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Steven Y Park, MD  
Male, 53
New York, NY

Specialties: Sleep-breathing disorders

Interests: Running, Baking, origami
Private Practice
New York, NY
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CRP, Trees and Forests

Nov 11, 2008 - 4 comments










A study published in the Oct. 30 edition of the the New England Journal of Medicine reported that CRP, a marker of inflammation and heart disease, does not cause heart disease. Rather, it’s just an innocent bystander (surprise!). The same can be said for almost every medication out there that targets specific biochemical markers, such as for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression. Researchers are so caught up linking biochemical markers for various disorders, that somehow, the words "linking" or "associated with" slowly morphs into "causes." So then the search goes on to lower or eradicate this particular marker, thinking that this will somehow get rid of the disease.

Imagine if you were allergic to dust and the dust particle sets off an allergic reaction in your nose that turns into an inflammatory cascade, almost like a tree trunk that branches into hundred or thousands of smaller branches and so forth. If one biochemical process is the equivalent of one particular branch, of course you’ll see the same branch with the same tree trunk. But cutting off this particular branch, although it may make you feel better, won’t get rid of the tree. The same analogy holds for most of modern medicine, including allergies. Shutting down histamine production may help your allergies feel better, but you have to keep using the medication to stay that way. You’re also not addressing the other hundreds or thousands of other known and unknown inflammatory markers that wreak havoc in other ways.

I predict there will be a proliferation of other biochemical markers that are found to be linked or associated with a medical condition, with researchers and drug companies jumping on the bandwagon to block this chemical marker, only to find later that it doesn’t work to truly get to the root of the problem in the long term.

Do you have other examples of not seeing the forest from the trees?

Steven Y. Park, M.D., author of Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired. Endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Mark Liponis, and Mary Shomon.


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by Shanna707, Nov 14, 2008
another example could be that obesity has been linked to certain breathing problems (asthma, bronchitis, copd. etc.), but doe the obesity actually "cause" the breathing problem??

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by Jaybay, Nov 15, 2008
I couldn't speak to biochemical processes, but a similar mindset exists with the proliferation of colon cleanse products.  "If you take our product and give yourself continuous diarrhea, you'll lose weight, never get sick and never die!"  The credulous public falls for these scams the same way researchers do.  They want so badly to believe there is some magic pill that will let us live forever without suffering the symptoms of old age and death, that they are willing to believe anything.  The conclusions are accepted before the hypothesis is even written.

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by Steven Y Park, MDBlank, Nov 18, 2008

In my opinion, the answer to your question is yes. Ultimately, it's a vicious cycle. Obesity narrows the upper airways, which causes more obstruction. Obstruction cause more vacuum forces that vacuum up stomach juices into the throat,  which can than go into the lungs or the nose, sinuses and ears. This can cause more inflammation of the upper airways, which cause more obstruction. Furthermore, poor sleep aggravates weight gain. Weight gain narrows the upper airways...

Avatar universal
by cowmandale, Dec 23, 2008
by Dale Adams    dale_sue_adams***@****

i have had trouble with (cluster headaches) for about 30 years.They started shortly after I injured my lower back. I have come to believe they are a result of the back injury. After seeing many Doctors with no satisfactory results, I came up with several home remedies : push ups jogging  hot showers and ice in my nose. After two cubes of ice in my nose. I could hear a spewing noise from my sinus and the headache would be gone . About ten years  ago I started using cold packs for my back and this would sometime trigger a cluster headache. I now use moist heat on my lower back, then the cold pack and alternate back and forth. I have been able to prevent most of the (cluster headaches) .if I pay close attention to any stiffness  or back pain and start the moist heat and cold packs right away. I would like to hear from anyone who has had the same experiences or have used my remedies. Please list the subject as sinus inflammation.

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