WHAT CAUSES SCIATICA?
You would probably not be wasting your time with a Blog Post on SCIATICA if you or someone you love did not have pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or combinations of all of the above in your leg(s). Stay with me for a few minutes and I will help you expand your knowledge-base concerning this all too common problem, what causes it, and how best to manage it.
Low back pain is not only an epidemic here in America, it is the second most common reason that people visit doctors offices. A different study that came out just a few months ago said that low back pain is the number one reason that people miss work worldwide. How are most people dealing with this low back pain? We'll get to that in a moment, but suffice it to say that the standard medical recommendation of drugs and rest is not working out very well for a large segment of the population.
The impact of low back pain and sciatica is enormous in numerous areas; financially, physically, and emotionally. We know that eight years ago, the cost of low back pain was 100 billion dollars. It is dramatically higher now. The UK Express said of Great Britain, which is slightly over one seventh our population, "Around 4.2 million working days were lost by workers aged 50-64 alone. Those aged 25-34 were absent for 1.89 million days due to back pain, while those in the 35-49 bracket missed 3.86million days in the office. The statistics also show a dramatic increase in the number of sick days taken because of the chronic condition - up from 7.7 million lost days in 2013 to 9.96 million in 2014."
We also know that chronic low back pain is a serious enough problem that nearly 50% of those suffering with it have GIVEN UP SEX --- and almost 3/4 have GIVEN UP ALL FORMS OF EXERCISE. In other words, it's destroying people's lives on almost every conceivable level. And any time that you see studies on chronic low back pain, you have to realize that this creature is a double-headed monster that frequently involves Sciatica.
Sciatica is irritation of the Sciatic Nerve that runs down the leg. The spinal nerves exit the spinal cord through small windows between the vertebrae. These windows are called the IVF (Intervertebral Foramen). If for any reason, the window is made smaller or the sciatic nerve is pinched, stretched, or rubbed, an irritation of the nerve takes place. The thing you have to remember is that all the nerves from the lumbar spine (the lowest 5 vertebrae in your back) as well as your sacrum (tailbone) grow together to become one nerve --- the Sciatic Nerve. The Sciatic Nerve is not only the longest nerve in your body (it stretches clear to the toes), but the biggest nerve as well (it is as big around as your thumb up where it originates).
WHAT ARE THE TOP TEN REASONS FOR SCIATICA?
Although there are many reasons people develop Sciatica, some are much more common than others. Sciatica is not in and of itself a diagnosis, but a symptom of an underlying cause that requires a diagnosis. My list will try to cover the more common reasons for Sciatica first, leaving the less common (and typically more dangerous) for later in the list. Bear in mind that this list is being presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or health problem. On many of these items, I will give you a link to look at. The link will provide far more detailed information than what I present here. For my intents and purposes, I am referring to all leg pain (whether referred or radicular) as "Sciatica". It makes it easier for patients to understand.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE SCIATICA?
This is where the rubber meets the road. What can you do to effectively deal with your Sciatica? You are likely reading this because the drugs, shots, and therapy has not worked for you thus far. Because I am a fix-it-the-simplest-cheapest-way-first kind of guy, I will give you a few things you might want to try on your own --- and prevent you having to resort to riding the MEDICAL MERRY GO ROUND.
Here is a list of treatments that will require a visit to someone with some expertise in the field.
CLOSE TO HOME ---- THE UPPER JACKS
TWO RIVERS: THE JACKS MEETS THE CURRENT (AT LEFT)
Last year we had the worst drought since the early 1950's. Since the first of the year, we have had enough rain to green the fields, fill the ponds, make the ground mushy ------ and make the Jacks Fork flow again. If you are serious about floating, try the upper Jacks (between The Prongs and Alley Springs). The water is crystal clear, and the bluffs are frequent and massive We like to put in close to home (we live about three miles from the river) and just go. Make sure you do it in the spring though ---- otherwise there will not be enough water to carry you through the riffles. Malachi and I will be looking for a good day to break out the kayaks in the next two or three weeks. By the way, the Jacks Fork becomes the CURRENT RIVER at a place called "Two Rivers".
MISSOURI CONSERVATIONALIST: The Missouri Conservationalist's latest cover was of the Jacks Fork River. HERE is link to the story and pictures. HERE is a link to my posts on the Jacks Fork. Great story --- great river!
HUGE NUMBERS OF LUMBAR MRI'S NOT APPROPRIATE
Although I wrote about this problem of MRI OVERUSE a couple of years ago, it bears repeating ---- especially when a brand new study from this month's issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine is rehashing this concept themselves. A recent issue of MedPage Today reviewed this brand new study and had this to say.
Amazingly enough, it was determined that less than 35% of the low back MRI's ordered by family doctors could even be considered "appropriate". Specialists did not fare much better. Only Neurosurgeons had a rate greater than 50%. As crazy as it seems, more than 50% of the low back MRI's ordered by both neurologists and orthopedic surgeons were considered to be "inappropriate". The question is why.
Why does mainstream medicine seem to saying we need to order fewer MRI's for low back pain, even though statistically they are ordering more of them than ever? It is a great question that deserves a truthful answer. There are studies that say much of this is about money. When physicians have a financial interest in the facility where the MRI's are taken, the numbers of MRI's taken seems to explode. But truthfully, most doctors do not have financial interest in the facilities they refer to for imaging (for one thing, it's now illegal in most places). I believe that much of this over-ordering of MRI's has to do with the fact that most doctors ---- particularly "family physicians" as stated above ---- have little understanding of what causes low back pain and how to effectively deal with patients struggling with low back pain.
Case in point is a study on this very subject by a medical doctor ---- Kevin B. Friedman. In the October 1998 issue of the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Dr. Friedman, a Princeton graduate who happens to be considered one of Philadelphia's top Orthopedic Surgeons / Sports Doctors (knees and shoulders), published a study called "The Adequacy of Medical School Education in Musculoskeletal Medicine". Dr. Friedman created a basic (competency) test of musculoskeletal knowledge. He then contacted the chairs of the Orthopedic Department of 157 different American medical schools and had them rate his questions and tell him what they thought a passing score should be. The test was then administered to Orthopedic Residents. The results were frankly shocking.
82% of the medical residents (M.D.'s who had graduated from medical school and were now in their residency) failed the exam. When the test was re-administered four years later, the number had improved by a whopping 4%. When Chiropractic Students (not yet graduated from school) were given the very same test in their final quarter of school, the pass rate was 70%. I find this telling. You should too --- particularly if you are dealing with low back pain or for that matter; any of THESE OTHER PROBLEMS.
On top of the issue of competency, we have to talk for a moment about ASYMPTOMATIC DISC HERNIATIONS. Another of the dirty little secrets of the medical profession are the huge numbers of DISC BULGES in the general population. According to the link at the top of the paragraph, about half of the adult population is walking around with disc bulges that they are completely unaware of because they have no pain. Do you think that this could cause confusion in the medical community --- particularly if they are searching for the cause of your low back pain? Absolutely! This is why a recent study said that 85% of the people with low back pain cannot be definitively diagnosed as to what tissue their pain is originating from (HERE).
And what about PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME? Even though studies have shown it to be the number one reason for Sciatica (leg pain), it is still all but totally ignored by the medical community. Throw all these ingredients together, stir them up, and you have a recipe for lots of unnecessary MRI's ---- the very thing we currently have in our healthcare system.
BELLY FAT AND OSTEOPOROSIS
Fat men tend to carry their excess weight around their waists (the proverbial "spare tire"), while women typically carry extra weight around their hips. Up until a few decades ago, "Central Obesity" was a problem which, while relatively common in men, was relatively rare in women. Unfortunately this is no longer the case, as our entire population has gotten progressively heavier. We all know the consequences. Both men and women with central obesity (BELLY FAT) have been shown to be at greater risk for a wide array of health problems including Heart Disease, DIABETES, FIBROMYALGIA / ADRENAL FATIGUE, as well as many others (HERE). You can now add another health-related problem to the list ----- this one specifically geared at women with large bellies. Osteoporosis.
A brand new study done by Columbia University's Dr. Adi Cohen and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that pre-menopausal women (ages 18 to 48) with the most belly fat had the greatest degree of osteoporotic changes. In fact, women with the greatest amounts of belly fat had almost 1/3 less bone volume (the bones were more porous --- see the photo above) as well as much greater levels (almost double) of brittleness / stiffness, when compared with women with the least amount of belly fat. This is particularly alarming because of the way science has always viewed the relationship between Osteoporosis and OBESITY.
The women that have always been deemed to be the most "at risk" for Osteoporosis were the tiniest and most sedentary. On top of this, Obesity was actually thought of as a preventer of Osteoporosis because carrying extra weight was considered to be "weight bearing" (WEIGHT-BEARING EXERCISE is the number one way to reverse or stop Osteoporosis --- HERE). No longer. If you are an overweight female and your fat is piling up around your belly, it is imperative that you figure out what you'll have to do to get rid of it. My website is a great place to start (HERE).
And believe it or not, Osteoporosis is beginning to look like an INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (the topic of tomorrow's blog post). Many scientists now think that the adverse effects of obesity on bone growth & development are the result of production of inflammatory chemicals by one's visceral adipose tissue (belly fat). This is certainly interesting, considering that Obesity itself is considered to be one of the more common of the hundreds of health problems that are the direct result of Inflammation. More information on Osteoporosis can be found HERE.
LATEST STUDY ON BENEFITS OF MANIPULATION FOR LOW BACK PAIN
Although BJ PALMER is considered to be the "Developer of Chiropractic", ANDREW TAYLOR STILL (left) is still known as the "Father of Osteopathy". Unfortunately, most of our modern osteopaths have little in common with Dr. Still, and a lot in common with the medical community who is largely controlled and run by Big Pharma. We will discuss this issue in a moment. Right now I'd like to talk about the latest in a long line of studies on the benefits of Spinal Manipulation.
According to a recent study done by Dr. John Licciardone of Fort Worth's Osteopathic Research Center, those with chronic low back pain (as opposed to acute low back pain) showed 30% more improvement than placebo during an 8 week course of care (six treatments). On top of this, the patients who were treated with manipulation were much more likely to show improvements of 50% or more. The study was published in the March / April edition of Annals of Family Medicine. The study's conclusions? "Thus, low back pain reductions with treatment [osteopathic manipulations] were statistically significant and clinically relevant". The thing to remember is that many similar studies have shown the "sham manipulations" that comprise the placebo are actually themselves therapeutic on some level. Thus, there is a chance that this 30% statistic might be even better than shown.
I find it interesting that despite that fact that people did significantly better with the Osteopathic Manipulations, the manipulations themselves were quite non-specific in this particular study. In other words, the clinicians were not making specific adjustments in response to clinical findings such as x-ray, or palpitory misalignment. The term "manipulations" in this study meant anything from, "stretching, kneading, isometric muscle activation, and thrusts".
I love to see these types of studies, but here is the thing. Over the past generation, we have seen NUMEROUS STUDIES on the effectiveness and cost efficacy of Chiropractic Care -vs- traditional medical care ---- the "drugs & surgery first" approach. The problem with this particular study is that the vast majority (at least 95%) of the therapeutic manipulation being done in America is done by chiropractors. Although D.O.'s used to do much of the Spinal Manipulation, it is becoming a lost art among their profession (D.O.'s are the same as M.D.'s now). Below are a couple of examples of this. Notice how quickly use of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) is decreasing. The studies were done by the same people at the same university, four years apart, with the latest study coming a dozen years ago. I can assure you that the rate of OMT has declined further in that time --- much further.
Listen; I am not picking on DO's here. The most conservative-minded doctor in our region is a DO. But the fact remains that it is Chiropractors and not Osteopaths who do the vast majority of the manipulations in this country. There is good reason for this. For one, we have much more training in this area. And let's fact it; do you want to trust your spine to someone who does manipulation maybe a couple times a week, or someone who has made it one of the cornerstones of their practice? For more information on Chiropractic, please visit THIS PAGE.
For more information on the way that Chiropractic Adjustments work in synchronicity with our TISSUE REMODELING TREATMENTS, please start HERE. I might also suggest that you take just a few minutes to read about the incredibly fascinating century-old study where a medical doctor validated the Chiropractic profession scientifically; THE WINSOR AUTOPSIES.
SUGARY DRINKS ARE A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM
Harvard School of Public Health's Gitanjali Singh (PhD) recently published the results of 2010's Global Burden of Diseases Study. We are already aware of soda's link to OBESITY, but his team's conclusions concerning SODA POP and other sugary drinks and death? Nearly 200,000 people are dying worldwide (25,000 of the deaths occurring here in the United States) ---- mostly from heart disease, DIABETES, and CANCER --- as a direct result of the sugar they are consuming from "Sugary Drinks". My guess is that his estimation is too low --- maybe way too low. The results were reported earlier this week at the American Heart Association's (AHA) Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.
While the AHA recommends a maximum of 450 calories a week from sugary drinks, much of the world is following America's lead and going beyond that ---- far beyond that. In fact, I saw a recent study touting the fact that the number one source of calories for American teens was soda (HERE). Here are some other "Fun Facts" concerning American consumption of soda and other sugary drinks that come from this and other studies.
Interestingly enough, several governmental organizations are telling citizens to cut the sugar by consuming "Diet Soda". With what we now know about Aspartame (NutraSweet), how beneficial can this be? Not only is this stuff bad in every conceivable manner, it actually causes more weight gain than normal soda (HERE) It seems that people are very confused these days. They are SWAPPING SUGAR FOR MORE SUGAR and assuming that juice-like drinks or "Sports Drinks" must be good for them because they made people like Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and Mia Hamm, what they are today. Get kids hooked, and they're too often HOOKED FOR LIFE.
STUPID PARENTS DON'T HAVE ENOUGH SENSE TO VACCINATE THEIR DAUGHTERS AGAINST HPV
When it comes to vaccinations, parents are getting increasingly stupid. At least this is the thinly veiled message being promoted by that "Happy Threesome" of the medical community, BIG PHARMA, and our GOVERNMENT. In an article published in Monday's issue of MedPage Today (an online resource that puts current studies in your email on a daily basis), we see that, "Parents increasingly say they are worried about the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and don't intend to vaccinate their teen daughters...... The proportion of parents who replied they were worried about "safety concerns/side effects" increased from 4.5% in 2008 to 16.4% in 2010." Furthermore, when questioned by their doctors, almost 44% of parents said they were not going to have their teen daughters vaccinated for HPV, even though this month's issue of Pediatrics says that doctors are increasingly recommending the INOCULATION.
Be warned that the researchers (some who were paid spokespersons for Merck, Novartis, and PFIZER) suggested the "need for interventions beyond clinician recommendation." Despite what they say this means, you'll need to read between the lines to get the full impact of what you are really being told. This is your government, who obviously knows best, gently preparing constituents / parents for what is surely coming ---- forced vaccinations. That's right --- once the government is paying for everyone's healthcare, they have the "right" to tell you how to live out every detail of your life --- including how you will raise your children (HERE). Let's take just a moment to look at possible reasons that nearly half of all parents are declining to have their children vaccinated (chiefly daughters, but boys are also being recommended to get this vaccination as well).
Although the CDC's website lists the reactions to the HPV Vaccination as being minor (fainting, redness at the injection site, dizziness, headache), is this really the case? The first thing we must understand is that numerous studies have shown us that only a tiny percentage of doctors ever report to VAERS (Vaccination Adverse Events Reporting System) in the first place, and the ones that do only report a small fraction of the time (somewhere between 10% to 1%, depending on whose research you deem most trustworthy). This means that depending on whose research you believe to be most accurate, at least 90% to 99% of the Adverse Events (side effects) to vaccines --- including the HPV Vaccine ---- are ever reported. Secondly, since when can you trust our government concerning anything? And thirdly, even though it continues to be denied at almost every level, why aren't more people looking into the link between vaccines and EXPLODING RATES OF AUTISM?
BIGGER PROBLEMS WITH THE HPV VACCINE?
This will be in Part II ---- to be published in the next couple of weeks. If you can't wait until then, just do your own research by following some of the links above. By the way, they are now vaccinating boys against HPV as well.
COMMON SENSE PREVAILS AS FAIRVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT GOES LIVE WITH THEIR CONCEALED CARRY PROGRAM
PUBLIC SCHOOL CONCEALED CARRY
Although I try not to be too political on this blog (the vast majority of the posts are health-related), I feel that this particular issue is bears discussion. It is not the first time I have written about it. Not long after the Sandy Hook Massacre took place, I suggested that highly trained teachers should be able to "Carry Concealed" while on the job. In it I brought up what I considered (and still consider) to be valid points.
One of my good friends is Aaron Sydow, the principal at Fairview School in West Plains, Missouri. I recently found out that Fairview School (right here in Howell County) has become the first public school in the state of Missouri to allow their trained employees to "Carry" while at work. Below is the press release that was sent to area newspapers by the company that trained them --- Shield Solutions, LLC. I told Aaron to be ready because everyone from Geraldo to Oprah is going to want a piece of this story. You are reading it here first. I salute all of you who made this happen, from the school board, to those who took the grueling course, to those who trained them. My hat is off to all of you!
For more information please contact Dan Wehmer of Shield Solutions at 417-331-2521.
WEST PLAINS, MISSOURI — Several employees of the Fairview R-XI School District, a K-8 public-school district in rural West Plains, graduated Friday, March 15, from the 40-hour School Employee Firearms Training Program administered by Shield Solutions LLC of West Plains. Each of the district's employees, whose identity remains confidential under the federal Safe Schools Act, now are able to carry concealed firearms while on the job for the protection of the school's students, certified and non-certified staff. In their capacity of protecting the children of the Fairview R-XI School District, the aforementioned school employees become Shield Solutions employees, with their actions in this vital task covered by the company's liability insurance.
The training of the Fairview employees was done by Shield Solutions' four-person team of Don Crowley, Fred Long, Jason Long and Rob Pilkington. Jason Long and Pilkington are longtime employees of the Howell County Sheriff's Department, Crowley is the police chief at Winona, while Fred Long is retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and is a longtime officer for the Howell County Sheriff's Department. All four are U.S. military veterans. Each holds a vast array of certifications for firearms' training on the regional, state and even national levels.
Prior to their training, the trainees underwent comprehensive background and drug testing, as well
as a psychological examination. Annually, to retain to ability to carry concealed firearms at the school, the employees must complete a 16-hour training course and must qualify with their firearms on a bi-annual basis, with all training and testing administered by the Shield Solutions training staff.
For many educators and school boards, there is a growing fear of how to react if an armed intruder enters their school campus. Many schools teach the long-taught "lockdown" method of reaction to such an event, which was the same tactic used by the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, when an armed intruder killed 20 children and six teachers. That method, as well as many others employed by public schools, is aimed at limiting casualties and deaths. There is no provision for eliminating a single loss of life. That's what the School Employee Firearms Training program addresses ... protecting children should an armed intruder enter their school campus, intent on harming defenseless students and teachers.
Funding for the training and the implementation of school policies to allow for the carrying of concealed firearms by trained Fairview R-XI School District employees was approved in a unanimous 7-0 vote by the district's school board in February.
AUTISM RATES ARE NOW 1 IN 50
I have written extensively on AUTISM. In fact, just a few weeks ago I published a massive post on AUTISM AND GUT HEALTH. When I started practice in 1991, the rates being touted for Autism were in the 1 in 1,000 range. Back in 2007, they had exploded to 1 in 86. But according to the latest hot-off-the-press research, the autism rate currently stands at 1 in 50. In other words, one in every fifty Americans under the age of 18 (2%) has Autism. The numbers are insane.
Doctors such as the CDC's Stephen Blumberg continue to make excuses for the skyrocketing rates by saying things like, "The reason for the rise is not known, and cannot be determined from the report. But the findings suggest that doctors and other healthcare professionals are getting better at identifying and diagnosing mild forms of autism." But we know that this is simply not true. Listen to what an expert in the field says about this common excuse.
Michael Rosanoff, associate director of Public Health Research & Scientific Review at Autism Speaks says that more rigorous studies are needed to determine the true rate of autism. His guess? Autism rates are higher than ever suspected ---- higher still than they are being right now (HERE).
It is now 2013. There are no more valid excuses not to know better. If you are not familiar with the evidence showing AUTISM'S LINK TO CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS, you need to educate yourself. Yeah; I get it. It is tough. Your parents, grandparents, in-laws, teachers, principal, pastor, friends, (_______________ insert your person of choice here) all think you are nuts for even thinking about forgoing your child's shots. I have been there and understand. The only way you can effectively do this is to not only educate yourself on the issue, but be able to articulate it as well. Where do you start? My site, of course! Check out the previous links, and then GO HERE. Even if you ultimately decide to have your child inoculated, make an educated decision based on your own research on the matter. Not something your doctor or the government told you.
HOW DOES YOUR DOCTOR CHOOSE WHICH MEDICATION(S) TO PRESCRIBE?
Trust Drives Business. The reason for the study's focus on trust is that brands associated with high levels of trust are more likely to be endorsed, recommended, and prescribed by physicians. And when it comes to driving trust, emotional connection, relationships with sales representatives, and perceptions of the pharmaceutical company or companies backing the product can be just as influential factors as the attributes of the product itself.
"Our research clearly demonstrates that trust is about much more than efficacy alone. The importance of the emotional component is further borne out by the consistency with which the study's trust leaders are shown to distinguish themselves on emotional measures in addition to functional ones."
The "trust-us" advertising flyers that the drug reps put in physician's hands on a daily basis are geared toward creating an emotional response. And the drug reps themselves? They're not flunkies. They are salespeople who have received extensive training in the art of marketing, selling, and SCHMOOZING. Although you may not like hearing how your doctor chose the drugs he / she prescribed you, just realize that it probably had nothing to do with any research they did for themselves. There is simply not enough hours in the day --- and way to many drugs to even try to keep up with it all. So doctors trust the flyers and the drug reps. And you trust your doctors. And it's all reinforced by the commercials you see on TV and read in Woman's Day or AARP. It kind of reminds me of a study that I saw about 20 years ago that I refer to as the Dove Soap Study.
The study itself had nothing whatsoever to do with Dove Soap, but if you have ever seen a bar of Dove, it is advertised as being 99 44/100 pure. The research I saw said that once a doctor graduates from medical school, about 99.44% of what they learn about drugs for the rest of their careers comes as the direct result of what they were given or told by a drug rep. Although the internet has, by its very nature, lowered this number, the current research still tells us that doctors are choosing your drugs based mostly on emotion. This all begs the question of whether or not we can we trust Big Pharma? Suuuuuuurrrrre we can. We can trust them to lie, cheat, and work the system to their advantage (see first link in post). How big is this problem here in America?
Just one short month ago, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) felt it necessary to publish an article called Restoring Confidence in the Pharmaceutical Industry. The stated purpose of the article was, "to help restore credibility and trust in their sponsored research". Why would the Medical Community feel a need to come to the rescue of Big Pharma? Think about it for a moment. Take away the drugs, and what does the medical community have to offer you? Surgery? Yay. Dietary Recommendations? I DON'T THINK SO. Scary isn't it?
Listen up folks; with billions of dollars at stake for each and every major player in the Pharmaceutical Industry, there is not a prayer in the world you are going to see this situation improve. I have shown you repeatedly that blatant lying, misrepresenting research, and conflict-of-interest are now the norm. And the multi-billion dollar fines now being handed out because of this behavior? They are simply the price of doing business. Here are a few excerpts, cherry-picked from the JAMA article.
Lack of trust in the pharmaceutical industry threatens the future of biomedical research.... We have had discussions with leaders of the pharmaceutical industry about concerns they have regarding the erosion of trust in their companies. We also have had discussions with academic leaders and leading scientists about ways to improve the reputation of pharmaceutical industry research and have participated in initiatives to harmonize reporting by physicians, investigators, and others who have financial relationships with industry and other conflicts of interest. Numerous high-profile reports involving some of the world's largest and previously most well-respected companies have detailed serious concerns about manipulation and misrepresentation of data from industry-sponsored research.... Voluntarily limiting direct-to-consumer advertising until postmarketing studies are completed would send an important signal that pharmaceutical companies are prioritizing patient safety.
ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE IN THE GERIATRIC POPULATION
If you have spent any time at all on my blog, you have heard me say that ANTIBIOTICS are one of the single biggest destroyers of health in America (probably just behind our crappy diets and sedentary lifestyles). Antibiotics are being tied directly to a myriad of health problems, including Chronic Pain Syndromes and AUTOIMMUNITY. According to the study's lead author (Dr Daneman of the University of Toronto), about 20% of the doctors wrote 80% of the geriatric Antibiotic prescriptions, with nearly 45% of these being prescribed for an average of 11 1/2 days. Furthermore, they discovered that 75% of the 67,000 patients whose records were reviewed for the study were given Antibiotics on at least a yearly basis. Daneman wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine that,
"High rates of institutional antibiotic use are driving increased rates of antibiotic resistance, Clostridium difficile infection, antibiotic-related adverse events, and healthcare costs, yet up to half of antibiotic use in acute and long-term-care institutions is unnecessary or inappropriate."
According to Drs. Carmel Hughes and Michael Tunney of Queen's University Belfast, "The level of fluoroquinolone prescribing is surprising given the association between the use of these antibiotics and Clostridium difficile infection.... Clearly, greater caution should be exercised in the use of fluoroquinolones in the long-term-care setting". Clostridium Difficile (otherwise known as C. Diff) is a highly contagious bacterium that can rampage through institutionalized populations like wildfire. I recently wrote about one of the only ways that many people can beat this form of DYSBIOSIS ----- FECES TRANSPLANTS.
People jokingly like to say, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself". It is never too late to take the underlying message of these words to heart. If you start now, maybe you'll never end up in a nursing home. HERE is how to go about it.
ARTIFICIAL OR SYNTHETIC FISH OIL?
The first thing I did was to Google "Synthetic DHA". Low and behold, there were hundreds of stories of Synthetic DHA. According to a January 2011 study in the biomedical journal Biochimie, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) ---- one of the two active ingredients in Fish Oil ---- is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, sperm, testicles and retina. It can be obtained directly from maternal milk or fish oil.
After a bit of looking around, I found out that a company called Martek Biosciences Corporation, creates synthetic DHA via taking certain oils from genetically modified fungus and algae, and then using hexane (similar to propane) to extract DHA. When this product was first released, it was not necessarily intended to be of nutrutional benefit (the studies on it were incomplete). The benefit was being able to say that it was "closest to human milk". Although Synthetic DHA was recently banned from use in "Organic Baby Formula", it is still used in numerous regular BABY FORMULAS. This despite the fact that MBC's own research has shown that lab rates given Synthetic DHA have, "significant increase in relative liver weights," when compared to controls.
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) is the other active ingredient in Fish Oil. Rather than being a "structural oil" like DHA, EPA provides the Anti-inflammatory portion of Fish Oil. It is the part of the Fish Oil molecule that is going to protect you against the whole array of INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and a whole host of others).
Synthetic EPA (EPA-E or Ethyl Eicosapentaenoic Acid) has been patented and is marketed as a drug under the names Vascepa, Epadel, and EPAX. EPA-E has shown to be clinically effective for the same things that natural EPA has been shown effective for --- without the side effects. For more information about Fish Oil, the best kind(s) to take, and why it is so critical for good health, just visit our PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE FISH OIL page.
SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT STATINS?
Statin drugs should probably be in the water, like fluoride. These cholesterol-fighting wonders have been proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes, with only rare side effects. Recent studies hint that statins might fend off Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and even cancer. The introduction of an article (The State of Statins) from the June 2004 issue of Smart Money.
Although the writing is on the wall for these drugs, Big Pharma will not go down without a fight, and are pushing back harder than ever. It was not that long ago that a young man (early 20's) came to see me for back pain. In the consult and examination, I found out he was taking a statin drug. He was on the thin side, so I figured he must have one of those genetic 'Hypercholesterolemia' things going on. Nope. In fact, before his doctor (someone I know) put him on statins, his total cholesterol was a too-low 125 (anything under 150 puts you at risk for all sorts of health problems including certain kinds of CANCER, hemorrhagic strokes, and DEPRESSION). His doctor was trying to get his total cholesterol under 100. When I asked him why, he told me the two reasons given for this. His dad had had a (non-fatal) heart attack a few years earlier ---- and he had good insurance. No joke! I was dumbfounded. Although he was young, what about statin drugs and the geriatric population?
STATIN DRUGS AND THE ELDERLY
- Cholesterol levels are not associated with cardiovascular disease events [chiefly heart attacks and strokes] in octogenarians without overt coronary artery disease;
- No randomized, controlled trials have assessed the role of statins in reducing events in octogenarians without coronary artery disease; and
- Statins may increase risks of myositis [muscle inflammation / pain], rhabdomyolysis [muscle deterioration / degeneration], and cancer [cancer] in the elderly. "
Who in the world would say something this outlandish? Some half-cocked idiot? Another one of those crazed hillbilly chiropractors from southern Missouri? Some psychopathically deranged hippie? Mad Magazine? Nope, nope, nope, and nope. The above quote was taken directly from the November / December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology --- not exactly an Alfred E. Neuman publication! The study itself was done by a team of researchers at Yale University School of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine.
Doctor Golomb's review individually cited almost 900 peer-reviewed medical studies dealing with the wide array of health problems associated with taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. What is the number one side effect of these drugs? Something called RHABDOMYOLYSIS. Let's look at this word for a moment. Rhabdo (striped) Myo (muscle) lysis (to break down or tear apart). Thus, Rhabdomyolysis is the break down of striped (skeletal) muscle. What did Dr. Golomb have to say about statins and cholesterol? "Muscle problems are the best known of statin drug's adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported."
Mitochondria are the part of the cell that create energy in the form of ATP (HERE). However, this process of making energy also creates something else. Free Radicals. Oxygen Free Radicals are harmful compounds that are a known cause of cancer. This is why we consume "antioxidants" in the form of foods (colorful vegetables, fruits, and berries). These antioxidants protect us against this process we call "Oxidation". When mitochondrial function is diminished for any reason, the body produces less energy and more "Free Radicals". This is a double whammy that not only causes various disease processes, it leaves you with a diminished ability to fight against them because your body is not making enough energy to do so.
Coenzyme Q10 ("Co-Q10") is a compound central to the energy-making process that occurs within mitochondria. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant whose other job is to "quench" the internal fire known as free radical oxidative damage. The problem with statin drugs, however, is that they lower Q10 levels. They do this because they are designed to block the metabolic pathway involved in cholesterol production ---- the very same pathway which produces the body's supply of Co-Q10. How big is the loss of anti-oxidative power in the body? Just listen to the words of Dr. Golomb.
"The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA." Because statins cause progressively more mitochondrial damage over time ---- and as these energy powerhouses tend to weaken with age ---- new and more severe adverse effects tend to develop the longer a patient takes statin drugs. Golomb goes on to say, "The risk of adverse effects goes up as age goes up, and this helps explain why. This also helps explain why statins' benefits have not been found to exceed their risks in those over 70 or 75 years old, even those with heart disease." Furthermore, both high blood pressure and diabetes are linked to higher rates of mitochondrial dysfunction. This is why say the study's co-authors, these conditions are consistent with a higher risk of statin side effects.
Golomb goes on to explain in a recent interview, "From the reports that come into us, people are experiencing severe muscle weakness, which is also linked to cognitive problems. We're really interested in the balance of risks and benefits of these drugs. There are lots and lots of people looking at the benefit side. There are so few people evaluating the [risk] side. You can bet that the $20 billion a year in statin drug company revenue is going to make sure that any promising lead looking at potential benefits will be followed." You know what? She is right. I will get to this topic soon enough, but suffice it to say that there a whole host of doctors screaming the same things at the top of their lungs. Unfortunately, they are being drowned out by Big Pharma's never ending 'noise' about the need for every American to be on Statins. Think I'm kidding?
Not very long ago, "Sir" Rory Collins, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Clinical Trial Service Unit of Oxford University stated, "Give statins to all over-50s: Even the healthy should take the heart drug". Sir Rory happens to be the lead researcher on one of one of the biggest cholesterol studies in history. His study's conclusions are that lowering LDL cholesterol with statins is safe, effective, and saves large numbers of lives. And where did the money for his research come from? Three places:
- The British Heart Foundation
- The National Health Service (NHS)
- UK Biobank
I know you'll all be shocked to hear this, but Sir Rory just happens to be the Principal Investor and Chief Executive of Biobank. How much money are we talking about here? Try £62 million on for size! That's 100 million dollars for those of you keeping score at home. This does not even begin to take into account the fact that Sir Rory has received money from numerous Pharmaceutical Corporations. Is this a conflict of interest? Let's ask the companies involved. Some of the bigger companies you have no doubt heard of before.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Schering (not to be confused with Schierling)
- Solvay (a huge chemical manufacturing corporation)
DO STATINS LOWER CANCER RATES?
In recent years the news has headlined numerous stories saying things like, "Cholesterol Drugs May Lower Cancer Risk" But is this really true? I have always been under the impression that statin drugs increase the risk of cancer, not lower it. So, where is this information coming from, and who can we trust to give us the straight dope on this issue? It seems that a study done several years ago in Israel looked at the medical records of over 200,000 people and came to the conclusion that statin drugs decrease cancer rates.
The study, published in the medical journal Preventing Chronic Disease, said that patients who regularly took statin drugs for the longest time had the lowest rates of cancer over the 7 years of the study. Their conclusions? The authors stated that their study, "demonstrated that persistent use of statins is associated with a lower overall cancer risk..... the association between statins and cancer incidence may be relevant for cancer prevention." Bear in mind that this and other statin studies have been dissected to show that their lower cancer rates claim is at best, grossly exaggerated; and at worst, completely false.
In a recent study of the effects of statins on the elderly, nearly six thousand people aged 70-82 were given either a statin or placebo over a three year period. Cancer rates were one quarter greater in the statin group. Another study (a meta-analysis) looked at the results of several different studies, finding that the combination of statin drugs and the cholesterol-lowering drug Ezetimibe (Vytorin), was associated with a forty five percent increased risk of dying of cancer. Read that last sentence a couple more times and let it sink in!
FDA CALLS FOR STILL LOWER CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently ruled that labels for statin drugs must include warnings about some of the side effects associated with statins (memory loss, confusion, Type II Diabetes, and myopathy / rhabdomyolysis / muscle & tendon problems), they keep lowering the levels of what is considered to be a "normal" cholesterol level. For the past three decades, Big Pharma will parade their "homegrown" research by the FDA, showing them that cholesterol is the Great Satan --- the leading cause of our country's number one killer; heart disease. The goal is always the same. They want the FDA to step in yet again and change (lower) what constitutes a healthy cholesterol number. This has been done over and over again, and means that more and more people will be told they have high cholesterol, and subsequently need to be on statin drugs. I realize that statins dramatically lower cholesterol. However, there are a whole host of Physicians, Researchers, and Scientists telling us that we are being bamboozled by the drug companies. What's going on here?
Dr. John Briffa, contributing editor on THE CHOLESTEROL TRUTH, has been exposing countless flawed statin trials on their blog, revealing one of the biggest medical cons of our time in the process. On their site, he also explains why cholesterol is not the villain it is made out to be and how the mainstream has got hold of the wrong end of the stick when it comes to heart disease prevention. What are the most common Statin Drugs in America? Here's a short list
- Advicor (lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott
- Altoprev (lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma
- Caduet [atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] – Pfizer
- Crestor (rosuvastatin) - AstraZeneca
- Lescol (fluvastatin) – Novartis
- Lipitor (atorvastatin) - Pfizer
- Mevacor (lovastatin) – Merck
- Pravachol (pravastatin) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Simcor (niacin/imvastatin) – Abbott
- Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
- Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck
BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE RESEARCH THAT SHOWS
HOW MANY LIVES STATIN DRUGS ARE SAVING EACH YEAR?
A few years ago, a study known as the JUPITER Trial suggested cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might even prevent heart-related deaths in many more people than just those with high cholesterol. However, researchers now say that the JUPITER results were flawed -- seriously flawed! Not only is there no "striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications", but a new report has also called into question drug company's involvement in this and similar drug studies. What did an ABC News expose have to say about this study?
"... major discrepancies exists between the significant reductions in nonfatal stroke and heart attacks reported in the JUPITER trial and what has been found in other research ... 'The JUPITER data set appears biased."
But how can "research" be biased? After all, isn't it all independent --- isn't it? No it's not. Let me give you one example out of thousands. A few years ago, the sugar industry published a study saying that high amounts of sugar did not cause behavior problems in children. If you are a parent, common sense will tell you otherwise. So where was the sleight of hand? The studies compared the behavior two groups of children. Group I (the control) was given the sugar equivalent of about 18 cupcakes a day. Group II (the experimental group) was given not quite double this amount of sugar. When BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS were compared between the two groups of children, there was no statistical difference. Duh! I wonder why? If you want to see a picture of what financial conflict-of-interest looks like in Big Pharma, HERE is one.
Pretty soon I am going to hit you a few of the actual studies on statin drugs. I promise that you will not only be shocked, you will be ticked off about the way you have been duped. In the mean time, here are some of the areas to watch with particular diligence.
- NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS: These include amnesia, forgetfulness, confusion, the tendency to be disoriented, increased symptoms of senility, short-term memory loss. I will never forget reading the story of Mike Hope in an issue of Smart Money a decade ago. The neurological side effects of statin drugs are devastating, and frequently permanent.
- MUSCLE PAIN: Although muscle pain is the most common side effect of statin drugs, calling it "Muscle Pain" is extremely (and purposefully) misleading. Like I said earlier, this side effect is technically called Rhambomyosis or Rhabdomyolysis. It is not simply pain or muscle soreness. It is pain, muscle soreness, and weakness caused by the degeneration of your muscles. Although many people on statins have mild to moderate increases in muscle and joint pain and / or fatigue, I have seen numerous cases that are totally debilitating. The first thing I want to know when people come to me for SCAR TISSUE REMODELING is whether they are on a statin.
- LIVER DAMAGE: People who start statin drugs should have their liver enzymes checked via a blood test about six weeks after starting the drug. One of the side effects of statin use is increased production of liver enzymes, which has the potential to cause permanent liver damage.
- COMPLICATIONS WITH DIGESTION: These usually take the form of nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. As I said earlier, this is due to in part to the fact that statin drugs alter your body's ability to metabolize fats and sugars properly.
- MIGRAINE HEADACHES & REGULAR HEADACHES: I deal with lots of people with chronic headaches (HERE). If you are prone to either you may find that statin use will trigger your headaches and migraines more often as well as allowing them to become more severe / intense. Dizziness and flu-like symptoms are also side-effects along these lines.
There are a growing number of scientists and doctors who believe that in most cases, high cholesterol and fatty build up on the arterial walls is a function of INFLAMMATION. For more information on this subject, I would suggest you go HERE.
- MUSCLE PROBLEMS
- NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS
- DEMENTIA & DEPRESSION
STATINS & MUSCLE PROBLEMS:
However, the pharmaceutical industry shrugs this off by calling it "Myalgia" or muscle pain (Myo = muscle, and algia = pain). But describing what is taking place in the muscles of statin users as mere myalgia is extremely (and purposefully) misleading. Allow me to explain.
One of the supposedly "rare" side effects of statin drugs is Rhabdomyolysis (the "lysis" or rupture of muscle cells ---- sometimes called "apotosis"). However, we see that (depending on whose research you believe) somewhere between 10-30% of the individuals on statin drugs have muscle problems (myopathy, myalgia, aches, pains, fatigue, weakness, etc) that all get lumped into one category ---- myalgia. This is not just because statin drugs make muscles hurt, but because they actually destroy muscle tissue. And beware; the more active and muscular a person is, the worse the research says the problem will be. This is why men suffer the muscle symptoms of statins far more frequently than females (about 3 to 1). How common are statin-induced muscle problems? The common line is that they are experienced by 2 -10% of those who take them. This is both untrue and misleading. And be warned; The New England Journal of Medicine said in a 2010 study, that just because you stop taking Statins, does not mean your pain will go away!
The prestigious Cleveland Clinic's Journal of Medicine recently wrote an article entitled, Statin Myopathy: A Common Dilemma not Reflected in Clinical Trials. Their point? Even though studies are saying that muscle problems are relatively rare while taking statin drugs, this is simply not the case. And interestingly enough, the supposed "gold standard" for determining if a person should be taken off statins due to muscle breakdown ---- CPK levels (Creatine Phosphokinase) that are at least 10 times normal ---- has been debunked. "Our findings call into question whether normal or mildly elevated levels of serum (CPK) can be used to exclude underlying and possibly ongoing muscle injury,” statin researchers wrote in the July 2009 issue of the Canadian Medical Association journal. What you have to remember about these statistics is that if you have muscle pain, but your CPK levels are only 9.5 times normal (instead of 10 or greater), you will not be counted in the statistics.
MORE ON STATIN DRUGS
WEAK STOMACH ACID AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO
POOR DIGESTION, DYSBIOSIS, AND DISEASE
The problem is that each of these myths (not to mention dozens of others --- HERE) directly affect your health in an adverse manner. Today we are going to throw one more on the junk heap. There is a myth that is so ingrained in people's minds that getting it out is often times impossible --- the myth that your digestive issues are caused by too much or too strong stomach acid.
Acid is rated on a pH scale (see diagram above left). 7 is neutral, 14 is the strongest base (alkali), with 0 being the very strongest acid. How strong should stomach acid really be? Listen to what my 1986 version of Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology (the standard physiology text for all physicians of every sort) says about the gastric secretion of stomach acid. "The pH of this acid solution is approximately .8, thus illustrating it's extreme acidity." Let me spell out to you what Dr. G is saying here.
Considering battery acid (sulfuric acid --- H2S04) is the strongest acid listed on most pH charts (it's about 0), the fact that normal stomach acid (hydrochloric acid --- HCl) is next on the list should at least get your attention. Add to this the fact that on a pH scale, each number represents a factor of 10 (in other words, 1 is ten times more acidic than 2, 100 times more acidic than 3, 1,000 times more acidic than 4.....), and you can start to see how acidic stomach acid really is. What does 'strong' stomach acid do? We'll get there momentarily, but first it's important to understand how you are being conned.
"Convincing people they are sick and need a drug is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2015, Big Pharma dropped a record-breaking $5.4 billion on direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads, according to Kantar Media. And it paid off for Big Pharma. The same year, Americans spent a record $457 billion on prescription drugs. Americans also pay more for drugs and devices than any other country." From Michelle Y. Llamas 2015 article in Drug Watch (Selling Side Effects: Big Pharma's Marketing Machine)
"The biggest spender, Johnson & Johnson, shelled out $17.5 billion on sales and marketing in 2013, compared with $8.2 billion for R&D. In the top 10, only Roche spent more on R&D than on sales and marketing. Most of this marketing money is directed at the physicians who do the prescribing, rather than consumers. More than $3 billion a year marketing to consumers in the U.S. in 2012, but an estimated $24 billion marketing directly to health care professionals." Anna Swanson from the February 11, 2015 issue of the Washington Post (Big Pharmaceutical Companies are Spending Far More on Marketing than Research)
When it comes to marketing, the medical community spares no expense. One of the ways that medical marketing has exponentially increased market share is by convincing people they have "Diseases". If that tag-team of YOUR DOCTOR and BIG PHARMA can convince you that you have a disease that can never be cured --- only 'MANAGED' with a lifetime of drugs and surgeries --- they see you and your diseases as a cash cow that will put money in their pockets for decades to come. Multiply this scenario by tens of millions of people, and you have a gold mine whose value is unfathomable. Take, for instance, GERD (Gastro Esophogeal Reflux Disease).
GERD used to be known as 'heartburn'. And of course everyone knows that heartburn is caused by too much or too strong stomach acid. Or is it? It's funny how the medical research is catching up to the things that the "Alternative Practitioners" (aka QUACKS) have been telling their patients for decades.
Despite the fact that acid-blocking PPI's (PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS) are the third most-prescribed class of drug in America (as of 2008, Nexium --- the 'purple pill' --- was America's number two selling drug behind only LIPITOR), the mainstream medical community is starting to realize the wisdom of men like DR. ROYAL LEE. You see, it has only been in the past couple of decades that the medical community 'discovered' that both Gastritis and Stomach Ulcers are caused by a bacteria ---- Heliobacter Pylori (usually just called H. Pylori). Listen to what Dr. Lee wrote eighty five years ago.
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
- 15% of the entire American population has Hypochlorhydria.
- 40% of the 40 year olds have Hypochlorhydria.
- 50% of the 60 year olds have Hypochlorhydria.
- Over 30 percent of the over-60 crowd suffers from something called Atrophic Gastritis, a condition characterized by Achlorhydria (they produce zero stomach acid) .
- 40% of women over the age of 80 have Achlorhydria .
- One in five Americans experiences heartburn monthly.
- Nearly half of these have heartburn daily.
- GERD is thought to be dramatically underestimated because of the crazy numbers of people taking over-the-counter antacids and PPI's.
- Approximately 20% of those who have H. Pylori infections end up with ulcers.
- About 1% of these get Stomach Cancer.
- 70% of partners / spouses share H. Pylori.
- H. Pylori is the only bacteria recognized as a Grade I Carcinogen by the World Health Organization (it is strongly associated with Stomach and Pancreatic Cancer).
These statistics on Hypochlorhydria and Achlorhydria (no stomach acid) are shocking. Throw in the stats on H. Pylori and they are stupefying. As you can see, the problem could (and probably should) legitimately be referred to as an epidemic. But what are all of these people told over and over and over again by their PCP's and Gastroenterologists?
They are told that they have too much or too strong stomach acid. Not only is this not true, it is 180 degrees opposite of the truth. Make sure you catch this point. As crazy as it sounds, the reason that most people have GERD-like symptoms is because they are making too little or too weak stomach acid. Allow me to explain, while you remember that Guyton said normal stomach acid is 0.8.
Healthy people have a slightly alkali body (about 7.4) and a very acidic stomach. Unhealthy people (a huge percentage of Americans) tend to have a body that is more acidic (all sick people are acidic) and because of this, are wearing out their body's capability for buffering this acid. Because there should be, at least in healthy people, an inverse relationship between the acidity of the body and the acidity of the stomach, this means it's likely that the unhealthy stomach will not be acidic enough (HERE). What are the consequences of poor quality / quantity of stomach acid? They are many and potentially severe.
(LOW STOMACH ACID)
Not only is this a huge misconception, but low stomach acid (higher pH acid) has actually been tied to a wide array of serious diseases. This should not be surprising considering that if your digestion is screwy, the nutrition you consume is going to go through you without being broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream.
COMMON SIGNS OF HYPOCHLORHYDRIA
- Bloating, Burping, and Gas immediately following meals / Staying full long after a meal is over
- Bad breath (seen with H. Pylori infections or Putrefaction) / PERIODONTAL DISEASE
- Heartburn / Indigestion
- Diarrhea or CONSTIPATION or other common symptoms of IBS (IBS is now the second-leading cause of missed work, behind only the common cold.)
- Undigested food in stools / Feeling Hungry despite Eating (due to maldigestion and malabsorbition of protein)
- Zits (HERE)
- CANDIDA (yeast overgrowths) / Rectal Itching / PARASITES / DYSBIOSIS of all sorts
- Food Sensitivities such as GLUTEN, ALLERGIES, and ASTHMA
- Iron Deficiency / Various types of ANEMIA --- particularly Vitamin B-12 / Mineral Deficiencies in general / OSTEOPOROSIS
- CHRONIC FATIGUE / Adrenal Fatigue (FIBROMYALGIA) / Lethargy / Apathy / DEPRESSION
- Dry Skin, Dry Hair, Cracked Nails
- Severe Morning Sickness
- Spontaneous Recurrent Abortion (INFERTILITY)
- AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES of all kinds, including HYPOTHYROIDISM
- Various forms of CANCER, including Stomach and Pancreatic
Weak or diminished stomach acid is bad for you in three chief ways.
FIRSTLY: All alkalizing minerals (the minerals that create the slightly alkali pH that your body requires) can only be absorbed in an extremely acidic environment. This is why antacids are a huge cause of OSTEOPOROSIS, even though some (like TUMS) actually tout themselves as anti-osteoporotics due to the fact that their buffering ingredient is calcium (i.e. a poor source; Calcium Carbonate -- limestone or chalk). Click HERE to learn about the single best calcium supplement on the planet.
SECONDLY: Strong stomach acid prevents dysbiotic overgrowths of bacteria, yeasts, or other microbes from making their way from the intestines to colonize the stomach --- something not uncommon in SIB) (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). If your stomach's pH is too high (too alkali), you create an environment for bacteria to gain access, take hold, grow, and reproduce. The most common of these is Heliobacter Pylori (H. Pylori for short). Although these critters are normally found in the Gut in small numbers, they should never be present in the stomach. Thus, it's not surprising that the drugs taken for heartburn (PPI's) commonly cause various sorts of Dysbiosis (HERE), including H. Pylori infections.
THIRDLY: It is stomach acid that stimulates the pancreas to release the proper ENZYMES needed for digestion. Without the acid trigger, digestion will be severely hampered. If you are not digesting your food properly, there is no way to get it into your system in its proper form. It will, however, along with the microbes we've already discussed, end up in your blood stream in an improper form. LEAKY GUT SYNDROME is where inflammation causes the gaps between cells in your gut to get too large, allowing all sorts of things into your blood stream that should never be there. The body begins to mount immune system reactions against what it perceives as foreign invaders (it is) and attack it. This is why increased intestinal permeability (a "leaky" gut) is a hallmark of the "Trifecta of Misery," chronic inflammation, chronic pain, and chronic illness. It's impossible to fix a leaky gut in a person with Hypochlorhydria!
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE HYPOCHLORHYDRIA?
Although there are several ways to test for hypochlorhydria (HERE are a number of them), there are a couple that I recommend you start with in the privacy of your own home (no, I do not feel it is necessary to swallow the radio transmitter pill that broadcasts stomach pH back to the doctor via a computer printout --- great test, but it will cost you about 500 bucks). Another popular test is consuming a significant amount of Baking Soda and seeing how long it takes to belch. Truthfully, if you have lots of the symptoms I've listed in this post, rest assured that you have Hypochlorhydria.
In fact, when recently discussing the the tests in the link in the previous paragraph with a practitioner with decades of experience in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, he said he has never one time seen a person with too much stomach acid except in the case of gastric tumors called gastrinomas (Zollinger / Ellison Syndrome) --- an extremely rare disease that is a major risk factor for Pancreatic Cancer. Here are the signs you may have Hypochlorhydria.
- YOUR SALIVARY pH IS TOO LOW: If your salivary pH is low, this means that your body is probably too acidic. Remember the earlier discussion on stomach pH? The pH of the body has an inverse relationship to the pH of the stomach. If you have an acidic salivary pH, it probably means that your stomach is not acidic enough. Get some test paper at the local drugstore (pH paper) and check it. Your salivary pH should be a slightly alkali 7.4.
- YOU FEEL CRAPPY WHEN YOU EAT HIGH PROTEIN MEALS ---- PARTICULARLY MEAT: Stomach Acid (HCl --- Hydrochloric Acid) is what helps break down and digest protein. When you are unable to digest proteins, they go through a funky process whose name alone might make you vomit ---- putrefaction. Putrefaction occurs when the food you eat fails to digest. It moves slowly through the digestive tract, often undergoing a process similar to fermentation.
- YOU ROUTINELY HAVE HEARTBURN OR INDIGESTION: Some people don't even have to eat protein to get stomach symptoms. They get it routinely from anything they eat.
- YOU ARE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER: Although I do not recommend that you drink much water with your meal (it tends to dilute your stomach acid), you need lots of water throughout the day if you want your stomach acid to be strong and effective. Here is a simple moniker to help you understand why. Hydro means 'water'. Hydro-chloric acid is a water-based acid ---- it is manufactured by your body using H2O. Without ample water, your stomach acid will be too weak. Many people can cure Hypochlorhydria simply by hydrating themselves properly with water or green tea.
- YOU GET POST-MEAL GAS IN THE FORM OF BELCHING, BLOATING, OR FLATULENCE: Although this can be caused solely from food sensitivities such as those seen with gluten or dairy, it is also a common symptom of having low stomach acid (Food Sensitivities themselves are actually heavily associated with Hypochlorhydria). Much of this has to do with a dysbiotic gut. Because your Gut's good bacteria play such a huge role in digesting food; and because strong acid keeps the bad bacteria from overgrowing your digestive tract --- strong acid keeps the bad bacteria at bay. Too many bad bacteria and you have half of the double-sided coin that is POOR GUT HEALTH --- Dysbiosis. Once you have Dysbiosis, it won't be long before you have the other side of the coin --- a Leaky Gut.
- MYOFASCIAL SYNDROMES AND MUSCLE SPASMS / CRAMPS: When you fail to absorb minerals (all minerals are only absorbed in a highly acidic environment), there is the potential to end up with MUSCLE ISSUES, including TRIGGER POINTS.
THE MECHANISM OF HEARTBURN OR GERD
As you have seen, one of the major signs / symptoms of this whole problem is gas --- lots of gas (which always means SIBO --- see earlier link). This gas causes a major increase in the pressure inside the stomach (bloating). This pressure, coupled with the closure of the sphincter valve between the stomach and the duodenum (it will not open unless there is enough acid to trip the trigger) will tend to push the putrefying food mass --- a mass that happens to be extremely acidic --- back up past the valve and into the esophagus. In fact, some people with severe GERD will have a red ring around their mouth from being constantly burned by stomach acid and a putrefying bolus of partially digested food at night. Since the esophagus is not protected by the same lining as the stomach, it is highly susceptible to being burned by HCl.
Now throw in SIBO's ugly sister, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, and sooner or later you'll end up with one or more of THESE Autoimmune Diseases (Autoimmune Diseases are like Lays Potato Chips --- "you can't have just one."). Along the way, you'll develop GERD because the valve at the top of the stomach will fail to work properly. What does this all mean to you --- the average American?
American doctors are writing over 100,000,000 (100 million) prescriptions a year for acid-blocker drugs known as PPI'S. As a NON-EVOLUTIONIST, I simply have to ask myself if it makes sense that humans were created so faulty that such a huge segment of our population would require heartburn drugs? In other words, is such a huge segment of our society really making too much stomach acid? No way! So; why do these drugs appear to work --- at least on a temporary basis?
They block the acid that is part of the mess being refluxed back up the esophagus. But it's kind of like "REBOUND HEADACHES" (headaches caused by the medications being taken to control headaches). Having plenty of strong stomach acid helps the digestive process stay on track, preventing gas / bloating, and helping to keep the valve between the esophagus and stomach closed. This helps to prevent stomach acid and putrefying food from backing up into the esophagus or "refluxing". But where do you start as far as fixing this problem is concerned?
HOW TO FIX HYPOCHLORHYDRIA
- TRY AND EAT WHEN YOU ARE NOT STRESSED: There are two parts of the nervous system --- the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. The Sympathetic Nervous System is geared toward fight or flight. It gives us a rush of adrenaline and moves blood away from the digestive organs to our limbs so that we can flee or stand and fight (this reaction occurs even if the stressor is not physical in nature). Conversely, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is all about relaxation and digestion. To learn more about that relationship, read the post that I consider to be one of the most important I've ever done; SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE.
- EAT LOW CARB: Sugar, Fructose, High Glycemic-Index foods, and even artificial sweeteners mess with your digestive system by decreasing stomach acidity. Some of this is because they acidify the body in general (creating the inverse relationship we spoke of earlier). Some of this is due to the fact that these things have a tendency to feed part of the very problem we are trying to correct ---- Dysbiosis (HERE). Also be aware that there is thirty years of research tying Gluten Sensitivity back to Hypochlorhidria (HERE). A PALEO DIET is a potential solution to all of this and more.
- IF YOU HAVE IBD OR IBS, DON'T EAT YOUR CARBS AND PROTEINS TOGETHER: For those of you struggling with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), it might behoove you to try eating your carbs separate from your protein (at completely different meals), since the acid is needed for protein digestion. All foods (fats, carbs and proteins) are digested via enzymatic activity. But it's important to remember that the enzymes the body uses to digest protein are only activated in the presence of strong stomach acid. Oh, and while we are actually talking about digestive enzymes, not only can they be purchased almost anywhere relatively inexpensively, but most can be found naturally in raw whole foods.
- GET TO A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Although GERD symptoms can hit just about anyone, like numerous other health-related problems, they're much more common in those who are overweight. Interested in getting to a healthy weight? CLICK HERE.
- GET PERIODIC ADJUSTMENTS: Although people who have never been to a Chiropractor do not understand this point, Chiropractors and their patients do. There is not a day that goes by where someone does not come to get adjusted because of their heartburn. Nerves from the spine (HERE) control the organs, glands, and tissues of your body. When the vertebrae are either misaligned or not moving freely in relationship to each other, it creates subtle dysfunctions in nerves that may or may not lead to pain, but can often trigger other seemingly unrelated symptoms. Heartburn is actually one of the more common of these.
- CHEW YOUR FOOD COMPLETELY: Not only does this help ease the digestive process, chewing actually stimulates the production of stomach acid.
- RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND LEMON JUICE: This is a concoction that despite being extremely acidic itself, will actually alkalize the body while acidifying the stomach. I generally use Braggs vinegar. This is because your vinegar needs to be raw and unpasteurized as opposed to the stuff in your pantry. I even know people who have been cured of their GERD by eating the proverbial apple a day.
- BETAINE HCl: Betaine Hydrochloric Acid is a simple inexpensive way to see if you are deficient in HCl (we use Standard Process's Zypan, which not only has the acid, but the enzymes as well). Just take HCl with your meal and see how you do. (WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION --- particularly if you are on NSAIDS, CORTICOSTEROIDS, or other Anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs are known to damage the stomach's protective lining. Although it is not uncommon to get some degree of discomfort from taking Betaine HCl (particularly at first), this discomfort should not be severe. If it is severe, IMMEDIATELY STOP TAKING THE PRODUCT AS YOU COULD AGGRAVATE AN ULCER. Specific directions for taking HCl are forthcoming.
They range from Gluten, to SUGAR, to alcohol, to anti-inflammatory drugs and antacids, to dietary toxins, to even coffee (as a side note; both black and green tea have been shown to inhibit H. Pylori). Notice that this list looks suspiciously like the list causes low stomach acid. As a survival mechanism, H. Pylori actually releases chemicals (toxins) that decrease stomach acid. How do you know whether or not you actually have H. Pylori? You can either do a stool sample or a breath test.
TOP TEN WAYS
TO KNOCK OUT
H. PYLORI NATURALLY
The good news is that for many of you there are a number of things you can do to knock it out without having to go on antibiotics. Here are my top ten. Again, you'll notice that some of these overlap the list I gave you for low stomach acid. They are in no particular order.
- GET TESTED: There are a couple of ways to do this. Firstly, you could check via a Stool Sample. This is nice because you can check for other things like parasites, dysbiosis, leaky gut, etc, at the same time (see earlier link on parasites). Or you could simply do the urea breath test. Here's the thing. If you suspect H. Pylori, it is easy and inexpensive to confirm via testing. The breath test is cheaper, but a comprehensive stool test will provide tons more information about GUT HEALTH.
- GO LOW CARB (OR BETTER YET, PALEO): High Glycemic Index Carbs are the food of choice for Dysbiotic infections of all sorts (HERE) ---- including H. Pylori.
- AVOID PROCESSED FOODS: Smoked foods, refined flour, sugar and sugar substitutes, additives, preservatives, and chemicals found in foods are known to contribute to H. Pylori via their acidity (they acidify the body, while alkalizing the stomach). They also don't contain any of the enzymes needed to digest your food as do most whole foods --- particularly when eaten raw.
- GO GLUTEN FREE: If you Google "Gluten Hypochlorhidria" you'll probably be shocked at just how much information there really is on this unholy connection. To see the multitudes of ways that GLUTEN can adversely affect your health, just click the link. To see what it will take to go Gluten Free, HERE is the place to start.
- TAKE A STOMACH ACIDIFIER: I covered these earlier. If raw apple cider vinegar does not work, then some form of Betaine HCl is the way to go, but you need to use it the correct way. Just prior to eating a high protein meal, take a tablet (we use Standard Processes' Zypan). If you do not notice symptoms of burning or GI distress, you can continue this for a couple more days. Next, do the same thing with two tablets --- then three tablets, etc. When you hit the point where stomach discomfort occurs, back off by one tablet. Warning: do not hold these tablets in your mouth as they can burn you. If you already have ulcers, they can burn you as well. In that case, you'll need to do a different protocol. Besides helping with digestion, the higher acidity (lower pH) will help to kill H. Pylori by ruining their environment. DISCLAIMER: Do not do this unless you are under the supervision of a physician. Be aware that some of you might actually undergo a HERXHEIMER REACTION from doing this.
- AVOID ANTIBIOTICS AND OTHER DRUGS: Plainly stated, ANTIBIOTICS are usually the reason people end up with H. Pylori in the first place. Unfortunately, NEARLY ALL DRUGS are functionally antibiotics. By the way, according to a 2/8/2012 memo from the FDA, Acid Blocker drugs are not onlly associated with H. Pylori, but are strongly associated with C. DIFF as well.
- TAKE PROBIOTICS: This is a critical step, but in and of itself will probably not get the job done (HERE). However, for most people IT'S A START. Some of you, however, are going to have to look at STEPPING COMPLETELY OUTSIDE THE BOX in order to restore your normal MICROBIOME.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER AND ONLY WATER: Amazingly enough, there is actually a great deal of peer-reviewed scientific literature on this very thing. Hydro [water] chloric acid will help create an environment that H. Pylori hate. I will warn you, however, that soda (EVEN DIET SODA) will feed this problem. Although I have seen studies pooh poohing it, I tend to not drink with my meals so as not to dilute my stomach acid.
- EAT A WHOLE FOOD DIET: Diets chocked full of WHOLE FOODS, particularly things like onions, garlic, fresh hot peppers, Licorice, Cinnamon, Ginger, citrus seed extracts, Ethiopia's own berberi, rhubarb, cinnamon, and Coconut oil have all been shown to have beneficial effects on H. Pylori infections (HERE). Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and kale, have been shown to be effective in clinical trials as well (HERE). Bear in mind that the immature 'sprouts' of the cruciferous vegetables have been shown to contain 50 times the active ingredients as mature plants. Eating sauerkraut or even drinking the juice has been shown effective in regulating stomach acid, as have other fermented vegetables. There is also evidence that raw vegetables such as carrots, green leafies, and sweet potatoes can be beneficial as far as getting rid of H. Pylori infections are concerned. Plants such as Gentian, Dandelion, Scutellaria, Goldenseal, and Ginger have also shown themselves beneficial as they increase secretions of stomach acid.
DOES CALCIUM WITH VITAMIN D
Why would this be? With today's huge emphasis on preventing Osteoporosis, why in the world would anyone -- let alone one of our precious governmental health organizations ---- come out against supplementing with Calcium? For one, it increases your chances of developing kidney stones. For another, it simply does not do what it has been touted to do for decades ---- prevent fractures. Listen to the words of co-author, Dr. Virginia Moyer (MD) on the subject.
Due to the lack of effect on fracture incidence and the increased incidence of nephrolithiasis [kidney stones] in the intervention group of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1000 mg of calcium has no net benefit for the primary prevention of fractures in noninstitutionalized postmenopausal women.
By the way, there is one Calcium Supplement that is radically different than the rest. This is because instead of being simply Calcium, it comes from raw, cold-processed, organically-raised veal bones. It is called CALCIFOOD, and is an absolutely amazing product that has been around for about half a century.
LOW BACK SURGERY?
FAR LESS LIKELY FOR THOSE WHO USE CHIROPRACTIC FIRST
- Musculoskeletal problems like low back pain, neck pain and arthritis affect more than 1.7 billion people worldwide. They have a larger impact on world health than HIV/AIDS, malaria and other tropical diseases, war, natural disasters, and all neurological conditions ------- combined.
- Musculoskeletal disorders cause 21 percent of all YLD's (Years Lived w/ Disability). The only other category which is larger (very slightly) is mental disorders.
- Musculoskeletal conditions are the sixth leading cause of death and disability on the planet.
- Low back pain is the number one most common debilitating musculoskeletal condition on the planet, making up almost 50% of all musculoskeletal YLD's, and having a larger global health impact than things like malaria, preterm birth complications, COPD, tuberculosis, diabetes or lung cancer. Neck pain accounts for 20% of musculoskeletal YLD's. In other words, low back and neck pain make up 70% of the world's YLD's
- Spinal disorders cause more morbidity (illness), disability, and mortality (death) than HIV/AIDS, malaria, lower respiratory infections, stroke, breast cancer, lung cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression or traffic injuries.
- Over 632 million people suffer from low back pain worldwide, while over half that number of people (332 million) suffer from neck pain.
It's no real secret that chiropractic care, whether it be via SPINAL ADJUSTMENTS, TISSUE REMODELING, SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY, WEIGHT LOSS, CORE STRENGTHENING TECHNIQUES, COLD LASER THERAPY, or any number of other methods of treatment, help a wide variety of people dealing with chronic back and / or neck pain and other CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES. Because I think that our government's burden of proof in these matters is ridiculous (HERE), I created a VIDEO TESTIMONIAL PAGE. I have shown you repeatedly that not only do SPINAL SURGERIES frequently lead to poor outcomes, there are plenty of studies saying that the real reason for doing the vast majority of these Spinal Surgeries is that five letter word that starts with "M" ---- money.
In a study published in last month's issue of the journal Spine, a group of researchers from Dartmouth, Ohio State University, and the University of Washington, came to some rather amazing conclusions concerning Worker's Compensation patients in the state of Washington. The study, called Early Predictors of Lumbar Spine Surgery after Occupational Back Injury: Results from a Prospective Study of Workers in Washington State, said that low back patients whose first visit is to a surgeon (Orthopedic or Neuro) are nearly 30 times more likely to end up having spinal surgery than injured workers whose first visit is to a chiropractor. Here are the actual numbers from the study's abstract.
"Back injuries are the most prevalent occupational injury in the United States. Reduced odds of surgery were observed for those under age 35, women, Hispanics, and those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor. Conclusion. Baseline variables in multiple domains predicted lumbar spine surgery. There was a very strong association between surgery and first provider seen for the injury, even after adjustment for other important variables."
- THE U.S. "AGENCY ON HEALTH CARE POLICY AND RESEARCH STUDY": In the biggest study of its kind (1994), our own government concluded that in most cases of acute low back pain, spinal manipulation should be used prior to spinal surgery, and that CORTICOSTEROIDS (injected or oral), ANTIDEPRESSANTS, and OTHER DRUGS are not helpful or recommended for people with acute low back pain.
- CANADA'S "MANGA REPORT": This study (1993) was Canada's version of the previous study. The Canucks realized they were spending way too much money on low back surgeries. The Magna Report concluded things like, medical doctors frequently did not know how to effectively deal with the causes of low back pain, chiropractors were well-trained to handle acute low back pain via spinal manipulation and other things, spinal manipulation is more effective than drugs and surgery for low back pain, spinal manipulation was extremely safe when preformed by chiropractors and less safe when performed by non-chiros, chiropractic care returned injured workers to work far faster than medical care, chiropractic care was far more effective than medical care, and on top of that, patient satisfaction ratings with chiropractic were higher than any other healthcare group.
- THE NEW ZEALAND COMMISSION REPORT: Clear back in 1979, New Zealand issued it's nearly-400 pages long report on chiropractic called, Chiropractic in New Zealand. Some of the things that emerged from this paper (a paper that underwent extensive governmental hearings) were that chiropractors carry out spinal diagnosis on a "sophisticated and refined level", chiropractors were the only practitioners with the proper training to do what they do, medical doctors and therapists should be barred from taking weekend classes and then offering spinal manipulation in their clinics, chiropractic care is not only effective but cost-effective for helping people with back pain, neck pain, and headaches (migraines included).
- THE SWEDEN REPORT: This study was done in the late 1980's, just after Sweden recognized chiropractic as a profession. Together with the governments of Denmark, Finland and Norway, Sweden established a chiropractic college at Denmark's University of Odense. The study said that the chiropractic training was, "equivalent to Swedish medical training" and that efforts should be made for the medical community and chiropractic community to work together.
As everyone from governmental groups (Obama Care) to private insurances are looking for ways to curb runaway costs of back injuries, chiropractic has shown repeatedly what its proponents have known for generations. Chiropractic not only works, it can be delivered with far less cost and far more safety than standard medical care. Listen to what Dr, Keith Overland, the president of the American Chiropractic Association recently said concerning this study. "Caring for patients with conservative treatments first, before moving on to less conservative options or unnecessary drugs and surgery, is a sensible and cost-effective strategy." How could you possibly argue with him? It is nice to see some common sense brought to the table regarding this issue. Time will tell how much it changes things.
GETTING YOUR METABOLISM GOING AND KEEPING IT GOING ALL DAY!
- DRINK A BIG GLASS OF WATER: To a large degree, your level of hydration is going to control (or at least affect) you energy levels and metabolism, or lack thereof. This is easy. Do it.
- WORK OUT FIRST THING IN THE MORNING: Whether this is walking, biking, swimming, or resistance training, if you do it first thing, it boosts your metabolism and energy levels all day long. Waiting to exercise until the evening can hype you up and make it tougher to get to sleep. Yes; it takes discipline. A quality life is a disciplined life.
- LIFT WEIGHTS: Although I would rather see people doing some form of exercise rather than no exercise, I hate to see people wasting time and energy on things that are not optimally effective. If you want to understand this better, take a few minutes and read my CARDIO TRAINING -vs- STRENGTH TRAINING posts. The truth is, if you are not doing some form of Resistance Training in your exercise routine, you are shooting yourself in the foot as far as weight loss is concerned. The cool thing is that with a just a lihttp://www.doctorschierling.com/blog/category/cardio-or-strengthttle bit of equipment (light dumbells, a kettlebell or two, a doorway mounted chinup bar, and an exercise ball), or even no equipment at all, you can do a complete full body workout in 30 minutes or less.
- EAT A BREAKFAST LOADED WITH HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN: For those of you WHO CHOOSE TO EAT BREAKFAST, this is a big deal. If you will start your day by avoiding the traditional breakfast foods (tons of carbs) and CONTROLLING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR, you will lap the field. Eat your breakfast immediately after working out. By not waiting until later in the morning (break time), you will seriously ratchet up your body's "thermogenic" powers (ability to burn fat for energy). And if you want to take it a stepwww.doctorschierling.com/blog/category/number-one-health-problem further, make sure you get a small amount of protein in your system every two hours.
If you want more information on losing weight quickly and effectively, check out THESE POSTS.
DISEASE, HEALING, WELLNESS, AND FITNESS
THE CHOICE IS ALL YOURS
Playing the blame game is the easy way out. Especially when it comes to health. But blaming things other than yourself never gets to the root causes of why you are unhealthy in the first place. And it certainly never changes things for the better. In order to change things, you have to have the will to change, as well as the knowledge to know how to change. Knowledge is power. Let me help motivate and empower you to change your life.
What is disease? When broken down to its simplest components, all sickness and disease is really just one thing (HERE and HERE). It is some form of abnormal cellular function. There are essentially two reasons that cells malfunction. On one hand, the body can have too much of something (Excess). On the other hand, it might have too little of something (Insufficiency). These excesses and insufficiencies could pertain to just about anything (vitamins, minerals, calories, protein, neurotransmitters, inflammatory mediators, etc, etc, etc), and either side of the equation will ultimately lead to abnormal cellular function. What are the pathways that lead us to insufficiency or excess, eventually causing abnormal cellular function (sickness & disease)? Follow along while I show you.
There is a chasm between the medical research community who does the scientific research, and the average treating physician who see patients on a day-in-day-out basis. Most of this chasm is so great that the two groups can rarely see each other (the Grand Canyon is 18 miles across at its widest part), often going about life as though the other group doesn't exist (HERE). The facts about why people get sick in the first place, what it takes to get healthy, and what it takes to actually stay healthy, are frequently ignored. How else do you explain the medical community's continued ignorance concerning some of these pathways. Let's briefly look at them.
- NUTRITIONAL: This is big. Although everyone learns from the time they are a first grader, "You are what you eat," the medical community seems to be the last to catch on. If you have not yet figured out that nutrition is intimately linked to health and cellular function (or dysfunction), you are probably sick. I have all sorts of blog posts on this topic, ranging from GLUTEN, to PALEO EATING, to WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION, to CONTROLLING BLOOD SUGAR & DIABETES NATURALLY, to TRANS FATS, to GUT HEALTH, to KETOGENIC DIETS, and a host of others. Why does the medical community continue to largely ignore nutrition? Easy. Firstly, they know very little about it (HERE), and secondly; when compared to drugs, there's is no real money in it (HERE).
- CHEMICAL / HORMONAL: This one is easy to figure out. Excesses of certain kinds of chemicals create toxicity. Not enough of certain kinds of chemicals and you have a deficiency. Either one can destroy your health, or even be the difference between life or death. Our medical community understands this. In fact, they understand it almost too well. Because they see the "Chemical Group" as by far the biggest of the five groups, it is how they attack most diseases. You already understand this. Doctor's first line of treatment for almost any given health problem is to give people chemicals in the form of drugs. Does this work? Certainly it does ---- sometimes --- at least for awhile. And it certainly works if you are a Pharmaceutical Company. But all too often, looking at health from strictly a chemical point of view is covering symptoms without ever addressing underlying causes. If a hammer is the only thing a carpenter carries around in his tool box, everything starts to look like a nail. BTW, if you want any hope of effectively dealing with this bullet, you need to get a handle on BIOTRANSFORMATION.
- MECHANICAL AND / OR ELECTRICAL: Although I PROVIDE LARGE AMOUNTS OF INFORMATION for my patients concerning the other bullets, this is where I spend the majority of my practice life. Many people have deficiencies (or excesses) in joint motion and / or nerve function. Whether their problem was the result of a SPORTS INJURY, a CAR CRASH, SCAR TISSUE, SUBLUXATION, or any number of others, they frequently end up with mechanical problems that can ultimately lead to a whole host of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES. This always creates a vicious cycle based on inflammation, with an end-result of some sort of DEGENERATION. This category would also cover things like too little or too much exercise, POOR POSTURE, as well as a host of others. It is very important to be aware that the body's Electrical System is intimately linked to its mechanical system (musculoskeletal system). Nerve interference and various sorts of BRAIN DYSFUNCTIONS cause untold amounts of sickness, disease, and health problems (HERE is a crazy example of this). Furthermore, there is a growing number of elite physicians and scientists who believe that this dysfunction is the root of all disease (HERE). I'll throw SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE here, as science continues to show this as an underlying feature in most chronic disease processes.
- MENTAL: If you are not aware of the mind - body connection in health and disease, you may need to take a bit of time and research this topic. This can be almost anything from stress to DEPRESSION, to worry, to any number of others. Science has told us that the mind-body relationship is a major factor in as much of 70% of all disease processes. We also know that things like TV, VIDEO GAMES & PORN (not to mention a lack of exercise) will rot your mental capacity as well.
- GENETIC: This is one that despite having billions of dollars thrown at it, is proving to be less and less important all the time. Much of this has to do with the field of epigenetics (first link in the post). EPIGENETICS is a rapidly expanding field within genetics saying that genes do not matter nearly as much as we have been led to believe. The real question we need to find out is whether a specific gene has been turned on or not. What turns genes on and allows them to express ill health? Although it can be a variety of different things, they are usually the same things that we associate with an unhealthy lifestyle.
I could have included another category and called it something like "Germs". The truth of the matter is that germs can cause disease. But they also maintain health (HERE). In the same way that genes get too much credit for sickness and disease, bacteria and viruses sometimes get too much credit as well --- at least when talking about acute illnesses. Taking a cue from FDR's "New Deal", in the 1960's LBJ created his "Great Society". He declared war on poverty, ignorance, and yes, disease. How has that worked out? Just look around you.
We have more stupidity (particularly in Washington), more people sponging off the American taxpayer, and more people struggling with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES than at any time in the history of our country. Despite the explosion of technology (as well as UNCONTROLLED MEDICAL SPENDING), "MEDICINE" has not panned out like it was supposed to (unless, of course, you are part of "The Pharm"). And simply giving people ANTIBIOTICS and huge numbers of VACCINATIONS has proved to be a double-edged sword that is permanently destroying the health of as many people as they save. What is the answer? How about following the advice of the inventor of the light bulb.
Back in 1903, the January 2 edition of the Newark Advocate ran a story appropriately called Wizard Edison, which quoted him as saying, The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. What do you think? Good advice? Although I am prejudice in the matter, I certainly think so. In fact, I believe in this concept enough that I created you a generic template for getting your health back.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO GET
HEALTHY AND STAY HEALTHY?
STRENGTH -vs- CARDIO REVISITED
- ENDURANCE ATHLETE: Any event over 2 hours in duration
- MARATHONER: Running 26.2 miles
- TRIATHLETE: 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile Marathon
- ULTRA-DISTANCE RUNNER: Distances over 50 miles
- ULTRA BICYCLER: The Tour de France is, give or take, a 2,000 mile race
The common thought of the day is that to seriously get ready for events like these, you'll have to train on average, 2.5 - 5 hours per day or more (calculated using one day with zero training). Much of this involves mile after mile of what I have always called "slogging". If you read my piece on Strength vs Cardio (link below), you already realize that despite creating the "Endorphin High", slogging releases large quantities of the stress hormone Cortisol. This, along with dozens of other factors, are why the scientific research is pointing toward higher intensity / lower duration types of training not only for strength events, but for endurance events as well. Let me ask you a question. What if you could achieve better race times by cutting your training time in half or more? Would you be interested?
Although I have been an athlete my whole life (or at least I have enjoyed thinking of myself in that capacity), I have always hated to run for the sake of running. Maybe it's just my personal bias on the matter, but there seems to be a rapidly growing body of evidence (both empirical and anecdotal) saying that STRENGTH TRAINING IS SUPERIOR IN EVERY FASHION TO CARDIO TRAINING. Now we have groups of people (CrossFitters and Endurance CrossFitters) who are telling us that hardcore endurance athletes (runners, triathletes, cyclists, etc) can dramatically improve their overall performance, by running / training less ---- way less.
Interestingly enough, this is not really a new principle in strength training. The truth of the matter is that most serious athletes (weightlifters included) have a real propensity to overtrain. Back in the 1970's, Arthur Jones created a fitness phenomenon based on this premise. You've all heard of it ---- Nautalis. After an experiment at Colorado State University, Jones became more convinced than ever that one (1) very heavy set of repetitions to failure, done no more than a couple of times a week, was all a person needed to make maximal / optimal gains in both strength and muscle mass. Thus the birth of the Nautalis Circuit. Joe Weider of Muscle and Fitness fame used to talk about overtraining in his magazines on a regular basis as well. It seemed that there were always articles and warnings about overtraining, even though the magazine was filled with pictures of professional muscle-heads whose trained twice a day for hours at a time (something that would be impossible without some serious pharmaceutical help).
But wouldn't it be interesting if the same principle were true for endurance athletes as well? It seems that this might actually be the case. For at least 15 years (since the publication of Bill Phillips Body for Life), the High Intensity / Short Duration crowd has been flexing their proverbial muscles --- both in the gym and in the scientific research community. The latest star of this movement is a man by the name of Brian Mackenzie. In a new article in Outside Magazine (The Agony and the Heresy; Brian MacKenzie's Controversial New Approach to Marathon Training), he explains why CrossFit-like strength and interval training is the way to go as far as decreasing times for marathon and ultra-distance runners is concerned. I realize that it will be tough wrapping your mind around the idea that squats, power cleans, deadlifts, push presses, pull ups, burpees, KETTLEBELL SWINGS, sprints, and other similar fare, done at an extreme pace, for 15-30 minute workouts, is the very sort of training needed to better your times in distance events.
SCAR TISSUE REMODELING
CHRONIC NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS
Tony is a hard working salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. A severe logging accident almost three years ago nearly killed him and left him with an array of "interesting" neurological symptoms that left his neurologists and specialists scratching their heads. Thanks Tony for this amazing story!
CHRONIC NECK / UPPER BACK PAIN
CHRONIC NECK PAIN & HEADACHES
Tracy was one of those people so decimated by HEADACHES she could barely function much of the time. She had been to all sorts of specialists, had a wide array of tests (all negative) and was getting hundreds upon hundreds of chiropractic adjustments. Find out how her life was turned around by TISSUE REMODELING.
FIVE COMMON PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS SHARE A GENETIC LINK
SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED?
A brand new study from the Lancet --- one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals on the planet --- showed that the five disorders listed in the title share a common genetic link. This genetic link is present even though the course of each disorder is different, ultimately leading to a different group of symptoms for each. The authors, who claim the study was the biggest ever of its kind, looked at over 33,000 cases of psychiatric disorders, and compared them to nearly 28,000 control subjects. They made some interesting observations along the way ---- primarily that all five of these problems share common genetic origins. But is the field of genetics everything it's cracked up to be, or are we sometimes chasing the wrong culprit?
The development and maintenance of an organism is orchestrated by a set of chemical reactions that switch parts of the genome off and on at strategic times and locations. Epigenetics is the study of these reactions and the factors that influence them.... The genome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet, behavior, toxins and other factors activate chemical switches that regulate gene expression. What you eat can change your gene expression. Parents have a role in shaping the epigenome. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role both in normal brain function and in mental illness. Cherry-picked from the headlines of various articles from the website of the University of Utah's Genetics Department
A rather major point (probably the point) in evolutionary philosophy, is that we are largely (if not solely) a product of our genetic makeup. Are you fat? It's just bad genes? Do you have a bad temper? It's a family trait. You have AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES? It's that dadblasted DNA! However, as you can see from the quote above, the field of Epigenetics says that we are not so much defined by our genes as we are defined by the various things that turn our genes on or off. And what are these things? They mention some of the more obvious ones (parental upbringing, stress, diet, etc). But there are a couple elephants in the room that are being ignored by most of the scientific medical community.
Understand that the medical community never uses information like that found in this study to actually make people healthier. Their goal? As stated in the study, it is to, "contribute to prediction and prevention of psychiatric diseases, along with the identification of molecular targets for new generations of psychotropic drugs." You see, it's always about the drugs. It has to be. The studies themselves are funded by the drug industry, carried out in research centers that were built by pharmaceutical dollars, by doctors who are getting paid by big pharma (HERE is an example of this). And unfortunately, the "drugs-for-everything" approach of modern medicine has not panned out as well as initially hoped.
By the way, this is not the first time a link between these sorts of psychiatric problems has been proposed. In Dr. Harris Coulter's 1990 offering called VACCINATION, SOCIAL VIOLENCE, AND CRIMINALITY: THE MEDICAL ASSAULT ON THE AMERICAN BRAIN, he makes a great case that all five of these things are linked as well. What is one of the big "Epigenetic Switches" that is turning these genes on so that they can express Psychiatric Disease? If you read the beginning of the post, you saw that not only are Antibiotics one of the bigger "Epigenetic Switches", but so are Vaccinations. Throw them in bed together and you have the potential for a Tsunami --- the "Perfect Storm" for creating a lifetime of ill health. Before you take your children for their next series of shots, or go for another FLU SHOT yourself, look into this issue. It is the elephant in the room that everyone shuffles past while staring at the ground and trying not to acknowledge or make eye contact with.
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