On Sunday at 2:00 pm, my parents will be celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Mount Pleasant Community Church near Lyndon. There will be a come-and-go reception. No gifts please.
SHOULDER INJURY DUE TO FULL-CONTACT KARATE
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When it comes to the issue of vaccinations, I am a freedom-of-choice advocate. If these vaccines work so well, why would folks care if someone else is vaccinated or not as long as you yourself have been vaccinated? Sure, I am well-versed in the whole "Herd Immunity" argument, but don't want my family treated like one of the "herd" --- particularly when the effectiveness of many of these vaccines is BEING QUESTIONED BY THE VERY PEOPLE giving the shots (HERE is the biggest example; one that probably affects 90% of Americans in one way or another).
When doctors refuse to report vaccine reactions to VAERS (something that research tells us they fail to do between 90 and 99% of the time --- HERE), reactions fail to become statistics. In other words, the side effect profile of numerous vaccines ends up looking far better than reality because of the way that adverse events are reported (or not reported as is the reality of the situation). But industry would never do something like this --- would they? If you really believe that; George Strait still has some bargain-basement Ocean Front Property available in Tuscon. Honestly folks, not reporting side effects is no different than what happens with the INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDIES that the pharmaceutical industry is using all day, every day to radically skew "science" in the direction they want it skewed. All you have to do is to follow the money to see what that direction is.
Just be aware that if you buck the system (think Dr. Stoller here), you will pay a price. That price might be steep. It could end up costing you a career (HERE). Or it might result in persecution and the loss of a job (HERE). More often than not, it results in charges by those close to you (choose one or more: parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, friends, church congregation, babysitters, neighbors, etc, etc, etc) of being a "bad parent". The thing is folks, if you don't step up to the plate and at least start pondering why there are nearly 300 different vaccines currently in R&D (three hundred is not a misprint), you'll soon find yourself being forced to take whichever of these shots the government tells you to take (click HERE or HERE for examples of vaccinations that are about to become as common as water).
WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION -vs- SYNTHETIC NUTRITION
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
"Americans have been taking multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements since the early 1940s, when the first such products became available. MVMs are still popular dietary supplements and, according to estimates, more than one-third of all Americans take these supplements. Sales of all dietary supplements in the United States totaled an estimated $36.7 billion in 2014." From our government's National Institute of Health (Vitamin and Mineral Supplements)
Virtually no one would argue that in our pedal-to-the-metal chemically polluted society, none of us could benefit from better nutrition. For many of us, that nutritional help comes in the form of supplements -- often in the absence of a healthy diet. On top of this, the prevailing attitude with vitamins seems to be that if a little is good, a lot must surely be better. And a whole heck of a lot should be even better yet. As is true in most areas of life, when it comes to nutrition, this is rarely true. It's certainly not accurate when it comes to CALORIES, and it's not true when it comes to vitamins either. I have talked previously about synthetic B-vitamins (some of which are derived from coal tar and sewer sludge) and their whole-food counterparts (HERE). The same principle holds true for other vitamins as well (HERE are some vitamin side effects).
It is the chief reason that if you go to peer-review to look up the benefits of vitamins, the majority of the studies not only show no benefit, but actually show a negative benefit (Vitamin E is a great example). How can this be when we are bombarded by the message --- usually from those selling vitamins --- about how good they are? The result of this process is often people who have no real idea about nutrition (DOCTORS INCLUDED) taking way too much synthetic nutrition. In fact, it is my contention that many (again; maybe even most) people end up taking nutritional supplements in the same way they would take medications --- in the form of "MONOTHERAPIES". In other words, what vitamin should I be taking for (insert your disease dujour here)? These monotherapies, however, have some problems --- serious problems.
Although foods may be 'rich' in certain vitamins or minerals, the same vitamins and minerals are never found in high potency in said foods. This is because even though vitamins are certainly important --- even critical --- for our good health, we don't really need large amounts of them to do the job they are supposed to do. Vitamin supplements that contain megadoses (1,000 mg Vit C tablets are a great example --- the RDA is 60mg) are always synthetic crystalline fractions that are missing their synergists and co-factors (more explanation can be found HERE). An example of this would be the difference between raw local honey, and WHITE SUGAR (or HFCS). Yes, both can seriously jack your BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS, but few would argue that there is no difference between the two. Whole Food nutritional expert Dr. Janet Lang wrote this about synthetic nutrition back in 2003
"Crystalline means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific “pure” crystalline vitamin. In this process all the synergists, which are termed “impurities,” are destroyed. There is no longer anything natural in the action of crystalline “vitamins”—they should more accurately be termed drug. Synthetic means that a chemist attempted to reconstruct the exact structure of the crystalline molecule by chemically combining molecules from other sources. These sources are not living foods, but dead chemicals. For example, Vitamin B1 is made from a coal tar derivative, and d-alpha tocopherol (so-called Vitamin E) is a byproduct of materials used by the Eastman Kodak company to make film. However, it is not legally necessary to give the source from which the synthetic “vitamin” is derived. Synthetic “vitamins’ should more accurately be called drugs."
Part of the problem is that in order for your body to utilize these high doses of crystalline fractions, it must use up its stores of synergists. This is why people taking synthetics will often get a big initial "boost" in energy and symptomatic relief, followed by a steady decline in both. One of the biggest names in the "Whole Food" movement is Judith DeCava; a disciple of individuals like doctors WESTON PRICE, ROYAL LEE, FRANCIS POTTENGER and numerous others. Her book, The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants contains some excellent information on this topic.
"Natural food concentrates will show a much lower potency in milligrams or micrograms. This is frequently interpreted to mean they are less effective, not as powerful. Unfortunately, the `more is better’ philosophy is far from nutritional truth...... Vitamins are part of food complexes and must be associated with their natural synergists (co-workers) to be properly utilized and be a potent nutritional factor. In other words, a minute amount of a vitamin that is left intact in its whole food form is tremendously more functional, powerful, and effective nutritionally than a large amount of a chemically pure, vitamin fraction. Separating the group of compounds (in a vitamin complex) converts it from a physiological, biochemical, active micronutrient into a disabled, debilitated chemical of little or no value to living cells. The synergy is gone."
A recent study, 2013's Synthetic or Food-Derived Vitamin C—Are They Equally Bioavailable? from the journal Nutrients, disagrees. Although the authors claim that the, "majority of animal studies have shown differences in the comparative bioavailability of synthetic versus food-derived vitamin C, or vitamin C in the presence of isolated bioflavonoids," they also say that the human experiments show the opposite (synthetic C is just as good as what comes from food). I am not really sure that "bioavailability" is the whole issue here. XENOHORMONES are tremendously bioavailable, but bioavailability is not the only issue in play in this debate. All of which brings me to the interesting pictures above.
One of the many things that sold me on the concept of Whole Food Nutrition was the fact that even though the chemical structure of the synthetic vitamins was identical to the chemical structure of the natural whole food vitamin (think about Tinker-Toy like molecular models here), the crystalline structure of the same vitamins as seen under an electron microscope is very different (pics available in Dr. Robert Thiel's excellent article -- HERE) ---- something I learned about at one of Dr. Lang's many nutritional seminars I attended years ago.
In the same way it is simple for third world builders to largely disguise their work, it is fairly easy for unscrupulous manufactures to disguise the differences between synthetics and whole food. Much of this has to do with they language they use to describe their products. Because words like "natural" are not defined by the FDA, they can mean virtually anything. For instance, one could market a supplement made from grass, rocks, and purified manure, as 'all natural' because it is all natural (and maybe even "organic" to boot). CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS are notorious for being described with weasel words.
The takeaway is that you should be getting the vast majority of your nutrition from whole foods, and the rest from Whole Food Supplements (HERE). The only time you should be using synthetic fractions is for short periods of time to accomplish a very specific metabolic purpose. There is nothing wrong with using very high dose C or SUPER HIGH-POWERED ANTIOXIDANTS for a time. Just understand that they are essentially a drug, and like drugs, come with their own unique side effect profile.
SOLVE IT BY KEEPING THE HORSE IN FRONT OF THE CART
"Systemic disorders with possible involvement of the nervous system include a variety of diseases with presumed inflammatory and autoimmune pathomechanisms.... Timely recognition and treatment of CNS inflammation may improve or even reverse clinical symptoms and prevent secondary brain injury." From a study published in a 2013 issue of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology (Systemic Inflammatory and Autoimmune Disorders)
"The human body accumulates inflammatory battle scars as we age, whether through repeated assaults by microbial infections or chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes or atherosclerosis. Under healthy conditions, microglia look placid. They sit evenly spaced throughout the brain, processes extended, quietly doing their job of scanning for debris. When disease kicks in, these calm cells can transmogrify and end up doing more harm than good. Evidence suggests that the communication between the periphery and the brain occurs across an intact blood-brain barrier, although a transient breakdown in the BBB could facilitate enhanced infiltration of inflammatory mediators. A leaky barrier is indiscriminate in terms of what it allows into the brain....." A description of MICROGLIAL CELLS and Leaky Brain Syndrome (similar to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME) cherry-picked from Jessica Shugart's article for Alzforum called Systemic Inflammation: A Driver of Neurodegenerative Disease?
"Research suggests that systemic inflammation is a risk factor of chronic disease. In this cross-sectional study, we found that a high diet quality is associated with lower systemic inflammation. As the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer is directly correlated with the levels of inflammation, our findings might indicate a protective role of high-quality diet." Taken from the abstract of a study (A High Quality Diet is Associated with Reduced Systemic Inflammation in Middle-Aged Individuals) in the January's issue of Atherosclerosis"
As I have shown you before, there are any number of things that can prove helpful in your quest TO SOLVE YOUR CHRONIC PAIN ISSUE. In order to do things in a systematic and step-wise fashion, you are going to have to be honest with yourself. Why? Because you might actually be causing --- or at least contributing --- to your problem. I would start by asking yourself three simple questions. Is my pain local? Is my pain systemic? Might my pain be centralized? Let me touch briefly on each of these.
- IS THE PAIN DUE TO A LOCALIZED PROBLEM? Is your pain localized to one specific area, or does it move around and switch sides of your body? Is your pain the result of an injury like an car accident, a sports injury, or a work-related trauma, or is it from something like FIBROMYALGIA? Are there specific things you can do to reproduce it or make it better? Could improper biomechanics (POOR ARCHES is a common one) be a contributing factor to your Chronic Pain? Be aware that localized pain is almost always associated with some degree of JOINT RESTRICTION --- even in people with seemingly "normal" ranges of motion (HERE).
- IS YOUR PAIN DUE TO A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM? Sometimes this can get a bit tricky because systemic issues (INFLAMMATION is one that should come to your mind immediately) have the ability to fuel local problems --- particularly tricky when you consider that Inflammation itself always leads to the SCAR TISSUE or TISSUE DENSIFICATION that the medical community commonly refers to as 'FIBROSIS'. You should also be aware that the more healthcare you are subjecting yourself to (ANTIBIOTICS or NON-ANTIBIOTICS, medications of ALL KINDS, surgeries) puts you at a greater risk. Do you have digestive problems or bowel issues? This is critical to address, considering POOR GUT HEALTH is being linked to almost any health problem you care to mention. Are there things that trigger your pain such as stress, CERTAIN SMELLS, or CERTAIN FOODS? To find out whether or not you are systemically inflamed, just take this simple DO-IT-YOURSELF TEST. Although dealing with the body's systemic problems will certainly help most localized problems, it rarely solves them.
- COULD YOUR PAIN BE CENTRALIZED? Even though this is a form of "systemic" problem, believe me when I tell you that it is worse --- far worse. If you want to read more about this and see just how difficult it can be to both diagnose and teat, go HERE. It might it be worth it to try TISSUE REMODELING as it can sometimes be difficult to know what you are really dealing with (HERE). However, if you truly have Centralized Pain, it is critical that you deal with it in similar fashion to the way you would deal with Systemic Inflammation. You should also plan on finding a good FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST.
The bottom line; far too many people treat their pain as multiple local problems, when the reality might be far different (HERE). Not only can you never really make your pain / problem worse by dealing with Systemic Inflammation, you have the potential to help yourself solve THIS LIST of problems as well. If you are looking for an EXIT STRATEGY as far as your Chronic Pain and Chronic Illnesses are concerned, THIS is where you need to go next.
POLITICIANS AND FINANCIAL CONFLICTS-OF-INTEREST
YOU DON'T SAY
We see that FINANCIAL CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST is so massive between the medical community (research / medical devices / pharma / surgical / medical testing) and Congress, that the House Ethics and Rules Committee wrote a letter saying that way too many members were involved in, "legislative actions in which he or she has a pecuniary interest. Every Member… shall vote on each question put, unless he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the event of such question. That appears to be where most Members stop in determining whether to recuse themselves from voting or taking action on a matter directly affecting their financial status."
In other words, this is far different than our nation's lawmakers simply voting themselves pay raises. This is about politicians writing and voting for legislation that lines their protects and protects their financial benefactors in the process. Make sure to READ THE BRAND NEW EXPOSE on this topic as reported by Sheila Kaplan and Ike Swetlitz (Investments Give Lawmakers a Personal Stake in Biotech and Healthcare). It shows why Donnie Iris was absolutely right clear back in 1981, when he sang the line, "you can't depend on politicians" (Love is Like a Rock).
INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDIES
CONTINUE TO BE AN AMERICAN EPIDEMIC
Charles Piller, writing for the medical newspaper STAT, wrote a piece on Sunday called Law Ignored, Patients at Risk. His story has to do with something I have talked about on my site a number of times --- INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDIES. Not sure what Invisible and Abandoned Studies are? Follow along as I show you one of the numerous ways that some of the most elite medical research institutions in America are circumventing EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, deceiving the public, and like the title says, putting patients at risk.
Piller opens his paper by saying that, "Drug companies have long been castigated by lawmakers and advocacy groups for a lack of openness on research, and the investigation shows just how far individual firms have gone to skirt the disclosure law. But while the industry generally performed poorly, major medical schools, teaching hospitals, and nonprofit groups did worse overall — many of them far worse." As astounding as it sounds, these facilities failed to publish their results in a timely manner at least 95% of the time.
Although there were numerous schools and institutions mentioned, the ones that cheated the worst were Sloan Kettering, Stanford, Cal, Pitt, and the Ivy League's Penn (oh, and KU was right up there with them as well). I say "cheated" because that is exactly what they were doing --- cheating. "The pharma industry was hiding negative results to make treatments look better." I wish my high school teachers would have gotten this memo ---- hide all my bad grades so that only my top grades would ever be seen or calculated toward my GPA. I could have been valedictorian of my class with a 4.0 average!
There was legislation passed to curb this practice clear back in 2008 --- legislation that was due largely to the huge DEPRESSION MEDICATION SCAM by who else but GLAXOSMITHKLINE. Universities and research facilitates are obligated by law to publish all findings --- not just those that cast their products in a good light. Not only has it not been getting done, but the organization within the NIH that is charged with watching over all this has not been doing their job. Even though they could have levied 25 billion dollars worth of fines during this time, they have not fined anyone a single penny. But then again, what can you say when when NIH scientists themselves only reported the results of 25% (54) of their 212 studies?
This situation is precisely why you cannot trust BIG PHARMA to do what is in your best interest, or trust OUR GOVERNMENT to reign them in. The universities and research facilities (that happen to be getting billions in taxpayer-funded "Research Grants") made all sorts of excuses as to why the could not find it within themselves to actually report the findings of their studies. Most centered around lack of manpower, lack of money, lack of time, etc. Mark my words, if these same institutions would have come up with a miracle drug like PROGENATORIVOX; the SPIN, PRESS RELEASES, and PSA's would be flowing like beer at a German Oktoberfest. Do yourself a favor and READ PILLER'S ENTIRE ARTICLE. I will warn you however, don't try to do so without a trash can or barf bag handy.
THE MOST CURRENT
RESEARCH ON GLUTEN
The November issue of Nutrients (Celiac Disease Genomic, Environmental, Microbiome, and Metabolomic........) said in its abstract that, "In the past it was believed that genetic predisposition and exposure to gluten were necessary and sufficient to develop celiac disease (CD). Recent studies however suggest that loss of gluten tolerance can occur at any time in life as a consequence of other environmental stimuli." What are these environmental stimuli the authors are talking about? Once again, the biggie seems to be, "intestinal microbiota." As far as the things that affect the MICROBIOME; not surprisingly, BREAST FEEDING, VAGINAL DELIVERY, and ANTIBIOTICS are at the top of the list. One of the goals of this study was to gain, "fundamental insights into the role of the gut microbiome as an additional factor that may play a key role in early steps involved in the onset of autoimmune disease." Great, but this isn't really news (HERE).
Although there are now some tests for Celiac Disease that do not involve intestinal biopsy, biopsy is still considered the gold standard. The thing that is critical for you to remember is that having Celiac Disease simply means that you have a Gluten-induced AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSE to wheat protein that occurs very specifically in your Small Intestine. The absence of damaged intestinal villi does not necessarily mean that your problem is less severe than someone with CD. It just means that your small intestine is not affected. Don't buy into the myth that NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY is simply less severe form of Celiac Disease. Again, all that a diagnosis of Celiac Disease really tells you is that you are making antibodies against your own small intestine. The person with NCGS might not be making antibodies against their small intestine, but might be making antibodies against their own BRAIN, THYROID, BLOOD, NERVES, and MUSCLES. Listen to this cherry-picked paragraph from the April issue of the United European Gastroenterology Journal (Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity: Piecing the Puzzle Together).
"NCGS is a condition where intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms are triggered by gluten ingestion in the absence of Celiac Disease and Wheat Allergy. The clinical picture of NCGS is a combination of IBS-like symptoms, behaviour disturbances and systemic manifestations. One speculative hypothesis is that gluten may not be directly involved in the triggering of GI symptoms, but rather in the pathogenesis of visceral hypersensitivity, like IBS. Gluten is blamed as a trigger of symptoms by 20%-45% of adults who self-report food hypersensitivity."
The authors of this study then blow it by saying that, "unnecessarily following restrictive diets raise two main concerns. Firstly, the prescription of a gluten-free diet for gastrointestinal and other symptoms may lead to the under diagnosis of CD. Secondly, long-term restrictive diets, particularly avoidance of wheat-based products, are likely to have health implications especially given their important role in bowel health." The first assertion, while true, is moot. Because the only form of treatment for those with CD (or for that matter, with NCGS) is to stop consuming Gluten-containing products (and CROSS-REACTORS), who really cares if they receive an "official" diagnosis or not? Maybe the government, who is keeping health dossiers on its citizens now, but certainly not the patient. The second assertion about bowel health is ONE I HEAR ALL THE TIME (it is frequently used as an excuse for why a person cannot give up bread --- we'll address another at the end of the post).
What does the latest peer-review have to say about symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity? A few weeks ago, the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Gluten Sensitivity) provided a list that included, "a combination of irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, bowel habit abnormalities (either diarrhea or constipation), and systemic manifestations such as 'foggy mind', headache, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, leg or arm numbness, dermatitis (eczema or skin rash), depression, anemia, the appearance of neurological and psychiatric disorders/symptoms like ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety, and hallucinations." As you'll see in a bit, this is just scratching the surface.
If your problem is related to Gluten, it is probably solvable with a GLUTEN FREE ELIMINATION DIET. In fact, the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings addressed this in a scientific article called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, by saying that, "Patients with NCGS have GI and extraintestinal symptoms that typically disappear when gluten-containing grains are eliminated from their diets." Speaking of "extraintestinal symptoms," let's talk about them just a bit more. Although the symptoms most commonly associated with Gluten are intestinal (bloating, cramping, IBS, foul-smelling gas and stools, etc), many experts say that it is the extra-intestinal symptoms that are the much bigger (and more common) problem.
It was only two weeks ago that the Italian journal Minerva Gastroenterologica E Dietologica: A Journal of Gastoenterology, Nutrition, and Dietetics (Neurological Disorders and Celiac Disease), "described the most common clinical manifestations as cerebellar ataxia [mimics PARKINSION'S], gluten encephalopathy, multiple sclerosis [HERE], peripheral neuropathies [HERE], sensorineural hearing loss, epilepsy [HERE], headache [HERE], depression [HERE], cognitive deficiencies and other less described clinical conditions. The association with autism [HERE] is analysed and possible new association with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) are considered." Another Italian journal (Panminerva Medica) chimed in back in September with The Gut Microbiota and its Correlations with the Central Nervous System Disorders.
"A mutual impact of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and central nervous system (CNS) functions has been recognized since the mid-twentieth century. It is accepted that the so-called gut-brain axis provides a two-way homeostatic communication, through immunological, hormonal and neuronal signals. A dysfunction of this axis has been associated with the pathogenesis of some diseases both within and outside the GIT, that have shown an increase in incidence over the last decades..... Moving from this background, the present review discusses the relationship between intestinal microbiota and CNS and the effects in health and disease. We particularly look at how the commensal gut microbiota influences systemic immune response in some neurological disorders, pain and cognition in multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barrè Syndrome, neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders and Alzheimer’s disease."
I bring this up because yet another study, this one from a two week old edition of the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Microbiome and Gluten), continues to connect the dots. "Celiac disease (CD) genes are present in about 30-40% of the general population, but only a small percentage of carriers develops CD. Gluten is the key environmental trigger of CD, but its intake does not fully explain disease onset; indeed, an increased number of cases experience gluten intolerance in late adulthood after many years of gluten exposure." What are the "EPIGENETIC FACTORS" (this study refers to them as "environmental factors") that trigger or 'turn on' the genes that express CD? We've already discussed them, however, these factors do not constitute the end of the process. They cause something known as DYSBIOSIS.
"Dysbiosis aggravates CD pathogenesis, and in turn, can initiate and sustain inflammation through the expansion of proinflammatory pathobionts and decline of anti-inflammatory mutualistic bacteria." Any sort of imbalance in Gut Flora --- even from taking TOO MANY VITAMINS OR PROBIOTICS --- can cause Dysbiosis. But we're not worried; we'll just solve this by going on a Gluten Free Diet; won't we? It's not always that easy because, "CD patients have imbalances in the intestinal microbiota (dysbiosis), which are not fully normalized despite their adherence to a gluten-free diet." What can this lead to? Something referred to in the literature as "Refractory Celiac Disease".
Last month's issue of Expert Reviews of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Refractory Celiac Disease) revealed that, "Refractory celiac disease (RCD) affects patients who have failed to heal after 6 to 12 months of a strict gluten-free diet (GFD) and when other causes of symptoms have been ruled out. It may also occur in patients who previously had responded to a long-term GFD. There are two different types of this that can be determined via lab testing, and it is so serious that. Adequate nutritional support and anti-inflammatory treatment may even allow RCD2 patients to attain a clinical remission."
Furthermore, according to this month's issue of Nutrients (Recognizing and Managing Refractory Coeliac Disease: A Tertiary Centre Experience), RCD2 is so serious that it carries, "a five-year mortality of 50%." The drugs commonly used to treat this problem are listed as, "azathioprine and steroids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, campath (an anti CD-52 monoclonal antibody), and cladribine or fluadribine with or without autologous stem cell transplantation." In other words, the goal in RCD2 is to suppress the inflammatory response to the point that one's Immune System is virtually non-existent. What would I recommend? I am certainly not telling anyone to stop taking their drugs (although being able to get off of them someday is a noble goal). FMT might be a good solution, along with dealing with underlying causes of Dysbiosis (I touch on a few of these in THIS POST).
By the way, the debate is not so much as to whether or not certain non-Celiacs have an issue with Gluten, the debate is over the mechanism. There are some that believe that Gluten itself is not the culprit as much as the fact that wheat or Gluten-containing grains tend to be high in Fermentable Ogliosacharides, Disacharides, Monosacharides, and Polyols (FODMAPS), which are heavily associated in peer-review with both IBS and SIBO. Again, if you are having problem with Gluten, the mechanism of said point is moot. It doesn't matter. Get off Gluten, stay off Gluten, and have better health.
Because of this intimate relationship between one's Microbiome and the potential to develop Autoimmune Diseases such as Celiac Disease, or any number of other CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES, you need to figure out what it's going to take to solve your Gut issues. The first thing I suggest you do is figure out whether or not you have a "Leaky Gut' and fix it (HERE). Secondly, because your problem may have gone way beyond the point where simply popping some PROBIOTICS is an option, you may need to start contemplating FMT. In a similar vein, take a look at these studies on something somewhat similar ---- infecting yourself with helminths, otherwise known as hookworms.
- The October 22 issue of Clinical Parasitology (Can Helminth Infection Reverse Microbial Dysbiosis?). "There is growing interest in treating inflammatory conditions with helminth infection. Recently, Loukas and colleagues have reported promising results from using experimental hookworm infection to reduce gluten sensitivity in celiac disease patients."
- The September issue of Science Reports (Experimental Hookworm Infection and Escalating Gluten Challenges are Associated with Increased Microbial Richness in Celiac Subjects) went even further when the authors said, "The intestinal microbiota plays a critical role in the development of the immune system. Recent investigations have highlighted the potential of helminth therapy for treating a range of inflammatory disorders, including celiac disease (CD). Experimental hookworm infection of the trial subjects resulted in maintenance of the composition of the intestinal flora, even after a moderate gluten challenge. Notably, we observed a significant increase in microbial species richness over the course of the trial."
- February's copy of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Experimental Hookworm Infection and Gluten Microchallenge Promote Tolerance in Celiac Disease) said essentially the same thing. "Necator Americanus and gluten microchallenge promoted tolerance and stabilized or improved all tested indices of gluten toxicity in CD subjects." In other words, purposeful infetcion of patients with Celiac Disease with the American Hookworm not only made these folks feel better, but actually created substantial diversity in their Microbiome by calming Inflammation. This being said, just realize that PARASITE INFECTIONS are not always so fine and dandy.
One last thing that you absolutely must be aware of is that both Gluten and DAIRY (the two most commonly-reactive foods that we are potentially exposed to all the time) have the ability --- JUST LIKE SUGAR OR JUNK CARBS --- to be massively addictive (not to mention they contain large amounts of GLUTAMATE). When people have the combination of poor digestion (the most common being NOT ENOUGH STOMACH ACID) and Leaky Gut Syndrome, partially digested food is allowed into the blood stream where the body sees it as a foreign invader and begins mounting Immune System responses against it. If this happens with Gluten, it frequently leads to Autoimmunity (HERE is the mechanism).
The situation gets more complicated because some of these incompletely digested fragments of Gluten or Dairy can (again, in similar fashion to sugar and junk carbs) be as addictive as heroin or morphine. This is because three of these fragments are called gluteomorphin (Gluten Morphine), gliadomorphins (Gliadin Morphine --- Gliadin is part of the Gluten molecule), and caseomorphin (Casien Morphine --- Casien is milk protein). These morphine-like bind to morphine receptors and act ---- well, like morphine. Because heroin (morphine) is a powerful sedative, these folks often have extreme difficulty staying awake after a meal that goes beyond the typical CRASHING BLOOD SUGAR scenario.
You can often tell the people who have this problem ---- they will kill you for a slice of bread or plate of pasta. A study from the July issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior (Behavioral Effects of Food-Derived Opioid-Like Peptides in Rodents: Implications for Schizophrenia?) addressed this when the authors concluded that, "food-derived peptides can affect rodent behavior." HERE and HERE are a couple of links that show the ability of Gluten to affect the body in an overtly neurological manner --- including SCHIZOPHRENIA. All of which is particularly scary considering that some experts believe that as much as three quarters of the SAD (Standard American Diet) comes from that happy combination of wheat, dairy, and sugar (HERE).
As far as the Glutamate is concerned, both Casien and Gluten contain large amounts, which can be released into the blood stream as free-Glutamate once digested. Take a moment to watch this video by biochemist and mother of five, Dr. Katie Reid, who shows how this process can actually lead to problems like AUTISM or ADHD. As you should be starting to notice, there are any number of mechanisms that Gluten, or the large quantities of processed grains that we Americans consume in such mass quantities, can, and often does lead to health problems.
BREAKING THE CHAINS
OF CHRONIC PAIN
TWENTY REASONS WHY FASCIA IS A PRIME SUSPECT IN THE CAUSE OF MUCH
CHRONIC PAIN & CHRONIC ILLNESS
Injuries to the FASCIA occur in several distinct ways. They can be caused by things as diverse as trauma (either a hard blow or getting a joint or limb 'wretched" or stretched), repetitive forces, abnormal posture, or faulty biomechanics, whether primary or via a compensatory response (HERE). Thus, sometimes people can tell me exactly when their injury started (a CAR ACCIDENT, a SPORTS INJURY, a work injury, or even PHYSICAL ABUSE), but just as often, they cannot. Most of the time, answering this question is not critical to clinical success. Either way, sooner or later these folks end up in someone's clinic; and unfortunately, you can't go back in time to undo the damage or prevent the injury in the first place.
No matter what sort of practitioner(s) they have been to, their stories sound almost identical to each other. They have typically had LOTS OF CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS or PT VISITS or both, advanced imaging, and even blood tests. And around this same time, many of these folks have had the joy of meeting at least some of EBM's "BIG FIVE". From there it's on to specialists, who essentially do the very same things. The cost frequently runs into the thousands --- or even tens of thousands of dollars (to see how obnoxious this issue can be, take a look at HARLEY'S STORY). What are these patients usually told? Mostly that there's nothing really wrong with them, and usually that their problem is related more than anything to their age, or the fact that they do hard work, or they're imagining it, or they are depressed, etc. And as people get increasingly desperate for answers, the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND spins faster and faster and faster, creating a vortex that can suck one's bank account dry, while the pain continues to drain the life from both body and soul.
The first question, Why aren't more doctors aware of the problems caused by Fascia?, is easy to answer. Because of the huge impetus on the oxymoronically-named EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, a patient needs to have their doctor find something visibly / tangibly wrong with them in order for insurance to pay for care (in other words, it must show up on a test). Because in so many cases the medical profession cannot seem to grasp the differences between Functional Problems and Gross Pathology (HERE), they frequently fail to deal with the underlying cause(s) of patient's CHRONIC PAIN, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, and/or AUTOIMMUNE ISSUES (click to see a list of the latter) --- all of which are, as I will begin to show you, intimately related to each other in ways that most of us have never contemplated before.
I would never take DR. ADREW TAYLOR STILL'S position that problems with the Fasica are the root of all sickness and disease. However, 25 years of clinical practice and treating LOTS AND LOTS OF PATIENTS has taught me that as a profession we have gone so far the other way that we are OVERLOOKING THE IMPORTANCE OF FASCIA to the detriment of our patients. This issue becomes even more glaring once you realize that many --- maybe even the majority --- of all doctor visits can be chalked up to something called MUPS.
I don't want to give fascia "mythical" powers, but as a tissue, it's unique because (in no particular order)........
- FASCIA IS THE MOST ABUNDANT CONNECTIVE TISSUE IN THE BODY: HERE
- INJURIES TO FASCIA ARE OVERLOOKED BECAUSE THERE ARE USUALLY NO BLOOD, GUTS, OR OVERT INJURY VISIBLE: HERE or HERE
- NEITHER IS THERE USUALLY ANY COVERT INJURY PRESENT: HERE
- FASCIA IS ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE AND MECHANICALLY-ADVANCED TISSUES IN THE BODY; SO MUCH SO IT PROBABLY NEEDS TO BE REFERRED TO AS AN ORGAN: HERE
- MYOFACIAL MERIDIANS REALLY DO EXIST: HERE
- FASCIA CAN BE, AND OFTEN IS, A PROBLEM IN CHILDREN: HERE
- FASCIAL ADHESION IS A FIBROTIC CONDITION CAUSED BY INFLAMMATION, WHICH ITSELF HAS MANY CAUSES, NOT JUST PHYSICAL INJURY: HERE, HERE, and HERE
- SCAR TISSUE AND FIBROSIS ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING, OCCURRING COMMONLY IN FASCIA: HERE
- FASCIAL ADHESIONS WILL RARELY SHOW UP WITH MRI: HERE
- HOWEVER, THERE IS NOW A TECHNOLOGY (NOT IN WIDE USE YET) THAT DOES ALLOW FOR IMAGING FASCIA: HERE
- FASCIAL ADHESIONS ARE OFTEN RELATED TO, OR CONFUSED WITH, PROBLEMS IN BOTH TENDONS AND / OR BURSAE: HERE and HERE
- BREAKING THE ADHESION(S) IN FASCIA WILL SOMETIMES CAUSE YOUR PAIN TO MOVE: HERE
- SOMETIMES (CERTAINLY NOT ALWAYS) PROBLEMS WITH THE FASCIA ARE RELATED TO TRIGGER POINTS: HERE and HERE
- FASCIA IS WHAT CONNECTS EVERY PART OF YOU TO EVERY OTHER PART OF YOU: HERE
- ALONG WITH THE GUT'S ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (HERE), FASCIA ACTS AS YET ANOTHER NERVOUS SYSTEM (HERE) AS WELL AS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST ORGAN OF PROPRIOCEPTION / MECHANORECEPTION: HERE
- IN MANY WAYS FASCIA ACTS AS AN ENDCOCRINE / NEUROENDOCRINE ORGAN AS WELL: HERE
- "PULLED MUSCLES" ARE USUALLY INJURED FASCIA: HERE
- FASCIAL PAIN IS OFTEN PERCEIVED AS "DEEP" EVEN THOUGH IT IS OFTEN QUITE SUPERFICIAL: HERE
- IF YOU HAVE ALL-OVER FASCIAL ADHESIONS, YOU'D BETTER BE LOOKING FOR A SYSTEMIC CAUSE: HERE ARE YOU TAKING CERTAIN KINDS OF ANTIBIOTICS (HERE)? ARE YOU TAKING STATIN DRUGS (HERE)?
- THERE ARE PEOPLE FAR SMARTER THAN MYSELF WHO BELIEVE THAT PROBLEMS IN FASCIA ARE THE ROOT OF ALL DISEASE AND THAT SCAR TISSUE (FIBROSIS) IS AMERICA'S #1 LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH: HERE and HERE
- TO SOLVE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY FASCIAL ADHESIONS, TREATMENT HAS TO BE ABOVE THE TISSUE'S MECHANICAL THRESHOLD (BREAKING THIS BARRIER IS REFERRED TO AS 'TISSUE DEFORMATION'): HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE
- CRAZY, MIRACULOUS THINGS SOMETIMES HAPPEN AS THE RESULT OF TISSUE REMODELING: HERE
Once you realize that the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body (HERE) cannot be imaged well even with advanced techniques such as MRI, you can see why there's probably a PERFECT STORM OF CHRONIC PAIN brewing just below the horizon. If your desire is to create an EXIT STRATEGY that could both get you off the Medical Merry-Go-Round and give you your life back, you may have to at least spend some time pondering FASCIA as a culprit. For all of our dozens of posts on fascia, simply go HERE. To see what it may take for you to truly get healthy again, take a look at THIS POST.
DEPRESSION IN AMERICA
PHYSICIANS HAVE EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH RATES OF DEPRESSION
According to lead author Dr. Douglas Mata of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, "As many as 43% of residents get clinically depressed during any given year of their training." He and his team of seven researchers concluded that, "In this systematic review, the summary estimate of the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among resident physicians was 28.8%.... Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for preventing and treating depression among physicians in training."
Although this is quite interesting in itself, the very same issue carried an editorial by Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk called Resident Depression: The Tip of a Graduate Medical Education Iceberg. Schwenk, dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and vice president of the University of Nevada's Division of Health Sciences, has a career that reads like a veritable Who's Who. Until about a decade ago, he was a professor in the Department of Medical Education as well as serving as the associate director of the University of Michigan's Depression Center. Two of his key areas of interest are burnout (something I actually mentioned YESTERDAY) and suicide. The second paragraph provides the editorial's framework.
"The literature describing the risk of depression and suicide in medical students is relatively rich and somewhat so for practicing physicians. Studies of depression among physicians in training (residents and fellows) are less common, perhaps because residents in general are busier, more overwhelmed, more fatigued, more sleep deprived than either medical students or practicing physicians, and less accessible for surveys and interviews. The reasons that depression risk among physicians in training is more difficult to study may be the very reasons they are more vulnerable to that risk...... "
The problem is so prevalent, that Shwenk actually refers to it as "endemic". Other than the long hours and overwork (which, he says, do not appear to be changing any time soon), he believes (probably rightly so) that residents don't seek care for their Depression because of social stigmas and fear. "Physicians have the same concerns that their medical staff membership and licensing could be severely compromised by disclosure of mental illness and treatment."
Dr. Schwenk believes that, "The time is long overdue for a national conversation on the fundamental structure and function of the graduate medical education system, not unlike the discussion that reformed undergraduate medical education after the Flexner report." Firstly, remember that the FLEXNER REPORT was not all it has been cracked up to be. And secondly, the idea that doctors need mental healthcare too sounds wonderful, but what does it really entail? Unless residents would be getting radically different care than you or I, it means anti-depressant medications. And here's the rub.
Despite the fact that anti-depressants are one of the single most prescribed classes of drugs in America today, the dirty little secret is that according to the 'newest' standards (that would be EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE for those of you keeping score at home) they don't work very well. Once you begin to factor in the myriad of INVISIBLE AND ABANDONED STUDIES (HERE is one concerning Depression meds for children), it's easy to see how we have been duped by Big Pharma yet again. And on top of this, doctors are not learning how to deal with Depression without drugs (again, yesterday's post).
I think, however, that Dr. Marta, in an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Many Interns and Residents Struggle With Depression: Meta-Analysis Finds Prevalence of 30% to 43% in Medical Trainees) hit the nail on the head when he said, "medicine today is different than it has ever been before. It's more complicated, the patients are sicker, and residents never truly leave the hospital as they are always plugging in to the electronic medical record via the Internet. On top of that, drudge work has increased, and residents are spending more time charting today than they are with their patients" It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to realize that people are sicker today than ever before. It has to be depressing not only realizing that the majority of this is self-induced, but that many of the drugs these residents are trained to prescribe simply don't work (HERE is another example).
Furthermore, this area of "increased drudge work" is not just a "resident" issue. Bureaucracy has taken over every area of our society, from banking, to teaching, to medicine. There are very few professions that are not being sorely affected by absurd amounts of paperwork, over-regulation, and moronic rules (HERE is one example). The great thing is that whether you are an overworked resident, or a sedentary office worker, an auto mechanic, or a logger, there are things you can do to to help yourself that go beyond simply covering symptoms (HERE). It's not that there is not a time and a place for medicine; it's that if you do the right things, you literally create your own EXIT STRATEGY to help get yourself off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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