropriate for cranial electrical stimulation or CES. That’s not going to make your memory a lot better, but there are different ways to use CES that can help your brain. Again, we’ll talk about that in the future. That’s about all I want to say about memory for now, so let’s go to the Q&A session.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 36
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Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part Three

On Episode 35 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​Part ​Three of the discussion on autoimmunity ​wraps up this crucial discussion about our overall health and how we are keeping ourselves strong in the face of toxins and other inflammation. Keeping a clean core can then support the eyes in regeneration and reversal of eye disease. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 35


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​BEH PODCAST EPISODE 35
AUTOIMMUNITY AND YOUR EYE DISEASE PART 3

This is the third of three talks on autoimmune disease and eye disease. The first part, which was a couple of weeks ago, was an overview. Last week, we talked about gut health, because that’s important. Just as a reminder, both the kind of integrative medicine I do and allopathic medicine, the hospital based regular medicine that I was first trained in agree that autoimmune disease is a consequence of an overactive immune system. 

ALLOPATHIC APPROACH

In Western Medicine, allopathic medicine, the solution is to give drugs that suppress or even kill the immune system. That works, but as you can imagine, it’s not a desirable long-term solution. In integrative medicine, you are trying to look at the root of the problem and try to figure out why your immune system is so overstimulated, that its starts making antibodies against your own tissues. You have that conversation by looking at all the things that stimulate the immune system, and quieting down as many of them as you can.

You don’t have to do any of them one-hundred percent perfectly, but if you quiet things down a little, things can quiet down enough overall that the autoimmune disease essentially goes away. In my first lecture two weeks ago I also talked more about the connection that doctors have seen where people who have the degenerative retinal diseases are also having their basic eye disease complicated by an autoimmune disease. 

HELPING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Today I just want to talk about two big things. Things that can stimulate the immune system and things that you have some control over. The first is diet. The second is toxins. Foods that your body doesn’t like, foods that your body has a sensitivity to cause an immune reaction. Toxins, the kinds of things that bedevil us all because it’s such a toxic world, the things that your body cannot easily eliminate, hang around in your body and cause an immune reaction.

To help your immune system you want to eliminate certain foods from your diet that irritate your body from and detoxify yourself by both reducing the number of new toxins you introduce and doing other things so your body has a better ability to excrete toxins. If you can take both of those action, you will reduce your overall toxic load and reduce the amount of immune reaction and inflammatory reaction that you’re having to those toxins.

The strategy then becomes figuring out which foods you might be sensitive to and figuring out what you can do to detoxify your body and environment. I just want to say that we do have dates now for the two classes we will be running. You’ll be getting a letter in the next week or two, which will contain information on these two classes that we include as a part of the Better Eye Health Program. The two classes are the Healthy Eating Workshop and the Detoxify Your Life course. The reason we include these classes is that they can help you clean up your diet and body overall, which is a good thing for your health and eyes.

The courses are done weekly in a virtual format. We will send you a link to a video that you can watch on the computer. Even if you don’t see the computer very well, the audio is very important. If all you can do is listen to the audio part of the video, it’s still worth doing. If you have no access to a computer at all, this course isn’t going to be much use to you, but you are still welcome to join the conference calls for each of these courses.

APPROACH OF HEALTHY EATING WORKSHOP

If you are not a part of the Better Eye Health Program and want to participate in these courses, email us at [email protected] The reason we do them together is that they are complimentary to each other. For instance, one of the biggest toxins that you need to eliminate from your body are foods that your body doesn’t like. Foods that your body doesn’t like are toxic to your body. In the course, we talk about how there are no good lab testing to measure these things.

The lab testing is improving, but it still quite expensive, so if you really need to see things in black and white on paper, we can spend a thousand dollars of your money and get some decent lab testing done. But it’s just as easy to just play with your diet for 6 weeks and see how you respond when you remove the most common toxic foods. During the six weeks, we will do a pared-back diet.

The diet is all real food, there’s no fancy milkshakes. You eat a simpler diet for six weeks, and you will see how you feel. Then, you’ll slowly add in the foods that we’d removed and you will see how you feel. That description might sound a little vague, but believe me, it’s very powerful. If there are foods that your body doesn’t like, it becomes very apparent. Then, it’s up to you to get rid of them. I’ll tell you that some of the foods that are the most common causes of immune response, inflammation and autoimmune issues are staples in the diet.

Things like wheat and dairy including cheese. We talk about how to work with that. There will be a lot of people in the program who have done the Healthy Eating Workshop before, who can help. They will tell you how it’s worked for them. We’ll leave some time in future weeks of the Healthy Eating Workshop for people to talk how its worked for them and what they’ve experienced. 

ADDING IN DETOX

Taking these two courses should be your starting point for working on autoimmune issues and toxicity. The detoxification course is more informational. We have a little book that a colleague of mine, Dr. Lee Cowden, wrote called Create a Toxin-Free Body & Home Starting Today. That book is provided as a part of the course and we use it sort of a textbook. It’s just a small paperback book, but it’s something I want you to read.

Even though the book is small, the information can be a little overwhelming. It doesn’t tell you how to apply the information to your life. It gives you all kinds of information, very good information, but after you’ve read through it, you go, “Well now what do I do? What do I actually do first?” That’s the purpose of the course.

To give you break down the information into smaller bites so you can get started. It’s easy a lot of it is common sense when we do it together bit by bit. For those of you who are in the full program within the last couple of years, these courses are included. If you joined earlier than that, there are discounts for that. If you are already a part of the Better Eye Health Program or if you’ve already taken the Healthy Eating Workshop before, there’s a significant discount to retake it. You get a graduate discount. All the information on the workshops is coming in a letter, so please don’t ask questions this week about the details of the course, because you’re going to be getting something in a letter. Once you have the letter, then if you have more questions, then we’ll deal with those. 

CONCLUSION

Just to let everyone know, next week there will be no call. I’m going to be in Orlando giving a talk on cancer. Specifically, I’ll talk about Chinese herbs and their place in the treatment of cancers, meaning I won’t be able to do the call next week.  Anyhow, toxins and food are the major things to be working with if you’ve had issues with autoimmune disease and not just an eye problem. If you have autoimmune thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema or asthma, these courses are a great resource. The courses are of great use to you if you participate in them and you do the work to help your immune system.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 35
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Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part Two

On Episode 34 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​Part Two of the discussion on autoimmunity continues on, exploring more of this key subject. Dr. Miller talks about how keeping your wellness - especially in regards to toxins - can prove to play an important role in how you rebuild tissue and reverse degenerative eye disease. Keeping things clear and not inflammed is essential. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 34


DOWNLOAD​  ​​AUTOIMMUNITY AND YOUR EYE DISEASE PART TWO


​BEH PODCAST EPISODE 34
AUTOIMMUNITY AND YOUR EYE DISEASE PART2

Today we are doing the second section of three-part series on autoimmune issues and eye disease. Last week I discussed an overview of autoimmune disease from the perspective of Western Medicine. It’s not an alternative view. Although, it’s not a view that a lot of doctors use when they think about or deal with autoimmune disease.

But the data to back up what I was talking about last week all comes out of UCLA and some very prestigious institutions who are looking at how our bodies are reacting to all the insults that are thrown at it. Infections, toxins and foods that are not good for us can all lead to autoimmune disease where our body makes antibodies that are destructive against our own tissues. In this second part, I’m going to talk about the relationship between the health of your gut and the development of autoimmune disease. 

HOW IT'S ALL CONNECTED

Before, I get into the gut, I want to talk about about how all these things that seem so distant from the eye can affect the eye. I mentioned last week how there is a way that the immune system overreacts. It’s so challenged with so many things that it must deal with that eventually you get autoimmune problems. What we don’t understand is why the autoimmune problem affects our body where it does. 

Sometimes autoimmune problems cause issues in their eyes, but for others, it affects somewhere else like their gut, thyroid, joints, skin or lungs. We know the underlying mechanism for all those things are all very common. But why one area is hit in one person, and why another is hit in another person is something that no one in integrative medicine, or western
allopathic medicine understands.

What I’ve seen is that for people with these degenerative diseases, an autoimmune problem makes helping them much more complicated because laying on top of that is a second problem that’s debilitating their eyes. That’s not for everyone, but it is the case for a lot of people. The immune problem is not the cause of Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa or Stargardt Disease. They are not immune problems to begin with, but these immune problems are very common, and so it’s very common to see people who have more than one thing insulting their eyes and insulting the health of their eyes.

YOU CAN DO SOMETHING

The fortunate thing about the autoimmune diseases is that there are things that can be done to minimize your risk or help you heal if you are already deeply into it. That’s the purpose of these calls, is to show you the simple things that you can do that can be very powerful. I said I wanted to talk about the gut, and you know there’s an increasing understanding of the importance of having a healthy population of bugs living in your gut. There are a lot of things that stand in the way of that. For example, a lot of things that come from the way foods are processed in the foods we eat are bad for our gut.

One specific substance are antibiotics. Antibiotic residues in foods affect the population of things
living in our gut. Pollutants in water and air and just all kinds of things that can upset that balance and the gut. The population of things in the gut is very important overall to our health. This may
sound bizarre, but we are outnumbered by bacteria in our own body. We walk around with about 10-11 maybe more trillions of cells. Yes trillions. Trillion is a big big number.

THE BUGS IN OUR BODY

But of all those cells we walk around with, only about a tenth of them are human. The other 9/10 are the bugs that live in our gut, on our skin and everywhere else throughout our body. Some of those bugs are very very tiny and that’s why they don’t take up a lot of room. Between the viruses and the funguses and the bacteria and atypical bacteria, and the parasites, there are a huge number of them. And they’re not all bad. If we had a sterile gut, we’d be dead. 

Over the centuries we’ve evolved to have a relationship with the things living in our body and the gut is where most them live. They need us and we need them. There are some that do the job well and there are others that can cause imbalances, and others that can cause problems. There are essentially healthy bugs and unhealthy bugs. The gut is important because it takes the food that we eat and separates the pure from the impure. It extracts what is necessary for our nutrition and lets the rest pass through and be eliminated.

The gut has another critical function. It seems hard to understand why this would come so late, but this next thing I’m going to say the understanding of this has only come in the last 20 years. That understanding is that there are a lot of way that the body can put things into the gut. So, it doesn’t just take what it wants and leave the rest. The body can use that continuous flow to get rid of stuff it doesn’t want. It’s a way for your body to get rid of garbage. In an ideal world, there would be a strong barrier between what’s in the gut and the rest of the body. 

LEAKY GUT SYNDROME

One of the things that happens if the population of bugs in your gut gets out of balance is that the barrier breaks down and you develop what’s called in a kind of slang way, “leaky gut syndrome”. That’s not an official medical term, but it is very descriptive because that’s exactly what’s happening. Things that should not be able to get into your bloodstream get into your blood stream, and some things leak out. Leaky gut can be bad with a poor balance of healthy bacteria, because a lot of unhealthy bacteria are essentially weeds. They get into your body and set up shop in your gut. They’re not well suited to live in your gut. But they can persist and survive because they produce toxins as a survival trick. 

The purpose of those toxins is to keep antibodies, white cells and other bacteria at a distance so that they’re left alone to survive and persist in your gut. But those toxins can make you a little sick. If the barriers of your gut have broken down, you are going to absorb some of those toxins. Very often when you get a case of food poisoning, these kinds of bacteria are the cause. When you get bad food, contaminated food or contaminated water, very often the thing that makes you feel sick, is not the bugs themselves, it’s the toxins that those bugs make.

SHIGELLA

There’s a very common food bacteria that causes food poisoning called Shigella. Shigella is one of the things you would typically pick up from poorly cooked chicken, or other poorly cooked meat. Once Shigella gets into your gut, it can keep away all the things your body would do to get rid of it, and so it becomes a sort of a permanent infection. The toxin that Shigella creates is notorious for causing arthritis. It’s not that Shigella is a major cause of arthritis, but if you’ve gotten food poisoning, fever, a lot of diarrhea, and swollen and painful joints, it’s probably Shigella. 

I just used that as example of extreme example of things that can happen at a very low level if your gut is not healthy. That where things going on can have an effect elsewhere in the body, at a great distance from the gut. The other thing that happens if you have a nonhealthy population of things in your gut, is that the barrier will be disrupted, giving you a leaky gut. Then you’ve got stuff getting into the bloodstream that was never meant to. What does the body do with garbage and stuff that’s not supposed to be there? The body develops antibodies against it.

RELATING TO AN OVERTAXED SYSTEM

Just going back to the talk last week, the thing that is at the root of a lot of autoimmune disease is an immune system that is overtaxed, overstimulated, reacting to all kinds of stuff and eventually it boils over and eventually it starts creating antibodies against your own tissues. Sometimes the mistake is accidental, those antibodies were originally created to attack something real, but it turns out this is kind of a lock and key phenomenon, that the key that was made to fit in the lock to the bad bacteria or the toxin happens to also fit certain cells in your thyroid, and now those antibodies start attacking the thyroid or other tissues. That’s why you want to have a healthy gut. 

There’s a lot of controversy about the use of probiotics, but overall, over 50 years of research, the outcomes people experience says pretty strongly that there’s a value to taking probiotics. That’s why we include probiotics as part of the basic protocol. It’s the simplest first thing we can do to push your gut towards being healthier. The data that’s convincing to me is the clinical data, meaning that you take people with certain problems, certain issues with their gut, and you put them on probiotics, and those things get better. That’s the kind of proof I’m talking about.

ANTIBIOTICS

The causes of the controversy about the use of probiotics come more from the pure science, where you say, well we put in a probiotic that contained certain Bifidus bacteria and we don’t find those in any great numbers in the stool. Therefore, the probiotic failed and it didn’t do anything. That’s a little bit nearsighted and a little bit of tunnel vision that the scientists have there. Yes, you might not find the sort of data you’d want to see, with finding the very bacteria that you put in in the probiotics. But the data that measures outcomes is more convincing, which says that if people have problems, probiotics can help. 

They have even done double blinded studies where they give some people probiotics and other people a placebo and the people taking the probiotics show remarkable clinical improvement over the other people. So, there is good proof that they actually help you. I would not get caught up in the modern controversies that are floating around about whether you should take probiotics. I still see enough benefits that I’m still recommending them. It’s certainly an inexpensive and safe and potentially a very useful thing to do. 

Coming back to our program, the probiotic we give people to start is JarroDophilus. We provide that product in the first months’ worth of supplements in the program. After a 12- 18 months or so, you may want to change maybe to a different brand. We have different brands that we can recommend if it’s time for you to do that. If you’re calling in and ordering supplements and you want a different probiotic, just let us know and we will substitute something else in for the JarroDophilus.

CONCLUSION

The final thing I want to say about the gut, is an issue that can be of concern in dealing with autoimmune disease is chronic infection. I just want to say that for most people, the issue with infection that they have is the issue with abnormal populations of bacteria in their gut. It isn’t that they have syphilis or tuberculosis or chronic Lyme disease or hepatitis, or chronic herpes. 

There are other infections that fit that bill, but having a gut that’s gunky and out of wack counts as a chronic infection. You’ve got consequences from an improper mix of bugs in your body and that’s something that can be remedied, and that’s something that can be reversed. The whole idea in approaching autoimmune disease is not to necessarily do everything perfectly, but to quiet down some of the things that are affecting your immune system and pulling you back from that threshold where things are so overstimulated that you’re having symptoms. I’m going to leave that there. If you have questions we can cover those in the Q&A session.



BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 34
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Autoimmunity and Your Eye Disease Part One

On Episode 33 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​a three part discussion about the role of autoimmunity in the health of your eyes begins. Dr. Miller talks about how keeping your wellness - especially in regards to toxins - can prove to play an important role in how you rebuild tissue and reverse degenerative eye disease. Keeping things clear and not inflammed is essential. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 33


DOWNLOAD​  ​​AUTOIMMUNITY AND YOUR EYE DISEASE PART ONE


​BEH PODCAST EPISODE 33
AUTOIMMUNITY AND EYE DISEASE PART1

Today, we’re going to be doing the first talk of part of our three-part series on autoimmunity. I’ve
been getting questions about autoimmunity, and specifically there was one question last week
that prompted me to do a series on the topic. The main idea of this series is to talk about
autoimmunity and eye disease, how they are related, and what to do about them.

This series leads into the Detoxifying Your Home And Detoxifying Your Body workshop, or as I like to call it, the do-it-yourself detox course, which we will be doing in October. You’ll see in the talk next week why the toxins are so important, but I’m not going to talk so much about toxins today. I
know that’s an intriguing topic, but hold off questions on toxins until next week. There are a few
reasons I want to spend time on autoimmunity in this conference call. It’s becoming much more
common, not just for people with eye problems, but everybody. Unfortunately, it can worsen
your degenerative eye disease but, there are steps you can take to treat it.

THE AUTOIMMUNE EPIDEMIC

The journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa wrote a book called The Autoimmune Epidemic. She
wrote that book many years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good book, and I don’t
recommend you go out and get it. But when it first came out, it was well received and well
criticized. People thought it had good information, and she was talking about the very things that
I’ve been talking about, the things we’re going to be talking about here. That said, she’s coming
at it almost purely from a Western Medicine, allopathic perspective, so when it comes down to
treatment, we have different approaches.

The advice in the book, comes down to taking toxic drugs and steroids and things like that. One of the things about The Autoimmune Epidemic that made it interesting to me was that she acknowledges that food sensitivities, toxicity, emotional stress and out of balance gut biome and infections can lead to autoimmune disease. So, autoimmune disease is common, that’s one of the reasons I want to talk about it here. And it can look like a lot of different things, but there is a core similarity between all the autoimmune diseases. I’ll name some of the diseases later. 

AUTOIMMUNE AND THE EYES

The other reason I just want to say up front that I want to talk about this in the context of this call
is that there’s increasing evidence that autoimmune disease complicates these different eye
problems that all of you are struggling with. That is especially true of the degenerative eye
disease, like Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Stargardt Disease. I chose
my words very carefully there. Autoimmune problems complicate those disease. It is clear that
autoimmune problems do not cause problems with your eyes. In other words, degenerative eye
diseases are not autoimmune diseases.

But autoimmune diseases are common, and they effect the eyes. When you have a worrisome disease that leads to loss of vision, autoimmune problems just make it worse. It means that you essentially have two problems in your eyes. Allopathic literature and the western medical literature understand the relationship between autoimmune problems and RP fairly well. From my perspective in my practice, I think the association with autoimmune problems is common in both Macular Degeneration and Stagardt Disease.

Even though autoimmunity may affect all of us in some degree, there are things you can do
about it. It isn’t just a theoretical conversation. It isn’t, “Oh you have an autoimmune disease, I’m
sorry.” There are things that we can do to quiet down your over-active immune system and back
you out of it. The next thing I want to talk about it, is just a little bit of background about the
understanding, the current understanding about autoimmune disease. Again, this is not some
crazy alternative medicine understanding, this is mainstream medicine. This is stuff that’s being
looked at UCLA and other centers around the country.

LEARNING FROM DNA

We’ve learned a lot from our ability to look at complex molecules like DNA and molecules used
by the immune system. A lot of the work that went into decoding our DNA and DNA
sequencing, is also applicable to sequencing other complex molecules in the body, most
notably, antibodies, and immune proteins. The ability to sequence these molecules has led to a
better understanding of what’s behind the formation of some of autoantibodies, which are
antibodies you form which attack your own tissues. The basic understanding of autoimmune
disease is that results from an immune system that is out of control. An immune system that is
so reactive, so twitchy, so angry, that it boils over and creates antibodies that attack your own
tissues.

CAUSES OF A WORN OUT IMMUNE SYSTEM

There are many causes of an overstimulated immune system. There are things that you would
all understand. Environmental allergens like dust, pollen, cat hair, dog hair, whatever it is you’re
allergic to, or even formaldehyde from the new carpet that you bought can irritate your immune
system. There are foods that you might be sensitive to, which would also irritate your immune
system. There are sensitivities to cow-dairy, wheat, eggs, tomatoes, shrimp and many other
things. Emotional stress, or emotional toxicity, is another thing that stimulates your immune
system in a bad way.

Toxins are obviously toxic to your body, that’s bad enough, but they also evoke an immune response. Chronic infections can also overstimulate your immune system. That includes things like Lyme disease, Hepatitis, AIDS. Something slightly more common is when you have a biome that is out of balance. A biome is the combination of things that are living in your gut, and if that population is out of order it can cause an immune reaction in you. You may have gum disease, gingivitis, chronic inflammation in your gums, that can be causing overstimulation. You may have viruses that are chronic, like herpes. 

SEEING HOW THE PIECES INFLUENCE THE WHOLE

I name all these things because it’s never just one of these things, it’s always a combination of a
number of these things together. It’s the infections, emotional toxicity, foods that we eat, toxins
including heavy metals, infections and even environmental things. Of all these things, the
environmental causes are the hardest ones to do anything about. We all have to breath air,
drink water and eat food. The idea of autoimmune problems is that all of these things together
tax your immune system to the point it boils over and in that state it starts making antibodies
against your own tissues.

WHY IS THIS NOT MORE PREDICTABLE?

The thing that no one really understands is why that same setup, that same combination of
factors can produce things that look so different in different people. So, all of these toxins and
immune systems boiling over in one person it may look like Thyroiditis, an immune thyroid
disease. In another person, it may look like inflammatory bowel disease. In another person, it
may look like inflammatory arthritis. Someone else might have an Eczema, Psoriasis or another
skin disease.

Another might have a kind of asthma or lung inflammation. I don’t know why in one person it’s the thyroid that’s affected and in another person it’s the gut and in another person it would be the brain and the eye. No one understands that. How you express autoimmune problems is just a personal thing. Maybe that part of your body was where you were vulnerable or I could make up some other explanation, but in the end no one knows. 

LOOKING FOR COMMON THREADS

The point is that the underlying setup is the same for all these different diseases. Even though
they are called different things, and looked at differently, they are all much more common than
they are different. The treatment for these ailments is to do what you can about each of the
causes that I names just a minute ago. You want to clean up your diet, detoxify, work on your
emotional stress, deal with the health of your gut, clean up any of your chronic infections and
make sure you have good dental hygiene. You should clean up your environment in terms of
cleaning products and pet hair and dust and other things that can be in our environment that
might be causing you to react.

You don’t have to do any of those things perfectly, but if you do the best you can with all of
them, you can pull yourself back from that threshold you crossed. The threshold is where things
got so bad that now you’re having symptoms wherever that might be. If you do enough, the net
effect is that you pull yourself back from the threshold and now you don’t have symptoms
anymore. It’s a very effective strategy. I use it a lot, and it works. It’s not easy. It’s not a drug.

FINDING A BETTER WAY

That is one place where Western Medicine and integrative medicine agree in theory.
Western Medicine would also say that the problem is an immune system that’s out of control,
and the therapies that Western Medicine would offer involve drugs that would kill your immune
system. The first level would be steroids like Prednisone, or something similar. The next level
involves using other drugs that poison the immune system, and a lot of these drugs are
cancer/chemotherapy drugs. One of the side effects of cancer/chemotherapy drugs is that they
suppress your immune system. Normally, that is an unwanted effect, but when treating an
autoimmune disease, we want that effect.

That works, but at a great cost. The cost of using these drugs over many years is an increased risk of cancer and very serious infections. Even if you want the easy way out, and you go with what your allergist or your medical doctors says and you take those drugs, I promise you it will be a therapy that will only serve you for a few years. You will eventually reach a point where you will have to quit those drugs because of their toxicity, if they don’t just kill you first. 

CONCLUSION

The methods I propose aren’t just a weaker way of treating these problems. It’s also a much
more sustainable treatment. We are trying to address the core of the problem, which is my
favorite way to treat things, rather than just trying to suppress symptoms.

So that’s sort of our first introduction to autoimmunity. We’re going to be talking in the next
couple talks about the relationship between autoimmunity and diet and the relationship between
toxins and some of the things that can be done about emotional toxicity. We’ll touch on all of
them.





BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 33
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The Art of Acupressure and Healing the Eyes Part Three

On Episode 32 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​​Dr. Miller concludes his three part series on the essential qualities that makes acupressure an important component to the Better Eye Health Program. Make sure to listen to this last part to get the full story of this key modality. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 32


DOWNLOAD​  THE ART OF ACUPRESSURE AND HEALING THE EYES - PART THREE


BEH PODCAST EPISODE 32
THE ART OF ACCUPRESSURE AND HEALING THE EYES – PART 3

Today we’re going to be doing a surprise part 3 to our series on acupuncture. Your questions are a big part of why we’re doing another part in this series. I’m going to give more information about the acupressure that we do as a part of this program and the technique that’s being used. We’re going to talk about the ACU-EYE© points, the acupressure that’s a part of the Better Eye Health Program and the specific technique that you use.

I want to begin by saying whether you’re doing points on the face, area around the eyes, arms, hands, feet or legs, you want to think of acupressure on that set of points as having two stages. Just as an example, we will use the lymph points. Those are the ones that begin in front of the shoulder and trace the line down in front of the shoulder and onto the arm into that groove between the biceps and triceps on the arm. The first step is you walk your finger down that line applying pressure as you walk down along that groove. In this part of the exercise, you’re going to see if there is anywhere along that line, any point, that is tender. You walk down one arm, and then you walk down the other. If there is no point that is tender, you’re done. There’s no more that needs to be done.


Part two happens if you do find a point that is tender. Then you are going to go back to that point and you’re going to simply apply pressure to it. To keep this simple, I’m going to ask that you apply just a steady pressure. In other words, you push in and engage the point. You want the pressure to be firm, but not to the point that it hurts, but it should feel almost a little edgy. In other words, you know from the sensation that you’re engaging the point, but not to the point of it being painful at all. Then, you just simply hold that pressure. You don’t wiggle, massage it, move in a circle, left, right, or any other direction, you just press and engage the point with pressure. Once you’ve got
good pressure on the point, take six to twelve full deep breaths. Make sure they are full slow breaths. Breathe into the point. Imagine whatever tension, whatever pain is there dissipating with every outward breath. It may not all be gone when you’re done, but that’s why you come back on the next day.

You’re going to be coming back to these points every day. The same is true if you’re doing the jaw points, or points around the eye, points on the hands or points on the feet. First, you walk through all the points looking for somewhere tender, and if you do find somewhere tender, then you treat that point with some more focused pressure on just that tender point.

The technique for the eyes is a little different. You’re sort of sweeping across the points, inside the bony margin of the orbit and on the outside. In other words, over and under the eyebrows. The inner margin of the orbit, then the outer margin of orbit. The orbit is that bony hole that contains your, eye. You could also think of it as your eye socket. Sweep across the inside edge of that, and then the outside edge. I recommend you sweep across the line with your finger tips or a knuckle, but you still do the same two steps.

You do that first step two or three times just to treat all those points in a kind of easy sweeping way. But if there was a point that was particularly tender, and you go, “wow that’s kind of odd right at that one point is a little tender.” Then you should come
back to that point and give it a little more attention with some steady pressure. Sometimes, its right at the corner of the inner margin by the nose, or it could be a little bit out. So that is the procedure, the technique that I recommend for doing the acupressure points.

There are other techniques that people use, but really the thing that you’re trying to do is to stimulate those points and there are many ways to stimulate a point. They are all effective. Stimulating a point by needling it is only one way. Stimulating a point by applying pressure is another, called acupressure. Some people have found that you can stimulate a point with a low-level laser, and that’s effective. You can stimulate a point by applying heat. That’s done in a procedure called moxabustion, where you burn the herb moxa to stimulate the point. This is a little technical but many ways to stimulate a point and all of them are effective.

We’re using acupressure because you can do it without tools, without materials without needles, and you can do it yourself. And even though a single acupressure treatment may not be as strong as the treatment that you would get if you did it with needles, when you’re doing it multiple times a week, over weeks and months, the net effect is the same. I just want to emphasize that both Grace and I had studied acupuncture. I do acupuncture a lot. If I felt like you need needle acupuncture to get the results that I want to see you all get, I would be helping you find a qualified acupuncturist. But I don’t think you need that. You can get all the benefits that come from oriental medicine just doing the acupressure, but acupressure like everything else in this program. The good news is you can do it yourself, the bad news is you have to do it yourself, so these things work, they are very effective, but only if you do them.

The final point, I mentioned this last week and I want to say this again. The points that I find people tend to overlook or not do as regularly are very important and those are the points on the hands and on the feet. We’re going to be sending out a newsletter here soon and one of the things that will be an option on that newsletter will be getting updated versions of the workbook and the DVD we’ve upgraded all the work books or DVDs. If you’ve joined the program recently, that will come automatically, if it has been over six months, you’ll have to buy them. We’re not charging a lot for them, but putting them together and reproducing them costs us quite a bit, so you will be asked to pay for those.

So, if you are interested, I would recommend it, because the specifics of the acupressure are a little clearer in the new video. But all the information is the same in the older version. The only thing better in the new workbook are the pictures, but the points are all the same. It’s not a mandatory thing that you upgrade that, but it might give you a better sense of how to do the hands and the feet if that’s something you struggle with. I would recommend it if that’s something you’re not doing because you don’t quite understand it. Then I think the video would be helpful to you.



BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 32
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The Art of Acupressure and Healing the Eyes Part Two

On Episode 31 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, ​continues the discussion of the role of Acupressure and how it is used in the process of healing the eyes. Grace Halloran, PhD many years ago discovered that acupressure could play a key role in her work reverseing degenrative eye disease. She drew from many fields, and the wisdom of Eastern medicine became a crucial element in her understanding of how these diseases could change for the better. Dr. Miller continues his exploration of this in Part 2. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 31


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BEH PODCAST EPISODE 31
THE ART OF ACCUPRESSURE AND HEALING THE EYES – PART TWO

We did part of 1 of acupressure and acupuncture last time and we are just going to do a little bit more on oriental medicine, especially acupuncture. I’m spending two different talks about acupuncture, because there are many people out there who are promoting acupuncture for the treatment of eye disease. I’ve had numerous people who either come to me after having done some acupuncture or who are seeking out acupuncture now. Just to briefly recap last week’s talk, when it comes to eye disease, we have found that acupressure, what we have you doing in the Better Eye Health Program, brings all of the benefits that you’re going to get from acupuncture or acupressure. I do needle acupuncture, and if I thought that needle acupuncture was the only way to get you what you needed for your eyes to heal, I would find a way for all of you to get needle
acupuncture. But that’s not necessary.

There is a lot you can do with acupressure. Acupressure is not as strong of a stimulation of the points, but it is something you do it by yourself frequently and you can get very powerful results when you do it on a regular basis. That’s why grace and I decided to use acupressure. Some of the acupuncture programs to be honest can be very costly without having much extra benefit. You can go up to one of the acupuncturist who has a residential program. You come and stay in a hotel for a week and they charge you thousands and thousands of dollars and treat you multiple times a day. It’s not to say that people don’t see benefits to that. They do. But then, people often have to
go back multiple times a year. They get some benefit when they go, it falls off, they have to go back. I’ve had people spending tens of thousands of dollars a year for acupuncture. If that is what it was worth, if that was what it took for your eyes to get better, I would say, do it. But it’s not necessary.

I do want to say something about the history of acupuncture in the West. I don’t know if people remember James Reston. Reston was a journalist with the New York Times and he was one of the journalists who travelled with Nixon and Kissinger when they first started traveling to China to reestablish diplomatic relationships with China and Mao Zedong. Reston on this first trip had developed appendicitis and ended up having his appendix removed in China, which frightened him a lot. He didn’t know if they were going to do a good job or not. They did an excellent job. What was interesting is that the anesthesia for that appendectomy was all done with acupuncture. He wrote extensively about that event because he had a place to write about it. He spread awareness of acupuncture through the New York Times, something read all over the world.

That first trip awakened the world to the fact that this very ancient medicine was still very much alive. It interested doctors, because doctors had completely dismissed the idea that acupuncture was of any use at all. But when someone has an open abdominal surgery with only acupuncture as the anesthesia, doctors sat up and took notice. They said, “well maybe there’s something to this.” One of the things that Reston wrote about was that oriental medicine was also used to treat eye disease. This finding was notable because in the early 70s, when this all took place, there was really nothing being done in this country for Macular Degeneration. Grace wasn’t doing anything, no one was doing anything other than some supplements. People were doing some supplements
like zinc and things like that.

There are many supplements or herbs, Chinese herbs, that are used for the eye. But most of them have a parallel in what we’re using. Chinese medicine talks about using foods that are rich in long chain omega 3 fatty acids. Things from algae, snakes and fish. They use Goji berries, which are gu chi zi, that’s the Chinese word. They’re little red berries, and they are becoming popular in this country mainly because they contain a lot of Lutein. The Lutein product that we use in the program is derived from marigolds which is proven better than the Goji berries, so I don’t recommend using the berries as your source of Lutein. But if you needed a source of Lutein and there wasn’t another source around, the Goji berries would work very well.

Another similarity between oriental medicine and our program is a focus on the entire person. If you’re having a problem with your eyes, you want to go and treat the problem at its root and not just the symptoms, and to do that you have to make the person stronger. This approach is true not just for treatment of the eyes, but for everything in oriental medicine. You’re really trying to look at how can we help make themselves complete, because if they’re whole, if everything is working, they will heal themselves. After all, that is what the body is set up to do. This way of thinking and approach that oriental medicine takes to eye disease and everything else is worthwhile and effective. I’m going to change gears, a little bit, and go back to a topic I mentioned last week. The
question concerned when it is a good idea to see an acupuncturist. The only benefit of acupuncture is not just from the needles. Acupuncturists tend to be another kind of practitioner, someone who might have an idea of how to treat a problem without giving you drugs, or without starting with drugs. They might avoid starting with a toxic or dangerous therapy, and instead try something that might be safer, easier, cheaper and that has a good chance of working. Seeing an acupuncturist if you have other medical problems that might be treated by acupuncture is a good choice.

I’ll go into some of the areas where acupuncture can be particularly effective, because I haven’t talked about that very much. The kinds of things that acupuncture and Oriental medicine are very good for are things like allergies, digestive, nausea and neurological problems. Between the herbs and acupuncture techniques, oriental medicine is very effective for digestive diseases. It can help with everything from reflux and indigestion to constipation and diarrhea and mal-absorption. Oriental medicine is also very effective for nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy or chemotherapy. It is also great at keeping the person strong during chemotherapy, and is useful for all kinds of neurological problems. That includes everything from the pain associated with shingles, to trigeminal neuralgia, the kinds of things that happen around the face, muscle spasms
and many other things like that.

Interestingly, some of the health plans around here that offer acupuncture as a benefit, don’t let the acupuncture be used for what it is effective at treating. For example, Keizer, which is a big health plan in the Bay Area and in California, has acupuncturists on staff, but the only thing that they are allowed to treat are things like back pain and neck pain. In any medicine, back pain and neck pain, are difficult to treat. No one has ever shown that acupuncture is the best way to treat back pain or neck pain. It can be of help, but there is this connection that western medicine makes between the treatment of pain and the value of acupuncture, which is rather interesting and a bit erroneous and misplaced. A lot of that comes from going back to the beginning of what I was talking about from that experience that Reston, the journalist, had. That fascination that doctors had with acupressure anesthesia. The idea that you could produce a level of anesthesia sufficient to allow open heart surgery or abdominal surgery caught the attention of doctors. They felt that acupuncture somehow blocked pain, so they were most interested in using acupuncture to treat things that involved pain. The truth is, acupuncture will treat pain, but it isn’t necessarily the best way to use it. Pain is hardly the thing that acupuncture is best at. Again, it can be done, but like I say, there is much better data on its value in treating problems with digestion or other neurological problems other than pain. So, those are the kinds of things for which acupuncture
should be used.

We’re going to be starting something next year. Hopefully we’ll get it going this year. I have a whole slew of alternative medical books. I have virtual versions of some of them, and we’re going to start putting those up as a virtual library. I have numerous books on acupressure and once we get those up, you will be able to go and figure out other points that might be helpful for you now that you have some experience doing acupressure. You’ll figure out other points you might use for other problems that you have.​




BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 31
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