American Prescription Drug Use

“The average number of prescriptions [drugs] per
person, annually, in 1993 was seven.
The average number of prescriptions [drugs] per
person, annually, in 2000 was eleven.
[The average number of prescriptions drugs per
person], annually, in 2004 was twelve.
The total number of annual prescriptions [drugs] in
the United States now stands at about 3 billion.
The cost per year is about $180 billion, headed to an
estimated $414 billion by 2011.
Pretty soon, you are talking real money.”

Generation Rx
How Prescription Drugs Are Altering American Lives,
Minds, and Bodies
Greg Critser
Houghton Mifflin Company
Page 2

American Association of Neurological Surgeons:
High-Dose Omega-3 Oils used to Treat Non-Surgical Neck and
Back Pain

Doctors Guide, April 20, 2005
By Cameron Johnston

“Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh have treated
chronic pain patients with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids – the
ingredient found in many cold-water fish species such as salmon.”

“The researchers say their findings suggest that this could be
the answer to the adverse effects seen with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs), including cyclooxygenase (COX)-2
inhibitors, which have been associated with potentially catastrophic adverse effects.”
Dr. Joseph Maroon, neurosurgeon and specialist in
degenerative spine disease at the University of Pittsburgh reported
the findings April 19th at the 73rd meeting of the American
Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Patients who took high doses of omega-3 oils were impressed
enough with the outcomes that they chose to continue using the
oils and forego the use of NSAIDs.
The 250 study patients suffered from chronic neck or back
pain but were not surgical candidates, and they had been using
daily doses of NSAIDs.
After 75 days of taking high doses of omega-3s, 59% had
stopped taking prescription drugs fro their pain.
“88% said they were pleased enough with the outcomes that
they planned to continue using the fish oils.”
“No significant adverse effects were reported.”

What About Splenda (sucralose)?

Sucralose can cause one to suffer from sluggishness, fatigue, make legs feel like
lead weights, mood swings, severe cramps (female), intense pain, painful bowel
movements, bloating, dizziness, confusion, and more.
Seven (7) out of ten (10) American women consume sucralose daily.
“The artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) is made by binding three chlorine
atoms to a molecule of sugar. The problem: Chlorine reacts with organic material to
create chlorination by-products (CBPs) that can trigger chronic symptoms like fatigue,
headaches and brain fog, as well as reproductive and immune problems.”
“Sucralose is found in nearly 4,000 food, beverage and health-care products,
including diet drinks, ice cream, protein bars, vitamins and toothpaste.” It is also
found in gum, over-the-counter drugs, and salad dressings.
Consumer use of sucralose has grown annually by 10%.
70% of those who consume sucralose (Splenda) will have a sensitivity to it and
develop symptoms.
If one is experiencing symptoms from consuming sucralose (Splenda), the
solution is to stop taking it and to “Flush Your System” as follows:
“Supplementing daily [for 2 months] with 600 mg of the amino acid N-acetyl-lcysteine
(NAC) boosts the body’s production of glutathione, according to a study in
the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This antioxidant
(glutathione) flushed CBPs from the body.” I purchase N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) in the
product Complete Glutathione From Nutri-West: 800-443-3333.
If these symptoms are caused by sucralose (Splenda) sensitivity, elimination from the
diet for a minimum of 2 weeks should start to improve symptoms:
Unexplained Tiredness Brain Fog Nausea Joint Pain
Cramps/Bloating Diarrhea Headaches Dizziness
Mood Swings Depression

This is from FIRST, “A Magazine For Women On The Go”
In an article titled:
“Tired All the Time?”
June 26, 2006, pp 25-26.
A book:
Splenda: Is it Safe or Not?
By Janet Starr Hull, Ph.D., Pickle Press, 2005

Hopayian, K et al. The clinical features of the piriformis syndrome: a systematic review. Euro Spine J 2010; 19:2095-2109.

Piriformis syndrome (PS), originally proposed in 1934, is defined as sciatica caused by compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle, and has been described for over 70 years; yet, it remains controversial. The literature consists mainly of case series and narrative reviews. This review included all studies up to March 2008 and consists of 55 studies.

The most common features of Piriformis Syndrome:

  1. Buttock pain (usually worse than LBP),

  2. External tenderness over the greater sciatic notch,

  3. Aggravation of the pain through sitting,

  4. Augmentation of the pain with maneuvers that increase piriformis muscle tension .

Proposed mechanisms for PS include:

  1. Contracture or spasm of the PM from trauma,

  2. Predisposition to nerve compression by congenital variations of the sciatic nerve or PM, in which the sciatic nerve or its divisions pass through the belly or tendinous portions of a normal muscle or the bellies of a bifid muscle.

  3. Overuse and hypertrophy.

A review of general population surveys of sciatica:

  1. Lifetime prevalence of 12.2–27%,

  2. Annual prevalence 2.2–19.5%

  3. Point prevalence1.6–4.8%.

  4. The proportion due to herniated disc remains uncertain.

  5. In a series of 160 sciatica Pts, only 131 Pts (82%) had herniated disc MRI.

  6. The significant minority of people with sciatica but no spinal cause (whether disc or spinal stenosis) points to the need for research on extraspinal causes of sciatica.

There is no accepted investigation that can act as the reference standard for PS.

There is no reliable method of diagnosis.

Confirmed Muscle-Based Piriformis Syndrome:

  1. 1.Sciatic Pts who responded to local anesthetic and steroid injections into the PM.

  2. 2.Pts who respond to surgical correction: excision of calcified muscle, surgical division of piriformis.

Commentary: This thorough review of the literature points out the current status of the diagnosis of piriformis syndrome as very difficult to confirm. There is no gold standard; there is no objective clinical test to verify the diagnosis as accurate. An important indicator would be the failure to identify on MRI the presence of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis at the level and side of neurologic localizing signs. 18% of sciatic patients failed to demonstrate either a herniated disc or spinal stenosis on MRI indicating that the cause of the complaints may be extraspinal in origin.The four common features consistent with piriformis syndrome clinically suggest the likelihood that a patient's clinical presentation may be due to piriformis syndrome. Additionally, a beneficial response to local anesthetic and steroid injections into the piriformis muscle may help confirm the diagnosis.