Why the VP Debate is Important: Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Health

By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM

Part 1. Her Medications

The election cycle is (thankfully) galloping towards its final days. With the mainstream media focusing on completely irrelevant issues, such as harassing beauty queens, twitter fights, and mud-slinging television commercials, one of the key issues has quietly slipped away: the health of the two primary candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. With Trump at 70 years of age, and Clinton turning 69 years old on October 26, both are in the decades of life where health problems are likely to arise.

Donald Trump released a summary of his laboratory tests and physical exam on September 13, 2016. The report demonstrated normal results and notably, he takes no daily prescription medications. Trump’s activities speak louder than any possible exam could reveal. From personal experience, I know how exhausting travel and public speaking can be. Criss-crossing time zones and speaking to crowds of thousands day after day requires an enormous amount of energy and stamina. His health seems to be better than the health of many who are decades younger.

But what do we know about Secretary Clinton’s health? Her personal physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, released a summary of Mrs. Clinton’s current health which stated, “all of her recent testing, done within the last month, has been normal.” Notably, Clinton takes several daily prescription medications, including Coumadin (a blood thinner), Armorthyroid (for low thyroid conditions) and Nasonex (for allergies.) The report included that she was up to date on vaccinations, including Prevnar and Pneumovax and that she had recently recovered from “mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia.”

Let’s dig into this a little more closely:

  1. Coumadin: This medicine is prescribed to patients who have experienced a blood clot in an attempt to decrease the risk of forming future clots. Mrs. Clinton was most likely placed on this medicine in 2009, when she developed a deep vein thrombosis in her leg. She has certainly remained on the medicine since the blot clot formed in her brain in 2012. Importantly, Coumadin, whose generic name is warfarin, does not dissolve an existing clot.

Warfarin has been issued a black-box warning, the strictest warning label for a prescription drug. The black-box is placed at the top of the package insert. It is designed to call attention to the serious and potentially life-threatening risks of the medication. This warning has been issued for warfarin because the drug can lead to severe bleeding that can be fatal.

The goal of warfarin therapy is to maintain a balance between preventing clots and causing excessive bleeding. This balance must be monitored closely and the dosage adjusted carefully through a blood test called an INR. Patients taking Coumadin should have their INR monitored every 4 to 12 weeks. People who are 65 and older are at a higher risk for bleeding. Mrs. Clinton is also at an increased risk of serious bleeding into the brain, should she again become dehydrated, faint and strike her head.

  1. Armorthyroid: This thyroid hormone is used to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Having adequate thyroid hormone is important for maintaining normal mental and physical activity.

Armorthyroid is a natural product made from porcine thyroid glands. In 2012, the American College of Clinical Endocrinologists (ACCE) established a new guideline, recommending that Armorthyroid should not be used for the treatment of hypothyroidism. There is a theoretical risk that the (T3) in the medication can increase heart arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, an independent risk factor for strokes. Subsequently, Medicare has removed Armorthyroid from its list of approved drugs for patients 65 years and older.

It’s somewhat surprising that Clinton’s personal physician, who practices at CareMount Medical in Mount Kisco, NY, would prescribe a “natural” thyroid medication. Conventional physicians usually disregard this drug as “unreliable” and insist on prescribing Synthroid or Levothyroxine instead. Her medical report states she is being treated for a “low T3 level.” Most internists would prescribe Cytomel, a routine thyroid medication consisting of only T3, to treat this condition, not Armorthyroid.

  1. Vaccines: The report mentions that she is up to date with vaccinations. Currently, 13 vaccines are approved for routine adult use. Oddly, two vaccines were specifically mentioned: Prevnar and Pneumovax. The date the vaccines were administered is not listed, but both vaccines are given to seniors prevent pneumonia.
  1. Antibiotics: After Clinton’s widely observed syncopal episode on September 11, 2016, she was diagnosed with “non-contagious bacterial pneumonia” and was treated for 10 days with the antibiotic, Levoquin.

This leads to several interesting questions:

  • Prevnar and the Pneumovax vaccines are given to seniors to protect them from pneumonia. Why did she catch a bacterial pneumonia and, since no cultures were taken – or at least no results were released – what type of pneumonia did she experience? Is this a very public admission that these vaccines don’t protect?
  • What is “non-contagious bacterial pneumonia”? I’ve never heard that expression. And, if she was “non-contagious,” why was she treated with antibiotics for 10 days?
  • Why was Levaquin prescribed for her condition? Levaquin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. The FDA has recommended they not be used for uncomplicated infections.

Although this class of antibiotics is promoted as safe and effective, a number of serious side effects from fluoroquinolones can occur. The dangers include: 1) twice the normal risk an aortic aneurysm and/or aortic dissection; 2) development of severe, permanent peripheral neuropathy and 3) spontaneous rupture of the Achilles tendon, which can occur after only one dose. According to the FDA, over 60% of fluoroquinolone-induced tendon injuries have been linked to Levaquin. While no one knows how often these side effects occur, patients over 60 years of age are particularly at risk.

The medication choices used here are perplexing. Is there anything missing? How healthy – or unhealthy – is she? Is someone who has experienced at least two serious blood clots – and one in the brain – capable of the rigors of being the leader of the free world?

Part 2. Conspicuously Missing: Neurology and Ophthalmological Reports

On December15, 2012, the State Department announced that, as a result of the stomach virus, Mrs. Clinton became dehydrated, fainted and striking her head, suffered a concussion. Two weeks later, on December 31, a blood clot, a thrombosis, was discovered behind her right ear. The clot was located in a specific part of the brain’s central vein system called the transverse venous sinus. This vein courses between her brain and her skull.

So yes, by definition, Hillary Clinton has had a stroke. According to many medical references:

“Central venous thrombosis (CVT) is an uncommon and frequently unrecognized type of stroke. CVT affects approximately 5 people per million annually and accounts for 0.5% to 1% of all strokes.

Included among the long list of causes for a CVT are head trauma and dehydration.

At the time of her injury, the State Department did not release where she was when she fell, nor the specifics of the fall. Could she have had a stroke, causing her to fall and sustain a concussion, or did she fall, sustain a concussion and subsequently develop the blood clot in the right transverse sinus vein?

This distinction is important because the type of clot she had is far more likely to be associated with a significant trauma than with a “mild concussion.” It is also important because Secretary Clinton’s father died from a stroke.

And, if she is elected and subsequently dies of a stroke, Tim Kaine will become the 46th President of the United States.

There is little doubt that Clinton’s brain injury was far worse than reported. Even her husband, former president Bill Clinton, reported in 2014 that she had a “terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over it.” As a general rule, it doesn’t take six months to recover from a mild concussion.

According to the text, “Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 93, page 809 (2009):

“Patients who survive the acute phase of the CVT are at risk of a number of complications…Seizures occur in 11% of patients, more so if the patient had seizures during the acute phase…Nearly half of survivors feel depressed or anxious and minor cognitive or language deficits may preclude that they resume their previous level of professional activity.”

An estimated 4-5 million concussions occur annually, making concussion the most common type of brain injury. Brain trauma can change the way your brain functions. According to www.BrainInjuries.org , vision problems are a common sequela in up to 50% of patients with a brain injury.

After the concussion and the CVT, she reportedly developed double vision. The extent of her visual problems should have been treated by a neuro-optometrist and/or a neuro-ophthalmologist, experts who specialize in vision issues associated with traumatic brain injuries. One of these experts most likely prescribed the Fresnel prism glasses Hillary has worn for months, even as recently as September, 2016. Has she been cared for by these experts? Nothing about her neurological medical care was mentioned in either the 2015 or the 2016 medical statements.

And it doesn’t appear her medical problems are improving.

Over the last several weeks, Mrs. Clinton has experienced very unusual movements of her eyes, particularly her left eye. Watch it here. [here] This close-up video, taken during her speech on September 24, 2016, shows her left eye frequently turning in and not working in sync with her right eye. It also appears she has been coached to rotate her head to the right as her left eye turns inward and toward the right, so the abnormality is less noticeable to the untrained eye.

Observing closely, the eye movements seem to demonstrate a sixth cranial nerve palsy, a weakness in the nerve that innervates the lateral rectus muscle. The lateral rectus muscle rotates the eye away from the nose. When the nerve is damaged, the muscle is weak, and the eye crosses inward. Medically called esotropia, this inward rotation causes double vision and is most often treated by specialized, prism glasses. A few of the more common causes of sixth cranial nerve palsy include head trauma, elevated pressure inside the brain and in older persons, a stroke.


Mrs. Clinton was diagnosed with a right-sided CVT in December, 2012. While she had a CT scan of brain and sinuses in March, 2016, this is not the best diagnostic tool of evaluate the veins of the brain or the brainstem. According to a scientific paper written in 2011, “A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,”

“Even in the absence of neurological signs suggesting increased intracranial pressure, all patients with double vision caused by sixth nerve palsy, should be evaluated for the presence of cerebral sinus venous thrombosis.”

Therefore, the question needs to be raised: What is going on with Secretary Clinton’s left-sided, sixth cranial nerve?

Has she developed a recurrent stroke, a left-sided transverse sinus thrombosis, behind her left ear, effecting her left eye and left ear? In January, 2016, a tube was placed in her left ear drum for fluid, an interesting (and unusual) procedure in a 68 year old woman.

Mrs. Clinton has been photographed experiencing both balance issues and visual disturbances. Evidence of eye movement dysfunction and suspected seizures have increased. The Clinton’s have access to the best diagnostics and the best physicians in the world. Why hasn’t a CT scan with contrast, or a CT venography, or an MRI with and without contrast been ordered to assess the status of her brainstem and central venous system?

A recurrence of a central venous thrombosis in the brain is especially high in patients who have a past history of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in their lower limbs, ranging from 0% in the first year, up to 12% at 6.5 years. It seems particularly disturbing to find nothing in her released medical record summary about follow up for her brain injury with a neurologist, neuro-optometrist or neuro-ophthalmologist.

If Mr. Trump would so much as sneeze, every reporter and clinician across the mainstream media would be screaming for “transparency.”

Not so with Secretary Clinton.

Where is the evaluation of her brainstem? Where are the reports by her neurologist or neuro-ophthalmologist?

Part 3: Rumors of Parkinson’s Disease

Many rumors have circulated about the possibility that Secretary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease. Certainly, if her health records released a truthful report from a neurologist, this diagnosis could be confirmed or put to rest.

After watching many hours of YouTube recordings of Clinton’s speeches and presentations, it is my professional opinion that she is does not have Parkinson’s disease. I base this on three very obvious reasons:

  • Secretary Clinton does not have masked facies. Also called hypomimia, masked facies is a reduction in facial expressions that is typically one of the early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Secretary Clinton does not have the characteristic, Parkinsonian “pill rolling tremor.” This is not an intermittent tremor. I’ve never seen her do it – not even once.
  • Secretary Clinton has never shown any signs of the classic Parkisonian gate. She may trip, fall and struggle to stand for long periods, but that is not typical of Parkinson’s disease. It is typical of double vision and post-traumatic brain injury.

After many hours researching articles, videos and references for this report, it is much more likely that Secretary Clinton is suffering from post-concussion syndrome and possibly a recurrence of the blood clots and mini-strokes in her brain. She needs close medical monitoring by brain and vision specialists. The American public deserves a transparent disclosure on the status of her vision and status of her brain health by board certified a neurologist and a neuro-ophthalmologist.

Quite frankly, with all the information that is available – and the many unanswered questions – I’m surprised that neurosurgeon and Trump surrogate, Dr. Ben Carson, has not taken this issue to task.

Knowing more about Mrs. Clinton’s brain health makes the VP debates very important. How much do we really know about Governor Kaine? What would he do – or how would he perform – as president of the United States of America?

Watch the Vice President debate with new eyes – as though you may be seeing our future president posture and perform.

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