Bernard Integrative Cancer Center

6060 Cunard Street, Halifax, NS

Tel: (902) 877-0061

 

The Fix

478 Granville St, Summerside, PE

Tel: (902) 877-0061

Email: Info@DrMeganBernard.com

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Don't live nearby? No problem! Let's talk over the phone or by video

Open Hours:

 

(Halifax)

Tue    10am-4pm

Wed  10am-4pm

Thu    10am-4pm

Fri      10am-4pm

Open Hours:

 

(Summerside)

8:30am-6pm monthly

Disclaimer: The content on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information represents the opinion of Megan Bernard and does not replace professional medical advice. Before beginning any dietary, lifestyle, exercise, or supplemental regimen, consult your medical or naturopathic doctor. In cases of emergencies, visit your nearest hospital or call 911. 

B12, Vitamin D, Mistletoe, & Pain Injections

Vitamin B12

The injection of Vitamin B12 into the muscle of the arm or glut has many benefits. Individuals with low energy and/or blood results showing B12 levels less than 400 ng/mL often see improvements after one to three injections.

In addition to low energy, B12 can also be used in individuals experiencing nerve injuries (often felt as burning or loss of sensation), looking to lose weight, or with low immune function. B12 is also great for supporting individuals with stress, acid reflux or heartburn, and those at risk for cardiovascular problems.

The absorption of vitamin B12 into the bloodstream by injection is approximately 95% as it avoids the digestive system and is more easily delivered to the cells where it is required. B12 taken as a pill often has less than a 10% chance of absorption into the bloodstream and even less if you experience problems with digestion, such as bloating, heartburn, and/or inflammation of the intestines.

People at risk for low B12 levels include those with acid reflux, ulcers, irritable bowel disease, and who do not eat much/any animal products.

When necessary, Dr Bernard can order blood work for you to test your vitamin B12 levels.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is synthesized when the UVB rays of the sun hit our skin and begin a cascade of events within our bodies. The precursor of vitamin D made in the skin is eventually turned into active vitamin D in the kidneys and liver. Without vitamin D, the body can’t absorb calcium and steals it instead from bones. In addition, a lack of vitamin D also leads to abnormal blood levels of phosphorus - an important mineral for building bones. 

In addition to bone health, the role of vitamin D has been intensely researched for cancer prevention, and adequate levels of vitamin D before and during cancer therapy have shown improved outcomes and quality of life. Vitamin D has also been shown to be involved in autoimmune disease and proper immune function.

It is not uncommon in North America to be insufficient (meaning just under the recommended blood levels) in vitamin D. Factors that limit the production or absorption of vitamin D include using sunscreen, dark skin, trouble absorbing dietary fat (such as in irritable bowel disease), cloud cover, pollution, the season, older age, inadequate time in the sun, and inadequate intake of vitamin D-rich foods (salmon, mackerel, tuna, milk, fortified foods). 

To check your levels, Dr Bernard can perform a finger-prick test or blood draw and send your results off to a private lab. You would receive your results within 14 business days. Afterward, a recommended amount of vitamin D would be suggested that would likely include oral and possibly injectable vitamin D. 

Mistletoe Injections

Mistletoe is most often delivered via subcutaneous injection (similar to how insulin is given) using a very small needle. It can also be administered intravenously (IV). With subcutaneous injections, we teach patients how to inject themselves at home, or they can choose to receive the injections at the clinic. The subcutaneous injections typically require three injections a week. If delivered intravenously, mistletoe can be given alone or added to IV vitamin C therapy. Intravenous mistletoe is typically administered one to three times a week for one to two months, depending on the patient’s state of health and his/her reaction to the infusion.

Mistletoe therapy in Germany is considered a mainstream therapy for many cancers, and the safety and efficacy has been well documented with chemotherapy and radiation. Mistletoe has proven to be beneficial in improving the quality of life of those living with cancer and/or undergoing treatment by improving pain, fatigue, appetite, and sleep[3]. It has also demonstrated its ability to improve white blood cell counts[4,5] (sometimes a limiting factor in conventional treatments) and survival rates[6].

References:

[1] J. Tabiasco, F. Pont, J.-J. Fournié, A. Vercellone, Mistletoe viscotoxins increase natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, Eur. J. Biochem. 269 (2002) 2591–2600.

[2] M. Marvibaigi, E. Supriyanto, N. Amini, F.A. Abdul Majid, S.K. Jaganathan, Preclinical and clinical effects of mistletoe against breast cancer, Biomed Res. Int. 2014 (2014) 785479. doi:10.1155/2014/785479.

[3] J. Beuth, B. Schneider, J.M. Schierholz, Impact of complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with standardized mistletoe extract during aftercare: a controlled multicenter comparative epidemiological cohort study, Anticancer Res. 28 (2008) 523–527.

[4] A. Büssing, A. Regnery, K. Schweizer, Effects of Viscum album L. on cyclophosphamide-treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro: sister chromatid exchanges and activation/proliferation marker expression, Cancer Lett. 94 (1995) 199–205.

[5] N.E. Gardin, Immunological response to mistletoe (Viscum album L.) in cancer patients: a four-case series, Phytother. Res. Ptr. 23 (2009) 407–411. doi:10.1002/ptr.2643.

[6] R. Ziegler, R. Grossarth-Maticek, Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis of Survival and Psychosomatic Self-regulation from Published Prospective Controlled Cohort Studies for Long-term Therapy of Breast Cancer Patients with a Mistletoe Preparation (Iscador), Evid.-Based Complement. Altern. Med. Ecam. 7 (2010) 157–166. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen025.

Neuroprolotherapy

Neuroprolotherapy is the injection of a medical-grade sugar solution (such as 5% dextrose) just underneath the skin’s surface to promote the healing of injured nerves. Neuroprolotherapy stops the pain signal and diminishes inflammatory signaling around the nerves. 

 

Other names for neuroprolotherapy include neural therapy, perineural therapy, subcutaneous prolotherapy, or the Lyftogt technique. 

 

This therapy was developed in New Zealand by Dr John Lyftogt who has been using this therapy to treat nerve and musculoskeletal injuries for decades.

What conditions does it treat?

Neuroprolotherapy is most often used for nerve injuries (nerve injuries often result in a burning sensation or numbness), post-surgery pain (especially of the knee and hip - even years after surgery!), headaches, low back pain, disc injuries, and injuries to joints/tendons/ligaments/muscles. It is commonly used for peripheral neuropathy (including chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy) and chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.

Is it painful?

 

Patients may feel a tiny prick as the needle enters the skin, but the needle is very thin and short and treatments are always well tolerated. Dr Bernard doesn’t like getting needles herself, so she always strives for the most comfortable injection session for you possible!

How will I feel afterward?

 

Most patients feel immediate pain relief to some degree after treatment. Sometimes it takes two to three treatments. After the treatment, you should have no trouble continuing your day. 

How often do I need treatment?

 

Treatment frequency depends on the condition; however, most individuals require one to two treatments weekly or every two weeks for approximately six treatments. 

What are the side effects?

 

Local bruising, mild discomfort during injections, and swelling. An allergy to the injection solution is possible, but extremely uncommon and the clinic is equipped with the emergency equipment and training that is necessary.

What are the costs?

 

There is a $55-95 visit fee associated with the treatment (covered by most extended health care insurance plans), in addition to $25 for the cost of injection supplies.