Only for billionaires

DR. DAVEThis column is only for billionaires, which... is all of you. You are rolling in veritable vault-loads of bacteria. You’re a bacterial billionaire. Some of your teenagers are extremely wealthy, as are their hockey bags. In fact, for every single cell in your body you have ten bacteria; on your skin, in your mouth, genital tract, your jockstraps and helmets.

Your colon, you’ll be thrilled to know, is the happy hellish home to most of these billions. But don’t be in a hurry to try and get rid of them courtesy of some primitive cultish practice like voodoo or colon cleansing, the latter which not only does no good whatsoever but may in fact be harmful. (For those gullible colon cleansing’ve been hosed.) Stick to voodoo like my patients do, which may be the reason Dr. Dave bobbleheads are being snapped off the shelves and I have a constant pain in my prostate.
Your bowels are teeming with lovely, yet sensitive, bacteria with names like E.coli and Petunia. However, your bowels also contain a bowlful of nastier, tougher, bacteria with names like Clostridia and Kevin. All of these bowel beauties, good and bad, compete for your pop tarts. Millions of them eagerly waiting in the bowels of your bowels with saliva dripping from their wee bacterial beaks. Sleep well now, Billy.

Normally, the Petunias and those of similar ilk outnumber the nasty fellas significantly, a good thing for keeping your bowel flora and fauna in balance, albeit an uneasy one. The good flora, as mentioned, are a sensitive lot and should they be insulted by say an antibiotic or a foreign invader, they get nervous, can’t eat and often faint. The hardier, evil bugs don’t care and so they take over the pop tart smorgasbord, and in so doing can cause some rather unacceptable symptoms like bloody diarrhea, pain, cramps and death and stuff. 
So in this ongoing battle of the gut it makes sense to send in reinforcements from time to time. Welcome probiotics. Yes, you can deliberately add more of these sweet germy gems to that twisting cauldron of poop. That, in fact, is what a probiotic is. 

The most famous probiotic is, of course, lactobacillus, found in yogurt. When I first learned of the enormous bacterial count in yogurt I was quite viscerally affected, which may explain the reflexive gagging sounds I make when I spot a roving Yoplait in aisle 6 at the Piggly Wiggly. It also explains why I reach for the soothing Snickers bars to make me feel better as no bacteria could ever survive in my Snickers bars thank you very much. But knowing what I do now about how great probiotics can be, I can almost tolerate a yogurt in the same room, as long as the lid is on and it doesn’t look me directly in the eye.

A live probiotic, taken at the same time you might have to go on antibiotics, can restore the strength of the good bacteria, preventing the diarrhea often seen in those on antibiotics. Probiotics can also be useful in actually treating good old fashioned infectious diarrhea and possibly even irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to GI problems, probiotics are also considered in the treatment of vaginal, skin and respiratory infections and might even prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people's guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Probiotics are available as supplements but are also found in foods like fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages. The bacteria may exist in these foods naturally or be added during preparation. Isn’t that a lovely thought? “Bill, add a pinch more salt to that miso and, ummm, do we have any more baby poop left?”

What is important is that not all probiotics are created equal and the correct probiotic, be it bacteria, yeast or Edmonton Oiler, must be chosen for the proper problem or it is a waste of time and bowel, and don’t we all hate bowel waste. If you took the wrong probiotic for a gut problem you might be disappointed to learn that it was the probiotic used for vaginal yeast infections, particularly if your drivers license contains words like Charles or Gordon. So for most of you guys of the male species, it may be better to just inhale deeply ... from a hockey bag.

Learn more and meet Dr. Dave or contact him at

AUGUST 24, 2011

Scottsdale company proves new claim that addiction is ‘a brain disorder; not just bad behavior’

The American Society of Addiction Medicine recently announced that they have changed their definition of addiction to focus on the root cause of the addiction: “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” This moves the traditional definition from one based on behavior and process to one based on brain function
“This, essentially, affirms what our work has shown for the past 10 years,” said Lee Gerdes, founder and CEO of Brain State Technologies®, a company that has developed and makes available “Brainwave Optimization™”, and advanced neuro-technology that measures brain function and provides a non-invasive modality that brings brainwaves into balance and harmony.

“Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, shopping, eating, gambling or sex, an individual’s need for a particular substance is driven by brain function,” explained Gerdes. “Addictions are not a result of bad behavior. They are a craving that comes directly from an imbalanced brain that is seeking the substance or the action to balance itself out.”

In the news report, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) was quoted as saying, "The behavioral problem is a result of brain dysfunction," She explains further that "the pathology in the brain persists for years after you've stopped taking the drug."

Gerdes has developed an advanced neuro-technology called Brainwave Optimization that has been used by nearly 34,000 clients at 150 centers in 16 countries throughout the world.
“At latest count, we’ve worked with more than 2,500 addicts who report that after Brainwave Optimization™, they no longer crave their substance of choice,” said Gerdes. In a study conducted with the Yavapai County Probation Department in May 2005, Brainwave Optimization was used to reduce repeated substance abuse infractions by adult probationers.

According to Billie Groban, chief probation officer at Yavapai County, “the success rate was 100 percent – unheard of with methamphetamine addicts. At the end of the three-month period, all probationers were drug-free based on testimonies and random urinalysis.” 

Gerdes developed the technology after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of an assault in 1994 by four youth, one carrying a baseball bat. He writes about his experience – and also how this relates to imbalanced brainwave patterns of those who wrestle with addictions in his book, Limitless You: The Infinite Possibilities of a Balanced Brain (Namaste Publishing, 2008).

“My hope is that this important announcement from the addictions community will help more people understand the reality behind addictions and point them in the direction of help that gets at the root cause: brain function,” said Gerdes. “We know there are many more people we can help. It isn’t about willpower; it’s about brain power - changing the way the brain functions.”

“How many times have you heard an addict say that they want to stop eating, drugging, shopping or drinking?,” said Gerdes. “Addicts typically don’t want to be held captive by their substance; they fight to stop; but what they are fighting against essentially, is their own brain patterns.”

The NIDA estimates that 23 million Americans need treatment for substance abuse, but only about 2 million get that help.

ASAM's definition of addiction:
Associated Press article:

Brainwave Optimization with RTB™ is not intended to treat, cure, heal or diagnose any disease, mental illness or symptom. Brainwave Optimization with RTB™ is intended to balance and harmonize brainwaves. Individual results vary.