Tag Archives: Scripps Research Institute

Alcohol Abuse and Colorectal Cancer

Research Shows Alcohol Abuse Can Cause Colorectal Cancer

colorectal cancerIn the past few articles we looked into the effects of alcohol abuse in relation to initiating some cancers. Alcohol abuse has been linked to different cancers and this may be because of alcohol’s general effects on the body which includes the following;

Alcohol generates reactive oxygen species. These are chemically reactive molecules that contain oxygen which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids through the process known as oxidation.

Alcohol also breaks down ethanol present in alcoholic drinks to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen. This substance is toxic enough to damage both DNA and the genetic materials that make up the genes and this may cause mutation which causes cancer.

Alcohol also impairs the body’s own ability to metabolize and absorb a variety of nutrients that may be associated with a reduction in cancer risk, including vitamin A; nutrients in the vitamin B complex, such as folate; vitamin C; vitamin D; vitamin E; and carotenoids. Absence of these nutrients escalates the risk of cancer. It is also believed to increase the levels of estrogen hormone which is also associated with increased cancer risks.

Alcoholic drinks are also made up of very harmful contents which are mostly introduced during production. These may include nitrosamines, asbestos fibers, phenols, and hydrocarbons which may increase cancer risks.

Colorectal cancer

As the name suggests, colorectal cancer refers to cancers that affect the colon and the rectum. Colon cancer is cancer of the colon, which is at the lower part of the digestive system. On the other hand, rectal cancer is cancer of the rectum which is part of the last inches of the colon. Together these two cancers can be referred to as colorectal cancers. In the colon cancer may begin as small lumps that are non-cancerous clumps of cells known as adenomatous polyps, however these polyps will grow into cancerous cells. At the beginning these polyps will not show any symptom associated with cancer and this may even pose a greater health challenge, therefore it is important to have yourself screened regularly for colorectal cancer. There are several cancers of the colon and rectum but adenocarcinomas are the dominant cancer type constituting up to 95 percent of colorectal cancer but there are other rare types of tumors that are also equally dangerous.

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer

Just like any other disease there are indicators that you may be suffering from colorectal cancers. These signs and symptoms may include;

  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • A change in consistency of passing stool
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

These symptoms though unpleasant may help you to know your status in relation to colorectal cancers and help you seek treatment in good time. However these symptoms may not show at early stages making it hard for colorectal cancer to be detected early. It is therefore advisable to go for screening to help with early treatment. If you notice any symptoms of colon cancer, such as blood in your stool or a persistent change in bowel habits the best you can do is to seek medical help.

Alcohol linked to colorectal cancer

Excessive alcohol consumption has been regarded as a risk factor for developing colorectal adenomas. In a study aimed to investigate the influence of excessive alcohol consumption on the occurrence of colorectal cancer among patients with at least one colonic adenoma done by M Bardou, S Montembault, V Giraud, A Balian, E Borotto, C Houdayer, F Capron, J-C Chaput and S Naveau it was found that In patients with at least one colorectal adenoma, excessive alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of developing high risk adenomas or colorectal cancer. In this study the participants were divided into three groups. All had at least one colorectal adenoma. The first group consisted of 401 heavy drinkers; the second group consisted of 152 patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) while the third group consisted of 108 patients with a family history (FH) of colorectal adenoma or cancer. For this study exclusive criteria were anemia, haematochezia, personal history of colorectal adenoma or cancer, and for groups heavy drinking and IBS a family history of colorectal adenoma and/or cancer.

colorectal cancerThis is not the first study to show this relation between alcohol abuse and colorectal cancer. This relation between alcohol consumption and risk of developing colorectal adenomas has been demonstrated previously by several authors. In a research it was found that the risk of polyps was increased three times for drinkers who did not smoke and 12 times for both drinkers and smokers compared with the risk of total abstainers. Naveau et al found that alcoholism and cirrhosis were two independent risk factors for colorectal adenomatous polyps after successive adjustments for sex, age, smoking, and serum cholesterol levels.

Alcohol addiction is a vice that should be fought by all means that is why we at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are committed to availing help to addicts and offering them a place to call home. We offer NER Treatment and Amino acid therapy that are the most effective approaches to addiction treatment and recovery. You call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) today and begin your journey to victory against addiction.

Alcohol Abuse and Colorectal Cancer



Gabapentin for Alcohol dependence


Gabapentin: New Hope for Alcohol Dependence

GabapentinIn the past treating alcohol and drug addicts has never been easy. Alcohol and other drugs dependence is a vice that has not only affected adversely the lives of the addicts and their dependants but also the community as well. In most cases we think that drug and alcohol dependence only affects the addicts, hell no we are wrong. The cost of these drugs and alcohol might be cheap since alcohol is readily available and can be bought at different quantities and prices. The reality is that the cost of alcohol dependence is too high to the society than it really is to the addicts themselves. Alcoholism has rendered many people jobless since their employers could not put up with their addiction. In this case the addict will not have means to get his daily quantities of alcohol to get high but the craving will be at its peak, the addict will therefore have to find other ways of getting money to buy alcohol even if it means breaking some laws. Being dependent on alcohol has made many people criminals and that is a cost that the society has to pay but unfortunately it is a cost hidden to many people.

The cost of alcohol dependence does not end there. Think of the government sponsored researches that have to be done to find ways of helping the addicts to overcome their nightmare. The cost of putting up rehab centers to cater for alcohol addicts who have become pests to their families, the very people they have a responsibility to provide for. In the past many researches have been done to find out the best medicine that could be of help to those dependent on alcohol. Alcohol dependence has affected the economy of most continents but according to a recent research finding there is a ray of hope to treatment of alcohol dependence.

A recent study that was done at San Diego by Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute declared new hope in the treatment of alcoholism in November 2013, following the results of a new study to treat the disease with a drug that is already on the market. The presence of the drug in the market is already a breakthrough as no more will be spent to establish the medicinal ability of this drug to treat alcoholics and set them free from the chains of alcohol dependence. Unlike in most cases where after a research finding the search for drugs sets in , this finding has an already available drug and that is an advantage to the would be users.

According to the research finding; Gabapentin which is already being used as a prescription drug for people suffering from epilepsy as well as for patients with some pain, including migraines is equally good for fighting alcohol dependence. This new study found the drug appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. This research finding has brought some new hope in the field of alcohol addiction treatment and recovery.

More effective in treating alcohol dependence

“Gabapentin’s effect on drinking outcomes is at least as large or greater than those of existing FDA-approved treatments,” said Barbara J. Mason in a news release from the Scripps Research Institute. Mason is the co-director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, who led the new research. If what Mason said is to be believed then people will begin using Gabapentin in place of the drugs that have been approved by FDA already.

“Plus, it’s the only medication shown to improve sleep and mood in people who are quitting or reducing their drinking, and it’s already widely used in primary care—that’s an appealing combination,” Mason said in the release.

It is a known fact that there has never been a cure for alcoholism, but the doctors have always availed drugs to treat the symptoms that are associated with alcohol withdrawal. Some of the prescription drugs that have been used in treating symptoms related to alcoholism include naltrexone, which the National Institutes of Health describes as a prescription to prevent relapse. Alcoholism can also be treated with 12-step programs and psychotherapy. For the 12-step programs and psychotherapy you will need to find a rehab that will best individualize your treatment to help you out.

According to the TRSI researchers , this drug has more benefits as it helps with cravings, depression and sleeplessness often experienced by alcoholics, other drugs that are already approved by FDA for alcoholism are not as effective as gabapentin.

In three months of treatment, TRSI researchers also said the high-dose group refrained from heavy drinking twice as often as the placebo group, and entirely abstained four times as often as the placebo group. They reported the drug also reduced the number of drinks consumed, and said none of the patients reported serious side effects.

“I think that we can now have confidence in the pharmacological effect of this drug,” Mason said in the news release.

gabapentinAlcoholism affects millions of people. In America alone, More than eight million are thought to suffer from alcoholism. The NIH estimates more than 700,000 of them seek treatment every day and with this discovery they might as well be helped.

The new study was described as a “150-patient randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial” in the news release. With many researchers still trying the best drug to treat alcohol dependence we should be ready for some new stuff but as for now gabapentin may just be the best for you.

We at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are committed to helping all addicts overcome the vice by availing critical information and treatment. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is experienced in integrative medicine for addiction. Visit her at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

Gabapentin: New Hope for Alcohol Dependence



Gabapentin and Alcohol Dependence

Gabapentin Is Useful In Fighting Alcohol Dependence

gabapentinGabapentin also known to many as Neurontin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug. This drug was  originally developed to treat epilepsy however it also works well in relieving is neuropathic pain and is now used for pain relief in most hospitals worldwide. It is recommended as a first line agent for the treatment of neuropathic pain arising from diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia, and central neuropathic pain. This drug may also be prescribed for other off-label uses such as treatment of restless leg syndrome, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and bipolar disorder. There are, however, concerns regarding the quality of the trials conducted and evidence for some such uses, especially in the case of its use as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder. More research needs to be conducted to ascertain the use of this drug as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder.



Gabapentin Versus Chlordiazepoxide for outpatient alcohol

Benzodiazepines are used to treat alcohol withdrawal (AW) but they are known to cause cognitive impairment, sedation, and ataxia, and interact with alcohol. Nonbenzodiazepine anticonvulsants are promising and possibly safer alternatives for the treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal.

There several studies that have been conducted on this area especially comparing gabapentin and Chlordiazepoxide. In one of these studies the objective was to find out which of these two medications was safe and effective rather the objective was to compare the safety and effectiveness of these two medications. In this study the patients were divided into two groups. The first group was given gabapentin while the other group was given chlordiazepoxide. The subjects were then monitored after 7 days alcohol abstinence, withdrawal severity scores, adverse events including ataxia, sedation, cognitive function and alcohol craving. The results of this study however were never published. To others it may seem useless speaking about a study whose findings was not even published but the very existent of the research speaks volumes. For a fact it shows that chlordiazepoxide that had been used in the past in dealing with patients of alcohol withdrawal had some inefficiencies or had some serious side effects that needed to be corrected therefore a better medication was indeed needed to replace it. However, this is the authors own opinion lets proceed to other research studies that had been done on this subject.

There is also another study whose objective was to compare follow-up measures of Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS), ataxia rating, and Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol revised (CIWA-Ar) symptoms between alcohol-dependent individuals randomized to treatment with gabapentin or chlordiazepoxide. In this study it was found that in ambulatory veterans with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, gabapentin treatment resulted in significantly greater reduction in sedation (ESS) and a trend to reduced alcohol craving (PACS) by the end of treatment compared to chlordiazepoxide treatment. Although limited by the small sample size, the suggestion of reduction in sleepiness and less craving warrants replication of the study with a larger sample.

Gabapentin with Naltrexone for the treatment of Alcohol Dependence

In the fight to overcome alcohol dependence various strategies are used. In some cases a single drug maybe used successfully in fighting alcohol while in other cases two or more drugs may be combined for the same course to help fighting alcohol dependence more effectively. Gabapentin can be used singly to fight alcohol dependence but it can also be combined with naltrexone for more effective action against alcohol dependence.

There are some research studies that have been done on this subject and findings published. In a July 11, 2011 Raymond F. Anton, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, and colleagues reported their findings in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The report indicated that the addition of gabapentin to naltrexone improved drinking outcomes compared with naltrexone alone in heavy drinkers during the first 6 weeks after they stopped drinking, but when the gabapentin was stopped the effects became the same in both groups, so this shows that gabapentin was indeed responsible for the positive effects.

“From work in mice and rats we know that the underlying biology of alcohol dependence, particularly alcohol withdrawal, is mediated by two neurotransmitters — GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid] and glutamate. Alcohol use causes these neurotransmitters to be abnormal and, particularly during alcohol withdrawal, to cause significant symptoms,” Dr. Anton told Medscape Medical News.

“We knew that the drug gabapentin works through these systems to normalize the balance of the glutamate and GABA systems in the opposite direction to what alcohol does, and we had done previous studies with gabapentin in mice and in humans showing that it reduced the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. That led to our hypothesis that using gabapentin, particularly during the first 6 weeks of attempts at abstinence, might improve the efficacy of naltrexone,” he explained.

gabapentineThis study used randomly selected 150 alcohol dependent individuals who were put on a 16-week course of naltrexone, 50 mg/d alone; naltrexone, 50 mg/d, plus gabapentin up to 1200 mg/d for the first 6 weeks; or to double placebo. They also received medical management. Most of these participants were in their mid-forties. They were dependent on alcohol and drank 12-13 alcoholic drinks per day before the study entry. By week 6, about 50% of the individuals randomly assigned to placebo or naltrexone alone had a heavy drinking day, compared with about 35% of individuals who got naltrexone plus gabapentin. But by week 16 of the study, there were no differences between the groups. This show that gabapentin works better when combined with naltrexone than when naltrexone is used alone.

Dependence on alcohol and drugs is vice that has crippled societies and that is why here at AWAREmed we are dedicated to finding the best solutions to addiction and dependence on substances. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is always in the mood of helping any patient to be addiction free. Do not hesitate to call on her for help in managing any sort of chronic pain as well as other diseases.

Gabapentin Is Useful In Fighting Alcohol Dependence