Category: Uncategorized

April 13, 2021 by Dr. Bridget Williams 0 Comments

Ohioans With Epilepsy Discover Positive Impact of Cannabis

Ohioans With Epilepsy Discover Positive Impact of Cannabis 

Epilepsy is one of the 22 qualifying conditions for which patients in Ohio can now consider medical marijuana as part of their treatment plan. When surveying Ohio patients with epilepsy, several confirm they are indeed finding improved relief with cannabis over their previously prescribed pharmaceuticals.

About Epilepsy 

Epilepsy affects more than 50 million people worldwide. One of the most common neurological disorders, epilepsy is defined by brief surges of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, also known as seizures, which can result in unintentional changes in behavior, movement, muscle tone and states of awareness. 

Although some patients with epilepsy are able to notice patterns and therefore can recognize which triggers to avoid, seizures are not predictable. Since they can happen anywhere at any time, these patients might also develop physical injuries such as bruises, cuts, burns, broken bones, and head trauma during a seizure. Additionally, anxiety and depression can develop due 

to the uncertainty of when the next one will occur and the lifestyle changes that accompany this lack of predictability. 

Up to 40 percent of people with epilepsy do not respond to traditional medication regimens. Therefore, new ways to treat epilepsy are desperately needed. This is more likely when the person with epilepsy has additional needs, such as autism and intellectual disability. 

Even those who have had success with pharmaceuticals express concern about the long-term effects of chronic anti-epilepsy drug use. Most medications meant to control seizures can cause drowsiness or dizziness, especially at the beginning of therapy. These medicines can also induce suicidal thoughts or actions, and/or bring on or worsen depression

What Ohio Patients Are Saying About Cannabis for Epilepsy 

Bill M., a Columbus patient with epilepsy, has found that cannabis manages his pain better than his prescriptions did: “My seizures are idiopathic and also fairly controlled with most common meds. I just didn’t like the meds I was given. (Dilantin and Lyrica.)” 

Bill explained that he could go years between his seizures, but he had several from 1999 to 2016. “With doctors not knowing a cause, I finally figured I have never had one when I was under 230 lbs, so I’ve mainly kept my weight below 215 for years. Finally when medical cannabis became legal I got it. I would add some higher CBD strains to the mix, but they weren’t as satisfying for pain relief. So I would do one high CBD flower strain a week until some of the concentrate cartridges became available. They come in higher CBD and THC mixtures, so while I prefer flower, I use these just a few times a week and I’m seizure free for 5 years now.

Another Ohio patient, Kelly M., said she was able to discontinue the use of her epilepsy prescription medications because medical marijuana helps her manage her epilepsy better than ANY of the prescription drugs she’s been on for over a decade. Like many 

patients, she hopes that with federal legalization on the horizon, insurance companies might eventually cover her medical marijuana for her epilepsy. 

“I think insurance should be paying for all of it, ” Kelly said. “Since starting medical marijuana, I also eliminated my thyroid meds, Xanax, and blood pressure meds because all those health issues went away with the use of this plant for me. Meanwhile my insurance company saves thousands each month because I’m not in the hospital anymore and I don’t need two thousand dollars of prescriptions anymore. I would think for them the cost of me on cannabis would be a lot less.” 

We do Cannabis Differently! 

Our goal at Green Harvest Health is to help our patients reclaim their wellness. Not all epilepsy conditions are responsive to medical cannabis. However, even if medical cannabis “only helps” with the physical and mental discomfort of this disorder and doesn’t contribute to managing the occurrence of actual seizures, this still can be incredibly beneficial to the patient and their loved ones. 

There is undeniable evidence to suggest that cannabinoids, especially CBD, can reduce the number of seizures. In fact, the FDA felt there was enough evidence to approve Epidiolex, an oral CBD solution, for the treatment of two types of epilepsy in 2018 and the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has allowed it as one of only 22 qualifying conditions. You can read more on the Epilepsy Foundation’s website

Want to learn more about treating epilepsy with cannabis? If you’re curious about discussing cannabis, including cbd, as part of your or a loved one’s treatment plan, schedule an appointment with Green Harvest Health today.

March 15, 2021 by Dr. Bridget Williams 0 Comments

Are You Sleeping?

 

I believe “Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping)” was the first song that I learned on the recorder in the 3rd grade.  I was so excited to play the little plastic instrument! I loved making noise and turning it into notes and music! “Are You Sleeping?” is a nursery rhyme, but these words plague 50-70 million US adults which identify with having a sleep disorder.  Insomnia or inability to sleep is the most common sleep disorder. 30% of adults report short term issues and 10% report chronic insomnia.

I approach all my patients with these same words, “Are You Sleeping?”, My philosophy is if you are sleeping well then everything gets a little better.  Counter to that, if you are not sleeping it can have a significant impact on your health. It can cause memory issues, lack of alertness, car accidents and relationship stress as well. In the long term, a lack of quality sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, impaired immunity and possible heart attacks. Though we get more or less sleep at different stages of our lives, a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night is recommended.

Chronic sleep deprivation can even affect your appearance as well. Missing out on sleep can lead to premature wrinkling and dark circles under the eyes. Research has also shown a link between lack of sleep and an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. Cortisol can break down collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD may help with sleep. CBD is a non-euphoric causing active compound in cannabis and hemp plants. It interacts with the Endocannabinoid System which helps the body maintain balance and stability. A 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal looked at patients with anxiety and experiencing poor sleep. Each was given a 25mg CBD capsule daily. In the first month, 66.7% of the subjects reported better sleep.  Look for full spectrum CBD products.  The synergistic effects of CBD with the other active compounds called cannabinoids can bring added benefits and higher quality of sleep. CBD has also been found to help regulate cortisol levels, decreasing our stress hormone which can support but at high levels can also cause havoc on the body as well. 

Make sleep a prioirty in an effort to reclaim your wellness. Talk to your cannabinoid doctor about adding CBD to your regimen. National Sleep Awareness Week is March 14-20, 2021. It is a weeklong celebration of sleep health.  To learn more go to: https://www.thensf.org/sleep-awareness-week/

February 15, 2021 by Dr. Bridget Williams 0 Comments

Don’t Delay Preventative Care

 

February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month. It is a big reminder to make sure you are getting your children (and yourself) to your regular dental appointments for proper dental hygiene and care. As soon as we think we may be coming out of the restrictions and difficulties of COVD-19 we enter a new phase of new strains, vaccine limitations or abrupt outbreaks. COVID-19 delayed preventative care and maintenance appointments for many. Although understandable, this has had a great effect on our health. Millions of people have been prevented from undergoing routine screenings, such as mammography, colonoscopies, and lung imaging. Data from an electronic medical records vendor Epic, found that appointments for breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings fell by 86% to 94% in March 2020 compared with rates in the previous 3 years.

Dental care is the most common chronic childhood disease and continues into adulthood. Among US adults, 2011–2014 national data indicate that 32.7% had untreated dental caries. Populations vulnerable to COVID-19, including those in low socioeconomic groups, minority groups, older adults, low-literacy individuals, those in rural areas, and the uninsured are also at increased risk for oral disease and associated systemic health problems. 

We certainly are in unpredictable times, but we have to consider what we are doing productively with the time we have. I have many patients that have put their lives on hold waiting for this pandemic to be over.  They have become more isolated than needed because they refuse to use online connection apps like Zoom, they have been laid off and refuse to seek other work because they refuse to wear a mask and have gained considerable weight due to lack of activity.  They refused to continue life under “new rules” and that also means avoiding in person doctors’ appointments.  

COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on all of us. Whether grieving the illness and deaths of loved ones or grieving the loss of our previous lives. Let us be mindful to not let the health of ourselves and our children suffer due to preventable illnesses. To learn more about Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month and their 2021 Campaign, ”Water, Nature’s Drink!” please go to: ADA.org/CDHAM