IVF AS THE FRONT LINE FOR INFERTILITY
"IVF has evolved in many parts of the world as a profit-generating industry that values the money brought in by immediate gains of pregnancy and live birth over long-term considerations about the health of the mothers and children". Dr. Ben Willem Mol, University of Adelaide, Australia, commenting on a recent issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
"The statement that academic institutions (and private practices) are only 'doing it for the money' is concerning. Do the authors have proof of this?" Dr William Gibbons, of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine from a recent MedPage Today article, commenting on the article above from BMJ
"Because of the emotional, physical, and financial toll exacted by IVF, it is preferable that a couple undertake the process with the mindset that they will be in it for more than one attempt. If a couple can only afford one treatment cycle, IVF may not be the right course of action." Dr. Geoffrey Sher of Sher Fertility Clinics Centers for Reproductive Medicine.
Seeing the potential for yet another cash-based profit center, the medical community stepped in to fill the void with IVF. How successful is this short procedure? According to WebMD, pregnancy is achieved nearly 30% of the time, with just under three quarters of those pregnancies ending in a live birth (approximately a 22% success rate). The average cost for one round of IVF is $12,500, with the mother's age and geographic location being two of the significant variables in pricing. And this does not even get into the real issue that Dr. Mol was touching on above, concerning health (he was probably referring to the Dutch study from the April 2013 issue of Fertility and Sterility showing that individuals born via IVF had a one third greater chance of developing CANCER when compared to those conceived naturally).
Although things like endometriosis, and PCOS (America's number one reason for infertility) are common reasons that people choose to undergo IVF, one of the biggest reasons couples cannot have a baby is due to something called "Unexplained Infertility". My gut tells me that with so much money at stake (as you saw from the last quote at the top of the page, couples are typically warned up front that it might take a number of rounds of IVF to get pregnant), the alternatives are not typically being discussed, despite what Dr. Gibbons tells us.
As a person who votes pro-life above any other issue(s) on the ballot, I am all about having babies, and having them as naturally as possible (HERE). It is certainly not that I have anything against IVF or other similar 'therapies'. It's just that I feel there's frequently a better way. Rather than rehashing all of this for you, why not take a couple of minutes to read the short post I did on this topic last in May of last year called "BEATING INFERTILITY NATURALLY".
WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?
"We first have to understand when any soft tissue (muscle, tendons, nerves, fascia, ligaments) are damaged, the body produces scar tissue (also referred to as adhesions). In many patients, the scar response is amplified many times resulting in scarring like cobwebs enveloping the muscles, nerves and joints of the affected areas. This myofascial- bramble or cob-web suffocates the normal blood flow and nutrition to the area. Consequently, the tissues start to "dry-out", and the lubrication between the different structures decreases. This results in "rubbing" of the tissues, producing even more scar tissue and adhesions. The patient complains of stiffness, tightness, diffuse-multiple pain and trigger points. Their sleep patterns deteriorate. The body's ability to produce pain-killing endorphins and cortisoids is decreased. The patients own ability to modulate and control their own pain is further compromised if the "adhesions" or cob-webs" restrict the normal function of the nerve to the muscle. This can lead to occult neuropathy of the segmental nerves that supply the affected muscle. The muscle will then start to degenerate. Cannon's Law of Physiology states that nerve damage to a muscle produces an increase sensitivity to pain - i.e. trigger point tenderness. The Chronic pain cycle has begun." - Cherry picked from David Moffitt's article called Chronic Pain - The Adhesion / Scar Tissue Connection.
- MECHANICALLY: Scar Tissue is not nearly as elastic as is normal tissue. It is also much weaker. This is because the individual tissue fibers of normal connective tissue tend to line up in a nice, parallel fashion in relationship to each other (sort of like the picture at the top left --- think of well-combed hair). Likewise, Scar Tissue can have various degrees of 'tangledness'. This is simply connective tissues that due to some sort of injury (traumatic or repetitive) are running every conceivable direction in all three dimensions. In other words, it's a wadded up mess that is not nearly as "Functional" as is normal tissue (see picture at the top right and think of tangled and MATTED HAIR).
- ELECTRICALLY: Because injury frequently injures (stretches or tears) the tiny nerve branches that are found within the tissue itself, there can be and often times is hypersensitization that takes place. Stimulus that should not cause pain causes pain, and / or stimulus that should cause a little pain causes severe pain (Allodynia and Hyperalgia respecitively). In fact, according to neurologist and Scar Tissue expert Dr. Chan Gunn, Scar Tissue can be as much as 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue (HERE).
- BIOCHEMICALLY: As you might imagine, Scar Tissue is not as as metabolically active as is the normal tissue around it. Another reason that Scar Tissue is easier to be re-injured and slower to heal. This is one of the biggest reasons we often use COLD LASER THERAPY on chronically injured or chronically painful areas. Scar Tissue is also terribly affected by inflammation. You should be aware that the medical community realizes on some level that chronic inflammation always leads to what they call "fibrosis" (HERE). Although some people are offended by it, I refer to fibrotic tissue as "Scar Tissue" in my clinic because people understand the term better (HERE).
Now let's take this whole issue one step further. We already know that much of this Scar Tissue cannot be seen with the naked eye (particularly adhesed Fascia), but what would happen if it could not be seen with even the most technologically advanced imaging techniques such as MRI either? I'll tell you what can happen --- something I have written about several times previously. Chronic Pain's 'Perfect Storm'. A "PERFECT STORM" occurs when numerous factors, none of which is devastating in and of itself, fall into place at the same time to create what are known as "Super Storms".
Connective Tissues are defined as "biological tissues that support, connect, or separate different types of tissues and organs of the body". The most abundant connective tissue in your body is something called Fascia. Fascia is the ELASTIC, COLLAGEN-BASED TISSUE that you have seen if you do any amount of hunting or butchering (common in our area of the nation --- HERE). It is the clearish-yellow cellophane-like membrane that clings to muscle / meat (not to mention blood vessels, nerves, bones, etc). It also happens to be the most pain-sensitive tissue in the body.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOLVING
THE SCAR TISSUE RIDDLE
Due to traumatic injuries such as CAR CRASHES or SPORTS INJURIES, tissues can be stretched beyond their normal capacity to 'elast'. But there are other causes as well. I often times hear patients say things like, "but doc; I didn't do anything to hurt it". Many of the TISSUE-BASED PROBLEMS I commonly see in my clinic are not due to trauma --- or at least not a single trauma --- but to repetitive injuries such as those caused by certain jobs, sports, or POSTURES.
Think about it this way: you can move a mountain by blowing it up with one push of a button, or you can move it one spoonful at a time --- the only difference in the two methods is time. Injuries frequently occur in the same manner. In some cases, tremendous physical forces overcome tissue all at once. Just as often as not, the constant barrage of small physical forces (in many cases coupled with CHRONIC SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION) breaks tissue down over time. Although both injuries were arrived at very differently, the results can be identical.
Think about it for a moment. You have FASCIA; the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body --- but does not show up with standard tests. When you look at the image above of "Peter" from an 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly, the first thing you see is the incredible amount of Scar Tissue on his back. Now, imagine something similar going on in your body. But because it's occurring in a tissue as thin as cellophane --- often times at a cellular level, you can't see it with standard tests. To really grasp the seriousness of this, take another look at the side-by-side pictures at the top of the page. Notice closely how the tissue in the image on the left is organized in an orderly fashion, while the tissue on the right looks more like the "cobweb" described in the quote from the top of the page. If this is you, unfortunately, your problems are just getting started.
The restriction in joints surrounded by Scar Tissue (sometimes it can be extremely SUBTLE), will eventually cause serious (and visible) structural damage if not taken care of. Although there are other factors (a CRAPPY DIET is one of the biggest of these), possibly the biggest factor in developing something called DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE (DJD, which used to be called DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS) is abnormal joint motion or loss of joint motion over time. This is why breaking the restricted Fascia and restoring range of motion is not only critical for helping people get rid of their pain, it is critical for potentially preventing degenerative situations that perpetuate the pain cycle, potentially destroying one's ability to enjoy their retirement years.
SCAR TISSUE, CHRONIC PAIN, AND STRETCH MARKS
Let me take just a moment to tell you a story that happened several years ago that really got me to thinking about this issue. I had a young woman come to me for an injury she received while in high school. While working out at school, a piece of heavy gym equipment was somehow pulled over and struck her in the middle part of her back. After spending 2-3 years on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND (numerous specialists, lots of tests, several MRI's, therapy, pills, etc), her parents brought her in to see me. The problem had "Scar Tissue" written all over it. After examining her (her main finding was localized mid back pain with almost any movement she performed), I began to work.
What was interesting about this particular case was that this girl had no visible stretch marks in the middle of her back --- until I started working on her. The more I worked, the more visible and defined the STRETCH MARKS / TEARS became. The really cool thing was that after working on her, she could not reproduce pain with any amount of movement, including bending to touch her toes while I pushed her upper back towards the floor at the same time. It took a couple more treatments to totally resolve this case, of which I have seen dozens upon dozens of similar over the years. In fact, I can immediately think of several individuals (all quite thin) who wound up with hardcore stretch marks on their backs (like the picture above) after seriously wrecking four wheelers. In my mind, one of three things is true about these cases. Either........
- Adhesions in the dermal (middle) layer of the skin can cause incredible amounts of restriction and pain. I rather doubt this in light of the research that's out there, but the truth is, YOU CAN'T ALWAYS TRUST RESEARCH.
- Some cases of Stretch Marks run deeper than the dermal layer; possibly clear down into the Fasica. I also doubt that this is the case or it would have been discovered long ago.
- The Stretch Mark is not deep, but is indicative that there may be a deeper injury (i.e. Fascia) underneath it. This is probably the most plausible of the three.
What is the truth? I am not really sure. Since the what we do here works to help people overcome long-standing Chronic Pain and restriction, it does not really matter for our purposes which of these hypotheses is true. What's always true, however, is that your life will be better without Chronic Inflammation. If you are looking for solutions to your Chronic Pain or Chronic Illness, you might want to take a look at THESE POSTS.
WHAT ABOUT THE RESEARCH?
Among the effects seen in multiple cell and tissue types is increased ATP synthesis in mitochondria -- in essence, an energy jolt for the cell. This has particular relevance in the central nervous system because mechanical and chemical insults to brain neurons can result in impaired energy metabolism. It's been hypothesized that raising these cells' energy levels may keep them functioning -- in other words, that near-infrared radiation may counterbalance the effects of injury. John Gever, Managing Editor of Medpage Today from a recent article
One of the things that Gever did was to single out a chiropractic clinic in Texas as an example of false advertising. Although I myself would never advertise in this manner, when compared to what is currently passing for EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE here in America, it seems to be one of those pull-the-beam-from-your-own-eye-before-you-chide-me-for-the-splinter-in-mine situations (HERE). This fact was brought out by several readers who posted comments essentially accusing Gever of professional bias against chiropractors --- something I would have to agree with in light of the tone of the much of the article.
For instance, even though I agree whole-heartedly with what he said, the way his quote I put at the top of this page was worded could have been better. Gever equated "increased ATP synthesis in mitochondria" to an "energy jolt". Maybe I am being picky here, but he marginalized a decent explanation of how Cold Laser works via his choice of words (energy jolt). Not to mention, a bit later in his article he made sure that we all knew that Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involves a "complete liquidation" of a company's assets --- something that would probably never happen to a PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY.
He then went on to explain why the lasers used for these experiments did not work, saying that their penetration was "not deep enough to affect motor function reliably." Hold on. If depth of penetration were the only problem with this study, I would assume that it could be remedied fairly easy by switching hardware. Simply use a super-pulsed class III Cold Laser like the Multi-Radiance, or a Class IV device such as a K-Laser. From there he moved on to describe the work of Dr. Margaret Naeser of Boston University, who has been successfully treating SOLDIERS AFFECTED BY TBI, using Cold Laser Therapy.
Although much of her research would better be described as a series of "case studies" than randomized, placebo-controlled trials, listen to what Gever said about the individuals who went through her protocol --- some of these being soldiers who had undergone multiple service-related TBI'S at least four years prior to treatment. "Both showed significant improvements from baseline in measures of executive function and other aspects of cognition, according to their report in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery". Guess what? If your Cold Laser penetrates deep enough into the brain to successfully treat people with TBI, it's not a stretch to think that it could penetrate deep enough into the brain to treat the area(s) affected by a stroke. Interestingly enough, results like Dr. Naeser's don't seem to be some sort of rare aberration. Case in point as Gever goes on to tell his readers that, "similar positive findings have been reported in case reports of patients with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and some other neurological conditions."
He goes on to explain that while NILT devices are "FDA approved for musculoskeletal pain indications," the effect may just be to the fact that it is, "simply acting as a heat source". The thinly veiled insinuation is that the posotive results are due to a cleverly designed placebo effect, which could (should) be likened to the sort of warm fuzzy feeling one gets from drinking a hot cup of cocoa on a winter's day in January. The article ends with Gever rhetorizing (yeah; I made it up) with himself about the legality or or lack thereof of treating folks with strokes and the other neurological problems that he mentioned by name just a couple of paragraphs earlier, using Cold Laser (ALZHEIMER'S, PARKINSON'S, TBI, etc). All of this begs my original question of whether or not there is ample evidence to back up the use of Cold Laser for various problems.
EVIDENCE FOR COLD LASER THERAPY
As near as I can tell, there are somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies on Cold Laser Therapy, with about 300 or so being added each year. These studies cover a wide range of health problems --- not nearly all of them concerning "musculoskeletal" problems as Gever would have you believe. SHINGLES is one such example that I have seen in my clinic. But as I have always said, the real proof is in the pudding --- you know; how does it work on real-world patients? Let me tell you the story of being my own Cold Laser Guinea Pig.
About five or six years ago, I started seriously looking at Cold Lasers as I had heard from several colleagues how fabulous they were. That and the fact that one of my instructors from Logan, Chiropractic Radiologist Dr. Gary Geubert, had told me of being 'cured' (his word, not mine) of long-standing PLANTAR FASCIITIS by a single Cold Laser treatment a couple of years previous to our conversation. This was of interest to me because I have dealt with the after-effects of several different sports injuries over the years, not to mention that at the time my hands and thumbs were giving me grief because of the beating they receive on a daily basis from adjusting lots of patients. A certain company offered to let me use their Laser for three months. I could send it back for a full refund if were not convinced it was the real deal --- no questions asked. My hands and thumbs were virtually pain free after a couple of three minute treatments. I was hooked.
The bottom line is this. The Hippocratic Oath, taken by all physicians as they graduate from their respective schools decrees that the first rule of doctoring is to do no harm (HERE is a recent example). Do we need to take the advice of the RN who commented on Gever's post and, "arrest them as frauds"? Before we come to a decision, let's be honest with each other for a moment. If Medicine were doing everything right, there would be no need for "Alternative" Medicine. Is NILT, Cold Laser Therapy, or for that matter, a cheap, infra-red light bulb going to hurt anyone? In other words, is NILT dangerous? Heck no it's not dangerous. In fact, with what we know about the way that this and similar therapies work, there could quite possibly be great benefit --- maybe even for those who are struggling with the after effects of a stroke or some other neurological problem.
No; I'm not telling you that Cold Laser is some sort of panacea or 'cure-all'. What I am saying is that given the choice of having standard medical fare (drugs and surgery), or something like Cold Laser --- a simple, potentially effective, and relatively inexpensive method of helping your cause by possibly being able to avoid or have less medical care ---- the decision to chose Cold Laser makes sense. Especially in light of the fact that as far as the research has shown, is not going to cause any side effects (just keep it out of the eyes). In my eyes, positive results, plus low cost, plus no known side effects, equals a pretty good combination. By the way, not only do I own three lasers, but my parents and in laws both own one as well. I think that speaks for itself.
THE COLD HARD TRUTH ABOUT
The NIH (National Institutes of Health --- a governmental organization) recently stated through their two top officials (Francis Collins MD / Ph.D and Lawrence Tabak DDS / Ph.D) that their organization is going to be involved in "significant interventions" against poorly done or fraudulent scientific research because the, "checks and balances that once ensured scientific fidelity have been hobbled". Gulp! If you have ever seen a hobbled horse (HERE), you quickly realize that it can do very little. This is why we have seen STUDY after STUDY after STUDY that shows just how stagnant and corrupt this system really is.
In fact, in a recent interview with MedPage Today, Dr Tabak revealed that, "The truth is we don't really know what the full scope of the problem is." Great. I feel better already. The government admits it's not sure what is going on, but by-golly, they are going to fix it. With your tax dollars. Although Tabak went on to admit that fixing this problem is going to take the full efforts of, "the academic community, those that publish scientific journals, and, of course, the scientists themselves," don't look for things to change anytime soon. There is simply too much money at stake ---- way too much money. It's sort of like the Mexican Drug Cartels like the Knights Templar and Zetas. When the money is that big, taking out one of these gangs only means there will be two more rise up trying to take their place. It's similar to trying to kill the mythical "Hydra". Chop off one of its heads, and you now have to deal with two more.
In the article, Loannidis makes statements such as, "There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false." Or, "There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims. However, this should not be surprising. It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false." Or how about, "investigators working in any field are likely to resist accepting that the whole field in which they have spent their careers is a “null field.” " In light of what we have been told about science from the time we were in grade school, this might come as a shock. It also raises a question that each and every one of us will need to answer for ourselves. If we can't trust science to save us, who can we trust?
Unfortunately, you have recently seen that we cannot trust MEDICAL GUIDELINES (HERE & HERE also). And when it comes to those 'common sense' factors such as nutrition and exercise, everyone seems to be saying something different from each other --- sometimes radically different. Who do you believe? As far as what to eat, THIS provides a great starting point. From there you can move on to studying the causes and potential solutions to all sorts of disease processes (HERE). All of this proves what I have been telling people for a very long time. The biggest part of your health is completely up to you.
AGING, VITAL RESERVES, NUTRITION, AND DISEASE
"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" - Satchel Paige
"Old age is not a disease." - Yours Truly
Why did I bring this up? The other day I discussed ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, and today we are going to discuss aging in general, what it is, roughly how it occurs, and how to go about slowing down the process. It's far too easy to look at the geriatric crowd (55 and over) and chalk their many health problems up to their age. This is where your doctor sits you down, looks you in the eye, and solemnly gives you words of wisdom such as, "Joe; you just aren't as young as you used to be". Today I am going to show you why you should not buy into this outdated line of thinking and all the baggage that comes with it.
Much of your quality of life comes down to something which the medical community refers to as "Function". When you hear me talk about Function, I am talking about a person's ability to accomplish everything they need to get done in the course of a normal day, and the level of health required to do so. Why is this important for you to understand at any age? The longer that folks can stay out of "Heaven's Holding Cell" (the nursing home), typically, the better their lives will be. The problem is, when you can no longer "Function" well enough to perform the things that make up the acronym D.E.A.T.H. (Dressing, Eating, Ambulation, Toilet, Hygiene), your odds of ending up there increase rather dramatically. My goal today is to show you how to take some years off of your "Body Age" and at the very least, question some of those DRUG COMMERCIALS that you see way too many of on television today.
It is important for people to remember that Big Pharma and Corporate Medicine typically view them as a commodity --- a money generating machine that can create hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars over the course of their lifetime. Think I'm over-exaggerating? Read a few of my posts tagged under "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" --- that is, if you can keep from upchucking. Until you realize that as far as Big Pharma is concerned, you are nothing more than a walking, breathing, dollar sign; you will be led down a path that might keep you alive a bit longer than might otherwise happen, but saps the magic and joy from your life in the process (HERE or HERE).
As we all know, much of health comes down to doing two things correctly. These have to do with the fact that you need to be vigorously active on a regular basis and feed your body nutritious food. Are these difficult? Sure they are --- particularly if you are living alone. But, fail to do these two things --- particularly in your younger years --- and you drain your body's "Vital Reserves" before you ever get to become an 'official' card-carrying member of AARP.
We have all heard the old adage, "You are what you eat". While this is certainly true, it is more accurate if we make a subtle change to the last word. The truth is, we are not really what we eat, as much as we are what we ate. In other words, the fact that you broke down and had a piece of birthday cake yesterday is not nearly so big a deal as is the fact that you lived as a SUGAR ADDICT for about thirty years of your life. Not that you cannot to some degree overcome this, but dealing with the INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS of that sugar (not to mention the medications and other chemical exposure) is going to take a toll on your system and its ability to DETOXIFY itself. Sugar is only one example of many. I could pick on SMOKERS, couch potatoes, or a whole host of other groups here. I think you probably get the point. All of this begs the question of what are Vital Reserves?
Simply start taking care of yourself --- today. If you take a little bit of time to learn about the common threads that relate most disease processes to each other, you will begin to understand why there are certain steps that should be taken in the battle against virtually any disease process you could name (HERE).
WHY SO MUCH ALZHEIMER'S?
"Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people are free of symptoms, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, and once-healthy neurons begin to work less efficiently." From the webiste of the NIH's National Institute on Aging.
"Aging is not a disease." - Dr. Russell Schierling
- Over five million Americans currently have visible Alzheimer's.
- Alzheimer's is our nation's sixth leading cause of death, and one in three dies with the disease.
- It is estimated that over 15 million caregivers provide nearly 18 billion hours of unpaid care valued at over $215 billion for their loved ones.
- The financial cost of Alzheimer's was over $200 billion in 2013. Within 35 years, that number is expected to go up six times (calculated in today's dollars).
- In a decade, the number of people with Alzheimer's is expected to rise by 40%.
- The death rate from Alzheimer's increased nearly 70% in the decade of the 2000's (2000 - 2010).
- Medicaid costs per-person for senior citizens with Alzheimer's are almost 20 times higher than the cost of taking care of non-Alzheimer's seniors.
- Usually, the first thing that others notice in a friend or loved one with Alzheimer's Disease is a change in behavior.
WHY THE ALZHEIMER'S EXPLOSION?
The truth is, it's high time to stop trusting in EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE and realize that by and large, your health is up to you. In the same way that we know what causes most cases of Lung Cancer, we have a pretty good idea of what causes the majority of Alzheimer's Disease as well. Oh; I see. Your doctor never mentioned any of this to you. That's a shame. Let me share with you what I believe are the top five reasons for or nation's Alzheimer's Epidemic.
- BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION: When we talk about Blood Sugar Dysregulation, we are usually talking about a situation where the body is INSULIN RESISTANT. However, we could be discussing HYPOGLYCEMIA as well. You see; we Americans love our sugar and starch (HERE), and too few of us realize just HOW HARMFUL UNREGULATED BLOOD SUGAR can be --- to brain function. In case you had not heard, the "Amyloid Brain Plaques" that are so characteristic of Alzheimer's Disease, have a known cause --- the inability to regulate blood sugar. It's not like this is news, as I have written about it at length in several of the links in this bullet point. But I will leave you with a quip from a recent study done at Tulane University and published in a recent issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. "High blood-sugar levels, such as those linked with Type 2 diabetes, make beta amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease dramatically more toxic to cells lining blood vessels in the brain". The truth is that Alzheimer's is now being called TYPE III DIABETES!
- GLUTEN SENSITIVITY: Although most people associate GLUTEN SENSITIVITY with things like bloating, gas, and IBS-LIKE symptoms, this is not really the case --- or at least it's not the whole story the majority of the time. If you want to understand the ways that Gluten rips the guts out of your Nervous System, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE are some posts for you to start with. Make sure to check out the video clip below from Dr. David Perlmutter's interview with Dr. Joe Mercola in anticipation of his upcoming 90 minute PBS special Brain Change (it starts today). Dr. Perlmutter wrote Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar; your brain's silent killers, which became a New York Times number one bestseller back in November.
- LACK OF EXERCISE: In case you have not figured it out, poor diet and lack of exercise are tied to almost every physical ailment there is. The brain needs activation in order to work properly. In other words, it's motor side needs to be stimulated (this is why sitting in front of a screen does not count). The greatest source of motor stimulation of the brain comes from physical activity and coordinated movement. Be aware that complex movments or movements that involve a lot of brain power (ball exercises or square dancing) are going to be much better than something like RUNNING (unless you are running somewhere like on a mountain trail). In other words, the old cliche is just as true today as it was a century ago. Move it or lose it. HERE is a blog post on this very topic.
- REGULAR FLU SHOTS: My personal opinion (based on lots of scientific research and anecdotal evidence) is that it's crazy the way folks line up each year for their FLU SHOTS, in similar fashion to the manner in which teenyboppers line up for a Justin Beaver concert. One of America's most-published researchers, DR. HUGH FUDENBERG (M.D. / Ph.D / Immunogeneticist) did the research showing that if you had five consecutive years of Flu Shots, your chance of developing Alzheimer's went up by almost 10 times --- mostly because of Aluminum and MERCURY TOXICITY. He published this research back in the 1970's. Rest assured that when an elite research scientist such as Fudenberg publishes findings like this, he is not sainted, knighted, nor given a raise.
- CHEMICAL TOXICITY: This could come in the form of certain heavy metals like from the bullet point above. Or it could come from a whole host of other chemicals we are continually exposed to. According to Mississippi neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock, one such example of this phenomenon comes in the form of "Excitotoxins" such as MSG or ASPARTAME. But this problem goes far beyond what we may have previously imagined. Just today, a new study was released in JAMA Neurology touting the old pesticide DDT (it's still used in many parts of the world, and once it's in the environment, it does not break down), as a major player in developing Alzheimer's Disease. The researchers found that not only did those with Alzheimer's had an 80% chance of having significant levels of DDT in their system, they also had over four times the amount of DDT in their bodies as compared to non-Alzheimer's persons of similar age and background.
If you are concerned about your ability to know what day of the week it is, what you had for breakfast, or whether or not you will recognize your children or spouse as you get older, don't wait until tomorrow to take this post to heart. Instead of letting doctors do all of your health care to you, figure out what you can do for yourself and git-er-done! Start by learning about what constitutes a healthy diet (HERE and HERE). Next, you can LOSE SOME WEIGHT and start a simple EXERCISE PROGRAM. If you are really serious about this issue, you can take a few minutes to learn about the things that RELATE MOST DISEASE PROCESSES to each other.
CLEARING OUT THE XENOHORMONES
SOLVE PMS, PCOS, DYSMENORRHEA, MENOPAUSE, AND OTHERS
BY SOLVING THE RIDDLE OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
"Today, we see the age of puberty (menarche) dropping precipitously to as low as 10 years of age, endometriosis afflicting 10% of all perimenopausal women; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) rising and afflicting close to 30% of perimenopausal women, uterine fibroids affecting close to 25% of women from age 35 to 50, and breast cancer afflicting close to 10% of all women." - Dr. Michael Lam from his article called Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen Dominance is the all-too-common situation where a woman has too much Estrogen in her body as compared to Progesterone. How does this happen? The number one reason is that virtually all of us end up with too much Estrogen in our systems (men and women) is because of the amount of time spent swimming in a sea of estrogen and estrogen-like substances called "Xenohormones" or "Xenoestrogens" (HERE). Although I dealt with Estrogen Dominance in that post, the real question, which I did not address, is what to do about this problem. In other words, how would a person, whether male or female (yes, men get overdosed with Estrogen as well), get these toxic estrogen-like chemicals out of their system? That is going to be the chief topic in today's post.
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
- IRREGULAR OR ABNORMAL PERIODS / PCOS: This could be just about anything. And while PCOS has been mostly associated in the peer-reviewed literature with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar, most women dealing with this issue are going to be Estrogen Dominant as well.
- PMS: Nuff said. In case you have not seen the SNL parody of the birth control pill Seasonale ("Annuelle"), you need to Google it and check it out.
- BLOATING, SWELLING, AND WATER RETENTION: Can't get rings on and off? Swollen ankles? Puffy face? Estrogen Dominance is probably in the mix.
- PMS-RELATED HEADACHES: Lots of women get "Hormonal Headaches" during that time of month. Most of these are related to Estrogen Dominance.
- WEIGHT GAIN: Estrogen is likely a culprit --- particularly when talking about BELLY FAT. It is critical that you understand that fat-soluble substances (Estrogen / Xenoestrogens fall into this category) are stored in fat cells --- particularly the visceral fat layer that covers your organs. If you are Estrogen Dominant but not overweight; trust me --- it's just a matter of time. By the way; it is not just the Female Organs that produce Estrogen. A main producer of Estrogen just happens to be fat cells, which in turn produce more Estrogen. When farmers give hormones to fatten cattle, these are various forms of synthetic Estrogen. THIS will shed some more light on the subject. WEIGHT LOSS is critical in the battle against ED. However, the very nature of the problem can make losing weight difficult -- or even impossible. Don't worry. Very shortly I am going to show you how to get the excess Estrogen out of your system so that you can begin losing weight.
- HAIR LOSS / HYPOTHYROIDISM: Ever notice that HYPOTHYROIDISM is far more common in the female population?
- BRAIN FOG: Trouble thinking or concentrating. Very common in people with Fibromyalgia and / or GLUTEN SENSITIVITY.
- SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE: There are SEVERAL, but one of the most common are sleep issues --- particularly Insomnia.
- EXHAUSTION, FATIGUE, SLOW METABOLISM: Many on this list, including this one, are commonly seen in ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA.
- SUGAR OR STARCH CRAVINGS: Show me a woman with hardcore SUGAR CRAVINGS, and I'll show you a woman with Estrogen Dominance. This is often times associated with Chronic Systemic Yeast Infections as well --- particularly in women who have taken lots of ANTIBIOTICS at some point in their lives.
- SWOLLEN, TENDER, ENLARGED, OR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS: A very common side effect of Estrogen Dominance.
- CONSTANT ALLERGIES / SINUS INFECTION: HERE, HERE, and HERE are some links on these issues. Much of this is due to, as you will see momentarily, increasing whole-body toxicity and a deficiency in the nutritional compounds to stop or reverse the trend.
- DIMINISHED LIBIDO: HERE are the links. You need to be aware that although Testosterone fuels sex drive even in women, too much Testosterone in women is associated with both diminished libido and PCOS.
- DEPRESSION: DEPRESSION is far more common in women than men, and more common yet in women with Estrogen Dominance.
- AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, INCLUDING IBS: HERE is a list of some of America's more common Autoimmune Diseases. HERE are my blog posts on the subject, including IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. If you have Autoimmunity (far more common in women than men), you need to understand this relationship.
- INFERTILITY: Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy. Too little Estrogen and / or not enough Progesterone, and either pregnancy will not occur, or the odds of a miscarriage increase dramatically. When you think 'big picture' think of Estrogen and Progesterone as antagonistic to each other. It is important to understand that simply looking at raw Estrogen levels will not tell us the whole picture. Estrogen Dominance occurs when the ratio of Estrogen to Progesterone is too high. As Dr. Janet Lang always said concerning this topic; "ratios rule".
- INSULIN RESISTANCE OR OUTRIGHT DIABETES: The truth is, most ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS, can be traced back to UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR --- the starting point to most chronic illness.
- ENDOMETRIOSIS: According to Shelley Binkley M.D., "In women with endometriosis, the processing of estrogen is abnormal". This leads to the uterine lining ending up growing in places it should not be.
- FEMALE CANCERS: This is particularly true of BREAST CANCER. How big is this relationship between excess Estrogen and Breast Cancer? The two chief drugs for treating women once their initial cancer has been taken care of are Tamoxifen and Femara --- both Estrogen-blockers. This is because the majority of Breast Cancers are fueled by, among other things like SUGAR, Estrogen.
- OSTEOPOROSIS: Although Estrogen (usually in the form of HRT) has been associated OSTEOPOROSIS prevention, we are learning that this is not the whole story. Aren't INVISIBLE STUDIES grand?
WAYS TO DEAL WITH ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
- ADD MORE ESTROGEN TO YOUR SYSTEM WITH BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OR HRT (HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY): Once you take some time to study this issue of Estrogen Dominance, you'll quickly realize that HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy like Premarin -- Pregnant Mare's Urine) does not make much sense for many many (maybe most) women. And while 'The Pill' is certainly convenient, adding synthetic hormones to your system is rarely a good thing --- particularly over the long haul. Several years ago, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote that, "In July 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) abruptly ended its combination of estrogen and progestin therapy study, as their data discovered higher rates of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the population taking the hormones, compared to those taking placebos."
- ADD PROGESTERONE TO YOUR SYSTEM: Although natural forms of sub-lingual Progesterone might be a good thing to do for awhile, it is not going to solve this issue over the long haul. It is a band-aid that makes things easier while you work on the root cause(s) of the problem. This is because when you take exogenous hormones, your body shuts down endogenous production. Be aware that Progestins (patented drugs that are actually artificial forms of Progesterone) have been part of most HRT protocols for quite some time. As you might guess, there are a number of side effects associated with them. Again; this might be a short-term option but is never a long-term solution.
- DO NOTHING AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY: Playing the ostrich-game and keeping your head buried in the sand is an easy thing to do for awhile. Particularly since your doctor will not talk about Estrogen Dominance (other than maybe to pooh pooh it). The problem with this approach is that it can lead to Breast Cancer and other forms of (mostly) female CANCERS. Not only that, but when the symptoms get too crazy, most women revert back to the first bullet point.
- ELIMINATE THE SOURCES OF ESTROGEN FROM YOUR LIFE: This means that you probably need to stop eating commercially-raised meats (Estrogen is the hormone given by farmers to make their animals fat -- more on this shortly). It also means that you will have to figure out where other sources of PSEUDO-ESTROGEN (including plant-based sources of Estrogen such as soy) are coming from.
- WORK ON PHASE I & PHASE II DETOXIFICATION: This one is huge, because it is how you are going to get this crap out of your system. Unfortunately, it is the proverbial "Catch-22". Because Estrogen is stored in fatty tissue, getting rid of it can not only be time consuming, but can also require some weight loss --- something that is itself difficult in people with Estrogen Dominance. Since we have to start somewhere, let's get this ball rolling by learning about the way that your body clears toxic substances.
YOUR LIVER AND BODY PURIFICATION / DETOXIFICATION
When we talk about detoxification and the liver, we will invariably see terms like Phase I, Phase II, and the P-450 Cytochrome System bantered about. In order to understand the process (it is the exact same process used to clear drugs / medicine from your body), we are going to briefly discuss these subjects.
- PHASE I describes your body's ability to transform toxins to a form that can be pulled out of the fatty tissues they are stored in, and is considered to be your body's first enzymatic defense against foreign chemicals. Phase I reactions are primarily performed by via oxidation (oxygen) and the P450 Cytochrome Enzymes. It is important to be aware that the 'intermediate metabolites' created by Phase I can actually be more toxic to your system than when they were in storage. This is why it is absolutely vital to have Phase II working properly. When Phase I is not working properly, or if Phase I is cranked up while Phase II is suppressed, the result can be a wide range of serious diseases, including AUTOIMMUNITY, CANCER, and PARKINSON'S.
- PHASE II reactions attach or "conjugate" the toxins to various water-soluble compounds in order to increase their ability to be dissolved, which allows them to be voided easier. This part of the equation is where the oxidized chemicals are combined with sulfur, specific amino acids, or organic acids, so that they can be excreted in the bile. There are several different enzymes and slightly different metabolic pathways for accomplishing this that can and will become depleted without replenishing them via the diet. Possibly the single most powerful antioxidant in the body --- GLUTATHIONE --- is critical for Phase II. Note that Phase II can be inhibited by alcohol or drugs (prescription, OTC, or recreational) and, as you might guess from the second sentence in this bullet point, nutritional deficiencies (including too little dietary protein) will shut this phase down cold. When exposed to a heavy toxic load, Glutathoine and other similar substances can become rapidly depleted. Oh; do not waste time on oral Glutathione supplements as it is rapidly degraded by the digestion process.
- PHASE III is simply the process of your system actually removing / excreting the conjugated toxic chemicals from your body ---- without reabsorbing them. Be aware that this is virtually impossible without ample amounts of dietary fiber. Also be aware that detoxing your system of years of toxicity can take some time.
The bottom line on Phase One detoxification is: you need it but you don’t want Phase One activity to exceed the ability of your liver’s Phase Two enzymes to finish the job, otherwise you’re in trouble. When you oxidize BENZENE, you initially produce some very toxic Benzene-related substrates, which means your Phase II System had better be up and running full tilt, otherwise you could end up in worse shape than when you started.
Having a toxic system can set you up for a whole host of health problems, including the dreaded MUPS, which experts claim, accounts for 40 - 50% of all doctor visits. In order to achieve optimal health, we must be detoxing our system optimally --- and constantly. Although Phase I and II occur almost exclusively in the liver, I want to take just a moment to mention the importance of the bowel as far as detox is concerned. Not only is dietary fiber important so that the toxins can be 'bound' to something in order to be carried out of the body as waste, but listen to what Dr. DeAnn J. Liska, the director of Nutrition Science for Kellogg, and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine, says about the bowel's potential effect on Phase I and II.
"The first contact the body makes with the majority of xenobiotics [drugs] is the gastrointestinal tract. Over the course of a lifetime, the gastrointestinal tract processes more than 25 tons of food, which represents the largest load of antigens and xenobiotics confronting the human body. The gastrointestinal tract influences detoxification in several other ways. Gut microflora can produce compounds that either induce or inhibit detoxification activities. Pathogenic bacteria can produce toxins that can enter circulation and increase toxic load."
One of the up-and-coming health problems facing our citizens today is something called Fatty Liver Disease. Although it is estimated that nearly 100% of America's 15 million alcoholics have Fatty Liver Disease (also called "Hepatic Steatosis", alcohol is not the number one cause, nor the largest group of people with the problem. By far, the biggest group of people suffering from Fatty Liver Disease (no pun intended) would be the portion of our society who are overweight. This is why the majority of Fatty Liver Disease is actually referred to as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. And while the Mayo Clinic says that, "nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common and, for most people, causes no signs and symptoms and no complications," I'm simply not buying it --- or at least buying all of it.
As I showed you the other day, we have a massive segment of our people who are dealing with something called MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms). Do you think that an inability to detox drugs and toxins could cause people problems? Darn straight! Failure to detox will cause serious and life-altering problems! Just one category of these problems are those related to Estrogen Dominance. In other words, fail to detox excess Estrogen (whether endogenous or exogenous) from your system, and you will end up with a serious HORMONAL TOXICITY, leading to the propensity to develop a host of female problems, as well as endocrine problems.
One of the health issues that has been intimately associated with both Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease is Inflammation. In America, SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION is a nearly-universal problem, which the medical community has little to offer in the way of real solutions. Sure; they have all sorts of things for the symptoms. But if that's all you are looking for, you may want to visit a different website. The situation is so common that WebMD says that, "Up to 20% of adults may have either fatty liver or NASH [an inflamed liver --- hepatitis]. And more than 6 million children have one of these conditions".
FOODS THAT AID IN PHASE I & PHASE II DETOXIFICATION
- CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES: This class includes things like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. This is the foundation of SP Greenfood.
- PLENTY OF PROTEIN: Two amino acids, cysteine and methionine, are high in sulfur and found in meat, fish, eggs, and chicken. Another reason I am not keen on VEGAN DIETS.
- CITRUS FRUITS: Many liver detoxes have you drinking Green Tea with lemon juice. Also the basis of one of my favorite Bowel Cleanses --- the Master's Cleanse.
- CARROTS, BEETS, TOMATOES, SPINACH / GREEN LEAFIES: Great to juice or eat as a healthy snack. Beets (raw, not pickled) are a "Super Food" for liver / gall bladder issues.
- ONIONS / GARLIC: These plants are heavy on the sulfur.
- MILK THISTLE / SILYMARIN: This is the number one herb for detoxing and healing the liver.
- VARIOUS HERBS OR SUPPLEMENTS: Curcumin, Ashwagandha, Dandelion, Green Tea, PROBIOTICS for the bowel, PGFO for Inflammation, and several others.
- LOTS OF FIBER: The truth is, you can do everything else correctly; but if you are not getting plenty of fiber (the RIGHT KIND) into your system to bind up the toxins that have been excreted out of your cells and blood stream, you will reabsorb them before they can be excreted from your body (Phase III).
This list is in no ways definitive, and there are several products in the Standard Process Line (including their Purification System --- SP COMPLETE with SP Green-Food) that are wonderful for aiding the process. However, nothing, and I do mean nothing, takes the place of a healthy diet. While you are at it, start exercising. EXERCISE is good for everything, including detoxification / purification. And if you would give up the tobacco, drink no more than a little bit here or there, and stop taking so dad-blamed many drugs, you would help yourself by taking toxic pressure off of your liver.
FIRST PROSTATE CANCER, NOW IT'S JUST PLAIN BAD
"The research found more problems when it looked specifically at levels of two particular omega-3s that are promoted for brain and heart health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Tests showed that at least a dozen products contained DHA levels that were, on average, 14 percent less than listed on their packaging." From Wednesday's edition of the New York Times (What’s in Your Fish Oil Supplements?)
NON-SURGICAL OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
"Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common condition, caused by 'The Pill', pregnancy, Rheumatological, or Endocrine disorders; and involves compression of the Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel" The Carpal Tunnel Anatomy video below from England's University of Warwick.
- DIABETES: We are a nation of SUGAR ADDICTS. Just remember that you do not have to have FULL BLOWN DIABETES in order to have Sugar Dysregulation. Also remember that problems with the regulation of blood sugar are a foundational point for virtually all diseases (HERE).
- HYPOTHYROIDISM & DIMINISHED PITUITARY FUNCTION: HERE is the link on thyroid issues. In case you were not aware, the vast majority of America's thyroid problems (Hashimoto's and Graves) are AUTOIMMUNE. Be aware that the quote at the top mentioned ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS in general, which would encompass the first three bullet points on this list.
- OBESITY: Unfortunately, when you count those who are SKINNY FAT, almost 80% of our nation's adult population is either overweight or OBESE.
- RHEUMATOID OR DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS: HERE are several links pertaining to various kinds of Arthritis (RA is Autoimmune).
- TENDON PROBLEMS: I actually wrote an entire post about THIS FACTOR.
- PREVIOUS TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER: This one was interesting. And while I could POSTULATE AS TO THE RELATIONSHIP, I am not really sure.
- PREVIOUS WRIST INJURY: This could be almost anything, including fractures, sprains and strains, or possibly TENDINOSIS.
- USING VIBRATING HAND-TOOLS REGULARLY: This actually sounds more like a risk factor for Raynaud's Disease (aka "Jackhammerer's Syndrome") than it does for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- WORK-RELATED STRESS: Although this is sort of a catch-all; as amazing as it sounds, neither repetitive work with the hands nor computer work made the list.
Is surgery an effective / cost-effective option for CTS? Depends on who you talk to. I am here to tell you, however, that for many of you, there's a better way to deal with this and many other INFLAMMATORY HEALTH PROBLEMS than simply taking another drug. Since Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not necessarily what you thought it was, it might make sense that it needs to be dealt with in ways that you might not necessarily have thought of or even heard of. In other words, you may need to step outside the box.
An April 2007 study (A Systematic Review of Conservative Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) published in the medical journal Clinical Rehabilitation, looked at the evidence from over 30 randomized studies on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Although they mentioned NSAIDS as showing "limited" efficacy in the treatment of CTS (something that is recommended by most physicians, and touted on sites like MayoClinic and WebMD), their big brother (CORTICOSTEROIDS -- injected and / or oral) was the only form of treatment that made the "strong evidence" category. Yes; I understand that steroids have the ability to at least temporarily relieve the symptoms of CTS. The problem is, they also have a crazy array of common and frequently severe side effects.
In Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery, an incision is made in the Transverse Carpal Ligament (aka the Flexor Retinaculum --- see the pic at the top of this page) in order to "release" the bound ligament, and thus 'release' or take pressure off of the contents of the Carpal Tunnel. Read between the lines as you listen to what a popular online encyclopedia had to say about the success rates of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery.
Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome after successful surgery is rare. If a person has hand pain after surgery, it is most likely not caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. It may be the case that the illness of a person with hand pain after carpal tunnel release was diagnosed incorrectly, such that the carpal tunnel release has had no positive effect upon the patient's symptoms.
Put all this in the computer, add it up, and it tells me that somewhere we are missing the boat with this problem we call Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Surely there must be a better way to deal with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Often times there is. How would I go about helping someone struggling with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? There are several steps that make sense in light of the most current peer-reviewed literature.
- CHANGE OF DIET AND LIFESTYLE: Remember the list from the top of the page on the chief causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Reviewing this list reveals that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome might be far more complex than we have been led to believe.
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: The nerves that end up in your hand and wrist come from your neck. Make sure to take a look at the NERVE CHART.
- TISSUE REMODELING: This could be at either the WRIST or the NECK. HERE is what I am talking about when I mention "Tissue Remodeling".
- NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: This might be in the form of WHOLE FOOD B-Vitamins. It might mean that you need to take some PGFO. An obvious GUT PROBLEM (seen in most of the problems in the list at the top of the page) might mean that you need some PROBIOTICS or something else.
- COLD LASER THERAPY: This is an amazing (relatively) new technology that promotes healing. If you want to find out more about the way that COLD LASER THERAPY would work with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, just click the link.
CHRONIC NECK PAIN IN A YOUNG BULL RIDER
Since 1991, I have treated scores of rodeoers. Unfortunately, if you are into rodeo, you have a good chance of ending up with a wide array of permanent physical ailments. The longer you're in the game, the greater the chance of having a life-altering injury. Enter Tyler Russell. Tyler came to see me two years ago, after being stomped in the BACK AND NECK by a 1,500 pound bull two years before that ---- while still in Junior High. Fortunately, Tyler took my advice and gave up bull riding after his first visit to see me about 18 months ago. I saw Tyler for the third time yesterday, and he was more than willing to give me a written testimonial.
I was experiencing pain from my lower back all the way to my upper neck, and my back and neck kept going out all the time. A couple years earlier I had been stomped on the neck by a bull that had thrown me. Despite the over-the-counter pain meds, I got to the point where I could no longer play sports. I decided to come see Dr. Schierling because my family had heard from several people that he was good. Ever since my first treatment, I wake up with no pain and have normal mobility again. - Tyler Russell (17) Winona, MO
Tyler was loaded with Scar Tissue and FASCIAL ADHESIONS that ran from the bottom of his low back (his THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA), up onto the back of his skull (GALEA APONEUROSES) --- the chief reason that he could not hold an adjustment prior to seeing me. The results of his treatment were both rapid and predictable. Thanks for the testimonial Tyler.
MEDICALLY UNEXPLAINED PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
"Ask the average doctor what causes Fibromyalgia, and you'll likely get a deer-in-the-headlights look, some stuttering and stammering about the fact that no one knows what really causes it, and the suggestion that you go through a bunch of diagnostic testing. Now ask your doctor how he /she is going to go about treating it. That one is easy. Drugs! But stop and think for a moment....... How on earth can you effectively treat something whose cause is unknown? The best their method of treatment can hope to achieve is some temporary symptomatic relief. Most doctors will tell you that since no one knows what causes Fibro, symptomatic relief is the only treatment goal." -Dr. Russell Schierling
"Medically Unexplained Syndromes (MUS) present the most common problems in medicine." - Task Force of the NIH (National Institutes of Health)
It seems that depending on whose study you choose to believe, as great as 66% of doctor visits involve MUPS. After spending some time researching this topic, I would guess that the average is around 40%. If this is true (and if the second quote at the top of the page is to be believed), this statistic is rather shocking. It literally begs the question of how these "Mystery Patients" are dealt with medically? I can assure you that in the majority of cases of MUPS, the underlying cause(s) of their problem(s) are not being addressed in the least. But before we talk about treatment, lets take a look at just a few of the more common problems frequently associated with MUPS. I created my list in no particular order. Some of the things on the list are my own, but most are from a mish-mash of "official" lists.
- ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA: No surprise here. HERE is my page on this topic. Be aware that while they are telling us that this problem does not really exist, the drug companies are working on Adrenal Fatigue hot and heavy. When they create a drug for this problem, rest assured that we will go from a situation where no one has ever heard of Adrenal Fatigue, to the fact that everyone has it --- get your medicine today!
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: This is a known AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE (HERE) that continues to baffle most physicians.
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: Although much (if not most) of the medical community denies the very existence of this problem, there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed studies on the topic. The only thing is, they use the medical term for this problem; "Increased Intestinal Permeability" (HERE).
- EXPOSURE TO TOXIC CHEMICALS AND / OR XENOHORMONES: This is A BIGGIE that you had better understand if you are a female who is hoping to avoid FEMALE CANCERS.
- ADHESION OF THE FASCIA: HERE is our world-famous Fascia Page. HERE are some of the various fascia-related health issues we commonly see in our office. Not all of these are baffling, but many are.
- PELVIC PAIN: Some of these are of a known commodity (HERE), many aren't.
- MANY CASES OF BACK OR NECK PAIN: CHRONIC NECK AND / OR BACK PAIN is frequently associated with injured or scarred Fascia.
- MANY CASES OF HEADACHES: Many CHRONIC HEADACHE cases are related to Fascia. However, many are related to OTHER THINGS as well.
- CERTAIN BRAIN-BASED CASES OF AUTOIMMUNITY: This is particularly true in those who have been unfortunate enough to suffer some sort of HEAD INJURY.
- MANY OF THE SYMPTOMS OF SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE: SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is a rampant problem here in America. If you are not sure what it is, click the link to find out.
- GLUTEN SENSITIVITY: (HERE) is a link showing the neurological problems associated with GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, as well as the fact that this problem is largely off the medical community's radar.
- CHEST / RIB PAIN: A common problem that has the potential to be debilitating (HERE).
- CHRONIC SKULL OR FACE PAIN: According to research I found for the other day's post on "Mystery Pain", THIS CATEGORY accounts for four percent of the 100,000,000 Americans who deal with some degree of CHRONIC PAIN.
- GENERALIZED CHRONIC PAIN: (THIS and THIS) provide some valid explanations for some of these sorts of problems. However, they are not the only things that can cause this problem --- not by a long shot.
- SUB-CLINICAL HYPOTHYROID: According to some of the most current stats, as many as one in ten Americans are dealing with some degree of thyroid problem --- 90% of it Autoimmune (HERE).
- GENERALIZED GUT ISSUES: Once you realize that 80% of your entire immune system is found in the Gut (HERE), you begin to understand just how important Gut Health is for overall health (HERE).
- OTHERS: Believe me when I tell you that there are lots and lots more.
Now we can begin to see why DEPRESSION is such big business in the United States. Anti-depression meds are not only one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America, they are one of the most lucrative as well, with 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 taking them. And another of those dirty little secrets that your doctor failed to let you in on is just how TERRIBLE this class of drug really is for you.
So; how would I suggest that you help yourself if you are one of the 40% who find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with MUPS? Rather than re-creating an entire list for you, I am going to give you SEVERAL LINKS to look at. Bottom line, you are going to need to step outside "the box" to find solution(s) to the underlying problems causing the list of MUPS above. But if you are interested in doing something to stop the tide, at least take a look at THESE POSTS.
If you know or love someone who needs to get their hands on this message, be sure to like, follow, or share on FACEBOOK as well.
WHICH IS MORE TRUSTWORTHY...
MEDICAL GUIDELINES OR COMMON SENSE?
"The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong" Richard Horton, editor of one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals on the planet, The Lancet. The quote came from a 2000 edition of the Medical Journal of Australia called Genetically Modified food: Consternation, Confusion, and Crack-up
"Eight hundred thousand people. Please let that figure sink in for a few moments. If you dropped a major thermonuclear device on Manchester (UK) and killed every single living person, this would be roughly equivalent. If you laid the corpses end to end, the line of dead people would stretch from John O Groats to Land’s End (the entire length of the UK). Walking briskly each day, it would take you two months to pass them." Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Scottish Physician and author of The Great Cholesterol Con, from his blog
For those of you who may be unaware, Evidence-Based Medicine is loosely defined as science, using its best evidence (usually in the form of research from peer-reviewed journals) to make the best possible decisions in the care of patients. Sounds great doesn't it. It makes sense. After all, who wouldn't want to be treated in a manner that's based on "evidence"? Unfortunately, we can't ask that question of 800,000 Europeans. Just last week, the proverbial SHTF when it was revealed that "faulty medical guidelines" were responsible for the deaths of eight hundred thousand Europeans. Re-read that last sentence and let it sink in for a moment. And while you're at it, ask yourself this simple question; if doctors are now using "evidence" to make clinical decisions, what were they using for the previous decades and why did we bother to do any medical research at all if the evidence was simply being ignored?
I have showed you through DOZENS OF ARTICLES that in today's environment, Evidence-Based Medicine is a myth. A pipe-dream. A pie-in-the-sky utopia that is not possible as long as Big Pharma is running the show. And now we have 800,000 people crying out from their graves. Let me briefly review this case for you --- a case that if you have even heard of it at all, was probably not until last week.
A Dutch physician named Don Polderman was chosen by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to chair a committee of KOL's (Key Opinion Leaders) in order to come up with medical guidelines to be used before, during, and after heart surgery. They made drug recommendations (Beta Blockers) for all surgeries. The interesting thing is how most of these medical 'big wigs' who were asked to serve on the committee had close ties (if you referred to these ties as 'incestuous' you would not be unfair) to the Pharmaceutical Industry. The guidelines they came up with using "evidence", of which much was clearly tainted, were to be followed by the medical community as law (HERE is an example of this). And they were. In fact, failure to follow these guidelines will get one blacklisted and fired (HERE, HERE, and HERE are examples). Oh; and in case you had not heard; approximately half pf the 800,000 died after it was found out that the guidelines were tainted (it took nearly two years to rescind them).
The good news for us is that this happened in Europe --- the seat of socialized medicine. We all know that this sort of thing could never happen here in America. Sure it couldn't. And I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would love to make you a great deal on. I'd even be willing to throw in the Golden Gate Bridge if you're interested. It's time to wake up folks!
This is already happening in America, and I wrote about it just recently (HERE and HERE). Until that happy threesome of Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Medicine is reigned in, the orgy will continue unabated. Study the history of "Big Pharma" from the early days of John Rockefeller (HERE). You will see that none of this is new, and it's not going to end anytime soon. In fact, Doctor Horton's words echo the message I have been touting for years, "We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong".
WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT EFFECTIVELY?
"Historically, clinicians have used a myriad of interventions, many of which have little, if any, supporting evidence." Drs. Lori Bolga and Michelle Boling from 2011's An Update for the Conservative Management of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: A Systematic Review of the Literature from 2000 to 2010
Depending on whose research you believe, the number one or number two reason that people visit "Sports Physicians" is Palellofemoral Syndrome (aka Patellar Tracking Syndrome, Chontromalacia Patella, and several others). The quote at the top of the page was written over 15 years ago, and comes from a paper that is still widely considered to be the definitive word on the topic. The pain itself is found most commonly in the front of the knee and is thought to arise from contact between the underside of the patella (knee-cap) and the thigh bone (femur). It occurs most often in younger female athletes, although it is commonly found in runners of all ages (male as well), basketball players, as well as athletes from various other sports.
Although there are a wide array of treatment options for this problem, the "gold standard" involves various exercises to strengthen the quadriceps (front thigh muscles). My goal today is to show you why this is not necessarily always the best or only option --- particularly if you are one of those who may have been told that a Lateral Release Surgery is your only option.
As you might imagine, most sources will tell you that Patellofemoral Syndrome is caused by weak quadriceps (front thigh muscles). I am personally not convinced that this is always the case. In fact, I would say that this assessment is often times blatantly incorrect.
I see a lot of people with Patellar Tracking Syndrome and more often than not, find the opposite to be true (weak hamstrings being overpowered by the quads, which are --- or at least should be --- the strongest muscle group in the body). This is particularly true in athletes. In most athletes (particularly those who are well-trained or weight lifters) the quadriceps are significantly stronger than the hamstrings. Not only that, but when people train their legs in the weight room, most of the common exercises for legs (squats, hack squats, presses on the leg sled, leg extensions) mostly or entirely work the quadriceps. In fact, other than maybe doing some hamstrings curls, I find that many athletes are doing very little for their hamstrings.
Below is a video of Jennifer that was shot three days ago. Although I had treated Jennifer for Patellofemoral Syndrome over a decade ago, it only took one treatment to solve a (severe) knee problem that she had dealt with for five years. I do not actually remember doing this treatment, but when I recently suggested that she might have Fasical Adhesions in her neck, she reminded me of the Fascial Adhesions that she had in her knee. I told her that I would be doing an article on that particular problem on Monday, so she agreed to do a video for us (thanks Jennifer!).
Symptoms of Patellofemoral Syndrome include pain in and around the knee. This is because, according to a 2009 article by Tom Plamodon, "The cause of pain and dysfunction often results from abnormal forces (e.g. increased pull of the lateral quadricep retinaculum with acute or chronic lateral PF subluxation / dislocation)". In light of the fact that this is the medical community's current thought process on this matter, this is an important statement to understand. And in order to grasp it, you'll first have to understand what a RETINACULUM is. A Retinaculum (often referred to as an APNONEUROSIS) is simply a very wide, flattened or thin, fascia-like tendon. Listen to Wikipedia's definition of a common treatment for Patellar Tracking Syndrome; the Lateral Release.
"A Lateral Release Surgery (also called a "Lateral Retinacular Release") is a surgical procedure to release tight capsular structures (lateral retinaculum) on the outer aspect (lateral aspect) of the kneecap (patella). This is usually performed because of knee pain related to the kneecap being pulled over to the outer (lateral) side and not being able to run properly in the center of the groove of the femur bone as the knee bends and straightens."
Although strengthening of the quadriceps usually solves this particular pain, it can actually worsen the imbalance between the quadriceps and the hamstrings. It was not that long ago that I read an article talking about the incredible increase in the numbers of cases of non-contact knee ruptures seen in today's athletes --- particularly female athletes. The authors touted the fact that the number one cause of non-tramatic ACL ruptures in the female population, the quads were overpowering the hamstrings.
For more information about PATELLO-FEMORAL SYNDROME and how to avoid a "Lateral Release" surgery, just take a few minutes to click and read the link. You may want to look at our COLD LASER PAGE as well.
DISC HERNIATIONS AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO.......
"The ability of the human body to resist the invasion of its tissues by microorganisms is dependent upon a number of factors. But probably the best way to insure the highest degree of resistance for any given individual is to see that his dietary intake of vitamins is amply high.... Stomach ulcers are probably the best instance of a bacterial invasion primarily due to lowered resistance resulting from vitamin deficiency." - Dr. Royal Lee from the September 18, 1933 issue of The Vitamin News
"Make no mistake this is a turning point, a point where we will have to re-write the textbooks. This is vast. We are talking about probably half of all spinal surgery for back pain being replaced by taking antibiotics ... It is the stuff of Nobel prizes." -Peter Hamlyn, neurologist and spine surgeon at University College London, from an article in the U.K. Telegraph. Member of MAST (Modic Antibiotic Spine Therapy) Medical
"This will not help people with normal back pain, those with acute, or sub-acute pain - only those with chronic lower back pain. These are people who live a life on the edge because they are so handicapped with pain. We are returning them to a form of normality they would never have expected." - Lead author, Dr. Hanne Albert from the UK Guardian (also a member of MAST Medical)
Now a peer-reviewed study from Denmark has linked bacterial infections to HERNIATED DISCS. The study's authors at the University of Southern Denmark have shown that 35 - 40% of all cases of severe low back pain are the result of chronic bacterial infections that "attack" areas of the spine where "MODIC CHANGES" have taken place (named after Dr. Michael Modic, who identified these findings in 1988). It seems that a bacterium named "Propionibacterium Acnes" (yes, it's the same bacteria that causes ACNE), can get into the blood stream via brushing one's teeth, and end up finding its way inside discs that are already Herniated or Ruptured (this will make more sense if you remember that most Disc Herniations are, at least initially, "ASYMPTOMATIC"). Once inside, they set up residence and begin to make themselves at home, causing further problems.
The truth is, for many people, it could be as Dr. Hamlyn implied, revolutionary for at least some of the folks who are debilitated by Chronic Low Back Pain. However, don't think for a moment that it comes without risks --- not the least of which comes from Antibiotics in general, but also the world's growing problem of increasing bacterial resistance and our propensity to create the so-called "SUPER BUGS". I believe that therapies like this, while having a potential to help great numbers of people, also have the potential to harm great numbers of people as well. And lets be honest with each other; as an inherently skeptical person, I have some doubts about these results which were largely the result of doctors working for MAST Medical. I would also be curious to know if their protocol involves Gut Restoration and PROBIOTIC THERAPY post-treatment.
Lest we forget one of the most important aspects of this study, what about the infection itself? Do germs really "cause" infections? If germs alone were responsible for illness and infection in the way that most people understand the "GERM THEORY" of disease, there would be no one around to discuss it with. We should all be aware that we tend to get sick / infected when out Immune Systems are weakened and our bodies are overloaded with stress (physical, mental, emotional, dietary, chemical, etc). If you want to really dig into this issue, I would suggest you read about the philosophical battle that took place between two famous scientist of the relatively recent past (late 1800's - early 1900's): Louis Pasteur vs Antoine Béchamp and The Germ Theory of Disease Causation, or The Dream & Lie of Louis Pasteur. There are many others. It's a battle which, on some level, is still taking place today.
"Chiropractic certainly recognizes germs, but we look at them a little different way. You know that if you have a dump you have rats. If you poison the dump you will kill off the rats. But if you leave the dump there, they'll be back! The same is true of the human body. If a weakness exists, you will harbor the germs; viruses and bacteria. This is why one child is often sick and not the others, or why one person constantly gets colds for instance and yet the person's mate, husband or wife, seldom comes down with the problem." - Dr. Fred Barge from his "Rats in the Dump" lecture from page 52 of 1984's Are You the Doctor, Doctor?.
"One question was always uppermost in my mind in my search for the cause of disease. I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate, eating at the same table, working in the same shop, at the same bench, was not. Why? What difference was there in the two persons that caused one to have pneumonia, catarrh, typhoid, or rheumatism, while his partner, similarly situated, escaped? Why?" - 'Father of Chiropractic', Dr. D.D. Palmer from his early (pre-1900) writings.
The truth is, there are definitely better ways to deal with Chronic Inflammation --- the first and foremost being to change your diet. As is almost always the case, I recommend a PALEO DIET. HERE are the chief reasons why. Also remember that because of the commonly-seen problem of Connective Tissue Damage seen with Antibiotic use such as that seen in Tendons, the potential of trading one Chronic Pain Syndrome for ANOTHER is likewise high. I might also suggest that you read a bit about the COMMON ORIGIN of all (or at least most) disease ---- even much of it that we today consider to be "GENETIC" before jumping into new and relatively experimental treatment methods such as the one described today. Yes, it could be the panacea you are looking for. Just be warned that there are thousands of internet message boards loaded with posts of people who thought the same thing about other various forms of treatment.
ANOTHER OF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY'S
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
In fact, when you start to read between the lines of the quote above, you will notice that almost 1 in 3 Americans are dealing with some sort of CHRONIC PAIN ISSUE (this actually translates to a whopping 45% of the adult population). No matter how you break this down, these are astounding numbers! Just realize that (again according to the same quote) both doctors and patients are unsure about how to go about dealing with their Chronic Pain --- greatly due to the magnitude of "uncertain diagnosis". Listen; I'm not picking on doctors here. I myself routinely see patients whose pain defies logical explanations.
Because of the prevalence of "Mystery Pain" in our nation, I would not even hope to estimate the number of patients here in America that have been riding the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND for years --- or maybe even decades --- without any sort of definitive diagnosis. Unfortunately, most of the time, bucket diagnoses are the rule du jour. You know; those diagnosis that are often just thrown in the "Mystery Bucket" since practitioners would rather have you feel they know what they are talking about as opposed to shrugging their shoulders and simply telling you that they don't know. Although the following problems certainly exist, many "Mystery Problems" are routinely thrown into the buckets labeled 'FIBROMYALGIA', 'ARTHRITIS', 'DJD', 'DEPRESSION', or any number of others. Not only is it easier, but insurance only pays if your problem has a 'diagnosis' --- even if that diagnosis is incorrect.
If you are interested in stopping your pain; even if none of the doctors you have been to thus far have any sort of tangible idea as to what is causing it; you may want to read these posts on INFLAMMATION. Once you figure out the relationship between Inflammation and things like LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, AUTOIMMUNITY, BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION ISSUES, and a wide range of other potentially "mystifying" health problems, you can begin to formulate a plan to deal with it. That's right. You can't count on your doctor to solve this for you. If you want real solutions apart from being given yet another prescription, you are going to have to step outside of the box.
If chasing your pain has left you worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally, it may be time to do finally do something about it. It may finally be step out of that box with the comforting name ---- EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE. Instead of wondering if your problem might be related to Fascia, why don't you make an appointment to come in and find out. No; I have not figured out all of life's mysteries --- particularly when it comes to some of the bizarre pain syndromes that people bring me to fix --- things that no one has been able to get a handle on thus far (HERE, HERE, and HERE are a few examples of this phenomenon). However, if I can help you, you will know in a SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME.
TENDINOSIS OR TENDINITIS?
IMPORTANT DIFFERENTIATION, OR MERE SEMANTICS?
It was Doctor Murrell's now famous article in a 2002 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Understanding Tendinopathies) that said, "Tendinopathy may follow this pathway. An increase in the amount and duration of load that a tendon cell sees may result in activation of intracellular stress activated protein kinases, which when persistently activated cause the tendon cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death. Increased cell death results in a collagenous matrix which is weaker and more prone to tearing. With time, this tendon may rupture." And the crazy thing is, this was not new information when it came out a dozen years ago. Enter Doctor Karim Khan (MD / PhD), currently of the University of British Columbia's School of Kinesiology (human movement).
In the June, 1999 issue of a New Zealand medical journal (Sports Medicine), Dr. Khan published Histopathology of Common Tendinopathies. Update and Implications for Clinical Management. In this article he had some rather interesting things to say concerning this issue of Tendinitis or Tendinosis (these quotes are cherry-picked from the abstract). Tendon disorders are a major problem for participants in competitive and recreational sports. The literature indicates that healthy tendons appear glistening white to the naked eye and microscopy reveals a hierarchical arrangement of tightly packed, parallel bundles of collagen fibres that have a characteristic reflectivity under polarized light. In stark contrast, symptomatic tendons in athletes appear grey and amorphous to the naked eye and microscopy reveals discontinuous and disorganized collagen fibres that lack reflectivity under polarized light. There is more information and pictures of this phenomenon in some of THESE ARTICLES.
After going on to talk about several differences in the cellular matrix of the damaged tendon as compared to the healthy tendon, Dr. Khan states that, "The most significant feature is the absence of inflammatory cells." Why is this a big deal? Why does it really matter in our advanced age of pharmaceutical intervention? Listen to his conclusions.
In the words of the acclaimed St. Louis physician, Dr John G Kellett (who passed away just a few days ago), "Use of these drugs [NSAIDS], if given, should be restricted to a maximum of three days following injury. Any anti-inflammatory action lasting beyond this period would, theoretically, at least be detrimental since the repair mechanism (phase 2 of healing) is itself an inflammatory process. Little data exist to support the routine use of NSAIDs in athletes with acute pain syndromes (despite advertisements extolling their benefits)" ("Acute Soft Tissue Injuries: A Review of the Literature" 1987). To get a better handle on why he says only three days tops for anti-inflammatory drugs, read THIS PAGE.
In light of the way that most of you have been treated by your physicians for your tendon problem, what does all of this tell you? Other than letting you know that EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is a pipe-dear Only that most physicians are decades behind the most current research --- something I have talked about at length in the past (HERE).
CHRONIC HEADACHES / CHRONIC NECK PAIN
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
"When asked about four common types of pain, respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that low back pain was the most common (27%), followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%)." The website of the American Academy of Pain Medicine quoting from the National Centers for Health Statistics (CDC) report called, Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans 2006, Special Feature: Pain.
If you don't already know what Fascia is, just click on the previous link, and understand that Fascia is being touted as a potential suspect as far as the UNIVERSAL CAUSE of all disease is concerned (HERE). Probably the most devastating feature of Adhesions in the Fascia is the fact that this tissue is not only the single most pain-sensitive in the body, it cannot be seen with even the most technologically advanced imaging techniques available today. This leads to accusations of malingering or drug seeking -- and no matter how you slice it, this always ends in a bad way for you, the patient. For more information (as well as Video Testimonials on the subject), click on the top two links on this page.
THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMSSEEN AT SCHIERLING CHIROPRACTIC, LLC
Although I see numerous people dealing with a wide variety of problems like BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION ISSUES such as TYPE II DIABETES, NEUROPATHY, HYPOGLYCEMIA or others, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, AUTOIMMUNITY, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES, CANCER, ARTHRITIS, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, DYSBIOSIS, all sorts of GUT ISSUES, FIBROMYALGIA, THYROID and other ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS, as well as a whole host of others, these are not the biggest thrust of my practice. However, if one does not grasp the importance of the things listed in this paragraph, it is easy to mistake systemic problems for (multiple) local problems (HERE, HERE, and HERE).
THE MOST COMMONLY SEEN PROBLEMS IN MY CLINIC
HEADACHES: Interestingly enough, HEADACHES go hand-in-hand with neck pain. If you struggle with regular headaches and have not been checked for FASCIAL ADHESIONS, you may be missing the boat. This goes for MIGRAINE HEADACHES as well.
ALL SORTS OF TENDINOSIS: If your doctor has diagnosed you with Tendinitis, you really need to read up on TENDINOSIS. Knowledge is power, and if you do not grasp the difference between these two entities, getting better will be more like hit-or-miss (heavy on the miss). By the way, it is critical to be able to recognize the fact that you might be dealing with a SYSTEMIC TENDINOSIS.
PULLED, STRETCHED, OR TORN MUSCLES: Although sometimes people actually tear the belly (meat) of a muscle, this is not usually the case. A far more common scenario involves pulling, stretching, or tearing the FASCIAL MEMBRANE (the slick, cellophane-like membrane) that covers each and every muscle. By the way, this is the root of numerous problems, including Piriformis Syndrome.
PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME: I never set out to be the web's "Piriformis Doctor". But because of our frequently fantastic RESULTS WITH PS, it just sort of happened. If you are having either buttock pain and / or SCIATICA, you might want to seriously check out our PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME PAGE. This is because Piriformis Syndrome has been shown to be the number on cause of leg pain --- even though this has historically been blamed on DISC HERNIATIONS.
OSGOOD SCHLATTER'S SYNDROME: I cannot even begin to tell you how many people with this problem I have successfully taken care of over the past two-plus decades, but it is a bunch. The cool thing is, as far as I know, every single person I have seen with this problem has had a rapid resolution --- despite the fact that many of them had done tons of tests, doctor visits, and therapy. For more information, HERE and HERE are a couple of links.
DeQUERVAIN'S SYNDROME: Although referred to as a "Tennosynovitis", this is really just a Tendinosis of the extensor tendons of the thumb, and usually resolves quite quickly when proper steps are taken. HERE is more information on this common problem (including a video from my brother, Dr. Kevin Schierling (MD) of Topeka, Kansas.
PATELLAR TRACKING SYNDROME: This is also known as Patello-Femoral Syndrome, and happens to be the single most common reason people visit sports physicians. This is usually a combination of Fascial Adhesions and Tendinosis that can be resolved fairly rapidly. HERE is our page on this common problem.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS: This is a common problem that is diagnosed by the presence of "first-step-in-the-morning" pain. Heel spur? The presence or absence of a heel spur makes no difference on the outcome of treatment. To see what I'm talking about, go HERE.
RIB OR CHEST PAIN OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN: RIB TISSUE PAIN is a fairly common problem that has a lot of different potential causes. HERE is a video testimonial that will shed some light on this issue. HERE is another example of this phenomenon from a bit different (although common) perspective.
MYSTERY PAIN: This is where things can get real tricky. One of the dirty little secrets of medicine is the insane number of people living with pain that no one can explain. Most of the time, these people are heavily medicated and told that there is nothing else they can do except accept it and live with it. For many of you there may be a solution (HERE). By the way, this goes hand-n-hand with POST-SURGICAL PAIN.
OBESITY, DNA, AND EPIGENETICS
(IS DNA REGULATION TIED TO OBESITY OR IS OBESITY TIED TO DNA REGULATION?)
"Scientists now think epigenetics can play a role in the development of some cancers. For instance, an epigenetic change that silences a tumor suppressor gene — such as a gene that keeps the growth of the cell in check — could lead to uncontrolled cellular growth." Livescience (June 2013) -- an online science journal
It seems that recent research is revealing that gene expression might be more affected by obesity (or other factors) than the other way around. In other words, obesity is adversely affecting your genetics, not simply your genes making you fat. What does the most recent research say about the connection between your genes and things like OBESITY, AUTOIMMUNITY, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES, TYPE II DIABETES, CANCER, and numerous others? Only that genetics are increasingly playing second fiddle to something called 'epigeneitics'. What are epigenetics? Glad you asked.
According to the online scientific journal, Livescience, "Epigenetics literally means above genetics (or higher than genetics). It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes on or off." These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells read genes." One of the most commonly used examples of Epigenetics has to do with something called methylation. Methylation has to do with changing the structure of DNA by adding a methyl group (METHYL DONORS) to a section of DNA that acts to prevent specific genes from being expressed, which in turn, changes the function. In other words, just because the genetic code for trait XYZ is contained within one's DNA, the specific characteristic(s) of XYZ will not manifest unless that gene is "turned on" (expressed).
A recent study done at the University of Minnesota explored the association between BMI and DNA Methylation --- describing it as "significant". The goal of the study was to identify the genes that are affected (altered) by things like obesity. Stop and ponder the significance of this for a moment. Your genes are more affected by your weight than your weight is by your genes. For another example of EPIGENETICS IN ACTION, just click on the link. And if you want to see an extremely cool post on genetics -vs- epigenetics, click THIS LINK.
WHAT DO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS THINK?
SHOULD PEOPLE LIKE DREONNA BRETON BE ABLE TO REFUSE THE FLU SHOT?
"I use to be a strong advocate for the flu shot, and I had gotten my flu shot every year, however three years ago I had an "adverse reaction" to the vaccine, and now my left arm (non-dominant) is in constant pain, everyday I have sharp pains radiating down to my forearm and hand. Initially, my shoulder remained swollen for several months, and my arm was essentially useless because of the intensity of pain. That same pain now radiates to my left hand and has really affecting the use of my left thumb. I have to wear a thumb spicca splint to limit the use of my thumb, I cannot sleep on my left side because the pressure on my left shoulder is excruciating. I've tried every type of medical option recommended (except surgical) and nothing has helped. I no longer get the flu shot What I had learned from reading about the flu shot, and how there are thousands of people who had the same reaction that I had ( some are on disability because of the flu shot.) makes me wonder why no one else is talking about this alleged "rare" reaction? They give you this piece of paper stating "minor reactions" No one can tell me how long this "reaction" is going to last? I'll never get another flu shot but I'll keep my Tamiflu handy." Dr. K.B. from the MedPage Poll. HERE is an article I wrote earlier this week on Tamiflu.
"There are absolutely NO legitimate medical or religious reasons not to get the shot. Anyone in healthcare who refuses it doesn't belong in healthcare. They not only should be fired, they should lose their licenses.... Flu is spread through the respiratory tract through droplets, NOT by hands. THE most effective prevention, by far, is the vaccine. Washing hands has negligible effect on this. Leave this topic for those of us with a science/medical education." Dr. Justin Hamlin of Taliquah, Oklahoma chiming in with his two-cents on the MedPage poll. Interestingly enough, I have several patients from the Taliquah area (HERE is one of them).
MedPage Today --- a free service that puts current medical research and relevant health-related topics in my inbox every day --- ran a poll this week asking whether healthcare professionals should be fired for a refusal to take a FLU SHOT (it should be noted that MedPage is mainstream, and not a source of information on "Alternative Medicine"). This is not the first time I have discussed a MEDPAGE POLL, and it's not likely to be the last (next week's poll pertains to the 8-plus percent of physicians who still smoke (HERE). If polarizing topics are of interest to you, this might be right up your alley. If you value your freedom to make your own healthcare choices, I would suggest that you take just a moment to at least glance at the 119 comments filed under FLU SHOTS: GET ONE OR BE FIRED?.
Amazingly enough, less than 18% of the nearly 5,500 voters (mostly healthcare providers) thought Dreonna should be fired no matter what, while 56% believed she should have complete freedom to reject the vaccine --- even in the absence of a medical or religious exemption.
WHERE DOES THE EVIDENCE LEAD?
JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY!
The proverbial Quest for Truth. When it comes to the practice of medicine, where do we find the evidence, and what do we do with it once it's been discovered. Great questions, but probably more elusive than we would like to imagine. This is because all too often, the "evidence" is found wherever the money is found. Although there are those who are enthralled with Evidence Based Medicine (pencil pushers, government bureaucrats, etc), money is the overriding reason that we cannot trust what has come to be known as "Evidence-based Medicine" (an obvious problem in ENGLAND as well as the U.S.). But there are other reasons Evidence-Based Medicine is bad --- reasons that affect everyone who goes to the doctor.
Now we find out that EHR's (Electronic Health Records) are such a complicated pain-in-the-you-know-what, that using them takes up 43% of the doctor visit in the Emergency Room (only 28% of the "patient contact" is spent actually interacting with the patient). In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine said that during an average 10 hour shift, Emergency Room Physicians will click their mouse just under 4,000 times. Gulp! This means that the average doctor visit involves your doctor spending much more time staring at their computer screen, hoping to reach tricky government-mandated goals for record keeping, than the time they spend with you. And it's about to get worse ---- much worse.
With the government going broke (it's not like this is a secret), and deep cuts being made by insurance companies, doctor's offices, clinics, and hospitals everywhere ---- as well as the implementation of the brand new ICD-10 Codes which are replacing the ICD-9 Codes (HERE) ---- things are getting ready to bog down worse than a Corvette at a mud-run. Remember this the next time you spend three hours waiting for a doctor visit that lasts all of 5 minutes (with the doctor spending half that time on their computer).
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE CHANCES OF DEATH
"The risk [of death from using anti-inflammatory meds] increases almost twentyfold for those over 75." From the UK's premier journal on "Evidence-Based Medicine", Bandolier. The article was called, "NSAIDs and Adverse Effects".
"An estimated 10-20% of NSAID patients experience DYSPEPSIA, and NSAID-associated upper gastrointestinal adverse events are estimated to result in 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths per year in the United States, and represent 43% of drug-related emergency visits. Many of these events are avoidable; a review of physician visits and prescriptions estimated that unnecessary prescriptions for NSAIDs were written in 42% of visits." From a December 2011 article (How Serious are NSAIDs Side Effects?) on the Painkiller Awareness website. This article was quoting from a study published in the June 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Most people are aware of some of the dangers associated with CORTICOSTEROIDS. But despite the fact that there are hundreds of studies showing how dangerous --- and even deadly --- NSAIDs are, this fact seems to go over the heads of the majority of our population. The truth is, before Vioxx was taken off the market almost a decade ago, NSAIDS were a "Top 20" leading cause of death in the US (I have seen both 17th and 13th kicked around). When I first saw these statistics, I remember thinking how crazy it was that so many Americans who were terrified of CHIROPRACTORS were completely unfazed by taking copious amounts of Anti-Inflammatory medications. Why was the cause of death for these people taking anti-inflammatory drugs? Along with the GI Bleeds (bleeding ulcers), Cardiovascular problems led the list. Exactly how bad is this problem today? Frankly, it is out of control. Case in point, two studies published back in 2011.
The May 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Hearth Association followed up by looking at over 83,000 patients. What did their study have to say on the matter? "Overall, NSAID treatment was significantly associated with an increased risk of death / recurrent MI [Myocardial Infarction ---- Heart Attack]. Despite the fact that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are contraindicated among patients with established cardiovascular disease, many receive NSAID treatment anyway...... Even short-term treatment with most NSAIDs was associated with increased risk of death and recurrent MI in patients with prior MI. Neither short- nor long-term treatment with NSAIDs is advised in this population, and any NSAID use should be limited from a cardiovascular safety point of view."
Why don't you take a look at THIS POST on my "Top Ten" ways for dealing with Arthritis Pain naturally? Believe me when I tell you; your heart will thank you for it.
TROUBLE LOSING WEIGHT?
YOUR YO-YO DIETING MAY HAVE FRIED PART OF YOUR BRAIN
"Yo-Yo dieting is really a metabolic disaster. What happens in the human body when cycles of weight loss and weight gain are repeated over and over again as is the case with so many overweight people? Yes, Yo-Yo dieting has negative effects on future weight loss. It can lead to weight gain, not weight loss. Probably 70% or more of individuals struggling to lose weight, are caught up in the destructive cycle of Yo-Yo dieting." Health24, Yo-Yo Dieting = Weight Gain
According to Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the weight loss program at New York's Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, new research is pointing toward neurological damage to the brain caused by continual yo-yo dieting. The part of the brain that seems to be most affected by this phenomenon? The Hypothalamus. In an article for MedPage Today, Dr. Aronne goes on to say that, "The evidence is quite convincing – eating fattening foods causes inflammatory cells to go into the hypothalamus. This overloads the neurons and causes neurological damage". What have I told you time and time again? When it comes to Chronic Sickness and Disease, everything is Inflammation. Learn how to control INFLAMMATION, and you will dominate both your health and your weight ---- instead of them dominating you.
BUT WHAT DOES THE HYPOTHALAMUS DO?
- The Hypothalamus controls eight major Pituitary Hormones
- The Hypothalamus regulates body temperature
- The Hypothalamus regulates sexuality and reproduction
- The Hypothalamus regulates the daily cycles known as the circadian rhythm
- The Hypothalamus mediates emotional response
- The Hypothalamus has strong connections to the part of your brain that regulates your level of motivation or level of 'drive' (HERE)
- The Hypothalamus regulates both hunger and thirst, as well as playing a large part in metabolism
Did you catch this last one? The Hypothalamus plays a critical part in modulating your metabolism as well as your hunger levels. Foul up the Hypothalamus, and watch what happens to your weight.
HERE'S THE COOL THING
FEED IT PROPERLY, AND YOUR HYPOTHALAMUS IS CAPABLE OF REGENERATION
A study (Relationships Between Dietary Macronutrients and Adult Neruogenesis in the Regulation of Energy Metabolism) was published in last February's edition of the British Journal of Nutrition. Neurogenesis is simply the term used to describe the ability of the nerve system and / or brain to regenerate --- something that may be of great use to those of you who have totally fouled up your metabolism via yo-yo dieting. Listen to what researchers from the Department of Obesity and Endocrinology at the Institute of Aging and Chronic Disease, of the University of Liverpool, England have to say about the relationship between Neurogenesis and diet.
Neurogenesis, previously thought to occur only in the embryo, is now known to take place in the adult brain, dependent on numerous stimulating and inhibiting factors, including dietary components. Because of classic associations between neurogenesis and the hippocampus, in learning and cognition, this brain region has also been the focus of attention in the study of links between diet and neurogenesis. Recently, however, a more complete picture of this relationship has been building: not only has the hypothalamus been shown to satisfy the criteria for a neurogenic niche, but appetite-related mediators, including circulating hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, pro-inflammatory cytokines and the endocannabinoid intracellular messengers, are also being examined for their potential role in mediating neurogenic responses to macronutrients.
SCIENCE OUT OF CONTROL?
THE HCG DIET, WEIGHT LOSS MEDS, WEIGHT LOSS SURGERIES, AND tcMRgFUS
There are a million weight loss gimmicks out there. I recently saw an estimation that by 2015, the global weight loss spending could eclipse $150 billion. Besides the crazy numbers of moronic WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS on the market, you have the HCG Diet (Human Chorionc Gonaditrophin --- a hormone of pregnancy used by steroid abusers to jump-start their shriveled testicles into making their own testosterone again after cycling off the roids), Bariatric Surgery (these involve all sorts of renditions of STOMACH STAPLING), a whole host of new WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATIONS, tcMRgFUS (trans-cranial magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound beams aimed at specific parts of your brain for the specific purpose of diminishing hunger signals), along with any number of others. Please not that I am not saying that there is not a time or place for some of these. Nor am I telling you they don't work --- at least for the short term. But let's be honest with each other for a minute. Do any of the things on this list address the underlying causes of obesity or CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESS (obesity is part of this class of disease)? Of course not. And we haven't even addressed the issue of side effects yet. So...........
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN TO YOU AS FAR AS WEIGHT LOSS IS CONCERNED?
THE TRUTH ABOUT ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS
INVISIBLE & ABANDONED PART III
"To call these medications antidepressants may make sense from a marketing standpoint but may be misleading from a scientific perspective. It may make just as much sense to call these medications anti-aphrodisiacs as antidepressants because the negative effects on libido and sexual functioning are so common." Psychiatrist Dr. David Healy and Psychologist Dr. David Antonuccio from a recent article in the journal Scientifica (Relabeling the Medications We Call Antidepressants).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), DEPRESSION is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. To combat this, the medical community increased the numbers of prescriptions for SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANTS by over 1300% during the decade of the 1990's, and they have literally skyrocketed since then. I recently read that between 10 - 15% of the entire American population is on an antidepressant, with nearly double that number for women between the ages of 40 and 59. And the rate of usage in children continues to soar, despite the fact that they are specifically associated with violence and suicide in that age group.
According to the July 3 edition of The Washington Post, other than the geriatric population, healthcare spending is rising most rapidly among our 14-18 year-olds (22.3%). And I would bet good money that you can guess what class of drug is getting the most play. According to the article the biggest bounce seen in this age group has been, "the increased use of mental health services. In 2010, the average teenager was prescribed 1.2 central nervous system drugs, which treat conditions like depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder". This means that for my four kids who are not taking these drugs, someone else's child was prescribed five. Insanity? Darn straight!
We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. So why are we so depressed? Sure, you can blame it on all sorts of things, including the economy. The truth is, when I was in ETHIOPIA, I met some of the most joyful people I have ever been around --- in the midst of abject poverty. Why is it, according recent statistics, we have 1 in 5 high school aged children diagnosed with ADHD, a huge percentage of the workforce so stressed out they cannot sleep (HERE), OBESITY rates that are off the charts, rates of Chronic Inflammatory Degenerative Diseases that are thru the roof (HERE), astronomical numbers of people taking astronomical numbers of drugs (prescription, OTC, and street drugs), and abusing alcohol, SMOKES, SUGAR, and who-knows-what else? Enter the drug companies.
FEEL LIKE A GOOD KICK TO THE GROIN?
Although the research from the link above mostly pertains to newer examples of this phenomenon, one of the best examples of "Invisible and Abandoned" studies comes from one of the most prestigous medical journals in the world, and pertains to depression. Six years ago this week, a meta-analysis was published in the New England Journal of Medicine called Selective Publication of Antidepressant Trials and Its Influence on Apparent Efficacy. It was one more nail in the coffin, revealing that Anti-depressants as a class of drug are ineffective. Interestingly enough, the study's authors invoke "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" in their conclusions. Listen to what this group of medical researchers has to say about Antidepressants.
"Evidence-based medicine is valuable to the extent that the evidence base is complete and unbiased. Selective publication of clinical trials — and the outcomes within those trials — can lead to unrealistic estimates of drug effectiveness and alter the apparent risk–benefit ratio..... Selective reporting of clinical trial results may have adverse consequences for researchers, study participants, health care professionals, and patients."
Of the 36 negative studies, only 14 of these ever saw the light of day. And the remaining 22? Listen to what the study's authors write in the NEJM, "Studies viewed by the FDA as having negative or questionable results were, with 3 exceptions, either not published or published in a way that, in our opinion, conveyed a positive outcome". In the words of Dana Carvey's "church lady" character ---- Isn't that special. The SPIN DOCTORS working for Big Pharma made it look like they were getting good results, when the reality was 180 degrees different.
And as for the positive studies? What do we know about Drug Companies and favorable studies? Only that falsifying data is so common within the industry, that it actually has a name. They refer to studies with manufactured results as being "Ghost Written" (HERE). But the hits keep coming. The problems associated with Antidepressants are made that much worse by the fact that nearly 90% of the people taking them have side effects. These side effects manifest as a wide array of frequently severe and ugly symptoms that can sometime be hard to tell from Depression itself. Difficulty tolerating the side effects of these drugs is the reason that over half the people on them discontinue their use within a few months. These side effects include things like....
- WEIGHT GAIN: Almost every psyche drug imaginable causes weight gain.
- SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE: The biggies are FATIGUE, Insomnia, Brain Fog, nausea, ADD / ADHD, and many others.
- SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Most studies on SSRI Antidepressants show that the majority of those on the drugs have any number of SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS --- many of which could only be labeled as "bizarre". HERE is another article I wrote specifically on SSRI's and their sexual side effects.
- MANIA: Mania is defined as "is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels" and is said to occur in 20-40% of bi-polar patients on the drugs.
- WITHDRAWAL: Once you understand how most of these Antidepressants work (HERE), you begin to see that they are not only addictive, they cause some severe withdrawal issues when trying to go off of them.
- MANY OTHERS: If you or someone you love is taking these type of drugs, you need to go online and do some serious research. The side effects are many and often severe. HERE is a more detailed list.
Rheumatological manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are frequent and include peripheral arthritis, axial involvement and peripheral enthesitis [Tendinosis], osteoporosis and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, and ankylosing spondylitis. Cherry picked from the Abstract of a study called, "Rheumatological Manifestations in Inflammatory Bowel Disease"; an article found in the June 2011 issue of Annals of Gastroenterology.
I would argue that there is no such thing as a localized autoimmune disease. Certainly various tissues, glands or organs may be affected in one person more than another. However, autoimmune conditions are more systemic than they are localized. Certainly if gut dysbiosis can cause inflammatory cascades in tissues all over the body, the effects of autoimmune signaling are indeed systemic.... Refined and processed foods, rampant antibiotic usage, chemical and metal toxicity all derail the health of the intestinal micro-flora. Studies have demonstrated that the gut flora plays a critical role in regulating inflammatory cascades, including the factors which incite tissue inflammation..... The gastrointestinal tract is a large surface area containing trillions of microbes that make up a large percentage of the immune defenses. Dysfunction to the intestinal mucosal barrier leads to a condition commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome. Closer inspection often reveals a condition called villous atrophy. When this takes place there tends to be a very high level of inflammation that is present. There is now an increasing body of evidence that shows that gut dysfunction is a primary factor in autoimmune diseases such as RA, lupus, MS and AS. There are many studies which cite the association between intestinal dysbiosis and the development of autoimmune conditions. Studies such as this one, demonstrates that in the autoimmune condition ankylosing spondylitis, 70% of patients had gut inflammation. Cherry picked from Michael McEvoy's article, The Role of Gut Function In Autoimmune Conditions
"In hospitals, 190 million doses of antibiotics are administered each day. Among non-hospitalized patients, more than 133 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed by doctors each year. It is estimated that 50 percent of these latter prescriptions are unnecessary since they are being prescribed for colds, coughs and other viral infections". Interesting quote. I took it directly from the website of the American College of Physicians (Internal Medicine). I've seen estimates much higher than the 50% they mention.
Another prominent medical website, world-famous Mayo Clinic, lists health problems which they state,"are almost always" viral in nature ---- but are commonly treated with antibiotics. Which health problems facing you and your family are almost always viral? Mayo's list includes.......
- MOST EAR INFECTIONS
- Influenza (FLU)
- Sore Throats
- Bronchitis (CHRONIC CONGESTION)
- Upper Respiratory Infections (SINUS INFECTIONS)
- Stomach Flu (This is not the same as the "Flu" although it is what we call the Flu. The truth is, most of us have probably never had the Flu. The real name of the Stomach Flu is "Gastroenteritis".)
Miriam Rabkin (M.D. M.P.H.), wrote in the Medical House Staff Training Program in Internal Medicine for the Department of Medicine at the Ivy League's Columbia University Medical Center: “It is clear that there is no role for antibiotics in the management of simple upper respiratory infection [URI] and bronchitis. This statement is data-based, uncontroversial, and supported by every expert panel and management guideline. Why then do physicians continue to prescribe antibiotics – of wider and wider spectrum – for these syndromes? The scope of the problem is immense. A large 1997 survey indicated that antibiotics were prescribed for 52 percent of patients with URIs and 66 percent of patients with bronchitis. This practice did not vary by geographical area, physician specialty or patient socio-demographic or insurance status. These data are consistent with other U.S. surveys and with data collected in other industrialized countries. Antibiotics unnecessarily prescribed for URIs and bronchitis represent 31 percent of total antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S.” Her statement is backed by dozens upon dozens of scientific studies from around the world.
I do not have the time required to tackle all of the questions raised by Dr. Rabkin's quote. However, I want to show you just how bad antibiotics are when it comes to your overall health and immune system function. This is because contrary to popular belief, antibiotics are not an immune system booster. They are an immune system suppressor. Here are the definitions of what it means to suppress: To end or stop, end, or put down something by force. To keep something secret or hidden: to not allow people to know about or see something or to keep from public knowledge. To exclude from consciousness. To inhibit the growth or development of something. I would say that these fairly well describe the twisted relationship between antibiotics and your immune system --- whether you realize it or not.
Gut Health & Antibiotics
A decade and a half has passed since a group of Australian doctors from the University of Melbourne's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology published a scientific paper in The American Journal of Physiology called, "The Intestine as a Sensory Organ: Neural, Endocrine, and Immune Responses". The authors told us something that alternative health field already knew, and the Scientific-Medical Community had suspected for decades. "The gut immune system has 70 – 80% of the body's immune cells". Stop! Did you catch that? Read it again and let it sink in. Your gut (intestines and digestive tract) is where the vast majority of your entire immune system lives! Why have I been telling people for over two decades that Antibiotics are one of the single biggest destroyers of health in this country? Plainly stated, they kill immune system cells. Antibiotics always leave you with a WEAKENED GUT and immune system. And when you get sick again, what are you given? More antibiotics. Repeat ad infinitum. As you see, antibiotics and infection can quickly become a vicious cycle. But this is just the beginning.
This vicious cycle of antibiotics and infection opens a Pandora's Box of health problems with the potential to affect virtually every part of the body. This cycle has been strongly linked to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY and Dysbiosis. DYSBIOSIS (too many bad organisms in the gut crowding out the good) is now being touted in the peer-reviewed scientific literature as a primary culprit in AUTOIMMUNITY (at least 20-30% of the American population has some sort of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, with some researchers are putting that number closer to half).
These include things like Type I Diabetes, HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS (low thyroid function --- affects nearly 10% of the American population), RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, Restless Leg Syndrome, PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY, as well as all sorts of HORMONAL PROBLEMS. Dysbiosis is also a prime suspect in FIBROMYALGIA, MIGRAINE HEADACHES, DEPRESSION, and OBESITY as well. On top of this, low grade, "occult" (hidden) viral and / or bacterial infections are being touted as a potential cause of all sorts of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES, NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS, and INFLAMMATORY DISEASE PROCESSES --- including DIABETES and CANCER!
The only way you are ever going to have a prayer of solving some of these problems is to step outside the box that is conventional medicine. Your problem may be purely mechanical (HERE is an example). Or, it could have all sorts of crazy components that require some intensive testing ---- but not the same testing you have already been through. Figure out what your underlying problem are (HERE) and deal with them. Click on the link for several articles that contain a variety of strategies.
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).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration