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June 10,2016

Cancer and Nutrition – Part 1

With the side effects related to cancer treatments, why not try to enhance our body’s ability to “fight”? The use of nutritional based treatment is NOT to be misunderstood as a standalone treatment, but rather, as an adjunct treatment alongside convention cancer management, varying by the type of cancer. With that said, what are some dietary approaches and nutrients that can help the cancer patient?

Keep in mind that omitting the environmental factors, poor food choices, and toxins that are “avoidable” is of utmost importance when managing all forms of cancer treatment From a dietary standpoint, the Paleo diet or “caveman diet” is a GREAT choice as its anti-inflammatory, gluten free and most importantly, it allows one to eat “normal” food so the “diet” becomes a lifestyle change for the long term and NOT a short-term, temporary exception to the old “normal diet.” Another great dietary option is the DASH or, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension approach is well known as being excellent for reducing hypertension, reducing diabetes risk, reducing cholesterol, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Also more recently, the DASH diet has resulted in less decline in brain function in those 65 years or older and adhering to the DASH diet resulted in the equivalence of being 4.5 years “younger” than those equal in chronologic age who didn’t adhere to the diet! Another diet approach, the Mediterranean diet, has also been shown to reduce the decline in cognitive function, which is similar to the DASH (and Paleo, caveman, or anti-inflammatory diet). The “common thread” that these diets share is the emphasis of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes and a lower intake of total and saturated fat.

Looking strictly at nutritional supplementation as an adjunctive form of treatment, consider the following:

1) Block Estrogen Receptors: though drugs like tomoxifen and raloxifene clearly reduce breastcancer risk, the side effects are significant. Intake of soy and flaxseed are the best natural source for blocking estrogen receptors. In one study, Chinese women had a 50% lower rate of breast cancer when consuming 55 grams of soy daily with genistein being the active ingredient in soy. Once breast cancer is present however, there is controversy about taking soy (genistein) soPLEASE consult with us about that! Flaxseed binds to estrogen helping the body get rid of it. Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the “good guy” fat) which helps with many other health problems as well.

2) Consume Omega 3 fats and minimize omega 6 fats. The BEST sources are cold water fish (like salmon, mackerel, and herring) and flaxseed. In two different large scale studies, 50% & 69% of participants had an increased risk of breast cancer occurred when omega-6 fats were increased in the diet! Sources of the “bad fat” / omega-6 include margarine, mayonnaise, many salad dressings, tuna packed in oil (get the one in water), and, safflower, corn, peanut, cottonseed, and sesame oils. Add as much as 2-10 grams of EPA / DHA with your omega-3 “good fat” diet. Omega-9 fats such as olive and canola oils are also “good fats.”

3) Eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables: These include a lot of vitamins, antioxidants, and more. Examples include bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, mustard seeds, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and watercress. This discussion will continue in “Part II.”

June 8, 2016

Headaches and High Blood Pressure

Headaches are one of the common pains we get. High blood pressure is also very common, affecting about 50 million Americans. Could they be linked? Yes, but not in the way you may think. Some doctors question whether taking pain pills actually corrects the cause of the headache. But there are also other, perhaps more seemingly silent concerns. Is simply cutting the fire alarm when the house is on fire ever a good idea? If your headache is coming from a problem such as a sprained and subluxated neck, is taking a pill going to do anything to help the joint injury?

We all see the TV commercials and the long pill aisles at the supermarket. We must be consuming quite a bit and that is true. But could our excessive use of these drugs be causing another problem, one that may not be explained on the pill bottle label?

Researchers have looked at over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Advil), to see if taking them over the long-term elevates the risk for developing high blood pressure (Hypertension 2005;46:500. Women’s Health Study I and II) The study investigated 5,123 women between the ages of 34 and 77 and followed them over many years.

Compared with women who did not use acetaminophen, the relative risk for those who took >500 mg per day was 1.93 (1.30 to 2.88) among older women. and 1.99 (1.39 to 2.85) among younger women. A relative risk of 1.93 is a 93% increase in risk. The range was a 30% increase to a 185% increase.

For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen), the risk of developing high blood pressure in older women also increased, ranging from a 78% to a 161% elevation. For younger women, the increased risks ranged from a 10% increase to a 132% increase.

Aspirin use was not associated with developing high blood pressure. The authors concluded that because acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used, they might contribute to the high prevalence (percent of the population with this disease) of high blood pressure in the United States.

June 1,2016

Is Chiropractic safe for kids?

In the late 1990s, an article published on the safety of chiropractic treatment of children also revealed significant benefits for children who received chiropractic treatment.This article was written in response to safety concerns due to the increased utilization of chiropractic for various pediatric conditions.One primary topic of discussion included the neurological and vascular complications associated with chiropractic treatment in pediatric patients.This topic has been reviewed previously in adult patients and much of the same concerns can be associated with the pediatric patient.The likelihood of a vascular injury in a pediatric case is certainly less than in the adult patient due to the pliability and flexibility of the neurovascular structures.The incidence in the occurrence of stroke in teenagers (children under 15 years of age) is reportedly at a rate of 2.7 per 100,000 children was reported.

However, based on an extensive search dating back 32 or more years, only two reported cases of neurovascular complications related to pediatric patients who had received chiropractic care were found.

Based on the data derived from multiple sources, a conservative estimate of the number of pediatric visits to chiropractors in the United States over the same time frame amounted to over 500 million treatments.

THE REVIEW CONCLUDED THE CHANCE OF A NEUROVASCULAR COMPLICATION ARISING FROM THE CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT WAS APPROXIMATELY 1 OUT OF 250 MILLION VISITS.

The article concluded the benefits outweigh the risks when applying cervical spine manipulation to any individual, including the pediatric population.

Based on their review, chiropractic care, as it relates to neurovascular complications, presents little risk to the pediatric patient. Even less than the general non-pediatric population which too, is extremely rare.  One other risk cited in its paper was potential damage to the growth plate (epiphysis – the growing ends of bones) of the growing child. However, in the 32+ year review, no reported research documentation could be found supporting this claim.  Another article reported ways in which parents might be able to detect spinal problems in children. Unless an obvious trauma such as a trip and fall has occurred, it can be challenging in some cases to detect spinal issues, similar to the dentist discovering a non-symptomatic cavity.

More obvious findings parents can detect may include head tilt or leaning to one side, the child turning their whole body rather than their neck to converse or look at someone, sleep interruptions, a child rubbing their own neck, feeding /nursing difficulties on one side and crying/agitated behavior compared to the child’s “usual” behavior.

When children are able to communicate, they may complain of aches that many refer to as “growing pains.”

Less documented / anecdotal evidence that might suggest nervous system dysfunction include persistent earaches, sore throats, colic, headaches, bed-wetting, and others are conditions that parents may bring their children for chiropractic treatment.

  1. http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=37423 Dynamic Chiropractic – September 7, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 19 Chiropractic — Is It Safe for Children? By Claudia Anrig, DC; Claudia Anrig, DC Clovis, California
  2. http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=41406 Dynamic Chiropractic – July 29, 1994, Vol. 12, Issue 16
  3. A Parent’s Guide to Chiropractic Care for Children Peter Fysh, DC San Jose, California

 

May 31,2016

Low Back Pain: Fix the Problem First  and You Won’t Need to Worry about the Pain

It’s gotten a bit confusing how we sometimes look at our health. When pain strikes the low back we usually think we just got a new problem or injury. But why then was coughing, shaving, or doing the laundry, so different this time? These are things we do everyday. Rarely is a new episode of low back pain brought on by a well-defined injury or trauma. Trauma in most cases is usually quite trivial. We confuse pain as a signal for something that is physically changing each time.

So what is the problem? The problem is joint sprain or subluxation. This is a ligament problem and occurs with small micro traumas over many years, or sometimes with acute events such as car accidents or falls. Over time the ligaments stretch, causing the joints and vertebrae to displace, irritating the delicate nerve fibers. But over a few days or weeks, the pain that accompanies this injury gradually lessens, and in many cases goes away all on its own. But has the problem also gone away? Likely not, because when ligaments are traumatized, the repair mechanism involves scar tissue, which is less elastic than the original, and makes the joint vulnerable to re-injury and sometimes impairs the free and symmetrical motion of the spine. The doctor of chiropractic examines for this type of joint sprain using palpation for tenderness and edema, and x-rays to see the directions the vertebrae have moved towards. These specific analyses can tell us the vulnerable directions and how the vertebrae need to be repositioned to promote good alignment and good posture.

The adjustment is designed to reduce this misalignment, and induce more symmetric motion. When movements are asymmetrical in the spine, they can lead to premature degeneration of the spine and arthritis. This may be why a simple task such as lifting a laundry basket can flare up the back so easily. You may be lifting with good form and posture but with an asymmetrical spine, the loading is very off balance. Sometimes the disks are so damaged that a simple sneeze is enough to cause excruciating pain. So when these trivial events seem to trip you up, it means there is an underlying problem that is not getting corrected.