Print Media
Print Publications
Doctor DeMarco Recommended Products
Lecture Slides
View Large Original
Exploring Medicine's Better Nature, Healing With An Open Mind! And Common Sense

By Janice Mawhinney, Life Writer, The Toronto Star

West Kootenay Weeender Profile: Dr. Carolyn DeMarco Multimedia Demo in Real Player Format Be Your Own Doc

Physician Carolyn DeMarco began to research aromatherapy to write an article discrediting it.

She ended up carrying a bottle of lavender oil around with her to sniff when she needs calming.

"At first I thought it was really flaky, but then I found a huge body of solid scientific research on the therapeutic potential of pure, high-quality oils," she says.

"I use them myself now, and I recommend them to patients. Clary sage is a good hormonal balancer."

DeMarco, 52, who used to practice medicine in Toronto, now lives and works in rural B.C. where she tends an organic vegetable and herb garden on 24 acres on the Slocan River, at the edge of the Rockies.

She continues a part-time medical practice, but spends most of her professional energies lecturing and writing. For four years she was one of four doctors writing medical columns for The Star.

Her long-time interest in researching alternative health practices and women's health issues helped her find her own favourite corner of medicine where her outspoken manner and open mind have given her a name as a doctor with an unusual approach.

DeMarco says as she travels around North America lecturing, she always listens carefully to what people want to know about in the question periods.

"The same questions recur everywhere as I tour around," she observes. "People want to know if there are natural remedies for arthritis, and whether there's a useful alternative to hormone replacement therapy. They ask what vitamins they need to take every day, or whether they need supplements at all."

Here are her comments on those three common questions:

Arthritis: DeMarco recommends a natural compound called glucosamine sulphate for osteoarthritis. She also suggests cod liver oil, a sulphur-based supplement called MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), niacinamide, buffered vitamin C, and bromelain, which is a product made from the pineapple plant.

For people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, she recommends fish oil supplements and a recently released product called Sterinol (TM), which is made from plant fats. She also suggests that people with arthritis might want to try a supplement called "cat's claw" (uncaria tomentosa).

Some people might also respond to magnetic therapy, she suggests, or aromatherapy using high-quality oils of clove, cinnamon and thyme. Those with arthritis might also find help from practitioners of homeopathy, Trager therapy or Feldenkreis therapy, she says.

Hormone replacement alternatives: Black cohosh extract is effective in countering hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, DeMarco says. In her book, she quotes herbalist Susun Wood as recommending cycles of Chinese herbs, dong quad for four weeks then ginseng for two weeks, repeating me pattern for two years or as necessary.

Supplements: You don't need supplements if you live a stress-free life in the country, eat only organic foods grown in mineral-enriched soil, drink pure water and feel an abundance of vitality and energy, says DeMarco. Otherwise, seriously consider taking the basic minimum.

By this, she means a daily high-quality multivitamin and mineral combined, antioxidant vitamins (C, E and betacarotene) and a supergreen drink. Women over 35 also need calcium magnesium supplements at bedtime, she says.

These and other common health issues are covered in her recently released book, Doctor DeMarco Answers Your Questions, published by Well Women Press.

The contents of this book and a previous book on women's health are available through the winter at her Web site, www.demarcomd.com and are also available on CD-ROM.

DeMarco says as a general practitioner, she knows what a tough profession that can be these days.

"What with the cuts in health care budgets and with patients getting more demanding and more knowledgeable about alternative medicine, GPs are being pressed from every side," she says. "When I was still in a fulltime practice I realized that the need is a bottomless pit. Lecturing and writing seemed a way to reach a larger number of people."

In her book, she hopes to help clarify some of the questions she has heard repeatedly from people confused about combining alternatives and conventional medicine to the best effect.

"It's a jungle out there in terms of medical and alternative information," she says. "It's very hard for people to evaluate all the claims and products. I want to help people sort out some of the confusion."

One thing DeMarco says she would like more people to know about is the recent research on an amino acid called homocysteine. An elevated homocysteine level is proving to be an accurate predictor of heart disease and stroke risk, she says.

Lowering the homocysteine level isn't difficult, she advises It can be done by taking supplements of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid, and eating a high-fibre diet with lots of fruits and vegetables prepared by steaming or baking.

DeMarco says she has offended the food industry by writing and speaking about the use of genetically engineered foods. She wants to see requirements of clear labeling on foods that have been genetically altered so indi viduals can make their own choices.

"The results of manipulating genetic material are unpredictable," she says. "Our food supply is being threatened by genetic experiments never before performed in human history."

Possible side effects, she warns, include new toxins and allergens in food; unnatural gene transfers between species causing the spread of dangerous diseases across species barriers; increased use of pesticide combinations; and unknown long-term effects.

DeMarco recommends that people inform themselves about genetically engineered food issues to be able to make educated personal choices.

Some of her most important bits of health advice don't involve complex political issues or alternative therapies. They involve tackling the "not enough time" syndrome.

"One of the worst health habits is not even taking 30 minutes a day of uninterrupted time for yourself," she says.

"Women especially deny themselves even this small amount of time.

"I don't mean time to catch up on household chores or prepare an assignment for work. I mean time to breathe, meditate, daydream, read, take a hot bath or go for a walk."

This requires a conscious shift, DeMarco says, but it results in a feeling of making time stretch out and the ability to enjoy more of whatever time is available.

West Kootenay Weeender Profile: Dr. Carolyn DeMarco Multimedia Demo in Real Player Format Be Your Own Doc

| Home | Press Clippings | Print Publications | Book and CD-ROM