Doc Barb’s Health Corner July – August 2017

The healthy human has a functional immune system shares the planet with a multitude of organisms. Some of the organisms are dangerous, others are harmless and others are helpful. In the past decade, researchers have begun to seriously look at the details of the human intestinal function.   Pathology has used the microscope to examine the tissues of the intestines, which contain centers that produce immune cells.  Peyers patches (immune centers) show the interconnection between the multicultural bacteria in the intestinal gut. 

The immune centers are connected to the appendix through the lymph system and located at the junction of the ilium and the colon.  The Peyers patch centers are 80 percent of the immune system.  The other 20 percent of the immune system is found in the spleen, thymus, and the skin.  Through the Peyers Patch, “The body then prepares a full body-wide immune response to the pathogen before it is able to spread beyond the intestines.” (Prof. Taylor)

In the past 7 years, new research shows the brain has a direct connection to the intestines via the tenth cranial nerve (Vagus Nerve). This provides the explanation for how and why the thought of the mind influences the gut. Greater than 80 percent of the immune system is the small intestines, colon and spleen and clearly affects how one thinks and feels. The mind is a function of the brain and technically, the brain is part of the body. The body and mind are connected and affect each other. This fact has often been under appreciated in medicine mainly because the exact mechanism of how this works has not been known.

Taking care of the body, mind, and brain is important for every veteran to invest in eating well, meditation, and introspection. This is even more important for the veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because there is disharmony. Meditation and introspection helps to achieve balance with harmony of the mind and body.

For further information, I have previously written on achieving harmony of the mind and body with physiological pathways (refer to website articles). Email questions for Doc Barb to Susan

Tim Taylor, Anatomy and Physiology Instructor

**Barbara J. Houk, MD, Psychiatrist (board eligible), Fellow American Psychotherapy Association.  Dr. Houk has retired from clinical practice of Psychiatry. Her chief residency was in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (today known as Psychosomatic Illness Psychiatry) and retains the medical approach to the whole body through integrated medicine.

Doc Barb’s Health Corner May – June 2017

Healing with the Mind-Body Connection

The Psychosocial Aspects of Health

The majority of young adults in the United States, at 20 years old, enjoy nearly perfect health; this would be true for men and women.  As life is experienced, young adults begin to accept responsibility for life with responsibilities and activities. For the veteran, a decision to join the Armed Forces with promises to the will of orders and pledging allegiance to the US Constitution.  Many veterans lost wellbeing, health, fitness, and became immune compromised.  Outlook, on life, can make illness better or worse.    

Well-meaning health professionals realize the mind is a function of the brain, which affects the structure of the body and including the brain. The type of thoughts one thinks does matter. Positive thoughts will help heal and maintain health, whereas negative thoughts harm tissue and worsen health. Psychology literature from 70 years ago, include observational reports regarding attitudes on health. Dr. Daniel Amen, Psychiatrist, uses brain scanning with continuing research on automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). He reports on the power of ANTs to cause illnesses in his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He and other researchers show tangible evidence of thoughts affecting the body.

An unexpected positive analysis was through a work hardening study with an upper body exercise. The people were split into teams with one group given exercises and a coach, one group given exercises and no coach, and the control group were told about the exercises but not required to complete. The in depth study included before and after muscle biopsies and MRI scans of injured arm muscles. The goal was for change in physical abilities and return to work. The surprise was the instructed group had the lowest self-esteem participants who showed the greatest improvement.  The coached group became strong believers of the program with the most progress. The MRI showed increases in muscle densities and biopsies having healthier muscle tissues. The researchers commented the strong believers were not working harder as each team had the same amount of time with similar efforts. The positive thoughts and exercises increased the healthier muscle tissues. How this exactly happens is still not known (to the best of my knowledge).

The main point: how the veteran thinks matters. Humans are not machines as there are mind/body interactions. So, an illness can be made worse by negative thoughts or better by positive thoughts.

The human being is more than a biological machine. Whether an individual is religious or an atheist, the individual human is spiritual in the broadest sense. All humans no matter what culture ask common questions. For example: Humanity wants to know from where did the human species originate? What is the purpose in living life? Is there a life after this life? What is justice? What does fair mean? What is the make up of a proper society?

These questions begin early in the individual’s life and the answers are the subject of philosophy/religion. It is because humanity has the capacity to think and ponder that individuals have the ability to make choices (freewill). This is called the human condition.

For the veteran, war causes pain and sorrow while learning to adapt and ease pain.  Humans do not come into this world knowing about the universe or knowing instinct (hardwired programs). Research on infants over the past 70 years, indicates the majority of human instinct is desire and mechanisms to learn. Over the past 11,000 years, cultures agree a single human does not have all knowledge.  Consequently, the lack of knowledge is often the root of mistakes. However, certain situations are caused by injustices. There are people who choose retribution without consequence. Behavior is as old as humanity as well as recorded history. Psychologically it is far easier to make peace if pain was caused by a mistake. Nonetheless, managing injustices can be problematic creating a disharmony in the body. Internal body stressors accumulate if the mind, body, and spirit lack harmony and balance, which weaken the immune system, and create a condition whereby microorganisms, can thrive causing illnesses.    

The religious veteran often handles psychological traumas and injustices through prayer and forgiveness. The rational atheist often chooses meditation and introspection to diffuse traumas and injustices. Examining physiologically and psychological methods are similar and eventually achieve harmony and balance. Upon discharge, it would be wise for the Armed Forces to hold courses on this topic prior to discharge. As of this writing, I am unaware of any such courses. 

Common to prayer and meditation is the change in breathing patterns.  Though prayer and or meditation, alone, does change the body’s physiology for the better. The breathing changes the blood flow, which allows for clearer thoughts. Prayer is a form of introspection thereby examining events, thoughts, and feelings. Introspection or “self talk” combines the physiological changes found in prayer/meditation; self-talk is a deeper and clearer examination to the subconscious (a good reason why prayer is effective).

What is the difference between the rational atheist and the religious veteran’s prayer or meditation? The rational atheist does not think s/he is speaking to anyone but the self, whereas the religious person states s/he is speaking to God.

The rational atheist examines the feelings, which leads to the values behind the feelings. Next, the value(s) change and the emotional intensity shall decrease. The veteran (or any human) must acknowledge a past event cannot have a different outcome and have no logical importance. The change in value allows the rational atheist to let go. The religious person will lay unsolved traumas and injustices with God, which allows the religious veteran to let go.  I have worked with veterans who have achieved harmony using physiological and psychological methodologies.  The rational atheist and religious veteran can achieve the internal harmony. Through forgiveness, a function of the mind, body, and spirit the veteran can achieve balance, restore harmony and have a positive outlook on life.


Amen, Daniel. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. 1998. Random House.

Phys Ther. 1997 Aug; 77(8):802-9; discussion 810-1.

By law, I must tell you the article is information only and does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship or a prescription for managing health.

**Barbara J. Houk, MD, Psychiatrist (board eligible), Fellow American Psychotherapy Association.  Dr. Houk has retired from clinical practice of Psychiatry. Her chief residency was in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (today known as Psychosomatic Illness Psychiatry) and retains the medical approach to the whole body through integrated medicine.

Email questions for Doc Barb to Susan

Health Corner March – April 2017

Hello to All Veterans!

My name is Steve Coffman. I served in the USN from 1966 to 1971. After an honorable discharge I went to college and received an electronics degree in 1983 and a B.Sc. in 1986.

I hurt my right knee in the Navy, and it ached for eight years. I know about veteran pain. At the urging of a health food storeowner, I began consuming his capsules. Without drugs or surgery, my knee recovered 100% in five days and never hurt again.

My restoration convinced me alternative medicine was not useless or a fraud. I began studying vitamins and minerals. My 384- page book, Ezekiel’s Medicine was published in 2009. My knowledge was fortified by The Bioelectronic Theory of Life thesis by Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi, by The Cure For all Diseases, by Dr. Hulda R. Clark, and the research of nine other MDs, Ph.Ds and D.Sc.s.

I care unconditionally about sick and suffering people, so in 2012, I started selling my Thundervolt zapper. Zapping, as it’s called, doesn’t hurt. It isn’t shock therapy. It has been done for 100 years, and my Body Tester proves its effectiveness.

A Thundervolt zapper is a low-voltage electronic device used to destroy human pathogens. It can* raise the vitality and stamina of the user. The methodology was invented in 1993 by Dr. Clark, Ph.D., N.D. She created the first zapper procedure to apply her technology to people.

My zapper is quasi-similar to T.E.N.S. units used for pain relief. Using a Thundervolt zapper is a simple process; but it can increase body power and has the ability to kill* human parasites, fungi, molds, viruses, bacteria, toxins, and worms. It usually generates a zest for living. Seniors may become active for hours.

** The owner is a compassionate man who loves helping veterans. Call Steve at 207-660-5200, or visit online at

Doc Barb’s Health Corner January – February 2017


There are two categories of Diabetes in medicine: Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes Mellitus. If one hears, “that person has diabetes,” one usually understands that the person has diabetes mellitus and is not confusing it with the illness of diabetes insipidus because diabetes insipidus incidence in the general population, as per the Mayo Clinic is 3 people in 100 thousand. Hardly anyone knows another person with this illness. The person with diabetes insipidus has excessive thirst and urination. The most frequent cause of this illness is the person does not make anti diuretic hormone (ADH), also known as vasopressin. ADH is made in the supra optic nucleus of the brain, passed on to the hypothalamus and from there is released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. There are several reasons, all involving some sort of brain tissue damage as to why a person can quit releasing this hormone into the bloodstream. For example, one nay quit making this hormone because of a tumor or tiny stroke in the supra optic nucleus. Another example, a tumor could block the pathway to the pituitary gland. The pharmaceutical companies have produced an analog for ADH, vasopressin, and this solved the problems of excessive thirst and urination symptoms but not the underlying cause.

Diabetes mellitus is a problem with the insulin/ glucose /fat storage regulation system. Insulin is a hormone produced in the beta islet cells of the pancreas. Sometimes under special circumstances, the liver can produce some insulin but this is not the major source of production of insulin. What kind of problem within this system depends on which type of diabetes mellitus a person is experiencing? Glucose must be tightly controlled; it is needed as a fuel source by all cells of the body but can be at high levels in the bloodstream, it can damage blood vessels. Pure glucose poured through a vein will dissolve the vein much like hot water poured through a gelatin tube. A damaged blood vessel is why individuals with diabetes mellitus are more likely to have strokes.

Diabetes mellitus breaks down into type I and type II. Type I has been called juvenile diabetes because it affects younger people in greater numbers than adults. It also should be noted that type II diabetes mellitus before 1980 was uncommon in children. Type I diabetes mellitus is caused by a virus that attacks the pancreas. It wipes out the beta islet cells which produce the insulin. Interestingly, it most often does not harm the other pancreatic cells that produce the digestive enzymes. This is not true 100 percent of the time and so the person that is infected with a strain of virus that totally damages the pancreas will have type I diabetes mellitus and enzyme deficiency; without sufficient digestive enzymes, a person will experience gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and heartburn. Some adults do become afflicted with this family of viruses. They do develop type I diabetes mellitus and an afflicted person may develop the enzyme deficiency as well.

Type II diabetes mellitus is the result of developing the metabolic syndrome. The individual continues to make insulin in their pancreas but the fat cell receptors have become resistant to the insulin and do not facilitate storing the excess glucose as fat in the fat cell. How one suspects one has developed the metabolic syndrome is by noticing one is overweight and one’s body shape has gained fat around one’s middle between the rib cage and the hips. If the belly fat is protruding beyond the chest, it would be a good idea to have a blood test called hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) drawn for analysis. If the HbA1c is above 5, it is out of range and it is abnormal indicating diabetes mellitus is beginning. Medical science does not know exactly why the metabolic syndrome makes the fat cells less receptive to glucose storage. The metabolic syndrome also involves imbalances of the cholesterols and increases of their levels. Since glucose is running at high levels and doing damage to the cardiovascular system, some of the cholesterols are being stuck in the blood vessels. This causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). If blood pressure rises, this process increases faster. This also makes it likely the individual will develop conditions for stroke or a heart attack. As a side note, a common bacterium is found in the mouth which normally is controlled by the immune system. This species has an affinity for the heart and if the mouth’s blood vessels do not remain intact, this species will have access to the heart. That species weakens the heart and it becomes more likely to have a heart attack.

The first treatment of diabetes mellitus is to lose weight and to increase exercise. Non-exercise affects the bowel; it will slow the peristaltic movements of the bowel. The bowel works best if the lower body has enough physical movement. Alternative medicine has been leading the way in looking at the gut issues and only recently is the AMA following.

The National Institute of Health finally gave into studying the gut’s environment, the microbiome, 6 years ago. A wealth of information has been learned and it is backing up alternative medicine’s claims regarding yeast, bacteria and parasites must be in balance. Often poor digestion is a cause of weight gain; therefore, dietary changes alone do not change weight.

Digestion relies on more than just digestive enzymes; the gut needs a functioning, balanced microbiome. The organisms of the microbiome finish digestion and produce some vital byproducts the body absorbs. The AMA-FDA complex had previously held the view that all parasites and yeast must die; however, the evidence for a balance in the microbiome is overwhelming. Slowly, the medical establishment is changing; therefore, one’s AMA doctor might recommend adding probiotics to one’s diet. Many physicians are beginning to encourage people to prepare their foods from scratch and not use processed foods.

Mentioned above is since 1980, children have been developing diabetes mellitus. This seems to be in association with the use of corn syrup in foods and soft drinks. Corn syrup is fructose. Whether the human be a child or adult, too much unopposed fructose is poisonous to the body because it throws off metabolism. The liver has a complex system to handle fructose which involves eating the whole fruit. A liver can process about 4 oz. of fruit juice in 24 hours without problems. So, putting fructose into other foods and drink is excessively much and there are consequences such as the liver producing insulin and extra cholesterols (especially the undesirable very low density variety). It is a good guess that the great increase in the use of fructose has contributed to the problem of the people the United States having issues with being overweight including diabetes mellitus. This is another reason to prepare meals with whole foods from scratch.

If dietary/exercise changes do not bring the HbA1c back to 5, then the second line of treatment is added to the diet and exercise. These are medications to encourage the body to produce more insulin to force the fat cells to store the glucose as fats. If this strategy fails, then the person is placed on insulin along with dietary requirements. Exercise is always encouraged.

**Barbara J. Houk, MD, Psychiatrist (board eligible), Fellow American Psychotherapy Association. Dr. Houk has retired from clinical practice of Psychiatry. Her chief residency was in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (today known as Psychosomatic Illness Psychiatry) and retains the medical approach to the whole body through integrated medicine.

Email questions for Doc Barb’s Corner in future newsletters to Susan

Health Corner – Vitamin D

The following information is for educational purposes only.  It is not meant to diagnosis, treat, or cure any illness.  This information does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship.
Human beings can learn many things, but no one human can know everything.  It is through trade and sharing that a civilized human can experience the most out of life.  This is my reason for sharing my knowledge with the readers of this newsletter.  Today’s topic is Vitamin D.
In 1987, as I was on my way to a class in medical school, I heard a report of rising rates of cancer in babies.  I remember questioning what might be the root cause of the increased infant cancer.  Some of my colleagues and I wondered if the sunscreen protection 50 for babies eliminated a benefit of the sun.  Sunlight has always been important to human health and only recently brought into question as a cause for skin cancer.  Sunlight had been identified as producing Vitamin D.  This would be the first time in all of human history that no sunlight was touching a baby’s skin.  I seriously questioned could this be a cause in the rise of infant cancer.
Another Vitamin D related interest is how does Vitamin D help the body store calcium in the bones.  There was a mystery regarding why the draftees in World War I had Rickets (bone deformities caused by not storing calcium, which was related to Vitamin D deficiency).  Why did the backcountry young men have rickets causing bone deformities and lack of calcium storage in the bones?  The examination of their diet was not calcium poor in every case.  They had plenty of sunlight.  The answer to this mystery would have to wait for about 25 years; it would have to wait for Stephanie Seneff ‘s research work in the area of Vitamin D and cholesterol.
Stephanie Seneff holds a PhD in biochemistry and is a MD.  The various studies on Vitamin D revealed there is more than one type of molecule originally classified as Vitamin D.  Researchers have agreed to the names of Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  Dr. Seneff’s work on Vitamin D3 and cholesterols is of interest because she has clarified the roles Vitamin D3.  She discovered two forms, a Vitamin D3-sulfated and a non- sulfated Vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3-sulfated is not a vitamin in the sense of Vitamin C is a vitamin.  The body does not produce Vitamin C and that is why it is a vital amine (renamed by scientists “vitamin” 1912).  Dr. Seneff has determined Vitamin D3-sulfated is produced in the skin when sunlight activates the skin enzymes to convert LDL cholesterol.  This is a water-soluble form of Vitamin D3 and she states it is cancer fighting and heart healthy.  She thinks Vitamin D3-sulfate is a hormone, which is an internally secreted compound that affects receptive organs in the body.  I reiterate, the water-soluble form does not transport calcium; but rather, fights cancer, heart disease, and is helpful with cholesterol.  (Dr. Mercola’s interviewed Dr. Seneff)
My next question was how does the human get the non-sulfated, calcium carrying form of Vitamin D?  From my search, the only source of a Vitamin D3-non-sulfated form is food.  This is why non-sulfated Vitamin D3 is a vital amine.  Humans do not produce this vital amine, which is the same, as they do not produce Vitamin C.
Going back to the question of why did some of the young, men in World War I have Ricketts with plenty of sunlight, enough calcium bearing foods and enough foods with non-sulfated Vitamin D3.  There was a missing piece of research to answer this question.  The missing piece of information, I found, was in the chemistry of grains such as corn, rye, wheat, barley, oats, etc.  Grains have a substance that deactivates the non sulfated Vitamin D3.  Again, Dr. Seneff’s work indicates the sulfated, water soluble form (sunlight derived) of Vitamin D3 is useless in calcium transport and will not help build proper strong bones.  The backcountry draftees had sources of calcium but many did not have a dairy source.
Researchers have discovered adding some form of milk to the diet neutralizes the normal substance found in almost all grains that inhibits the food source of non-sulfated Vitamin D3.  My mystery solved; the body requires both the sunlight Vitamin D3-sulfated and foods containing the non-sulfated Vitamin D3.
Each form of Vitamin D3 has a different job.  Vitamin D3 sulfated or water-soluble form is necessary to fight cancer and promote heart health.  The non-sulfated Vitamin D3 carries calcium and thus promotes healthy bone structure.
For more information on doses and videos, review Dr. Mercola’s websites or talk with your primary care physician. sources include Micromedex® (updated Dec 30th, 2015), Cerner Multum™ (updated Jan 6th, 2016), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated Jan 15th, 2016) and others.© 2000-2016
Dr. Mercola interviewed Dr. Seneff. © Copyright 1997-2016 Dr. Joseph Mercola.
**Barbara J. Houk, MD, Psychiatrist (board eligible), Fellow American Psychotherapy Association.  Dr. Houk has retired from clinical practice of Psychiatry. Her chief residency was in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (today know as Psychosomatic Illness Psychiatry) and retains the medical approach to the whole body interaction and rejects the mind/body dichotomy medical approach so common in all fields of medicine.  She has a strong educational background in science with an undergraduate degree is a B.S. honors Chemistry.  She was one course short of a minor in Biology and one course short of a minor in Communications with a German emphasis.  She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi organization, which stands for high scholarship in academic learning.  She continues to write on subjects related to medicine.
Email questions for Doc Barb’s Corner in future newsletters to Susan